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Scene Title Punishment
Synopsis Agent Ryans and Agent O'Niel are given instructions by the Company's executive Gael Cruz, and an ominous foreshadowing of a growing problem.
Date April 19, 2010

Fort Hero

Four hours haven't changed much for Benjamin Ryans, save that his arm is now in a sling and he's been sitting in Fort Hero's medical bay waiting to hear from Assistant-Director Crowley while being crowded by three nurses who "just want to make sure he's okay." With ten years knocked off and knowledge around Fort Hero that Ryans just happens to be an questionably eligible bachelor, there is admittedly some murmuring around the water cooler from the nurses who work down in the lab about the Company's old Lion.

By the time someone other than the medical staff emerges through the door, it is unexpectedly not assistant-director Crowley, but rather a tall and broad-shouldered gentleman with coal black hair and a well trimmed beard, glasses set on the bridge of his nose and gold blue eyes looking sternly at the nurses. Behind him, the familiar blonde hair and slim frame of agent Rain O'Niel follows silently. "Out," the spectacled man orders, pointing to the door, "I need to speak with agent Ryans."

Immediately the nurses lurch back and duck their heads, moving away form Bejnamin and towards the door, one giving a fleeting look to Rain and offering him a fond smile. Lifting his glasses up the bridge of his nose, fingers pinching there, the look of stress on the tall man's face seems familiar to Ryans, and it takes some time for him to recognize the man standing in front of him.

It's Gael Cruz, the Company's North American national organizer, arguable the second-most powerful representative in the entire organization. Ryans hasn't seen him in nearly ten years…

Why now? And why did he bring Rain?

Rain offers all of the women a bright and cheery smile, it's never far from his lips, and offers them a wave of his hand. A few even get playful winks before he turns his head from them to attend to the business at hand. His sticks his hands into the pockets of his slacks, the thumbs hooking on the outside of them. He doesn't seem too aware of why he's here either, he stands back behind the man, bobbing from foot to foot slowly, though he flashes Ryans a big smile, but otherwise he remains behind Gael and silent, just watching the two of them.

It's been years since he's had to deal with the advances of other women, he was a very happily married man at one point. As an old man, well… no need for it, as they saw him as old. Sitting on the edge of the medical bed, shirtless since his was soaked with blood, he was rather uncomfortable. So when the nurses are ordered out, the older agent relaxes visibly, sighing softly in relief. A hand goes to his injured shoulder, briefly. "Cruz." The now not so old man says in greeting, hand sliding away.

Eyes glance at Rain, before his full attention is given back to the much more familiar face. "What brings you down here?" A brows arches slightly. "I doubt this is a social visit." Lips press together, before he asks. "What can I do for you, sir?" Another curious glance going to Rain.

"Don't start calling me sir, I'll feel worse about having taken so long to see you Ben." Too many years between old friends, and the wistful quality in Gael Cruz' voice is noticable. "There's something that's happened that required my direct attention here in New York, and I offered to handle this situation for Crowley, given that he's been in a meeting with Dalton and Bishop for the last few hours." Something serious had to have happened for Gael to show up, typically he's down in Washington D.C. since the Company went public to the government, for him to be here there had to be a serious shaking of trees.

Moving over to the bed Ryans is seated on, Gael comes to a stop and offers out a hand to his old friend. "It's been a long time, Ben. I wish I could've come up to see you sooner since you're back in action, but the world doesn't stop for the wants of old horses." Looking over his shoulder to Rain, Gael makes a motion for the young man to step closer. "We've taken a look at the gentleman you brought in, James Alton, and after an initial survey we're certain he's not on any Company database. We're trying to assess his ability at the moment, and the forensics lab is running prints on the men that attacked you. However, given your report you gave we have reason to believe that the technopath known as Rebel was involved in this."

Looking back to Rain, Gael's brows furrow. "On that note, I'm supercedeing Crowley's orders on the investigative team, and you're getting a partner." Gael's blue eyes divert from Rain to Ryans. "Given your altercation at the Corinthian and the level of violence your investigations have been getting you into, I'm pairing you with Agent O'Niel. From this point on I want you and he to be inseparable, I don't care if you have to introduce him to your daughters at this point. You may be ten years younger but you still can't keep things up at the pace you're going. So…" Gael smirks, "rather than trying to tell the stubborn old man to tone it down, I'm giving you a shield. I'm hoping our young agent O'Niel can pick up some good leadership traits and experience from you as well."

