Late week 51: Open office hours

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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Ace Nizky on Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:04 pm

Ace took Shinobu's surprise at face value. After all that was his exact reaction upon receiving his first mission payout. It was difficult to think that it was only a year ago that he was still being smuggled out of Nevada. A slight nod was his only reply to the thanks. A slight frown to the talk of licences. "Of course, I'll be happy to keep them for you. As he spoke he accessed the World Database and pulled up the licence information of the Agents. "Will you be wanting them for missions or are you going to wait until you have the licences?

"I suppose I'd better ask, do either of you want to leave the Scout powder and combat drugs with me until you are licensed or are you willing to take the risk?"

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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:18 pm

For several moments now, Silvia had been sitting and shaking her head in disbelief. Finally, at Ace's question she managed to muster up a response.

"You take them. I mean...there's plenty here for me. And, the whole anger thing..." she shuffled in her seat, embarrassed all over again. "It wasn't aimed at you. It's just...one of the reasons I left Shinjitsu was because they weren't going to pay me. Well, not what I was owed, anyway. And then I come here and suddenly I'm having money thrown at me like it was nothing." She shrugged, awkwardly. "Kind of strange. Oh, and hi," she added to Shinobu.
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Hugo on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:31 pm

Hugo tilted his head, he was inclined to take the items but... "What is.. 'scout powder'?" His voice was raised in obvious question, and he picked it up so Shinobu could see. "And I haven't done many drugs, either. I mean, maybe.." He looked over to Silvia, who seemed to get worked up so easily. "..No, I don't need the drugs or the.. powder, either." A thought that had slowly been working its way into his head finally hit a brain cell. "Wait, knock out weapons?" He frowned, confusion plain on his face. He glanced at the other two apparently women, and switched to English. "I.. don't have a lot of experience with non-violent weaponry. Certainly not knock-out."
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:22 am

"Hmm. I'll keep hold of those items then. I think I'll take them out of the pack in future if they are going to have this sort of reaction." Ace opened a drawer and deposited the unwanted items within. "Scout powder are nano-robots calibrated to scout an area and send back information on number of people, available items and often a map of the facility. Very useful and difficult to detect." Ace looked to Silvia before adding, "People come to Oracle for all sorts of reasons. Please don't be offended by the money, it's really not as important as people. There is plenty of money in the world, but a shortage of good, dependable people." And another look at Hugo, but this time without a language change. "I hope you learn or have very good target selection skills. I feel quite strongly about not killing people who don't deserve it."


Ace sat up in his chair and took a quiet and deep breath before continuing.
Now I have all of you there were a few things I wanted to discuss, only it seems that not everyone speaks the same languages and that's going to cause issues."
Ace watched the reactions of the lower ranked Agents carefully at his next question.
"Can any of you speak Mandarin?"


Last edited by Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:27 am

In reply to Ace's comments about people and money, Silvia simply nodded, with a slightly sceptical expression. At his question in Mandarin, however, her brows furrowed.

"Yes, I can. But I a bit rusty. I AM a bit rusty. Not been speaking it for a long time. Mostly Spanish. And Japanese is my native."
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Hugo on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:31 am

Hugo, who had never had a shortage of people he trusted but had spent the past six months barely able to afford R-drug, merely raised his eyebrows at Ace. His eyes scanned the non lethal weaponry on the walls... And his face fell as Ace spoke Mandarin. He frowned, looking blankly at the technically higher ranking officer.
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:06 am

Ace sighed deeply at Hugo's reaction to the Mandarin. "Agent Zumisimo, how is it that you have come to work in Seoul with no knowledge of Mandarin? <<Mission critical problem.>> Actually, it doesn't matter. <<Rectifying issue>>"
Using the computer that ran through his body and was controlled by his mind and internal A.I. Ace fired off a message to Abel Lawn, the shopkeeper and roboticist in charge of the Eroz shop in the Exchange. As he did so he remotely started the start-up and safety checks on the Oracle Helicopter parked in the Seaul airport, using his Air Traffic Control licence to ensure he had the next available take-off time. Via air the trip to the office via the Exchange would take a few minutes at most, especially as there were no speed limit restrictions in the sky above the city. The pause for concentration was barely perceivable.
“I’d rather not have to say everything twice if I can get away with it. I’ll get you a Task chip that’ll let you understand Mandarin. Help yourself to any of the information on my desk while I’m gone.”
To the others he spoke “I’m just going to get a Mandarin Task chip for Hugo so we can all communicate in the same language, and to help him during his time in this city. Feel free to read anything on the desk and help yourselves to weapons while I’m out. I won’t be long.”

