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"Constantine, Krasivolkya", she heard herself say curtly to the Security Officer.
"Access Granted, Ms. Constantine", he replied.

This was their dance. Every morning at 4:30am. She made it to the side entrance, met the man who was the most regular in her life, and entered into the building that housed her soul.

She worked in The Kremlin. That never grew tired or banal for her. All of her studies and hard work and dedication. All of her sacrifices had led her here. To this. To be at the Heart of the political beast that sat astride two continents and ruled the Earth with a benevolent, but strong hand. And she, Krasivolkya Constantine, was a part of it all. Part of a nation that proved Right meant Might, and not the other way around. Part of a governing structure that wasn't afraid to flaunt its wealth or power or its benevolence.

Krasivolkya walked to the Liaison's Office. Her security card and retina scan allowed her to Pre-empt security for those who would come later; her staff (who she allowed to come to work by 5:30 am), other officials, politicians, government staff, VIPs, officers and executives. All whom would come into this world, needing, requesting, demanding and obliging her help. Her support. Her finesse. Her involvement. This was what she was meant for. No, actually, this was a foretaste of what she was meant for. One day, she would be able to provide these services, her superior intellect and problem solving abilities, and her knack for discerning people's motives and desires, to the most important office in the world. The Ascendency of the CCD.

Just as she knew when she was assigned to the Liasion's office 5 years ago, that she would one day be running it; so she knew her destiny lay at the center of the Kremlin. She would make herself indispensable to him and his governance.

Krasivolkya smiled as she padded across the lush blue carpeting. Past the fishbowl of offices that served her support staff, down the hallway and the offices of her top lieutenants and to the big, stainless steel door that led to her inner office. Cut out of the stainless steel and backlit with LED light on the door, "Office of the Chief Liaison of the Custody of State" and beneath it, a simple black enameled plaque with silver etching, "Krasivolkya Constantine".

The morning was the only time this office would see her smile. She didnt make it to this office by smiling, and she wouldn't make it out by smiling either. She coveted these early mornings. No one was in the office before her. She wouldn't allow it. Last year some newbies, up and comers, tried to get in at 4:00. Thanks to her arrangement with the Security Guard, he kept them busy in holding until she could get there. He had sent her a text, apprising her of the situation, and she had sped up her arrival as quickly as she could. She had arrived 18 minutes after 4 and had made it to her inner office, caught her breath and called Security to allow the ambitious new staff in. When they had arrived and saw that she was already there, they had reeked of surprise, and even fear. Krasivolkya could literally taste their fear and shock. Strangely, she had found herself almost salivating ...
After that, she was in the office by 3 am. It only lasted two weeks before the staff gave up trying to beat her to the office. In defeat, they returned to their 5:30 start time, and Krasivolkya resumed her morning ritual.

That reaction to the newbies fear, was one of the things Krasivolkya didn't quite understand about herself. She had a series of reactions and instincts she knew were a part of her, but didn't know why or what they were. Her father had known, she knew. He had helped her acknowledge some of them, and given her strange instructions and advice he made her promise to keep and heed. It had begun after her illness, almost 15 years ago. She had feared she was being struck with The Sickness, but she never got sick in the way usually associated with that strange affliction. Instead she had had moments where she was catatonic and unresponsive. Night after night of insomnia for a solid week. And she could almost feel voices in her head, voices or images really, from far away. So faint were they that she couldn't make them out and could easily ignore them. They were fleeting, but she knew they were there, and somehow knew they were real. He had never explained what had happened. He simply gave her firm instructions on what to do. "Krasivolkya," he had said, "Never talk back or think back to the voices. Avoid rural areas and forests. Be very wary and in control of yourself during the Full Moon. Keep your instincts and insights to yourself. Do not share them. Promise me." She did.
"And if you ever notice your eyes getting lighter, wear these." And he had given her a special pair of contacts, dyed a light brown, to match her eye color. She had not understood, but she loved her Father, and was an obedient daughter. She saw the fear and anxiety in his eyes that day, and trusted his vast intelligence. He had never led her astray, she had no reason to question. She obeyed, and had obeyed after moving to Moscow and even after he passed away two years ago. Yet she never quite understood.

