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#RedrockAgency – October 7, 2018
Va'ynna makes an unannounced visit to Redrock HQ.
It's a little before 9am on the 6th when Aylena's sky-car sets down on the road in front of the Redrock building, and the door opens for a brief moment to let Va'ynna out with the least cold in. It's engine is running, but it doesn't leave right away.
Va'ynna makes her way over to the entrance door, and presses the doorbell. She's wearing her navy-blue jacket, which is not exactly made with the harsh winter in mind, so standing in front of the door is causing her to shiver a bit.
Fergus ' voice sounds over the exterior speakers, a small view of his 'face' appearing in place of the door controls: "Ah, greetings! Do you have business with Redrock this on this wintery morning, Ms. Atana?"
Va'ynna casts a nervous glance over her shoulder as she waits for a response in the cold winter morning, still anxious to be outside on her own despite being so close to safety. When Fergus appears, she breathes a small sigh of relief, but to his question she shakes her head. "I only wish to speak with Jason, if... if he's not busy," she says followed by a shiver. "Also,... may I come in?"
Fergus 's image offers a nod and a polite smile. "A personal matter then! Certainly! I shall let your presence be known." With that, the door to the lobby opens. Fergus would, of course, materialize on Jason's desk with a curteous bow. "Milord, Ms. Atana is here to see you. She awaits your arrival in the lobby."
Jason is in his office despite the early (For him, at least) hour. After a long night of disturbed sleep, he decided to get an early jump on the day. His office door is wide open and he's seated on the floor in front of his desk, back up against it, in his usual attire of plain white long-sleeved shirt, black military-style pants and black combat boots. A datapad is on the floor beside his leg, his omni-tool not too far from it. A
mostly-constructed small, waist-high shelving is beside him, though it seems to be missing the actual shelves which are scattered about the floor. "No. No. No-.... Are you even listening to me?" he grumbles, "It says there's supposed to be another thumbscrew. There's no thumbscrew!" He glances about his office, arms flailing as he gestures around. "Nothing!" Fergus' sudden appearance causes him to give a haphazard glance up
A female voice chirps over the omni-tool, calm and collected. "Perhaps it is still in the box, Mr. Wolfe."
Jason draws in a deep breath. "It wasn't in the box!" he snaps back. "So maybe you guys just didn't put it in the box." he continues, quite the GATCHA!
The voice retains its composure, responding nearly instantly. "I assure you that every product is important to us here at Elkoss Combine. Nothing leaves our manufacturing line without being double checked to ensure that not a piece is a missing." she says, spouting it confidently as if a company slogan. "Perhaps you merely misplaced it."
His question causes a moment's hesitation from the voice on the other side of the omni-tool. "Our manufacturing lines are monitored by some of the most reliable industrial VIs available, Mr. Wolfe. At Elkoss Combine, we strive for nothing less than customer satisfaction."
Fergus nods, and disappears without comment, leaving Jason to his project. Behind the lobby desk he re-appears. "Lord Wolfe is in his office." he says with a gesture down the hall. "Do you require guidance?"
Va'ynna nods appreciatively with a small smile as she steps into the lobby. She casts a glance down the hall and the room she's in before walking over to hang up her coat. "I know... where it is," she says to Fergus. "Thank you." She's brushes a small flour stain from her green shirt, and makes her way down the hallway. "Hey," she says as she stops in the doorway. "Am I interrupting?" The crisp air outside has given her a small boost of energy, but she still looks quite tired.
The sky-car takes off the moment the door closes behind Va'ynna, making a beeline back to the Miner's Respite.
Jason continues to glare at the omni-tool, far from convinced. "Well, they must've fucked up this time. Cuz-... If there's one thing I know? It's thumbscrews, okay?! And there's no thumbscrew!"
The voice once more chirps over the omni-tool. "I'm sensing a high level of aggression, Mr. Wolfe. May I-..."
Jason scoffs, interrupting the voice. "No! You may not! I just want my damn thumbscrew!" he scolds, his voice carrying out into the hallway. "And to talk to a real person! Is your whole damn company run by robots?!"
As expected, the voice isn't the least bit phased by Jason's frustrations. "I assure you that assisting you with whatever problem you may have is at the core of my programming, Mr. Wolfe. Perhaps you can return to the place you purchased the unit at? They would be more than willing to replace the missing part."
Jason snorts loudly. "Theeeere it is. Sell me a shelf that's not all there then make me pay extra for the missing parts! Practically extortion!"
