The Fire Inside, Part V



Scene Title The Fire Inside, Part V
Synopsis Shedda Dinu's spy inside Yamagato Industries gains access to a terrible secret.
Date May 9, 2019

It was starting to feel like they couldn't have asked for anything bigger of him with such a small question. Well, it hadn't been a question, rather an order, but details like that were inconsequential when he was performing the work on his own free will regardless.

Godfrey sets the martini he's made himself swirling with a flick of his wrist, the olive at the bottom of it spinning even as he samples the taste. He decides it'll do, then sets it aside to prop up the the thin tablet that serves half the time as his work computer. “Let's have a look…” he suggests, seemingly to the air, only moments before the contents of his screen are projected onto his television screen. That never gets old.

“Marvelous,” he declares, tablet turned into keyboard and mouse now. A directory of Yamagato Industries employees scrolls past on the television — photo, name, title, age, and nationality rolling past in lazy waves.

The Ask was to surreptitiously collect a tissue sample from Kam Nisatta and deliver it to a contact outside Yamagato Park. At first, he had figured his biggest issue would be finding her. The former leader of Yamagato Industries stateside activities had disappeared in January, supposedly having stepped down to pursue other opportunities. Early retirement. Good for her, one would think.

There was one small problem with that, he found out quickly…

Turns out Kam Nisatta is dead. Has been for months.

Luckily, Godfrey Wells was a master of taking impossible odds and turning them into something he could work with. The good news was, he learned exactly where he could find Kam Nisatta. The bad news…

“All these names, and not a single mortician!”

But the exercise wasn't all for naught. Though it appeared actual job roles were likely hidden behind obtuse, gentrified titles when it came to matters of handling the dead, there were a number of other promising faces and titles in the directory to work with.

One such face belonged to Jamie McKendry, Research Manager II.

Yamagato Medical Center

Yamagato Park

May 9

10:15 AM

“Hey! Um, so it's great to see you,” Jamie greets, a little more breathless than he'd like. He makes up for it with a winning smile. When he runs a hand back through his hair, it looks like an unpracticed but smooth action. Casual, not the act of a more nervous man. Nevermind the fluttering heartbeat underneath it all.

“Hope this isn't taking too much time out of your schedule. I imagine they keep you pretty busy up there.” He chuckles faintly, hand lifting in a vague direction to indicate the upper levels of the Yamagato Building.

A rather mischievous smile curls the lips of Godfrey below a pair of mirrored sunglasses, as he approaches his guide for the day. “Hey, indeed,” he returns sliding glasses off his face, appraising the man in front of him with a touch of interest. “Jamie. I must say, your pictures do not do the real you justice.”

This assignment just keeps improving.

The business liaison himself made sure to wear his best business suit, especially tailored to his frame. While this might be a more… private tour… he still needed to look like this was more of a professional tour. There is a slight shine to the dark slate of the suit and the grey-blue shirt under the vest it is sans a tie today. For him that was going casual. Yet, he still he manages to look rather professional and well-groomed.

The mention of the people upstairs gets a chuckle as he looks upward as if the almighty upper management were looking down at them. “They do keep me busy. The country won’t rebuild itself on Yamagato’s generosity alone. Still, I can always find time for a private tour.” There is way that he says it. One might even be able to take it as a flirt.

The arms of the sunglasses are slowly folded as he watches the other man through hooded eyes, “I was rather pleased that you agreed to this. What you told me about your job…” he tucks away the glasses, “Well… it fascinated me.” Bored him really and he didn’t understand half of it. “And I’d really love to help out your department, see if I can help… stack the decks in your favor as the World Fair looms near.”

Godfrey motions to the door, “Why should the technology based departments get so much of the spotlight. What you and your team are doing here is just as important.” He sounds insulted for Jaime and his team. How dare they neglect them. “Let’s see what we can do to shift that spotlight, hmm?”

Jamie lets out a chuckle, clearly flattered. “Really? I would have thought all those filters made real not worth it anymore.” He rolls one shoulder in a shrug, disposable cup of coffee in hand. As one does when they're trying to look aloof and businesslike and vaguely important, to be doing something so casual as toting their coffee with them. He's dressed in slacks and a pressed, navy blue dress shirt that smarts with a dark iridescence. A crisp, white-standard labcoat is worn over it, unbuttoned.

