Agent Cranston


cardinal_icon.gif sarisa_icon.gif

Scene Title Agent Cranston
Synopsis Sarisa Kershner has a very interesting discussion with Richard Cardinal about the future.
Date January 4, 2009

USS George Washington

The office of CIA SPecial Activities Agent Sarisa Kershner is clearly a borrowed one, the sparsely furnished desk and bare walls are indicative of this being temporary in its necessity. A single, plastic fern in the corner of the ofice dustily attests to the infrequent use the room finds. It's this desaturated and fluorescent-lit office that Richard Cardinal finds himself waiting in. On the desk in front of him, a plastic identification card he'd taken off from his collar stares back at him with all the fury of Edward Ray's long view of the world.

CIA Special Activities Division

Cranston, Lamont

It's like a terrible joke, and one where the punchline is called Richard. The creak of a door behind where Cardinal sits and stares at the badge that was given to him once he got on board the carrier announces the arrival of the woman who'd come to meet him, offering a raised brow to his back before circling around into field of view. "I'm sorry for making you wait," Sarisa notes with a crooked smile, "it's been like a kennel at feeding time since all of the teams were extracted." Unshouldering her black jacket and hanging it on the coat rack next to the desk, Sarisa offers a tired and sympathetic sigh, then tugs off her leather gloves and places them in the pockets.

"Sarisa Kershner," she formally introduces herself, offering out a hand to Cardinal, "it's a pleasure to finally get to meet you." There's a very knowing look in Sarisa's eyes, and her tone seems intentionally sarcastic. "Mister Ibragimov speaks very highly of you."

"It's… good to know that he still thinks well of me," Cardinal replies with a bright smile that's almost a smirk, reaching up with one gloved hand to clasp the offered firmly, "He's an unusual kind've guy, but he taught me a great deal while we were acquainted."

The shadowman managed to wrangle a flight suit out of the carrier's NEX - or somewhere else - although there's no insignia on it to mistake him for actual crew or member of any particular military aside from that evidence of Doctor Ray's humor that he's had hung around his neck. Aside from his sharp dressing, he looks like hell due to the sunburn that seems to cover all of him, reddened features peeling with scaly pale patches here and there. Lotion helps, but only so much.

"I've heard a great deal about you as well, Agent Kershner."

Disengaging from the handshake, Sarisa offers an arch of her brow at that. Then, more levelly, she just smiles and moves to sit at the opposite side of the desk, the chair creaking tiredly as she settles down into the seat. "You had the CIA scrambling when your identification badge showed up here on the carrier two days ahead of you." Sarisa notes with an amused smile. "It seems that Lamont Cranston has a complete history at the agency; birthdate, service record, commendations… it seems he and I even served together in Afghanistan in 1996."

Breathing in a deep breath, Sarisa leans back and folds her hands in her lap. "So that leaves us in an obvious position of implied intent." Blue eyes narrow subtly. "I know about you from an old accomplice of yours, Fedor Ibragimov. While his participation with the SAC has ended, it's good to know the legacy of his confederates remains. Which brings me to why I brought you here, of course."

She pushes the identification badge across the desk towards Cardinal. "I'm going to keep your little secret, Cranston's secret. Your criminal record as Richard Cardinal is also going to be very quietly cleared up, and you're going to able to…" she cracks a smile, "move freely about the cabin, as it were. But that all hinges on your willingness to play ball."

"You know, I thought that I recognized you," Cardinal observes with tongue firmly in cheek, pointing one finger at her and bouncing it in the air as he manages to keep a straight face, "Kabul, wasn't it? It's been so long since then, it's hard to remember…"

Then that rogue's grin once more, his hand falling down to collect the badge from the desk's edge. "…it's appreciated, of course, although I haven't noticed any trouble moving around thus far. As for playing ball, I prefer chess." A brow lifts, smile lingering, "What'd you have in mind, Sarisa?"