Rain glances towards Ryans every so often as well, though most of his attention stays on the 'big man' in the room, listening to him as he talks to the older agent. Rain has respect in his eyes when he looks to Ryans, but nothing more than that. Respect for his reputation and his experiences. But, Rain didn't train under or around Ryans, he doesn't know the man like many do, and thus seems to have no real feelings one way or the other on him. When bidded to step forwards he does, taking a step forwards to Ryans' bed side, and looking over the not so old agent with a curious eye for his wounds.

Then a little bomb is dropped and Rain's head whips towards Gael, his eyes blinking rapidly. His lips part, mouth opening to speak, but just as quickly he shuts it and listens, though his eyes are wide at the statement that he's going to be 'protecting' agent Ryans. Most? Would grumble or whine. Rain though, just stands there, quiet, letting his protests die before they ever reach his lips, and instead just looks back and forth between the two of them.

There is a chuckle from the old agent as he claps Gael's hand, Rain gets to see a rare side of the old lion, a true smile pulls at his lips as that hand it held firmly for a moment. "You know me all too well, Gael." A glance goes to Rain, eyes narrow for a moment thoughtfully, before he looks back at the true company big dog, the hand released. "Though you really want a kid around me?" A small smile on his lips.

"Having this Rebel involved worries me, cause these people knew about the girls." He motions towards the door with his good hand, and adds. "And bringing Jimmy in probably didn't set too well with whoever he's working with." It isn't too hard to figure out what he's concerned about. "This is starting to hit too close to home, Gael. Not the first time, but this time we don't have the cover of societies ignorance."

Eyes search the big man as he adds, "Any word if the Institute got word of him? I tried to get him out of there as soon as possible." There is a slow shake of his head, fingers comb through hair and he sighs. "He's a con man… not a murderer." The older agents frowns again after he says that, head dipping down, brows furrowed,as he asks his old friend. "Am I starting to get soft, Gael?"

"Only around the middle," Gael notes with a motion of one finger to Ryans' stomach, "but I'm not one to talk about that," he adds with a crooked smile, offering an askance look to Rain afterward. There's a moment of silence, and Gael's attention returns to Ryans. "We've kept James' situation quiet, but unfortunately the private affair that it was between our organization and Mister Linderman isn't going to remain so private. Crowley is turning it into a full-fledged investigation into what happened, and I expect near the end of the week he'll be calling a meeting together to discuss it."

Shifting his weight to one foot, Gael takes a step away from the bed, hands folding behind his back. "Alton's ability needs to be carefully analyzed, if your report is correct and he offered you a view into the future… you can see why we might want to play his card close to the chest. It worries me even more, though, that Rebel wanted him for something. I think you can imagine the danger a technopath of his capability could pose with the ability to foresee events before they happen."

Turning around, Gael looks between Ryans and Rain back and forth. "As to why I'm here, I figure it's safe to let you both know sooner rather than later. Two Company agents were found dead in the Bronx this morning. Andre Perez and Robert Ferguson, they were identified by their dental records due to the condition of their remains…" there's a furrow of Gael's brow. "They were killed by prolonged exposure to microwave radiation."

Rain glacnes over to Ryans, his eyes narrowing a little bit at the man's dismissal of him as a kid. He doesn't counter or make any snarky comments, just eyes the older agent for a solid half a minute before his gaze once more turns back towards Gael. The young agent's head tilts down, staring at the floor, gaze lingering there for a little while while the other two speak, his nearly platinum blonde hair slippign down into his eyes, partially obscuring them from view. Talk of Rebel, and of the Institue all are soaked up and taken in, filed away for later, but he's listening for Gael to respond in regards to him. Though, were either of them to look his way they'd notice his jaw tightening up at the mention of the Institute. That is an orginization he is coming to dislike, very quickly.

When no real reply comes from the man to Ryans, but instead the report of dead Agents is given Rain's head lifts and his eyes fill with sorrow and regret. "no…." he whispers softly, hsi eyes then closing up tight. His head shakes slowly, his jaw gritted tight, he doesn't speak for a good little bit, but his face is tormented at some secret bit of knowledge. Eventually he pulls in a slow breath and lets it out again. "I was … volunteering in the park. Linderman put out a soup wagon and all the other stuff, clothes and everything for people… I saw a kid. He was one of the Moab escapees. He was running from a federal agent of some kind. he … caused blisters and such in those near him when he ran… microwaves…" He looks to Ryans, then up to Gael. "I could have caught him there if I'd … gone after him… and they would still be alive… Furguson and Perez…" The kid looks absolutely devestated at the knowledge that he allowed someone to go that ended up killing two agents.

"Good. Lets keep his card close then if we can. Maybe we can keep him out of the Institutes hands for a while yet." Sighing softly, Ryans eyes narrow somewhat, fingers rubbing across his forehead as he thinks back. "The guy on the roof mentioned money. So these were more then likely hired thugs."

