Cheaper Than Thirty Pieces Of Silver


bella_icon.gif len_icon.gif

Scene Title Cheaper Than Thirty Pieces Of Silver
Synopsis Bella comes by to give Len an update on Colby, plus a little piece of side information as well. Len takes it one step further.
Date August 14, 2009

Fort Hero: Len Denton's Office

After his meeting with Colby, Len reached over and flicked on the sports channel, letting it play while he works. He had heard through the grapevine that Bella was on ground, so he left word for her to drop in on him after she was finished with Martinez. In the meantime, Len was doing some looking into Elizabeth Harrison's request, seeing if there were any dirt he can dig up. He also decide to run the name Danko to see if any flags popped up. Of course, he finds him distracted by some of the sports news as he runs the search query.

The tap on his door is firm, coming three times. Bella waits to be permitted entry; Len doesn't seem like he gets off on hierarchy; few people who are secure in their authority do. However, the psychiatrist likes to play by the book when she's stepping outside of her professional arena. Fresh from her interview with Ms. Martinez, she's still in her suit, her hair pulled back into a bun.

The door is open. Wide open. It always is. There might even be a hoot and hollar that occurrs within the confines of the office as his team scores big on the TV and he lets it be known. The knock though jolts him out of his reverie and he reaches for the remote and mutes the sound as he waves in the counselor. "Come on in and have yourself a seat, Doc." he says rather cheerfully. Despite the rampaging of the evolved in the streets of New York, he seems to be in good spirits. Earthquake men and several terrorist cells working within his city are just another day at the office it seems. He sinks back into his chair.

Bella leans in through the doorway to get a decent scan of the room before stepping in properly, smiling pleasantly, giving the television a cursory glance. Sports? Sports. That's about the extent of her interest, a boundary that is only slightly overstepped by her comprehension. But for the best; she's not here to chat about 'the game'.

"I just spoke with Colby Martinez. I admit, the somewhat vulture-esque nature of our organization gives me the occasional fantods, you know?" Bella folds her hands before her, declining the offer of a seat tacitly, "I think she's a good find, though. She'll need semi-regular sessions, particularly after assignments, just to help point her in the right direction. What do you want out of her, exactly?" Which is to say, what shall I try to make out of her?

Gazing up at the counselor, Len rocks back in his chair a couple times as he considers her question. What exactly is it that they want from Colby Martinez. "First, I'll say that in no way to I feel that Martinez belongs in jail. She did what we do everyday. Access an evolved threat and handle it accordingly. If you take out the revenge factor, that's what you have. Trust me, there are a few on my 'list' that I would love to do the same to, and I'm certain my motives are far less noble than her's are." Len's eyes drift for a moment to the screen as he works out his next sentence. "I want to make sure that this job doesn't destroy that in her. I don't want her loss affecting her ability to be there when we need her. It may seem cold and callous, but in the end we still have a job to do and that is to protect. Does.. that make any sense?"

This earns a small laugh from Bella, a sound that maybe is just a touch callous in the way Len may only seem. "Don't worry, I'm not voicing genuine doubts. I'm just saying it's a stark reminder of just precisely what we're up to here, what we're willing to do," she sets a hand on her chest, "I'm not even starting to say /I'm/ not part of that willing we. I'm not interested in making Ms. Martinez happy, at least not as an end unto itself. I want her to be an effective agent. So I would like to know: what is it you want out of her? What sort of agent are you trying to make?"

"Oh, I want her to be all she can be. Without losing who it is she really is." Most of the other agents within the Company will probably agree that Len gives a damn what happens to them. "I'm going to see what she's made of, as I've already got her lined up for a first assignment. Seems I'm being sent up north to investigate a murder, and I thought it might be the perfect way to break her in. It should be old hat for her, since she's already been doing the undercover gig with the NYPD. All I really need from you is to make sure that, at least with us, she's playing it straight. If you have any doubts whatsoever about her loyalty, then I need to know as soon as possible."

