It Takes A Thief


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title It Takes A Thief
Synopsis Liz heads for Staten to tell Cardinal that Felix is alive… but she also asks him to do something. Because sometimes it takes a thief to catch one.
Date April 3, 2009

The Greenbelt, Staten Island

The Greenbelt is 2800 acres of mixed urban parkland and natural preserves, winding around and between several major communities. The more natural areas are primarily a succession of ridges and boulder-littered moraines beneath the canopy of a hardwood forest - beech, hickory, maples, and oaks in the main, with a variety of less common trees mixed in. At the lower points of the parkland, this forest gives way to wetland, overgrown with ferns, skunk cabbage, lady slipper, and trout lilies. The park's boundaries include a golf course, a cemetary, a friary, a boy scout camp, and a carousel, as well as the more stereotypical nature center and a native plant demonstration garden.

Given what happened the last time they met, Elisabeth is not even sure Cardinal will meet with her. The phone call was brief — "Need to see you, have some information." Just enough to pique his interest and draw him to the meet without dumping it on him over the phone. She picked the Greenbelt because it's at least something approaching secluded, plus it's nestled in the quieter part of Staten Island — it's a place where it's easy to remember that Staten is the biggest suburb of the entire city and usually a reasonably nice place to live. She's dressed in casual clothes, jeans and a long-sleeved maroon T-shirt with a pair of black boots and a black jacket. Her hands are shoved into the pockets while she waits for him.

"Harrison." The voice comes, as usual, from nowhere. It's dark in the greenbelt at night, shadows cast long by the trees and little in the way of artificial light to illuminate things. Cardinal could be anywhere, or everywhere, voice a hollow echo from the surroundings. "What can I do for you?"

Not like she didn't expect that from him. Liz looks around and asks quietly, "First, you can get solid, please. What I have to say…. I'd really like to be able to YOU, not to myself while you hover?" There's no anger in her tone, merely… a kind of weariness. "I didn't come to make trouble or to shout at you."

A hissing sigh stirs through the shadows, and then a patch of darkness spreads down the side of a tree. Cardinal pushes himself free of it, black clinging to him like a film as he slowly resolves into solidity, cracking his neck left, then right before fixing her with a steady look. Neutral. "So why are you here?"

She turns to look toward him and says simply, "Thank you." Liz pauses. "I need to know how good a look you got at Ivanov's body. How sure are you that it was him? What shape was the body in?"

"It was him," Cardinal replies firmly, head cocking a little to one side, "Fish'd been nibbling a little, but, yeah, that was him. Those were his glasses that you walked away with, Liz, you know that. Big fuckin' hole over the heart, too, so I know he was dead."

Elisabeth looks around in the darkness, biting her lip. "Something… seriously weird is going on." When she looks back at him, her expression is… pensive. Puzzled. "He's not dead, Richard. He walked in my front door two nights ago, alive and well. Befuddled to all hell and missing several days worth of time, but… whole. I couldn't check him for scars or anything — he was dressed. But… "

Cardinal's brow tightens, lines drawing together as he leans back slightly. "…th'fuck?" He hesitates a moment, "Well, he was pretty fuckin' dead, let me tell you, and as far as I know, his power doesn't include pulling a Jesus." A glance over the forest, then back to her as he ventures, "— shapeshifter?"

She shakes her head, a negative shake but more in the sense of 'no clue.' "I honest-to-God don't know. I don't think a shapeshifter would have his memories or mannerisms quite right. And there's something off about him, that's for damn sure. But … I'm not getting the vibe that he's not Felix, you know? For whatever the hell that's worth with my judge of character lately," Elisabeth replies bitterly.

"You just said that he was all weird and didn't remember right, didn't you? I don't… shit, I don't know," Cardinal rakes a hand back through his hair, fingers splayed against his neck in a rueful rub there as he looks utterly confused himself, "Life's gotten pretty fuckin' weird lately."

Blowing out a breath, Elisabeth nods slightly. "Yeah… that'd be the understatement of the century, I think," she comments. "He doesn't remember from what I would assume is just before being shot — traumatic amnesia of that kind would be expected — to the point where he woke up in a hotel here on Staten near Sea View. Doesn't know what happened to him here on the island but is convinced that whatever you saw, it wasn't him. That maybe the person YOU saw was a shapeshifter." She shakes her head again. "I don't even know what to think or where to start, Richard. I was hoping maybe you'd…. heard rumors or something. Anything that might give us a lead on what happened to him, since you're over here and all."

Cardinal gives his head a slight shake. "…well, does he have his glasses?" A brow lifts, "Or are the ones you got his actual ones? I mean, I suppose some shapeshifter could've stolen them, put them on, and gotten shot, but that seems pretty fuckin' overly complicated to me." A snort, "I haven't heard shit, actually."

There's a chuckle. "They're his. I left them at his apartment," Elisabeth replies. And then she shrugs. "All right. I wanted to deliver the information in person, …. and to tell you that I'm sorry for totally losing it on you the other day." She looks away, but then back at him. She starts to say something else and then chooses to bite it off.

"If I hear anything, but, I've been busy — askin' about disappearing Feds is an easy way to get pegged as a snitch," Cardinal noes, one shoulder lifting in a shrug, his head shaking, "I'll keep an eye out, though, in case I see him, or — whatever." He shrugs a little, then, "Sorry I had t'have Jake hit you."

