Log Title: Jurisdictional Sticky Wickets
Summary: Two GPPI Trackers navigate their respective places in the case. Kagami examines a digital scan of the Longbow impersonator's stack.
IC Date: Sun Feb 17 18:12, 2381
OOC Date: Sun Feb 17 18:12, 2019
Related Logs: Fatale
royalkagamiwelch

 

 

"We're in the same club. But it's a big club."

* * *

The office that Dante 'Royal' Taylor has set up for himself is surprisingly modest. Or at least, anyone who knows his title and has seen the way he dresses would consider it modest. It's a small space about ten storeys off the Ground - which isn't very high at all for a man of his means. There's a suspended walkway just outside his door, in an area known for a small fashion school, textile manufacturing and cheap VR cafes. Not a good neighbourhood, but definitely not one of the wore ones.

There's no visible sign that marks his office. Instead, a digital sign superimposes on a white spot over the door when one looks at it with their ONI. 'Dante Taylor, Private Investigator. (GPPI-1)'

The office itself is only about 200 square feet and consists of a large leather couch, a small but efficient kitchenette built into one wall, and a desk with a sizable display. There's no real decor to speak of. The room itself has inset blue lighting that makes it look like one is on the inside of some kind of shiny electronic.

The message came to Kagami's ONI with the address, asking him to come by when he has the chance to look at something pertaining to the case he mentioned earlier. The man himself is bent over the desk, squinting at something on his display. He's wearing what appears to be one of his favourite asymmetrical black suit jackets, with slimly tailored pants and stylish leather wing tips with blue soles. The pocket square on his jacket matches the bottom of those shoes.

* * *

The young hack eventually makes his way to the office. This time he's trying to dress up a little so he's wearing jeans which have been tied with a computer cable and a t-shirt with an over sized leather jacket. His shoes flipping against the ground will be the first alert he's on his way. He knocks tentatively and opens the door. His eyes rest on Royal and he grumbles something before removing his shoes and walking close to the man. He doesn't speak though.

* * *

Parking on a vertical plane can be hard to come by - taxis are the more sensible solution, when not to traveling to a sensitive locale. Welch paid to be let off around the corner, in front of a well known cafe - he walked from there, picking up the scent of exhaust from the street along his way, as well as that of his own cigarette, spent long before he's ascending ten stories via lift - after a short wait for those missed, perhaps Kagami's among them. But unlike Kagami, he doesn't have an appointment.
He raps on the office's front door with his knuckles, likely only moments after Kagami did the same, the back of his hand turned toward the surface of it. He's dressed well - but without anything that helps him to stand out from a rather plain description. Black suit, black tie, white shirt, practical shoes. A black and gold ONI band on his left wrist. His suit jacket is closed, secured by a single button. Someone with close attention to detail may make out a subtlety in the cut of the suit, room left in the midsection of the jacket - enough so that a holster might be comfortably worn under his left arm. And the expression he wears is just as concealing; distantly bored or tired, coupled with a relaxed posture. All in all, an excellent poker face for a man cautious enough to not be dropped off directly outside.
After a good couple of second of warning, he opens the door and steps inside - though his reputation with the GPPI may precede him. His right brow cocks upward at the familiar face of the young tech.

* * *

When Royal is deep in something, a lot can happen around him without him realizing - like Kagami entering and stepping up close. He blinks after a moment, smiles and says, "Kagami. Hello. Sorry, I was…is…" he points. "…are you using a cable as a belt? I mean, that could be a sartorial choice, but somehow I doubt it. I..—-hello." He looks past his visitor in a young sleeve to spy Welch entering. "Well I know a fellow private investigator when I see one." Either that or he just ran a search of those working out of his neighbourhood and recognizes the face. "What can I do for you?" His left eye flickers for a moment, indicating he's attempting to ONI-scan the newcomer for basic biographical details. His own is open and displaying his identity, though not entirely necessary given it's his office.

* * *

Kagami turns and lifts his eyes up to Welch. His face turns bright red. A million things run through his head and he quickly looks back to Royal. "It was all I had…" He speaks softly. He slowly looks to the kitchenette and licks his lips. "Uh…you have any food?" He asks in his attempt to sound idle. Then he glances over to Welch and bows his head blushing. He really looks like a scolded youth. He's in trouble, he knows it. His hands brush over his pants and he clears his throat, giving Royal a quick curtsey and grumbling. "Your grace this is Welch. Welch this is… Royal." He clears his throat and then looks down at his bare toes just tapping against the floor.

