The Eightfold Path, Part VII


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Scene Title The Eightfold Path, Part VII
Synopsis A favor is called in.
Date September 15, 1988

"So we're in agreement then…"

Tall partly-curtained windows spill with bright afternoon sunlight. Particles of dust dance in the amber glow, cast across the surface of a long, oak table lined with old manilla folders, stapled photocopies of redacted files, and five pennies encased in four inch plates of glass. At one end of the table, Charles Deveaux looks down at the documentation with furrowed brows and a heavy frown. His hair has turned grayer at the temples, worry lines crease his brow. It's been a long few years.

"I see no other path."

Kaito Nakamura cuts a dramatic silhouette, standing at the other end of the table, backlit by the sunlight spilling thorugh the window. The shadow he casts on the floor and wall is a long one, broken up by the evanescent motes of dust dancing in afternoon light. Charles slowly nods in response to Kaito's assertion, knuckling down onto the tabletop and shaking his head.

"Then we have a great deal of work to do…"

A third figure soundlessly steps up to the middle of the table, hands in the pockets of his ink black slacks, chalk white hair catching the sunlight behind him like a halo. Walter Renautas looks down at the files laid out before him with some measure of uncertainty in his old features, blue eyes moving from Kaito to Charles and back again. The three draw in a deep breath, and Charles calls toward the door to the study.

"Bring in Melchoir."

The Deveaux Building

September 15th


Th oak double doors to the study open into a brightly lit hallway in the Deveaux Building's penthouse. Ishi Nakamura, dressed in bone white, walks in beside a man in his early sixties, pale and thin, though possessed of mostly dark hair save for a few wisps of gray at his temples. He's smiling a casual man's smile, flannel shirt tucked into his tan courderoys. Charles, Kaito, and Walter turn to observe Ishi escort the man in, who offers a toothy grin to the powers that be standing around the table. Ishi then moves to stand beside Kaito, inclining her head in a thankful nod toward the newcomer.

"Good afternoon," Walter addresses with an incline of his head. "I'm sorry that we have to call you here so abruptly, and under such spurious circumstances. But, a compact has been made and we have come to call on the favor you promised us all those years ago."

Charles steps from his place at the end of the table, unbuttoning the front of his suit jacket and tucking one hand into his pocket. "The ability you have is unlike most we've seen. We'd ask you to help us in retaining something that…" Charles looks over to Kaito, then back to the man Ishi brought in. "The information is classified, so to speak. It isn't something that we want falling into the wrong hands, but at the same time it's not something that we can live with expunging either. We need you to hold on to that knowledge… in the event that we ever need it again."

Kaito chimes in, one brow raised. "We may never come to you for it, it may lie as your burden for the rest of your life. Or, we may come for it tomorrow. Sometimes, the future is frighteningly uncertain." At that, Ishi rests a hand on one of Kaito's, squeezing it firmly. "What we're asking you to keep cannot be told to anyone. Do you understand?"

The man they'd called Melchior looks left and right, managing an awkward smile as he looks at the three men, and then smiles faintly. "I made a promise, and you held through to your end of the bargain. Genevieve lived a good life thanks to you, and if this…" he motions to the table as he walks up, "is all you want me to do in return?" He smiles again, as if he's getting some sort of bargain. "I don't much mind."

"I would say your service will not be forgotten, but…" Walter looks over to Charles, then back to the man they'd brought in, "unfortunately that won't be the case either. We cannot know you are the one who will hold this information. It must be comparmentalized, set aside, like a time capsule."

That causes the man's brows to furrow, and he plucks at the hem of his flannel shirt awkwardly. "Well, if you folks don't remember me… then how's anybody ever going to know t'come look for me if all of this," he motions to the objects on the table again, "is ever needed?"

Charles nods, it's an understandable question. "You let us worry about that." Then, Charles nods to Ishi, who slowly makes her way around the table to come behind the flannel-clad man. She smiles, thankfully, and rests a hand on one of his shoulders as a pale, white light flows through her pupils. He tenses, watching her nervously.

"To ensure the integrity of our investment," Ishi says softly, "I will make sure that you have a long and fruitful life, Martin." Martin smiles back, awkwardly.

"Please," he says humbly.

"Call me Pines."


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