One Of Us Again


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Scene Title One Of Us Again
Synopsis Martin Crowley reunites an agent who had spent time in the bowels of Pinehearst with the Company.
Date April 12, 2010

Fort Hero

What do you say to an agent who spent several months as a test subject for a sociopathic researcher?

"I ah…" Martin Crowley isn't sure what words actually work best in that instance, "I'm glad you didn't quit, agent O'Niel." Nervously awkward and situated at the head of the long, glossy conference table, newly appointed assistant director Martin Crowley is two assistant-directors removed fromt he people who were in charge when Rain last set foor in the Company's halls. Here too, the concrete corridors and subterranean halls of Fort Hero are a far cry from the more familiar Bronx facility. Roger Goodman turned out to be a Pinehearst spy, and Rain O'Neil never got to even meet Len Denton, which leaves Martin Crowley very awkward shoes to fill.

"Now, I know you've had some considerable time off… and there's some, ah— changes to the way the Company handles things that have gone into effect in your leave of absence." Grimacing, Martin slouches back in his chair, one hand coming up to sweep a lock of long, curly hair away from his face. For all his crisp suit and dark framed glasses would say he seems business-like, but the long and wavy brown hair down to his shoulders and scruffy beard make him look as much of a peace, love and music hippy as agent O'Neil's parents were.

Maybe they'll get along after all.

Rain is sitting in his chair, across the desk from the newest assistant director. The fact that he's sitting here, at this table, after what he went through for the Company speaks of just what kind of stuff the kid is made of despite his peaceful appearance and demeanor. His hands are in his lap, fingers laced together. His eyes focus on the man as he speaks, quite obviously awkward in this situation. "Quit sir?" he asks softly, his eyes blinking a few times, as if such a thought didn't even occur to him after all he went through, and judging by the confused look on his face? It probably didn't.

The kid with the bright blonde hair leans forwards, planting his hands on his knees as he stares across at the man. "I would assume there are sir. Alot of things have changed during my… absence. I can see that much just from looking at the state New York is in, the state the government is in. And… the state the rogues are in. The things they have accomplished? Are amazing sir. They've banded together to fight the evils of a tyrannical government who knows nothing of how to handle us. This Company? Is still the future of dealing with the Evolved. We've been doing it right for decades, and I think… that we'll continue to be the ones doing it right for a long time to come." He quirks a faint smile at the assistant director, then leans back into his chair again.

"Sorry about that though… didn't mean to interupt you sir." He flashes the man a bright smile, all teeth and winks at him before settling in and waiting for him to continue.

"Mnh, yes. Rogues." There's a noise in the back of Martin's throat as he rests one elbow against the arm of his chair and his hand against his mouth. "The government isn't Tyrranical, agent O'Neil and I'd advise you against saying things like that in public. Need I remind you that since 2006 the Company has worked hand-in-hand with the government, and it's by their generosity that we're still allowed to continue doing what we do. I think if someone on the outside looked in at us, they'd say we were the tyrranical ones with how things were handled in our pre-bomb years. Everyone has a perspective, agent O'Niel, sometimes s'just hard to see what it is."

Crowley's British accent is very subtle, though not from any sense of naturalization. It's an act, a cover of something he isn't proud of, but every so often those subtle Cockney cues come back up into his speech when he doesn't think to hide them. "Now, obviously you're aware of the attack that happened on the Bronx facility last year, which is why we're out here at Fort Hero now. This facility was used by the Company back int he 1950s and we've had to do some, ah, renovations to it." Scrubbing at his chin, Martin offers an askance look to Rain, then down to the bright red folder sitting on the table in front of him.

"After the destruction of the Bronx facility and the subsequent… disappearance of Moab, the government has requested that we no longer serve as the primary method of detention for Evolved prisoners. We dropped the ball one too many times, and now they're going to do it on their own, more power to 'em if they think they can do their job better'n us." There's a hint of resentment there, but Crowley is nothing if not professional.

"I've only recently taken over beneath Director Dalton, I used to work in Company Internal Affairs prior to this, so I apologize in advance if some've my methods seem a bit… beaurocratic. I've been told my abaility to work with red tape goes beyond the natural." There's a crack of a smile there and a shake of Martin's head. "You've… chosen a unique time t'come back to the Company too, agent O'Niel. As of last month we've dissolved the One of Us, One of Them policy in a trial of a new Company Investigations Branch, which… not coincidentially, is where I want to put you."

Rain quirks an amused smile at what he hears, being told that the government is not tyrannical and such. His lips remain quirked up into that amused smile all through his speech about the government allowing them to operate and everything. The young man doesn't speak again on that subject though, letting it go. He has voiced his opinions, and the assistant director has voiced his, and there's no need to argue the subject whatsoever. An easy going guy this Rain.

"I was… not here during the attack on the Bronx facility. IN fact, if memory serves… I was still at Pinehearst, though I can't be sure without checking the files again, but… I'm aware of it's attack and subsequent destruction yes. I honestly didn't wonder why we were here. If there's one thing that I've learned with this company, it's that sometimes, things just don't need to be questioned, but accepted as that they're for the greater good. I don't entirely like it, but I don't need to to accept it."

