Description: After their fight with Kaede, Mint and Brandon resume their skulking around to get more information on the activities of Ultratech. However their investigations seem to be in opposite directions. Even still, Brandon proposes a temporary alliance since his needed info might be useful to her, and she has the skills needed to obtain them. But why is she acting so strange?
The diminutive Marine's face is tinted a ghastly shade of green as she pages through one technical schematic after another. It's all greek to a layperson, but to someone well-versed in both electrical and mechanical engineering, and dabbling in computer code, it's a treasure trove of questionable information.
Realistically, though, the military -has- access to a lot of this data already: the structural frames for the military hardware Ultratech produces is commonly available to organizational-level maintainers, which would become readily apparent to Mint after just a few moments of poking through the data.
"Honeypot," she states dismissively, as she displays the first emotion she's displayed since just before Kaede's departure. "They left this here to be found..." she states, stepping back away from the console she's been interfacing with. And with only a brief, vacant glance around the room, she begins to move to another terminal...
As for Brandon, he's watching her work quietly trying piece together what exactly the miniature Marine's trying to do. He doesn't have the experience in either field of engineering and minimal at best experience with code, he's out of his depth. Ask him to parse complex rituals and spells and that's more within his wheelhouse.
His hands get twitchy and nervous and he himself is getting restless as he waits to get an opening to talk about a situation that with her experience with computer code might be of extreme help. He shuffles his cards to relieve those nerves, letting his energy recharge them. Because the energy output in actually charging the cards is done gradually, he's only feeling discomfort as opposed to the extreme pain he would feel utilizing his energy in a combat situation.
When she steps back from the terminal, he sees his opportunity and he knows that he better speak up now before he loses her to the next terminal. "Actually, there might be something we could look into together."
He pauses, taking a moment to slide the deck of tarot cards back into his pouch. "Have you noticed that every since this tournament had been gearing up, fighters have been disappearing?"
Anyone that knows Minal Panesh can probably reason that she's not exactly been herself lately. Yes, she's got a penchant for being manic, and hyper, and... well, overenthusiastic about technology -- that hasn't changed. But she generally makes at least a reasoned attempt to communicate with people whenever she's messing with technology. It's a fun thing for her, and in her field of work, she -has- to be able to pause what she's working on to help other people near her duty station.
That behavioral pattern hasn't evidenced itself thus far, and it doesn't really show in the irritated look she flicks over to Brandon when he hails for her attention. In fact, she'd hardly give him any attention at all if not for the stack of cards in his hand.
For a moment, she interprets that motion as a threat -- and it's just enough to snap her out of her hyper-focused mindset. Eyelids flutter, and a lucid expression takes over as she looks up into Brandon's eyes.
"Together?" she repeats, mentally rewinding the words she'd heard moments prior. "... I have not noticed, no. The roster is shrinking, but... I would suppose that happens with most elimination tournaments, would it not?" Mint's still not her usual self; the stilted, almost British accent is a far cry from the trash-talker who was fighting mere minutes ago.
"No. Not merely getting eliminated. I mean going missing. And few of the disappearances go back to even before the tournament started."
He stops right there to let it sink in. Even still, that change in accent has the detective on guard. As a both someone who spent great deal of time working and living in Metro City, he's relatively familiar with a Jersey accent since it is a relatively short drive away. This is not what he is used to hearing from her.
"You have the knowhow to make their computers dance on your puppet strings. Finding out what they're doing may give you information on what Ultratech is really up to. Something that they aren't planting for you to find."
He can't shake his gut instinct that is telling him that he's making a deal with the devil's proxy.
Minal cracks her neck from side to side as she considers Brandon's elucidation. Disappearances... the word begins to touch upon her time in captivity, bringing a hearfelt frown to her face. "... Well, hm, no, I /hadn't/ heard about those..." she answers, tinged with a smidge of her Jersey accent.
"... Yeah," she echoes, "I'm... I wouldn't say I know how to make 'em -dance- so much, but..." Her fingers wiggle slightly, as she considers what Brandon is hinting at. It takes a bit of reading between the lines to get Brandon's true meaning.
"I came across some of the details, yeah, just... didn't dig too much further into it. But, uh..."
Mint raises an eyebrow at Brandon, a slow smirk coming across her face. "Why are you so interested in it anyway? You missin' someone?"
"Well other than my benefactor who hired me to take on this case going on radio silence, I'm not missing anyone in particular."
The Arcane P.I. moves closer. His fingers drum the leather pouch on his belt as he thinks about the details he wishes to share. With himself being guarded as he is, he isn't sure he wants to share information with someone who has displayed such a shocking change in personality.
"I initially entered this tournament for the money, however at my hotel, I was hired to investigate Ultratech and the disappearances came up. It was even odd that my opponent last round was in the airship brigs. I wasn't kidding when I said I had to fight my opponent in a prison."
He then moves towards a wall leans against it. "So what did you find out about the disappearances? Even superficial info could be useful at least now."
As Brandon moves closer, Mint finds herself taking a step backwards. The power disparity between the two was clear in the fight just mere moments ago: whereas Mint fights with brute force, Brandon and Kaede both fought with levels of power well beyond her traditionally-schooled understanding. As far as Mint knows, she could be ended with a simple thought -- so the very notion of drumming on a pouch take on a special significance to her.
Like when she dealt with That Guy, the one with glowing eyes. Horrors she doesn't even want to consider right now. Minal gulps, before reining in her emotions and clamping her jaw shut.
