Junior Is A Derogatory Term


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Scene Title Junior Is A Derogatory Term
Synopsis Agent Desmond Harper suggests changes in the works for the Company, and junior agent Liza Messer tries to make friends with an idol.
Date June 1, 2010

Fort Hero

That Fort Hero was a United States Military installation in its long and storied history is evident in so many places, few however more evident than the Mess Hall. Little has been done to change its galley-like appearance with long cafeteria tables with fixed bench seating, steam tables and battleship gray walls and floor. While the typical agent of the Company has little in similarity to a military officer, the atmosphere afforded by the mess hall does instill some small sense of militaristic rigidity.

While noon on any day is typically busy at the Fort Hero mess hall, the addition of several new agents to active duty has filled the facility to a much more lively capacity on this relatively inauspicious tuesday. With the investigative team between case loads, the time to lick wounds and prepare for what the futr may bring threatens to lull some agents into a false sense of security.

"…in the event of necessity to capture, all agents are requested to utilize a SAP 77R sedation gun…" Quietly murmuring what she reads aloud from a small operations handbook, a tiny, young blonde woman in a sleek black suit that seems so stiffly chosen in attire compared to her more fae nature shuffles sideways in line at the steam tables. Elizabeth Messer may be one of the youngest agents int he Company presently, but a studious one.

"Those don't always work," comments the taller and considerably older man at her side. Albert Rossling could well be Liza's grandfather by the way the silver-haired old man looks and acts, but the mentor/student relationship of this partnership they share is one entirely without blood relation. "I've seen a man take a tranq right in the neck and keep running… the bigger they are and all that."

Unfortunately, the man on Liza's opposite side in line has different tutelage to offer. "Actually, I'd skip that part if I were you." Cracking a toothy smile and offering out a handshake towards the young blonde, Homeland Security liaison Desmond Harper offers friendly advice as a cover to structural changes. "The memo hasn't gone out yet, but you agents aren't going to be allowed to administer sedatives in the field any longer. It's an inhumane practice and only licensed anesthesiologists are allowed, by law, to administer tranquilizers to humans."

A look is flashed askance from Rossling over Liza's head, one silvery brow raised slowly. He says nothing, and Harper takes the opportunity to fill that void with more conversational smiling. "I had a look at your operations logs, and the frequent use of medical sedatives as a means of non-lethal combat neutralization is just… well it's inhumane. You use a standardized dose on those darts, and if youo hit someone with a small enough body weight, you'd stop their heart." His brows lift up, head shakes slowly, and Harper looks down to Liza. "I don't think you want that on your conscience. Do you?"

All in all, it's just another day at Fort Hero.

Veronica Sawyer has just stepped in to the Mess to grab a cup of coffee when she overhears the words come out of Harper's mouth. "Excuse me, what?" she repeats, her brows furrowing as she steps closer to the trio, her head cocking and her eyes narrowing dangerously. "It's inhumane to … what? Yes, it may seem inhumane, but it's far more humane than to shoot them, and I can tell you I've tranqued instead of shot any time that non-lethal force was plausible." Her husky voice is still a touch lower, a touch huskier than usual, though on the mend, thanks to not having to travel in sub-zero weather. "What exactly are you proposing we use?" As an afterthought, she adds, "Sir?"

Rain is walking away from the food line with a tray and food on it. Alot of food too. Docs have been telling him to eat up to help him heal, and thoguh he's not usually a heavy eater he's been following thier orders. The young agent moves like a penguin, waddling from side to side as he moves. His abdomen is swollen with bandages and a rather sturdy brace as well. His button up shirt is left untucked for comfort as he walks away form the line, heading towards well, any free spots. He stops as he hears those words as well, offering a faint snort to them before he grabs a spot somewhat near the new agents. He doesn't sit though, instead beginning to eat where he stands.

Leaning away from the direction Veronica and towards Rossling, agent Harper offers a lopsided smile and a raise of his brows slowly. "You must be agent Sawyer!" he so casually comments, offering an askance look over the top of Liza's head as he crowds her space. Rossing lifts one brow, huffs out a disdainful snort, then looks away and pushes his tray down the line. Slightly less haughty, Liza looks up with wide eyes to Harper, then down to her field manual and finally up to Veronica.

