By Chance


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Scene Title By Chance
Synopsis Some things in life are indeed left up to chance, but Roger Goodman's parting words to Minea ensures that the ultimate fate of not only the Company, but Pinehearst is most assuredly not.
Date June 1, 2009

Coney Island, Brooklyn

Despite it's name Coney Island is a peninsula, and only formerly an island. This small piece of real-estate is the southern-most point in Brooklyn, with beachfront property abutted by the Atlantic Ocean. A neighborhood of the same name is a community of 60,000 people in the western part of the peninsula, with Seagate to its west; Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to its east; and the Gravesend neighborhood to the north.

This area was once a major resort and site of amusement parks that reached its peak in the early 20th century. It declined in popularity after World War II and endured years of neglect. Since the bomb, Coney Island has fallen into a tragic state of disrepair, most prominently evidenced by the closing of the amusement parks on the island, notably Astroland and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. The latter of those two serves as a rusting and monolithic Ferris wheel that overlooks the decrepit state of the island. It's once bright carnation red paint peeling to reveal rusted steel.

Much of the amusement park areas surrounding the beach are now closed off by chain-link fence, though some portions have been battered down by vandalism and portions of the closed amusement parks are now used by gangs and other unsavory figures as meeting sites. With the NYPD stretched to its limits, police rarely have the availability to respond in a timely manner to this small and remote penninsula, making it a relatively dangerous part of Brooklyn.

In the long journey of life, we often find outselves presented with situations that seem unimaginable, or unpredictable…

A cold wind blows in off of the Atlantic, carried across choppy surf and over the concrete piers that just out from the stark gray shoreline of Coney Island. In the shadow of an enormous, rusting ferris wheel, a long man rests on a park bench. With his hands tucked into his jacket, and head down, the bookish and wiry old man seems to be trying to make himself seem as small and unassuming as possible. His stare, distant and unfocused, mirrors the battered chain-link fence that surrounds what was once the Astroland amusement park, now just a forgotten mess of crumbling booths and rides.

We seek answers for life's greatest mysteries, life's most pressing questions, but often find only more questions instead of answers.

Shifting his feet anxiously, Mason Chesterfield looks away from the fence, to a leather briefcase leaning up against the bench next to where he is seated, brows creased in a way that exemplifies the wrinkles on his brow. A single, quiet sigh is exhales, swallows by the wind and the noise of the surf, as the breeze carries an empty tin can clattering along the boardwalk.

But we must always persevere, never lose hope, and always assume that the answers will eventually come…

Pulling a hand out to check his watch, Mason's eyes focus on the scuffed surface of the timepiece, noting the time as 7:03pm. His head tilts up, eyes surverying the chain link fence and the crumbling amusement park beyond, then slowly his eyes wander up to the decaying neon Astroland sign that looms overhead, lights all blown out and paint faded, now streaked with the brown of rust from its bolts.

But we must also be prepared to accept that the answers we do inevitably find…

The sound of approaching footsteps causes Mason to jerk his head away from the sign, squinting his eyes while one hand adjusts his glasses as he stares in the direction of where the sun is setting between two tall buildings, turning a woman's body into nothign but a dark silhouette backlit by an orange glow.

…may not be the answers we want to hear.

"Mr. Chesterfield?"

"Mr. Mason Chesterfield?"

The voice confirms that is is a woman. The silhouette is that of a bulkier woman, heavy set thanks to layers of clothing, baseball cap pulled low and chin length blonde hair. On her person of course is a trio of weapons and a wire that's recording everything spoken. She was a few minutes late after having spent time scouting out the area, watching the arrival of her intended mark/informant. She wouldn't have put it past Goodman to set her, but maybe for once he had good intentions towards her.

"I'm Chance"

Squinting still from the angle of her approach and the rueful position of the sun, Mason slowly rises up from the bench, pulling the briefcase with him in one hand. He starts to reach out and offer a hand to the woman, but then hesitates and curls his fingers towards his palm, rubbing thumb and forefinger together. "I ah— " his head cants to the side, sunlight glaring off of his glasses for a moment, "yes… yes that's— I'd like a bit of an explanation as to what's going on, if that's permissible?"

