Iron Triangles — Phase II: Terrence Morley tries to sign on clients for his class action lawsuit against Grey-Bambury Pharmaceuticals... but his star witness is late.
Vincenzo's <Semlier Optics Building: Sivad>
Vincenzo's is famous as the powerlunch location of choice for Sivad's rich, famous and influential people. The restaurant is located high atop the Semlier Optics building, on the 56th floor, and has enormous windows affording an incredible view of downtown Enaj and Regreb Bay. The atmosphere is halfway between casual and formal; at lunch almost all of the patrons wear business suits, but the waiters wear novelty ties. The restaurant has a mostly Italian menu with a great number of other options for people who don't like Italian. At lunch, however, most of the patrons opt for a light salad. A bar at one end of the room serves the needs of those people who enjoy a martini or two with their meals.
Perhaps thirty Sivadians have shown up for this meeting and are sitting in chairs arranged in front of a lectern of sorts. A sign politely informs patrons that this is a private function. However, no one seems to be enforcing the sign's commandment.
Wiendrbac sure ain't, not being Sivadian, or directly tied into the official affair. Earphones in his ears, one gloved hand clasping a cigarette, the other moving through his music list. Classical is followed by screaming rage, followed by melodic jazz, topped off with harsh Ungstiri tunes. He exhales through his nose, taking a look around, eyebrows raising at the relative quiet of the room. "Figured alot more folks woulda jumped on the quick-cash movement..."
Raisa makes her way into the restaurant, almost bumping into Wiendrbac as she hurries along, one hand lifted to her ear to listen in on whatever conversation is taking place. A faint frown is resting on her lips, which may be partly due to the look of exhaustion on her face.
A Sivadian in a navy blue frock coat with a flashy red crevat stands and approaches the lectern. "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen," he says. "I'm Terrence Morley. This is one of a series of information meetings being held by my firm for victims of Regisan in order to inform you about some of your options. This meeting will be unique in that I will introduce to you our chief witness against Grey-Bambury Pharmaceuticals -- an insider with in-depth knowledge of just how this fraud was perpertrated on the public." Morley pauses and glances down at his watch. "Unfortunately he seems to have been momentarily delayed... so in the meantime, if you have any questions you would like to ask, please ask them. My assistant is now distributing copies of the statement of claim and information on how to be included in the class."
Wiendrbac glances over at Raisa, offering a friendly if impersonal nod, before waving a hand to indicate the area. "You suing somebody too?" He takes a seat without waiting for an answer, watching the flashly lawyer take centerstage, music still playing in his ear. "Yeah, I gota few, pal." He takes the statement scanning it, before waving it in a mildly dramatic fashion. "Aren'tcha bein' just a little quick to take advantage of this? Piggybank gettin' empty, or is there a reasonin' behind it that I'm not grasping?"
"I'm here as the representative of the Health Office," Raisa replies to Wiendrbac. "My people do not /get/ the disease that needs treating with Regisan," is her cool retort, before starting to turn in order to weave in the direction of the lectern.
Morley shakes his head. "Big corporations need to be held accountable. When their greed gets in the way of good medicine, they need to be punished, and the only kind of punishment a corporation understands is monetary. Suing Grey-Bambury won't bring their victims back, but it may prevent something like this from happening again. Corporations will think twice before releasing shoddy products on the market."
Wiendrbac hmmms, looking back at the information given to him. "Who all -is- gettin' sued, then?" He glances back at Raisa briefly, before focusing his gaze back on Morely. "You taking it to the Health Ministry as well, or did I hear wrong?" The La Terran loops an arm over the back of his seat, slouching slightly, finally turning off his music with an absent flick of his finger on the object clipped to his belt.
As Wiendrbac mentions the Health Ministry, Raisa comes to a halt and turns, procuring herself a seat as she turns to watch the La Terran closely, one brow lifted very faintly in consideration.
Morley smiles faintly and holds out his hands. "The Department of Health, the Drug Safety Authority, the National Health Service... even the Minister for Health. They all had a responsibility to the citizens of Sivad to protect them from dangerous drugs, and they all failed in that duty. They too ought to be liable," he replies smoothly.
A Sivadian man in his 50s -- wearing a trenchcoat, a trilby hat and sunglasses -- enters the restaurant tentatively. He looks about Vincenzo's with furtive glances.
"So basically, yes, you're in for the cash." Wiendrbac mutters dryly, hopefully to low to be considered audible, before offering Morley just as faint smile. "Thank you, sir. Any idea on when your witness will arrive, and if he'll be interested in answering a few questions himself?"
