The Right Of Conscription


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title The Right of Conscription
Synopsis When the Company comes to apprehend Darren Stevens, the Institute makes a bid for him as well…
Date April 13, 2010

Old Lucy's

"Dead man walking."

It's the term reserved for prisoners on death row when they make their final march towards execution. Situated at a stool and hunched forward over the scuffed and weathered bar beneath dimmed lights at Old Lucy's, Doctor Darren Stevens never imagined this is where he would consider his life to be ending. A bottle of Wild Turkey Whiskey rests open at his side, cap off and a glass half full in front of him. He's been idly sipping from it most of the morning, now in the afternoon with the snow falling lightly outside in thick and heavy flakes, he knows how much precious little time he has left in this life.

The blonde surgeon looks down to his watch, a lock of hair tumbling down from behind his ear to hang at the side of his face. 11:55am it reads in analogue report, five minutes to… noon. Not quite as ominous as a midnight extraction would be, but the Company often runs on business hours. Lifting his chin up and looking over the bar towards the southern blonde standing behind it, her eyes on the clock on the wall over Darren's shoulder, he wonders back in silence to just what sort of convoluted problems put him in this situation, how his life could have gone so singularly crooked.

"How could you have possibly taken a wrong turn?" The words come not from Darren, but from the back seat of a black Lincoln Continental making its second loop around a downtown Manhattan city block. "Why'd Crowley put all four of us on this anyway, it's not even a bag and tag it's just a… I don't even know what to call it." Seated behind the passenger seat of the Lincoln, Company agent Albert Paulson exhales a dry huff of breath and leans back against the leather upholstry where he's seated beside agent Corbin Ayers. "I know I'm just getting off medical leave, but do you think he could've given me a more softball assignment?"

In front of Paulson one of the Copany's Investigative Team's newest additions gets the honor of riding shotgun today; Rain O'Niel isn't the most suspecting agent in the world, and boyish looks coupled with pale blue eyes and nearly platinum blonde hair gives him too soft of a countenance compared to the dark haired and olive-skinned agent behind him.

Driving — as always — is Senior Agent Benjamin Ryans, the company's Lion if ever there were one. Looking better these days thanks to a several decade facial afforded by an age manipulator, Ryans has found himself in a car consisting of a former record-hall book keeper and an agent that spent the better part of his career captured.

Maybe by starting them off 'softball' this time, as Paulson stated, they'd have less of an opportunity to screw up. After all, when the call came in that the ever-elusive "glowing handprint" case had a suspect and was not only known but turning himself in… how open and shut could a case be?

"If I throw up on the agents, that'll be bad, yeah?" Blocks away and slouching into a silking posture, Darren Stevens offers an askance look to Abigail behind the bar, the only two people in the otherwise closed establishment. "I'm feeling a bit queasy and I don't think it's the booze…"

It's not surprising really; dead men walking and all.

"Try not to throw up on them? They might take it as an attack, and.. well, you know." The bar seems too quiet and empty and there's a silent prayer offered up that the weather turn soon, please please please. It's cheaper to close the bar than have the lights on and cooks in the back and waitress and bartenders up front. Sweater, jeans, boots, hair down and loose, Abigail regards Darren, reaching over to take his hand quickly, squeeze then let go.

"No more booze. Coffee. You're as relaxed as you're going to get. They'll get here and we'll go, or you'll go. Likely you'll go, I don't see them letting me walk with you all the way, but…" Pupils a little too wide to be natural, and a relaxed natured to her that's chemically induced in multiple ways. She digs around under the counter, producing some peppermints and passes the handful of wrapped candies over. "Start sucking on one. Peppermint is a natural nausea remedy. Momma gave it to me all the time"

Rain has a smile written across his features, as he usually does, his lips pulled upwards and his eyes alight with life, though tempered a bit by the solemn knowledge of what will soon be happening. He doesn't speak, or try to strike up small talk as Ryans drives, he just lounges in hsi chair, almost sprawled in it really, his body relaxed and loose.

He turns his head, looking around the inside of the car some, but, in the end, he looks back out the front window. Rain shifts in his seat, sitting up straighter, paying a bit more attention as the car approaches the bar, he hopes. "Just to be safe?" he offers to the agent in the back with the questions. "I mean… why risk people if there's no need to do so?" He turns his head, bits of blonde hair falling down into his eyes. Said blonde hair is swept back and away from his face before the young agent offers the man a shrug. "A million and one reasons to send all of us."

Eyes glance into the rear view mirror to Paulson, in the back seat, his fedora sits on the dash, so the agent in the back can see Ryan's brows lift slight. "Never under estimate the situation." The rumbled words come from the senior agent, vague and could either mean the wrong turn or why Paulson is there. His eyes go back to the road ahead.

There is a touch of unease to the man, especially after the conversation between him and Martin. Eyes flick back up to look at Paulson in the back. He has his suspicions why the agent is there. The oldest of the agent clenches his jaw tight.

Wrong turn?


Senior Agent Benjamin Ryans is not looking forward to this meeting and what is ahead. A glance to the front of Old Lucy's " Yes, he knows where it is! — and he knows they can't put this off any longer. "I think this is it." He lies rather easily, the car pulling along the curb, the front of the bar piled high with snow. "All looks the same in this snow." The car is shut off bringing a silence with it. Seatbelt is loosened and Ryans checks his weapons, tranq gun and fire arm.

