A Caged Bird Still Sings


donna_icon.gif rhys_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif waite_icon.gif

Scene Title A Caged Bird Still Sings
Synopsis Agent Quinn travels to the Liberty Island Detention Center to speak with Donna Dunlap.
Date September 27, 2018

Liberty Island is a sobering place.

Beneath the ruins of the Statue of Liberty, the detention center once used by the Mitchell Administration to house terrorists and dissidents has come full circle, housing some of the most notorious criminals of the post-war era. Mohinder Suresh, Howard LeMay, Donna Dunlap, and up until recently Lauren Gilmore. Two days before arriving on Liberty Island, Robyn Quinn was notified that Lauren Gilmore passed away in captivity from complications stemming from her genetic modification.

The day of her arrival, heralded by strong rains and driving winds, is an ominous portent. The Hudson River was choppy on the ferry over, and the director of the Liberty Island Detention Center - Sebastian Waite - greets Robyn with an umbrella and a shouted apology over the howl of the rain.

Liberty Island Detention Center

New York City Safe Zone

September 27

8:08 am

“I'm sorry we arranged for such an inclement day!” Waite shouts, stooping in to shield the agent from the rain as best as he can. “Your associate Mr. Bluthner is already in the interrogation room waiting for you!” As he hastily ushers Robyn in through the heavy steel doors, past a security checkpoint and down into the pedestal’s lower level, she's reminded that her entire job with Wolfhound started here, when Colette Demsky broke Avi Epstein out of captivity and murdered her way out of the building.

“Ms. Dunlap is a bit shaken up,” Waite explains as he folds the umbrella closed, waiting while Robyn receives a security clearance badge and hands over her sidearm. “We only informed her of Ms. Gilmore’s death a couple of days ago. So she's a bit emotionally tender.” Though Lauren passed away in July, two months prior.

Seven years ago, working on her birthday would have been one of the last thing Robyn Quinn would ever be caught doing. Now, it's the only thing she can imagine doing. The realisation of the day hadn't even occurred to her until she'd gotten on the ferry to Liberty Island. It settled in like an uncomfortable gnawing at the back of her mind, pushed aside so that she could focused on the task at hand.

The realisation that they've only just told Dunlap about her Gilmore's passing thins Robyn's lips. Selfishly, it makes for potentially poor timing. Not so selfishly, she could understand why Dunlap would be torn up. Her badge is clipped to her collar, and she nods. "Of course." A response to both Rhys being here before her - of course - and to Dunlap's emotional state - of course.

"I imagine she's crushed," is a somewhat idle and entirely unsarcastic observation as she looks around the island, takes it in. She's never been before, not since the war, but it has been a large part of her life, looming in the background at some point or another. "About Gilmore. I'm sure even they have friends," she adds after a moment as a matter of clarity - they being the Institute.

Perhaps the emotional tenderness would work in her favour. It was something she had wanted to work in her talk with Dunlap anyway.

“I don't think so,” Waite says in small disagreement as he leads Robyn around a concrete-walled labyrinth, down a shirt flight of stairs, and into a white painted hall with exposed pipes in the ceiling. “I mean, personally. I think her and Gilmor/ relationship wasn't amicable. That said,” Waite notes as he moves to a metal door and flashes his badge, turning a red light green and disengaging the magnetic lock. “I think she's just afraid of what the Institute might do to this ah, Doctor Allen.”

Beyond the door is one side of an interrogation room with a two-way mirror. The darkened room has a small desk with a lamp set atop it and a spiral bound folio of printed transcripts. Standing in front of the mirror, Rhys Bluthner cuts a small silhouette, watching Donna Dunlap on the other side with stoic intensity.

“That's a transcript of Officer Demsky’s interrogation of Dunlap,” Waite says with a motion to the folio, “in case you need a reference.” Though Waite moves to the back of the room after he shows Robyn in, and only then does Rhys turn away from the window with a troubled look in his eyes.

