The Devil Herself


elisabeth_icon.gif lancaster_icon.gif

Scene Title The Devil Herself
Synopsis Elisabeth and Lancaster make a deal.
Date February 18, 2010

Central Park

Leaving Abby's place, Elisabeth is on the phone barely a second and a half after she gets out of the bar. Lancaster's information is on the card, and she had the foresight to give a number that would actually reach her after hours. "Agent Lancaster…. I need to talk to you. Tonight. Now, please." The phone call was beyond brief, and Elisabeth simply told her, "Central Park. Where we saw one another last." It's a close enough meeting place, and she doesn't want to meet her anywhere near Red Hook.

Standing in the park near the fountain, the blond is on the lookout for trouble. And she looks like she might even be trouble. Anyone bothers her tonight without invitation and she might just kill them — there are lines of strain in her body language that are evident even in the dark. She's taut as a wire and severely on edge as she waits for Lancaster to make an appearance, blue eyes darting to and fro and her hearing enhanced to pick up the farthest reaches that she can manage.

Soon, an almost equally severe blonde woman is stepping out into view, though her stroll is certainly casual even if her expression is not, mouth set into a line and jaw hard. Lancaster has the kind of face where smiles would be a great improvement while simultaneously being a rarity. A bright red scarf flutters from her dour grey coat, legs clad in slacks and boots making authorative clip-clops against the pavement as she approaches the other woman. "I'd ask if that was a gun in your pocket but you don't look so happy to see me anyway."

A single eyebrow raises at the query, and Elisabeth says quietly, "In point of fact, I don't actually need a gun. But yes, I'm carrying one. And no, I'm not terribly happy tonight — though it's nothing to do with you particularly." She takes in a deep breath and says, "You're the person in charge of the Kozlow case, which means you're the person who needs to know what I know as of right now." Liz's black boots don't make a sound in the snow because she's not even shifting her weight at this point, her dark jeans and black coat making her next to invisible in the dark aside from the beacon that is her hair. "I don't know if you have enough people at your beck and call to actually blanket this town, Lancaster…. but almost every single person on my squad from Russia has already been attacked. I'm not taking any more chances."

"I'm not a fan of chances either, so maybe we'll get along after all." Tucking leather-clad hands into her coat pockets, Lancaster looks Elisabeth up and down, jaw shifting to the side before she nods. As much as her tone doesn't change whether she has a facetious thing to say or something of importance, it seems as if the former is being shed for the younger woman's sake. "Okay, Harrison, what do you have for me?"

"I have three team members whose parents have been the targets of attempted or successful murder attempts — Laudani, Chesterfield, and now Beauchamp — and two of us who have parents we'd like to keep entirely out of the line of fire," Elisabeth replies in a steady tone. "And I have verified sightings of Kozlow, a warning that Dreyfus is involved — which makes sense given the circumstances surrounding the choice of targets here — and suspicion that Ethan Holden may also be involved. I can cover my father, but I don't have the reach to make sure Ivanov's parents are covered. And I want someone on them." She bites her lip. "I'm not sure he'd fall for it, but I'm considering the possibility of setting a trap. Perhaps asking my father and Ivanov's parents to allow themselves to be used as bait for it. But that's going to entail risks that I'm sure you understand I don't want to take. So… if I approach both of these parties and get them in place for a run like this… would you back it?"

Narrowing her eyes, Lancaster's expression is one only of listening, although at one point, there's a cynical twitch at the corner of her mouth like she might interrupt, but ultimately doesn't, allowing Elisabeth to get her words out. The question flagging at the end there raises an eyebrow, and Lancaster raises a hand, fingers splayed. "Hold on," she says. "Ethan Holden? I recognise that name as one of your old teammates, skippy. Says in my report he pushed Kozlow out a window and then went on to help with Operation Apollo. We don't know the motivations behind these attacks but seems to me he's an unlikely pick.

"But I'll take it. Why him? Motives, sightings? If you say it was because he was a turncoat I may slap you. Once, and gently. And then we can talk about risking the lives of civilians."

Elisabeth's gaze is steady, but her expression says she is not enjoying this conversation in the slightest. "Do you think I don't know how dangerous this is? He's the only parent I have left," she says tightly. "I don't know what your fucking clearance is, and I don't know what made it into Kershner's report. During the course of the situation in Ryazan, it came to our attention that our CONTACT was damn good friends with an old Vanguard operative. A non-Evo named Carlisle Dreyfus. He was a university professor there, and he had a son going to college. To make a long story slightly shorter, we don't know whether his son was involved in the Vanguard, we never got close enough to verify that before Beauchamp was kidnapped. She managed to get a call out for help and Laudani and I responded to the call to find Abby in the apartment of a man she knew there. He was hurt, and Abby was freaking out — only it wasnt' Abby, it was the illusionist. Or hell, maybe it was the fucking kid himself and he was a shifter or something."

She shoves a hand through her hair, her jaw clenching. "We didn't know who was behind the illusion… and the person pretending to be Abby put a gun to Teo's head — or appeared to. I shot first and asked questions later. It was Dreyfus's son. Whether he was actually carryign a gun, whether he was beign puppeted and controlled or voluntarily doing this…. I honestly have no idea. But the bottom line is the kid is dead, and based on the targets that are being singled out, Allegre believed and I do as well now, that Dreyfus is behind it." Elisabeth is talking quickly, the strain showing in the fact that her words are tumbling out almost too fast, though coherently enough. "An Evo friend who has visions was able to show Abby a vision that allowed her to reach her parents in time. THey're alive and in hiding. There were wolf prints leading away from the site in the vision, and as I recall, Holden was known as Vanguard's Wolf."