"I would have preferred the Haitian along." His eyes look at Paulson via the mirror again. "Guess we'll have to do with you and a kid." And with that blandly spoken jab, Ryans is getting out of the car.

"If his ability is what Lash suspects, we just need to stay out of touch range of him. Paulson can keep him back if he tries to get too close to any of us. Though I doubt envy whoever has to get close enough to handcuff him," Corbin says with a shrug, hoping with his comment it doesn't just become him. They're not even completely sure what the ability is, but touch— touch seems to be a good thing to avoid in this case.

As Ryans gets out, he unbuckles his seat belt and gets out on his own side, shifting his feet around in the cold snow. They'll have to walk carefully. The plows might have kept the roads drivable, but they have another side effect of making the roads very slick to walk on at the sides, where people get out. A glance is cast up at the building, and he makes a face. This isn't a building he wanted to go back to anytime soon.

If the woman who worked at the bar didn't suspect him for what he was, she will now. But he'd had to wave his badge around just to get close enough, anyway that close to closing.

"Yeah I'll keep him down if he tries anything stupid. Just to be safe." Paulson notes with a mutter, just opening the rear passenger's side door, not having been wearing a seatbelt — and he wonders why he keeps getting injured in the line of duty. "So does anyone want to tell me how a guy who leaves behind electromagnetic radiation kills people? I mean I'm all for making sure this guy isn't a danger to anyone anymore, but you know…" Paulson furrows his brows and shakes his head slowly, "this whole thing just doesn't add up. This guy's the miracle healer from St.Luke's Hospital, but there's no way he actually has a healing ability and some kind of weird magnetism thing."

Looking down the street behind where they'd come form, Paulson squints at something thorugh the snow, then looks back towards Ryans and finally up and over to the bar. "Also can anyone tell me why we're not bringing in miss magical disappearing ability too? Because I took the liberty of checking out her file before we took off half-cocked again, and it turns out this bar owner used to be a healer then lost her power to Tyler fucking Case and nobody thought to question her about— I dunno, where Case is? I mean I know the NYPD's conveniently forgotten him 'cause one of his bodies got found at Pinehearst but seriously. I— " Paulson brushes his hand over his forehead slowly. "You know what I'm just going to shut up and let you big boys do all the heavy thinking. Nevermind."

"Coffee sounds delightful…" Darren grumbles from inside the bar, pushing his glass of whiskey across the bartop towards Abby. "You know, I'd probably rest a lot easier doing this if it wasn't so cloak and dagger, you know?" There's a lift of one of Darren's brows to Abby, then a turn slowly as he looks back over his shoulder towards the tinted windows at the front of the bar. Nervously swallowing, he looks back towards the blonde bartender and bites down gently on his lower lip. "I— I think I just heard a car pull up." Looks like the coffee is going to have to wait.

The coffee pot was already switched on and percolating so that Abby could have some comfort liquid. So her hand is on the pot handle, other hand grabbing a cup to pour and pass when it he mentions about a car pulling up. There's a glance to the taser that she has near her, but not near Darren. The thing Caliban asked her to carry and she's not going to make bones about hiding it, leaving it in plain sight.

"Probably them" Coffee is passed over. "Sit. Drink your coffee. Relax okay? Better if you relax so you don't go off" She eases around the bar, heading towards Darren and an empty seat between him and the door. "This is neutral ground, some of them know it and I don't like or let bloodshed happen in my bar."

Rain does not seem to take any offense to being called a kid. Compared to almost everyone else in the Company? He is a kid. Hell, compared to most people in general. He checks his own weapon, not weapons, just one. The Company issue tranq gun sits nestled in a holster at his spine, beneath his loose white button up, and his currently unbuttoned suit jacket, out of sight, and nearly invisible beneath the clothing. He pops his seat belt, and slips out of the car and into the snow. Eyes cast over to Corbin with a little smile. "I can keep him at arms length given the right circumstance as well, at the very least I can stop him from reaching out and just grabbing someone…" Narrow shoulders lift and drop in a quick shrug, then turns and begins to make his way towards the building, no real preamble or looking to the others for guidance. The kid is confident if nothing else.

Rain turns his head, his eyes casting over to Paulson. "No way? With all of the stuff you've probably seen in the line of duty, and all of the dossiers you have on abilities… why not? Are you really going to question /anything/?" He tilts his head and lifts a skeptical brow at the man. "Remind me of my mother…" he comments towards the recently injured agent. A soft snort of disbelief is heard from the blonde, but his footsteps trudge onwards through the snow.

Standing in front of the door, Ryans slowly turns to look at Paulson, waiting patiently for him to finish his rambling. "Done?" He asks by the end of it, brows lifting some, but he doesn't wait for an answer before turning back to the door. Having grabbed his fedora off the dash, the senior agent settles it on his head finally, taking his time.

"We are not here for Abigail, is that clear? She is to remain unharmed. We are only here for the doctor." Which Ryans really would rather not do, since he knows a coffin awaits the man inside. Letting out a breath he didn't know he was holding, Ryans steps forward and slowly opens.

"Abigail?" She'll recognize the voice right away, Ryans slowly opens the door, slipping inside, moving forward so that the others can get inside, eyes going to the woman at the bar.

