The Trinity Of Bright Ideas


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif len_icon.gif

Scene Title The Trinity Of Bright Ideas
Synopsis What to do about Danko and Humanis First?
Date September 2, 2009

The Nite Owl

Things at the precinct are finally settling into something approaching 'normal' — and by that Elisabeth means that she hasn't been asked a hundred times what she was doing all last week, people have decided that her answers were boring. Everyone knows that sitting a stake-out is the next best thing to Hell, and according to her report, that was basically what she did. The questions about her behavior are harder to dodge, and she does her best with those ones. She'd originally agreed to this meeting at 2100, but Liz is finding it a struggle to be out and about that many hours in a day right now so she asked Denton to pull the meeting back to a bit earlier. He's got a 'proposition', huh…? Once she might have teased that he was talking dirty to her. Right now, it's all she can do to walk into the diner — a place she has been a regular off and on for years — and not look back over her shoulder like a paranoid psycho. The sight of Natasha at the counter brings a faint smile to her face and she raises a hand to wave toward the woman and then chooses the booth farthest back in the corner, away from the window, her back to the rear wall where she can see the entire diner.

The Nite Owl is a place that Len has never actually been, though he has heard of the place. A quick map search and he is there a few minutes after the agreed upon meeting time. Pulling the meeting back wasn't a problem for him, and honestly, it's probably for the best. He does not fault her at all for attempting to play it safe.

There are a few who glance his direction as he strolls into the diner and glances around for Harrison, only to find her as far away from everyone else as possible. His boots clop the floor as he walks towards her on the linoleum flooring until he reaches her booth and slides in across from her.

Probably more than anything, he just wanted to make sure she was doing alright. He still doesn't know exactly what happened to her, but his imagination has already filled in some of the blanks, whether correct or not. "Detective." he says as he gets himself situated. "How are you feeling?" he asks, though she's certainly heard that question a trillion times this week.

The huge cowboy sliding into the booth is met with blue eyes dark with wariness and tension. Her hands are clasped very tightly in her lap, though he can't see the white knuckles. Those blue shadows of exhaustion under her eyes are beauties. "Oh, about like I've been pulled through a woodchipper backwards," she comments, forcing a smile for him. She glances up long before Natasha ever gets to the table, monitoring the woman's progress as she brings two cups and the coffee pot with her.

"Long time," she comments to Elisabeth, who merely says softly, "Sorry. I'll try to be better about it. Tell Tom I said hello, okay?"

The woman looks over Denton with his cowboy hat as she pours for them both without asking if they want the coffee, and says, "Let me know when you're ready to order." She heads back to the counter, chatting with customers on the way, and Elisabeth's eyes stay on her until she's well out of earshot. Then they flicker back to Len. "So… you had… what'd you call it again? A proposal?"

There's a brief hesitation before Len addresses his proposal. He knows to sell this idea, he's going to have to be more than Len Denton, Company Senior Agent in Charge. The negative implications of what he has to offer her could be taken if not approached in a distinct manner.

"We have a tracking system that we use. Evolved individuals who we deem.. dangerous, are tagged in a way that if something arises and we need to find then we can. Civil liberties aside as for the way it's being used, there are other purposes for the system as well. One that I'd like to implement for everyone who works for me. Unfortunately, at this time it's not something I can require everyone to partake in. I'm concern that once it's made clear that you're still alive, that you could become a target again. I'd like to have you tagged so that if you were to disappear again, we'd have means to find you."

There. It's out there. "Understand that I offer this to you out of concern. I would not want this information to be made public. I imagine some urban tales may exist regarding out technology, but I'd prefer it if you wouldn't confirm it, if you're asked about it."

Elisabeth tenses visibly at his request. If her expression could get any more closed, it would. "No," she says finally. "I was already aware of the technology. And in all reality, if I were just a cop on the streets and this had happened to me… I would more than likely agree. But given the rest of my contacts and the things I've sometimes had to do, Denton? It would compromise everything." She hesitates and admits softly, "Though just about now, I would give almost ANYTHING to have had myself or Agent Ivanov tagged long before now. At this point, for me? If they move on me again, they're not going to bother to get close, they'll just take their shot from a half a block away." Her tone is bleak.

Len nods. "I'm not looking to keep track of your every day goings-on. As it is, we don't have the manpower to track every blip on the screen. We only use it if we need to track someone in particular and for a particular reason. I wanted to make the offer, perhaps give you a little piece of mind that someone could find you if you were ever taken again. But if you choose not to, that's fine too. I wanted to at least make the offer." He really isn't surprised by the refusal. He rather expected that, though there was a sliver of hope that she would accept.