* * *

PI-3. Eoin Welch. Local. A cheap data storage service address for leaving a message. His open information is sparse, in its current privacy settings, but it gives enough not to warrant too much suspicion. Carefully tailored. A band of yellow flashes around his own pale blue left eye - an exchange of technological pings for biographical data.
"Kagami," Welch greets, idly, poker face recovered. And he closes the door behind him, before stepping in, to one side, as not to provide an alignment of persons, but more of a loose orbit of Royal and his desk. The blue inset lighting projects easy on his pale skin, causing a shade that blends well with his irises. "Pleasure," he notes, with a touch of amusement as Kagami does the introduction thing. Taking that moment to look about and inspect the place.
His attention returns to Royal. "I'm here to do with a case. Two cases, really. One of yours and what's about to be one of mine. We may have some things to hash out," he explains. Vague enough.

* * *

"Oh, don't call me that, Kagami," Royal leans in a little, "Not unless the embassy staff are about. Go on, then. Poke around the icebox. I don't think there's much in there. I like to keep fighting trim, so I don't tend to keep too many snacks." If he does that, he'll find a small tray of cut vegetables, a box of protein bars, and bottles of iced coffee. "How did you two meet?"

Then he returns his attention to the unexpected of his two visitors. His own limited profile reveals a column that says 'forms of address,' which is where the aforementioned 'your grace' came from. He also has the somewhat incongruous combo of a diplomatic immunity flag and his Guild license. "Welch, is it? Well, I was rather expecting someone like yourself would come by at some point. My guess would be that this pertains to the Longbow case, yes?" He comes out from behind his desk and motions towards the leather couch.

* * *

Kagami grins slowly. "Of course, your grace." He chuckles as he moves to the kitchenette via the route of Welch. He walks behind the man and growls a little. He keeps moving and then finds the protein bars. He grabs three and moves back towards the desk. He flops down on the leather couch before anyone else can sit and curls his legs up giving someone else room to sit. "We met last night. We both ended up at a Japanese restaurant and I sat beside him cause he's bigger than me. We talked a little." Not a single falsehood. He bites into one of the bars and leans back over the arm of the couch, his back popping. He purrs happily as he sits upright again.

* * *

Welch pockets his hands while standing - a kind of informality that lends to his apparently relaxed demeanor, and betrays little of what his reaction might be to Royal's public info - and forms of address. He doesn't join in on the kitchenette raid. He lifts his chin, in minute fashion, at the statement of his name - indication that he's giving his attention as Royal makes his guess. Welch allows a smirk in response. "You'd be right. Shame you didn't bet on it," he answers. "Not that you'd have much use for a few extra credits." And just as easily as he hid his hands, he retrieves them from his pockets as he moves to sit on the couch gestured to - reclining lazily as he claims an armrest, opposite Kagami. Suit jacket still clinging together at that one button. "I've been tagged as an outsider, on the BCPD taskforce."
"Teppenyaki place built out of the carcass of one of those old light rail stations. Driftwood walls. Kitshcy, but they stock up on local swill," he furthers, confirming Kagami's report. "If you're looking to slum it in your off hours." Says the man in the expensive suit, toting gold on his ONI band.

* * *

Royal is quite used to pot-shots at his social status, especially from cops and fellow PIs. He lets it roll off his back with a literal roll of his shoulders. He watches Kagami raid his pantry. "Careful. Each of those is a meal replacement." At least for him it is - the man who carefully controls his food intake so he can look good in the fancy suits he so loves. He crosses to the kitchenette and pulls out an iced coffee, gesturing with one to Welch. It's not a luxury brand, per se, but it's not the kind of caffeine most people chug on the Ground. More the kind of thing the suits grab on the go.

"Not surprising. It's a high profile investigation, and the police are, by their own admission, short of resources. Do you know what aspect of the investigation you'll be overseeing as of yet?"

* * *

When Welch sits down, he stretches his legs out and rests them on top of the other man's legs. He takes another bite. "In the few weeks I've been in this sleeve I've lost weight. So I am going to have three meals and probably still be skinnier than you." He points out to Royal. "Though I need to work out." He punches at the air in horrid form. He goes quiet now while the PI's speak. He's just happily eating his meals.

