Much Deserved Answers


huruma3_icon.gif lashirah_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title Much Deserved Answers
Synopsis Ryans brings together Lashirah and Huruma to talk about recent events and what little Ryans knows about the Institute.
Date July 31, 2010

New York Botanical Gardens

It's about mid morning at the New York Botanical Gardens, the suns warm rays slanting through the foliage leaving patterns of light along the cement paths. Settled comfortably on a bench along a stretch of path, Benjamin Ryans sits waiting. The greenery around him is almost tropical as he arches over his bared head of brunette hair, shot through with some silver. His head is tilted back a little looking at one wide palm frond it's points spread out, his hand lifted to rub the waxy feeling surface between his fingers.

He looks relaxed and contemplative, even his clothes are casual, with a black Henley and blue jeans, though he is still wearing leather shoes. He hasn't felt this way for a long time, but then… there is a reason he took up gardening. There is something peaceful about being surrounded by all the greenery and flowers.

Next to him on the bench is a tall coffee, untouched. It's not for him. He's waiting for company.
Lashirah wanders into the gardens. her outfit is FAR different then what Ryans is likely used to seeing. She has black leather pants on, tennis shoes in dark blue instead of her combat boots, as well a grey t-shirt that says "Question Everything" in big letters across the front. A spiked collar, and a leather jacket draped over one arm finishes the outfit. She wanders until she finds the coffee, and Ryans.

"Never pictured you as a gardener."

There are very few people that Huruma is willing to forgo prior, vague plans to meet. She's a creature of habit, though very meticulous habit. When she gets to the gardens, she wanders for a short time before actively seeking out the mind on the edge of her senses. By the time that Huruma ghosts onto the empty path a short distance from the pair, Lashirah has been there foe a few minutes, at most. Benjamin likely knows she has been checking the other agent out, as well as taking her good old time appearing for them.

Huruma is a blob of red dress and brown when she steps out from one of the side paths, focusing a second later before stepping onward, leopard print shoes and bits of gold doing so very little to gloss over her- outer demeanor.

"Did you bring m'something t'play with?" Huruma's voice sing-songs as she saunters closer, lips curling into a teasing smile.

"Took it up when I retired the first time." Ryans explains in a soft voice, hand falling from the leaf to pick up the large cup of coffee. "Kept me busy. It's calming… but it never really took the place of the job." The large cup is offered with a small smile. "As ordered… coffee and some answers. Though there may be some things I can not tell you… yet."

He glances around him, head tilting one way and then another. "You're not the only one I asked here today. You may as well meet one of my personal contacts."

Huruma's sing song voice gets a hint of amusement, his head turning in that direction to watch the dark woman's approach. "And as timing goes, there she is. May I introduce you to Huruma. Huruma, I would like you to meet one of my agents, Lee. Good you could make it." The last directed to Hurmura.
Lashirah looks at Huruma, tensing at the tone in the voice. She doesn't relax after the introduction. It wasn't a good day to relax. "I see. Nice to meet you, Huruma." She doesn't offer to shake hands.

Huruma doesn't either, it so happens. Her eyes are not browned by contacts today; Lashirah gets the brunt of inky circles on white, though that in itself may well be taken as constructed. Her smile seems to stick, even as she sways on over to sit on agent Ryans' other side on the wrought iron and wood bench. What a group, eh?

"Lee…" Huruma intones in the same voice as she sits, legs crossing and eyes casting over to Ben as her gaze leaves Lashirah. "So- no present, I suppose? I am predisposed t'appreciate offerings." Her empathic bubble remains up, for now, prodding in silence at moods of both the pair of agents- and any that may wander close.

"Huruma is a former guest of the Company, given a full pardon for her actions in saving the world. She has helped me on occasion, even saving my girls." Ryans gives a slow incline of his head towards the dark woman. "But still a dangerous woman. I'd show you why, but the scars gone with the turning back of time." He adds that, so that there is no denying he still need to be cautious with her. And that's what he feels of, caution.

"I owe Lee here some answers for what she has… inadvertently been thrust into." Benjamin glances at the black haired woman, before directing his attention to Huruma again. "Seems I am making enemies within the government. Especially, since I and Lee have been killing Institute agents." He looks like he could scowl from just saying the name. "and taking back their kidnapping victims."

Settling back on the bench, one arm resting on the back with elbow crooked, he adds, "One thing I did not tell you, Lee… Seems that whole trap was for me." He hadn't told her about what happened on the bell tower. "I seem to be a wanted man within the Institute." There is a type of satisfaction in that admission rather then fear for his life. It means something to him that they see him as a viable threat.

Lashirah digests the information slowly. She had done some research of her own. "They tapped FRONTLINE funds." She says softly. "That wasn't standard armor." She leans back. "Any word on if I made an impression? I think next time I intend to bring a sledgehammer for dealing with ballistics resistance." She is taking her current state of being with a sense of humor.

