Seal And Gag


lawrence_icon.gif len_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Scene Title Seal And Gag
Synopsis Debriefing from the Goodman shooting and Veronica comes clean.
Date May 21, 2009

Office of Len Denton

It's done.

The falling of Roger Goodman has reached as low as it could possibly go. Len wasn't necessarily thrilled to have to do this, but as a matter of survival — it really was the only choice. Plus he takes his orders from above, and that was the directive. Of course, the fallout from this particular mess will linger for some time.

Standing in front of him are both Agent Cook and Agent Sawyer. He tries to read their expressions to see if any mental damage has been done due to the position they were put in. While he did give them the option to out if they wanted, they couldn't have possibly known who or how this was all going to go down. So once they agreed, they were stuck.

Their records have been noted with an accomodation for outstanding bravery in the face of perilous dangers, making it as vague as they possibly can in a matter like this. "Sit. Sit." he motions to the pair of chairs in front of his desk as he takes a seat. This time, his door is closed. While he's not as concerned as he was before the assignment therefore avoid the cloak and dagger stuff that he used before, he still doesn't need anyone overhearing the information being provided, so measures have been taken to avoid such a thing from occuring.

Lawrence folds his tall frame into one of the seats. "Good afternoon," he says politely, clasping his hands together and settling them on his knees. He's wearing a mild little smile, the one that kind of makes him look like he's satisfied. Maybe smug. No signs of mental anguish there, at least.

Veronica's face is a study of controlled emotion. She smiles and sits. She turned in all of Goodman's effects — his badge, his gun, his wallet, etc. But she kept the file. She folds her hands on her lap, and watches Len, waiting for him to address them first.

"I am going to tell you that your records have been annotated, and you both have been awarded an accomodation from all the way up the chain of command for this assignment. It was hard and I am certain awards are not what you are seeking, but they are justified." Leaning back in his chair as his typical pose, he looks from one to the other — both unusually cheerful for having just having murdered they both recently worked for. He's not sure he's buying it. Okay, maybe from Lawrence he might buy it.

"I also need to let you both know, that this case as a whole is being sealed and buried as far as they'll let the backhoe dig. A gag order is being issued on discussing this assignment period. You are not to speak of it to anyone. Anyone. With one exception, and that is myself at the appropriate time and place which I will determine." He issues a safeword to use for future reference, if a discussion is needed about the event. "This include amongst yourselves. Any questions so far?"

Lawrence tilts his head to the left, birdlike. "Oh. Even Agent Dahl?" There's a hint of concern in his tone. Uh-oh.

Len arches his eyebrow up. "Especially Agent Dahl. Is there something you want to tell me, Agent Cook?" He can give the same order to Minea, depending on what Lawrence told her — but in her state of mind, Len would have rathered she didn't know.

Veronica looks only too happy to comply. Never talk about it again? You betcha. "Not a problem." It's not like she has a regular partner to have told. She glances over at Lawrence and raises a brow, then her eyes flicker to Len.

Lawrence's lips purse. "I told her I shot him. I thought she should know. I thought it would be comforting to her to know he wasn't still at large. I was trying to be comforting." That last part is hesitant.

"You do realize that she's rather fragile at the moment, Agent Cook. Probably not the wisest of decisions on your part." Len interlaces his fingers and lies his hands on his stomach as he contemplates this situation. "What exactly did you tell her?" he asks finally.

Veronica's eyes drop to her hands, as if she'd rather be anywhere but here while another agent gets chastised for saying too much. Her mind begins to whir with all the information she has not given. The smile is gone from her face as she examines her manicure.
"That I shot him between the eyes and that he's dead," Lawrence says. He opens his mouth again, seems to think better of it, closes it once more. His large forehead is creased with wrinkles.

Len's philosophy for partnering is that once you're in, you're in it together until the end. So he has no qualms about issuing a chastize to one in front of the other. That way the same mistake isn't made by the other. Of course, he has been taking glances towards Veronica as he listens to Lawrence speak.

Len is not a fan of the mindwipe, so he is not going to go that route. "Don't mention it again. As with any case, the less that know, the less there is a chance for this information to be leaked. You don't carry around a keg with a whole in it, unless you plan on letting everyone drink. Am I making myself clear?" he asks, looking from one to the other, meaning 'Am I making myself clear or do I have to use more drastic measures to ensure no further leakage?'

Veronica looks up at the urgency in Len's voice as he asks that question. She nods. "Clear," she repeats. "But… if someone asks where Goodman is… what should we say? Just to … keep our stories straight. Since I'm assuming no body is going to be found."

"Understood," Lawrence says, deflating a little. Sullen, even. He glances sidelong at Veronica as she asks her question, then looks to Len for the answer.
"That he no longer works for the organization and that he's taking an extended vacation as far as you know. It's no longer your job to keep track of him. Same thing we are telling the other agents. Len looks from one to the other making sure his answer is understood by them both. "Any further questions?" It can't be said he's not trying to give both of the agents some closure here.

Veronica looks at Len and shakes her head slowly. Yes. There are questions, but she can't bring herself to answer them. Her entire life is possibly a lie, but how do you ask what the truth is when you just killed the person who tried to share the truth with you? At the bidding of the person in front of you? "No," she murmurs, and looks like she's ready to stand, though she waits to be dismissed.

