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 Inception - Bash Job

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:09 pm

Sofie smiled at Mia and nodded.

"Let me give you some recommendations," she said, moving over to stand beside the other woman. She bent over and began to point at some of the items, speaking of them in glowing terms. As she did, she slipped a small microphone into Mia's pocket.

"But this one is my favorite," Sofie continued, leaning just a bit more to point at the far side of the menu, giving Ferral an excellent shot of her cleavage.

"So, I'll leave you to think it over and be back in a few," she said politely, giving Ferral a long look before leaving.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:14 pm

Mia nodded along as Sofie spoke, her eyes tracing over the options on the menu.

Ferral continued to study his own menu in silence until Sofie had departed the table.

"I think I like the sound of this spinach rigatoni." Mia said, sitting her menu aside. "How about you?"

"How about we skip dinner and go straight for dessert?" Ferral responded, raising an inviting eyebrow.

"Mhh. I think our waitress would love to serve you dessert." Mia shot back, tilting her head in the direction Sofie had gone.

"Noticed that, did you?" He asked with a chuckle.

"It was hard not to. Thank God I'm not carrying around melons that size. My back wouldn't be able to take it."

Ferral laughed more openly this time, his smile more evident than it had been so far. "You don't have a subtle bone in your body, do you?"

"Sorry, babe. Subtlety isn't really my thing." Mia responded with a wink. "Now, what was it you were considering for dinner?"

"Well, I've always been a fan of lasagna. So, I suppose that's a safe bet."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:17 pm

Sofie half considered poisoning the lasagna, but she knew that Ferral was just a projection and it wouldn't mean anything. Well, it seemed that the Mark didn't have eyes for anyone else. That didn't necessarily mean that Mia was still aware of his affiliations, however.

There was one easy way to gauge that, however. Inquiring of the projection of the Mark should give her a good idea of what Mia herself knew about him. Mentioning the cartel and getting a blank look from someone they knew to be involved would be a dead giveaway.

"Well, are you ready to give your orders?" Sofie asked sweetly as she returned to the table. She spied Mia's glass and immediately made her move.

"Oh, let me fill that up again for you," she said, reaching for the glass. Swiftly and discreetly, she knocked the glass over, spilling wine down the front of Mia's dress. Gasping and covering her mouth in distress, she fussed over Mia's dress before helping her up.

"You'd better get to the bathroom and wash that," she said. "I am so sorry."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:33 pm

Mia squeaked in surprise as her wine glass tipped over, splattering the front of her pale, green dress in red.

"You've got to be kidding me..." She sighed, pushing Sofie's probing hands aside and making a b line for the bathroom.

Ferral made an annoyed sound as his date walked away. "I hope me turning you down is worth the paycheck." He said, turning his gaze in Sofie's direction. "That's a three hundred dollar dress you just ruined, and while my date is a big enough person to not make a big deal of it, I'm not hardly as kind-hearted. Between this and showing off your girls earlier, you're ruining a perfectly good evening out with my girl."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:16 pm

Sofie held her dismayed expression until Mia was out of sight. Then, she unceremoniously dropped her hands and turned to Ferral.

"Oh no, three hundred!" she said sarcastically. "You know that's pocket change for Suavez."

She slid into Mia's chair, eyebrows raised.

"So, we were right to doubt you," she pressed on. "For shame, Ferral. For you to be compromising us with the daughter of the Mendejo cartel leader. I hope you aren't giving us reason to doubt your loyalties."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:34 pm

Loyalties? Suavez? Mendejo?

Ferral's brows drew together for the briefest of moments while he put the words together.

"I don't know what kind of game you're trying to play, but those aren't names you throw around for fun." His words held a slight note of fear, but there was also a hint of iron in them. "In the future, you might want to refrain from clinging to men with dates. It might help you keep your next job a little longer. I'd also advise you to not anger Mia's father. He won't hear about tonight's incident, but if I see you again, or if you try contact Mia, you can be sure he'll find you."

He pushed himself away from the table and slid the chair back underneath it with considerable force. "Now, I'm going to go collect my date and take her to an establishment with proper waiting staff. You can take the glass of wine out of your last paycheck."