His brow lifts with interest, eyes darting across Godfrey and his movements with a total lack of surreptition. He was fascinated with Jamie's work? “Well that's great!” His enthusiasm is outpouring now, despite his attempts to keep cool.

“I mean, yeah, all our work funnels into what the rest of them are doing, so it's doubly important, you'd figure? It's all dollars in the end, you know.” Considerably less enthused now. “Selling makes more money than researching, despite the importance behind it.”

He remembers at least to get his feet moving, reaching smoothly for the keycard pinned to his waits to zip it away and tap it against a panel near a secured door so it slides open for them. Jamie gives a polite after you tip of his head, walking and talking. “They'd not have the Cestus if not for us. It's no small joke getting into a field like bio-engineering if that's not something you're really gunning for as an organization, but thankfully we have a hell of a team here, and subsidiary corporations whose progress we can learn from. It's like cloud computing, but with companies.” He may or may not actually know anything about cloud computing, but he goes for it with the confidence of someone who does. “We're all figuring it out together!”

Jamie pauses only to tip his head in the direction they need to go. “So I was just planning on showing you a little bit of everything in terms of our major initiatives… unless there's a project in particular you had an interest in?” There's some hope in that, a glance back Godfrey's way. Like maybe he's interested in one over the others. Like he might already know which ones might be near to Jamie's heart.

Oh dear, Godfrey probably should’ve listened a little closer to those bits, but to be fair he did drone on so and the scotch he had been drinking gave him a wonderful buzz.

Hands claps together. “How about this…” A nice gold watch glinting on his right wrist when he pivots towards Jamie with a serious consideration. Lips press together briefly, before he continues, “As much as I’d enjoy just.. getting right to the meat of it,” Godfrey starts with a devilish glint in those dark eyes, he steps a touch closer, leaning like there is a big secret. “But can’t appear to be playing favorites. Now can I?” A brow twitches up.

Straightening, Godfrey throws his hands out, taking a step back and then turning again towards the direction he was heading, moving again. “So, my dear Jamie! Show me a little of everything, but save the best for the main course.” Eyes drift down the form of the tech and back up again, “Then we can take all the time we need to thoroughly explore your heart's desire.” He means the man’s own research… really he does.

Oh, the entendres.

Jamie gets it. He really does. He makes an effort of showing it, with his sympathetic, conspiratorial nod. There's a valiant attempt at looking away from Godfrey, but he doesn't make it quite as far at first, knowing he is being looked up and down himself. He clears his throat. "Well, then — better get started, shouldn't we? Lots to see, little time to see it." And a considerable amount of time he wanted to spend sharing 'his heart's desire'.

He finally turns, beginning to lead them down the hall. The coffee remains untouched in his hand, though occasionally he gestures with it while they walk. "I've been here almost four years now, and the amount of development that can be done in so short a period remains astounding to me. Really, the people who are here are the top of their fields, down to the last. I'm sure you're familiar with our other more public innovations that were announced recently. The spectral invisibility technology — that one came from Tokyo — but the Cestus cybernetic model was first prototyped and developed here." He looks back knowingly. "Which, if you ask me," and no one was, "provides a practical, immediate benefit. You get the bang for your buck, the whole nine yards with a product like that."

They come to another set of doors, and he taps his card again so the reinforced glass doors slide open, letting them pass from secured to highly-secured ground. The clinic and surgery portion of the medical center Godfrey unfortunately had personal experience with and had seen previously, but these halls are new to him. The overall feel of nature-meets-tech that the Yamagato campus puts off is less felt here given the total absence of windows — no internal gardens to slip out into, even. The walls are plated in a white metal that curves near the ceiling, still lending that organic feel to the area. When they come upon the labs, the metal walls are traded instead for frosted-glass panes that obscure everything from the waist up.

