Plugging a Hole


cesar_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif vincent_icon.gif

Scene Title Plugging a Hole
Synopsis Homeland and SESA cooperate to plug Oscar's hole before anyone else has a chance to take a crack at it.
Date April 16, 2018

Fort Jay

The offices within Fort Jay were all designed and furnished with a certain aesthetic in mind. Modern, inviting, open. Most desks have plants on them.

This one doesn't.

There are no photos, paintings, or plants at all, in this oft occupied satellite Office of the Secretary. A massive Department of Homeland Security seal sculpted out of reclaimed wood and aged metal dominates the back wall, and so the office at large. The desk beneath it is sleek and dark and polished clean, with two open chairs at its face.

Vincent Lazzaro is 5'8", shaved bald and only some four or five steps into the office when his assistant (to the secretary) bumps the door open to admit Agents Diaz and Sawyer behind him. The assistant has a pair of file folders in hand — Vincent circles back to take them, with a curt nod for the pair of agents he's summoned as he goes.

There wasn't any kind of call, or outlook invitation. Just a bleak you're wanted in the Secretary's office upon their respective arrivals.

"Thank you, Frederick. Hi — " Hi. Frederick the assistant skirts out, and closes the door behind him. "Sorry for the short notice. I'll make it quick." His suit is grey, his eyes are black.

He drops the files on his desk as he circles around behind it. No handshake. No good morning, Charlie. "Take a seat."

Veronica's used to be called into the offices without a lot of hoopla or etiquette. She's had a lot of bosses. Some of those meetings went better than others. She shares a glance with Cesar as she steps into the office first; as usual, she's in a blazer and slim-fitting pants. Today she's in flats, which makes her feel tiny next to the much taller Cesar, but not so much compared to Vincent, so there is that.

"Secretary. No need for apologies. At least, I think," she says, lips curving into a small smile at the last, before she settles into one of the seats facing Vincent, settling her eyes on the man, curious and expectant. Not quite eager — she's long since left the bright-eyed and avid agent behind.

When the DHS comes calling, you set what you have aside and step on through. Cesar doesn't have an assistant to hold calls, but that's what voicemail is for. So when he steps in after Veronica (ladies first), he takes a moment to assess, taking up the other empty seat. The taller of the two agents is in white button down, lighter grey jacket than Vincent's suit, darker slacks to balance it out. "Mr. Secretary," he greets as well, finding his gaze drawn to the large seal dominating the room before pulling away his attention from it to focus on the man who's called them. He's curious as well, as noted by arched brows and anticipatory silence.

Settled down into his own seat, Lazzaro gestures to the pair of folders bestowed upon him by Frederick. Take one and pass it down.

"Oscar Nystrom, thirty-five years old, raised in the foster system, studied journalism, now a professional pain in my ass. Not a fan of SLC expression. Either of you listen to the radio?"

The folders are picked up, one taken and one passed to Cesar, before Veronica flips it open to see the dossier inside. A frown mars her face, and she looks up at Lazzaro as he speaks again.

"Not his type of show, usually," she begins. "But I caught it the other night when Lynette was on it."

She looks down again, at whatever's on the first page of the file, and then back up. "Full disclosure, should it be an issue. I'm sure you're aware that Lynette Rowan are acquaintances." Given that the two of the women had their images from the Ark exodus splashed across the media for the past several years. "But we're also friends. Our families were friends. I doubt that will be an issue, but in case it is…" she lifts a hand to gesture vaguely. If it's an issue, there are other agents.

Taking the file handed him, Cesar opens the folder to check what's inside. "Ah, yeah, Oscar the grouch, the garbage, the trash…" He's just repeating what he's heard. Leaving the file open in his lap, Cesar looks back up and between the secretary and his fellow agent. "Same, though not on the same level. I've volunteered some time at the Benchmark," he notes of being acquainted with Lynette, nodding slowly. "Anyway. The man's got some touchy ideas about handling SLC-E's alright." Cesar's euphemism accompanies a narrowing of his eyes at the file.

"So did I."

…Sounds like an admission, under the the circumstances. Vincent manages not to roll his eyes for the content of said broadcast, but it's a close thing — impatience masked in a shift as he settles deeper back into his seat.

"And so am I. This isn't about Lynette." Fortunately.

The front page is a bulleted dossier of details alongside a driver license photo from before the war. Height, weight, education, driving record. The guy got one parking ticket back in university. The pages past that delve into more personal territory — research on Mr. Nystrom's past and current relationships, social media activity before and after the war, online dabbling in his own fandom. His sister.

"He is uniquely suited to his name," he acknowledges, formally, on the subject of the muppety aliases Oscar's already been assigned. "But there are people who agree with him. It's the people who don't who are my more immediate concern, in this moment."

