The Apple of Discord


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Scene Title The Apple of Discord
Synopsis Greek myth.: Eris (Discord or Strife) threw a golden apple in amongst the celebrants at the wedding of Thetis and Peleus, inscribed To the Fairest. Three goddesses simultaneously claimed the apple for their own — which is one way to define 'strife'.

Hana Gitelman, Veronica Sawyer, and Rain O'Niel show that cooperation between even former and present members of the same department is a myth. Exactly which 'golden apple' started this falling-out… take your pick.
Date April 27, 2010

Brooklyn Public Library

The Brooklyn library is a quiet place today, open pretty much only out of civic service principle; the first-floor coffee shop and third-floor restaurant are decidedly closed, and very few librarians or volunteers have showed up to staff the counters, desks, and book-shelving carts. The ambiance of quiet is normal for libraries — but today, it's so silently still that the atmosphere seems oppressive.

Their meeting place was dictated as an area — non-fiction, 150-170. This includes several shelf units filled with books, not so very shy of overflowing; three sturdy wooden tables with four equally sturdy chairs apiece bracketed by said shelves; a single computer on its own separate stand, monitor patiently, unceasingly displaying the library catalog home page… and no other people visible along any line of sight. For a "public place," this one's remarkably deserted.

The agents aren't early — but even the person they're supposed to meet seems to not be here.

When contact was made, Agent Sawyer agreed to Gitelman's terms — come unarmed. She also told Rain to leave radio, cell phone and anything with wireless capabilities behind — as did she. Stepping into the area, she pulls off her gloves and shoves them in the pocket of a coat, glancing around. She has no doubt that Gitelman is somehow observing them both — somehow. Her eyes flicker to the computer and she moves a little closer to it, casting a glance at its display to see if there's anything out of the ordinary: No.

"Try not to insult her dead boyfriend or something, all right?" she says gruffly to the younger agent, wondering what Wireless is thinking of the rookie with her — if she can see them now.

Rain strolls along at Veronica's side, not really seeming all that worried about the meeting they're going to have. Eyes flicker to V and he smiles, tilting his head forwards to let her know he understands. No talk about dead boyfriends… that he… doesn't know about. His hands are tucked into the pockets of his slacks, and his clothing is the only thing he has on himself, not even the holster for his tranq gun, he pulled the leather thing off and left it behind. Which doesn't mean he's defenseless, just unarmed, his power is by definition a defense mechanism, though he has no illusions about its ability to protect him from the kind of things Hana might do. But, regardless of all of that, he has a rather big smile on his lips, just shy of a grin as he moves along with the other agent.

Of course she's watching. Somehow.

"Do you have a deathwish, Sawyer?"

Hana Gitelman lets those five words and her feet announce her approach, the heels of the woman's boots clipping briskly against the tiles of the library floor. Dark eyes survey both of the agents, the former agent coming to a halt where she can keep them both in easy, suspicious view… and have clear fields of attack if it comes to that. Needless to say, Hana isn't unarmed, although the loose, long sleeves of a black turtleneck and dark pants yield little to easy perception except the single gun holstered on her belt. There's only one instead of two; some semblence of a concession, perhaps. Or just confidence.

"Only reason I can think of for you to be here. Again." A flicker of her eyes to Rain suggests that this also applies to him.

Veronica nods to the rows of books on psychology. "I'm sure I've any number of problems detailed in these books," she says, turning to look at the woman she's met just once before, on another intelligence-gathering attempt. "And that's probably the least of them. It's probably one we share, not that you have anything to worry about today. I, on the other hand…" she nods to the other's gun.

"You're here, though, so you realize we're no threat. I wanted to talk to you about Rebel and their possible involvement in something that happened at the Corinthian the other day." The pronoun "their" might be a tip off to what the Company now knows about Rebel.

Rain doesn't seem all that surprised to hear the voice come out of nowhere, nor to see the woman come from the same place as well. Tricky place that nowhere. He offers her a friendly smile despite her obvious hostility, and just shifts from one foot to the other quickly, then back before he settles in. "Just came to talk ma'am," he offers in his almost perpetually cheery voice. Then Veronica is talking, and the younger agent goes quiet, glancing over to her, then to Hana. He shrugs and pulls out a chair and takes a seat in it, tipping it back onto its rear legs and balancing there, looking rather lazy and relaxed.

Hana snorts softly at Veronica's words. She watches as Rain settles himself, one brow arching at his show of nonchalance; regards Veronica steadily for a moment more. The technopath looks as though she'd like to cross her arms… but that would require lifting her hands, and redistributing the tension in her frame to a distribution less conducive to rapid movement. No, she's anything but that relaxed. "So? Talk," Hana instructs, not particularly caring which of the two responds.

The elder of the two young agents does not sit, but stands watching Hana, equally tense and cautious — the two women in stark juxtaposition to the nonchalant laze of the young man among them. "Agent O'Niel, why don't you apprise Ms. Gitelman of the situation that occurred at the Corinthian and bring her up to speed on the situation regarding James Alton," Veronica says quietly, not taking her eyes of Hana to address Rain. "We'd like any insight you have on the situation, of course, Ms. Gitelman," she adds politely. Her position is to the side and slightly behind Rain, hoping that should Hana fling any knives at them, she'd be protected by his shield.