"Since the discovery of the danger of Regisan, the Department of Health has done everything in its power to ensure that the drug is no longer used," Raisa notes, her voice lifting slightly to be heard. "A committee has been formed in order to ascertain how such a drug could have gotten released on the market when there were such deadly effects. To blame the them is completely useless, especially since the current Minister came into his position long after the drug was released for general use."
Morley sees Raisa for the first time and raises an eyebrow. "Ahh, the Minister has sent his chief of staff to pass the buck," he says wryly. "Not a very convincing evasion, though, Ms. Amondella. Your political master was /also/ Minister for Health in 3001 when Regisan was approved for sale. He's going to have to come up with a more convincing excuse." He sights the man in the trenchcoat. "Ahh, and here he is. Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Patrick Robinson -- who invented Regisan. Dr. Robinson, perhaps you'd like to say a few words to introduce yourself?"
Wiendrbac turns, brushing the hair out of his eyes carelessly, turning in his seat at the arrival of the disguised man. An amused quirk of his eyebrow is his most obvious response, watching the man make his way toward the center of the room to join the lawyer. Raisa's response is mostly ignored, obviously feeling no need to comment on her own arguments.
Raisa narrows her eyes slightly, but shifts in her seat to regard the newest addition of the room carefully. She brushes back some of her own hair, tucking it carelessly behind one ear.
The man in the trilby hat and the trenchcoat approaches the lectern slowly. He removes the sunglasses and the hat and looks around at the assembled guests. Robinson is clearly not a comfortable public speaker -- but on the other hand it seems something else is the source of his fear. He arrives at the lectern and looks at his shoes for a moment before clearing his throat. "Uhhh..." he says as he tries to think of something to say. And as a green dot appears on his chest and tracks slowly up toward his throat.
"Sniper!" Wiendrbac shouts, eyes widening at the small green dot, seemingly recognizing the misleading small beam of light as what it is.
Raisa is too far focused on shifting her gaze back and forth between the speaker and the lawyer to really take note, or translate its meaning in her brain.
Robinson's eyes dart toward Wiendrbac and his expression is one of confusion. Why is that man calling him a sniper? He doesn't have long to ponder this question, however. There is a faint "tink!" sound, like a spoon being struck against a glass, and then suddenly a lot of blood where Robinson's throat used to be. The inventor of Regisan falls to the ground.
Wiendrbac darts out of his chair, rolling away from his current position, hand quickly dropping to his side and away. An instinctive reaction without the neccessary equipment to complete the movement. "Dammit." He quickly, or as quickly as he can while prone, crawls over to Robinson to check the man.
Raisa is only steps behind Wiendrbac, and despite her handicap of heels, she moves as quickly as possible while staying low. While moving along her gaze moves to try and identify where the shot might have come from.
Even Sivad's advanced medical technology can't save someone in Robinson's condition. The doctor is dying. He opens and closes his mouth, trying to say something but unable to actually get the air from his lungs to his mouth. It seems he is trying to say the same two words over and over again... meanwhile, Raisa will notice that there is a small, neat bullet hole in one of the restaurant's many windows. In a building across the street, there is a flash of movement at one of the windows and then nothing.
Wiendrbac isn't worried about the shooter, perhaps because he figured out the tranjectory enough to realize it isn't likely he could catch him. Instead, he simply studies Robinson, grabbing a shoulder to steady the man, studying the movement of his lips as if to discern what exactly the dying man's last words may be.
Raisa hesitates for a moment, looking towards the bullet hole before back at Wiendrbac and the dying doctor, her hands tightening into fists for a moment before she lets out a sigh, rising to her feet and making her way for the previously mentioned pair.
The thirty other Sivadians in the room scream, many of them panicking, many of them hiding under tables. That's what Terrence Morley is doing. Meanwhile, Dr. Robinson quietly dies, and whatever words he was trying to utter die with him.
Wiendrbac sighs, pressing gloved hands on still eyelids, forcing them down. The screaming, chaos, and collection of this and that doesn't seem to bother the soldier much, nor does the blood on his hands. He gives Raisa a graceful nod, "I'm gonna take a good guess where the shooter came from." He begans to pat down the body, looking for anything that may help prove his theory.
Though not a soldier herself, Raisa seems fairly calm for someone that just watched another person get shot. She drops down onto her knees next to Wiendrbac, nodding her head. "I saw movement, but I wouldn't be fast enough to catch them. There are too many places they could go," she replies. Her lips tighten against each other as her new task seems to be trying to find Terrence Morley.