"Finding out how he does what he does is part of why we're here. Though I don't want to learn first-hand, so I'm hoping he's willing to talk," Corbin says, pulling his coat tighter as he makes his way behind the taller and not-that-much-older-than-him-anymore-physically guy through the front door and into the warmer bar. Abigail. Yeah, he knew she was a healer who stopped being a healer too, but Tyler Case had never been his Case…

He rubs his shoes off before stepping further in, to avoid trudging wet slush into the bar, but also to make room for the others to enter as well. He stays silent, wrapped in his scarf, but— he's been here before. Before it closed due to weather.

Swllowing tensely as Ryans comes in through the door, Darren slowly rises up from his bar stool, both hands raised in the universal gesture for surrender. Behind the others, Agent Paulson is the last into the bar, looking over his shoulder again down the street, then back inside as he closes the door behind himself and begins to make himself at home, sauntering up to the bar and offering a brow-raised look towards the blonde-haired doctor.

"I— don't want any trouble…" Doctor Stevens states in a hushed tone of voice, Brooklyn accent still strongly noticable, "I just want t'turn myself in, and… and get this all over with." Swallowing nervously, Darren glances over towards Paulson, then back to Ryans, finally looking ay the younger faces of Corbin and Rain with a bit of scrutiny. When he looks back at Ryans, though, there's an odd squint in Darren's expression.

"Why— Why're you blurry?" Darren asks awkwardly, looking from Ryans to Abby and then back to Ryans again. Agent Paulson rolls his tongue over the inside of his cheek, slanting a look to Abby and then one over to the bottle of whiskey and the empty glass.

"Maybe you should've laid off the Whiskey pal. Just turn around, get down on your knees and put your hands behind your head, if you'd be so kind?" Paulson quirks one dark brow as he rolls his eyes, resting one elbow up on the bartop and carefully considering Darren.

"Agent Ryans, Agent Ayers" Yes, there's just a bit of surprise at Corbin. The other two though, are unrecognized and Abigail's paying attention to them, remeber them if they ever come to the bar. How they treat Darren is the marker for whether they're allowed into the place - if they deign to come near it - in the future.

Blurry though? Abigail glances to Ryans a cock of her head and then a shake. "I don't know Darren. Probably maybe has to do with why he walked in one day really young" Paulson is eye'd and normally, Abigail might offer the guy a drink, try to be nice but he's right down to business. There's already a wrinkle of her nose.

"Maybe you oughta be a bit more polite be thankful that he had some whiskey and he's about as relaxed as can be and turning himself into the company" She knows who you are paulson. Rain is glanced at, taser kept close. Her hand comes out to rest on Darren's shoulders. "Do as they ask, Ryans will take care of you, Corbin the same. They're good people, I promise" The blonde murmurs.

Rain looks at his fellow agents in exasperation, his eyes ro9lling towards the heavens in a 'why me?' gesture. He steels himself though, as Ryans begins to push the door open. "If he wasn't willing to talk he wouldn't have called us and had us meet him in a public place. He would have set up some kind of ambush and such." He files into the bar after Ryan's and the rest, bringing up the rear so to speak.

Stepping to the side of the doorway as well, Rain's eyes study the bar before they settle on the man they're there to meet and to bring in. His head nodded to Ryan's comment about not being here for Abigail, the young man only vaguely knowing whom this woman is. Then the man is speaking, and Rain looks over to him with sympathy in his eyes. The comment about Ryans earns a curious look, but it's Paulson's approach that earns a grunt from Rain. "Paulson…." There's an angry tone to his voice at the man's aggression, aggression that Rain sees no reason for.

"Sir, you okay?" This is aimed towards Ryans, the young man's eyes narrowed with concern. Abby earns a soft nod of his head to her statement. "I will as well. I hate seeing people get hurt ma'am. I hate it with a passion." He shoots a look at Paulson again for his brisk attitude, hmphing at the man. "No whiskey for you it seems. Should have tried being nicer huh?" Yep, he's not mocking the fellow agent.

His footsteps are steady as he makes his way to the bar, Ryans dips his head politely to Abigail, before locking his gaze on Darren. "I'm Senior Agent Ryans." The crows feet at the corners of his eyes crease slightly as Darren mentions being blurry. Then his glance goes to the bottle at Paulson's assessment. A small nod, before looking at the man again.

Rain's questions are ignored, but the Senior Agent takes a moment to glance at the kid, if it wasn't for the fact that the agent can maintain that neutral look, he's look at the kid like he has two heads. Where did they get this one?

"Paulson." Ryans glances at the agent, with a firm look. "He is actually turning himself in, how about treating him with a touch more courtesy?" Before he looks back to Darren, "But he has the right of it, we need to cuff you for our safety, I hope you understand." He's trying not to visibly cringe at Abigail's assurance, it's not as easy a promise to make anymore.

Agent Ayers. Corbin has to shake his head a bit, as he's still not used to people calling him that outside of the walls of Company buildings. But— he left his job at the Times, and no longer needs to protect it like that. And his friends in the Ferry, what few of them he could call friends, all know now. Some knew longer than others.

"We don't want any trouble either." While old young guy takes care of things, he steps a little closer to look over the blond doctor. With a secret, obviously, but one that's about to turn himself in.

A curiosity that shows on his face. The miracle doctor from St. Lukes. The kid they helped capture, the one he shot had wanted to see this man too. For his mother. His long dead mother. Healing doesn't bring people back, though… But healing doesn't manipulate radiation either.

"Knowing how your ability works would probably make this easier for everyone too," he adds outloud. Maybe this one they can hold onto for a few days, before the black vans and gas masks descend down.

