You Don't Get It


joanna_icon.gif vincent_icon.gif

Scene Title You Don't Get It
Synopsis The city is literally falling apart and someone's secret terrorist lesbian art school dropout daughter is missing. Naturally, the most important thing is figuring out whose fault it is.
Date May 5, 2010

Vincent's Office - 26 Federal Plaza - Civic Center

Civic Center: 26 Federal Plaza. 7:34 PM. Forty-plus stories off the ground, the Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building burns blue and white into the onset of an early May dusk colder and darker than most New York City remembers. Snow heaped around the building's base has kept immigrants away for longer than the city's lack of power has kept them holed up in shelters elsewhere. Travel is close to impossible, and the structure's stainless steel and white marble halls are deathly quiet.

There are a lot of dark windows and empty offices, entire floors fallen silent where divisions have funneled resources and personnel elsewhere. Out of the district, out of the city. Out of the state.

But up on the 37th, the Department of Evolved Affairs remains present by necessity. The light in Vincent Lazzaro's scarcely utilized office is on anyway, door open to allow for the passage of fresh coffee delivered by what must be the most dedicated secretary in all of downtown Manhattan. Lazzaro himself isn't all that likely to remain for long, having only just shirked off a pair of younger agents long enough to shuffle through the inbox at the near corner of his desk. He's on his feet in a pinstriped suit, tie immaculate, coffee in one hand and the other full of memos that may have to wait with the way he glances down and then drops them aside to feel after the mumble and buzz of a radio clipped to his belt. Evidently cell phones aren't working all that great here, either.

"Thank you Agent Masdeck" Comes a voice that Vincent knows far too well and incites likely, a wide variety of emotions if he ever showed them. When he ever shows them. "No problem Ms Renard. He's right through there" Seems either Joanna didn't ask for them to warn him that she was coming, or they neglected to tell him that he had a visitor.

But he does and Joanna is making her way to the doorway of his office, following the light very much like a moth does. Bundled up for the weather, large purse over shoulder, denim, sweaters and hair back, his ex-wife may or may not be a welcome sight at his door as she comes to a stop with hazel eye's settling on the resident. "Vincent" By way of greeting.

Crackle, crackle. "-er — ay — up." Fzzzzzznnn.

"Say again, over."

Vincent's voice is familiar in turn, flat affect made moreso by sheer lack of sleep and the generalized air of hellishness that's settled in thick across the city, nearly as deep as the snow. Nevermind the state of his personal life. People are dying.


People are always dying, but lately they're dying at a much faster rate than usual, and on his watch, which is the real kicker.

More static bristle brushes from the walkie talkie and he turns it off with an irritable snap, dropping it too hard after the memos only to register at last the voice in the background. The one on the same floor with him, mingling with his agents in his department. The voice of his ex-wife.

The heel of his right hand pressed hard to his brow, he's quick to drop it as he turns. And not a moment too soon. Here he is and there she is in the doorway, taken in by eyes as black as the stuff he's drinking, if somewhat less warm. "Joanna." If anything he looks suspicious to see her, glancing unnecessarily after the plastic flag of her visitor's badge as if to make sure she went through the trouble of getting one. "…Coffee?"

"Please. You didn't manage to hear from Tasha before the towers all went down? She said she was staying at a friends place overnight but then the weather just took a turn for the even more worse and I haven't been able to get a hold of her. I had thought that just maybe she might have managed to get word to you"

It's a long shot really, whether Tasha did or not, but the fact that Joanna is there in his office and asking probably lends credence to the worried state that she's in that only he by merit of having been married to her, knows is lurking beneath the smooth surface. "How are you Vincent?" Belatedly asked and more out of politeness.

"…You're asking me if I've heard from Tasha," asked (maybe) a little too flatly or pointedly (or both), Vincent arches a brow, evidently waiting for the punchline before he looks to the window and angles for the door. His paramilitary clip hasn't changed, pace quick without ever really seeming hurried or harried out into the hallway beyond, and presumably the break room, where there is likely to be more coffee. "I'm fine." So fine that he doesn't ask how she is in return. Cold, from the look of it. Nothing new there.

"Back in a moment."

His office without him isn't terribly spacious. The sprawling single pane window is nice despite the dystopian nature of the scene that stretches beyond it: a black jumble of skyscrapers and offices with scarce sparks of electricity scattered among them to light isolated windows and tenuous trash fires. The lower the sun sinks, the darker it gets, and for the first time in years, it might just be possible to see stars in the skies of New York tonight. Otherwise, his (expensive-looking) desk is very clean. No dust. Everything in its place.

And when he returns forty-three seconds later, the mug of coffee he passes over is how she likes it. Or at least how she liked it eight years ago. "Do you know who she was staying with?"

"If I knew, do you think that I would be here Vincent?" In the time that he's gone to fetch coffee, her jacket is gone from her hands to draped politely over a chair and her purse beside one of the furniture's legs. "She just said a friend. She's going through a rough time and I wasn't about to pry just yet. I came by in the off chance that she might have gotten over her fear of you to have let you know on her way to wherever. But obviously not" Fingers curl around the handle of the cup and liberate it from him. "I'd call her but.. I'm not a technopath Vincent"

"So she's afraid of me, now?" Ha. Articulate brows canted into a resigned tilt at his own expense, less ruffled than he should be by rights and by what Joanna may remember, he continues on around the office to put his desk between them. He's close to the window when he finally stops to sip his coffee, shoulders square as ever. Short, bald and in need of a shave as ever. "Here all this time I'd thought it was just resentment with a side of self-loathing."

It's possible there's a little something extra in his coffee to keep him warm. But that would be irresponsible. Especially with the Department's seal watching him the way it is, eagle and DNA emblem emblazoned into the wall ahead of him in three dimensions. And metal. It's slightly intimidating.

