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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:50 am 
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Genii
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"What can I do?"

Four little words. Spoken at just the right moment, with just the right inflection, by just the right woman. They were an anchor in a world that for Ladon had spun momentarily completely out of control. They were a touchstone between yesterday, today, and tomorrow. They were utterly Navia, and he grabbed hold of them and used them to pull himself back to solid ground.

"I need data," he answered, speaking his thoughts aloud. "Top priority -- stop the poisoning. How and where is the toxin being introduced? Basic contagion vector analysis. Are any others suffering the same symptoms? What is the commonality? Once I know, I can remove it from her or her from it."

Bringing his gaze back down from the ceiling, he once again directed it at Navia. Though the urgency remained, the blistering power had been channeled into a clear purpose. "Find out. Ideally without revealing what we know, but that's secondary. Make whatever promises or offer whatever payments you need to make it happen. You have my complete backing."

He ached to be able to do it himself, to walk in as Chief Scientist and demand answers from anyone and everyone who might conceivably be involved. But whoever was behind this operated at a very high level. Navia did not, which was how she had already slipped in and out under their guard. If it could be done, only she could do it.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:04 am 
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Genii
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Navia's eyes unfocused, then drifted closed. For several moments she was still but for the movement of her fingers, softly tapping out an unfathomable pattern in her lap. Information kaleidoscope around in her mind, twisting here and there until it formed the perfect picture. That was how she would do it!

Determined dark eyes snapped open. "Give me 24 hours, sir." She stated. It wasn't a request, though habit couched it that way. Swift foot steps, and the thud of the lab doors closing and she was gone, leaving only a notepad and graphite abandoned on the couch.

Navia continues here: http://the-gateroom.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=373

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Last edited by Navia Ayonis on Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:32 pm 
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Genii
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After Navia had gone, Ladon remained for a minute in his chair, marshaling his thoughts and sketching out his plans for the day. Then he rose, striding over to the door. Tempted as he was to fling it wide, he simply turned the knob and opened it, stepping through at a decorously casual speed. Absolutely nothing wrong, he told himself, projecting that with his demeanor.

Leaving the door open behind him, he moved to the railing overlooking the lab and leaned on it to look over the scientists working there. There were half a dozen of them, each busy with an experiment or project of some sort. One, Ladon recognized by the thinning red hair as Dr. Cortin, was carefully documenting results, so he waited until the man was done before calling for their attention.

“Administrator Ayonis will be away from the lab for some hours, perhaps the rest of the day,” he announced, projecting his voice to carry clearly to the far corners of the room, and sweeping his gaze over his listeners. “Any matters requiring attention, bring them to me in my office.” He could have accessed the PA from his desk, but he preferred to be able to see reactions, so it was his usual practice to speak to them directly.

Collecting their nods of understanding and acknowledging them with one of his own, the Chief Scientist returned to his sanctum, hoping against hope that there would be no problems. The supremely efficient Navia normally kept such things out of his hair, and he had a great deal to do today. Starting with – he grimaced – the water-quality report and a stack of requisitions as tall as his hand.

OOC: Ladon continues in In the Gathering Dusk

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Last edited by Ladon Radim on Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:40 am 
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Genii
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(Much later that evening)

Navia had taken the files back to the closest secure location she knew. Ladon’s office. It was very late, and the lab was blessedly empty. Wheeling several boxes past her desk, she purposefully did not look. She had only been gone the day, and doubted that anything truly important had happened, but she didn't need the distraction. Once in the inner office, she locked the door behind her. No-one knew she was here. No-one but Kegan knew she had these files. She wanted to keep it that way.

Switching on the desk lamp, Navia hefted the first of many boxes onto the desk. Step one would be basic sorting of diagnosis. If the person went on leave due to a broken bone, then obviously the file was not related to Dahlia's illness. If the diagnosis was even possibly related, like one case of pulmonary infection, Navia included it in the keep pile. If it was relevant, Ladon would know. As she took each file out of the box, she made a quick note of it's place in the sequence of files. She would have to return all of these in such condition that no-one would have noticed they have been moved.

Five boxes later she had it narrowed down to a little over 60 folders. Those she separated by signing physician, stacked in order of dates absent. One stack immediately stood out from the rest as being over twice as high. Dr. Wodard's. It was a pity to see, Navia had honestly hoped he had not gotten mixed up in this. She liked the old man. Hopefully, he would be able to get out from under whatever this was, and maybe retire gracefully.

