Jump to navigation
"Steer clear of the Oaxaca-Maartens, got it. I've got them in my social software now. Despite them this might just be fun, after all I've got excellent company tonight."
At least with Lovecraft, nobody pretends the gods are nice. And wherever you end up, there is guaranteed to be tentacles.
The car pulls over in front of the building and quickly a valet sleeved into a pod rush forward asking for ID. A quick E-confirmation later, the two descend from the vehicle, taking the bags with them, which is moved to another location, a virtual ticket sent to Wei's mesh.
"Here we are."
[Mr. Sorin is in range, messaging him] Turing said to his owner.
Further in the room, a Fury in a security uniform turned around and walked over quickly. "Evening, Fix." The man sleeved in a female morph said, nodding his head. "Good to see you again."
"Glad to see you too, Sorin." Wei answered. "Meet miss Leng, my companion for tonight."
[Is she cleared with the org?] The fury asked via the mesh to his friend.
[No. She's not involved.]
"It's very nice to meet you, M'am." The fury declared, grinning.
In the sea without lees
Standeth the bird of Hermes
Eating his wings variable
And maketh himself yet full stable
Nods to the fury and takes her date's arm, "Delighted."
As the pair go further she softly asks, "Should I have come armed? There's a definite tension in the air."
And to her muse [Sparkle Pony, just keep me abreast of developments and who's who.]
"My room is the 962" She said before parting with Sorin, Wei handing her bag, to be cleared through security. Which he took with an acknowledging nod.
"Weapons are only allowed for security personnel. So it would have been pointless."
[The 14k run the place. Being the only armed ones discourage people from making trouble.] She added silently via the mesh.
"What do you want to try first? Casino, Bar, Club or the Restaurant?"
"Perhaps we should start with a light dinner? So the restaurant I'd think."
As they walked she spoke momentarily to her muse without breaking step [Sparkle? Please pass my date one side of an encryption key.]
The icon flashed in her date's AR announcing the arrival of the key, and once loaded the short encrypted message of [I thought this might be a good thing, given the needs of the ability to speak privately. As to armament, should the unfortunate need arrive I am armed, but not in any way that security here can detect.]
"So then, what is on the menu for tonight?"
"How about Dim Sum? In chinese community, it's traditionally eaten with tea and sweets as a light meal. Generally in the morning, mid-afternoon or late night snack."
[Integrating encryption key. I will monitor any attempt at listening in, Your line is now secure, Fix.]
[Thank you Turing.] Wei answered. [It is doubtful the Triad will do anything to us, I happen to be a good friend of the red pole who run this place. The guests could be more likely, but they would only have whatever peashooter they slipped through security or morph-integrated weapons that wasn't banned.] She then said to Leng.
((By the way, has Leng used Psi on Wei so far? Also, I forgot to write, but Wei reactivated endocrine control when they got in.))
"Dim Sum and tea sound like just the thing to start out with, don't you think?"
[Duly noted, just doing my due diligence when it comes to threats. It doesn't hurt to be careful in a new place.] Leng responded by encrypted mesh while walking in the direction of dining thanks to the AR signposts.
((Nothing active, she's generally too polite for that unless she feels threatened or excessively nervous. As for her own internal psi, that's part of why her reading of people is excellent and why she can keep up with Wei's levels of multitasking. Brainhacking yourself is so very effective.))
As they entered the elevator, Wei sent an order by the mesh to the Kitchen, simultaneously opening a very generous tab for Leng and herself. Three floors later, the elevator opened into a massive room, the mixing smell of many different kitchens serving all manners of food mixing.
[If you want, I could acquire something for you.] Wei offered to Leng. [Nothing big, but it would be better than nothing.]
The Hostess welcomed them with the brightest of smile, directing them to a table in the corner, a pot of tea and two ceramic cub waiting for them.
((Okay, I was wondering since Psi-sleights are easy to detect as they make people feel really weird when you use them, which 99% of people wouldn't know why they're feeling so but a handful would recognize it.))
Leng settles into her seat and pours the tea, taking a long breath of the steam before sipping, "Now that is lovely."
[I'm fine, thank you, and very much enjoying the evening.]
