Cutscene: stage one - Philosophers' Child
Date: September 6th, 2012
Heels click against terrazzo floors as Akane Chinen strides through a long, glass-walled hall. Her pace, at best, can be described as tentative. When she arrives at the lobby antecedent those large double doors she has become so familiar with, and when the secretary guarding those doors so graciously nods her in, she is positively perturbed. Her gaze fixes briefly on the pleasantly sterile row of business cards on the secretaries desk, black font proudly reading 'YOSHIDA PHARMACEUTICALS' on a bone white backing.
With all the care in the world, Ms. Chinen plays with the charm on the gold necklace looped around her neck, clutches the manila envelope in her left hand, closes her eyes, and exhales. The door opens.
The question is lost to the sound of news footage playing in the clean, spartan office that Akane Chinen enters. Closing the door quietly behind her, she stares out at the glass curtain wall on the opposite end of the office. Rain patters ceaselessly against it, twisting the cityscape of Sumaru into smearing blots of gray.
Her gaze averts itself, to stare at television. She watches as cameras pan around the sight of a riot in Rengedai, showing the barest sliver of the violence before changing to another angle. Concern etches itself into her brow. Her lips part.
"What is it, Chinen-san?"
With a slight start, the black-haired woman turns to face her employer. Takumi Yoshida, CEO of Yoshida Pharmaceuticals, stares calmly at the television even as he addresses Akane; though pushing through his 50s, the man has only recently begun to show his age in the faint wrinkles around his lips and forehead, or the way his hair has begun that dignified process of graying at their sides. Though he does not look at his employee, his expression nor his tone are any less expectant.
"Ah... I apologize, sir. I brought the reports you requested from the Tatsumi-shi branch." With the humble bow of her head in greeting, Akane steps forward, pressing the manila folder into the black onyx surface of Yoshida's desk, and gently slides it across to him. The man does not bother to look.
"Thank you, Chinen-san," he allows distantly. His gaze narrows as talk on the news moves to the government shut down. "You've been making sure things have been running smoothly at Tatsumi-shi, then?"
"... Yes, I have. I have -- it's going well."
"Good." At her employer's words, Akane's gaze, again, drifts back to the screen. Her lips purse.
"It's terrible, isn't it...?"
"Is that how you see it?" Takumi asks. Akane's gaze turns back to the pharmaceutical head quickly, questioningly.
The man smiles a thin smile.
"I guess we just have a different perspective on these sorts of things."
Fingers drum on the folder, calmly. Akane cannot manage much more than the furrow of her brows. "Thank you, Chinen-san. That will be all. Keep up the good work -- I have high expectations of you."
"... Of course, sir." And as Akane strides measuredly out of Takumi's office, the news changes again, showing a picture of a young man with matted brown hair and a crooked nose.
<"The primary suspect in the attack on City Hall, Kaito Yoshida, is currently in police custody at an undisclosed hospital awaiting questioning...">
The news shuts off in the wake of Takumi Yoshida's irritable frown. He picks up a nondescript prepaid phone and begins to dial just as the doors to his world shut close once more.
"... Hideo-san? It's Yoshida. We need to talk..."