"That's definitely agent Sawyer, I've read all about her…" Liza admits with a meekly studious tone, teeth toying with her lower lip as she turns to look over at agent Rossling, then back to Harper again, brows furrowed. "Aren't… you going to answer her question?" Liza leans forward, looking down the line to Veronica, then leans back and slants a look up to Harper again.

Peering down at Liza, Harper flashes a toothy smile then slants a look over to Veronica. "Well, this little invention came out in 1974, they call it a Taser. Maybe you heard of it?" Harper's smile creeps up a bit wider. "I hear it's relatively effective in as much as non-lethal answers go, but then again you are the guns-blazing agent, aren't you?"

The coffee pot forgotten, Veronica's weary and wary dark eyes flicker from Harper to Liza to Rossling and back to Harper. Clearly she has crossed into the Twilight Zone in her quest for caffeine. "Yes, I'm Sawyer," she says brusquely, her brows knitting as she stares at Harper. "Perhaps you can tell me precisey how tasing someone is more humane than tranquilizing them? You do know, I'm certain, that there are quite a few deaths that have been caused by such instruments? The use of electrical current is just as likely to … what was it you said? Stop someone's heart? As a tranquilizer dart, if not more so, especially if anyone has any form of heart arythmia or other cardiac issues. Not to mention Evolved abilites that could involve electricity manipulation — tranquilizers would be far safer for both the agent and the target in many situations," Veronica argues, "which, I'm guessing, is why it's always been our preferred protocol."

She glances over at Rain, and then looks back at Harper. "I can tell you, there is nothing humane about being tased."

Rain offers a snort at the mention of a tazer becoming standard issue. "yeah, because a tazer is going to work so much better where tranq's don't. You hear the stories about men who take 7 and 8 tazer shots before falling? Yeah, tell them that tazers are humane." He lifts up a piece of bread, pulling a piece off and popping it into his mouth before he hisses in pain and straightens his back up a bit more, the look of pain passing as he does. He glance sto Sawyer, and nods his head firmly towards her, agreeing with her for once on something.

"I think you two might want to take that bit of contrition up with Operations Director Parkman," Harper notes with a bunched up smile as he lifts his hands, wrists touching together, "my hands are tied, sweetheart." There's a wink at that, and Harper lets his wrists come apart as he looks from Veronica over to the chilled trays where wrapped sandwiches are kept, pulling out an egg salad sandwich and brandishing it at her to emphasize his point.

"There's laws against utilizing tranquilizer darts on human beings, and… being that you now work for a legal organization you're going to have to start abiding by those rules, you know. The Department of Homeland Security frowns on violations of civil and human rights you know, it also frowns on complaints filed about things that violate Homesec operations procedures."

Looking over to Liza, Harper flashes a smile and makes a little scribbling motion with one hand down to his sandwich. "You might want to be taking notes," he admits, then looks up to Rossling who is glowering down into a paper cup with a teabag being dunked into it. "Heck just pop on the internet sometime and try and look up the use of tranquilizers on humans, it's preposterous that your organization used them for so long. Trust me, you'll have a much larger success with tasers, if it works for the remainder of law enforcement the world over I think you guys will be fine with it, you know?"

Huffing out a sigh, Liza tucks her hands into her pockets as she slides down the row from Harper, quietly getting a hot meal as opposed to his cold sandwich. She looks up, watching Harper step out of line with his sandwich, a crooked smile crossing his face as he peels back the plastic wrap from one corner and takes a bite, then proceeds to offer a look towards the mess hall door where the silhouette of Martin Crowley stands, his arm in a sling and cast.

Sweetheart? Sweetheart? Veronica's mouth drops and her eyes narrow as she stares at Harper's grinning face. "Tasers work based on pain. They're barbaric. The tranq darts are painless in comparison, and bear no greater risk of fatality. I'm positive there are statisticts to back me up on this. I'm also postiive there are statistics to back me up on the fact that our organization has had a higher success rating in dealing with Evolved targets than DHS," Veronica tosses back. "I'd really like to see both of those numbers, Harper. Who should I ask for that?"

The agent shakes her head. She came in for coffee, but she'll just find the bottle of No-Doze in her desk drawer. "I've lost my appetite," she mutters, before turning to the door, dark eyes meeting the no-doubt sullen gaze of Martin Crowley.

