With a soft, completely non-ominous ding
, the lift came to a gentle halt, and the doors in front of her slid open without fanfare. Stretched out beyond the elevator shaft lay Waynetech R&D, and for all that Kitrina was aware of what kind of research was done down here, the department existed without any kind of aplomb or grandeur. It was just...sterile. White tile and fluorescent lighting, lots of glass walls and computer stations. The lift opened into a pseudo-lobby, the only ways out of which were either back up the elevator, or through a large set of sliding doors that required specific access to open. Access that Kitrina really
hoped Tom had, or she really would
have to take that rain-check visit to the bar.
The moment of truth was very much anti-climactic; rather than any grand entrance or klaxons blaring, she simply swiped Tom's ID card over the reader on the wall, which flashed a green light and beeped a very soft beep, and then the sliding doors gently parted, letting Kitrina pass through them before gently sliding shut once more. She was almost disappointed; grand larceny, she felt, should happen with more fanfare.
Instead, she stepped deeper into the room, releasing a breath she hadn't realized she was holding. It was quiet, and the warehouse-like space stretched away in front of her, concrete pillars dotting the landscape, interspersed with workbenches, computer desks, and occasional racks of steel shelving, with drawers that Kitrina supposed were electromagnetically sealed. The odd filing cabinet was the final touch, dist accumulating atop their flat surfaces and in the grooves, indicating a long-passed migration to digital-only records, which was Kitrina's first planned port of call. She chose a desk at random, pocketing Tom's ID and checking the time. She needed to be quick, and clean, and quiet. In and out.
The computer whirred to life as she wiggled the mouse, the on-standby monitor lighting up quickly. Locked, obviously, she had anticipated this, but that's what the irrelevant, eyebrow-raising question that started the whole shebang came into play; she typed "SYSADMIN OVERRIDE" into the user field on the login screen, and suppressed a smug giggle when she hit enter and a small reader-drive, with the perfect, finger-shaped print-scanner, popped out of the front of the PC unit.
Kitrina rummaged in her bag and retrieved a latex glove, some moisturizing spray, and a well-prepared sellotape print sample she'd collected while dutifully tidying up the mugs left scattered after an inter-departmental standup meeting with key members of the board, that she'd had to dress up extra nice and play extra coy for, in order to extract the login overrides of the Lead Research Strategy Administrator. Thanks, Marty. I hope your resume is up to snuff.
The computer booted a sparse, minimal database display, and Kit suddenly found herself bored just from glancing
at the blinking, matrix-green, ASCII-esque format. There were project labels and codename listed one after the other, with nothing to distinguish what each was or what it pertained to or even who was involved; just a long list of context-less words, each provided with a date, some initials, and a status indicator. She scrolled mindlessly for a couple minutes, the database whirring past glazed eyes; she began to envision what a legitimate data-entry career at Wayne Enterprises might look like, and how long she might last until the inevitable suicide, when suddenly a break in the monotony drew her attention. Project KASHA; initials redacted. Date redacted. Status redacted. She scrolled down until the project was highlighted, and hit enter. Rather than specs, a description, or even a simple 'access denied' alert, she instead got what seemed to be some manner of personal note.
Okay, you got me curious,
Received request for closure of this project. All records and specs have been purged from database as instructed, but I am leaving this addendum for posterity and audit purposes.
Personal note: [REDACTED] said black ops contract for this one fell through when I asked. But that doesn't explain why Mr. [REDACTED] came down here personally to discontinue it. It was requested all project-related work be destroyed, but we made some accomplishments here. Final prototype has been secured and locked up in 34F-A. It'll never see the light of day, but that doesn't mean we can't be proud of what we can achieve down here. A shame to erase all evidence.
Kit thought, and closed the note and the database down before switching off the computer and running through racking in search of 34F-A. Whatever Project KASHA was, it seemed like it was exactly what she'd been looking for - something meaty, something that implicated the company, and most serendipitous of all, something that appeared to involve old Brucey-boy himself. She almost skipped along the rows, skimming her fingers across labeled shelves and locked drawers until finally, she found herself at 34F-A, and staring at an unassuming steel drawer, with a single keyhole to the side of the handle. 'Secured', huh? Must have different definitions...
she mused, as a single bobby pin and some deft finger-work picked the lock pin-by-pin, until she elicited an oh-so-satisfying *click*, and the drawer pulled smoothly open to reveal an unremarkable, black, heavy-set attache case.
The moment felt somewhat anticlimactic. She had no better leads, and no real time to scrounge one up regardless, so here it was: practical but boring, the briefcase forbidden by God. Or Bruce Wayne at least, and in Gotham there wasn't much of a difference. She grasped the handle firmly in one hand and lifted, expecting resistance - some kind of fancy magnetic lock, or wire-bolt security. There was none; the case simply came out of the drawer.
And then the klaxons went off.