"I've no reason to doubt her commitment, such as it is when she's so new," Bella says, with a nod, "I'm still writing up my formal evaluation, but she is precisely the right mix of penitent and determined. I think we should let a certain amount of guilt remain, just to give her the urgency that comes from having a moral imperative, and guide her towards treating her job as the best way to alleviate that guilt." There is a small pause, then, "She called me 'Ariel' as she left. She didn't notice the slip, I don't think, but it was there. I'm still thinking about how that could be useful, if it can be useful."

It shouldn't, but that actually takes Len by surprise. "Do you have any reason to think that it's going to cause her any pause in the heat of the moment? If she's going to be my partner for this mission, is that something I'm going to need to worry about?"

Bella arches a brow. She feels an urge to sass somewhat, and she tries to sublime it respectfully. "She's psychologically vulnerable; that's part and parcel to the reason why you recruited her. The tragedy she experienced will make her an excellent agent, potentially, and there is a similar potential for the development of detrimental pathology. I will do my best to manage it on my end; in the field, I would keep an eye out for cognate events. Anything that might remind her of her past traumas and experiences should be avoided. Otherwise there is risk of developments beyond our control, as well as in the moment failures."

And if she sasses, what then? It's not as if Len could pull her down over his knee and spank her.. well, he could.. regardless, that's neither here nor there. He grins at her and nods. "And that's why I have you around, doc. Keep me in line. Don't worry, I'll keep my eye on her. I'm not expecting this Canadian trip to be all that intense." His hand reaches for the remote and he flips it over on his desk several times. "What else do you have for me?" In other words, moving on past those large meaningless words that she spewed out right there.

That's really why she's here. Sure, it's not why she was /asked/ to show up, but what's really on her mind… "I've found what I think might be a valuable resource for the Company. A young woman named Wendy Hunter. I met her," At a nightclub, but no need to go into detail, "And found out that she's Evolved. She can sense other Evolved, and gets distinct impressions depending on their individual talent. She's pro-registration and considers discovering Evolved something of a hobby… she has binders of information at her apartment." She could go on, but one thing at a time. She waits; a pretty impressive find, huh? She should go out on the town more often.

Well, pretty and smart and pretty smart to boot. Len can't help but grin at that. "Well, that /is/ interesting. Can you send me all the information you have on her and I'll send someone over to check her out?" Definitely will have to send one of his unevolved agents, but which one. "Doc, it's above and beyond what we've asked you to do, but I sure do appreciate you bringing this to my attention."

Bella smiles, the thrill of this betrayal making her heart bounce a little. She likes Wendy, she really does, but she's a career woman and, really, no harm no foul, right? "Not to rain on my own parade, but I'd have looked like either a traitor or an idiot when it was eventually discovered by some other operative that I was friends with an Evolved detector and never reported it," she admits, "Try and keep it as discreet as possible. Wendy Hunter is wealthy and influential… and she's become a friend of mine. I think, with time, we might be able to make her ancillary to our operations. Maybe not full Company, but certainly working with one of our fronts. She's doing our job on her own, and better than some of us are doing it."

As Bella speaks, the wheels are already turning inside his head. Len cocks his head to the side, reaching up to push the brim up his cowboy hat up a little higher. "On second thought, how about you just keep your acquantence with Ms. Hunter. Keeps tabs on who she identifies and report back to me if you come across anyone you might consider to be noticable. Care to sideline a little as an agent yourself, Doc?" There's something about her that causes him to think this is something she might really be into.

Bella looks a little surprised at the offer. Her feelings are mixed. Certainly, yes, the excitement of being an agent is something she envies, but she's always coped with it by considering herself as ranking somehow higher, the same way a clergyman is, in his way, of higher rank than the most valiant but unvested knight. This is, in fact, the metaphor she used in her own head, not that wild horses could drag the admission of such a dweeby comparison from her. "I mean… certainly. Though I'd like to have a high resolution digital camera so I can take pictures of her current catalogue. It's extensive, and I'd like us to have it viewable at our leisure."

Len types a few things into his computer and grins over at Bella. "You can pick it up at 'procurement'. Appreciate all your help, Doc." He stands, offering his hand. The one thing he does note that in the end, he wonders if thirty pieces of silver would actually pay for a digital camera these days?

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