Adam Jensen wasn't much of a whiner, if Sarif needed him to work an extra shift, he worked the extra shift. If an employee asked him to look into a matter, he looked into it. He didn't have a whole slew of extra activities that took up his spare time anyway.
But when you've been physically assaulted to the point of your limbs needing amputating, most of your chest cavity replaced by augmentations, and taken a bullet to the brow, He expected a little sick leave. He did of course, get sick leave, but how much of that was actually just trying to get used to having metal where flesh used to be? He spent at least one of those months just trying to pick stuff up with his new hands. New hands, brand new in fact. Sarif's name was stamped on three different parts on the left arm alone. Same case on the right arm. Ten years ago, you didn't get a new arm. You got a prosthesis, a place-holder, something to help make you functional again. Fast-forward ten years, you have teenagers asking their parents for new arms, new legs, new eyes, new everything. Adam remembers when they asked for new phones. He visibly winces at the comparison.
Speaking of phones, he needed his. Where was it? Adam used the arms to carefully open drawers, lift books and other knick-knacks, searching for that hunk of plastic. The golden light lazily spilling into his apartment through the blinders doing little to erase the shadows that his own mess caused.
Suddenly his vision is obscured by white text, filling a yellow-gold box. He twitches in surprise and the bowl he's holding breaks into dozens of shards. With his teeth gritting in frustration, he crushes the single remaining shard left in the hand. As the dust wisps to the floor, he concentrates on the white text, hovering in his line of sight.
"Need you here ASAP. -S"
The Infolink. Of course, how could he have forgotten about the Infolink? He didn't have a phone to hold anymore, it was built into his cranium. Practical, he supposed. Couldn't exactly misplace it now.
Sarif had called, he was his boss. He had to go. It was simple. He carefully ascended the stairs to the door and jarringly slipped the mechanical feet into his shoes. He tested walking for a bit, when his shoes didn't fall off, He used the right arm to grab his coat, black Highman in leather, He noted with satisfaction. Just like the one he had before. Same floral pattern on the shoulders, same length, same everything. Good to have a small semblance of normality. It was probably Sarif's doing as well. He should probably thank him he thought as the door swished shut behind him.
The walk to Sarif Industries took six minutes less than what it used to. New lungs and legs making a walk in the park, a walk in the park. Too bad the park is inhabited by people who keep staring at you. Jensen found himself at last, outside the place where he had lost most of his original body parts. He tilted his head upwards, the immense building taking up most of his vision. The structure seemed to radiate and ooze a golden light. It was a giant desk lamp in a gargantuan room inhabited by darkness. He would've liked to continue to philosophize, but Sarif needed him ASAP.
The lobby here is worse. Everyone remembers Adam Jensen, head of security who apparently died six months ago. Everyone is staring. Until Adam stares back of course, then they try to look busy.
That's when he remembers Pritchard telling him something about his retinal enhancement, he told him to activate the shades, whatever that meant, surely they couldn't have put sunglasses in his h-
Apparently they had.
The wonders of modern technology. Two dusky discs slid out of the black shapes next to each eye and quieted the glow of the lobby somewhat. It gave Adam some closure, but he wasn't going to admit that it felt kind of cool just yet.
Cindy has been too busy typing a report to notice the trench-coat wearing man standing smack-dab in front of her desk. That's when she catches a glimpse of a metal hand knocking on her pristine desk, looking up she sees the man himself, Adam Jensen. In the flesh, and all the other materials.
"Mr. Jensen?" She cries out in that sweet mixture of surprised happiness. Her fingers leave the keyboard to scoot her chair back to get a better look at him. Aside from the glasses, metal hands and skin that was maybe just a little shiny, he looked just like the first day he had started at Sarif Industries. His looks didn't need any augmenting, that's for sure.
"Hey Cindy, how you holding up?" That voice sounded like he was munching on gravel, always did. It was oddly comforting to hear it, and to know that this rather imposing gentleman was head of security, who had also come back from the dead six months early to help defend the employees of this company.
"Oh I've been fine you know, things have been a little empty, a little weird, but now that you're back it feels like we're getting back on track again! It's good to have you back Mr. Jensen." Cindy says his name with a certain satisfaction, as if she'd remembered the nostalgia of a childhood Christmas. It made Adam feel a little less cranky about coming in early, some people had missed him apparently.
"Well, I uh, I was told to see Sarif ASAP. He's in his office right?" Adam shifted slightly and crossed his augmented arms.
