SPACE En Prise

Discussion in 'Open Roleplay' started by Lucas Cormier, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Lucas Cormier

    Messages:
    14
    Faraday Convention Center, Luna
    Annual Protogen Summit
    6 Months Ago...



    [​IMG]

    So far, so good. Nobody had thrown anything at the stage, nor had he spotted anyone headed for the exit. Not that he cared. Not really. Stepping forward, he continued to speak with a practiced ease that came with a lifetime of such presentations. “Needless to say, this arrangement has raised some questions - on both sides. What does an Earth corp have to gain by contributing time and resources to the Martian dream?” He paused for effect, flashed his trademarked grin, and rubbed his fingertips together: the universal sign for ‘money’. “Well. That one’s easy.”

    “And how about ‘what makes a sinfully rich Martian entrepreneur step down as CEO of the company he built from the ground up, just to work as a mid-level manager manager at a research firm? ‘What’s Cormier’s angle?', they keep asking. Well. I’ll tell you.” A hush fell over the crowd, and he could almost physically feel the members of the press clustered at the foot of the stage lean forward in strained anticipation. It had been almost two years since his departure from Cormier Dynamics, and he’d coyly failed to offer explanation up until this point. Folding his hands, he looked down at the hungry camera lenses and grinned broadly. “The answer’s going to disappoint all you scandal-chasers, I’m afraid. It’s a line you’re tired of hearing, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I want to see a green Mars. I want dip my toes into a Martian ocean, to taste the air of my homeworld cycling in and out of my lungs. And Protogen is the key to making that a reality.”

    A flurry of hushed conversation threatened to derail the presentation. He’d predicted this, prepared for it, and held out his hands to pat the air.


    [​IMG]

    “Easy, now. We haven’t simplified terraforming. Yet. But thanks to the brilliant minds based out of our new facility in Londres Nova- “ he paused a beat to direct his gaze to his new head researcher, who he’d picked out the the dimly lit crowd long before. He’d have put a spotlight on Elysia and dragged her on stage, if she’d have permitted it - “we’re making advances at rates far beyond initial projections. If the Martian government is willing to work with us, the conversation ceases to be about some abstract, multi-generational fantasy of a man-made paradise. I’m talking about our grandchildren, maybe even those already born, seeing the first tree on Mars.” As anticipated, another rumble started - a cocktail of wonder and skepticism, but he cut it off by continuing, his amplified drawl drowning out the whispers.

    “And why stop there?” His smile seemed to impossibly broaden as he did his best to make intimate eye contact with every last person in the room, his blue irises catching an angelical sparkle in the stage lights. “For that matter: why stop anywhere?”

    “And yes, I can hear it already: ‘But Lucas. Where’s your sense of Martian pride? Doesn’t that make you a traitor? Mars comes first.’ I get it. We’ve built massive armadas, designed countless weapons capable of wiping each other off the map. We’re reached the stars, maintained something like peace, but we’re still poised like primates arguing over a damn bushel of bananas.” He waved a hand dismissively, now pacing confidently along the very edge of the stage as he continued to speak. “Just take a look back through history. The largest empires, the strongest alliances, the sturdiest superpowers. War. Politics. These things are fickle, dynamic, flexing and passing with the times. The Holy Roman Empire. The Soviet Union. Though they seemed like permanent fixtures to those living at the time, all of these have faded into obscurity.” He stopped, in the center of the stage, positioning himself between the projectors as they provided a visual reference for his speaking points. “You know what hasn’t lost relevance? Fire. Penicillin. The electric light. The Epstein drive.”

    He gave them a moment to internalize that, then starting moving again, occupying the stage as if too energetic and ambitious to simply utilize the podium that the other speakers had confined themselves to. “Nobody in this room knows what the future holds a thousand, two thousand years down the road, but I can tell you what it doesn’t. A UNN. An MCRN. ‘Earthers,’ ‘dusters’, ‘belters.’ He shook his head, almost sorrowfully, though the pained expression was only momentary. “They’ll look back at us, and laugh about how short-sighted we were, squabbling over a pair of rocks in the Sol system. No, this isn’t about a competition between our worlds, some chest-thumping rivalry. It’s about science. Spearheading human expansion and our advancement as a species. Protogen is the tip of that spear, and I’m proud to be a part of it. First. Fastest. Furthest. It’s about tomorrow, not today. It’s what comes next.”


    [​IMG]

    He gave it a moment of silence, then clapped his hands together, grinning broadly. “And in this case, what comes next is the real reason I flew a hundred and forty miles million to get here. Your planet’s wine and hors d'oeuvres. There are just some areas where nature has science over a barrel. Agronomists, I’m looking at you. Maybe Protogen needs a new division?” A light chuckle from the audience answered the boyish tilt of his head.

    “Anyway, I won’t keep you thirsty boozehounds out there listening to me ramble any longer. Please. Enjoy your evening. Our caterers went to all the trouble of dragging all this wine up the well, the least you can do is save us the trouble of carting it back.”


    He lifted a hand in temporary farewell as his earpiece de-synced from the loudspeakers, and the stage lights faded. In place of his Mariner drawl, a synthesized orchestral melody gently underlined the growing hum of conversation as the party started in earnest. Lucas disappeared behind the stage curtain, handing the earpiece off to an assistant before activating the mirror function on his hand terminal, to double-check his immaculately groomed appearance and straighten his already-straightened cufflinks. The keynote speech was out of the way, but the real work was just beginning. Perhaps he should have been nervous, but instead, he was bristling with excitement like a kid on Christmas. He hadn’t felt this alive in years. His only regret was that he couldn’t take a direct role in the events transpiring beneath the surface, behind all the tailored suits and expensive dresses, the handshakes and networking.

