Under the Shadow Of Liberty


alphonse_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif voss_icon.gif

Scene Title Under the Shadow of Liberty
Synopsis Kaylee and Elisabeth work with SESA to secure a meeting with the former Company magi, Alphonse Baumann.
Date May 29, 2019

Bright noon-day sun shines down from a clear sky speckled with sea birds.

Cutting across the Hudson River, a US Coast Guard transportable port security boat is a bright spot of white and red against a field of midnight blue. The wind is warm and gentle today, blowing languidly across the deck. Near the front of the ship, leaning against the metal railings, Kaylee Sumter’s hair whips in the wind, her hands firmly gripping the railing as the ship dips up and down against the river's chop. Not far behind her, Elisabeth Harrison recalls the last time she was on a ship this small, out over abyssal black waters not far north from here, in a world more water than land.

The island coming up on approach is one of the landmarks that makes Elisabeth feel like she never made it home. No matter what the world was, even the god-awful wasteland and what remained after the flood, the Statue of Liberty still stood. Admittedly only the torch was visible above the waves of that last timeline, but it was symbolic and present. But here, now, in what is supposed to be her home the Statue of Liberty is reduced to a mangled stump of metal affixed to its plinth.

The concrete wall around Liberty Island makes it look more like a fortification than the tourist attraction it once was. Concertina wire rings the top of the wall, watchtowers and automatic turrets aimed inward perched at the corners of the wall. What this island is now is perhaps more of an injustice than the sorry state that it’s in.

They built a prison in her shadow.

Liberty Island Detention Center

Liberty Island

NYC Safe Zone

May 29


The shadow cast by Liberty Island is a long and dark one. A place that once stood for the American ideal now represents everything that went wrong with it. That the Statue of Liberty was destroyed in the war is a tragedy, though there's no clear account of who or what actually destroyed it. It's presumed to have been demolished by the bombing raids that leveled New York City. History hasn't quite come around to determine the truth of that yet.

But the concrete walls surrounding Liberty Island tell a different story, the island’s recent past. First as a detention and interrogation center for the Department of Evolved Affairs during the civil war, now turned around as a prison that houses the most heinous of war criminals awaiting trial. It is a place of solemn uncertainty, and a dark window through which the world can be viewed.

As the Coast Guard vessel docks outside the concrete wall, Elisabeth and Kaylee are permitted off and immediately greeted by Liberty Island security. “Lieutenant Harrison, Detective Sumter,” is the warm greeting from a tall and thin man with thick-framed glasses, dressed in a crisp black suit bearing a plastic badge that reads SESA across the top. Before he even introduces himself, they can read his name as,

“Kristopher Voss, SESA-NY Deputy Director,” he says with a business-first tone, extending a hand out to Elisabeth. “The Department of Justice has me pulling split duty until the last of the prisoners on Liberty Island are moved out. We’re hoping to decommission the facility entirely, so I’ll ask you to pardon the state of things.”

There's a split second where cognitive dissonance makes Elisabeth hesitate to take the proffered hand, a moment where she flashes back to the first person whose hand she shook in the Virus world so many years ago… and from that moment forward, David Cardinal could see everything she did. It's informed Elisabeth's interactions with others ever since, where she casually manages to not shake hands with people. Kaylee can feel the subtle and very momentary freeze in her muscles before Liz takes the proffered hand. "Director Voss," she greets him with a brief smile. "Don't worry about the state of things — we're not here to grade you," she assures him. "We appreciate that you're making the time to allow us to speak to your detainee."

“Deputy-Director,” Kaylee offers politely in greeting with a bright smile, when she steps out of the boat. Of course, she doesn’t leave the boat, without offering a thank you to their transport. Manners and all.

Since Elizabeth is her superior in this situation the telepath falls silent while they get their greetings out of the way and letting her attention drift around them. To Kaylee, it felt a bit depressing being out there. Growing up in a rather patriotic state, seeing the symbol of freedom reduced to this… a pity. Especially now it was a symbol for the evil in the world.

“I'm not sure if the NYPD has fully briefed either of you on what the Justice Department is planning here,” Voss says as he briskly turns toward the steel security gate and the military police guards watching it, escorting Elisabeth and Kaylee off the pier and beyond the concrete wall into the courtyard. “There’ve been some— ongoing security concerns regarding this facility for a number of years now. The Justice Department has recently completed work on the Plum Island SLC-Expressive Center on Long Island, but that can't and won't be turned into a prison.”

Voss’ stride is swift and precise as he guides the two women through the courtyard and past a number of armed security officers to the front doors of the pedestal. “We’re hoping to have the full complement of prisoners moved to an expansion wing on Riker’s Island by next year at the latest, but we’re planning to move some of the least at-risk prisoners first. The ones yet to go to trial, like your prisoner, will remain here until sentencing.”

Through the doorway, Voss is quick to move Elisabeth and Kaylee through metal detectors where their sidearms are held until the end of their stay. Plastic lanyards with visitor badges are printed for them both, already having a photograph pulled from their Registry card. “Mr. Baumann’s trial is likely at least six months away, given the complexity of his case…”

And it's there that Voss stops in the middle of a hallway, turning around and abruptly looking Elisabeth square in the eyes. He doesn't say anything as a correctional officer walks past, and only then speaks in a low but serious tone. “Your requisition would have been denied if it hadn't crossed my desk,” he says flatly. “A civilian law enforcement Lieutenant and a detective with no active duty roster don't get to see federal prisoners in a whim.”

Voss looks over the dark frames of his glasses to Kaylee, then back to Elisabeth. “But you're Elisabeth Harrison and Kaylee Sumter and Secretary Zimmerman is quite aware of your reputations for extracurricular investigatory work. But this?” He motions in a circle around them. “Stops here until you fill me in on why exactly you want to see Baumann.”

Well now… let's begin as we mean to go on, shall we? Elisabeth's chin comes up and she smiles politely at Voss. Tipping her head slightly to one side, encloses the three of them in a silence field, simply for her own peace of mind. «Kaylee, would you mind monitoring this conversation from his side, please?» Her blue eyes hold Voss's gaze easily and she feels the instinctive pleasant-but-neutral mask slide into place in her expression. His challenge is a reasonable one on some levels, and she treats it as such.

"Director Voss, I appreciate your position in this matter — it's awkward, to say the least, when you aren't given the full explanation for why things are happening. And some of the explanation, I'm sorry to say, is information that I'm not allowed to disclose under the auspices of national security. However, what I can tell you is that Baumann may have information pertinent to an investigation that began with 'the Incident' in New Mexico around the time I first arrived home. It's entirely possible that whatever he knows was redacted during his time as an agent in the Company, but given the relevance of his possible information and the sensitive nature of what he may know, it is imperative that we speak in person. If or when there is actually intelligence that has any coherence to it, I can promise you that I don't play jurisdiction games. SESA will know as much as I do."

A glance goes to Elisabeth at the request, brows lifting, but not at what he is telling her, but at what she’s asking of the telepath. «He’s a government official. We have to show some trust. I’ll take the blame if this goes sideways.» The mental voice sounds uncomfortable at what she’s being asked. “He knows all about New Mexico,” said as an aside to Liz.

