A Matter of Protocol (Madison Perry feat. Ami Mizuno)

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A Matter of Protocol (Madison Perry feat. Ami Mizuno)
Date of Cutscene: 12 July 2016
Location: Virtue Archives
Synopsis: Reviewing footage for the new Virtue Archives, Ami stumbles upon an interesting interview from some time ago.
Thanks to: Ami Mizuno
Cast of Characters: Madison Perry, Ami Mizuno
Tinyplot: Dreams of the White Flower

Going through months of backlogged, poorly indexed footage was not Ami’s idea of a good time. Still, someone had to sort through it all and figure out where it belonged. Most of the recordings Lindy and her group had she simply skimmed through on fast forward before indexing and moving on. There was one, however, which stood out. In fact, it was interesting enough to warrant a rewind to the beginning and a watch at normal speed. Wasn’t that the girl from that incident last fall?

The footage is washed out and slightly grainy, but it is in color. Clearly taken from some kind of security camera, it shows a plain white room with a plain metal table in the middle of it. There is one chair on either side of the table. Otherwise, the room is empty.

The door opens. A man in some sort of uniform walks in, file-folder in hand, and takes one of the seats. Those with the knowledge would recognize his uniform as TSAB, though the graininess of the footage makes it hard to identify his rank.

A few moments later, the door opens again. A pair of people enters- one is another TSAB-uniformed person, obviously a guard. The person walking in front of her is clearly a prisoner- clearly, because she is wearing a plain white jumpsuit and her wrists are shackled in front of her.

The prisoner is a young woman with blonde hair who appears to be around twenty years old. She wears a contemptuous, almost bored expression as the guard forces her into the other chair, though she seems to sit willingly enough, with her shackled hands in her lap.

The guard returns to the door, stepping outside and shutting it. The man at the table shuffles through his paperwork, opening the folder and glancing at it before looking back up at the girl seated across from him. The whole time she just stares at him with this faintly amused smirk on her face.

Finally, the man speaks. “Perry, Madison. Twenty years old. Wanted by the TSAB for a laundry-list of crimes, from petty larceny right up to murder.” He glances from the sheet up at the girl across from him. “I’d say it was an honor, but I hate lying.”

“Save it, gramps.” Madison replies, sneering faintly. “Seems like ya’lready got my life story all wrapped up nice, so I gotta wonder why you dragged me in here. Surely it’s not just to read it all back to me.”

“Well, Madison,” The man says, keeping his tone level- clearly practiced at dealing with uncooperative prisoners. “We always like to make sure our data is accurate and up to date when we take on new prisoners. We didn’t have time to interview you aboard the Asura before the.. Incident. So, now that you’ve re-joined us,” he is interrupted here by Madison making a rude sound, “..we need to observe the formalities.”

“Seems to me like you’re just tryin’ to hang on to some semblance of order on this rock we’re all stranded on.” Madison says, a mocking tone entering her voice. “I got news for ya buddy, nobody’s getting off this planet anytime soon, so all this is meaningless.”

“That may be true,” the man says, tone still level, “But we will do it regardless, for as long as we are able. Unlike you, we serve a higher authority and feel a responsibility towards duty. Regardless, let me begin. It says here you were born on a planet called Charris, an industrial hub under the TSAB’s jurisdiction.”

“Industrial craphole, more like.” Madison says off-handedly. “You TSAB-types talk about maintaining peace and order, but we never saw any of that.”

“Mmhmm.” The man goes on. “Parents deceased. Raised in an orphanage. This says you began your life of crime early. Leading a gang of juvenile delinquents. Several arrests before you even hit your teenage years.”

“Look, gramps,” Madison says, turning sideways in her chair and leaning against the side. “The adults didn’t take care of us. We hadda see to our own. In a place like that, you either take what you need, or you die. Simple as that.”

“It says here you stole an Intelligent Device.” The man says, flatly.

“Stole nothin’! They were throwin’ ‘im away. Defective, they said, sent for recycling. Heh.. nothing wrong with Heartrazor. He and I, we work well together.”

“Yes, well,” The man says, a wry tone in his voice, “It’s noted that the Device was determined to be defective because it lacked the requisite morality circuits and restraints.”

“Like I said,” Madison grins wolfishly. “We work well together.”

The man glances back down at his papers. “When you were sixteen you stole a ship. Killed everyone on board, and left the planet. Soon you were terrorizing the shipping lanes, stealing and murdering.”

“Girl’s gotta make a living.” Madison says, her tone dismissive. “Those were the days. Nobody to tell me what to do, a crew to order around, more prey than I could hope to catch.”

“And yet, you got caught.” The man’s tone turns cold as he turns to the final page. “In a rather obvious trap, I should note. You really should have seen that coming, Ms. Perry.”

“Look,” Madison snaps, sudden anger in her tone, “Like I said, seems like you know all there is to know already, so how about you just shut up and let me go to my cell, or whatever it is you guys plan on doing with me, alright?”

The man makes a tsking sound. “And you were given a second chance by fate here on Earth- escaped during the crash. But what did you do? Went right back to your old ways, although now working for this… White Flower. I have to wonder, Madison; you were your own boss, before. Why become a follower now?”

Madison glares across the table, her tone low and dangerous. “I tried to get off this rock, and I couldn’t. I needed something to occupy myself or I was gonna go crazy. The Flower, she gave me a purpose. Gave me people to kill, a way to vent my frustration. She’s crazy powerful, my Hana-chan, and I figured if I was stuck here, at least I could have some fun and help make the whole place burn.”

“Yes… well. I’m not sorry to say that your plans are no longer viable. The White Flower is dead and you, Ms. Perry, are back in custody. Where you belong.” The man closes the file folder, emphatically.

Madison droops across the table, a sulky expression crossing her face. “Maybe. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, Mr. TSAB, it’s that life is full of surprises.” Then she falls silent, glaring at the table.

The man knocks on the door and the guard re-enters, pulling Madison to her feet. At this point, the tape ends.