"With the products like the Cestus, partnerships like the one developed with Larange—" Jamie pauses for a moment as he goes through the active realization maybe it's not obvious who or what that company is. He turns to Godfrey before resuming pace and speech both, conversational as ever. The more inside and technical the topic the better, though he's trying to break it down for Godfrey's sake. "They're the company that does the EndoCell drug, by the way — anyway, those partnerships are critical to making the launch of new products work. Now, the work we're doing here, it's going to take some creative marketing minds like yours to determine the best partnerships, I think, but … we're working on something revolutionary, if we get it going, find a way to popularize it on the market."

With a lift of his hand near the glass pane, a holographic panel suddenly comes into view. With a few taps against nothing other than the projected lights, the section of frosted wall in front of shimmers momentarily before the opaque whiteness abruptly trickles down the pane, concentrating more on the bottom half. Visible now are technicians working with test tubes, petri dishes, samples of matter that look mostly red. Processing equipment various size and shape find home along the sides and aisles set up within the lap. It all appears rather unremarkable, until a tech opens the door of a storage unit to place a sample within … and much larger growths can be seen within. Jamie tries to call attention to that single interesting happening, pointing with his coffee hand, the one not actively overriding the privacy screen. "More palatable name TBD, what you're looking at is clean, or lab-grown, meat. We've done rounds and rounds of development on the subject, and are working to create partnerships to drive down the cost of delivery.

"Feeding the meat while it grows tends to be the biggest pain in the ass with this project. It needs a nutrient-rich serum to stabilize and …do its thing. That's the biggest expense." Jamie's heart isn't entirely in it, but the facts are all there. "There's numerous benefits that all speak for themselves with the project — the eco-friendliness of it, the ethical benefits, et cetera — that push us to hit production with this. But honestly, we're going to need a breakthrough that pushes us to the front of the crowd — something to make us stand out from other companies working on the same goal." He steps back, and the frost on the glass crawls back into place so it seamlessly matches the rest of the glass panels down the hall. There's a brief pause, and he shifts his grip around his coffee. "With me so far?"

While Godfrey expected to be mind-numbingly bored out of his mind, he is pleasantly surprised that everything he is being shown. “I have seen the Cestus up close and found it to be quite the piece of work. A marvel really.” It still stings a little to know that Monica lost that limb and was out. Though, not as bad as for Marlowe, the business liaison was only mourning the fact he didn’t get to know the woman more. “Though, I wouldn’t want to piss off the person wearing one, mind you. Then it is a bit too terminator-like.”

That was a joke.

As Jaime turns to one of the walls, Godfrey moves to stand behind the man, though a little to one side, just enough so that he is aware of the liaison’s presence. Watching the technology at play, he lets out a breathy and softly spoken, “I don’t think I’ll ever get use to things like that.” It isn’t all an act either, he really did appreciate all the automation.

Then the wall clears and he can see in the lab. There is only a touch of disappointment in what is behind it, but it quickly turns to fascination. “So is that part of Yamagato’s solution to help the food shortage in the Safe Zone?” Godfrey asked out of complete fascination over what he just saw and that was the first thing he thought of. Looking at the now white wall, there is a flicker of something. “Though I must admit, It’s a bit disturbing to think you have to feed meat when it’s not a part of a living thing.”

What he doesn’t say out loud is how it also makes him think of his boss, Adam Monroe. That thought alone, as he is looking at the lab grown meat, puts him off the idea completely. It was all suddenly too Soylent Green for him.

What Godfrey asks instead is, “Has such of a thing been considered for reconstructive surgery?” Hands fold behind his back as he returns his attention to Jaime, brows tipped up expectantly. “Imagine growin’ a whole muscle to replace the one someone lost in an accident. Or a body part really.”

Fingers snap, some important concept being remembered. “Right, right. The food shortage,” Jamie acknowledges quickly. “I mean, food shortages anywhere, but right, the Safe Zone, too.” It was easier for him to forget about the troubles people faced even a few miles away, living in the comparably gilded lifestyle Yamagato afforded him.

