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Fandom Into the fire (1x1 MzHyde/Gallifrog)

Sub Genres
Action, Magical

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
A silence fell briefly over the room as everybody attempted to digest what they'd just learned. Compared to yesterday's revelations toady's information wasn't as much of a bombshell, but some aspects of it still shocked them all to the core. What was becoming apparent to them with each questions answered was that there was still far more of the story still to be uncovered. If Cal knew how to verify the information she would do it, but she had no contacts who could legally, ethically or morally show her her father's unredacted file (and she respected that kind of moral integrity in her friends, acquaintances and coworkers). It did however leave her in the incredibly awkward position of having to trust what her father was saying was the truth. The two conversations she and Elliott had had with their father about his path had been incredibly awkward. Zan didn't particularly want to talk about that part of his life, but also knew that his children had more right than anybody else to know the truth. Elliott could in theory verify the information by MindWalking his father's memories, but that required there to be a trust between them that quite simply didn't exist.

Elliott broke the silence of the room by patting the empty space beside him on the couch. "Jay if you're ready we can do that MindWalk now" he told the assassin who nodded, setting the laptop to one side before making her way to over beside Elliott. "I said I'd tell the full story first. So here it is." She leaned forwards slightly, resting her elbows on her thighs "basically the Supreme Global Court building is divided into two sections- the courts and associated meeting rooms located on the lower levels and the data banks and archives - both digital and physical- which are located on the upper floors. To access the upper floor you need a set of access codes, which I acquired, how I got my hands on them doesn't matter. Wrap a scarf around my face, put on some standard issue glasses and some special gloves designed not to leave fingerprints and the cameras wouldn't be able to trace me. The classic break-in get up and plan really, it's reliable and pretty foolproof to execute at short notice. The section of the building housing the mainframe and rooms containing highly and/or classified highly sensitive documents are guarded at all entrances by armed guards. But when I got there they were already out cold, pulled somewhere out of the way so that you wouldn't see them until you went right up to the door. They were given some kind of tranquilliser or sleeping drug I'd guess, they showed no obvious signs of assault, but I didn't hang around long enough to check. A professionally done job. I then made my way to the main server room, the door was shut, but not locked. I crept in, only to find somebody else there, already in the process of copying files. Male, tall, face covered in the same way as mine was, also wearing gloves, no obvious sign of a weapon, yet something irritatingly familiar about them. They saw me and after a surprised pause said 'we can either beat the shit out of each other, make a mess of the place and alert the other guards, or we can do this civilly, both take what we've come for and then go our separate ways' their voice muffled by the scarf. Obviously I chose the second option, they cleared out after another few moments, then I did my thing and got the hell out of there."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
With Elliott saying that Jay could do the MindWalk now that the topic of what was said with Zan was over and done with, Kay and Fia found their shoulders and general demeanor relax a bit more and further into the couch they were sitting on. Yet the moment Jay got up, sat down next to Elliott and began telling the dtory of what she found and this mystery guy, Fia found herself particularly leaning forward once again to listen to what Jay had to say. She wasn't expecting such a long story, but she was glad for it as it gave a lot of context to what she found, with the mention of the guy making her raise an eyebrow. She found it interesting that the guy didn't shoot first ask questions later or just make a run for it, but instead actually converse with Jay and come to a mutual decision.

"no wonder you want to know who the guy is, that's highly curious" Fia replied, slumping back yet again on the couch. She just hoped that the MindWalk would give Jay the answers she wanted, and those answers would aid them in their case and not hinder them. Kay didn't even know what to say to what Jay told them, finding that Fia's words summed it up perfectly, so even if she could say anything on it, she wouldn't have as it would just echo what her daughter said. "well, good luck on getting answers" she ended up just saying as she moved her hand to her back and massages a tight spot.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
The others listened intently as Jay told her story, out of the group she was the only one to ever have visited the upper levels of the court building. Neither Cal nor Cliff had the need nor the permission to access those levels. Aside from the mandatory trips during their school days, neither had been in that court building before the trial began. To hear that there was somebody else using the exact same strategy as Jay to break in and were doing so in a manner that Jay called 'professional', it suggested that whoever was breaking in had received some kind of training, though on what side of the law they'd received that training was a mystery. There were many raised eyebrows at what the other intruder had said. It made sense in a weird way, neither had any beef with the other and getting caught would mean increased security. But the offer and it's blunt delivery had slightly thrown Jay, she'd worked with others before, but this was the first time she'd been propositioned during a break in.

"Now that is really weird. I can see the guy's point in making that offer, but it is..." Elliott gave a shrug unable to come up with a word or phrase that didn't involve him repeating some form of the word 'weird'. ".....Yeah, bloody weird." "So this person was using the same plan as you?" Cliff asked, wanting to make sure she was fully understanding the story. "Yeah" the assassin confirmed "but like I said, it's an old and reliable way to do this kind of break-in." "Why din't they just shoot you in the head as soon as they realised they had company?" John asked, not realising the same question had passed through Fia's head moments earlier. "Could be any number of reasons, they could be working on commission and would get paid less money if there were casualties. If I was killed, they'd also have to hide the body, which isn't easy and would just draw attention to them. Maybe they're purely a cat-burglar and don't kill people point of principle, wouldn't be the first time I've encountered somebody like that- the guards were knocked unconscious not dead. Though my main theory is that it's a court building and you CAN'T bring in weapons, and improvising one on the spot is always messy. Neither of us saw the other's face, and tracking down a faceless perp is pretty dang hard. It was a good call on their part really."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia could tell that Elliott was desperate to find another word other than weird to describe the situation that happened before he gave up and reused it anyway, but continued to listen as Cliff asked her question which Jay responded to, only to hear John express the same thought that she herself had but kept to herself. That very realisation making her smirk the tiniest bit as to her, it showed they really do think along the same lines even in this time. A moment that made her hear her mother's voice in her head saying 'like father like daughter', which made her hope that this didn't change with her unborn self as she grew up. Yet then again, she hoped in general that she wouldn't change too much. Shaking the side thoughts from her head, she listened to Jay's reply to John's question, finding that Joe Jay was explaining it in depth as to why that was the case, it made a lot of sense.