Rain snorts again, aloud at Harper's comments. Rain glances towards Veronica, the look on the always outspoken young man's features is strained, the agent clearly wanting to give Harper a piece of his mind. He is trying, and trying hard to keep himself quiet at the moment, just eating his food, slowly though, having to reach out, not bend down for anything, the braces on his back not letting him do much of anything anyway.

He looks down to the new faces and offers a smile, more to the young woman who clearly looks brand new. "Ignore him. His orginization…" he laughs lightly as Veronica mouths off to the man, echoing what he was about to say to the new agent. "Yeah, that. His orginization has had little success, and what success they have had has been brutal, violent, and hard fought. They lose men left and right. Where we've operated in secrecy for decades and have a success tally to make them look like children playing at a grown up game." He winks at her, then flashes a scowl towards Harper before he goes back to eating.

"Brutal and violent?" Harper asks with a purse of his lips, chewing his sandwich as he talks, "Brutal and violent like one of your agents turning on your organization and putting three of you in traction? Brutal and violent like a high-speed chase through the streets of Brooklyn that caused thirty-six thousand dollars in property damage and critically injured four motorists? Brutal and violent like the… what…" Harper looks over to Liza, "thirty some odd years of history of the Company?"

"Forty-nine, actually…" Liza notes with a furrow of her brows, her nose wrinkling as she looks over to Rossling who's maintained his studious British stiff upper lip and kept his comments to himself. Harper flashes Liza a smile and snaps his fingers, nodding in appreciation to her before looking back to Rain.

"Forty-nine years, and… I don't want to say the B-Word but there's a little something in 2006 that happened that I think we all may've mishandled?" That's the first thing Martin Crowley hears as he comes in, Harper dangling the Company's failure to prevent the bomb in 2006 over his head. Throat tensing, the senior agent looks for all his worth like he was sucker-punched in the gut. But Crowley's fangs have been taken, and his sullen look is a shadow of the assistant-director that he was, nodding his head shallowly to Harper before moving to get in the cafeteria line.

"Okay, maybe that was a little too soon," Harper admits with a grimace, waggling his sandwich in the air. "Well, either way, ignoring it's not a good idea since it's a notice from the top that your directors signed off on. If you have a problem with it, I'd take it up with them first and then they could talk to Parkman about it." Harper gives a look over to Rossling, who pointedly looks away and turns to come sit at Rain's table. "And I think I've worn out my welcome, enjoy your lunch agents! You'll have that memo circulating some time today."

"Tell Parkman that his agents are carrying tranq guns themselves the last time I saw them, which was oh," Saywer glances at her watch as if it were hours ago rather than weeks, "less than two weeks ago, by my count, Harper."

She glances at Crowley, brows furrowing a little at the sight of his injured arm. "Will the DHS agents be getting the same memo to cease carrying tranq guns? Or are we the only ones being handicapped simply because we've become the red-headed step-child of the government — do the dirty work, then get punished for missing a spot or two? You can ask anyone — I'm all for doing things more efficiently and more humanely, but sending us out there without proper protection? Let's not pretend it's about anyone's safety."

Rain laughs softly at Harper's statement, though it ends in a hiss of pain. "Oh, you're going to quote a few situations to me? Well, seeing as how our failure rate has only gone down since your orginization has been meddling with ours I hardly think that's fair. Mmm yes.. a few situations through our history that have been that way. But in 49 years Harper, how many men have we lost? And now, lets compare that to the number of men your group has lost since it's inception? Do we want to do that comparison? DO we want to compare success rates, failure rates, casualty rates? All the resources in the world, and you're all still stumbling around int he dark flailing. Bravo sir, you've sure shown us how this game is played."

He shakes his head sadly, popping a slice of some fruit in his mouth, his eyes casting about, and finding Crowley as he enters. He nods to the man before glancing over to Harper again. "Now, we could also go into the effectiveness of electricity versus tranqs, but there's one simple thing that the tazers don't, and won't have any time soon, and that si the range of the tranq guns that we carry." He snorts as the agent makes hsi retreat, crying out Parkman's name again. "Yeah, go on little puppy, yap at someone else." Rain, is normally a very genial and friendly sort. His back injuries, Paulson's betrayel, and Harper's attitude? Have him in a nasty mood.

