The Hollow Men


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Scene Title The Hollow Men
Synopsis Those who have crossed / With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom / Remember us - if at all - not as lost / Violent souls, but only / As the hollow men / The stuffed men.
Date February 13, 2009

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question -
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

Standing atop the police-barricaded remnants of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge are two figures, both alike in dignity. Between New York City and Staten Island is where we lay our scene.

Though Goodman and Parkman are of different 'households,' they share a common goal. That goal has recently been honed to a shaper point. That goal is what has brought these two men to the still raw wound that marks the severing one island from the other. "So what have you found out?" Parkman's question undoubtedly comes with a quieter, mental inquiry, but his eyes remain on the span of water that is the Narrows. True, he's been passed a file or two which would answer that very question in great detail, but Parkman's an old fashioned sort of law man when it comes to paperwork.

"Officially or unofficially?" Roger Goodman's dark eyes track away from the other, divided half of the Verrazano-Narrows, away from the dirty skyline of Manhattan and the boats swarming around its habors. "We know as much as you do about what transpired here, and I'm aware that your office apprehended one or two members of the vigilante organization Phoenix." Goodman's eyes flick back to the scene of destruction, the broken remnants of the bridge like some concrete sandwich with a bite taken out of it. "We narrowly avoided a rather sizable catastrophe, Mister Parkman." Roger's hands slide out of his pockets, moving to fold them behind his back as he watches a flock of gulls moving through slate gray skies.

"I know we are fortunate to be alive," When he finally looks back, it's to punctuate his sentence with a firm expression of resolution, "and be fortunate that we have another chance to make things right again, to take back a semblance of control." It's always about control, in one form or another. "As good as their intentions were, the way this group handled a situation that jeapordized the lives of billions," the number is given appropriate emphasis with his deep and smooth tone of voice, "is simply unacceptable."

"Believe me," Parkman assures the Primatech supervisor, "I know." And so does the Department. Much is being done by hands and minds other than Parkman's to extinguish the Pheonix flame for good.

"There are quite a few fish in the pan right now, Mister Goodman," he adds after a moment. "But I want to know about the ones we haven't caught yet." He nods across the narrows toward the overgrown and under-policed Staten Island. "You've people in there?"

"Not yet. That is a hornet's nest I am being very careful on sticking my hand in." Dark eyes surveil Parkman for a moment, curious, as if there's something about what the man said that seemed to catch Roger's attention more so than earlier. "We've recently brought on a handful of new recruits and will be partnering them up with more season agents. There's some issues we are looking to persue inside of that island, but right now it's a blind spot in our vision, one we're hoping to rectify."

Shifting his weight to one foot, Roger lets his head tilt to one angle like a dog who's attention is piqued. "I believe we will find common interests in that island, however. I heard about the successful raid on the Library in Midtown that Phoenix had been using." He's very up to speed, as that happened just yesterday. "With it appearing as though they've disappeared off of the grid, I would hazard to guess that they may have taken refuse in that no-man's land."

Dark brows rise, as if realizing the weight of that suggestion as he turns away from Parkman to look back out over the vista. "You will find that my presence within my organization's operational structure here will bring a certain level of…" The right word is sought, taking a moment in time where only the sound of crashing surf and crying gulls is heard, "…mechanical fluidity. I feel Director Bishop's iron fist and Director Dalton's velvet glove were in their own ways too extreme. Hopefully, Mister Parkman, we'll be able to work together on this."

There's a hesitant, thoughtful look that crosses Roger's face while he watches a seagull land on the bridge edge of the bridge, sending tumbling pieces of loose concrete into the water so far down below. "The only information I know about that island, is that there is an Evolved cage-fighting operation going on, there's been promotions about it that have leaked outside of the island's borders. That means a raid — " He looks back to Matt intently, "any raid, will need to have rather thourough investigations beforehand… don't you agree?"

The success of any raid on any facility arguably rests on thorough and accurate investigations taking place beforehand, but Parkman keeps this thought to himself, simply nodding with a pursed-lipped frown and narrowed eyes. It is, after all, a good bit of information that will need to settle on top of what he has already gathered concerning the island's activity.

There are, of course, a variety of ways in which the island, and the fighting-ring in particular, might be infiltrated, but Parkman doesn't volunteer any specific ideas. Not yet, at least. "A fly on the wall. That's what we need."

"I couldn't agree more." Goodman's eyes close partway, "Who better than the famous Agent Parkman?" As he raises one black brow, the smile creeping up on Roger Goodman's lips cannot be seen as anything other than Cheshire in its presentation, a flash of white against so much dark. "Before you counter the suggestion, I will offer up that there is a young man who might be able to assist you with this, Mister Parkman. While members of Phoenix may know your face," his lips crack into a grin, "The son of mayor Harry Bianco may just be your ticket into the criminal underworld."

Circling around Parkman, Roger reaches out and lays a dark hand on the man's shoulder, reassuring, but carrying a weight all of its own. "He has a unique gift, Sonny. According to our records, his control index for his physiological manipulation is exactly what you need." Goodman's smile may be thinner now, but it doesn't fade entirely. "We can lend you the Haitian, and ensure that Mister Bianco remains wholly unaware of the procedure, allowing you total anonymity while on Staten Island. No one will be able to read your thoughts, will they? And if we doctor you with a proper criminal background…"

The hand is removed, and Roger leans towards Matt in a feigned conspiratorial gesture, pointing with one finger towards the island in the distance, "You could be the fly."

Thankfully, Parkman's stunned silence is covered by Goodman's continued speech. He'd promised those dear to him a more 'normal' life, something at least closer to the impossible ideal he carries in his head. But, of course, the existence of the sorts of things that are currently allowed to fester on Staten Island are a direct threat to that ideal.

All Parkman can do is clear his throat when it becomes his turn to offer up some sort of reply. It's an honor, in a way. And the closest thing that a man like Parkman will come to being a CIA sort of spy - not to mention a chance to make an active difference rather than going from meeting to meeting and filing page after page of paperwork to get passed up the chain, only to catch more and more coming down. "I could be," he answers in a laconic fashion. "When?"

Lips pressing into a much larger smile, Goodman lays that hand down, weighty as ever, on Parkman's shoulder with that Cheshire look coming over him once more. "I'll put in a call to Mr.Thompson and arrange to have the Haitian called in right away." It's as an immediate of a response as possible, and with his hand there on Matt's shoulder, Roger looks out over the broken ruins of the bridge, and towards Staten Island with a certain sense of silent tranquility about himself.

"There's a bright future ahead of us, Mister Parkman." Dark eyes slowly drift back to the Homeland Security agent, head canting to one side, "Radiant."

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.

February 13th: New Neighbor

Previously in this storyline…
Dig Deep

Next in this storyline…
Wake Up

February 13th: Hearing Voices
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