Now she truly found herself thinking about it, she could understand why this mysterious person chose the route he did, especially now Jay reminded them that the unconscious people on the ground were just that....unconscious. "makes sense actually, now that I truly think about as I have to admit, I was wondering the same thing as dad" Fia remarked. The moment Fia admitted that she was thinking the same thing as John, Kay couldn't help think how yet again they were so alike, more alike than John probably even realises or wants to admit, which made her get a very small but very brief smile on her face.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John smirked when Fia confessed that she'd been thinking the same as he had. It really did say something about the way both of them were wired if that was their main thought about Jay's encounter. John nodded at Jay's various explanations, satisfied with them, even though he didn't have a decisive answer. The last one did sound very likely- each time they'd entered the courtroom there had been various checks (some obvious, some invisible to all but the most trained eye) for concealed weapons performed. Smuggling in a weapon would be one hell of a risk, and in Elliott's opinion the for a break that amounted to a data grab, sneaking in a weapon was a risk more likely to backfire than it was to actually help the thief.

With no more questions about Jay's break in, Elliott proceeded with the MindWalk. As there was just two of them taking part it took less than a minute for both of them to emerge in the mindscape of Elliott's mind. Since coming back to Attil, Elliott had begun to construct a new mindscape which was a mashup of significant buildings from the military base, the military town and the main town, all in various funky pop-art colours. He wanted to encapsulate the good and the beautiful of Attil as opposed to the darker, almost sinister post-apocalyptic mindscape of Attil he'd constructed during his year floating alone through space. As Elliott and Jay slumped against each other on the couch (taking complete advantage of the fact that Elliott's powers required skin on skin contact to work) Cal rang Deke up to see what he could do about getting camera footage. Jay had originally been intending to wipe or loop any relevant security footage remotely once she was back at the apartment, but with the discovery of a second person in the mainframe room, she now suspected that the other person was going to (or had already done) the same thing and wanted to see if there was any chance of retrieving said footage to get further clues as to the identity of the other masked perpetrator.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia always respected Jay's theories on people's reasons for doing something as she was one who always was straight eith her to the beauty of Fia's knowledge and she never grew up thinking Jay was ever lying to her, unlike how she spent a great of her growing up thinking about Kay. Even when Jay couldn't be completely forthcoming, she still seemed to get a better answer out of her than she did for a long time from her mother. It was only the day the truth came out that future Kay started being truthful as best she could with Fia, but Fia felt like she wasn't sure if she could trust it to be said truth. So when Jay said the theories on this mysterious hacker, she trusted her theories and found they made sense. She also noticed the smirk on John's face appear from her confession, knowing it was all too a familiar thing. After that, she didn't say anymore so Jay and Elliott could do the MindWalk.

As the two of them went into the MindWalk, Cal contacting Deke, Kay and Fia relaxed on the couch. It didn't take long for Fia to start playing on her phone as she waited to hear if Jay got any answers, whereas Kay just continued to remain where she was now that finally she found a comfortable position to sit in that wasn't irritating her back. She noticed how Fia went straight to her phone and couldn't help think what a typical teenager she was being yet again, whilst wondering how glued to her phone she truly was. Little did she know, Fia was practicing her Attili on the girl she met at the club whilst chatting with her and her brother.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John surprisingly also chose to go on his phone while Elliott was doing the MindWalk. It was rare for Elliott to show any outwards signs of the emotions he was experiencing during a MindWalk so there was little point in watching him. Instead he started looking up how the trial was going, heading to both the main journalistic sites and then the deep-web forums where the members of self proclaimed 'justice movement' lurked. John knew there was a certain level of irony in the fact that he trusted this group of random strangers who went under the moniker of being a 'justice group', yet he didn't trust the Justice League of Earth one jot. Even though only a few days had passed both the comments section of official news sites and the hidden forums were awash with talk and theories. There were no journalists allowed in the actual courtroom, none of the judges or other high up officials trusted that the reporters would be able to keep such highly classified things secret. Instead they were surviving on official press releases and whatever comments they could get from the legal people who had the misfortune to exit by the main doors.

It was another half hour before a reply came through from Deke, a reply in the form of a set of highly encrypted video files that would automatically erase themselves from existence after exactly sixty minutes. It was illegal for Deke to send them copies of the camera files he'd dug up, so this self erasure feature was the compromise. Attached to the files was a message with Deke's own theory as to what had happened and why he'd included certain pieces of tape and not others. Ever since Elliott had arrived back on Attil Cal and Cliff had being doing all their less than legal communication with Deke on a spare unregistered laptop, neither stupid enough to use their own. "Right then." Cliff declared breaking the silence of the room. "Deke's done his thing, so anybody who wants a look at the security footage can get over here now. We've got less than an hour before they wipe themselves."

All those who were interested moved to the kitchen table and either stood, or sat around the laptop. There was no sound on the cameras, just video. The upper levels of the court building were surprisingly normal, just a series of corridors and nondescript rooms. The only noticeable difference was that all doors were card and code protected and the door this camera was focused on had three armed guards, all wearing lightweight body armour, armed with both handguns, large hefty rifles and some form of blade, all bearing expressions that were perfect combinations of 'alert and ready for action' and 'utterly bored out of my skull, would much rather be doing something else'. They then were joined by another military figure, dressed in the full camouflage uniform, including a beret that covered their close cropped hair. Despite the various cameras, none of them managed to get a full shot of the fourth soldier's face. They conversed for a few minutes, joking about something before the fourth man departed. According to the time stamp he then returned about forty five minutes later with a round of take-away drinks, much to the delight of the three guards. (According to Cal and Cliff this had all happened while the trial was still going on). The guards drank and it wasn't long before they'd all slumped to the ground unconscious. Within a two minutes of the trial finishing another man came along, quite clearly the masked intruder Jay had met. Aside from the tightly wound scarf, glasses and gloves he was wearing the standard outfit of any of the trial goers- plain button-down shirt and dark trousers. He bent by the slumped guards, checked each one for a pulse, turned, gave a thumbs up to the camera and proceeded to key in the various codes to the mainframe door. He slipped in and then a few minutes later, Jay appeared and entered the room. The tapes stopped there, Deke had tried to trace both the masked man and the fourth soldier, but they'd vanished at a camera blackspot.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
When Deke's reply came through and Cliff declared that if anyone wanted to see it to come to her as it won't be around for long, Fia instantly put her phone down and went to her, looking over her shoulder to watch the footage that Deke sent across, whereas Kay remained where she was because she couldn't be doing with constantly standing up and sitting back down again. She also figured that whatever was watched, she'd figure it out from the discussions afterwards anyway. She watched it intently, making sure to take in every single detail she could so not to miss anything. She noted how the expressions on the guards were to what they were carrying, the state of the hallway, the time stamps, every single thing. She took in the time stamps of the fourth guard entering and exiting the frame, finding not much out of place at first until that said guard came back with drinks for them all, which appeared to clearly have been drugged.

