A Game Of Thrones, Part II


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title A Game of Thrones, Part II
Synopsis Powerful government forces play a dangerous game in a world of secret wars.
Date July 26, 2010

Washington D.C.

Long curtains frame iconic windows that let in bright morning sunlight, and while the sun has only just begun its trek through the skies, this particular chamber would be recognizable even in darkness. Standing behind the dark wooden desk that sits at the center of this bay of windows, Vice President Andrew Mitchell stares down at the Resolute Desk with brows furrowed.

"What I want to know is why you thought it was within your rights to go above Secretary Parkman's head, above my head, to go through with this." One hand on the leather chair behind the desk, the vice president casts dark eyes out across the oval office towards the figures seated a conversational distance away on the pair of sofas nearby.

CIA Special Agent Avi Epstein looks for all his worth like he doesn't want to be here, slouched to one side with a hand rubbing over his mouth, sunglasses daringly still on, shadowing the askance look he's giving to the blonde seated next to him. Sarisa Kershner seems unfettered by Mitchell's coarse tone and sharply delivered words, her back straight, one pinstriped leg crossed over the other and her hands folded at her knees.

"The Vanguard is still my territory, last I checked." Sarisa's cold, blue eyes stare squarely up at the vice president, challenging his darker eyes with her own unblinking stare. "I'm also surprised your office was even aware of what I was doing, the media seems to think that the NSA can't find its ass with both hands these days."

"Kershner," is the warning words strained through Secretary Matthew Parkman's clenched jaw. Seated across from the two CIA agents, Parkman's furrowed brows crease above frustrated eyes that bely the thoughts that he usually keeps so guarded. "Messiah is the priority of DHS to handle, you didn't even get authorization before sending in a mole. We have our own plans in operation for that and your reckless disregard for the chain of command could have endangered all of that. I want you to pull him out and I want you to pull him out now."

"No," is Sarisa's whip-crack answer, much to Avi's discomfort. He can already see his pension checks disappearing before his very eyes. Suddenly that tiny apartment in Brooklyn is looking nicer and nicer and more than likely permanent reality soon. "Unfortunately I have no idea where mister Kozlow is until he resurfaces. I got in touch with my contacts at the Institute and told them to handle his transition, so I can't even be certain where in New York City he infiltrated."

"The Institute," is a strained reiteration from Mitchell as his hand comes off the President's chair and he slowly walks around that desk towards where the others are seated, "is not your personal plaything, agent Kershner. Well-trained, expensively armed and highly paid agents were killed in that insertion attempt of yours. This isn't the Cambodian Jungles, Kershner, you aren't playing games with— "

"I didn't tell them how to handle the insertion, sir, so you might want to go climbing up the Institute administration's side before you start taking tones with me." And just like that, Sarisa Kershner talks down to the vice president with creased brows and narrowed eyes. Her attention stays squarely focused up on Mitchell as he freezes in place, looking to Parkman with a baffled expression.

All the while Avi is sinking down into his seat. Guantanamo Bay is probably pretty balmy this time of year, he'd always wanted to visit the Caribbean.

Taking a moment to compose himself, Mitchell's dark brows lsowly raise and his head shakes from side to side. "I don't know what to do with you, Kershner. Because what you've doe right here endangers a year long DHS operation where you had no authority. You endangered the lives of government agents, interrupted an ongoing investigation and abused your position of authority to make an unsolicited deal with a known terrorist that this agency has been hunting for the better part of two years."

While Mitchell lays that out on Sarisa, Parkman sits forward, resting his forearms over his knees, fingers lacing together and brows knit. There's a stern expression across his face, head shaking slowly while Mitchell speaks. "Unfortunately the damage is already done," Parkman finally says with an exhausted sigh. "Now that Kozlow is within their ranks we have to rethink our approach to Messiah's infiltration. As much as I should let the justice Department rake you over the coals for this, but we might be able to make this work for us through no credit of your own."

"So this is the biggest game of good cop bad cop you could arrange?" Sarisa queries with one dark brow raised, blue eyes darting back and forth from the Vice President to Secretary Parkman. "I guess I should be thankful that you're willing to take my grievous mistake and turn it around into something that could provide actionable proof of Messiah's operations and whereabouts."

