The Company You Keep


kaylee6_icon.gif luther_icon.gif monica4_icon.gif

Scene Title The Company You Keep
Synopsis Kaylee needs info and Monica has it.
Date June 23, 2021

Request For Company Info
email by: kthatcher
date: 8 May 2021, 9:15am

Hello Monica,

I am hoping you can find me some information. Richard said you have a copy of all the Company files and what I am looking for will be in there.

I have recently recovered memories involving your grandfather. Seems I manifested around five years old and he intervened. So I am curious about incidents or files involving me and/or my mom, Karen Thatcher. It could be under the last names of Ray or Thatcher.

While we are on the subject of family. I was curious what information you have on the Looking Glass. Edward was involved with that. I know it was at least fired twice, but I'm wondering what else is in their files. About what happened, the crossings… who crossed. Not sure what I am looking for yet, but I’ll know it when I find it.

Thanks for any help, even if you come up empty handed.

Very Respectfully,
Kaylee Thatcher

June 23, 2021

10:02 a.m.

Monica’s Office - Deveaux Society Office

“How do I look?” Kaylee asks, suddenly feeling very self conscious about the fact she wasn’t wearing a power suit to the meeting. While she wasn’t dressed up, she wasn’t dressed dumpy either. With a nicely pressed white button up and gray herringbone patterned slacks, and a strappy pair of heels that clicked on the hard floors. Tugging her shirt, as if it needed straightening, she stops just short of Monica’s doors and turns to face her companion.

“And be honest, Luther,” Kaylee sounded as anxious as she felt. Who knows what all Monica found, plus, it felt like forever since she’s seen the woman. It felt like she was giving a first impression all over again.

"Y'look nervous." Well, she did ask him for honesty. Luther is likewise dressed in a suit Kaylee's seen him wear before during his days as Raytech head of security, but he's not taken up that position at the Deveaux Society. That's on purpose. He's left free to do as he needs per Monica's request. If there was any awkwardness about former bosses and coworkers all meeting each other again under his watchful eye, he's not showing it outwardly.

"You're fine," Luther reassures the woman as he reaches for the door handle. "And Monica's still Monica, you know." Before Kaylee can get any more anxious and worked up, he pushes the door open to allow Kaylee inside.

As if to prove Luther's point, when he opens the door to the office, music beats out from unseen speakers. An upbeat song to encourage Monica as she throws punches and kicks against a long, hanging punching bag. While the office is classy and respectable, Monica's presence in it is a comfortable and laid back one. She pauses when she sees them, waving before she turns down the music.

"Hey guys," she says, hanging a towel around the back of her neck, "come on in, sit down, make yourself at home. Want a drink?" She doesn't sit yet, but leans a hip against the arm of a couch.

“Monica,” Kaylee says in greeting, offering the other woman a lopsided smile from the door. “Water would be great.” She moves past Luther to sit, after resting a hand on his arm in thanks for the words of encouragement. It didn’t stop the flutter of anxiety over what Monica might have turned up. “It’s good to see you again and… again thank you for looking in your files for me. I always knew my father was tangled up in the Company through the Looking Glass stuff, but I never considered looking up my mother and I.”

Once all are inside, Luther discreetly shuts the door to allow them the privacy. He's the tallest in the room, but he has that way of making himself unobtrusive and background as he goes to the minibar and retrieve the water requested. Two glasses are poured, one for each woman. The man glances over to Kaylee in a bit of surprise for her anxious immediate jump to business, but offers a small, reassuring look as he passes her glass over.

The other glass is of course for Monica, accompanied with a more fatherly stay hydrated expectation in his gaze. "Really makes you wonder what other sort of stuff is sittin' in the file cabinets," Luther remarks, "or really how much more's hidden away still unread and unrevealed." He shakes his head slowly in what one might consider mild disapproval for all the secrets.

Monica can't help an amused smirk as Luther goes to get drinks. She doesn't stop him, but she gives him a wry look when he hands her a glass. "Thanks." She shifts her attention to Kaylee, then moves to her desk to pull out some file folders. They're much more thin than perhaps Kaylee might have hoped— but there is something there that survived any number of information purges over the decades.

She sets them on a table next to Kaylee before she takes a seat herself.

