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Scene Title Sealed
Synopsis In the wake of Akado's death, Gael Cruz comes to visit senior agent Crowley in the infirmary and explain to him some very cold facts.
Date May 21, 2010

Fort Hero

Under the bleached illumination of fluorescent bulbs, Martin Crowley's bruises look darker, look blacker than blue. With the back of his hospital bed raised, the agent holds a plastic sippy-cup in one hand, his other arm draped across his midsection, suspended in a sling. He's the only injured agent with his own private room, given how many agents are in the medical bay being treated for injuries right now it's something he's relishing; privacy was always cherished by him.

The click of hard-soled shoes coming down the adjacent corridor's concrete halls implies a break in that privacy and quiet though. Swallowing noisily, Martin leans to look towards the door, catching sight of the tall and broad-shouldered frame of senior agent Gael Cruz slipping in through the doorway. The older agent looks Martin up and down, smirking as he notices that they're both chicken-winged with an arm in a sling.

"Quite the pair, aren't we Martin?" It's not the sling Martin's looking at though, but the dangerously red folder he's carrying in the other hand. Gael's approach to Martin's bedside is a slow and thoughtful one, and the folder is slapped down on the foot of the bed lightly, for emphasis, and Gael's eyes settle on the bruises covering one side of Martin's face.

"Are those my walkin' papers?" Martin asks humbly, looking down from Gael to the folder and back again.

"We didn't fire Bennet when Claude went rogue, we didn't fire Rene when Bennet went rogue." There's only moderate lightness in Gael's tone of voice. Whatever it is he's come to discuss still isn't pretty, but from the sounds of it he isn't firing Martin for what happened with his partner.

"Bennet and Rene weren't Internal Affairs," Martin adds with a feigned smile, taking a slurp from his sippie-cup. Gael's brows furrow and then rise slowly as he looks down to the folder, slowly lifting it open with a brush of his fingers.

"Well, neither are you anymore." Gael's words level a weight onto Martin's chest, heavy and burdened. For all that he'd like to respond right now, all he can do is gape and stare. "In light of Albert's associations with Ichihara and the reports that were filed post-incident, we're taking you off of Internal Affairs effective immediately. Your security clearance is also being lowered down to three."

Lowering the plastic cup from his lips, Martin's brows furrow and then lower in a furious expression. "You— You can't do tha', I've worked my bloody ass off for the Company for years investigating their actions an' servin' as oversight for people like you! You can't just— you can't just shit-can me after all these years!"

Blue eyes narrow when Gael becomes the target of Martin's ire, and the older agent stiffens up a little, offering a painted smile to Martin and a look down to the folder. "Well, I've spoken with Director Bishop and he is in agreement that in light of the fact that you failed to notice your own partner slipping out of operational bounds before he went rogue, that your analytical talents might be better used somewhere else."

That much comes as a kick to the teeth to Martin, has him reacting with a look of both shame and hurt, voice stolen from him by the accusation that he's bad at his job. "However," and Gael's however seems quite hefty, "you're going to be maintaining your position as lead administrator of the Investigation Department, and I have a roster of new agents that will be joining your team as well. Both Bishop and Dalton were impressed with the effectiveness of your proposed system and they would like to see more funding given to it and additional manpower."

It's cold comfort that runs through Martin's veins at Gael's words, and agent Crowley swallows noisily as he looks down to the folder, then back up to Gael. "What about Ichihara, what about the accusations he made— the things that were mentioned in the reports? We can't just— Gael, you can't just let that sort of thing slide. They need to be looked into verified, it— "

"No," is Gael's affirmation, "they don't, Not right now. The Company has larger issues to handle than what Akado spoke about to our agents, and I'd prefer they handle their jobs rather than go off hunting wild geese on their own. Ichihara's case has been sealed by director Bishop's orders, we'll come back to it eventually, but right now I need you to focus on doing your job."

"Which," Gael adds as he closes the folded with one hand, "starts as soon as you're feeling better." There's a tap of the senior agent's fingers to the cover of the folder before he takes a step away from the foot of the bed. "Best of luck in your recovery, Martin. Look over the new dossiers, I think you'll like the people I picked for your team."

He picked. The notion that Gael is insinuating his tendrils into Martin's team has cold comfort replaced by heated frustration, and the fake smile that Gael offers to Martin is returned only with a vacant stare as he watches the bearded senior agent leave the hospital room, stepping out into the hall.

Martin stares down at the folder, jaw clenched, then closes his eyes and leans his head back against his pillow.

It can wait.

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