The Means


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Scene Title The Means
Synopsis An unexpected and important arrival from the Institute's central command comes after a high-value target is apprehended.
Date July 21, 2010

Staten Island Hospital

By now the staff of the Staten Island Hospital has begun to become aware of situations involving the arrival of high-value figures of interest to the facility. The presence of approaching military helicopters, the sudden influx in security and the pulse of tension that runs through everyone charges with ensuring that a disaster does not take place in the interim.

Waiting at the helipad on the roof, Doctor Dmitri Gregor squints behind the lenses of his glasses against both sunlight and the downdraft from the Chinook helicopter which has its rotors still spinning. Even with the rear ramp open, the trail of scientists and researchers flooding out conceals what remains inside. Some thirty staff members, some of which look to include additional Stillwater Solutions PMC march past Gregor, carrying in crates of supplies.

But it's when Gregor's eyes move back to the ramp door that he spies what could be the most startling arrival, unexpected as it is. Standing in the open mouth of the Chinook's ramp, Doctor Simon Broome is a tall, stoic figurehead with smug satisfaction written across his face. Disbelief shows in Gregor's eyes, mostly because Broome — a parapalegic — is walking down the ramp with his hands folded behind his back.

Not long after Doctor Broome emerges from the helicopter, the more familiar silhouettes of Julie Fournier and Doctor Jean-Martin Luis are made apparent, with Julie pointing towards the Manhattan skyline in the distance excitedly, as if this were some sort of vacation. Behind them, flanked by a pair of armed security contingent, Elijah Carpenter plays the role of a prisoner in his business-casual attire; necktie that may as well be a noose.

"Dmitri," is Broome's warm greeting, arms open and out and a smile on the weathered old man's face, "Ah, it's good to see you again. How has New York City been treating you." Dumbfounded, Gregor just stares as Broome approaches, trying to find the words to convey his surprise without seeming pedantic.

"I'm sorry to spring this meeting on you so unexpectedly, but you and I have important business to attend to. I heard that Doctor Sheridan has successfully synthesized the retro-virus?"

"I— yes, herr Broome. It has worked marvelously, and our control patient is operating within acceptible— " Cutting Gregor off, Broome lifts one hand and smiles away the details as Julie and Luis catch up from the loading ramp.

"We'll have plenty of time to go over that inside. While we're here to recover the retrovirus, we're also here to perform some experiments on an individual you may have come into possession of recently thanks to the fine efforts of your retrievers, Teodoro Laudani?"

Passing by Broome and Gregor, Luis gives a humble — if not somewhat distracted — bob of his head into a nod, while Julie hesitates by Broome side with a look up to Gregor. "Doctor Gregor?" she asks with impish delight, eliciting an askance look down from the German scientist towards the tiny blonde girl. "Where are Doctors Cong, Sheridan and Mitchell?"

"Ah," one of Gregor's brows twitches, "Doctor Sheridan is resting after a long night and Doctor Mitchell is downstairs going over data from one of my prior stress tests." Blue eyes angle towards the stairs the arriving teams are bringing supplies down, "and Doctor Cong has— sequestered himself in the lower lab levels working on his serum project, we've been asked not to, ah, disturb him. You understand how he can be."

"Very well," Julie notes in acceptance of the answer as if she were somehow capable of saying anything other. "You've done good work here, Doctor Gregor, we're all rooting for you!" Chipperly bouncing away on her heels, Julie hustles to catch up to an awaiting Doctor Luis, even as Doctor Carpenter and his guards approach.

Resting one hand on Gregor's shoulder, Broome offers a squeeze of his fingers with strength unusual of a man in his advanced age. "You're always so tense, Dimitri," Broome notes happily, "you should try relaxing once in a great while, it's done wonders for me." There's an askance look that Carpenter gives to Gregor, eyes narrowed and lips pressed flat into an expression of both disgust and frustration at his own helplessness.

"Don't let Elijah get you down," Broome concedes, "he's going to be very important to the process we'll be working inside. "Now, why don't you catch me up to speed on some of the experiments you and your team have been running, and maybe while I'm here I can give you some insight or direction that may open up new… avenues of development?"

An arm around Gregor's awkwardly stiff frame, Broome leads the scientist towards the stairwell where a man is coming up towards the roof. On sight of Desmond Harper's darkly-dressed frame, Broome's lips downturn into a frown and he stops his forward movement. "On second thought…" the old man notes quietly, "why don't you go inside ahead of me, and we'll discuss things shortly. Go see if Miss Childs is awake, there's some things I'd like to discuss with her while I'm here."

Nodding sharply, Gregor gleefully slips out from Broome's encircled arm, feeling for all his worth like he was saved from the jaws of a vicious predator by Harper's looming presence. Skirting past the agent, Gregor goes to make a hasty departure down the stairwell, even while Harper clears the distance between himself and Doctor Broome.

"It's good to see you up and about here, sir." Unsurprised by Broome's mobility, Harper looks to the helicopter and back to Broome. "There's a lot that I have to catch you up on while you're here, sir. Further, why wasn't I informed that we had a retriever unit already moving in the city to capture Laudani? We just spoke in Cambridge just over a week ago, I thought I was going to be organizing his capture?"

Shaking his head in the way a parent does when a child has a lesson to learn, Broome moves up to Harper and offers him a faint smile. "I'm sorry for having to deceive you, Desmond, but it was a necessity. I have reason to believe that we have a communications leak within the Institute that is compromising information to outside sources and I couldn't risk Laudani's capture being intercepted by these disparate factions in the city."

Brows furrowed, Desmond nods once in begrudging understanding. "Why did you come out here yourself, then? Isn't it a considerable security risk for you to be out here, sir?" There's a grimace briefly flashed across Harper's face, "I mean— I don't mean to second-guess your judgement, sir, but if I'm supposed to be in charge of security regarding the Institute shouldn't…"

"I came out here to visit an old friend, Desmond." There's a crease of Broome's brows deep and difficult to discern the true emotion behind. "I have no intention of destabilizing your security here, I assure you. This visit of mine has been carefully thought out, and I'd like you to focus on keeping matters here at the hospital under control." That, in itself, seems to have some pointed accusations to it.

"Eve has been having some very disturbing dreams lately involving an ice monster," seems credulous coming from Broome, despite the implausibility of the content. "Perhaps you should figure out just what our research team is up to here, and let me worry about my own personal security?"

"Y— es, sir." That hitch in Harper's throat has his eyes narrowing and lips downturning into a frown. "A— About Laudani, are you intending on moving him to the central office? I'd recommend against it given his connections and ability, if he were able to assess an internal look into the layout of the central office it could compromise— "

"Desmond," Broome warns with a pat of his hand on Harper's shoulder, "he's not leaving this hospital, I can assure you that. With everything we brought here today and everything already int he hospital's possession, there's no doubt in my mind that this project will go smoother than the Delphi experiment."

Nodding his head inside, Broome lets his hand fall from Harper's shoulder as he makes his way towards the stairwell. "We have the means, Desmond, to this particular end."

Whatever that end is.

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