"Adrianne Allen." The reason Robyn is here today, ostensibly. She lets the disagreement on Gilmore and Dunlap slide away without a second thought. "I'd be worried too." Her low voice maybe gives away some of the sympathy she feels for Dunlap, which is maybe an odd thing to think of for someone in her position - sympathy for a devil, as it were. But that doesn't mean it isn't there. Sympathy that somehow exists despite having seen first hand what her employers did in Cambridge.

She looks to the transcript with a nod; to Rhys with a quirked eyebrow. "Thank you," she offers to Waite, taking a deep breath. "I appreciate letting us speak with Dunlap again today. I know Officer Demsky's interrogation was rather thorough, but…" She rolls her shoulders a bit, eyes not leaving Rhys. "I have hopes of being able to tug a lead with a bit more time," she offers.

Moving to the folio, she flips it open - her attention doesn't stay on it long, however, before she looks up to Rhys. "Is something wrong, Rhys?" is a loaded question. They both know full well there's always something wrong. Eyes slide over to watch Dunlap, to study her. "If you have concerns, please. Share them."

“Lots of shadows.” Rhys says with a furrow of his brows. “Usually I recognize more people than not, but… most of Dunlap’s personal connections are people I've never run into before. Once you get back to her time at the Company it's clearer. But,” Rhys tilts his head to the side. “How my ability works is tricky. Since I haven't met Adrienne or anyone else whose known her I don't have a good point of reference for which shadow she is.”

But then, looking over to Robyn he adds. “I think some of what I'm seeing here are from when she was security chief. I see some shadows linking you, too. Ones that I can explain… Wolfhound, yeah. But I also see…” Rhys makes a noise in the back of his throat, then looks back to Donna through the mirror.

“She knew your mother.” Rhys says with a troubled tone.

Robyn blinks, her head tilting slightly to the side. “Excusez-moi?” It's not that she didn't hear - that's exactly what the problem is. "She… what?" Robyn's brow stitches together, and for the first time since she stepped on the Ferry to come to Liberty Island, her carefully presented persona of poise and professionalism falls away.

Instead, she just sort of stares at Rhys, dumbfounded.

"I-" She stops, her gaze slowly moving to watch Dunlap through the glass. There's a distinct moment of hesitation, before she breathes out a "how?" under her breath. Still, she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. "Well. That… may be a question for another time, then," she offers in a low voice that brims with uncertainty, glancing back to Sebastian. She'll have to try to stick to that as hard as she can.

Swallowing, she stands up straight and turns back to Rhys - this is probably the most flustered he's seen her in years, but that's how things tend to go whenever her mother comes up. "My hope," she offers as she tries to recapture that poise and move on, "is that we can maybe coax something, someone out of her that will give us a bit more direction. Perhaps make those connections a bit clearer, if that's possible."

She stands up straight, watching Dunlap for a moment. "I intend to be… a little less clinical than maybe is normal. I'd like to appeal to her emotions. Hope that desire to help Doctor Allen bubbles something up."

Waite has an expression on his face that looks like he swallowed his pen. After a moment of tugging at his tie, he offers a look over to Agent Bluthner. “You didn't mention that earlier when— ”

“Are you investigating Agent Quinn?” Rhys verbally claps back. Waite flashes a patient smile and then shrugs and spreads his hands, getting the point about reasonable expectation of privacy.

“Carry on.” Waite doesn't seem to have anything to say about an emotional appeal to Dunlap. Rhys, however, does.

“Dunlap was a Company Agent for a long time,” Rhys indicates with a nod to the glass. “She hates it, from what I gather, and she was a prisoner both there and effectively with the Institute. That may be a sympathy to play on too.” It seems Rhys is more familiar with these kinds of tactics.

Which leaves Robyn to follow through with her plan.

Though Waite can't see it, his comment flattens Robyn's expression, ready to retort back to him with a sarcastic sense of fire she hasn't felt in a while. Thankfully, Rhys is there to prevent her from making that mistake. After he speaks, Robyn offers Waite a small smile of thanks - it's questionable if she means anything by the gesture.

She stands straight again, nodding to Rhys. "Perhaps we start there, rather than with the Institute. They like to use old Company assets as hideaways. I'm sure we don't know about all of them." She certainly doesn't.

