By Design


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Scene Title By Design
Synopsis The final part of Roger Goodman's grand design comes together, with Brian Winters.
Date March 31, 2009

Dorchester Towers, Veronica's Apartment

Minimalist and modern without being too much like a mausoleum, this apartment is one large room — wherever one stands, one can see the other "rooms." The kitchen is sleek with black lacquer and stainless steel. The living room boasts a comfortable white faux-suede couch with black throw pillows, a black walnut coffee table, and a large plasma screen television. A black entertainment center holds many DVDs and CDs, an Ipod docking station and surround sound. The dining room is simply a black walnut table with six high-back chairs. A small hallway leads to a single large bedroom with a King-sized bed and simple white down comforter with more black walnut furniture. A bathroom in the hallway is simple — a large shower, a vanity sink, a toilet — the basics.

From the moment we first learn to walk, to the last moments that we cling to this world, we are presented with choices. The choice to walk instead of crawl, the choice to fight, the choice to live, the choice to lie down and die.

As the floors wind by, up and up through Dorchester Towers, dark eyes watch the numbers ascend from the ground floor. It has come down to this, in the end, down to the moment where most everything is put on the line, where the world is put in a precarious balance by the singularly human trait of free will. It is this miraculous gift that people have been given thatmakes Roger Goodman's purpose in life meaning, his ability to make what would otherwise be seen as a choice made in clear thought, to be a decision that was preordained. His job, is to grant the illusion of freedom.

When we are confronted with the choices life gives us, we are creating any number of unique new futures for ourselves. Who will we become as we grow and learn, will be be honorable and just, will we use and bend others? How will these choices, ultimately, determine when our story truly begins, or finally comes to an end?

The elevator finally reaches its destination, the chime sounding out as the doors slide open, splitting the muted reflection of the tall and gaunt man staring back at himself, at the blurred reflection of who he has become. Stepping out of the elevator, Goodman tucks a black leather folder under his arm, quietly treading down the halls of this Linderman-Group owned apartment building. Apartment 504 looks no different on the outside from the others, but its two occupants — only one of whom is currently home — are what he came here for. It had to be here, not anywhere or any time else. Everything has led up to this point.

When destiny finally calls for us, to make the monumental choice that will change our life forever, how will we answer? Will we be brave? Will we falter? And when we finally do make the decision, will it truly be the right answer?

Goodman's knuckles strike across the door, and on the other side, the sound may as well be destiny knocking for Agent Winters.

But destiny just happens to sound a lot like a pizza delivery man thirty minutes late, and the door opens…

"I try to be nice, but I mean how can I tip you when—" His head moves up to the very tall and very not pizza delivery boy-ish looking man. And he blanches right there. The young man is shirtless and in a pair of basketball shorts, money wadded up in his hand. His expression is that of a deer caught in the headlights of a truck, or maybe a tank, if a tank had headlights. His mouth opens slowly as if to bring forward words, but no words come.

After a painfully long moment of silence, Brian takes a step backward, did he do something wrong? Was he in trouble? Was Veronica in trouble? He swallows hard and finally, "I thought you were pizza." He says quietly. Allowing Goodman enough space to enter.

Tilting hi shead to the side and offering a surprisingly good-natured smile, Goodman holds out the black leather folder towards Brian as if offering him a box of the pizza he was expecting, "Unfortnately not, Agent Winters." The folder is thrust into the young agent's hands, and Goodman quietly — if not impolitely — shows himself into the apartment, his hard-soled shoes clicking on the wood floor on his entrance. "I wanted to speak to you in confidence about something of importance," he turns to look over his shoulder, motioning for Winters to close the door.

"I'm sorry I had to come by unannounced, Brian, but my time is short and what I have to convey to you is extremely important." Roger makes his way deeper into the apartment, stepping to the side of one of the windows to draw the curtains open slightly, peering out to the street below. "In that folder you will find full dossiers on your birth parents, everything they were is contained in that folder, along with the order that was put out to have them executed." Roger looks back to Brian, brows furrowing as he settles those burned out coals that he calls eyes on the younger agent.

Stepping back he goes to close the door swiftly after Goodman makes his way in. Stuffing the money into his pocket, Brian starts to take after the man. "Sawyer is out.." It's odd for him to call her that. But this is Roger, mister big official man, last names should be used with him. Even though Brian says Veronica is out, the sounds of rustling in the bedroom can be heard. He shakes his head, "It's no problem, Mister Goodman." He quickly cuts himself off, it's not polite to try and say things when the boss comes over on super serious business.

And then the source of noise emerges, a copy, fully dressed. Makes his way down the hallway to join Roger, and the other Brian who is quickly touched and absorbed, those shorts dropping to the ground silently. Though right after this is when Brian's jaw goes slack.


