Not Without My Husband

Participants:

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Scene Title Not Without My Husband
Synopsis Mrs. Wickham appeals to one of her superiors to allow her to help her husband.
Date March, 2009

Primatech Research, Level-3: Roger Goodman's Office


"…well that all depends, if you find her I want you to be able to bring her in safely."

Leaning back in his leather chair, Roger Goodman presses a cell phone to one ear, eyes wandering the faux view of the Manhattan skyline from his office window, a matte panting and halogen lamp simulation of a 44th floor office view, having his Biomere and Company offices look identical to one another makes teleportation between the two so much easier to him, it's all about visualization.

"I spoke with Noah not too long ago, I expect he and Miss Gitelman will be attempting to gather intelligence on our operation, which would be exactly as he planned it."

The painting in the window of this office, however, bears one specific detail that separates it from his Biomere office — Midtown is not in ruins. It is the differentition between the cold reality of Biomere, and the ideal reality of the Company. In some ways, it shows the two sides of Roger Goodman himself. One cold and ruined, the other bright and hopeful.

"Good. I want you to move on Miss Bennati next, I have it on good word that she was interviewed for an upcoming issue of Pause Magazine, meaning she's still in the city. Have her brought in and sent to Verse, I want to know what she knows about the Vanguard's operations."

And Roger Goodman, like a coin, has two sides to him that can change with a flick of a finger. But given enough throws, given enough spins and flips thorugh the air, is there not the probability that at some point — no matter how infintesimal — a coin can sometimes land on its edge?

"Good luck, Jon. I have an eleven o-clock meeting any minute now. Yes… I'll see you later."

Polished as ever, Gwendolyn Wickham is well acquainted with the concept that people judge you by what you wear and how you comport yourself. It's amazing what people will convince themselves unconsciously if you have the right outfit and speak the right way. And bearing that in mind, it's power-suit for Gwen today, though a skirt, rather than pants, and the demeanor is just under aggressive. Her motives are emotional, it's true - but no need to overbear. And so when Goodman's assistant announces her arrival, she has a carefully fixed, pleasant smile on her face and offers her hand accordingly. "Sir. Thank you for seeing me." The Londonese accent is crisp and exact, an interesting opposite to her husband's brogue.

"I always have time for our finest agents, Mrs. Wickham," Roger motions to one of the paired low-back leather chairs facing his desk, "Please, have a seat." Leaning back in his own after nudging his cell phone flush to the edge of his desk, Roger folds his hands, steepling them at his chest as he tilts his head to the side, watching Gwendolyn carefully. "I read your request for transfer to your husband's case," dark eyes level on the member of the Kill Squad, one brow raising slowly. "I'd like to hear a bit about why you feel this is a good choice," a brief, thoughtful pause, "convince me."

"I'm sure you're acquainted with the manner in which my husband and I were hired." Gwendolyn begins calmly, "However, please indulge me in going over old information - the capture and containment of Patrick Harper on behalf of our duty to Her Majesty." She takes a seat as instructed, demurely crossing her ankles and sitting ramrod straight. "I was the agent assigned to work with Hugh's outfit, it was our combined effort that was central to our success. We're proven capable to work together, and we've adhered up until now to the 'One of us, one of them' policy without complaint." That's one reason. "At the behest of compromising any security, I'm aware of the nature of his current mission. Hugh's capable, but of the two of us, he isn't the one who's training has been focused on such work, whereas mine has." It's true. He's a soldier, she's an espionage agent.

"At the very least, a competent handler he trusts would bulwark his efforts, and a partner on hand in full to back him up would likely be even more helpful. There's more to gain here then not, and my current assignment within the Company, while I'm qualified, is admittedly not the most useful means by which the Company can deploy me." She speaks of course, of Kill Squad, but never directly, and quite honestly, either Goodman will know what she's talking about with that, or not. She can't enlighten him, and likely doesn't have to.

"Your role is a vital one that needs fillina, Mrs. Wickham." The mask of a concerned expression crosses Goodman's face with those words, "Very few of our employees have the necessary profile needed to fulfill the dangerous work you do. Secondly, while I am free to assign certain members of the Company to needed tasks, Miss Dalton is still my superior, and any changes will need to be cleared through her. As of current you do not have an assignment, which is the reason I'm entertaining this request — not out of disrespect for your concerns, but because you're not currently needed elsewheres."

Breathing a deep sigh, Goodman leans forward, folding his hands on the glass desktop. "I understand your concern for Hugh, but the nature of his assignment and the individual he is tracking are— complicated." He says this as though he hasn't expected Hugh to have explained the details of this assignment to his wife, perhaps out of polite courtesy to her professionalism. "We know precious little about the man your husband is impersonating, and the man he is tracking likely knows far more than we do. How would you propose to become involved in a fashion that would not, ultimately, blow your husband's cover and potentially have him put at greater risk?"

Gwendolyn's expression doesn't so much as flinch. "I could quite easily pose in as a mercenary of his former acquaintance. It's a ploy we're not unfamiliar with. We have plenty of means of inobvious communication. We know each other's tells. If I am of no help, or am compromising him, he'll have a way of letting me know, and I do trust him to make the correct assessment." When they took this job, they thought they'd said goodbye to long term mission seperation. Gwendolyn ain't having that, not even for the sweet, sweet paycheck. Not that Her Majesty is stingy, but. "You have no means that I'm familiar with of tracking his progress, nor any means for him to communicate any needs, unless you have dead drops on Staten Island I'm unaware of. You need someone in the middle, Mr. Goodman."

