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Pieces in Play

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INV ONLY Pieces in Play

Post by Nate6595 May 29th 2022, 4:47 pm

From the illuminated window of the Vigil Gallery, Eli could see into the dark of night that fell upon the street below. The old saying about New York being a city that never slept was only half-true, something that he earned after living in the city most of his life. Sure, heading to the hotspots and nightclubs, there was life, pulsing, thriving in the city. But places like this quiet little section of the city did sleep, or at least most of it did. The street outside his window was dark and still, only the occasional movement from a car and the shadows that wavered in its headlights.

That was all, though. Just quietly resting while the rest of the city thrummed.

It was something he came to like about this part of city. It was out of the way, but not too out of the way. It wasn’t some seedy part of the city where one would expect to find crime, yet it wasn’t in the center spotlight where all eyes would be on you. It was a quiet neighborhood with quiet, simple people. In terms of acting as a cover, it was perfect, but even more than it was just a place that Eli could work without interruption.

His gallery seemed to blend in with the rest of the street. It was obvious, a gallery of photographs by him and others, but it wasn't made to be defensible, it wasn't made with a vast array of secrets and hidden passages or rooms (although there may have been one or two), and it certainly didn't look like the front that a villain would use. It at large display windows in the front, a pair of double doors and a revolving in the center that were only locked with a basic store lock. There was a security system and cameras, but no higher quality than what any gallery might have. It had to be simple, though, anything more than what it was would make it too obvious and bring too much attention to him. It was his little slice of home.  

Slowly, he let his chair spin away from the window so he could once more turn his attention to the work on his desk. Piece, albeit it slowly, were moving. It would be a long while before his plans were realized, but at least things were moving. He just needed a couple more pieces before things would get going. The problem was always as it was, though. Finding the right one? It was rare that the right piece would ever just arrive on his doorstep, no…he could never be so lucky, he would have to search them out, test them, and then move them to where he needed them.

It was exhausting, and it made him want to make like the rest of the street and sleep, and yet there was still so much to do before he could. As he worked, a tired voice from above murmured something and his went up to see the staggering form of Mimi who was making her way to the bathroom. He smiled in that same, thin and sly line that it always made its way into and nodded. “Evening, I'm surprised to see you up.”

There was another murmur and then she was gone into the bathroom, leaving him all to himself. The glow from the computer illuminating his face as once more he began to type away, researching the next phase of the plan. “Who will it be…?” He murmured to himself, letting another breath escape him.
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INV ONLY Re: Pieces in Play

Post by elephantlord May 29th 2022, 10:38 pm

Somewhere in a space beyond time and understanding something moved.  It was an awareness that might consume the world, a will that could extinguish stars, a power to dwarf galaxies.  It did not hate humanity for they were too small to hate.  It acted with goals inscrutable and unknowable, its very being the death of causality.

And it fucking kept interrupting Alexis' morning tea.

Some unknowable thing stirred, and Alexis Ada Lovelace was plucked from her comfortable leather desk chair and deposited without ceremony in a darkly lit office where a man worked at a computer terminal.  

There was no melodramatic expression of power when this happened.  No bright flash of energy, no whiff of sulfurous smoke, no thunderous explosion.  One moment Eli had simply been alone in his office, and the next a tall woman in a dark business suit and with a cup of English breakfast tea was there, sitting across from him with an attaché case at her feet.  She had a half-eaten scone in her hand, which she sedately dipped in the dark liquid.  

"You have the look," the Adjunct began, "of someone that has far too much work and far too little time."  Her teeth tore into the damp crust of her pastry, chewing thoughtfully.  Her voice was pleasant in an inoffensive way, like a news anchor or HR Representative.  It was the kind of voice that could tell you a story about a cat that rescued a little girl and how a common brand of hand sanitizer can kill you.  