Turning her attention to Voss, Kaylee offers him a pleasant smile, not unlike the ones she used at Raytech. “Thank you for intercepting the requisition. As she said, we believe that he may have information pertaining to what happened in New Mexico, mainly…” after a quick for who was close, before lowering her voice a little. “…what came through. We’ve learned that what happened has been potentially repeated in the past. “ She holds up her fingers, “Twice and defeated both times.” She gives him a significant look, offering up her trust as she lays out the information. “However, the Company in their infinite wisdom - ” Yes that is sarcasm “ - destroyed all information on what happened to protect the world, but…” Hands spread helplessly.

“We believe there is a failsafe… somewhere. So far, the Company has been quite thorough in removing everything about those two past encounters.” Kaylee glances at Liz and then to Voss. “So here we are checking under all of the rocks. So to speak. Please trust, Deputy-Director, that just like with Kenner, we will not keep y’all in the dark. This is your country as much as our and we all want to keep the people in it safe.”

Looking like a rocket about to go off, Voss’ puckered expression flattens when Kaylee does some damage control. The slender man instead reaches up to adjust his tie and flash a measured smile in response. “With Kenner gone, you’ll be pleased to know that I have been looped in on all classified matters of national security, up to and including the overlay event and your very dramatic rendition of Homer’s The Odyssey.

But with a look to Kaylee, Voss’ brows furrow thoughtfully. “There’s a file sitting on my desk back at Fort Jay that has Eve Mas’ name on it and a frowny face someone — probably Kenner — drew in the margins. I’m not entirely unfamiliar with the concept of an expressive that lives between here and there,” he says with a motion of one hand and the other, “but aside from some very convincing theories and conjecture, we don’t yet have any hard physical evidence. Obviously someone caused Eve Mas to kill those people in Nevada, and we’re fairly sure it wasn’t just a psychotic break, but before we start packing elephants two-by-two on a big boat, I’d like to take a grounded approach.”

Voss looks back to Elisabeth, then Kaylee, and tucks his hands into his pockets. “Last I checked, neither of you were SESA agents. Last I checked, neither of your police duties have started yet. Last I checked, the war was over?” He sounds a bit dubious on that last part. “So I’m curious to know why you want to handle this conversation yourselves, rather than let us do it based on your lead. I’m not doubting you’re right, that Baumann had ties to the Company — not that we can prove that on paper or in a court, but that’s something the DoJ is working on. What I’d like to instill is a sense of structure,” Voss says with a gesture made to box up Elisabeth and Kaylee together, “and that you’re not deputized to just launch halfway into extant federal investigations.”

What sounds like a stonewall ends with something quieter instead. “But so long as Secretary Zimmerman is in charge, you heroes do have some latitude to tap us on the shoulder from time to time. So,” Voss inclines his head, “would you like to, officially accompany me to a routine interview of Alfonse Baumann? As an interdepartmental learning exercise?” That last sentence is said louder, for distant ears. The implication couldn’t be clearer.

Elisabeth's expression eases too, when Kaylee informs her that Voss knows. She's trying really hard not to step too far over those lines, after all. She smiles just a little, her relief evident. "They can't hear anything," she offers quietly. A small shrug lifts her shoulders and she admits, "Old habit and given the topic at hand, it's … just precaution. And it makes it a hell of a lot easier that you already know — it means I don't have to dodge the questions. I apologize for the non-answer." She pauses, tipping her head and considering him quietly.

A war, yes. Officially, yes.” Kaylee points out, knowing full well he knows it, “But as you know, through human history there has always been a war. Where one ends, another fills its place. It’s human nature. Above the board and below, there is always something going on. Something is trying to fill that void and I’d personally, likes to see it stopped before it becomes war.”

Though as the man continues, he does have a point, Kaylee finds herself nods along in agreement. “I understand the need for structure. I do, but the things in the shadows don’t always understand it. Like she said, it’s out there. We’re trying to find it the best way we can so that y’all can be there to stop whatever it plans.” And them really… always them.

Taking Kaylee's lead, Elisabeth answers his not-quite-query. "The hard physical evidence you want is going to be harder to come by than anyone would like, but it's out there. We've come across a couple of project names and a couple of agent code names, and that's where Baumann comes in." She is not bringing up Adam's name right now. "Extracurricular investigations are… something we're good at, and we know that official channels can only act on solid information. Which is why it's not official." And she lets him hear a subtle dropping tone to indicate she's dropping the silence field. "I really appreciate your willingness to allow us to tag along on this, Director."

Listening to Liz, Kaylee has a thought. “Before we leave today, I’ll make sure you have my current contact information, no doubt you have Richard’s. If you ever want to have a conversation about what is known of the non-physical evidence, I’m willing to help.” Kaylee gives a bit of a shrug and can’t help but grin with her next offer. “I know telepathic evidence is not accepted on the legal level, but I can show you the place between. I’ve been there.” She lets that sink in, motioning him to proceed.

“After you, Deputy-Director. It would be an honor to accompany you and see how one of the top SESA agents conducts an interview,” Kaylee adds as the field comes down, a little louder for ears around them. To be honest, she’s probably not lying there.

Voss is visibly careful on how he handles this. He flicks a look to Kaylee, not really recognizing outwardly what she said, and then settles his attention on Elisabeth instead. “I hope you’ll come to ask permission first, not forgiveness second, because eventually mom and dad are going to get upset.” But he doesn’t linger on it. Instead, Voss breaks away from Elisabeth and Kaylee to lead them further down the hall.

“There’s a delicate balance with these things,” Voss says carefully. “The Ferrymen pardons were delivered explicitly under the conditions that they stop any and all extrajudicial activities, and they can be revoked. Unilaterally.” Voss looks back at Elisabeth as he says that. “Now, I’m not saying Raymond Praeger, of all people, is going to pull the rug out from under you. But Mr. Praeger won’t always be president. We’re going to have to be prepared to weather unfavorable administrations eventually, and the less ammunition they’re giving to scrutinize your good-faith measures the better…”

There’s an implication in what Voss says, of good faith and weathering administrations. It’s hard for Elisabeth not to notice that SCOUT is stacked with Ex-Ferrymen and their assorted allies. It’s hard for her not to see that people like Robyn wound up in SESA. It’s as if someone knew that eventually they’d need legitimate channels to continue doing what they’ve done in the shadow before, and painted very bright lines to show where the threshold between legal and illegal sits. That firings like what happened to Kenner were protective in nature, to place blame at the feet of those who were less guilty so as to draw suspicion away.

It’s as if someone is preparing for the worst.

“Mr. Baumann,” Voss picks back up after a short walk through a security checkpoint, “was arrested last year in conjunction with a DHS operation that led to not only the arrest of the deputy assistant to the attorney general’s counterterrorism division, a man by the name of Jason Pierce. Pierce was one of those cockroaches that survived the culling of the DoEA administration. He toed the line, played his cards straight, and kept running black operations behind our backs…”

Continuing at his brisk pace, Voss occasionally flicks a look at Elisabeth and Kaylee to make sure they’re following along. “Pierce was Humanis First, it turns out. He had a surgical implant in his cranium, a remote-controlled bomb that analyzed his speech to check for kill words. If he tried to divulge what he was doing,” Voss makes two burst motions with his hands at head level. “Ultimately this led us and our contractors at Wolfhound into a joint operation that ended with the death of Georgia Mayes and the rest of her Humanis First flunkies. But Baumann… he was a paid operator for them, a cleaner. He erased physical evidence of wrongdoing, largely worked pro-bono, which was suspicious.”