As the guard started to drop onto the ground, she thought maybe the fourth guard could have done it, but then he dropped too and the mysterious disguised hacker came into view which threw a massive spanner into her quick theory. What really got her however was the fact the hacker put his thumb up to the camera. "huh...interesting" she remarked under her breath to herself. "well that leaves more questions aka how did the drinks get spiked as that clearly seems to have been the case without that fourth guard knowing, or if he did know, does that mean the fourth guard and this hacker were working as a team? Also I find it highly curious that he would give the thumbs up to the camera after checking the guards pulses. Which makes me think, if the guard wasn't working with him, was someone in the security camera surveillance room working with him? Or was he just being a cocky arse? I mean, how this was accomplished was damn good but there's no way it was a solo job, but if it was by a slim chance then the guy is damn good" she remarked when the footage ended. As Kay guessed, Fia's comments alone told her everything she needed to know and thought her kid brought up some very valid questions.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John was very intrigued about what the footage could tell them, the main thing he wanted to find out was whether this person was working for Elliott's side or against it. Chas was less curious than John, but Jay's story about the abnormal behaviour of the other thief had well and truly piqued his interest so he too got up and joined Fia, John, Cal and Cliff around the laptop. Both men were impressed with clarity of the footage, it was leagues better than the grainy CCTV stills of London's cameras. At first neither of them saw anything suspicious about the appearance of the fourth man, sure he was dressed differently to the rest, but that was hardly unusual, while the main town didn't have the large population of soldiers, pilots and other military personnel that the base town had, uniformed and military figures were never the less common enough that none of the guards on duty at the secure door batted an eye. When the take-away coffees were passed out, John leaned forwards ever so slightly, guessing that this was how the tranquilliser drug was administered. Cliff and Cal both made identical 'huh' noises of surprise when the fourth soldier was also overcome by the drug and slumped to the floor.

Eyebrows were raised at the thumbs gesture, either the man was really cocky and didn't care about being caught on camera or he had an accomplice on the other end of the camera who he was signalling to. One thing was for sure, this was a very slick operation, the guards collapsed a few minutes before the trial finished and the thief appeared barely two minutes after the trial broke for lunch. as Jay had said, it had the hallmarks of a professional job.Had Fia not spoken first with her thoughts, any one of the other four would have, all having their own thoughts on what they'd just seen. "It IS weird that this guy" Cliff tapped the image of the fourth guard on the screen. "was knocked unconscious. If the soldier DID know about the drugs, say he slipped them in there in the first place, then why drink the coffee yourself, why not just wait til the drug takes effect then slip in and nick the files yourself?" Cliff asked, frowning. "It takes a certain type of dedication to knock yourself unconscious for a cause. It leaves you SO open to attack or worse." John nodded, as did Chas. "That's bloody weird, it would just be so much easier for 'im to go in and grab the files himself. Any chance he's just faking being drugged? Some kind of reverse psychology mind fuck thing?"

Cliff could only shrug. "Just looking at footage, I really couldn't say. ANYBODY with basic acting training could fake falling unconscious and since this guy" she tapped the other man's scarf-covered face "is only checking for pulse. you probably could fool them if you could control your breathing and lower your own heart rate slightly. It is possible to be trained to do that, it's a very effective technique. But that still leads to the question of why?" "It must be to do with the thief himself." Chas declared. "If you go back a bit" he rewound the footage then played it again, and they watched as the mysterious man typed in the various passcodes needed to unlock the door. "Just look how easily he puts in that really long set of passcodes. That's a man whose done this before. He's barely looking at the keypad. I think he could be an insider, has been there for legitimate business before." "I'd put money on it being somebody at the trial too, that outift- plain shirt and dark trousers is what almost every male is wearin', regardless of their side. And the timin' as well, it's all centred on having those guards knocked out as close to the break for lunch as possible." "Well either way, they aren't working alone, flashing signs at the camera like that? There's definitely somebody on the other side. And while it could just be a regular thumbs up, he could also be using it in a military sense where a thumbs up can mean 'I'm okay' or 'everything is gong to plan'. Deke said in the attached message....." Cal flipped away from the video fora second to pull up Deke's message, and skim read it until she found the point she wanted. "That this footage was wiped from almost all the servers and by the time he copied this portions, the back-ups had gone too. Somebody did with some serious hacking skills replaced this footage with one which edited out the presence of the fourth guard, the thief and Jay. It can't have been a solo job and the fourth guard must be involved or why else would he have been wiped?" "Deke also said that he tried to follow the thief and fourth guard when he got back up, but the footage was wiped before he could get anywhere." Cliff added, leaning over her wife's shoulder to get a better view of the message.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia listened to everyone else's comments, glad that she wasn't the only one who was finding the gestures and actions of these two particular people highly peculiar. There were two points that stuck out to Fia as everyone spoke which got her thinking, the first being the question running through Cliff's mind about the fourth guard, and the second bring what John said about the hacker and the way he was dressed. She let Chas say what he had on his mind first, and even looked back at the part of the footage that he rewound it to, seeing that yes, the hacker was indeed barely even looking at the keyboard as he typed in all the codes he needed to. At first she didn't think much of it as as good typer should be able to type without looking at the keyboard much anyway. Yet now she really looked st it, he was even better than the average good typer.

