Bear Bait


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif sydney_icon.gif

Scene Title Bear Bait
Synopsis Yet another way to fuck with FutureCard
Date January 5, 2011

Redbird Security Solutions, Lobby and Basement

"Hey, Jo. Any messages?" The question's asked as if Richard Cardinal was around every day in the office, a return to routine that carries a great deal of meaning in a mere handful of words. He's dressed for work today, the black pinstripe suit, a slightly weather-worn trenchcoat worn over it to ward off the chill of the weather, one hand lifting up to remove the fedora from his head as he stops in front of the receptionist's desk.

The college girl that works at the front desk looks up, the pretty blonde flashing an almost relieved smile at the sight of him. "Hey, boss… uh, there's a few— give me a second, I didn't think you were going to be in today…"

Sydney has been in and out. Having to set up all these accounts to keep the books going as she was asked. At times even traveling to get up something. She comes in dressed amazingly as normally. "Hello everyone." She sets her little carry on back aside and takes a breath now that she's home and safe. "How are things."

Things have been a little disorganized and hectic since Peyton went on 'vacation', and it's taking Joanna a little while to get all of her ducks in a row at the request for messages. Needless to say, they've been piling up. There's no censure in Cardinal's manner as she starts shuffling through papers and printing out some e-mails, though, since he really has nobody to blame for it but himself.

He's been gone too long.

As the door opens, he glances over, a smile tugging up a little at one corner of his lips. "Sydney," he greets easily, tipping his head in a nod, "Been awhile, how's everything with you?"

Sydney goes to get herself some coffee. "Want some?" Asking them both in the room. She starts to fix up her mug. "I'm well Cardinal. It's been a while. I think I finally have all the books set up. So we should be fine."

"I'd kill for a cup," Cardinal replies affably enough, "Black, please. And good, good… that's good to hear. Never had a head for all those numbers, myself." A tired smile; he's strained, but he's making an effort.

The front door opens and lets in a waft of cold air along with a familiar blonde in black slacks with a heavy black jacket thrown over it. It's too damn cold to walk far out there without it. Elisabeth pauses, both eyebrows shooting upward at the sight of the full lobby. "Hey," she greets with a faint smile.

Sydney gets a cup set up for Card, that is all black and hot. "I've on the other hand had lots of practice. Hey Lizabeth." She holds up the cup. "Want one?" She brings Card his mug and sips from her own. "I still hate the cold." Shivering from the loss of heat that just happened.

"I'm good," Joanna offers over as she leans over to one side of the desk to get at the printer's output, her voice drifting up as she hears someone else greeted, "Good morning Miss Harrison."

Cardinal reaches over for the offered mug, accepting it with a murmur of thanks, warming his hands on it as he looks to the door — chin lifting up in an easy nod, "Liz. Hey."

Elisabeth has a smile for Jo — the poor girl was badly rattled by the attack on the building, but she seems to be recovering well. And she shakes her head in the negative to Sydney. "No, thanks," she demurs. "'Fraid I can't stay too long. Just wanted to check in. Might be the last chance I have in person for a while." There's a grimace. She's counting on Sydney to do her job well. "Actually, I'm glad you're here Sydney. I need to talk to you … downstairs… before I go, okay?" Blue eyes flit to Richard. "Unless you just want a full update down there."

Sydney is much like Cardinal and huddling about her mug. "What's up Liz?" Syd's done her job to the best of her ability. She leans against part of the desk to rest. "Now or in a bit? I'm free. Not unpacked but I am free."

A brow lifts slightly, and Cardinal nods once. "We can head down," he admits, taking a sip of the coffee and stepping away from the desk, "Jo, just… get those ready at your own pace, I'll take them back to my office once I'm free."

Elisabeth doesn't have the set to her face that says 'ZOMG We're dooomed!' Richard's more than familiar with that face. She simply looks a bit tired, sounds a hint hoarse again. She gestures Sydney to accompany them as they head downstairs.

"Sorry…. it's paranoid to think they're listening but …. only if they're not out to get you. I wanted to check in to make sure you had any and all financial contributions that I've made to the business well and truly buried, Syd." There's an apologetic glance at Richard. "Still no word on Alia. Their technopath is holding her, and I'm told that because of her Registration status they can hold her indefinitely. Nash is… taking a serious hit for falsifying the records, and they're asking me about him too. But while I didn't ever expect him to cover for me, it appears that he hasn't opened his mouth on the matter. Maybe because there's no real benefit to it. Yet."

Sydney follows on down the stairs bringing her belongings with her. She may be making friends and opening up, but the former thief still believes strongly in protecting herself and 'exit strategies'. Once downstairs she rests against a wall with her coffee and listens. "Makes me feel so safe having lied on my own registration." But she gives Liz her time to speak.