Stopping at a metal door, Voss looks back to Elisabeth and Kaylee. “Turns out Baumann had one of these implants as well, was abducted during the war and turned to work for Humanis First against his will, covertly. But we’ve dug up that he was also a member of the Company and the Justice Department has been working on building a case against him for the last year. Odds are he’ll go up for trial at Albany and, I’ll be honest, the prognosis isn’t good.”

Hand on the door, Voss asks, “Any other questions about Baumann before we step into the interrogation room?”

"'Mom and dad' don't have anything to worry about," Elisabeth tells him quietly. If nothing else, she's been made very well aware that SESA and NYPD are going to be full partners. And in truth, she would like to have the faith in the system that she used to have.

As they walk, she listens to what he's already got on Baumann, mentally comparing it to the information she has from the Baumann that she's met. Those things with Humanis First obviously didn't happen to the one she met. "Is there room here if he does have information that we all need that a deal could be made for him?" she asks Voss thoughtfully. Not because she necessarily thinks he should get such a thing, she's simply seeking out leverage there might be. "Or rather… let me rephrase this and ask you, with Fifth Amendment protections in place, is there any room to have his answers off the record if it comes down to it? And would you prefer that any questions we have go to your ears only so that you can ask them instead of us?" She isn't sure what leeway he'll offer them once in the room, if any.

Kaylee trails behind a little, listening to what is said. What she knows is limited to what she’s been told by Elisabeth and her brother. The mention of cranial bombs gets a grimace, but nothing more. Her mind drifts a little, listening to the hum of minds around them Then her friend poses that last set of questions and pulls her focus back to what’s going on in front of her. Brows lifting a bit. It was a bold question and a good one. The telepath watches Voss with interest.

“Baumann is aware of the leverage he has to cooperate for a diminished sentence. What we know presently about his actions is looking toward life in prison…” Voss says with a look between Kaylee and Elisabeth. “But that could all change if he volunteers that he participated in bag and tags or some of the deeper conspiracies against the American government. That said,” Voss shrugs, “others have been able to cut deals, and if he can deliver someone like Adam Monroe into our laps…” there’s a sigh, tired and heavy, “maybe that changes things.”

But Voss waves his hand in the air. “You’re here for a learning exercise, officially. If you come up with questions that assist an ongoing investigation no one is going to bat an eyelash twice. I’ll be sure to make certain Detective Sumter knows otherwise if you’re pushing in a hazardous direction.” Voss levels a knowing look at Kaylee, then takes out his keycard and runs it through the proximity detector on the door, turning the light from red to green. The dooz buzzes, and Voss pulls it open into one half of a divided interrogation room. It’s dark inside, with a single large two-way mirror, a computer monitor showing a security camera footage of the room, a couple desks, and a small electric coffee pot.

A door in the corner of the room leads into the other side, where through the two-way mirror Elisabeth and Kaylee can see a man in his early sixties, curly hair gray at the temples, face sagging and sullen. The glasses he wears make him look tired and older, and the gray jumpsuit he’s wearing serves as a stark reminder to him of his place in the world, surrounded by white-painted concrete blocks under fluorescent lights.

“Mr. Baumann’s been in there for about twenty minutes,” Voss says as he walks up to the mirror. “From what I understand the mirror is rated for telepaths, it shouldn’t interfere with psychic communication, should you want to stay in here,” he says to Kaylee, “while Liz goes in.” There’s more meaning to his words than that, but it’s a more nuanced play.

The subtlety is not lost on the telepath, a corner of her mouth upturns ever so slightly at the veiled suggestion. Slipping past Liz, Kaylee approaches the mirror, her eyes fully on the man in the jumpsuit. One thing she prides herself is on a light touch, to look unnoticed into someone’s mind. While she could, she simply allows herself to listen to the mental hum on the other side.

Satisfied Voss was right, Kaylee turns her gaze to the man next to her, realizing a little off handed that they were of similar height. “I like how you think, Deputy-Director.” Her reputation being as it is, there was a chance Baumann would recognize the telepath. Here, she could work freely. A reassuring grin is then offered to Elisabeth. “I’ll be right here if you need me. Just think loudly.”

Elisabeth is actually happy with the 'learning exercise' cover — practice makes perfect, after all, and she only had a relatively minimal time as a detective before being apprehended and sent off to be something entirely different than a cop. She knows she has things to learn and is open to doing it, though the blonde is a little nervous about handling this on her own, in some ways. She nods to Kaylee and Voss, then her gaze flickers over the man sitting in the room and she blows out a slow breath. All right, then. The mask of neutral pleasantry is firmly in place when she moves to enter the other room.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Baumann," she greets politely as she moves forward to sit down across from him. "I'm sorry to keep you waiting." Politeness costs her nothing, after all. He seems, at first glance, to be a broken shell of the man that she met in Cassandra's world. But then again… he worked as a cleaner. She's wary. "My name is Liz Harrison. I'd like to ask you a few questions." As she lowers herself into the chair, her casual tone remains easy despite the words that she lobs into the middle of the table like a verbal hand grenade. "About your role as one of Arthur Petrelli's Magi."

There is immediate recognition on Alphonse’s face at the word magi. He looks at Elisabeth with an assessing expression that is accompanied by silent patience and a brief look to the two-way mirror. “Magi,” Alphonse says quietly, settling his cuffed hands onto the table with a clatter of the chains on the metal tabletop. “That's a name I haven't heard in a long time.”

Everything about Alphonse strikes Elisabeth as a practiced speaker, careful and measured in his words. She'd known from her time with Cassandra that her father was a district attorney in Louisiana, which puts him squarely in both an educated understanding of his legal rights and well-possessed of linguistic art. That makes his prior admission all the more surprising.

It's now that Elisabeth can see a curving surgery scar in Alphonse’s hair above his right ear and extending from temple to the back of his head. It is evidence of the surgery needed to remove his cranial implant. Elisabeth has experienced the business end of those in the wasteland hell of another Georgia Mayes. It is among the things she has pushed deep, deep down. Out of necessity.

“That was a very long time ago, Ms. Harrison. As you're likely aware, the Company maintained some strict information control procedures, of which I have no personal control over.” Alphonse is careful with his wording. “But, I am eager to cooperate with law enforcement and help you in whatever capacity I'm capable of.” He knows precisely what he's doing.

Behind the glass, Kaylee’s attention in on Alphonso. Listening. Observing. “How much do you know of that, Deputy-Director? The magi?” Her head twitches his way, even though her eyes and ability are on the scene beyond. “Your information on the Company cover that?” With those questions, Kaylee is offering herself up to answer any he might have… though her knowledge isn’t as vast.