"okay, so I got a theory, and it might be utterly insane but hear me out okay? What if...say the fourth guard is working with the hacker but can't for obvious reasons let on that being the case? He has to look just as much of an innocent party to this as the other guards. Now I know the footage with him has been wiped, but that adds to my theory" she began saying, knowing she getting to it in a long winded way, but she needed to, "so with that in mind, what if he did purposely drug himself to look like an innocent bystander completely? I know you guys said why would he because it leaves him highly vulnerable, but by doing so, there's also the side to the plan that if he goes down at the same time as the others, he doesnt risk looking suspicious incase the other three guards go out before he does, it's a good way of sending the signal to the hacker that everyone is down and it's possible for this guy to give him a lower dosage so he wakes up first so he can get out too. Which would explain why he gets wiped out of the footage as well." she finished. "I mean, it's bloody genius in some ways, and not far different from doing the whole knock yourself out to get into a secured area then wake up and loot the place and escape before anyone comes to check in on you" she then added, her tone implying she may have done something similar herself.

"As for the hacker? I still think the thumbs up is a signal to the footage watcher. It'll be interesting when Jay comes back out of the MindWalk if she remembers seeing the hacker wake anyone up or just scarper on his own. It's definitely obvious he was in the trial from his dress so he knew when to move, just like Jay did." she then spoke of her other theory.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
All eyes turned to Fia when she said she had a theory on the matter. Chas could feel his mind trying to make sense of the what they were seeing, trying to slot things together in a logical manner, his mind reaching for something that was just out of his mental grasp. It was incredibly frustrating to be so near yet so far from forming a workable theory. Once again he could also feel the dull throbbing pain in the side of his head that only ever occurred when his mind tried (and failed) to access the knowledge he'd learned from the phoenix lore book. "Well this whole situation is utterly bloody insane, so an utterly insane theory might be just what we need" John shrugged, willing to listen to any theory thrown out and try and pick holes in it, it was certainly easier than trying to come up with one of his own accord. Solving complex heists like this that involved all kinds of spy shit wasn't something John did particularly often not something he enjoyed. He was a straight forwards man when it acme to his breaking and entering, he'd much rather make a scene about it than plot something this complicated. Trying to figure out what was going on from these bits of film was only going to irritate him in the long run. Give him a complex haunting or demon problem on the other hand and he'd be in his fucking element.

The others listened in silence as Fia explained her theory. From the word go it was a good one, it certainly explained a lot. John didn't miss the tone in Fia's voice that implied she'd deliberately let herself get knocked out in order to get access to somewhere with incredibly high security. He couldn't say he completely approved of such an act, but given that he'd been knocked out and dragged into all kinds of places himself, he really wasn't one to talk or judge (too much). But that didn't stop him from making just one quip on the matter. "It's actually a better plan than the old 'let yourself get knocked out' one cos you don't have to deal with the bloody annoyin' concussion that comes from being walloped over the head with a cricket bat, antique vase, piece of heavy metal pipe etc.." John replied with a smirk, he'd been knocked out by all three of those objects in his time.

When Fia finished her explanation there was a pause as the others let it all sink in. John was the first to speak. "Y'know, you could be onta something with that kid, it certainly explains a hell of a lot and ties it all up in a net package." John told Fia, slowly nodding. "It certainly makes sense, and since we know that the footage has been wiped and replaced so thoroughly there was DEFINITELY somebody on the other end of the camera at the time. I'm certainly not going to debate that point. I don't think that any of us are to be honest." "I'm certainly not going to and I agree with everything Fia's said. It's a viable explanation and scarily good plan if that is what's actually happened."

"Well there's no point in hanging around waiting for them to jolt out of this, the footage is going to erase itself soon."
Cal remarked, reaching over and grabbing a marker pen from the pot of miscellaneous writing implements. She then walked over to Elliott and very carefully began to write on his arm, bending her arm awkwardly to ensure that her skin never touched her brothers. As a result her handwriting was more uneven than usual, but still legible
Tell Jay we have the files and there is something she needs to see
Cal couldn't help but smirk slightly as she wrote, thinking back to when she was younger and she'd written on her brother's arm in permanent marker and it hadn't come off his skin for a week. "Nobody say anything to either of them." Cliff told them. "This is Jay's area, let her have as unbiased a look as possible and see what she comes up with." Barely a minute after the message was written on Elliott's arm the two emerged from the MindWalk. Cliff passed the laptop wordlessly over to Jay, who watched the footage through narrowed eyes. Elliott leaned over to watch, not quite resting his head on her shoulder. When the fragments of film they had finished Jay played them again, slowing down the frame rate and watching the whole performance in slow motion.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
After she spoke her theory, she felt rather proud of herself that for once she could truly show her intelligence in another manner other than musicality. She was also half expecting the whole 'we'll talk later about how you know all this' spiel from John, forgetting for rhat split second that he wasn't her time's John, as she just knew if she was back home she most definitely would have been lectured. Though she could tell from the corner of her eye that he wasn't impressed she would do such a thing, but that all got overruled by the self pride that grew when John said he thinks she's onto something with the theory, then Cliff then Chas. "hey, I'm not just a pretty face! I have my moments of smarts, and because I know you are thinking it, yes I know you don't approve of me doing such a plan but it gets the job done if its the only possible way. You'd be surprised how many people will rush to a poor fainting woman's side in those snobby places" she smirked, as Cal got up after talking about Jay and letting them know via writing on Elliott's arm that Jay was indeed needed.