    Those, for better or worse, were his area of expertise. Rolling his neck and pre-loading his signature smile, he found the stage access door, and waded out into the bustling corporate battleground.
     
    #1 Lucas Cormier, Mar 5, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  2. Elysia

    Elysia Advancement will occur regardless of resistance.

    Messages:
    46
    Discord:
    Kat
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    "Nah, it's fine. I'm within reach and my boss is holding a huge party that I'm, like, the researcher of honour at, and you can't even be bothered showing up. I get it. It's cool."

    From where it was tossed on the bed, the terminal made a frustrated noise. It was impossible to tell, without visual cues, whether or not her daughter was being serious or just being irritating to be irritating. "We have a meeting. It's not one we can skip, we had it arranged beforehand-"

    "Only child. Head researcher. Hand picked by Lucas Cormier. All I'm saying."

    She could picture it now, her mother's fingers massaging her temples as she groaned, clearly weighing her options. "Alright. Maybe your father and I can move the date a little."

    Shit. Shit. She froze, where one hand was cradling her foot and the other was methodically painting electric blue nail polish. "Ugh. No, I told you, it's fine. I'll see you later. God."

    Punctuated by a sigh, having finally clicked, "Don't be a child, Elysia. Make sure to-"

    Beep!

    Didn't have time for whatever that was. With a sigh, she settled back on the bed a little more. Luna had weird gravity. It wasn't Earth's, it wasn't Mars's. It was uncomfortable as shit, but it was bearable. Lucas had, for some goddamn reason, deemed it necessary to put her labwork on hold to traipse over to the moon to give a speech, throw a party, probably get way too drunk, and then head home again. The public end was sort of his problem, not hers, but she wasn't about to jeopardise her position as head researcher now by complaining about a few days off. She'd like to be back there, figuring out why Vibrio fischeri were determined to enter quorum sensing only in larger aggregations than on Earth, but no. Her little squid bacteria had to wait.

    Instead, she would spend the next however many hours in a stupid little dress, pretending that smiling was a natural reaction to having people in her personal space. That might have been generous. Pretending shoving people wasn't a natural reaction to having people in her personal space. Yes. That was more manageable.

    Once she was there, it was . . . well, it was pretty bad. She made no effort to keep her face positive, happy with flatly neutral, which fended off more than a few efforts to speak to her before the speech began. As frustrating as the amount of people was now, it would be worse once they'd managed to get alcohol in their systems. Instead of doing this - this networking bullshit that the business-types liked, she shouldered her way through the crowd to somewhere near the front, scowling up at the empty stage as she waited for it to start. And when it did, that seemed to be enough to quell her annoyance, albeit temporarily. Like every other employee in the room, she was captured by Lucas's almost tangible passion, declaring his fetishism for the scientific method, for advancement, for the future. It was that aspect that clicked for her, not the Martian charm or the pretty way he picked his words. Personability seemed to roll off her like water off Nasturtium. She didn't miss the way he paused, his gaze unerringly finding hers in the crowd, but she gave away no reaction. There was no way in hell she was getting up there, let alone allowing him to divert credit to her. It wasn't about her. It was about the work she did. He seemed to understand - kind of - and moved on, eventually concluding to unsurprising thunderous applause as he swept off the stage.

    With an audible groan, she turned away from the stage, distraction now gone. In front of her, the crowds began to disperse, mingling and moving a little too eagerly to where servers and bartenders waited along the walls. The majority of the room was barren of chairs, offering only bartops with stools dotted around them, to apparently maximise the 'relaxed' black-tie atmosphere. Lights overhead cast a carefully soft glow, subtly covering flaws not already coated in makeup, but not forcing anyone to strain or squint, as faint music struggled to be heard over the sound of the chatting Protogen "and other" crew.

    She knew Lucas would be out soon, and while she immediately wanted to go find him, because really, he was the only person worth interacting with here, she didn't want to look like the needy child who couldn't go anywhere without its parent. So, with a long-suffering huff, she took a few solid seconds to manoeuvre her way onto the top of a barstool, slapping down her clutch on the otherwise empty table. The crowd easily parted around her little area, more interested in the bar than Cormier's top acquisition for now. Content with her 'surrounded but alone' vibe, she pulled out her terminal and fired up an old, old game of Snake on the holographic screen.
     
    Antumbralite, HSAR, Solaris and 2 others like this.
  3. Niamh O'Rourke

    Niamh O'Rourke Protogen Researcher

    Messages:
    65
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    "Are you waiting for your parents to collect you?"

    The voice was calm and came from behind @Elysia . It was amused and if she turned she'd see an older woman in a slinky black dress giving her a smirk. "O don't be like that, I'm just taking the piss". Her eyes flickered towards Elysia's terminal. One brow raised in question, "I think that one's before even my time". She didn't wait for an invitation, she just pulled up another stool and sat down, placing her own clutch on the table.

    She let out a theatrical groan before gulping the rest of her wine down. She sighed in satisfaction, putting the empty glass on the table. "I hate heels" she admitted, not getting the message to abandon the huffer to their own devices. She had the air of someone confessing a lifelong secret.

    She snapped her fingers for more wine and ran her hand through her hair. "A free drink is the best drink as my aul mother woulda said". A server scurried to obey, placing two glasses down for them before they were dismissed. "Well what did you think of him? He's quite the speaker isn't he?" her head nodding in Lucas's direction. "Some would even say a visionary".
     
