asi_icon.gif kay_icon.gif nisatta_icon.gif

Scene Title よろしく
Synopsis After long flights and many delays, Asi Tetsuyama arrives in the Safe Zone.
Date September 29, 2018

The high-pitched whine of jet engines echoes across the cracked asphalt of Floyd Bennet Airfield.

The engine noise cuts out the sound of Kam Nisatta's heels clicking across the asphalt as she closes the distance on a commuter jet that has finished its runway taxi and is just starting to disembark passengers. Passengers emerges down narrow landing stairs from the Detroit-born flight, carrying luggage straight onto the airstrip. Most of the passengers are government employees — SESA, Homeland Security, Department of Justice — traveling on business from their point of origin all the way in Kansas City.

The dark-haired Japanese woman exiting the plane, however, is none of those things.

"Best behavior," Kam says to the blonde woman moving at her side, a faint crook of a smile rising at the corner of her mouth.

Floyd Bennet Airfield

Ferrymen's Bay, NYC Safe Zone

September 29th

12:08 pm

That smile is returned more in brown eyes than on red-painted lips. The wind catches the bottom edge of her suit jacket, an aubergine flutter in tandem with her stride. Her blonde hair has been pulled into a twist at the back of her head, too ornate to be severe.

"Of course," Kay Damaris assures her boss. "I'd hate to create extra work for myself," she delivers in her southern-tinged deadpan.

Asi's steps are heavier than they normally would be as she disembarks, black omnidirectionally-wheeling carry-on held loosely by her side. When boots hit the ground, she lets the suitcase go with a roll, pulling the handle out all in stride.

Being met on the tarmac is a courtesy she hadn't been expecting, and one that causes her to cast a rueful look toward the building she can only presume is the airport terminal, accompanied by a click of her tongue off the inside of her cheek. The half-thought plan to seek out coffee before meeting her escort is soundly thrown out the window.

Her black leather jacket is worn open, the studded lapel and vest glinting in the sunlight as it bakes the asphalt. Her boots, combat boots, are at least comfortable as she walks in the direction of the two. They don't need a sign to announce who they are, after all.

"Ms. Nisatta. Ms. Damaris." she greets as she comes within earshot. Her hand leaves the bag as she pauses ever so briefly to stiffly bow from her shoulders in a greeting, and then reaches back up to keep walking. She has no intent to linger outside. "I'm honored you came all the way here to receive me." Her voice is quiet, her English more English than American with its pronunciation.

"We don't often receive representatives of the JSDF this far afield," Nisatta politely notes with an incline of her head toward Asi. "Given that you did your homework, introductions don't appear to be in order. That said, Ms. Damaris will be your liaison during your tenure here in the states." Stepping aside and motioning behind herself, Kam reveals a black SUV waiting some twenty feet away from where the three met on the tarmac, then begins walking back in that direction.

"I understand you'll want to get settled in, but given the nature of your presence here there's some level setting we need to clarify before you get too comfortable." Kam offers a side-long glance to Kay, then continues looking ahead as she walks and talks. Up ahead, a handful of men in black suits open one side of doors on the SUV and the rear hatch, in preparation of taking Asi's things.

"I'm at your disposal for as long as you're with us, Ms Tetsuyama." Kay pivots on one oxblood stiletto heel and heads toward the SUV, allowing Asi to walk between herself and Kam. "If there's something you need, I'll see it done."

The look is returned with only the barest nod of her head in acknowledgement. Getting everyone on the same page is a priority in order for the investigation to run the way they intend it. So far, that's not been smoothly. Kay stops outside the SUV and gestures for the others to go on ahead. "どうぞ." Her accent leaves something to be desired, but the effort is at least honest.

"Yamagato Industries was very persuasive, otherwise I don't think the JSDF be would be here — myself or otherwise." Asi notes, taking in the number of security waiting for them. The corporation really was sparing no expense, though she doesn't entertain for a moment that any of them are meant for her. The bag is passed off wordlessly.

Kay's effort is noted with an uptick of her brow as Asi settles her hand on the frame of the vehicle, finding something about the accent particularly charming. "よろしく," is her amicable, almost amused reply given while ducks her head inside.

"Ms. Nakamura can be very persuasive," Kam admits with a furrow of her brows, stepping up into the back of the SUV.

Not Long Later

En Route to Yamagato Park

There isn't much distance between Ferrymen's Bay and Yamagato Park, but what lies between those two destinations is a case study in class strata. It is reminiscent in many ways of the demarcation wall that divides Tokyo Proper from the highly protected Tokyo Restricted Zone. While what divides the old, run-down buildings of Ferrymen's Bay from the reconstructed grid of Yamagato Park is but a chain link fence and a simple drop-arm checkpoint.

Kam shows no interest in watching the scenery go past through the tinted windows, and spent much of the first few minutes of the trek from the airfield checking her phone. It's only once she's assured herself that the status-quo hasn't changed in the intervening fifteen minutes that she addresses the situation at hand.

"While I respect the Minister Ishida's decision to send a representative of the Mugai-Ryu to assist in our investigation, I'll be frank when I say that I feel Prime Minister Uchida's hand in this." Resting an elbow on a doorward arm rest, Kam settles her chin on the back of her palm. "The Ministry of Internal Affairs has been sniffing at Yamagato's ankles for a very long time, and the last thing I want is someone of your decorated background being wrapped up in a punching match between the government and the private sector. Especially here."

