Double Agent


eldridge_icon.gif elle_icon.gif harper_icon.gif

Scene Title Double Agent
Synopsis Elle Bishop finally makes up her mind about the Institute and her future.
Date August 5, 2010

The Octagon


"I hope you don't mind me having called you down here on such — nngh"


"Short notice. When I got your voicemail I— hff"


"Figured it would be best if we just met face to face."



Under the bright noonday sunlight, the tennis courts on the immaculately landscaped grounds of the Octagon on Roosevelt Island serve as an untraditional meeting site for three agents from different walks of life. On one side of the forest-green floored tennis court, CIA agent Desmond Harper twirls a tennis racket around one hand, shaking his head and wiping sweat from his brow with the back of one arm. "You've been practicing, haven't you?"

Across the tennis court, a shorter and more wiry looking man possessed of shortly cropped and curly brown hair offers a smug smile to Harper as he swings his racket around in the air, white sneakers scuffing across the court underfoot. "Ain't much else I can do with my time off, yeah? Not like I'm one to sit on my hands, 'Des."

Agent Lucas Eldridge isn't a familiar face to Elle Bishop, but his warmly greeted smile and friendly wave of a tennis-ball laden hand seems like a cordial enough greeting. Just entering the tennis court through the doorway in its chain-link fence, the blonde Company agent is presented with the usually suit-and-tie Harper in a more relaxed environment.

"Bishop," Harper notes breathily, turning from the court and laying his racket down over a chair as he picks up a bottle of water, chugging down a few large gulps before motioning towards the man he'd been playing against. "This is agent Lucas Eldridge, he works with me in the Institute, you two will probably be getting to know one another eventually."

"Pleasure, miss Bishop," Eldridge notes with a cant of his head forward into a nod, returning to a chair on his side of the court to dispose of his racket and pick up a towel, wiping off his face with it before slinging it around his shoulders. "I hear you're a prospective agent?"

Ugh. She's still groggy from the pain killers, and her left arm is up in a sling. She's got a pair of comfortable capri pants on, and a tank top, battling the heat as well as she can. She wears flip-flops today, too sore to be bothered with her usual heels. Sunglasses keep the sun at bay, and her hand clutches a large Slurpo with a long straw, which she occasionally sips at as she watches the two Institute Agents play their game. Mentally, she files tennis away as something she'd like to try one day. Probably when she's not feeling like crap and the hole in her shoulder has healed itself up.

She manages a smile toward Agent Eldridge, one finger poking her sunglasses up on top of her head. "Nice to meet you, Agent Eldridge. I'm hoping that I am a prospective agent, at the very least." She inclines her head toward the man with the curly brown hair, examining him for a moment.

Then, she glances back to Harper, her head tilted to one side. "I wanted to discuss a few things with you, Agent Harper." She spares a brief glance toward Eldridge, as if wondering if it's appropriate to state her concerns in front of him. After a moment, she seems to decide that Lucas is alright, and turns back to Desmond with a thoughtful expression. "Mostly, I'm at the point where I'm really not comfortable with staying with the Company any longer. I was wondering if I could pass on the month-long wait and start with the Institute as soon as possible."

"I don't think you're going to like my answer," Harper gives in somewhat smirking confidence. "Even if that answer is yes." That much elicits an arch of Eldridge's brow as he comes slowly walking over, looking from Harper to Elle and back again, though remaining a silent observer to the conversation.

Resting his hands on his hips, Harper slants his head to the side and arches one brow at Elle, then offers a breathy laugh. "If you're serious about working for us, than I'm going to need you to stay inside the Company up through to the end of the month. Performing your regular agent duties, but I'd like you to keep an eye on the agents there, specifically one Benjamin Ryans. He's a security risk to the Institute and I think he might be orchestrating something against us behind the scenes."

Mention of the name Ryans has Eldridge scowling and looking away from the conversation. "Furthermore," Harper continues with his arms crossed over his chest, "there are already two Company agents whom have gone over to the Institute's side acting as eyes and ears for me. Dante Lupinette and Isabella Dawson. I'm also having considerations on Veronica Sawyer, but I'd like for you to feel her out for me," one brow rises slowly, "see what you can find out about her and where her allegiances lie."

The little blonde can't help but frown. Ugh, she hates that place. How could she even desire to work there after all she's learned of her past, of her mother's past with the Company. However, his instructions do prompt a small smile from Elle Bishop, who quietly seats herself on a nearby bench. Standing steady with vicodin in your system isn't the easiest thing in the world, really.

"Well…then I have a few tidbits of good news for you." She runs a hand through her hair. "First, Agent Ryans. He's asked me if I've spoken to you. I've told him that beyond our meeting when I captured Warren, I haven't spoken to you. He told me to be weary of you." She tilts her head to one side. "I could possibly appeal to his sentiments…I already know that he doesn't like you guys." She nods slowly.