    Antumbralite, Elysia, HSAR and 2 others like this.
  4. Uri Sayar

    Messages:
    2
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    He may not be enjoying himself but he felt comfortable here, sauntering slowly through the crowd with his hand wrapped around a small tumbler of scotch. He fit in with his fine black suit over a black shirt and finished off with a black tie, his atire said he was one of them, the scowl on his face said otherwise. He didn't want to be aproachable, he just wanted to blend in and do his job.

    His beard and hair were kept long, though both were well oiled and maintained, not a hair was out of place. There was a bit of a spring in his step as he walked around, it was either the lack of weight his missing guns provided or the fact he had something to do beyond watching a bunch of scientists work.

    The message he received on his terminal said no firearms. They didn't want a scene, but he wasn't about to leave home empty handed, the long black knife at his back helped him feel comfortable. Pale green eyes scanned the room. Somewhere among these sheep was a dumb person about to do a dumb thing that was going to make his night.
     
    Lucas Cormier, Elysia, HSAR and 2 others like this.
  5. Sophie Iverson

    Sophie Iverson Tell me your secrets

    Messages:
    165
    Discord:
    HSAR
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Sophie fought the urge to fiddle with her gown as she moved with the dispersing crowd towards the bar. The black fabric was self-adjusting, changing shape and transparency automatically to give the effect of shadows that pooled and flowed with liquid grace. It also simulated Earth-like gravity, which was a great relief to her, but it didn’t stop her unconscious instinct to touch it every time it shifted.

    She caught the eye of the UNN public relations attaché and lifted her glass in acknowledgement. Byrne was aware of the mission, and she was her first responder if she needed backup. A few others around the room knew about her presence, but there were no other Navy assets with her. That, plus the fact that the dress had the ballistic resistance of silk while being too close-cut to let her carry a sidearm, left her feeling decidedly vulnerable.

    She didn't even have an earpiece. The briefing, which had been barebones by Office standards, had explained that she on hand for a sting operation attempting to uncover the buyer of some particularly sensitive data. It reeked of political favour-trading, but sometimes that was what was required in order keep the black budget... black.

    Sophie took a sip of her non-alcoholic drink and thought about silver linings. She really hoped they were going to let her keep the dress.
     
    #5 Sophie Iverson, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  6. Katya

    Katya ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

    Messages:
    6
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    There's always something lovely about being in a crowd. People have long been been a comforting presence for her, and when she's packed in tightly with them, when she can feel an arm wrapped as snugly as it can be around her waist, there's a serious sense of security that she adores. It makes her feel stronger. Like she has protection. Lips brush her ear, words murmured into it that can't compete with the booming of Lucas's voice. She laughs, turns her head, lets her nose bump into his. Bright, hazel eyes lock onto dulled blue-grey ones, and she smiles widely. "What you are saying to me, моя любовь?" The hand shifts, steadying itself on her waist. He gives her a dopey grin, and shakes his head. It's not important anymore. She turns her back to the stage, and feels a faint kiss grazing her neck.

    No sooner has he taken her hand to hold it in his than the presentation is over, and she spins fully to regard him with a teasing smile. "You are so impatient," she mock-scolds him as the crowd begins to disperse. He laughs back at her, shrugging tired shoulders through a suit.

    "Sorry. These meetings are never much fun, and now I've got something to distract myself with . . ." He trails off suggestively, but she merely giggles once more.

    "See! So impatient! Come, I want drink." She folds one of her arms around his, and moves to guide him across the floor. He falls into step eagerly, eyes briefly dipping in front to check he isn't going to walk into someone, before inevitably finding their way back to her. It's hard not to. In a sea of black ties and dark dresses, Katya demands to stand out. Her dyed-blonde hair was swept to the side - all the better to show off the side-window, of course. The dress feels too inappropriate from his point of view, but considering he was the one getting to take it off later, he wasn't complaining.

    He was a good man - sort of - but more importantly, a good researcher. Vincent Brownstone had worked for Protogen pretty much all his life. After two kids and an extremely messy divorce, though, that really didn't seem to matter. Left with only his work, he'd had a lot to think about. And what he came up with, of course, was a mid-life crisis. That's all Katya was. A pretty young girl who liked pretty things and fast cars was easy to blow savings on, and dragging her along to this Luna conference had been a no-brainer for him. For her, it was opening up a whole new world. Literally.

    Still, she was a woman of habit. "My feet! Zhey are tired! You can please get me drink? And come back?" She beams at him, a little pleadingly, already knowing his answer.

    He nods enthusiastically, starting to detach himself from her. "Wodka?" he checks, smirking at her, and again, she laughs.

    "Wodka!" she cheers. She only has to blink, and he's already off making his way through the crowd, so eager to get back to her. It's very cute. Pleased with herself, she finds the nearest bar table to lean against and considers the crowd with a critical eye. It's a clear scanning motion, looking for something very specific - and it isn't long before she spots something she wants. Pushing off from the table, abandoning their meeting spot, Katya approaches the prettiest girl she can see. Just because she came here with a man far too old for her doesn't mean she can't, you know, get laid first.

    "Hello!" She greets @Sophie Iverson with an almost alarming amount of cheer and confidence, voice higher pitched than one would expect. "I am Katya! Is nice to meet you." The Russian extends a manicured hand, apparently oblivious to any prior discomfort the girl might have been feeling. She's far, far more concerned about how the dress seems to flow off her body - less so about the dress, and more about the body under it. It's fairly unmistakable what Katya's business with her is. "I am lowing your dress. You are work at Protogen? Or you are here as just friend to business?" She beams far too brightly at the other girl, and it's immediately clear that she has a bit too much energy for most people to concern themselves with. "Me, I am here wizh friend! Hopefully not too much longer, my heels say no!" Flashing her another smile and a giggle, Katya turns her ankles to the side to show off laughably high heels for a girl her size.
     
