2018.10.22 Hypnagogia: The Forgotten Man

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Hypnagogia: The Forgotten Man
Bieta and Mike meet later the same day. Mike makes Bieta aware she is being followed. Both Mike and Bieta encounter Linnete after sneaking out of Off the Record to avoid Bieta's watchers.
IC Date Oct 22, 2018
IC Time 19:00 p.m.- 21:00 p.m.
Players Bieta ST, Mike Stephenson, Linnete
Location Off the Record/Main Room
Spheres Mage

Off the Record - Main Room(#13005RAM)

It's not hard to tell what the primary focus of this shop is: books and music. However, a lot of care has been taken to ensure that the shop is comfortable and inviting, if a little chaotic and esoteric in execution. There's an eclectic collection of seating consisting of everything from bistro tables to a couple of reclaimed old 50's style diner booths, and a long wooden service counter with an espresso machine. One glass case holds pastries and other snacks; the other a selection of antique books and rare albums too precious for self-service.

The retail shelves carry used books for sale; some of them are organized by subject and author, and some of them are organized in some arcane system known only to the shop owner. The records, cassettes and CDs for sale are all alternative and subcultural in nature, with an emphasis on goth, industrial, post-punk, neofolk and experimental - and all of the subgenres inherent to each.

The walls have been festooned with a collection of posters from Expressionist and Surrealist movies and advertisements for concerts long passed; mixed in are various other pieces from artists like Louis Wain, Austin Osman Spare and Ben Ali Ong. In addition to the main three foci of the place (coffee, music, and books), the shop occasionally sells a variety of other pieces from local artists, some of it actually very good, indeed.

***OOC HIGH BANALITY PCSs: This is primarily a Changeling/related and Tradition Mage hangout. If you're of high Banality you might have a hard time finding RP here, depending on who's here. +rules Sniping applies.***

Contents: Mike Jordan Obvious Exits: Back Hallway <Ha> Front Door <O>

Looking for a quiet evening, Bieta scans the shop and heads for the coffee counter to purchase a cup of coffee and a pastry almost immediately after she notices it. Once money exchanges hands, Bieta waits at the counter for her order.

Mike, for his part, is doing the rounds of book stores. So when he slips in, most people don't even pay attention to it. That's sort of life for him of course. But it's his turn to pause at spotting Bieta there at the counter. A raised brow, he muses a moment, then would step up near her to order, before glancing her way. "Doctor? How are you doing, everything good now..?"

Bieta turns and gives Mike a confused look and a smile before saying, "I'm sorry. Have we met? I have this strange feeling of de ja vue, like I remember seeing you somewhere in the past and I just can not remember." She bites her lower lip. When the barista passes her her order at the counter, Bieta momentarily takes her attention off of Mike.

Mike frowns, then sighs a little, with a chuckle. He glances to the barista, looking for his coffee, then looks to Bieta with a small nod. "Actually, yes. Sushi, you had a guy help you out from choking.. remember? Didn't stay around after he made sure you were ok, as others got you?"

"This afternoon?," Bieta says. Her eyes shift as she tries to recall, "that was you? I am really sorry. I must be very tired, I cannot even remember if I thanked you. It is going to sound especially bad when I tell you I can not remember your name. I am usually very good at remembering names." Bieta looks down at the coffee and pastry in her hands and under her breath says, "this is a little embarassing."

Mike smiles with a shake of his head. "Don't sweat it.. it's fine. Most people forget. Just call me Mike, eh? I just wanted to make sure you're ok. You had me a little worried." He looks to the barista and takes the coffee with a nod of thanks. Looking back to Bieta, he motions off to the side with a smile. "Shall we go sit and chat a moment?"

"Oh, sure. That would be great, Mike." Bieta says. "You can call me Bieta. It is better than calling me Doctor all the time and easier to say than Elżbieta."

Nodding, Mike would head over to the table and pull the chair out for her. Sitting after he saw to her, Mike chuckles a little. "Well.. Elzbieta is a nice name. But Bieta is fine.. So you recovered totally ok from that..?"