There's a tightness in Robyn's throat as she steps from the one room with Waite and Rhys, to the door that leads into the interrogation room. She lingers at it, hand over the doorknob that will take her inside. Questions swirl in her mind, none of them ones she came here today intending on asking.

A deep breath. The closing of her eye. Adjusting her eyepatch. They're all small things she does to help centre herself and regain her composure entirely before she turns the knob and steps in to the room. Her eyes move immediately to Dunlap, and she offers a nod in the woman's direction - something a bit more casual than is proper or expected. She has a tone she wants to set after all.

"Hello, Ms. Dunap," comes with a smile as Robyn crosses the room to where Donna is seated, taking her prescribed seat across from the other woman. "My name is Robyn Quinn. Thank you for agreeing to speak with me today."

And then she waits, to see what sort of response Dunlap has; watching her mannerisms, listening for tone and shifts. Despite her claim of not approaching this as clinically as normal, she still has an approach not unlike what a psychologist appraising a patient might have.

Briefly eyeing the interrogation cell’s walls, Donna spreads her hands as much as the handcuff restraints through the hoop on the table allow her to. “I said I was willing to cooperate,” is gotten out of the way quickly, and followed up rapid-fire with, “did you find Adrienne? No one has told me anything.

Robyn’s plan to approach from an angle of emotion seems to be an easy one. The tightness in Donna’s voice, the crowd of her words, the look in her eyes that Robyn’s seen before in survivors of the war looking for family — hopeful desperation — all speaks to the fact that Donna has nothing to hide, and everything to lose.

There's a glance down to those restraints, an almost rueful expression crossing Robyn's face - like she finds them unnecessary or unwarranted for this conversation. She does, though, find them necessary. As much as she delves into emotion for this, she know better than to trust them too much.

"How rude of them," is her way of appearing to be on Donna's side - and in many ways she is. At the moment, at least, they share a common goal. "No, unfortunately. They have not found Adrienne." Before Dunlap can interject or respond, she holds up a single finger. "That is why I'm here today, Donna. To see is we can work together to piece together anything else that may help us find Mademoiselle Allen." A carefully chosen usage of French, meant to elicit a reaction - if what she remembers about Adrienne from what she's read is correct.

Spreading her hands out in front of her, Robyn offers the other woman an apologetic look. "I know you already spoke with others. Probably several times. But… honestly I would enjoy just… talking and seeing what we can work out, rather than the strictness of a formal interview. See if we can hit on anything that might have slipped past any of us before." Hands fold back in, one placed on top of the other in front of her. "I would like to bring back Ms. Allen as safely as possible. Beyond beyond part of my job…" She closes her eyes and lets out a sight. "I know what it's like to be separated by someone you care about. I would like to fix that as much as my position allows."

She's sure behind the glass, Sebastian is screaming at her for that one.

Donna’s expression screws up into something between frustrated and confused, fingers curling against her palms. She nearly bursts out with… something. But whatever it is goes unsaid, something Robyn said to her hits a note, and she deflates in her chair and slouches back against it. Her fingers uncurl, palms scrub flat against the metal table, eyes downcast into her lap.

“I don’t know what else there is to say,” Donna admits with a slow shake of her head, eyes partway lidded. “I’ve… I’ve told everything I know. Every safehouse I was aware of,” most of which Wolfhound already hit between now and when the organization formed, and those that they hadn’t are craters. “I don’t know where the administration is, I don’t know where they’re keeping Adrienne… I don’t…”

Donna shakes her head again, teeth pressing down into her lower lip, eyes forced shut.

Donna's reaction beings a frown to Robyn's face, this one more genuine. "I believe you," is her reassurance, and that much at least is true. "But unfortunately, I am without leads on the matter. Which means so is anyone else, assuming I've been given the whole truth so far."

Taking a deep breath, Robyn lets herself relax a bit in her chair. "I don't like that. I want to help." So far a reiteration of what she's had to say before. "Truth be told, I didn't want to talk much about the Institute today. Rather, the ones they took over for in a lot of ways." A small smile, and Robyn laces her fingers together. "Because we both know how much the Institute loves ferreting away in the Company's messes. I can't imagine all those have been documented yet and with their love of picking up where they left off…"

Well, clearly Robyn suspects a connection.