    Antumbralite, HSAR, Uri Sayar and 2 others like this.
  7. Elysia

    Elysia Advancement will occur regardless of resistance.

    Messages:
    46
    Discord:
    Kat
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    "Are you waiting for your parents to collect you?"

    Her back stiffens. Really? Really? Rationally, she knew the woman couldn't know her from behind, but the insinuation that she was a child incapable of doing her own thing was always immediately grating. She paused the game and turned in her seat to see an older woman smirking at her. Impatient with whatever kind of game she thought that was, the younger girl's mouth opened to make a sharp comment, but she was, unsurprisingly, interrupted.

    "O don't be like that, I'm just taking the piss." The mouth shut, but the scowl failed to waver. She didn't appreciate being talked down to, let alone when she was meant to have some measure of respect here. "I think that one's before even my time."

    She didn't follow the woman's gaze to her game, just flicked her hand over the screen to turn it off. "So are normal greetings, I guess. Sure, pull up a chair, weird woman I don't know. Why not." Flat, almost uninterested, because she knew she was getting ignored anyway. By the time she was done speaking, the second clutch was tossed onto the table, keeping her own one company. She didn't hold back a sigh. Tonight was going to be a lot longer than anticipated.

    Thoroughly unimpressed, she watched as the woman swallowed her wine like she was desiccated, and then proceeded to still trying and struggle her way through a conversation. "Well." What the fuck was she meant to say to that. "Don't . . . wear them, then? No one's making you." Her own heels clicked against the barstool legs, her feet failing to actually touch the ground even with them on.

    "No, I don't- ugh." She stared at the new glass of wine sitting on the table between them as the server scampered off. Well, she at least had faith the woman would drink it for her. As her attention was brought to Lucas, though, she seriously considered taking it for herself. She glanced back at the stage, frowning first at it and then the woman who had decided to encroach on her personal time. As much as she wanted to get her to fuck off, the point of being here was to get . . . funding? Support? Fuck, why were they here? That was Lucas's job. Uuugh.

    "I mean, sure. Inspires the masses, gets heaps of money, revolutionises the universe. All in a day's work." It was difficult to tell, at that point, whether she was being sarcastic or if she genuinely believed in. "You wanna know something? He talks like that all the time. Like, all of it. I asked him for a coffee once, he gave me a speech about how he wanted to see coffee beans growing in fields on Mars for his kids. He doesn't even have kids."

    She picked up her terminal and slid it back into her clutch, closing it with a neat clicking noise, before turning to face the woman again. "Hi. I'm Elysia. Monroe." That would likely get her attention, as it always did everyone else's - the name was far more prestigious than her own (for now), scrawled across every drug packet and even a damn building here on Luna, in addition to more than a few on Earth and a stupid floating one in space. "I'm that visionary's head researcher."
     
    Antumbralite, HSAR, Uri Sayar and 3 others like this.
  8. Yidi Laukannen

    Messages:
    5
    Drones.

    Yidi Laukkanen was surrounded by drones. Slack-jawed believers, latched eagerly to the corporate teat, sucking down Lucas Cormier’s bullshit as if it were the essence of life itself. Admittedly, the Martian’s unexpectedly theatrical keynote had managed to breathe a bit life into this corpse of a conference, but Yidi suspected that had been the reason that Protogen had hired him in the first place. It wasn’t about helping Mars. It was a brand expansion, plain and simple, and they’d gotten a new mascot out of the deal.

    It didn’t matter much to Yidi. Yidi’s own tether to his corporate overlords would be severed tonight, once and for all. The capable young network security specialist had only been with Protogen for a few years, but it felt like a thousand. Sitting in a cubicle for another twenty-something was his nightmare. Thankfully, an exit strategy had presented itself in the form of an unusual outbound transmission passing through his assigned server cluster, bound for a high-level UN facility. It wasn’t the destination itself that was caught his attention, rather, it was the absurd level of encryption on the data. Risking his career - and, unbeknownst to him, immediately sealing his fate - intense curiosity drove him to duplicate the mysterious file on a portable drive, initially with the intent of slowly attempting to crack it in his free time as a means of a personal challenge. (Needless to say, Yidi didn’t get out much.)

    It was a small miracle that he’d made it off the premises of the the Stockholm office. Although he was entirely unaware that the monitors had monitors, Laukkanen had been flagged weeks before for overenthusiastic examination of data traffic, and a security detachment had been dispatched the moment he’d stolen the file. He’d only been narrowly saved by a phone call up the chain, and an order to stand down. The data, in its encrypted form, was effectively impervious to intrusion. Corporate was less interested in the fact that he’d stolen it, and more interested in what he’d do with it - if he had allies, or a puppetmaster pulling his strings.

    It didn’t take long for the young man to determine that it would take him several lifetimes to break into the stolen information, and within a week, he’d anonymously posted it for sale at a comically exorbitant price in the depths of the dark web. To his surprise, he got an offer. A very, very generous one. Now monitoring his every move and keystroke in real time, Protogen became less concerned with Laukkanen, and more concerned a buyer that not only could afford the data, but presumably knew what they were paying for. When they learned that the sale was to take place at their own annual conference on Luna, they entered crisis mode - both emplacing their own security assets to intercept Laukkanen at the point of sale, and extorting the assistance of select UN officials who had just as much to lose if the data wound up compromised.