"As a wise man said, it's only paranoia if they aren't after you…" There's a wry note to Richard's voice as he steps past the desk and heads along the hall towards the door that leads down to the basement; taking the steps one at a time at the head of the group, pausing at the door below that has a mechanical number lock and working the correct digits in.

"Wonderful," he says with a sigh of breath as he walks into the basement, "Verse has her. Alright, let's make sure our asses are covered, and then we can start demanding her return. She was there legally, after all, and while she's in violation of the Act… well, we still probably have legal recourse here."

Elisabeth gives Sydney a cool look, crossing her arms a bit defensively. Her tone is flat. "I told each and every one of you the risks of falsifying the IDs. I didn't sugarcoat anything. I also told you that if it ever got traced we might all be up shit creek with no paddle, and that you might all be better off NOT falsifying anything and just downplaying what abilities you have. Well… now they've got three of ours traced to Nash that I know of. Abby, Alia, and Monica. So I have a feeling that they're going to start going through his list of applications and start pulling people. And any of Redbird's who pop on their radar are almost assured of being retested."

Shoving a hand through her hair, Elisabeth says softly, "I'm sorry. This is my doing." It's all she can say. Kershner is furious. "If they bring more weight to bear on me and I lose the job, … Richard, they wanted Heller in my place. And Kershner may not be able to do a damn thing about it because I was her choice and they'll basically count her judgment as flawed." Not that Liz is sure she disagrees at the moment.

Sydney mostly keeps her mouth shut to learn more of what is going on. "I'm a big girl Elizabeth. I knew the risks and if the government knew what I could really do then I doubt I'd be here. I didn't exactly lie. The identity is solid and true, just not the extent of my abilities." Clearly she needs to learn more of the players on the field. Sipping coffee buys her time to speak before she goes on. "The books are secure. You'd need a techno financial genius to find all our um… creative book keeping. Most of it can't be traced due to laws that allow anonymity."

"You should be fine, Sydney… it's the people who were passed off as non-evolved that have an issue," Cardinal says with a shake of his head as he walks into the basement, stepping over to the large table and shrugging off his trenchcoat. It's draped over the back of one of the seats, and he claims it, leaning back in his chair and raking both hands back through his hair, eyes closing, "Alright. Who do we have that went through Nash? Monica's already been caught and did her time on Roosevelt. Abigail's a fugitive anyway right now, Alia's in custody. Did we pass Jaiden through him?"

"Jaiden's not a citizen as yet so wasn't required. He's off their radar altogether so far as I know," Elisabeth replies promptly. "I only sent six people to Nash. And he did…. he was doing it for weeks, so he had to have processed at least 500 to 1000 people. At best guess they're going to flag anyone who pops as an associate or friend of mine to their knowledge."

Sydney reaches into her bag and pulls out some paper to make notes on writing them in shorthand. "Not worried about me, I can disappear a lot easier then anyone else here. But if others are in trouble we need to obfuscate any trails. That's another area I'm skilled in. I can lead false trails and maybe buy us time to save those not caught yet." She waits on more names

"They can connect two of our employees to Nash, then," Cardinal says quietly, fingers rubbing against his mouth and chin as he considers the matter, "It could just be a coincidence, though. So long as Nash doesn't talk, we should be fine. They might suspect, but they won't have any proof. Worse comes to worse we'll need to voluntarily submit all our employees for re-testing — I'll volunteer that, actually, it should go a decent ways to smoothing things over."

Elisabeth smiles slightly. "That's actually a damn good idea. The agent leading the charge here is going to be Lancaster too. And I don't know if she's got a bone to pick with me, honestly. I would assume she's the one who set Lazzaro the Prick on me, but …" She shrugs. "We'll have to see how it plays out." She glances at Sydney. "Right now, the only others I can think of are Aric and Devi. And Devi shouldn't be on anyone's radar as an associate of Redbird, so far as I know. Aric, though, may need to be covered."

Sydney writes the name down and puts a little dot near it like she rested her pen there. Subtle but a mark none the less. "I can go in for retesting. Shouldn't be hard and I can start setting up things to try and cover this Aric. If you two want me to do so that is."

"Aric isn't an official employee, he has his own business… but yeah, he'll be a problem, especially with…" Cardinal pauses, and then lets out a bark of laughter, "…oh, that's too good." He leans back in his chair with a smirk, "We can take care of Aric's problem and cause Ezekiel some issues in one fell swoop."

Elisabeth looks intrigued and moves to perch on the edge of the desk. "Do tell?" she asks him with a smile. And she leaves it to Cardinal to approve Sydney's idea.