She had not been aware of any voices since moving to Moscow. She still had insomnia once a month, that seemed to correspond with the full moon, her eyes only lightened on occasion, and when they did, she dutifully wore her contacts. But her sense of people had grown, increased and developed. It had helped her, she knew. Her strange talent for reading people. Sometimes she seemed more prescient of what they were thinking than they themselves were. It had helped her discern those who meant her well, and avoid those who jealously wanted to take her down. What passed for workplace "friends" were cultivated carefully based on her instincts. And more than one enemy or rival had been cowed by her before they could act against her ... All based on her insight and odd sense of "smelling" emotions. She couldn't explain it, and didn't need to. It was a tool she had, and she used it to her advantage. Just as she used every tool at her disposal: her reputation, her looks, her height, her staff; all of it. All were tools to help her get to where she wanted to go, to be who she knew she was destined to be. Tools.

Krasivolkya settled into her leather chair, placed directly in front of her door and in plain sight of the front of the office. She would watch each and every staff member come in. Making eye contact with each one, like a ritual, as they entered. No one escaped her notice. This was her domain. She was Alpha here, and they were her tools. She would hone them, whet them and use them.

The office almost received a second smile from Krasivolkya then. But that would have been out of routine, so she didn't. Instead she began to go through the papers and reports neatly displayed on her desk and credenza, and get to work, waiting for her first staff to arrive, some 45 minutes later.

Edited by Krasivolkya, Jul 28 2013, 08:50 AM.
((Continued from Reporting))

Torri left the hotel at 05h00 after confirming it was a short twenty-minute walk to the Kremlin. She had no interest in sight-seeing on the way, although the glittering reflection of the early morning light struck the buildings with impressive grandure. She was tempted to wander, but made a note to work in exploration later in the day, assuming there was time. Torri was still in the dark regarding the details of this reassignment.

She was in the sleek skirt and jacket uniform of stout, but pristine Custody gray. The medical corps insignia was apparent on one arm, the double bars of captain's rank topped a shoulder, and the black and orange emblem of the CCD was proudly displayed alongside her other badges. Her hair was pulled into the snug bun of regulation, tightening the focus to her expression. Yet when her black heels struck the ancient stones within the Kremlin walls, an uncharacteristic flutter of excitement gripped her stomach. It was too early for tourists, though she was aware they would flood these streets soon enough, so in that moment, she felt the dwarfing weight of the CCD rise up around her.

A proud smile briefly tugged her lips. Then Torri pulled her posture straight and approached the Senate building, the structure which she was meant to report first. She had credentials and clearance to obtain, administrative works all of it, but she was a physician, she was used to paperwork.

Edited by Torri, Jul 29 2013, 05:22 PM.
Krasivolkya had been at work for two solid hours when her personal Secretary, the only other person to share her inner office, brought her the black leather portfolio with orange embossment on the cover.

All around her, Krasivolkya's staff were like bees in a hive. Her staff was by no means large, efficiency, after all was a virtue; but they were well trained and smart. She weeded out those that weren't first. Krasivolkya took pride, like that of a Commandant, at knowing her staff worked hard and could do their work with ease. She reveled in the fact that she had developed a team of people who could almost think like her, and thus could be used for any and all purposes and projects. Despite her cold demeanor, she trusted and respected these people who had gathered around her. Anyone of them could do any job presented to the office, regardless of experience or field of study.
However, she knew only SHE could and would do the jobs assigned in the black leather portfolio with the orange symbol embossed on it.

She parted the opening of the portfolio and relished in what was her favorite smell, that of tanned cow-hide leather. Nothing in the world smelled as good as new, unbroken leather, except perhaps for worn and supple leather of her father's books and manuscripts.
"Southern Siberia" suddenly flashed in her mind.
"That's odd," she thought, as she opened her eyes, "why would I be thinking of Southern Siberia?"
But in less than the next heartbeat she could have sworn she knew the cow, whose worked skin she was holding, was from Southern Siberia.
She took one more short breath and dismissed the random thought from her mind.
She pulled out a sheaf of paper, neatly organized and crisp to the touch. Behind the cover page, introductory letter, and bio, which she would read later, she found the Assignment memo.
To: Chief Liaison of the Custody of State
From: The Executive Office of The Ascendency
through the Custody of Defense Executive Privilege's Office
RE: The Facility
Assignment: Meet with Dr. Victoria Weston; Provide tour and
background of The Facility; Be available 24/7 for counsel and
staffing of Dr. Weston. Provide research and Executive
access as needed.
Report: Daily - To: Custody of State Executive Privelege AND
Custody of Defense Executive Privelege

"Damn! Mother Fucker!", Krasivolkya cursed under her breath.
She hated working with the Custody of Defense. Loathed it even. They were too structured or regimented in their approach. Her style was not as effective with military types. They were less intimidated and more used to strict superiors than civilians. It was somewhat of an insecurity that she saw them as a threat. An insecurity that would never leave her lips, be betrayed by her eyes or dwell in her mind. She dismissed the thought and set about re-reading the memo.