"Only a few files I could connect to your family at all. My grandfather was pretty heavy handed at the time, it seems, and things he wanted gone disappeared pretty well. But I found a couple things. A child's manifestation in Cambridge, 1992. Granddad handled that one personally and did twenty-seven memory wipes. And then, 1993, in a place called Oak Grove, Agent Black went after a family and was apparently driven off by a young telepath living there. A few more memory wipes there. Three. And Black's dossier was destroyed sometime after this." Kaylee can see one folder labeled Charles Nonsense which seems to be the one containing this particular information. Under it is another folder, only slightly meatier. This one is labeled Alice in Fucking Wonderland. But Monica isn't charging ahead into that collection yet, but rather letting Kaylee have a moment.

Taking the offered folder in hand, Kaylee can’t help but give a small laugh of appreciation for the names of the folders. “I like your labeling system,” Kaylee compliments, flipping open the file.

It only takes reading the first few lines of one report for Kaylee to look relieved. “So it’s all true.” She thumbs through the first report about the school incident… something she barely remembers. “So I was an early manifestation… and according to this I seriously injured two kids with it.” Looking up at Monica, Kaylee gives her a weak smile, feeling some guilt over something barely remembered. “He repressed all their memories. Your grandfather protected me. From myself and the Company…I just wish it didn’t also ruin my relationship with my mother… she practically hated me.” A sad mournful smile tugged at the corner of her mouth, as her gaze skims over the report again.

“But, I can’t even be mad about it,” Kaylee admits with a sigh, “Cause I agree with what he did and probably would have done the same. I don’t even want to imagine a five year old with our levels of telepathy.” Flicking the page of the school incident with a finger tip. “I just… I feel bad for my mom, since getting her memories back, she’s been beating herself up so hard over how she treated me.” A sigh escapes through her nose and she flips to the report on Agent Black, folding pages back while she reads.

Her breath catches as she reads about her hometown and ‘Agent Black’ visiting. “Then there is this….” A finger tip taps the page thoughtfully, Kaylee glancing at the other two. “Samson Gray came after my ability… but I drove him away? I don’t remember what happened after he got ready to kill me,” she trails off thoughtfully and then sighs in mild frustration. “But did I, really? Or did…” or did the snake in her head. A part of her wished she had her ability when she shifts her attention to Luther. He was one of a handful of people who knew about her mental hitchhiker.

But finally, Kaylee shakes her head and looks at the file again. “Three people healed by Linderman. Probably, me, my mom, and Granny… or…. Maybe my grandaddy?” Brows furrow trying to remember if she ever remembered his death.

“Thank you for this,” Kaylee says to Monica after a few moments. “There are more questions…But it's a good star-”

As she starts to close the file, she pauses, finding a print out under the report, Kaylee brows lift. “Huh…This is interesting… Listen to this…”

Daniel stopped by. He's very concerned about the way Charles is handling the Black case. Could we set some time aside to discuss? I want to make sure I'm best supporting you in this endeavor, but I feel as though I do not fully understand the investigation. Related, I have done as requested and "misplaced" Agent Black's dossier and destroyed all redundant copies.

“What were you up too?” Kaylee murmurs under her breath. Though it is hard to know to whom she is referencing.

Luther finds himself a spot to peek over shoulders albeit at privacy respecting distance. A low chuckle also escapes him when he spots the folder names. The humor disappears as Kaylee reads through the files, noting her early manifestation and the actions of adults thereafter. The part about repressing memories gets a deeper frown, the man bristling even more at the naming of Agent Black.

It's no secret how Luther feels about Samson Gray. From the time when Monica first became acquainted with Luther and the story of time shenanigans with Hiro Nakamura in regards to the man to security incidents surrounding the man even now, Luther has a very short permanent shitlist. Samson happens to be on it. After the revelation about Kentucky, it's like the man has reclaimed a top spot on the list. "The fuck," growls Luther as he appears unsettled by the letter and the actions related therein. "Imagine the memory wipes were just to keep everything still hush-hush from the rest of the world," he reasons aloud, "But sounds like Samson got pissed off with the Company for some reason, to go rogue and shake up top brass."

After a little bit more mental math, Luther rubs at his face, temple, and beard. A 'Jesus Christ' utters from the man as he looks between the two women. "I was in college when this shit was happening."

Monica is quiet while Kaylee goes through the information. She knows it a lot to process. It's Luther's last words that get a crooked smile out of her. "Yes, you're very old, we know," she says with a wave of her hand.