But she frowns. "… So what… really happened, after I got kicked across the room so hard I blacked out?"

"I could give you a new one…" Huruma laughs with closed lips, the sound almost lazy from her chest. For her part, though, she listens well. "Oh, you boys and this Institute- no'th'first time I've been hearing about it. Though I may like t'hear about skirmishes you've had?

"You do no'feel disappointed." She narrows her pale eyes enough to appear knowing. "Delightful tha'you seem satisfied though- good man." Huruma can appreciate fearlessness as much as anyone, but getting real satisfaction from a matter such as this is a new ball park.

"That was FRONTLINE armor, yes… with the numbers zero, zero, zero, four." He glances to Huruma. "Remember that number. I have a bullet with his name on it." There is a flash of anger through the old man, before he looks to Lee again. "I would bet money, that Agent Eldridge is a legitimate FRONTLINE agent. That was him, he has the ability to teleport, taking anything around him, with him.

"Hence the huge hole current being repaired in my SUV from him grabbing Darryl. Sound familiar?" Ryans asks with a arching of a single brow in question to his agent. The Company currently has a case surrounding that ability. "And no… no mention of you… though I imagine they will keep an eye on you."

Glancing to Huruma, Ryans gives a soft rumbling chuckle. "It's just good to know I'm making them nervous. They almost had me though." He admits almost reluctantly. "The technopath I was trying to protect, sacrificed himself to protect that woman. A technopath tuned into the Institute's encrypted transmission." He watches Huruma as he says that. "But he gave me time to do something. That armor…" His head shakes slowly in appreciation. "…it took several bullets at point blank range. The visor however…" He reaches up and taps his temple. "while it didn't go through a bullet caused it to crack… it maybe a weakness to exploit. It was all enough to send him over the edge, but… " A heavy sigh exits his nose. "…he teleported away."

Lashirah frowns. "Great." settles on the bench finally. "Several." She snorts. "At least 14 rounds, point blank. the kenetic force pushed it back, but didn't penetrate." She frowns. "I thinkt hey figgured out the visor after our little… forray ith the white-suits getting head-shotted." She says it all so casually.

"Hmm. Hamilton Heights. And with that armor, can't really hit him with the normal countermeasures." She frowns. "I might have to finally take the rifle out to the range and get refamiliarized with it.

"Every armor has a weakness." Huruma cants her head- a half nod in confirmation. She may recognize the description of sacrifice, though it is best not to dwell on that. She did not know him, though his ability sounded simply fascinating. "I'ave no'heard of an Eldridge wit'FRONTLINE. There are only two public squads. I know a woman on one, she was in Apollo." The tall woman sits up, peering off at part of the garden for a few seconds.

"Does th'armor deflect cerebral abilities?"

"No idea." Ryans offers honestly to Huruma. "Lee and I are only human, not special in anyway, beyond our training. I would think if it would allow him to use his own ability…" In another word, he doesn't know, but it would make sense.

"Either way, a few shots to the visor may very well blind them. No guarantee tho." Benjamin points out, just in case.

"Eldridge is posing as an agent of Homeland security, much like a man named Harper." Sitting up straight, Ryans moves to perch at the edge of the bench, hands laces together and resting on his knee. "Watch for the numbers on these public squads. This may very well be a private group.

"Lee… I promised you answers. Especially, since we have pretty much declared a secret war on another government outfit. We've tread on to a very gray and unsteady ground." His mouth pulls up into a small smile, his head dipping down towards her. "What all would you like to know" I may not be able to explain everything, but I'll try."

Lashirah snorts. "Let's start with the basics. Who are these masked men, and what do they want with what they are doing?

"Perhaps th'best route is t'depower them, rather than break them- th'suits." Huruma's lips purse, and she considers the space of Benjamin's shoulder as her gaze slinks away again. While Lee hashes out what she does and doesn't know, Huruma is watching the faraway plants through others, only now seeming to notice a thick patch of gladiolus just down the path.

"Harper sounds familiar. I am not sure."

"They are a part of a government back grouped called the Institute." Ryans starts with what has already been mentioned. "I don't know a lot, because they are not well known. Or what they do. In fact, if you ask the average Joe on the street about the Institute, they wouldn't have heard of them. Most of what I've learned is from credible sources." His head turns slightly to look at Huruma out of the corner of his eye. "They are the ones we — the Company — are under contract to turn our prisoners over too.

"However, they seem to also be into experimentation." His eyes lift back to Lashirah, "Remember June 10th? The visions?" Brows lift a bit, before he explains. "They had in their possession a Joseph Sumter and a Gillian Childs. A man who could show you your future and a woman who can amplify abilities."These people had no reason to be in custody… they were kidnapped."