"I have to report DAILY to BOTH Executive Priveleges! Fuck me! I'll have to come in a full two hours early just to make up for the time I'll spend walking and waiting in both offices," she snapped.

Her secretary looked up at the expletives. She had been louder than she intended to be. Her secretary was used to the occasional curse word, so it wasn't a major breach, but she was mindful, nonetheless.

"Mrs. Florsheim," she said to the older lady. "I know you heard my comment. You know that means this is very important. Prepare the office for a visitor soon. A Dr. Victoria Weston will be coming to see me shortly, and apparently will be taking up a lot of my time for the foreseeable future. I will need you, Mrs. Florsheim to make sure everything runs smoothly in my absence. Is that understood?"

When the Secretary responded in the Affirmative, with a sense of what Krasivolkya could almost smell was pride, she then added, "Good. Now prepare me a briefing and save it to my drive on everything we have on The Facility."

"The Facility, ma'am?", Mrs. Florsheim asked.

"Mrs. Florsheim, I don't stutter and I don't repeat myself. You have work to do."

"And so do I," Krasivolkya thought as she got up from her desk and went to a small electric ice chest under her credenza. She pulled out a small tumbler and a bottle of Vodka, both nestled in the ice. She poured a generous, yet appropriate portion, then reached inside the credenza for a brown, wooden crock of Swiss Honey. She stirred in two drizzles, then mixed. As an afterthought, she grabbed a Pre-sliced lemon wedge from the ice chest. After all, it was ONLY a little after 6:30 in the morning, and she needed something nutritious for breakfast.

Edited by Krasivolkya, Jul 29 2013, 07:14 AM.
Torri accepted a second cup of coffee with an affirmative nod. There was something about paperwork which lent itself toward sipping a hot beverage, which explains the Styrofoam cup alongside the spread of folders and computer screens sprawled around her. The administrative assistant placed a packet of sweetener alongside and a stirrer, should Torri require it, and honestly, the doctor was tempted. Yet it was too difficult to get used to drinking her coffee black on her first deployment to have to deal with breaking the habit again should active duty come up once more. It was best to maintain her taste buds as they were.

"No thank you," she said and ignored the little colored packet as best she could.

She was hours into her credentialing. The office now had fresh traces of DNA sample, urine and stool samples, retinal scans, prints, a TB test, vaccination boosters and a head CT - all of which could be used for everything from confirmation of her identity to identification of her remains. She was only mildly bothered that she was forced to go through the charade all over again. She knew for a fact the CCD had access to the exact same sample analysis she gave when she arrived in Berlin, then when she was in Rio, and so on and so forth. But every office wanted their own records, apparently.

"Alright, I'm done." She announced with the final stroke of the keyboard. For an MC assignment, she judged a psyche test to be a bit extreme, but after spending a night in CDPS custody, she wasn't exactly naive. Torri assumed the CCD knew the most intimate details of her life. Hell, she figured next stop was a gown, speculum, and pap smear.

The AA stood, studied all the check marks on Torri's screening, and nodded approvingly. "Very good. Follow me please." Torri signed, brought along the styrofoam cup, and followed.

The CoD was about how she expected it to be, filled with all sorts of staff and military officials. Yet, when she was led to an exam room, Torri's brow furrowed. They seriously weren't going to require pelvic exam!

"Please sit in the chair and remove your jacket. A PA will be with you shortly." The AA keyed in a room ready signal on Torri's file, closed the door behind her, and left.

Torri sighed and did as she was told. She unbuttoned the uniform's jacket, revealing a fitted white button up shirt beneath. Yet as nothing was mentioned about the shirt nor about replacing it with a gown, she simply laid the jacket across the back of a chair and sat on the exam table. To pass the time, she powered up and browsed to a current events feed on her Wallet. It was a website which compiled headlines across all her favorite blogs and news agencies. She didn't have time in her busy schedule to keep up with things like this, except in circumstances such as these. Waiting in an office. Sitting on the metro. Etc.

