The Offer Still Stands


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Scene Title The Offer Still Stands
Synopsis Minea and Cat run into each other. Something the Fed offered Conrad is still available.
Date February 9, 2009

Piccoli's Delicatessen

Everything about Piccoli's is welcoming. There's a large, cheerful neon sign mounted on the roof, the interior is brightly lit and spotlessly clean, and the old-fashioned decor is more reminiscent of mother's kitchen than a successful business. Since the doors opened in 1946, Piccoli's has been best known for pastrami, hot dogs, corned beef, and salami. The wait can sometimes be a little long, but the prices are reasonable and the food is always worth it.

Monday morning, the ninth of February, and it's almost afternoon. She's hungry, and had a taste for food not made by her own two hands, so Cat walks into Piccoli's. She stops just to the left of the doorway and lets her eyes travel around, inhales the aroma of food here, and closes her eyes. The scents trigger memories; she'd eaten a good bit of their fare when Dani was in the hospital with head injuries after her encounter with the characters surrounding Daniel Linderman. She lets herself wander through them for a short time, some of them are sad and cause a single tear to slide down a cheek, but she soon forces them into happier times, and a slight smile appears.

Brushing past Cat, while she's traipsing down memory lane is Minea. An artist's portfolio in hand, thumbing through her blackberry. Far cry from the leather jacket and jeans at the meeting, she's in high fashion, hair done up, jewelry, you name it. Even in season shoes. Fendi in one hand, Portfolio in the other. Cat's unnoticed, because frankly alot of people loiter in this place. The ISA agent doesn't head right up to the counter though, instead she scans much like Cat but for different reasons.

Far to the back is who she's looking for, another well dressed man. Her heels click across the floor as he stands to greet her. Kiss kiss, all is well, the portfolio transferred, he gets hers, she gets his, just like that a transfer is made. Smoothly done so that none would normally be suspicious. A handful of documents and ID's passed, new assignments given. Like she's done all the time. Minea turns, heading to the counter now, she gets in line to place her order.

The woman Minea brushed past, however, is potentially memorable. Her face and name were part of Doctor Ray's display at that abandoned theatre when they had the briefings prior to their actions to take down the Vanguard and forestall release of the Shanti Virus. Cat, being brushed by, is pulled out of her memories, returned to the here and now. Her eyes settle on the woman and study her briefly, making the connection. She knows she was perhaps spotted by Minea Dahl, and knows her image was on the screens. Her thought to order food is set aside for the moment; she first glances back outside to see if there's evidence of anyone with this federal agent moving in, then opts to study the menu board and see if a move is made toward her of any sort.

If she has to, Cat is ready to bolt.

No move. No agents, no nothing. Seems Minea's not of a mind to be hauling in Phoenix operatives. But that doesn't mean that she didn't see the woman. "Dr. Chesterfield." When someone moves in behind her. A casual greeting.

She becomes less wary when spoken to, and no moves aimed at curtailing her freedom are at hand, and replies pleasantly enough. Her right hand extends toward the agent to shake once and release, her grip neither crushing nor limp, with smooth and soft skin except for calluses at the fingertips which may come from playing guitar or the like. "Good afternoon," she offers in reply. "It's interesting to come across you." The face is mostly calm, she shows a hint of smile.

"Is it? The city's only so big. I'm thinking the club sandwich today" Her handshake is just as pleasant, and released once the approriate time limits and politeness dictate. "How are you today? Doing well I hope."

"Not badly," she answers, stepping up toward the counter behind her. "Yourself?" Cat looks over the menu board, deciding. "I think it's the pizzaburger sub today for me." The straps of her backpack and guitar case, carried over opposite shoulders, are adjusted and hands then slip into the pockets of a jacket lighter than she would normally wear in February.

"Put hers on mine," Minea instructs the person behind the counter after her own order is placed. "We can talk, if you like, once we're seated." It's an offer, likely the only one that will be offered to the walking encyclopedia.

"Thank you," Cat replies, leaving the cash she brought tucked away in her jacket pocket. The go to ground period is still in effect, she hasn't used cards or anything electronically trackable with her name on it since the defeat of Vanguard. Stepping up, her order is placed, and she moves to find a seat if Minea hasn't already. She is, in fact, aiming for a quiet corner where they can speak unheard by any others and see anyone coming close as well.

Minea's chosen. The booth way in the back. Room for both guitar cases and portfolios. Food being made as they move. "I heard about Wozniak, and a few others. I met with Officer Harrison." Her voice is pitched low, neutral, loud enough for both of them to hear. "Everyone's gone to ground or so I've been told."

