The Billion Credit Brain: A Miller & Mayfield Mystery

Started by Rory Mayfield, April 22, 2020, 09:46:42 am

Rory Mayfield

April 22, 2020, 09:46:42 am Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 10:08:02 am by Rory Mayfield
Their mission completed, the crew of the Courtesan disbanded and the Miller clan scattered themselves across the Verse once more. Rory was heartbroken to part ways with the aunts and uncles he'd only just met. On the other hand, he was quite relieved to be rid of Sparrow after the tea incident, which Mason and him had agreed never to speak of again; if word of it had reached Marion's ears, she might no longer have been open to leaving Rory in Mason's care. As it stood, however, she allowed him to take some time off school and continue traveling with his father, since it seemed to be good for Rory's confidence and Mason's ego.

Their first job as a senior-junior duo came from one Dr. Ada Cheung, whose latest super-computer was to be unveiled at the TechnOSIRIS technology exposition on -- you guessed it -- Osiris. Unable to attend herself due to personal reasons and worried about a potential plot to steal her baby, the paranoid computer scientist had hired the two of them to go undercover at the event and keep an eye out for trouble.

And so the father and son found themselves in the bustling exhibition center on Osiris, trying to do their best to blend in with the inventors, investors and just plain old nerds (all of them on the wealthy side, of course, to be able to afford entry to the prestigious event). In his carefully ironed dress shirt and sweater vest, Rory wasn't dressed all that differently from how he usually did, save for a pair of ill-fitting horn-rimmed glasses which kept sliding down the bridge of his nose. He had to take a moment to push them back up every few minutes before continuing to gawk at the wonders around him.

"Oh, look! Over there!" Rory suddenly tugged at Mason's sleeve and pointed towards something -- a middle-aged man in a turtleneck walking past them. In his head he was doing it discreetly, but in reality the gesture was anything but. The boy scout seemed to already have forgotten what they were supposed to be doing at the exhibition center, and was treating the operation like one big field trip.

"That's Gideon Pritchard! The inventor of the transportation-scope communicator!" He looked up at Mason, beaming. "I can't believe I'm actually seeing him with my own eyes. Thanks for bringing me along, da-uhh-ctor Surnamé." He caught himself just in time, his gaze darting around to see if anyone had heard him.

Mason Miller

April 27, 2020, 11:58:00 am #1 Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 08:44:04 am by noseatbelts
"Hm yes Richard Galleon with the transponder, of course." Mason said, intently not listening to his son. His eyes were focused about the room, looking for potential security threats, finding the exits, looking for security, both guards and cameras, and- "Ah, there it is." -the bar. He bee-lined for the cloth covered table and put his elbows next to the sign that described the wares as being free, with gratuity requested. "Scotch. Double. Neat. Quickly." Mason, no idiot, slid a ten credit note to the bartender with a wink. You treat the bar staff well, they will return the favor. Especially at an open bar where they were instructed to under-serve at all costs.

A sip of the smoky elixir calmed his nerves and made his hand stop shaking. With a brat in tow, who managed to sigh with disappointment every time Mason pulled out his flask, the drinks were fewer and further between than he was accustomed to. No matter. This was an appropriate venue for him to be drinking. He was a guest and not the only one with glass in hand. Mason looked at his son, still a strange concept for him to grasp, and wondered how he had gotten into this mess.

Well, he knew how he had gotten into this, so he had to suppose his question was really why was he here and with under-age company no less. His cover was that of Professor John Surnamé, PhD, attending this TechnOsiris convention to be excited about science or something. Rory had all of those details and Mason was glad to let the boy do the talking when it came to their cover story. Mason had already forgotten Rory's cover name, but he did know the boy was masquerading as his assistant. Did doctors have assistants? Magicians have assistants. That can't be right.

It didn't matter. Mason didn't plan on partaking of the convention, only the amenities. He looked at Rory, who seemed pleased as punch just to be there, and sighed after another sip of his drink. "So who is it we're looking for again?"

Rory Mayfield

June 13, 2020, 11:26:20 am #2 Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 02:24:45 pm by Rory Mayfield
"Hm yes Richard Galleon with the transponder, of course."