"I don't know how it works…" Darren nervous explains, looking over to Corbin. "I— It just does. I can heal someone of every injury they have, but I have to kill another person to do it. One hand on the person to be healed, one hand on the person who dies. There's— a lot of green light and then— " Darren's brows furrow, " — then it's over. Good as new." Outside, as Darren's talking, the rumble of a heavy vehicle with a powerful engine is audible through the walls, as is the pressurized hiss of air-brakes usually reserved for such heavy vehicles as a greyhound bus or a dump truck. Barely visible as a pale silhouette through the tinted front windows of the bar, the outline of an enormous white armored van with no exterior logos is a hauntingly familiar sight to both Corbin and Ryans who have had the displeasure of seeing a similar vehicle not too long ago. The noise of the engine is almost distinctive by this point, rumbling like some great beast out on the street.

"Were we expecting anyone?" Paulson brushes off Ryans' commentary to press more immediate matters, looking askance at Abby and slowly sliding off of his bar stool and moving towards the windows, leaning to the side to look at the silhouette of the armored vehicle, then back into the bar towards Abby. Paulson, unlike Elle and Bryan, doesn't seem to have any recognition of the vehicle at all. They weren't supposed to be here, no one called them.

Looking back and forth between the agents and Abby, Darren lift lifts out his hands with wrists close together rather than kneeling like Paulson had demanded. "I— I'm not going to cause any problems, I promise. I just— I just want to go along quietly, I'm…" Looking towards the window at the sound of the vehicle pulling up, Paulson's brows furrow and eyes flick back towards Abby, then over to Ryans who seems to be — nominally — in charge. "

"Not unless Agent Parkman called for others but.. he only said he'd let the Company know" Abigail frowns, looking beyond him to the window before sliding off the stool and heading for the door. Call her paranoid, call her really paranoid but when the company agent doesn't know what that is, she's flipping the locks on the doors. "Uhh, back room, go uhh, go through it" She's forcing her mind to work as she's walking away from door towards the bar. "Swat would have a hard time getting in upstairs. Come on" The last with some urgency to her voice.

Rain glances towards Ryans, and almost like he can sense the man's thought he flashes him a huge grin, all teeth before winking at him happily. That happiness soon begins to peter away though as his focus comes back to the situation at hand. ""I…." he cuts off though by the sound of the vehicle outside. Rain's head turns, eyes peering out at it. He knows who they are, knows the vehicle from reports, but nothing else, nothing on a personal level. He walks over to the doors, standing in front of them, then looks about slowly.

"This going to turn into a situation there chief?" This shot towards Ryans, then back out. "Well, I can stop them from coming through that door almost indefinitely… but I can't do anything about the windows…." he is still standing in front of the doors, though he casts a look over his shoulder towards Abby. But it's Ryans that he's waiting to hear from, to see what they should do and how they should react to this. He bounces from one foot to the other slowly, like a boxer readying for a fight, only… he's small, and skinny, and so not a boxer, much to pretty for that. He catches his lower lip in his teeth, worrying at it while he waits.

The sound of rumbling makes Ryans turn on his heals to look behind them, Abby might actually see the anger on his face, but then he looks at Paulson in surprise. "You don't know about this?" The fact Martin didn't tell his own partner. "Elle and Bryan knows what that is. So does Crowley. I had to find out the hard way." He doesn't stops Abigail from what she's doing, he needs time to think. The hat is pulled off his head, and he draws his wrist across his forehead.

"That… is not us." Ryans says finally, glancing back at the others, the hat used to point at the door. "But that is the government out there." He might as well put it out there, he looks at Abigail and then Darren. "Abigail." He states firmly to get her to stop. "Go upstairs and loose the taser." His voice grim, but firm in the order, "They will have us surrounded if they are smart."

He looks to Darren know looking somewhat apologetic, "You want to keep people from dying. You want to stop what's happened." Ryans approaches the bar, putting a hand on the bar, his voice softening. "What waits you out there, I don't know what will happen once you leave here." Eyes study the man's face. "Do you want to stop running and protect people instead of killing them? And you better answer quick cause we don't have much time."

"We had to find out the hard way," Corbin says, glancing out toward the black van, and then the upstairs where Abby has told them to run. There has to be a way out of this. He pulls out his phone and starts dialing a number, but doesn't hit send. He looks at Darren and says, "Ryans is right, we have no idea what will happen to you if you get into that van. We can't make any promises. But— there is possibly a way out. If you wanted to work for us we could shield you as an agent in training. There's always room for a skilled doctor, and you won't have to use your ability."

It's an option they would give sometimes, to avoid locking someone really dangerous up, but it usually wasn't Corbin giving this offer. "But you should definitely go upstairs, Abby." And not make it an offical pick up next time, maybe. "I can try calling Crowley and get permission, but it's up to you, Dr. Stevens."

"Wh— What!?" Darren's eyes go wide when he hears that suggestion from both Ryans and Corbin, and the look over his hsoulder to Abigail is equally confused. "Wait but— I thought— I thought you were the government? I mean, she— she told me what the Company is, but like how— " Darren's eyes dart to the windows and the sound of doors opening and shutting outside makes his heart leap up into his throat. "Who— whoa re those people outside? I don't understand what's going on, if you're all a part of the government, then— you— " The notion of becoming an agent and whatever rigors that entails has Darren's eyes darting from side to side, looking at the odd collection of men gathered here under the banner of the Company.