Harper may be trying to flee a room of angry agents, however, when he makes for the door, his route of escape is blocked by the large form of the Company's new Assistant Director. The suit jacket has been left behind, leaving him in his powder blue dress shirt, the sleeves rolled up to his elbow, his shoulder harness snug on his shoulder.

He's been busy with the reports that Martin Crowley left in his wake and the older of the agents was on his way for a cup of coffee and had been pondering a bite to eat. That was until….


The name is growled out, while a person can't really read the mans face, he doesn't even make an effort to hide the contempt in his tone.

His gaze shifts past Harper to the room of unhappy people beyond, with a subtle shift of his brow when he glance at Sawyer and Crowley. Rain gets a sharper look, eyes narrowing slightly in warning. "I see your making friends." He comments mildly looking back at the Institute's liaison, as he addresses him.

"He's a networker, I like him." Harper states to Ryans as he looks up to the man in the doorway, grinning broadly. "I like you," Harper notes as he turns over his shoulder, pointing a finger to Rain, "you're chipper and not afraid to speak your mind. Don't ever let anyone tell you to do otherwise." Squinting one eye shut and shaking his head, Harper turns to look back over to Ryans, offering the tall man a gentle slap on his good shoulder with the hand not burdened with a sandwich.

Flashing a winning smile to Ryans, Harper steps aside and gallantly gestures with one hand for Ryans to enter, as if he were a valet of sorts. "Age before beauty," Harper jokingly comments before adding, "though I guess you've got a foot in both of those puddles these days don't you? Talk about a great medical benefit, right?" Then, quieter, Harper adds, "shame how it had to happen, but you know… accidents happen in the line of duty."

While Harper is performing for the assistant-director, agent Liza Messer is moving to join Rossling at Rain's table, her nose wrinkled and tray set down as she takes a seat opposite of Rossling and Rain. Trying to be the ray of sunshine in an already tense situation, Liza offers an apologetic — as if she were somehow respondible for Desmond Harper — look to Rain and changes the subject.

"So uh, I— I don't think I've read up on your dossier." She leans up from her seat and reaches across the table, "I'm agent trainee Elizabeth Messer, but you can just call me Liza." There's a look from Rossling at that, up from his tea and over to Liza.

"Junior agent," he corrects with a studious tone of voice, lifting his tea up to take a sip from it. Liza pauses in mid reach towards Rain, puffing out her cheeks and narrowing her eyes at Rossling.

"Junior is a derogatory term," she insists. "It implies negative conotations about my capacity as an agent and also makes people think I am short!" Her voice squeaks when she emphasizes that last word, and Rossling's response is a good-natured and patient laugh as he shakes his head.

"Elizabeth," he always uses her full name," if you got any shorter we'd need a magnifying glass to find you."

She was going to leave, but now she's curious to eavesdrop on any conversation between Harper and Ryans, so Veronica finally heads to the coffee pot. She keeps the others all in her periphery as she prepares a cup of caffeine, adding about half as much cream as she has coffee and four packets of the "yellow" sweetener to the 20 ounce cup.

Turning to lean against the metal rail meant for sliding one's tray upon, Sawyer turns to watch the others, before tossing to Ryans, "I want to know if DHS has to stop using their tranq darts too," she says, just in case that wasn't clear already — though Harper didn't answer, so perhaps it wasn't.

Rain grunts as he sees Ryans come through the door, the kid picking up a piece of some kidn of meat and shoving it in his mouth to keep himself quiet for the moment, chewing on the tough stuff to keep his mouth under wraps. He chews, and glares, and nothing else until Liza comes over to sit down across from him, well, not that he's sitting so much, but standing and eating, an uncomfortable combo, mixed with the pain whenever he swallows down food or drink as it passes through his chest and past his shattered ribs.

He glances to Liza and smiles softly towards her. "Rain." He holds his hand out, but she'll have to lean forwards to take his fi she wants to shake. "And don't worry about it. I imagine before too long Ryans is goign to get sick of my mouth and banish me to records or the science department and away from him." He winks at her, then glances towards Ryans, his lips holding a smile before glancing back to the woman. "Nothing worng with Junior. Trainee implies that you dont' know what you're doing and aren't qualified yet to do field work, which simply isn't true as I know Ryans wouldn't allow you on the team if you weren't capable." He offers her a wink, then glances to Rossling. "Know your name, but we've never met, good to meet you sir." He tilts his head to him, then stuffs more food in it.

