Just Aim And Squeeze


bella_icon.gif len_icon.gif

Scene Title Just Aim and Squeeze
Synopsis Len meets with Doc Sheridan to talk about Magnes. He gives her a little something for protection.
Date August 18, 2009

Fort Hero: Len Denton's Office

It's been an interesting start to the week so far for Senior Agent Len Denton as he is working on making the final preparations for several operations that are ongoing. He scribbles a few notes on a sticky pad to remind him of a few things, then pops open an email he's received. He buzzes out to Kayla asking for her to see if Bella Sheridan is on grounds because she's the final link in the puzzle that will determine the fate of Magnes Varlane as far as the Company goes. He's already written up most of his report that will go into Varlane's file when this is all said and done, but he needs to get the final assessment of Dr. Sheridan before he can affix his signature to the document.

Dr. Sheridan has been piecing together the last bits of her disassembled records, most of which are blessedly intact even after the bushy-tailed ravager got ahold of them. She's somewhat scrubby looking today; after appearing in her rodent-battling gear before all her co-workers, she's no longer feels the need to appear totally spic and span. She's in sweat pants and a tank top, the straps of her sports bra visible and bright green under the blue of the shirt. When she gets the tip off that Len wants her, she sets the last of the Martinez file to rights and then points herself in Senior Agent Denton's direction, her hair flipping behind her in a pony-tail as she strolls up to his door. She stays outside it, despite that fact it's open, knocking lightly on the door frame. "It's Bella Sheridan," she announces, though a lean and a look would tell Len as much without her having to say a word.

"Hey, Doc. C'mon in and pull up a chair. I hope you're ready to get your hands dirty." Len comments as he reaches up to flip off his monitor so he can give her his full attention. Bella may have been made privvy to some of the conversation regarding Magnes. "Before we get into all of that, I don't suppose you've seen that squirrel around anywhere?" The squirrel is a sore spot with Len as he was really looking forward to have a new Company mascot. He leans back in his chair and pushes the rim of his hat upwards.

"With due respect, Agent Denton, when next I see it, I hope it will be stuffed with arsenic and held by wires in a fanciful pose," Bella says, taking a seat this time. She reaches back and adjusts her hair tie slightly, then pulls her ponytail to hang over her shoulder. "I'm ready to do what is required of me. Let's get to business?"

Len gives a soft chuckle at the doctor's assessment of the squirrel as well as her desire for its future. At least he didn't have to write up a report about it. "Listen, we have a sensitive issue that we have to deal with. I've been talking to everyone who has had anything to do with Magnes Varlane within this organization and most have the same opinion of him." He reaches for a pen and a pad. "What I'd like is your clinical opinion of Varlane and his worth to this organization." Sounds simple enough, right?

Bella arches a brow, mouth quirking to the side. She doesn't hesitate so much as take a moment to consider how to word her reply. "I think he has the potential to be a valuable asset to our organization, an individual that, if given the right motivation and assignments, could serve as an excellent foreguard for our efforts," this all has the sound of a caveat, and here it comes the… "However, he seems more like a long-term investment. While his advancement to the rank of agent was deserved considering his actions in the field, relying on him when he is so young is risky at best. His issues of psychological contention are understandable at his age, but may prove to be liabilities considering the work we do."

Len is scribbling a few notes down on the pad as she speaks, his brow furrowed in thought as he listen intently. "So, if I can bottom line this, you think given time he could be an asset, but at present his maturity level makes him more of a threat than an asset? " He glances up across his desk to the shrink. "I just want to make sure I'm not getting lost in your big words there, doc." he grins at her."

Bella purses her lips, "Maturity is a touchy word with Magnes," she says, "And I don't like to say he is 'immature'. It suggests some sort of character defect when, in fact, Magnes' character is excellent. It is, frankly, almost too good for us. In all honesty, most agents are damaged goods. Their personal traumas give us emotional fulcra to lever them into a position where they have no choice but to do what we ask of them. Magnes' emotional difficulties are healthy, normal ones for a man his age. He wants a romantic relationship. He wants to explore his sexuality with a supportive individual he can trust. He wants to feel a sense of autonomy and personal agency. All these things are very fraught for an employee of this Company, and he does not consider himself, as so many of our agents effectively do, living 'after the fact' of their real, public lives, so he does not feel as if sacrificing them is necessary or even possible," she gives a slightly bashful smile, "I apologize. I am dictating a paper when you want the brief. In plain language: he's /too/ psychologically healthy to be dependable as an agent of this company ."

That causes Len some pause. His pencil taps against his pad as he mulls over her words in his head. If he were to be bluntly honest, her assessment is accurate. Of course, his assessment would also be accurate. The fact is that Magnes moral fiber would probably probably come back to haunt them. He leans back in his chair, the squeak that signal such an event is loud in the room.

