High Value Target, Part I


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Scene Title High Value Target, Part I
Synopsis On investigating Darryl Lincoln's apartment, Benjamin Ryans and Lashirah Lee discover a dangerous secret.
Date July 23, 2010

Fort Greene Apartments

Two floors up from the street, dim grey light filters in through the hallway windows. Save for the two people coming in off the stairs, the third floor hallway of Fort Greene Apartments is quiet, no noise of the other tennants and little noise from the street below getting in through the brick walls and tall windows.

Benjamin Ryans and Lashirah Lee have no business to be here on any other day, approaching the door of apartment 305 they are presented with the possibilities of what may lie beyond the door. With a warrant to search the apartment and the cooperation of the Fort Greene staff, Benjamin has been fortunate enough to be furnished the key to 305.

On the outside, the peeling green and gold wallpaper and aged-looking green painted door to the apartment is weathered, though unremarkable looking. According to Agent Sawyer's report, however, the apartment could potentially contain the prophetic works of a man who has been — for years — hearing voices in his head that speak of upcoming events.

Unfortunately, however, Darryl Lincoln's sanity has been brought into question. During his interview with Allison Richards, Lincoln claimed that people were whispering to him from some place only he can perceive. His records from the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital also speaks of his delusions of "others" that stand around him that no one else can see, how they plan on "taking" people with them back to where they come from.

The Company has investigated some strange cases before, but this one may well be one of the strangest.

Lashirah quips. "So remind me again, boss, what we're looking for here? Footprints of things this guy can see that we apparently can't? Fibers? Wacky-ville to the extreme?" She sighs. "Sorry, I should know better, particularly after some of the past cases we've had… though you gotta admit, this is out there even for us." She pulls on a set of rubber exam gloves from her coat pocket even before they reach the door, and offers a pair to Ryans.

After all, in somethingg this weird, even the door might end up having a clue or two.

Taking the gloves, Ryans eyes the door with a thin press of his lips, from under the brim of his old fedora. "I'm not sure." He rumbles softly as he tugs on the purple gloves, which stand out with his dark blue jacket and jeans. "A mentally disturbed man, possibly a precog. Could be anything." Glancing at Lashirah with a small hint of a smile he adds, "I'm sure we'll know what it is when we see it."

With a sap of latex, the gloves are in place and he moves in to unlock the door. When he hears the lock, the old man doesn't open the door just yet, the buttons of his jacket are undone so that he can have easy access to the weapon within. A glance goes too Lashirah as his left hand grips the knob and opens the door into the apartment.

Lashirah gently reaches under her own coat as she covers her 'partner' for the evening's movement. It's not often spoken of, but Lash puts in her time at the range, and has been known to give some of the front-line Company members a run for their money on pistol work… She nods as she moves to cover and corner into the opened door.

The door to Darryl's apartment opens into an unlit hallway. Just inside the door to the left of Ryans is a small, unlit bathroom. Tall windows with open blinds at the end of the hall shed gray light in through and onto the hardwood floor. The flooring beneath Ryans' feet creaks from age as he comes in, silence permeating thorugh the apartment save for the sounds of his footsteps, breathing, and Lashirah at his heels.

At first things seem ordinary as the assistant-director makes his way down the hall, past a framed photograph hanging on the wall of a young Darryl sitting on the steps of a Brownstone apartment building with a chubby, curly-haired kid at his side, likely a young Richard Daselles.

Past the photo and at the end of the hall, the apartment space opens up to a small kitchenette littered with Post-It notes. Those yellow pieces of adhesive paper cover every surface, the refrigerator, items on the counter, the cabinets, drawers. Everything is marked with listed contents, some scratched off and others not. It is like Darryl itemized everything in his apartment and openly displayed the location on the notes, down to the count of the silverware in his dwarers.

Opposite the kitchen an empty coat rack rises up beside an old forced hot water radiator. Beyond the kitchenetter is a spacious and open living room, its brown flannel couch covered with cardboard boxes containing back issues of the New York Times, some of which have been strewn across the coffee table. An x-acto knife lays out on some of the newspapers, and large portions of them have been dissected; photographs, header titles, letters, all cut away with the knife having left grooves in the wood of the table.

It's only on standing at the sofa that Ryans notices what lies on the far corner of the living room: madness.

One of the entire windows that faces the back lot of the apartment building has been plastered over with newspaper clippings. Not whole articles, but pieces and snippets of words and names, like a random letter written by a madman. Post-It notes cover portions of the lettering and a cork-board next to that window has further post-it notes strewn across it with lists of names and dates, beneath them a map of New York City.

