2009-09-29: Making Memories



Date: September 29th, 2009


Gene catches up with Bert, and finds out a few things about her life after EvoSoft.

"Making Memories"

Ray's Hell Burger, Washington D.C.

Once it was a mere burger joint Now? Now it is a place of legends as the President of the United States dined here with the Vice President. Of course, Gene is worried about The Man, so he doesn't concern himself with what or where the President eats. Still, his grandfather recommended that if he was talking out a girl, it would be a nice place. Even insisted on Gene going out to lunch with her instead of dining at the manor. 'It is casual, but a great place to make memories,' the grandfather said. Gene TRIED to explain that this was a ex-co-worker, but he'd didn't seem to care.

That said, Gene is already in line, half way through the massive wait. That way, when his special guest gets in, they don't have to wait half an hour just to order. Popular places like this get packed at lunch time after all.

Currently, Gene is dressed for fall, wearing a simple form-fitting grey t-shirt and some blue jeans the most casual thing that Gwen would let him pack. His black peacoat is slung over one shoulder, the busy burger joint too hot to require it with all the activity.

Bert could care less what President wiped their butt in the restroom here. There's only one politician Miss Sachs cares about, and it sure as hell ain't the President. Besides all that, the most important thing at the moment is that Bert is getting to see Gene again. She hasn't seen her former co-worker in awhile, and it's always nice to flee the building for lunch. Things are just a bit creepy at times in there. Something she can't exactly put her finger on, but the good Senator Wynn has been most reassuring, so it doesn't trouble her too much.

When Bert shows up, she's in one of her short skirts, warm leggings, and a jacket that doesn't quite match her blouse and skirt, but somehow manages to make it all look 'right' together. Her hair is still worn up in various little curly-cues, making her seem younger than she is. Spotting Gene, she rushes towards him, jostling a few people in her haste. "It's been so long!," she cries out before moving in to give a hug. Incoming!

The young inventor puts up his hand in order to give a causal wave, but barely has time to lift his arm before he gets the hug. He does manage to bring his arms around to return the gesture. "Bert, hey," he says softly, wearing a warm smile. After all, while she is a few years older than him, she is definitely a kindred spirit. Well meaning tech people not in with all the trends of a world that moves too quickly on clothes and not enough on the things that matter. Like video games sequels.

"Been like two years or something. You look great! I would have thought being around all these uptight politicians would be enough to give a fifth grader grey hairs or something," he states, using a hand to display the newly created break in the line in front of him. There is a random curse from someone back in the line, but Gene has spent enough time in New York to learn how to ignore random threats. "Glad I gave a call to check up. I didn't even know you were in the area or woulda visited you earlier. Come down to see my grandfather every month or so."

Bert laughs and stands back to get a good look at Gene. "I'm not around /that/ many politicians." Just one. Who is /amazing/. ANYWAY. Her NSA badge is still clipped to her jacket, which she quickly removes and stuffs into her bag. The guy issuing the random curse is given a flirty grin before she tugs slightly at Gene's arm to move forward. "I probably should have said more when I left EvoSoft. It was a rather sudden shift, I admit. Then again, job offers like this don't come along every day and it's not something to sit idly on. Maybe Jaden will have me back at some point. Once a geek, always a geek, right?" Designing games and working in that industry was always such a big goal and dream of hers.

A brow is arched at the NSA badge, but Gene's tone is cheerful as he pulled along. After all, Bert might work for The Man, but he's sure that she isn't evil. He hopes. "I figured you couldn't talk much on it. When the investigator was asking all the questions about you at work, I figured it was government work. I was figuring it was just a defense contractor like Lockheed Martin, not… You know." He gives a simple nod to the badge in the bag, as if trying to be respectful by not saying her agency.

Moving through the lines, Gene rubs a hand through his hair, seemingly a little nervous. Maybe it's the large crowd or just talking to Bert after so long. "Yeah, Jaden is really forgiving like that. I mean, I quit my job without any reason save 'I have to take this job, please understand'. After Pinehearst… Um, had its thing." 'Its thing' meaning burned to the ground and mysteriously closed with only a story to two to explain its vanishing act. "…Jaden was more than willing to have me come back. You know, if the work here gets too out there and you want something a little more laid back, you know he'd hire you in a heartbeat."

Bert is the least evil person on the planet! She's just, well, she's under a spell let's say. "It's not designing the next World of Warcraft craze, but it's a good job and Senator Wynn made a very convincing pitch for me to join up. You're so silly, I can say that I work for the NSA, just not what I do." She flashes a dimpled grin at Gene as they continue moving through the line. "It's not like he's having a shortage of brilliant minds, but I do feel bad about leaving so suddenly. I'd beg him to take me back part-time if this job allowed for that." She rolls her eyes a bit, grinning still, "He just liked having me around.. and yeah, that thing with Pinehearst was pretty darn weird. I would have expected more of an explanation of what happened, oh well. Sometimes it is just a simple reason, right?"