With that Ace got up, walked around his desk and left the office, leaving a pile of Data pads containing information about previous missions, common knowledge within the company of its member and useful information about the area. He hoped a short break would allow the others to discuss the things he had given them and said and leave them less overwhelmed.
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Hugo on Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:39 pm

"<<Affirmative.>>" Hugo's hand rose in sign, and then kept raising as he put his fingers to his temple as Ace left, eyes turning to watch him. His face took on a pained expression, "Madre de Justicia, but I already signed up for Mandarin classes. I don't need him to go get a process chip. ..I mean, it's not like you can just buy them from a local computer store." He frowned at Silvia, and turned to Shinobu. "Why does everyone give me a hard time for not knowing Mandarin? I signed up for a Mandarin as a second language course already. And Chulo is such a.. hard ass, huh?"

Silvia didn't understand English, but the word Chulo was firmly Spanish, and very definitely meant 'pimp'. It was not a hard leap to figure he was talking about Ace.
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Shinobu on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:51 pm

Yeah, totally. I think he wants to be confident that we're in his corner. Oracle's structure makes it easy for one agent to have a lot of power if they can get a lot of the rest to feel indebted to them. Get your friends to do investigations into a lead you have while you do whatever, submit it as a mission, and get the massive info-finder's bonus for yourself," She paused for a moment, to make sure Hugo was following. "Even putting aside shenanigans like that, a group that's encouraged to be individualistic as much as we are is likely to come to disagreements, and having people on your side makes sure that what you say goes. Elsewhere, rank's important, but here it's all about what you say to people, not what you do. I spoke to Wei Xu, one of Oracle's most experienced agents while he lived, and his words seem to match my suspicions. Ace could be generous, but he seems like a hard man - not the type to give out money like this without another motive. I might be wrong, and if he's listening in then he should know that I hope he's a nice guy but I can't trust someone just because they give me lots of stuff, y'know? That's a beautiful road to take but it only ends in death."

Shinobu turned to Silvia, not wanting her left out of the conspiratorial atmosphere that had suddenly popped up. ""Oracle is a group of individuals that sometimes manages to work as a cohesive whole. If you can contribute towards that, people will either like you or hate you for it. If you don't people won't think of you at all until it goes wrong." Days before his death, I spoke to Wei Xu, one of Oracle's most experienced agents, and that's what he had to say. Ace is probably trying to buy our favour, so to speak. The amount he's throwing at us goes beyond what you'd equip new agents with. We're all new, so we haven't really been influenced by the others yet, and we have a good spread of talents between us. It's no surprise he wants to be able to call on us to help him out, and at the end of the day he'd be the one orchestrating it all and getting the big pay-out. Maybe he really is that generous, but we can't just trust him blindly and assume this is all good faith. He seems too serious, too Federal to give away this much without a tactical plan behind it."
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:53 pm

Silvia nodded to Shinobu, with a slightly disappointed expression. "That sounds right. This...it's just too much. There has to be some sort of motive behind it. And that sounds like a pretty good one." She sighed. "I hate politics."

She turned to Hugo. "Perhaps he has one at home that he used to learn off or something? I mean, I can understand him not wanting to keep switching when he talks to us. He was a bit...abrupt, though."
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Hugo on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:03 pm

"Chulo," Hugo repeated to Silvia, nodding. "They look after you but they slap you as well if you disobey, and they want you to be their bitch and make you do things." The nuke sighed as well, looking at the credit chip in his hand. "There was no contract, though. It's registered to us. They can't take it and he can't use us to make us do things. This money is ours, hermana, he can't own us. I was told there was lots of risk and gain, here, and that I would NOT have a jefe, besides the CEO. I'm tired of bosses."

Hugo, switching easily between languages, sighed deeply again. "Are any of these guns even heavy weapons? I refuse to use anything but a heavy weapon, and I'm not not bringing my gun with me."
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Shinobu on Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:14 pm

"Right. I guess this time, Ace risked and we gained. No obligations, no buying our trust. Politics is a bitch, but we can win if we just stay away from it. We use this money sensibly - cover what we need, instead of splashing out on fancy stuff and finding ourselves leaning on Ace.

