Stacking The Deck


elisabeth2_icon.gif sarisa_icon.gif

Scene Title Stacking the Deck
Synopsis After the terrible confrontation with the Vanguard at Eagle Electric, Elisabeth Harrison comes to Sarisa Kershner to report in…
Date March 30, 2010

Textile Factory 17

It's been several days since the night raid that Charlie pulled. And Elisabeth's physical state after that night was… perhaps questionable. She moved stiffly, and she asked for the day to handle paperwork (a task she LOATHES) the day afterward as a way to ward off the headache that came from smacking her head on rebar after being shot too. But Liz has been conspicuously quiet about the situation since that night. Her paperwork is finally submitted, though — hey, bonus!

Still, there are some things she needs to talk to her boss about. So she taps on the door to the conference room that Kershner seems to have taken over as an office and says, "Ma'am? A word if you have time?" She doesn't look uncertain this time. Just business as usual. But when she's allowed to enter the room, her movements still hold that sense of stiffness. Not as bad as a couple of days ago. The miracles of anti-inflammatories.

" — I'll, have to call you back." Elisabeth hears after a clipped moment of silence as Sarisa looks up from where she's sitting at the conference table, cell phone pinched between shoulder and ear and a stack of manilla folders spread out in front of her along with a pair of laminated project dossiers that are slowly folded closed and stacked in a pile. She reaches up to pick up the cell phone, flips it shut and lifts her brows at Elisabeth slowly, maneuvering a blue-eyed stare towards one of the chairs at the table.

"I was wondering how long you'd wait," Sarisa notes with a soft sigh, eyes downcast to the table as she sets the closed cell phone down on the table, then laces her gloved fingers together and leans forward with hands clasped in front of herself. "Come on, sit, and tell me why you didn't come to me or the police after your altercation in Queens?" Apparently having a former CIA spook as a boss means a certain minimalist approach to privacy.

She actually has an answer to that. Though Sarisa may not like it. "Because I needed time to process what's going on. And I'm failing miserably, if you want the God's honest truth," Elisabeth says mildly. "Do I want to know who bitched in your ear?" She sinks into the chair with a faint grimace.

"I was actually doing you a favor right there that I have a fair indication I'll be regretting after this conversation." Leaning back slowly, and without explaining what the favor was, Sarisa's folded hands fall to her lap, and the leather of her chair creaks as she rests against it. "I can cover my bases with you pretty far, Harrison. I understand the need for things to be done off the record sometimes, because they get done easier. Hell that's what I did for the government for the better part of a decade and a half— off the record business. But you're not Special Activities, and that means when you engage in a firefight in the middle of a metropolitan neighborhood people make concerned phone calls, and I spent the better part of several days explaining to my superiors that I authorized it so that you and all your friends don't go to prison for a very long time."

Rolling her tongue over the inside of her cheek, Sarisa halfway lids her eyes and breathes in slowly through her nose. "So while the CIA is cleaning up your mess at Eagle Electric, your ass gets handed back to me on a large platter and I'm left wondering why I shouldn't put it right back in that boiling hot oven where I found it. Not only did you manage to scare Koslow and whoever else was working with him deeper into hiding, but you also managed to get attention from my superiors who are— let's just say— not nearly as friendly as myself or Agent Lancaster." Maybe that last part is a little sarcastic.

"Now we have no idea where Kozlow is, because Eagle Electric was the one hiding hole left from the old Vanguard that we thought they might settle down in. So, I'm hoping you came here to me today with solid leads on where Koslow, Dreyfus and Daiyu and everyone else they've managed to hire is." Sarisa's tone of voice is indicative that she isn't expecting Liz to have that.

Elisabeth sighs heavily. "Yes, ma'am," is what she replies to reaming. She deserves it. "For what it's worth, it was not supposed to go down like that, obviously." She reaches up and rubs her forehead. "You gave me clearance to do some recon, and that's all we were doing. And then Kozlow practically landed on top of us somewhat unexpectedly," she murmurs. "Which was well in hand, and then Feng started taking sniper shots."

Looking up to meet Kershner's eyes, Elisabeth says quietly, "I'm not certain, but it seems I'm going to be a bigger liability in this than maybe either of us realized. Kozlow's response to the situation was to tell us that if they left me, he could convince Dreyfus to call off the rest of the plan." Her gaze flits about the room, her brows furrowed together. "Revenge isn't usually a whole-group activity, but… for whatever reason, it sounds like the entire group was willing to follow Dreyfus here. That… makes no sense to me. I'm just not that important in the grand scheme of anyone's world, Agent Kershner. My father aside. Dreyfus coming for me, sure. I can grok that. But… the actions they're taking …. aren't really consistent with a simple revenge scheme in my experience."

"Do you know how Carlisle Dreyfus is?" Sarisa asks rhetorically to that, resting her elbows on the arms of the chair and bridging her hands by her mouth. "Outside of the fact that you know he was Vanguard, do you actually know who he was to them? Who he was afterward?" Reaching up to rub a hand across her brow, Sarisa exhales another sigh and curls up her othe rhand into a fist, resting her temple against it in a slouch to one side in her chair.