She sets down her gear and settles into a seat, nodding once when Minea speaks. "We're taking care," Cat confirms. "It's unclear to me where we stand with certain agencies, and we don't doubt there are some who wouldn't mind putting any or all of us down a deep, dark hole just for knowing what we do. Three of us are, in fact, now imprisoned without any sort of due process citizens deserve." Her voice is quiet. "It's not known to me whether or not those from inside Federal agencies who worked with us are once again hostile, or at best neutral. I'm not in handcuffs at present, or running to avoid being in handcuffs, so I believe I can presume in your case the situation is at least neutral."

Minea watches Cat, manicured nails adjusting a little holder of substitute sugars just so. "My assignment died, Dr. Chesterfield, with my partner. I continued with his plan since that was the plan as best I knew before I was being deserted by him. I don't know exactly what was told to your people, but I don't run around blazing guns for Evolved and hauling them in. I push paper. I take pictures, I make and verify documents. I'm support. I'm not frontlines. That little sortie out to the hospital that got me shot, not my usual. Consider what I did, a favor. No more, no less. Any information we had on Phoneix, and we had quite a bit, was turned over to the our intelligence to be distrubted as needed. So far, you're… not my priority. Are we clear?"

"I'm sorry for the loss of your partner, Agent Dahl," Cat replies, her face showing solemnity. "And grateful for your time in speaking with me. I'm sure you know by now the operations succeded in their objectives, it's obvious in the way people aren't dying by the millions right now. We did an extremely good thing."

"Yes, well, he was an asshole who never trusted me. Seems appropriate he died on a fucking motorcycle." Minea falls silent as their drinks and sandwiches are brought over. Minea sets about to meticulously arrange things, open the top, add a little more salt and pepper to it, tuck in some pieces that slide off. "Good or bad. Doesn't matter. I can't get your people out of hock, Dr. Chesterfield. They got caught. There was always that chance. If I got caught, I wouldn't be getting off easy. Not as easy as Agent Ivanov seems to be."

"We knew the risks we took, to be certain, and they are what they are, Agent Dahl. I'm not asking you to get them out of hock, nor am I asking you to learn anything about where they're held. I'm not, in fact, asking you for anything at all. I am, though, offering without condition. I'm an attorney who doesn't practice in the standard way. I'd much rather play guitar for a living. Law is just something I know well. Any minor legal service you might want, like contract reviews, wills, that sort of thing, I'll provide. I don't often do legal work, and when I do I never charge."

Maybe she's not quite hungry, maybe she got it so that they could sit and there's the illusion of them eating. "I appreciate the offer, and I'll be sure to keep that in mind Dr. Chesterfield if I find I'm in need of some minor legal matters taken care of. I have an up to date will. I have a lawyer already that I keep in touch with regularly. I think though, for your safety, and for mine, as well as my job, this should be our second to last meeting that we ever have, accidentally or formally. I had a conversation with Conrad, and I promised that I'd make a handful of ID's, for those of you who need it. Not my best quality, but, good enough, I have some supplies bought from sources outside the government. I don't know whether he told anyone that, it was just before the events. The offer still stands. One time deal, up to four of them. passports, driver's licenses, birth certificates and Social Security numbers. I understand you have a technopath who can make them real."

While listening, Cat lifts her sandwich and bites into it, then chews slowly and carefully. A drink from her Pepsi follows. "These documents," she asks, "are blanks, onto which names and ages and the like can be added, along with photos, they're the shells? Or the finished goods, which a technopath would then make have all the associated records for appear electronically? I'll pass word along and take it under consideration." Then she bites into the sandwich again.

"Blanks that will be converted into finished goods. I only need the pictures, and signatures. I can copy the latter easily onto them, at the appropriate places. Your technopath would then input them into the system. Pictures, names, signatures. I have a time limit on the offer. I haven't been re-assigned yet. If I do, I'll be gone from the city and it won't stand anymore." Minea papers back up her sandwich, planning obviously to not remain and eat.

A nod. "How much time?" Cat drinks from the Pepsi again, her eyes resting on the table.

"I don't know." She shrugs, her lower lip pursing outwards for a moment before all returns to normal. "Minimum… two weeks give or take. I just got my next batch of documents."

"Thank you, and take care," Cat replies. "If they're taken, you might someday during that time come across a busker in Central Park with her case open. Other than that, we've never met before." She displays a slight smile and tilts her head to one side. "I'm sorry, Miss, what was your name again? Thanks for letting me share the booth here for a bit while you waited. You know how it can be sometimes, a woman sitting in public alone, some guys take it as an open invitation to approach." Her eyes roll.

"Men can be such pigs," Minea answers. "Women have to learn to stick together. Minea." She smiles so brightly then, packing up her sandwich, grabbing her portfolio before scooting out of the booth. "Enjoy the rest of your meal." She's got the information she does need. Catherine's got the information that she needs, wants, or maybe doesn't want. Regardless, Minea's adjusting her suit and jacket before departing from the table, to head back out into the daylight of Manhattan.

February 9thth: Lamb
February 9th: Going Native
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