Protogen Research Facility Paris, France -- Earth Thunder rumbled over the city in the distance, lightning arcing through the dark sky. Rain pattered softly against the window that the young assistant was seated next to. It was a soothing, peaceful moment. She glanced up from her work, pushing her glasses a little further up her nose with the side of index finger. It was already late in the evening, most of the office had gone home hours ago. The cleaning crews were still in the building though, she could see them setting off the motion sensor lights every so often as they moved through the halls. This was the time she preferred to get most of her work done, anyways. It was quiet and the chances of an unwanted visitor stopping by her desk were severely diminished. With a soft sigh, she leaned back in her chair and crossed one leg over the other, watching the storm slowly make its way across the sprawling city below the lab. She had to admit, the facility was built in a beautiful location. It allowed her one of the best views of the entire city skyline -- a lovely sight with the overhead lights dimmed. Another indication of how long she had been seated at her desk, the lights hadn't picked up on her movements for some time. She tucked the pen she had been writing with behind her ear and stretched her arms out in front of her to crack her knuckles. Moreau, her employer, had asked her to review the notes for his next board meeting. As usual, that meant she had to write the entire summary report herself. It would have been nice if he had at least stayed long enough to review the initial findings, but she could hardly expect the Chief Executive of the branch to read over every last report that came from the research division. That's what she was here for. One of the janitors shuffled into the room and the blinding luminescent lights clicked on. The view outside now obscured, she was left gazing at her own reflection. She looked tired. Mariko turned her attention back to the work that was laid out in front of her and sighed. "Oh! Miss Harper, I didn't know that you were still in here! I'm sorry." The woman started to profusely apologize. Mariko's sharp grey eyes snapped over towards the short woman, but instead of scolding the woman, she offered a slight smile. "Don't worry about it, Rosa. I am here a bit later than usual. I put the trash by the door, everything else is in order." "Okay. We'll be locking the building in about twenty minutes, Miss Harper. Should we set the alarm?" The little woman asked. "No, it's quite alright. I can get it when I leave. Have a good night, Rosa." Rosa nodded a few times and quickly grabbed the bag of trash by the door and ducked back out of the room, leaving Mariko alone once more. If the crew was finishing their rounds, she must have lost track of time. She glanced at her hand terminal that was sitting on the desk. 830. Shit. The tram back to the train station in the city would only make a few more runs. Looks like it would be another night of working from home. Again. She gathered her old notebook and hand terminal. While it was generally faster to take notes by typing on a terminal, she preferred the tactile feel of writing with a pen and paper. She tucked everything into her bag and slipped it over her shoulder, striding towards the door with her hand terminal in her palm. As she made her way through the building, she thumbed through her messages. Like always, there were a plethora of waiting emails, but she was looking for one message in particular. It had been days since she had heard from her brother, who had recently transferred to a research station in the Belt a few months prior. The lag time had been difficult and frustrating to get adjusted to, but they had made it work. Until he simply stopped responding. Frustrated, she refreshed the list of messages a few times, arming the alarm without really looking at the keypad. She had locked this building up on her own more times than she could count over the years. Part of her wondered if anyone else was still in the building and she looked up from the hand terminal briefly. She punched in the code to give a five-minute warning to any employees, still within the building, that the alarm would be set and the doors locked shortly. While she waited for the timer to tick down, she went outside and stood under the overhang. The storm was still ongoing, rain pouring over the edge of the building and the occasional roll of thunder grumbling overhead. She returned to browsing through her messages. A few last minute meetings needed to be worked into the schedule for tomorrow. The final summary report would need to be submitted. Nothing out of the ordinary. She glanced to the time at the top corner of her hand terminal again. 840. Three more minutes for the alarm to set, ten minutes to walk to the tram stop. She should make it in time for the last run, at least. Unfortunately, she realized that she had left her umbrella at home on the kitchen counter. She would be walking through the rain then.