"I'm not even going to comment on you doing such activities" Kay spoke up from where she was on the couch. Even if she did have to admit it was a damn genius idea and impressed that Fia could come up with such a ploy, making her think there was definitely a lot more to their kid than they had previously given her credit for. She couldn't help but think that Fia had been hiding just how intelligent she was when Rinaa was around for some reason, or felt she couldn't show it when the other teenager was around. Fia just waved her hand dismissively at Kay's words, all too used to similar (and worse) words coming out of Kay's mouth. When Jay and Elliott came out of the MindWalk, Jay proceeding to take the laptop with the footage and watch it with even greater scrutiny than the rest of them did, Fia remained perfectly silent on her own theory to see if Jay came to anything similar to her.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
"None of us ever said you weren't smart." John retorted, genuinely offended by that idea. It had been obvious to him from the start that Fia was start, she'd somehow figured how to time-travel to this point in time. It took all kinds of brains to figure it out, especially with all the levels of magic repellent wards around the planet. On one of the very first days John had done a little scoping out of the warding around Attil, seeing and feeling for himself just how seriously strong and complex they were. His initial outburst of annoyance was followed followed by him muttering something under his breath at the ceiling that sounded suspiciously like "geez, what is it with kids in this group hiding that they're intelligent?" John had no problems with kids being super intelligent or excellent schemers when it came to not-so-legal activities, in fact it was the exact opposite, he'd rather they were that way as it indicated that they were highly independent and could take care of themselves. There was nothing wrong with a bit of modesty, nobody liked an asshole that bragged the whole time about how smart they were, but Rinaa had taken it to ridiculous levels, and now it seemed like Fia could have been doing a similar thing? Why, he wondered to himself were all the kids he knew screwed in the head in one way or another?

Everybody stayed silent, watching Jay as she scrutinised the footage, her eyebrows furrowing together in concentration. The others could practically hear the cogs turning in her head and nobody daring to breathe too heavily in case it might somehow put her off. After watching it through for a second time Jay went back again, scrutinising the frames containing the fourth guard with such intensity that Cal genuinely feared for the laptop. The expression on her face was utterly unreadable, even to Elliott who'd known her the longest. (Fia wouldn't be able to pick up anything from the expression either, the assassin's face was a stony mask, letting none of her emotions through). She seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time on the fourth soldier, Elliott guessing that it was a combination of a) her having already done all the examining she needed to do of the thief during the MindWalk and b (having no idea that one of the soldiers was involved (Jay had only given them the briefest look on her way in). Jay also brought up the message from Deke and read through the techie's explanation of how the footage had been wiped and he's only just got to the back-ups in time. She didn't speak for at least ten minutes, during which Elliott managed to remove the marker from his arm.

When Jay did speak her voice was flat and business like. "This footage..... it looks like a fragment operation going on to me. There's three people involved at the minimum, but they don't know each other directly, all have the necessary skills to pull off one part of the op, but not enough to pull off the entire op solo. Without knowing their accomplices they can't give up any information if it all goes balls up. There's the soldier who we can safely assume drugged the coffee. There's the thief who I met in the mainframe who knows all the necessary access codes and I suspect the layout of the building if they snuck in and out so easily. And finally there's whoever wiped the live and back-up footage, who I'd bet money on being the same person who the 'all's going to plan' signal was being given to." Seeing the lack of surprise on the other's faces, she guessed they'd come to a similar conclusion to themselves. or more precisely, given the way all eyes flicked towards Fia briefly, it had been the teenager who'd pieced it together. "I'm also forty percent sure that the soldier is the pink haired courier from the other day, there's something SO familiar about him, yet I CAN'T put my finger on it." There was genuine annoyance in Jay's tone, the kind of annoyance that came from knowing you were so close to something yet unable to make the necessary leap of logic to figure it out fully. "And I'm fifty percent sure that our thief is the spook Dakkon told about, the one put on the planet to creep through the ranks and who'd ended up getting brainwashed. I didn't recognise his voice from the court proceedings, but I'm damn sure he was there, clothes are a give-away. And also, this kind of fragmented op? It's a spook favourite."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia could tell that John is hn got offended by her words, even though she was initially poking fun at herself in the process, but she realised she couldn't have conveyed that very well in her initial comment. She hated offending her father, but she presumed because she was so used being lectured due to the fact it always put her true identity and safety at risk, and her mother in particular going off on one if she was ever caught sneaking out, that she would just moaned at in this time. It was a hard habit to break out of that she would be treated a bit differently here and now. When John complained about the kids hiding how intelligent they are, Fia just shrugged, "its not that I ever hid it from you lot... I just never found a moment to show it" she replied to him. It wasn't an full lie either, it was true after all, yet she did also feel like when Rinaa was around, Rinaa was in her element when she got to show moments of her intelligence that she didn't want to risk coming across as overshadowing her when she had such problems with the other Fia doing exactly that.

The silence was almost deafening to Fia as Jay scrutinised absolutely everything she was watching, so when Jay finally broke that silence she was utterly relieved and felt like she could actually breathe again properly, having unknowingly been holding her breath every couple of minutes for that ten minutes. As she spoke and explained her theory, showing it was very similar to her own theory, with everyone glancing at her in the process, she just gave the modest shrug and smile. "as this lot just made totally obvious I came to that same theory, or at least...very very similar" she told Jay. "if the guard is the courier, it would make some sense I guess to why he was so heavily disguised during the delivery to Zan." Kay commented, speaking up once again. "so let's say just for this hypothetical moment here that our thief is the spook, and the guard is the courier...who could have the sort of clearance to access the security room to watch the cameras? And how Zan and that delivery come into all this because if the courier is the guard, then something in the back of my mind is saying Zan or at the very least the 'parcel' is linked to this in some way or another" Fia commented.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Nobody was particularly surprised by the first part of Jay's speech when she finally started talking. All gratefully let out the breaths they'd been holding in, every single one of them, even Elliott, had been tensed up in some way as they waited and watched Jay doing her thing. The second part of her spiel had them all raising eyebrows. Never mind the fact that she was only forty percent sure, none of them had made any form of connection between the pink haired masked courier and the beret-wearing soldier. Even if it was only forty percent, that was forty more percent than any of the rest of them. Nobody could quite understand how she'd come to that theory, if forced to guess Cliff would say something about how Jay's observational skills had been so finely honed that she could make these connections without having to involve her conscious brain. Her next assumption was equally intriguing, the thief was the spook who'd been planted in the Attili government and all couldn't help but take an unconscious step closer as if moving closer to the laptop would somehow allow them to see whatever it was that Jay was seeing (despite the fact that they'd all been as close to the laptop as she was when they initially watched the tape).