* * *

An easy smile grows on Welch's lips - pot-shots garnering no visible rise out of the man. It's a smile that fades as his lap provides footrest for his couch company. "Lightweight doesn't mean insubstantial," he quips at Kagami. And adds, for talk of a work out and shadowboxing, "Planning on headlining in the fightdrome?"
Looking back to Royal, he nods in reply to the gesture to one of the iced coffees. "Don't mind if I do." As to the talk of business, he remains laid back - letting the subject he'd come in to discuss procede naturally. "Not yet. Briefing is on the docket. I just thought I'd pop in, first - gather some clarity, before I really step in it."

* * *

Royal's brows go up when Kagami uses Welch as a footrest, and that it doesn't seem to object. Curious. He hands the other PI the sleek glass bottle and pops the top on his own. A hand slides into his pocket. His suit is cut too precisely to leave room for anything - let alone a gun. "Clarity? In what way?"

And then, a beat, "By the way, Kagami, I have a digital scan of that stack I was telling you about. I haven't been able to get you in to examine it in person, but they'll likely allow it if you spot something they missed. You up for that challenge?"

* * *

The tech chuckles a little and shrugs. "Royal could still take me out with a heavy huff." He chuckles. "I just want to be stronger…able to defend myself." His eyes widen though and he purrs happily. He pushes himself up, using Welch for leverage and nods as he stands there finishing the protein bar. Once done. "Let me see and I'll tell you if it can be repaired or not." He moves closer to Royal and opens another bar, biting into it. "So you both…work together?"

* * *

"In the way that we probably don't want to be a problem for one another - taking bits and pieces of a puzzle, for ourselves. Obscuring the big picture," Welch explains. "In the way that we both wind up with satisfied clients." He takes the offered glass bottle with a grunt that might mean 'thanks'. And he pops the cap before taking a swig of the legal stimulant. And there's hint of mild annoyance, in the way his brows lower as he's used for leverage - but, again, no effort is made toward expressing said feelings otherwise.
"Try cardio. You're not going to punch a slug aimed out of the sky, aimed at your stack. But you might get out of the way early enough to shoot back or get out of dodge," he advises Kagami. Though, it's unlikely Welch is a helpless sort. As to that last question from Kagami, he adds, "We're in the same club. But it's a big club."

* * *

"Ah. You're talking jurisdictional sticky wickets," says Royal after a moment. "I see. Because we are technically working the same case, but my clients are the Longbows and yours is the BCPD." There's amusement in his dark eyes. "As for defending myself, I assure you I only learned the bare minimum when it came to passing my certification. My physical fitness routine is focused on aesthetics over function."

He turns to his console and his ONI flutters. Schematics of a badly damaged and repaired stack flicker up on the screen. "It seems Carnage's people managed to move her DHF onto a clean stack before it was completely destroyed by the Aubergine. If the stack was spinnable, it doesn't seem to be now." It's like a badly-warped record that the player might recognize as a record, but might never play even a few notes properly again.

* * *

<FS3> Kagami rolls Repair: Great Success. (7 8 7 8 6 4 5 6 3 7 1)

* * *

Kagami nods his head. "I have enhanced reflexes so I might punch a slug." He chops at the air before chuckling. His eyes are just alight with mischief. He sees Welch's annoyance and his smile grows wider. Plan set in motion. Annoy him until he explodes. He turns and sees the console. He rushes over to it and takes a seat. He spins the view and looks it all over. He starts growling under his breath as he spins it a little. His eyes glow a little and he turns to Royal. "You said Carnage changed to a clean stack… This is not a clean stack. There is corrosion on the stack from the DHF?" He leans forward. "I might be able to do something but it's going to take a lot of work and I'm going to need the stack."

* * *

"Yes. That exact kind of 'sticky wicket'," Welch confirms, with particular stress on the borrowed phrase. "Both clients we - collectively, as in not just you and I - want to keep happy with guild services," he adds. He doesn't detail his own adequacy or ineptitude at the various forms of defense - simply leaves the topic be at what he has advised, in the form of cardio. He snorts in amusement at the stated intent to punch the slug, after all. "Get back to me on how that one goes."
He's quiet at the details that Royal and Kagami go over. Details of juristiction may not yet be solidified, but he's clearly intent on eavesdropping on what he can - either way. He observes the duo as he takes anorther swig from the chilled, flavor enhanced caffiene.

