A Teaspoon And An Open Mind


gwen_icon.gif niki_icon.gif

Scene Title A Teaspoon And An Open Mind
Synopsis Gwendolyn and Niki discuss the prospects of their future partnership.
Date October 13, 2008

Primatech Research

One of the lovely things about working for the Company is the amenities. Like today, when Gwen, hair tied back and in one of Hugh's ridiculously large military t-shirts and a pair of sweats, is working out in the gym. Her knuckles are wrapped, and she punches and kicks at the hanging gym bag with precision. After a while though, she stops and lopes over to her gym bag, rooting through it for her water bottle. On occasion other agents offer a how do, and she returns their greetings with easy ones of her own.

Niki is not having a good day, to put it mildly. On the other hand, being back here is helping to make her feel safe. She moves into the gym. She's not in her gym attire; she's in suit and heels. But the person she's looking for is in here. She approaches Gwen with a smile that's at least a little forced, just due to her day. "Hello there." She is aware that Jessica tried to snap her neck.

Gwendolyn finishes her sip, and caps the bottle. "Ah, Niki." she says affably in that posh Brit accent of hers. "I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to catch up with you since being advised of our partnership. But please, do sit." She gestures at the gym bench. If she notices Niki's forced air, she's not calling the blonde woman on it.

Niki walks over to take a seat on the bench. "It's all right. I suspect you're getting saddled with a lead balloon in any case." A wry tone. "I'm not exactly the choice prize around here."

Gwendolyn straddles the bench to sit on it, cocking her head to study the blonde. The aesthetic amuses her — both tall, rather lanky women, but one dark, the other fair. Someone's idea of Snow White and Rose Red gone horribly wrong. "You underestimate yourself." Gwen says. "As it happens, I'm definitely not on the bottom of the list as far as competent agents go, and if you were partnered with me, it's because at the very least, you have a potential that says something well other than 'lead balloon'."

Niki smiles a little. "I'm not fooling myself. I'm only here because of this..ability I have. Which I can't even use reliably. I'm not a police officer or a secret agent, or really anyone with any training that applies to this. Not to mention the possibility of trying to kill you at some point." She makes a face.

"You are here for the ability you have." Gwen concedes. "And regardless of what you are now, you may choose to become what you like." She studies Niki from along that hawkish nose of hers. "I rather suspect you've spent most of your life with the controlling force of it in someone else's hands. You've been handed an opportunity to start changing that. Now you can waste my time and yours by going on about what a sorry thing you are, or we can get you started in trusting yourself and becoming a partner I can trust." She adds archly, "I'm willing to take a chance when dealing with your mirror twin. If nothing else, I kill with more finesse than she does. She might find it worth spending time learning from someone who can dispatch someone with a ring finger and a teaspoon."

The blonde looks back at Gwen, with a sigh. "I suppose? Sorry, a little bit of self-pity going on there. And the last thing in the world we want is her to get interested in taking killing lessons. Right now she's locked away, or seems to be. Hopefully it stays that way."

"I can lead a horse to water but I can't make it drink. Or at least I think that's the phrase." Gwendolyn says. "I'll tell you what, we'll negotiate. You're entitled to half an hour of self-pity a day. Is that fair?"

Niki can't help it; it's a little surreal. Niki laughs. "I'll do my best. I think I can manage to keep the self-pity down to a minimum. I'm going to need help with the actual… practical things. I don't need to know how to kill someone with a teaspoon… I think… but knowing how to fight might be good."

Gwendolyn nods. "Self defense is important. So is being able to access your ability. We'll have to work carefully since you don't have much control over it. It's one thing to show you a grapple, quite another to wind up embedded in the wall. But I suspect we'll manage."

Niki nods. "Believe me, I don't want to get anyone hurt. Especially my partner. I have a bad habit of hurting the people around me." A sigh, as she looks back to Gwen. "Sorry. I'll exceed my half hour if we start that up. "So where do we go from here?"

Gwendolyn grins. "Well, we begin with training. Likely we'll be speaking to our new boss about the course to take to help you develop your abilities. And there'll be self-defense, of course. Aside from getting to know each other, we'll likely be put on assignments as well, nothing too complex for you at first."

Niki nods. "All right…so aside from that…is there something I should read, or do to train? I'm really starting from ground zero here. My past experience really…is completely irrelevant to this."

Gwendolyn taps a finger to a cheek. "I could get you some reading materials, actually. It may take me a day or so, because some of it isn't exactly the sort of thing you can get at your public library."

Niki nods. "That would be great. Thank you." She looks back to Gwen. "So… how did you get involved in all this? I mean, it doesn't seem like it would be a "Help Wanted" kind of thing."

Gwendolyn smiles a little. "My husband and I were recruited after we were instrumental in taking care of an Evolved terrorist in Europe." she says. "I'm afraid I can't offer too many details, as it's classified information."

The blonde nods a little. "Sorry…trying to make small talk. It's a little awkward. I can't really picture much in the way of water cooler conversation around this place."

Gwendolyn laughs at that, but not unkindly. "Small talk is fine. My father was British born Indian, my mother white. I grew up in London and I'm what's called a polyglot. I speak several languages. While at university I was recruited to a division of the government called MI-6. It's rather like your CIA."

Niki nods. "Wow… so you're a professional secret agent. I mean, completely unrelated to working here. How long have you been working here? Or can you not tell me?"

"I can." she says lightly. "Not very long, in fact. Just slightly over a year. Not long after Hugh and I got married. You'll meet him soon, I expect. We're both non-Evolved, so we don't tend to be put together at work. But believe me, you won't be able to miss him, my big brute of a Scotsman."

Niki nods. "That just seems weird. I mean… it seems so normal. Not that you aren't normal, but I don't know, all of this just seems weird. At least to me. I didn't know about any of this prior to, well, my life going weird."

Gwendolyn chuckles. "Something being normal being weird? I suppose I understand. The best I can suggest is that you embrace it."

Niki nods. She looks thoughtful. "Can you get me some information? There's a couple files I'd like to take a look at. And I'm not sure that people around here trust me so much yet."

Gwendolyn considers a moment. "Go through the proper channels first, and see what they say." she insists. "If you get blocked, then we can talk about it."

Niki sighs. "All right." She stands. "I should let you get back to your workout, probably."

"And I should get back to it." Gwendolyn admits. She considers a moment. "Hugh is still on assignment. And even if he returns on time, it might be lovely to — would you care to take a supper with us? If he's here, you'll get to meet him, and if he's not, then you can keep me company."

She smiles by way of answer. "I'd like that. Tonight, or did you have some other time in mind?"

"It'll have to be another evening, but — soon, I promise." says Gwen gently. "I'd like to give Hugh a few days."

Niki nods. "All right, then. Have a good workout." She smiles and turns, and starts to head out of the gym.

October 12th: Personal Taxi Cab
October 13th: Natural History Meets Evolution
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