"Your parents were killed, an official order passed down by Gael Cruz from the Company's Hartsdale New York office," Moving away from the window, Roger keeps his focus on Brian. "I've known since I recruited you, all of this was contained in your full file, accessible only to a select few members of the Company. Your parents were — as I had told you — a part of a genetic modification experiment that took place up until the mid eighties." He stops in the middle of the apartment, hands slipping into the pockets of his pressed slacks. "However, when it became clear that their children," children, "had suitable genetic traits that could lend itself to Primatech's most notorious line of experimentation, they were reluctant to force their own offspring into the dangerous trials."

Slowly, he turns away from Brian, eyes downcast to the floor, "Cruz ordered your parents turn over one of their children, and after significant pressure you were chosen to become the test subject for a renewed experimentation into a formula that could grant synthetic abilities to children born as normal humans." He slips away from the spot he stands in, feet scuffing the floor as he walks, voice nearly as meandering as his steps, "after the success had with your development, the Company demanded that they hand over your sister."

Roger halts, turning to look over his shoulder at Brian again, brows furrowed together, "Your parents were not as agreeable this time."

Brian isn't sure how he got to be on the couch. But somehow he finds himself slowly seated, wide eyed, staring at the ground. His mouth remains closed. He tilts his head a little bit, trying to fight back that tightness in the throat. That tell tale sign that part of him just wants to cry. He fights it though, no way is he going to cry in front of Roger Goodman. He looks up slowly, "So they killed my parents and my.. my sister?" Winters asks softly, his voice weak, lips practically trembling.

His hands go shakily to his knees as he tries to compose himself. A sister, and people he never knew, murdered. Then a whole 'nother family thrown at him to raise to find that he was a test—Wait a second. "Why should I believe any of this?"

Roger doesn't correct anything yet, he just watches Brian on the couch with a weary expression. "You have only my word to go on, and the documents in that folder. Whether you believe or not isn't a matter of any convincing on my part, it is a matter of faith." He steps closer ot the sofa, coming to stand at the side of it, the look of tired weakness on his face so much more prevalent than it had been in order days. "Someone close to me was just killed, partly due to taking risks involved in why I have come to you here, Brian."

"I will admit, I have not been entirely honest with you. From the moment I agreed to take part in yur induction into the Company, it was solely for a singular purpose." He forces himself to stand in one spot, to not wander around the apartment and wear a hole in the floor with his anxious motions, "I'm putting myself at risk here, Brian. I had you trained to be one of our best agents, trained to resist mental interrogation, trained to take down one of the most dangerous Evolved in New York, trained so that I could turn you against the Company I have devoted my life to for as long as I can remember."

Reaching into his jacket, Roger withdraws a small, white card. "You and I both have a reason to hate the Company. Regrettably, I fear that my time with them may be drawing to a close, I've worked as a double agent for too long, too hard." The card is rolled around between his fingers with a flick of the stiff paper. "Your sister, Stephanie Winters, was taken from your parents the night after the Kill Squad eliminated your parents, while they were trying to flee the country with you and your sister. She died in the experimentation process, she— wasn't as strong as you."

The card is held out towards the agent, displaying a green and blue double-helix logo, and the name Pinehearst Company. "I'm offering you a chance at revenge, a chance to take down the Company, and to get back at everyone who took away your life from you. Will you believe me?" Roger tilts his head to the side, "I have faith."

Brian watches, fighting down the tightness in the throat, the uneasiness in his stomach. He manages to keep his gaze and his features indifferent. Emotionless. They trained him to do this, and so he does. His gray gaze follows the man's hand into his jacket silently as he recovers the card. Watching it, the young agent reaches up to take the card.

Pinehearst Company

His lips draw into a frown as he stares at the card. "I'm going to have to ask you to leave, Mister Goodman." Veronica will be back soon. He has a lot to think about.

And all these little choices, the chances to make a chance for the better or worse in our lives, come with no guide on how to take them.

Nodding slowly, Roger slides his hands into the pockets of his slacks. With a quiet nod of his head, the man takes a few steps back, watching Brian quietly, "What you do from here on out, Brian, is up to you. I can only guide you so far…" it's a gamble Roger is willing to take. With a hesitantly afforded smile, he turns towards the door, shoulders slacked and footsteps soft. He knows, presently, what it feels like to cope with unexpected loss.

We take a chance, throw the dice, and hope everything turns out well in the end. We guess and hope that these choices are made by our own free will, and not made by some greater destiny…

Roger hesitates, for just a moment, "I'll show myself out," and leaves Brian to divide the lies from the truth, with his own eyes.

…not made by design.

<date>: previous log
Previously in this storyline…
Thy Will Be Done

This concludes the 'By Design' storyline.

<date>: next log
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