It's probably a good thing that Ryans has years of practice at the whole…. neutral face thing. His expression doesn't even change as Harper tries to act the annoyingly chipper clown. The jabs seem to almost glance off the stoney exterior, only a slightly tightening of his jaw. The hint to move isn't taken yet, the immovable figure stays firmly in the door.

"You know, Harper. I've been getting some interesting memos across my desk." While his broken arm is tucked into a blasted sling, his free hand tucks into the pocket of his pants. "Now… did you cackle with happily as you delivered them, dancing a little jig, or pretend to actually feel sorry for us?" Brows tick upwards as he asks the question, his voice lacking all emotions as he asks the simple question.

"And while we are at it… as much as you may be enjoy rubbing each one in my face individually, I think I'd like to get them all at once. Unless your one of those that enjoys causing pain for others. But some of the dates on those memos… I should be getting them the day they are made." Sarcasm drips from each word.

He leans forward then, voice dropping to speak just to the man in front of him, a dangerous glint flickers through his eyes as he says ever so softly, "We're not going down without a fight, Harper." Only then does he turn his body sideways, giving the other man an out.

Harper's attention levels on Ryans, brows furrowing and head tilting to the side subtly. "You're not going anywhere," he admits with a difficult to discern tone, "not as far as I know, Sir. But I take no glee in the work I do, I know transition is difficult, but all I'm here to do is put you back on course…"

When Harper steps in to take a move towards the doorway, he looks over his shoulder to address Veronica's final comment, as if as an afterthought. "They shouldn't be in the first place, and I for one would like to know where they thought that was somehow appropriate." Harper finally answers Veronica with a furrow of his brows included. "No one's going to be drugging anyone unless they're a doctor and it's perscribed, I think. I'm nothing if not fair, agent Sawyer. You might not like the fact that I represent restructuring changes, or represent the Department of Homeland Security, or… whatever grievances you have, but whatever I do here, you can be assured, it's only either bringing you up to the same operating protocol of DHS itself or leveling the playing field. You're experts not FRONTLINE and I think that's what the government's going to be getting at, less redundancy." Wish a look back to Ryans, Harper offers a mild smile before slipping out the door and into the hall.

At Rain's table, Rossling offers a look over to Rain, brows furrowed and the paper cup of tea hiding his expression. "Rossling, Albert. You… can just call me Rossling." There's an attempt at a joke there, but everything he says comes off as a bit droll and humorless. "Elizabeth is a brilliant young woman but she is unqualified as an agent, unfortunately. While she is formally my partner she is still in training. The work with the Investigative department will be her first real assignment outside of clerical work. She's a quick learner, but I wouldn't go over-inflating her sense of competency until she has been formally evaluated in the field."

Pursing her lips to the side, Liza sinks back down into her seat, watching over Rain's shoulder as Martin circles around from getting his lunch, carrying wrapped half of a BLT in one hand and a plastic bottle of water in the other. He has nothing to say to any of the agents, walking right past Veronica on his way out and only dropping his eyes down to the floor as he goes to move by Ryans. "Agent Crowley doesn't look so good…" Liza commants in a quiet tone of voice, brows raised in worry.

"Smarmy bastard," Veronica mutters under her breath, though it's as Martin walks by so it's unclear if she means Harper or Crowley. Her eyes narrow and she glances to the trio of agents. She gives a terse nod, before patting a lid on the coffee cup she holds, and turning to head out of the office on the heels of Harper and Crowley.

"Suicide missions aren't my thing. Tranqs have a greater range and are more reliable. I'm not going out against the likes of Samson Gray with a taser, Ryans," she mutters on her way out.

Rain looks to Crowley though as he moves past him towards the doors. "Martin…" He calls to the man. "Hold in there…" He doesn't give the man a ton of words tryign to cheer him up. Not with what he's been through as of late. he sighs, his head shakign before he goes back to his eating, and glances up to the other two agents with him. "Maybe so." He offers to the older agent, "but she still wouldn't be on active duty with the team if Ryans wasn't confident in her ability to to do her duty." He smiles to the man, then to her, then goes back to his eating, going silent.

