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Cameron Core Solutions: automated weaponry, military personnel, remote surveillance, security, reconnaissance, training, and logistical support

Episode 00

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#41
CrazyDreamer

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Alexi stopped paying attention to Jo halfway through the greeting as his unofficial feed from convention security—an old NCO friend of his worked for the local planetary forces—dropped a bright red message over his field of vision.

Panic alarm at booth 275. Multiple calls reporting violent display. Subject is not visibly armed; augmentation status unknown.

A red pin-point popped up in his vision, indicating where the panic signal was coming from. As he brought up the virtual keyboard and typed a few commands, blue dots appeared marking the location of all of his friendly forces. They were close to the doors, but security was at least thirty seconds out and Natalya appeared to be in the middle of it.

"Trouble." He pushed an invisible button, sharing his display with the other sari-C-enhanced people at the booth. Then he ducked and rolled under the table to arrive in the aisle and began walking briskly towards the confrontation visible in the distance.

#42
CrazyDreamer

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[OOC: There is some movement in the CCS booth as a reaction to this. I can merge the threads now that we're not having separate conversations, if you like.]

#43
Rallye

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A loud laugh could be heard as Gabe tossed his head back, covering his face. He had taken a shot in the dark and missed big time. This was amusing, but by the sound of the encroaching footsteps, amusement was unilateral. His tone was just loud enough so that the person who stood before him could hear.

“So, you are the help! You should’ve mentioned you were spying so shit wouldn’t have gotten broken, baka.”

By now had moved close enough to detect just the faintest whiff of alcohol emanating. Smelling it on her was like walking past a bread factory. Now he wanted some.

“As for those other services, escort me to the bar and I‘ll be happy to explain.”

Gabe gentlemanly put the crook of his arm out for her to link hers in, but he fully expected it not to go that way, or that he would get away so smoothly. His wicked impulsiveness almost always bit him on the ass.

#44
Hiro Protagonist

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Natalya laughed an explosive, drawn out Russian laugh. "De help!" she chuckled, wiping her eyes. She smirked up at the odd fellow. "I am Natalya Sevatianovna Savitskya. Be lookink me up."

She took a deep breath, to bring her mirth under control. "I am not beink spy. I am needink personal mission equipment, so if you are not mindink, I am finishink my business here, da?"

She ignored the offered elbow and stepped directly into the man's personal space, resting her palms on his chest. The twenty centimeter difference in their heights was a bit much to overcome so she went on tiptoe and whispered, "My needs are beink wery real. Be lookink me up at de booth vhen you are ready to dispense vith de preliminaries." She gave him a light nip low on the side of his neck, the highest she could reach in flats, and dropped back to her heels.

"Now," she said to the Extended Space rep, "I believe you are owink me a quote?"

#45
Rallye

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Da..”

Even before the pheromone-hormone mix could un-betwixt his brain cells, he realized he had done it yet again. His insatiable attraction easily commandeered what little common sense he had rekindled during his months out of the fridge and made him out the fool. At least, that’s what most outside eyes would believe they saw. Small in stature she was, but her aura flame could’ve easily out shined everyone in this complex. He, the ‘poor sap’ was playing the moth long before he entered the building. But this one wasn’t afraid of fire. Warmth, enveloping, inviting. Sometimes, it was good to get burned.

Caught totally off guard, the nip was just enough to make his shoulders twitch. She was a bold one alright, but in his book it wouldn’t have been just otherwise. His stance deviated as fixated eyes watch her frame saunter by. His grin went half-mast as he thought to himself. I really hate sales crap, but it seems my networking still maybe of use. She looks like a drinker, too-- accent a dead giveaway. I might have to rebuild my tolerance from scratch.

His legs started to move towards home booth, shoes still loudly crunching console remnants while his hand idly trifled his collar over that area. ...and, who introduces themselves first, middle, and last name? Her ego might be bigger than mine. As he perched on the stool, he decided that he wasn’t going to bother looking her up. He was perfectly content keeping her womanly mystique intact, but if she really was important it would sift through the cloth sooner or later.

#46
gradius

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Roderick was mostly ignored at the CCS booth. This was normal for him, looking the way he did. Which was just this side of puberty. Often the first remark upon seeing him face to face had been 'Do your parents know that you're out gallivanting the galaxy'. He'd attract a few walk-ins, due to the fact that he was wearing the official jacket and was not occupied. But as soon as whichever potential client caught a glimpse of his face, they'd veer off in another direction. To one of the other booth personnel, if not another booth entirely. It was only mildly off-putting mainly because he'd been dealing with it for so long.

One big advantage however, was the fact that he could slip out of the booth more or less unnoticed. Such as when a scene was starting a bit further off at one of the EX-Gear booths. The downside to that was that people often stepped unknowingly into his path. Which made getting to the booth with the crashed projector problematic.