"Senator Wynn?" Gene stops in line, clearly surprised by her words. He's the one that he heard was heading the new movement to 'protect America'. Message boards raged on about the Patriot Act for weeks in the wake of his famed announcement. Forcing a smile back on, Gene moves up to be at Bert's side. "Well, sure it isn't THAT simple, but in the end, you just deal with the cards that have been dealt to you."

"Yup! He's a very good man and I believe in him. He cares deeply about the safety of this country." Wow, Bert's totally regurgitating information like any good sycophant! "Why do you sound so surprised?" A shrug is given and she clasps her hands behind her back, "Mmmm.. you've a fair point about that."

The young inventor looks away, using newspaper clips on the wall to avoid eye contact for a moment. The art of lying is new to Gene and he needs time to avoid showing her his concern. After all, if she was approached personally by the Senator, it would likely mean she was on or even leading some important project team. He doesn't really remark on her thoughts on the man, just chalking it up currently to Bert's cheerful and seemingly endless amount of energy. "It's just… well, you must have done something special to get a Senator to call you up and out of the blue like that."

"Oh he was greatly impressed with some of the work I'd done at EvoSoft, but I'm sorry I can't go into just what it was. Since it ties into the current job I'm on." Bert says in a slightly sing-song voice. It's as if she thinks Gene's trying to get her to loosen her tongue on what she's doing. Which he probably is doing.

The young man doesn't really have the heart to say that he could find out from Jaden what Bert was working on due to his own personal position within EvoSoft. Of course, that would be sharing a bit on his end too. Gene has his own secrets there, people there just think of him a lazy intern that never gets coffee and spends too much time catering to the people in the R&D lab which rarely get out. With his bright smile back toward Bert, he gives a dismissive shrug. "Well, it sounds like it must have been amazing. I had the chance to work for the government, but well, from what little I did, it didn't turn out the way I had hoped."

"It was really just a simple thing that has practical use," Bert says modestly, "But gosh, enough about my work, tell me what you've been doing. And trust me.. working for the government isn't all it's cracked up to be. The forms you have to fill out, the endless red tape, the secrecy, and having to stifle the innate urge to ask questions!" She gives a playful nudge against Gene's arm, trying to urge him to talk more.

Gene is about to offer his own barb to the government when a playful nudge heads him off at the pass. "Me? Well, nothing much. Just been helping out some friends of mine here and there with personal projects, got back to working for Jaden as I said before," he offers as he peeks ahead. Sweet, should be up next. "My health as been improving, as you can tell. That bug I was fighting for a few months got figured out… Some parasite or the like that I must have gotten on a cruise." The excuse he gives for those that don't know of his power. That is one of the few lies he can tell effortless, mostly due to practice. "So, been using my free time to get myself spend more time running, do a little martial arts training… Always wanted to do it, but never had the time."

Kensington puts in a swift order for a double patty burger before turning back toward Bert, waiting for her to put in her order before speaking to her again, "What about you? Any life outside of work for you? Meet any charming men from Bethesda Software? If you do, be sure to ask them when the new Fallout is coming out, I've already beaten the patches and the player mods are just lame."

"That's good, I thought you looked better than when I last saw you. I was watching a program on Discovery Health about parasites." Bert gives a shudder, then switches seamlessly to ordering a bacon cheeseburger. "Hey, excellent! I gotta say though, you're just so unassuming, and I have a hard time picturing you giving someone a karate chop." She mimes a pseudo karate move with her hands before settling down. Must be all the Red Bull she put away earlier. "Senator Wynn keeps me pretty busy, so I haven't had much of a chance to do much outside of work. I /wish/ I had time to charm my way into Bethesda Software. I'd swipe a few things just for you."

Gene moves to the cashier, swiftly pulling out money to pay for himself and Bert's meal. He doesn't ask if he can, he just does either to be sneaky in his kindness or merely just to keep the conversation going. "Keeps you busy? How many hours a week you work?" he asks with a hint of concern. After all, he's heard work like this can swallow you whole.

"I start to lose count after fifty, but hey, the time just /flies/.. OI, I can pay," Bert protests as Gene gets all sneaky-like. "The next one's on me you dork," she says good-naturedly. There's a good point to be made about work swallowing one whole. Particularly when you're not exactly working under your own steam. "I manage to find time to eat, shower and sleep. Think I just roll out of bed and look this cute without any effort?"

Lose count? Something seems off about someone not even knowing how many hours of overtime they work, but Gene still doesn't voice a direct complaint. He gives an arched brow, but he calms at the mention of money. "Don't worry about it, Bert, I'm private sector working for Jaden. That means I get paid too much to do too little. You government types get the reverse," he says as he tries his own playful quip. "The thought did occur, but I'd suppose I'd have to see you in bed first to test it out." Gene moves to the fountain drinks to get his soda, clearly not realizing the possible and improper way one could take his words. "So, what do you do beside work, eat, shower, and sleep then?"