Mason's eyes warily dart around the boardwalk, back into the amusement park, and then back to Minea. "Coming out here like this, meeting— first of all how did you even get my number, secondly who are you and what do you want?" There's a touch of ire in Mason's voice, a hint of uncertainty and anxiety that only confirms his nervousness.

"A certain mutual friend of ours who has gone on .. vacation, left me a gift. The gift included your name and your number embedded in the .dat file. I asked for here, because it's relatively quiet and I could assure myself that you came alone. You have to understand, I could get in immense trouble for coming here. For even thinking what I'm going to ask you. But our friend, Goodman, spoke that you might be… sympathetic to the cause" There's the occasional glance around her, including behind her. Habit really. She also keeps an eye on his bags and any movements that Mason might make. "You can really just call me Ms. Chance."

Until Roger's name is spoken, Mason's face is a mask of scrutiny, but then there's a mixture of concern and curiousness that rises in his eyes as he takes one anxious step back, away from the other woman. Mason tenses, fingers around the briefcase tightening, as his brow furrows and his eyes settle on Chance in a more focused manner. With a squint, Mason remains silent, considering avenues of attack for this situation — verbal avenues, that is.

"Vacation," Mason notes with a sneer, "quaint way of putting it. I am left to wonder which cause it is you think I might be sympathetic to, Miss Chance," there's a quirk of his brow as he considers how that name sounds out loud, teeth tugging on his lower lip. "Most people wouldn't consider me a greatly sympathetic man."

"Mr. Goodman seemed to think that you might be a man to talk to about bringing down The Company and Pinehearst Mr. Chesterfield. And Vacation is a nice way of saying that someone was instructed to deliver unto me something, when it a was obvious he was dead. So tell me Mr. Chesterfield. IS he wrong? Because if so i'll turn around and leave and you'll never heard from me again. But if he is. Then you and I have much to discuss as to why Mr. Goodman feels that you would be the man to help me"

Mason tenses at that, an inscrutable look on his face bordering on abject fear now. He glances around again, pulling his briefcase close to his chest as he takes one more step back before stopping in his tracks. A dry, awkward swallow comes, and something plants Mason Chesterfield in place instead of spurring him on to leave. He raises his shoulders, then lowers them in a slowly exhaled sigh.

"I— " his words hitch in an uncertain way behind an awkward tongue. "That's a tall order, miss Chance." Fingers nervously tug on the corners of his briefcase, eyes wandering from one side of the boardwalk to the other. "If— " he begins to relax, despite nothing really relaxing being said, eyes wandering now as if he's somehow puzzling something out. "If Roger trusted you enough to suggest that he wanted to take down Pinehearst, then maybe we do have some commonality. I have… I have reservations about Pinehearst, and no love-lost for the Company. I don't think the world would lose much if both were to disappear quietly." Then, in a quieter tone he mumbles, "Though somehow I don't think anything about that would be quiet…"

"Roger trusted me enough to give me his insurance policy Mr. Chesterfield. You don't give that to someone you think might do something with it. You give it to someone you know will carry on in your stead. He wants the company taken down, and pinehearst taken down. He's afraid that any information that he had gathered has long since been lost. But that you might be willing and amendable to helping me carry on his dying wish"

There's a tired look coming in to Mason's eyes, and the weary man lets his gaze finally wander entirely from 'Chance.' "Outside of the willingness and desire to see this done, what do you have to bring to the table?" There's a momentary squint of Mason's eyes as he quickly looks back to Chance, "Not that I'm saying a willing body isn't a wonderful thing, but— if you have more than that to lend, it will make putting a plan together a slight bit easier. I— I want to do this in a way that ensures that nothing untoward happens to the people who don't deserve something terrible to happen to them…"

Minea's eyes take in the Mason's state and his eyes. "I can bring to the table information from the company, if you can take care of Pinehearst. If you know of what Goodman managed to squirrel away before his permanent vacation that would be even better" 'chance' shifts from one foot to the other, hands still visible. "I want to make sure that the good people in teh company's ranks are protected to, that I can get them to safe harbor if things should go down in a not quiet fashion. Because even I agree, there's innocents in this game that the company and Pinehearst are playing.

"What— " It's obvious Mason changed his words mis-sentence, despite not changing the beginning of the sentence, "Whatever it is Roger had accumulated through espionage, I'm not privy to. But… I have an intimate familiarity with a few particulars of the Company that might be helpful. There's a few ways we can go about doing this, Chance." Crouching down, Mason rests his briefcase in an upright position on the ground, flipping open the two latches before laying it flat and opening the top, revealing stacked legal documents and a Blackberry.