Hand falling away from the grip of his weapon, Ryans stares at what is before him. "That is what we are here for." Curiously, the old man moves closer to the map, eyes moving over it. "I want pictures of this, of course. Close up images, so we don't loose the exact lay out."

He doesn't touch it, but his finger skims down the names looking for anything interesting that stands out. Brows furrow as he looks over it curiously.

Lashirah blinks… and digs into a different pocket in her jacket with one hand, as she reaches to turn on a light switch with the other. "…Holy hellfire, boss…" She pulls out a digital camera and begins taking pictures, starting with the post-it notes, working her way to the sofa and table, then to the window. Everything recorded, meticlously, multiple shots from multiple angles, making sure the entire set of words will be recoverable later. It's habit.

Then she starts reading the post-it notes, looking for any thing about them that stick out… or marks on the map that seem important.

The paper letters glued to the window around the first set of Post-It notes spell out a message of sorts, but if it is a message it isn't one in any language that either Ryans or Lee have ever seen before:


Around those pasted letters, the Post-It notes contain large arrangements of letters in two columns, all of them are crossed out and it looks like some sort of ongoing project or a puzzle. Most of it is complete jibberish and some junk sentences are written on the post-it notes that do not make any grammatical sense and have been furiously scratched out.

Adjacent to the window, the cork-board seems to be less of a riddle and more of a road map. Much of New York City's five boroughs and portions of New Jersey are displayed in a pair of overlapping maps from different sources push-pinned up onto the board. Laid over locations are Post-It notes, each detailing names, addresses and a series of numbers:

Carpenter, Elijah/Liberty Island NY/11192009

Zimmerman, Jonas/100 Oak Street Oghdenburg NY/12172009

Mas, Eve/35 West 35th Street New York NY/412010

Maxwell, Leonardo/48 Reno Ave New York NY/412010

Jackman, Angelina/529 West 35th Street New York NY/412010

Rowan, Lynette/758 Gun Hill Road New York NY/5282009

Childs, Gillian/460 McClean Ave New York NY/682010

Sumter, Joseph/Untenable Location/682010

Winbrook, Shelly/21 Edgecombe Avenue, New York NY/7142010

Parmenter, Theresa/1062 Cedar Drive S New York NY/7282010

All of these post-it notes look remarkably recent, along with the cut out letters. Everything else is dusty and having clearly sat unattended for quite some time. On the floor beside the current corkboard is a far older one that contains pages and pages of lined paper with scrawling, nearly illegible handwriting on them which would take some time to sift through, a few days at the very least.

Lashirah frowns at the 'lack' of message… or the incrediblely compex code that defies immediate recongizing. She photos the post-it notes, before commenting. "… When was he locked up?" She asks blandly, even as she notes the adressess, on the map. In paritcular, she notes the pair both on 35th Street. It only takes her a minute mutter. "Those are out in Midtown." She mutters. "The numbers appear to be some kind of date code… Month, date, year, sometimes ommiting leading zeros?"

Looking over the notes, Ryans feels a cold chill settling into his stomach, as he starts to recognize names. Quickly, Ryans is fishing out his cellphone, he doesn't know how much time they may have, so he starts to take his own pictures… Rebel be damned.

"I recognize some of these names." The assistant-director says softly, after he pockets the phone. He glances at Lashirah, "Kidnap victims." of the Institute, but he doesn't say it out loud. Reaching out he taps one post-it in particular. "Next target, if we are reading this right."

Lashirah looks at the list again. "… 1062 Cedar Drive South. Six days out." She wears an emotionless mask. She recongizes Ryan's tone. "… a code of only four letters…" She looks at that part of the wall again. "… Think this could be letter subtitution for a DNA strand?"

While Ryans and Lashirah discuss the potential of the code pasted onto the glass like a ransom note and photograph the post-it notes and maps, other oddities around the room begin to become evident. Song lyrics scribbled in pencil on the wallpaper, a half-written transcript of what reads like a television news broadcast, several lines of dilogue from a commercial for cologue, all jotted down in different mediums.

Outside of the apartment and down the hall there's a clunk from the 3rd floor stairwell door opening and closing, followed by the leisurely sound of footsteps strolling down the hallway. According to the landlord there's no residents on this floor aside from Lincoln's apartment, which means that no tennants have any reason to be coming down that hall, nor is the landlord even in the same city at present to have come to nose in on things.

The sequence of letters get another look… "It's the first thing that popped in my head, however…" The older agent looks to the forensics agent. "I'm just a field agent. You tell me." He motions to some of the other stuff and starts to speak, but stops short. His head jerks to one side listening, his whole body tenses and goes still, when he hears a sound.