Snow crunches on the sidewalk, and the whining hiss of hydraulics comes from the opening of the van's back hatch. The doorknob rattles, followed by the pounding of a fist against the front. «This is the Department of Homeland Security's Evolved Crimes Specialist Branch, please open this door or we will be required to force it open.» The voice on the other side of the door comes with the clicking hiss of a respirator mask, and out the muted windows, men in white biohazard suits with visored masks stand at the ready, some armed with assault rifles, others carrying geiger counters and briefcases, and one of the men coming out of the van carries a gas canister by its ring pin.

Darren's wide eyes flick back towards Ryans, head shaking back and forth slowly before he looks pleadingly to Abby, unsure of what to do. "I— I don't— I don't know if I can be an agent, I— I can't even control my power! I don't even know what it is!" Panic has Darren not thinking straight, his heart racing and breathing hastening. Another firm slam of five knocks on the door comes, and the clicking hiss of a voice processed through a respirator comes again.

«This is the Department of Homeland Security, open this door now or we will force ourselves inside. You have one minute to comply!»

What the hell?

This is the first time that she's seen company agents all a flutter and it's making her heart race and look between the quartet then to Darren. "There's an exit on the roof. Not many know, but it's there." Making her way to the counter to grab her taser, one hand pressed to her injured side to give her ribs more support than Francois's wrapping job is doing in this moment and grimacing at moving so fast. "I have a ladder, should be able to flop it between this and the next building, and use it to get over to the next one" Abigail offers. "The doors, everything, can slow them down. That door and the windows will help they're supposed to be.. something. Alec promised" Seems someone's either really paranoid or she's just sunk money into security and given what happens immediately outside this place, it's little wonder why.

"Darren, go with them. They'll help you with your ability, they'll help you learn what it is and harness it. They're the better alternative, I don't know those guys out there, I know and trust these guys" She trusts Ryans and Corbin that is. The taser is taken, tossed into the icemaker's ice bin then covered with scoops of ice to hide it. "Stay calm, go with them now, accept their offer, please. Who knows, I might need you some day and i'd prefer, that you be some place that I know I can still get a hold of you. Trust me Darren, like you have so far"

There's a brief prayer that whatever Alec made the windows and doors from, it's stable stuff. "Think fast, I have to open that door, but i'll ask them for ID first with the door closed" She's starting to head that way, pausing along the way and half bending over. Playing up her broken ribs and how they're slowing her down.

Rain doesn't get an answer, so? The kid turns back to the door and cants his head to the side. A lights himmer runs through the air before him, right in front of the door. It's like looking through liquid, the shape of the door distorting, shifting, changing, much like shapes when looking down into a pool or something. He hears the idea, and turns his head, but only a little bit, not fully, keeping the doors in his line of sight, a snarky smile gracing his lips at the concept of being able to tell these government guys where to go shove it. "Well doctor? What do you say? You obviously have a good heart sir, or none of us would be standing here. WIth us, you could really do some good. We might get painted as the bad guys, but trust me… I wouldn't work for the bad guys." He winks, even though he can't make eye contact with the man, then turns his ehad to let his eyes rest before him once more.

"Glad I damn well blocked the door then…" he snickers, but the doctor's words has him sighing softly. "Doc. We're good people, most of us are anyway. You could do good things with us, important things. Make a difference, make up for what you've done. Isn't redemption worth it?" He whispers it, just loud enough to be heard by the others. "You're more than welcome to try!" He calls out to the homeland guy on the other side, a snarky grin on his lips. "Doc, we can help you learn to control your ability. I learned to control mine through my training, you can to…" Yep, even now he's trying to be all inspirtational and peace loving and such. He then just waits to see what's going to happen, to see what the doctor says. "They won't touch you if we say you're ours."

"Ayers make the call. Paulson man the door get ready to open it. Rain… hold tight." Those orders are barked by the Senior Agent. Then a sharp look goes to Abigail, Ryans face animated for once, this time concerned, but then he nods. "We'll do what we can Abigail… that is all we can do. Paulson, hold tight."

Then Ryans looks at Darren again. "We are more then this." His hand motions to the agents at the counter. "Doctors… medical staff… We have the people to help you teach to control this. I should know." Ryans says his words somewhat rushed, he doesn't have much time. "I've had partners that learned to control their ability. I've been Company for a very long time." A worried glance goes over his shoulder, before he looks at Darren again.

"Let us try to help you. I can't guarantee anything, but we can try." Ryans actually, sounds like he's trying to plead with the man. "They have a metal coffin for transporting waiting for you and god knows what, we're offering you a life if we can pull this off. At this point, doctor, what do you have to lose?"

He turns to keep himself between Darren and the door as Ryans says to Rain. "Take it down from the door so Abigail can do her job, put it in front of the doctor until we know if there is anything we can do, to keep him within the Company."

"Teaching people to control their abilities so they can be useful Company Agents is what we were doing while those bastards outside didn't even know abilities existed," Corbin says, obviously angry with the fact they're banging on the doors. He hits send to dial the number, and gives Martin's line only a second to click over and state a greeting before he's already speaking.

"Crowley, this is Ayers, if we want to keep Doctor Darren Stevens in our custody for longer than two seconds, we need to put him down as an Agent-in-Training, right now. He comes with recommendation of Senior Agent Ryans, and me both. We think he'd be a great asset." And there's a hint of a 'Jesus Christ say yes' in his voice. Before, no one would imagine Corbin would take a stand like this, and sound so professional doing it, even as they bang on the door, but— things have changed in the last year. For him. For them.