With a sigh, Navia leaned back and stretched her arms over her head. She could feel the knots in her back twinge, and wondered how Ladon could possibly think this chair was comfortable. It needed a cushion or at least a back support. Standing, she walked around the desk to get the blood flowing again. She still had to write up a timeline of the illnesses, and then a synopsis of her findings, but at the moment her eyes were crossing with fatigue. The couch was looking awfully inviting. Maybe a quick nap, to clear my head. Ladon kept a small pillow and blanket far under the couch for those many nights he didn't go home. Navia pulled those out, kicked off her shoes, and curled up. In minutes she was sound asleep.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:58 am 
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Genii
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OOC: Ladon arrives from In the Gathering Dusk

Though not given to insomnia, Ladon had barely slept a wink. Even with Dahlia ensconced in his spare room, safely away from any toxins in her own quarters, he couldn't seem to drift off. Instead, after hours of tossing and turning and staring at the ceiling, he'd finally given it up as useless. Changing back into his work clothes and padding quietly around so as not to wake his sister, he left her a note then hung his keys around his neck and headed for the lab.

He didn't live far, and the dawn chime had not yet rung by the time he was letting himself in. It was odd seeing the place empty and quiet, the large room shrouded in darkness. Navia's desk was unchanged from the way he'd left it the afternoon before, and the charro percolator, which he'd gotten used to always being burbling away, was still and cold. Not needing any more light than the basic illumination that spilled in from the hall, he strode unerringly around the scatter of obstacles.

The instant he unlocked and opened his door, though, Ladon tensed. The lamp on his desk was on, its circle of light puddling on a number of files that he hadn't put there. Other shapes, boxy barely visible, bulked nearby. And, from somewhere in the darkness to his right, there came the sound of soft, steady breathing. Eyes narrowed, he directed them away from the light, letting them re-adjust as he focused on ... his couch?

That was the source of the breathing, and he could just make out a shape curled up, apparently asleep. Dialing the overhead lights up to a quarter full, he relaxed again, recognizing Navia. So the boxes and folders must be the files he'd sent her to get. But why were there so many of them? These couldn't all be about Dahlia, and even if she'd gathered the records from a few other people to cover who she was really interested in, it wouldn't amount to what he was seeing here. Clearly, there was something bigger than he'd expected happening here.

Stepping into the room, Ladon shut the door behind him and did a rough estimate of the amount of paperwork involved. He could see where she'd plowed through it, separating several out into stacks of varying heights -- a monumental task, no wonder she was tired. Deciding to let her sleep, he paused to pull the blanket up from where it had slipped down before moving to his desk. His administrator had a beautifully logical and organized mind, he ought to be able to suss out the direction of her thinking.

Settled into his comfortable chair, Ladon set to work.

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Last edited by Ladon Radim on Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:49 pm 
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Genii
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Navia remained, curled into the back or the couch, for almost an hour. Had it not been for the subtle motion caused by her quiet breathing, one might think her part of the furniture. The first sign of wakefulness was not a change in breathing, or shifting of the head, but rather was a small movement at the end of the couch, as her toes unconsciously wiggled under the blanket. This happened several more times over the course of the next few minutes. Finally, with a long drawn in breath, Navia stretch out the full length of her body. Stirring so caused her feet to slip from under the blanket, toes splayed as part of the stretch, and off the edge of the cushion. She relaxed again, seeming for a moment to be returning to sleep. Then with what seems a great effort, Navia pushed off the blanket, sat up and swung her feet down to the cold floor.

Her toes curled in protest of the chilling tiles. She sat for a moment, staring at those feet as if wondering what they were and where they came from. Very slowly, her appearance came to her attention. Hands tried to smooth out the rumbled skirt, straighten the blouse, and finally reached up to pull the combs out of her disastrous hair. Her gaze drifted up enough to see Ladon behind the desk and she stopped, her hand still behind her head. She regarded him for several moments, her expression very similar to the one she gave her feet. After two very purposeful blinks, her left arm drifted down so she could check the chronometer face on the inside of her wrist. With a tiny sigh, she dropped her hands into her lap. Her back straightened, and despite her chaotic appearance, Navia put on her work face.

