New Kid On The Block


katie_icon.gif moriarti_icon.gif

Scene Title New Kid On The Block
Synopsis Moriarti is assigned to some topical DoEA work — and Katie has a different favour to ask.
Date July 18, 2011

Reclaimed Zone

The road isn't completely tamed, here, and the vehicle judders and bucks as the two agents are driven through the wilds of Staten Island. A light rain makes patterns on the glass, beading across the display of urban forest and emerging suburbia, and more significantly, the military trucks parked and driving here and there, the marching patrol of soldiers, and the signs that read simple announcements such as RECLAIMED ZONE and TRESPASSERS WILL BE PENALIZED. Thomas Moriarti is not a trespasser — he has a plastic identification tag along with his agent badge that states as such, and the same can be said of Katie Sebastian, who sits in the back seat of the vehicle alongside him. Her corn-blonde hair is pulled back into severe ponytail, her jacket open to a white blouse thin enough against the humidity of the damp summer day.

It's true that the Eltingville Blocks are a Department of Evolved Affairs endeavor, and it's true that its security has been largely overseen by the United States military, and it's true that the agency is having more and more difficulty establishing control over the things it's meant to. "On November the 8th," Katie is dictating, her eyes hidden behind sunglasses and her face turned away regardless, "Roosevelt Island was a particular source of rioting and destruction, and it already had a legacy of violent outbreaks. Then, of course, there's the Dome incident earlier in the year. We're not just looking incompetent anymore — we're looking dangerous.

"And attracting criticism from Homeland Security, who are eyeing up Eltingville Blocks, lobbying for it to come under their purview. We need to have more involvement in the security work, not just the social programmes. That's where you come in."

Moriarti shifts slightly as the vehicle continues along down the road, his attention split between where they are going, and Katie dictating next to him. One arm up on the door as he leans against it. Not expecting a drive through the city, or even out to the wilds emerging from its edges, his suit jacket hangs open over the white shirt, not exactly crisp any longer from the wet taste to the air.

"Oh?" is what the man manages as he listens to the agent seated next to him. "The Department's decided to put a new pretty face out here?" Moriarti starts, before her words on it being more than social programmes sink in.

Katie's mouth twists in what other people would identify as a smile, or at least half of one — but she is not known for being particularly smiley in the first place, and her eyes remain hidden behind reflective glass besides. "If there's public inquiry about our security measures out here, we need someone who can step up and answer questions instead of soldiers, and at the moment, the people in our deparment heading this initiative have some— difficult PR tangles to work through. Long story short, we think you might be the guy for the job as well as actively participating in the security of our residents."

It's become a common office staple, the ambiguousness of the word security. Security for and from whom is next to never specified. It doesn't really matter.

"All of this will get explained to you when we get there," Katie admits, now tugging off her sunglasses and folding them. "I wanted to ask you something off-record." A small shrug communicates that she means relatively off-record.

Those public relations courses always seem to come back to haunt him. Moriarti nods slightly at Katie's explanation on 'tangles,' his own lips twisting into more of a smirk than a smile. Well, it is what he's paid for. "Basically someone who knows how to talk to the camera, and the residents?" he says, although not expecting an answer. "..better than keeping my desk from floating way…" he muses.

As the conversation slides off the record, Moriarti's thin brow arches slightly upwards. "Off-record, hmm?" he repeats, a definitive question to his tone. "Well, I can't stop you from asking, just hope you don't expect an answer if it goes too afield."

He doesn't expect an answer, and Katie doesn't really give him one beyond a tip of her chin that indicates a nod — affirmation that he is on the right track without diverting off the track she wants to go down. At his answer, she gives a smile that almost shows teeth, even, and gently shakes her head. "I'm not trying to be invasive and I can assure you it's relevant to my work," she states, in prim disclaimer. "But I was wondering if you could enlighten me— "

A tire hits a pothole in the road, snapping Katie's sentence into a quick end that has her attention briefly glancing out the window. They're on proper road in the next moment — Miller Airfield can be distantly seen past the docks fenced off, and they veer for the electric gates, patrolled regularly by the men in green. Eltingville Blocks up close doesn't look too bad, but details do shine in, like the coiling razor wire atop the strict fencing, the paint jobs over reclaimed housing. A white church can be seen over the rooftops of squatter buildings as the car crawls up to the gate.

