Confirming Rumors


elisabeth2_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Confirming Rumors
Synopsis Elisabeth confirms that Cardinal is alive. Inappropriate relationships, Vanguard, Company, and a crazy man are also discussed over dinner.
Date March 20, 1010

Ray's Pizza

Sitting in the pizza joint, Elisabeth's already ordered a beer and a pizza loaded with everything but fish and peppers (though she asked for those on the side in case Vee wanted them). She's slumped back in the booth with a good view of the restaurant while she sips her beer. And she looks…. tired, but the good kind. The kind that says she's been working hard and getting satisfaction out of her work. Though there is still strain and worry in the lines on her face, they've taken a back seat this week. She watches the door for the Company agent to poke her head in and waves her over.

Veronica comes in, puffy black snow parka dusted with snow and not looking very Company-ish today — her head is covered by an Angels baseball cap, ponytail sticking out the back. Jeans and fuzzy-cuffed boots complete the college co-ed-esque look. "Hey, Liz," she says, sliding into the seat across from the blond. "Thanks for meeting with me. Oh, God, that looks fantastic. I'm starving." She hasn't had a lot of fresh meals being holed up in Midtown for hours at a time — at least Crawley is sending her relief in the form of some higher classified agents now and then so she can get away from the "trap" and better yet, Jack.

Elisabeth shoves an empty glass across the table to Veronica so she can help herself to the pitcher of beer. "Help yourself. It just got here." She hasn't even had time to start in on it. She hands a plate across the table as well and helps herself to one of the huge slices of pizza, dumping a bunch of parmesan on it. "So how ya been, lady?"

"You don't want to know," Veronica says with a chuckle. "I'm being partnered with people that in some sane universe, I would be expected to kill but then that's Company life for you." She trusts their perimeter is already dampened and its safe to speak, but even so, her voice is husky and low enough not to travel. She pours a glass of beer for herself and takes a generous swallow before moving on to grab a slice of pizza. "You? No problems with the Russians since least we spoke?" Since last Veronica called to warn her, that is. The topic of Cardinal is left to the side for the moment.

"Not…. family trouble. My father's decided that it's in his best interests to move back to his place, so he's got fuckin' CIA bodyguards on the brownstone. He's so thrilled." Liz's tone says 'not!' quite clearly. "Fuckers are hitting kids I used to teach at Washington Irving. If Dreyfus is behind it, he's entirely insane with grief, I have to think." She sighs.

The agent frowns at that, and gives a shake of her head. "I'm not sure who's working on that since I got pulled for this other stuff, but I'll try to find out," she says quietly. She can't say what the 'other stuff' is and she isn't entirely she anyone is still following Skoll — Martin's implication was that it wasn't all that important to him. "And, speaking of grief," she says quietly, tilting her head. "What I called you about. is it … true? He somehow survived?" Cardinal. There's both worry and hope in her voice, her dark eyes searching Liz's blue.

Elisabeth was in the midst of taking a bite of pizza when Veronica asks that. Her pause is minuscule but present. Sadness and pain flash across her face very briefly. Still, she takes the bite and chews it before she answers, perhaps using the time to decide how best to answer. "He's the source of your phone call," she finally says quietly. "But where'd you get the info? He's been trying to keep it on the down-low in certain quarters. Doesn't want Kershner to know; figures he can get more accomplished without her riding his ass." She takes another bite.

Well, a secret for a secret, she supposes. "Remember I asked you about Mortimer Jack last we met?" Veronica says, taking a bite of her own slice of pizza, and chewing it as slowly. Funny how her friendship with Elisabeth is rather like her relationship with Brian — bits of information, never the full story, but mutual admiration and trust. "He said he saw Cardinal and that he was trapped in shadow form. Is that true?" she asks, with worry. Her mind flashes back to the whisper on the phone, and she knows in her gut that it was Cardinal. "I haven't had much time or the resources to look into much more of that. I feel bad… just… I'm not high enough on the totem pole, and it's not something we're dealing with. To be honest, Liz, my boss seems worried that we won't even have a job anymore. That we need to prove ourselves worthy now that FRONTLINE's in the picture."

"It is," Elisabeth replies to the query about it being true. Again, that flash of sadness and hurt. She sets her pizza down in favor of the beer, apparently losing her appetite a little. "I can't speak to what your boss is worried about. I warned Denton a long time ago that the Company was in trouble." She shoves a hand through her blonde hair, a frown tugging her brows together. "I'm not entirely sure your boss is wrong, Vee."

"I'm not worried about my job, honestly, Liz," Veronica says truthfully. "I can find another. I'm worried about what they'll do to us, though — we all have way too much information in our heads for civilians so to speak. It's one of the reasons I haven't left yet. And Crowley's already let slip that he's not opposed to mindwiping people if he sees fit. Denton wasn't a fan. There's too much that's happened that I can't forget." Her brows knit together and she glances away.