While he does this, he pulls his badge out with his other hand. Better to be ready when they come busting in.

There's a murmur of activity on the other side of the door, and Darren's expression is much like that of a long-tailed cat trapped in a room full of rocking chairs. Swallowing down the limp of bile at the back of his throat, he slinks towards the bar and rests his back against it, tiny flickering flecks of green light coming over his fingertips. Curling his fingers to his palms, Darren wrenches his eyes shut and his hands shake, the glow slowly subsiding as he tries to get control over his emotions. "Fine— fine I— I'll do it."

Ayers are you out've your bloody mind!»" Comes over Corbin's cell phone loud enough to be heard by the room, "«An Institute team just got sent to your location. Don't— don't bloody well interfere with them or they may well just grab the whole lot'a ya! You've got to— 'old on— » There's a shuffling sound, and Agent Crowley gets to use his near superhuman ability of— staggering beurocracy.

At the front door there's another series of loud knocks, «Open up now or we're coming in!» Everything is getting down to the wire, and outside the window the agents can see the white-clad men from the institute racking their firearms and the scneitific team with the geiger counters hanging back, watching the front of the bar thorugh their visored masks. It's only once the man outside begins counting down from ten that Crowley explodes back onto the phone with a slur of his Cockney accent.

You've gotta' let them in! Don't bloody screw with them, call security code 17 of the evolved detention act article A— no— //C! Article C! Then tell them that you're invoking the rights to our yearly conscription allowance! They'll prol'ly call it in, but you'll get 'em by th' short an' curlies!//»" Martin, he's a classy second in command.

"You just tell me when," Paulson grumbles, moving to stand beside Abigail, "and I'll twist their heads off like grapes from a vine." He and Rain are like night and day, similar abilities used for such totally different purposes, one man defends, the other destroys. Veronica knows exactly how that works first hand. "What's up Ayers? Come on…"

She'll let them figure it out, let them deal with what Darren is going to do. hopefully he'll stick with the company than the … box? There's a finger helped up, forefinger and she starts up again, coming to the door with hands to her side and letting a pained look still remain on her face. Helps that the pressing she's doing to her ribs are purposeful to make that happen.

"I need to see some ID!" she raises her voice to be heard. "I have federal agents in here, and they're not with you. Please show me your ID before I let you in!" It's a reasonable request, made the owner of the establishment and she's got her hand on the lock, ready to open it when someone on the other side produces something that can be seen through the window. After all, they are required to produce identification by law to prove they are who they are.

Rain concentrates for a few seconds,t he shimmer in the air fading from the doorway. He turns and walks back to the doctor, offering the man a comforting smile. "It'll all be okay doc." His right eye closes in a quick wink before he stands at his side. Once he's there, another barrier springs into being in front of the man, his vision of the world beyond that barrier, at least, to the front 180 degree arc, is now like staring through liquid. Rain leans his head to the side, speaking softly to the man.

"Trust me, if we can pull this off, you'll get a chance to see what we're truly about." Rain doesn't bother pulling his badge out, he just leans back against the bar casually. He begins to hum softly, and of all things, it's 'Why can't we be friends?' that is coming out of his mouth. "Good on yah Doc." He murmurs to him when he says he'll do it. He looks over towards Corbin, a snicker escaping him at the voice on the other end. Rain looks towards the windows and the man outside, and of all things, the kid lifts his hands and waves to them happily in greeting, like they're not out there with guns ready to bust inside. He flashes them all a big grin, cause he knows what's going on, and knows that here really soon, they will be denied what it is that they want. "That sounded like a yes to me." He comments happily, all bright cheery and undeniable spirit.

"Don't do anything, this is still the government." Ryans says roughly to Paulson, his expression say he won't take any guff from him on it. "We're not vigilantes." He motions them back with a jerk of his thumb. "Once they show it Abigail, open it and step away. Paulson make sure that they don't harm her at least." His own hand goes into his jacket, and he pulls out his own ID. He holds it up giving the others that haven't a meaningful look.

A glance goes to Ayers, waiting for him to give the verdict, Ryans own face shows that he's hoping for a damn miracle. The agent takes a deep breath and glances at the door at the door, hat is seated back on his head, and lets it out a slow sigh. He can only hope this works.

"Thank you, sir." That must be a good sound, Corbin looks relieved for an instant, before he faces the banging on the door, and then back at the Senior Agent. "Open the door. We got an okay," he states the obvious, leaving the phone on so that Martin gets to hear what happens in the next few moments. The Agent, still dressed in winter gear, steps closer to the door to speak loudly through it, "We're Agents of Homeland Security. Under security code 17 of the Evolved Detention Act, Article C, we're invoking the right of yearly conscription allowances for this man, Darren Stevens." He looks back at Abby, and the blond doctor that she tried to turn over to them. This is all they can do now. But—

At least they had options. They didn't have any options with the kid that got swooped in on.

On the other side of the door, the masked man standing on the stoop of Old Lucy's reaches to the plastic badge clipped at his chest and holds it out to Abigail, the Department of Homeland Security identifiers placed across it look official, and the clean-cut blonde hair of the man who must be behind that hazardous materials suit looks decidedly military in posture and appearance. «Ma'am we've been contacted by Operations Coordination Director Parkman to handle this extraction personally.» Matt Parkman called these people in?