With that, he turned and made his way towards the restroom in search of Mia.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:20 am

So, Ferral - or, rather, Mia's projection of Ferral - knew all about the cartels and their associates. That meant Mia knew about them and Ferral's involvement by extension.

It seemed as though they genuinely cared for one another. At least, he wouldn't be so easily swayed by any breasts and long legs that walked by.

That's all she needed to know.

"Now that's just rude," Sofie said, smiling. "Unfortunately, I'm the type to take that personally."

She pulled the pistol out from behind her back and fired it at Ferral's heart. She didn't bother to gloat over it. He was a projection, after all. It was just letting off a little steam.

Well, time to pull out. The dream might end soon, and she and Karina needed to be out of there when it did. Sighing, she swung her arm out with dramatic flourish and brought it up to her temple. This part was never pleasant.

She squeezed the trigger.

--------------------

Sofie awoke groggily inside Mia's bedroom. The young woman was still fast asleep on her bed, and Karina was standing by, looking anxious.

"We're good. Let's make ourselves scarce," Sofie whispered, rubbing her temple. She could almost feel the ghost of the bullet.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:19 am

Early the following morning...

"So, how was girl's night?" John asked as he stepped into the room where the team was gathering for Sofie's report.

"Wouldn't you love to know." Karina responded, giving him a sly smile and pushing a cup of coffee in his direction. If not for the fact that they were about to spend quite a bit of time dreaming, it might have seemed more appropriate.

John raised an eyebrow at her and his gaze drifted back and forth from Karina to Sofie. "Why do I get the feeling you two were talking about me behind my back?"

Karina's smile ticked up a bit on one side at that. "Because you'd like to believe that a woman can't keep you off her mind. God forbid we actually not discuss you amongst ourselves in our free time."

John swayed backwards, holding his empty hand over his heart as if he were in pain. "Oh, how you wound me, chica."

"Pipe down." Trevor said, entering the room behind John. "Or I'll give her permission to teach ya what bein wounded actually feels like."

He slapped John on the back and moved towards the other side of the room, where several chairs awaited them. "I believe our Chemist is busy mixin up a lil somethin fer us ta use, but the rest of us have some plannin ta do. Since we only have two days left before the real thing, time is not our friend here."

Trevor dropped into a seat and nodded to Sofie. "So then, what do ya have fer us?"
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:31 pm

Sofie had been working on her nails, idly passing the file across them as she listened to John and Karina quip back and forth. She thought of Karina's words the pervious night - about what John wanted but couldn't have - but brushed them off as quickly as they had come. She was already devoting more thought to John than he deserved.

Trevor dropped into the seat beside her, and Sofie looked up from her nails at last.

"Well, it doesn't seem as though Ferral is playing Mia. The relationship is genuine enough."

"And how much does Mia know?" Hunter asked, taking the chair on Sofie's other side.

"I questioned Mia's projection of Ferral. He knew about both cartels, which means Mia knows he knows."

Sofie hesitated a moment. Actually, despite Ferral's response, did it definitively prove that Mia knew about Ferral's involvements? She hadn't considered it at the time, but now the suspicion nagged at her.

"I guess that settles it," Hunter said. "So what's the core idea for the inception then?"

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:07 pm

"Well, if the relationship is genuine, as Sofie says," John spoke up, "it should be easy enough to have Ferral convince himself he's doing it for Mia."

"Not so fast, mi amigo." Karina cut in. "I understand that you men feel like you need to protect us, but I wouldn't want mi amor to put himself in the middle of my enemy's operation. That's just suicidal."

Trevor scratched his chin, frowning. "She has a point. We have ta make this stick in a way that a single conversation with Mia won't undo all of our work. If we can convince him to be the mole we need using her image in the dream, it's possible she could just turn around and convince him ta get out of the cartel in reality."

"It wouldn't be any fun if it was easy." John muttered, just loudly enough to be heard.

Karina smiled at that and raised a questioning eyebrow at Sofie. "Perhaps it's in our best interests to pursue a different angle?" She asked, trying to keep the conversation moving.