What can Bert say? If Ivory needs something, regardless of the time, she does it without question. "I can't complain about the money I make, sure it's not EvoSoft, but I.. " And she goes quiet and turns as red as her hair at Gene's quip. "Ah, well, it never seemed appropriate being co-workers and all," she sort of coughs out as she follows suit, getting her own drink. Still red in the face, she pokes her straw in through the lid of her cup, and says, "Oh, not much." Because, she's not about to tell Gene that Ivory's so charming that they uh, nevermind.

"Appropriate? What would be inap-Oh." As Gene comes to the realization of his words, he coughs as his face matches the older woman's in color and just moves toward a table to pull out a chair for Bert, figuring that is the least he can do after his poorly worded response. "Nothing? New place, new people, and you don't enjoy it? Come on, Bert, you gotta live it up. I mean, when I first got to New York, it was scary and unfamiliar, but I was able to meet some friends, go out…" Get dragged into a world of danger and peril." …Live a life that was more than work. You only live life once, you know?"

Bert grins at the chair being pulled out, even if the pink isn't totally gone from her face, "You're just too sweet, Gene." She settles into her seat and chews a little at the straw in her drink. "I know, I know, I've turned into such a boring person since switching jobs and cities. I also keep telling myself I'm going to sight see, and not just wander the halls of the Capitol on business.. but really get out. So many monuments, things and places to see. I just.. I honestly haven't had the time to sit back and enjoy my new surroundings." And anytime she thinks she's overworked, all the senator has to do is look at her, and well, she jumps when he says.

Something doesn't seem right. Gene has no idea what or if this is just a case of his paranoia coming out again, but the change in Bert seems somewhat noticable. She went out to clubs in New York, was considered a Geek Goddess by some of the tech wizards at EvoSoft. "If going okay is so important to you… Why don't you?" he asks simply, merely letting his drink rest on the tabletop for the time being.

Indeed, Bert did manage to find time to go out in NYC. In between class and jobs, but here? Somehow it's just more difficult. "Well, every time I get ready and prep myself to go out and do things. Something always manages to come up. Another report to fill out, this device needs tweaking, that program needs debugging.." The Senator needs something. "I have a camera to fix, tracking to rewrite. It's neverending, the work is." But she's not about to quit! (If she did, she'd be quickly talked out of it.) She toys with the straw in her drink, punching down against the ice in the cup. Almost dreamily she says, "Man, blowing off work sounds so good today, and just getting out."

Camera, tracking, device. Hardware, likely Big Brother stuff, Gene theorizes. He sips his drink as he listens to his old co-worker tell of the woes of her job. "It sounds like they work you ragged, but I guess if it's important to you…" he leads off, considering something for a second before speaking again. "Well, I fly back to New York tomorrow… But if you want, we can hang out after work. We can grab dinner and if you want, I can show you the sights. Going to the Mall late night is a a fav of the college students and the Lincoln Memorial is really nice lit up. I'd offer to show you the Air and Space Museum, but not sure you get could off work to come. My grandfather and I used to go there all the time," Gene admits with a small smile.

Hey, those are the trade tools of the NSA! Bert looks a little disappointed that Gene's coming and going so fast. "Aw.. how often are you down this way these days? If I can't get out of work in time, we'll have to make plans. I'll beg off a vacation day or something. Man, you manage to make my hours sound worse than they are. It's nowhere near as bad as that. It's just.. well.. Senator Wynn is doing important work. You've just.. sure he's made press releases, he's been on the interview circuit.. you just have /no/ idea. This.." She lowers her voice and leans in towards Gene, "The terrorists.. keeping the country safe from them.. it takes so much work and so many hours."

Talk of Gene's visiting hours are temporarily put on halt as Bert tells the urgency of her work. Leaning forward himself, his words are directed toward her ear into order to ensure max privacy. "I understand the need to keep America safe, Bert, but be careful. I wouldn't want to lose a good friend because she worked too hard or got caught up in the wrongs things." The burgers are ready, Gene looking to the counter before going back to his secret sharing with Bert. "When we have the time, remind me to ask you the story of a friend of mine that worked for the government once."

With that, Gene moves up to get his food, calling over as he does. "Just give me a call if you can make it tonight, alright? If I don't get a call, I'll just assume that 'Senator Wynn' wants you to help save America by working until 2AM. Next time I'm in town down, we'll be able hang out then." While his tone is mostly playful, there is clearly a guardness in Gene's voice, almost protective. After all, if the rumors are true, he really isn't comfortable with Bert being where she is. Not. At. All.

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