2019-08-29 - A Specific Set Of Skills


Caden comes looking for some spare computer parts

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Aug 29 04:19:10 2019
Location: Wilderness Survival Classroom

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The room that Nick Gleason uses to teach his wilderness survival classes is toward the back of the school with easy access to the grounds. It's not a large room but then Nick's classes don't tend to be very large. At present the students are out doing exercises - this one is a basic one, make shelter that will stand up when Nick comes around and starts kicking at the edges - and Nick himself is in the room with a pot of coffee brewing and a stack of papers. Some of those are the state required ones so that he can document and properly give school credit for passing the class.

Others, however, are related to the cases he works at Paragon Investigations. It's the latter that he's looking over right now. Lab reports from Hank McCoy. Or is it still Hetty? He's not sure. Either way the science is sound, he's sure.

"More dead ends…" He mutters to himself. "Times like this I really wish my mutant power was not being eternally prepared for winter."

The day for Caden had been fairly busy, getting into the swing of things, catching up with people. But what had preyed most on his mind was the help that Illyana and Piotr needed, and if he was going to fulfill that obligation then well… he needed a good work station. Maybe several good work stations really. And so he had spent a good part of it gathering bits and pieces of technology from around the school. Nothing that was critical and things that were easily replaced.
And hey, he would place the needed orders when it came time to requisition. But for now… he had to make do.
So there came a knock on the door, and the young X-Man poked his head around the corner. "Hey guys, you don't… happen to have any machines you're not using?"

It's probably a good thing that Nick has his coffee cup in the middle of his desk because Isis is with him today. The feline-like mutant is perched on the corner of his desk, with a reader in her hands. It's not an advanced reader and every now and again she has to sound a word out - attrociously in a lot of cases - but at least she's trying?

"What dead ends, Nick?" The brunette looks at the report and frowns "Is that from Hank … err… Hetty … um. Doctor McCoy?" When Caden comes in, her blue/grey eyes fix on him "Machines? You mean like a lathe or something?"

She can be random.

"It is, Isis. There's a bunch of stuff in here that might be leads if it weren't all hidden in secured government databases." Nick makes a face as Caden walks in and his expression changes to a smile.

"Well hello there. Uh, machines. Computers you likely mean, yeah? Not lathes Isis, we have a shop for that. I may have a couple in the closet but I have no idea how old they are." Nick gets his keys out and unlocks the closet. Sure enough there's a couple of four year old desktops in there collecting dust.

"Oh hey. Have you, met Isis here?"

The smile that blossoms on Caden's features is a bright one as he shoots that grin over a Isis, "Not so much a lathe, perhaps a cotton gin, or something with movable type?" But then he comes further inside.
"Oh yah, I have. Hey Isis." He strolls further in and then elaborates with a friendly tone. "She came out and ate all the s'mores while looking for you. We had a small chat." That said he gives her a small wave of recognition.
Then the door opens to the closet and he'll step over towards it. Kneeling by the desktops there and says, "This could work, thanks." Though he does spare a moment for a glance over his shoulder. "What is it you two are working on? I heard something about databases?"
That said he is able to drag one of the CPUs in the closet further out and twist it around, reaching for a small screwdriver in his back jeans pocket.

"We met when I went looking for you the other day. You had me looking all over the Institute. The others here, they looked at me strangely." It was probably more than a look - with her Empathy Isis can pick up a lot. "The s'mores were nice." Had she eaten them all? No, all that was left - perhaps.

She frowns though as Nick shares his information. "You've heard there are mutants going missing? And being experimented on?" Isis has a simplistic view of the world - if she knows about a thing, then everyone must. "We're looking for them but Nick says the information we need is on computers we can't get to."

"Those have moveable keyboards, does that count?" Nick grins. The grin fades a little when asked about the case though. It's not a nice case.

"As she says. It started with missing mutants and it's only gotten worse. We think that the people responsible were able to access the registration database to get a list of targets but unfortunately those databases are sealed. Not destroyed, but sealed. No one but the highest levels of law enforcement can access them and they're due to be scrubbed next year."

Not that it matters if copies of them have already gotten out.r
"And I don't have any way of getting to those. So yeah. Dead end. What are you working on?"

"I wasn't the one who wandered off, Isis." Nick says ,sticking his tongue out just a little bit.

"Yeah?" Caden stands up and turns around, the old computers forgotten for now as he replaces that screwdriver in his pocket and moves over towards them. Folding his arms over his chest he nods to Isis and says, "I can hopefully help you guys with that."