((Yes, this is true, which is why she tends to avoid doing so. The only thing she pulls out regularly is charisma, which is one of the most subtle. But she hasn't done that to her date.))
"Thank you, Miss Leng." Wei said as her date poured tea for the both of them. She grabbed the cup and sipped it calmly for a moment, enjoying the aroma. "I hope you're enjoying the evening. It's rather delightful to enjoy these evening for once."
Soon, the waiters arrive, carrying several bamboo steamer basket, placing them on the table until it is filled with many types of dumplings, steamed cakes and buns. "Màn man chī."
"I am definitely enjoying myself, even if I don't know all the vocabulary in use." she talks as she selects a variety of different little items for her plate to sample.
"If you don't generally enjoy one of these evenings that seems to be a terrible shame."
"Well, despite the appearance of a social event, these type of meeting can be work intensive, they are the perfect way to meet new contacts or make deals. I normally spend little time enjoying pleasantries and focus on networking." Wei answered, grabbing various assorted bites with her chopsticks. "But tonight, your company makes all the difference miss Leng."
Leng finishes a dumpling with a speculative look on her face, "That really is excellent. But as for what you were saying it makes sense that events like this are used for business, I'd just never considered the idea before."
She refilled her cup of tea, "I'm glad you're enjoying the company, though I'm hardly used to people finding my presence improving their evening."
"I knew you'd enjoy the cooking, the price may be true banditry but it is worth it. But I truly hope to never end up on your business list, I wouldn't want to have this lovely image of yours ruined."
"Oh shush you. You're a lovely dinner companion and you shant dissuade me of that. I know everyone has currents underneath the surface but one does have the option of not prying into them in most cases."
She sips her tea, "And in any case you have been fairly open in any case so I'll just enjoy the evening." [And after all, you were quite open about the quasi-legal point of your profession. You know that goes a long way to dispelling any worries I may have had.] "And discomfort you may see would mostly be me not having really dated until my muse decided I should and posted my details on Eros."
[Well, the nature of my work is more or less an open secret. I technically do very few things that are illegal in of themselves, mainly I help people prepare their own gig, find things or person of interest, help them disappear and et cetera.] She said via the Mesh, chewing on a steamed pork and shrimp bun. [And most cliques have acquired a vested interest in keeping me out of jail. I've had security forces told to stand down more than once.]
"Well, in that area we are similar. I've been avoiding engagements for a while, I think it would be bad for me to tangle someone in my affairs."
"Affairs as opposed to affairs?" she smiles and chuckles.
[Then we have quite a few similarities, I find people and answers. Just different customers and methods.]
"This has been a nice, light start. Some food, very nice tea. Is there anyone you needed to meet soon? Or would you care to dance?"
"I have a very complicated life." Wei answers with an enigmatic smile. "Although lives might be more accurate." She then add.
"I can indulge you for at least fourty minutes. Then I'll have to pay my respect to Ms. Cardiff before meeting with the members of the B-Movement for negotiation, it would be gauche to not introduce ourselves before mingling with the rest of the guests. The rest of my meetings are open in schedule."
"Now lives I do understand." She stood and offered her hand, "So then, indulge me for a time."
"Well then, let's get to it then." Wei declared taking her companion's hand and moving toward the elevator. riding a single floor up, as the door open, their senses are assaulted by the dazzling lights, the pumping music and the smell of bodies busying themselves on the floor.
Her hand tightened on her companion's as they stepped out of the elevator and once into the club Leng paused to take in the room and to absorb all the light, movement, and people in the space.
"Just give me a moment, the space is a little intense..."
"Are you alright, Miss Leng?" Wei asked, gripping her firmly. "You look quite... overloaded."
She stops to get her breath and endocrine control back in line, "A lot of input at once I'm afraid, I tend to avoid crowds for this reason. I'd thought... it would be more sedate. Could we sit down for a moment?"
"Of course." Wei answered, walking her to one of the empty booth that occupied the edges of the club. "Take all the time you need." Wei said, passing a mesh order for cocktails to the bar.
Sips her vodka tonic when it arrives, "My apologies, I'm not sure what I expected... something more sedate perhaps. I deal with people one on one much better, which is another reason why I prefer Mars to a hab."