"This is a terrible idea. Vulpesnet/Nicholas Trano" She read and a sour taste ired her mouth. The foolishness the man spouted was endless. Yet as soon as Torri read the blog post, she couldn't refrain from commenting.

COMMENT: (Dr. Weston, 9:45 AM, MSK)

Everywhere the CCD goes, peace and prosperity follow. Mr. Trano should walk the streets of Mexico City, if he can survive them, then walk the streets of any Dominance capital, and see the difference for himself. Allow your kin the extreme honor of being in the Ascendancy's presence, and let them decide for themselves. The civility of the CCD is a gift worth sharing.


Torri glanced up just as she submitted the comment to witness a white-coated PA enter. The man introduced himself as Gordon, glanced at Torri with that glazed over, seeing nothing but a sack of physiology rather than a person, and asked her to roll up her sleeve. Torri complied, unoffended by the look - she certainly understood it, and asked what vaccine she was getting next. Out of curiosity at least.

"Not an immunization," Gordon answered, preparing a jet-injector syringe. Torri frowned. She hated those things.

"Then what?" Gordon came over after fitting the gun with a metal cartridge.

"Don't move." He ordered, turning Torri's arm prone.

"Ugh!" She grit her teeth at the whoosh when the gas cylinder released and a sharp pain twinged throughout her forearm. Gordon placed a cotton swap against the small wound, instructing her to keep pressure on it for the time being.

Pressure? No shit genius. She turned her arm over to look at the injection site. It was red already, and when she ran her fingers across the overlying skin, she could feel a tiny bulge about the size of her thumbnail.

She blinked in surprise, and Gordon looked up as he was disarming the injector. "A microchip, Captain."

Torri fixed him with a flat stare, "Doctor," she corrected, and Gordon nodded, but did not apologize.

"That'll be all then. You're released, please see the dossier for your next appointment." Gordon promptly left.

Another rapid knock and the AA let herself in, explaining she would now be shown to the office of one Ms. Constantine. Having no idea who that was, Torri nodded and slipped on her jacket once more, thinking. A microchip? For a MC? As they left, she had a strong feeling she was about to learn why.

A long walk later, Torri was introduced to one Mrs. Florsheim, and the AA from the CoD disappeared.

