Eventually, they coast down a ramp adjacent to a set of large, multi-story buildings that dominate anything else around the skyline.
Along the top of the closest one, Lan's last name, SATAKE, is emblazoned on it in bold, white letters near the top. Saya glances at it, then sidelong at Lan, who guides the car around a corner and through the gates, which close behind them.
“We could have gone straight to the house, but considering what time it is, it's more likely that they're here instead.” He answers her questions before she even asks as they pull under the awning over the front doors.
She looks around the lot, noting that this is the only car in it. Lan coasts to a stop and pulls the parking brake before killing the engine. He looks past her to where she's looking, the lobby and reception.
“Listen. He's just my father. He's just a man. You are my guest, and if you feel uncomfortable, we can leave.” He motions over to the glass doors. “Take away all of this, the car, and you'd have a less damaged me, basically.”
“Or a me that has some of his shit together, I'd guess.” He pulls the key out of the ignition and rests his hands in his lap. “And you can always stay in the car, if you'd like.” He offers her the key.
She turns back to him, then looks at the key in his hand. “No, it's fine.” Saya answers, holding a hand up in front of his to decline the car keys. “I think I was more nervous to meet my co-workers when I first got here.”
Her brow creases a bit, looking at him. “Does he.. speak English?” He nods, putting the keys in his pocket and unlocking their doors. “Yeah, he's fluent. Part of his upbringing, though I don't know how often he gets to use it these days.”
Opening his own door, he crawls out and stands next to the car, stretching his legs again before shutting it, walking around the front to find Saya already getting out, even though he intended to get her door.
She tugs her purse up over her shoulder, resting her elbow against it as someone from inside pushes open the doors in front of them, welcoming them in. He tugs on his shirt and pokes at imaginary wrinkles for a moment before he recognizes he's stalling. Taking a breath, he holds an arm out towards the door, starting in front of her. “Well, let's.. whatever, I guess .” He blanks, clearly unenthused.
Lan recognized the person as a long-time employee, but couldn't place the name until he sneaks a look at her nametag. They bow politely to her and walk inside, the employee's shoes tapping across the marble floor as he and Saya walk toward the reception desk.
The one behind the desk recognizes him immediately and picks up the phone, starting to dial before she stops, unsure of who to call. “Sir,” she tilts her head down a bit and nods towards the phone, “Should I call your father or brother to announce that you're here? They're both in the building today.”
Lan let slip a bit of a sneer at both options before shaking his head, smiling down to her. “Sorry, long trip,” he excuses himself at the emotion before nodding. “My brother, if you wouldn't mind.” At least Reo would be able to gauge their father's reaction before he had to face him. Lesser of two evils, for the time being.
The receptionist nods and dials a four digit extension, the three of them waiting awkwardly as it rings Reo's assistant.
“I thought you said the group was a manufacturing..”
Lan leans against the receptionist counter before pointing out across the parking lot to an inconspicuous looking two story building across the street.
“They make 'em there. Well, they make them everywhere these days, but that's the manufacturing facility. Stretches for a few blocks. You'll see it in a bit. This is all just the business side.” He taps the desk: the building they were standing in.
“And.. how old is the Satake.. corporation?” She asks, if that was the correct way to put it.
Lan looks up as if probing into his own memory. “A hundred.. and.. twenty-one.. no, two years old. 1896?” Math wasn't his strong suit, but it sounded right. “But it really took off in the 50's and 60's.”
He chuckles and turns away from the lobby entrance, facing the receptionist as she talks in hushed tones over the phone - Lan idly drums his fingers from pinkies to thumbs on the countertop. “Turns out, electricity makes things go faster.” Lan pauses mid-sentence, fingers freezing as well as he tilts his head, remembering. “Well.. you know, after the bombings.”
Yes, forgot the atomic bomb, did you? Moron. He chides himself, shaking his head again.
Saya hadn't even considered it until now, and to Lan, Hiroshima was just where he grew up. She pulls her purse off her arm and holds it with both hands, resting the small bag against her legs.
“I hadn't considered that,” this time Saya rebukes herself for the lapse, and honestly didn't know the answer as she asks, looking down around them at the floor. “Is it still.. irradiated?”
His smile returns as he holds up a hand to her, using his other hand to poke past his pinky to represent another digit. “Mmhm, what, I haven't mentioned my twelve toes?”
He laughs as she frowns up at him, then shakes his head. “No, they were detonated high up. Did damage, but no more radiation today as anywhere else, thankfully.”
The receptionist nods and agrees with whoever is on the other end of the call, then places it back in the cradle. She looks up at them both and motions towards behind her towards the banks of elevators.
“Your brother said he will be expecting you. Do you need directions?” she asks.
Shaking his head, he pushes off the counter, “No. Thank you for the help,” and bows slightly in thanks. Saya does as well, and the two start off towards the elevators.
- a recovering disaster? / twitter: @rgdrac
apologies for everything about me, it might get better.
updates will be once a day for the next seventy days since i am migrating from another platform and have those chapters - and more - ready to go. (from 8/9)
feel free to come hang out in the discord, if you like.