"You're going to like what I have from Veronica Sawyer. It's not much, but when I spoke to her upon first arriving back here, she made recommendations that I get out of the Company before the shit hits the fan." Elle offers a small smile. "I don't think she's got much loyalty for the Company, from what I've seen."

The girl rubs at her chin, peering down at the ground. "Things with Warren are going well. I'm pretty sure I'm gaining his trust. He certainly is quite taken with me." She turns a smile up to Harper.

There's a silent look offered between Harper and Eldridge at Elle's information, and something about Eldridge's posture and expression speaks of a begrudging admittance of something about Elle. Harper's posture straightens and a smile crosses his lips as he looks back to the blonde. "Good that Sawyer's thinking that way, smart on her. She has no reason to trust or care about the Company, I've read her file. They screwed with her life as much as they did yours, Bishop."

"Furthermore I'm glad you're keeping solid tabs on Warren. His new machine shop should be finished by the end of the week for him to move in to, which will give us an easier method of observing him." But all of Harper's smiles and good nature fade away once he gets to the topic of agent Ryans. His brows furrow together, eyes cast askance and Harper's lips curl up into a distasteful look.

"Ryans needs to be knocked down a peg, I'm just not sure how to handle that at the moment. I'm leaving leveraging his family as a last resort. But if you can get into his confidence and his trust, that might be more valuable to me than anything else." Brows furrowed together, there's a thoughtful look from Harper as he shifts his weight from one white sneakered foot to the other. "ow well do you know a former Company doctor named Odessa Knutson?"

e little blonde nods quietly, sipping at her Slurpo contentedly as Harper offers his instructions, leaning back against the bench. Note to self, let the riot police stay in front of you, Elle, unless you can get some damn body armor. Might have to start walking around wearing kevlar. She scowls down at her shoulder, before her blue eyes sweep right back up to Harper. "I can certainly do my best, Agent Harper. Agent Ryans…he's a good guy at heart, but I think he's delusioned by the company, just like I once was."

Then he says that name. Odessa, the girl Elle grew up with. Her brows raise. "With all due respect, Agent Harper," She pauses, peering at him, "if you've read my file, you should already know that she and I grew up alongside each other. We were never really friends, thanks to my father…" She frowns. Odessa in this timeline probably still hates her guts, just like Daddy intended…

"I have reason to believe that she's living somewhere in the city, but we haven't been able to get a bead on her location." There's a grimace from Harper as he shifts his weight to his other foot again, never quite able to sit still. "I knew you two had something of a small history, and I thought that by seeing a familiar face she might be more amenable to… reintroduction to the world?" Looking down to his feet, Harper takes a step towards where Elle sits on the bench, shoulders relaxing into a slouched posture.

"I'd like to see if you could track her down. The last person that I believe had any contact with her was Martin Crowley, but I don't think he'd be likely to give us — or you — a straight answer as to Knutson's location. If you have some contacts that might be able to help you track her down, I think that could work in our interests."

"What Des' is getting at," Eldridge interjects, "is that the Institute would like to make Doctor Knutson an offer of employment. She could be extremely valuable to us."

Thoughtfully, Elle Bishop listens to Harper, rubbing at her chin as she leans back. A small smile is offered at Eldridge's interjection, and the girl sits silent for a long moment. Odessa Knutson. It's been a while since she's seen her. It would almost be nice. But then, there's the fact that right now, Odessa still holds the grudge that she had lost in the future. It would be a good opportunity to talk to her…perhaps help her see.

Elle smiles to Harper, slurping the Slurpo. "Well, I can certainly do my best to track her down and find her…I can't offer you any promises that she'll even want to talk to me, let alone listen to me. We were never quite friends. She's another product of my father." Slurp, slurp. "But I'll certainly do my best."

Nodding slowly, Harper seems understanding of that point. "If she isn't receptive to you, we'll try our methods. If she isn't receptive to that…" one hand lifts to scratch at Harper's cheek, "we have other avenues we can follow." Breathing in deeply and then exhaling a slow sigh, Harper creases his brows together and offers a furtive look to Eldridge, then back to Elle. "If you don't mind my asking, Bishop, what's made up your mind about everything regarding us? We do a hard job, and more often than not we're not appreciated for our efforts. I'm curious as to why you've decided to make up your mind."

Eldridge adds almost immediately thereafter, "Especially considerin' that this ain't likely to earn you any brownie points with the Pops." There's a rueful grimace at that and a shrug of Eldridge's shoulders. "He finds out about this, probably won't be too happy."