Edited by Torri, Jul 29 2013, 05:24 PM.
Krasivolkya was standing at the window when Mrs. Florsheim opened the door and led the non-descript woman in. Krasivolkya cut her eyes slightly to view her visitor.
"If she cared more, she might be beautiful," Krasivolkya thought as she took in the measure of the woman in front of her.
Krasivolkya turned to look out her window, these were a luxury inside the ancient fortress. Since she had one, she felt the need to bring attention to that fact whenever she had visitors, especially military visitors. Things usually went much better when people knew who led, and who was expected to follow. Krasivolkya ALWAYS liked being the lead.
She gazed up and down once before turning and approaching her guest.
"Dr. Weston," she said as she held out her hand, "I am Chief Liaison for the Custody of State, Krasivolkya Constantine."
The other woman took her hand in a firm grip. Krasivolkya did not let show her surprise at the doctor's strength. She simply made her grip a little tighter, and rolled the lower joint of her thumb into the woman's palm ... a trick she had learned to hit on a pressure point and give the appearance of a stronger grip, as well as usually caused the other person to lessen theirs. It worked, the military doctor's hand relaxed just a bit, and Krasivolkya gave one solid squeeze before releasing the hand altogether.
"Won't you sit?", she gestured to one of her guest chairs in front of her desk, diagonally placed from where Mrs. Florsheim sat at her own desk.
Dr. Weston sat, and Krasivolkya chose to sit in the one next to her, rather than behind her desk. Over the doctor's shoulder, Krasivolkya saw her secretary's eyebrow rise ever so slightly as she did.
"I have been assigned to you personally Dr. Weston. I will be your point of contact during your time in The Kremlin, and while you are working on this project. I am here to serve, guide and inform. My staff is at your disposal if you need to know certain specifics, or need additional information. I will coordinate your visits, in and out of The Kremlin, as well as any other access you might need to other officials while you are working here. Do you have any questions?"
She barely gave the woman a moment to shake her head in the negative before she went on.
"I have a dossier here on our internal information on The Faculty," and she held up a small microchip with the tip of her ring finger and thumb. "May I?"
Dr. Victoria Weston was non-plussed in her response, she was not easily intimidated despite her outward naïve appearance. Krasivolkya could *tell* the woman was confident and not easily rattled. Almost like a Jay when confronted with a wolf. The Jay is not bothered, she knows she is untouchable by the Wolf.
Krasivolkya held the woman's wrist and gently, but firmly placed the microchip on her smooth skin, delicately pressing the corner slightly into her arm. This action triggered the programmed response from the microchip, microscopic prongs attached itself to Dr. Weston. It could easily be scanned now from any ordinary computer, and with her top secret access code, the good doctor could access the information. However, should someone without the code access it, or should it be removed, it's internal circuitry would melt and destroy all information inside. These were the most secure and disposable memory storage advices available.
Dr. Weston was slightly bothered, annoyed or put-off, Krasivolkya confirmed to herself. She, as usual, seemed to *know* the other person's mood. Krasivolkya caught herself involuntarily flaring her nostrils expecting something ... she did not know what, and was not getting any hints from her visitor either.
Krasivolkya grimaced, ever so slightly before recovering her composure. "How stange," she thought, then grabbed the small wireless scanner from her desk and held its infrared beam at the chip. Her computer awoke from its inactive state, and with her voice command, Krasivolkya turned the monitor display, then verbally walked through the steps to access the files embedded in Victoria Weston's arm.
She didn't bother to ask Victoria for her Security code, instead, she entered her own. One more subtle indication of who led here.
A series of images flashed on the screen in a rotating order, a text box available for expanded information if needed by the reviewer.
Krasivolkya had used the hour before Dr. Weston's arrival to memorize the content of each image, so as not to need to break her stride in the presentation. Professionalism and distinct politeness were evident in her tone.
"The Facility is State of the Art and all but unknown save for only very few members of the CCD government. You and I are part of a very small circle, Dr. Weston.
The Ascendency created and personally facilitates funding for The Facility directly. He is committed to using it to find a cure for The Sickness. All patients have volunteered to be a part of the cutting edge research being conducted. Their families do not know the details of their treatment or care, only that they are being sent to a new Medical Research Hospital, that might be their only chance for survival.
No expense was spared by The Ascendency, and The Facility is staffed 24/7.
Your current project will be accommodated by The Facility staff, anything beyond that, you should utilize me to provide for you."
Krasivolkya turned to watch the images rotate another round before continuing.
A long, brightly lit tunnel with glass doors lining one side.
Sterile, clinical, yet not uncomfortable dormitories with various patients sitting or lying in bed as Doctors stood around them.
A lab where a team of research professionals examined information and test results on various virtual tablets that cluttered the table.
Vials of samples of bodily fluids rested in a beaker stand, while a masked female doctor examines one in particular.
A common room, swashed in a sea of white and ecru showed patients discussing information with Facility staff, a virtual tablet between them.
A recreation room showed men and women on treadmills and Pilates balls, while Facility Staff looked on, and took notes.

There were no windows in any of the pictures.

"The Ascendency is committed to finding a cure for this plague ravaging young men and women the world over. He is convinced the benevolence of the CCD can provide the WHO with hence unknown findings to help them make progress in eradicating this disease and stalling this pandemic. The Facility is his gift to the world. One more of many he has already bestowed.
"The Facility functions completely independent of any other Custody or organization. It operates it's own power grid, water supply and hydroponic farm.
--Images of an inside garden, while workers in white coveralls harvested vegetables flashed in front of the two women.
The Pharmaceutical lab at The Facility creates and provide all medication needed for patients and research.--
"Staff are assigned to The Facility in one-year, renewable terms. They agree to live there to make the most of the research being done, and avoid time lost from traveling, or socializing outside of work.
"The Ascendency is determined to find a cure and expects The Facility and it's staff to be as dedicated to that goal as he is.
"You, while having access to all this, as you know, will not be an assigned Facility staffer. You may come and go as your needs and project dictate."