"The spook and the thief being the same person, I could see how that works. Whoever he is, he knows those door codes very well." Jay nodded at Chas' words, also having been tipped off by how deftly the thief put in the door codes. You didn't type like that unless you had done it before. "And he knew his way around the mainframe, no doubt he knew the codes for that as well, I was planning to hack into both it and the doors. He was already deep into the file banks by the time I got there, and I didn't exactly take my time getting there. If he isn't the spook, then he bloody well knows who the spook is, one can't just BUY those kind of codes on the black market or wheedle them out of somebody when they're drunk." "What about the guard? Why do you think he and the courier are the same person?" Cal asked, unable to contain her curiosity. Jay gave a slight shrug "gut feeling. I can't explain it, but there's something about the fourth guard that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end when I first saw him on the tape. The same thing happened when I saw the courier the other day. I KNOW I know him, but at the same time I haven't the slightest clue as to why I know him."

"I'll run with that hypothetical" Jay replied, having always found a good hypothetical to be an excellent way of making and breaking plans. "In which case, this is a spook operation and it's really not necessarily a matter of having suitable clearance to access the camera banks/security room." Jay corrected Fia on her first point. "For this kind of operation the operative could very easily be given the necessary credentials. They do have a spook on the inside who based on the redacted file Deke let me look through, is more than high up enough to easily know all the security codes, procedures and clearance levels needed to gain access to that part of the court building. The guard/courier guy, I'd be willing to bet that his real rank, if he has one, which he probably does- most spooks go through some form of military training as part of their basic training, even the pencil pushers- is not the one he was displaying as a guard nor the one he was as a courier. It's ACTUALLY a matter of having the necessary skills to wipe and edit the live footage as well as doing such a thorough clean-up job on the back-up files. The fact Deke said he couldn't find ANY traces of the real files means we're looking at a pro without a doubt. It's very hard to entirely delete a file from one bank, let alone from all back-up sites."

"Would Zan have the necessary clearance for the file rooms? Any chance he was selling the information on or summat like that?"
John asked, following on from Fia's hypothesising that Zan was somehow involved. Cal and Elliott turned to each other with questioning looks then shrugged in unison. "Maybe?..... He is high up, though I really don't know how high up." "I don't either" Cal sighed "until the other day hadn't spoke to him for nine years. As for his morals? It's becoming abundantly clear that we don't know the man at all. Sure Rinaa might have said he turned whistle blower in her timeline, but the change only became apparent after Qui died and that change resulted in Zan getting a bullet through the skull. That timeline is bloody fucked up anyway, so hardly the best basis for making assumptions on anybody's personality or motives." There was an anger and an annoyance in Cal's voice, making it blatantly apparent that all these revelations about Zan were affecting her far more than she'd been letting on. Some of that anger did dissipate when Cliff laid a hand on her wife's shoulder and began gently stroking it. "How do we even know that Zan got taken out for being a whistle blower, for all we know it could be because the bloody gang found out he was alive and made good on their promise to end it all with a bullet?"
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
As the others all spoke in response to Jay's theory, and also putting pieces together as best they could, Fia listened intently to everything, as she wanted to make sure she understood what was being said. The more that the theory of the spook and thief were the same person was being spoken about, the more it seemed to make sense to Fia that it could very easily be the case. As Jay continued on and then corrected her on oe point, she took the correction by simply nodding as she took it less than a correction of what she questioned, and more of a case of giving her the answer she wanted to know. She then continued to listen to the more in depth answer to her questions, finding that the parts about the courier/guard makes sense that he wouldn't use his real rank when doing such an operation to keep his annymousity completely top notch.

As John asked a follow up question to her theorising on Zan's involvement (something she didn't like to think, but she couldn't ignore that little side line thought either), she was glad that someone else was thinking about Zan's involvement as well as herself. She listened as Elliott and Cal gave their own answers and thoughts on the matter, seeing how much Cal hated the whole idea and saying the very words that were coming out of her mouth. She hated that these revelations were having such an effect on Cal, and almost wished in some ways that she wasn't asking the questions she was, as she didn't want to be upsetting the woman. Yet John's reply and point was a very valid one also, they didn't know that his future assassination was down to him being a whistle blower. "dad has a valid point there. Rinaa never explicitly said it was him being a whistle blower that got him killed. For all we know his future death is totally unrelated" she replied.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Hearing the anger and the hurt in Cal's voice Elliott desperately wanted to go over and hug his sister. He also felt immensely guilt for not being able to tell how much all the recent revelations were upsetting his sister. But it seemed that Cliff had everything in hand, especially when Cal slumped against her with a frustrated, tired sigh. Elliott fell silent for a moment after John spoke, asking a question none of them really wanted to hear, yet was one they probably should be asking. It was feasible that it could be the gang that killed him, Zan had made it clear on more than one occassion that they were still active and would want him dead if they found out he was still alive and kicking. When Rinaa was brought up Elliott retreated briefly into his mind to check the memory. When his eyes faded back to normal he nodded slowly in agreement. "Yes, you're right, her exact phrasing was quite open, there could be a link between him turning whistle blower and the assassination that killed him, or there could not."

