This Too Shall Pass 3 4 20

[14:25] <Vera> …She had to get this out of the way eventually, it seemed. The two teams were there, in quarters, and she decided, given the nature of the investigation, tackling the UEF's team first sounded the most logical.
[14:57] <Minaplo> [They assembled in a conference room, sitting around a table: Mr. Blue, leaning back in his chair with an idle look on his face; John Brown, arms foled on the desktop; Medea, sitting still, one leg folded over the other, her hands in her lap; Emily Unaipon, absorbed in a tablet; and the Brofessor, fidgetting endlessly, his gaze firmly on Emily's tablet.]
[15:24] <Vera> And there Vera was, sitting on the other end. "…Now. This won't be anything overly awkward-" Knowing glance to BROFESSOR. "-but I'm going to be briefing each team separately, and maybe getting a bit of extra talk to sort out talents, abilities, and agendas. …But. I'd like to ask you not speak of anything imprudent to speak, to the UN team." Beat. "…And to note that this branch of the
[15:24] <Vera> Brazilian Armed Forces, and more importantly me personally, do not necessarily represent in totality the interests of the civilian government of Brazil et cetera et cetera." She let that hang, figuring the disclaimer would at least catch attention.
[15:32] <Minaplo> ["Righto." Said Brown. "Won't be to hard to remember, eh?" He leaned forward.-
[15:33] <Minaplo> [Emily put away her tablet; the Brofessor now had to content himself with eyeing a point of space just off Vera's right shoulder.-
[15:33] <Minaplo> ["We're listenin'." Said Blue.]
[15:38] <Vera> "I'll make the summary quick, because there's a reason for that evasiveness." Vera opened a file folder and slid it onto the table, open. It was a full documentation of the actual particulars of the Campo Grande attack. Timing, location of blast epicentre, comparative maps of the area both under and above ground… but no /conclusions/. "This is the raw data on the attack. Whomever's most
[15:38] <Vera> apt at reading it, please do so, with an eye for anything unusual." …So she might be attempting pseudo-Socratic induction.
[15:41] <Minaplo> [They glanced around at each other.-
[15:42] <Minaplo> [After a second, Brown slid it towards the Brofessor, who reluctantly took it.-
[15:53] <Minaplo> ["…" He quirked a vivid red eyebrow. "Assuming this data is correct, this suggests the explosion came not from a missile, but from a planted explosive buried below the city."-
[15:53] <Minaplo> ["Yet even regional cities have at least rudimentary magnetic sensors. You should've been detecting the magnetic containment field long before it even entered the city."]
[15:54] * Vera nodded. "So. How then, could it get in there?"
[15:55] <Minaplo> ["You checked your satellites?" Asked Brown. "Maybe some bastard turned 'em off first."-
[15:55] <Minaplo> ["Even so, who here's actually seen an N2 mine?" Asked Blue. "Raise your hand."-
[15:55] <Minaplo> [Blue lifted his hand in the air; no one else did.-
[15:57] <Minaplo> ["Oh? You guys ain't? That's a shame." He said mockingly. He turned toward Vera. "Once stopped an N2 mine from wipin' out a shantytown. It was totally great."-
[15:57] <Minaplo> [The Brofessor rolled his eyes; Medea simply smirked.-
[15:57] <Minaplo> ["Go on, then." Said Brown.-
[16:28] <Minaplo> ["Well, N2 bombs ain't a thing you put in your pocket or strap to your chest." Said Blue. "They're honkin' big things, hard to sneak in without a super-heavy duty truck of some kind."]
[16:29] * Vera once again nodded, starting to smile. …Leadingly. "Now check those subterranean blueprints a bit more closely. Notice anything about the epicentre chamber? …Even if Dear Blue seems to already have."
[16:34] <Minaplo> [The Brofessor peered down at it.-
[16:34] <Minaplo> ["… The passageways are too small."]
[16:37] <Vera> "So that leaves what method of insertion?"
[16:38] <Minaplo> ["Dirac." Said Emily; at the same time, Blue said "Gradual."]
[16:44] * Vera nodded. "Both good answers. Now I can quit with the Socraticism and get to the point." She gestured at the subterrane. "That. Is a clandestine military post, with not insignificant Telepatica presence - that is to say, Iron Guard Apostles all trained in telepathic abilities. The troubling nature of gradual insertion would be that the infiltration was rather complete, especially with
[16:44] * Vera the potential delivery of the antimatter payload - or god forbid, on-site generation. Right now we're pursuing Dirac insertion as the idea. …Save that we ran into a bit of a snag early into the investigation. Namely… Well okay, I'll oblige Socrates again. What are the usual limitations of a Dirac Jaunt?"
[16:52] <Minaplo> ["Margin of error." Said Emily. "Most jumps end up around the intended point, not directly on it."-
[16:53] <Minaplo> ["Yet this jump was smack-bang on target." Said Brown.-
[16:59] <Minaplo> ["Pinpoint jaunts are possible, but only for the very powerful." Said Emily. "It's… Rare."]
[17:03] * Vera nodded yet again. "…We worked out that the best candidates for that type of Jaunt are: An Angel. MAYBE a Brother - there's so little known about them - or…" She paused. "A Solomon Prime. Now do you understand why I stressed keeping this quiet?"
[17:04] <Minaplo> [The five of them glanced at each other. Brown frowned a little; nothing was said.-
[17:04] <Minaplo> [Eventually Blue turned back toward Vera. "Yep."]
[17:09] * Vera nodded. "So unless we can figure out a plausible setup for gradual assembly - which we're still keeping on the table without something more damning to /prove/ the theory - we're… pretty much looking at UN involvement at the blackest level as a real possibility." She sighed. "They have motive, even if there's problems with the social matters. …Said social matters being part of
[17:09] * Vera what you /and/ the UN team's jobs might well be."