Somewhere in there, Lancaster has wandered her gaze away from Elisabeth to eye a patch of snow just beside them, lips pursed as she listens. By the time she's looking back, her severe expression has gentled some — and she casually paces to the side, her boots leaving tracks in the snow as she circles around so that her boot can come down upon a small melted patch of snow, where the grass is showing through. There she stands as she says, "My fucking clearance also has most of the intel you girls and boys brought back with you, including Kozlow's Vanguard callsign. Skoll. Did you happen to do your Norse mythology homework?"

She's taking out a pack of smokes, now, movements casual. "Skoll's a wolf. Actually, it seems to be a running theme — Holden and Kozlow weren't the only ones so identified. Now, if this evidence were more substantial, I might run with this theory. For now, I'll just take it home with me. Dreyfus is interesting and I'll get my people on him. I'm certainly of the belief that if this is Kozlow we're dealing with, he's not working alone."

A flick of a lighter later, and she's breathing out smoke as thick as steam. "Officially? We're stuck in the realms of speculation. How were you intending to see this trap of yours go down?"

Actually, she did know that, but she'd forgotten. And Elisabeth grimaces. "Fair enough on the Holden link being tenuous. But I don't honestly believe that the Dreyfus one is. In addition…. so far as Volken's daughter was concerned, we killed her father. Which also brings the possibility that she is involved in this. Best guess here, Lancaster is that we have at least three if not four Vanguard operatives running loose here. Kozlow's been identified by a letter he left. Dreyfus may be questionable, but a post-cog is going to be taking a look at the crime scene and seeing if we can get a positive ID on whether it was Dreyfus or Kozlow. The hitting of all the parents points either to Dreyfus or Yvette Volken herself."

She considers. "Right now, what I have is pure theory in terms of putting together this trap. That said… Ivanov's parents are no stranger to the dangers of this world, and I'd put money on his mother in almost any fight you send her. My father's just a lawyer. Though I could have him covered pretty well with a teleporter. If they were to agree to do this, it might work out to put them in a "safe" house… and just let nature take its course there. They're going to move eventually, if those are the targets."

Lancaster's nose wrinkles, going silent as she thinks, teeth set against the filter of her cigarette as steam and smoke alike trickle out with each breath. "Big if. Problem is, we've got a dead bartender and a dead girlfriend too. But three attacks on parents is what we like to call a pattern." Scratching her jaw, she nods to Elisabeth. "I can't say I'm going to back you, because as far as I'm aware, you still have a job of some kind, don't you? FRONTLINE, flea control, I don't know, it's in the news a lot and I'm sure you protect cats and dogs from Evos everywhere while you drain fortunes of tax payer dollars to do it. But we can probably make this happen."

Elisabeth smirks faintly. "I have a job, all right," she comments mildly. "But if you think for one fucking minute that a pardon and a day job are going to stop me from pulling out every stop I have to protect my father?" There is a very lethal light to those blue eyes as Liz advises softly, "You better think again." She pauses. "You said you could help. And I'm … just stupid enough to still believe in the system, Lancaster, so I'm asking for the help. And hoping to high hell that I'm not putting my faith in the wrong people yet again."

"I don't want you to not protect your father," Lancaster states, blandly, tapping ash off her cigarette. "In fact, I want you to do everything within your legal power and capabilities to make sure that not a hair on his head is touched, Harrison, and the bastards behind putting him in danger are taken down one way or another. But you do have a job, and I have a job, and we're going to do them. If you want me to put my resources in your hands to stage this thing, then you had want to think again. But will I do this thing, with your advisement and intel? Probably so — in that, you got my help. You're putting faith in the people who want the same thing you want. How is this sounding to you so far, tiger?"

The tension in Liz's frame hasn't dissipated much. "Scary as hell," she admits quietly. "I've been on the fringes long enough to be worried that the system's far too broken for words." The situation has her so far beyond rattled, she's being flat-out truthful with this woman. "I don't know you well enough to trust you. I don't trust that you don't have an agenda in all of this because there's always an agenda. And I sure as hell don't trust that any of us are smart enough to get these bastards off the streets before they do what they've come to do." She watches Lancaster. "I've already got cops and underground contacts looking out, and it's still not enough. So yes… I'm going to work with the devil himself if I have to."

"Harrison," Lancaster says, now putting on a smile, bright, lines bracketing it and eyes glimmering, "the Devil's got nothing on me." She snorts out some smoke before easing a step to the side. "You kids these days — you're too cynical. I blame the Internet, personally. I also think that actions speak louder than words, so how about I don't waste time standing here convincing you and go and do something about this thing?"

There's a bit of a huff of laughter as she says 'kids these days' and the like. Elisabeth can't help it. "Blame the internet all you want," she comments wryly. "Personally, I blame the Vanguard. If they hadn't blown up a school full of kids, I'd have still been teaching." She nods a little. "You know how to get me. I'm staying out on the base." She grimaces at that. "But I've got my cell at all times. Let me… know what I can do for you to expedite this." Meanwhile, she needs to get her dad under cover. That's gonna be an entertaining conversation, she's sure. And since she sicced Lancaster on the case, it can't be one of those little hidey holes she doesn't want anyone to know about either.

A hand raises up, the one that's not gripping a cigarette, and Lancaster extends two fingers in a peace sign. "I'll keep in close contact," she briskly promises, that hand tucking back into a pocket. "You return the favour and we'll be just dandy. You take care now." And with that— Lancaster heads off the way she came, trailing cigarette smoke.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License