He takes a look over the table with what information they have on hand and then says, "I can try and see what their security is like and perhaps get that data for you. And if it's very important I could maybe go there in person and see what I can acquire."
He looks between them, "How important and how time critical is this to you guys? Is this the only way to get this information?" He takes the liberty to lean over the papers on the table and lightly move one or two to see what he can see.

Honestly, Cadens joke had gone over Isis' head and she looks between Nick and the other man in confusion. "Huh?"

The distraction doesn't last long though, as Nick adds extra to the story. "I was experiment for AIM and they were doing things to me. Things that we think are similar to what they're doing here but not exactly the same." She shivers a little and a wave of fear laced unease washing over the room - powerful but quick, there and then gone as Isis controls it.

"Very and yesterday." Isis is quick to add to Cadens question. "They're hunting mutants and others in the Disaster Zone and taking them too. We need to stop them and soon."

Nicks teasing has Isis eyeing his coffee cup and reaching out a claw that's extended from her fingers to nudge it closer to the edge. "I was just following you scent trying to find you…." It's *almost* petulant.

"How do you think you can help us?"

"It's the only way that I know of, which is not quite the same thing I know." Nick says canting his head slightly. Unlike Isis he's a bit quicker on the uptake about what Caden is potentially offering. There's some risk if he's caught doing it but at this point the bigger risk is not doing anything at all.

"It's not going to end the world, I don't think. But people's lives are potentially on the line so… important." He won't say the most important thing ever but it's important enough that Nick spends a LOT of time doing it.

"The records are being kept at the old Registration administration center. It's closed down but because of all of the personal information in it, it's quite heavily guarded. The worst part of course is that we're pretty sure that our bad actors already have a fairly complete copy of the database. So we're playing catch up here. Trying to identify potential victims."

Which isn't easy. Obvious animal-mutants like Nick are simple to spot but a lot of people have Isis type mutations or even subtler.

"Don't you dare, Isis." Nick warns semi-playfully. Really, don't spill his coffee.

While looking at the papers and listening to Nick and Isis, Caden frowns to himself as they speak and nods a few times. Another page is gently pushed to the side as he peruses the one underneath, then turns back to look at them directly. "Alright," He lifts a hand to rub at his brow and then turns his gaze between them both.
Hazel eyes flit back and forth thoughtfully between them and he adds, "I'm decent at dealing with computer security systems. Once I get some of my boxes together I'll take a run at the facilities and see what I can see. It might take some time, 48 hours to do it without any chance of it coming back on us. If it's too tight, then yeah…"
Another look down at the papers, "Registration Administration Center, I'll see what I can get of its blue prints and maybe I can get in and get out of there with little notice."

The paperwork Caden is flicking through includes some of the mutants that are missing. None of these ones are obviously mutant but according to their registration database they could manifest animalistic qualities. At least, the ones that Caden are looking at could.

"They might be making other abilities come out too." Isis says quietly, giving up on teasing Nick and wrapping her arms about her waist. "They did with me. My dreamwalking was forced. That's what the doctors here said when they looked through the files you recovered with me. They might be doing that too."

Caden gets a frown and intent feline like look "You're very confident you can just slip in there? Why?"

"Caden's got a certain set of skills." Nick DOESN'T mimic the actor's accent and intonation but boy is he tempted to try. He'll let the computer-savvy mutant answer the rest for himself.

"Isis was… a rescue project for the school. We found her in a lab. She'd been… cultivated by a group of people that we think are connected with the present troubles. We just can't figure out where they're hiding. It's probably in plain sight but…"

He sighs and shakes his head. "Isis… the cup, please?" If he has it she won't be able to knock it off right?

"What did you need the computers for before you came in here, though, Caden?"

Nick gets the smirk, but Isis gets a small smile as Caden replies with that characteristic touch of modesty, "It's sort of my thing. I can walk through walls, be a bit sneaky." He crosses his arms over his chest as he leans back against the table, looking between the two of them. "I just would like to try the remote route first before I go all Mission Impossible. Also would like to get an idea what defenses they might have."
But then Nick reminds him of what he was doing, "Oh, right. My own equipment is back at my parents' place, so I was going to see what I could put together here. Actually kind of good to do it this way somewhat as some of the older equipment is harder for systems to…" But he stops himself before he goes too long and smiles.
"In any case, yeah. Just putting things together. Also Illyana and Piotr had some things I needed to help them with. But I'll check with them to make sure that I can spare the day or two."

Isis peers at Caden then Nick, handing the mug back to the werewolf absently. "He doesn't look like an assassin." Yes, she's seen that movie and is rather thankful that Nick didn't try the accent. Also - the woman has little tact! Just like she doesn't have a sense of personal space.

And yes, Nick just called her a 'rescue'.

