Fascists and Revolutionaries


cardinal2_icon.gif veronica2_icon.gif

Scene Title Fascists and Revolutionaries
Synopsis Sawyer and Cardinal discuss their options, levels of trust, and Veronica's career path after their poorly laid plans have gone awry.
Date December 4, 2009

Argentina: Subtropical Jungle

After getting a few hours of sleep, Veronica woke mostly refreshed, but for the pain in her leg. Grabbing her rifle, her pistol, and a canteen, she relieved Dahlia for her turn at watch. It might make more sense to have one of the others do it, with her injury, but they are all asleep, and she is not. She might as well make herself useful. She might not be able to outrun anything just now, but she can at least shoot and wake the others. Now she leans, about ten feet away from the shelter, against a tree, gun in hand as she watches and listens for any sign of trouble. Despite the fact that it's early summer in Argentina, it's chilly this high up, a cool breeze rustling through the trees, making shadows fall across the path. Every shadow is a potential threat, and so Veronica is alert, tracking any motion until she is convince it is just the wind or an animal and not a killer robot or Vanguard themselves.

One of those shadows moves; drawing the sentinel's attention to it as it drifts across a tree, and then into the open, though there's nothing that's casting it. As if something was crossing between the moonlit skies and the grass, it drifts towards her, until the familiar voice of Richard Cardinal asks quietly in the night, "Seen anything interesting out here tonight, Sawyer?"

"It's been quiet. I've only been out here …" she glances at her watch, an ugly military looking thing on her tiny wrist, "about twenty five minutes. Dahlia took first shift." Her voice is quiet, so as not to wake anyone in the shelter. "Did you guys find anything? Any sign of Ross?" Her eyes look up to where his eyes should be, if he were not in shadow form. "Petrelli still out there, or did you feed him to some robot?" An attempt at humor, though it's hardly funny.

"I'm afraid that wouldn't kill him," replies Cardinal in a voice as dry as dust, the shadow swirling up along her leg and draping over her shoulders; bringing his hollow, whispering voice closer to her ear. There's only so closely that the substance of his being can imitate a human voice no matter how practiced he is at it. "How's the leg doing…?"

"I'll live," the agent says with a shrug of the shoulder opposite the one his voice seems to come over. "It burned me when it cut, so the bleeding was minimal, and it was sharp enough that it's a pretty fine cut. Just deep." And no antibiotics to be had.

"There are apparently more weapons across the river we might go get tomorrow. The question is do we try to get back to down and evacuate, or try to find whatever it is we were sent here to find, without all the resources we should have had. They," Veronica brings a hand up to her cheek, to indicate the branded, "seem to be on the fence about us. Dahlia seems to want to just get us out of here, but … if we leave, is there any chance of stopping Munin? What do you think?"

"Cauterisation… bracelets that track instead of just exploding… that suggests that their purpose is capture, not killing," muses the shadow of Cardinal, "Although not necessarily in good shape." The question from her brings a pause, and then he suggests, "I doubt that Munin is here, but Ramirez may have some idea of exactly where it actually is. That information may be— vital. You all can leave if you want, but I'm staying."

"I don't know. Dahlia says she's only seen the bracelets on bodies." She glances at the cuff around her wrist. "But just because they are found dead doesn't mean Vanguard doesn't want them to be alive when they find them initially." She stares into the darkness and gives a shake of her head. "This is a bad operation. They should have given us back up plans. Unless Ross has them, but that's a moot point." She looks over her shoulder to the shelter. "I'd love for Gillian to get evacuated. She doesn't belong here. She doesn't have the training and she didn't volunteer. But she seems to want to stay — at least as long as there's a purpose, I guess."

She takes another sip from the canteen. "How much do you trust Raith and Petrelli?"

"She won't leave so long as Petrelli's here," Cardinal observes in irritable tones, "And unfortunately, given the abilities that we've got here… her own isn't exactly helpful, except possibly in concert with Varlane, and he rarely knows how to use his ability intelligently. This was poorly planned out. I don't think that Nathan took this threat seriously." Petrellis.

Then he answers her latter question, "Very little. The King of Swords is either completely insane or has an agenda of his own - I suspect somewhere in-between - and Petrelli has been… compromised."

"Raith seems at least capable… but… shocking as this may be, I find it hard to trust people I don't know." She finds it hard to trust people she does know. "What do you mean compromised? There's something going on with him, that much I can tell. How the hell does he know Dahlia? And… what was that he did to Varlane, to help Gillian?"

"Raith's very capable. I think we can trust him up until the last minute— but then? All bets are off." There's silence, then, laden in the night aside from the soft chirping of insects in the distance. Long heartbeats later, Cardinal says slowly, "That is… very… sensitive information, Sawyer."