Her attention shifts back to Kaylee, letting out a sigh. "People are so quick to let him off the hook. Is it because he's dead?" It's a genuine question, but not one she's waiting on an answer for. "You can be mad about it. I'm mad about it. He was panicking and he was clumsy and cruel. He had the talent to manage his memory manipulating smoothly, but he just never bothered. Every time I find records of people he did this to, it's the same story. Charles, the bull in everyone's fucking china shops, destroying lives to get his way." She could maybe forgive a few less graceful moments, but in her opinion, he didn't seem to even try for graceful. "The fact is, Charles, the Company, they didn't care about the individual lives they ruined, even a five year old girl's, just so long as everything stayed locked up and under their control." As someone who has been handed their legacy, Charles' legacy, she has a long way to go before she can be anything short of mad.

Kaylee can’t help but throw a small amused smile over her shoulder at Luther, though Monica echoes her own thoughts on the whole age thing.

The question about her not being mad draws Kaylee’s attention back to the woman behind the desk. Taking a moment to form her response, she draws in a breath and lets it out slowly. “I’m not mad he tried to keep me away from my ability. It was clearly dangerous and it drew the unwanted attention of Samson. I am mad though. Mad that Charles took my mom away and she’s now torturing herself over the fact she became this monster to the daughter she loves and she doesn’t understand why.” It still hurt to think of that pain in Karen’s eyes.

Frowning Kaylee closes the file and shifts the other to the top, but instead of opening the Looking Glass file, she rests her hand on the top of the small stack, “That whole situation makes the fact that I need to find Black that much more awkward and scary, but he might be my only hope to finding where Kaylee and my father are.” There is a subtle shift in her features as she slyly transitions to another subject. “Maybe. Unless you are willing to give up that ancient dagger in your company's vaults. Wood handle and a wavy blade?” Pulling the photo Weiss gave her out of her pocket, she flips it to where Monica can see it…. And know it.

Everything in Kaylee’s tone says she knows the answer to her inquiry, but it is also a clear invitation to a new direction to their conversation.

The sass earns a reactionary, most grumpy old man grunt from Luther that characteristically puts any further argument to bed on it. Aloud, anyway. The frown on the man's features only deepens the further down the women's discussion goes with talk of memory manipulation or outright erasure. It's hard to hide his alarm at the notion, especially because Kaylee talks about her power drawing Samson's attention. And about finding him.

"Are you sure you want to do that," Luther starts to ask, but he halts the query when the topic slides into a different bout of intrigue. He leans in to catch a glimpse of the dagger described, brows lifting. He doesn't recognize the blade. He glances to Monica, silent and wondering what she'll have to say on the request.

Monica does seem willing to let the subject change, although not without a lingering, curious look over at Kaylee. The look draws out, because that dagger is the last thing she expected to get brought up. She glances at the picture, then back up at Kaylee. "That's not in any company vault. What does that dagger have to do with all this?"

Suspicion is clear, although it's hard to say who it's directed toward. Just a general demeanor she finds herself lapsing into more often than not these days. She might have to rethink where she's keeping the blade in question, if there's sudden interest in it. At least until she knows from where and to what end.

“Mazdak has Edward Ray…” That is Kaylee’s initial answer to Luther and Monica. “Or what is left of him. They have him hooked up to a machine and are using his ability. Meaning they potentially know every step we are making and push the world where they want it.”

Which is a very big deal, no doubt.

“Cecilia Weiss seems to have an idea where they are and ergo where Edward is.” Tossing the photo on the desk and pointing at it, she says. “My ticket to getting my father back - without risking Samson - is that dagger.”

With a dip of her head to the photo, Kaylee adds with confidence. “I believe…. that she believes that knife can kill you know who. And she is under the impression I can get it for her because of our connection.” Kaylee’s mouth pulls to one side in amusement. “Or it’s something to keep me distracted.”

Kaylee gives a dismissive wave of her hand while offering Monica a reassuring look. “Whatever the reason, I don't trust Weiss no matter if my brother does… I don't really know her and her company did help build part of the tech that was used to make me.” There was a twinge of guilt over the distrust, but it isn’t misplaced. “I thought maybe the Deveaux Society - and if you want… Raytech support - might want to get a closer look at that dagger and see if we can use it to our own advantage.”

Because there was a war coming, either way.

"Mazdak has your father?" Luther growls, equal parts suspicion and concern. A beat. "I thought he was dead?" The latter isn't meant to be truly callous, but the tight jawed quip shows the man's frustration at how many unexpected zombies-come-back-to-life there are in his worldview. And overwhelmed by the lack of much power to do anything with it. "But what's special about that knife? It's like, made from an ancient Japanese god's sword shard and forged by a mutant blacksmith in the fires of Mount Doom or somethin'?" Luther glances from one woman to the other. His worry deepens. "It's not, right?"