"Dreyfus was Fenrir. He was the original Fenrir, before Ethan Holden. Carlisle Dreyfus was one of the founding members of the Vanguard, according to intelligence we squeezed from Feng Daiyu when we apprehended him in Germany and forced him to work for us. Dreyfus was there from the beginning, a cornerstone member who actually retired after years of service. But he bought Kazimir Volken's ideal with all his worth. He's the closest there is to a founding father of that organization."

To the point, Sarisa makes a vague motion with one gloved hand into the air. "Daiyu, Kozlow, whoever else he has working for him? They're mercenaries. They're soldiers of fortune who pay to the highest bidder. Daiyu will work for anyone he thinks can serve him up Ethan Holden on a platter, Sasha Kozlow works for the highest bidder. The only person who has a personal grudge is Dreyfus, and he has enough psychopathic motivation to follow it through to the bitter end. The others?"

Sarisa lets that hang in the air quietly for a moment. "They're hired hands. They'll kill you for whatever money Dreyfus offers. He has a vendetta against you because of what happened with his son Robbie. Is it sane?" Both of Sarisa's brows go up slowly. "No, it's not. But think about the kind of man Dreyfus is, what he must have done. This is why the CIA was trying to handle this, Harrison. You're out of your league on this one."

Elisabeth smiles faintly. "I'm out of my league on a lot of things, ma'am. Have been for a long time." She shoves a hand through her hair again, not bothering to shove upward out of her slouch. "If the CIA were handling it, Agent Kershner, they would have already been watching and raided Eagle Electric — and I'm kind of assuming here that you wouldn't have looked the other way to let us go take a look if you thought they were 'handling' things." She sounds frustrated. "Look… I'm not stupid enough to think that we're the only people who know anything about the group — hell, what I know about the group and their damn motives would actually fill a very small thimble. World domination is the stuff of comic books and quite frankly, ma'am… I hate conspiracy bullshit."

There's another heavy sigh and Elisabeth says quietly, "For what it's worth, I'm sorry that shit went so far south so damn fast. And worse yet, I'm fucking sorry that I shot the kid. I'd do it again because it was the right damn thing to do, but it doesn't damn well mean I'm glad I did it." She shakes her head and looks at her boss. "I can't back off of this, if only because I'm the target. But I'm not out to get you screwed either." Because better the shark you know than the one you don't.

"I'm glad you admit you keep stubbornly plodding along despite being out of your league, that's— I'll say tenacious, that sounds mostly positive." There's a creasing of wrinkles at the corners of Sarisa's eyes before she stares down at the folders on the table, then looks back up to Elisabeth. "I understand you want to try and handle this yourself because it's personal, I understand you feel some obligation to try and be the hero and get people in the line of fire over this. I understand, Elisabeth, but I cannot keep covering you ass on this. Why didn't you get your shadowy boyfriend to go scout out that warehouse for you?" There's a rather pointed delivery of that comment to Elisabeth.

"Because I'm fairly certain you're not playing this whole responsibility game with a full deck of cards. You have assets and resources you're not tapping, and you're putting people in danger because of it. So, I'll put it to you this way." Sarisa leans forward, folding her hands in front of herself and narrowing her eyes, elbows squared on the table and brows furrowed as her chin comes to set down against the backs of her hands.

"Do you want to listen to my plan for how to get them?" One dark brow slowly lifts up, and Sarisa carefully considers Elisabeth. "Or do you want to walk out that door, and do something that might get your father killed, or worse yet someone else's family killed?"

There's a visible tension when Kershner brings up her shadowy boyfriend. Well… so much for that intel staying away from the shark. Heh… of course, Cardinal informing Peter fucking PETRELLI… anyway. Elisabeth's jaw clenches and she looks sideways from her boss, her expression shuttering into that wary, weary expression. "Ma'am, I had eyes in the sky — the aftereffects of Antarctica have rendered certain of my 'assets and resources' not as available as they once were. That's not to say I wasnt' using them, however. Someone did scout out the place beforehand, so it's not like we stupidly just waltzed in there." Her tone is annoyed.

"And I'm the first person to tell you that I'm so goddamn far in over my head that I'm pretty fucking sure the light at the end of the tunnel is a train getting ready to crush my ass on the tracks. That said, I won't ask you to keep covering my ass out there — and if you have a plan, I'm all ears." Elisabeth looks back at the other woman and says with a faint grin, "Though I admit I wish you'd dropped it on me before we went on recon. We might have not made such a poor showing if you'd mentioned your own thoughts when I asked permission for an off the books run."

"I didn't have one, not particularly, not until you shared that bit of information when you said Dreyfus would've let everyone else go just to have you. That means he's desperate, and there's nothing…" Sarisa emphasizes the word again, "nothing," and adds a smirk, "that I like to have in front of me more than a man who's become desperate." Breathing out a sigh, Sarisa slinks back slowly into her chair again, this time steepling her fingers at her mouth, lips pursed behind the black leather of her gloves. There's a thoughtful consideration that seems to be tinted with something resembling amusement that dances in those blue eyes of hers. Tilting her head to the side, Sarisa considers Elisabeth's situation, and when one corner of her mouth comes creeping up into a smile, there's something so very dangerous about the expression.

"What would you say if I told you I could get you arrested?"

This already sounds dangerous.

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