"Sensitive information is what I specialize in," the agent says quietly. "But here… can we really afford to have secrets from one another? If he's been compromised… I need to know so I know how much to trust him. Or what he can do. Is he a danger to our team? Is there a chance he'll work against us? I'm here with … two people who were 'volunteered' against their will, two people you are telling me not to trust, and you, who I don't know from Adam."

She rolls her eyes at that comparison. Apparently Monroe manages to sneak into her subconscious even on another continent.

"It's also complicated information," admits Cardinal, before a hollow chuckle stirs in the night, "I suppose you wouldn't take it for granted that you can trust me, no more than I'll trust you fully. I have worked with the cowboy before, and I traded information with Dahl a few times. I suppose that doesn't count for much."

"No. It does," Veronica admits, wincing a little as she shifts her position against the tree. "If Dahl trusted you, then it means you're good people. Or at least not a POS like a lot of people." She smirks ruefully at that. "So you think we should stay here, look for Steel and Ramirez, see what we can get out of them? Do you trust that Petrelli and Raith aren't somehow working to sabotage us, or is that up in the air?"

"I don't think they're working to sabotage us. I just wouldn't trust what their final goal is, here in Argentina… or with the nuclear weapon, for that matter…" A whispering sigh through the air, and Cardinal admits, "I don't know if any of you are likely to survive here, Sawyer. If you find a way out, I wouldn't blame you for taking it."

Agent Sawyer shakes her head. "It's… this is what I've signed on to do. Protect people from things they can't protect themselves from. If I die trying… so be it." There's a slight tilting of her chin that's either defiance or mustering her fortitude, or perhaps both. "But Gillian and Varlane… they shouldn't die when they didn't volunteer. Not really. Being told you'll be locked away forever unless you help out — they shouldn't be here. If you can help convince them to leave… do it." Her dark eyes sparkle a little in the dim light, a telltale sign of tears being held back. She can't let Brian's sister die.

"Gillian is in love with Petrelli," Cardinal snorts roughly, "And Petrelli won't go anywhere. You'd have to sedate her and smuggle her out of the country in a fuckin' box. And Varlane's got his whole comic-book hero thing going, but I imagine you'd know that… I know that Dahl knew him when he was working with you."

The shadow spreads more over her like a darksome blanket, shading her form, "…and is that what the Company is about these days? They're not very good at it, you know."

Shaking her head at the news of Gillian's feelings for Peter, Veronica chuckles humorlessly. "Figures. And figures I didn't figure it out myself. I suck at relationship shit. But it explains his five seconds of feeling when he saw her hurt." She rubs her temples. What a nightmare this is. "As far as the Company… to be honest? You're right. They haven't done a good job. I went into it thinking it was what it was about, that I was helping people. And I have… I've taken in quite a few dangerous people with bad intentions over the years, enough to have me think that my job was valuable, that I was doing something good. Lately… not so much.

"And that's why this is important." She shrugs, glancing down. "If we can find Munin, disable it… even if we only find some clues that help us find Munin… then I'd know I've done something good."
Raith has connected.

"There are other options," observes Cardinal quietly, "You may want to consider them. You've had enough exposure to… non-Company elements. You have to have learned some of the— unpleasant sides of their history, some of the incredible bullshit that they've pulled. Fuck, Sawyer, even the cowboy doesn't agree with his superiors."

"She shrugs. I've dealt with … quite a few 'classified' cases, so to speak. I'm not sure they'd let me just walk away — not without their personal brand of lobotomy, and I don't want that to happen. It might be a bit histrionic on my part to worry about it, but I've seen it happen before. Run into someone who used to work for us, someone who left on good terms, or so I thought, and had them not even recognize me." Someone other than Varlane. "The cowboy — maybe if it were under him, I trust him not to do that to me. Other superiors I've had — not so much." Never mind she helped kill the last immediate supervisor she'd had. "Maybe after this — if we survive it — maybe there will be a new truce that changes things."

"A truce? There isn't any truce, Sawyer…" A faint, dry chuckle, "…you don't understand that the Company is obsolete. It was formed to protect the secret, by removing those— who'd show the world there were Evolved by their actions. Now? Everyone knows. The government has its own black ops groups to take care of things."

"So between the fascists and the revolutionaries, Veronica… where do you think there is for you to stand?"

And there the arrow hits the bullseye. Her identity crisis in a nutshell. "Nowhere," is the short answer, as she adjusts her jacket around her, as if suddenly cold. "Go get some rest. I assume you shadows need sleep, too, and you've been out tromping for longer than the rest of us."

That's certainly a pointed dismissal, and the shadow exhales a whispered chuckle into the night. "It's a new world for us to shape, Sawyer. You don't have to go down with the old one," Cardinal replies… and slips away, presumably to find a bed and sleep at last.

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