    Now, at the conference, the noose was finally tightening around Yidi’s neck, and the boy was still entirely oblivious to it. The intense paranoia that had plagued him for the past week had subsided, replaced with the odd sensation of occupying a celestial body other than Earth, and the anticipation of what came after the sale. Once the credits hit his newly-opened secure account, he’d be free to do anything he wanted. A personal domed mansion on Titan? A luxury tour out to the Outer Planets on his own pinnace? Hell, after today, why not both? He’d still have funds left over. All he had to do was wait. Easier said than done for Yidi, whose natural impatience seemed to grow exponentially with each passing moment. He didn’t know who he was making the handoff to - the buyer would be the one to identify him, the one to deem when and if it was secure enough to make the trade.

    Rocking on his heels in his newly purchased, previously too expensive suit, every passing individual who made eye contact with him - for one brief, fleeting second - was the buyer. His heart rate would increase, then slow again as the individual diverted their gaze or nodded in slight greeting. Standing there awkwardly wasn’t going to accomplish anything. Forcing himself to stop looking around like a lost puppy, he made a beeline for the bar. He needed a drink. Maybe two. Maybe practice chatting up somebody attractive. After all, in the not-to-distant future, they might actually give him the time of day.
     
    Antumbralite, HSAR, Uri Sayar and 2 others like this.
  9. Niamh O'Rourke

    Niamh O'Rourke Protogen Researcher

    Messages:
    65
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Niamh laughed, a sound surprisingly deep for a woman her build. "I'm a slave to fashion" she said, still chuckling a little. Elysia's glass of wine stayed untouched but Niamh ignored it. "Besides, I'm too too short not to wear heels" nevermind that she was over half a foot taller than her new friend. She listened with interest as the girl's wall dropped a little so she could give her own perspective on Lucas. Niamh laughed again, her hand patting Elysia's. "Well a man can dream now, can't he darling? Plenty of time for kids. I can't imagine he'll have much trouble when he goes courting. Don't you want to see those coffee beans growing by the time you've had kids?" Niamh winked.

    She seemed to have gotten her full attention, the terminal packed away. "Oh so you're the one they're calling the whiz kid?" she asked, eyeing up the younger woman, "There is a lot of talk about you" she said, taking her hand and shaking it. "Made quite the impression, especially for someone so young". No jealousy there, just facts though one could be forgiven for assuming it. Niamh did decide to drop the clueless socialite act, "Niamh O'Rourke, I work in the Germ Warfare division" a casual way to say she headed up a project team. One could safely infer that she wasn't one of the cleaners.
     
  10. Sophie Iverson

    Sophie Iverson Tell me your secrets

    Messages:
    165
    Discord:
    HSAR
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Sophie turned, earning her a swirl of fabric that floated carefully away from her ankles to avoid tripping her. Her voice for the night was high New York blended expertly with some Russian - matching her cover as Hranytysa Korporatsiya's Luna representative. She turned up the accent to engage with the newcomer. It was all about camouflage, after all.

    She flashed a smile at @Katya, who certainly stood out from the crowd. She was a few years younger than her, and Sophie was briefly distracted by a flashback to her own self at the start of her career. Bush Orbital Shipyards, the UNN Nathan Hale - all just a stone's throw from here, yet feeling like a lifetime ago.

    Sophie took the hand somewhat apologetically. She was here on business tonight, and for all that it would have been nice to let loose (it had been far too long), she had work to do.

    "Katya, how do you do. I am Alina Kasparova and I am here with Hranytysa Korporatsiya, so this is work - but you are very kind to say that about my dress. It is one of the, ah, bright sides of my job - I will give you address of tailor who works the magic... and you are right about the heels. Even in low gravity they are as much trouble as they are worth. And is there a reason they are worth it for you tonight?"
     
  11. Katya

    Katya ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

    Messages:
    6
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    @Sophie Iverson

    Katya is absolutely rapt, leaning in and focusing on each word that drips off the blonde's tongue with warm eyes and an easy smile. The accent and the name were enough to make her realise something entirely accidental but incredibly wonderful - the girl was also Russian! At the announcement of her name, there's a soft giggle from Katya. What were the odds? There was an immediate desire to switch over to her native tongue, to ease the language barrier and make the conversation a little more private, but they were in a public atmosphere, and that would be antisocial. She liked to keep things inclusive - if someone were to walk past and hear Russian being exchanged, it might come off as a disinterest in being joined. The more the merrier!

    "Ah, Alina! Such pretty name!" She isn't eager to let go of the girl's hand, but it would be weird not to. "I am well, zhank you. Happy to be here." She damn well means it - she's trying to soak in the atmosphere and the people all at once, fascinated with the socialisation efforts between employees and benefactors. When Alina mentions she's there on work, however, Katya makes a soft, disappointed noise. That means her focus will be on making other friends, probably. Ones who are not there because they knew how to pick a well-off man out of a crowd. Oops.

    "Oh! Please do! I would lowe to know who design." She takes the smallest step back possible, eyeing the dress appreciatively again, before finding Alina's gaze with a faint smirk on her lips. She is very much enjoying this line of conversation. "May I?" she asks, one hand reaching out to hover over the girl's waist, intending to feel the fabric. And, of course, whatever it happened to be resting on.

    Katya makes a little humming noise at the last question, which predictably turns into a laugh. "It make my friend wery happy. He say I am too short." Her face scrunches up into a grin. "Heels help! Plus, is free bar, yes?" It occurs to her, then, that she has no drink. "Ah! I zhink I forgot to get one!" She laughs again, shaking her head a little. "Your dress distract me. I can get you anozher one of . . . ?" She trails off, nodding to Alina's drink eagerly, waiting for her to fill in the gap so she can purchase her new friend something a little stronger, maybe. Hopefully.
     