Mention of the Company rankles Donna’s calm demeanor. Brows furrowed and lips hooked into a frown, she breathes in sharply through her nose and then exhales a slow, calming sigh. Shutting her eyes, Donna stresses, “I turned on them.” As if Robyn needed a reminder. “I was there at Fort Hero when the Institute liquidated assets. Lauren and I, we cut that fucking weed out of the ground.

Breathing in slowly, Donna clenches her hands closed again and her jaw follows suit. “The Institute sold me a lie. They said they were different.” She jerks her hands against the restraints, hands spread. “Does this look like it ended any differently!?

There's a moment of hesitation as Robyn swallows. That wasn't the reaction she had quite expected, and it throws her for a momentarily loop. "No," she remarks in a low voice. "And sometimes we see that all too late." There’s experience behind that choice of words, genuine rather than engineered.

Robyn is silent for a moment, considering her next words carefully. "But that doesn't change the fact that they seem to have a point of positioning themselves as a sort of successor. To the point that it seems they like to take old Company establishments and initiatives and do what they can with them." Robyn pauses, looking off to the side. "I have never assumed we knew everything the Company got into. I only bring up the Company out of concern that- they may be using that to their advantage. Places we haven't swept yet, forgotten about. Places we can look for Adrienne at."

And if not? Well, she'll figure out a new approach.

“Maybe.” Donna says in defeat, slouching and rubbing the heel of one hand against her forehead. “But the Institute never had all of the Company’s old database information. Their most secure and hidden facilities remained as such, because Sabra Dalton got away with the archive. Or destroyed it. We were never sure which.”

Sabra Dalton, of the Deveaux Society.

Donna doesn't seem to be aware of the connection or Sabra’s fate. “Every facility I knew of was in the report I filed with his,” and she motions to the mirror, “office. The DoJ has everything. I don't…” Donna’s brows furrow in frustration. “I don't know.”

An eyebrow raises reflexively at the mention of Sabra Dalton. That certainly was not a name Robyn was expecting yo have come up in this conversation. She tilts her head slightly to the side and offers Donna an appreciative smile. "Sabra Dalton? I didn't know that. Then, perhaps that is a question best saved for her." An appointment she'll have to make as soon as she finishes here. "A better lead than nothing, after all."

Robyn leans back, tapping a finger against her cheek. "And you've already discussed all the initiatives that both yourself and Ms Allen were involved in - that you knew about, at least. And everybody that either of you were in contact with, at all?" Yes, she has, but the inflection leaves it open ended - for Donna to add anything that comes to mind, if she wishes. "Communication frequencies?" Since the internet can't always be trusted these days.

A shake of her head and looks up at the ceiling. "I know it's frustrating to have to go over all of this again, if you've already given it once. I'm just trying to make sure I'm doing everything I can."

There's a momentary pause before a thoughtful expression crosses her face. "Can you tell me about Adrienne?" It might help more than she thinks.

“I didn't handle the comms, I—” Donna closes her eyes. “Lauren did.” And Lauren’s said all she ever will, now. That fact has Donna quiet again for a bit, staring down at the floor, wringing her hands and fiddling with her restraints.

“Adrienne,” Donna says softer than she realized. “We met— right around the summer of 2010. I'd been transferred to the San Francisco branch of the Institute where most of the genomic research was performed. Researching negation drugs, the Suresh Linkage Complex, lots of above-board research.” Donna says it with such conviction, such certainty. She believed — and in a way still believes — in the mission of the Institute. That what she did was good.

“She was this… fresh off the boat French girl. Spoke with an accent, had never been to the States. Genius.” Donna looks aside. “As far as I know she was recruited to the Institute to work alongside Doctor Suresh. We talked. We…”

Swallowing tightly, Donna slowly shakes her head and closes her eyes, jaw muscles flexing. “She confided in me that she was searching for her birth father, and I pulled strings to help her track him down. It turns out he was one of the people who helped take down the Vanguard all those years ago. She'd thought he was dead. We… we were going to track him down and she— Adrienne wanted to meet him so badly.”

