A Little Good, A Little Bad


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title A Little Good, A Little Bad
Synopsis Just another Friday night in the lives of Redbird people.
Date Jan 28, 2011

Cardinal's Office, Redbird Security Solutions

Her trips to Redbird are frequent enough that anyone watching the building will know she's there — but it's already common knowledge that she is friends with the people in it. And hiding that seems, to Liz, to be just begging for them to think she's got more to hide. So although she's careful about making sure it's not too often, she still comes regularly. She just keeps her nose out of the business. When she steps in the front door, she glances automatically toward the desk where Jo sits with a smile. "Is he in?" she asks easily. It's entirely unnecessary for her to tell Jo, of all people, which he she'd be here looking for. There's only one.

"Hey, Miss Harrison." A bright smile from Joanna as she looks up from her computer, "He's in, yes, unless he slipped out the back again or something…" She knows her boss is Evolved, but doesn't know exactly what he does to get out of here so subtly. "You want me to call back for you?"

There's a smile and Elisabeth shakes her head. "Nah… I'll let myself in," she replies, pulling off the fleece headband that's securing her hair and keeping her ears warm. By the time she hits his office door, her black coat is unzipped but she doesn't remove it as yet. She knocks briefly and tries the door. "Richard, you about?"

"Somewhere under all this paperwork." Cardinal's voice rises from behind the desk as he looks up from the… well, paperwork that he's sorting through, a frown pursing his lips, "Tell me you have some good news. Or coffee. Or are naked under that coat."

Both her brows shoot to her hairline and Elisabeth starts to laugh as she closes the door very deliberately behind her and strikes a pose against the door. "Come and kiss me and find out for yourself," she teases in a husky voice, with an elaborate waggle of her brows. She's very obviously teasing, hoping to at least get a smile.

A chuckle tumbles past Cardinal's lips at the response, and he sets his pen down; leaning back in his chair, he brings a hand up to beckon her in, "Get your cute ass in here, Liz. Been a busy week or so…"

Hey, he laughed! Pushing off the door to slip out of her coat and drop it on the chair in front of the desk, the blonde walks around to his side of the desk. Placing her hands on the arms of his chair, Elisabeth leans down to kiss first his forehead, then his nose, then to leave a lingering one on his lips before she murmurs softly, "Missed you too."

Cardinal's head tips back to savour that kiss, his eyes closing for a moment. "You just here for a booty call," he teases, eyes opening again as he offers a crook'd smile up to her, "Or business?"

"Oh, man, I'm so regretting that it's not a booty call. I can definitely change my agenda, though, lover." Those blue eyes twinkle at him as she smiles. Pulling away, she hoists her rump onto his desk, ignoring his mound of paperwork, and gives him a little come-hither look. "Maybe you'll be so overwhelmed by my good news, we'll forget about business!" She makes a theatrical little sigh. It's been a while since they were both in the mood to just play; she's apparently taking advantage.

"You have good news?" A smirk twitches to Cardinal's lips as he leans back in the chair, hands spreading to either side, "I have some… goodish, some bad, so you can go first. I always like to start out on a bright note, then I can bury it down more efficiently." He gestures expressively to go along with that mostly-joke

There's a roll of her eyes. Mostly joke indeed. "I have a lead on where the complex is that they're using for the Mallett device," Elisabeth says with a sly grin. "What's your good news?"

"Oh really…?" A slight lean in, as Cardinal presses for details, "Do tell."

With her hands resting on the edge of his desk near her hips, her feet dangling with the ankles crossed, Elisabeth makes herself comfortable. "I made contact with one of the Dumonts. Told him I'd heard some rumors, told him what the machine did — played up the idea that if they succeed, just think of how much sooner Petrelli could get into office. Because, you know, that's Kershner's big worry, yeah?" Elisabeth shrugs. "He hadn't ever heard anything, but he let slip that he'd been stuck in town here all alone last week because Sabine was on a special Retriever run from the Suresh Center…. to Alaska." Her lips twist slightly. "It's not as specific as it could be, but it narrows the search parameters at least. And I hadn't realized Sabine was inside the Institute either, quite honestly."