Shinobu glanced around at the guns, not particularly interested in them. "If I need to knock someone out, I'll taze them. And my blade has a flat side for a reason. When I carry a gun, I want one that works on anyone, and the Cougar does that fine. I can't see myself using any of these."

Shinobu looked through the agent files, cherishing the valuable extra data on her new colleagues. "Huh, a bunch of these guys live in the HQ of Phoenix Private Security, owned by one Agent Han Ji... including Ace. I wonder if they..." Shinobu's thinking out loud dropped off as a thought struck her - not for the first time, but now with more behind it. "We should buy a house," she suggested to Silvia, a grin on her face. "The three of us should buy a house together. We have money, we're all in the same boat of being new, we get along, and it's much safer than living alone..." she said to Hugo. "We can definitely afford it now, and it's better to be together with a job as dangerous as ours. I don't know about you, but I'd rather stick together than be part of whatever issues the seniors have going. What do you think, Silvia-chan? You up for it, J?"
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Hugo on Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:23 pm

Hugo's brows furrowed at the offer. "I.. Would like that. I am not used to living alone, only..." He trailed off, and looked at his massive hands before setting them in his lap. "People say I am messy and loud. Not me, I mean, I'm not loud, but.. I was planning on getting a guitar soon--" He blinked as his hands closed around the credit chip. "--In a few hours, a very nice big very loud electric guitar, and I was hoping to play with others, and... Silvia, how do you feel about music? Er, live music? Guitars?"

Despite his worries, the more Hugo spoke the more he smiled. He seemed to like this idea.
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:33 pm

At Shinobu's suggestion, Silvia turned a grateful smile on her. "That would be wonderful. I mean, I was worrying about where I might live, and who I might live with, and it would be really great to live with you guys. Especially seeing as Oracle seems quite...political." She turned to Hugo. "I don't really know about guitars. I've never had much of a chance to listen to them." She smiled, shyly. "I wouldn't mind giving it a chance, though. So long as you can cope with lots of sketches."
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Ace Nizky on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:18 am

As the three new Oracle Agents discussed Ace’s political guile and future living plans Ace was outside waiting for a delivery. The three Agents couldn’t hear the sound of the helicopter from inside, due to how quietly the finely tuned engine ran, but they could hear the sound of Ace returning as he walked swiftly down the corridor towards the office. After a moment he walked in, holding a small chip case in one hand. He handed it to Hugo and moved around his desk, sitting down in his chair as before.

I’m sorry for the wait, I didn’t foresee language problems. I’m so used to everyone speaking Mandarin. Put the chip in and give yourself a moment to get used to the language. I’m sure It’ll help you in the city until you learn Mandarin properly yourself.

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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Hugo on Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:27 am

Hugo looked a little guilty when Ace entered, unable to hide his emotions. (Fail L&A roll by 3.) He took the chip and nodded with a brief <<Acknowledged.>>. There was a click and a chilly feeling as cold knowledge flooded into his brain. He blinked a few times, looking around. "Dunno, I..." He focused for a moment. "I've never really been somewhere where I understand the language. ..Huh. .."I don't speak Mandarin." Shit, I've been saying it wrong. Shit! That's how you say 'shit'?" He looked around and then shook his head quickly, realizing he was surrounded by mixed company, and someone who was very much like a superior officer. "Sorry, Sorry... ..I apologize. Never used a language chip before." He looked down, smiling faintly but blushing? slightly.

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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:41 am

Silvia's mouth was hanging slightly open at the sight of Hugo apparently embarrassing himself in front of their superior, and so she attempted to try and extricate him from his verbal hole. Unfortunately, she did this without thinking through how she was going to manage this.

"Um...I think that's only how you say "shit" if you're deliberately trying to insult something - I think most of the time you just say "shit", or sometimes "shit", and...um...there's no actual way of saying it without being insulting at all, but you can just say "shit" and be a little bit insulting, which is probably the thing to do in this situation except for not saying all this stuff and really your Mandarin's fine and...I'll just...shut up now."

By the end of her jumbled pile of inexpert Mandarin, her face was practically glowing with embarrassment and she had slipped down in her seat, apparently unable to look at either Ace or Hugo.
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Ace Nizky on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:29 am

Ace gave a low chuckle at Hugo's response to the chip and the situation before him now.