"Do you often have problems dealing with crowds?" Wei ask, holding his Appletini inone hand. "Are you sure you want to stay here? We could go somewhere less crowded if you need."
She nodded, "I overestimated myself, perhaps somewhere quieter if that is okay. I can explain when we're there. I owe you that at least."
"Would my room be alright with you? I need to grab a few things before my meeting and I can garantee there will be no one listening or watching us." Wei offers, sipping her drink.
"That would be fine, please lead on." The relief was evident on her face.
Another elevator ride later, this time two dozen floors upward, the two arrive at Wei's room, a three piece suite with view over the south side of the tower. As they enter, Wei makes a sign for Leng to be quiet for a minute as she open the two duffel bags that had been left on the coffee table, contraband items visible within it.
A moment later, she activate a small bot, hovering out of the bag and into the air.
"There's not supposed to be any, but any cameras or microphone that could be in the room are now disabled." She then sit down, opening the fridge under the table and taking a pair of water bottle, offering one to Leng.
Leng sat and drank some water for a moment while the cameras are silenced, "Thank you. Sorry about the minor panic attack. I'm at best poorly socialized and I've some challenges that aren't responsive to psychosurgery.:
She stretched her neck to let a knot out from the tension, "Watts-Macleod syndrome." she waited a heartbeat, "If you want to retreat I'd understand. Though it's not contagious they tell me."
"You're not the first Async I've worked with Ms. Leng." She smiles. "I've worked with them extensively in the past, so no, this is no reason for me to retract, I am in fact very grateful you disclosed this fact about yourself."
"If I may ask, where did you contract the Watts-McLeod strain?"
((Wei has the Async familiarity trait, although I figured out of his Gargoyle he might not have noticed Leng's status.))
"That... is a relief to hear, so you won't assume that I'm automatically a crazed axe murderer." a relief that is quite evident on her face.
"I don't have anything against axes. Since you ask, I was exposed in the Futura project. My peers and I, we define nonneurotypical."
"A survivor of the lost generation? That is fairly unusual. Many would be put off, especially those who have had access to the project report, which paint a fairly bleak picture, but I've taken to judging people on the basis of their actions and words rather than their origins." Wei smiles warmly "And might I say that you've been nothing but good and trust worthy with me so far?"
"Ah, you've seen the reports?" she pauses, "Well thank you, I try. Our education wasn't entirely a sham before our fall and I try to live up to the ideals we were supposed to have. For all that I know I'm weirdly socialized, suspicious, and am too aware of the nature of things for my own good. Not the best start of a date so far... except... I find that I rather like you."
"It seems this feeling is mutual, Ms. Leng." Wei smiled, timidly. "I like you, and very much so."
"But there are also things I need to divulge before we could ever go further... It's a rather long story..."
"I doubt it can be worse than being one of the Lost. If you'd like to tell me I'd be happy to listen."
"Well our little story begins with the fall." Wei began slipping a hand over Leng's. "I woke up several months later, I'd died somewhere in the containment zone, I was left without family, without money, in the chaos that followed the events. I was in massive debts, they had survived, my family's funds and my job had not."
"Lacking options, I sold my services to the highest bidder, a five years indenture. Unlike all the infugees that were floating about, I had some very interesting skills and so I was purchased for a strong price by Solaris. Officially, as a data analyst and consultant, officiously I don't even truly know. All I know is I woke up in a clinic five years later, a giant gaping hole in my memory, nothing but a thank you message from the corp and a respectable pile of credit in my account.
My contract was specific, it allowed the editing out of sensitive information, so they took all of it. I wanted to know what happened so I followed the trail of spending; Inner system, outer system, brinker habitats, scum swarms, you name it, I'd been on it, doing something that sure wasn't paperwork. Eventually I got really good at exploiting my talents; hacking, social engineering, finding information, organizing criminal hits, all to get me a step further in finding what had happened to me.
Eventually I ticked someone off, they sent assassins after me. I remember, it was in Extropia, the security specialist I'd hired caught the first bullet, dropped his weapon. I remember it floating in front of me. It then I fully understood how bad it was, a forgotten muscle memory awakened, I grabbed the pistol and out of pure reflex I shot back, twice, once in the heart, and then in the head.