"The part will be of no cost to you, Mr. Wolfe. Your satisfaction is payment enough." the VI espouts cheerfully.
Jason rolls his eyes. "Cept then you've already got me in the door and-... whaddya know? I'm buying a new table." He scoffs, "I'm onto your game. And, you know what? I'm not playing it. Not. Playing. It." As Va'ynna steps into the doorway, Jason shifts a bit against his desk, looking from the omni-tool to her. He forces a small smile and gives a small shake of his head. "You hear that?" he asks the omni-tool. "That's the sound
The voice, clear and collected as ever, speaks up once more: "I apologize for any distress this may have caused you, Mr. Wolfe. I assure you, here at Elkoss Com-..." CLICK
Jason reaches out, shutting the omni-tool off before the VI has a chance to send him off, and draws in a deep breath. Whatever frustration was directed at the VI seems to fade as he looks to Va'ynna. "Hey, V!" he greets as if nothing ever happened. "What's up?" He scoops his omni-tool up off the ground beside him and pushes aside a bit of the mess to clear space for Va'ynna to enter. As he pushes aside the datapad with the
shelving unit's assembly directions on it, a small thumbscrew is revealed beneath it. He grabs it, weighing the small item in the palm of his synthetic hand. "Huh..." he hums as he eyeballs that which has been the bane of the past twenty minutes of his life before muttering softly to himself: "...Whaddya know."
Va'ynna brings up a hand to cover her mouth as she suppresses a giggle at his argument with the VI, which becomes more difficult when the missing thumbscrew is revealed after the call. "The Respite was quiet and... D'Inea could do her paperwork at the bar," she says. "So she let... me step away for a bit." Va'ynna crouches down and picks up the datapad that was pushed aside, looking it over curiously.
Jason climbs to his feet, setting the small screw atop his desk lest he lose it again. "That's good. Things calming down any over there...?" he asks as he turns back towards Va'ynna, taking a seat at the edge of his desk. He hooks one boot around the leg of the nearby chair that's been pushed aside to give him space to work, and pulls it closer before giving it a nod, indicating for her to take a seat should she feel so inclined.
Va'ynna walks over to take the offered seat, putting the datapad on the table. "She is still busy, so there's... a lot to do," she says, looking up at Jason, "but I hope so." She covers her mouth again as a yawn escapes her. "I could really use a day off, or at least a morning, but... I don't think I'll get that."
Jason gives a small frown as it seems that little has changed for Va'ynna. His eyes give away the fact that sleep wasn't particularly successful the previous night. "Think I'd be about ready to tell her to shove that job up her ass by this point." he says with a sigh.
Va'ynna looks down at the desk, and sighs. She is starting to sound more tired as the previous newfound energy fades. "I... know, but I...," she says, though she obviously wouldn't say it like that, "I don't want to sit at home all day... and do nothing. And... I don't want to look for another job."
Jason shifts against the desk, planting his hands at the edge. Maybe he just doesn't have the energy to pull punches at this point with everything else going on. He gives a small shrug of his shoulders. "Maybe not, but with all the hours you're putting in I'm sure you could find something better in town. Don't get me wrong, I like Aylena-..." he begins before pausing to consider his words. He gives another shrug before adding:
"...Mostly." She did nearly get people killed by failing to disclose important information to the people providing security for her establishment. "But she's taking advantage of you, V. Might be time to start considering looking somewhere else, you know?"
Va'ynna gives another nod. What he says is true, Aylena is taking advantage of her, but what are the chances she'll get better hours elsewhere. Though, on the other hand, there really aren't more hours to take at this point. "Maybe... it's because I'm tired, but... but... going to a place I have never been to, being interviewed, not... having your people near," she says. "It all... it doesn't sound like
Jason gives a few nods. "Well, it's your choice. But you know my people are gonna look out for you no matter where you're at." he assures with a small, tired smile. Realizing he's probably not doing her mood any favors by talking about work, he relents with a shake of his head, "I'm sorry." he offers with a snicker, "I'm not trying to get you down. What's new with you, V?"
Va'ynna frowns. "As you... can tell, not a lot," she says, and after a moment's thought, looks back up at Jason. "Well,... I may... not have been honest about why I came here... in the first place." She reaches for and grabs the frame of the datapad. She's not picking it up, it's just an idle movement of her hand as she appears a bit nervous. "I... was told I was in danger, that... I couldn't trust anyone at
home, and she led me here, told me... I was safe here," she says. "But she got more evasive about it when I questioned her about it a year on, and... now I'm... convinced that it's all a lie. I... even got T'Iavay to erase the... thing on my omni-tool I used to communicate with her."