THe little nuggest that the partnerships have been dissolved earns a look of shock from Rain, and then one of confusion, followed closely by curiosity, all these emotions flashing across his face before he just settles down. "May I ask why sir? I always found the partnerships to be a good thing. My human partner before Pinehearst was harsher, more hardline. I'm softer, not so much, we balanced eachother very well. Hated eachother on a personal level, but we were exemplary partners…. and… why do you want to put me in this new branch?" He doesn't seem at all opposed to the idea, just quite curious.

"To be frank and honest, agent O'Niel? We don't have enough agents to go around. It hasn't been officially stated, but the Company lost more than just a few good men after the Bronx facility's collapse. A good number of our agents retired after that or went on to work legitimate positions with the Department of Homeland Security, or simply just dropped off the grid. We don't have enough agents to pair between Evolved and non-evolved. So… we're trying somethin' new." Moving his hand from his mouth, Martin leans forward and folds his hands together on top of the table.

"The Investigative Team is… let's just call it an attempt to clean up our image. We've got a backlog of unsolved cases involving the Evolved that some members of the Investigative team are tackling, while the rest are handling more recent cases. That bank robbery by the telekinetic in Queens? We just solved that case an' handed the perpetrator over to the government for processing. We're trying ot earn back our reputation as the best at what we do, because if we don' clear our name up a bit, we're goin' to look like dead weight to the government, an' I'm not particularly lookin' forward to their idea of forced retirement."

Rolling his tongue over the front of his teeth, Martin exhales a sharp sigh and drums his fingers on the tabletop. "You'll be workin' with a stable of agents from all around our New York Offices. One of them 'as just recently come out of retirement to head up the team. His name is Benjamin Ryans, senior agent, been with us for o'er twenty years now. He's a by the books sort've fella' but he's got a good head on 'is shoulders and a good heart. Second to him is agent Veronica Sawyer, probably the single brightest young agent we have, and if it weren't for Ryans comin' out've retirement I'd have had her lead the team."

Smiling, Martin laces his fingers back together again. "You'll also be workin' with agents Henry Webb an ex-Marine, my partner Albert Paulson, newly recruited agent Maria Delgado a bioengineer from one of our shell companies, former archive manager Corbin Ayers, as well as supplementary assistance from senior agents Bryan Buckley, Elle Bishop, Grant Fitzpatrick, Gracie Lee, and the Haitian." There's a nod of Martin's head as he adds one more name. "We're also serviced by our forensic specialist Lashirah Lee down in the labs. They're your new partners."

Rain leans back in his chair, almost simultaneously with the man leaning forwards, a soft smile flicking ove rhis lips as they mirrior eachother's movements. "I see. Well, that would explain it. And I'm not surprised that a number of people didn't have the mettle to stick it out. When things get rough people tend to abandon you in favor of greener pastures." His shoulders roll backwards, and hsi head tilts back a little bit.

"Yes, I had noticed the number of back logged cases. But with the evolved being public, they're not afraid to expose themselves, and with them being public, we have alot mor ework to do." Notice he doesn't often include himself in with the evolved. "I'm not sure what kind of help I will be on bagging and tagging so to speak, though I see it's being done differently. You know from my file that I"m not an aggressive individual, and nor is my ability. it's a defenseive one. Trust me, if it was aggressive… I wouuld have used it in Pinehearst." His lips crinkle a bit as he presses them together, then shakes his head and lets go of the sudden burst of anger.

He leans forwards again, his hands settling together, fingers steepling as he thinks. "I've heard the name Ryans. He's a legend. I met him… once. Just after the bomb when I was first brought in. He was on his way out though and at that time I didn't know who he was." He listens to the lsit of people he'll be working with, his eyes blinking a few times before he cracks a smile and nods his head. "Sounds like fun. THe Haitian? Haven't seen him in… oh, quite a long time. I was sorry to hear that Bennet is not with us anymore, a good man, a shame." He puffs out a slow breath before his head tips. "Well then, I suppose I should get to work yes?"

The question of Bennet brings a squint from Crowley, something discerning behind his eyes before he just slowly nods his head and looks askance towards the floor, then back up to Rain. "I recommend getting to know your new co-workers, agent O'Niel, you'll be working with them in the field from here on out. After what happened trying to bring that telekinetic in, we need someone with your unique talents to help protect our agents against dangerous individuals."

Picking up that red folder, Martin opens it and pulls a Manilla envelope out from it, rises from his chair and circles along the length of the conference table to lay it down beside Rain. "These are your new co-workers public dossiers, just some basic get to know you information, so feel free to pull them aside and introduce yourself whenever you have time."

After the folder is dropped, Martin lifts a hand and rests it on Rain's shoulder, squeezing gently. "Welcome back to the Company."

Rain sees the look from the director, or assistant director rather and he cracks another smile. "Bennet tagged me. When Mister Linderman healed me after the bomb, my memory came back as well, of when I was tagged. I remember him and the Haitian. He was kind, Bennet. Serious, dedicated, but kind. He had a good heart, but would do what needed doing. A good agent. It's why I commented on him." He leans back into his seat again, having a tough time sitting still it seems. He takes the envelope handed to him, looking down at it as if it hold shis future, and really? At the moment? It does.

Eyes lift back up to Martin, a softer sort of smile on his lips. "I never left sir, never even thought about leaving, but thank you none the less."

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