Shadowrun - The Titans of Old
The deceased head of Britain's Renraku operations and father to Knife1.
" Serin perched at the edge of his seat, situated behind the exquisite cherry wood desk that had been shipped to him by his superiors all the way from the Japan as a congratulation for his ascension to division head. The cold sweat threatening to make his glasses lose their perch, he carefully removed them and pinched the bridge of his nose to help him focus.
The soundproofed, glass cube of his office sat among the sprawl of his facilities most vital workshop. Given the authority to choose his own office, he’d elected to remain with the engineers and technicians, rather than looming above them like some detached overseer. He almost regretted that decision now, as he looked out over the shop floor at the handful of techs who were working throughout the night to make up for a weeks worth of delays. They were clustered together, completely abandoning any pretense of working, to no doubt discuss the security lock down that had come into effect mere minutes ago. That, and the individual who stood on the other side of Division Head Fumasu’s desk.
“It was your voice.” The mechnically clipped voice of the Red Samurai struck out, cleaving the heavy silence between the two.
Serin replaced his glasses and once again looked over the digital report of the kidnapping of one of his scientists. He once again played out the recording that had been retrieved from the apartment’s log, a brief conversation that was seemingly between himself and the good doctor.
“This is absurd” – he began with a slight tremor, but rediscovering his confidence in the face of the looming warrior as the logic of his argument asserted itself – “I was here all night with my team. Just as I have been every night this week. I won’t insult you by pointing out any of the ways you could verify that.”
The skeletal figure of Commander Hideki stared at him for several long moments before repeating himself, the emphasis in his tone giving hint at his anger.
“It was your voice. And a comprehensive use of it, Fumasu. You’ve made less than two public speeches in the last few years. And those are purposefully run through the best filters that our masters can obtain to both obscure your true voice and still make it sound natural.”
He paused and turned his head to peer at the cluster of lab techs still huddled conspiratorially across the workshop, the movement reminiscent of a security drones’s subroutines kicking in upon the sudden observance of something undesired.
“There’s only two ways someone could have gotten a hold of such a comprehensive sampling.” His breath grew at once softer and colder, reminding Serin of the snowfall of his childhood springs spent in a place far less toxic than London.
“One,” he went on, gaze still fixed on the technicians, “someone on your staff recorded it over several interactions and sold it to the highest bidder. If that is the case, a full purge will be initiated of the facility. We cannot know how deep the rot goes or how many hearts it has wormed it’s way into.”
Serin’s blood turned glacial at the implications. Renraku wasn’t a company known for mass executions, but it did have a reputation for very heavily persuading it’s disappointments to rely on their honour in penance. His eyes flicked towards the masterful yet practical pair of ceremonial blades that hung from their rack on the wall of his office.
“Two,” the Red Samurai explained, turning back to the executive, “is that there is someone in your personal life that would have the means and cause to pass your details along to criminals. Your SIN has no details on any family. But the shadow of the second crash casts doubt on everything. My spiders are already looking into the full log of your movements and interactions over the course of your time on the blighted stretch of land.”
After leaning forward slightly to set a trio of fingers on the edge of the desk in between them, he went on “Is there anybody that would steal your voice like this, Fumasu? Anyone that would claim to be you in order to lure a crucial asset out into the night?”
The words hung in the air like the torrid fog that had begun to settle across London only hours ago as Serin’s mind raced. He wasn’t worried about Hideki finding any information on his family. He’d taken painstaking efforts to erase whatever trace of them existed after they came to the country. They wouldn’t even show up on the airline tickets they’d used to get over here.
He ran the numbers on what would happen if he simply claimed ignorance. The best case scenario would be that his personal life is investigated but nothing comes of it. The worst case scenario is every man and woman on his research team is told in no uncertain terms that if they don’t maintain the companies honour via ritual suicide, their families lives are forfeit in ways that would never be traced back to corporate headquarters. He shied away from the Samurai’s mechanic gaze as he realized that even if they came up with nothing investigating him, their suspicions would just return to his people.
As his eyes sought something other than unavoidable fate to lock onto, they fell on his compact, red and silver commlink. The bottom fell out of his stomach as the realization of his mistake hit him. He had never deleted the log of his call to his son those weeks ago, when his activities had first brought him into Renraku’s path. Too bound up by hope and guilt that something could come of a discourse between them, he’d lingered over that recording more than once in the weeks just gone.
Commander Hideki would know everything within minutes of getting his hands on the device. There was a distinct chance that he may even have already broken through it’s substantial encryption and know everything already. The commanders reputation for cyber warfare was well known among the local executives. The only real hope was that he hadn’t thought to do that before finishing the conversation with the man who was still technically his superior.
Serin attempted to swallow away the dryness of his throat as he turned back to the would-be executioner.
“You forget the way of things here, Commander Hideki.” he accused solemnly. “This is my division, my people and, as you so accurately put, my voice. The responsibility for negligence and dereliction of duty lands solely with me.” His eyes once again moved to the wall mounted blades, judgement dancing in the glitter of their hand worked nano-steel.
The Red Samurai’s eyes flared in understanding. "