"... Really, it was just a master list of the names. The matchups. And the room accomodations. A ton o' people are in this building, right now, so...?"
Mint's eyes shift off to the side. Brandon's leaning against a wall which shares the data console she was going to head to next. Her toe starts tapping, almost of its own will. "... listen, I dunno how much longer we have here before security starts gettin' pissed at us bein' here..."
Mint turns away, stepping back to the console she was just at. Her fingers fly across the keys, windows summoned and dispelled by the arcane writings she's hammering into the keyboard. And then...
With a flourish, Minal steps back from the console, throwing up her hands and then gesturing to the flowchart as if it was a work of art. With a humblebrag smile across her face, she gestures: "Here, this is... what I've found so far. Dunno how useful it'll be, considerin' the rat maze they shoved s'all into, but it is what it is..."
And if Brandon's attention is as attracted by the screen as she's hoping, she'll move to step around him and access the second panel on the other side of him...
And Brandon can only watch in awe as Mint works her technological wizardry on the console. The look he gives is probably akin to the looks he gets when he works his miracles of mysticism. It is a knowledge set that he doesn't have but wishes he did have. His eyes dart to and fro as he tries, in vain, to keep up with the speed that the Marine's fingers are moving at.
And then when she turns to gesture his attention towards the flowchart and master list of names, matchups, and accomodations. He pulls out his smartphone and takes pictures.
"Actually, it will be pretty useful. It gives me a starting point to compare accomodations to if people from these lists disappear as well and maybe a way to prevent others from going missing if we can figure out what the ones missing have in common."
He glances at the route they took to get in, and turns towards Mint as she accesses the panel on the other side. "You're right though. We probably don't have a lot of time left."
Mint's fingers fly over the keys from the second display, just as quickly as the first. The light from directory listings and file folders light her face, pausing for just a moment as she looks over to Brandon with a small smirk. "Yeah? I'm glad -someone- can use this info -- I just hope your client's a'ight, and that he ain't just makin' you jump through hoops for his personal amusement..."
At any rate, Minal seems amused by the idea, as her fingers move again. She could use those fancy Iron Man gestures if she wanted to, but in this mainframe it's not quite as efficient...
Until she arrives at a series of schematics, and her eyes light up. At its core is a circle, with eight runes placed around its circumference like numbers on a clock face. At regular intervals are legends and annotations denoting... well, lots of technical gobbeldygook of some kind.
This is when Mint uses her own gestural command -- her right hand adopts a 'bracket' posture as if holding up a cameraphone, while her left hand hits the arrow keys, stepping through a series of schematics of similarly runic technomancy.
Then she hits the jackpot, so to speak -- scans of an arcane text in a barely-legible language, accompanied by diagrams. These too are annotated... and recorded by Mint as she pages through.
Her voice is distracted, and a bit disjointed, as she tries to keep some semblance of a conversation going. "Did... you... get... what... you needed... then?"
Somewhere down the hall is the hiss of gas pistons expanding, and the heavy metal clank of a door being slammed open. And then the sound of two heavy mechanical plates scraping against the floor, and something equally heavy pulling them up. Feet, if you will.
"If they are, they paid me a lot of money to make me jump through hoops for their amusement. I suppose I'll cry all the way to the bank."
It's at this point that he glances over to what Mint is doing over on the other mainframe. Schematics, runic imagery, and assorted technical stuff show up but even though, he doesn't quite get what it means, it might prove useful if he can get it into the right hands and so he quietly takes pictures of Mint's work over her shoulder. He doesn't get everything but even just a pieces of the puzzle can lead to finding the rest.
When the Marine opens her mouth to ask the question, he's about to respond when he hears those pistons. The smartphone disappears in a manner similar to how he made his cards disappear in the fight earlier. That scraping noise puts him on guard and turns to look towards the noise. "I think I've got what I needed for now. And I hope you got what you needed because it sounds like we're about to have company."
Time to determine whether he fight or take flight or just throw the metaphysical kitchen sink at whatever is coming this way.
"Heh," is Mint's distracted response, as she squints a bit more at the writing. It's a bit too sketchy for her to -really- make out, but she figures it's all on video anyway...
And then she quirks her head to the side at one particular inscription. And jabs her finger at the left arrow key, revisiting a schematic she'd seen earlier. Tapping the screen with two fingers, she zooms in on one annotation:
[ TRANSDIMENSIONAL GATE ] -->
And that would be when Brandon mentions 'company'. "... Understood. I... believe this is sufficient for now..."
Minal hits escape a few dozen times before pulling away from the terminal, no one expression dominant on her face. "Perhaps we shall meet again..." states the Marine tentatively, as she backs away towards the access tunnel she'd found earlier. If Brandon isn't quick on the draw, the tiny pugilist will leap down the tunnel first, even in her distracted state! It would appear, to say the least, that she's chosen 'flight.'
He doesn't need to be particularly quick on the draw. He just needs to make sure that Mint is booking it before he does the same. He doesn't even bother with the light manipulation for camoflauge since if this 'company' is mobile, he's not even sure what type of sight being used.
After jumping in the tunnel he makes his way towards his quarters. He's not overly worried though. Something tells him that his ally and he will meet again. And who knows? Maybe they received each other's contact info via that master list of competitors. He probably find out once he has a peaceful moment to go over what stuff Mint was able to gather. He would not be so crass as to take credit for the data collection.
Log created on 19:19:47 09/11/2015 by Brandon, and last modified on 09:26:21 09/12/2015.