In A New Light


lynette2_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title In A New Light
Synopsis When Ryans approaches Lynette looking for something to keep his team busy, he finds himself faced with one of the Institute's victims.
Date September 06, 2010

Gun Hill: Lynette's Apartment

It's a little after noon when the former Company's Assistant-Director Benjamin Ryans makes his way down from the apartment he shares with his youngest daughter, intent on meeting the owner. Wearing a worn pair of pants and a slightly faded black shirt, his work boots thumping down the last few steps. Fingers comb back strands of dark brown hair, that has fallen cross his forehead, while blue eyes study the door at his approach.

There is a glance down the hall and in the direction of the buildings entrance, while knuckles busily rap against the wood of the door. "Miss Rowan?"

This particular group of refugees doesn't exactly have Lynette jumping for joy, considering the news pouring out about the Company and it's former practices, but still, they're in her building now and part of her protectorate. But. She's not happy.

So when the knock comes to her door, she comes to open it, one hand on a hip. "That's me. How can I help you?" She can still be civil, of course, although there's no inviting smile or other pleasantries just yet.

The tall man stands in her door way, uncertain what to say at first. The greeting is about what he'd expect from the people in the organization, so it doesn't really phase him. Even dressed as he is, his whole stance and demeanor scream agent. His expression is completely unreadable as he studies the woman. "Names Benjamin Ryans." His voice rumbles, much like a large cat might sound If it could purr. "One of the refugees." He states the obvious, eyes narrowing ever so slightly, somewhat guarded.

"Some of the people I have talked to have mentioned you all are still in the middle of renovating this old building?" A brow twitches slightly in a questioning manner. "I figured, I would come down and offer up help, I'm sure I can muster up some of the others." A glances goes down the hall, a flicker of thoughtfulness over his features.

"Busy hands and the like, might keep some of them from getting too morose." Gaze drop to the floor as his head turns back to her, "Help earn our keep." Men and woman needing a purpose, no matter how mundane.

"Ah, Mister Ryans." Lynette listens to his explanation, fingers drumming against the door for a few long moments as she considers. "The building… isn't in the best condition. I've been trying to make sure it's… safe for the people who live here." Which does include him, at this point, but there's still a hint of a double meaning there, too.

Stepping back from the door, she gestures for him to come inside, "I'm sure I can find some work for you all to keep busy with. I don't suppose any one of you happens to have been a contractor in a former life?" She does smile a bit there, half teasing, but also a little serious as well.

"No," he offers honestly, the tension in his shoulders easing ever so slightly, as he steps into the apartment. "Or… at least, not that I know of. Most of us come from combat training and the like." Ryans glances at his surroundings much like a cop would, eyes drawn to exits and all. "I have done a lot of home repair, remodeled parts of the house I own…" — Oh wait — "owned for nearly thirty years." Not that he look much older then her.

"So I know a little," Benjamin offers, focus falling on the blonde again, the first ghost of a smile touching his lips. "But, I can asked the other five."

"Well, that's something at least." Lynette shuts the door behind him, and leads him over to the dining room table where the building's plans are already laid out. Although why she'd need the blueprints for simple repairs is anyone's guess. What she pulls over, though, is a notebook opened to a list, what needs to be done where.

"Some of the apartments still need help after the damage from the storm, especially here on the ground floor. And the basement is… well, it needs a lot of work. Most of the pipes have been replaced already, just to get the place livable, but the water damage was pretty extensive. And then there's some that just need new paint or carpet of something like that. Whatever help you all are willing to give there, it would be much appreciated."

The plans are noted, but not scrutinized too hard, but Ryans does pick up the list, after a glance for permission to do so. He scans thoughtfully over the list, his head nods every so slowly. "Much of this is fairly normal home repair."

Eyes lift to the buildings owner and gives her a small smile, "The storm did a lot to my place too, took some time to fix the basement." He taps the pist with a finger, setting back on the table. "I think we can do this. I'll see if the others are amendable. I know one will and I am sure my daughter will be happy to help with the painting."