He turns back to Godfrey when he realizes the other man is offput, all too eager to move along. Bringing them further down the hall to where the panels are traded again for metal walls, Jamie nods along with the additional comment, turning back to the business liaison with a one side of his mouth curled up in a smile. “Look at you go, seeing the other practical applications,” he remarks slyly. The coffee cup is lifted slowly while he talks, like he means to actually take a drink this time. If only he could stop talking. “Synthetic muscle replacement is definitely on the table. Replacing whole body parts synthetically theoretically isn’t too much farther down the line, but you’ve got your camps that start to form there,” His coffee hand falls to one side as he indicates one camp, the opposite the other. “Those in favor of bionics, and those who aren’t. Cybernetics really might be the better, as in more powerful, cheaper push if we’re talking about limb replacement, but…”

They’ve walked past a few doors now that one might overlook, seeing as they're nondescript. Private offices, storage.

“Well, I imagine both have their pros and cons, yeah?” Godfrey trails after the other man, looking back over his shoulder with a bit of a thoughtful frown and then a small shake of his head. However, a thought itches at the back of his mind and he motion back where they came from. “I can’t help but ask, how does one even start on something like that? Or is that a trade secret?” Before Jaime answers, he waves off the question. “Don’t answer that. Best I don’t know.”

The wicked smile returns easily to the man’s lip and he leans in a bit closer to his tour guide. Shoulders brush, but Godfrey keep his hands clasped behind his back and attention on the path ahead of them. “Besides who doesn’t enjoy a little mystery in their life. Spices things up and keeps you guessing from moment to…” The brit pauses just enough to look at Jaime, seeming to consider him. The next word coming out a little deeper and more intimate, “…moment.” In truth, he may be formulating a plan on what to do with Jaime once he figured out where the body was.

Straightening, eyes drift over the researcher and a bit of a smirk appears. Who knows what thoughts might be going the Godfrey’s head.

While the doors are not important, Godfrey watches each past with interest. The names on them given some consideration, but for the most part he allows himself to be drug along on the tour. “So, it’s great to be able to cure hunger, but what about diseases? Looking into how the expressive genetics work? Cool genetic science things like that?”

Jamie would have been all too eager to answer how one starts on lab-growing meat, but he's waved off from it, and it looks like it throws him a little off his game. He shrugs, trying to pass casual, but Godfrey is leaning closer now, and that's a big distraction further ruining his casual game. His brow pops up slowly, marveling at that thoughtful pause and look that Godfrey gives him.

He didn't know what was going through the liaison's mind, but those roaming eyes now have him wondering. They look hungry, ready, waiting for… something. Possibly something off the clock.

God, Jamie could only hope.

Somehow, he keeps his cool, his pace forward, and his mind sort of on track. Clearing his throat, he looks back to Godfrey with a sly grin of his own. “You know, I'm amazed at the interest you're taking in all this. Did you do any research on your own?” They pass by another door. Medical Records Physical Storage. There's not another for a long stretch of hall.

“Y'know, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were keen on a change of fields, Godfrey Wells,” Jamie chuckles, looking forward again, slowly swirling the coffee cup in his hand. “Once we get up ahead, I'll be able to explain a bit more about all that. There's certain things I can and can't really say, but…”

There's a simple set of double-doors they pass by as they approach a turn in the hall. Secured by an ID scanner. Morgue.

“You know, I can try my best.” Jamie is oblivious, a wry grin forming on him. “To satisfy any curiosities you might have.” His pace is slowing as he turns to look Godfrey's way again.

An interesting observation, he was only making banter, but… Godfrey uses this to his advantage. “To be honest, I wouldn’t mind the change in scenery.” There is a suggestive tip of a brow and a bow of his head. That little smug smirk of his visible. He might be enjoying this. “But, I fear that I lack the level of intelligence to go along with it. You, my dear sir, are a double threat. Looks and brains. How ever would I compete?”

As the double doors are passed, Godfrey’s whole focus is suddenly on the tag on the door. There is was… he just had to play it cool. Stepping past the door, he stops suddenly and turns on his heels to look back at the door. His head tilts a bit as if wondering if he saw that right..

“Oh hello, what’s this?”

A few steps back to the door, he gives the name on the doors a serious look, brows shooting up. “Hold on,” Godfrey gives Jaime a curious look. “A morgue? I had no idea Yamagato had such a thing.” He did, but his companion didn’t know that. “Should I be worried that the company thinks we need one?”