A glance goes to Lashirah and he jerks his head towards the door, to alert her to the noise if she didn't hear it. Reaching into his jacket for his handgun. He side steps to the edge of room and watches the doorway as he moves towards it.

Lashirah looks to Ryans, then to the door at the sound. She lets go of her camera, trusting the wrist strap to keep it attached to her, even as her hand goes under her jacket, drawing out her service pistol from the holster. She moves to take cover on one side of the hallway heading to the doorway without hesitating in the slightest. She did hear the noise, and remembered enough of the details to know that something was odd here.

Approaching the apartment, the footsteps draw closer and closer, until a man bordering on the height of short steps into the doorway. Brows furrowed and eyes angled into the apartment doorway, he isn't an immediately recognizable face to either of the agents inside of the apartment, but his style of dress in a charcoal colored suit seems more business than pleasure.

"…agents?" he asks thorugh the doorway, squinting against the dark and the contrasting light of the windows at the back. "Agent Lucas Eldridge, Department of Homeland Security?" Taking another step inside, Lucas' eyes scan the hallway as he reaches into his jacket and withdraws his identification folio, flipping it out as he slowly advances down the hall with it held out, unable to see neither Benjamin nor Lashirah where they've taken cover.

"Agent Ryans? Agent Lee?" Dark brows lift up as Eldridge stops in the middle of the hall. "Anyone home?"

Relaxing, Ryans steps out from where he's hiding, while making a show to put away his weapon. "Agent Eldridge." He offers politely as he gives the weapon a final push. "I was not aware that we would have any company." There is no smile for the man, just that neutral expression that the old agent has mastered.

He motions to Lashirah that it's okay, "Start seeing what else there is…" His steely blue eyes settle on the other man, "Was it decided we needed baby sitters?" A brow twitches upward with curiosity before he steps aside so the new arrival can see what it beyond.

Lashirah puts away her own weapon with a casual slowness… the alert observer though would notice there is no sound of the snap of the holster's strap being reconnected. She photographs the writing on the wall, on the floor, cieling, wherever else it might be found. Then she moves down to poke into the other rooms.

"I got told you'd be coming down here, and since I was the first responder from the Department when the incident in Brooklyn happened they thought I should get a look at this since it's related." Folding his identification closed, agent Eldridge takes a few meandering steps into the kitchenette, brows furrowed as he looks at the refrigerator and the odd categorizations and labeling.

Seeing a flash from Lashirah's camera, his attention drifts to where the foresnsics specialist is cataloguing everything, seeing her taking a shot of — what at this distance resembles — a blank wall before she ducks into the bedroom.

The bedroom is much like the rest of the apartment, post-it notes everywhere on his closet door detailing what clothing he has and the last date it was washed on, post-it notes on his bed listing dates and times beside his alarm clock, stacks and stacks of these notes, like schedules or… records of sleep time?

Whatever they are, they're short and irregularly spaced out.

The windows here are shrouded with curtains that let in little light. On the bed is a small spiral-bound notebook filled with more scribbled and poorly written writing, some of it legible but none of it seeming of any real consequence. Outside, she can hear Eldridge still talking. "I know your department has everything under control, I just wanted to see if you needed a hand, maybe find out a little about what you've discovered just to be kept in the loop?" Squinting, Eldridge seems to have finally noticed the map.

Lashirah bags the notebook on principal… then slides said bag into her inner jacket pocket. Trust issues, Lashirah? Maybe. She checks the closets, the drawers. She tries to disturb as little as possible… yet still leave not a single spot of the room unexplored or unphotographed.

The assistant director seems reluctant at first to talk about anything, he doesn't react when the Eldridge sees the map. "Don't touch without gloves." He offers before moving to look through a stack of something as he talks. "Haven't found much currently, there is a lot of information to take in… probably take us a lot of time to go through it all."

His phone is removed from his pocket as he talks, as if looking at a message. "Most of it seems like jibberish really" His thumb types out a message — he's getting better at this — and sends it to a number he hasn't used since his daughters were kidnapped.


Hopefully, it's enough to grab the technopath's attention. Making sure the phone is silent on the chime, he pockets it again, picking up a stack, he moves towards the Agent. "I see you found the list." He offers pleasantly. "Interesting since Shelly Winbrook's name is on it. These other names… Joseph Sumter. Gillian Childs. Eve Mas."