He turns thoughtful, "The basement would be the trickiest, so I think Lee and I can get to work on making those apartments livable. Some of the others if I can get them motivated." His finger trails down the list again. "I've done a little dry walling. I can put up cabinets." And what he can't remember how to do, he's quick enough to learn. Home improvement books lined one of the shelves in his den, back home. He has a feeling, he'll be wishing he had them.

"Most of it is normal, yes. There's just… so much of it." Lynette leans a hip against the table, looking over at the man there with a lifted eyebrow. "Let me know what supplies you might need for all this and I'll make sure you get it."

She does look at him for a few long moment, though, like something's on her mind, but whatever it is… she leaves it there. For now. Instead, she steps away to pull a cigarette out of an ash tray as she asks, "So how are you all adjusting to the fugitive lifestyle? Morose, you mentioned."

"I'm worried more about the younger agents." Benjamin states, after a moment of thought, notebook tossed on the table. "The older ones, like myself have been doing the under cover thing… for awhile." Ben more so then Gael. "Some have lost love ones in the assault, close friends and colleges for the rest of us. I still have a daughter unaccounted for out there, but she wasn't Company… only my child, something to be used against me." His deepest fear at the moment.

There is a soft sigh from the older man, fingers brushing through his hair again, before tucking into the pockets of his jeans, thumb hooked on the outside. "We will adapt. For the moment, we're lost til some of the heat blows over and had time to mourn our losses. Till then we're floundering, hence…" He motions to the book. "I might not be their leader anymore, but they are still my responsibility." At least in his mind. "That means finding them something other then sitting around wallowing in thier misery."

"Well. I'm good at putting people to work. At the very least, we can make sure they're too tired to wallow by the end of the day. At least for a while." Lynette takes a moment to draw in from that cigarette before she looks over at him again. "The news… What it's saying about your Company…"

She looks back to the ashtray as she needlessly taps off the ash from the end, giving herself something to focus on for the moment as she gathers herself for what she needs to ask. "Is all that true?" It seems to matter to her. Personally.

It's a question he's expected, curiosity is a part of human nature. In all honesty, he could lie, but why? There is no reason too, so after a moment, meets her gaze and nods slowly. "Yes, a good amount of it. The founders did a lot of questionable things and corrupted, what… at first had been a good intention."

Ryans looks away, hands moving to grip the back of one of the table's chairs, leaning on it a little. "When I join the Company in the late 70's, I was told it was there to protected the secret of the evolved. To protect them from the very things that have been happening and protect the non-evolved from the worst of the evolved. " His gaze lifts from the plans, to the woman standing there. "Then it's founders corrupted it.

"I retired after we failed to stop the destruction of midtown, which took my wife." There is a slow shrug of his shoulder. "I came back to the government in control of us, using us as Home Sec Agents, but things were somewhat back to the old days, before all that." His head shakes slowly. "Past caught up… They wnted our secrets, since now the Institute is picking up where the Company's corrupt left off." His knuckles whiten where he grips the chair.

"This group here, how much were you all involved in the… experiments and such?" Lynette brings the cigarette back to her lips there, hands shaking just a little, but it's enough for an attentive observer to notice.

She looks over at him there, expression controlled and even, the surface apparently maintained. "It's important for me to know."

"The Institute?" There is a look of disgust at the mere thought, his stony masks almost breaks into a sneer. The agent shakes his head slowly, "None of us were involved with the experiments, we solved Evolved crimes. Took down the bad ones, tried to save the good ones." Straightening, he concedes. "We were, however, under orders of the government to hand over anyone we caught to those bastards. Started shortly after I came back. I spent a lot of effort to make sure people didn't end up in those silver coffins. Burned favors and bridges.

"Not that it stopped them from snatching them from under my nose." There is a barest growl in his tone, Ryans still chafes from when they swept in and took Darren from their ranks. "Even attempted to take one of our leads, ran one of my agents off the road to do so." Gotta love little skirmishes within the government itself.

Lynette's expression furrows a bit there, her head tilting as she takes a moment to process and possibly adjust her opinions some. "Is that true?" comes as a somewhat wary question, guarded for the moment. "That you worked against the Institute?"

