No Longer A Pawn


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Scene Title No Longer A Pawn
Synopsis Len tells Veronica.. the truth.
Date June 17, 2009

The Office of Len Denton

He rode the redeye from Dallas-Fort Worth to JFK and from there took a cab to Primatech. He gets on the phone with a real estate agent, someone he met with yesterday trying to sell his home in Texas. A few other personal calls are made, as it appears he will be needing a divorce attourney. The file that Sabra promised is then delivered to his office, and he puts in a call to Agent Sawyer. He then looks through the file, flipping through each page one by one to see how it might compare to the file that Veronica was given while he waits so early in the morning.

It's a rare day that Veronica is not already up by this time, but for once the cell phone summons awakes her. So much for sleeping in a bit after the fruitless surveillance on the house where Doyle had allegedly been seen recently. She glances at the text on the display summoning her to Len's office and rolls out of bed.

Some twenty minutes later, she arrives in the office carrying two coffees. She peeks in the door to be sure she's not interrupting anything and then walks in, handing him one of the two cups. "Hey, boss."

Whatever was on the screen is shut down as he glances up with a grin to the agent. It's a grin that never truly reaches his eyes. He does look like hell, but he has had quite the twenty four hours. The coffee is accepted gratefully and he motions to the chair, as he stands and closes the door to the office. This particular conversation will not make it to other ears.

"Good morning, Agent Sawyer. Glad you could make it. Have a seat."

Veronica glances behind her as he shuts the door, though really, most of her conversations with her bosses seem to take place behind closed doors. She takes one of the chairs and takes a long sip of coffee before setting it back down. Her eyes are curious but her face is a pleasant, stoic mask. "You look tired. Doing all right?" she asks. She knows he was out of the office yesterday but not why, of course.

"Aye. Doing about as well as expected. Plenty of stuff going on as of late and more to come here shortly. There's some strong intel that we're verifying, but that's neither here nor there." Seems whatever personal issues going on with the boss isn't going to be discussed at this moment.

"Your request for information has been granted by those on high. They felt as I did that you deserved to know the truth." Len slides the folder across his desk towards her. "Be forwarned, this is not for public consumption. I'm releasing this information to you. It will not leave this office and will be sealed as soon as we are done here. Take your time. Read what you need, then it goes back to where it belongs and once again will be out of your reach. This information has not been declassified."

Veronica's stoic mask slips and a mixture of fear and surprise slip into its place, but just for a moment. "I… thank you for getting it for me," she murmurs, reaching out for the folder with a hand that shakes just the smallest amount. It can't just be the story the recruiter fed her, or it wouldn't be hushed up and classified. She opens the file and begins to read. As she does so, she grows pale, and her jaw clenches.

Goodman was telling the truth.

She glances up at Len, her brow furrowed. She seems, for once, speechless.

However, unlike Veronica, Len is far from speechless. "Agent Sawyer. Let me say this. Regardless of how it game to be that you work here. The influence that initially brought you here is gone. You've been working here of your own accord for a good length of time now. This agency would be far worse off without your contribution. You are an asset to our team and I would be saddened if what has occured in your past would prevent you from doing your job — or wanting to do your job in the future.

"Whatever you decide to do, it's totally understandable, but in my honest opinion, you belong here. This is what you do. This is what you're damn good at. I hope you'll not consider a change in employment."

She stares at the photo in the file of the agent that killed her father. "I've never accidentally killed a bystander," she says quietly as if she hadn't heard his little pep talk. She looks up at Len again. "I'm good at something that I learned how to do because of a lie, though. And I killed Goodman when he told me the truth. I'm not saying Goodman was doing the right thing with all the double-crossing he was doing but … "

She frowns and turns the file to look at the picture of her father, staring at it as if it could give her advice. "I feel like a pawn. A stupid, naive pawn. And I don't get it. I'm not… special in any sort of way. Why did they lie to me to bring me into the Company? I might have been good in school and was trained well, but anyone could do what I can do with the right training."

"You have a natural talent for what you do, Sawyer. It doesn't take an ability to have a skill. And you have the skill. So, you were lied to. Take that lie and turn it against them by being the best that you can possibily be."

He leans forward. "Listen. A pawn or not, you're a damn good agent. And you are no one's pawn now. You are one I go to when I have something that needs to be taken care of and I know it will get done. No exceptions. If this had all been because of influence, you'd have left long ago when that influence left. Right?"

Fingering the file, Veronica glances from him back down at the papers. "The influence has never left. Maybe the persuasion did, but the fact that I was doing all of this because of how my father was killed… only to run into the arms of the Company that killed him…" Oh what a tangled web we weave. She closes her eyes for a long moment, before opening them. They're still dry, but perhaps due to quite a bit of willpower on Veronica's part. "Thank you, though. That's nice to hear." Stoic mask back in place. She hands back the file. "I'd make sure that agent never gets transferred here, if I were you."

"That's not going to happen." Len accepts the file back into his grip. It seems like hours have passed since this conversation has begun. "I can't possibly begin to apologize that something like this has happened. All I can tell you is that I can do what I can do to make sure it doesn't happen to someone else." He leans back in his chair. "I do have to ask. Are you still on my team? Do I need to worry? I've got one agent that is causing me some grief, I don't need another. Are you with me or not?"

She tilts her head, looking at him in an appraising way. "I'm still on your team. At least until we get Doyle and the rest of the Time Tards as Curt calls them back in a cell. For April's sake," she says quietly. "I have thinking to do of course. But I'm not going to lie to you. If I can't do the job, I'll tell you. I'm not gonna play double agent girl, I promise." Veronica picks up her coffee. "Should I know who's causing you trouble, or is that classified?" she asks, curiously.

A large sigh comes from the big cowboy as he shrugs. "You're going to find out soon enough. Until then, I am hoping it'll turn around. Is there anything else I can do for you?" Len asks her. He picks up his long forgotten coffee and takes a sip, only to find it cold. He sets it back down.

"No. Thank you for what you've done already," Veronica says. She might be a brat at times, at least according to her partner, but she has good manners. She stands and gives the file on his desk another glance before turning and heading out of the office. Somehow, one still manages to function in times like these. One foot in front of the other.

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