The corresponding images appeared on cue with Krasivolkya's information.
"I hope I have conveyed to you the seriousness and protectiveness with which The Ascendency holds The Facility. Your work here, though temporary, could have long-ranging effects for all of humanity. Such is the honor of working for The Ascendency and the CCD."
Krasivolkya stopped talking in a crisp moment as the screen also went blank, then flashed to her protective screen saver of the Seal and Symbol of the CCD.
She stared down at Dr. Weston as she stood. The doctor had not uttered a word or sound during the presentation. Krasivolkya would have bet she wanted to open her mouth and take a breath, but she was resisting the urge. Krasivolkya began speaking as she made her away around her desk and began gathering items into her brief case, including the leather attaché that had contained this current assignment.
"Again, I will be your go-to during your project for any additional information or interaction with government staff or officials. If you need clearance; you call me. If you need background on another project, department, Custody, or person; you call me. If you need transportation to or from your assignment; you call me. If another government official wants to be updated on your project; you call me. If you need a sabbatical one night or weekend; you call me. And finally, if there is anything out of the ordinary, if staff are not responding like the medical staff you have become accustomed to working with, if you are getting pressure to do or find something BEYOND the scope of your project; you call me. If that is clear, we can leave to go on our tour now. Unless, that is, you have any questions?"
Krasivolkya turned her head to look at Dr. Weston. Her eyes did not show warmth. Her tone was clipped but polite. She had maintained composure and as with all her successful assignments took charge immediately and laid the groundwork for a successful exchange and working relationship. When you were a liaison, you quickly learned most people didn't quite know exactly what they wanted or needed. It was partly your job to make sure you told them what they needed, so as to cement the impression you were anticipating their needs. It was slight of hand, and Krasivolkya was a Master Illusionist. The scent of slight awe, respect and gratitude seemed to waft off the young doctor.
Krasivolkya knew she had done her job. She waited for the woman to respond.

Edited by Krasivolkya, Aug 3 2013, 03:35 PM.
So she would be reporting to the Custody of Defense yet also remain under the care of the Custody of State.

Torri knew exactly what that meant.

It meant the last semblance of freedom she had was gone. It meant the CoD was going to watch her every move, and the CoS would sweep in to clean up the mess if she so much as sneezed without their permission. Come and go as I please. Right. She simply stared, flat and unresponsive while taking in the news. She'd be able to live where she wanted, so long as the building was within the Kremlin perimeter and under the CoS's watchful eye. Then again, as the location of this Facility had yet to be revealed, Torri could only speculate about where it was. However she was fairly certain it was close by if this liaison was going to be giving her a personal tour. Which judging by the presentation, then the Facility was fairly large, and there was only one reasonable place it could be. Beneath them.

Anywhere within walking distance to live would be expensive, yet she assumed there would be no advancement in pay grade, therefore the comfortable life she had in Berlin would be narrowed down to practically nothing. Thinking about finances already, Torri was nothing if she wasn't practical.

She'd be able to write her own hours. That was good, since it seemed she'd not have time, energy, freedom or money to do anything else with her days but work on this ... cure. Volunteer patients? Really..?

She was intrigued, though, but kept her mind honed to the topics at hand. There would be time to consider the scope of this project later.

As their conversation drew to a close, Torri pulled the sleeve of her uniform snugly to her wrist to cover the chip still embedded in her skin. She'd always thought these things were science-fiction. Fake fairy tales made up by bored soldiers who read too many spy novels. But a DNA personalized, transdermal decryption iChip? A TDDi? (or more commonly referred to as a Teddy, on account of their lovable, snuggly sort of itchy throb that went along with jamming it in your skin), and now one was attached to her wrist like a nasty bracelet. This didn't bode well.

Her eyes hovered on the screen-saver a moment. The DI Central Custody symbol turning and rotating in its form, but it was the Ascendancy's symbol which kept her gaze. The mark of the CCD empire could only be used in reference to the nation as a whole or in personal use by the Ascendancy himself. The same symbol as what was on her uniform.

She stood when it seemed she was about to be dismissed, "I have no questions ma'am." It wasn't true. She had a hundred questions, but Torri was used to being given information in due time. Besides, a government bureaucrat was not the one to pose them to, and Torri was hardly in the mood to deal with getting chewed out.

((Torri's moding was done with permission))

Edited by Torri, Aug 4 2013, 11:02 AM.
Minutes later they were out of the inner office and walking across the blue carpeting on the Liaison office and reception area.
Outside the door, the floor was covered in the terrazzo, so the two women's shoes could be heard clicking and echoing before and behind them.

Krasivolkya looked at the women on her left. Perfect posture, eyes looking forward. She gave no sign of whatever was going on behind those eyes of hers. Krasivolkya could sense interest though. Krasivolkya knew that this Dr. Weston was intrigued and interested in this project ...or was it the facility.