By the time he made it to the edge of the forming crowd, the situation seemed to have been resolved. Maybe.. the two at the center of attention were.. having a tender moment?

Roderick blinked. Then blinked again. He blinked yet again when he recognized Natalya. And once more when it registered that the other seemed familiar.

#47
CrazyDreamer

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The Extended Space rep arched an eyebrow, but he pulled drew up an itemized estimate with list prices for the three models he sold, average supply and maintenance contract costs, and quantity discount. "We'll need to see End-User Certificates before making an official sale, of course. Actual contract costs will depend on the risk rating for your company; many of our contracts are much better than this." He eyed Gabe, who was clearly not what he thought of as a "low maintenance" customer, given the damage already incurred.

Alexi emerged from the crowd. He had no idea why the rep was drawing up a quote for Natalya, but his eidetic memory had thrown up an ID for the other man in the triangle once he'd forced himself to ignore the coloration and tattoos. He awkwardly grabbed the quote with his left hand as he stepped past the startled rep: "Legal and Risk Management will contact you in the morning." He tucked the paper into his jacket, never taking his eyes off Gabe.

"Natalya, we've got a potential client who wants to meet some of the team; would you speak to Kes back at the booth? Tell her that she and I need to speak to . . . this person." He nodded at Gabe.

#48
Rallye

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The booth seat was remarkably uncomfortable, and making faces at Mack while he was knee-deep in panderage for the business class upper crust wasn't nearly as entertaining as he remembered. He looked older, more straight line and even more subdued than before, if that was possible. He wondered what catching up to him would be like. Pulling teeth? Or would he reveal more Hedonist nature? He was quite the bore before, but for what it was worth, Mack did keep him from murdering his commanding officer on Tatsu.

As he shifted his gaze, he saw another man standing next to Nat by the booth. He looked a tad flustered, and he was leering straight back at Gabe. He returned the same look a seventh grader would give his math homework. What now? Who’s he supposed to be, the Gestapo?

#49
Hiro Protagonist

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Natalya smiled the thin smile of a woman whose fun has been spoiled. "Mne pó figu," she said, with a wave.

She snagged her quote from Alexi's pocket, in passing. "Later," she told the man, in a voice pitched for his ears, alone.

She didn't exactly bounce back to the CCS booth, but her stride wasn't that of a woman who'd just narrowly missed being at the center of a highly trained brawl. In fact, the woman who arrived at the booth gave no indication that she was the same one who had been a part of the recent drama. Anyone who'd know the young, dour, rookie Spacy pilot she'd been years before would have been shocked. Anyone who had worked with her over the last year had long since recognized her mercurial nature.

"Kes, deh oldt man is vanting you to be helpink him talk to dat psikh," Natalya gestured in Gabe's general direction. "He is also sayink ve hawe a client meetink? Vhen? Vhere? And did anyvon tell Olga?"

#50
schanze

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"Meeting?"

Kes checked the time on a display only she could see and let out a string of Zentradi curses.

"In 30 seconds. Secure Room 3. Nat, Rod, Mack. Let's go!"

Alexi: we have a client meeting in under a minute. You're on your own. Make sure no one steals the booth.

Dwer: Client meeting NOW in Secure Room 3. I've put the directions from your location in this message. Try to get there if you can.

#51
jester

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Mack's implant flashed up the location of Secure Room 3, and he nodded to Kes. He had to focus on the walk to make sure he didn't get side tracked by the bright shiny objects and people.

#52
CrazyDreamer

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Alexi trailed "Gabe" back to the CCS booth, annoyed that Natalya had taken purchasing paperwork away from him. She could buy anything she wanted—if she could produce a credible end-user certificate acceptable to a highly-regulated arms manufacturer, at any rate—but that didn't mean that Frederik L. Russo, CCS's Operations Director, or Ellar Hede, Gulg Boa, and Victor Maryiam, his Managers for Procurement, Engineering, and Logistics, would let one of the ops units make a major change to their operational capabilities and support needs without approval or oversight . . . the sort of approval and oversight that it was Alexi's job to facilitate. This, in turn, brought up the question of whether Alexi was obliged to facilitate someone else going off and making these choices on their own.

He gave an inward sigh. There were no good answers; might as well wait and see if Natalya could even convince the manufacturer to sell to her.

They had reached the booth; Shin was there and had opened a gap in the tables for them to squeeze through. Alexi did so and assumed his seat off to the side again, gesturing for "Gabe" to join him. Shin immediately produced another chair, then disappeared.

#53
Rallye

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Gabe didn’t immediately stand when he was summoned behind the booth. In fact, breaking that display had been satisfying but it made him aware of his hunger. When he finally did decide to stand, he faced the hall down where the vending machines were, the direct opposite direction of where the man was gesturing to him. He could’ve blown him off, but a small twinge in his ass called responsibility reminded him that this could be important. So after several long seconds, he picked up the stool he was using and made his way between the tables.

