Bombshells And Spin


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title Bombshells and Spin
Synopsis Hard truths about the times we live in.
Date Feb 22, 2011

Redbird Security Solutions, Cardinal's Office

"Jo." The fedora's tipped a bit towards the receptionist as Cardinal walks through the door in the afternoon, "…any messages or anything, just print 'em out and send them back to my office." He's a little brusk, but there's no sign of anger there. In fact, there's a smile on his lips, one of those grim ones that mean that he's thinking a thousand miles an hour.

"Oh! Okay, Mr. Cardinal," she replies. "Miss Harrison came in about an hour ago, sir!" The warning is perhaps a little late, as he's breezing on past.

When the office door opens, Elisabeth is sitting in his office chair wearing a pair of dove gray slacks, a white button-up shirt and a black blazer. She's apparently coming from one of those interminable meetings that plague her otherwise adrenaline-fraught life. They're lucky she didn't fall asleep sitting there, what with the fact that she's pulling recovery efforts out in the armor on long shifts as well. There's a huge mocha latte on the desk — one of those incredible concoctions from the chain down the street that's more dessert than drink with all the chocolate and whipped cream they put into the cup. It sits right next to the bare feet propped up on his desk, the chair tipped just a bit backward.

The sound of the door doesn't even rouse her. Elisabeth is sound asleep.

The door's closed behind Cardinal carefully, his head shaking slowly as he moves to cross the floor towards the desk. He reaches out a hand, one gloved finger tickling the sole of her foot as he pulls the coffee cup away just enough that if she kicks - it won't knock the coffee over. "Wakey-wakey."

He knew she'd jump sky high. The woman's as ticklish as they come and he knows it. Elisabeth comes awake with a jerk of her feet beckward, which would have landed that coffee all over the place had he not been smart about it. The disgruntled growl he gets from sleepy blue eyes is spoiled by the fact that she has to grab the chair to keep from knocking herself right on over. "Hey!" she grouses.

After steadying herself, bare feet down on the floor, she grumbles, "That was mean. I was havin' a good dream!"

"Coffee." Cardinal pushes the cup a bit towards her, brows raising, "I suspect you should've drank this before falling asleep, if you were hoping to catch me." A folder tucked under one arm is tossed onto the desk's surface with a slap, "Also, you're in my chair."

Elisabeth wrinkles her nose at him, takes the cup of coffee, and refuses to relinquish the chair. "I am, in fact," she replies. After she takes a swallow of the still vaguely warm substance, she studies him. "You've been pretty busy lately. How're things going?"

"Surprisingly well, actually," Cardinal replies with a brow's lift, raising the folder up again and shaking it at her, "And I'll tell you what I've got, as soon as you give up my chair." It's his chair!

With a theatrical sigh, she slips her feet into the shoes beneath his desk and stands up. The black high heels give her another 3.5 inches. She was playing the power games today! Sidling past him with her coffee, she murmurs teasingly, "Princess." His chair indeed.

"King." The reply is smug as Cardinal steps over to reclaim the chair, sprawling himself into it and leaning back in the seat. The folder's opened up, and he pulls out a media photograph, tossing it to the desk's surface. "Gregory Armond. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security."

Another one's tossed down, slapping to the wood. "Samuel Irons. New York City Police Commissioner."

Another. Slap. "Sylvia Lockheart, New York City Mayor."

A last photograph tossed out onto the desk. "Georgia Mayes. Department of Homeland Security."

Cardinal regards Elisabeth with a cold smile. "I give you Humanis First… New York Cell."

She takes a swallow of her drink and sets the cup on the far side of the desk, leaning over to brace her hands on it as she studies the photos. And then her blue eyes jerk upward and she stares at him. "What?" she asks, flabbergasted. She'd have choked if she'd had coffee in her mouth.

A smile like the cat that's just gotten into the cream curves to Cardinal's lips, and he leans back in his chair, arms stretching over his head and folding behind it, a brow lifting as he watches her expectantly.

"Jesus fucking Christ," Elisabeth breathes. She pushes upright and shoves a hand into her hair, her other hand propped on her hip as she paces the small office, marveling, "No fucking wonder they're able to stay under the radar." She pauses, though, turning to look toward him. "Does this have anything to do with a blonde being carjacked the other night?" she asks.

"Shit." Cardinal's smile fades a bit, his brow furrowing, "Did I get made?"

"Mmm-hmm," Elisabeth replies, shaking her head. "Luckily for you it was by someone who came to me first. Armor plus darkness ability makes you… somewhat unique, love. And armor for carjacking?" She tsks gently. "You're losing your touch. The girl give you all this?" She sounds… more worried than anything, her brows pulling together in a concerned furrow.

