She Said Probably Spec Ops

[18:28] <Sept> His journey this time was a very purposeful one, with no detours. He was here for important work, and he had to bring Yanmei's share of professionality to the table as well. Sera knocked firmly on Jeanne Simon's door.
[18:31] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Come in."
[18:32] * Sept did. "Hello, Jeanne. Everything ready?"
[18:36] * Jeanne`Simon was sitting up straight today. She had a computer open- her personal laptop, which was small and black; she’d pushed it over to one side of her desk. The lighting on her roof was unusual today; although the light it gave off was the same, there was a small blinking red light flickering amongst them as well. "Yes, you're just in time."
[18:39] * Sept clearly appreciated his professionalism being noticed. "Good!" He took a quick glance around the room and sat down. "Where do we start?"
[18:39] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Well…"-
[18:40] <Jeanne`Simon> [The red light flickered once more before broadcasting a holographic image into a space directly behind Sept; when he turned around he’d see Tokyo-2 Branch's Head of Security, Misaki Kirihara. "Everything seems to work. Hello, Miss Simon, Mr. de Pteres."-
[18:41] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Hello, Kirihara."
[18:47] <Sept> "Ah. Hello. Call me Sera." He turned to Simon. "A friend?"
[18:55] <Jeanne`Simon> "This is Misaki Kirihara, head of Security in Tokyo-2."-
[18:55] <Jeanne`Simon> [Kirihara bowed. "A pleasure to meet you, Sera."]
[18:56] <Sept> "Oh. Likewise, Misaki. I’m sure we'll figure this out in no time with the three of us."
[18:57] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["…" Kirihara glanced helplessly up at Jeanne, who shrugged in return.-
[18:59] <Jeanne`Simon> "So. How much about the attack on the Palace have you been told?"
[19:01] <Sept> "Not much. Silas, a sniper, a lot of chaos… But a lot probably happened before all that, right? Who and how many were they, and how did they get there?"
[19:28] <Jeanne`Simon> "As far as we can tell, the definitive start of this situation begins at 5:32 PM, at Paris-2’s south side. A mild power surge disabled our surveillance cameras in the area for exactly nine minutes and forty-two seconds. I became suspicious and sent several teams of Agents to the area to watch for any suspicious individuals. According to them, they saw no one who warranted suspicion. At 6:44 PM, Mana Kirishima at the Superheavy Headquarters sounded an alarm, stating that she'd encountered a suspicious individual. Finally, at 7:09 PM, Silas Caine and what appears to be a squad of fighters belonging to the Covenant of Light terrorist organisation launched an attack on the Palace, starting with a bomb blast caused by Silas himself, who infiltrated under the identity of a wealthy Swiss socialite family's son. The blast disrupted the Presidential Guards' cohesiveness, making them unable to respond for roughly four or five minutes. The Covenant attackers then targeted certain individuals amidst the partygoers, including several important government officials and industrial leaders. Most notably, the chairman of the board of the New Thruster Unity Project Corp was killed, as was the CEO of Rheinmetal AG. Both companies are suppliers of NERV, and indeed the former is an amalgamation of all the Unity Initiative companies NERV bought out when the Initiative collapsed. Both companies are also leading suppliers of the UN forces. The Indostralian Ambassador was also injured. The attackers dispersed at 7:18 PM, fleeing in all directions. We caught a few, but not all. Finally, at some point past 7:50 PM, we believe Silas Caine visited Edgar Chevalier. There were no signs of a struggle, so we have to assume he went willingly."
[19:30] <Sept> "Hmmm. First of all. He visited Edgar at his place?"
[19:31] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Yes, that’s correct."
[19:37] <Sept> "I'd like to check it out myself, later. But for now… I think we can conclude Azariah's trying to scare away our resources specifically, beyond simple terror strikes at the heart of Paris. Are we following Dyse Industries, Jeanne?"
[19:43] <Jeanne‘Simon> "I concluded the same. And yes, we are, as best that we can. Dyse’s head office and most of its industries are in the south, centred around Lyon and Marseilles. Although investigating those places is easy enough for NERV, we haven't found anything. I think the best we can assume is that if Dyse -is- on Azariah's side, most of the people working there don't realise it. It'd be the leadership, mostly. And we've been observing the factories- no Thruster Solaces there."
[19:46] <Sept> "Right. I guess they don't really need them outside their continent yet, then. Or they're really well hidden. A lot of space underground, after all. Did we get anything out of the Covenant members we caught?"
[19:48] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Out of the four we got, three of them remain tight-lipped. The fourth doesn’t know anything we haven't already figured out."
[19:49] <Sept> "Can we keep them? Might be useful in the future."
[19:50] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Of course. The only other choice we have is to execute them, but for now we’re treating them as prisoners of war, so they're protected by law."
[19:53] <Sept> "I was afraid Mortimer might want to lay claim to them or something. Oh… can I assume we got a picture of Silas? Does it match the older ones we have?"