‘Clunk!’

The noise of the stool legs against the floor was enough to make passersby freeze for a moment. The stool was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as the disadvantage of sitting down. He has positioned himself where surprises would be difficult, and enough room around just in case he had to use his seat as a projectile. His subconscious still hadn't adjusted from his stint on Merkuria.

Moving his sepia locks out of his face, he impatiently waited for the guy to speak.

#54
CrazyDreamer

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"Well. First you scare my ground crews, then you go and get captured and I have to convince the brass that a rescue operation falls within standing orders and throw my off-the-books counterintel unit into harms way, and then you get disappeared into a 'private care facility' and are never heard from again . . . until now. Looking like someone rolled you in cuttlefish ink and baked it in. And causing yet more trouble for me. And yet, the only reason you're not being dragged off by the local constabulary is that I've got a friend in the security for this place. Why should I tell them to keep holding back?"

#55
Rallye

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Inhaling, he took a deep breath as he raised his chin, again brushing his deep brown locks from his eyes. This person's rhetoric had completely changed the atmosphere between them, and if a man is really defined by the footsteps behind him, than this showcase was mere trifle. This person seemed to know who he was, and if so, he very well knew the comparison was very much unappreciated. Spacy. Monkeys, the lot of them.

"Because you value your life. If this gapped intellegence you seem to wholly pride yourself in is accurate and you know who I am, there is no need for me to posture. Seppie Nere alla Veneziana. You should try it if your tastes ever catch up to the evolutionary chain."

He slowly folds his arms, tilting the stool onto two legs.

"Now, if your finished bitching about your job..."

#56
CrazyDreamer

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"I believe that's simmered rather than baked, but I take your point.

"So. I'm never finished bitching about my job, as you would know if you'd ever stooped so low as to talk to me, but I've made my point: You're more trouble than you're worth.

"What are you going to do next? Fight security in a room full of arms vendors and mercenaries looking to show off? Get the hell out of my life and hope I let you go quietly? Or expect that now that you've both caused trouble for me and insulted me enough I will, naturally, feel so grateful to you that I offer you the job you were pretending to have earlier?"

#57
Rallye

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'Ssckreeeuunnn!'

The stool churned as he it was dragged behind Gabe, reducing the distance between him and the man to a mere, excruciatingly uncomfortable inches. Slowing the chew of his gum, he leaned towards the man's face, his gaze equaling the one his was receiving. He could tell that this man was no fool and was willing to weave that overhead crushing rock called leverage. It had been a while since he'd met someone who talked back and was able to keep his skull in one piece, besides his brothers. Way out of his field, in the normalcy nearly everyone called life, he was at a disadvantage and this man had something that he needed to restore a sense of balance to his life--- employment. But not just that--- doing what he knew best.

He did his best to retract his temperament and put it in a bucket with some ice. Trying to be the blade of grass instead of the tree. Besides, he had lobbed the insults first. I was just returning the favor, asshole.

"Enough with the questions, just tell me what you want from me."

I'm tired of fucking lonely businesswomen.

#58
CrazyDreamer

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Alexi was silent for a few moments. The man in the chair opposite did have a point; Alexi had grabbed him without a clear goal in mind, assuming one would come to him after some conversation.

Well, so much for that theory.

". . . Good point. My job is to facilitate certain things for the rest of the team, and you're as much their problem as mine, so let's see what they have to say about the prodigal son, shall we?" He made a couple of gestures and then began typing on air. After a few moments he stopped, message apparently complete. "They'll be here momentarily."

#59
schanze

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Kes walked up on Alexi's right four minutes later. She was unhappy with the sudden summons, even less now that she could see the "prodigal."

She sized up his demeanor and posture. He wasn't familiar though she recognized his type.

Kes leaned towards Alexi, her eyes still on Gabe. "One of yours?"

#60
Rivel

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It took a little prodding to get Quola up again, and a bit more prodding to get mobile, but after she excused herself to use the restroom, Nick got the little message.

He forwarded it to Quola, letting her know where he was, and then headed to the hall. He was glad he'd had some time to rest and cool down, and he was no longer sweating. He wasn't exactly sure what he was looking at when he got there, though. Tension, clearly. A problem? Maybe. But who was this guy and what did he have to do with the rest of this rag-tag group, and was there going to be trouble.

"So!" Nick said, and leaned next to the two of them, neatly orthogonal to the laser-like intensity passing between their eyes. "Are you part of this little group, too?" he asked, playing dumb, "I'm sort of the odd man out, so sorry that we've not already met. I'm Nick," he said, and extended a hand. Clearly a forced gesture to diffuse hostilities, but genuinely friendly in intent and it seemed almost unthinkable to take him up on it. Having Nick's attention on you was like basking in the warmth of a tiny star.





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