That little multi-purpose device seems to be what Mason's focus is on as he retreives it and scrolls through something. "There's more than just you and I looking to take down Pinehearst, but— like you said," his eyes wander up to her with an askance look, "it's dangerous for us to be seen together, and to discuss this." Finding what he's looking for, Mason retreives a notepad and a pen from the briefcase, laying the pad across his bent knee as he scribbles out a cell phone number, then tears off the paper and holds it out to Chance.

"This number belongs to a woman who will be willing to help, but you must give her a reason to trust you. She— has access and connections to individuals who have made it their primary focus to undo the mistakes of the past."

Mason pales as his fingers curl back on that paler, folding it against his palm as his digits become a cage around the number. The fact that his surname was connected with his daughter makes Mason falter, it wasn't something he foresaw, and that alone gives him reason to pause. Realizing there's no sense footing around the issue, his silent nod is the first confirmation she gets. "Yes that— that she is."

Breathing out a nervous sigh, Mason closes his briefcase and rises up once more, taking the case in hand. "If you already know her, than you already have the best possible weapon in your arsenal to help bring both of these organizations down. I— " Mason closes his eyes, "I'm willing to help. But you should go to her first," and then opens them, focused on Chance. "I'll supply whatever information from inside of Pinehearst that I can, whatever it is you need, provided you can assure me that no one gets hurt without giving me warning to get people out who don't deserve to be there when it all comes down."

"I'll do my best, on that count. Because that's all we can expect and hope for yes? The best" Minea lets her shoulders drop a fraction. "I'll see if your daughter will even trust me Mr. Chesterfield. That is key in the first place"

Highly unlikely, possibly, maybe. But it was phoenix. Boy was len gonna be thrilled. "Do you have anything with you right now?" She reaches over, taking the piece of paper regardless, or offering to take it. Phone numbers do change.

Losing his reluctance, Mason hands over the phone number. "Just tell Catherine that you spoke with me, and if she doubts you, tell her that I said she still has to find time to speak with her mother. Only she and I would know she hasn't talked with her in quite… quite a long time." Furrowing his brows together, Mason looks down at his feet. "I've nothing else to offer for the moment, and I feel it might be best if we don't meet each other again, but instead offer intelligence through Catherine as an intermediary."

Managing to look back up at Chance, Mason offers out a hand to the woman, one brow raised. "In Roger's memory then, is it?" There's a wistful tone to his voice as he offers the handshake, watching the Company woman closely.

We are all passengers on this journey of life, all seeking to find the answer to what our ultimate destination will be.

"In Rogers memory. May he find the peace in death that he longed for in life" Minea offers up, offering up her leather gloves hand. "A pleasure Mr Chesterfield. May we both not have trusted the wrong people" There's a curt nod of her head to other man. "I look forward to hearing from you, through your daughter"

Some find it in prayer, others in the company of a loved one. Some, however, are not content to find life's answer in anything but a true purpose, something that drives them and gives them reason for being.

Mason gives a quiet, somber nod, stepping back into the rotting shadow of the ferris wheel. Eyes lower, staring down at the ground, then rise up to focus on Chance. "I look forward to it myself. If I didn't trust the right person," his tone takes on a more grim quality, "then may we both find peace in the death that will undoubtedly be coming for us both."

It is people like these, people driven by purpose that are guided on this journey, people like this who are the ones who seek out the answers to life's mysteries, instead of waiting for them to be explained.

She wants to say 'or a beach with a man name Roberto' but that might give it away who she is. "Lets try to live to very long lives Mr. Chesterfield" And with that, 'Chance' turns away, moving off. Lawrence has her back from his perch somewhere, listening in. Round about ten to fifteen seconds for him to transition to sight if he needs to put a bullet through Mason's head.

Ultimately, it is they who will discover that at the end of the journey, all lives have the same answer to them.

Thankfully for Mason, the meeting adjourns not with the sound of a gunshot, but just one of a reserved sigh. "Long lives," he murmurs, and looks back up to watch the mysterious woman retreat back into the setting sun, trailing a long shadow behind her.

In how much of a difference we make.

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