Jamie continues walking a few steps further, not understanding when Godfrey turns back. His gaze goes from the charming liaison to the door that’s caught his attention, grip shifting around his drink. He was beginning to regret having brought it — not having his hands free was sort of a pain, and there wasn’t exactly anywhere to pitch it. “Oh…” he says, offhanded, trying not to draw any attention to what most people would consider, you know, a grim thing to have around. “Well, we have a fully-fledged hospital here. It’s just a standard part of the facilities.”

His brow lifts and he reassures, “Come on, it’s not like it really sees any use.” Jamie’s mouth quirks to one side in another smile. “Plenty of heart-stoppingly beautiful things around here, sure, but the company’s also good at resuscitation. Look at Director Otomo, for example — guy was this close to a bomb and they’ve got him back up and going now.” His grin grows as he adds a little slyly, “With sights set on getting him up and going again, too. Another cybernetics project in the works.”

He tips his head down the hall in a gesture meant to get them going again. He doesn’t want to linger on the topic, so he hopes the gesture will do the speaking for him.

“It’s just not something one expects,” Godfrey admits, maybe even a touch apologetic. Only a touch. Hand spread with a bit of a flourish, “Especially in a place as this; but, you have my attention, love. Tell me about these cybernetics?” He motions Jamie to proceed, a wicked smile on his own lips as he falls in beside the other man, allowing himself to be let where ever the doctor desires.

“I heard about Otomo’s recovery, quite the feat that, and impressive to boot.“ Godfrey clasps hands behind his back again, walking close to the doctor, letting his presence speak for him. The brush of shoulders and the smell of cologne that is probably not that cheap. “Did you help in that? Or are you involved with… “ Godfrey gives the other man a sly glance, out of the corner of his eye. “Getting him up? I believe is how I heard you put it.” There is a wicked curl to his lip.

Godfrey casts a subtle glance around them before letting his focus fall on the doctor, letting the man see what he might be thinking in his eyes. “Maybe we can discuss your contributions to the betterment of society, at length, in your office at the end of this little tour?” Godfrey even allows a hopefulness color his words.

Godfrey somehow hits all the right notes. The casual love to worm his way in, the flattery … followed by the shock of the unexpected double-entendre, the furtive looks he keeps casting around.. Jamie's pupils have widened, in more than one type of surprise. It's only barely that he keeps a hold on that damnable to-go cup, feeling more than a little flustered.

It's safe to say he's forgotten all about experimental cybernetics. "Or we could go there now," he suggests, a little breathlessly. "You know, give you a few moments to … ask me all the questions you'd like." There's a shift of his jaw, teeth pressing down on his lower lip for a moment before he nods back down the hall again. Much more enthusiastically than before. It might be a little presumptuous, but he starts off that way without a second thought, the scandalous desire for Godfrey's private attention plain as he glances back to make sure he follows.

A short time later

When Godfrey slips out of the research manager's office, Jamie is still nervously running his hand through his hair, trying to set it back into the carefully manicured tousle it had been before. He's going to need more than a minute to get himself back together, flustered as he was and still is. It'll take another minute or two for him to remember where his belt had been flung, what with how it had been flourished off his person. Will take a few more after that for him to remember to tuck in his shirt while he sits in his office chair, still lost in thought absolutely marveling at what just happened.

It's a set of circumstances that allow Godfrey to exit hardly even noticed, leaving the good doctor's waistline just a smidge lighter in the process. One man's credentials…~

As the door clicks shut behind him, he shifts the laminated booty out of sight.

One high-security keycard, acquired.

After the ID is slid into his pocket, there is a moment taken to button his jacket and give a tug here or there. All in all, he has a rather smug smile on his lips and a flush is fading from his own skin. Oh he will definitely have to see that one again. Fingers brush a stray hair back into place, before Godfrey makes his way back down the corridor, now that the pleasure was out of the way, it was back to business. One he did not relish the thought of.

It was hard not to rush down the hall, his heart beating against his chest. It had been awhile since he had been called on like this and he really liked his job. Far less looking over one’s shoulder. That had of course come to and end the night he was handed the assignment.
Though, it begs the question… how did they know about the death? Was there someone he didn’t know feeding them information? Clever that.