[20:01] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Strictly speaking, it doesn’t, because the last pictures we had of Silas Caine were when he was a preteen. Remember, he died when he was nine." Said Jeanne patiently. "However, a moment with the right tools, and we get…" She turned her laptop around. Three images lay on the top- one of a young boy with blue eyes and blonde hair. The second was a CG image of that boy's face, aged up to 16; finally, there was a grainy surveillance picture of the one calling himself Silas Caine. The hair was different, but the face was very similar.-
[20:01] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["They aged up the clone, huh?" Asked Kirihara.-
[20:01] <Jeanne`Simon> "Seems like it."
[20:09] * Sept inspected the images closely for a while. "At least they don’t have to use someone else for the job now. Though I can't imagine he'd really want that done to himself, either." He leaned back. "If they all split up, it'd be way too difficult to follow them. Anything I forgot? There was no indication of them targeting Yanmei over the corporate names, right?"
[20:10] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Not as far as we can see. Yanmei herself was uninjured, and the sniper who tried to kill Committee Member de Orleans aimed for him over her."
[20:18] <Sept> "Mmh. Shall we move on to the next case, then? Did we ever find out anything new about the sabotage? It still seems like such a futile endeavour, more like a prank than the other ones."
[20:19] <Jeanne`Simon> "Yes, that’s what I thought. It's… Odd." Muttered Jeanne. "The location of the bomb was in such a place that any damage it could do would be limited. Honestly, there's no reason why they couldn't have just strapped the bomb to the Entry Plug and killed Yanmei immediately."-
[20:19] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["It could be there to send a message." Said Kirihara helpfully. "’You aren't safe from us even in your Eva, so you should give up'."]
[20:26] <Sept> "If they wanted to send that message, but were still afraid of the repercussions if we failed to repel the attack here… It makes sense, but it still feels wrong. Like trying to put together pieces that are all from different puzzles."
[20:27] * Jeanne‘Simon nodded slowly. "You feel as though the sabotage attempt was from someone else?"
[20:28] * Sept frowned to himself. "It’d be easier for us if it was all linked, but… considering the amount of players involved, we can't assume that."
[20:28] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["There isn’t a lot of information on the sabotage, is there?"-
[20:28] <Jeanne‘Simon> "No, there isn’t. Not enough to prove anything one way or another."
[20:35] <Sept> "Inside jobs tend to be like that. If we could chase leads on it and close gaps in security, it'd be useless as a deterrent. Now. Sorry for keeping you with the briefings, Misaki. Let's move on to the Tokyo shooting."
[20:36] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["You want to know the full details?" Asked Kirihara curiously.]
[20:38] * Sept nodded. "A lot has happened since Christmas. I’m sure a recap will be in order before we do anything else."
[20:59] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["Very well." She stood straight, hands at her side. "At 8:30 PM, Zhang Yanmei and Isaiah Gabriel-Wei left their hotel to attend a Chinese opera at the Tokyo-2 National Opera House. They left at roughly 11:50 PM and made their way to a park to watch the fireworks. There, they talked until 11:59 PM, at which point they embraced. The first shot fired at around that point, hitting Gabriel-Wei in the stomach, the retort of the shot being covered by the fireworks. It was followed by a second shot that hit Gabriel-Wei in the left lung, narrowly missing his heart. The rounds were 7.62*51mm NATO hollow points, often used, appropriately enough, in sniper rifles. The rounds are most commonly available in the European Union, the United States and Japan, which suggests that they were either smuggled into the country from one of those nations, or were bought locally, along with the rifle- although the evidence for such a suggestion is shaky at best. The sniper was perched on the rooftop of a building overlooking the park. By the time we arrived, the sniper was gone, although the building was too high to run down the entire stairwell. It’s probably that the sniper used some kind of harness or rope to hurry down the side."]
[21:05] * Sept looked at Kirihara's posture intently as she spoke. How many times had she given out this summary before? "Was there surveillance in the building or on the surrounding streets?"
[21:06] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["Not in the buildings, as they’re not used. They're sniper perches designed solely for military use in the case of attack. A non-JDF individual shouldn't be able to gain access so easily. We had limited surveillance on the surrounding streets, but it was -incredibly- busy at the time and we saw no one of suspicion."-
[21:06] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Tokyo-2’s a lot harder to monitor than Paris…"
[21:13] <Sept> "Yeah. It's just a giant mess of a city." A quick look at Misaki. "No offense." A moment to regain his composure. "Did the building have fire escapes or anything similar? I'd imagine just scaling the wall of a building out of nowhere would have attracted attention. If we know exactly how they got there, we could find out more about how and where they left."
[21:16] <Jeanne‘Simon> [Kirihara shook her head. "No fire escapes." She frowned. "It was a dark night, though, and most people that were around were busy, so…" She sighed. "It’s not like they could've jumped from rooftop to rooftop. The sniper nest emplacements are higher than any other buildings in jumping range. They'd have to scale up it somehow…"]
[21:21] <Sept> "…" Sera blinked. "Chain link fence at the roof? I saw a lot of those in Tokyo."
[21:22] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["Not this one."]
[21:24] <Sept> "Do we have a picture or layout of it?"