Sliding her tongue over her teeth, Donna struggles to maintain her composure. “We’d tracked him to Ojas Amargos, not far from a Ferrymen installation where the Institute was looking to take a high value target. But he'd been gone for months. The fact that he was alive… it… we celebrated that night.” Donna looks to the mirror, briefly, then away again.

“A couple months later the world ended.” Donna notes ruefully. No celebration there.

Lauren did. A disappointing answer, in the sense that it leaves Robyn with a remorseful feeling in the pit of her stomach. No one deserves to deal with what she's heard of what Lauren Gilmore's time after Skycaste was like. Another unfortunate casualty of the Institute, if you believe in such a thing. She does.

"Her birth father?" That piques Robyn's interest significantly. "Would you be willing to share that with me?" An actual question, and not one she honestly expects Donna to answer - still, it wouldn't hurt to ask. Perhaps another connection to help Rhys see a bit clearer, if nothing else.

The world ended sits with Robyn almost as much as that does. Her engineered sense of poise and manufactured attempts at elicit emotion fall away, her own eyes going half lidded for a moment. "Yeah." It did.

Closing her eyes for a moment, Robyn nods. "Ojas Amargos, though? That's quite a ways away from any Institute facilities I know about."

Quiet for a time, Donna stares down at her chipped nails and a cut on her palm that's mostly healed. “Ojas was an Institute target anyway. I didn't know why until after, and… when I found out what happened there I was sick to my stomach. I thought the Retriever teams were an urban legend. Turns out they were a compartmentalized, third-party cell of fucking kidnappers doing exactly what the Company did to me. They kept me in the dark on the whole thing.”

Swallowing awkwardly, Donna shakes her head. “They'd sent a team out to Ojas to claim some evolved asset, but they would up killing a kid in the crossfire. Turns out… someone there had Kazimir Volken’s ability. Or something like it? It leapt into her.” Donna’s hangs wring. “They brought her to the arcology, just— a fucking child.”

“You— asked about Adrienne’s father.” Donna realizes she’s spiraling into a rambling story of resentment. “His name was Francis Allen. Evolved. Turns out he's older than he lets on, something about his healing ability kept him alive. He works under an assumed identity of Francois Allegre now.” Donna’s eyes meet Robyn’s one. “We never found out what happened to him.”

A line Robyn was told once, too long ago to remember by who, rings in her ears along with pounding blood: There are no coincidences.

Robyn tries to keep a straight face as she listens to Donna, but it becomes harder and harder with each passing sentence. That there were children in the Arcology isn't news to her - She still remembers escaping through the drainage ditch and from Pollepel Island with some of them, memories forever seared into the back of her mind. The Retrievers, as well - something she had very few encounters with, but a memory hard to forget regardless.

The news that someone there possessed Volken's ability or something similar, or that it was for at least a time with a child is brand new to her, and it's clear that it unnerves her a bit. No child deserves that burden, and while Robyn herself never had any encounters with Volken she's heard more than enough over the years to know that that must be terrifying.

"They weren't the only one," is a mumbled response - though at this point Donna surely knows that. "That's neither here nor there, though. My apologies, my curiosity got the better of-"

And then Francois comes up, and it's Robyn's turn to swallow awkwardly. She levels her gaze with Donna, before looking back over her shoulder at the mirror; at Rhys and Waite. "Francois Allegre," she starts, before slowly looking back to Donna, "is an acquaintance of mine." That's really the best word for it, and it tells Donna part of what she needs to know without giving her too much information.

Coincidence is chaos with a purpose. It doesn't exist, and this is one of the moments where Robyn's subscribes to that thought. "I won't pull on that thread further, Donna. Like I said, I let my curiosity get the better of me. But perhaps this is all the more reason for us to find Adrienne." Because - assuming that Francois is game - the idea of reuniting father and daughter appeals to Robyn Quinn on an indescribable level.