Like all military staff, Dr. Victoria Weston was prim and exact in her military uniform. Every button polished, and creases in all the right places. This is exactly what unnerved Krasivolkya. She was always in tailored business suits. Each piece cut for her shape and body. She ensured all her creases were razor sharp and her accessories and outfits ordered to a "T". This was normal for her. She had made her own uniform and dared anyone to think differently. However, who can stack up to the starched and trim military uniform? Krasivolkya could stand out in a world of high powered executives and government officials, precisely because she adopted the fashion regimen more commonly associated with the military. But next to the real thing, Krasivolkya felt an "also-ran".

"This was ridiculous," Krasivolkya thought to herself. It needed to be fixed, she was dwelling way to much on the inadequacy of her outfit! Jesus! What had gotten into her. This Army doctor had gotten to her. "What the hell," was the only phrase she allowed to penetrate her mental self-chastisement.

They had been walking for a while, around corners and across hallway intersections. She was going to where she had been told. She was making sure she did it by seeming rote. Of course, she had mapped out the course and memorized it before Dr. Weston had come in the office. Some things were best not left to chance.

They came to a bank of elevators and stepped into the one to the far right. Dr. Weston followed her in.

"This elevator will take us to the first sub-floor. From there we will gain access to where we are going, " Krasivolkya explained.

The doctor didn't respond. She wasn't rude, simply "detached from this." Interested, she knew, she KNEW, however Dr. Weston was also aloof from her present company, Krasivolkya noticed without thinking. She was aware of the simple expressions the woman seemed to be emitting. Dr. Weston was proving to be a tough nut to crack.

The exited the elevator into a non-descript hallway. Green and white institutional tile lined the floor in a checkerboard pattern. Industrial-based taupe paint shellacked the walls all the way down on both sides. No doorways, no windows, only cheap, plain sconces lined the hallways, while color-draining fleurescents shown down from above.

The two women walked for 5-6 minutes. At the end of the hallway they took a right through a locked double steel door. Entering a retina scan and their CCD codenumber, the door unlocked and they entered. They had not seen another human since getting off the elevator. And now Krasivolkya was outside her comfort zone. She had never been this far or this deep. And they still had more to go.

Krasivolkya's memorized instructions, directions and cool kept her focused. She walked the prescribed 30 meters and on her left was a lone elevator. She placed her hand on the sensor, and looked into yet another retina scan.

"Damnit!", she thought, "I will be fucking blind if I have to make this trip everyday, twice a day." Krasivolkya scowled as the door slid open.

The inner chamber of this elevator was padded in a white, quilted, vinyl fabric. There were no buttons, floor indicator or panel. There was only a digital screen to the right of the door where images rotated in order...ironically, some the same as the ones she had shown Victoria Weston minutes before. Mrs. Florsheim would hear from Krasivolkya over this. Routine stock photos in a confidential briefing. Ridiculous! Even if the woman had had to bribe someone to let her go down this very elevator and take the photos herself, Mrs. Florsheim should never have let that happen. Krasivolkya didn't suffer embarrassments well. At all.

Krasivolkya's annoyance was interrupted by the elevator doors opening.
They stepped out into a brightly lit round foyer. There was a small square hallway leading off, so from above the space they were in would look like a keyhole. At the end of the squat hallway were double frosted glass doors. Krasivolkya indicated Dr. Weston should go first as they approached the doors and prepared to enter The Facility.

This story will be continued in The Facility forum, in a thread entitled Door After Door
after Torri's post below.

Edited by Krasivolkya, Aug 20 2013, 09:48 PM.
Torri was familiar with security measures. The last few years of her residency consisted of TS files of all kinds. Of course, sensitive research was always top secret. But this, piercing the layers of the onion at the side of an extremely sharp knife, this was like something out of CO orientation. Biometrics! Digital x-ray scanners! Codes which opened reinforced doors. Elevators that dropped hundreds of feet. The sub-Q microchip injection still throbbed on one arm and a Teddy stuck in the other?!

By the time Torri and Liaison Constatine reached the frosted glass doors, the good doctor was clearly smitten with the impression of this place. She tried to hide it with an impassive face, but there was an extra briskness to her step and the pupils of her normally cautious eyes were dilated with anticipation.

She thrust her forearm into a cuff built into the hall and the magnets holding the doors shut released upon verification of the microchip it read.

She pulled her arm out breathlessly, straightened the jacket of her uniform and pulled the door.

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