* * *

"Corrosion? That's…" Royal frowns. "How can DHF corrode a stack? I've heard of it the other way around, if the stack is damaged. Do you suppose that has something to do with the Aubergine she tried to slag her stack with?" He steps over and peers over Kagami's shoulder. He knows enough about science to understand roughly what he's looking at. "I need to convince Captain Tanaka to let me see the analysis of the Aubergine. I haven't heard of it doing this before."

For the moment, Welch gets to eavesdrop. Either Royal isn't fussed, or he's been drawn into the mystery to the point where he doesn't realize he might be preemptively and unintentionally sharing privileged information. He does snap back after a moment though. "I think the answer to that is rather simple. I keep my client happy, you keep yours happy. We all want the same thing - which is to solve this case, after all."

* * *

<FS3> Kagami rolls Bio Engineering: Good Success. (2 4 3 8 1 2 7 1 1)

* * *

Kagami makes a face at Capt Tanaka. He takes a deep breath. He fiddles a little. "It…can't really happen. Biological elements cannot affect the digital. Perhaps something mixed with Aubergine? Rawlins virus or something else." He stands up. "This is a new level of biological virus. Something that ruins the DHF and fries the stack. I need a sample of it." He turns to Royal. "This is dangerous stuff."

* * *

And while Welch may look Royal and Kagami's way from time to time, he allows himself the moment to further inspect his surroundings as he sinks into the couch and listens. Sniffing. Inspecting the entrance from his current point of view. Looking for recording devices on the visual spectrum of size. Habits, and falling into them. All the while, holding a poker face that gives little away as to where his mind is as the duo speak.
He lets his regard snap back to Royal, in turn, when addressed. "Happy to hear it," he says, to the note of wanting the same thing. Yellow flashes along the outline of his left iris. A message - direct wireless on sightline, to Royal. Contact information. A more secure data storage account than the one listed on his public profile. Premium. "I hope we can keep each other appraised," he adds. And he stands, hand as leverage on the armrest, the other holding the iced coffee. "Not the kind of thing synthesized in a garbage somno lab," he comments, at the mention of the degree of biological virus - finally chiming in.

* * *

The only thing that examining the room gives away is the fact that Royal is exceptionally neat, and he hasn't had this office for very long. That, and the couch is very comfortable and of high quality. His suit gives away more than the room, which seems to be quite fashion-forward and tailored perfectly.

"Rawlins virus?" he lets out a low whistle. "Isn't that what they used to wipe out the Envoys? A biological agent…well, that does complicate things, doesn't it? I'm curious if they're certain if it really was Aubergine, or just something that behaves like it."

He looks up and his ONI flashes in receipt of the data. The corners of his lips curl up. "As much as it makes sense to for the case, naturally." Which is a slightly loaded response.

* * *

He grumps quietly and shakes his head. "I need to look at it. If it's biological I need to do it in a lab too. I can't risk anyone." He nods again and grins. "Well and truly fucked until we figure out what it is." He turns to see the exchange and he blinks a few times. A small frown plays over his lips but he turns back to the computer. "You two should work together. You can do the political and uptight stuff and he can do the nitty gritty and dirty work."

* * *

Welch seems to tread the line of expensive yet forgetable, in the way of fashion - by comparison. A choice often made consciously. Someone would need time to take in the details of his sleeve to give a useful description of the man. All in all, his wardrobe pairs well with the sparse detail of his public biography.
"If it wasn't complicated, it wouldn't involve multiple clients," he comments. Free hand, going to rest in a pocket while the other holds his beverage. The grunt he provides for 'as much as it makes sense' seems to suggest an air of 'ditto' or 'same'. An understanding, at any rate. And he snorts at Kagami's suggestion - chuckling some, before he comments. "This is what that looks like, given the givens. We've both got jobs to do."

* * *

"From what I've learned of the GPPI in my short tenure, Trackers tend to work grudgingly with one another, with very little of the cameraderie enjoyed by the police and other institutions," says Royal, though he's clearly distracted by the display. He picks up a stylus and holds it between long fingers, then starts swiping at the display, searching for biological agents that destroy DHF. "That's a feature, not a bug. It's natural when one is serving the interests of a client first and foremost."

He looks down from where he's sortt of half-hovering over Kagami. "I'll do what I can to get you in to see the real thing, but the police are being quite protective of this stack."