Not long after that, a secret society contacted me, they wanted to help me, just as I could help them. With them, I learned things I didn't think possible; vast conspiracies, the existence of Psi, I saw beyond the official party line that the many government wants us to believe. I saw the world just as it was; Fucked up."
She takes a breath. "Sorry, that was long winded... But that's what I am, not just a scientist, not just a criminal, not just a socialite, I'm involved in some truly weird shit. I've walked the white zone, chased exsurgent infected transhuman across the system, done some truly horrible shit in the name of public safety."
"Sometimes doing what is right takes one into dark places. I've seen a lot of that although I'm not a member of any society. The culture I was raised in was a lie based on an idealized version of something that ceased to exist before I was born."
"It's strange really. By my own internal clock I'm twenty two, by the common clock of anyone else in the perceived solar system I'm around eight. That aside, it's interesting to meet someone who's aware of psi in a more real sense. Most I've met who know are insane or have incredibly incorrect ideas about it."
"And you're not long winded dear, you're interesting."
"I spent the firs two years after my induction working closely with asyncs, at first trying to overcome morph fever but also creating a program to identify those afflicted with the Watts-McLeod strain."
"Ah yes, morph fever. I'm highly prone to it, that probably made the simspace worse for all of us. On the other hand, after meeting some things near the Zone it appears my strain is dominant. So at least I'm hardened against the exurgent virii. Such as they are."
"That said, was there ever any luck overcoming the fever?"
"Two of them have experienced little to no symptoms, the others had slight reduction in their feelings of distress. The two success were infected around the same area and time during the fall and we theorized their sub-strain was more responsive to the treatment. The project was scrapped after a while, but I continued to work on my software."
"Come sit with me, I mean once you're done with your preparations. The evening's gone a bit sideways but I'm still enjoying."
"So, what's this secret society? Or is that a secret?"
Wei come closer, sitting down next to Leng, she sets her gaze right into hers. "Well, I'm not technically, supposed to say, but neither was I supposed to reveal anything else. I'm sure you've heard of us; in hushed whispers, in conspiracy forums, in the propaganda of the inner system blocs."
She come even closer, whispering to her ear. "We're called Firewall."
Leng leaned closer, before a feeling like a cold wind slipped into Wei's mind with the unheard words,
*I've seen that name, held close in a few minds. I thank you for your trust.*
She turned her head for a tentative and somewhat shy kiss.
Repressing a shiver from the mental intrusion, Wei returns the kiss, softly, slipping a hand onto Leng's chin, taking in her scent. Her own morph smells like orange, with the salty breeze of the sea.
***Incoming Message to Turing from muse Amara Excavar***
Turing We need Wei. Urgent deployment and need the following supplies:
* 2 Large Thermobarric bombs
*16lbs of High Explosive
*Assorted Small arms
* 3 or so more personnel. Need a demolitions expert among them. do not need to be vetted just competent but vetted is prefered
* 2 Humvee half tracks you know the ones Tav likes. If you can get some dorsal mounted HMGs on them it would be a plus
* light and medium body armor as preferred and chameleon cloaks
Sorry to drop this at short notice but the usual avenue's are not responding
Leng lets the psychic intrusion fade while she enjoys the kiss. While nervous and inexperienced, she's also very intent as she puts her attention to just the moment with no expectations beyond that.
Her lips taste faintly of cherry lipgloss and above the scent of healthy young lady there is a subtle perfume that smells of old wood, polished brass, and rich coffee.
After a long moment that seem to stretch on, the two pull away, yet Wei leans in once more, deposing a brief kiss on Leng's lip, as a signature of sort. "Have I told you how lovely you are, Miss Leng?"
#The Eye Login: Fixer#
What are the threat assessment, Location and time frame allotted for aquisition?
#Activating emergency back up#
#Sleeving: Estimated 12 minute wait time.#
#Contacting Sentinel: Haze#
#Established. Awaiting further Commands#
((@ORCACommander Slight, OOC note, Wei is normally refered to as 'Fixer' in firewall.))
She smiles, "Not verbally... but I picked that up. How are we for time now? I know you had something in the offing."
((OOC: Quite clear))