There is a narroing of her eyes as the forensics specialist full well remembers the night in question…She doesn't say a single word for a few moments. "… So… they are not only taking our… prisoners, the ones that are not… rehabilitable… but they are also using their status as a shield from being prosecuted for kidnapping people to use as guinea pigs." There's an edge to her voice. The FBI takes kidnapping as one of the most evil crimes. She's FBI trained. Do the math.

"And you are saying… they are black?" She idly shivers. "When someone turns the lightswitch on, on this one, there will be hell to pay."

"I know both of them." Huruma draws a forefinger down the line of her jaw, still gazing off at the red and pink flowers. Her voice is low, just loud enough. "Relatively speaking."

"Mmm. Aren't you glad you never caught m'now, Benjamin? I'd b'brainwashed and in one of those suits." She laughs, despite the solemnity. Unsurprising, though at least it does not last long. "Walk hard and wear large boots?" Not quite Roosevelt, no. "You canno'let them keep Childs. No telling what they have already accomplished…"

"We have the evidence they are… but we can't move on it." Ryans explains blandly. "If we do that, they will take us down as well. So what is said here is left between us." A pointed look goes to Huruma. Straightening his back, Ryans unfolds his hands but doesn't lean back. This is Ryans showing trust to the dark skinned woman… will wonders never cease.

"Somehow they are able to kidnap these people and the government is turning their heads and ignoring it." His tone is edged, unhappy that the government he served could be doing something like that.

Glancing at Huruma speaks, the old man listens and gives a slow nod. "I know, but the Company has zero clout with them. I have no idea where they are taking these people either. I know very little… of anything. I do know that these bastards need to be stopped, but… I'm walking an extremely delicate line."

Here is where Benjamin falls silent, brows furrowed deeply as he conciders his next words carefully. "I know I what I want — I want them taken down… Eldridge dead — but if I act… it might bring down the fall of the Company and they want us to fail." Blue eyes lift to Lashirah… what he says could get him in trouble, but he's trusting her here… besides she deserves it. "The government stands to inherit everything."

Lashirah frowns as she considers the current government's… schemes. And plans. and such. She looks at Huruma. and some gears click in her head, she looks at Ryans again, then at Huruma. "… Ryans, you seriously trust her with this?" The nervousness in her voice hits a peak that even non-evolved blunt people could detect it. She then shakes her head.

"… We can't afford that. Not yet. But if we do nothing, we might as well be aiding and abetting."

Huruma turns her attention onto Lashirah just as she herself becomes aware, and those gears click into emotions that she can so obviously sense from one body away. Her eyes stay, her words do not. They are for Benjamin. She's noted his meager gestures- and in response she changes nothing. She accepts, purely, what she can get from him at the moment.

"So act with others. Not Company. Childs an'Sumter- you know as well as I do they 'belong' to others. Per'aps they will accept help, or not- but you will'ave made it clear to them." Huruma leans back on the bench, one arm folding to put a palm to her neck, elbow over the back of the bench. "I miss th'Coyote an'Roadrunner days. So much simpler."

Glacing at the tall amazon of a woman sitting next to him, Ryans after a moment, nods his head. "Yes. Despite her past. She has been a good ally. She has protected my girls and helped save them from bad men. There are certain things I will not tell her, but some of it I will… out of the spirit of learning to trust her… to a point." The last added with a look the subject.

"Plus… I need her to know that if her associates" The assistant-director doesn't exposed who the dark woman is with, but the looks he gives her is a knowing one. "move on the Company and try to destroy it out of personal revenge. They will be opening a Pandora's box… that will make anything that's going on right now… or Arthur's little company, look like child's play."

Sighing heavily, Ryans addresses Huruma next. "I don't think anyone will trust an agent — especially the Assistant-Director — to help them." A small smile touches his lips. "Who I am will make them hesitant to ever trust me, though I have been trying to deal with the Ferrymen. They will be useful in the future." A glance goes to Lashirah, before he adds to Huruma.

"It's Noah's people." He's told the dark woman his vision before. His eyes cast down to the ground, his voice taking on hushed tones. "I — I think Delia is going to test positive." Brows tilts upward with worry for his youngest daughter.

Lashirah quietly frowns, but nods a little at Ryans comment. She puts a few things together on her own. She can make a few assumptions about that voice from the phone. She'll look up some of the other info later, discreetly, when she has time. For now, she says something simple. "…R… Benjamin? You have one person with you at least. I don't know what I can do from where I'm positioned to help, but I trust you."
Huruma's gaze moves to him as he looks to her the first time, meeting him with a familiar, darting expression. She remains appreciative of the fact he felt the remote inkling to let her wiggle into his life like some sort of trap-door spider. Hm.

"I don'control decisions, but I can sway them. I am not Rebel's biggest fan, either." In essence, if Messiah decides to go after the Company, there really is not much she can do short of grabbing Peter by the gullet and shaking him off of his feet. "Delia is?" Would have thought in the end it would have been Lucille. "Does she know?" It happens this way sometimes, yes.