"I'm sure you are," Elisabeth agreed kindly. "After all, your cooperation will certainly be part of what determines your outcome." She's the daughter of two lawyers — she knows legal double-talk when she hears it. "So let me lay out for you what I already know, and perhaps whatever blanks you fill in will help your situation a little.

"As I understand the magi, you three — yourself, Mister Abraham, and another —" she doesn't want to out Martin Pines as yet, "worked together to redact any information that you were asked to. But I'm also aware that certain situations required all three of you. So before we touch on any particular situation, perhaps you could talk to me about the kinds of situations you encountered that required all three of you? And do you know whether your own memories have been manipulated or removed in those cases?"

“I'm certain they have been,” Alphonse says with a slow spread of his hands. “Caspar, you already know of him. He was information retention, memories. Every time the magi performed an operation for the Company we had the details… sanitized.” He's very clinical with his explanations.

“My recollection of specifics, therefore, will be limited.” Alphonse explains. “But I do recall the general nature of my work for the Company. I was called in to remove physical evidence of Company activities, property damage, and the like. Caspar would handle the memories, and then Melchior would be given a situation report to memorize. He was the only one of us who was trusted to know everything. A living record.”

Alphonse spreads his hands and shrugs. “It sounds to me like he's the man you want, though I can neither remember his real name nor what he looked like. Now, if you want to talk about what I did for the Institute or Humanis First, they had less exacting information security procedures.”

Behind the two-way mirror, Voss takes a step closer to Kaylee. “We know they existed, but outside of Abraham and Baumann, we’re not sure who they are. They were mentioned by their codenames in Company dossiers and we knew of Abraham from Institute operatives who worked with him. Baumann slipped under our radar. And whoever Melchior is?” Voss angles a look over at Kaylee. “Your guess is as good as mine.”

It isn't. Hers is much better.

«Seems he is a mystery to everyone, sis.» Kaylee’s voice thoughtful in Elisabeth’s head, confirming that SESA doesn’t know either, without Voss knowing.

“We have a lead,” Kaylee offers up, she did say she’d open with the man. As much as he can. “My brother, Richard, is checking out the validity of the claim as we speak. No use throwing a man to the court of public opinion if our information is bad.” If anyone understands public opinion, it was her. “The other two were known, Melchior not so much.” Glancing over she gives him a small reassuring smile, even as her stomach twists with anxiety. Will he be okay with that for now?

After a moment, Kaylee adds a bit more reassurance, “Besides, it was postcognitive.. Bordering on telepathic information from a long dead man,” sorta, “so it isn’t quite useful to you, yet. Won’t hold up in court right now.” Those rules were as useful as they were frustrating for her.

“We would rather be able to give you actionable intel,” Kaylee comments, “Instead of a dead lead.”

Tipping her head, Elisabeth asks curiously, "So did Mr. Abraham's ability not work on Melchior? Or was he simply trusted that much?"

“He was trusted,” Alphonse says, though his expression shows some measure of resentment to that. “Out of everyone, he was trusted the most. Someone, I can’t remember who,” he says with a furrow of his brows, “once called him, moral beyond reproach.” But from the way Alphonse’s lips purse, it doesn’t seem as though he believes that. “You don’t get to associate yourself with the Company and be considered a saint.”

While it should end there, Alphonse takes an extra step and shares something further. “Ms. Nakamura,” is a name Elisabeth hadn’t expected him to say, “even used her ability to… “ he spreads his hands far apart, “unnaturally extend his life, somehow. So he’d be a continued piece of value for the Company. Don’t ask me how whatever she did worked, I either don’t know or was made to forget.”

Behind the two-way mirror, Voss looks from the conversation over to Kaylee. “Your brother needs to share the information he’s gathering with us as he receives it,” is delivered with a chastising tone. “Last I checked he was running a technology company, not a spy ring.” However literal Voss is about that, he understands Richard’s predilections. The whole government does. It’s why he was never offered a position. Ezekiel’s legacy.

“You’ll get it. If not by him, then once I know.” Kaylee doesn’t look at Voss when he looks at her. The telepath can feel his eyes on her, but she stays focused on the room. “Richard is getting better with trusting, but he’s like a dog that’s been swatted too often for what the cat did. It still happens now and then.” Her head slowly nods towards Liz on the other side. “Same with her, she hasn’t had the years to learn to trust the new government. She’s only had a few months.”

Finally, Kaylee pulls her attention from the mirror. “I know it’s tough. Waiting. I’ll encourage him to share what he found, if not, I’ll make sure you get it.” Kaylee might not work at Raytech anymore, but she still plays liaison for her brother when needed.

Elisabeth watches Alphonse thoughtfully, listening not only to what he's saying but to the nuances of his words. A single brow rises at the information that Kimiko extended Melchior's life. That's news to her, and she considers the meaning of what he's said. 'Moral beyond reproach.' Interesting concept. Pulling in a slow breath, she nods slightly. "So if Melchior could be identified and found, he might have the memories of a… person… who has more powers than even someone like Sylar ever gained," she observes. She doesn't use the word 'entity' for now, seeking out whether he even knows of the existence of such a thing.

"Mr. Baumann… you said Institute information wasn't as heavily redacted. So… I know of several projects that I'd like your insight on. Their file codenames were Gemini, Hydra, and Umbra. Do any of those project names mean anything to you?" Now she's listening for the telltale physiological indicators of lying.

There’s not much reaction to the description of a mosaic’s abilities, save that Alphonse’s eyes search Elisabeth’s features for more context. But when those project names are listed, there’s unhidden recognition in his eyes. “I recognize them, in so much that I was aware they existed. I was called on to clean up operations from Gemini once,” he indicates with an incline of his head, “this would have been before the war, after Daniel Linderman’s arrest, when I was just starting to work with the Institute. I was brought to a facility in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and made to clean blood and DNA evidence out of concrete. I heard one of the men there mention a project Gemini. I never learned what it was.”

To the other projects, Alphonse seems less educated. “Hydra I’ve heard of, mentioned in passing in conversations I wasn’t involved in. I do know that Jonas Zimmerman was the lead researcher on that, along with Elijah Carpenter, I believe. I don’t think either of those men are alive any longer.” Which Alphonse is certainly correct about. They’re buried under hundreds of feet of concrete beneath the ruins of Cambridge in the irradiated wreckage of the Ark.

“Umbra…” Alphonse narrows his eyes, his focus going distant and eyes tracking from side to side. “It doesn’t sound familiar. That doesn’t mean I didn’t know of it, only that I don’t now.

Behind the glass, Voss makes a small noise in the back of his throat regarding Richard. “I’ll believe it when he does it.” Elisabeth, at least, he has some measure more of hope for.

Voss’ comments illicets a smirk. Not a smug thing, but something filled with understanding. Kaylee couldn’t get mad at that. She really couldn’t. “Don’t blame you,” she says with the lightest touch amusement glancing at him at the corner of her eye. She could tell him right now, but she didn’t want to endanger her brother’s chances at answers.

Shifting gears, Kaylee’s eyes narrow in thought at the man on the other side. “Umbra is a project that no one seems to remember. They haven’t found any information on it yet. The only thing known is it is about an inoculation.” Which is concerning in its own right.