* * *

He lifts his head a little and breathes in the scent of Royal. He glances under Royal's arm and looks right at Welch. "He does not smell of cigs." He points out. "If you sniff him you will see the difference." He turns back to the screen and then looks up at Royal. "If they want it solved they will need someone who knows what they are doing instead of…you know… idiots." He growls slightly. "I don't know if them handling it is damaging it further." He shakes his head. Kagami rubs his forehead slowly.

* * *

Welch nods at Royal on 'different clients' taking precedence, as confirmation for Kagami, on the matter. "Less heads means less of the compartmentalization and 'need to know' of the boys in blue," Welch adds, as to the GPPI preference toward loner personalities. "And it cuts into a payday when you have to share it." Another swig. Some delay. "Though it's not often that two paying clients want two PIs to do the same thing." An oddity - as a subsequent PI may be hired to check on the shoddy work of a past hire or the BCPD by an unsatisfied client. This is something rarer.
"To each their own vices," he says, to Royal not smelling of nicotine smoke. Briefly quiet as he considers something, and relative station. "We'll see," he starts. "What kind of access the taskforce gives me. Maybe I get Kagami here in for a look. And maybe I get the same info he gives you, on what he finds."

* * *

No, in fact Royal smells of nothing from a distance, and faintly of expensive, slightly musky soap and high-end aftershave in close proximity. That's to be expected, given his tates. He seems to sense something and glances between the two. "I seem to be missing a part of the story here. And you don't have to worry about me chasing a payday, Mister Welch. That's not why I became a PI."

He steps away, then walks over to a wall panel, which turns into a closet when he touches a particular point. What any scans didn't pick up is that the room has smart walls. They're either shielded or use such little energy that it's invisible to most conventional sensors. The wall slides open to reveal a narrow closet with an array of a half-dozen suits and shoes aligned along the bottom. Knowing him, this is a miniscule sampling of a much larger wardrobe. He reaches towards the back, pulls out a black leather belt with a simple silver buckle, and carries it back to the desk. He sets it down, looks at it, then slides his own belt off. The one he slides off is a bit more simple and a bit worn. He slides it across the table, then threads the other one back through his belt loops. "I'm sorry, I just couldn't take this cable situation any longer."

* * *

Kagami shakes his head. "You can smoke but still smell nice." He points out to Welch then he shakes his head a little. "Not much of the story. Welch here smokes right and he has a strong I'm in a chemical fire scent." He nods his head. Then Royal is off and seeing his closet has Kagami's brows lifting. "What's wrong with my cabling?" He stands up and lifts his shirt a little to undo the cable. He leans against the table to stop his pants from completely dropping to the ground. As he slides that belt on, he has to lift his shirt and move it around. From this view both men have, Kagami is very skinny and absolutely nothing fits as his boxers are bobby pinned. He ties the belt around his hips and let's his shirt drop. "There. Better?"

* * *

"Every bored socialite needs a hobby. Some hunt foxes. Guess you found a more dangerous game," Welch quips at Royal addressing motivations. He shifts his weight from one foot to the other - cranes his head, even - as Royal opens up that wall panel. And he gets his look inside without stepping any closer. Briefly glancing at the other two walls aside from the entry in voiceless curiosity. And smirking as Royal gifts his own belt over to Kagami - amusement clear.
"Gets me some buffer space at the bar," he claims, as to the scent of nicotine that Kagami exaggerates. "I get sent drinks just to clear out." Content to play along, with his quips. He doesn't comment on bobbypins or replacing electrical components with proper leather.

* * *

Royal honest-to-god nose pinches when he sees the bobby pins, followed by a sigh. "Look, I wasn't going to get too involved because I am aware my tastes lend higher-end than most people. But there is a tailor in VR who specializes in people who are cross-sleeved. Would you like me to get you a consultation?" He leans on the edge of the desk, eyebrows high.

He shoots a look over to Welch. "Yes, because I'm simply a bored socialite and not an academic with an advance degree." Normally he doesn't let those comments get to him, but the idea that they're dealing with a possible contagion (along with Kagami's fashion crimes) has him a bit more on-edge.

* * *

Kagami slowly glares at Welch. He points at Royal when he talks. "He's smart okay. You both are." He shakes his head before glancing to Royal. "I can't afford tailors, Royal but thank you for the thought." He grins warmly and readjusts his pants. "This belt is probably worth more than my sleeve." His stomach growls and he starts eating the third protein bar. He slowly looks between Royal and the Welch and he seems to go off into his own little world. Whatever he's daydreaming about…he likes. And it's a little obvious.