[17:15] <Minaplo> ["Oh?" Asked Blue.]
[17:19] <Vera> "Simply, we've had previous issues and infiltrations. Linked to an ex-LN warlord with a unique mind-control power who used it to compromise our security and kidnap a key officer." She frowned. "A warlord who has ties with Colombia, but also no love for the UN. Paladin Konstantina."
[17:19] * Vera paused, realizing she missed something. "…And that it's likely she would be a good source for the intel necessary to the attack."
[17:24] <Minaplo> ["Oh yeah, I remember her." Said Blue.-
[17:24] <Minaplo> ["What… Role does she play in this?" Asked Medea.]
[17:29] * Vera folded her arms. "Essentially, twofold. One, she's the one /known/ documented security breach of our organization, since she had managed to compromise with her power, one of our own Apostles… who then used it to facilitate the kidnapping. So it's likely that as that breach, she has the intel to know many little details in the attack - like how it was timed to avoid our Telepatica
[17:29] * Vera reporting schedule, targeted not only a city but one of our facilities, and was essentially overly perfect in such a way that only our organization could, in all of Brazil, possibly be working on the problem. The other… is, well. That level of vehemence would suggest a connection between the kidnapping and the attack, as some form of serial escalation. But… Keep in mind." Vera added.
[17:29] * Vera "Where you and your counterparts would come in is infiltration to get more conclusive data, anyway. This is very much a case of limited solid leads that we can plausibly act on."
[17:36] <Minaplo> ["Fair enough, love." Said Brown. "You point us and we'll go."-
[17:38] <Minaplo> ["Or refuse, if the idea's really stupid…" Added Blue.]
[17:39] * Vera …smirked. "But is it, Ser Azul?"
[17:41] <Minaplo> ["Well, yer overall strategic thinkin' seems fine, but like… If the plan involves me to work closely with a Witch that might have problems, y'know?"]
[17:45] <Vera> "Yes… there is that." Vera said. "I imagine I will come up with additional tasks. Investigating other warlords in the area. Doing follow-up due diligence on sourcing for the N2 Device. To try to keep… ah, uncooperative elements out of contact with each other without letting them sit idle." She shook her head. "Besides, not all of you even have remotely the right skillset for that. Ms.
[17:45] <Vera> Unaipon, for example, is more likely to be working with our R&D division on further analysis of the deployment, possible feasible means of entry, AT manipulation, all of that."
[17:50] <Minaplo> [Emily beamed and waved.-
[17:50] <Minaplo> [Medea chuckled.-
[17:50] <Minaplo> ["Yep, about right. Just one question." Said Blue.]
[17:55] <Vera> "Ask." Was the concise and ready answer.
[17:56] <Minaplo> ["How're you gonna broach the topic of suspicion to the UN folks?"]
[18:02] * Vera drooped. She somehow knew that'd come up, but… "I don't completely know. I simply cannot just present the data and /not/ get that conclusion as long as a Dirac Jaunt is on the table. But it'd be a horrendously /stupid/ thing to baldly say, just as well." She sighed. "Maybe I can have myself and my staff feign ignorance of Solomon Primes or at least their capabilities."
[18:17] <Minaplo> ["That's probably clever." Said Blue. "… Actually, how do you know about Solomon Primes?"]
[18:20] <Vera> "…How familiar are you with the names 'Barzilai Surov' and 'Sarasvati'?" She knew the answer. But she couldn't break the habit.
[18:35] <Minaplo> ["Cute."]
[18:36] <Vera> "Yeah, her other dad works for us." Vera just openly said.
[18:42] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[18:42] <Minaplo> ["There's… Another dad?" Asked Blue slowly.]
[18:47] <Vera> "Yes. Dr. Achille Albert Adler." Beat. "…He also uh. Hits on anyone with a reasonable IQ. Regardless of /anything else/." Vera knew full well what that implied.
[18:51] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[18:51] <Minaplo> [Blue's face suddenly lit up like a christmas tree. "Oh my god."-
[18:51] <Minaplo> ["…" Medea sighed.-
[18:51] <Minaplo> ["Surov had a lover and they made a robot baby." Said Blue, a wide grin spreading across his face. "This is golden."]
[19:15] * Vera eventually nodded, scratching the back of her neck. "Adler is a bit insistent. Surov can't stand his romantic overtures, if I recall."
[19:18] <Minaplo> ["I'm gonna have so much fun when I get back."-
[19:19] <Minaplo> ["Don't forget, Blue," Said Medea slowly, "… That if he's really Sarasvati's parent then he should know what happened to her."-
[19:19] <Minaplo> ["Hrm."]
[19:19] * Vera …turned her head. "…I don't mean to pry, but I presume something bad?"
[19:25] <Minaplo> ["Yeah," Said Emily at the same time Blue said "Nope."-
[19:25] <Minaplo> ["It's nothing." He added quickly, shooting Emily a dark look. "We heard about it after we left, so we don't know all the details, it's fine."]
[19:34] * Vera folded her arms. "I /did/ say I didn't mean to pry…" She wasn't mad, though.
[19:34] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh."]
[19:36] * Vera nodded. "So I can leave it at that. Adler might deserve to know, but I don't need to inquire further, save that I do wish her a good recovery from any bad thing that she may or may not have experienced."
[19:43] <Minaplo> ["Well that's very kind of you." Said Blue with a bow.]
[19:49] * Vera bowed her head, likewise. "And thank you for recognizing it."
[20:03] <Minaplo> ["Righto. What else we got to cover here then?" Asked Brown.]
[20:15] <Vera> "Well, I think maybe we should review duty rosters for the initial plans. I think…" …And so assignments were dished out, set and argued over, time and time again. Sooner rather than later, Vera would leave…

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