Three Days Earlier
Engineering Bay, Past Most Folks Bedtime
The dim lighting within the engineering bay gave soft illumination to the bay, and all was quiet except one man carefully working tirelessly on a MINDY unit. Royce lifted and lowered the unit’s arm, testing it’s mobility, his gaze steady as he watched and felt it’s movements within his own grasp. It still needed some tuning, he thought all to himself, then reaching towards a small table on wheels next to him he retrieved an instrument that looked something of a mix between dull screwdriver with a long needle attached just above the base. Tilting his head back the complete mess of a man dipped forward to work, yet his attention was pulled as soon as a red blinking light caught his gaze, and shortly after a quiet voice came from the device. ”Royce, you have a call.” He shrugged, his messy hair tossed from side to side as he shook his head. ”Later, I go-” The calm female voice of his AI came again, cutting him off.
”It’s Flemly, seems like she’s found you.”
Royce paused, nodding slowly as he clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth for just a moment before all too carefully setting the tool back in it’s place as he heaved a long, frustrated breath from between his lips. The engineer stood, drawing a small circle with his idle steps as he glanced around. ”Bay empty, Slevet?” After a short pause, the voice chimed in again. ”It is, I’ll let you know otherwise.” Royce nodded, and breathed again. ”Alright, put her though then.” A small display unit mounted on the wrist unit he wore with some unremarkable modifications sprang to life, a green light shot out before settling into a multitude of color in a display in front of him.
The wide, holographic display showed the visage of a woman who looked just a touch older than Royce was. A brunette of flowing waves of hair, and the same piercing green eyes Royce was staring at her with. ”You look like complete shit, Royce.” She said with a curious, almost friendly tilt of her head and that knowing smile Royce just loathed. Eyes narrowed in pure annoyance he stared her down from the holographic display. ”How long have you known?” He finally asked. The woman snickered, and rolled her eyes upward all the while twisting a few locks of hair about with an idle finger.
”Longer than you’d like, not as long as I’d like. Look at you though, playing a good little soldier for the Yamatai of all people. If they kn-”
Royce held his hand out before clutching it in a fist and pulling it to his chin. ”Well, what do you want Flem?” He held out his hands in a defeated manner, though the look in his eyes was nothing but pure malice. ”You found me, I’m sure your people were damn proud. So, what do you want?” The woman turned her head and feigned a pouting face, though the irritating smile that followed brought Royce’s blood to a boiling point.
She sighed a bit, and continued playing with her hair as she spoke. ”The installation the Kaiyo is looking for, there’s some files on it that we can’t have getting out and about.” Royce shook his head. ”I’m out, I got out for a reason, and it wasn’t cheap getting set up with a new life, I don’t want you fucking this up for me.” His gaze was steady, and his expression pulled back in calm anger. Flemly shrugged and leaned forward, her own gaze intense. ”You don’t just get out, Royce. Family’s been at this far too long, know too many people and things to be out, and you know that so don’t give me this shit right now. Those documents are important, we’ve got a client who-” Royce cut her off, his head dipped forward, almost spitting the words as he spoke with quick anger on his tongue.
”No, you have clients, I don’t, I just wan-”
His sister jolted forward, her own head twisted in similar anger. ”Listen, this isn’t up for discussion! You’re going to get those damn documents or-” Royce’s lip trembled with anger as he crouched down, the display adjusting to his movements as he did so. His gaze was steady, angry and his voice betrayed his expression rolling from his tongue as soft as possible. ”Listen to me you self entitled, little bitch. You’re only where you are now because I left. I can go back at any time and knock you off your little throne with only a few words to the right people because that’s who I am. I won’t raise my voice, I won’t argue with you.” He nodded to his own words before continuing, his tone calming but . ”Don’t force my hand.” He leaned back a bit, balancing on his toes as he thought to himself, and finally he turned his gaze towards her again. ”What’s in those files? Why is this important enough to reach out to me?” It was as if a calm had washed over him as he spoke again, though the brunette still seemed on edge for just a moment before glancing to the side, then back to him.
”Names, projects, more than that even. I don’t know the details but someone’s willing to pay a lot for it.”
Hearing her say the word someone caused the curious reflex of a raised brow. They dealt in information, knowing the right people to get things done if not able to do it or deal themselves. When they said someone, it generally meant it was important, and names couldn’t be discussed even in private. Royce nodded, his gaze pulled from her for a moment before settling back along with his hands clasping one another in front of him. ”Alright, fine. What am I looking for?” Flemly nodded slowly, the sly smile seemingly wiped from the corners of her mouth before she answered again. ”Observatory is the key word you’ll be searching. You know where to look for the files I’m sure.” Royce sighed, reaching up he scratched at his head, raising his brows slightly as he nodded. ”Yeah, I’ll manage.” Flemly’s expression lightened a bit and she leaned forward, her voice quiet and eyes even soft with emotion. ”Royce, where did we go wrong?” She asked, her eyes moving across her brothers features. Royce stood, brushing his knees off for whatever reason, maybe something idle to do while he thought the question over. Finally looking up he tited his head, his expression almost lifeless. ”Veritas system, about ten years on the coast of..” Royce shook his head. ”Well you remember, don’t you?”
Shaking his head as he reached down, he punched a few buttons the wrist device causing the call to end, and the holographic display to vanish. There was a moment of silence that fell within the bay, and it seemed almost tranquil until finally his AI spoke up again from the same wrist device. ”So, what’s the plan now?” Royce hung his head as he made his way back to the MINDY, his arms folding across the back of his head as he yawned a bit, still having a job to do after all. ”Well, I’m gonna go out there when we find it, and get the information. Now I’m curious, so it’s not for her, but for me.” Taking the MINDY’s arm between his digits he started upon it again with a sort of half smile playing upon the fringes of his lips. ”Still needs to be calibrated..” The engineer muttered to himself.
Four Minutes, Thirty Seven Seconds Ago
Power Armor Bay
Royce ambled into the bay, his attention seemed to be focused on whatever was rattling around inside his mind. He wore his normal attire that looked more at home in a recycling bin than anything else. Strapped at either side was a pair of pistols which his fingers kept tapping against casually as he made his way towards one of the towering suits of armor he had set aside. Looking up at it for a moment he didn’t seem to mind or pay attention to the others in the room with him. With a stretch and yawn he suited himself up, taking a moment to check over the faintly glowing readings from the inside of it the armor before he just waited. He had made preparations for their mission, as well as his own.
Misdirection wasn’t a tool the Yamatai often favored, however, in his eyes it was a force without equal. He’d manage both missions, then decide what he was going to do after he had seen what the Observatory was. Easing his eyes closed and letting his body relax as he waited inside the hulking suit of armor Royce cleared his mind and let the time pass.