Breathing in deeply, Parkman's brows furrow, and a look to Mitchell fires off more than just a glare. She's thinking in German, guarded, I can't get a fingerhold on her thoughts without making it obvious that's what I'm doing. Mitchell's stare settles on Parkman at that psychic notation, then blinks his attention to Sarisa with a downcast frown.

"I think we have all that we need right now, Agent Kershner. We'll be taking charge of your plant within Messiah as soon as you hear back from him. I would appreciate it if all information he sends to you is forwarded straight to Secretary Parkman." Giving that demand, Mitchell watches as Sarisa slides up out of her seat, smoothing the back of her slacks down as she stands up before offering a hand out to the President with a shark's smile.

Mitchell's dark eyes divert down to Sarisa's ungloved hand, then lift back up. "You had best hope that Kozlow gets in touch with you sooner rather than later, Agent Kershner." Sarisa lowers her hand one brow raising and a smile crossing her lips as she lets her hands rest at ease at her sides.

"We're going," is reminder to Avi that if he slouches down any further he'll be sitting on the floor, and with an apologetic smile to the Vice President, Avi rises up to stand straight and then smooths out the wrinkles in his suit jacket before turning slowly and moving to lead Sarisa out of the Oval Office without so much as a farewell. Sarisa lingers if only to look down to Parkman' lips crept up into a smile as Avi holds the door across the office open for her.

"Good to see you again, Matthew," she offers cheerfully on her way towards the door, then pauses and looks back. "Oh, and say hello to Janice for me next time you see her. She was a darling for going to lunch with me last week, little Matt's growing up pretty fast. Better watch out for that one." There's a wag of Sarisa's brows at that seemingly innocent comment as she turns around and heads for the door, not a moment sooner for Avi.

When the door comes swinging shut, Parkman practically bolts up out of his seat and turns sharply towards Mitchell with his brows furrowed. "You let her leave? After what she did? Sir, with all due respect, Sarisa Kershner is an irresponsible and frankly uncontrollable— "

"Matthew," is Mitchell's quietly warning tone, "I have things under control. Sarisa is still extremely valuable as the organizational head of Frontline for the time being, and until she outlives her usefulness she will continue to be allowed to perform that job as admirably as is humanly possible for her to." Folding his hands behind his back, Mitchell shoots an askance look to Parkman, one brow raised. "What were you able to get from Epstein?"

Parkman shakes his head slowly, looking to the door with a silent stare. "Nothing— Nothing useful," and Matt's brows tic at that. "If we're going to want to do a thorough examination of them then we're going to need authorization from DoJ to perform a psychic scan, unless you want to do this off the record."

Mitchell's mouth pinches tightly as he shakes his head in dismissive fashion, turning away from Parkman and back towards the windows surrounding the President's desk. "Unnecessary. I think we've accomplished everything we need to here. Could you inform Mister Lemay that I'd like to speak with him at his leisure?" Mitchell turns on that request, looking away from the view of the White House exterior to stare squarely at Parkman.

"I should be seeing him for lunch, I'll be certain to let him know." There's a tight swallow Parkman offers, then a look to the side as he bobs his head down into a nod and starts to depart. But as Matt is headed for the door, Mitchell's chin tilts up and his dark eyes intently stare at Matthew's back for several long moments.

"Parkman," Mitchell beckons, eliciting a halt from Matt's stride as the graying agent turns to look back at the Vice President. "Have you had Janice and your boy tested yet?" The query comes with a tension in Matt's spine, brown eyes wide and then narrowed, furrowed in worry before he looks askance and then back up to the Vice President.

"They've been very busy from what I hear. But when I go to see them next month for visitations I'll— be sure to impress on them the importance of expedience." Mitchell nods twice in acceptance, affording a faint smile to Matthew before the agent returns the smile with equal, painted thinness. He opens the office door, stepping out into the corridor, leaving Mitchell by himself with a noisy clack of the door coming shut behind himself.



A flickering fluorescent light sputters quietly in the dark of a concrete room. The cage of metal surrounding the ceiling light glistens in the desaturating illumination, wetly. A droplet falls from the caged lighting, tracking down through the room before spattering dark and large on the floor.