* * *

Welch raises an eyebrow, on the tailor consultation. But it's properly getting a rise out of Royal that turns his smirk into a grin. "My mistake," he claims, with clear amusement. Amusement, as it turns out, that provides great emotional insulation against the concerning threat of contagion. To each their own. "So what do you say. I get the scrappy tech here an in, if I can, and we share what he gets back?" he offers, direct. All while shrugging off notions of shared intelligence, and missing whatever it is that provides Kagami's emotional insulation within that little world. "I think he was offering to cover the consultation," he says - whether he believes it or not.

* * *

"It's not as posh as you're imagining. The shop scans your measurements and offers suggestions for clothing from different shops, including many affordable ones. And the consultation would be on me, yes," Royal confirms. "They can teach you how to create a style that suits your sleeve while also still being, well, you. And if you prove useful on this case, you'll have a payday that can help pay for your new wardrobe." He rocks back a step and takes a big swallow from his cold brew.

He purses his lips and considers Welch's offer. "So you believe the police will be more receptive to your request for access because you don't represent a meth?"

* * *

He shakes his head and glances between the two men. "On you?" His voice is slightly groggy. He takes a step and stops, glancing down and almost jumping in Royal's chair and sliding his legs under the desk. He leans forward. "Who ever gets me in, I don't care but I will share the information I get with both of you. This is bigger than just a meth clone." He grumbles and frowns. "I will also appreciate someone joining me while I shop. I'm liable to pick up a skirt and blouses."

* * *

"We don't expect good work out of charity," Welch confirms, on the subject of paydays filtering down from PIs to consultants and informants. "The tailor isn't part of the deal, usually, though," he adds, dryly. Still riding out his own amusement from the response that he'd earned. Though, Kagami's note of this being bigger than them does curb his mood. His grin fades out, to the earlier distant detachment of strangers passing on the street. "I think the police will be more receptive to someone they hired, themselves, bringing in an outside expert to help move things along inside an overburned department," he answers, without hint of that earlier humor. He, only afterward, gestures to his suit, for Kagami - for clear indication of a fashion sense without much depth. Dark, expensive suits. Workwear.

* * *

"Yes, yes," says Royal witha bit of a sigh. He touches his forehead. "Don't consider it charity for yourself. Consider it charity for cables and pins everywhere that just want to do their normal jobs. I think you'd do well with some light wash jeans, perhaps a cable knit sweater and a houndstooth blazer. Something textured and comfortable. But I wouldn't want to dress you, because I'd pick what I like, not what suits you. That's where the consultant comes in."

He finishes the rest of his cold brew, then touches another panel on the wall to slide the glass bottle into the recepticle. "You may be right," he says to Welch a bit begrudgingly. "In any case, I have no intention of withholding details pertinent to the case. My goal is to get answers. That is the same as the BCPD."

* * *

Kagami is there up to the jeans. Then his face becomes a blank canvas of confusion. His eyes cross a little and he shakes his head. "I agree with comfortable." He chuckles. Then he sees Welch gesture and he slowly looks him over, longer than one just checking fabrics. He nods his head. "Between you both, I plan to share equally. You are working the same case and it's important we get this figured out." He glances down to the table as he takes another bite. "I'm not entirely needed. You both are quite smart."

* * *

Welch is in a different suit than when he'd met Kagami, but not all that different. Just tending toward a samey style that his gesture had suggested. At least with concern to what he wears on the job. Both, tailored - both to those same specifications of room in the midsection. Some style sacrificed for a practicality.
Welch nods along as Royal agrees - as if to say, 'of course I'm right' or 'I'm glad you see it my way'. And, on that concluding point, adds, "And it's not on my bucket list to obstruct a meth's wants. Doesn't leave much time for the rest of the list," he says with a lack of humor in tone. Same job, different employers, similar boat. A loose deal struct on juristiction. Nodding again when Kagami states intent to share equally with the both of them. "I don't speak for houndstooth, here. But my expertise is elsewhere. Not with stack tech or manufactured disease."

* * *

"Yes, like he said, the tech stuff is not exactly our area of expertise." Royal steps away from the wall, hands finding their way into the pockets of his pants. "It's just a matter of convincing the BCPD that they should use their limited budget to pay you for your services because they can't handle it within their own walls. Which, in my experience, involves a little ego stroking a bit of charm. But I think Mister Welch may be correct in that I may be seen as an invader in this situation."

Then he looks back to Kagami. "Would you like me to make the appointment for you, then?"