There is a sudden sigh, her head shaking slowly, “I’m sorry to say, I’m not getting much from him. I mean, it makes sense.” Shoulders lift in acceptance. “Company agents tend of have strong resistance and training against someone like me. Pretty sure if I push, I can break through,” she angles a look over at Voss, “but, he’ll know, not to mention the legal issues that could come from that. I don’t want to screw up your case.” The man deserved to be prosecuted.

Considering him with a steady gaze, Elisabeth's hesitation wouldn't be apparent to most. "The director of the Institute had his hands in a lot of dirty business," she observes finally. Only Kaylee will pick up on the pang of sadness that flashes through her at the memory of Ezekiel. "Did he or the Institute itself have dealings that you're aware of with Adam Monroe?"

“Not that I’m aware of,” Alphonse carefully indicates, spreading his hands helplessly. “But there were rumors floating around for a long time of other organizations — more than just the Department of Evolved Affairs — trying to get their fingers into things there. I didn’t have much face-time with the Institute’s executive level, I primarily interfaced through Erica Kravid. I never spoke with the Director in any capacity.” Who conveniently died during the Wolfhound operation in California.

Behind the glass, Voss takes one long look at Kaylee, then reaches down and presses the intercom button beside the computer. “Lieutenant Harrison, if you could pause the interview for fifteen minutes? I need to step away.”

Voss then reaches over and pauses the video and audio recording on the laptop. “I need to use the bathroom,” he says casually, “shouldn’t be more than fifteen minutes. We can resume when I’m back.” And Voss’ eyes linger on Kaylee’s as he makes his way for the door, then out into the hall.

Even before the door is fully closed, Kaylee is turning back to the mirror and the two beyond. Blue eyes focus on Baumann, her ability curling around his mind, though she doesn’t press in yet. Fifteen minutes. Well, she might as well make the best of it.

«Keep him distracted and talking, Liz. I’m going to press him. Fifteen minutes.» The last offered as a reminder. Eyes close as her attention is fully given over to what she needs to do.

Tendrils of her ability seek for a weak spot in the man’s defenses, testing for that perfect spot to press into him. Taking a page out of the snake’s book, the telepath starts whispering, soft and low, in the back of his mind, adding power into the words. «Tell your secrets, Balthazar. You know you want to.» It’s like running silk over skin. Kaylee’s poised ready to take those thoughts of reluctance and… encourage him to give up those skeletons.

Unlike in the past, there wasn’t the same temptation or that same thrill that came with attempting to manipulate someone into compliance.

He's taking a break? What? Elisabeth can't help the momentary puzzlement but she replies calmly, "Certainly, Agent Voss."

«Be careful!» As a non-telepath, her ability to shield is limited, but Kaito Nakamura taught her everything he could. Likely Baumann has similar. Elisabeth keeps her blue eyes on him. She gives a few additional moments before she says finally, "You know, I don't have any kind of say over what happens to you, and I get that you're going to cover your ass, Mr. Baumann. But now that we do have these few moments off the record, it's a good time to ask the questions more … bluntly. I know for a fact that our world has been attacked on a couple of occasions by, for lack of a better term, a being. It was driven off, and record of it expunged. But it's happening again. It is coming. If you don't know what I'm talking about, well… then you're of no use to me. If you do know what I'm talking about, I think it's about time you started talking to me, sir."

What the hell is she on about now? Kaylee can hear Alphonse’s unguarded thought as she presses into his mind, but only for a moment before a barrage of confused thoughts make it difficult to sort through. “Unless you’re talking about… I don’t know, Kazimir Volken, I don’t have a frame of reference for what you’re on about, Ms. Harrison.”

Alphonse spreads his hands slowly. “The Company wasn’t fond of allowing retired members to retain their recollection of sensitive information, and there’s nothing from my tenure with the Institute that makes me think we’re thinking of the same things.” Kaylee’s suggestion seems to be working, it’s loosened his thoughts some too. What the fuck is going on here?

Behind the glass in the privacy of the room, there is a hiss of frustration. “I know there has to be…” The telepath falls silent again, all concentration placed on the man being questioned. Already Kaylee feels the twing of pain in that spot in the center of her forehead. Without touch, an already resistant mind took serious effort.

At first, Kaylee wonders if she was wrong, but slowly a thought occurs to her. Almost everyone she’s met with a portion of the brain manipulated about the events, has also had a door. Like a predator after some unknowing prey Kaylee sniffs out Charles’ work. Knows it well. This might not be the case with Baumann, but it was a lead.

"No, Mr. Baumann, I'm on about a situation wherein your Company compatriots attempted to re-create the Looking Glass project that ripped holes in the very fabric of reality in 1982. And when they did, it resulted in the Magi having to wipe peoples minds. Is any of this ringing any bells for you at all?"

Elisabeth doesn't really expect that he'll remember. Her hope is that by throwing the facts at him, it will force his mind along certain pathways that may let Kaylee slip through a crack. If Caspar took all the knowledge, though, they are barking up the wrong tree.

“Nothing,” Alphonse says, eyes narrowing, “about that sounds familiar to be at all.” Which Kaylee confirms in so much as his surface thoughts seem to corroborate. But that isn't even where the telepath’s attention is, but rather the state and form of Alphonse’s mind. It's here that she finds something wholly different from what she's experienced with Elisabeth.

In Alphonse’s mind there is clear evidence of the mnemonic tampering that Charles was so well-known for. But it isn't blocks. It's like wallpaper over a window, and behind that window is…


Huge portions of Alphonse’s memories are total fabrications, vast swaths of a period in time of his life are constructions woven whole-cloth by Charles Deveaux to cover up what is literally just massive gaps in Alphonse’s memory. Circuits in his mind re-wired to reference handmade events rather than the actual point of history, as it was surgically removed by someone with an incredibly deft psychic gift. Given the way the memories are removed…

They were likely taken by Caspar Abraham.

“As a I said,” Alphonse states with a raise of one brow, “my time with the Company is hazy at best. For good reason? Who can say?”

There is something, though, a piece of memory neither erased by Caspar nor manufactured by Charles Deveaux. It's something done by a less seasoned hand, a memory block designed to be dismissed and skipped over if a short moment in time was discovered. But Kaylee can't know what's behind the block without undoing it and…

…that comes with its own risks.

“Perhaps there's something more present-tense that you're interested in?” Alphonse asks with a slow spread of his hands. “Perhaps I might offer insight into some dealings of the Institute? Or have they all been found?” What sort of game is this?

«His memories have been cored out completely in areas.» What she’s seen leaves a chill that settles into her core. As much as she admires the Company’s founder, she shivers at the thought of what Charles was willing to do. Kaylee leaves what he has done in place, better to allow Baumann the false memories, rather then the empty gaping void.

«But there is a block. Sloppy. Not anyone I recognize. Inexperienced.» The telepath’s voice is thoughtful in Liz’s head after she feels carefully at the edges of the block. There was a time Kaylee could blame her curiosity on the snake that once curled up in the back of her mind. Not this time.

«I’m going to unravel it…»

Then she is gone from the other woman’s head so that she can fully concentrate on the block, taking her time to pluck at the loose threads, pulling the structure apart. Memorizing the feels for when she counters it again. Much like so many others, each a fingerprint of that particular person.