"No means you are familiar with." Roger states with a lopsided smile, "Hugh isn't the only agent on Staten Island," his head cants to one side, "However," his hands come apart, making a gesture to the desk in a symbolic gesture to the conversation as a whole. "I see you're concerned about Hugh's safety, and I understand that." When his hands fold together again, his dark eyes have trained up on the agent of the Kill Squad.

"There is a dead drop on Staten Island, but Hugh isn't using it. I have an agent presently investigating another lead there, who has been keeping an… indirect eye on Hugh; Her name is Minea Dahl. there is also an undercover agent of Homeland Security currently scouting on the island, and…" Roger motions with one hand towards Gwendolyn. "Now Hugh had backup."

Did he just approve her request?

"I'll be frank with you, Gwen." Wringing his hands together, Roger looks down to the desk, then back up again. "When I sent Hugh in, it was purely on an observational basis. He was to discern whether his target, Ethan Holden, was present on Staten Island and return to Manhattan. I hadn't given him permission to assume his deep cover yet, and I had plans to use the Haitian to modify his memory to create a believable cover for him. However, Hugh seems to have either taken it upon himself to begin this cover assignment on his own, or has not yet discovered Mister Holden yet."

A slow, quiet sigh slips from Roger's lips. "I wanted to keep you out of this assignment, because I did not want Hugh's…" he carefully chooses his words, "confusion over the assignment to reflect on you. But, I have to work with what I'm given, and if you feel it possible to assist him in this…" Roger leans to the side, removing a red folder from his desk to lay on the desktop, sliding it towards Gwendolyn. "You can take the second half of the assignment I was going to give to Hugh."

There isn't so much as a betrayal of her discomfort at the idea of Hugh being so thoroughly mindwiped by the Haitian. She's not familiar with any means to actually bring memories back once he's tinkered with them, but since Goodman is offering her an alternative, she won't bother to linger over it. Instead, she picks up the folder and opens it up, prepared to start studying it as she waits for him to verbally outline her mission. Hugh's proactivity is not surprising to her, but it's wisest not to expound.

Inside of the folder is surveillance footage from a traffic camera labeled VZ.NARROW #12, it shows a group of people engaged in some form of firefight. The camera is focused, however, on a pair of individuals. One of them a young and very thin woman in a wool jacket with wild, brunette hair. "Her name is Eileen Ruskin. Intelligence reports from members of thew Vanguard that the United Nations has apprehended, along with the European branch of the Company indicates that she was an intelligence agent operating for them roughly five years in tenure."

Motioning to the golder, Roger leans back in his chair again. "She had been sighted in the city on several occasions, and an official FBI report filed by a Felix Ivanov indicates that she has an evolved power of Avian Telepathy, allowing her extra-sensory communication with birds, presumably part of her intelligence operation procedure."

The next photograph is a black and white picture taken on what is clearly Staten Island, outside of the Filatov Clinic. "This was taken three days ago by an agent on an… unrelated case." In the picture, Eileen is leaning out of a doorway, while a man that looks identical to Sylar carries a man slung over his shoulder, while a young teenage girl with dark hair stands at his side. "Sylar and the young girl aren't your concern and are not a part of your assignment, I would like you and Hugh to identify and apprehend Miss Ruskin if possible. I want to be able to question her about the Vanguard's activities, since she is presumably a surviving core member of the organization."

Head canting to one side, Roger looks up from the folder to Gwendolyn. "She will likely known Hugh's alias, and you can use that in your apprehension attempt. She is to be as unharmed as possible. I have arranged for transportation to be ready for you to arrive on Staten Island as soon as tomorrow, he will remain at Great Kills Harbor ans be your extraction point off of the island once you have secured Ruskin."

Gwendolyn's lips thin. "I understand." she says. It's better than nothing. And perhaps she may be able to return, provided they don't botch this assignment. "Do you have the current status of 'Drake Leeds' at the present time? It won't take me long to adequately prepare a cover." It looks like the old merc cover will be her likeliest bet for insinuating herself. Already Gwen's mind is whirling, her tone and posture beginning subtle alterations to make her sound less like a Londonese polyglot from a well-to-do family and more like something a lot more…down to earth.

"I've included his information in your file, it's…" Roger purses his lips, "Sparse. Leeds died on Staten Island in a firefight at the Sea View Hospital. It's possible that Ruskin or Holden know of his death, but it's a risk Hugh was willing to take." Seemingly pleased with the direction this took, Roger adds, "I took the liberty of getting permission for this from Miss Dalton in advance, but be aware — if you receive an assignment for your primary job? We'll pull you out of Staten Island immediately. It does, after all, take precidence."

"I understand." she repeats, and then ventures, "With all due respect Mr. Goodman, I believe you may find me more of an asset in assignments of this nature, and Hugh in ones more aligning with our current priority assignment. I'm not incompetent in such a venue, but he is a soldier." And she is quietly very proud of him. "I'll give you my best, regardless, and will be ready by tomorrow morning for drop-off."

"It will take a soldier to play a soldier," Goodman adds with a crooked smile, "Plus Hugh has… invested interests in Mister Leeds." Rising up from his desk, Roger casts his eyes over the agent with a faint smile. "I expect nothing but the best from you, Gwen. You've yet to disappoint us in that regard. I look forward to seeing your results."

Glancing to his door, Goodman quickly looks back to her, "Now, if you would be so kind, I have an eleven-thirty meeting to attend."


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March 4th: Tonight
Previously in this storyline…
Rendezvous

Next in this storyline…
I Missed You

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March 4th: Value of a Life
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