* * *

Kag looks at Welch and then to Royal. He chews his bottom lip. "Welch make sure they know not to touch that stack unless they are wearing gloves and a mask. We do not know what kind of virus it is and it could cause massive issues if all the cops suddenly have infected stacks." He glances over to Royal and nods his head. "Of course. I will use you both for inspiration when picking outfits." He chuckles. "Bobby pins for you and black for you."

* * *

"That's up to me, then. Mister charming," Welch says. And he retrieves his hand from his pocket to make a crude stroking gesture at the air. That aside, he does note, "Should be fine, if they feel like they're getting the better end of the deal." Maybe not a charmer - but there's other capabilities, there. He finishes off the iced coffee in hand, but doesn't set the empty bottle down or discard it.
"Got it. Warn them out of providing themselves as test subjects for diagnosis," he says, providing gallows humor rather than address the threat with dire seriousness.

* * *

"It's been my experience that that kind of stroking is best employed strategically," Royal drawls. Hard to tell if he's serious or not. He is not as dry as some of his countrymen, but he's certainly got a tinge of that. "I've no doubt they have contamination procedures, but it might not be enough if they think they know what it is, and that isn't actually the case. Someone should also let the Panama Rose know as well that there may be contamination to their equipment."

* * *

He watches Welch's gesture and grins blankly. Then Royal is talking about stroking and he slowly leans over and rests his forehead on the desk. "How about one alerts one and the other alerts the other." He offers in a voice that is strained. Kagami is having sleeve issues right now. "If they think it's Aubergine they won't have it in containment since Aubergine is injection."

* * *

Welch grunts, chuckles at Royal assessment - a response of amusement over something that isn't at the expense of either of present company. A brief kind of camaraderie before they're moving on. "Even procedure has its hitches," he agrees, where the police are concerned. And at Kagami's suggestion that they each warn either possible faction for potential contamination, he nods at the sense in it. "Lay a bet down for me, if you're headed down that way," he tells Royal. And while it may have been a quip, at first, that particular vice - gambling - has its purchase. "Unless you're too busy for the trip, having meth hands on the old leash."

* * *

"I am a patron of the Panama Rose. Carnage has taken enough of my money that he should take a meeting with me when he might not from just any law enforcement officer. He is the type to not want the attention this sort of thing brings, so I've no doubt he's gotten squirrely now that the stack is off his hands." Then Royal corners a gaze to the young man behind his desk. "Are you all right, Kagami?"

* * *

Kagami keeps his head on the table and he listens to the two men. He nods to their agreement in things before he's asked. "Great." He croaks out quietly. He stays where he is just resting there with his eyes closed. "I think anyone would take a meeting with either of you. You both are brilliant and lovely and dry."

* * *

Welch concedes, lifting his gesturing hand to indicate as much. Royal gets the Panama Rose to himself. Fine. He can place a bet later, at quitting time - whenever that turns out being. A complicated relationship with work in and out of billable hours. And he follows Royal's attention over to where Kagami sits, hunched. "I've heard 'dry' before," he comments, as to what he's been called before, out of the list. "How much of that meal replacement shit did he eat?" he asks - though his impartial tone shares that he may not think the food reason for the change.

* * *

"Too many, perhaps," says Royal to Welch with a note of concern in his voice. "Should we call you an aircab and get you home, Kagami? Would you like a drink of something?" He nearly vomited when he saw the supposed-Ariana's stack get fried, so he feels acutely that this material can be difficult to process. That's what he's figuring this is.

* * *

Kagami blushes and shakes his head. "It's not what I ate. I'm actually still hungry." He points out to the two men. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. "Grandma's right?" He starts to really focus on something before his flush relaxes further. He sits up finally before he looks between both men and the more feminine starts to show up. Confused tears as he slumps back over. "Just make it stop."

* * *

"There's something other than iced coffee and water in here?" Welch asks, as Royal offers a drink to Kagami - perhaps expecting that his fellow GPPI might mean a proper 'drink'. Though, he does pause, with some furrowing of his brow as he tries to determine who grandma is and what they're right about. He lets Royal take the lead on this one, as he pats down his own pockets looking for his pack of cigarettes as he looks between the two with uncertain curiosity in place of proper concern.

* * *

Royal steps over and reaches out to press a hand on Kagami's shoulder. He looks both confused and concerned. "Something to do with your sleeve?" he says hesitantly. He casts a glance towards Welch, "I think he might need a moment. I'll be in touch, yes? I'll let you know what Carnage says if you let me know what they've learned at the station."