"I want you to leave yourself available," Sarisa admits with a quirk of her head to the side, resting her chin on the knuckles of a raised hand. "I would like to be able to call on you for, off the book services where you can utilize that clearance you've been afforded. Unless I request your help, Lamont Cranston will be stationed officially in Madagascar assisting with the rebuilding of the national infrastructure. If I need your help with something, then the credentials afforded to that ID badge will matter. Try to utilize it outside of my purview and I'll bring the weight of the whole agency down on your head and the head of miss Harrison."

Well, the shark does have teeth after all.

"But I don't want you to compromise your ideals," Sarisa concedes with a wave of her free hand. "This conversation does not leave this room, but I would like to let you know that not every element of the current President Petrelli's cabinet see eye to eye with his legislative planning. It would make me feel much more comfortable if I had a few eyes and ears on the outside, who could… help, when the time comes to change regeime."


The threat to himself and Elisabeth doesn't make him bat an eye; he's heard the same, and worse before, from more terrifying figures that Kershner herself. The latter statement, however, does bring one of Cardinal's eyebrows up over the edge of his shades. He's silent for long moments, regarding her with an unreadable gaze, and then he leans in slightly, gloved hands folding on the desk's edge.

"Tell me, Agent," he asks, looking at her then over the edge of the sunglasses, "What exactly is it that you… object to… about President Petrelli's administration? His legislation?" A beat, "Or do you actually know the truth?"

"I know things," Sarisa admits simply, "it's a job you and I share." She straightens her back, leaning forward over the desk to fold her hands atop it. "I know what you know, about the twin Nathans, and I know that personally I do not want either of them in the White House if it can be arranged." And her tone indicates that, yes, it can be arranged. "General Autumn may eat from the President's food dish, but the Vice President and I have other ideas for the shape of the country, and Mitchell is just a stepping stone to a more perfect union for this country and the world."

Sarisa's blue eyes are reflected in Cardinal's glasses, her lips crooking up into a smile. "It's too early to discuss details, but let's just say that I have intention to put the rightful man into the seat of the Presidency, the man who has the cunning and intelligence to lead this nation, the intuition it takes to be the commander and chief." Her eyes narrow, "Not Nathan Petrelli."

"Mitchell? Mitchell's all but Humanis…" A dubious note to Cardinal's voice at that admission, one brow twitching upwards, "…we can agree on the basic idea, though, I do think, although I'm terribly curious as to who you think does have the right to that seat, Agent Kershner." A wry curve of his lips as he leans back, "I doubt that you'll tell me, though."

"Of course Mitchell is," Sarisa states as if confirming that the sky is blue or Petrelli's are generally untrustworthy, "and he knows that I know every last dirty secret his family has regarding Humanis First, and his own personal inclinations towards them. I let him dig his own very deep and very dark hole, and now I'm the one dangling the rope out. So unless he climbs just the way I want him to, he's going to get dropped like a particularly scandalous sack of bricks." Her lips creep up into a smile. "He'd be lucky to face execution for treason."

Leaning back in her chair, hands folded at her lap, Sarisa quirks a brow as she watches Cardinal. "My candidate is anonymous for the time being, I haven't even broached the subject with him yet. All in good time, of course." Brushing a thumb over her lower lip, Sarisa seems to be considering Cardinal's body posture, then averts her eyes down to her folded hands.

"Do you think you might be able to uphold your end of this arrangement? In return you get to have your life back, albeit with that string attached, and are free to make whatever you will of it in return."

It's a rather casual posture that Cardinal's assumed, leaning back in his chair, feet slightly apart, one arm draped over the back of the seat and his other brought up to rub thoughtfully against his jawline where the sunburn's peeling awkwardly through the scruff of a growing beard. His eyes are unreadable, hidden once more by the shades, lips curved in a faint and thoughtful line.

"Assuming we're all telling each other the truth," he allows after a moment, "I think we can come to an arrangement here. I may even be able to hand you Petrelli on a silver platter — through the strings up to the man making him dance to his tune." A brow lifts, then, as he asks suddenly, "Is Doctor Gregor dead?"