She swallowed and flicked a crumb off the corner of her mouth with a manicured nail, sharp and perfect.  A slow smile spread across her lips, and it was the very devil's.  "That happens to be something I can help you with."
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INV ONLY Re: Pieces in Play

Post by Nate6595 June 12th 2022, 4:55 pm

Seemingly, almost to match the lack of display in the power that brought the Adjunct here, Eli didn't react all that much to their arrival. His eyes didn't drift away from his computer monitor, his fingers didn't stop typing, there wasn't even a hint of tension in his shoulders by the sudden intruder into his home. It wasn't that he wasn't surprised, he honestly was...wishing rarely brought anything to reality and to arrive in such a manner was...well, surprising. He just didn't let it touch his face, make it seem as though he had expected or at the very least he couldn't be bothered with unannounced guests.

Slowly, after a moment or two, he stopped typing and looked over to his guest, smiling in a strange way. It wasn't sinister, but it wasn't kind either. It was sly, knowing, a thin mark that traced over his face. With a casualness that betrayed the strange situation that they were both in, he shrugged, folded his hands in his lap, and then leaned back in his chair, leveling his gaze at her. His eyes glowed a faint blue color as he began to try and read her, her powers, her weaknesses, what made her...well, her.

"Too much work with little time? That's most people, I'm afraid, so I am wondering what makes me so special." He remarked in a tone that matched that casual posture. "Of course, to arrive unannounced, without an appointment, or...you know, without anything of a warning to your arrival...that doesn't really set the stage for a good partnership." He opened as hands, as if shooing away the notion, "But I'm not so stuck up. If it is help you're offering, though, there are two things I have to ask." He would pause for a moment, a hand gliding over to the keyboard and being ready to type anything she said, "What's in it for you? And what do you think you can do for me?"
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INV ONLY Re: Pieces in Play

Post by elephantlord June 18th 2022, 11:32 pm

Though Alexis possessed many skills both clerical and technical, the ability to project an air of confidence when she was inwardly having a meltdown was one that she valued most. Her mask had been well-worn lately, but the sessions with her new therapist and the strange shift she had noticed in her own psychology had allowed her to fix it firmly back in place.

Inwardly, however, that meltdown was well in progress.  There was some speculation that Eli might be a metahuman or have some device or artifact that allowed him to compete on that level.  Though Alexis now possessed backing that would make most threats blanche, showing up spontaneously in the middle of the night often got one shot rather than welcomed.

This was not a situation that Alexis relished.  So, she decided to fall back on the old standby of making herself useful.  Not only did it help control her mounting anxiety, but it gave her value to the man in from of her.  A man she was not unfamiliar with.

Eli Vigil had been a name that had been on her desk; scrawled on a note sent to her by an old contact.  She had been resting her elbow on that very note when the transition happened.  Was that some quirk of the teleportation?  Physical contact with an abstract representation of the individual.  That seemed unlikely, considering how previous events had transpired.

Alexis brought the rim of her teacup up to her lips as her perception of time began to slow down.  Each breath Eli drew took an hour, though she was similarly constrained.  The images flickering over her eye, however, were not.  Her mind was spun up to better approach the speed of her computer as information began to spool out.  

The name and physical statistics weren’t anything remarkable. Eli was a fit, young man and rather handsome in Alexis’ opinion.  The relatively spotless record combined with the rumors of association with criminal factions spoke to a person who was careful to keep their record spotless.  Even the city’s District Attorney had a few parking tickets Alexis was aware of.  Had she included him on her ‘team’, she’d recommend a few minor violations to make his record more believable.  

There was the faintest vibration from her briefcase as her computer used her strange connection to access local systems. Raw computation power was pitted against the safeguards Vigil had put in place. Alex began to run through her entire suite of hacking programs as time began to resume its normal flow for her.

By the time she swallowed her next mouthful of warm tea, she was in.  A tiny 8-bit representation of Alexis was sitting in the corner of Eli’s screen, mimicking her motions. A small message box appeared above the tiny avatar.  

