Deadlier Than Fiction


brennan_icon.gif broome_icon.gif

Scene Title Deadlier Than Fiction
Synopsis Broome and Brennan come to an agreement with regards to employment, expectations and signing bonuses.
Date April 22, 2010

The last week has been a strange one, and within the sterile halls of the Institute doctor Harve Brennan has been treated like a well-respected guest, with admittedly minimal freedom. After the first two days of captivity, almost like a quarantine, Brennan was released into the ward his room is located in. Gym and recreation facilities were opened up to him, and he was allowed to catch up on recent events by having access to newspaper documents sent to an eReader left in his room that synchronizes with his virtual surface. Furthermore television broadcasts in the lounge kept him up to date on the going on in the world, from volcanic eruptions in Europe to the continued hammering of an unimaginably powerful storm still hanging over the northeast.

Human contact however has been minimal, with only nurses delivering his meals being his daily contact with people. It's clear that the Institute commands a sizable facility from how spacious his "prison" quarters and adjoining facilities are, but he's never been allowed to see much of it at all.

By Thursday, however, Doctor Brennan has been escorted from his detention area and through a labyrinth of white-painted halls to a conference room somewhere in the compound he's been detained in all this time. Led by one of the female Institute nurses, Doctor Brennan is offered a seat at a long glass table etched with the Commonwealth Institute insignia, a long strand of RNA that breaks apart and dissolves on one end. Black leather chairs numbering thirteen are set around the table, and yet he is the only one aside from the nurse in the conference room.

"If you'd wait here, Doctor Brennan, he'll be with you in a moment." The he of the matter seems unclear.

Broome, Harper, Luis, who knows. Brennan doesn't question at the moment before for all the luxury it is still very much captivity and they have very sufficiently cut him off from his family and his ability. He offers a polite nod to the Nurse, hands sinking into his pockets as he idly paces the room, counting the chairs, studying the logo on the table and otherwise looking around. Not so much a caged tiger as just someone who knows there's something else coming down the pipeline and more strings attached.

Most likely a request for an answer to the question he was asked by Broome. Eventually though, with a pulling out of a chair, hitch of pant legs upwards, he sits down somewhere near the middle of the left side, arms on the table, hands pressed together and looking left, then right.

«Doctor Brennan.» A voice echoes in the room, old and weary, the tired voice of one Doctor Broome. He seems to permeate from the very walls itself, echoing down the conference hall before Brennan notices a green light on the conference call hub at the far end of the table. «I'm sorry I am not able to make our meeting in person, but I feel that what needs to be conveyed to you here today can be done without a face to face meeting, and a change of scenery such as what you have now was deserved.»

It's during Broome's introduction that Brennan notices the tall floor-to-ceiling windows to his right display the skyline of a city as if viewed from a skyscraper, but nothing is covered in snow, and with a tilt of his head from side to side and more scrutiny, Brennan notices it's a back lit screen printing behind glass and partly drawn vertical blinds, giving the illusion of the outside.

«Have you had any time to think about the offer I made you yet, in your stay here?»

"I have Doctor Broome. I've had time to contemplate why, beyond my relationship with Liette, that would prompt you to think a general physician would be something you need. Unless you've become very short staffed" Away from this seat, he leaves, heading up towards the proper end of the table, closer to the hub and takes up a seat there. "I'm not the kind of person I'd think that you and your institute would normally take on. It's not like you need someone to go to the wilds of the world and tend to people. You're under a city, and you seem to have… more than enough hands"

«The Institute is more than just science and research, Doctor Brennan, it is an arm of the United States Government that — soon — will be dealing with a great deal more of the Evolved population. You may be aware that the number of Registered SLC-Expressive humans is far lower than the number of unregistered…» Broom's voice grumbles through the conference room, and while Brennan sits within the presence of this disembodied voice, it begins to become clear what Broome is angling for.

«You have a singularly unique gift, Doctor Brennan. You are the only negator in all our records that operates in the fashion you do, selectively and precisely. Moreover, the Institute has a need for people willing to participate in other levels of government operation in order to… facilitate smooth interdepartmental cooperation. While I, personally, have requested you join the Institute, I would like for you to do so under the auspices of functioning within the Department of Evolved Affairs. I feel…» Broome's voice trails off for a moment as he considers the words to use carefully. «…your talents would be best suited there, under our guidance. You're ill-suited for the life of a Ferryman, Doctor.»

"I don't frankly consider myself a Ferryman Doctor Broome. They have sick, they bring them to me, and I treat them. When one takes the Hippocratic Oath, it's generally expected that one will stay true to it. If I'd considered myself a ferryman like the others do, then perhaps I would have gone to them first, to take care of Liette and find shelter."

He glances towards the fake vista behind the blinds. "I'd like to think that all evolved individuals have singularly unique gifts. There's more than a handful of negators I'm sure, but we all function with it, learned to use it, developed it in different ways. Same as I'm sure that though they may be identical, that there is still some difference in the gifts between Liette and Julie."

Back to the hub his attention draws. "What does the precise nature of my ability have to do with working with the department of evolved affairs? How does it benefit you? I'm already employed with the Suresh Center, and my own private practice. I can well imagine that one of those, will have to be discontinued, or both, to carry on with your proposed employment"

«On the contrary, Doctor Brennan, I would prefer you keep your ties to the Suresh Center and if you feel you can manage the time, your private practice as well. Secretary Praeger could use a man with your personable nature at his side, and as for why your ability makes you a useful asset to the Institute… consider that my worry. Your life would very little change, save for the occasional… assignments. But I assure you, Doctor Brennan, nothing that would compromise your family or your morals, such as they are.»