"Alaska…" Cardinal purses his lips, nodding slightly, "…that makes sense. It went from the Suresh Center to Alaska? I might be able to get some details, then…" That lean in is followed by a lean back, the seat tilting on its hinges and arms folding over his chest. One hand lifts, rubbing against his chin thoughtfully as he murmurs, "We'll see how far over the line Harve's willing to get."

A single brow pops up — that's not a name Elisabeth's terribly familiar with except from back when Raith's kid was in danger. "Okay," she tells him. "And in addition, Delia's father made contact with me today. I apparently appeared in a far-future dream of his. It's too far in the future for me to really have a feel for whether this is something important to right now or just something to stick in the backs of our heads. But he's running with Raith, so… I gave him my cell number and if he needs anything, he's welcome to get in touch."

"Kaylee left me a message about that," Cardinal observes, lifting up a pen and twiddling with it as he frowns at the other woman, "It wasn't just him, it was… a few different people. It was of Joseph's funeral apparently, of all things. Kind've weird."

"Yeah," Elisabeth replies. "It sounded somewhat random. Fifteen years and Joseph's funeral with a bunch of people in attendance isn't….. well, I don't want to say that it's not unusual, it just seems like one of those things that…." She pauses and then shrugs. "Well, if it's something to worry about, it'll bite us in the ass soon enough," she observes drily. "All right. You said you had good-ish news as well. Give over."

"I think that 'dreams' are swiftly going up there with time travel on the list of things I dislike," Cardinal declares rather dryly, using the pen to scratch at his cheek, "Well. We'll see, yeah. Anyway, it seems like our problem with a lack of manpower is solving itself. I have people literally walking in off the street now."

Elisabeth narrows her eyes. "Excuse me? What does that mean?" She looks worried. The last time that happened — the little girl/woman who claimed Messiah was chasing her — went pretty poorly.

"There's a speedster that I know - name's Edgar - ran afoul of the robots, came by asking for advice on what to do," Cardinal ticks off his fingers, brow furrowing, "One of Felix's ex-cop friends came by the next day asking about the same thing. I offered him a job, retirement doesn't seem to suit him. Then I had, of all fucking things, Deckard send me a limited teleporter looking for work."

Elisabeth listens and she looks… flummoxed. "Felix's friend? Ziadie?" she asks, her brow now furrowing. "He gets around," she murmurs thoughtfully. "If he hires on, be a little careful with him. I'd prefer to have someone check him out. He's got a problem with the bottle, and I know Felix is trying to help him out. From what I gather, the problem with the bottle may be tied to his ability, but I don't know what it is either." She purses her lips.

"Well," Elisabeth sighs finally. "You were worried about not having enough people." She smiles faintly. "I do have one other bit of news. I haven't decided good or bad yet. Eve came to see me. She's back on her meds, the ones Zeke put her on. She was…. as close to lucid as I've ever seen. Like she was up there."

"You know him?" Cardinal looks bemused at that, nodding slightly, "I'll talk to Felix about it… ask him to stop by? Still, even if we can't trust him for Endgame, I was just thinking of hiring him on for Redbird. If he's kept his skills nice'n sharp, then… well, he could be an asset."

Then his brows raise a little, "Oh? What'd she have to say?"

Elisabeth shrugs a bit. "I've met him — he's staying at Felix's apartment," she informs him easily, her feet swinging just a bit. Not enough to kick him, though. "And Eve didn't have a whole lot to say — you know how she is. Rambling around a bit. Wanted to make sure I was being careful, I guess." She pauses and says, "That does remind me. Julien had one last message for us as he was leaving. Whatever it was I was doing with you, if I'd thought about throwing in with the lesser of two evils…. we should rethink it." She looks down at him from her perch and murmurs, "The DoEA is looking into the Institute. Unhappy with their business or something."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Cardinal's lips twitch into a frown as he looks up to her, his forehead furrowing, "The lesser of two evils…?"