Harper is ignored, clearly the older agent isn't convinced with the song and dance, instead he watches Crowley past. Nothing is said to the former Assistant Director, but Ryans hand snakes out to snag Veronica's arm to stop her, grip like a vice. His voice is soft, as he says quietly, "I need to talk to you and Ayers…" His eyes move to her, his expression serious. "…soon. We've got much more serious problems then we thought."

Then the hand loosen from her arm and he moves into the mess hall, his appetite is shot, but the older man still needs that cup of coffee. A glance goes to the table with the trio of agents a firm nod sent to all of them, but a finger points at Rain. "You… in my office tomorrow." The words are clipped out and roughly spoken.

"Mn, Ran O'Niel. right…" Rossling comments off-handedly with an askance look to Rain. "You're the kineticist that creates some sort of forcefield, right? I recall hearing you were on Agent Karina's team," there's not much aside from factual comment in Rossling's tone as he lifts his cup of tea to take a sip, but his eyes ply over to assistant-director Ryans, eliciting the old man to lift his cup up and motion towards the senior-agent in a gesture of greeting before settling his attention down to his lunch.

"Is… is agent Sawyer alright?" Liza asks with a purse of her lips, shoulders rolling forward as she leans over the table to conspiratorially whisper the question to Ryans and Rossling, "she looked pretty upset." There's a purse of the young woman's lips as she lens back, offering a look to Rossling who slowly shakes his head, but she's up on her feet regardless. "I'll be right back," the blonde comments.

"Messer just ler her— " Rossling exhales a sigh and wipes a hand across his forehead tiredly as Liza hustles after Veronica, catching up to her just outside the mess hall doors. "Miss— er— agent Sawyer?" she chirps in questioning tone, hands clasped behind her back and standing up on her toes. "Are— are you alright?"

Rain just groans at Ryans demand of him being in the man's office. He's barely mobile, he so isn't up for a lecturing from the man. But, he nods hsi head and sighs heavily, which brings about a hiss of pain from him, ending with him clutching at his chest and breathing raggedly. It takes him a few moments before he's recovered enought o continue eating his food.

He nods his head to Rossling at the man's question, making a face at the mention of Karina, anger and loathing crossing the chipper young man, or normally chipper, young man's features at that woman's name. Then Liza is runnign off, and Rain closes his eyes and shakes his head a bit.

The brunette is halfway down the hallway — though she wasn't moving too fast, since she really didn't want to catch up to Crowley or Harper — when she hears Liza and turns back. Her dark eyes are flashing with anger, though she manages a polite smile for the junior agent, giving a shake of her head. "I'm fine — Liza, was it? Welcome to the team. I should apologize for setting a bad example, probably."

Veronica offers a hand to the petite blonde agent who makes the 5'5" brunette look lanky in comparison. "I just hate hypocrisy and bureaucracy, and that POS is both of them mixed together. You would probably do well to remember not to do what I just did, however, and just smile and nod like a good little puppet like they want us to."

Grabbing a styrofoam cup and moving to the coffee machine, Ryans pauses long enough to glance over his shoulder and watch the youngest agent scramble after Veronica. A small ghost of a smile tugs at his lip, he twists a bit further to glance at the other older agent. "They have to learn on their own sometimes, Rossling." The assistant director comments, turning back to what he's doing. Slipping the cast out of the sling to hold the cup just enough to keep it from falling over as he fills it with hot coffee.

The pot is set back on the heating plate, before he picks up the cup turning to the two left. "Tho' some… don't know when to stop." The comment given blandly, Ryans is in a rather nasty mood it seem.

Outside in the hall, Liza offers an apologetic and a bit awkward of a smile, inching down the hall towards Veronica, her hands still folded behind her back. "Nnnooo it's okay agent Sawyer. I mean, I— everyone loses their tempers once in a while, right?" There's a flash of a smile from the young blonde, and as she creeps her way over to Veronica, Liza motions with her head back to the mess hall. "I… I know things are pretty tense right now, but… I mean, I think it'd do everyone a lot of good if you stuck around with us?"

Running her tongue over her lips and letting her dark eyes offer a look to the floor, Liza rocks back and forth on her heels. "You're the whole reason I wanted to become a full agent, I heard about some of the cases you'd been on when agent Rossling and I were back in California. When I heard we were getting transferred to where you were I… I was really excited."