“He's still alive?” Donna nearly stands up, save that the restraints on her hands and ankles prevent her from really doing so, and the moment the chain between them becomes taut she is forced back down into her seat. Eyes wide and staring at Robyn in disbelief, Donna shakes her head and the exhales a slow sigh.

Robyn’s learned two things here, and one of them is that exile has done nothing for the Institute remnant’s intelligence gathering skills. They're more in the dark now than ever before. They're on the ropes.

“Adrienne— she has so many questions for him. About his life, his ability.” Donna’s brows pinch together. “The program she was working on in San Francisco before the war— Eclipse — it was a search for the first evolved. She thinks that people like Francois and Kazimir Volken may have had the key. It was her life’s work.”

Then, Donna says something that causes Robyn’s breath to hitch in her throat. “If Francois is alive, then maybe Nathalie LeRoux is too.”

There are no coincidences.

Robyn's eyes widen upon hearing the name, betraying any attempt at remaining calm - it seems one good turn deserves another, and now it's Donna's turn to catch Robyn off guard. When she remembers to breathe again, it's with a turn of her head and a cough that she uses to try and mask her attempt at regaining composure.

"Francois worked in the Ferry. Works with Wolfhound. I see him regularly," she says in a low voice. "All the more reason to find Adrienne." It's clear that, for whatever reason, this is suddenly very important to Robyn, even if she can't actually guarantee anything. She takes a deep breath, looking Donna in the eyes.

"On the other hand, Nathalie LeRoux," she starts in a noticeably different tone, "I haven't seen in almost seven years." Slight changes in demeanor, as she sits up straighter in her chair, watches Donna carefully. A suddenly more business like appearance, overall. "She and I escaped Pollepel Island together, with a handful of others." In case Donna wasn't sure who she was dealing with. "I watched over her for a short time, before coming back to the States. Afterwards, she vanished. I went looking, but never found her."

There's a slightly rueful laugh from the SESA agent. "I'm sure she's alive, though. Are you- are you telling me…?" That she's the one from Ojas goes unspoken. Eclipse sits in the front of her mind, but she'll have to circle back around to it.

“She was.” Donna confirms, seeming more relaxed around Robyn than any of her other interrogators, perhaps because — unlike with the others — the sympathy here feels genuine and less by the book. “I know the Institute picked her up, but not much more than that. So she… she made it out of the arcology alive?” There’s some measure of disbelief there. “The current management wrote her off, assumed she was dead. They’d wanted her for their Gemini experiments.”

Donna looks down at her hands, flexing them open and closed, and then exhales a breathy sigh. “Adrienne knows everything about Nathalie. Her parents, where she comes from, her ability. They were supposed to transfer the girl to San Francisco, but…” Donna’s brows furrow. “The world ended.”

Looking up from her hands to Robyn, Donna’s brows furrow. “So, Francois Allegre and Nathalie’s biological father are both in Wolfhound?” She squints, searching Robyn’s eye. “What are the odds?”

"Excusez-moi?" is said for the second time this afternoon, once again more out of disbelief than anything else. "Her father is…" in Wolfhound? is the intended end of that sentence, but instead she trails off as her mind begins to race into Overdrive. Her expression becomes puzzled, thoughtful, analytical as she begins going over the possibilities in her mind. Francois is eliminated since he was an and. Felix doesn't seem the type. Dearing is a wild card she doesn't know much about, but it doesn't feel right. Scott… no. Which leaves-

"…Avi Epstein?" is the new end to her thought. A part of her hopes she's wrong, but at this point who even knows anymore. He had been ushering her out of Pollepel before Robyn took to watching over her, she could remember that much off the cuff.

Her hands fold together in front of her and she takes a deep breath. Please let me be wrong she thinks to herself, closing her eyes and waiting for Donna to confirm or deny.

“That’s what Sarisa Kershner put on the adoption papers.” Donna says with an awkward spread of her hands. “I don’t know whether that’s true or not.” She looks down to the table, slowly shaking her head. “I don’t know if he even knew that Kershner put the baby up for adoption. I just know what I read, and what Adrienne and I talked about.”