"Good Morning, sir." She said, hoping she had kept all traces of embarrassment from her voice.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:34 pm 
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Genii
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Buried in his analysis of the files, Ladon didn't hear the faint stirring at first. It was quiet, almost surreptitious, like a tanga creeping about. Then there came a long inhale, accompanied by another rustle of fabric on fabric, and the scientist looked up. Navia was ... not quite awake, he saw, but getting there. It really was entertaining watching the process, her stretch rather like a tanga's, pink toes spread out and wiggling slightly. Clearly, she hadn't yet registered his presence, and he continued to observe with a sort of amused fascination as she sat up and fussed with her hair and clothes.

After a few moments of that largely-futile endeavor, his administrator looked up and saw him, whereupon the tanga similarity came full circle. She froze, wide-eyed and blinking, staring at him as her sleep-fogged mind scurried to catch up with reality. It did so with commendable speed, daytime Navia straightening up and rising from the wreckage to wish him good morning.

"Good morning, Navia," Ladon said, keeping a straight face and only arching an eyebrow slightly. "Perhaps some charro is in order?" The dawn chime had not yet rung, but it was never too early for charro, and he figured it would give her the opportunity to fix her hair and do whatever else it was women did to put themselves together.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:16 pm 
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Genii
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If she had had any doubt about what Ladon had seen, that little quirk to his brow would have wiped it away. Never, in the seven years they had known each other, had Navia ever felt so...exposed. Thankfully, he made no more comment than a request for charro. "Certainly." She agreed, happy for the easy escape. Slipping her feet back into her low heeled shoes, Navia walked unhurriedly out the office door. Retreats should never look like one, as an old friend had once told her.

Setting up the percolator and prepping mugs were all done without thought. Navia was far too busy reviewing what she had read in the files, and determining what Ladon would already have figured out. These illnesses were more wide spread than they thought, and the given diagnosis did not lead to any obvious toxin. They needed more information still. They needed the medical files.

The comforting smell of charro began to fill the room, even though there were a few more minute before the percolator would be done. Navia took that time to open the bottom drawer of the furthest file cabinet. From it she pulled a clean blouse, a standing mirror, and a toiletries bag. It wasn't that odd, she knew Ladon had a similar drawer in his office as well. Standing well away from the office door, she quickly changed tops and tossed the old one into her satchel. A rapid drag of a brush through her hair, and she pinned it back up. The style little more severe than if she had had the time, but far more presentable than the wreck it had been. Nothing could be done about the wrinkled skirt.

Less than ten minutes later, Navia breezed into the office. She held Ladon's bird mug in one hand and her mug and a half in the other. Placing his at his right hand, she returned to the couch and balanced hers on the arm. "I only went back 9 months and, as I am sure you saw, this is much bigger than we thought." She began with no preamble. Folding the blanket across the couch back, she sat. "I was unable to get any of the medical files for the 18 patients I originally went looking for. They have all been transferred to a location notated as 64375."

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:48 pm 
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Genii
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Ladon nodded, shifting the last of what had been a stack of files in front of him to the top of a stack of files to his left. The graphite stick in his hand he set down precisely beside it, though a part of him would have taken considerable glee in bouncing it forcefully off the desktop. With a sigh, he leaned back in his chair, rolling his head around to ease the stiffness and tension in his neck.

He’d jumped to a conclusion, and been wrong. That it had been a perfectly logical and likely conclusion was scant comfort. That it meant his sister wasn’t actually the target of an assassination attempt was even less. Because it meant she was nothing more than collateral damage. And the end result was the same.

Dahlia was dying.

Not if I can help it. With an almost imperceptible snarl, the Chief Scientist straightened up again. “64375 is a personnel designation. I know where the physical records are kept, but access is outside of my authority -- my official authority.”

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:51 am 
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Genii
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Access is outside of my authority -- my official authority He had said, his phrasing as precise and telling as ever. Whoever held that designation was beyond the reach of the Chief Scientist, but only possibly beyond the reach of Ladon Radim. She had no doubts the lengths he would go to, what he would be willing to risk for his sister, even if he wasn't sure himself. However Navia was also fully aware of just what he was beginning to contemplate, and she knew he could not do it. He was a brilliant man, stronger than he looked both physically and spiritually. From all reports, he handled himself very well off world as well. But this was something else, this would take a skill set he did not have. A set very few people had. People she knew.

When Navia was very young, she witnessed the collapse of one of the cabled walkways that riddled the bunker. Twelve people had died as the anchors gave way and plummeted them over 100 ft down into the reservoir. It wasn't their screams, or the cries of those watching that she remembered the most. It was the sound the first cable made as it let go.

Her life just made that same sound.

"You will need a retrieval specialist."

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