|Scene Title||Keys and I.D.s|
|Synopsis||Dee and Vette slip into the Columbia University physics labs in order to try to get a better understanding of the situation.|
The only university in town that's likely to have exactly what they need, in Vette's estimation, is Columbia university. "It seems apropos as well," she mused, "Since we got the key from a scion of Columbia. I figure we'll have a look at that as well, since if we can't get the equipment to point into the rift and take the readings we want to take we won't make a total waste of the trip."
This is one of those times when it's nice to have a thief on staff, as it were. Dee is all geared up, not at all underestimating Columbia's security. It's a very impressive institution with lots of very expensive equipment. They don't just lock the door when they leave. On the other hand, it has to be accessible to students at various hours, so… She's accompanied Vette, looking as though she's planning to enjoy herself with this. "Oh, I'm sure it won't be a waste regardless." she replies quietly. "I have no doubt there's lots of interesting stuff to play with."
The Physics Department is located in Pupin Hall on Columbia University's Morningside Heights Campus in New York City. The department has about 35 faculty who teach and carry out research in the fields of: astrophysics, condensed matter physics, high energy nuclear physics, high energy particle physics, and atomic, molecular, and optical physics. About 20 undergrads and 100 grad students work there. The department's research is carried out on-campus in the Pupin Laboratories, Schapiro Hall, at the nearby Nevis Laboratories, and at many off-campus laboratories and sites. They'll probably need a keycard to get into any lab, or…something that simulates one reasonably well. Vette's picked a bench that they can look at any of the labs from before they make a decision about what to do, and is eating some yogurt while she waits for Dee to size up the place.
Dee is also having a yogurt as she gives the matter some thought. "Well, the electronic lock won't be a problem. I have a keycard reader, and my picks also can give off a small EMP. That will scramble things, and ensure we're not bothered once we're in."
"What if we meet someone inside?" Vette muses thoughtfully. "With that few students everyone has to know everyone—posing as students has got to be hard. Ditto for teachers. We don't look like parents."
Dee replies "That's why you make an effort not to be spotted. Not that they don't have visiting scientists and such all the time. If you want to wait, I could make us up some IDs? I could even get in there and use to reader to make us functioning ID cards."
"Ok!" Vette replies cheerfully. She waves her plastic spoon around. "I'm not done with my yogurt yet anyway so take your time. This is all exciting. I've never done anything like this before." Poor Dee. The professional thief stuck with Miss I Love Life Experiences.
Dee chuckles. "I've been doing it since I was around ten. It is fun." she admits. "Anyway, it isn't quite time yet. Still too busy in there."
Vette nods her head and says, "So this is your calling thensecurity and stuff." She won't ever call Dee a thief. That's just not nice. "I'm glad I'll get to see it in action then. Becausesomeone doing their calling? That's a beautiful thing to watch."
Dee smiles. "My calling. Sounds so noble. On the other hand, look at all the thieves that are celebrated in movies and such." She has no trouble calling a spade and spade. "It's just what I am, though. I love to test things. To work out how to get past things. It's fun."
"I liked Ocean's 11," Vette agrees happily. "I saw it on HBO the other night. I think Rufus would be horrified if he knew how much television I watch. He nearly fell over when I told him I like admittedly bad reality shows."
Dee chuckles. "I don't watch all that much television. I've got no problem with it, but I don't really have the time. Especially now that I've gotten more into computers. There's always more to learn.
"Rufus keeps trying to tell me I should go back to school," Vette admits softly. "But—I mean I don't know. He's like, offering to foot the bill and stuff, and I don't know if I can let him do that. I'm too old for scholarships and stuff."
Dee thinks about that. "I'm pretty sure they have programs for people going to school at a later age. I've done a little here and there, but it's not like there's a trade school for what I do. I take art appreciation classes sometimes. That sort of thing."
Vette stops short of asking if that helps Dee know what to steal. That really /would/ be rude! The sun is sliding down over the horizon now, and many people are on their way to suppertime. "I guess an advantage of being where we're at is there's plenty of time to learn just about anything we want."
It… kind of does, actually. Sometimes. And, it's just something she enjoys. "We do seem to have time, if we can get to the point where we stop aging. I'm not really sure how that's done. I know I feel like I'm at a good age where I'd like to stop now."
"I've never given it any thought," Vette muses. "I think I'd like to stay hot but get some gray in my hair just the same. Be a nice and distinguished force of inspiration or something. I dunno. I have enough trouble keeping track of the present."
Dee chuckles. "You do? Why's that?" she asks.
Vette looks over with a smile. "I um—well. I was busy contemplating a symbol on a ceiling once and missed an explosion. Literally." She waits for that to sink in for a second.
Dee considers that, then chuckles. "I see. I've never had that problem. My work kind of requires that I know what's going on around me."
"Yes," Vette says, rubbing the back of her neck. "As does most people's. When I pay attention to something I /really pay attention to it/. Unfortunately that means I have trouble paying attention to /anything else/." Some of the cars are pulling out of the lab's parking lot.