The door in sight, Godfrey reaches into his pocket for the card. He won’t pull it out till he is at the door and no one is about. He is determined to get through the door as quickly as he can with no one the wiser, at the same time, bracing himself for whatever is waiting for him on the other side.

After a casual glance over his shoulder to confirm no one's there, the card is swept out of hiding, pressed in its plastic cover against the card scanner. It takes a painfully long moment for the card to be read, the indicator light on the surface of the scanner unchanging. It lights up neither orange nor green, though with how long it's taking…


Oh, good. The doors have unlocked. Pulling one back roughly to gain entrance and close it behind him as quickly as possible, Godfrey is able to slip in after first glancing in to confirm no one's around.

Well. No one alive, anyway.

For all the assurances the morgue is infrequently used, there is the distinct outline of a body on one of the metal tables near room's center, though it's covered over with an opaque plastic. Any morgue technicians have stepped away, though who knows when they'll return. Another room is split off of this one, the window to that door dark either by nature of its glass or because no one is home. An entire portion of the otherwise sleek wall to Godfrey's left is dedicated to what look like storage cubes, sealed in with large metal clasps that jut out from the smooth surface. Black block numbers are painted above handles sticking out from the cubes, and small panels on their faces display the current temperatures of whatever is inside them. Not all are the same.

For just a moment, there's a niggle of doubt that might enter one's mind. Maybe this wasn't the right place to be. But where else would you store a body?

Time to find out one way or the other.

Almost immediately, dark eyes fall on the table across the room while his fiddles with his cuffs thanks to nerves and a zing of excitement. Godfrey hadn’t expected to get this far, if he was honest with himself. You forget you’ve been doing this for some time. It didn’t change how he felt when he got close to the objective.

Not to mention, this was different than roughing someone up.

A quick check finds the plastic vial and razor blade still in his inner pocket. It had been rather rough earlier, it would have been a disaster if he had lost them. Tugging on a pair of latex gloves, his gaze is laser focused across the room. The table was his goal, but he finds himself looking at the cold chamber doors as he passes. “Whatever are they really doing in here?” He asks himself softly, taking note of anything that hints at what might be on the other side of those cold doors, especially the ones at colder temperatures.

Ultimately, it’s the plastic covered object that drags his attention, couldn’t be that easy could it? Godfrey kinda hoped so.

An initial tug back reveals skin, paled, but only a proper pull on the plastic cover reveals a distinctly male body with dark hair, one that’s quickly covered back over with a shudder. What a sunken, stiff contrast from the naked form he’d seen only minutes earlier. Thankfully, it doesn’t put off a distinct odor, though the room itself smells strongly of cleaning supplies. Anyway.

So he’s ruled out the body on the table as being Kam Nisatta. Box ticked.

Which leaves the refrigerated units on the wall as another examination point to circle back to, with its medley of displayed temperatures. Upon further inspection, most of them are displaying room temperature, two are displaying chillier numbers, one of them with its latch half-sealed. Nudging the door open, a long, sliding slab can be seen inside the chamber. It’s bare, possibly belonging to the man on the table.

Further indication someone was in the middle of a process and has stepped out.

There’s a third unit kept at cooler temperatures — much cooler than the other two. In fact, anything inside might be frozen.

Godfrey stands in front of the drawer that could… possibly… hopefully… hold Kam. He can’t help but let his attention, briefly, slide to the table again. The act earns another shudder, he even wipes his hands on the front of his suit like he’s suddenly unclean now.

He didn’t even touch it.

Then it is back to his current object of interest. “Here’s hoping,” Godfrey says quietly, stealing himself for what it within. He’s dealt with plenty of bodies in his time, messy ones too. But, it’s been a few years and he’s clearly gone a bit soft. …Damn. That thought alone bolsters him enough to pull open the door — standing back enough to letting out a billowing cloud of steam — and slide the slab out, while chiming up with odd cheer, “So who do we have here?”

At first, it almost looks like nothing. No one. But Godfrey keeps pulling the slab out.

And then it starts with a bit of bone. A leg?

A spinal cord.

What he pulls out barely registers as belonging to his target, much less to something that was once a full human being.