"Actually, it's Gideon Pri- oh." Rory's enthusiasm deflated as he watched his father make a beeline for the bar. His rational mind understood full well that drinking was just one of those bad habits some adults picked up and had a hard time shaking, but there was a part of him that wondered if there could be more to it, a nagging voice that surmised Mason had to be constantly buzzed in order to tolerate his son's presence. Rory tried to shush that voice and joined his father at the table just as he finished ordering his drink.

"Anything for you, Sir?" The bartender turned to Rory, who froze like a deer in headlights. That's right. The person he was pretending to be, graduate student Maury Renfield, was an adult. He looked at the bartender, then at his father, then back at the bartender. If Shay was in his position, he'd probably order a drink and down it in one gulp as a cào-you-dad move. It would be a great way to give his father a taste of his own medicine, and there would be nothing Mason could do about it without risking compromising their cover. Really, this was the perfect opportunity for some long overdue teenage rebellion, a chance to stand up and do something wild and unpredictable-

"No, thank you, I'm under... uh, under doctor's orders not to have any alcohol. Because of my medication. For my, uh, for my generalized anxiety disorder. You know, since alcohol is a nervous system depressant, so it could- oh..."

The bartender had already turned his attention away, and Rory fell silent. He turned to his father and tried to muster up an air of nonchalance.

"So who is it we're looking for again?"

"Right." Rory was happy to get back to business. He looked around, making sure nobody was listening in, then leaned closer to Mason and lowered his voice. "Dr. Cheung's protege, Edison Knox, is presenting her invention on her behalf. She wants us to keep an eye on the computer, and him- he doesn't know about us. We're supposed to keep our mission a secret from everybody, including Knox. So the less we interact with the people here, the- oh. Oh!"

Rory's eyes suddenly widened and became fixed on something behind Mason's shoulder, and he gave his father a frantic nudge. The turtlenecked man from earlier was approaching them, flanked by two men in suits.

"I'm sorry." His voice was surprisingly deep for a man of his skinny build, with enunciation so crisp it had a certain robotic but not entirely unpleasant quality to it. "I could not help but overhear your partner bring up my name earlier. I'm afraid I have something of a narcissistic streak- an occupational hazard of being an innovator. I don't believe we've met, Mr..."

Gideon Pritchard extended a spindly hand for Mason to shake. Rory pushed up his glasses.

Mason Miller

June 15, 2020, 09:24:34 am #3 Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 09:26:40 am by noseatbelts
Mason sipped his drink and looked at the kid as the mission was explained. "Dr. Cheung's-" Dr. Cheung was their employer? Mason honestly couldn't recall their name, though it had a tinge of familiarity. "-protege Edison Knox, is presenting her invention on her behalf. Dr. Cheung is a woman? That rang a bell. A bit mousy, if he thought on it. Good hips, though. Perky- "She wants us to keep an eye on the computer-" The invention is a computer, got it. "-and him- he doesn't know about us." She doesn't trust her assistant. Interesting. "We're supposed to keep our mission a secret from everybody, including Knox. So the less we interact with the people here-" Not a problem at all. This was going to be easy. A proverbial cake walk. Mason stopped listening to Rory long enough to miss that he had stopped talking altogether. Instead he took to scanning the crowd and looking at all the techie scientists. Sure, they had their uses and Mason couldn't deny that the lot of them all made more money than he did, but he'd shagged more people so Mason reckoned he had won out. "What a bunch of swots and boffins." He said, turning back to Rory with a smirk.

Of course he found what appeared to be the King of the Boffins standing before him. A nebbish fellow with what Mason could guess to be the weakest handshake on Osiris (and they hadn't even clasped hands yet) whose identity Mason had not a clue. But, ever the professional, Mason rolled with the punches. "Doctor Surnamé, PhD. John Surnamé." Mason took the man's hand - confirmed he had the grip of a tea doily - and stood there waiting for Pritchard to leave. Which he didn't.

Fine. "And you are?" Mason finally asked after a protracted silence, to which Pritchard seemed slightly offended.

"Gideon Pritchard." He said with expectation in his voice.

Mason didn't follow. "Charmed." He said with a tight smile, and turned to escape the conversation.

"Surnamé? Would I know your work?"

Mason sighed and closed his eyes and for a brief moment considered just walking away. From Pritchard. The mission. Rory. Osiris. Life. And then he opened his eyes again and sipped his drink. "I don't know, what do you think-" Mason looked at Rory and realized he didn't know the lad's cover name. Quick, think, what does Rory rhyme with? "Maury? Would he know my work?"

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