Wiendrbac finds: A commlink, a roll of antacids, a hankerchief (gently used), a sonic cleaning slip (one trenchcoat, one frock coat, three shirts, thank you, have a nice day!), an Enaj Transport route map, a ballpoint pen that has exploded and dyed the inside of Robinson's trenchcoat pocket, and a wallet (contents: a family photograph, a NosilaBank card, a Sivadian hoverdriver's license, a Sivadian Express card, expired, a Grey-Bambury employee ID card, also expired, a membership card for Robinson's club, a Sivadia Spacelines frequent flier card (Gold Level))
Terrence Morley is cowering under a table not far away from Robinson's body.
"Nothing." Wiendrbac replies with a hint of fustration, replacing everything soon after his search is through. "I suppose SHIELD is on their way, yeah?" He watches as the woman moves to Terrence, not following, simply turning his gaze to the window from which the shot came.
Raisa scowls slightly as she locates Morley, striding over without a word, attempting to haul the obviously larger man from under the table. "Speak," she growls out angrily.
Leon arrives from Lobby <Semlier Optics Building: Sivad>.
Thirty Sivadians in this room are screaming about something, and many are hiding under tables. If anyone has called SHIELD, they have not yet arrived. Through his fear, Morley stares blankly at Raisa. "Let me /go/," he says angrily.
Wiendrbac steps away from Robinson's cooling body, blood staining his hand and even the front of his shirt a little, stepping behind Raisa who has another man in a threatening grip. Nevermind that the Lunite is a little bit shorter then the Sivadian male. "You're one scary broad, little lady." Wiendrbac saids dryly, eying Terrence. "Regisan, I assume?"
Raisa just narrows her eyes in Wiendrbac's direction, before shaking Morley in her grip once or twice, "Tell me what you know, and I'll let you go," she retorts. "Why would someone want to shoot him? What secrets does he have about Regisan that someone doesn't want everyone to know about?"
Leon runs into the lunching area with a confused look, grasping onto his laptop around his chest while looking around at the confusion. Feverish glances around don't help calm his helpless curiosity, "What the hell is going on here?" he asks noone specifically.
The La Terran offers Raisa a simple roll of his eyes at the glare, going back to simply watching her interrogation of the lawyer. Wiendrbac does, occasionally, glance around, studying the still frazzled people in the room, then to Leon. "Better stay here mate, I'm sure SHIELD is gonna wanna question everybody.. don't want to be seen as suspicious, yeah?"
"He wouldn't tell me over the commlink! I don't know!" replies Morley in near hysterics. Which is when SHIELD arrives to see Raisa gripping the lawyer. Two constables run in their direction. "Well, now, wot's all this?" they ask. One of them tries to pull Raisa away from the lawyer.
After the answer, Raisa releases her grip on Morley, shrugging her shoulders to keep SHIELD off of her. "Well, it would seem, sirs, that there has been a murder, which I'm sure you could guess due to the fact that there is a dead body just over there," she notes simple, motioning in the direction of the dead man.
Wiendrbac turns as SHIELD agents arrive, offering them a brisk nod, stepping out of their way as they move to take Raisa off Morley. He keeps his bloody gloves away from his body, obviously not eager to stain himself much. "'eya, mates." The La Terran saids, looking over at the local law enforcement units.
Leon raises an eyebrow back to Wiendrbac before his lips curl downwards and he sighs a little bit, sagging. He takes a few steps towards Jack before looking at the rest of the scene, "Uh, John right?"
"Oh," says one of the constables as he notices the body. "I say. Take a look at this, Jeremy." "Hmm?" says Jeremy. He turns to look down at the body. "I say indeed! Lot of blood, isn't there?" Jeremy's comrade nods and pokes about the body. He frowns. "This is odd. Nothing in his pockets. Nobody searched the body before we arrived, hmm?" The two constables look at the assembled guests as a mother might look at a child she suspects of breaking a lamp.
Raisa rubs her temples lightly as she watches the two carefully, one brow lightly slightly. "There was a shooting from outside of this restaurant," she offers, pointing to the bullet hole, and then to the building where she saw movement. "Right after the shooting, I saw someone or something moving from that direction. And it was moving rather quickly."
"I did." John responds, before making a motion to the small pile right next to the man. "There is everything for your perusal, my good invesigator chaps, bloody straight." Wiendrbac turns his gaze to Leon, offering an affirmative nod, before looking back to the SHIELD agents.
Constable Jeremy looks down at the pile and chuckles sheepishly. "I say. Must be a bit dull today. Let's see what you have here..." He starts to sift through the pile as the other constable addresses Raisa, "So... you saw someone or something moving in a building across the street, and then decided to take it out on this gentleman?" The constable indicates Morley who is sitting at a table making a show of his wounded pride.
"It's a wonder this man didn't go ahead and wet himself," Raisa replies, glancing at Morley. "Of all of the people in this room, he was the only one who knew anything about the man that got killed, so, it's fair to believe that he might know somethinga bout what happened, agreed?" She offers. "And in his state, gentle coaxing wouldn't do too much."