"Maybe..." John took a long sip of his coffee. "Positive reinforcement is the best way though. If we can't use Mia, we need something else to replace her."

"Or, maybe we just need ta widen our scope a little bit." Trevor said, leaning forward in his chair.

"What do you have in mind, boss man?" John asked.

"What if we mix in a little self-deprecation with our original message?" Trevor asked, looking interested by the concept. "Something along the lines of 'I love the gal, but she's too good fer me'?"

John nodded slowly. "It could work. Positive reinforcement still achieves the desired result, and the negative connotation would prevent him from getting in touch with Mia afterwards. That way, she couldn't undo our work." He paused, looking thoughtful. "We would be forcibly breaking up their relationship by doing this though."

"Let's be serious here, mi amigo." Karina spoke up. "Any romance the two of them might enjoy would be short-lived anyway. Once the cartels realized there was a potential leak, it would be eliminated in one manner or another."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:21 am

Hunter raised his eyebrows at Trevor's proposal. It was quite fitting, and well thought of.

"I'm impressed, Trevor," he said, smiling. "I definitely think we can work with that. The question is now what layers to complement the idea."

Sofie wasn't too concerned with that. She was more interested in John's comment. Really, he should know better. Romance in the line of less-than-legal work had little hope.

"At least we can end it on a bittersweet note," she said, her smile none too sympathetic. "It's the best they could hope for."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:17 pm

"Hope is a dangerous thing..." John responded, tipping back the remainder of his coffee. "That's why we have to take all of Ferral's away. It's not so simple as you're making it sound. He may be a better man for it after the fact, but what we're about to do is completely crush his hopes. No one should take that lightly." His eyes were distant for only a moment, like he was seeing something other than the room around him. Just as quickly, it was gone, and he turned to toss his empty cup into the trash.

"Well, first, we have ta set the tone." Trevor spoke again, breaking the silence. "So, we need a platform of introducing the Mark to the concept of being a mole."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:06 am

Hunter looked between John, who seemed oddly introspective, and Sofie, who was watching him expressionlessly, before clearing his throat. Thankfully, Trevor decided to speak before things got too awkward.

"Uh yeah," he said, jumping on this thread. "So, at the top layer we can set it up so the Mark can overhear Mia's father, ie our Forger, talking about some impending disaster and the need for a mole to subvert it."

Sofie shrugged, so Hunter took that as a sign to proceed.

"In the second layer, we need to tie his position with the cartel to his self-worth. Make him doubt his lifestyle and his loyalties," he said. "And for the final layer..."

He trailed off, looking uncomfortably at John. Sofie took control of the momentary lapse of silence.

"We have Mia get killed during the altercation forewarned between the cartels. It reinforces the idea that being a mole can keep Mia safe, while remaining loyal to his cartel can only harm her. And we'll crush his self-image as well under the weight of responsibility."

Hunter looked grim, but nodded.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:57 pm

"Sounds like we've got ourselves a plan then." Trevor nodded, leaning back in his chair.

"Don't forget." John spoke again from where he leaned against the wall. "Ferral's subconscious is militarized. The further inward we go, the less evident that will be, but the outermost layer especially needs to be incredibly complex."

"Right." Trevor frowned, looking around the room. "Ta be honest, the best person ta deal wiff the outermost layer is probably you, love." He said, turning his gaze to Karina.

"It doesn't work that way, mi amor. My client asked that I accompany you in all the dreams." She smiled, almost bittersweetly.

Trevor frowned again, but nodded his acknowledgement. "In that case, John will have ta hold down the fort."

"Done." John responded with a smirk.

Trevor turned his attention to Hunter. "We might need a Forger again in the fhird layer. So, that means you'll be in charge of your own designs in the second, gov. And, we'll have Sofie do the honors for the last layer." He continued, turning a smile in her direction.

"So, what have you got in mind?" John asked, turning his attention to Hunter.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:45 pm

Hunter looked a little put out as John suddenly put him on the spot.