She looks at Robyn for a moment, contemplating something. “You know that Sarisa is related to Mr. Allegre too, yes? Adrienne had done an extensive reconstruction of her family tree. Francois is Sarisa’s… grandfather? Great grandfather? Something like that. It’s been a while. I suppose that means he and LeRoux are also related. Another reason why Adrienne was so intent on getting her to San Francisco.” Donna looks down at the table, wringing her hands together.

“The world is a strange place,” Donna admits ruefully. “Isn’t it?”

Robyn gives a slow, dumbfounded nod. She wanted information today, and she's gotten it in more ways and facets than she imagined. "I don't think either of us knows the half of it," she offers back with a weak smile. "I was unaware of Kershner's connection to Francois. Thank you for bringing that to light." She looks back over her shoulder at the mirror behind her. These are certainly connections. It was questionable how helpful they would be to the intended cause, but they may give her a new cause once all of this is done.

"I have a saying," she adds with a small smirk, "New York is too small for its own good. Everyone knows everyone, and we all love getting into trouble." A similarly small laugh, genuine this time. "Sounds like it's more global than I imagined." Which pings a thought in the back of her mind, reminds her of what Rhys had said before she came in here. "To whit, I have- actually, no. That can wait."

Robyn leans back in her chair slowly frowning a bit. There's a lot to unpack here, but how much of it is currently relevant is questionable. "Have you spoken about what you know of Eclipse to others?" Not that she's trying to accuse Donna of withholding information, but- she's not sure if it's something that would've come up had she not prodded about Adrienne.

“I mentioned it in my report to the Department of Justice,” Donna explains. “But they didn't seem as interested, since no criminal activity was perpetrated in its research to my knowledge. It was also never completed.” Donna looks down at her hands again, studying the small scars on her knuckles.

“I don't know who inside the Institute wanted to fund Eclipse. The last progress Adrienne made was the exhumation of human remains from a cave in Hokkaido, Japan. Something about SLC expressives dating back hundreds of years.” Donna's brows furrow and she seems more distant. “I don't think anything ever came of all that research.”

"Still," Robyn remarks, trying her best not to let her amazement at this research slip through - a bit does anyway. "That's another avenue for us to look into, criminal or not." If she could glare through glass at Sebastian, she would - anything that the Institute was doing should have been looked at intensely, even if it didn't seem criminal on the surface.

Maybe then, they'd have better leads for matters like this.

She falls silent for a moment, still processing all the information she's received in the last few minutes. "Where was the last place you knew Adrienne to be?" Is a question more borne of curiosity - she's sure it's been answered. "And how long ago?"

“I haven't seen her in two years, outside of photographs— proof of life.” Donna slouches her shoulders and sinks into the metal chair in defeat. “We were fleeing through the dead zone. I already told the last interrogator about the Chinese and mercenaries they sent after us.” Something dawns on Donna, brows furrowed. “Did I— did I talk about the unkillable man? The regenerator?”

She did not.

Robyn blinks are the word regenerator. There’s a mental pause as she remembers what she read if Colette’s interview, and of Donna’s other remarks. “No”, she settles on simply enough. “I don’t believe you did.”

Robyn herself has ever known one - two if Jolene was counted when she was borrowing Claire Bennet’s ability. “That sounds messy, though I believe regenerators can be killed under the right circumstances.” A beat. “Right?” An intentional probe for more information.

“I sure didn't find them.” Donna says with a raise of one brow. “At one point he tore off one of his own arms to fit through the window on a closed door. He must have been a mosaic, too, because he had telekinesis as well.”

Donna spreads her hands as much as she can. “Regardless, Adrienne and I escaped that time. But… not forever. The Institute’s surviving management had plans for us.” Her eyes flick down to the table.

“Was there anything else Agent Quinn?”

Robyn studies Donna for a moment."Honestly? I think you've given us more to work with than you might think." She offers a small sigh. "It's more than I had before this meeting." She gives a small nod, before squaring her gaze with Donna's. "I will earnestly do everything I can do find Adrienne." The I promise is implied by her tone, but she doesn't dare say it out loud. She sympathizes though - Institute or not, everyone has loved ones.