"You're going to make a computer from older ones? Maybe you should look at the ones in Nicks office, he's always moaning about how antiquated and slow they are."

No, he's not, but she's teasing him.

"Well we should have some decent computers around. Better than the ones collecting dust in my classroom closet here but you're welcome to 'em. Lord knows I'm never going to use them in class. Everything I do is about places where you CAN'T use a computer." And also about not listening to Isis. It never fails to amazing how many of his classes do not learn this very simple lesson until it is too late. Do not listen to Isis.

"You mean the office at Paragon, Isis? I kind of need those." Speaking of not listening to Isis… "I'm honestly surprised Hank hasn't gotten it in him to just build you one. Unless you find it more fun to build them yourself."

Nick glances to Isis and back again. "Er. He's not an assassin. He's… nevermind. I suspected that Illyana and Piotr might have trouble the way they were talking. Or not talking. I'd love to offer to help but I'm knee deep in this and can't let it go. If I do there won't be anyone else to follow these threads. I do appreciate your offering to help though."

"I'm not an assassin," Caden says though the smile comes a little too quickly, as if that word triggered a line he didn't want to cross. "I'm just sneaky." As he says that he looks between he two of them, "But I /am/ accepting donations to the Caden Pryde Salvaged Computer Cause. So thanks for the offer, I'll definitely look at them."
But then the topic turns to Piotr and Illyana and he nods, "They've dealt with so much, if there's anything I can do to help them get back to a normal…er life then, I feel I gotta do it." Not obligation perhaps, and more loyalty.
He pushes away from the desk, "Ok. Well I've got a good amount of the parts I need. I'll take another sweep through. Once I get things rolling I'll need details if you have any information other than it being in that particular building. They probably have a lot of data I'll have to crawl, even if I get in."

"Not to take them, Nick…" Isis sighs. "Maybe, if Cade is good with computers he can make yours run faster. Stop you complaining an' all."

It's the small 'bump' in Cades emotions that has Isis focus on the man, feline eyes narrowing and ears tilting forward a little. Nick knows her well enough to know she's sensed something. That she doesn't say anything is … interesting.

Still, Cade won't miss that regard or the slightly feral air about the woman.

One day, people will be sad they didn't listen to her. But only once, probably.

"I can try and help details, maybe. If we know who we have to … 'talk' to." She could absolutely walk in their dreams. "You know where our offices our?"

"However long it takes, if you can get anything its an improvement. We're running blind right now, responding to their movements rather than making our own. We need some break, something that tells us not only who they might be targeting but who they are and how they got access to this information in the first place."

Nick suspects that at least one of the custodians of those records might not be entirely trustworthy but he's got to stick to the facts… and whatever he can reasonably infer from those facts.

"You should come on down, at least, you should if you can make it into the Bronx. I know that's not exactly nearby here."

Nick stopped living at the school years ago. He never really has agreed with the central philosophy behind the isolation of either it or the students.

"Keep us posted if there's anything we can do, by the way? Either on this or with whatever other project you've got. Also, Isis has some talents that you might find handy."

She just kind of offered them but, you know, he'll repeat that.

"Oh, by the way, if you ever want to sit in on a class you'd be welcome. Isis can run you through the basics and who knows, you might find some of the more advanced activities fun. Or at least, challenging."

Answering Isis with a shake of his head, "I don't believe so, but yeah definitely. Any help on details you can provide will make things much easier" He looks around the room and at the machines in the closet, then starts to move back over towards them with an easy step. "I'm going to take a quick once over at these computers and see if I can make use of anything. Then I'll try and get set up as soon as possible."
But then Nick offers for him to sit in on a class and Caden smiles, "I'd like that, but I think my schedule is full for the foreseeable future." He kneels by old computers and starts the casual routine of disassembly, taking out what bits and pieces he'll need. Though he doesn't take too terribly long.
Once that's done he gets back up and pushes them back into the closet. "Ok guys, I'll be around. Hopefully I'll have at least something for you by tomorrow." And with that he moves to the door.

"OK… " Isis shuffles around Nicks desk, accidently messing up a stack of papers as she gets a business card for Paragon Investigations and gives it to Caden. "The address is on there."

"If you can come to Nicks class, I'll show you all the short cuts." What was it? Don't listen to Isis. It takes his students a bit to learn that.

Then Caden's gone, leaving the two of them alone. Isis looks over at Nick when she feels his mind "What?"

Nick is picking up the papers when Caden leaves and just stares at her. "Assassin? Really? Also… hey. Where'd my coffee go?"

Wait. Is that a puddle on the floor? He'd JUST set it down too!


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