"Yes, I am fine." Bieta said. After Mike pulls out a chair for her, she sits down and says, "thank you." Bieta sets her food down on the table and blows on her hot coffee before taking a drink.

Mike smiles, watching his cup a moment, before finally taking a drink himself. He looks to Bieta curiously. "So, do you remember we talked a little. I told you about my computer work? I could show you an example.. if you wanted?"

Bieta smiles back and says, "Sure why not?" She starts eating her pastry.

Mike shifts that bag off his back, setting it down gently to pull out a laptop. He glances around, nods, then shifts a little to face his laptop square on, while having his back to a wall so others can't easily snoop. There's some rather fast typing, before he finally motions Bieta closer to him, so she can see.

Much akin to the Matrix movie, there's green lines of code that trail down his screen. A section in the right half of the screen has a video overlay showing an image of a car outside with two men in suits. This looks more real than HD or 4K and from a longer study, seems to be live. "They've.. been following you for a bit. Saw them outside the sushi place.. and now here.."

Bieta puts her food down and wipes her hands clean on a napkin. She gets up and drags her chair over next to Mike but she is slow to lower herself into the chair as he speaks to her. Bieta's eyes dance over the screen for a moment and her brows furrow, "How?" Under her breath, she says, "from the security camera feed outside? a traffic camera?" Bieta appears to have less color in her face and she wipes her palms on her denim pant legs. Bieta whispers, "why?"

Mike shakes his head a little. "Quantum shifting of the molecules.. It's.. complicated. But the system works. These guys.. are trouble. I'm the type of guy I try to help out people who I see are in trouble and if they're that interested in you? ... well.. I want to help."

Bieta knits her brow in response to Mike's explanation, though her next question is, "Who are these people and what do they want?"

Mike frowns a moment, shakes his head and sighs a little. He types some more on the keyboard and then with a mouse pull, another video shows up overlaying the code. The green squigglies shift and this time, it's an x-ray like view. Including the guns that both men had showing up easily. "Who? Don't know. Men in Black. Whatever you want to call them. Trouble. That's the easy answer, Bieta.. I'm.. not strong enough to really get us out of here easily. But.. I can help have them avoid tracking you for a bit, mess up their car, eh?"

At the sight of the guns, Bieta looks a little green in the face. "Men in Black...that is an Urban Legend. Still, I am definately not comfortable with men carrying firearms following me around." Bieta shakes her head and says, "I'm just a vet, I can't think of anything I might have that men like that would want." Her voice is slightly higher in pitch. "If they have been following me all day, then they know where I live. Mike, my daughter is at my home right now with a babysitter."

"Crap." Mike mutters, his focus intent on the screen suddenly as he starts typing rapidly. That skill and ability with that computer is well and truly shown then, fingers more a blur with how fast he's typing.. something.. into that laptop. The images end, closing on their own and then vanishing like programs tend to do as that green trail shifts, then shifts again. Nodding a little, Mike relaxes slightly. "No one there. No one I can see. Just your kid. One adult. Babysitter?" He glances to Bieta for confirmation, then back to the screen. "If they haven't moved.. they're not sure.. just.. watching. So something triggered it.. but this isn't a good spot for me to find out what."

Mike looks at Bieta and frowns a moment. "So.. fine. You've done nothing. But they're there. So something.. something happened. Some.. unusual, thing. Something most wouldn't believe could happen.. If I know what.. I may be able to get them off your back. Something recent, to make you wonder?"

Bieta is not focusing real well on Mike's words at first. She murmurs, "they know where my daughter goes to school because they saw me pick her up this afternoon..." Bieta grips the edge of the table and she says, "I think I'm going to be sick. Where is the bathroom?" While scanning the place for signs of a restroom, Bieta tries to stand up and finds herself uneasy on her feet.

Mike raises both brows. Then shakes his head. Snapping the laptop closed to pull it to him, he was definitely NOT allowing that to happen to it, he'd get to his feet too. A small glance, just that slightest green flicker on his lens and he'd look to the side. "There." Pointing towards the bathrooms, Mike would try to help Bieta towards them.