"I intend to approach Mr. Allegre, unless you would rather I not," she adds. "If you'd rather that be Adrienne's." Avi too, but that's largely irrelevant to these proceedings. Still, she quirks an eyebrow - the choice is Donna's on this one.

"Though…" She looks back over her shoulder, and considers for a moment how much she likes her job, and how much potential trouble her following question may be, considering how tangential it is to anything else. "Yes, I have one last question."

She squares her shoulders, and her pleasant, helpful demeanor slips a bit, regarding Donna with a slightly cold gaze. "What does the name Charlotte Roux mean to you, if anything?"

For a moment, Donna is silent. Robyn’s questions have her attention, however, and the former agents fired eyes stay squared on her interrogator. “Do whatever you think will help,” is how she eventually answers the question of Francois’ involvement. It's a diplomatic and careful response.

But to the topic of Charlotte Roux, Donna looks thoughtful for a moment, as if the name sounds familiar. But the look of confusion that follows says that Donna can't figure out why it's familiar. “I'm sorry,” she says with a shake of her head, “I don't… I don't recall anyone by that name.”

Robyn studies Donna for a moment, expression still cold. She lets silence linger for a moment, before nodding. She seems satisfied with this answer. It may not be one she wanted - she's not sure what answer she wanted - but she'll accept this for now.

"Mm. C'est la vie." She offers Donna small smile, breaking the cold facade. "Then… I think I've asked everything I can for now, though I would appreciate the name of your regenerator, if he had one." WIth the Institute that's not a certainty. Robyn takes a breath, and looks off to the side. "I'll do what I can about making sure they… keep you apprised of if- when we find Adrienne."

Rather than being left in the dark like she has been.

"But unless you've anything to add, I believe that is all. Thank you for your continued cooperation, Donna."

“Never got his name,” Donna says with a slow shake of her head. “Blonde, blue-eyed, and British. That's all I know.” Though she's apologetic for her shortcomings, Donna also seems thankful for Robyn paying her so much mind.

“Regardless of what happens to me,” Donna says with a tightness in her voice. “Just— please. Please make sure Adrienne…” her eyes close and she shakes her head. “Just get her out of there.”

Making a mental note of that description - she would have to ask around, a regenerator is probably something that doesn't escape notice - she offers Donna a nod. "I'd like to, trust me. I'm going to do everything in my power to see it happen." Which may be limited, but that doesn't mean she won't try.

She takes a deep breath. "If I have to come back to make sure you get updated, I will. But for now…" Robyn rises up to her feet. "I will have to put to use what you've told me today."

And with another apologetic smile to Donna, she's making her way back to Rhys and Sebastian.

As the door shuts and Robyn steps into the dimly lit observation room, she finds Rhys leaning by the two-way mirror, watching Donna slouch into her chair. Waite remains by the door, face illuminated by the screen of his phone. Whatever came up in conversation, Waite doesn't seem too taken by any of it.

“I see the regenerator she talked about,” Rhys explains with a hesitant hush of his voice. “She doesn't know him, not by name, and neither do I. But I've seen him in the past. So many peoples’ pasts.” There's a troubled look, and Rhys’ brows furrow.

“He has to be over a hundred years old, or more.” That statement from Rhys has Waite looking up from his phone. He looks expectantly between Robyn and Rhys, but doesn't chime right in.

"That's…" Robyn looks slightly unnerved at that assertion. "I guess that makes sense, but…" She looks back through the glass at Donna. "That description is approximately a third of Britain. More if she mistook the accent." Her expression grows grim. "It would be a good lead if she'd had a name. A regenerator like that… I bet that could lead places."

She lets out a shallow breath. "New information, but I don't know how much of it will actually help find Allen. I'm going to have to see what's been salvaged about this… Eclipse project." Her eyes narrow, tone cold when she speaks again. "And it seems I have some… talks to have in the near future." Certainly with Avi Epstein and Sabra Dalton, and she needs to make a call on talking to Francois.

And now, more than ever, it seems like she needs to track down Nathalie LeRoux.

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