The smile offered by Liza comes with her eyes drifting up from the floor to Veronica. "I— You don't have to, but I'd really appreciate it if you sat with me— us. It'd be good for morale, you know? You're pretty respected around here from what I gather and assistant-director Ryans really seems to like you from the sounds of it. It'd… it'd be good, for everyone."

While Liza is attempting to lure Veronica back to the team, hr partner offers a look over to Ryans, one brow lifted and his glasses slouching down the bridge of his nose. "Well I guess with advice like that I can see why you're assistant-director and I'm still just an agent," and not even a senior agent, despite his age and tenure. "It's relieving to hear we're serving under you, I've heard… people say good things."

Rain glances over to Ryans and his shoulders give a slow little shrug to the man's statement. "I make no excuses for myself bossman. I am who I am. Even my time in the Company, and my treatment at the ahnds of Pinehearst couldn't change that." He winks towards the man, offering him an honest smile before he turns back to his food, sighing softly. "Just dont' seem to have an appetite after having to looka t Harper's face." He glances to Rosslign and nods his head a bit. "Ryans is a good man, despite the trouble I give him, and the extra grey hairs I don't doubt he sports because of me."

Veronica's eyes flick left, right, left, right, as if she were reading the younger agent's gaze as she stares down at her. Her lips part and her brows rise a little. She has little girls looking up to her now? In this job she isn't even sure she wants? Those honey-brown eyes dart down the hallway toward the open door to the mess hall. "I don't usually eat with any one. I hope you don't take my leaving personally, or anything. I'm not really chummy with anyone. I never have been," Veronica says, though the words aren't unkind. It's a warning for the young woman looking up to her not to look up to her, really.

The agent sighs and she shrugs, taking a sip of her coffee. "I suppose I can. For a little bit." Veronica nods toward the hallway. "Lead the way, Messer."

"Don't believe what you hear, from anyone… especially that one." Ryans comments blandly, head jerked at Rain, as he moving to settle at the table. He might look younger, but there is still a lot of him that is the nearly sixty year old man. Cup set on the table, it frees his good hand to rub at his forehead.

"Unfortunately, I think before long… you'll wish you were still in California." It's admitted honestly, brows furrowing slightly, eyes on the metal table in front of him, "Things are not what they were." Of course, he wasn't here for Harper play time. "And changing daily."

Rain picks up his tray of food, as he knows he'll get fussed at for not eeating enough if he doesn't bring it back with him, then looks to Ryans. "Hey. I don't lie to people, nor do I tell mis truths. I'm utterly honest, which is what seem sto get me in trouble." He smiles to the older man, grunting in pain as he turns, then stops and glances to Rossling. "Take care of yourself sir. New York is dangerous, but there's alot of potential to help as well. We can do alot here." Then he turns towards the doors intent on the hospital bed, and morphine.

Out in the hall, Liza offers a broad smile when Veronica starts to double back towards the mess hall. Brown eyes wide, she bounces up and down in place before bounding back a step and excitedly stepping over to the doors. "There's a first time for everything, agent Sawyer! Maybe you'd smile more if you tried to, you know? I— I think everyone'd be a lot less intimidated by you if you opened up a little. We're not just co-workers, the Company's sort've like a big family, you know? I… don't really have one of my own," she admits with a lopsided smile, passing off good-natured expressions in the place of something more emotional, "so I like to make this surrogate one as large as possible."

Striding back over to Veronica, Liza offers an impish smile and a flash of her brows up towards her hairline before toothily grinning with laughter. By the time Veronica and Liza come back in, Liza is faux-dragging the brunette, one arm hooked around Veronica's and cheerily smiling.

"Look who I found!" Liza chirps, her head tilting to the side at that sentiment with a swish of blonde hair over one eye. "Come on," she urges with a tug of Veronica's arm, "and try to at least pretend to smile, it's good for morale!"

Rossling breathes out a sigh as Liza comes walking in and shakes his head, looking diwn into his paper cup. "Well, at least some things haven't changed from California," he admits with a sarcastically enthusiastic tone of voice, looking up to Ryans in what is almost the roll of his eyes. "It seems there's one of him everywhere," Rossling notes with a nod of his head to Rain.

And now there's two.

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