Dangling Carrots


mortimer_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Dangling Carrots
Synopsis … is what Veronica plans to do for Mortimer in order for him to bait Sylar, but it seems Mortimer is willing enough for his own reasons.
Date March 11, 2010

Subway - Derelict Station

Once a bustling station vibrant with life and people, this terminal has been abandoned. Not difficult to see why, as it's close to the radiation zone, and the only easy entrance to it connects to a tunnel still registering as black on radiation detectors. The area itself sits in a marginal zone of radiation, but the ceiling has collapsed in enough areas to block easy access from the safer zones. An out-of-use subway train lays dead on the tracks. The front car rests on its side off the tracks, while the second, third and fourth car are upright. The fifth has been crushed under fallen debris, either from the initial shock wave, or from later deterioration of the roof above. Any other cars in the train are buried under the rubble.

Windows have been busted open in a few places, and the side door of the middle upright car is opened. The only light in the tunnel comes from this car, a sign of electricity, as the fluorescent lights in this car have been turned on. The hum of a generator can be heard. In the terminal itself, there are doors leading to maintenance rooms and personal offices. One of the doors has a large boulder resting in front of it - a boulder that has been placed there deliberately.

The other end of the tunnel disappears into the darkness.

It's the middle of the afternoon, and many of the Locos who do the general planning and thinking of the group, have brought it to Mortimer's attention that quite a few things have changed in the tunnels since they had their area renovated. Number 10, 14, 25 27 and 32 are all wearing their biker gear and helmets, walking around the station as they write things on what seem like large maps. 10 is on a laptop, sitting on an old dusty bench, typing away as people tell him numbers, dimensions, and show new markings on the map.

Mortimer's sitting on the other end of the bench, seemingly not paying much attention to what the others are doing, reading the fourth Harry Potter book. "Well, this was a better craze than Twilight…" he mutters to himself.

Midtown is not easy to get to on a good day. It's certainly not easy to get to in two-plus feet of snow. Veronica actually arrived in a snowmobile of all things, since it's not like Midtown gets a regular visit by the snow plow these days. She stowed the vehicle in a safe place, and then head down into the subway tunnels to find Mortimer Jack — a frightening venture because she disappeared on the Locos almost a month ago, and no one is supposed to know about their locale. Her weapon is out, albeit in her off hand, her good one in a cast and clutching a file. What would be a furtive approach is ruined by the crunch of snow in places where the roof has collapsed, and rubble beneath her boots in the dryer areas.

When the men come into view, Veronica nods toward Mortimer. "Jack." It's a terse call, different in the tones she's used with him in the past. It's not a question as to what persona is in his head at the moment, but simply the use of his last name, as she might call a coworker. Or maybe a suspect. Her hand is still on her gun, but it's held loose at her side, not aimed at anyone.

"Am I welcome?"

"It's Mortimer, but I don't care what you call me as long as you're not getting us confused." Mortimer looks up from his book, tilting his head slightly as he gives her a once over. "Your demeanor's off, but you're welcome." is the last thing he greets her with, one of his hands going into that long greyish-green trenchcoat. He's clearly wary of her changed demeanor.

Changed demeanor, changed apparel. Do the clothes make the woman or the woman the clothes? She's no longer in her motorcycle leathers — it's cold out, so there's not much to see but she has a black wool trench coat over gray slacks and black boots. She's wary of him too, given what she has to tell him. Not all of the truth but some of it, at least.

"Can we go … speak somewhere privately? I have some propositions for you," the agent says, her husky voice a touch uncertain. The logistics of Martin's plan — or rather the lack of logistics, one might say — don't sit well with her, and she hasn't quite resolved the best way about going about what she is here to do.

"You guys keep working. Jack wants the place mapped out by next month, so keep it up." Mortimer sits his book on the bench, stands, brushes himself off, then slides his hands into his pockets to follow her. "I have to say, I've been waiting to hear some variation of that from you, but somehow I think this is something else entirely."

He doesn't seem upset or angry so far, more curious than anything as he heads into one of the abandoned train cars, one that's standing upright at least. The lights are flickering a bit, but otherwise working. "So, who are you? And in case you were wondering, that Nightmare Man stuff is over. Long story that hit close to home."

"So I heard," Veronica says in regards to his last words. She shows no amusement at his joke about propositions — he still murdered friends and coworkers of hers. He's still potentially dangerous. These are not things to laugh about.

"My name is Veronica Sawyer. You said once that you wanted to help the Company. I was sent by them to assess how you might be of service to them. To us." She hands him a file, held in the hand not holding her firearm. Inside are newspaper clippings on the Jane Doe and Wendy Hunter murders. "Have you heard anything about those?"

"I have men who keep me up to date on the latest news." Mortimer says as he takes the file, looking at her again in mild disbelief, though there's clearly some surprise under it all. "The naive biker girl is a secret agent." He shakes his head, flipping through the files.

"I imagine I must not be one of your favorite people." He notes, clearly referring to Primatech. "As I said, that was before the split, I still have vague memories of what I did. Jack probably remembers much clearer than me, but I know what I did. I'm sorry, and…" He closes the file, taking a deep breath. "I'll help in any way I can, because I know I can't take back what I did."

Well, that certainly makes the recruiting part of her job easier. There's an upward tilt of the corner of her mouth as he calls her naive again, though there is no true humor in the smirk. "This is business," Sawyer says, and her demeanor is utterly different. Crisp and professional and stoic. She really could have been an actress, had she not chosen a path in law enforcement, and had her first love of medicine not worked out.

"Thank you for that. I remember you saying that you hated that Monroe used you as a pawn. And you're right, he's more to blame than you, because he used you. That said, perhaps we do have a way to make things … if not right… better."