There is a pained expression at the mention of the agents. "Wonderful." Ryans grouses softly, straightening, grimacing as he tests the movement of his shoulder. "Hey, kid…" He stops himself and sighs through his nose. "Rain… Someone brought a spare shirt from my locker." He motions to the chair nearby. "Grab it for me."

"And don't worry… your not the only one that had to let him get away." The senior agent slides off the bed, "There are times when you have to give them their space even if it means taking a risk." It's something he knows all too well. "If I had tried to bag him when he was in Old Lucy's a lot of people would have been hurt. You'll learn Rain that sometimes risks have to be taken."

"We'll bring him in…" Ryans is confident of this. "Only a matter of time."

"I sincerely hope so," Gael states with a furrow of his brows, "because from what we found on the scene, I believe this was a targeted hit on Company agents, not a chance encounter." Reaching into his jacket pocket, Gael produces a piece of glossy photograph paper with the picture of a Hispanic gentleman with short, dark hair and a thin mustache. Painted in blood over the front of the picture, is a piece of Japanese kanji.

"I've been told," Gael says quietly, "that it is called batsu," there's a crease of the senior agent's brows, "and that, in Japanese, it means punish." There's a tightness in Gael's throat as he folds his fingers around the picture of agent Perez. "Someone is coming after our agents, Ben, and if this Campbell boy is responsible, he knows more about us than he's letting on."

Rain turns away at the request for his shirt, the young man reaching out to pick it up. He turns and takes it over to Ryans, setting it down on his lap gently, his face scrunched up with emotion from this little bit of knowledge. He glances to the man before his head is given a slow shake, but he doesn't dispute the man's statement out loud. He stops thoguh and glances over towards Gael before his head gives another slow shake. "No, it doesn't fit. This is a street kid, barely surviving, just wanting to be left alone. Yes he'll take revenge if he can get it and is given a location to find it, but he doesn't have those kinds of resources… someone… is guiding him, helping him. We find out who that is and we put a stop to his threat, at least, until we can track him down and bag him."

A hand is lifted up, slim fingers running back through bright blonde hair, leaving it mussed and messy. His eyes go to Ryans then, a heavy sigh escaping the agent's mouth. "All I would have had to do was tranq him though… pull the gun and pop him with a dart, and two people would still be alive and he would be in our custody.." He looks over to Gael before a frown creases his features, pulling his lips downwards. "How long before the Institute gets wind of this? Soon as they find out he killed people they'll be all over him."

"Unfortunately for Lucas, they already know. The Institute doesn't do capture and detention on its own, they still require us to, so whatever happens to Luke, when we do bag and tag him… it'll be the Institute that takes him away afterward. I don't personally know where our detentions are taken, but I've heard rumor about a facility like the Moab Federal Penitentiary that was constructed over the summer, though I have no indication of where it might be. Legally we are required to hand our captures over to the government. This… isn't negotiable, we can't risk openly defying the government in the condition we're in. Not after losing the Bronx facility and the agents there."

Clearing his throat, Gael furrows his brows and takes a further step away from Ryans, shoes scuffing on the concrete floor. "Thursday's meeting will likely cover a renewed effort to find Campbell, and… if there is someone working with him," Gael looks over his shoulder, glasses reflecting the fluorescent lights in the ceiling. "Then it's someone who knows a great deal about the Company…"

"…someone who knows too much."

Setting the short on the gurney after he is on his feet, and slowly reaching out he takes the photo, brows furrowing. "This…" Ryans looks at confused and surprised. Eyes move back down to the picture and his heads slowly shakes. "I've been around that kid. He's a teenage boy, an angry one.. I'll admit." He doesn't go any further, a sigh escaping him again. Finally, he looks at Gael and turns the photo to him, "This doesn't seem like something he'd do, but… not the first time I would have been wrong."

"The kid has been killing…" This is said to Rain, the photo offered back to Gael, so that Ryans can move to pick up the shirt. "They know about him, but they look to us to pick him up." His gaze shifts to the other man. "Am I right? Perched like vultures waiting to swoop down and take the kill?" He sounds almost disgusted by it.

"As for tranqing him there in the park with all those people." Ryans turns to narrow his eyes at the kid. "You did the right thing. Maybe it's the old days talking, but you don't take them out in full view of everyone. For one you don't now how they will reacted ability-wise. The toxin takes time to shut them down. It only takes a second to react. In that time… " His hand fists up and then snaps open as he says, "Boom." softly.

Ryans starts to slip his arms out of the sling. "You did good kid."

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