In the dark, Liz rolls her eyes. "You didn't have to have him hit me… he did that all on his own. It was a good call," she admits mildly. "I wasn't…. I'm not sure what I'd have done just then." But she shrugs. "You don't have to ask around about Felix, just keep your ears to the ground." She pauses then, though. "If I asked you to get some information for me on someone else, though…. what would it cost me?"

"Depends," Cardinal leans back against the tree he 'emerged' from, arms folding over his chest and one foot lifting up to brace against the bark, a brow arching at her, "Who're you looking for information on?"

There's a pause, and Elisabeth's answer is slow… like she expects him to have a good laugh at her expense. "I got involved with a guy who decided to spy on me. He's bugged my place and God only knows what else. For whatever reason, he decided to confess last night." Her tone is bitter. "After dropping a bunch of names on me and letting me know that he knows enough to get me jacked up into Moab, he and his "benefactor"," oh yes, the air quotes come out now, "have decided to offer their services in security, infiltration, and retrieval. He, apparently for free because he agrees with what Phoenix is doing, his benefactor for a price."

"Mm…hm." Cardinal's eyes narrow ever so slightly. "So who's this guy, and what do you know about him? Any idea who this 'benefactor' of his might be?" He doesn't seem amused, for whatever reason, more slightly angry than anything.

The fact that he hasn't outright laughed at her? Well, it makes her tear up a little in the dark. It's been a rough week. And besides, he can't see her in the dark, right? "God, I've fucked up so bad on this one, Richard," she says quietly. Not tearfully, just… resigned. "His name's Alec Bonder. I did a bunch of looking into him for someone who wanted a good engineer to build safe rooms in a building. His credientials in that regard are impeccable. The only thing that tipped me was a bunch of calls to a prepaid cell, but I couldn't track ANYTHING down. I followed him a couple of times… he was good at losing a tail, and that tweaked me some. But still… mostly it all looked on the up and up before I ever met up with him. Clearly I suck at this. Last night, he tells me that he's been … doing something illegal with stocks and whatever for quite a while. He made a ton of money before the Bomb and lost it all in the crash after. And now works for a guy who's another kind of genius or something, and he claims that they're some kind of high-tech, high-class thieves, only stealing from those who can afford it or something. Like Robin Hood, only they keep the proceeds, right?"

She sighs. "Claims he only started checking up on me to see if he was about to get stung, but that within 24 hours of tailing me, he knew I was up to my eyeballs in terrorists. So he started dropping names on me, and basically said the only reason he told me anything about what he does is cuz I can't tell anyone. Offered his and his patron's assistance, or offered for both of us to walk away and ignore what know about each other. Just….. that sounds far too good to be true at this point."

"If he was going to abide by that one, he wouldn't have started by dropping the 'I could bury you' bullshit," Cardinal observes rather darkly, one hand raising to rub against the side of his face, eyes closing. "Christ. You can really pick 'em, Liz. Alec Bonder, I'll see what I can find — you have an address for him? And was I in the middle've all those names, or did he miss me somehow?"

That makes her laugh, Liz can't help it. "Yeah… apparently I can. It's not enough that I pick you, and you're also sleeping with the person I coincidentally jack up and send to Moab the very next week. Then I pick him, and he's just… yeah." She sighs. "No. Your name wasn't on his list, but… you and I didn't do much talking in my apartment, so it's possible that he's got nothing on you." There's a faint smirk; considering what they DID do that night in her apartment, Liz is actually more than a little mortified about all this. "Most of the names he dropped, I think came from a conversation I had with Abby after the rescue run and whatever he's gleaned by tailing me. So… if he knows your name, he's unlikely to have much else, but I can't promise — he was obviously tailing me that far back." She rattles off his address, in her own building a couple of floors up.

A slight nod from the shadow-man answers her words, the address noted — it's just up from hers, so it's not exactly difficult to remember. "I'll check it out," he murmurs, one hand raising to scratch against his jaw as he looks thoughtful, "Maybe tail 'im for a bit, see how he likes it. In return, think you can get me a copy of a criminal's file?"

"I did ask what you'd want in return," Elisabeth replies. "Whose?" She can't promise anything without knowing how deep the shit she'll wade into is.

"Some second-story man, Maury Parkman," Cardinal offers in return, chin lifting in a jerk towards him, "Used to work the west coast, these days he's rumored to be in New York. No relation, far as I know, to the Agent — not that uncommon a name."

In the darkness, Elisabeth looks a bit worried. "I'll look him up," she replies. "But if it turns out you're wrong and he is related, it could put us on Parkman's radar. What do you want to know about him?"

"Parkman owes me," Cardinal says, flatly, "He gives you any trouble, send him my way."

There's a pause, and then Elisabeth shrugs slightly. "All right," she tells him. "I'll get you everything I can muster up." She looks at him and grins a bit in the dark. "Need anything else?"

"I'm good," Cardinal shrugs one shoulder in a slight roll, "It shouldn't be that difficult or dangerous or anything. I'll check out your boyfriend and see what I can find out, maybe I can figure out who the guy works for…"

Heh… her boyfriend. Her face flashes something, maybe sadness. A friendship, more than anything, was lost when he threatened her. And she's got few enough real ones of those as it is. "Thanks," Liz replies softly. And then wry amusement lightens her expression. "Looks like my judgment isn't always shit. It led me to you." She shrugs a bit. "I appreciate it, Richard."

"Hey, you said it yourself, Liz." Cardinal turns away, then, heading off into the trees with a shake of his head, his tone neutral, "We're even. I'll let you know what I find out."

<date>: previous log
<date>: next log
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License