Such as they are, sounds o very much like a backhanded compliment.

«It's your choice, though I feel your family would benefit from the additional protection offered by being under the Institute's… umbrella.» It's not quite a threat that Broome makes, but a thinly veiled failure to assure safety. «We are approaching dangerous times, Doctor Brennan. Choose your sides carefully, but… do choose them.»

"Since two thousand and six Doctor Broome, I don't think we've ever been out of the dangerous times. Not with the revelation that there are people who can do extraordinary things that was only though possible in ones imaginations or on the big screen" Hands curl around each other, one thumb resting atop the other. "I like my mind how it is Doctor Broome, and if I can give up nothing, and gain something, sometimes, one has to take the offer. Especially when family is at stake."

Brennan pushes away from the table, wheels rolling along the floor. "I want two cases of H5N10 vaccines if I do this. The real vaccine and not clear liquid dressed up in vials or laced with anything else. What the public is being given. No interference about who I give them to or why, or how. That's the .. lets call it.. signing bonus. Doctor Broome. I'm pretty sure that there's more of it in production than is let on."

«I believe that sounds like a reasonable request, given what your first task is going to be I think that will aid you immensely.» When Broome mentions that, there's a pause, and in front of where Brennan sits at the table, an image appears in the glass, projected up into the same virtual surface like there is in the room he'd been held in. «What you see in front of you is a map of Staten Island, specifically a location classified as the Outer District, which you know as the reclaimed zone…» A red bounding box is drawn around the map, detailing the perimeter of the Outer District and then a circle is made at a peninsula just west of the district's borders.

«This location I've circled is a home for orphaned SLC-expressive children known as the Lighthouse. When you return to New York City, this will be the point of extraction for Liette. When you have Liette in your custody, bring her to the Lighthouse and contact the first number in the directory of the phone we will be supplying you with. Just call and hang up, do not give any details or your position. Keep the phone powered off until such a time, to prevent unnecessary tempering.»

Broom's voice grows quiet for just a moment before he adds, «A retrieval team will come to pick up Liette, if you feel the residents of the Lighthouse will not cooperate, feel free to bring her a half mile east along the coast in the parkland and the team will meet you half way. You do not have a timetable, though I feel from Luis' conversation with you that you may not wish to //dally

He knows about the lighthouse, and their children. "I'll need to have a conversation with Doctor Luis. The weather is not conducive to finding her much less traveling with her. IF your extraction team is anything like the one that was sent that nabbed me, I'd like to avoid the light house" There's a bit of a derisive tone to that.

"Will I be extracted too or will it just be Liette?" Power down the phone. First though, he had to find her. He'd have an easier time of it since unlike Rebel, he was acquainted and part of the Ferry fold. "I'll see if I can even find her Doctor Broome. I'm very sure that just emerging after being snatched, will lend to incredible suspicion"

«I will speak with Doctor Luis myself on the matter, you needn't worry about that. Only Liette will be extracted, unless you wish to be relieved from the situation on your own. In which case,» Broome's tone of voice changes some, less sharp than it was a moment ago, «Let them know when you bring the girl and they'll make accommodations. Play this carefully, Doctor Brennan, because the success or failure of this assignment could have long-standing repercussions for more than people you or I are directly associated with.»

Broome's grumbling voice hangs in the room as a distant echo, until he adds one final point to consider. «I would prefer to keep this as peaceful of a trade as possible, but the next time we find Liette, if we find her before you can assure her safe extraction… the Institute will not be so kind as it has been in the past.»

Means next time, not just negation gas and rubber bullets."I want the release of the others who were taken from midtown as well Doctor Broome. I'll get Liette, have no doubt about that. But them, I'm sure you can find ways to fill your tanks and study others. As for success or failure… I think we both know, I don't give up easily, I'll find her and bring her back to her father" Not the institute, but to Luis. "Two cases of Vaccines, and the captured Ferrymen"

«No.» Broome swiftly denies, his old and weary voice taking on a tone of adamancy. «Perhaps after we have Liette back it can be discussed, but the Ferrymen should consider those losses a lesson to be learned. Those captured and detained in Midtown will serve as a reminder as to what happens when we're openly defied. The Ferrymen are an illegal organization harboring known fugitives from justice and, eventually, they will come to an end. No rebellion can ever sustain itself in the face of an organized and prepared force of superior number.»

Broome's mantra is affirmed and considerably zealous, after a fashion. «Tell them that if they continue to persist with their illegal activities, there will come a time when there is nowhere for them to run, nowhere for them to hide, and no way for them to fight. There will not be a war, Doctor Brennan, this country cannot survive one. There will only be swift and immediate justice for the safety of this country and its people.»

"And the institute with it's studies of American citizens in the tanks Doctor Broome, isn't exactly legal itself either" But he tried, and he can say he tried. And hopefully if Liette is gotten, returned, they'll return them. Likely with no recollection of what happened. There's an unseen nod of Brennan's head, pushing up from the chair and pacing around the room.

"David and Goliath Doctor Broome, Luke Skywalker and the death star. Achilles and the Trojans. Examples that are very much, to the contrary. The world has funny ways, and fiction, of proving that very thing wrong. But, we're not here to discuss such."

There's silence after Brennan's analogies of the small overcoming the weak, and when Doctor Broome's voice grumbles back over the conference hub, there's a decidedly flat tone to his voice, lacking in the amusement that should be there from the somewhat joking turn of Brennan's phrase. «Reality, Doctor Brennan, has proven to be time and again, decidedly deadlier than fiction.»

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License