Leon takes a deep breath in before shaking his head and pulling the black bag off his back, slipping his laptop in before zipping it up and putting it back on again. A hand rubs the bristles on his chin, "So. How long have you guys been waiting?" he directs to Wiendrbac.
Wiendrbac glances at Raisa, before shrugging. "I agree with 'er, her ability to be gentle nonwithstanding, yeah? He needed a good slap to get his head on straight." He looks over at Leon, "I just got here."
"Well, why don't you let us handle the investigation from here?" suggests the constable cheerily. "We are rather good at investigating things, you know. Just give that gentleman your name and address and we'll get to work." The constable indicates another SHIELD officer near the door. More SHIELD officers have arrived and are ushering people out of the restaurant.
Meanwhile Constable Jeremy stares at Robinson's antacids as though they might be a vital clue.
Raisa watches the two for a moment before nodding her head, a little bit of doubt evident in her eyes. She moves off to give the ordered information to the indicated person with a shrug of her shoulders.
"Er..." Wiendrbac responds, their assurances not comforting the La Terran, if his bewildered grimace is any clue. "I'm sure you blokes are right up there with the investigating stuff.. but..." He hesitates, thinking better of continuing, "I'm a visitor, but my name is John Wiendrbac if that helps. Maybe you should consider motives, yeah? I suggest a look into the policies of Regisan, and his immediate family... this man had a secret that people didn't want to get out."
"Wow. I feel. Quite amazingly ashamed on behalf of this whole planet." he comments, sarcasm lost in the quirky high tone in which he says it in. He eyes John as he introduces himself before a feeble smirk raises one side of his 'tash. "We.. can go them?"
"Ehh... well, yes, of course, those are both important factors in our investigation," says Constable Jeremy, nodding sagely.
Without much left to say or do, Raisa takes a glance around for a moment before starting to head out the door, her nose wrinkled slightly in distaste.
"God bless Sivad." Wiendrbac saids with a sigh, all to real. "Well, I'll leave you fine gents to your very important work, yeah?" He gives another frown, sliding away from the pair, heading out with a wry shake of his head.
SHIELD's two least competent investigators -- unfortunately chosen by chance to solve this murder -- continue their investigation.
Leon sniffs and leans in towards Wiendrbac, sticking with the familiar face for the moment. Two brown eyes focus on the scene one last time before Leon turns away and pulls his bagstraps back.
Lobby <Semlier Optics Building: Sivad>
The lobby of the Semlier Optics Building is ancient, dating from before the Kretonian war and the dark ages. Decorated in a complex clash of styles ranging from neo-classical to modern, it almost hurts the eyes. A reception desk sits in the middle of the room, manned by an attractive specialist receptionist. Behind this, a pair of glass lifts lead up the centerwell of the tower to the various offices placed here. The floor is carpeted in a deep red carpet that looks nearly brand new, in contrast to the mishmash of styles that makes up the rest of the building.
"I reckon that's about right." Wiendrbac agrees with a dull chuckle, "How is Cruyer? I came here to give 'em an offer."
"What kind of offer?" Raisa asks somewhat warily. "And he's been better..." Her voice is somewhat reserved as she just shakes her head.
"Been collectin' a crew for a cargo business. Ship ain't ready yet, but only so much we can do waitin'. If ya boss is willin' to purchase himself some temporary security, he just needs to ask, yeah? Well, that, and pad our palms a little. We ain't greedy." Wiendrbac responds with a cheeky wink. "Sides, this Regisan and Etrepe businesses have got my attention."
"That's something you have to take up with him," Raisa replies. "However, I would need to clear you to speak with him. There have been some complications lately that I am not sure about."
"Really now? Like what?" Wiendrbac questions, quirking a brow at the Lunite, as he continues walking.
"Things I do not wish to discuss at the moment," Raisa replies. She cants her head to the side slightly, studying Wiendrbac, "Weren't you from La Terre or something? What are you doing on Sivad?"
"Exactly what I said I was." Wiendrbac responds, pulling off his gloves with a grimace. "Lookin' for temporary gig for me and a bored crew without a ship, yeah? I also wanted to look into a business that seems to have some attatchment with Volari.. if I can help with the Regisan problem at the same time, more power to me, I reckon."
"I suppose," Raisa replies. "I'm going to go get myself a drink. Care to join me? Not as much fun to drink alone, afterall."
"I suppose I can wet my whistle with ya for a bit." Wiendrbac agrees, looking over his shoulder. "Was about to say that fellow could join us to, but he seems to have ran off." A shrug of his shoulders is his only response. "Lead the way, yeah?"