"No." Sarisa answers truthfully, "He turned himself in when Arrow Three was extracting Gray and Ruskin from the bunker. He's gone into government custody and will be questioned for his involvement. But, let us both be honest," Sarisa admits with both brows lifted, "no matter what spin I put on this, you and I both know where he's headed. Doctor Gregor is a brilliant mind, and he is a casualty of this conflict that will have to prove his worth to this administration through his particular brand of genius."

Offering something of an apologetic smile to that notion, Sarisa feigns a smile. "There was a great deal of confidential research that the Pinehearst Corporation was conducting remotely on Madagascar, and while we're cleaning up that mess, elements of it are well outside of my control. I may be high on the totem pole, but there are very dangerous people above me with very specific ideas for how things should happen."

"I know where he's going. The same place all of the German scientists went after the war…" Cardinal's eyes narrow, the motion only visible as fine lines drawing in beside his glasses, "…but eventually, Agent Kershner, we'll have our own Mossad to deal with them the same way those old men were dealt with after the war. We'll remember Gregor. And the others."

The hand at his jawline drops down to rest on the chair's arm, and he sits straighter, "I can work with you, but don't try and bullshit me, Sarisa. I have my own ways of finding things out. Keep this honest and I don't think we'll have any problems."

"As honest as the two of us can be with one another," Sarisa implies with a smile, "we can keep our secrets, but right now — with what matters — you and I have carte blanche. You'll also be happy to know that I'm working to try and clear the air concerning Elisabeth Harrison and her… abduction into this. But it's a tangled web f red tape with a very large beaurocratic spider at the middle." She cracks a smile at the analogy, pleased with herself.

"As long as you play fair, so will I, and this doesn't need to get complicated. You help me, I help you, and we meet somewhere in the middle. For now, focus on relaxing and preparing for what's coming. There'll be a briefing wednesday morning while we're en-route to our next destination, 05:00 hours. Spread the word around about that, if you can."

"Get a can of insecticide," Cardinal suggests, pushing himself up to his feet with a faint smile, one brow lifting to Sarisa, "I'll let them know. Oh…" He pauses, "…the nuke armed itself on the twelfth. We're going to need Steel along in order to disarm it, there's no way in hell that the disarm codes will work anymore."

One dark brow arches across Sarisa's forehead, and she rubs her forefingers and thumb together. "I picked up some additional intelligence on that matter from miss Ruskin when I visited her at the medical bay." Sarisa's eyes divert down to the desk. "This stays between you and I for now, until the briefing, but I fear your deactivation codes may never have worked to begin with. Volken played a Harry Houdinni with Munin, we were chasing the wrong bomb all this time."

Looking up to Cardinal again, Sarisa's expression is remarkable serious. "The warhead matching the specifications for Munin was found in Madagascar by our insertion team. Along with three other cold war nuclear ICBMs. Intelligence that Ruskin found in the bunker indicates that Munin was an all-together different nuclear weapon, based off of a one hundred megaton bomb developed in Russia in the fifties. It has the explosive power to create a thirty-two kilometer blast radius, Richard." Sarisa's chin tilts up, slowly. "It's fireball would be five miles across."

Cardinal listens to that news with an increasingly dark expression, shoulders raising and then falling with a heavy sigh; head lifting, he regards the roof. "Then we're definately going to need Steel," he states, quietly, "There's nobody else available that has the sort of skills to disarm a weapon that advanced, Sarisa."

He looks back to her, expression serious, "I'd rather not have to call home and tell my people to start building an ark."

Pursing her lips, Sarisa watches Cardinal carefully, rising up from her chair and moving over to the door. There's a click of the lock, blue eyes downturning to the man as she considers him carefully. "I like to consider myself someone prepared for most eventualities," she says in a hushed tone of voice, "and I think it's time I discuss something with you, and why I think you might have been so delicately invited along for this assignment."

She walks over to Cardinal, her hands folding behind her back. "If Steel fails, I'd like to discuss something with you." She seems unwilling to consider the prospect of an ark, or the bomb's detonation.

"A failsafe."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License