Kaylee holds her breath and reaches for what is on the other side.

It's unfortunate, Elisabeth sighs inwardly, that the Company was so fucking thorough. Pursing her lips, though, she simply nods. "Well, it was worth a shot," she observes. "Did it ever bother you, working as a cleaner for the Company and the Institute?" The more casual question and the follow-up isn't meant to elicit a lot of information — just to keep his attention. "It must have been hard, making sure Cassandra didn't touch things that would enlighten her." She pauses a moment and then says, "She was a pretty amazing young lady. I had the privilege of meeting her. I'm very sorry for your loss, Mr. Baumann."

Alphonse’s brows furrow, both from what Elisabeth said and unknowingly the psychic strain of what Kaylee is doing in his mind. “Cas— ” he makes a soft noise in the back of his throat. “Cassie manifested in 2010, long after I retired from the Company. Who do you think protected her from the Institute? From what they would have done to her?” There’s heat in Alphonse’s voice, defiant protectiveness of his daughter. It’s the first time he’s emoted this entire meeting.

“I’m— ” Alphonse begins to say, except



It’s raining.

In the driver’s seat of an old Lincoln, Alphonse Baumann cradles a pack of cigarettes in one hand. There’s one unlit in his lips, just hanging there. Rain falls in sheets down the windshield of the car, the engine off, shadows of the alley its parked in dark amid the diffuse gray light of a stormy day. Blinking, Alphonse looks around the car, then plucks the cigarette from his lips and considers it carefully. He sighs, sliding it back into the pack. He’s quitting today.

When the passenger side door of the car opens a cold autumn breeze blows in, along with the short-haired blonde that comes with it. Alice Shaw settles down into the seat beside Alphonse, shaking off the rain and looking at him with wide eyes. Sighing, Alphonse looks over at Alice and then down to the pack of cigarettes in his lap. For a while neither says anything, until he hands the pack over to her.

Hesitantly, Alice takes the pack of cigarettes from Alphonse, reaching inside with two fingers. It’s a roll of paper she removes, no cigarettes. As she unfurls the slip of paper, Alice’s brows furrow in deep thought. “Prison.” She looks up to Alphonse with worried eyes. Alphonse nods shallowly, and Alice crumples the paper up in her hand and throws it into the ashtray of the car.

“That’s all my informant could get me. I can’t get to him, they’re keeping him on Level 5 in the Bronx facility now.” Each word from Alphonse causes Alice to slouch down further in her seat, scrubbing a hand over her mouth, eyes working from side to side slowly.


“Thank you,” Alice says in a whisper. She doesn’t mean it.

Alphonse, tensely, reaches across the divide and gently rests a reassuring hand on Alice’s shoulder. “I don’t know what your history with him is, Ms. Shaw, but… I assure you, if anything changes you’ll be the first to know.”

Alice warily eyes the hand, then looks over at Alphonse. She’s about to say something when a small, dark shape moves past the passenger side window. Alice exhales a breathless, near-silent gasp of shock and Alphonse quickly draws his revolver from his jacket and bursts out of the driver’s side. The rain is coming down in torrential sheets, and Alphonse circles around the back of the car, ignoring the man who was sitting in the back, who is now just a blurry shadow with the sheets of rain coming down the windows.

Instead, his focus is locked on the—

“What the hell?”


Alice comes out of the passenger side of the car into the rain, moving around the back of the car where she comes upon Alphonse holding a five year old girl at gunpoint. She needn’t fire a sharp look at him for him to stop, because the child is doing the same as well. Exhaling a sharp sigh, Alphonse looks up to Alice. “I know her,” he says with confusion, looking back to the young girl.

Alice, silent, looks from Alphonse to the child and back again.

“It’s Valerie Mas’ daughter, Eve.” Alphonse says, tucking his gun away while looking to the girl and her milky-white eyes. “Apparently she’s…” he shakes his head, not knowing what it is he’s looking at. Alice, recognizing the look from her sister’s eyes, knows but says nothing. Though the recognition is clear on her face.

“Get a cab,” he tells Alice thoughtfully, “I'll find the child’s parents and take her home.” Alice looks from Eve to Alphonse and back again, clearly worried. “Don't worry yourself, Alice. I'll take care of it.”

“I'm not worried about that,” Alice explains. “I'm worried that she's going to get snatched up by the Company.” Blue eyes square on her counterpart. “She's special, Alphonse, like my sister.”

Alphonse looks down to the girl, then shrugs helplessly. “But what can you do?”

“Might I be of assistance?” Comes a voice from the back of the Lincoln, the rear driver’s-side door opening to reveal a tall, dark-skinned man with his thick, dark hair worn loose and natural. He’s thin, dressed in a heavy gray peacoat that water rolls off of. Alphonse looks at him, then to Alice.

Recognition flits across Alice’s face. “Wipe us all,” she says to the tall man, who makes his way slinking across the alley to where the three stand together.

“Don’t you want to know why she’s here?” The tall man asks Alice. Alphonse is curious as well, but he knows the protocol in these situations.


“No, Damian.” Alice says with a slow shake of her head. “We have to follow protocol.” To that, the tall man — Damian — nods, raising one hand up and closing his eyes and—

Present Day

Nnh,” is all Alphonse winds up saying, pressing a hand to his head. He looks up accusingly at Elisabeth, then past her to the two-way mirror. “What— are you doing?” His neck muscles tense, teeth clench.

Get out of my head, Kaylee hears clearly, though he isn’t sure who he’s talking to. Kaylee, however, is saddled under the weight of what she found inside Alphonse’s memories.

There is no hesitation from Kaylee, to slide out of the man’s mind. Her hand covers her mouth as she finally returns to her own head. As she stares at Baumann, she can’t help but wonder… What did she just see? What she had seen was quite a shock, enough that the sharp ache behind her eyes doesn’t illicit a reaction right away. The telepath didn’t know much about the former seer’s past, but this… this seemed like a big deal.

The hand slides from her mouth to rub at the side of her face, focusing on her aching temple. «Nothing related to what we wanted, but I found something. Tell you after.» Even using her telepathy sends a sharp spike of pain through her skull. By time it calms, both hands press to each side of her skull and her eyes are shut.

It was like that with strong minds, but worth the risk.

Nodding slightly, Elisabeth agrees mildly, "I think you had the right idea there. The Director was not in his right mind and unfortunately he convinced too many others that what he was doing was the right thing. He'd unfortunately bounced back and forth through the timeline far too many times without truly understanding what he was doing … or how it all worked." There's genuine regret in her tone. "He might have done serious damage to Cassie if he'd gotten his hands on her — too many pasts, no way to differentiate them."

As he looks toward the mirror, she can see the toll whatever it is takes on him, and her worry for Kaylee is immediate. She tries to keep his attention more on the conversation than possibly what Kaylee is doing. "Were there others you managed to keep out of their hands as well?"

Because hey, that might look good for him!

“No,” is all Alphonse has to say for himself, a suspicious glance fired to the mirror behind Elisabeth. “I’m a father,” he explains, “not a saint.”