Bieta disappears for a few moments inside the bathroom and just makes it into a stall before losing the contents of her stomach. It is not until she is sitting with her back pressed up against the stall that Bieta thinks back over Mike's words. She furrows her brow and says to herself, "we don't have internet out at the house much less towers. There is just the old intranet setup, which isn't in use. I have security lighting but not cameras."

Bieta stands back up and leaves the stall. She looks at the window in the bathroom and has a fleeting thought of trying to sneak out the window. Bieta is quick to dismiss the idea though because she did not want to be caught in a dark alley with those men with the firearms either. Instead, she washes up and steps back out of the bathroom. "I'm sorry, Mike," she says.

Mike is waiting by the door to the bathroom, laptop propped up on one hand against the wall as he was typing furiously with the other. Shaking his head a little, he glances from the green code trailing down the screen to flash a grin at Bieta. "Life. You good now? I'm just about done with this. Then we can slip out the back door and run. If they realize it and try to follow, the car's going to die."

"I know later models of cars are computerized but I never heard of anyone hacking an automobile before..." Bieta says. Bieta digs in her purse for a peppermint, unwraps one and puts the hard candy inside her mouth. She says, "Don't you think I should probably call the police?"

Mike grins a little at Bieta. "I know. It's odd. But, if it works.." He shrugs a little, eyes the code and nods, closing the laptop. "There.. subtle. But should work.. and honestly, Bieta.. they probably had the police tell them where you were at." He shakes his head slowly. "I told you. Trouble.. and they're the system."

"Mike, once we sneak out the back, where do we go from there? My car is several blocks away because I chose to go for a walk." Bieta shakes her head and says, "Wait, are you in some kind of trouble with the law?"

Bieta nods, "right. I'm sorry. I am just really scared right now and I don't understand what is happening. I'm scared for my daughter...I know I have to go back home so the babysitter doesn't call child protective services but I don't even know if I'm safe staying in my own house alone or if it would be stupid for me to go out of town to a friend's place because I don't want to put them in danger..."

Mike looks down a moment, he shifts on his feet and frowns slightly. "I.. look.. Bieta. I'm willing to help you. But I don't want to just.. intrude on your life. If I stay near you, it'll scramble their trackers some. I'll be able to help more with that. However.." Mike just shrugs then. "You may have to move. If I can clear the back trail they have, then you'll be safe. But I have to have some place quiet that I can really focus."

"Alright, I am going to just stop freaking out and take this one step at a time. So, first thing is sneak out the back." Bieta heads towards a door that she believes will lead to out back of the store. "We can open this door without setting off a fire alarm?"

Mike eyes the door, glances around and curses softly under his breath. Opening that laptop again, he once more places it against the wall, sliding it along as he stares at the code until he finds the right spot. Nodding to himself, he starts typing again. "Just a second.." There's a flicker across the screen, the code is being altered, while it's being processed, it looks like, flickers here and there before Mike nods a little. "There. Alright, it won't go off until we close it." He clicks closed the laptop and shrugs his bag off long enough to shove it in. "Sorry you don't get the rest of your pastery. Shall we go?"

Bieta avoids looking at Mike's computer screen as he works and when he is finished she says, "Those things don't do my hips any favors anyways. Yes, I am ready to go. Lead the way."

Mike glances over at Bieta with her comment. He grins a little her way. "Seem nice to me anyways." He shoulders the bag again and steps up to the door, pushing it open to hold for her on their way through. Outside, he glances left and right, before motioning off to the side. "That's away from them. But I don't know where your car is."

D St. and Fifth Ave. - Alley

Situated between Off the Record and the building beside it, this alley is kept fairly clean -- and well lit, at night. It ends up against another building from the next street, with no windows or anywhere to go, there. There are several unmarked doors that lead into the first floor of the building, as well as two heavy metal staircases that lead up to apartments on the second floor. While there's certainly usually something of a smell from the dumpster, it's kept far enough back from the doors and windows that said smell doesn't usually drift into the building itself.