[21:25] <Jeanne`Simon> [Kirihara looked at Jeanne.-
[21:25] * Jeanne`Simon spun her laptop around and tapped a few keys, before turning it around again. There was a map of the area, and of the building in question of course.
[21:38] <Sept> "Hmmmm." Sera pulled the laptop a bit closer. Tap, tap. The picture zoomed in a bit on the part representing the rooftop. "What’s that?" he said, pointing at the markings now in the middle of the screen. It was located some way from the middle of the roof, however.
[21:39] <Jeanne‘Simon> [Kirihara bent a little peering at it. "Disguise. It’s an antenna, but it's not hooked up to anything- just a dud to disguise its nature."]
[21:44] <Sept> "You could scale the wall with that. It wouldn't be as sturdy as a fence, but it could probably support a person, couldn't it? If they used it, we know which way they escaped."
[21:45] <Jeanne‘Simon> "The person would have to be pretty light."-
[21:45] <Jeanne`Simon> ["I do think you’re right, though." Said Kirihara, nodding.]
[21:50] <Sept> "As far as we can tell, they would only have needed the weapon, and whatever they climbed with. If they came from the neighbouring roof, they wouldn't even need that much rope. Or cable. And if I'm reading this right… the differences in elevation aren't so large that it'd block out the antenna. With a line of sight… you could just shoot the rope over, and be done with it in a few minutes,
[21:50] <Sept> at most."
[21:51] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Hurm. They’d have to be an experienced climber, at least. Probably spec ops…"
[19:50] * Sept nodded. "But that doesn't really shorten the list of suspects. Silas would have no problem with something like that, and… I'm sure if you gave me a week, Anselme could manage it. But at least it gives us a clue to follow. Maybe if we followed the tracks in that direction, we could get lucky and find security footage of them…"
[19:52] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["I’ve already tried my luck with security footage and tracking, but it doesn't show us much. The cameras in the area are all inwardly focused on the crime scene area." Said Kirihara.-
[19:53] * Jeanne‘Simon tapped some keys on her laptop, and an image of the crime scene appeared- a bleeding Isaiah and a desperate, panicky Yanmei covering his body with her own. The picture also showed mostly oblivious crowds, and of course the fireworks.
[19:58] * Sept held his professional expression for a moment… but then slipped. A pensive look, one of regret. He stared at it silently for some time. "It really was a beautiful night." … "I could’ve been there, you know."
[19:58] * Jeanne‘Simon flicked her gaze up at Sept. "There wasn’t anything you could do to stop this."
[20:04] <Sept> "If I'd've been there, taken the second bullet. Maybe both of them, with luck? It would have sent -them- a message. But I was… afraid, like I always am. Barely out of the hospital, and deathly afraid of the streets." He spoke with contempt, now. "I must've been just a few blocks away. I remember the sirens. Of course I would've been at the park watching, but… so weak. Always so fucking
[20:04] <Sept> weak, and Tokyo… I couldn't handle the streets."
[20:09] <Jeanne‘Simon> There was an awkward silence in the room. Kirihara coughed.-
[20:09] <Jeanne`Simon> ["The streets of Tokyo can be, ah, rather harrowing even for normal people…"]
[20:17] <Sept> "I’m sure they can." He wasn't convinced. "Or if I'd run into them before they got in position, or while they were escaping… They were lucky as well as prepared to have missed me."
[20:21] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["You know, I don’t think you ever said you were in the area. I thought you were in the hospital…?" Asked Kirihara.]
[20:27] <Sept> "O-oh, I didn't..? I'm sorry, Misaki, I… sort of half-snuck out, with Rei's help… No one else was there, and I wanted to go. There was no way I'd n-need any further treatment anyway, so… So we spent Christmas with the Akagis and in the evening I went out for some fresh air."
[20:27] <Jeanne‘Simon> ["Fresh air…" Kirihara glanced up at Jeanne suspiciously.-
[20:28] * Jeanne`Simon gave Kirihara a dismissive look. "Rei broke your ribs pretty bad the day before, right?"
[20:29] <Sept> "Y-yeah… you know I don’t like to talk about it…"
[20:29] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Right. Sorry. At least it proves you wouldn’t be able to do any of the stuff needed to climb a building, so…"
[20:31] <Sept> "Mmh. I would've had to stay inside if not for the grapple."
[20:32] <Jeanne‘Simon> "Mmhm. And besides, the doors weren’t opened. So…"-
[20:32] <Jeanne‘Simon> [Kirihara nodded. "Just procedure."]
[20:39] <Sept> "Y-yeah, that’s alright. I'm sorry we didn't find anything new… I thought with the three cases and the three of us, we could. You know. Sleuth it out. The answer has to be somewhere in this mess. We'll find it yet. Thanks for your time, Misaki."
[20:39] <Jeanne`Simon> ["Happy to help."-
[20:40] <Jeanne`Simon> "I might have to call in a few friends to see if they can help. Have a good day, Sera."
[20:40] <Sept> "Yeah. You too, Jeanne." Sera tried to put on a brave smile as he walked out.

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