"Oh god, what— what the hell is going on?" Darren's eyes track towards Paulson through that shimmering liquid-like shield of force hovering in front of him. He slants a look over to Corbin when he hears the words conscription and it seems more and more like one hand of the government isn't entirely on the same page as the other, morally or operationally.

With the identification shown, Abigail unlocks the door and leans away from it, though she can feel a vibration in the air around herself similar to when Alexander gets agitated coming from Paulson. The tanned agent's brows remain furrowed as he stares down the Institute men on the other side of the now open door, then steps back with Abigail, a hand out on her shoulder as he moves.

The lead man who steps in, clad in the plastic biohazard suit has no firearm isible, but the men waiting behind him do. There's a pause, a look offered to Corbin by way of a faceless and matte reflective mask of black plastic, then a turn to look back towards the van. Absolute silence hangs in the air for a long time, before the passenger door opens with a click, and a single dark leg slides out of the armored vehicle. One black loafer touches down in the snow, then the dark fabric of a wool greatcoat spills out, followed by the rest of a young man with short, dark hair and a bluetooth headset clipped on one ear.

The awkward and silent tension hangs in the air as this unmasked man strides past the other suited members of the Institute and comes in through the front door of Old Lucy's, carrying no identification card or badge of any kind. His eyes settle on Ryans, then move to Rain and the doctor beyond the kinetic shield, then over to Paulson and then Corbin, then finally back to Ryans again.

"Desmond Harper." The dark-haired man states as a terse introduction, a gloved hand offered out towards Ryans. "I'm not sure if my men heard right but… you're inacting your conscription allowance for this man?" There's a look of dark eyes over towards Darren, then a flash of a smile to Abigail before his attention is settled back on the senior agent. "You're… absolutely sure this is the avenue you want to take, Benjamin? It's fine if you do but— I'm just saying, in the long run?" Both of Harper's brows lift slowly. "It'll be easier for both of us if you let him come with us."

Nervously watching Abby's shifting appearance behind a liquidy shield of kinetic energy, Darren's tension is palpable. His bakc straightens and chin tilts up, brows furrow and all he can see of the Institute men through the shield is what they might look like thorugh a water-streaked pane of glass. He's praying that he isn't sold up the river— not here, not now. He's hoping Rain's right, and that he made the right decision.

Door opens after her hand turns the lock and Abigail's letting them in once they've prooved that they're the homesec guys. "Calm Darren" She calls out, watching the men enter her bar with furrowed brows and worried. The kinetic barrier get's a touch of her hand along it more out of curiosity but with Paulson's hand on her shoulder, there's a grimace again yet the blonde remains still. She's genetically evo, supposedly, and unregistered now. She doesn't want to invoke anger and end up getting hauled in for god knows what and tested. So she remains quiet beside Paulson, watching, waiting, serious.

Rain grumbles softly at Ryan's look tossed his way. The kid fishes around in the various pockets on his person until he comes out with a pristine little ID. He flips it open, and then lifts it up to settle it on the collar of his shirt, it hangs there, looking a bit odd on his neck, but he apparently feels like being lazy, or maybe just wants the guys out there to think they're not nervous and are in control of the situation. He then just continues humming his songs, switching from Why can't we be friends to Lean on Me, his humming is soft, but audible. His head tilts to one side, then the other as he waits to see what exactly is going to happen.

Through the tension the kid waits, sitting there with the doctor behind the protection of his shield, "Feels like we're the dang Grey Wardens from that game Dragon Age…" he snickers softly, the young mans' eyes lighting up in amusement. Even in the middle of this, he's giggling and amused. He lifts his hand and offers the new man a little wiggle fingered wave, okay, a bit gay, but he doesn't seem to think anything of the action. Abby's light touch to the shield won't bounce her finger away, but she'd be able to feel the pressure back against her finger, and if she presses harder it presses harder right back, if she lets up, it lets up. He flashes Abby a smile. "Pretty cool huh? I could hold a hallway or something all day with this thing… unless they try hitting it with cars… or that… truck." He glances out the windows towards the shape of the truck beyond them. "Could stop it, but it'd be rough."

There is tension in Ryans shoulder as he watches everything, the approach of Harper gets a narrowing of Ryans' eyes. The hand is glances at, before he takes it with his own gloved hand, giving it a brief shake. "You got the little boy, but this one…" Ryans voice is low, but his face unreadable. "This one stays with us this time." Blue eyes search the other mans face from under the shadowed brim of his fedora, there is almost a challenge in them.

Of course Darren isn't the only one hoping he has made the right decision, Ryans is staking a lot on this moment. "We'll take our chances." The hand is released and the senior agent steps back.

How many layers are there in the government now? They used to be the ones who handled all of this, and had for years and years— and now… Now they're stuck watching other people in black vans carry off targets in coffins to god knows where. "This one's staying with us," Corbin responds, nodding after Ryans has said his words, before he takes a few steps back and brings the phone up to his mouth to ask one simple question in a soft whisper that hopefully only Crowley can hear on the other side, "How many of these do we get, anyway?"

Cause in the case of ones who turn themselves in, who show remorse, who have skills that could be useful— it's now something he's tempted to use more than once. For as long as they can.

It saves them from the unknown. And to think, once upon a time, they were the unknown…

"I bet you will, I know your organization's track record with…" Desmond furrows his brows as he eyes Ryans, "taking risks. Hopefully your decision here won't result in a second Midtown explosion." That bit is kept quiet, and undercurrent of distrust in Harper's voice as he narrows his eyes at Ryans. "You're on thin ice, Benjamin." When he leans away from Ryans as the senior agent stands back, Harper offers a broad and toothy smile wholly different from the knife's-edge tone he was sharing with Ryans just a moment before in confidence.