She pulls in a breath and lets it out really slowly. "I think he meant that the enemy of our enemy is not really our friend — case in point, perhaps Sarisa. Or the DoEA itself. I just… don't really know," Elisabeth admits. "I will tell you this much. I've been thinking about a couple of things. And I do not think you should kill Sarisa."

Elisabeth meets his gaze. "It occurs to me that if you take her out of the equation…. she is the only reason that I'm heading up this squad. Her superiors wanted Heller from the start. You take her out of the picture, they either bump Heller up or they bump one of Heller's supporters in. And given the snafu I made with Alia, I think no matter what, I'm out of a job. And out of position to keep FRONTLINE off our asses."

"We'll see." Cardinal's statement is quiet and flat at that, his gaze dark, "We'll see. She isn't our only friend in the government… and if I'm not willing to go along with her plan, I might not have much in the way of choice there." He rubs a hand against the side of his face, sighing faintly, "I always knew she was too good to be true."

"Yeah, well…." Elisabeth sighs heavily. "A lot of things are, aren't they?" she asks with a faint, wistful smile. "I miss the days when the world was more black and white." She shrugs it off and smiles for him. "So… the bad news that you had?" Because he said he had both.

"Mnm." Cardinal quirks a faint smile back to her, "We'll handle it, babe. Whatever comes our way… we'll handle it, one way or another. Trust in that." Then his gaze drops to the desk top, and he reaches over to the top of a stack of folders, opening it up. "There was a personnel transfer in to Redbird. All subcontractors and everything. The same authoritization Sarisa uses, but I don't think it was her."

The folder's opened, and he looks at the papers within for a steady moment. "Curtis Sebastian Autumn."

Sliding off the desk to give him room to pull papers from around her, Elisabeth tilts her head. "What…?" She trails off, sort of flabbergasted. "Uhm… well, that isn't a coincidence. Can't be!" She shoves a hand into her loose hair as she walks around his chair restlessly. "So what the fuck is this gambit?"

"General Autumn's grandson, according to the paperwork. According to me, though…" The folder's tossed forward to land in a slap against the desk, a man's photograph on the top as Cardinal points an accusatory finger at it, "…that is Ashley fucking Williams, someone even most've Messiah considered barely fucking controllable."

She stops stock still and stares at him. "You are shitting me, right?" Elisabeth leans one hip against the corner of the desk closest to him, crossing her arms and looking into his face. "So… do they think we're stupid?" she demands. "I mean…. do they think we wouldn't know? Or is he fucking with us?"

"I don't know." Cardinal's hand slaps down to the desk's edge then lifts up palm upwards in a dismissive motion before he leans back in his chair, "I have no fucking idea. I don't know who this is now. If the Curtis thing is a cover, or if Ash was a cover, or…"

Elisabeth shakes her head. "There's no fucking way that the Autumn name is being used as a cover. It's too damn easy to trace that," she opines quietly. She pushes off the desk and reaches out to run her hands through his hair with a sigh. "Well… I guess we're just going to have to let this one play out. See what he does when he turns up for the job." She considers. "A telepath would be goddamn helpful about now, that's for sure."

Cardinal scratches at his chin. "We could call in Matt," he suggests, "Or Kaylee, although she's wanted, I think. I ran into another telepath the other day, but I don't know enough about her to trust her as far as I throw her."

"Could potentially call in Harmony, too," Elisabeth points out. "She not an expert, and if he's been trained to resist those intrusions it would get dicey. But…." She shrugs a little. "As far as I know, she's not wanted. I don't know that we want to tip our hand to whoever's sent Autumn in that Parkman will be able to help us."

"I'll figure something out," Cardinal exhales a sigh of breath, leaning back and clasping both hands over his chest, "Just one thing at a time. I'll get the answers I want out've him."

Her hands tousle his hair gently and Elisabeth slips around to slide into his lap with a grin. "Now that the business is dispensed with…. I can stay a little while if you want to be distracted." She waggles her brows. "Jo won't hear a thing."

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