As she studies him, Elisabeth says quietly, "I think that you wouldn't monitor the blip on the screen… but I don't know that everyone else has your moral character, Agent Denton. Right about now, you have no idea how much I would love to say yes to you — it would have potentially stopped Humanis First, at least the ones that had me, in their tracks. If I thought they might grab me again?" She shrugs slightly. "I appreciate the offer," she says quietly, finally bringing her hands up to fix her coffee. Ungodly amounts of sugar and cream — one might wonder why she bothers to drink the stuff, that's a dessert not coffee — later, she wraps her hands around the steaming mug. Her eyes are never still, always searching the diner. Anyone who moves, everyone's faces, each coming and going at the door, she's assessing each as a potential threat now. When her eyes flicker back to his face, she asks, "So what exactly are you thinking of doing out there, Denton?"

Raising an eyebrow, Len considers for a moment. "Well, the thought had crossed my mind to just hog tie them to trees out in the words and let the wildlife have their turn at those animals." You'd think he was joking, if his trademark grin was on his face. It's not. "Hell, I'd tree-bind them and give you a call and let you have at them for a while, if you'd like. For now, I'd be happy with just knowing where they are, then figure out what to do after that. Bottom line is, we can no longer take out the little men involved in this. We have to start as close to the top as possible."

"I rather enjoy that idea, to be honest," speaks a dry, hollow voice stirring from beneath the table, Cardinal's shadowy musing pointing out, "And while I'm all for it, it… solves the symptoms, not the cause. After we deal with these animals, there's still a larger problem at the root."

In spite of the fact that she half-expected it, Elisabeth visibly jumps at the voice emating from nowhere, the color washing out of her face. If Richard were corporeal, she'd kick him in the shins. Her blood pressure is suddenly through the roof and her heart's racing, the shaking in her hands around the coffee cup making the ceramic mug slosh. "I highly recommend every cop and fed in this city start looking at the docks area very very closely. If only because Peyton Whitney was held there, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn I was too. But that's miles of coastline both here and on Staten," she grits out.

"As I mentioned before, my resources are tapped at the moment. I've taken this project on myself, and I assume there are others who are like-minded in wanted to rid the country of this particular stain." If Len is startled by Cardinal's appearance, he doesn't show it. "Cranston, is it? Tell me where you think the root of the problem is."

"Sorry, Liz." A more quiet murmur, before 'Lamont Cranston' observes dryly, "An endemic one. A racist movement stirring in the culture - this group are organized, but more aren't. It'll take far more manpower and resources than even your people had at the height of your power."

"In that regard, I actually think he's right," Elisabeth says to Denton quietly. "You're looking at a situation very similar to the racist movements pre-1960, in my opinion. There's a widespread fear of those who are different — far far moreso than you see when it comes to sexual orientation. I think the civil rights movement is far more accurate kind of comparison. Probably the vast majority of people are mildly indifferent to slightly wary of people with powers. Then you've got the Evo KKK. Loosely organized, usually not much more than a bunch of talk and maybe some beatings or what have you. Then you've got the fringe — the well-organized, militant, paramilitary arm. Think Black Panthers. In the bigger cities, as always, you have a bigger concentration of powers and a lot more anonymity on BOTH sides, so more violence."

Len nods to them both as he considers what they are saying. "Unfortunately, as history has shown, those types of movements can really only be countered by education. It's the smaller, more organized groups that are causing the majority of the problem. Groups run by guys like Danko who have such a vast knowledge base of military strategies in his head, are the most dangerous. Your average asshole who just wants to be a bigot, isn't necessarily smart enough to do what a guy like Danko can do."

"Agreed," admits Cardinal, "So, in the short term, we need to find Emile Danko and his amazing friends, and remove pieces of them slowly with nail clippers. William Dean might be the easiest to find— he's not experienced in espionage, and we have plenty on him."

"Any idea where to find this Dean character?" Len asks. The name triggers with him, though all he received as far as tips on Dean was his last name. He'd been unable to connect any Dean with Danko, so having the full name works. "And what do we know about him? Any weaknesses or vices we can exploit to grab him?"

"I'm sure you're familiar with his daughter, Agent Denton," Cardinal observes, his tone rather wry, "Helena Dean, the leader of Phoenix? Apparently his family leans towards activism— just in different directions."

That elicits a raise of the eyebrow. "That must make it awkward at Thanksgiving family dinners. While that is helpful information, I am not entirely certain how we can use it to our advantage. It doesn't sound like there's much paternal love going on there." Len hasn't taken a drink of his coffee as of yet, as he has his hands wrapped around the mug, occasionally turning it around in his hands.

There's a silent few moments of thought, and then Cardinal says quietly, "I may have a way, depending on… how much of an influence you can bend over the local police department. We can be certain they have eyes there. If we let it be known that Helena Dean was captured and is being transported to a courthouse, or generally some other— event, or locale— perhaps even that she's handed herself over and is being transported under police guard to hand over information about Humanis First…"

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