Jason furrows his brow as Va'ynna mentions her dishonesty, his arms folding across his chest. Confusion washes over his face as he listens to the asari speak, culminating in a shake of his head by the time she finishes. "Wait, wait, wa-... Renala...?" he asks, trying to piece together what the nervous asari just told him. "Someone got in touch with you and told you you're in danger...? Who?" he begins to question, "When? Start
Va'ynna nods. "It wasn't just... someone," she says, and looks down at the datapad. Her voice is tired and quiet, and a bit uneven due to her worries. Is it still a lie when it was also so to her? "It's... my step-mother I hadn't... seen for twenty years. She... works with investigation and... things like that, she didn't talk much about it;... couldn't." Va'ynna closes her eyes for a moment. "I was booked for a
normal flight via Illium, I... didn't change my name, didn't... get new contact information," she says. "At the time I trusted her, and... we kept in touch for a while, but... I... started to doubt her, and... I've only grown more sure about it."
Jason remains silent as Va'ynna speaks, untangling her words. The confusion on his face seems to lessen as he realizes this isn't something recent- she isn't in immediate danger- and the statement about 'a year out' suddenly begins to make sense. "...That's why you came to Aite." he muses aloud. "Gotta admit I didn't really see it." he continues before elaborating. "...You coming here, I mean. It didn't add up." He doesn't dwell
on that fact for long, however. Drawing in a deep breath, he shifts a bit to better situate himself. "So your step-mom tells you you're in danger and can't trust anyone, then has you book a flight from Illium to here where- she says- you'll be safe? But now you're starting to think the whole thing was bullshit...?" he repeats, trying to make sure he has the situation clear. "Did she say anything about why you're in
danger...?" he probes, gaze resting on the asari, "...How you're in danger?" His eyes close briefly and he gives a brief shake of his head as another wave of confusion hits him. "And why would she do that?" he asks as his eyes open once more, "What would she have to gain by sending you all the way out here to the galaxy's gooch?" A moment passes before he realizes she probably has no idea what that means. "Uhh-... A
gooch-... It-..." he glances down at his crotch before looking back to Va'ynna. With a dismissive wave of his hand and a shake of his head, he sighs, "...Ya know what? It's a human thing. Not important."
Va'ynna frowns as she listens to him, nodding to the question summing up her story. The untranslated word causes her to tilt her head, but she dismisses it without reaction as she focuses on the barrage of questions preceding it. "She wasn't... very specific about what exactly it was," she says, "but that... someone could blackmail me with false information due... to their connections. She... said it much better
than... I did, and... I... I trusted her." She pauses for a brief moment, still staring at the datapad whose frame she's gripping tighter in her hand. "I... don't know for sure why, but... D'Inea's real name does share her last name," she says. "That... doesn't need to mean they're related, but... if they are, maybe... she wanted me to keep an eye on her." She sighs and looks back up to Jason. "Maybe
Jason doesn't seem any less confused by the time Va'ynna has finished speaking, though the connection to Aylena causes an audible sigh to escape from him. "Your step-mom's surname is 'Aehan'...?" He draws in a breath and glances off to the side with a snort. "Little too coincidental, don't you think?" Settling his gaze back on Va'ynna, he continues his questioning, "You said you kept in touch with her for about a year after
coming to Aite, right? During that time did she show any interest in Aylena...? Ask questions about her...? Anything like that?"
Va'ynna gives a slow nod after a moment's consideration. "She did, but... she was interested to hear about... many people I knew back then," she says. "Victoria, Iressa, Ilyna, Zaylus, even you." Va'ynna tilts her head in thought as she thinks back to it. "I... I can't recall anything unusual about her questions either, so... she may have just wanted to know about my employer."
Jason draws in another deep breath and gives a couple of short nods. "Alright.. So what was it that caused you to cut off communication with her and bring Renala in on it?" he asks. "Something must've happened to cause you to go so far to block contact, right...?"
Va'ynna frowns as she thinks back on it, feeling once again a lot of the feelings of hopelessness that she felt in the days after the kidnapping, when almost everyone she knew was far away. "T'Iavay... sent something to my omni-tool to find it after... the kidnapping," she says. "And... she found the program my step-mom put on it to communicate while removing it. She... said it was transmitting continuously, and
explained that... the person receiving it might be spying on me." She sighs. "I... didn't plan on removing it, but when T'Iavay offered, and after she said it kept... sending information. I... also haven't talked with her for... months." Va'ynna nods, "So, I let her remove it."
