Description: Nagase has some info that Brandon could use. Brandon just received his V-Gage. After conversation that runs the gamut from videogames to questionable materials possibly in consoles. Brandon fires up the V-Gage for the first time to find out if that free pizza is good.
After the SNF at the temple where as the result of a clutch(though confusing) Tonberry summon, he managed to secure a years worth of free pizza along with his free V-Gage for just competing. He had the Violet Systems staff send the V-Gage to his hotel room since he knew he was probably going to be spending some time in Japan.
Brandon wouldn't be able to go to the hospital today but he needed to address some paperwork before he continued his investigation on the coma that took place in Metro City. Since Emily Collins and Keisuke Hashimoto's symptoms were so similar it was worth checking out to see if both may be caused by similar things.
As Brandon is making notes of people he believes will be key in getting to the bottom of the comas he receives a call from the hotel concierge that a package from the SNF Organization had arrived. He puts his notes away, turns out the desk light and makes his down on the elevator and steps out into the lobby.
When Brandon makes his way down, the lobby is empty save for the courier who needs his John Hancock and the hotel staff.
Almost immediately after he is able to pick up his package, a young woman in her early twenties, wearing a baggy hoodie and very not-baggy jeans, exits the restroom. Her head is lowered as her thumbs glide across her cellphone touchscreen, frantically firing off texts to who knows where. Never looking up from the cellphone, she approaches the elevator, stopping just before it, and patiently waits.
And waits. And waits. An elevator is available for use, all she would have to do is push a button. But no, she's so engrossed in her conversations that she doesn't notice -- and she'd stand there until Brandon approaches.
The detective collects his package from the courier and signs for it personally and inclines his head in appreciation of the delivery. There's a few moments where the detective makes a little bit of small talk with the concierge before heading to a close by drink vending machine. Pays for his soda, drinks it and discards the can.
His break time is over and he makes his way to the elevator, he slightly inclines his head toward the woman in the hoodie before moving around to hit the button. Unfortunately for the detective, the elevator got called to another floor before he could press the button. Looks like he might have to wait a bit anyway.
The young woman looks up at the elevator panel a few moments after his arrival. "... Tch, this thing is taking forever..." she comments in frustration, before looking back to her phone. And it seems like that would be the bulk of her inattentiveness, for all of about two seconds.
It's at that point that she inclines her head in Brandon's direction, noting in an animated tone with discreet volume, "Oh hey, watched your fight. Pretty cool, really. Still confused how the hell you managed to whip out a Tonberry that late in the fight, but whatever..."
Mind, she hasn't actually -looked- at Brandon yet.
Quietly, she retrieves a pair of circular-rimmed spectacles with amber lenses, which she places onto the bridge of her nose. The hint of a smile appears across her lips. "Don't run off, I'm not here to start trouble."
The detective shrugs at the complaint at the elevator taking forever since he did have a chance to see how long that elevator was on the lobby floor before he had pressed it. He could also see how she had been looking down at her phone so at first he dismisses it as her being distracted.
When she inclines her head in his direction, it forces him to discard the distracted part. She has to have at the bare minimum a decent amount of awareness to know it was him without actually looking at him. Waiting for someone.
He doesn't even have time to verbally respond as the woman both quickly and quietly obtains and wears before she speaks again. It forces him to adjust his analysis a little bit more. Waiting for /him/.
"I'm just as confused as you if not moreso. I was a Black Mage slash Gambler yet I was pulling White Mage stuff like barrier and Summoner stuff like that Tonberry. That being said, it wasn't like I had much of an opportunity to really check under the hood of that build."
He shrugs and then a smile of his own forms on his lips as he says, "Sorry for making you feel as though this was taking forever."
Situational awareness is one of the key topics taught in ninjutsu training; a true ninja is able to identify people who can only be observed indirectly. Of course, in this case it also helps that she had a good idea of the man she wanted to speak with beforehand.
"... I'm not gonna lie, I never got a character past ten in that game. Something else always comes up before I can make any real progress..."