Once outside the door, Bieta turns and looks at Mike. Mom's night out clearly did not involve wearing sneakers for Bieta and she stands there in the well lit alleyway in a pair of sling back heels. "I don't spend much time running around back alleys and my map is in my suburban." She looks in the opposite direction of the alley entrance, which led out onto the street where the well dressed creepsters were casing the bookstore in their car but found no egress.

Mike nods slowly. He carefully closes the door after Bieta and sighs softly. "I'm sorry they caught you. I don't know why yet. We might be able to sneak past them, instead of running. I'll stay between them and you. It should.. hopefully.. help a lot."

Bieta steps out onto the sidewalk from the alley and looks around for a place to stand that was as far into whatever available shadows there were.

Mike steps out of the alley with Bieta, falling in step with her. He moves slightly closer to her, to try to slip an arm about her waist and start directing her in that casual stroll along the street away from the watchers. Nothing to see here, nope, nothing at all. He waits until the two are out of sight and it looks clear, before he steps away from her. "Sorry.. I felt that was probably the best way to handle that."

When Mike slips an arm around Bieta's waist, her breath catches in her throat for a moment and her cheeks look a little pinker whenever they step under the light of the streetlamps. Once they are out of sight of Bieta's minders, she nods at Mike's words and says, "We need to walk down Ash Street from here."

Mike nods in response, continuing on with Bieta for a few moments in silence. "I'm sorry for embarassing you. That wasn't the intent. I.. tend to not be noticed. You've forgotten me once already and I helped you when you choked on some sushi. So I'm hoping that close.. that we lost them. otherwise, I killed their car, so we should be safe."

"This is all really confusing for me. Part of the time, I can not understand what you are telling me." Bieta points to the Suburban parked next to the curb up ahead and says, "This is my vehicle." She stops for a moment on the sidewalk and says, "you don't think they might have been able to follow me because they bugged my vehicle, do you? I parked it before walking down to the sushi place earlier today."

Mike shakes his head a little. "Don't know. Let me check.." He flashes her a brief smile, before walking over to the suburban and with a tug off of his bag, pulls out that laptop. Setting it up, he quickly starts typing. "I'm.. aware. You're not quite Awakened. But.. they wouldn't have watchers without a reason. And I haven't done anything to make them have a reason to watch me. With how casual that is? I don't think this is new. I think you just didn't notice.."

Linnete ambles down the street. Kind of loose in the heels, honestly, though she's got a milkshake in hand to soothe over the incipient hangover. One of O'Tolley's triple-thicc quakeshakes, the kind that can result in aneurysm when sucked on too hard. It's a little odd, though; she's on your side of the street specifically, and is starting to slow down just so when coming closer.

Bieta stands beside Mike, though she is not looking at what he is doing on his computer. She wraps her arms around herself and says, "I am not that sleepy, Mike." When she hears the sound of heels on the concrete sidewalk, Bieta looks over and sees a blonde haired lady she remembers seeing at Roasters. Bieta smiles and waves at her. When Mike makes comments on how Bieta may have been watched for some time and just not noticed, Bieta says, "This is sounding less comforting and more creepy by the moment."

Linnete pitches her milkshake into the trash right before she draws up close. When she comes closer to Bieta, Mike is then assessed. And she does a double-take; her eyebrows drip down and knit together like she has an icecream headache. "You. You've got some questions to answer, buddy." Raising a hand - the right one is loosely tucked in at the side of her hip - she shakes her index and middle finger at him. Then she turns towards Bieta, "Is he bothering you? He's one of the 'elusive' types."

Mike ignores Linnete to watch his screen. Finally, he nods, clicks the laptop closed and shoves it back in his bag. He raises a brow, looking at Linnete. "Excuse me? Can I help you?" Glancing to Bieta, Mike shrugs slightly. "It looks like it all checks out. So this is fine. I'm glad I could help you, but you should probably go now. We can catch up later, ok?"