Monica casts a sharp glance at Luther for his careless words and a huff of disappointment. Honestly. But she turns back to Kaylee rather than lingering on his faux pas.

"Your brother trusts a lot of people he really shouldn't," she says, her head tilting sideways as if in consideration. "Why do we care about risking Samson?" The implication being that Monica does not. Her foot taps to fill a brief moment of silence, weighing her options and what she should and should not say. "If Raytech wants to study my dagger— wherever it goes, I go. If that's into a lab or into a fight, it doesn't leave my hand. I don't trust this Weiss either, especially since she seems to know about a dagger that travelled through time and has been kept quiet ever since. Extremely suspicious." Not only that, but that particular blade has sentimental value for her, by way of who carried it back to make sure she had it. "But if I can help you get whatever remains of Edward out of Mazdak, I'm game."

A glance is spared to Luther, but she doesn’t comment on delivery even if there is a twinge in her chest. “Yes, he’s alive… or as alive as he can be considering…. As for Samson,” Kaylee continues shifting to Monica. “Beyond having some questions about my past.” She glances at the files when she says that. “He has….” Kaylee trips over her words remembering a young smiling girl she spent time with.

Taking a deep breath Kaylee tries again, “He has Molly Walker’s ability to find people. If he can locate Edward Ray, we find Mazdak’s evil secret lair and we destroy them.”

Ambitious, but Kaylee is tired of these people manipulating their lives… destroying her’s and the original’s life. “Thank you.” She says of Monica’s offer to help. Honestly, I’d feel better with you at my back on this. I’ll send Weiss your answer… if she walks, well… It is what it is. Though I recommend heavier security on the dagger. Cause if that can kill Mazdak’s god, she’ll probably do anything to get it.” Which made her worry for their safety.

“I still have nightmares from the last encounter with the Entity. The people in a sub she mentally crushed haunt me.” Kaylee glances sideways at Luther, because he would remember that night. “So, I’d like to see that dagger plunged into that thing’s chest even if by your hand, Monica.”

Kaylee isn’t picky.

Luther crosses his arms over his chest, head bowed in thought. He is in clear support of Monica keeping the dagger in possession, knowing full well what the woman is capable of and what he doesn't know, he can imagine. But the same goes for his support of Kaylee's investigation and the attempt to free Edward Ray from the hands of Mazdak. The reminder of the submarine encounter draws an invisible, dark cloud over his countenance. It passes soon enough, pushed away with a huffed snort as he clears his mind to make room for current topics.

"So from all these things," Luther says, looking back up to the pair, "You're looking at contacting an ex-Company agent-turned-serial killer of the Evolved to go hunt down where Evo-terrorist fanatics in the Middle East have kidnapped and held your long lost father, so we can locate and stab this demon child back to the hell it came from with a dagger made from an ancient sword, and finally free the whole fuckin' world from this shit so we can get on with our lives?" Luther squints slightly, checking a glance to Monica. "Did I miss anything?" Ah, he did. "Where is Weiss supposedly coming into all this? Y’know what, we can worry about that later. Anyway, I’m game.” In the end, Luther Bellamy is a man who likes the simple things.

When Kaylee explains just which of Samson's many abilities would be useful to her, and where he got it, Monica stills for a moment. "Someone explain to me," she says coldly, "why we haven't killed that guy yet?"

And yet that seems to be a rhetorical question because she turns back to the others and puts her hands on her hips. "And if your Weiss wants to try to take my dagger from me, I'll happily give it to her pointy end first. And you can tell her that, too." She does not mind at all the idea of this woman deciding Monica is a dangerous element to get involved with and back out. She might prefer it. "I think I'll have a friend look over the dagger as well, before Weiss. I'd like to have all the knowledge I can before letting some suspicious stranger try to lie to me about it."

She looks over at Luther, her head tilting. His summary seems to lift her spirits, at least. "Come on, Luther," she says, giving him a friendly punch to the shoulder and a grin, "you know it won't be that easy."

“Nothing in our lives ever is,” Kaylee added with a bit of a sad smile.

Gathering up the files, she holds them to her chest. “Thank you for all this, I owe you. I’ll keep in touch too. There is a lot going on and I think our two companies are going to need each other's backs before it is all said and done.”

Well, if they survive the end of the world.

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