"You heard the agents," Harper notes with a lift of his hand up into the air and a circling motion, indicating for the team to wrap it up. "This one's on their shoulders…" Harper intones with a furrow of his brows, looking towards Darren through that telekinetic shield again before settling his attention back on Ryans, and then Abigail. "Miss Beauchamp," Harper notes in a polite nod, "I apologize for all the commotion." Flashing a quick stare to Corbin, "You get one." Harper's notes in a solemn tone of voice before following the masked and suited man from the Institute's extraction team out of the bar and into the whipping snow.

When the door slams shut, that telekinetic pressure around Paulson ebbs, and he looks a bit like the cat who swallowed the canary, two fingers held out towards the door. "At least I waited till he was out." The telekinetic snorts, glancing askance at Abigail.

"Agent Harper" Abigail murmurs, staying stiff beside Paulson. "Thank you for not blowing up my place, I appreciate your understanding in the situation. Hopefully it won't be so tense in the future" Or need for automatic weapons to be pointed at her with only the glass between her and them. When the door slams behind him, there's a flinch, a sorry feeling for her door and she is quick as can be to get away from Paulson. Only because the pressure coming off of him is uncomfortable. Towards Darren she goes, hand closing around his arm gently and pulling him towards the bar so she can pour him some more whiskey. "Drink it, All of it. Bartenders orders again. EMT's orders. All of you are welcome to some as well after that"

Rain turns his head, his eyes narrowing at the agent as he hears what comes out of his mouth. "That sir, is a low blow. Your people couldn't have prevented that anymore than ours could have." the temptation to pop a kinetic barrier up in his face and watch him bounce off of it is pretty strong, which is highly unusual for the very peaceful agent. He shifts, his face, normally happy and carefree, is now written into a mask of dissaproval.

"You're the ones over stepping yourselves. We have this situation under control and you barge in here like some high holy Inquisition? You people are the ones creating the monsters that the public fears, not us. We kept this in check for decades, and look what you've done since then? Terrorist groups of them? Innocents dead because of the monsters you've created. Take a good look at yourself and the organization you work for, and wonder, how much blood is on your hands that wouldn't have been shed if you guys had any semblance of a conscience?" His lips press tight together.

Rain pulls in a slow breath, and lets it out in a hard huff, his eyes saddened and his head shakes slowly, hair falling down into his eyes, and for once, not brushed away. "Can I drop the barrier now?" he asks of Ryans, watching Abby approach from behind. "I'm glad you made the right decision Doc, you can do a lot of good work with us."

"I think there is barely a time I wasn't." Ryans actually cracks a smile at other man standing across from him, but it falls away as the man leaves. The senior agent look like an unmoving statue until that door shuts, only then does his shoulders drop. "Rain!" Is a harsh snap from the senior agent, the words loud, like the crack of thunder, in the small bar, eyes turn to the youngest agent. "In the future, I suggest you keep your trap shut. Do you understand me? Unless you are directly asked to answer something."

A hand goes to Corbin's shoulder, before Ryans leans close head turning to murmurs softly, "Let's hope Ayers… we did the right thing. It won't be so easy next time." A pat on his shoulder, before turning back to Rain and the doctor. "Drop the barrier." The Senior confirms, as he moves to rest a hand on the bar, his head lowering for a moment.

"Welcome to the Company, Doc." Ryans turns his head to look at Darren, the older man suddenly looking tired. "Just don't make us look like fools, that is all I ask." Then he glances at Abigail, "I don't want anything, thank you." He sits heavily on the stool. "We need to head out as soon as we can."

Just the one. Corbin closes his eyes for a moment, nodding at Ryans' words, as he turns the phone off and drops it into his pocket. Just the one. Next time, they'll not be able to hold onto the person if they come after them. Next time… They'll need some alternatives, some back up plans. A certain smoke man crept into his room and whispered in his ear, and this— this is the time when the right thing to do and the law don't necessarily coincide.

"Yeah, don't let us down," he says, looking toward Abby with a thoughtful glance. Now she may never call them again, at least not how she did this time.

Next time… "Yeah, we need to get out of here, but at least you won't need to go in handcuffs now. Just— keep your hands to yourself until we figure out how to contain your ability, all right?"

Slouching back towards the bar, eyes settled on Rain for a long time, Darren eventually offers a piteous look to Abigail. Swallowing audibly, his nods his head and looks down at his hands, still balled into fists as he rests them down nervously in his lap. The Company, Homeland Security, Conscription. All of the political tension and back-biting between these organizations, and now he's expected to become an agent and serve an organization he only just found out even /existed// yesterday.

Ten years ago everyone in this room that wasn't an agent would've been mind-wiped and the entire situation sanitized, with Darren locked away quietly in Level-5. But now, the world has changed and the Company is struggling to change with it. Ryans has seen the rise of the organization and now he stands shoulder to shoulder with the agents who are watching it slouch dangerously into a new era.

"So…" Paulson breathes out his tension into that word, shoulders slouching and dark eyes moving to Ryans, then Corbin, then Rain, and then finally onto their newest recruit, Darren. "How's it feel to be one of us?" There's a teasing smile from the tanned agent, one brow rising slowly.

Darren's response, all things considered, is rather normal.

"I feel sick."

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