...Adjunct Online.
...Good Morning, Mr. Vigil.
...You currently have 2 issues pending.
...
...1.) Zoning Violation
...The number of Fire Exits in the gallery are currently below the minimum required by New York State law.  As it meets the age requirement, an application can be filed to reclassify it as a Historic Building.  This would allow a waver to existing Fire Code regulations to be filed.
...Proceed?
...YES/NO
...
...2.) Hostile Buyout Attempt
...I have found 4 inquiries by a local developer (Marco Flores) regarding current loans, debts, and other financial obligations owed by one Eli Vigil related to this property. He filed an application two days ago to have the building condemned as a public hazard, siting dilapidation and a hazard to public health.  Several monetary payments have been noted being made toward local Health and Safety Inspector, George Nicols, from Flores.  I speculate Nicols will site violations and recommend foreclosure. Flores will then make an offer on the building at below market value. A record of their financial transactions can be made along with an anonymous tip to the Health and Safety Board to halt the investigation.
...Proceed?
...YES/NO


Alexis places the teacup back in its saucer and began to nibble on her scone again, smirking with satisfaction to herself.  Her dimples, deep and lovely, show their full force to him.  “A bit of a flex, I know,” Alexis said, her eyes bright.  “But I’ve had a trying few months and it is good to be able to deal with problems I am familiar with.”

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INV ONLY Re: Pieces in Play

Post by Nate6595 June 26th 2022, 5:01 pm

That faint blue color didn’t so much as flicker as his new guest began to try and work something out. He was still trying to pick up on any abilities and weaknesses he could, trying to know exactly what this person could do. There were special cases where he couldn’t gleam anything, but it was still worth the effort. As it stood, he could only read a few things about her. Either she could move through space unnoticed, through some form of teleportation, or she could move unseen, invisibility or something of the sort. Phasing was also an option, but that didn’t seem likely.

Part of his curiosity was sated, at least, when an image of the woman appeared on his computer. Slowly, he pulled his hand away, and instead watched with a playful nature as the tiny image began to speak. There was a thin smirk on his face as it began to…solve some of his “problems”. If the goal was to impress him that would remain to be seen, if the goal was to give a small display of what she could do, well, it wasn’t the worst. It showed she was willing to work in his favor, which was good, but in the some boat…

He would reserve that thought for later.

He took a long sip from his glass as he watched the tiny avatar work through finding fixes for his problems. Already his mind was working what potential this…being could do for him. There were already a few plans coming together on how he could use that, and then a few other places in different plans he could use an ability like this. His face remained the same, though. A thin, plotting smirk, and a slightly narrowed gaze.

He would wait until she was done with the whole process to turn and properly acknowledge her. “I don’t know if I would call that much of a flex.” He admitted, taking another sip from his glass. “It certainly is a demonstration of what you can do, not everything I am guessing, but it also shows that you are willing to do things in my favor, which, well…I can’t really say no to something like that.” That was a blatant lie. He absolutely could, and he had on several occasions, but it was good to give people slack. “I do actually have some workers coming in to put in the extra fire escape on Tuesday.” He considered, then shook his head, “I’ll probably still keep them on though.”

It couldn’t hurt to have the extra fire escape and it drew less attention. His eyes did flick, for a moment, back to Marco’s name and he couldn’t help but snicker a bit. “And I can’t say you didn’t just save me some time in dealing with him. I had something in store for his plot, but that just made it all the easier. Thank you for that. I appreciate that your demonstration came with a sample of what you could do.” He folded his hands in front of him, no longer focused on typing. Nothing he had to write down would matter if she could see it. The whole point was that he’d delete it afterwards, but if she had access.

In a rhythmic pattern he began to drum some fingers on the desk, thinking. “You still haven’t addressed any of my other questions yet. Why me, first of all? You could help anyone and I am curious to know why you have chosen me. Second, you’ve addressed what you can do for me, but I am guessing we’re moving onto the part of the conversation where you tell me what I can do for you.” He considered for another moment more before going on. There was one more question he had, but it was a debate on whether or not he should ask yet.

He would wait, for now.
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INV ONLY Re: Pieces in Play

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