Kam Nisatta has been reduced to a grotesque half of a body, and she is barely half of one. Godfrey had been sent here to collect a tissue sample, but it’s clear that that and more has already been taken from the corpse. Her left arm is a mess, flesh rendered from jagged bone missing everything from the elbow down. The stump of it that remains is missing more muscle on one side than the other — cut away cleanly where the other other side speaks to an uneven injury. Her other arm has had skin drawn on in various colors, portions peeled away, a finger surgically removed. After she died, one would hope.

Cause of death, if wondered, is easy enough to guess at. Shriveled skin has sunk into a once-handsome face marred by what’s inescapably a gunshot wound to the center of her forehead. Gouges in her face from shrapnel long-since removed additionally pockmark her visage. Her eyelids no longer fully cover her eyes over— which appear to be an incomplete set, anyway; a sunken red gap where color might otherwise be expected on the right side of her face.

The body steams as it meets warmed air, accompanied by a hiss from within the cooler as the substance it was being misted with cuts off now that the door is opened. What remains of the heavy substance curls into fog and tumbles onto the floor, pooling close by Godfrey’s well-trimmed feet. A step away from it and a tilt of the head would reveal only some of the expected internal organs, and it doesn’t look like it’s due to decomposition. Just what had they done — what were they doing to this body?

There is a point when the mind shuts off at what it’s sees, Godfrey has reached this point. He’d retch if his could, but his mind is having a hard time deciding what he is looking at. It was just meat. Still he stares as what the company he worked for had done to the body of someone he respected. .

There is a flicker of anger with that thought. Shaking himself out of his horror, Godfrey moves to action. He had a sample to get. The vial is removed from the inner pocket of his jacket and he contemplates what to take. The finger seemed too easy and an organ would be missed. It felt a bit like trying to decide what you want from a buff — Urp!

No. No. Mustn’t go there.

Trying not to make comparisons, he turns to the much more ragged injury. He finds the razor blade in his pocket and takes the sleeve off of it. “Well, this will be pleasant,” Godfrey comments blandly, with sarcasm dripping heavily from each word. With care, the man presses a hand down on the partially frozen corpse and works at hacking tissue off. It won’t look pretty, just like it did now.

The blade slips from trembling fingers as he saws away nervously, at a spot hidden away against herself. But it’s quickly recovered and the sawing continues. Why in bloody hell did it have to be frozen?!

Finally, the last few threads of sinew part under the new blade and the piece of flesh is quickly half-dropped and half-wiped off into the vial. Once the cap closes, he allows himself to breath again and examines the piece; almost the size of the first knuckle of his thumb in all. “Going to have fucking nightmares about that.” Again, it takes a few tries to get the sleeve back on the blade, he’s on the edge of panic to get out. Time is tick-tick-ticking. Then it and the vial are wrapped in one of the gloves and all of it is tucked neatly into his inner pocket.

Mission accomplished.


From a pocket on the other side of his jacket, another phone is produced. This was a burner, not even under his name, bought for the single purpose of talking to those within the group. Moving around the body, he snaps a few quick shots. As tempting as it is to send, these pictures would be delivered in person with the vial. He wouldn’t risk a technopath getting these.

Now he had to get out now. Everything is closed up using that one gloved hand. Godfrey’s been in the game long enough he knows how to not leave a trail. Places he’s touched are rubbed down with his pocket square. Then he’s at the door, head tilted and breath held. Listening for his chance to slip out of the door.

Godfrey hears the pad on the other side of the door beep and has just enough time to stand out of its way before the door opens. Thankfully, it's the one he's standing behind. The pathologist in scrubs is single-target focused on getting back to what he had been doing, heading for the sink to wash up and get back to work.

His feet are light on the floor, masked by the other steps in the room as he maneuvers himself around to the other side of the door to let it click shut behind him. The hall is empty — for now. The heart-pounding near-brush that happened just now is indication enough that could change at any time.

Time to make himself scarce.

Godfrey lets out the breath he had been holding with a heavy woosh. It’s quickly followed by another deep breath to try and calm his nerves. Trembling hands tug his jacket, an attempt to regain his composure. Only then does he sharply turn and starts walking back the way the way that Jamie had brought him through. With a straightening of his tie, he turns and starts his way out. He had an important meeting to get to, after all.