The remark does get the young woman to face Brandon a bit more directly. Taking forever? ... Oh right, she made a throwaway comment. "Pff, nah. Gave me time to fire off texts to some associates o' mine." Her eyes twinkle just slightly as their gaze passes across Brandon's features. Lips press together for a moment, before she asks, "... Another true story, I think I ran outta small talk. S'that the V-Gage?"
"Well it's a new game altogether so my guess is that they're tweaking things for more build flexibility than their previous games. But I'm not on their development team so what do I know?"
He shrugs as he says that but then he observes the young woman standing before him. He's performing threat assessment considering a woman who he's never met or made arrangements with is waiting for him. That moment of observation gives way to a look of amusement.
For someone who ran out of small talk you managed find a way of making more small talk. As for what's in the box, possibly..."
If reading him by face alone, it would reflect amusement. From the shoulders down, there's an undertone of readiness. Some what guarded but considering the enemies he's made in recent history, all the more understandable.
The young woman's eyes fixate upon Brandon's for just a moment, before she begins to shake her head. "But it's not small talk, Mr. Malone, it's directly relevant," she begins, her gaze drifting downward for a moment. Taking note of the hesitation, and the stance of readiness, she heaves a brief sigh.
She adds, quietly so that only Brandon can hear -- "Eh, sorry. Old habits die hard. Name's Nagase. I did a job for an associate of yours. I understand you've got... let's say a 'vested interest' in figuring out what the heck is going on. And the V-Gage is part of it."
Her gaze drifts off pointedly to the elevator indicator -- a perfectly adequate opportunity for Brandon to pick another route back to his room if he so chose.
"I just have some information that I can't do anything with. Shame if it just went to waste."
It's when she speaks that Brandon remembers how Noboru mentioned an associate working the Hitbit stuff. He also mentioned that either he himself or associate would get in contact with him. He nods and his stance of readiness shifts a bit. It's still there but now the readiness is in relationship to whoever may try to go after them. Meanwhile, he takes advantage of the elevator panel using the reflection as a makeshift mirror.
His voice drops just as low in volume as hers as he responds. "Ahh... So you're the associate our mutual associate had mentioned. You defintely have my attention."
There's a moment's pause before he glances around. In that same low volume he says, "Shall we take this particular conversation to a more private location?"
Nagase, for her part, continues playing the part of someone who doesn't know Brandon personally. This act, of course, is aided by the fact that she doesn't know Brandon personally -- yet. "Well, maybe. I talk to lots of people, so yeah, let's just go with that." A faint smile is forged as Brandon looks around.
"And yeah, that'd... probably be a good idea."
As good a time as any to let the conversation fall quiet -- as her thumbs resume gliding across the surface of her phone, the elevator doors yawn wide. Nagase steps to one side, allowing the three people from higher floors to spill out.
Once it's 'safe', she takes a few tentative steps into the awaiting elevator car, hazel eyes glancing up to the taller Malone.
And only then, once the doors of the elevator close, will she hand the smartphone over to Brandon. "These are the shipments sent to one branch office of Violet Systems over the past couple months. Notice anything funny?"
On the screen is a spreadsheet providing a summary of the raw material shipments. Most of the items are mundane: plastic, aluminum, wood, lithium batteries. But then, come the really expensive line items: Tungsten -- often used in radioactive shielding. And then there's the radioactive metals themselves -- Thorium, Polonium.
"These got shipped to the facility where they are building the V-Gage. So... it's got me a bit curious as to what's actually inside."
As Brandon steps into the elevator he looks around for where the cameras are. Before when he was coming down he was less concerned about the cameras because he was wanted to be seen to be sort of a target or possibly have some type of record. Now on the otherhand, the concern is for his informant. He uses his height to body block cameras to make it harder for the cameras to follow what she says and lip synch it. Sure. He could throw up a light based illusion on the camera but it would be more trouble than it was worth.
"With Tungsten's high melting point high tensile strength at high temperatures, it would only raise eyebrows by itself but no red flags. The Thorium and Polonium however..."
He adjusts his fedora as he continues to stare at the screen.
"And why would they need those metals?"
