2020-03-03 - All Good Questions


More investigation into what Lobo Tech are doing

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Mar 3 07:34:04 2020
Location: Paragon Investigations

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Nick had gotten some sleep at the Institute and after that he had seemed honestly a lot better. A lot more like the Nick he was at the start of this whole thing. Of course, being Nick, he had flatly refused to stay there. He couldn't work the case like that and thus it was back out to investigate things related to Lobo Technologies, AIM, and their convoluted relationship.

Tonight they're working something a bit less 'film noir' than having to break into some place and steal files. This is public documents research. It's a common and fairly unglamorous part of PI life, combing through public records to find hints of things that people might not want folks to know. Almost every major business dealing generates a mountain of government paperwork. It's handy, but access to it is limited - mostly because the systems that host it are antiquated - an there's so damn MUCH of it that it can be tricky to sort through.

Nevertheless, here Nick is, with a stack of hard copies from the county registrar and a highlighter. He could use a drink.

But that's probably not a good idea.

Isis is finding this work hard going. She's been pouring over the documents and trying to read them. She's learning but reading isn't one of her favourite things. She's grown bored though and has decided to prowl the room and perch on surfaces as she watches Nick carefully.

Her tummy rumbles, quite loudly just as Nick is thinking about a drink.

With a sigh, she leans over the table where Nick is working to try and read what he's higlighting. Of course, it's upside down and that's just going to make it more difficult.

It is of course upside down and what Nick is highlighting is actually an application to the SEC for a merger. It's really dry, legal, boring reading and Nick has done a lot of it in his time. He's no lawyer but he does know in general terms the kinds of language he needs to look for and compare and he knows a couple of lawyers he can call if things get REALLY technical.

Nick chuckles when he sees the shadow of her ears though and looks up. "Someone's a hungry kitten, isn't she?"

It's pretty obvious. She's pacing. She's bored, and yes, her stomach is announcing her hunger for all to hear.

Isis sighs again as she decides that whatever Nick is working on is stupid - even if it's important and rolls onto her back and looks up at Nick. "Yes. I am. What have you found though, you're very focussed." She can tell, he's not scritched her ears and his emotions are … intense.

"I don't understand any of this, Nick."

"I've found some legal documents related to all the purchases that Lobo made over the last several years. I'm looking for patterns. One of them seems to be an interest in specific kinds of medicine. Cancer research. Parkinson's. Alzheimer's. Sickle Cell. They're all diseases that have to do with genetics or mutants or both." That's an interesting pattern. Of course they're all big focuses for research so that is not dispositive in and of itself.

"Now I'm trying to see what they did with those companies. They closed a surprising number of them within a year of acquisition. And it's pretty far outside their usual tech focus."

Nick reaches over and scritches Isis ears to calm her. "It's boring, I know."

"Sickle Cell?" That gets a frown from the blue eyed mutant as Nick scritches her ears. Flipping back to the her stomach, Isis moves around the table to look at the documents properly while Nick works.

"It is. More because reading them is … hard." beat "They closed them, after spending money on buying them? Why would they do that. That doesn't make sense. That would be like buying a car and then locking it in the garage, then buying another one, really."

"A genetic disease that affects the young." Nick explains. It affects the young mostly because it kills them. There are no old people with sickle cell anemia.

"Exactly. They may have shuffled the people and assets off to other parts of their company but that'd be hard to tell from the government documents. Unless we see the same names crop up over and over again. Which we might. But even the buying pattern might tell us something."

Nick sighs. "It's a lot of sorting. Glamorous PI work, mmm? Are you hungry? You feel hungry." Because she broadcasts and, yes.

"The buying pattern is telling you something, isn't it? Medical companies, research, mutants." Isis says, thinking it through. She's not stupid or slow, just easily distracted and uneducated. "Can we get the names of people in the companies? Those that run them or something? You have an employee register …" Sure it's just Nick and Isis at the moment, but Nick has made sure they've both got files.

"I am, yes… It's been an hour or two since I last ate." And she was bored until Nick started to tell her what he was doing - well the reason for it.

Nick chuckles. An hour or two. That is indeed an eternity for Isis. He's not sure if she just metabolizes very quickly or if something else is going on but she is REALLY hungry all the time. Maybe it's just that she's young. Maybe it's because cat.

Either way…

"Shall we get something?" Nick stands up and waits to see what Isis does. "Yes, it gets me things that aren't useful on an individual level but if I see a pattern I know it's something that needs to be investigated more. I know what questions to ask. Sometimes I can't answer them but still. Sometimes a starting point is all you need."

No ones really been able to explain it, though Isis' metabolism does seem to be related to her mutation. But she's always eating - or that's how it seems.

"Yes. Not Pizza tonight. I want a burger or a steak." She wants protein, lots of it.

"So what are you going to do with this information now, though?"

"Burger huh…?" Nick thinks. Does he know of any good burger places near here? They have steaks. Maybe he can make a steak. That would be good, right? They're easy to make. Pan fry. Add a little vinegar sauce. He's got balsalmic… mmmmm…

"Well I still need to go through it. When we're done we need to figure out what we can act on and who can help us. I'm inclined to go back to Pepper and maybe talk to Hank and see if he has any contacts. Or there's…"

Nick knows of a woman who ISN'T well liked by the X-Men. He's never met her, but he knows her name.

