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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:03 am 
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Genii
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Zev listened to all of Ladon's explanation, the details he knew, the ones he did not, and the ones that were implied. The nuirf shell ceased it's tapping, as he considered those implications. Though it held a level intensity of it's own, his expression was genial. At least up until the moment Navia's hand compressed to the table. One brow arched higher and higher as he watched her reactions. The other brow joined it's partner when he witnessed the silent communication between the two, communication they seemed to have no knowledge of. An astonished chuckle escaped him, and his hand flew to his mouth to try and cover the smirk. The noise drew their attention to him, and he faked a cough. "Sorry, I've got a tickle." He lied, making a production out of taking a sip of his Grimmley's.

When he finally put the glass down, the smirk had toned down to a benign smile. "I remember hearing of Chief Apothecary's suicide. The news sheets made quite a stir out of the tragedy, but then it seems he had friends in the press. Something you should keep in mind." Zev cautioned. When a reporter was involved, things could explode years after inception.

"All right then. If I am to do this, I have three conditions. The first shouldn't be very challenging. I am assuming what you need is the information in those files, not the files themselves. For that I will need a Jemsen 120G. It is specifically designed for low light photography, and is small enough to conceal easily. When this is over, you get the film and I get the camera as part of my payment." He gave Navia a knowing wink. "I'm fairly sure you can get your hands on one of those."

Once Zev started talking terms, Navia pushed all the questions she had to the back of her mind. When this was all over, she had every intention of grilling the man to find out what he had thought so funny. "I can have it by tomorrow night." She confirmed, but left the decision to Ladon.

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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:43 am 
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At Zev’s odd outburst of amusement, Ladon’s eyes moved from Navia to the older man. It was clear from the minimalistic tilt of the scientist’s head that he didn’t buy the explanation for a single moment, but he said nothing, merely continuing to regard Zev with a steady, level gaze.

At the mention of the media, Ladon’s eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly, gaze growing, if anything, even flatter. The words could be taken as a threat, if one were inclined toward a suspicious and cynical view of ones fellow man – which Ladon was. That Navia trusted Zev was significant, but not definitive. She was perceptive and highly intelligent, but the two clearly had a long history, which could cloud her judgment. It could also be that whatever trustworthiness he possessed was limited to her.

Continuing to ignore his drink for now, Ladon observed the byplay about the camera, catching Navia’s unvoiced question. “And the other two conditions?” he asked, resting his hands on the table and lacing his fingers together.

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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:04 pm 
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The fact that Ladon hadn't agreed to the first condition wasn't lost on Zev, but then he hadn't expected it either. To accept too quickly would have given a sense of urgency, even eagerness, that did not seem to be in the Chief Scientist's nature. Zev fully anticipated having to outline all 3 conditions before Ladon weighed in. Navia, he know would have opinions well before that.

"I've been to this facility before, but it was some years ago. Even then they had the latest security measures. I've been out of the game for a while." A skeptical snort from Navia made him pause and rephrase. "ok, out of this level of the game for a while. I'll need to bring along a brain who can disarm whatever technical security we come across. Someone who has had exposure to the latest inventions and has probably been involved in their testing. Unless of course, you don't think you are up to it." Despite the amiable smile, there was a hint of challenge in Zev's voice.

Then the unthinkable happened, Navia interrupted Ladon before he could answer. " Zev..." She said quietly, her voice a mix of caution and question.

"Navi..." He replied, mimicking her tone.

"Jandyc." A reasonable alternative, she was sure.

"Retired"

"Sandvall"

"Incarcerated"

"Rigerda"

"I didn't ask."

The quick back and forth of the conversation came to a screeching halt. If he hadn't asked, Navia reasoned, then this had been his intent all along. He was up to something, something she couldn't fathom. While she had no doubts he would fulfill of the mission, if he took it, he also had his own agenda. That was not unusual, but the fact that whatever he was after was cross purposed to her own ... well that was concerning. Unfortunately the expression on Zev's face was one she had seen before. There would be no budging him on this. Though infuriated, she relented. "You are an ass..."

"And you already knew that, Tengia." He replied, his tone almost gentle. 'Tengia' was a nickname, the term for a baby tenga, and was something she hadn't heard in a very long time. It seemed he wanted her to trust him as she had back then. Back when he had sworn he would never abandon her, a promise he had almost died trying to keep.

Without a word, she turned to look at Ladon. Another small nod indicated Zev was still dependable, despite being an ass...

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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:37 pm 
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Ladon wasn’t a stupid man, and it was the work of a moment to figure out that Zev’s second condition was that he went along himself, in person. The slight narrowing of his eyes became a slight widening, his first reaction along the lines of me!?, but then he stopped and turned the notion over in his mind. It wasn’t the sort of work he was trained for, and it required he put a great deal of trust in the older man both during and after. On the other hand, he did know the security first hand and fairly thoroughly. He’d also be able to recognize on sight exactly which information they were looking for.