"That's what doesn't make sense to me, yeah," concedes Nagase, leaning against the car's handrails as she looks up at Brandon. At first, Brandon's positioning makes her feel like he's asserting dominance over her, but then she breathes a faint sigh as she realizes exactly what the private detective is -really- trying to do. That's sweet, in its own way -- but also caution that she probably should have been exercising on a personal level.
"And yeah, tungsten is... really used in composites. Usually y'wouldn't just buy it outright. Thorium and Polonium though... either they're putting radioactive elements directly in these V-Gages -- that'd be a fun lawsuit waiting to happen -- or they're needin' those elements to manufacture something super crazy exotic that wouldn't work any other way."
She steals another glance at the box in Brandon's hands. "So I'm kinda hoping to get close to one of those V-Gages after it's been running for a while, y'know?"
"Fun lawsuit waiting to happen and something super crazy exotic aren't mutually exclusive."
The detective had to admit that the more he heard about this, the less he didn't like it. And considering what Violet Systems came through with in the past, he could only assume that it would be one step closer to being able to duplicate the capabilities of various fighters. But another thought pops into his head.
"And actually the radioactive material would also complicate export more than likely if it became known. I was planning on only running it to order pizza so that I could stick him with the bill."
He reaches for the elevator button to his floor knowing that there would be no way of keeping his room information from her anyway, already familiar with her capabilities, if only through second hand sources.
"What would you like on your pizza?"
Nagase flashes a grin so bright her nose wrinkles in agreement. "Yeah, they tend to go hand-in-hand!" She makes herself comfy on the back wall of the elevator car, taking quiet note of the floor Brandon has selected. Faint inscriptions flicker across the amber lenses of her spectacles, providing various pieces of information about the surrounding environment and whatnot.
"Well, I'm guessing that's what the shielding is for. It -is- causing them to jump through some hoops on export though, yeah -- they've been shipping models to their local affiliates in an incomplete state, and they're finishing the units in their destination countries. So even if it's above board, it's super shady."
The simple question catches her off guard -- pizza? Stammering, she looks up to the ceiling: "I don't really... I mean..." Index fingers tap together, as she crosses her eyes. "... I guess, um... Pizza Margherita or, like, whatever spinach or veggie pizzas they have..." It would likely be obvious that she doesn't order pizzas with friends much.
"Anyway," she continues in a calmer tone, "whatever it is they're doing with these materials, it's not for any -known- manufacturing process that I can gather. And it sure ain't -just- a video game system, Samsung has been turning out models for way less than this. I mean, seriously, what's up with the insane -rental- plan? Is this the eighties?"
While Brandon was particularly fond of either a cheese pizza or a barbeque pizza, he's flexible and could live with a Margherita or Spinach(as long as they didn't over cook the spinach) so he nods and keeps the preference in mind as the two head towards the room.
The moment he stops at the door and pulls out his key card and uses it. The first time, the green light doesn't light up but after the second time it lights up and clicks allowing the two to enter.
The room itself is neat with hardly anything in it besides a tablet on the desk, a laptop saddlebag that could also be worn as a backpack, a whole set of shirts, slacks and vests hang in a curtained off closet. He lays the box on his bed and sets to work opening it up and assembing V-Gage and its wires as well as connecting it to the TV so Nagase could be privy to what is going on while he's wearing the VR Goggles.
With everything assembled according to the instructions, he tosses white fedora, hanging it on the door knob of the bathroom right next to the exit. Now Nagase can watch as he goes through calibration, and then registering with account registration code for the free pizza.
"No clue but there's a reason that MMOs have moved away from the subscription fee model to a microtransaction model. Either way, I only plan on renting until my free pizza prize expires and even then I'm trying to make sure the pizza orders costs more than the system rental."
Nagase ambles along behind Brandon, humming lightly to herself. Until the urge to fill the silence takes over, of course.
"No matter which hotel I go to they all have the same boring hallways. Different light fixtures, different wallpapers, same boring design. Would it kill someone to make a sci-fi hotel with like, I dunno, circular airlocks and stuff once in a while?"