Sydney lifts her fine brows as she looks to Cardnial. "I do believe the muse struck our charming rogue. Do share." Pen poised over the paper as she listens and waits.

Cardinal grins broadly, his hands spreading, "It's simple. Aric reports an encounter with Tyler Case that suddenly has him sparking electrokinetic abilities. Covers his ass for being suddenly evolved… and re-opens the Case case, making that asshole have to be careful where he shows his stolen skin."

Sydney draws a short picture of a kind of case and puts a tie around it. She asks, "Is this a possible ruse and what is the worse case for it to backfire? I don't know Mr. Case all that well."

Elisabeth stares at him, blinking. She's speechless for a moment. And you wonder why I love you. She laughs outright, gleeful in her reply. "That's fucking brilliant," she compliments, though she sobers quickly as she remembers that Tyler himself is a friend of Richard's. She slides off the desk and says quietly, "I'm going to be late, and I can't afford that right now. Let me know if there's anything I need to do to help this along, okay?" She offers a brief wave and leaves Cardinal to explain the situation to Sydney.

"Tyler…" Cardinal trails off for a moment, shaking his head, "…Tyler was - is - a friend of mine. He has the ability to switch people's powers around, amongst other things. He could give me your power, give you mine, et cetera. He was used by… by a guy awhile back to cause all sorts of havoc, the cops were looking for him, it was this whole thing. He got evac'd to Canada, but the Institute picked him up."

He grimaces, "They… for lack of a better explaination, they switched his mind with someone else's, the head of the Institute. And now he's using his power on other people. Technically, it's absolutely true. Tyler Case, or at least his body and ability, crashed the party here at Redbird and switched Aric's ability with Elle's. All we're doing is changing the venue, and neglecting to mention that Aric had an ability beforehand."

Sydney taps the back of her pen on the table in thought. Playing this out in her head. "I rather not loose my ability. I like who and what I am. But that said it could work and if it hinders an opponent and helps a friend then I don't see why we shouldn't risk it."

"I'd rather not lose my ability again either," says Cardinal in dry tones, hand falling back down to reach for his coffee, "I think it's a workable gambit. I'll send him some instructions and a picture of Tyler so he can report it to the police. Hopefully he won't be too… skittish."

Sydney nods her head. "I'll double check that nobody's trying to poke into our affairs and the like. Anything else I should do? Besides go for retesting?"

"Oh," Cardinal shakes his head, "They will be. When that pirahna they've set on Liz's tail gets done with her, they'll be here for us - don't worry about retesting until then, that'll be my offer to show I'm cooperating and have nothing to hide. Just… make sure our books are all clean enough when the investigators come, make sure Alia's contract to look at the AETOS unit is all above-board and all."

Sydney nods her head again making a quick list. "That's easy enough to do. I won't worry about the test either way. Far as they know I just change minor things. Not as dramatic as it can be." She leans back some. "I guess asking for a winter trip back home to the Bahamas til spring returns is out?"

The steam from the surface of Cardinal's coffee stirs about his face as he takes a careful sip from the mug, exhaling a quiet chuckle as he lowers it once more to give her a rather pointed look. "We can rest when we're done," he replies with a tired smile, "We can rest when we're done. And I've got too many plans in the works to be done anytime soon…"

Sydney ruefully thanks at least Cardinal didn't say 'rest when we're dead' because that was always too morbid for her. "I knew you were going to say that. Honestly I still question what compelled me to come to New York in the first place. I hate the cold. Well since we just finished our set up, at least I got my work done before the big mess really hit. I'll try to keep it business as usual besides checking on those things like you asked."

Of course, that might be what Cardinal means. After all, is anyone really done so long as they're drawing breath? He cradles the coffee mug in his hand as he leans back in the chair, gesturing with his free hand, "Once I finish collating all the data for public release… well. Then things're going to get interesting."

Sydney shivers visibly at the idea of 'going public' with anything. She takes dim views of people as a collective. "I wait with baited breath for that time. Long as you can keep me out of any company published photos. I like being behind scenes."

"I'm not about to reveal us," Cardinal replies dryly, "Just the government… anyway, I'll let you go, I'm sure you've got plenty've work to do."

Sydney quips. "Good because one spread if a magazine with me less then clothed in a life time is enough." She starts to gather her things. "Yes. I first have the work of a nice shower and change of clothes to get the smell of TSA and airports off me."

A pause about to take a sip of coffee, Cardinal's brows raising a little. "…now I've got to wonder which magazine." There's a grin that tugs up at the corner of his lips, "Go on, relax. Talk to you later."

Sydney flashes Cardinal a wink. "You're in security. Figure it out." She fluffs her hair and saunters out with extra hip wiggle.

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