The Valkyries Agenda, Part V


faye_icon.gif sarisa_icon.gif

Scene Title The Valkyries Agenda, Part V
Synopsis Sarisa Kershner rounds up a fifth member of the second squad of FRONTLINE.
Date January 28, 2010

Faye's Apartment - Queens

It's strange being able to find hundreds of pictures of a girl that she'd never known was her daughter. The magazines had been on stands for years, many that Faye Crawford knows she walked by when she went for her morning coffee near a newstand in the streets. And she'd never known that the girl featured on the cover had been her daughter. Until the private investigator helped her carry in groceries.

The sound of a printer whirls in the background, applying dark ink to white paper, as the out of date computer shows webpages, google searches, images of the magazines she never bought…

Most of what she prints out details the event that occured in August. The table in her front room has the few gossip magazines (now months and months old) that she could find, though she's really paid no interest to the stories. It's the pictures she'd wanted, doctored or otherwise…

The sun's beginning to set, and the sound of water hissing in the kitchen attracts her attention, leaving the printer going as she walks across the loft apartment to take the kettle off the stove.

Lifre has ways like this, of throwing situations like this out when least expected. The world operates in such strange ways, both serendipitous and frightening all in the same. Faye Crawford is not the first person who has found herself ambushed by fate, fate in the form of a four-beat rhythm pounding on her front door. This same sound, a knock of knuckles softened by the touch of leather gloves, was what brought the first member of FRONTLINE into the fold, and it is by this same rhythmic beat that another is drawn in.

They say that opportunity doesn't knock twice, but the noise Sarisa Kershner leaves on the door of this modest residence in Cliffside Apartments is not just opportunity, not just fate, not just serendipity — the noise pounding through Faye Crawford's apartment is the inexorable progress of a plan.

The rhythmic thump attracts her attention as she sets the kettle down on a cold burner, reaching to turn the burner off, and moving toward the door. Faye hadn't been expecting company, and in the comfort of her own apartment, she'd removed her gloves, but as she reaches the door, she stops at the side table and picks them up. Moving closer, she glances through a viewing hole, and then unlocks the deadbolt, and the knob. The Harbor Ranger pulls the door open until it catches on the chain.

Looking through the opening, she asks, "Can I help you?" as she begins to slip the gloves on, not yet noticing the fact the woman wears the same.

The smile offered by the tall blonde on the other side of the door is more earnest than any she's given in the past week. Agent Kershner is dressed casually, perhaps to offer that sense of relaxedness that a full on suit might impress otherwise. While pinstripe slacks still seem somewhat formal, the blue turtleneck sweater she wears beneath her black leather jacket is far less business than her usual attire. Reaching into that jacket, Sarisa withdraws an identification folio, held out as she introduces herself.

"Agent Sarisa Kershner with the CIA's Special Activities Division." Her tone of voice is firm, strong, and yet lacking a sense of authoratativeness that someone who's coming with investigative intentions would have. Besides, the CIA's job is traditionally foreign affairs, not domestic. "I was wondering if I could have a few moments of your time, miss Crawford? In private, of course." As Sarisa makes that request, she aims her stare into the apartment over Faye's shoulder, and then back to the brunette, as if suggestively recommending a course of action.

A few moments after the identification is presented, the door closes. Not to relock and kick her out, but to pull the chain off and reopen the door. "Please, come in, Agent Kershner," Faye says, both of her hands covered with simple black gloves now that the door is open. "We're alone," she assures, so the woman doesn't need to scan the apartment too closely, though she's welcome to.

"Do you want some tea? I just heated some water." Once the door is closed, and the knob at least locked so no one can just walk in if they wanted, she adds, "Or I have coffee as well,"

Folding up her badge and sliding it back inside of her jacket on her way into the apartment, Sarisa is quiet about the offer of something to drink at first, surveying the apartment interior with a scrutinizing stare. When she finally looks back to Faye, there's just the hint of a smile at the corners of her mouth, and a dismissive wave of one hand. "No, that— won't be necessary. Besides, I'd prefer to both keep this brief and have your undivided attention." Narrowing her eyes at Faye, one side of Sarisa's mouth quirks up more than the other. "You're considerably relaxed, all things considered…"

Making her way deeper into the apartment with gloved hands folded behind her back, Sarisa looks around at the furnishings of the modest residence, to the skyline of Queens viewed out the windows, to the noise of the printer running. "Do you often have federal agents knocking on your doors?" There's a teasing quality to Sarisa's tone of voice as she angles a look towards Faye. "Though… I'll understand if your mind is just— " there's a motion towards the printer, "otherwise preoccupied."