She sets her cigarette back down again, keeping it off to the side on its own so it won't be a bother, and steps back over toward the table and the man standing there, too. She seems to be studying, as if she could determine if he's playing her if she just looked hard enough.

There is a moment of hesitation, before his gives a slow nod of his head. "Yes." The word said softly. "The first time, I realized what was going on, I had to watch a young boy get placed into one of those metal caskets." He holds up a hand in a waiting gesture. "Don't get me wrong. He was a powerful telekenetic that killed… countless people. He needed to be captured, but… there are better ways then sticking him in a coffin." Not that the Company ever did a good job with kids. Elle… Odessa… Both come to mind, but it was still a better life.

"After that… I tried to keep people out of their hands. Had a stand off with them over a man who could turn back the clock. Helped the daughter of another company agent escape from the Instutite… it's where I had my first contact with the Ferrymen."

As much as she studies him, he studies her as well, observant of the way her hands tremble. "Recently, lost a good man. He… could hear their radio transmissions. We didn't know at the time. Thought it was a procog, since his apartment was full of dates and…" He trails off, his gaze focusing on the woman as if realizing something. "Lynette Rowen… Your name was on that list. A list of the victims kidnapped." He looks as if he's seeing her in a new light.

Lynette listens for a long time without interrupting, since this is all something she wants to hear. Maybe needs to. It's hard to say if she's really trusting or satisfied, but hey, she's not kicking him out. It's got to mean something.

Those last words of his make her blink, then her chin lifts just slightly. "Oh, was it?" It's a comment that's far too nonchalant to be genuine. There is the barest glance back toward that cigarette, like she's regretting having left it behind now, but she looks up at him after that brief moment.

"It was." The words gruff, clipped. "Darryl could hear their transmissions. He had names there with dates of capture." Ryans' mouth twitches with a hint of a rueful smile, as he decides to continue on or the moment. "When I saw the list, I only knew what it was cause of intel I had received. As soon as I knew, I had to move. I got to Darryl shortly after they ran my agent off the road." It's his turn to tip his chin up a bit. "I took down five of their men, to take him back.

"I had hoped he'd be useful in knowing what they were doing… however they set up a trap for us. Well… me mostly." A smile pull at the corner of his mouth, a hint of malice to it. "I admit, I was somewhat flattered, that they thought I was that much of threat to them."

The agent falls silent, letting it set there heavily, before he adds. "So… yes, Miss Rowan, I worked against the Institute. I still hope too, however, it's not something I can do on my own… or even with what's left of my team. So far now…" He reached over to pat the list. "We'll do some manual labor."

"It has been something of an eventful summer," Lynette says, her smile rather weak at the moment. But at his last words, she holds a hand out for a shake, her expression turning serious, "Then I'm less upset to have you staying, Mister Ryans. I admit, I haven't been thrilled about it." And is it any wonder.

Her attention turns back toward the table, though, to the plans there. "If you and your team feel up to a more ambitious project… I'm trying to find someone trustworthy enough to help me build a sort of escape route. Hidden. For those here who might need a quicker, unnoticed exit."

Ryans' hand wraps around hers, warm and callused, he holds it a moment before releasing it again. "I doubt there are many in your organization that is thrilled to have us here, with the stigma of the Company's past hanging over so many heads." A smile is offered again as he adds, "More then once I've had those with me wondering why we were not tossed out. Our organizations past deserves it."

His gaze goes to the blueprints as understanding dawns on him. "Let us start on getting your revenue coming back in, then once we know how things stand with the Ferrymen, I'll see what can be done about an escape route." Brows twitch up a little as he adds, "Sounds like a plan?"

"You're not tossed out because you need us. This is what we do, after all. And you and your team seem to have good enough reputations to overlook the link to the Company. Happy or not, so long as you're all here, I'll do what I can to keep you hidden, safe and out of the wrong hands, same as any other refugee." Lynette gives him a more confident smile there, "And you can tell your team that much."

When he looks to the plans, she smiles a little wider and leans a hip against the table, "You're the handyman, darling, whatever you think is best." It may not be as glamorous a title, but it's something.

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