"But we were all slightly too pre-occupied wondering if I'd been the one to pull the trigger to question it any further."
Jay added, she hadn't been offended by that line of thought at the time, because she'd been thinking the same thing. Rinaa had told them that after Elliott's death Jay went AWOL for about four years, reverting to her former life as an assassin. "True, unfortunately." "So it could be gang retaliation that killed him, it could be because he for some reason turned whistle blower and pissed off a bunch of politicians to the point where they'd put a hit on him OR it could be for some other reason entirely?" John summarised, followed by an irritated sigh of "well that's clear as fucking mud." "But it's probably worth noting that Rinaa knew enough about Zan that she was pretty much arguing for him. She seemed convinced he was legit." "Fat lot of good it is saying that, she can't exactly give us any further answer on the matter, not that she'd give us a straight answer anyway."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia just knew that Elliott was thinking back to the time that Rinaa dropped that bombshell on them all whilst not saying too much for the sake of the timeline. With him confirming that she really didn't say much about why he was killed, Fia was glad that her memory didn't fail her on that very moment. Jay's remark also prover to be right as they really were pre occupied with wondering if that the case when the news initially broke. It wasn't exactly something her or Kay were proud of for thinking, but after Fia particularly saw how Jay could turn against someone with her skillet, it wasn't entirely a farfetched possibility to think up. She also knew Chas was right in reminding them all that Rinaa was damn sure about Zan coming onto their side and being legit after a turning point, even if she did agree with John about it not being very helpful as Rinaa barely said anything that was useful in said tidbits of information.

"everyone has valid points. Which means we can't dwell on it this very moment as we'll just drive ourselves crazy trying to fill in the gaps" Kay spoke up from where she was on the couch. She knew everyone had very strong opinions on this new discovery, ones that won't go away anytime soon she felt. So because of that she knew it was pointless trying to figure it all out right now on the spot after they've had a very full on day at the trial. She was also aware of how much this whole thing was getting to Cal and felt like they needed to change the subject to make Cal feel more relaxed. "so how about changing the subject and doing something less stressful again to relax everyone?" she suggested, deciding to be diplomatic on her wording even though she was mostly thinking of Cal.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Kay was right in thinking that everybody had extremely strong opinions on what they'd learned (and in Jay's case, accidentally walked in on). The tension in the room had been noticeably rising for the past few minutes, particularly with the mention of Rinaa. Although goodbyes had been said, the circumstances in which she'd left were still raw and the way in which so many questions had been left unanswered was getting on everybody's nerves to some extent or another. In John it was coming out as frustration. Rinaa was the only source they had on what happened when things went bad, (Fia had said that in her timeline they rarely ever spoke of what had happened during the trial, although they'd achieved victory something else had soured those memories for them all) and now that source was gone, back to a timeline she hated, and in all likelihood the teenager was probably dead. And dead kids was something John's conscience really struggled with.

"You do that." Jay replied, hefting up the laptop from it's position on the table. "I'm gonna watch this footage another few times, before it deletes itself. It might jig something in my memory." Jay didn't think it would, in all likelihood she'd probably just be driven further up the wall by being unable to get more answers and insights. But the alternative was far worse, if she let this asset slip away all Jay would be able to think about was how she should have watched it, that maybe one more run through would have allowed to crack one (or all) of the many mysteries wide open. "Depends on what's on offer really. Don't think movies or shit TV will do it, and I suspect that playing cards will only get some of us" he gave a sly look in look in John's direction"will only get us more riled up." "Agreed." Cal nodded, from the comfort of Cal's embrace. While Elliott's remark hadn't been directly targeted at her, she still felt it applied to her, she was the typical pyrokinetic, she got riled up and angry far easier than most and it took her far longer to come down from that aggression. "Which really only leaves eating, video games- which I suspect might have the same problem as playing cards-, or seeing if any of the squad would be up for a game of hoop ball or roof ball."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Somehow Jay's refusal to just drop the subject for herself wasn't all that much of a surprise, as they all knew that once Jay had her teeth into something so to speak, she wasn't going to let go any time soon. Kay just thought that the others and mostly Cal needed some kind of distraction. She looked at Elliott when he said his reply, noticing the sly look toward John when he spoke, knowing that the mention of Rinaa didn't sit entirely well with him. With the options that Cal gave, Kay could also see how video games would just rile some of them up even more just like cards would, as they had all seen just how competitive some of their group could get.

"I'm up for whatever, hoop ball or roof ball sound like fun to me, even if I'm not one hundred percent sure what the rules of play are" Fia replied, happy to do anything that would put some enjoyment back into them all. "if you guys do that I'll stay here, or just watch" Kay added, deciding that that any ball games would not be the most sensible thing for her to play, just like it wasn't when Fia and John bonded at the games arena together. She hated not being able to join in but she knew deep down it was for the best and that once u born Fia was here, she'd be able to be more active with everyone and not feel so much on the side lines. It was a much needed sacrifice in her eyes that she just had to accept.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Elliott couldn't help but smile fondly at the mention of hoop ball. "Now there's something that brings me back" he grinned "hoop ball: the sport of unimaginative P.E. teachers." Cal and Cliff both chuckled at that (highly accurate) quip. "For those who didn't have the pleasure of going through the Attili school system, most of the P.E. teachers we had couldn't be arsed to do much thinking" "or much teaching" Cliff added, to which both Cal and Elliott nodded. "That too, so they would just give us a ball and say 'pick some teams, play hoop ball for the next hour or so and don't kill each other'. The rules are fairly simple so don't worry in that regard." She aimed the last sentence at Fia. "You really haven't gone through the Attili school system unless you spent absurd amounts of time playing hoop ball" Cliff chuckled "it used to get played at lunch breaks and sometimes in the morning before school started. The equivalent sport on my home planet would be some combination of swimming, surfing and trick diving. For obvious reasons."

"And roof ball?"
Chas asked curiously. "It's basically hoop ball's rougher, slightly more illegal cousin. It's a military thing really, hence why Qui doesn't know about it. The game involves sneaking out of your bunks after lights out, grabbing a ball climbing onto the roof of the barracks and playing a rough game, no powers, no proper protection, just whatever physical strength and athletic skills you possess naturally. A big part of it's appeal is trying not to get caught by the high-ups in the process. It's as much a thrill seeking game as it is a sport." "Most of the higher ups turn a blind eye anyway, as quite frankly it's damn bloody fun. And we both know of quite a few who'd happily join in the game justifying their actions as being a 'bonding moments', but really just want an excuse to trash the squaddies at something."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia heard the fond tone in Elliott's tone as they spoke of hoop ball, before continuing the listen to Cal and Cliff continue the talking and explain that it was a standard go to P.E class activity, which she found fascinating to listen to, just like she found anything normal school related fascinated to listen to. For her anything school related was completely strange and crazy to hear due to her home schooling. So for her she never had things like P.E classes, her version was training for survival with Jay and sometimes Elliott then John if it was more magic based. As much as it was fascinating it was also a reality check for her that she really did seem to miss out on so much normal things, all because of what and who she was. It made her yet again crave a sense of normality. At the comment about the rules, she got that Cal was aiming it more at her than anyone else, as it was her who spoke up about being down for playing it if someone taught her how to.