"If I hadn't worn it," Cardinal observes with a slow shake of his head, "They would've had my face, now, wouldn't they?" He leans forward, arms folding on the desk's edge as he looks over the photographs. "Yeah. She did. I'm guessing it was her brother? Graeme?"

And now she sighs. "Yeah. Graeme." Elisabeth just shakes her head slightly. "Shit. I was so hoping that it wasn't you. She's Humanis First? Motherfuck. He's going to lose his shit," she grimaces. "He moved back up here from New Mexico to get away from racist bullshit," she explains quietly. "Knew he had a sister, hadn't ever met her, I gather."

"Officially." Cardinal brings a hand up to rub over his chin and mouth, then reaches out to brush the photographs around the desk blotter a bit, "I think that… meeting her brother's changed her mind. She was never really on board with them. It was her personal connection with Walsh that got her dragged in.. over her head." Dryly, "Way, way over her head."

"Yeah, no joke," Elisabeth murmurs walking back over to look at the photographs again. "Jesus, Richard…. this blows my mind." Reaching out, she frowns a bit more looking at the head shot of Irons. "They've got the entire city wired. This is… almost worse than the Institute's reach," she says quietly. She's beyond shocked.

"Just before Christmas," Cardinal says quietly, "They all met, all of them, in one place. The Mayor's mansion. That place is more wired than the Homeland building down the street." His gaze lifts, brows raising slightly, "There might be footage that Alia can find."

Elisabeth nods slowly. "I'm not sure how much the grunt work's going to help you on this. They're going to be…. fucking amazing at covering their tracks. They have to be." She purses her lips and considers, looking up at him. "If we could get our hands on someone reputable in the organization to testify, I'd say that it's probable that we could bust it wide open."

There's a long pause and a faint wicked grin quirks the corner of her mouth upward. Elisabeth murmurs, "We're already working on busting the Institute…. we could try to make it so they do the heavy lifting, maybe…." It's not even half-formed, this thought. HF is high-profile enough on their own, though, that … some press could definitely come to bear on the group that takes them down. Hrmmmm. Is that good or bad, she wonders.

"They're also going to be some paranoid motherfuckers," Cardinal states firmly, "Lockheart's a politician. You can bet your damn ass that she's got recordings of that meeting… just in case someone gets cold feet and threatens to bring her down, she'll be able to bring them down with her. The key's going to be finding them."

"True enough. Just…. " She grimaces. "They're the same assholes who got Alia trapped. I have some concerns the bitch might be wiring her house with the same kind of traps." Elisabeth pulls her lower lip between her teeth, worrying at it.

"Then we do things the old fashioned way," says Cardinal with a shrug of one shoulder, "Just a little harder. We find out who her security expert is, get a telepath to tear his mind apart, find out where the recordings are kept… and hit them physically. 'Course, I doubt they're with the others, she's probably got a secret place…" He grunts, "I need to put together a proper crew for this."

"Yeah. That's putting it mildly," Elisabeth says. "I… can't be objective about Humanis First. You know that. I think we should have Lola start putting bullets in them when they're on the fucking street from a half mile away."

"As much as I'd like to," Cardinal shakes his head, "You know we have to expose these guys."

Elisabeth smiles faintly. "I know." She makes a face and picks up her coffee to take a swallow. "I find I'm a lot more bloodthirsty these days… sadly enough." She leans against the edge of the desk with her free arm crossed over her waist. "All right… what'd you do with the girl?" she asks.

Cardinal's hand reaches over to brush over her arm, his head shaking a little. "I released her," he admits, "Told her we were erasing her brother's memory too - only way she'd cooperate is if she thought we had him."

One brow ticks upward and Elisabeth tilts her head. "Are you going to wipe her? Or are you willing to let me talk him down? Graeme's been…. giving indications that if all-out war breaks out, he's behind our lines. And I would really hate to have an inexpert telepath mucking about in his head, frankly. Felix wouldn't forgive me if the guy was mindwiped," she admits ruefully.

"Oh, no…" Cardinal chuckles quietly, pointing out, "We never picked him up at all. Only reason we knew about him was because she was thinking about him so much. But she thinks he's had his memory altered, and was captured. If she tells him about it, send him to me, I'll talk to him."

"She's going to have to come up with something to tell him. And I already promised him I'd look into it." Elisabeth considers. "I'll wait it out," she decides. "Give him a couple of days to come back to me with her reappearance. See what he says, what she's told him." She shrugs.

"How he reacts," Cardinal points out, "Will tell us a lot about him. And what she tells him will tell us a lot about her."

Elisabeth smiles, the expression lighting her eyes. "Exactly." She shrugs. "Besides, spin is what I do these days." She sighs.

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