Navia figured it out a moment after he did and promptly began trying to talk Zev out of it. Intrigued, Ladon watched the dynamic between them, analyzing what it said about their relationship. Clearly, the ‘retrieval specialist’ wasn’t just another of her seemingly-inexhaustible supply of acquaintances with useful skill sets. Even if she hadn’t declared her trust in him, Ladon would have known just from seeing them together. She went back a long way with Zev, much longer than she did with him. It was a realization that brought a spark of irritation he would have recognized as jealousy had he dared to look at it as closely as he was looking at them.

Then the argument was over, the older man’s position remaining unchanged. Navia cast an eloquent glance over at Ladon, who gave a tiny don’t-worry-about-it shake of his head before returning his gaze completely to Zev.

“And the third?” he asked neutrally.

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Last edited by Ladon Radim on Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:08 pm 
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"She. Goes home. Now." Zev leaned back in his chair, arms crossing over his chest. Before Navia could speak in protest, he continued. "This is not negotiable, Navia. So far your part in this has been small. Setting up this meeting, getting the camera, they can all be dismissed as following orders. If you get any further involved, and something goes wrong, I... We can't protect you."

Navia's brows came down in a stormy scowl. It was not an expression she normally wore. She knew why Zev was doing this, and she did not like it. Just this morning she had been thinking about how to remove Ladon from incrimination. While Zev was doing so out of past affinity, Navia was not. Her focus was on the future. She knew Ladon was an important man. There was so much a man like he, in the position he was in, could accomplish. The Genii people needed him. She needed him, needed him to be safe. Which would be impossible given Zev's plan.

And there was the nub of the problem. This was Zev's plan. If Ladon agreed to this, she would have no say in the risks they would take. No input into their escape plans. No control... In the end, though, it was not her decision to make. It was Ladon's.

"Sir?" She asked, her voice sounding angry even to her.

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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:01 pm 
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"She. Goes home. Now."

One of Ladon's greatest talents was his ability to adjust to surprises, adapting smoothly on the fly to unexpected changes, but even so he blinked, going still and blank-faced while his mind scrambled to process this one. Granted, it wasn't as immediately startling as the one before, but for some reason he found it more unsettling, and he didn't know why. The easy answer was that she was his guide in this underworld milieu, a part of society he was unfamiliar with. And he would have gone with that, had it not been for something else Zev said.

"I... We can't protect you."

By conventional Genii standards, Ladon was a coward. He didn't get into straight-up brawls, he fought with tools and trickery. He'd never been in combat, and the times he went offworld, he always had at least two armed guards with him. Other men were expected to risk, even to give, their lives in defense of his, because his was of more value to the Genii than theirs. That was just the way it was. Granted what he did saved lives and protected his people, but that was in the abstract. He'd never been asked to risk himself to shield someone else before. And what he refused to think about even not-thinking about was had it been anyone else -- with the possible exception of Dahlia -- he would have refused.

"Navia," Ladon said, pulling her angry eyes to his and meeting them squarely. "Go and arrange for the camera." And after a moment, sensing intuitively that something more was needed, he added, "I'll be all right."

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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:37 pm 
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She could sense it, in the back of her mind, the maelstrom that was her temper. It had lain quiet for some time, but Zev's blatant manipulations had wakened it. It fed off his heavy-handed attempt to protect her, it's favorite meal. It whirled around within her, knocking her well ordered thoughts off their tracks and sending them out of reach. It's not your concern, Navia. It whispered. I'll handle it, you just keep quiet and stay safe. There is nothing you can do. Echoes of past injuries gained strength, adding to present, until they were almost roaring in her head. She expected to be shut out by Zev, but Ladon...

Navia Her name, said with quiet intensity, cut through the noise. Ordinarily, it would have been a lifeline, but to her anger it was a beacon. She turned on him, prepared to rip him to shreds for dismissing her. She was not useless.

Dark anger met calm blue and subsided slightly. In Ladon's steady gaze she could see he wasn't setting her aside. She had some use to him. Go and arrange for the camera He gave his instructions, but there was something more in the expression. Something he needed her to understand, but she couldn't see it. She studied his face. The slight furrow of his brow and the crinkling at the corner of his eyes were ... different than his usual concern. It puzzled her, and focusing on the enigma was distracting. The temper was still there though, waiting.

I'll be all right Four words. With four words, he acknowledged her fear moments before she admitted it to herself. She wasn't angry, she was scared. Scared that something would go wrong. That he would suffer from the consequences of this endeavor, or worse, not survive it. Somewhere in the last 7 years, he had become so integrated into her life that she didn't want him gone from it. Those four words also held a promise, the promise that he wouldn't be absent. Holding on to that, she felt her mind settle. They would be all right.