Dee nods. "Well, so long as you have people watching your back, that isn't always a bad thing. It lets you really focus on something."
"Hey—that's a good way to look at it," Vette says brightly. And she does have good people watching her back. "Ok, so when do you want to go in there and get the IDs made? It's getting dark."
Dee replies with a nod. "You do. And we'll go in just a few. Though if I'm just going to make ID's, I should likely do that myself. Get in and out quickly."
"Aren't we going to use them?" Vette asks with a couple of blinks. "Or are you making them in one building and we're using them in a different building entirely? I really have no idea how this stuff works."
Dee smiles. "Well, I didn't plan to just stick around in there while I made the IDs. On the other hand…" She considers for a moment. "There is a time consideration. C'mon." she says, finishing her yogurt and tossing the container and spoon into a nearby can. "Let's do this thang."
Vette tosses her own yogurt container in the trash and follows after Dee like a happy little puppy, waiting to see what her cousin will do. Her ponytail swings behind her. She had this idea that ponytails were more economical for committing crimes in.
It does help for not so easily leaving behind DNA. However, Dee pulls two sporty sorts of caps from her satchel and offers Vette one. "Here. When we're in the lab, you can tuck your hair into it to keep any from dropping accidently. I have gloves for when we're in, too." Pesky fingerprints. "Though, if we're not taking anything they're less likely to look too carefully. So… why aren't we just asking the university for access to the machines? Not that I mind. This is more fun."
Vette puts her hair into her cap and thinks about it. "Well, asking didn't occur to me," she admits softly. "I meanI don't know what your credentials are but I tend to thinkhey, I'm a nobody from the Bronx with no higher education, why would anybody give me access to anything? The fact that they might give you or Simone or Ru or Marius access to something just—never crossed my noggin."
Dee smiles. "Well, given all the Scion stuff going on, if we could demonstrate that we have actual powers they might be curious enough to let us try. But, we'll maybe see about that next time." For now, she heads towards the building in question. "After all, it's always easier to get forgiveness than permission."
Vette blinks a few times. "But wouldn't that help tell all the bad guys where we are? Ok, confession time. I've only been at this whole Scion thing for like—a month now. So sometimes it's all new to me."
Dee mms. "Yeah, I got that impression. It's okay, though. We were all new to it at one time." she replies with a grin. "And I suppose that would depend on whether the bad guys had any ins with the university. So far, I haven't seen much to suggest they go around bothering too much with the normal world. I'm hoping to find out whether they do, though."
"I have no insights!" Vette chirps. The cold blast of the building's AC hits them as they enter, and there's nobody at all in the halls. The main doors are open; its' all the side doors that aren't. There is, however, an administrative office off to the left that is out in the open.
Fortunately, Dee has no trouble blending in. Her entire demeanor changes to where she could be just another grad student. She chuckles to Vette, then says "So, exactly what machines are we looking for?"
Vette starts listing off a series of science and physics toolsabout ten in all. She says, "Some of those are for examining the keyothers are for examining the rift themselves."
Dee nods. "Which ones are most likely to be in the same place?" she asks then as she heads towards the office to see who is there that might need to be gotten around.
She names about five of them, most of them scanners. "But I mean—I'm basing this assessment off books I got out of the library." She feels the need to amend it since she's never taken so much as a college comp course.
Dee smiles. "It's okay." She looks around another moment, then says "Okay, I'm gonna go do my thing. You stand… here." she puts Vette where she can best watch for people coming. "And put this in your ear." It's a bluetooth receiver. "If someone is coming, laugh as though the person on the other end said something funny. If anyone asks who you are, just say your cousin told you to wait here for her. Feel free to act ditzy. Smart people are the easiest ones to fool, when given the chance to feel better about themselves."
"Ok!" Vette says. She fits the bluetooth in her ear and adopts her most airheaded expression. And then she focuses very hard on whether or not anyone is coming and what she's supposed to do, not watching Dee at all. She produces a nail file just to add to the image.
An administrative office door? Not even exercise for Dee, and she vanishes inside quickly. There's no sound at all from the office as she has a look around to get the information she wants - where the machines are, and who might be using them at the moment. Good to know if anyone's scheduled to be where they want to go. That would be awkward.
At some point she /will/ hear Vette going into the giggly ditz act, and she's good at it. Some scientist is getting, "Oh my god, yous guys really do wear pocket protectors! You know there has /got/ to be a more fashionable way of carrying your pens and stuff aroundlike a briefcase or /something/, you — " and then she giggles. "Yeah, I'm talking to this totally nerdy scientist, but he's cute though, hang on"
Dee can't help a grin as Vette does her thing. There nothing quite like a talented distraction. She is, though, looking forward to seeing the bright side of the other woman. It's just hard so far to imagine her using the high-tech machines. Meanwhile, she pretty much vanishes in case it's someone that comes into the office.
Yes, indeed, even Vette is looking forward to seeing Vette's brighter side. "Hey, if you'll like, do me a favor, and go down to like, the Starbucks on the corner and get me like, a nonfat latte, you can have my phone number," she tells the scientist. This apparently works because Vette says to her 'friend', a moment later, "Okay! Talk to you later bye bye!" so Dee will know its safe.