When Bieta looks at the blonde haired lady with a milkshake in her hand, she gets a confused look on her face. She turns back to Mike and says, "What? Sure. I...right." Bieta glances back at the woman with blonde hair and says, "Good evening."

Linnete is actually blonde right now. Easy mistake. With her hands free, both of them slip behind her back and knuckle in against either side of her spine. "It's alright. He's probably harmless." Though when she looks at Mike it's with that frown returning to her face, "I associate you with lights. Bells. And then waffles. There's something wrong there, ja?"

Mike's look to Bieta is a mix of assurance and determination. Although the smile looks friendly enough. Looking over at Linnete then, he'd tilt his head to the side slightly. "Something wrong? Yes. That you have me associated with someone else. I was just helping the nice Doctor to her car and verifying something." Shaking his head, he shoulders his bag then. "But like many things in life, such confusion does happen. I hope you're not dissapointed though."

Bieta starts to fumble around in her purse and curses under her breathe about not getting her keys out in Off the Record before coming out here where there was less light. Bieta finds a small flashlight in her purse and uses it to help her locate her keys. Every now and then she looks over at Mike and the blonde or up the sidewalk from the direction Mike and she came. When she does find the keys, Bieta jumps a little and winces when she hits the button to disengage the alarm and the noise made seems to echo in her ears down the whole street. She whispers to herself, "Please don't let them look down here."

"You're bothering the nice doctor. And me. Why is that?" The genial abrasiveness of Lin is starting to turn, the smirking manner she has starting to melt down to neutral. She sticks close to Bieta now while her attention is on Mike, "Something is not right with you." But for now it's just a sense of wrongness; something in her memory that's drawing blanks where there shouldn't be. When she looks back towards Bieta, there's a slightly lighter, more comfortable scowl that fits her facial expression, "Where are you headed? I'm.. not fit to drive, so make this a little easier on me tonight."

When Bieta gets into her suburban, she looks at Linnete and says, "It has gotten late and I need to get back home to my daughter. My babysitter needs to be able to get home before her curfew. I want her to be able to babysit for me in the future." Bieta starts her vehicle.

"Fair enough. You'll be with her shortly." And then Linnete reaches around and behind her back. She draws out a folded set of papers though, and then presses them towards Bieta, "Take this. Read it. If you need a babysitter, call the number on the last page. It's written in pencil." There's just a brief flap of her hands with palms facing upwards; what can you do?! "If you have any questions, my number is on the first page, in the margin, lower left hand corner."

Bieta takes only a moment to glance at where the woman is pointing before placing the pages on the seat in her vehicle. She looks back at Linnete and says, "If you live between here and my place and it is not too far, then maybe I could drop you off afterall. You did say you were in no shape to drive."

"Nah. Nowhere close. But that's nice of you to offer." There's a genuine smile there even if it doesn't really fit Lin's face; cheekbones too sharp, chin too pointy. But she waves Bieta onwards; she just kind of sticks around to make sure the good dog doc gets into her car safely. "Really, you'll want to read that. It's important enough that we've scouted out a good babysitter." She reaches a hand up, rubbing at the stubble along one side of her head, "Which isn't easy. Drive safely, doc."

Bieta closes the door to her vehicle and rolls down the driver's side window. "I will take a look at it when I get home. Thank you. Are you sure about not wanting a ride? It is night time and you are by yourself..."

Linnete gives a thumbs-up, with a little twitch behind her glasses. Probably a wink. "It's not far to walk. I never take my bike out if I'm going to get smashed." Though from there she tucks both hands into her back pockets, attention drifting, turning towards the street up ahead. "According to profile, it takes about six seconds to seat yourself. Three to buckle the belt. Two to start the ignition and then fourteen to make the usual safety check. I think if you go now, you'll beat the lights."

Bieta looks a little confused and shakes her head. Placing the suburban in reverse, she actually goes to the trouble of backing that beast of a vehicle and making a U-turn in the middle of the street in order to drive in the opposite direction of Off the Record. It was a good thing that there was next to no traffic on this street at this hour of the night.