"Maybe another telepath."

"Steak. Really. Something red …" Isis says. It's not unusual for her to eat meat but to actually ask for it, is a little out of character. "And a lot of it."

Isis looks up at Nick as he speaks of their next steps and nods slowly. "Pepper should know. At the the very least. Maybe … they have something that can help. Hank's already said he would help, Nick. But another telepath? Why don't I know of them?"

"Because they have had run ins of the bad kind with the X-Men. I only know her name, I've never met her and I don't know that she'd help us. But we COULD talk to her." It's a risk and one that maybe is too much of a risk. Hank will help and Hank is at least known to be well disposed toward them.

And they can deal with whatever limitations Hank has. He is very intelligent but he can't do everything. Then again, who can?

"Come to the kitchen." Nick finally sways, moving in that direction. "What do you think, by the way? What would you do?"

Isis is quiet as she pads along behind Nick, thinking about what he says. Hank has said he wants to fight with them, that's enough in Isis' books.

"What would I do about what, exactly?" Isis asks. Nick can feel the surprise that he's asking her. She was a 'thing' as far as AIM was concerned - not created to think, but to do. "We should talk to this telepath, at least. I might be able to get something from her - and ask some of the X-Men what they think of her, really." It can't hurt can it? They're in trouble and they need help.

"Other than that, I would attack them. When we know who they are. Through their dreams and in person. Make them hurt."

"What would you do with the information. In general. Would you go chasing leads? Would you go dig for more? Would you go gather people?" He wants to know how she thinks rather than what specifically her plan would be. He knows he's the senior investigator here. She's quite young, she's still learning and she has to deal with cat brain.

"Well. We can do that. If we can find some of them to ask, they can be difficult to pin down." Isn't that the truth, they always seem to be teaching or galavanting off to who knows where.

Nick gets some steaks out and turns the pan on to hot.

"What about that telepath? Did you get enough on him to get into his dreams? And… do you want to risk it?"

"Oh. Well. I'd want to know what LoboTech did with those businesses. I'd try to find some of the people who worked there and maybe speak to them. There's not enough to gather people for, right?" She looks at Nick. Cat brain indeed - don't shine a laser pointer for her.

"What else could we do? Break in and see what we can find. Maybe Pepper would have something on those companies."

At the mention of the telepath, Isis starts pacing again, batting at the cords of the blinds on the windows. "I could get into his dreams. I know where he is. I've felt his dreams when I sleep of a night." She finally admits. "I want to hurt him, Nick."

So yes. She wants to risk it.

"Breaking in might be necessary at some point but I would like to delay it for as long as possible." Nick murmurs. "But yes those are good instincts. That isn't enough to gather people for. And we need reasons to go poking into any place that we cant just get publicly." Part of PI work is being able to convince people to talk to you. Isis has an edge there. She can make them trust her. Or at least incline them to do so.

"Do you think we can get anything useful out of hurting him?" Nick isn't… necessarily opposed to that. But he doesn't want to do it just for it's own sake either.

"Are there places that record … ummm … selling stuff the business owns." Isis asks. "Or anything. We've got contacts in City Hall, don't we? Can they help us?" She wouldn't know where to start really and reading … that's a problem.

"Maybe? If I shape his dream carefully enough, he might spill the information we're looking for. But … what is it we're looking for, Nick?"

"Mmmmm. Depends on how it was sold but possibly. There are only a few places that auction off assets, we might be able to ply on of those companies to give us their records. They're not public, but it SHOULDN'T be illegal to get them…" Nick considers and nods. That's something they'll have to mutually follow up on. He makes a mental note to schedule a meeting and have Isis come with him. The empath is handy with these kinds of cold calls.

"We want to know who he is working for and what he wants for us. We got bits of it. I remember seeing faces. A really BIG man. But he has to know names. Or at least know someone who knows. We just need to get it out of him…"

"Can we do that? Do I need to call anyone?" Isis has said she wanted to get her PI's licence and she's trying so hard to do it.

"Maybe hurting him won't work. I won't know till I get into his dream, if I can. Sometimes I need to be … nice … to get them talking. Sometimes scaring them works better. I can always hurt him when I have what we want …"

The slim mutant comes over to where Nick is working and rubs her ears against his arm.

Nick scratches Isis' ears and nods. "I'll give you the number. You can set it up." Isis wants to take on more and Nick will let her. She needs the experience along with the classes and certifications she'll have to take. "Steaks are almost ready." Two for Isis. One for him. She didn't want them cooked much. Just rare. Not toooo rare, but rare.

"You can hurt him. A little. After all, he hurt you…"

Isis purrs and presses her ears into Nicks claws. She likes that. "I'll do that … call them." Maybe she'll even remember and not mess it up. The break from lessons will help her too.

"Mines rare, right?" Nick doesn't need to be reminded really. "We have ice cream for after … " Because not having ice cream in the freezer is a travesty.

"What are we going to do next?"

"Well I need to get back to highlighting after this, so…" Nick smiles. "We'll have ice cream, I'll do some more highlighting and then I think it will be time for bed. But right now, let's eat."

Nick plates the food with his little reduction and moves on over to the table. It's not much, but it's theirs and that makes it good.

And right now that's all that matters.

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