Casting an askance look at the sofa, Sarisa offers a rhetorical question. "May I sit?" She's doing so anyway.

"Not usually, but I also know I haven't done anything that would gain suspicion," Faye says, showing that calmness that she's already been called on, and leaving the boiled water on the stove to cool down. The good thing about water is it can get reheated without any real problem. The table is glanced at. Everything she's connected is publicly accessible, and while she's printing an article out, it's just out of curiosity of what she missed when she failed to know who her daughter had been.

No, she's not plotting revenge, even if she'd likely punch the man if given the chance.

"Please. I apologize for the clutter." Aside for the magazines on the table, though, the most clutter comes in the form on extra pillows. There have been things on her mind, but…

"So what does the CIA want with me?"

"Nothing." Sarisa explains flatly, golded hands folding in her lap once she's settled on the sofa, a leg crossed over the other at the knee. "What the United States Government wants from you, however, is entirely different. I'm not sure how much you've been keeping up on current events…" She has to be somewhat sarcastic about that, what with all of the magazines on the table, "but I'm sure what I'm about to bring up won't come entirely as a surprise to you."

Furrowing her brows, Sarisa inspects the face of Peyton Whitney on the cover of the top-most magazine, silent for a moment before she looks up towards Faye. "I'll put it simply: After researching qualifies personnel in the Registry of the Evolved, your name was weighed against a list of candidates for a government defense program, and after some deliberation, it was decided by comittee that you be offered a position serving the people of New York City as a part of FRONTLINE."

Tipping her chin up just a touch at the mention of the name, Sarisa quirks one brow in query to Faye. "Your unique gift and background lends you to the position of Squad Two's communications officer, and FRONTLINE would be honored to have you aboard, and I would be greatly satisfied if you would consider this offer."

While she might have been behind on gossip magazines, but there's other things she'd not been behind on. Like FRONTLINE, and the promises that they made in the media. The news reports she'd seen mostly included a balding General, rather than a blonde CIA Agent, but she can't claim to have watched all of them. Faye may have seen articles that talked about a woman, but names slip the mind, when not connected personally. "I've been retired from the military for many years," the woman says, dark hair falling into her face, as she settles into an opposite chair.

The guest areas of the apartment are sparse, with just enough seating for the two of them, and maybe one other to even out the space in the room. Get togethers are probably rare. The dinner table by the side has only two chairs.

"I've seen some of the news reports, and read some of the articles, but I've always found that things aren't really what they seem until you are told in person. What will I be doing, as an officer in FRONTLINE?"


The unspecified confirmation is much as expected, really. It's much to Sarisa's delight when a well-executed plan plays out, and that is much of what is happening here in this modest apartment. "In the broad spectrum of things, public defense. You're to SWAT, what SWAT is to standard police. FRONTLINE is a civillian defense organization consisting of ex-military personnel. While you're military funded and military trained, you have civilian authority. You're not going around making arrests, you're not investigating crimes, you're strictly a surgical tool to be applied to dangerous situations dealing with Evolved crime or terrorism. FRONTLINE is a support unit to local and federal law-enforcement agencies."

Re-crossing her legs, Sarisa squares her shoulders some and surveys Faye from across the coffee table between them. "Your specific position that you've been selected for is — perhaps unsurprisingly — communications. You'll be essential in establishing a communications network for your squad and also learning to utilize and maintain the communications hardware built into the Horizon armor that all FRONTLINE operatives wear…"

Sarisa's head rolls to the side slightly, and one of her gloved hands comes up to brush a lock of blonde hair from her face. "But before any of that comes to pass, you have a date with the city of Annapolis in Maryland. I'm certain you're familiar with the naval academy there?" It's entirely rhetorical, again. "You and the other members of Squad-2 that we have available to recruit will be spending twenty days down in Anapolis performing training and re-education for your positions, as well as a familiarization training with the Horizon equipment, a few mock urban combat scenarios, and a meeting with Squad One's commander Michael Spalding."

"I was in charge of communications when I was Coast Guard," Faye responds with a nod, leaving references of her ability out of it, for the moment, tilting her head at the mention of the armor, and what it might mean. If her ability will be needed, she knows it can act as a supplement, rather than the one thing she's relying on.