Lawrence's eyebrows climb higher. He watches Veronica. Really? None? Really? So dubious. He looks like he's about to say something but doesn't; he shakes his head at Len. "None here, sir."

Len stands and reaches his hand out to both for shaking. "Despite the Agent Dahl thing, which I will speak with her and explain, this was really a very outstanding performance on both of your parts. It seems I picked the right pair. You will now return to your regular partners, and again, no further discussion amongst yourselves or anyone else. Far too many ears around, if you know what I mean. If you want to discuss, alone or together, you know the safeword. If there are no further questions, you both are dismissed."

Vee sighs a little at that eybrow raise on Lawrence's face. She's going to have to come clean for worry he knows something he's not telling her. Could he have overheard? She glances at Lawrence and then back at Len. "Actually… I'd like to ask a few things. In private," she says, eyes downcast for a moment, before looking up at Len.

Lawrence smiles a little. Praise! Praise is good. He stands, shakes Len's hand, and nods. "I'll just scoot on out of here," he tells them genially.

Veronica's statement earns herself a nod as Len turns and grins to Lawrence. "Yourself and Agent Dahl will be receiving a new assignment soon." he notes, then dismisses Lawrence. Due to the nature of the conversation and the precautions that Len has taken to ensure privacy, the moment Lawrence steps out of the door, he will no longer be able to hear what's going on inside, ability or not.

Len takes a seat, turning his attention to Veronica now. "What's on your mind, Agent Sawyer?"

Lawrence swoops out of the room, closing the door behind him gently.

Veronica's eyes watch the door close before turning back to look at Len solemnly. "Do you know the name Agent Paulson?" she asks bluntly.

Len reaches for his keyboard and punches in the name. If anything interesting comes up, he doesn't register it as he tosses the keyboard back onto his desk. "I don't personally know the name Agent Paulson, but if you tell me what this is about there is a possibility I can help you."

"When I was younger," Veronica says, glancing past Len to watch through the window behind him a moment, her eyes unfocused, "I was told my father was killed by a distraught man whose wife had cancer." Her eyes flicker back to Len. "Then, when I was recruited, I was told that distraught man was telekinetic. But according to Goodman, none of that's true. According to Goodman… my father was killed by an Agent Paulson in a bag and tag gone wrong. Sprague, of all people." She shakes her head, trying to figure out how her father was mixed up that at all, as a neurosurgeon. "It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but he had a folder… it looks legitimate, but God knows he could have faked it."

"Agent Sawyer, it seems you have some options here," the cowboy starts. "One, you can keep the folder and do your own investigation on your own time and see if you get anywhere. Two, I can just go by what you've told me already and look up the information to see what's out there. Or finally, you can trust me and hand me the folder and let me ask someone who would know about it. It's all a matter of whether or not you're going to trust me to help, if you feel confident that you can get this information yourself, or that you're confident that I can get the information without all the evidence you have."

She nods slowly. "You'll tell me the truth? Even if it means… telling me the Company killed my father and then lied to me?" she asks quietly, even as she reaches into the bag at her feet and pulls the manila folder from its side pocket. She hands it over. "There's something else. I didn't tell Lawrence, because I figured the less who know, the better… at least until you or someone else higher than me decides we should know." She rakes her lower lip with her teeth. "Goodman mentioned a benefactor, said his benefactor would have a lot to offer me. I asked who it was."

Len considers her quietly as she speaks, his own mind whirling through all that he's being told. Same situation that Minea Dahl found herself just weeks ago. She found out too much and someone got nervous. However, the regime is changing and Len already knows that change is in the air for The Company. "I'll tell you if I find out anything. And if it happened from within, you need to understand that was under a different regime. I think you know I run things just a little differently than that last guy who was in this chair. But if it's truth you want, then that's what I'll give you." He raises a brow at the mention of a benefactor. "Did he tell you who it was?"

"Arthur Petrelli." Veronica says it quietly and matter of factly, watching Len's eyes to see if there's any shock or if it is what he expected. "Goodman said that someone tried to kill Petrelli after he found out 'one of the darkest secrets the Company has' or something to that effect." She shivers just a touch, knowing that she does indeed know too much. "Listen. However this turns out.. if … because of all the stuff with my Dad… or if you all think I'm a liability… just promise me you won't have me mindwiped. Or worse." She pauses. "I promise, if you cut me loose for some reason, you can trust me."

Minea Dahl's mindwipe was completely selfserving and unnecessary. Roger Goodman was protecting his own ass. However, if the order for a mindwipe comes down from on high towards Veronica Sawyer, it will be Goodman, even beyond death, who is the reason for it. "I can only promise you that there will be no order of a mindwipe that comes from myself. And if one comes from higher, I will do what I can to make sure that every other option is utilized before we get to that." Len's being as honest as he possibly can. He'll do what he can to protect those who works for him if they are loyal. "Until then, I want you back on the search for Adam Monroe. Understood?"

"Fair enough," Veronica says, reaching down for her bag and shouldering it before standing. "Thanks for listening. And your help." She smiles once more, that stoic, happy agent mask firmly back in place. The foundation upon which her entire career rests is cracked and crumbling, and possibly built on lies, but she can still smile, even if it doesn't quite reach those very serious eyes.

Len watches her go before he sets the folder down onto his desk. This will have to go into the safe at some point, but — seems like all the skeletons are tired of being in the closet. He's not sure they will fare much better inside the safe.

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