A finger taps on the window at Maxwell's name. "This one fascinates me. I thought Leonardo Maxwell died in an accident? He makes me wonder if it it a kidnapping list… or something else." His hand slides down to the last name, finger tapping it and presses lips together thoughtfully. "Theresa Parmenter of 1062 Cedar Drive? That date looks pretty soon."

Moving away again, Ryans shrugs. "Twenty eighth isn't that far away." He points out as he moves away from the man, looking through the stack still. "Things are pointing to this man being a possible precog."

Rebel did say Ryans owed him.

What a coincidence, he was going to ask him to repay that debt soon. Maybe Ryans is the precognitive in the room.

While Ryans speaks, Eldridge approaches the list with furrowed brows. As he looks over the names, there's a brief flash of either recognition or confusion, either way intense in the level of surprise that accompanies it. "Maxwell— " cutting himself off, Eldridge looks askance to Ryans, then towards the bedroom door where Lashirah is finishing up the photography.

"Have you contacted anyone about this list yet? Run any of the names?" Eldridge's brows knit together as he watches Ryans, "I mean— if we think this Parmenter might be a risk, you know— it might be a good idea to get on that as soon as possible. Is it just you two here?" There's a look back to the bedroom door when Eldridge asks that.

Lashirah hears the question from near the door of the room. She doesn't LIKE the sound of that line. The camera gets put away, a bluetooth earpiece going into her ear. She doesn't leave the room, but instead, draws her pistol silently again, and takes up a position just inside the door frame, ready to utter two words as a command to the phone hiding in her pocket in case things go to shit. Agent Lee wasn't born yesterday. And the words she hears ring more of someone covering something up, then that of an investigator.

"Only just got here, but… we'll certainly be running these names when we get back." There is a slow nod of Ryans head as he looks at window and not the man. Nothing will show on the old man's face, but just what Eldridge says has every alarm in Ryans' head going off.

"In fact…" The senior agent drawls out, reaching into his jacket for his tiny notebook and the pen with it. "I should write these down, that way I can look into them as soon as I'm back." Eyes narrow at the writing on the window, his pen moves to scratch the names on the pad. He's testing the Home Sec agent… Or should it be Institute agent.

The old man wasn't born yesterday either, he's just playing like he is.

"But your right… should get some one on this, pretty quick. Think you can send some of your boys down, Agent Eldridge?" He continues to write, but he's very aware of the man next to him. His words are mainly for the digital messenger for Messiah and hopefully he gets the clue. Ryans won't send his own people down, he'll let the others fail this one.

"Yeah that's… not a bad idea, actually I was just going to suggest sending down a forensics team to go over everything just in case." Eyeing the ransom-note style writing in that odd pattern on the window, there's a nervous tension that rides up in Eldridge's spine before he withdraws his cell phone from his pocket and starts dialing a number. "I'll be a second," he notes as he turns, walking towards the kitchenette.

After a few moments there's a response, and Eldridge's voice carries out through the apartment quietly. "Yeah, this is Eldridge. I'm at Lincoln's apartment, Agent Ryans is here with a team. You think you could send a group down to help collect data and do a full sweep of the building?" There's a look over Eldridge's shoulder to Ryans and a smile.

"Yeah, yeah of course, thanks." Flipping his phone shut, Eldridge is about to say something when Ryans' cell phone rings, a Flight of the Valkyrie ringtone that normally isn't on his phone at all.

"I'll let you get that…" Eldridge notes with a raise of his brows as he walks back into the living room, looking around with a crease of his brows as if trying to find something in specific and being puzzled by its absence.

Lashirah continues to listen, as she digs her camera back out, pulling the memory card out of it… and sliding the small bit of electronic memory into her phone's memory card slot. She whispers not the first command that was at hand, but another one. "Upload MC Root Home." The company accountants could scream at her later for the expense. The pictures were already on their way back to the public side company email folders, aimed at herself. She clicks the safety off of her pistol, and holds tight.

"Good call." Ryans say gruffly, before looking at the hall way. The phone is pulled out of pocket, with a bit of a smile, "Probably one of my girls." He turns his back on the man and flips the phone open. "Ryans." His says softly, turning back to the window. "I'm working… so make it quick." The words, more for show then anything else, with hope whoever is on the other end understands that.

He moves towards the hallway where Lashirah is to check on her, mainly and to make sure they are able to make a united front if needed.

Lashirah listens to Ryans footsteps, focusing to see if he is followed. She keeps the pistol ready, even as her back is pressed to the wall next to the door, closest the side where the main living area is, training kicking in as she keeps calm and cool, despite the distinct feeling of being trapped on the third floor.