Katie relaxes in her seat. "If you could enlighten me about your relationship with Doctor Elvira Blight?"

Moriarti's hand slaps against the door as the vehicle bounces over the pothole, the suit-wearing bouncing in time with the drop of the seat from under him. His attention drifts from Katie towards their destination, out of the front windshield. Then his attention returns to Katie, sliding away from the razor wire and uniformed soldiers.

"Doctor Blight?" Moriarti repeats the crux of the question, his eyes not betraying the surprise flickering through his mind. Now the agent is rather glad of those skills he's picked up along the way, keeping his features smooth as he considers the question. "We'd crossed paths at a party I happened to be attending, back in the spring. When I heard she'd been mugged, I wanted to check up on her." he offers after giving it that thought.

If Katie is just as adept at Moriarti at keeping answers off her face she doesn't intend, then her neutral expression and answering nod mean very little. If that's not so, then she seems to accept this response without suspicion. That, or this expression is. Just her face.

"That's kind of you," has an equal lack of presumption. "Then you'll be interested to know that she's facing some charges about her Registration — one of our people reported that her power is much more than what was written into the Registry. It shouldn't concern her too much — she's cooperating with the DoEA on some investigations we're running regarding her place of employment, and I expect her record to remain clear. That said, if you know much about New York City, you know that people make a habit of disappearing when they feel threatened about their Evolved tendencies."

She slides on her glasses as the car rolls to a halt, placing her hand on the door handle lever to ler herself out — although she pauses in doing so, not quite done yet. "My division would be greatful if you could keep an eye on her, and if she wavers on her task, steer her on the right track or report anything I might need to know. I don't want to restrict her with a tracking anklet, and I don't have the resources right now to put a tail on her. It's for her own safety."

Moriarti's reply of "Really?" as Katie shares that slice of information. "Well, if she's cooperating, then there shouldn't be any issue, really." he offers up with the slightest hint of a shrug. Once the car slows to a stop, Moriarti's own hand slips from the window down to the door handle, disengaging it before Katie's words draw his attention once more. "And what would that task be, exactly?" he hazards a question, adding "…so I know if she wavers from it, of course."

"We'll see," sounds like agreement, on the matter of well if she's cooperating. Katie tips her head in slight hesitation over the question, less out of personal reluctance and more because she needs a moment to methodically think through the standard need-to-know protocols of info-sharing across divisions.

It can get convoluted. "There's a project that the Commonwealth Institute is working on, and they've been tapping our resources without sharing the details. I'm worried it might threaten the security of our work. I plan to direct Doctor Blight to look into it for me — the research involved appears to be relevant to her skillset. Using her as a source is currently untested, so a friend in the agency she's selling information to would probably not go amiss. And I'm not great at making friends. This all sound kosher enough for you, Agent Moriarti?"

Now, Commonwealth is something Moriarti is familiar with, even if his reaction is a flick of the eyes. "Completely kosher. Just needed to know what she was supposed to be doing, so I can make sure she's doing it, after all." he answers. "I'll keep my eyes open for anything out of the ordinary." he offers.

Of course, he's not entirely sure how to take this change in the playing field. Yana's powers might be something more; or it could be a total lie. The Department is using her to spy on the Commonwealth, and him to keep tabs on her. He really needs to sit down and give this some thought.

But for now, Moriarti simply pushes open the door completely, "So then, what does Eltingville have in store for me?" he asks Katie, sweeping up out of the car.

She pops up on the other side like a meerkat out the warren, laying an arm against the edge of the roof of the vehicle and glancing out at Eltingville as Moriarti asks a decent question. Further into the heart of the rehabilitated neighbourhood, where the soldiers don't roam unless for a reason, there are more one-shot state houses and duplexes, sprawling community centres, graffiti on any surface that will take it, trash in the gutters and social workers who have seen a lot in their time — and relative peace. Still, Katie paints her picture with; "The civilian watch programme overseen by Colonel Leon Heller, a developing drug problem despite our efforts to monitor what goes in and out, smuggling, robotic security measures and people held here for anything from failing to get their paperwork in on time through to terrorism.

"All in all, agent, I'd say you have your work cut out for you."

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