"We're clear." Removing the black ski-mask from his face, Julien Dumont shakes out his greasy blonde hair, eyes sweeping across the computer hardware seated on metal tables. Striding across the room, tightly laced boots leave dark, wet footprints on concrete. A buzzing in Julien's ear reinforces that his team is on the way, but when his eyes sweep to one of the computers, only to find a leggy blonde seated on the corner of the table, the startle causes his breath to hitch in the back of his throat.

Clara Francis lifts one hand, finger-waggling at Julien before looking down with a tightness in her throat at the blood on his boots. "I— didn't see any— "

Julien's scowl comes as he holsters the Company-issue .45 that was the undoing of the men Clara didn't see in his belt holster. Behind Julien, two more men in matching black tactical vests and ski masks slowly creep in with automatic weapons slung over their shoulders. "Building's clear, if Sabine did her job than we're good to go." Speaking with Julien's voice, these clones fan out into the computer room, one moving to boot up the systems that are turned off, another offering a side-long look to Clara.

"Were you questioning my capabilities, again, Jules?" Arms crossed over her chest and resting her shoulder against the frame of the computer room door, Sabine Hazel's presence is cocksure and smirking behind the clones. One thin black brow raised, she assesses the bloody interior of the room, then looks up to the dripping smear on the overhead lamp, then follows the trail of blood in the room to a man laying face down in a still tacky pool of red.

"And that must have been the receiver man," she notes with a crooked smile. "Alright then, did you do the photography we asked for?" Sabine's attention diverts to where Clara was, only to see her right up close, holding a digital camera with a broad smile. Sabine tenses up, then grimaces and sharply offers a nod, reaching out to snatch the camera. Opening the gallery, Sabine scrolls through up close photographs of men like mugshots.

"Is this all of them?" Sabine asks when she reaches the sixth man, looking up for Clara and— she's— gone. Sabine's eyes shut slowly and her brows furrow together, breath drawn in with slow and calming fashion. "Clara, your I Dream of Jeanie act might be charming to Sylar but— "

"Women," one of the Juliens hiss, hunched over the terminal, "can you cease your cat fighting for a moment?" There's a look over his shoulder, teeth revealed in a broad smile. "We're in." Sabine lowers the camera on hearing Julien's words, looks side-long to another of the clones, then starts treading across the floor towards the computer.

Over Julien's shoulder, Sabine stares down at the terminal's black screen and white lettering as a satisfied smile spreads across her lips on reading the prompt:

Commonwealth Data Services Hub………Link_OK
Unit Status………. 1
1 Outstanding Assignment

Sabine's eyes track to Julien's in the monitor's reflection, and the clone's smile matches hers in wolfishness. "My fair lady," Julien says with a purring tone of voice, "I do believe they don't have a body count yet. I will give it to Sarisa, when she plays games, she plays for keeps."

"So… that's good, right?" Holding a box of Chinese takeout in one hand that she didn't have a moment earlier, Clara leans over Julien's other shoulder, chopsticks twirling noodles around them. There's a look that Julien affords Clara that comes with a closing of his eyes and a vein throbbing on the side of his head.

"It worked," explains one of the other clones as he unmasks, differentiated from the others by his hair swept forward in bangs instead of slicked back. "The unit that the Institute picked up our boy Sasha with," there's a knife-like smile across the clone's lips, "got themselves dusted. She was right about this being their hub, and she was right about communications being cell structure. I'm willing to bet that they never meet Institute higher-ups face to face…"

"That is what we're hoping for, Julien, or this was a lot of work for a lot of nothing." Straightening from her hunch over the other clone's shoulder, Sabine offers an askance look around the room, then down to the body before squaring her eyes on the screen again. "Jules," she says with a warm smile, "let whoever's on the other end know that we had a terrible accident and that our hardware was damaged beyond repair, and that we'll be needing new armaments and transportation."

Sabine's lips creep up into a fond smile as she looks back to the other clones. "I guess this means we're in the Institute now." Julien's response is a toothy smile once more, one hand raking back stringy blonde hair from his face.


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