Call traced to the desk of Department of Homeland Security Agent Desmond Harper, current mobile coordinates 49, 54, 97, 7: Washington, D.C.

Ryans knows the voice on the other end of the phone, the trinity voice of Rebel bellowing like some distant Olympian God from atop some foggy mountain. Encoded transmission sent from known Institute broadcast hub, there is likely a retreiver unit or other Institute operation en-route to your location.

That is where Rebel is wrong, where his limitations of information are incorrect. They're not coming here because right now, miles away, Agent Allison Richards is picking up Darryl Lincoln from the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey. Ryans knows that old trick, make them pay attention to one hand while doing something with the other. Agent Richards and Darryl are likely in a great deal of iminent danger.

"Lee…" He says softly, before stepping through the door, giving her fair warning. Once he sees her, Ryans motions to Lashirah, he points two fingers at his eyes and then points towards the door . "Warn me." He says softly, "And that away, but be ready." His voice lowers once he is away from her moving further away from her. "Now listen…" He says into the phone. "I know there is no trust here… but I need you to listen… That's wrong… or not all of it." He pulls the phone away from his ear and types:

Darryl Lincoln

He follows it with the address, before putting it back to his ear. "That is where they are going. Retrieve him. We need him. All of us need him." Glancing over his shoulder Ryans lowers his voice even more. "Especially, if he can help predict the targets." That should be enough to convince them. "Spare the agent. She is mine." That's all he asks.

"I have to go." The agent snaps the phone shut and tucks it away, moving back towards the living room, though he nods to Lashirah, his words are for Eldridge. "Anything else standing out for you Agent? Pretty wild. Never been a huge fan of precogs." He says with a bit of a shake of his head.

Lashirah nods as she puts away the armament, nodding as she moves to watch the door carefully, even as she taps her earpeice, then mouths but one word over her shouder to Ryans, "Backup?"

"No ah… nothing really," comes the curious answer from Eldridge as he watches Ryans come into the living room, "just trying to figure out how a guy lives like this is all." He's specifically hedging his answers, keeping whatever it is he's noticing from the apartment to himself. It's only when Lashirah comes out of the bedroom on Ryans' heels that she notices what may have been one of the many things Eldridge seems to be observing as wrong.

Firstly, no television. None in the bedroom, none in the living room, no radio, no computer, no phones. Not even so much as a land line. It's only now that Lashirah has had a chance to see all the rooms of the apartment hat she's noticing that there are no electronic devices in this apartment that the agents didn't carry in on their own.

"I think I'll stick around here, get a look at the rest of the place and see if there's anything I can find. I'll forward whatever I get to your office, agent Ryans." There's a tip of Eldridge's head towards the assistant director before he begins to look around the apartment floor, brows creased.

Lashirah keeps her own poker face on. "I'd appreciate being allowed to see any forensics that turn up as well, of course." She stays a step behind and to the left of Ryans, covering his back, even while her movement seems casual so it isn't obvious that she is doing so. She walks over to the fridge, if there is one, and opens it.

He knows a 'you may leave now' when he hears one and Ryans isn't none too happy about it, but he was expecting it. "Alright, please do." There is a sharp nod of his head and Ryans motions Lashirah towards the door, only to see her moving towards the fridge. Brows lift a little as he watches her curious. "Let's get going, Agent Lee."

A glances goes to the living room again and Ryans can' help but frown a little bit. They were loosing a lot of evidence, he is certain of it… but if they are lucky, the target will get away… even if it means trusting the terrorists to do it.

But he'll only trust them so far, once he's out of here, he'll be heading toward Lincoln and Richards… he might not make it, but he'll try to get there.

Lashirah takes a seemingly quick picture with her phone of the inside of the fridge, before closing it, and following along… once they are out of earshot of the DHS agent, she looks down at the screen, zoomed in on a perishable item inside, or more specifically, the expiration date. Should give an idea of the last time someone was actually living there. "You owe me caffeene, Ryans."

Empty, the whole refrigerator. Given that Daselles has been the caretaker of the place, he likely cleaned it out some time during Darryl's institutionalization.

On the way out of the apartment, a light rain begins brewing from those clouded skies, pattering against the glass on the tall windows as a growing wind begins driving the rain towards the Fort Greene building.

Through that window, outside of the apartments where the rain is falling down onto the busy streets of Brooklyn, there's a thunderhead on the western horizon where lightning flashes brightly against the backdrop of skyscrapers in Manhattan and the jagged fingerbones reaching up from the ruins of midtown.

The weather looks bad out in Jersey.

It figures.

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