He glances up at Bella. "I think I overextended myself with bringing him in. I saw what he could do, and what he could do for us. Unfortunately, I have to try to put him back where I found him, as I found him." Or as near as he possibly can. "You're aware that we have a technique that we use to cause individuals to forget things they've seen or experienced?" He doesn't like the practice himself, so there is a hint of displeasure in discussing it. But he also is aware that it's a necessary evil of their business.

"I'm familiar with that particular manifestation, yes," Bella says, "As well as the linked dampening effect. The neurological basis of Evolved abilities is part of what makes me so adamant about psychology's involvement in the research of the Suresh gene." Someone does her research. Someone also hasn't had a boyfriend since senior year. "If you are implying what I think you are, I have an suggestion, though I'd like to hear what you have in mind so that I don't end up advising what you already have in mind."

"It's really not an option at this point. All memory of his time here will need to be eliminated, however, I'm inclined to leave his training at the Police Academy in tact. It'll at least give him something to do and it won't be like he's just disappeared for several months." Len will make sure that Magnes is taken care of. "I have someone I can trust to make sure he reacclimates to the outside. What I'd also like to do, with your permission, is to have him continue to see you. We would continue to foot the bill, but we would like to monitor his progress. He has a potentially dangerous ability, and we'd like to keep tabs on him." Maybe somewhere down the road, they could bring him in when he's a little more disillusioned with life and love.

Bella gives a nod, expression marshalled into one of professional attention and consideration. "I would be happy to continue Magnes' therapy. I am very fond of him. Of course, you needn't worry about that getting in the way of the performance of my duties. He has a much better shot at happiness outside the auspices of the Company," she folds her hands in her lap, and her back straightens somewhat, "I'd like to make that suggestion, though. I believe we should inform him of the termination of his employment before performing the memory modification. I think, in fact, we should tell him we plan to modify his memory. If by some means his memory is recovered, his loyalty to us is much more likely to remain if he also recalls having consented to the process."

There a sudden arch to one of Len's eyebrows as it skyrockets upwards. "Really? I hadn't actually thought he would go with something like that. But, it does occur to me that since he does trust you, perhaps you could present it to him." Len brings the pencil's eraser to his lips as he contemplates. "If you think you can offer up the solution to him in a manner he'd be actually willing to go along with it, then I would not be opposed to that. That being said, I'll give you a warning. He can be dangerous. His ability is something that should not be taken lightly. That is my only hesitation with your suggestion."

Bella nods, "I understand, and appreciate the reminder. Magnes has already mentioned a desire to leave the Company. I am certain I can present his termination as a choice he will accept, and the memory erasure as a necessary consequence of that choice. The fact that he can still meet with me will provide him with a sense of continuity before the fact and, should we reinstate him, after the fact. If his employment's termination is necessary either way, we have nothing to lose by offering it as a choice beforehand. If he turns it down, we still have the option to terminate without his consent, which was the original plan."

"Doc, if he doesn't consent, we may not get another chance once he knows our intent." Len pushes himself out of his chair and walks over to his holster that hands by the door. "If he doesn't consent, you may have to make sure he doesn't make it off the premises." He pulls his tranq gun from the holster and walks back to his desk, setting it across from her. "Just aim and pull the trigger, Doc."

This comes as a terrible shock to Bella, and she is unable to hide the fact. She stares at the gun, tranq or no, as if it were a severed head. She looks up at Len, looking for a moment as if she's checking to see if he's joking. Haha, gotcha! But no such luck. Her pale hand reaches out to touch against the grip. She takes a deep, quiet breath. "I understand," she says, "I just… it was my intention to… to offer leaving the Company as a choice, an opportunity and if he says no… then, well… an agent would take him while he was unawares. But… I suppose, yes, he's a smart young man. I just…" she bites her lip, hand slipping back, then, with obvious effort, slipping to grip and lift. It's heavier than she expects. "I'll handle it as best I can, by whatever means necessary."

Okay, Len is amused. Seriously amused. He cracks a grin. "Don't worry, Doc. I'll have someone outside your door just in case. My biggest worry is that he'll hurt you in order to make a break for it. It's just a precaution. Just.. make sure I get that back." he stands. "Call him in whenever you see fit, though we'd like to have this taken care of as soon as possible. If you give me a heads up, we'll make sure someone is there to take care of it when you've finished speaking with him, one way or the other. Do you have any other concerns?"

Bella sets the weapon in her lap, her hands folding over it, as if trying to hide it from the room, from herself, from anyone who might see it. "Please, be light handed with this. The ideal circumstance will allow us to make this seem like an option he is willingly taking. If he figures out it's a forgone conclusion, he'll feel betrayed and he really /may/ be dangerous to us. Do not ambush him at the door. If… if he agrees, then I will escort him personally, as his friend and councellor, to the procedure," she looks up at Len, "Give me that option. It's the least Magnes deserves, and the best option for this Company."

Len nods. "If he freaks out, I make no promises. We'll do what we need to do, Doc. Otherwise, we'll do it by your book." Len watches the shrink for a moment. "Just remember to take care of yourself, Doc. We'll do the rest."

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