Slowly leaning back on the bench, Ryans studies the goth girl quietly for a long moment. It's not hard to see the age in his eyes, even though his appearance says otherwise. He's a weary old man.

"Thank you, Lee." He gives her a genuine smile, if a weak one, but then he doesn't exactly do a lot of that anyhow. "Unfortunately, Darryl was a huge blow to anything I had hoped to accomplish." A hand lifts to rub at his forehead, eyes closed in thought.

Another softer sighs escapes through his nose, at Huruma's question. "I think she suspects and is scared… she's never really been a big fan of the evolved, since the Midtown Man took Mary, even attended a few Humanis rallys…" He trails off, hand dropping to give dark skinned woman a look. "At least till she met some." Not that he'd consider her a good influence on his daughter.

"And… I know you don't control the decisions, but… if they make noise about doing it… I want you to know why it can not happen yet." Head turning to look at Huruma again, he adds. "The Company's days are number as it is… we will be shut down, but the more time we have, the better."

Lashirah sighs softy. "We have to, perservere, as long as we can. We might not be the brightest lights in the sky, but… if we're not here, can you imagine what they'd put in our place to try to keep things running smoothly?" She sighs. She can. She'd seen it already. The institute's kidnapping was only the start of what they could do if they didn't have to deal with the Company. And they had one of the vipers in their very nest. "… We need to find a way to deal with Harper."

Huruma only has one comment, and it comes after a tut of air from her tongue coming off of the roof of her mouth. "Kill him. Better yet, make him look bad. May at least buy time…" The dark woman gives a great shrug of her shoulders, chin lifting and neck arcing. "I can't help you there. Unless you would like m'more if I did it." Well. Just sayin'.

"Good luck with that. He's there as Homeland Security… a liaison and to watch our performance, make suggestions and bring about change." Ryans grumbles softly, watching a couple of woman stroll pass. He watches them for a long time, to make sure they are out of range, before adding. "On the side he's poaching my agents. So trust no one, since I only know of two of the agents that have been woo'd over and that was by luck alone that I was handed that information." Who knows what information Dante and Isabelle maybe passing on to the Institute.

"On the outside they are legit… even Harper. No… we must tread very carefully and watch what we say… Harper has most of the base bugged." There is a small growl to Ryans voice as he offers up that fact.

Lashirah chuckles a moment. "oh REALLY now…" She grins. "Sir, you are aware that without a warrant for that, he's about as legit as my other identity papers?"

"I tore up Parkman, once- it is not completely out of m'personal reach…" Huruma notes, offhandedly, but leaves it at that. "Th'inside does what th'inside wants. Bureaucracy will not help you now, Lee."

Lashirah nods a bit, and smirks. She's used to the politics by now it seems. "I have some ideas. Maybe some fun ones to mess with his head."

There is a short nod to Lashirah, small smile on his lips, before he glances at both of them, "Any more questions? Or shall I consider this little clandestine meeting at a close?" Benjamin Ryans brows lift high on his forehead, waiting to see if more questions come his way.

"Though, Huruma… I need to ask you a favor." Pressing hands to his knees, Ryans pushes himself to his feet and turns towards the women on the bench, though his eyes are on the taller of the two. "Should they finally snatch me up, get my girls to safety… Away from the Institute's claws." Lips press together tightly, before he concedes, "I know I have been asking a lot of you lately, especially when It comes to them, but I know what you are… and I need a fierce lioness to keep them protected when I can not."

Lashirah quietly nods to Ryans. She'll ask the other questions she has later. Somewhere not around ears she doesn't trust yet. Ryans might but… Lash never was one to trust quickly, thankfully. At least, not without some damn good reason. However, she digs out a business card from within her pockets, and hands it wordlessly to Ryans, before smiling. "Take care." Is all she says, as she walks away.

Huruma keeps her eyes on Benjamin while Lashirah takes herself up to go, long limbs framing most of her on the bench. "I understand." She does- she tries- she often manages to keep such promises. "But hopefully m'memory serves, an'you are much too wily f'people like that."

Taking the card, Ryans glances at it, brows twitching up before he gives her a curious look. "Be safe," he offers in return, watching her walk away for a long moment, tucking that card away.

Once he know he can, the agent addresses his former prey. "Remember that one, Huruma." His voice rumbles softly, blue eyes watching her with an unreadable expression. "I need to keep her around. I need people I trust."

A smile curls his lips then, "So no killing her… or eating her." Ryans then tips his head to her and turns to leave as well. "Happy hunting, Huruma, but don't make me come after you." A hand reaches up to pluck a leaf from one of the overhanging branches and as he walks away, finds fiddle with it absently.

Answers and warnings… given and received.

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