With Chas asking what roof ball was all about, she continued to listen to the answer, smirking at the idea of it being almost a no rules apply version of hoop ball, as well as the idea of the military higher ups joining in with the squaddies and usin git as a bonding session whilst whooping all of them in a game. "sounds like roof ball can get highly competitive" she remarked, knowing she can be a rather competitive person if put into a competitive situation, which was only proven at the ball games in the sea at Cliff's home, where she all but climbed onto her father and godfather to get the ball. "as if you ever need an excuse to be competitive Fia. We all know you'll climb on people if it means you'll have a shot at winning something" Kay smirked. "yeah... Your point being?" Fia smirked back causing Kay just to shake her head in an amused manner.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Both John and Chas nodded in understanding, having personal experience with lazy/unimaginative P.E. teachers, though for them the sport in question had either been football (when it wasn't raining outside) or basketball (when it was pissing raining). Neither sport required much supervision leaving the teacher free to sneak off for a smoke, or whatever other activity they would rather do than teach a bunch of smart arsed kids. Elliott on the other hand could quite easily see how roof ball could have evolved. What neither Cal nor Cliff had said was that the rules of hoop-ball differed depending on whether there was a teacher present or not, the games played at lunch time and before school started were far rougher than those played in P.E. class. So the idea of military cadets taking it a step further and creating an even rougher, and more illegal version of the game was far from surprising. "Competitive is an understatement of epic proportions." Cal replied in response to Fia's assumption about the game. The roof-ball games always started as a way of blowing off some excess steam, but they often ended up getting really serious, so much so that there was even betting and official teams.

Cliff meanwhile sent out a text asking who out of their friend group was available for such a game. If for some reason nobody was able to join them, they could easily round of some willing caddies to make up the proper numbers. "Sounds like a helluva lot of fun, and something I would really have enjoyed had I grown up here and ended up in the military for some reason or another." "Yeah, you would have bloody loved it. It's right up your alley." Cal replied with complete certainty, knowing how much her brother had enjoyed playing both hoop-ball and plas-ball as a kid. That night at the plas-ball arena had proved that her brother had lost none of the skills he'd learned as a kid. "Don't suppose Earth has anything like it?" Elliott shook his head. "Not really, basketball would be the closest thing to hoop-ball, but that's not technically a contact sport- though everybody always pushes that rule- and you're only allowed to use your hands to throw the ball. Us" he indicated between himself and Jay "and AJ's crew would sometimes do three or four-a-side basketball games depending on who was around, so I haven't lost all my skills yet." He gave a smirk at his sister, a challenge visible in his tone.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Like John and Chas, Kay knew what PE lessons were like all too well. The odd times she did actually attend, she didn't mind the PE lessons too much, in comparison to the other lessons that is. She didn't particularly consider it a favourite lesson but she didn't consider it a particularly hated one either. The only thing she did hate was that any decent contact sport for her was pretty much only for the boys and any extra curricular pe lessons were either volleyball for girls or cheerleading and Kay always swore she would rather die than be a goddamned cheerleader. During classes she managed to play netball which she could only imagine was one of the closer things to hoop-ball as it was pretty much in her mind, the female version of basketball. Though she always preferred baseball, but that wasn't all that surprising considering her school life was Stateside and not UK. All the talk of school PE lessons did get her wondering if she still had any of her sport skills as she usually pretty ruthless with a bat.

Fia nodded when Cal confirmed that yes, the games were intensely competitive, which made her think they were right up her street to play. As the conversation went on, she picked up on Elliott saying that the closest to it on Earth was basketball, which gave her a good inkling to what sort of game it was, making her feel like she'd be able to understand it easier if she was to be told how to play or watch it be played. Kay also found her assumptions from the name of the game were confirmed by Elliott's words that had a very obvious 'I challenge you' tone to them. "and the challenge gauntlet is verbally dropped by Ell" Fia said in a teasing, yet commentator tone of voice. "but will Cal pick up that challenge?" she continued in the commentator tone of voice.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John hadn't heard about the basketball games before, but he had seen the lair under AJ's restaurant. Thinking back, there was more than enough open floor space to play a decent game of basketball. He hadn't noticed the two basketball hoops when he was there, but that was excusable as the first time all his attention had been taken by the vampire bleeding out on the table and the second time his focus had been on the sparring between Jay and Elliott. He couldn't help but smirk at the obvious challenge issued in Elliott's tone, a smirk which grew when Fia adopted her sports commentator tone. Jay also looked up at the sound of the challenge, an amused look on her face, very interested to see how this was going to pan out.

"Damn right I'm gonna pick it up." Cal replied confidently. "Not only have I spent many nights playing roof ball, but I also play plas-ball semi-professionally. The two sports are quite similar and the skills are most definitely transferable." "Well I was the first of the two of us to make it to the school A-team, despite you having been playing for longer than I was." Elliott replied, a cocky edge in his tone. "So? That was back then, and you were mainly playing in junior tournaments." While Cal's words were dismissive, her tone wasn't. She didn't want to devalue what her brother had done. Too much. "It's been years since you last played." Cal shot back. "It may be years ago, but which one of us was brought up a division?" Elliott pretended to think hard. "Oh yes, that was me" he replied with a shit-eating grin. "Pffft" Cal waved a hand dismissively. "Everybody knows that was because your birthday was right on the date that decided the age divisions- you could either be the youngest on the team or the oldest."
 

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