Behind the mirror, the door to the hallway opens and Voss comes in with a steaming hot coffee which he summarily just sets down on the table beside the laptop. With a click of a key he turns the recording back on and presses the microphone’s call button.

“Alright,” Voss says, his voice echoing into the other room, “we can resume.” He looks at Kaylee, a wordless side-eye. He says nothing.

Hands drop away when Kaylee hears the door, turning a little to look and see who was entering, It is instinct when she does that, because the hum of Voss’ mind in distinct. However, something in human nature, gives them the need to look. She is quiet as she watches him.

But when he side-eyes her, Kaylee gives a sad shake of her head. There was nothing pertinent to the case…. At least. “The Company does it’s job well…” is all she says, at first. Going silent to look at the man being questioned. “Even if I did look,” and no doubt deep down he knows she did, “I would probably find a gaping void with a thin veil of false memories to cover it. Charles Deveaux was impressive, but also terrifying in what he could do.”

Moving to fold hands behind her back, keep from rubbing at her aching temples, Kaylee watches the interaction on the other side. “The fact that they didn’t blink an eye to do that… I feel bad for anyone that worked for them.” Despite what she could do, Kaylee didn’t want to become that… she was fairly certain.

But she can only say that now, Kaylee knows that each day could change that.

"Thank you, Director Voss," Elisabeth says calmly, as if she hadn't just been asking other questions of any import. "Mr. Baumann, you said you worked for Erica Kravid primarily. Are you aware of a project known as Heisenberg?"

Alphonse’s attention is still on the two-way mirror, fixed in a way as if his stare could bore a hole through the glass at whomever had been inside his head. But eventually he looks away, the tension at the corners of his eyes drains, and his attention fixes on Elisabeth instead. “I heard the name,” isn’t a helpful answer at first, “and I was asked to dispose of biological matter related to that project from time to time. Human remains, I believe.” His uncertainty there is worrisome. “Though given the condition they were in it was hard to tell…”

Shifting his weight in his seat and settling against the back of his chair, Alphonse folds his hands in front of himself. “I know they were Heisenberg test subjects, and I know the remains were…” he searches for the right word, “liquified isn’t quite right. More like…” his brows furrow, eyes tracking from side to side, “the consistency of slow-cooked pork, without the use of any heat or cooking.”

That answer causes Voss to clear his throat, leaning away from the glass. He exhales a slow, steady breath. “I’ve seen photographs of that,” he confirms to Kaylee. “Wolfhound hit their Los Angeles facility and some of the intelligence SESA has received from there includes the… dismantled remains of much of the facility’s staff. Pete Varlane confessed to using his ability to break up the collagen inside of their bodies, causing all of their soft tissues to… disconnect.” He clears his throat again.

Voss doesn’t have the stomach for that.

“Pete Varlane,” The name is hissed with barely contained anger, fingers curled into fists. It was clearly a name that hits a nerve. Blue eyes show a deep disgust as she looks over at Voss, “He is a monster that should be drug over the coals.” There are not a lot of people in this world that made the telepath react in such a way. “I’d say execute him, but that would be too good for him.”

Kaylee looks away sharply to the room beyond and lets out a huffed breath. Having let that flash of anger loose… the telepath knows she needs to offer an explanation.

“Sorry. I-I met one of those clones. He wanted to be called Varlane. He was a human being just like the rest of us.” The anger slowly softens and settles into a new expression. Mourning. Kaylee who had no relationship to Magnes, mourned the loss of a science experiment. It was this feeling of loss that sends the words tumbling out of her. “His body was the right age to be Magnes, but his mind was that of a young teenage boy.” Brows tip up as she thinks back. How many had she told this too? None beyond the close knit circle of friends. “All he wanted was to be a real boy. To live. To have a girlfriend and eat lots of spaghetti. We tried to give him some sort of life, treated him as one of my own kids. He’d been so abused.”

There is no hiding the glimmer of tears in her eyes when Kaylee finally dares to look at Voss. “But, he knew what was going to happen. He was mentally connect to other clones and knew it was going to happen. He didn’t deserve to melt, Director. Everyone of those dismantled bodies, he…” She points at Baumann, “disposed of were abused kids who just wanted to live but daddy decided were not good enough.”

A sigh escapes and fingers push through her hair as she tries to school her emotions, it isn’t going well, “I wanted so bad to be there to hide away the pain and give him a peaceful passing, but… I was in New Mexico and it happened so suddenly.” Swallowing hard, Kaylee says softly, “So that poor boy died alone and in terrible pain. Don’t think I’ll ever… ever forgive myself.” Who knows how much this woman has seen… that she manages to function everyday is probably no small miracle.

Brushing a finger at the corner of an eye and looking at the moisture, Kaylee adds softly, “Normally, I believe in giving second chances, but not Pete Varlane…. Never him.”

The imagery that Baumann invokes is horrifying, and Elisabeth — who has seen some shit — flinches a bit. "Varlane," she spits out in a tight tone, "is a motherfucker." Pulling a slow breath, though, she lifts her chin. "Thank you for your time today, Mr. Baumann. I'd hoped you might have better information on some of the projects, but I also was aware it was a long shot. If you do think of anything specific to the projects that I've asked about, please feel free to let Director Voss know."

Although it's been something of a wasted trip, Elisabeth isn't sorry they made it. She can't help but feel she asked the wrong questions of the man, but it's a hazard of shooting in the dark. Perhaps there will be better questions of him later.

She stands and moves to head toward the door, pausing long enough to look back at him. "I wish you the best of luck, sir." Her tone is sincere but there's a sadness to it … the man she once met had been a good father to the Cassie she knows, and she suspects this one was just as decent. He didn't deserve to lose his daughter like that. She heads toward the observation room to meet back up with her partner.

Through the two-way mirror, Alphonse can be seen slouching forward and hunching over his folded hands. His eyes are focused down on the chain between his cuffs, brows furrowed and lips flat. There is a subtle suggestion of guilt in his posture, or perhaps regret, but save for that one moment of animated defensiveness when Cassandra’s name was invoked, he has been much of an enigma. As Elisabeth comes through the door connecting the rooms, Voss turns off the recorder for the interrogation room and looks at her, then Kaylee.

“It might be beneficial for both of you to know,” Voss begins, “that while Pete Varlane is,” a quick look to Elisabeth, “a motherfucker,” then back to Kaylee, “the person who gave the order to liquidate the surviving clones of Magnes Varlane at the Sunstone facility was Adam Monroe himself. Everyone we’ve talked to cites a directive from their unseen commander that started the purge. That doesn’t exonerate him from anything,” Voss is clear to note, “but it does paint a broader picture of the fleeting number of fucks that Monroe gives for human life.”

Exhaling a sigh Voss looks over at his laptop and then folds it shut. “I hope Mr. Baumann was helpful, but this is about the same level of assistance he gave every other agency that interviewed him.”

Lips press tight at the mention of Adam, thought her attention is on the other side of the mirror. “You can only be so helpful when your mind has been cored out and a flimsy bandage put over it.” Blonde curls shift across her back as Kaylee shakes her head, and delivers the news bluntly. “He isn’t lying when he says that he can’t remember. They took so much, I just… I wonder what some of the others look like in their heads.”