    Antumbralite, HSAR and Dieter Kohler like this.
  12. Elysia

    Elysia Advancement will occur regardless of resistance.

    Messages:
    46
    Discord:
    Kat
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    @Niamh O'Rourke

    She stared down at the hand patting hers, then slowly dragged her eyes back up to the woman's. That was weird. Like a grandmother. She guessed she looked old enough to be one, especially with how she raved on about having kids. Squinting at the other a little, she shrugged helplessly. "I think he's married to his work?" She failed to comment on her own potential progeny, because, frankly, there was no viable way to go about that in the first place, and she was not willing to put in the effort required to work through her personal disdain of having to carry around a parasite for nine months and then eject it and suffer laboriously for another two decades. She had shit to do.

    At the mention of 'a lot of talk about her', she cringed. That wasn't remotely what she wanted. It should have been about the work she did. The progress she made. How she took Lucas's team and whipped them into shape, maximised efficiency, turned research output towards the goddamn future instead of meandering around in the present. "Great. Good to know." No sooner was she finished speaking than her hand was being touched again, picked up and shaken. What the fuck?

    Confused, she shook back, but quickly extracted her hand and slid it under the table, not-so-surreptitiously. She didn't really get into the whole . . . physical contact thing. It was gross. Too personal. "Well, Lucas thought I had potential. I was a lab assistant at Protogen when he snatched me up. Turned out well for him." There was a flat indifference to her tone, no apparent pride to it, much like the woman's own stating of fact. She couldn't take credit for his decision, only her own results.

    "Niamh O'Rourke, I work in the germ warfare division."

    A cock of the head. An owlish blink. Dr O'Rourke, wasn't that . . . ? Hadn't she seen her, however briefly, at Londres Nova? They hadn't really talked, but had they really needed to? O'Rourke's research spoke for itself. Under the table, her nails dug subconsciously into her palms.

    "Well. Shit." She blinked again. She really hadn't recognised her. In her defence, people weren't generally worth remembering. There were her parents, a cousin or two, Lucas . . . some college acquaintances . . . her colleagues? And that was about it. She could never be accused of being too social.

    "First of all, your paper on Streptococcus dysgalactiae in microgravity, considering the necrotising fasciitis tendencies? That was awesome. I used it as a reference for my own research, attempting to figure out how Yersinia species would infect a host in both Martian gravity and the current environment versus a simulated one. They were still extremely efficient colonisers." She doesn't consider, even for a second, that O'Rourke would have read her papers, but more importantly, whether she'd give a fuck about someone telling her about their own research.

    "Second, are you sure you don't wanna go see Lucas instead? He's the one with the pull. And money." She twists her head a little, trying to catch sight of blonde head in the crowd. "I can grab him for you?"
     
  13. Niamh O'Rourke

    Niamh O'Rourke Protogen Researcher

    Messages:
    65
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Niamh didn't seem to notice Elysia's retrieval of her hand and concealment of it under the table. She listened with an avid look on her face as Elysia explained her position in a flat monotone voice. Niamh smiled encouragingly as if blind to the girl's indifference. She took a sip of her wine, Elysia blinking as she realised who she was talking to.

    Her hand came to her chest as her paper was complimented, Niamh giving a bright toothy smile as if she was touched. "Oh you liked it? I'm delighted to hear that! I mean I don't feel like I did anything too groundbreaking, it just seemed like not too many others had bothered their arses to study it". She did try to handwave it but flattery always pleased her. "I was delighted to see it was of use to someone. Your notes on Yersinia were fascinating to read. I hadn't expected them to be still so efficient in those conditions. It's been of particular interest to our division. We've observed disease outbreaks in the Belt before but a weaponised strain could be incredibly lethal". She gave an apologetic smile and shrug as if to say, oh well it can't be helped, before taking another swig.

    She shook her head at the second statement, unable to answer while still mid gulp of wine. "I'm grand dear" she assured her with another languid handwave, "I deal enough with other project managers as it is. I spend more time in boardrooms now than I do labs. I'll have a wee chat with him in a while, no need to worry. It's quite an honour to meet Protogen's youngest chief researcher". Another wink and she clinked her glass off Elysia's yet to be touched wine. Protogen had given Niamh success but she wasn't too proud to pass up the prospect of a free bar.

    @Elysia
     
  14. Isaak Cale

    Messages:
    3
    If he had a sense of humor, it might have occurred to him to laugh, but that wasn’t the sort of thing that life hammered into men like Issak Cale. Still, he found no difficulty acknowledging that Laukkanen was even more laughable in person than he had been in his files. One might expect that someone bold enough to attempt the sale of classified information to at least have the skillset and resources to back it up, but the moronic boy would have stood out as suspicious even if every badge and/or gun in the room didn’t know exactly who he was, and what he was up to.

    And there was the issue. Yidi Laukannen was an idiot, but by all accounts, an ingenious idiot who had managed to steal exactly what he’d claimed he had. The kid was probably even dumb enough to have it on him, in the pocket of that ridiculous, poorly tailored suit, wandering around with no fewer than a dozen sets of eyes tracing his every move. His incompetence didn’t mean that Cale’s employer needed that drive any less. It had to be retrieved, at all costs, without falling into any of the unknown number of hands that would also be after it. And so the client had sprung for him. Not cheap, but money well spent.