"Uh, honestly, I don't know," he said, shrugging. "I guess the first could be Mia's own home estate. Does the Mark ever visit there, or is that too risky?"

Sofie glanced at Karina and John. Surely, one of them must know.

"Anyway, we can possibly use a hotel layout for the second. We could make it like some kind of deal is being made that goes wrong. The double cross happens that Mia's father was worried about in the first later. Maybe we can make him think his own projections are from the enemy cartel? Should make it easier to get access to him."

He stood up and began to pace, stroking his chin thoughtfully.

"We can start off the third one with him in a back alley, thinking he was drugged. He wakes up to try to get to Mia in time, but it's too late."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:28 pm

"Ferral has never been to the estate." Karina responded to Hunter's question. "If he had, Mia's father would have recognized him, and he wouldn't even be a consideration as a plant for the family. I suspect there would be a different kind of chat in store for him instead."

"That doesn't mean we can't use the estate though." John cut in. "I'm sure Ferral himself might have thought of visiting it to meet Mia's family at some point. So, it wouldn't be unnatural for it to appear in his dreams." He paused for a moment, thinking of something. "It might also be good to play on his embezzlement in the second layer. We need a transition from the Suavez cartel being his allies to his enemies, and Mia alone may not be enough to do that. Fear is a delicate thing. It has to be cultivated carefully, or it can break the mind."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:12 am

"I agree," said Sofie. The room seemed to still as everyone regarded her. Was it really that strange for her to agree with John?

"I need to practice my forging," she said, standing up. "Karina, do you have any more materials on Mia and her father that might be useful to me?"

She would probably need to impersonate both at some point, and it was important she had no slip-ups. The others could manage the layer details well enough without her.

"I guess I can start designing the second level," Hunter said. "If someone can get me some details on the estate for the first layer."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:58 pm

Karina smiled at both Sofie and Hunter as she rose to her feet. "I believe I can help you both, if you'd like to join me for a nap." She giggled a little. "How often does someone get to call napping working? I don't know if I could ever get used to it."

She exited the room, motioning for both to follow her. "I know the estate fairly well, considering the time I spend there. So, my projection of it should be accurate enough for you to study." Karina directed the comment at Hunter. "And since Mia and her father are generally there, it shouldn't be difficult for you to study their behavior." She continued, nodding to Sofie.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Later that evening...

"I want backups in place." Trevor said, addressing the entire group. "It's not common practice, since we can normally reset a dream if'n somethin goes wrong. However, with the sedation, we need at least two potential dreamers for every layer below the first. That way, if someone goes down, we can keep goin without havin ta go backwards."

John nodded, looking grim. "As much as I dislike the notion of something going wrong, it's a good plan. Just don't invite trouble, boss man."

"Bloody hell..." Trevor groaned, giving John a dark look. "Now you've gone and jinxed it."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:38 am

"If you boys are quite through, I'd like to get on with this," Sofie said, tapping one nail on the arm of her chair. She looked over at Elliot, who was standing by to put them under.

"Uh, do I do it then?" he asked uncertainly. Hunter chuckled.

"Yeah, I think you'd better before this gets ugly," he said. Elliot nodded seriously, then hit the PASIV button.

--------------------

"I think I got it down," Hunter said, looking around the estate. "The Mark wouldn't be that familiar with it anyway, so I don't think we need to worry about the carpets being the wrong texture or anything."

"Don't think that means you can afford to slack off," Sofie interjected. "I've already lost out on one job lately, and that's more than I can suffer."

Hunter smiled nervously under her gaze.

"No, no, it's all good," he replied. Quickly trying to move the conversation along, he looked around for John.

"This one is your layer then," he said. "I'll show you some of the features I put in."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:47 am

"It looks accurate enough." Karina said, running her fingers along the railing of the staircase. "I doubt Ferral will ever know the difference. The only things he would know about the inside of the estate is anything Mia has told him about. So, as long as we keep him out of her room, all should be well."

John smiled back at Hunter, waving extravagantly for the man to proceed. "I'm looking forward to seeing what you've got for me this time. Our last adventure was a bit less cultured, although it might have qualified as slightly more 'cultural'." He took a step forward, throwing an arm over Hunter's shoulders as if they were long lost brothers. "Good times, right?"