She brings the conversation back to their mutual friend, however — a more painful topic, of which there aren't many for Veronica. "I'm so sorry. I'll … I'll see if there's anyone in the files that can help but I don't really even know what I'm looking for… a healer? That doesn't seem like it would work… I've never heard of anything like this."

Elisabeth takes a long swallow of her beer, then toys with the glass. "A healer won't help. They'd have to be able to actually touch him," she comments softly. "He's entirely incorporeal right now." Her voice is carefully neutral, her tone calm; neither of those emotions are the reality, and her blue eyes still give it away in brief flashes that are quickly hidden. "A shadow manipulator, maybe? I'm… not entirely sure such a thing exists, but Richard thinks it might be the only thing that could help." A purse of her lips, and then Elisabeth adds, "If you're worried about being wiped…. record everything you're concerned about. Put it somewhere. Let me know where you want it kept. Hell… hire my father, he'll keep it for you. Lawyer-client privilege, after all. And if it happens, you'll have the record."

The agent listens, frowning and picking at her food — the conversation is definitely an appetite suppressant. "I'll see what I can find. I don't know either, and I can't get at a lot of the files. I wish I had something more … helpful to say," she says softly. "Tell him hello for me." She chuckles a little wryly. "Hello — how mundane is that. But I don't know what else to say." She looks away, then up at the ceiling for a moment. When she looks back, her eyes liquid, yet the tears are mostly blinked back.

"As far as the memories… that will work for the facts, yes. It's more than the facts that I'm worried about. Relationships. That sort of thing. The things that can't be relearned just by reading a file. I'm … involved with someone, someone I shouldn't be… I don't think we'd survive something like that. We've already been through too many things." She can't quite admit to Elisabeth who it is — Gillian knows, and that's already one person more than who should.

There is a soft laugh from Elisabeth, and the blonde shakes her head. She can't help it. It's not really an amused laugh, more one of empathizing. "Veronica, … believe me when I tell you, I know exactly where you're coming from." Because she's pretty sure a certain shadow man and the audiokinetic who preceded him should both be on the 'shouldn't be involved with' list. Cop + terrorist/vigilante/what-the-fuck-ever usually = Not Smart.

"I imagine you probably do," Veronica says with a laugh. "I knew there was a reason I liked you. We're probably long-lost sisters or something. Actually, given some of the stories I've heard," including Brian's and Gillian's, "I wouldn't be half surprised." She gives up on the pizza and picks up the glass of beer to take a couple more swallows. "I'd ask if you know anything about this girl and doctor Shade was apparently trying to talk to, but I doubt it's something you want me involved in," she adds with a smirk.

Liz snorts softly, true amusement in her blue eyes at the idea that she's got siblings out there. Not likely. But the last thing alters her expression slightly. Her amusement is tempered with puzzlement. "I'm afraid I'm just as out of the loop on certain things as you are." Though it won't remain that way long. "I've been dealing with FRONTLINE shit all week, so I haven't even been able to get off the base to see him," she admits quietly. It generally means that she isn't sleeping so well, except that she's so damn tired from the weather-related issues and Evo situations that she literally is too tired to even dream.

"Jack is all riled up about her, wanting to use her as his personal encyclopedia. I'm not sure who she is or anything about her, other than that… I've got more than enough things to look into, so I wasn't that interested in any of it until he mentioned Cardinal of course. Or rather, Mortimer mentioned Cardinal, Jack doesn't seem to know the name," Vee says, with a shake of her head. That's how her week is going — dealing with Mortimer Jack. "Thanks for letting me know though. I won't mention it to anyone. I'll keep looking for some way to help."

Shaking her head, Elisabeth just ffts. "Mortimer Jack. I do not envy you a single bit. But thank you," she says softly. "If you do find someone who might be able to help, I'd be grateful. Just…. don't draw attention to it, okay? I don't know what Kershner will do when she finds out." Which is pretty much a given if Cardinal's status is making the rounds. "But ultimately, I don't think it matters. Not like she can exactly get her hands on him. Not easily, anyway."

"I'll try to keep it low key… actually the cases I'm working on now might allow me some leeway into looking into powers that aren't otherwise common… I'll see what I can find. I don't know that'll be much, given the fact I'm not very high in clearance." She tosses out a couple of bills to pay for the pizza and the pitcher of beer. "My treat, since I'm keeping you from rest. Give my regards to Shade. I better get — couple more hours before I have to report back to my assignment. Be safe, Liz."

Elisabeth smiles slightly. "I'll pass on the greetings. I'm glad you know, Vee." She pauses and says quietly, "Thank you. For everything — right after it happened, and up to and including now. Not being mad that I didn't say anything." She shrugs slightly. "If you need anything, you know where to find me. That includes if you need something from him — he's not exactly in a situation where he can carry a phone or anything." She jerks her chin at the money. "Thanks for dinner, lady."

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