Jason frowns, not wanting to further upset Va'ynna- especially once she begins to bring up the kidnapping- but also not exactly following. "Okay... So Renala said that the program you used to talk with your step-mom was sending shit continuously." he repeats with a small nod. "But what was it that caused you to stop talking with her in the first place? To doubt her concerns? Something had to seem off to you if you came to the
Va'ynna nods. "I... started asking questions about it, like if the... trouble here has something to do with it, but... her answers seemed evasive, and... without the... certainty she usually has about her." She pauses, letting out a small sigh. "I... also started asking about... the danger I was in, and didn't get any... clear answers, and then we spoke... less and less until... we just didn't anymore." She
shakes her head. "Think about it, Jason, if... D'Inea's enemies can find her, then... I would be a thousand times easier to find, and... they probably don't need... blackmail here."
Jason gives a few small nods. Va'ynna doesn't have any convincing to do. If people were after her, it's likely they would've found her by now if she did so little to try and prevent anyone from tracking her down. Of course saying that aloud would do little other than further stressing her out. "So she was full of shit about you being in danger." he agrees, drawing in a deep sigh. He shifts a bit atop his desk, bringing his
forearms to rest on his legs as he leans forward. "I'm not sure what to make of this, V." he admits with a shrug. "I mean, you obviously trusted her enough at the time to hop on a ship and come all the way out here, right? But she didn't tell you how you were in danger outside of some vague threat about blackmail? And blackmail about what? Blackmail isn't exactly the sort of thing you can threaten without something to
actually, you know, blackmail about." He gives a number of shakes of his head, "...I'm sorry, V. I'm trying, but I feel like I'm missing something here." He gives an apologetic tilt of his head, worried his confusion may be mistaken as pointed questioning, "...And why come clean about all of this now...? Did something happen...?"
Va'ynna pulls the datapad closer as she listens to him speak. "Nothing has happened, I just... wanted you to know too since I've told Victoria, and... I've been meaning to for a while," she says before letting out a sigh. "But... I shouldn't have, not now, I haven't even gotten a chance to ask you... how you're holding up since you came back, about Li... and Ilyna, and now you also have this to think about." she
says. Va'ynna stands up, still holding the datapad. "How about... we assemble this together, and... let this be for now?"
Jason is quick to wave off Va'ynna's worries when she brings up. "I'm-... it's fine, V. We're fine. Me, Ilyna, Li-... Just-..." he gives a sigh, forcing a smile into place as a tired chuckle escapes, "...It's always something, you know?" His gaze lowers to the half assembled shelf as his thoughts fall to Ilyna. "I appreciate you telling me, though." he says as he turns his attention back to the asari with a nod. "Not sure what
to make of it yet, but I appreciate it... Might be something worth bringing up to Aylena the next time I see her." he muses. He scoots off the edge of the desk and gives Va'ynna a brief pat on the shoulder. "Tell you what: How about you send over whatever you've got on your step-mom to my omni-tool? Name, contact details, last known address-... whatever you've can? I'm gonna step out and make a call real quick-..." he thumbs
towards the door, "...Told Ilyna I'd give her a call. Then, as soon as I get back, you can give me a hand with this thing so I don't end up booting it out the window?" His smirk grows a bit more sincere and he adds with a shrug, "...Then maybe we can get a bite to eat or something. My treat."
Va'ynna lets out a sigh of relief when she hears they're all fine. The request catches her off guard, and she doesn't answer it right away. "The... program was her contact information," she says, "but... I'll send you what I have." She opens her mouth to add something, but she refrains; she wanted to leave this be after all.
"Sounds good," she says. "And tell them... I would like to see them soon." She then turns her attention to the instructions on the datapad, studying them to be at least a little prepared when Jason returns.
Jason gives a wink. "You got it, V." he says as he scoops his omni-tool up from the floor and steps out into the hall, already bringing Ilyna's contact info up. Va'ynna's family having some sort of involvement or connection to Aylena's troubles is just one more thing to put in the shoebox labeled 'Shit to untangle'. Add it to the pile. At least he has good news for Ilyna. Sort of. Better than it could have been. Recent revelations
are sure to cause tension between Ilyna and Vasquez, but there's an upside: At least it's out in the open. He's no longer keeping it from the woman he loves. And, the cherry on top, was the Confetti Maker wasn't within arm's reach when they told her. Yeah... Gotta take wins wherever he can get them at this point.