Elle's smile becomes softer, almost melancholy. "I do a hard job at the Company. I've seen and done a lot. And I've never really been appreciated for my efforts. Worst case scenario is, nothing much changes, though I'm hoping for the appreciation you offered." She peers down at the ground for a moment. "Last weekend, my dad took me to the Bishop summer house. He told me exactly what you told me, Harper, about my mother. I don't think— we— it's—well, we'll just say that he and I don't really have much of a relationship any longer. It's kind of impossible to, after…well."

Those blue eyes turn up toward the sky thoughtfully. "Knowing that the Company is responsible for the death of my mother, that my father and Charles Deveaux erased my memory of her, on top of what he put me through my entire life…I can't really say that I can hold any loyalty for them, can I?" She turns her eyes down to the two Institute Agents, rubbing her chin.

"I wouldn't," Harper notes solemnly, "but I've been called a pragmatic person before. I just want you to realize that when all this is said and done? You and your father may well not just be having familial troubles, but be enemies. I want to know that if push comes to shove, and Bob Bishop tries to turn the Company on the Institute, that you know you're comitting to our side of that battle line."

Eldridge shoots Harper a glance at that, but is quick to look away again with his brows furrowed thoughtfully. They don't seem to see eye to eye on the tactics employed here, and it's likely why Eldridge turns away from Harper and heads back across the tennis court quietly.

"That line is going to be clearly drawn, sooner rather than later," Harper notes with a raise of his brows, "I can feel it. I just want to make certain that you're going to remember who's side you're on and not have a crisis of conscience…" Furrowing his brows, Harper tilts his head to the side and looks down at Elle quietly. "You're sure?"

Elle offers a stony gaze to Harper as he speaks, taking in the promise of things to come. Her eyes slide down to the ground, unfocusing as she ponders the implications of this. Enemies with her dad, if push comes to shove. That's a difficult thing for the girl, who has been so attached to her father for so long. While the trust is gone, those feelings are hard to kill after such massive ingraining techniques.

But at the same time…there's just the simple fact of the matter that he stole her entire life. Her mother was taken from her, not just through death but from her memories. She was tortured in the name of science throughout her childhood, and her entire life has been stolen from her on top of everything else. And Daddy was at the front of all of these decisions. He never offered praise when she did well; the fact that he couldn't even say 'Good Job' or 'I am proud of you' when she bagged the man that destroyed Primatech Bronx, instead brushing her off with a simple 'That's nice'.

He's never truly been there for her. She knows that he feels the guilt for what he has done…but would he have ever even told her the truth if she hadn't found things on her own? If she hadn't confronted him about the video footage that Arthur Petrelli (that bastard) showed her, would he have even tried to tell the truth, or would he have kept his oppressive thumb over her for the rest of her life? She's more inclined to believe the latter…after all, he kept the truth from her for nearly 20 years.

A look of resolve upon her face, Elle returns her blue eyes to Harper. Her voice cracks a little as she speaks, those unpleasant emotions happening to her again. "Why would I have a conscience for a man who probably only feels bad because he ultimately got caught? For the man who would erase my memories of my mom, painful as they might have been? Who would electrocute his own child?" She frowns, looking down towards the ground.

"You have my loyalty, Harper. Fuck the Company. They took everything from me."

Offering a thin smile, Harper dips his head down into a slow nod, "I'd offer to shake your hand to seal the deal, but I think I can pass that up," he notes with a nod to Elle's sling. "It's good to hear that you're all in on this, Elle, and I can assure you that from here on out you'll be treated with the respect that someone of your capacity is deserving of." Lifting up one hand to rake through his hair, Harper looks towards the white-walled building of the Octagon nearby, nodding slowly before turning his attention to Elle.

"I'll have an apartment here set up for you so that you don't have to stay at Fort Hero unless you want to. I think you'll like it there, Eldridge may not have chosen to live here but I enjoy the amenities and being so close to work."

Smile turning a bit more earnest, Harper adds to Elle after the fact, "Welcome to the Institute, agent Bishop. I think you'll fit in here nicely."

Offering a thin smile of her own, Elle glances toward the Octagon, nodding slowly. "I've seen Warren's place, now that he's got it set up. It's nice. I'm sure I'll love it here." She glances toward Harper, lifting her free hand to run through her hair, brushing at a particularly annoying tangle. "Thank you, Agent Harper. I appreciate you getting the apartment set up…that'll make the time I have left with the Company that much easier." Much easier, actually. At least she'll get a little bit of that independence from the Company that she so craves, sooner than later.

She glances back to the two agents, a tired smile on her face. "I look forward to working with the both of you in the future. I hope it's as pleasing as you promise." Harper certainly knew which of the Company employees to pounce on.

He got Elle hook, line, and sinker.

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