"I'm not either, actually. For the best. They're prone to mental instability, you know."

"That's questionable. Whether you're a 'technopath' or not." Brows pinch and so do her fingers on the bridge of her nose. "She's afraid of how you react to some things Vincent. You are not the most.. comforting person for a young woman to relate to." She's trying to keep from snapping at him.

"she can't even tell you what happened in Boston. She came home after visiting you and slept in my bed with me. She was.." In need of comfort. "Your daughter should have been able to go to you of all people with what happened out there, but she hasn't. You intimidate her. You intimidate me at times Vincent. You intimidate a great many people and not just because of what you can do"

At Joanna's back, a taller, kinder-looking man in a suit fills the doorway wielding a manilla file folder only to be stopped in his tracks by a raised hand and a mild, "Ten minutes, Sam." The agent hesitates but complies, even with the belated addition of, "If you could close the door please, also. Thank you."

"Sorry," Vincent says to Joanna once the bolt has clicked soundly and pointedly shut. Brows level, sincerity dubious. He hasn't changed much in the last decade, the scarring chiseled into his temple and less noticeably across the back of his hand aside. "It sounds like you're blaming this on me. Maybe we should start again. Somewhere around the part where you were too tender and loving to ask where she intended to stay with fifteen feet of snow on the ground."

"She was supposed to come home today Vincent. Cellphones were supposed to be working. She's eighteen, she's old enough to vote. I didn't come by here to blame you. I came by her to see if by chance she had managed to get word to you when she couldn't get it to me. I had to leave the condo. I have no electricity, which in turn means that I have no heat. I'm doing like everyone else in this city and heading to one of the places appointed by the city as a shelter."

The coffee is put down on the desk weight shifted to one side and arms crossed while she level a look right back at him. "Sorry that I'm not you and attaching a GPS unit to her leg so that I can track her every movement, but I trust her to not get in trouble. When she says she's staying overnight at a friends, when she's telling me, then she's staying overnight at a friends."

"Right. And as soon as kids turn eighteen they're automatically self-sufficient and capable of making responsible decisions. As evidenced by their ability to participate in politics." Dry, dry, dry, Vincent swallows down bitter coffee, stifles a curse and then sets his mug down too, far opposite of hers on a stack of papers. When he moves again, it's to insinuate a pamphlet beneath her mug as well. "The last time we spoke was on the 26th, when she visited me at my apartment."

"If you need a place to stay, I have a suite set aside for my use at the Corinthian, assuming it hasn't already burned down. If you can be civil to my boss, you are welcome to join me." Blah blah blah, GPS units. He gives her a faintly dirty warning look, eyes tarry black while he considers what else there is to say. Tasha is missing.

"What happened in Boston?"

What happened in Boston. Something must have happened in Boston to have caused their daughter to drop out of school. Whether Vincent actually bought what Tasha told him or not, she doesn't know. "She was attacked. Attacked by some men when with her boyfriend. Nearly violated, her boyfriend managed to get her away" The coffee cup is lifted so she can glance down at the pamphlet and then put back down. No comment on whether she can get along with his boss. Yes she can, she just doesn't get along with Vincent.

"Her grades suffered and she left school. Better than keep going and fail everything and cost us money. She came home. She needed to come home. And she could use her father and not an agent of the evolved affairs, or a cop. But her dad" bare lips are pressed lightly against each other, one hand down, fingertips pressed to the table beside the cup. "She didn't just loose interest in school Vincent. So you can see why I'm trying to give her the space she wants"

The pamphlet is a simple (but shiny) trifold on how to register or how to report someone you believe isn't registered and why you should. Undoubtedly one of many in his possession. Bold text, smiling faces, color photos. The works. He really shouldn't be using it as a coaster.

There's a foreboding silence while he turns what Joanna's telling him over in his head, expression hardly changing away from hard set irritation and eagle eyed stare. "That doesn't even make sense," is what he has to say in the end, skepticism like the pavement at the end of a thirty story fall.

"I've never not wanted to be her father. But you left and so did she, and if she's wanted anything more substantial than my wallet around, she's yet to let me know. We can talk about this later." Already dismissive, the way a street sweeper dismisses paper cups and spent napkins and occasionally small dogs, Vincent works his jaw on his way over to opening the door for her.

"There's a television in the breakroom. In two hours I have a helicopter scheduled to take me to the Corinthian."

Breathe in through the nose, breath out in a deep sigh that speaks volumes of her own thoughts on this matter. "You don't get it" Any other time, she might just keep badgering him, not be dismissed like she's some other agent who's issues aren't so important. A roll of eyes follows her hand as she scoops up her jacket, scarf and beg in hand, giving in to Vincent and his directive. Wait in the lounge for him and the Helicopter.

It's on her tongue to tell him that she will be taking her car to the Corinthian, but she doesn't drive a four wheeled beast, but something smaller and more city appropriate that gave her two heart attacks on the way over here. "As you wish Vincent" Snapped out, as fast as she brushes past him and the door. She'll go find that breakroom and fresh coffee. Watch the news and wait.

"Presumably I won't have to in order to find her." As soon as he's acquired a satellite phone and checked with Boston police after any suspicious reports filed involving his daughter. Immovable object to unstoppable force, he (oh so politely) holds the door open for her and DOESN'T EVEN LOOK DOWN at her ass as she goes. He's just that much of a gentleman.

Or that annoyed.

"I'll make it an hour," promised wearily in the air stirred behind her, he takes a moment to steel himself back out before he nods invitation to Sam. Who is still patiently waiting, far enough away not to eavesdrop.

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