Fingers in the Dyke


cardinal_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Fingers in the Dyke
Synopsis Cardinal seeks Veronica's aid bringing down in their mutual enemy.
Date June 17, 2010

A Restaurant

The 'Tandoor Indian Bistro' is a dim-lit place carpeted and walled in red and adorned with little touches of the nation that it hearkens back to everywhere. The booths are little more than low tables surrounded by pillows to be seated upon, beaded curtains giving them a modicum of privacy, and shoes sit outside the few occupied booths where people've come in for lunch. The staff are properly ethnic, and in fact the waiters and waitresses are the only ones who even speak any English, at least to an initial examination of the restaurant.

There's an appointment that's been made in the name of Veronica Sawyer, and a reserved booth off in the corner.

Veronica is dressed in her usual agent chic — black trousers, black boots, a three-quarters length blouse in royal blue and a black leather jacket over that. There is a cut on her forehead and some small cuts on her forearms. As usual, her eyes look weary, the under-eye area a shade between lavender and plum, suggesting a lack of sleep.

"Thank you," she tells the waiter who leads her to the booth. When he asks if she'd like something to drink while she waits for her 'party,' she murmurs, "Coffee," leaving her shoes outside the booth and taking a seat on a cushy red and purple pile of pillows.

Once the waiter's departed, beaded strands clattering together, a shadow stretches up across the other side of the booth…and Cardinal emerges from it, legs sliding to fold upon the pillows cross-legged, shoulders dropping back to lean against the wall once again. A smile tugs up to one corner of his lips, and he greets quietly, "Hey, Sawyer. Been awhile."

She jumps slightly at first glimpse of something dark creeping out from under the table before she relaxes. Slightly. She really should learn to expect that. Her lips curve into a smirk. "You and your dramatic entrances. It's good to see you, Shade," she says warmly enough, despite the tension that's clear in her posture and eyes. She's pretty sure he didn't call this meeting because they share a fondness for poppadoms and curry.

Leaning back like he does, she arches her brows as she surveys his face. "You eating? You're going to give the waiter a heart attack when he comes back."

"Oh, he'll just assume that I slipped in while he was in the kitchen," Cardinal replies without missing a bead, that smile widening as he makes himself comfortable, "I love eating here, myself - the lamb tikka's to die for." One hand raises up to scratch under his chin, admitting, "It's good to see you too, Sawyer. In the flesh, as it were. How've you been?"

"My flesh isn't as rarely seen as yours," Vee jokes back. "Chicken korma for me, I think. Not a lamb fan, despite the fact I've got some Greek in me. My grandmother swears I was adopted because of that." Chit-chat taken care of, food choice made, Veronica shrugs at the real question asked. "I've been better, but you know, I couldn't really even tell you when I've been better, it's been so long that things have sucked."

Her hand moves to her forehead, fingering the cut there that may or may not leave a scar. "You see anything on Thursday?" she says, jutting a chin toward him, dark eyes flicking across his face from left to right, as if to read the answer there before he speaks.

"I didn't see anything good," Cardinal says quietly, his smile fading a bit and head shaking slowly from side to side, "I doubt that anyone did, though… what about you? You see anything, Sawyer?"

"Damn it. Hoped you saw yourself winning the lottery and you were calling me to give me my share for inspiring you with the winning numbers or something," Veronica says. Her brows twitch at the question — not that she wasn't expecting it, but that she hasn't told anyone what she saw yet.

She shrugs one shoulder. "I was in some cell. Jail, maybe, but a single room, no bars. More like what the Company used to keep people in, maybe." She pauses, looking back up. "You hear I'm one of you now? Manifested a few weeks back."

"Seriously?" Cardinal's back straightens a touch in startlement, his brow furrowing sharply as he looks back to her, "You're Evolved…? Naturally, or, did you run into the Formula or— " A pause, as he catches himself, "— something else?"

"Run into it? Like someone was holding out a syringe and I tripped?" she teases, but shakes her head. "I don't know. No, it… naturally, I guess. Just latent. I'm not sure what brought it out, but it probably saved my life." Probably.

There is a coughing sound outside as the waiter nears the booth, discreetly announcing himself before coming through the beads to put down a little pot of coffee and two mugs. He waits to take their order, and then disappears once again.

The questions are held off as the waiter arrives, and Cardinal offers an easy smile back to the man. "Lamb tikka marsala," he orders, "And some cheese naan…"

As he withdraws, the shadowman reaches out to lift up the coffee pot, tilting it to fill the two mugs, "So…" A glance over, "What is it that you do?"

