Toe The Line


elisabeth_icon.gif jane2_icon.gif

Scene Title Toe The Line
Synopsis Liz very nearly makes Jane very mad. Also some information is passed around.
Date August 06, 2011

Nondescript Locale

The text was unexpected and abrupt. Need to see you. Pick place, time ASAP. —EH The demand was explicit and there was no apology to it. When Jane texted back a place, Elisabeth texted a simple. C U There. And when Jane actually arrives, the blonde ex-head of FRONTLINE is already there. Trying real hard not to pace.

Jane is a little late, but it's sometimes hard to get away from the mountains of paperwork on her desk. It's a quieter place this time, out of the way since it seemed like they needed to have a serious talk. "You look like you're on a serious caffeine high, with how twitchy you are." She's still dressed for work, including a much more obvious side arm and badge this time around.

"No," Elisabeth says tightly, turning to meet the dark eyes of the agent. The low-level hum off her body, however, is tangible once Jane gets close enough. It prickles gently along the skin, ruffling arm hair and loose strands at the shoulder. "Not caffeine. Did you know that Hansen is looking into the robots, Jane?" Her tone is not accusatory. In point of fact, it's almost… concerned. Worried.

"Hanson looks into a lot of things. It's in her nature." Jane, for one, was expecting much worse news. She cracks a crooked smile, even, when Audrey is mentioned. She isn't worried. But then, she's on the agent's good side, so her point of view's a little different. "A lot of people pay attention to the bots. Why so upset over her?"

"I'm upset over her tie to you," Elisabeth retorts. "Listen to me, Jane… and you can take it for paranoia if you want. But my people came into possession of one of the bots, and they've got footage of another with a man's body beneath its feet. The digging that you are doing is dangerous enough. If Hanson's out there digging on her own — and she's asking questions where people I know are already noticing, like near Midtown — she could very well draw attention to what you're doing. Do you remember the conversation we had about you getting fucking made and then dead in short order? I know you trust her." The blonde pauses. "Is there any possibility that she's the leak that got you killed?" she asks baldly.

There are only a few things that really spark Jane's temper. Generally, she's cool-headed and lets things roll off her back. But there are those few things.

She steps up close to Liz, despite the evidence of her power being there and in use and perhaps a bit unstable, her hands moving to her hips. "Is that what this meeting is about?" She asks, her voice low and certainly angered. "Inferring that Hanson is dumb enough or sloppy enough to get anyone who's looking into things noticed? News flash, Harrison. The moment I looked into it, I opened the doors for getting made and dead. We're not tossing around blame on this one and definitely not to my best friend. If you've got something else, Now'd be a good time for it." Before she leaves, is the implication.

"I'm not accusing her of being sloppy or dumb, Jane," Elisabeth retorts roughly. "I'm asking you if you trust this woman with your life. Seriously. Not because I want you to suspect her, but because if she can be trusted, then the two of you need to be covering one another's back. I don't know this woman, I don't know what her views are or what her ties may be. I came to warn you, in case you didn't know that she was out there hip deep in this shit, so that you could make your call either way on how you want to handle this. I don't want to see any good officers of any kind dead in this if we can fucking help it." Her jaw clenches. "We've already lost too many people who would do the right thing, Jane."

"I trust her with my life, I trust her with my bank account numbers, I'd trust her with my philandering husband, if I had one. And she and I already watch each other's back. It's a thing we do." Jane's annoyance doesn't seem to ebb any, even with the explanation, but she does step back at least. "Is that all? I thought something serious was happening, like Frontline knocking on your door or something."

"Ffft. If that were the case, I'd be going the opposite direction of you," Elisabeth says seriously. "Making goddamn sure that no one could connect us. But yes, in case it is of interest to either of you, I do have some additional information about those bots, and there may come a day it comes in useful. When Alia Chavez was zapped into confinement during her look-see at the AETOS drone, she was imprisoned in a computer over on Staten Island. She was broken out quite some time ago and while she was there, she was digitally cloned into an AI unit. That consciousness is inhabiting some of those bots out there. I don't know how much or how sentient the AI is, if it's sentient at all." She pauses. "And yes… I fucking well know this sounds like a goddamn Terminator movie."

"Digital clones now? What will they think of next." Jane doesn't seem too surprised, really. Not that she knew what happened to Alia, but at this point, she's not putting anything past Mayes and the others. "Well, let's hope it isn't sentient. After we've seen what they do. But putting a digital consciousness in them… rather effective hive mind program, I suppose. If they're all technically one. Also allows them to stop thinking like robots and start thinking on their feet and in the moment. Like they weren't dangerous enough already."

"I can't even begin to guess if it's gone that far," Elisabeth admits. "Chavez is definitely concerned about what a brainwashed technopathic sentience could do, so…. take it under advisement." She pauses and looks around for a moment, blowing out a low breath. "Hanson's not Evo, right?" she asks quietly. Her tone still holds some worry, and her gaze comes back to Jane. "Let me rephrase that — if she is Evo, warn her that going into Midtown and looking for the robots is one hell of a bad way to get dead. There are three kinds that we know of. We got hold of one of the smallest versions to study. There's a cat-like one and a horse-like one, both of them toss out negation gas, and I've heard rumors of people being shot or something. You know how the streets distort intel, so I'm not quite sure what kind of being shot. One group mumbles about lasers, other people say bullets, no real clear imagery yet."

"I'll keep it in mind. If you've got a way to prove there's a consciousness in there and that it's Alia's, pass it along. I'm sure people will just love to hear about that, too." Jane shakes her head a bit as she describes the various bots, a hand reaching up to rub at the bridge of her nose. "Quite a menagerie. I want to know who's designing these. Mattel? I'll make sure Hansen's aware of the new info. I'll be a little sad if they didn't build in a way for them to recognize agents, though. That's just lazy craftsmanship."

For a long time Elisabeth is quiet again. And then she finally says, "The designs are Hector Steel's. And so far as I know, that son of a bitch was taken into custody after Apollo. Best guess, he's building them for the Institute… or the Institute and Mayes. Hard to say which. And considering they're being invested with SOME kind of technopathic intelligence, I'd have to say they're probably being programmed by Colin Verse out on Staten Island. Though what good that information will do you I don't know."

If those names mean anything to Jane, it's hard to tell, as she takes them in with a nod. "Maybe none. But you know never know what piece of the puzzle's going to make the picture clear. Old Korean proverb." Only her sudden crooked smile gives away that it… probably isn't at all, actually. "I would go so far as to say that Mayes at least knows about it, if it wasn't her direct order. I know she was monitoring Alia's condition for some time." A little too convenient.

"She interviewed Alia several times. We have it on record." Elisabeth's eyes are hard. Cop eyes. She was damn good at her job at one time. "Alia was damn near brilliant and smuggled out quite a large store of information. All of which will be going public just as soon as I can make sure it'll stick."

"Timing is everything," Jane says, her hands resting on her hips for a moment. "By the way. If it ever is the man closing in on you, you don't have to run the other way. I might be able to help." Like she isn't the man herself, but she's already sticking her toe in the pool, might as well jump in. Plus, lately, some of her favorite people are crazy terrorists.

Blue eyes study Jane for a moment and then Elisabeth smiles faintly. "I'll keep that in mind." She pauses and then adds quietly, "Thank you." Strange bedfellows indeed. "Watch yourself, Jane." Shoving her hands in her pockets, the blonde turns to slip away.

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