Dee continues to grin as Vette sends off the poor man. She appears a few moments later, locking the door behind her. She doesn't seem to have taken anything, but who can tell? "Okay. I've got a general flightplan worked out." Do you have to wait here for your date?" she asks then with a quiet chuckle.
"God no. And don't tell Rufus I did that. It won't matter if it was not serious or if it was a distraction,he'll hit the roof. He got jealous just cause I talked to some guy on the street. I don't want to see his reaction to me flirting even for necessity." Vette shuddered. "Let's do this thing."
Dee laughs to that. "Did he? Well, well. The son of a god of justice, being all jealous for no reason." Clearly, there will eventually be teasing about that. "Don't worry, though. I won't tell him about this. C'mon, then. This way." She heads down one of the hallways, towards the stairway. As she goes, she makes note of cameras and such that might mark their passage.
There are always cameras everywhere, and they are recording, but they are the motion sensitive cameras that record to a DVR player. Meaning nobody's staring at the footage unless they get good reason to. There's none at all on the stairwell as people mostly don't take stairs. "I'm surprised he could joke around with Marius like he did last night, truth be told."
"I guess he realizes that Marius won't really do anything." Dee replies. "Probably. He's a lot of fun, but I can't see him doing anything someone didn't want. It's not like he has a hard time getting women into bed. Or wherever." She first heads them towards the scanning equipment Vette wants to use, taking a curious little machine from her satchel. "Okay. And you stand… here." Between Dee and the camera. Her own body is turned as well, to make it hard to tell what they're doing, and then the card end of the reader is put to use.
Vette stands where Dee tells her to, waiting for the magic door to open. She stares off into space, like any student wrapped up in a problem. Dancing does require at least a little acting, after all, and Vette is adept at saying things with her body and face more than with her mouth.
Dee is certainly good at this. It doesn't take her much more time than it did to get past the mechanical lock downstairs, and then she has a quick scan inside to make sure no students have snuck in, too.
None have. As they slip inside they'll see so much equipment and indicator lights that Vette, for a moment, looks cross eyed. "Holy crap." She bends over one of the machines and studies it. "Crap. We won't be able to do anything with the rift from here without making major alterations I don't know how to make. We can, however, study this bad boy." She brings out their mysterious key.
Dee gets the door closed behind them, and locks it again. Before Vette can speak though, she covers the other woman's mouth, and gestures for quiet and still. She looks around the room in an appraising sort of way as well, but in her case it's for whatever surveillance equipment is being used in here. With her ability to sense radio waves and such, it's become harder to fool her about that stuff, and it has to be disabled before anything else happens. Only once that's done does she let Vette off the lead as it were. She nods, then says "We'll have to come back for that, then. Let's see what we can learn about the key, at least."
Vette looks very startled as Dee covers her mouth, but she shuts up till Dee indicates she can speak. She sets the key into one of the machines and fires it off. It takes her a few moments to use the thing correctly, then she says, "Ok. First we've got the exterior. The material's conductivereally conductive. Likeyou could run this stuff through electric wiring and it'd do as good as copper. In a second I'll get a scan of the inside and you can look at it. Maybe you can make something out of the electronics inside."
Dee hms as she walks over to see what Vette's doing. "Sure thing. If nothing else, we can get a printout to show around." A lot of her attention is still on making sure they stay alone, though.
She has to move the key to another machine to expose its electronic guts. "There it is," she says. "I don't know a thing about electronics though—that's more your department." Still, if Dee wants to look at it and try to gather some info it's now all displaying on a monitor for her to see.
Dee hmms and notes "I'm more a chemist than an electrician. But, I do also know my way around a computer. And really, I'm pretty good at just figuring things out." She has a look, and also studies the key itself for any interesting eminations
There are no signals coming from the key—at least not actively. However, the thing looks designed to receive a signal and then broadcast one in return. There also appears to be a data storage device and more than's simply needed to transmit a code back and forth. It might have been recording events back on Ellis Island or everything since then around it, and now stands ready, somehow, to transmit the data.
Dee hms quietly. "I think it's meant to record and transmit data. Who knows what's on it. It might react to an incoming signal, to transmit."
Vette frowns as she considers that. She says, "The problem is we don't know what triggers it and if we start tossing energy at it we might end up frying it. I think we might need to see that basement before we can go much further with this."
Dee hms, nodding to that. "We need more information about that building. That seems more like a job for a lawyer, though. You know. Lots of paperwork. I'll see what I can find online though, of course."
Shutting down the equipment carefully, Vette reclaims the key and slips it into her pocket. "I think we've done all we could here," she admits. "With those IDs though we can always come back. I think I /will/ see about enrolling here. The chance to play with all these toys all the time…" She looks embarrassed.
Dee grins. "Hey, I totally get it. We all like to play. It's just the games that vary." she replies. Before they go, but once Vette is out, she quickly turns the surveillance back on. Less likely to notice anything amiss that way.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.