    Now that the speech was over, Issak could finally stop recording the famously long-winded egomaniac’s self-stroking monologue, and get started. He lowered his camera - an antiquated shoulder-mounted piece, rather than the lighter handhelds or more mobile drones used by some of the other reporters. Turning from the stage, he straightened his faintly illuminated press pass to ensure its visibility, and started moving through the crowd towards the restroom. There were a number of occupants - no doubt small bladders that hadn’t coped well with long speeches. He waited patiently for a stall to open up, and let himself inside.

    He removed the back panel of the camera with expert efficiency, having practiced this procedure dozens of times over in the previous month. It was indeed, a functional camera, and the footage on it was real enough for review, but there were several extraneous components crammed in around the functional ones that looked just enough like they belonged there to make it through the scanners. He worked quietly, ensuring that none of the clicking of attachment points caused an undue echo that could draw attention. After he removed the pen from his pocket and began to screw it onto the small item he’d assembled, it finally started to approximately resemble what it was: a tiny, suppressed, magazine-fed pistol. The even-tinier subsonic cartridges loaded inside of it wouldn’t hold up in a firefight, but they had just enough punch to penetrate a skull - and then the size of the round would cease to matter.

    Did he want to rack up a casualty list of Protogen security agents or UN intel operatives? No. Laukannen? Not especially. However, either of these outcomes were more than excusable and acceptable if they proved necessary in service of his obtaining the drive. Racking the slide with an almost comical little clack, he slid the little weapon up his sleeve, where it snapped magnetically against his wristwatch, where it would remain out of sight until he needed it. Reassembling the camera, he hoisted it back onto his shoulder and exited the restroom, slipping back into the role of media crew member looking for something worth recording.

    In reality, he was trying to pick out threats, to assemble the pieces of the puzzle before he tried to solve it. As he slid easily through the crowd, his eyes slid over the passing faces, mentally tagging and categorizing everybody. Lucas Cormier himself, finishing up with the hungry press, clearly eager to get out into the crowd. A few other project managers he recognized, glaring at the advantaged upstart from the corners of the crowd. A pair of attractive blondes, chattering about dresses. So far, nobody flagged, but nobody written off. Besides Cormier, of course. That thought was funny, even to him.

    That was when he made his first mark: @Uri Sayar. The untrained eye might not have caught him - the broad-shouldered man moving easily through the crowd, scanning, observing - not unlike Cale himself. It was his posture, his demeanor that gave him away. Martian by the weight of his steps, military by his manner of movement. Marines, most likely - and no active duty marine would have any business at a corporate gala. Wishing his HUD-equipped contact lenses would have made it past the security, he committed the man’s face to memory, probably staring directly at him a little longer than he intended to as he weighed avoidance versus violence.
     
    #14 Isaak Cale, Mar 8, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  15. Harland Drake

    Messages:
    26
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Had they finally hit the jackpot? Was someone sending up a flare? Or was this dumb luck? After whatever happened on Phoebe where there was a Protogen lab, someone puts up a highly-encrypted Protogen file up for sale on the dark net? Of course, it could be nothing at all. Some opportunistic prick putting cat videos up for sale at an absurd price and seeing who bites. But it never hurts to test the waters.

    MNI regularly monitors dark net sites for all types of potential intelligence. When they saw “Protogen” and “highly-encrypted file” together, they sent Harland and his team out to investigate. Harland had originally been investigating the attack on the Donniger, which itself had been investigating what happened to personnel on Phoebe. So there was a theory that this could all be connected.

    Harland’s primary objective was to identify who the sellers and buyers were and, if possible, obtain the file. He had been granted access to funds to purchase the file if the opportunity presented itself. Harland had given secondary instructions to his team to spread out, mingle, and see what other random information they could glean from this gala; identify potential Protogen employees to interview about the Phoebe incident; and identify anyone who didn’t look like they fit in with the rest of the attendees.

    Harland was pretty sure the seller would be whatever person was sweating bullets somewhere off by themselves.
     
    #15 Harland Drake, Mar 8, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
    Elysia, Tetrarch, HSAR and 1 other person like this.
  16. Ian Frobisher

    Messages:
    23
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    The mag boots were the only thing that made being on the moon even remotely tolerable.

    Ian took to space travel with all the grace of a duck to lava. He hated being outside of Earth's deep, comforting gravity well. He was actively phobic of space flight; without being pumped full of sedatives, he'd have never made the trip. Would never had agreed to make the trip. It was only at the Secretary General's personal request that he eventually capitulated.

    As the Deputy Communications Director for the Department of Public Information, it was ostensibly his duty to direct communications. Though his actual role wasn't anything of the sort, the corporate interests had sent him, personally, and invitation, presumably to fulfill his "duties" and facilitate communications. If the facade they carefully maintained was to hold, Ian knew he'd have to make the occasional public appearance.

    But why, in the name of the Virgin Mary's pristine arsehole, did it have to be on the moon?

    He had arrived three days early, to give himself some time to acclimatize before the conference. There were a number of drugs to ease the nausea and disorientation, others to make tolerable the aches and pains as his spine and joints decompressed in the low gravity, but none that could erase the bone deep certainty that he was a careless leap away from flying off into space, ceilings and gravity be damned. Hence, the mag boots, which took some getting used to.

    Ian was not a heavy drinker, but he nursed a snifter of fine brandy as he circulated through the room, making acquaintances and, ah, communicating.

    All the while, his keen mind raced, connecting snippets of overhead conversation, matching them to points of data from files read long ago. Ah yes, his true job, his raison d'être: to prowl around the halls of power, sniffing out signs of corruption, fatal weaknesses that might unmake civilization if left to fester.

    Here, the stench of decay was overpowering.