"That's right! Just take the elevator to the left on the second floor. I'll make sure they know you're coming." Cindy said with enthusiasm laced with an ingrained sense of professionalism and went back to typing on her keyboard.
"Thanks Cindy. See you." Adam said just as his retinal enhancement started glitching. There were compression artifacts and tearing everywhere. Pritchard probably knew what this was all about. Adam frowned. Time to go meet good ol' bitchy Pritchy.
He shut the door to the tech lab rather loudly, his augmented hearing picking up the sound of a falling coffee mug and Pritchard cursing faintly. The computer genius was one of the people who had not missed him and made it painfully clear. Adam understood that it was unrealistic for him to be liked by everyone in the building, but the smug bastard had no right to be so spiteful, so poisonous as to blame him for Megan. He had blamed himself enough for the past six months in recovery. The shrinks had done their utmost to smooth out the stained wrinkles of the tablecloth that was his conscience, all to no avail. You don't re-build a house that's burning just after you evacuate the family that's living in the house. You have to wait for the dust to settle and for the clean-up crew to hide the scars. Then you wait for the wind to sweep the whole neighbourhood, so that people forget. Adam's house still had fresh embers popping in the corners. Pritchard had just come in and dumped a bale of hay on those embers. It frustrated Adam to the point where he fancied trying out his new hands on that bike that was cooped up in that stuffy office. Adam Jensen is nothing if not adaptable however, and so he decided whatever task Sarif needed him to do would earn the prize of his frustration.
On his way to the helipad, Adam caught a glimpse of the nightly Picus newsreel on the large monitor. It wasn't much but there was apparently a situation with Purity First at one of their plants. Could that be what Sarif wanted him for? He pushed open the double doors leading to the helipad and saw woman with wings herself, Faridah Malik. She was leaning against her VTOL with a practised poise, casual, yet able to spring into action at any given time. The yellow floodlights angled at the helipad only seemed to black out the rest of the night by building a shell around the general area of the VTOL. Malik saw Jensen coming down the walkway and lifted herself off the hull just as Adam came into arms-length.
"Jensen. Didn't think we'd be seeing you around here any time soon." Malik said as if she was still having trouble believing that he was actually here, although judging from the look on her face, she more than happy that he was back.
"You know how it goes Malik. Duty calls." Jensen said sympathetically but curtly.
"Don't I know it, I was halfway to the top of the renaissance centre when I got the 9-1-1, but you? Six months is a helluva short time to come back from the dead. You sure you ready for this?" Malik said with open-eyed concern. Her eyelashes catching some of the heavy perspiration in the air, the floodlights making it seem like heavy clouds of glittering dust.
Adam hadn't really thought about it. He hadn't had much combat practice with the augments yet still, he felt capable enough to deal with a few punks.
"Only one way to find out." Adam replied, cautiously optimistic.
Faridah could had a good feeling about Jensen, he looked capable. Just like she remembers him.
"Good. Hop in back and we'll be off." Malik doesn't even try to hide her grin as she makes her way to the cockpit. Adam's finds his mood freshened by Malik, he feels less heavy now. His mind flickered back to the tiny droplets caught up by her eyelashes. It was magazine-worthy material. Completely natural too, he added as the side of the VTOL unfolded itself, slowly bathing Jensen in more intense light, coming from the interior of the craft. As the side of the craft became a ramp into the belly of the metal hovercraft he finally caught sight of the man who was his boss.
David Sarif. He fidgets uncomfortably. Trying not to look at the golden discs that cover the artificial eyes of the man that he had played god with, and taken him out of sick leave early.
It was for a good cause though, he kept telling himself.
Adam looks at Sarif for a moment, before entering the VTOL and placing himself upon one of the seats. He waits for him to say something. "Welcome back, Adam" or "Sorry for pulling you in so soon". Nothing.
"Thanks for the coat." Adam says politely. His face not showing it.
Sarif looks up from his lap. "That was Faridah's idea." He says as they take off.
Faridah? She must be happy with him wearing it he thought. It certainly showed. It was a thoughtful gesture that he appreciated. Malik had been the only one to make him feel truly missed at the company so far. He'd have to find a way to pay her back somehow when they get back.
He shrugs off the black trench-coat and folds it upon one of the seats. He wasn't going to let it get filled with bullet holes on the first night out. Adjusting his combat vest, he turns to Sarif once more.
"So tell me about these purists."