Rain smiles, or beams rather, up at Hana as she watches him settle himself in. He doesn't speak, though the smile he's offering her turns a bit impish, and he even winks at the woman, but stays silent, balancing on the rear legs of the chair and tilting his head back. Eyes settle on Veronica as she speaks, a little nod escaping him. "Well. James Alton was using his precognitive power to cheat at the casinos. He was discovered, and we were called in to round him up. He fled, an agent of ours chased him. Some mercenaries interfered, injuring a good man in the process. What we don't know, is how they knew we were on our way there, where to strike. We believe Rebel had some involvement, but we are unsure of just how, or why, and we were hoping you might know something and be willing to share." He offers her a bright and hopeful smile, then waits for her response.

Hana looks at Rain as he speaks, her head tilting just slightly to one side. There's a hint of disbelief to her expression — which may or may not have something to do with the young agent getting to speak his full piece. The woman briefly looks past Rain to Veronica, then shifts her focus, dark gaze snapping back to fix him with a piercingly intent stare. "I don't work for the casino," she hisses, the words deceptively quiet in their force. "I definitely don't work for you." Takes a half-step forward. "Tell me this — why should I fucking care if your op failed?"

"You'll have to excuse O'Niel. He's a people person," Veronica says coolly, giving Rain a glance of 'are you for real' herself. He just winked at Wireless? And lived to tell the tale. So far. She turns back to Hana. "The men who tried to get Alton and injured the agent were Stillwater operatives, and it's clear that there was a technopath involved. You are not considered a suspect in any way, but we believe it may be Rebel. Obviously, if Rebel is using Stillwater, it's a concern — I'm sure you aren't worried about the safety of our agents, but there is another case where anyone related to our little company at all may be a target, and that would involve you and people you care about. I'm not sure if the cases are related, but there is always the possibility. And this would be separate from the other case you and I spoke about, just to be clear."

Sawyer crosses her arms, shifting her weight. "Are you in contact with Drucker at all, either … individually or as Rebel?"

Rain looks at Hana with a sad sort of smile for her getting angry and all snappish and such. His head shakes a little bit. He leans back in his chair slowly, a heavy sigh escaping his mouth. He's quiet while Veronica speaks, then his eyes turn upon Hana. "It's actually rather simple if you think about it ma'am. If this spreads beyond the Company, or the government gets word of it? Who do you think they're going to come calling on? If you help us find out if Rebel is involved we'll have proof that exonerates you and keeps them off your back. You help us, we help you. I know you hate us, but you're inextricably linked to us through your past. If attacks like this continue we won't be able to cover them up from the government, so we need to get a handle on it fast. To protect ourselves, and to protect the people that the government will go after in its foolish thought that it knows best how to handle the situation."

Hana starts to look at Veronica — then freezes as Rain begins to speak, her head slowly swiveling back around so she can just stare at him. "Simple is one way to describe it," she replies, taking another step forward, her voice a soft, dark hiss. "I am in no fucking way linked to such as you." The Israeli's lips pull back from her teeth in an expression that bears no resemblance whatsoever to a smile… of any variety. "If they want to come find me? Then I hope they've made their peace."

Dark eyes glare at Veronica. "Your 'little company' can bail itself out of its own fucking mess."

Hana Gitelman steps back, pivots, and stalks out of view through the library stacks.

"Damn it." Veronica gives no chase — she knows that Gitelman is armed and chasing her would be inviting the woman to shoot her, and while the Company agent seems to have a death wish at times, today she's not ready to make good on that threat. She whirls around to where Rain leans back in his chair, her eyes narrowed.

"Did you read the dossier at all? You can't throw around threats like 'the government might come after you' to someone like Wireless. She knows how the system works. She was a part of the system. And she knows that you don't have the clout to back up any promises you might make," Sawyer rants, her husky voice angry. "And what the fuck, you winked at her? The woman threw a knife at me just so she could ensure I didn't follow her last time. I'm surprised she didn't shoot you in the sac for being smarmy."

She begins to stride for the exit, not glancing to see if he's following or not.

Rain arches an eyebrow at Hana. "In your mind you are not, but in the minds of the government? Will they truly care that you're not one of us anymore? They will find out a technopath is involved, and they will come after one that has an obvious grudge and history with us….." He trails off as she turns and stalks away, a sigh escaping him. He looks down at the floor, his lips pulling into a frown. "That could have gone better. I thought she'd listen to reason and logic… makes sense that they're going to go after her once they get wind of all of this…" He looks back up to Veronica then sighs a bit as he pulls up out of his seat, turning to push it back under the table the way it was when he arrived. "I didn't threaten her, Veronica. I stated a fact. The government will go after her. I am trying to help her and to protect her from them. She hates us, and she has good reason. I would have good reason too, but I know the necessity of our organization." He shrugs his shoulders, his loose dress shirt shifting on his slender frame before settling. "Has nothing to do with clout. The Institute isn't stupid as much as I would like to think they are. They'll deal with the immediate threat first. If I have proof she's not involved, they won't go after her… now. Eventually they'll come for all of us, it's just a matter of target priority." He looks over to the computer. "I do hope you're listening, Hana." He offers with a sad frown to the computer, then begins to trail after Veronica.

"If the 'government' could catch, hold, and keep her, it would have already, O'Niel. You grossly underestimate her." She glances at the computer screen as he talks to it, and shakes her head. "And you are not on a first name basis with either Gitelman or myself."

When Veronica is armed once more with her guns and her cell and her radio, she will send a message, knowing that somewhere out in the airwaves it will be read: «Wireless: I apologize for the rookie. Blame Crowley.»

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