Kay sits in her seat with her hands folded primly in her lap, fingers of one hand curled around her cell phone. Until Kam had begun to speak, she'd been scrolling through alerts. One of them brought a smile to her face.

Her gaze lifts to watch as Kam as she lays out the situation as they see it. While she may not be as familiar with the state of Japanese politics, she's been in this role long enough to realize how much influence it has even here. Nisatta's concerns are her concerns.

Up until the point Kam deigns to speak again, Asi passes the time observing the city as it flies past. There's a slight narrow to her eye just before she looks ahead to Kam in the row before her, arms loosely crossed over her midsection. She gently inclines her head to acknowledge the concern for her wellbeing, accompanying the gesture with a firming of her lips that might just pass for a smile. "Intrigue isn't something I intend to create or be anywhere near, Ms. Nisatta. I've spent a good deal of my career avoiding all that." There's a pause as she takes a moment to phrase what she wants to say next. Politics, after all, aren't her strong suit.

"The current administration —" she starts, then shakes her head with a brief chuckle. "Let me just say, it can go through the proper channels should it want to launch any inquiries. I'm here to complete the investigation that I was assigned." She leans forward to allow herself to be slightly easier seen by the two in the row before her. "The goal of the assignment is to be of assistance to Yamagato."

Satisfied enough with that answer, Kam raises her chin off of her hand and affords Asi a steady look. "Good," and just like that she breezes past the topic. "That addressed, it is my unfortunate responsibility to fill you in on some activities within the Safe Zone that may impact your investigation. We have…" Nisatta eyes Kaydence, then looks back to Asi, "been the victim of some recent sabotaging efforts by our largest competitor, Praxis Heavy Industries. At times, these altercations have come to blows, but we've managed to compartmentalize the effects so as to not bring undue strain to the local community." Or their corporate reputation.

"The reason I'm telling you this, is that you may find yourself in Praxis' sights, given your investigation." Kam inclines her head, one shoulder rising in a shrug. "Furthermore, this all is a bit more cloak and dagger than you may appreciate. Ms. Damaris is our public relations liaison on paper, but her department also handles internal — and external — conflict resolution applications. I hope you understand the sensitive nature of all of this."

Kaydence's features may as well be chiseled from marble for all that they remain perfectly fixed as Nisatta reveals her true role within Yamagato's structure. There's no surprise or preening. These are only facts. "As I said before, I am at your disposal. Should Praxis… harass you, inform me immediately. It will be dealt with."

Just as Kam is satisfied, so does Asi sink back into her seat, arms still folded before her and plenty of thought in her expression. She quirks an eyebrow at the mention of altercations with the competitor company, especially at realizing the term 'come to blows' is not a euphemism. "A service I will call on should anything happen." she's sure to assure. But something else bothers her.

"How exactly has Praxis's attempts on Yamagato gone without being reported to the Americans in some fashion? Surely their government wouldn't appreciate knowing such a volatile company is the one after their long-term contracts." Even as the words leave her, she wonders about having said anything at all. Her shoulders lift in a short, weighted shrug. "Acknowledging something as simple as attempted assault on civilian employees could be particularly damning PR for them, would it not?"

Kam's brows raise slowly, hands spread and open, as if to say and therein lies the rub. When she folds her hands back into her lap, there is less humor in her eyes than a moment ago. "We and Praxis both benefit from keeping the terms of our engagements out of the public eye. Such a dispute would turn into a lengthy and bloody legal battle which would result in not insignificant financial losses for both parties. To put it simply, mutually assured destruction."

It feels like there's more behind it, though, and that Kam is glossing over the sharper corners of this conflict. "Suffice to say, the baggage of our conflict with Praxis Heavy Industries could in turn cause the US Government to reconsider our political and financial arrangements, and that isn't a risk we're willing to take. So, we prefer to settle all disputes privately." Said as if this were something resolved by paperwork and handshakes.

The SUV is slowing down now, well within the boundaries of Yamagato Park, having breezed through the checkpoint without more than a cursory pause. "We will be placing you in the Cresting Wave Apartments, a state of the art, fully-automated living space that should cater to your every need during your investigation. Our security chief, Eizen, is ready to meet with you regarding business tomorrow at your leisure."

That said, Kam motions over to Kaydence. "I would like you to interface with Ms. Damaris regarding any questions you have further on the matter."

And that's the terrible truth of it all. They couldn't lift a finger legally against Praxis Heavy Industries without showing the dirt under their own nails. That's not to say the PR director's hands are tied, however.

"I live at Cresting Wave myself," Kay elaborates. "I'll be happy to show you the ins and outs of your home away from home, as well as answer any other questions you may have." Her smile is small, but no less genuine for it.

"Politics," is the single, sour word that escapes Asi at Kam's explanation. She shakes her head and looks away, noticing for the first time the new world they've entered. Something that looks a little more clean, a little more like home in its own way. A place that steadily, pleasantly hums with the ambiance of working technology.

These matters will be left to wonder at later, when she's either had more caffeine, or more sleep. Preferably the latter. The offer to show her around is met with a thin smile of her own, the slightest tip of her head in thanks. She had a feeling she'd be seeing a lot of Kay Damaris as she acquainted herself with Yamagato Park.

"宜しく お願いします."

Slouching back into her seat, Kam watches some of the local scenery blur past as their vehicle cuts down the central highway that divides Yamagato Park into northern and southern halves. "That said, do be careful in the Safe Zone proper. I imagine you saw some of the devastation of the United States on your flyover, but I would like to personally advise you," her dark eyes turn from the passenger side window to Asi.

"This place is the frontier."

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