    There was something afoot in the halls of Protogen, something that threatened to shatter the fragile peace and bring ruin to civilization. Perhaps the trip was worth it after all.
     
    Yidi Laukannen, Elysia, HSAR and 2 others like this.
  17. Uri Sayar

    Messages:
    2
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    He really didn't want to have to kill someone tonight, he really liked this suit and would hate to get blood on it. Maybe he could capture the seller and the buyer, recover the data drive then change before he tortures them both. Now there was a fine idea. He flashed a small smile at his own thought as he brought the tumbler to his lips for a drink.

    While enjoying the slight burn of the scotch he noticed @Isaak Cale looking his way. Not just looking his way, no this was much more than a look. This man was practically staring at him. Openly staring at him in the middle of this event. Now he struck an interesting figure, but most everyone else at the event was actively avoiding him. Now here was someone looking right at him.

    A small smile cracked on his lips as he looked right back at Isaak. He raised his glass toward him and payed him a small nod. Now he had someone to keep and eye on as he sauntered about.
     
  18. Desmond Brock

    Desmond Brock Crater Industries

    Messages:
    3
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Protogen's field of expertise wasn't anything Desmond really understood. Long Greek or Latin words a mile long that he couldn't even begin to pronounce. But what he did understand was business, and he was hoping to do some tonight. There were plenty high profile executives and government officials here to rub elbows with. If he could attract even one potential contract here it would be worth his time.

    He also had an ulterior motive for attending. Desmond was hoping to open a back channel to the Mao-Kwikowski company about acquiring Crater Industries. And there just might be someone here who could put him in touch with the right person. @Lucas Cormier had just sold his company to Protogen, a Mao-Kiwk subsidiary, perhaps he'd know someone. At any rate, he wanted to put "feelers" out there to gauge interest.

    Cormier was currently too surrounded to make an introduction, so Desmond decided to wait a bit, and headed over to the bar.

    Several women and one man were currently hovering around the bar tables. The only space left was a small opening between the women and the man who was sitting by himself. Desmond walked up an requested a cognac on ice. After he received his drink he turned around and started observing the room, taking a sip here and there. "Now, where to start?" he thought.
     
    Lucas Cormier, Elysia and HSAR like this.
  19. Solaris

    Solaris McClane

    Messages:
    306
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    It was the social that was sure to be the talk of the company. Anyone who was anyone would be there. It was a mandatory type of fun. The sort where you were expected to show or else get a talking to by the boss. Which is why Solaris was here.

    Well, sort of.

    If you call getting dragged into one of the convention center's offices and slammed against the wall.

    "Are you crazy?!" came her harsh whisper, blinking at the shadowy figure holding her in place. Lips went straight to her neck, and her hands came up to try and push him away. He was having none of it, feeling his laughter shake his head and another amorous sweep ran along the curve of her neck.

    "If we get caught ---" fingers went sailing down towards the hem of her dress, tracing up.

    "You are soo going to --" lips caught her protest and muffled her with a deep, passionate kiss. After all, take Protogen's motto. First. Fastest. Furthest. It’s about tomorrow, not today. It’s what comes next.
     
  20. Sophie Iverson

    Sophie Iverson Tell me your secrets

    Messages:
    165
    Discord:
    HSAR
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    "Indeed." Sophie caught Katya's disappointed tone and responded with an apologetic sigh; with the moment in which she was expected to cast her eyes down she flicked a fast glance around the room. Her mental picture of the room swirled while she updated the positions of the few people she was actively tracking.

    When the girl reached out, Sophie laughed softly and lifted her elbow in invitation. The fabric of the dress floated out with the motion, making its distinctive silk-to-cashmere transition and back in ripples of movement.

    "Please! It's unique, нет? He is magician, I say. He is Shostakovich - Johannes Shostakovich. He understands that modern idea and classic design is... art." The Intelligence agent flicked out her hand terminal and deftly navigated its menus. The designer was real, of course, although very expensive. But that hadn't been a problem for the Office's budget, much more used to paying for armoured cars and orbit-to-surface missiles. She made a point-and-throw motion to Katya's hand terminal and tucked it away again.

    "Ah, do not listen to your friend. This height is just perfect." As it so happened, with Sophie's more modest heels, they both came to the very similar heights. Sophie gave Katya a multi-layered smile, sliding an index finger along the stem of her glass.

    At Katya's offer of another drink she gave a good impression of studying the bubbling liquid within, taking the moment to use the handy wide field-of-view reflective surface to look behind her. The briefing had included information on a limited number of Protogen actors, mostly private security that were relatively easy to spot. She hadn't seen anyone who seemed actually trained in tradecraft, but then again that didn't necessarily mean anything yet. Until she did, it was probably best to play passively.

    This changed when two people emerged in her peripheral vision at once. She recognised one at once from routine political profile runs - @Ian Frobisher. He was an unexpected development. The other she was immediately sure of - that was @Yidi Laukannen. The package-holder. This information, more than any other, informed her response to Katya's question.

    "Ah, Katya, if only I could. I must work! There are still so many people I must talk to. It was great pleasure to meet you tonight! I hope you enjoy your evening."

    She smiled one last time at Katya and moved off, making her way around a Kenyan businessman (@Desmond Brock) with an apologetic smile and nodding happily at another pair of ladies who were still chatting at the table (@Elysia and @Niamh O'Rourke). She glanced out into the room, catching the eye of Lydia Byrne and mouthing "diamond", the code word for "courier sighted". The UNN attaché nodded acknowledgement and returned to her conversation.

    Sophie continued to drift out towards the centre of the floor. The game was on.
     
    #20 Sophie Iverson, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018

Share This Page