"I've never been to the Naval Academy. Navy and the Coast Guard didn't always get along," she admits with a hitch of a smile, more a grin than anything.

No arrests, terrorist and dangerous Evolved suppression… After recent events, that's quite needed. Especially if 'terrorists' also included those who weren't Evolved…

With a long glance at the magazines on her table. "Will we be able to return to New York City during training?"

"Hopefully in the spirit of cooperation you'll be able to integrate well with the other members we've chosen. You don't get much more diverse in backgrounds than the team we've assembled, please do keep that in mind." Sarisa's warning comes before her answer to Faye's question, and it's perhaps the warning that tempers the tone of the answer some.

"You can leave Annapolis to head back to the city, I wouldn't consider keeping you from your— " Blue eyes divert down to that particular magazine cover with Peyton's face on it, then back up to Faye, "personal business. It's only an hour flight from Maryland to New York, and you can take that flight on the government's dimre. The only request we have is that you do not let personal business interfere with your training and re-education."

Wetting her lips, Sarisa looks towards the computer, then the sound of the copier again, then back to Faye. "As an aside, I can answer any questions about uncertainties you may have, given the controversy over FRONTLINE that's been generated over the months. While I appreciate your enthusiasm for wanting to sign up for this, I don't want you going in with reservations unstated."

"Well calling it re-education is a little troubling," Faye admits, looking straight into the other woman's eyes instead of trailing off towards her personal life spread out on the table. How much does this woman know of that? That's not the worried questions she'll be asking, though, instead, she sticks to her comment.

"I realize I'll be learning new skills and new methods— as well as how to use the armor that you mentioned, but I think it would a compliment to my previous training, and not something needed to overwrite what I've done before."

A hand reaches up to push hair out of her face, locking it in behind an ear. "I don't think what I did in the Coast Guard, or even in the Parks Board, would go against the ideals you mentioned."

"It's been a while since you retired, Faye. On top of which, you need to learn the appropriate method for handling urban combat situations, which is something you'll be presented with on a day to day basis. Certainly your prior employment's skills are necessary and a good foundation, but the program is called re-education because the Marines like to think that whoever they get in their training facility is like a fresh-faced baby needing to be taught from the ground up again." There's a bit of sarcasm in Sarisa's tone of voice. "Trust me, it's not quite as dire as it sounds, it just a bit more Marine bravado more so than anything. Hopefully you'll be able to acclimate and make use of the skills they're teaching."

Brushing her gloved thumb across her chin, Sarisa contemplates Faye for a moment, then offers something of a smile, even if it doesn't quite reach her eyes. "What matters most, is that by making the commitment to FRONTLINE, you'll be ensuring the security of the people of New York City, and the people you care about." Once more reaching inside of her jacket, Sarisa offers out a white envelope across the table to Faye. "Your plane tickets to Anapolis and instructions on where to go and who to meet once down there. I won't be present for your training, but when it starts geting close to completion I'll be making an appearance to explain the next step of matters."

"I should have figured the Marines would be behind that kind of thing," Faye says, a smile starting to form, and her expression relaxing. Urban combat may not have been in her experience, but she's lived in the city most her life, and seen quite a few things that have been horrific in her offers of service during disasters. "I do have things to protect in New York," she adds, smile fading a bit as she leans forward to take the tickets and the instructions. No more questions from her—

This way she can try to protect her daughter in a way she couldn't as harbor patrol. Even if it's indirectly.

"I'll not fly back too often, but I do have things I'll want to take care of in the next couple of weeks that I don't intend to just drop." And she'll have to open the bond with her daughter again.

She can sense her, in the background… She knows the connection will fade eventually, though. "Thank you for this opportunity, Agent Kershner."

"It's good to know that my gut feeling about your ability to commit wasn't mistaken." Sarisa admits as she rises up from the sofa, brushing off the back of her slacks. "If you have any questions, I've included my personal card in your envelope, it has my direct line on it should you need to get in touch with me…" As Sarisa offers that card, there's a crook of her lips into a more pleased smile. "Oh and don't thank me for the opportunity, it's nothing. After all, I prefer to hand-pick my team from the best I can find."

Grinning, Sarisa turns the card over to reveal the logo on the front, of a shield emblazoned with an eagle and the word FRONTLINE, and below that, Special Agent Sarisa Kershner, Frontline Squads 1 and 2 Operations Command.

"I'm also your boss."

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