* * *

Kagami feels Royal's hand on his shoulder and he tears up more. He nods at the comment about his sleeve. He rolls the chair back a little and gestures to Royal but then rolls the chair right back. He keeps slumped over on the chair and over the table as he brings his hands up to cover his head.

* * *

Welch gives a nod, subtle, understanding Royal's take on Kagami needing a moment. His pack of cigs drawn out of a jacket pocket. He deftly flips the top with a thumb rather than drop his empty bottle. He uses said thumb to draw the end of a singular nicotine stick out enough so that he can lift it to his lips to afix, and puts the pack away. Out the opposite side of his mouth, he tells Royal, "You've got it. I'll tag you back when I have something." Info for info. Similar alignments, for now. "I'll be in touch about getting you in at the station," he says to Kagami. "Just make sure to do your homework." He steps out to the door, and opens it up with his free hand before stepping out. And while seem a moment like he's stopping to add something to the end of his farewell, he stands there, with his back to the door as it shuts, with his gold plated lighter fished out of another pocket to light the cigarette.

* * *

"Oh, oh my," says Royal. He bites his lower lip and withdraws his hand. "Well that's all right. Absolutely human. Nothing to be ashamed of. But best we get you home, yes? And good job your clothes are baggy." Ahem. He glances up just in time to see Welch's perfectly framed exit. Then he mumbles under his breath, "Well, I can certainly appreciate a bit of style." Then, "Yes, I'll call you an aircab then. Cold shower's the thing for it."

* * *

Kagami looks up and watches Welch leave. "He's so cool." He grumbles quietly. Then Royal is trying to help him and he blushes. "Can't you just fix it?" He squeaks out. "A cold shower? But that hurts. I know I do it every morning." He shakes his head. "Mind of it's own and it's rude." He rests his head on his hands and closes his eyes. "Just…fix it."

* * *

Welch leaves, heading towards the RP Room Lobby O.

* * *

Royal clears his throat. "That's um. Well, I'm not that kind of doctor." He laughs nervously and drops his hands into his pockets. "You know you can…um…work on the situation yourself, yes?" He's not blushing. Ok, well, his ears are a little red.

* * *

Kagami frowns and tears up as he sits up now. "I could if I've actually touched this sleeve before." He grumbles out at Royal. "I make sure I have a cloth when I clean so I've never touched myself there and I pee sitting down and all the mirrors in my house are covered so honestly…can't you just… urg." He brings his knees up and just sits on the chair.

* * *

"Kagami, if you want to accept yourself in that sleeve, you need to…" Royal clears his throat, "…'accept' yourself. Either that or you need to resleeve." He's looking quite uncomfortable. "Look, let's just get you home, all right?" His left eye reflects the light in the way that indicates he's engaged his ONI. "I can have a car here for you in five minutes. There's a platform just across the hall."

* * *

He frowns and shakes his head. "I have no money to just resleeve. Privilege of the elite." He points out to the man. He nods his head and stays in the chair with his arms wrapped around his legs. "Five minutes?" He pushes himself up and keeps his side to Royal as he walks back to the kitchenette and grabs another protein bar. "I'm still hungry…" He keeps his back to the other man.

* * *

"The more you ignore it, the worse it's going to get. Just…give it a try?" Royal corners a look away and clears his throat again. "And I suggest talking to someone whose specialty is helping cross-sleeved people. I am wholly unqualified to give you any advice on that front." His ONI flickers again. "Your car is here. Just…" he walks over to open the door, "…across the hallway, down to the right. There's an air platform."

* * *

Kagami blinks a few times. "I actually am going to therapy." He speaks softly. The car being there so fast makes him blinks. "I guess another privilege?" He walks over and grabs his cable and then walks over to the door. He looks up at Royal and gives him a kind smile before kissing his cheek. "Thank you." He turns and follows the directions to the air platform.

* * *

"Yes, I suppose my aircab account might have special status." The way Royal says that suggests he never thought about it before. The cheek peck makes him tense, but he doesn't balk away. "Ah, feel better. Thank you for the assistance with the stack. We'll be in touch." He lifts a hand and waves, watches to make sure he goes out the right door, then slowly closes his own. He leans on the back of the door, exhales, then goes to his desk drawer where he removes a bottle of whiskey.