Just The Right Soundbite


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Scene Title Just the Right Soundbite
Synopsis 'Humanis First' makes the cowboy's radar and he knows just who to send to find out the low down.
Date June 12, 2009

Office of Len Denton

The Company has been scrambling since the death of April Bradley early yesterday morning. Len has no doubt been scrambling as well. For one, he had no clue until moments ago when it was reported that it was 'current timeline' April Bradley who perished. So, hot on the burner is to track down 'future timeline' April Bradley and bring her in for protection.

That being said, he still has other assignments that need to be handed out. Fresh from the field, Gwen and Hugh Wickham are in his office and waiting to be issued their new marching orders.

Behind them on the big screen there's a game playing on ESPN Classics, but the volume is muted as he begins to speak, issuing out a pair of folders.

"Humanis First." Len says, reaching for his football and begins to toss it up into the air. "They're starting to chap my ass. They're started to get in my way and I need to know what the hell is going on in there. So, I would like you both to head in undercover and see what you can find out. The only name I can give you is listed in the folder. "Candy Allard." I know nothing about her other than she made a nuisance of herself on national news and then disappeared. I've got minimal intel on her, gathered by a rather green agent, and that's included in the folder. See how far you get up into their chain of command and start sending me some names. We'll do what we can on this end to assist."

Gwendolyn begins perusing her folder, "Not much to work with." she comments in her crisp London accent. "Save that based on the file information she tried to urge the crowd to assault Director Strauss. Superficially that would make her seem like a member of Humanis First, but there's many reasons she could have incited the crowd to riot. I suppose that's the first part of our job though - determining her motivation." She looks sidelong to Hugh, then back to Len. "If she can lead us to Humanis First, excellent. Perhaps we could also have our boys in tech get us some usernames on a few anti-Evolved newsgroups and bulletin boards and such? And do we have anything on last known whereabouts or potential locations for Ms. Allard?"

"So, the delightful Miss Allard is our in. Do we have any particular restrictions on how far we're allowed to go to achieve infiltration?" Hugh's tone is businesslike, but his eyes are glittering with eagerness. He's not Evolved, but this stuff chaps his ass, too, to say the least. "What're our covers for the purposes of this mission? We make it up ourselves, or are we handed IDs?"

To Gwendolyn, the answer is simple: "No." Agent Prince was unsuccessful in tracking down her whereabouts. Len doesn't explain all of that, yet. "But, if she was there to incite the crowd, I want to know why — who is she really working for, if not Humanis First and what their motivation is." He grins over at Hugh and nods. "No IDs. You both are unevolved, and paired up for more than the obvious reason. Being unevolved, is your in for Humanis First. You are an anti-evolved married couple and wanting to do your part for your country. We have former military covers already set up for you. You can pick up everything you need from Documentation." Len sets the football on the desk and leans forward. "In fact, to make it just a little easier for you — we'll be sending out another agent to act as your 'in' when you kill him." Of course, the decoy would be a self-healer, so when shot there's no loss. "I'll let you three work out the details. However, perhaps foiling a robbery in your own home and perhaps getting a nice little paragraph in the paper would be an interesting way to get someone's attention. I am certain you know just the sound-bite that will generate interest in you."

"Well, I think starting simple as far as Ms. Allard is concerned might be a good spot to start. I'll get a profile from Homeland Security, as our clearances still remain rather high." Gwen grins at that and notes in a concerned tone, "Oh yes, it's absolutely appalling that we came to our newly beloved country from the UK only to discover that pure human beings here have gotten so terribly out of hand." She adds in a more normal tone, "I should like to speak to Miss Strauss, I think. I don't really think it's a wise idea to assume anything at face value." Hey, she's a former espionage agent, she's accustomed to not making assumptions based on the obvious.

Hugh's grin is positively piratical, but he nods almost demurely. "Indeed. Fighting off Evolved burglars, perhaps," he suggests. "And we get to prove ourselves by slaughtering some mutant, eh?" This last is delivered with tongue in cheek solemnity.

"The only thing I'll ask.." Len starts. "Be careful when it comes to Tracy Strauss. Let's just say there's something I need from her and am not willing to risk it by pissing her off." He shrugs. "Once I get what I want from her, she's of no consequence to me. For now, hands off. Clear?" he glances from one agent to the next. "Anything else you need, just ask. Stick to encrypted email for information and contact with this office should be kept to a minimum."

Gwendolyn looks faintly amused. "I don't plan on waterboarding her, for goodness sake. I'll just use my very legitimate Homeland Security id and go speak with her about the occurrence. And quite. Hugh and I will be needing an appropriately furnished Manhattan apartment to go with our cover stories and we'll be off to a smashing start, won't we dear?"

"Of course," Hugh agrees, tone smooth as butter.

Len waves his hand dismissively. "Done. Done. Hit up Documentation for the paperwork, Operations for the rest. I've already put in for anything you might need and whatever I've forgotten will be taken care of. Other than the Strauss deal, the rest is at your own discretion. Do whatever you have to do to get this done." The implication is clear, he's almost certain there. "And enjoy yourself, by all means."

"When do we ever not?" asks Gwendolyn mildly, and rises, seeming to assume they've been dismissed.
Hugh snorts, richly amused. "It'll be loads of fun," he says, voice dry. He does seem sincere.

And it was indeed a dismissal, since there's nothing else to add. As they leave his office, Len's mind goes back to his priority list which seems to be muddled with the recent death of Agent Bradley. Hopefully, this is not going to come crashing down on them soon. He rather likes this job.

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