"Don't let her get to you." He mouthed, only loud enough for the Architect to hear. "She's just cranky because she didn't get paid on her last job. You know how women can get."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:11 pm

"Yeah, treasured moments."

Hunter rolled his eyes, displacing John's arm like an unwanted piece of lint. He heard John's muttered comment though and had a suspicion it had as much to do with John as it did her besmirched reputation. He'd never interacted with them before, and already he felt their UST was nearly smothering.

"Anyway, I figure after Sofie does her thing an the Mark hears what he needs to, we drug his tea to get him under for the next level," the Architect said, leading them into the drawing room. "I added a shortcut behind the bookcase here to get up to the master bedroom on the second level. Once we're up there, we can go into the second layer."

He led them up through the passage and into the bedroom.

"You can slip down from the balcony here into the back garden. I've added a maze and some twists you can use to avoid the projections. If it gets hairy, you can head back into the house and lock it down with an added security system."

Sofie nodded approvingly, but there was something else of vital importance.

"The kick?" she asked. Hunter nodded and led them out onto the balcony.

"The room is supported by two pillars below here. John can blow those, and the room should collapse. That should kick everyone."

Sofie made no further comments. Taking that as a sign of approval, Hunter allowed himself a self-congratulating smile.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:32 pm

John only smiled as he was brushed aside, letting Hunter complete the tour in peace.

"I am impressed." Trevor said, giving Hunter a hard clap in the center of his back. "You've put in quite a bit of work on this, considering the time available."

"Indeed." Karina leaned against the balcony railing. "The craft of sculpting dreams is more interesting than I expected. I'm looking forward to seeing the other two dreams."

John had hooked one leg behind the balcony railing and was almost hanging upside down to look at the pillars Hunter had spoken of. "It'll do." His words were muffled by the overhang. "Gimme three hours to memorize it all."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:15 pm

Everyone turned at the sound of John's voice, staring at the sight of him dangling over the edge. Sofie couldn't resist. She slowly approached him, letting him hear the sound of her heels on the floor as she drew closer.

"It's just cruel of you to tempt me like this, you know," she said, arching her brows as she surveyed him. She couldn't help but smile a little. Whether it was from that alluring fantasy, the sheer absurdity of the situation, or the fact that he looked rather endearing dangling so recklessly, she couldn't be sure.

"Hey, don't be selfish," Hunter murmured from behind her. "You're not the only one who wants a shot at that."

Despite his overtly callous attitude toward John, Sofie could tell there was an underlying fondness there. What was it about him that both repelled and attracted people in equal intensity? He really was something else.

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Location : Sitting alone outside a door that someone else kicked in. I'll wait for all eternity. Won't you invite me in?

PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:45 pm

"Tempt you?" John asked, still partially obscured by the balcony. He pulled his torso upwards, until he was looking at her over his shoulder. One eyebrow raised briefly before he seemed to realize the position he was in.

"Ah..." A grin ticked at the corner of his mouth. "If you really wanted to play grab ass so bad, you could have done it on our last date. I wouldn't have protested, believe me."

Karina was suddenly overtaken by a fit of giggles, and Trevor put an arm around his wife to steady her.

"Unfortunately," John continued, ignoring the others. "We're on business now. So, pleasure will have to wait."
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Prisma*Illya
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:23 pm

Sofie had to commend herself on her self-control. Despite Karina's giggles and Trevor and Hunter's groans of exasperation, Sofie merely smirked.

"I would wait to make such accusations until you're clear of the balcony," she said, pressing the heel of her boot to one leg. "I could still send you crashing down onto that thick head of yours. Might manage to scramble your brains into something resembling a tolerable human being."

Hunter cleared his throat.

"I hate to interrupt, but we should probably be moving onto the second level. If John is done playing Tarzan, that is."

Sofie smiled at the comparison and reached out a hand to John to help him up. It had been automatic, but once she realized it, it seemed stupid to pull it back.

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