Well, that’s what he told Jamie, anyhow.

Approaching the last door they had stepped through, Godfrey takes another glance around and — Oops! —- the ID card he swiped drops to the floor and is kicked to the wall by Italian leather. Not an uncommon thing… he hopes. That last piece of evidence disposed of, the other glove joins it’s twin in that inner pocket.

Bumping the pressure plate on the door with his hip while fingers checking his cuffs, a smug smile — filled with that ever present confidence he exudes daily — curls Godfrey’s lip. If luck is with him then no one will be any wiser to his little side trip.

It's either luck, or it's simply meant to be, that Godfrey bumps into no one immediately on his way back into the less-restricted space. From there, it's smooth sailing to the door to the parking garage, where he can retrieve his burner and text that he retrieved the 'package' he was meant to deliver. A reply about the handoff is quick in coming:


At an unassuming address that stands all but in the shadows cast by the towers of Yamagato Park. By all appearances, it should be an abandoned warehouse in the corner of the next district, some block not yet touched by renovation efforts.

That evening

//**SW Sheepshead Bay

Dressed less like a businessman and a bit more casual, with the black leather jacket and skinny jeans replacing the tailored suit, Godfrey stands at the designated place. His baby is nowhere to be seen, having decided to park it elsewhere and hike the block or so to the spot. Leaning against a wall, a foot, still in italian leather, propped up. The vial is tucked into an inner pocket, zipped shut. At the moment, he’s on his Yamagato phone.

The recipient? Jamie.

How about dinner @ my place? Say tomorrow?
Would love to continue our ‘discussion.’. 😈

Fingers move rather quickly over the screen a rather devilish smile on his lips. It was a pleasant development from this assignment, really. Why not string him along a bit longer? It could only help his cover. Right?

Message sent, Godfrey looks up and around him, aware that he might not be alone out there. The difference out here then at Yamagato, is the silvery Glock that rests against his side in its shoulder holster. As much as the man plays the straightforward businessman, Godfrey’s past is steeped heavily in the criminal world.

The man that slips into focus must have a similar past, if not present and future. Wearing a well-worn dark tracksuit jacket and jeans, the practically non-existent collar on it does the Chinese man no favors in hiding the tattoos along his neck. He's not wielding a weapon, but a Norinco pistol is visibly tucked away at his hip.

He studies Godfrey for a long moment, the same way he had been from the shadows. For all his apparent suspicion, he does not turn to also check their surroundings as he comes forward. Unless he's stupid, and his age and grit speaks to having been in the game for a while, he's likely not alone.

"Ni you ma?" the man asks brusquely, quietly.

While a part of him tenses, overall the business liaison appears relaxed. Helps that Godfrey also recognizes a Ghost Shadow when he sees it. He’s interacted with their type before the war even. Straightening from the wall, he offers a rather apologetic smile. “Sorry, mate. I fear you are going to have to use English with me.” Though he has an idea of what they want.

“But no fear, Huang, I have what you want,” Godfrey unzips the jacket and holds out the side to show he’s not going for a gun as he extracts a sandwich bag with an ice pack, the vial within it. “Glad you showed when you did, I was starting to think I was going to freeze things off.” This is followed by the phone. “Boss is going to want the pictures off this, too. They have something interesting things going on there.”

Godfrey offers it over with the bag, “Don’t worry, I removed the pictures of my bits.” Teeth flash with the cocky smile that follows. “Unless you like that sort of thing.”

Yes, that was a joke.

Unfortunately, Huang doesn't have a sense of humor when it comes to that sort of thing.

He takes the phone wordlessly, but his attention is much more on the requested item's delivery. His fingers shift the ice pack aside to reveal the vial wrapped within, looking it over with interest. The healthy sample composed of shavings and small chunks can't help but bear a striking resemblance to the test-tube meat samples Godfrey had seen from afar earlier in the day — dark, shredded chunks overall unpleasing to the eye.

But Huang cracks a smile as he looks back up to Godfrey.

As requested, he speaks in English.

"We'll take it from here."

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