"It's strange, I know. Don't worry about it. Once you have finished learning the language yourself you won't need it. For the record I try not to say it at all in any way, then there is little of insulting someone."

His visage hardened once again as he sat in his chair. He took deep meditive breaths as he looked at each Agent in turn, before beginning.

"I think I should get to the point. There was something I wanted to tell all of you before you stared your career at Oracle. You have had some time to read over the mission logs, but there is something the logs won't tell you. Over the last year Oracle has had sixteen members, not including yourselves. Of those sixteen one has retired to Vaastag, one has left the company on moral grounds, one has hidden from the world due to grief, four have gone missing and two are dead. As a company we have personally stolen from and annoyed every last one of the major corporations who, I don't need to point out, have considerably greater assets than we do. In part by our actions or lack of action we have directly contributed to the current corporate war. This is the company you are joining. I offer you no opinions on this, just the facts. If you question why I'm giving you so much money and things then you should know that I think you might need it to stay alive. I've been there for both deaths, and I don't want there to be a third."

Ace paused once more, briefly, looking at a point somewhere off to the distance before his gaze faded back in to seeing the people in the room.

"Now, given that, do you have any questions? Anything at all."
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Hugo on Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:22 pm

Hugo didn't look at Silvia, but he smiled a little before Ace talked. His own mouth was still tasting different words, moving his tongue, whispering them to himself even as Ace started talking. At 'retired to Varstagg', though, he quieted, and frowned a little as his apparently superior officer talked.

"Only sixteen? That seems.. small." His internal AI let him know that only 50% of the agents had stayed on after a year. That seemed weird too. He frowned deeper. "And what do you mean by annoyed? <<Requesting Details of Combat.>>"
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Ace Nizky on Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:47 pm

Ace quickly shuffled through the datapads and after a few taps presented Hugo with mission logs for the Invasion of Japan and the destruction of the WFAF drone control centre.

<<As requested. Some information classified>> "A few key missions, although if you read through the reports you will find many more examples."
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Shinobu on Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:35 pm

Surprisingly, Shinobu smiled at Ace's explanation. "Sounds good to me. In a big corp, you have no way of knowing how decisions made by the big shots will affect you, or what intercorporate politics really mean to you. Here, the impact of everything is easier to see, and you can always go talk to the person who caused it. Death's an occupational hazard, and I'll take greater chances of it if it means we can see it coming better. This way I'll at least know why assassins are probably going to kill me in my sleep." Her expression then became more serious - she didn't want Ace thinking she wasn't taking this seriously, after all. "I knew what I was getting into when I signed up, Ace. I'll do all I can to not be the next casualty and to prevent my friends and colleagues dying or going off the rails, trust me... And that includes you, of course. Thank you for the equipment."
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Silvia Tsukuda on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:28 am

Throughout Ace's speech, Silvia had simply listened, nodding in recognition occasionally. "I...thank you for going through that. It's...it's good to have clarification like that. I didn't quite realise how dangerous this was." She hesitated for a moment, her expression uncertain. "I think I can take care of myself, though. And this looks like a corporation where you need to be able to do independent work and...I think I can manage that. I would like to have a look through those files, though." She nodded to the files that Hugo was currently looking at.
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Hugo on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:40 am

Hugo handed over the files after only giving them a cursory glance. "It does seem dangerous.. But I'm more than capable of handling myself, too." <<Causalities SNAFU.>> "I've been itching to get into combat, truth be told. R&D was a bit.. repetitive. And I do appreciate you looking out for us. And the money." The last few words were said with a little repressed smile, as if his enthusiasm was a huge understatement. His face darkened a little, suddenly. "So.. should we prepare for attacks on.. personal time? In the town? Does that happen?"
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Re: Late week 51: Open office hours

Post  Ace Nizky on Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:28 am

"Independence is important, of course, but remember you are part of a Team. Be prepared to offer your expertise if it's called for and be others will give their time in return. That depends on the individual, of course. If you need me to do anything for you, for instance, I'll do my best to fit it in."

Ace's expression hardened once more, the small amount of camaraderie that he was expressing vanished. <<Affirmative. Vigilance required.>>
"Yes. Attacks can occur when you are out and about. Early on Gemini attacked this facility, and the place where some of the Oracle Agents live was infiltrated by an assassin and struck with a mortar. One of my own shuttles was destroyed, although thankfully the pilot escaped.
Those are just the ones I know about. Be careful."

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