There was a quiet huff, as she let go of the tension, and an accepting nod. "We will need a dark room as well, to develop the film." She said, standing. Out come the ever present notepad and graphite, and she began listing what would be required. "That will take a little more time. Let me know my deadline when you are done planning."

With a very chilly "Zev." Navia turned and walked for the door. Not that Zev noticed, he was too busy looking after her with a blatantly surprised look on his face.

"Well that went a lot smoother than I expected..."

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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:37 pm 
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Ladon kept his gaze on Navia. As a product of their living in close quarters, Genii tended not to show emotion much, and the higher the circles one moved in, the truer that became. To reveal emotion revealed what you cared about. That made you vulnerable, and vulnerability was dangerous in the cutthroat realm of Genii society. Navia knew that as well as Ladon did, and was nearly as good at dissembling as he was, so for her to reveal as much of her feelings as she did they must have been truly powerful, which he found unsettling.

He wasn't sure why he'd said what he did, only that it had seemed the thing to say, and it appeared to work. It took a moment or two, but she returned to her normal self, smoothly efficient, with no jagged emotional corners sticking out to hook and tear. His shoulders, hitched slightly higher in alarm, sank down again, and his lips curved in the faintest of smiles. Even the brisk step with which she strode away was reassuring.

"Well that went a lot smoother than I expected..."

Ladon looked back at Zev with the tilt of his head that was what passed for him as amazement. I take it you've never been in a hurricane, he thought of saying, but refrained. He suspected the older man was going to discover how deceptive the calm of the eye was soon enough, and why spoil the surprise? "Navia is extremely practical," he said noncommittally. "So, then. I've never done this before. What else are we going to need?"

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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:52 am 
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Zev watched her walk all the way out the door, wistful smirk on his lips, before turning back to Ladon. He looked the scientist over for a very long moment, an odd speculative glint in his eyes. "I am beginning to think the Navia you know, and the one I know, are two very different people." Zev said with unexpected seriousness. Then it was gone. "Thankfully they are both very good at what they do."

"What you are wearing now should be fine, and you will need to bring a tool set. Just make sure they are secured somewhere out of the way." He waved his hand, and Svi came out from behind the bar carrying tubes of paper. She placed them on the table without a word. Though she did accord Ladon the tiniest of nods before returning to her place.

Zev rolled out the sheets, anchoring one end with his tumbler. They revealed themselves to be floor plans. "I can get us to here undetected," He pointed to section on the top sheet. "It is a decorative rooflight, serves absolutely no good purpose. Since we are up to no good, we go in there. Now I don't have specs on the alarms on the light. Eight years ago they were hooked to a Grendal 560 system with duraplast sensors. I'm sure they have updated them since then. But as with all government jobs, they will have kept as much of the original equipment as they could get away with."

"Once you get us past that," He flips down to sheets. "We make our way to here. The information you will need in past this door. Now when I was last there that was a set of offices, so I can't help you with what they may have. That said, there are also hardwired cameras here, here, and here. With a little finagling we can get by undetected, however it will make both our entrance and our exits slow. About 15 minutes one way. On top of that there is a guard sweep every hours and a half."

"Still interested?"

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 Post subject: Re: Slippery Slope
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:21 am 
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Ladon didn't answer at first, though he'd heard everything Zev had said. His eyes were on the floorplans, tracking back and forth across the diagrams, touching each line and letter. He was in what Navia would've recognized as his data-absorbing mode, where he took in great gulps of information, sifting and sorting it into his own idiosyncratic mental filing system. Once there, it was there forever and he could pull it out at will to make connections, answer questions, or devise plans.

Finally, he gave a small, distracted nod in reply to the question, though in a way he'd already answered by the fact he was flipping between two of the sheets matching up the diagrams on them. "And should be able to reduce that 15 minutes, too ... " the Chief Scientist mused aloud, already mentally putting together the tool kit he would bring, including a couple of 'tools' he would build himself.

Feeling Zev's eyes on him, he clarified. "This," he said, laying two of the diagrams side by side and tracing a finger along matching spots on each, "is the feed from the alarms. I can drill through from outside and tap into it here," he tapped a spot on the sheets, "or maybe you can, since it's halfway down the wall. I'll put together a unit that will intercept the signal and reflect it back."

Shifting his finger to the spot with the door, he nodded. 'It's still offices," he said. Zev's mention of being there previously, in a place he was most assuredly not authorized to be, had not escaped Ladon's notice, but he filed it away without comment. Nothing about what they were about to do was authorized, after all.

"Anything else I should know?"

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