"I can barely remember things from after I was seventeen, everything after seems to be what Jack remembers perfectly. I never quite understood it." Mortimer seems inclined to explain, but quickly gets his head back into the game and starts looking the files over again. "So what exactly can I do for you? Jack's listening now too. I still feel a bit crazy saying things like that, but… I just thought it was only right to let him listen in on this."

Veronica harnesses her gun within her coat, then pulls out another file from within. "Those two murders we believe are related. The newspaper does not note that the skulls were cut and portions of the brains cut out. There is speculation that it is the work of the serial killer known as Sylar. Are you familiar with that name?" she asks.

"Guy who blew up Midtown? I've heard things. And Jack has a distaste for serial killers." Mortimer reaches for the other file, starting to thumb through it. "But how can I help with this? I have resources, but I can't say I've met the man. You have a picture?"

The other file is some but not all of the information she has on Sylar. A picture and what looks like a Company laundry list of abilities — except they are all his. "What is also relevant to note is the ability of the Hunter woman," she says as he flips through the files. "She had the power to detect other Evolved, which you can certainly see as a dangerous one in Sylar's possession. If he has this ability, he now has the power to know at from a distance if someone is Evolved, and if he can touch the person, what power they possess. It is possible, however, that it was not Sylar. There are some differences in MO, and it could be a Copycat." She lets the information settle in, to see if he has any epiphanies of how he can help.

"Jack recognizes him. I vaguely remember him too, this was back before we lost our ability. We met him in a clock factory, but he didn't have an ability at the time, or at least, he said he didn't. We recruited him to the Locos and then never saw him again." Mortimer shakes his head, looking over the list of abilities in deep thought. "If he is some sort of ability thief, I at least know how to draw him out."

He points out the train window to his men, who still seem occupied with their work. "I have exactly forty men, and a few women. I can quickly have rumors spread, as well as some of my particularly harmless inventions, and get Sylar looking for me, if it's him. My men all have day jobs, if you'll allow me to copy this photo and get them familiar with it, they'll be able to report sightings. I have people from store clerks to business men, that's why I'm so good at finding people."

Veronica arches a brow of surprise and snorts just slightly. Who would have thought Mortimer Jack and Martin Crowley would be on the same page? Of course, Jack makes it sound so much nicer than the assistant director did, the word "bait" left out of the madman's suggestion.

"That's a good idea," she says, as if she hadn't thought of that — after all, she's supposed to be naive, right? "The only thing to keep in mind is that once he's within range of you, he will know you're not Evolved, unless Hunter's power can recognize the complex in someone from whom the power itself has been removed." She shifts her weight carefully, mindful she's in a train car that might not be the sturdiest of structures. "So we'll need to come up with a way for him to be trapped and restrained — if not killed on sight — when he comes searching for what you have."

"Well, no offense to Jack's, um, empire, but most of his men couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag, they're more like pawns you have to cleverly use. But if you have any snipers laying around…" Mortimer's reading indepthly into the abilities, though he seems to be searching for something. "Remembering bits and pieces of the time I met him, he hinted at having an ability that has something to do with clocks. If he does, I may have an idea to keep him distracted long enough even after he figures out I don't have my ability…"

"I think it's called intuitive aptitude. It isn't really about clocks — it's about just about anything. He has the ability to understand how it works — which includes people's powers, I believe," Veronica explains. That both men have similar powers and that both men are seemingly mad men is not lost on her. That Martin Crowley put her on this case working with one mad man to catch another is also not lost on her. Something tells her she'll be lucky to survive this case, though Mortimer Jack seems to be the most gentlemanly and gentlest of madmen she's met — post Primatech Jack, that is.

"All right. Get your people gossiping… around here in Midtown, possibly Staten, the city of course. Maybe post some videos on youtube of your inventions. As for snipers, I can probably manage to find some." Herself, and if she can get a team approved by Martin. She reaches into her coat pocket with her good arm, pulling out a to-go phone. "My number's already programmed in. I'll bring a team tomorrow to help keep watch. You got security cameras and such about this place?" She peers out of the train car but it's hard to see further down into the station.

"My cameras don't start until we're closer to the hideout, but we can get more installed if needed." Mortimer seems distracted when she mentions how that ability works, and it certainly sounds familiar, being similar to his. "I have something, I don't know if I or Jack told you about it. It's a sphere, an extremely complex puzzle. Depending on how it's solved, it kills a person in a different way. I imagine Sylar could figure that part out, but it's so massively complex, if he really is insane, I'm not sure if he could resist at least inspecting it a little. It's something to think about."

He finally closes the files, allowing a brief silence to fill the train car as he looks down to the floor. Then, looking back up. "I know this will be dangerous for me, I know it could even get me killed, but if I earn the forgiveness of just you, it'll be worth it. I want to do something good, I want to be able to face Hokuto and say I did something good in the real world, when I finally find her."

"You told me, or Jack, I forget." It's hard to remember when they're the same person! "And … uh, what was her fake name. Mary Jane or whatever." She smirks a little, revealing she knows that secret, too. "I would not think he's so insane he'd purposely solve a puzzle just because he could, but it's possible. I don't pretend to understand how insane people work, despite a degree in Psychology."

The rest gets a slight dip of her head. "It might get me killed, too, Mr. Jack. So you're not alone. As far as forgiveness goes, like I said, this is business."

Agent Sawyer turns to head back out of the tunnel. It's not like Sylar will be there tonight. She glances back over her shoulder.

"But, if you manage to pull this off without me getting killed along with you, maybe we can work something out."

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