Okay, go ahead with your report.
Oh, sorry, official stuff. Name, status, and assignment, for the record.
Navin Picardo, City Control undercover security. Assigned to monitor Setsujoku Hisako, case 1124272.
Alright, my bad. Sorry. Start from the top, the audience for this might not know the background.
No problem. Anyway, Ms. Setsujoku came to our attention after a group of teenagers, between Alpha-1 and Alpha-3 ratings, called for help in Sector Zero. One of them, Miguel Murphy, is the child of a Silver Seven member and carried an approved comm unit. So they radio for help and Mack Atlas responds. Since they were there illegally, we bring them in after a bit and question them. And Ms. Setsujoku gives us an alias. I mean, it has to be an alias. There’s no record of anyone named that who’s been cleared for Zeta-2 tech, which she has, and no candidate for a father that she talked about. Plus her family name literally means “revenge”, so, y’know.
That name’s a mouthful anyway, just call her Hisako, we’ll search and replace before the brass gets this transcript.
Okay. Anyway, if she’s not licensed, she’s carrying Z2 gear around with her illegally, but how did she get so good at it? Who trained and equipped her? City Control surveillance doesn’t have anything on cameras for her for a long time, and no entrance records. How did she get here? We could just bring her back in, but maybe she’ll lead us to someone bigger or badder, right? So that’s where I come in.
Okay. Skip methodology for now, just get to the relevant stuff.
Right. We don’t have any idea where she lives. She goes off monitoring and then just, y’know, disappears sometimes. I filed a re-evaluation request to classify her gear as Zeta-4 if she’s teleporting, or Zeta-3 if she can disappear from our cameras. I suspect she’s Z3 because if she could teleport, why did she let herself get stranded in Sector Zero, and draw official scrutiny, something she must have expected?
That’s the biggest thing, I think. Other than that, there’s just a lot of little weird shit.
Okay. Her and this other person, Midge Leafstone - I’m pretty sure that’s another alias, by the way, also someone we have zero data on. Anyway. Zoe’s Atomic Burgers and Milkshakes, 45th and Trent upon Rez plate 2A. They’re at this place, right, but they stare at the menu like they’re a couple of Martians. There’s nothing to pick though! It’s just five kinds of burgers with a bunch of options for toppings, and a few flavors of shake.
They’re sitting there staring at it, and each other, and whispering. Two people in a crowded setting is classic tradecraft, so I aim the mike at them. You have the transcript–
I’m going to plug it into this point in the record, yeah. Go ahead.
MIDGE: Who is Lucy? And why is she juicy?
HISAKO: It is… a cheeseburger, in which the cheese is melted inside the patty. “Juicy Lucy” is a term of culinary art. It is not a reference to a person.
MIDGE: Is that good? Is it better that way?
HISAKO: I am unsure. It seems to be popular in Minneapolis.
MIDGE: What’s Minneapolis?
HISAKO: It is the 16th largest urban area in the United States. It is part of a place called the Twin Cities. It is in the state of Minnesota.
MIDGE: I don’t know any of that. I’m just hungry. Is it a good thing to eat?
HISAKO: Hamburgers are a staple of American fast food. I assume it will be good.
MIDGE: Have you ever had one?
HISAKO: … No.
MIDGE: Me either. Ricky gave me some money though, so let’s get a burger.
HISAKO: What kind shall we get?
MIDGE: I like mushrooms. They’re really good at keeping the rain off you if you get caught outside. So let’s get a mushroom burger.
HISAKO: That is a good point.
MIDGE: Oh, do you normally use leaves?
MIDGE: To keep the rain off, silly!
HISAKO: I am unused to being surprised by weather conditions. But no, I meant that money is a good point. I will need to pay for more things here, won’t I.
MIDGE: I guess. When I said I had marbles and hay to trade at the clothing store, they looked at me funny! Maybe they’re full up on that stuff and I need new stuff to barter with.
HISAKO: I don’t want to ask Ricky for assistance, though.
MIDGE: Ricky is so nice though! I’m sure he would be willing to.
HISAKO: He shows signs of resentment and low self-esteem when the subject of money is broached. Have you not noticed?
MIDGE: No…? Should I… should I not have taken money from him? Did I upset him?
HISAKO: Only he can answer that. However, as he has given you the money, and since you are hungry, I think he would find it best if you used it to purchase food.
MIDGE: Okay… Well, I don’t want to make Ricky sad…
HISAKO: I don’t wish to make Ricky unhappy either. So. Show me your currency.
HISAKO: I calculate that what you have here will pay for 12 burgers, and 4 milkshakes, if our goal to obtain an amount closest to the amount you were provided. There is a “tax” which is factored into this calculation as well. Ah. A surcharge for the funding of government services. Logical.
MIDGE: How big is a hamburger?
MIDGE: Oh wow that’s huge! How are we going to get through one of those?
HISAKO: I suggest one hamburger between us, and one milkshake. We can estimate our remaining caloric deficiency, should we finish these things.
MIDGE: They don’t have a mushroom milkshake. Is that okay?
HISAKO: I don’t believe that the flavors are expected to align. There is a phrase, “a la carte”. Do you know it?
HISAKO: It refers to food items that may be ordered separately, rather than as a unit. I believe that the hamburgers, French fries, and milkshakes, are a la carte. You may order whatever flavor you wish.
MIDGE: Which should I get?
HISAKO: … Chocolate stimulates euphoric feelings by the release of theobromine, and phenylethylamine. Vanilla is known for its relaxing, soothing, and sensual fragrance. Do you wish to feel more euphoric, or more relaxed?
MIDGE: Um, uh, I guess I could relax a bit?
HISAKO: Very well. We shall order the mushroom burger and the vanilla milkshake. We shall also get some of the French fries. Come.
Any preliminary conclusions?
Those two are a couple of fuckin’ weirdos.
Can we dress that up a little bit for the official report?
Yeah, sorry. An assessment at this stage is premature. The subject shows only superficial familiarity with American culture. Her companion even less. They’re both good English speakers. They’re most likely undocumented immigrants from somewhere else. Surveillance will continue.
Okay. Thanks, Navin.