Kaylee falls silent here, weighing her options. She had offered Voss transparency, maybe she should make good on it. “I did shake loose one memory, a missed bit of memory. Not sure if it has anything to do with your case against him.” Not that information obtained telepathically is legal. “But, Director, you should ask him if he remembers Alice Shaw.” There is a bit of a smile, no humor, maybe a bit rueful. “In fact, she might have the same block. From the sound of it, they were both doing something against the Company at one point, but the memory is too short for me to find out the why or the who.”

There…. Transparency, just as Kaylee promised. MIght not be all of it, but Voss now knows there is some more information to press for.

When she comes back in, Elisabeth's attitude is a bit on the closed side. "That poor bastard," she murmurs. "It seems like a lot of people just did what they could do for their kids, no matter the harm to others. Part of me… understands that," she admits. She's done some things she's not proud of in her time too, but none rise to this level. And she'd like to think she never could rise to that level, but… a part of her wonders.

Crossing her arms and balancing her weight between both feet, she shares a look with Kaylee. And then says quietly to Voss, "Heisenberg was an attempt to create quantum-entangled clones. I don't know exactly why they were doing it, but… unbeknownst to them, they do appear to have succeeded." Elisabeth was always the one in years past to advocate for open sharing among the branches of law enforcement. And now she's going to have to walk that walk and hope like hell it doesn't bite them in the ass. "I'm not sure what good knowing that does you, Director, but that's what we know on that front."

She pauses. "We also know what happened to Devon Clendaniel, but we're not entirely clear on where it fits in this narrative." There's a subtle narrowing of her blue eyes, and Elisabeth's defensiveness of Clendaniel is perfectly evident. "We do know it was Adam Monroe who had him… and Dr. Bao-Wei Cong who experimented on him. But Dev hasn't got any ideas where he was held nor any actionable intel on much else. He was in bad shape while there and kept under sedation."

There’s a soft sound in the back of Voss’ throat, a wrinkle between his brows, and a look leveled to Elisabeth over the frames of his glasses. He turns away, tongue sliding across his teeth as he regards Alphonse in the interrogation room. “We found out about the entanglement project at Sunstone. We have a fairly good handle on why,” he looks back to Elisabeth, “and why Adam seems to be able to be in a dozen places at once,” then back to Alphonse through the glass.

“As for the rest… Bao-Wei Cong…” Voss looks down to his laptop, but it’s more that he’s just looking in that direction, his stare unfocused. “I’ll make sure Secretary Zimmerman is updated. If it’s all the same to you,” Voss says as he turns his back to the window, “if you could convince Clendaniel to come in for a round of tests, that could go a long way to figuring out what’s going on. Obviously we’ll be sensitive to his needs, but I’d prefer that we have as much information on what Monroe is trying to do…”

Voss’ brows furrow again. “According to the Company’s records, he tried to end the entire fucking world with a virus in 1979,” which may well be part of the great fabrication made by Charles Deveaux to cover up the darker truth, “and I’d hate for your friend to be a walking biological weapon, just waiting to…” Voss makes a pop gesture with one hand.

For the most part, Kaylee had gone silent, listening while they discuss Devon and what happened to him. Her attention is on the slumped man just beyond the mirror.

“Valerie Mas,” Kaylee says outloud, suddenly… curiously. “Does SESA have an information on her?”

"I'll see what I can do, Director… but given what he's been through, it may be a while before he can face the idea of a lab." Or… well, at least the lab of anyone he doesn't trust to Hell and back. Elisabeth doesn't want to start off on the wrong foot with this man who gives every indication of being an ally, but then again… Claudia's been weird lately, if Richard's to be believed.

She does pause on the idea that Adam tried to end the world in 1979. "I … have a notion, sir, that what they were doing in 1979 may well have been tied to one of the entity's previous incursions in this plane, rather than what those records may say. If the Entity thrives memetically, the severe levels of redaction make a lot of sense."

Elisabeth purses her lips and says, "I learned a hell of a lot of things about the Company and what they were up to in a world where Arthur didn't lose. Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure all of what I know applies here, so… I'm having to volunteer information as I realize it's becoming pertinent. We know that the Entity tried several times. And as much as I hate to admit it, Monroe could know a hell of a lot more than we do about the situation or how to stop it." She gives him a slow shrug. "Much like The Institute's Director, though…. how much he might share or what his plans actually are? We're all a good distance behind the eight ball here." She glances at Kaylee curiously when Valerie Mas comes up.

Voss eyes Kaylee for a moment, brows furrowed. He can’t help but focus on her question, even when Liz is talking about things so much more sensible and so much less related to a living headache. “That’s Eve Mas’ mother’s name, and somehow I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Much to my eternal consternation.”

Looking to Elisabeth, Voss slides his tongue across the inside of his cheek. “I appreciate your volunteering information, but most of what we know about this Entity might as well be a Tolkein novel for all the factual relevance it has. Aside from it possibly being the same thing that came through the Looking Glass with you — which I’m still not convinced is anything other than an Expressive power we haven’t seen before — the concrete facts we have are next to zero. Fortunately, I have to focus on Adam, which is a somewhat more tangible devil.”

“Probably not,” Kaylee comments finally turning away from the mirror, since they were pretty much done there. “Her name was mentioned in the memory and I was curious if she was a known Company agent. I didn't get the impression she was a captive.” There is a small smile and a shrug of her shoulders, “Eve’s a good friend of mine.” In other words… she was asking for a friend.

“I understand your reluctance to focus on anything else, but if you want,” Kaylee glances at Liz out of the corner of her eye, even as she does offer…. “We’ll keep you up to date on what we do find. This thing is tied to Adam, so we may find things that help you find him.”

Aaaaand now you understand why we get a little leeway, she thinks in amusement. Elisabeth can't help the grin that slips across her features, though she wipes it quickly. "Nothing I can offer you is concrete, it's all bits and pieces I know from places that aren't here. So officially we can't do anything about it. Unofficially… those places mirror here in some aspects, and sometimes I have just enough information to pick up a thread that does get us somewhere concrete." She gestures toward Baumann on the other side of the glass. "I'm sorry this wasn't one of those times. I do get the impression I was perhaps asking the wrong questions of him, but… if I can bring together a few more bits and pieces, maybe we can make another run at him."

She would love to tell him what she and Richard have learned from Adam's memories, but she bites that back. For now, she isn't going to expose Cassie that way. "The best I can do is exactly that," she gestures to Kaylee and her statement. "I'll just keep letting you know anything at all that seems like it might help you with your goal… because in the end, we all want the same thing."

“You’ve been more helpful than I think you realize,” Voss says to Elisabeth, still watching Alphonse through the two-way mirror. “But I think it’s high time I pay a little visit to Richard myself, just to — you know — see what he’s getting up to these days. What kind of institution he’s running up in Jackson Heights.” Voss’ choice of wording is pointedly precise. But he flashes a smile to Elisabeth, then finally reaches for the coffee he’d left on the table.

“Come on,” Voss says, raising his coffee to his lips and taking a sip.

“I’ll walk you out.”

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