"We've all made our mistakes," adds Veronica, almost gently, and including herself in the mix.

Her lips twitch slightly into a smirk at the acknowledgement of Cesar's joke from the Secretary, but her eyes lift from the dossier once more when he mentions who the 'concern.'


"Has he received threats yet, or is this preemptive?" she asks, understanding written across her face, as to what this particular assignment is. "I can't promise to be nice, but I can be professional," she adds, dimples flashing quickly.

Somehow, Cesar keeps the straight face even as the secretary remarks to the unflattering nicknames he's uttered for the man profiled. The agent also glances up from the file upon Vincent's mention of possible concerns. Once Veronica speaks up, he looks over to her. A smirk threatens, but he gets control of it. "Judging by the lack of profiles in the folder, possibly preemptive. Or the guy's pissed off an entire community over the airwaves, could come from anywhere."


Call it a gut feeling.

Vincent doesn't. Call it that. For all that he seems very sure of the necessity of these measures for some reason — dark eyes and deadpan affect more serious than he'd like to be on the subject.

"There's been some low level buzz on the internet," he turns his phone up out of his pocket, and thumbs quickly through the lock screen. "'G T F O normie, I'll fuck you,'" he dictates. "'I'll fuck you in your sweet trash hole.'" And so on. He squares the the phone face down.

"That one might have been a fan," he acknowledges. "It can be hard to tell." That said to Cesar, he glances back to Veronica and her dimples, hands folded together on the edge of the desk between them.

"I don't want him to know that you're there."

"He's got a certain Norman Bates quality to him, doesn't he?" Veronica muses as she looks at the photo as Vincent scrolls for the correct troll message. Her brows lift up and she smirks a little at the aside to Cesar.

Her brows lift at the directive that they're to be what amounts to secret secret service.

"At the station or his residence or both?" she asks, closing the folder and setting her hands on top of it for the time being. "If he sees me, he might figure it out. Obviously I'll try not to show my face unless it's necessary."

"Normie?" Cesar echoes, grimacing not in offense for the name, but, "They couldn't think of something more creative? Half point for 'sweet trash hole', and I'm not even the Russian judge." The man closes the folder. "Better figure out if he's got a good family relationship too," considers the agent after a beat.

"Then don't let him see you. He's a conservative radio personality, not a Russian diplomat."

Vincent Lazzaro: smoke monster and problem solver.

"Wherever he goes, at least one of you goes. Recording hours are to be considered priority for coverage. If you need additional support, you'll request it from me directly. Director Kenner is already aware that I've coopted your services."

'Sweet trash hole.' The absence of any trace of humor behind the boot black of his eyes is more a testament to his constitution than it is a critique of Cesar's delivery. He's tired. Subtly so — fine grooming a little shadowed on this early Monday morning.

"I don't want him to think he's being followed by the government," he counts off on one finger, "I don't want him to think he's being intimidated," he counts off on another, "and I don't want to provide his cause with ammunition in the event that someone does try to fuck his trash hole."

Mainly those three things.

"If you happen to overhear or discover anything interesting about his familial connections in that time, document it."

"Definitely more respect for the Russians," Veronica murmurs, before quieting to listen to the various directives. She nods with each, and the sentiment behind them. They're on the same page. No one gives a shit about Oscar Nystrom, but the public image of the SLC-E community is really what they're protecting.

"Copy that," she says to the three mission objectives.

She glances at Cesar. "Overlapping shifts, looks like. You want day or night?" She'll let what she considers a rookie, despite his years in the PD, have his pick.

"Is that our official stance, sir?" Finally, Cesar's wry smirk cracks through, though his fingers drumming on the folder tell of a gear or two grinding along internally. He clears his throat lightly, adjusting his collar. At Veronica's question, Cesar smiles back at her and volleys back. "Ladies' choice."

"The word 'official' has lost all meaning for me." Dry. "If you happen to learn anything interesting while you're protecting this man's first amendment rights from his bushes, I'd personally consider that a well-earned bonus."

At the first volley of scheduling Courtesy, Vincent immediately closes his eyes.

"Okay." Meeting adjourned. "You two can hug this out somewhere else."

The barely concealed irritation from Vincent makes Veronica smirk a little; she's always happy to annoy the brass these days, now that she's not trying to polish their badges. She stands, and dips her head in farewell to Vincent. "Have a good day, Secretary," she says, passing between the desk and Cesar's knees to get to the door. "Come on, Normie," she adds to Diaz, though there's a smile attached to the word.

Cesar's eyes shine with amusement as he stands, file tucked under arm. "Gettin' out of your hair, sir," he calls back over his shoulder as they leave the office. Sorry, but not sorry, the agent steps after Veronica, helping to shut the door lightly as they go.

"Seriously, Sawyer, normie cannot be a thing…"

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