As Brandon begins opening the door, Nagase peers a bit more closely at the lock. She wonders idly if the lock failed on purpose, or simply due to the endemic shortcomings of such locking systems. For whatever reason, the lock is opened on the second attempt and Nagase is allowed to take a look around while Brandon sets up the machine.
... For quite a few moments, anyway. "It's a pretty kickass prize, yeah, endless pizzas. And for a -draw- even. ... Oh, and hey, if you wanna get something not-veggie, I'm not too picky or nothin', haha..."
A small timer appears on the left side of Nagase's eyeglasses, counting down in seconds. A quick two-fingered tap on the frame of her glasses changes the timer to blink for a moment, and then fade away.
Without waiting for permission, she plops herself down on the mini-sofa, figuring her mere presence to have warranted such an audacious act. "Hope I'm not, like, totally ruining your groove for the night. If you really wanted to sit down with like 'Private Lesson, Starring Lightning Spangles' or something, i can come back in a half hour or whatnot..."
An impish grin flits across her face -- but it's clear that she's found something else to draw her focus, as she's already pulled up her left sleeve. On the yellow gauntlet revealed there is a keypad, upon which her fingers are deftly prodding in data entries.
If one were to ask Brandon, he would've said 'endemic shortcomings of such locking systems.' That's neither here nor there. His main concern is the V-Gage and ordering the pizza. Brandon, however, extends his senses outwards as he orders the Margherita pizza through his VR set up. He didn't like the idea of losing awareness of anyone else in the room and besides with as many toes as he's stepped on, it wasn't prudent to not have a way sensing the real world while in the virtual. He then shouts over to Nagase, "No problem. You're my guest and you've already have been incredibly helpful."
On the television, she can see the detective moving quickly through the menus to the select the pizza and give the address information but by the time he's finished, something he senses gives him a reason to frown. He feels his energy signature in three locations: Himself, since he's obviously the origin. The Rider-Waite deck he carries in the leather pouch clipped to his belt. Both normal locations. The troubling one is that he also feels a tiny bit of /his/ energy in the V-Gage.
"That... mother... fucker..."
The detective can't help but feel as though he's been had.
The really neat thing about a display GUI attached to a special set of spectacles means never having to look away from the subject while typing at a jillion keystrokes per minute. Nagase nods dully in response to the claim of her being his guest -- which, of course, she is -- and notes offhandedly, "Oh, good, you don't mind if I watch..."
Her mischievous smile continues, even as her fingers stacatto out a few pages' worth of scripting instructions. While her attention is split between her code and the information on screen -- particularly, the pizza menus -- she does have the presence of mind to correct herself. "Seriously, though, you're a fantastic host. Lots people who stay in hotels tend to leave the place looking like a pigsty, but this is downright presenta--"
It's at that point that Brandon seems troubled. And her eyes point towards the V-Gage -- and present an interesting infographic on her spectacles.
"Hey, um. Gauging by your response, I take it that's not -your- doing..."
Nagase quickly hops up out of her seat, walking over to the V-Gage unit and squinting at it. A flurry of text scrolls across her screen, following the call of her flicking fingers. "Well, the good thing is, it's... not actually radioactive?"
She wrinkles her nose, and adds after a moment, "... I don't think so, anyway."
A cocktail of emotions is mixing within the psyche the mystical detective. Rage at being used like that to get his energy. Confusion at the fact that Lee was able to overcome the hurdle of chi effects. He was absolutely shocked and mortified since what it now meant was that Lee could make a perfect copy of Ayame against her will.
He takes deep breaths as tries to force himself to remain calm. He removes the VR gear and moves to the console itself before turning it off.
There is an an awkward silence as he sits there motionless looking at his VR headset. Nagase had complimented him on how presentable his room was and all he wanted to do at this moment was tear the room apart with his fists and with his energy. His magic. He also realized that wouldn't solve anything and he'd still be just be as angry but he'd be on the hook for damages.
"He played me for a patsy. But on the upside, there's pizza coming."
He puts on a grin for just a moment as he tries to smile through his rage but it just doesn't seem genuine since there's anger in his eyes.
Log created on 12:46:59 06/23/2017 by Brandon, and last modified on 07:14:39 06/28/2017.