The question gets a chuckle from the agent. "To be honest, I can't do anything. It's totally passive and I have no control of it. Go me, right?" she says wryly. "It's power reflection. Works against directed or focused powers that are … non creation based." Wow, that sounds like a memo or a file. "A TK tried to take me out — found himself smashed against the wall. But something that creates an object, like a pyro? I'm still dead meat. Area-affect powers aren't reflected either, so like Liz's power would still affect me. I'm still working out the details. Or, rather, the geek squad is."

"Now that's an interesting ability…" Cardinal slouches forward to lean folded arms on the table, brows raising a little, "…I can think of some uses there. Must be useful in your line of work, too." The cup's picked up, and he gently blows over the surface of his coffee, murmuring as he does so, "How's the Company doing?"

"Oh, and I can't be healed. Or mindwiped, so that's handy. Checks and balances," Veronica says, pouring her coffee and adding cream and sugar. "The Company has me by the proverbial balls, Card. I'm finally not afraid to leave because of the mindwipe thing — though Im sure they'd figure out a way — and … I don't even know. They're banking, I think, on a few of us wanting to stay around to keep the Institute from getting everything the Company's been sitting on. As bad as the Company's been, it's hidden its secrets, but if it goes down…"

Her dark eyes slide away and she gives a shake of her head. "It's a Catch-22. They're just waiting for us to fail, but the longer we can stay around, the longer we can … I don't know. The fingers in the dyke story comes to mind. Get your mind out of the fucking gutter." Her eyes snap back to Cardinal and she smirks.

"I didn't say a word," Cardinal murmurs against the edge of the mug with a hint of amusement, though it swiftly fades as he takes a sip of the black beverage.

"The Company's about to be kicked to the curb," he says in quiet tones, then, setting the mug down and shaking his head slowly, "The dee-oh-jay is just looking for an excuse. As far as they're concerned, the Institute's a far better choice to do what it is you all do. As soon as they have enough reasons, they're going to shut you all down."

Bringing the mug to her lips, Veronica sips slowly, nodding slowly. It's not shocking news, but coming from an outsider, it is all the more serious. "Well, now that your story and my story corroborate one another's… I'm not shocked, though the fact that you're hearing it from someone else is interesting," she says, husky voice solemn. "I'm not really that worried about the job, you know. I can find work — I'll be happy not to have that job, but the alternative … it's not an option, Cardinal. I'm only staying at this point to try to keep the Institute from getting their hands on more people than they already have, but …" she shrugs wearily again. "More holes, not so many fingers, you know? The dam's gonna break."

"I'd take you all over the Institute any day," Cardinal admits with a rough snort, "Just the fact that they have Gregor working for them…" He exhales a sigh against the coffee's surface, and then cuts straight to the point, "…do you think you could get your hands on a file for me? I don't know what your clearance is."

Her nose wrinkles a bit. "I can try. They're putting away the archives — I think, actually, to keep them out of Harper's scaly reptilian hands, so it's a good thing, really, but it's going to be tougher to get some stuff. If I can make an argument it's for an open case, it's easier. My clearance is 3, if that means anything to you… I might be able to get someone with a 4 to get it for me. There's a couple of people who I trust."

"If it helps," notes Cardinal with a slight shake of his head, "It's got something to do with the Institute… I'm trying to track down some information about some of the people they've got working for them. I know the file exists, but my source doesn't have access to your files."

The mug's raised, and he offers quietly, "The name's Niklaus Zimmerman. He's the son of the man who invented the Formula."

The name gets a nod — she remembers the last name from the list given by the same man when he was still only a shadow — more specifically, just a whisper on the other end of a telephone line. "I don't remember seeing one when I looked for the senior Zimmerman," she says.

"If I can find it, what are you looking for specifically — I may not be able to get a copy of the whole file, but if I can get a glimpse of it or a picture of it or something — you know, let me know what you're looking for, so I can look for the right glimpse, if that makes sense. If we can get into archives at all, they're going to strip search us on the way out, pretty much, I get the feeling."

She pauses, and adds, "By the way, got an official 'don't look into June 10th, DHS has it under control, don't step on their toes' memo — which means, of course, that they're hiding something."

Cardinal affirms with a tight nod, "There is a file on him in your records, although it may be locked up tight. I don't know what's in it — but I know that I need to get a look at it. Anything you can get me would be worth my time, and might help in me breaking down the Institute…"

He grimaces, then, "I know you did. It's because the Institute caused it."

She nods tersely. "I know. And they have Gillian. I'm not going to let her stay there, and have them make her be a part of something like this again," she says angrily. "What can he do? Or is he just another mad scientist playing God because he can?"

"Good question." Cardinal arches a brow, "Help me find out?"

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