Unofficial Interviews


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Unofficial Interviews
Synopsis Liz brings a peace offering and Ziadie gets treated to an unofficial interview.
Date February 3, 2011

Redbird Security Solutions, Cardinal's Office

There's jack and shit Elisabeth's squad can do about the goddamn dome. And there's a monster winter storm bearing down on the region by tonight, set to drop God only knows how many feet on top of the six inches we got just 48 hours ago. The city's infrastructure is buckling under the weight of that on top of the dome crisis. The blonde is taking what small amount of time she can squeeze in before the storm hits to bring a peace offering. She steps into Redbird Security carrying a large bag with a familiar logo — Piccoli's is a girl's best friend. Truly.

Elisabeth struggles in the door with the bags blocking her view and calls, "I come bearing gifts. The boss man hangin' out, Jo?" without even being sure the girl's at her desk at the moment. She's bundled up in a snow jacket, heavily treaded boots and heavy pants — clearly decked out for having been outside for some long period of time. But hey, it's not an exoskeleton.

Not two minutes later, the door swings open again,and Ziadie half walks/half shuffles in, trying not to let too much of the weather in with him. There's a glance around, though he doesn't walk as far into the lobby as Elisabeth does. At which point, he spies her.

"Hey. Wonder running into you here." He doesn't give Jo time to answer Liz's question, either, adding to it his own. "Is Mr. Cardinal in, by any chance?"

The older man leans against his cane, ducking a nod to Liz in greeting. Thick knit cap and gloves both get pulled off and shoved into a pocket of the peacoat, now that Ziadie's inside. He's ditched the sling that his arm was in, and seems to have made himself decent for going out today.

"Oh, hi. Miss Harrison," Jo is looking a little harried today, surrounded by scribbled notes and papers on the receptionist's desk; the security business always kicks up a notch when there's unrest in the city, and a giant glowing dome goes a long way towards creating a demand for better security.

Of course, that's the same reason that Mitchell arranged for Messiah to exist. A disturbing parallel.

"Mister Ziadie. Yes, he's in," she admits with a quick smile, leaving the pair to decide who goes in first. Or if they're going in together.

Turning to peer around the bag, Elisabeth is…. surprised. "Mr. Ziadie," she greets mildly. "C'mon — I was planning on dropping off lunch. Jo, I'll leave yours and several others in the break room on the way, okay? And there's plenty if you'd like to partake, Ziadie," she offers. And then she makes herself right to home, heading down the hall to stop off briefly in the break room to do exactly as she said. The entire top half of the huge bag is another, smaller bag containing specific sandwiches.

And then she announces herself at the portal with little more than a perfunctory tap of her knuckles and lets herself in. "Knock, knock… company," she calls, pretty much expecting Ziadie to be following her in.

If Elisabeth is surprised, that makes two of them, though Ziadie does a better job of hiding the obvious surprise from his expression. "Elisabeth." He's not at all unpleased to see her, though. "I don' turn down lunch," Ziadie says, smiling, pausing a moment before following Liz, using his free hand to rub at his eyes and temples a bit before entering.

There's silence from behind the office door, and then Cardinal's voice lifts from the other side. "Come on in, Liz," he calls out, shuffling his own stack of papers around into a pile and shunting it off to one side of the desk; fingers combing back through his hair as he tries to tame it a little. He's looking a little rumpled around the edges. The blanket that's draped on the couch is probably a good sign of why.

Although it's positively frigid outside, the scent of hot sandwiches can't be missed. They're probably significantly cooled, but hey! Elisabeth holds up the bag and says softly, "Thought you could use some lunch." She knows she sure as hell could — the past couple of days have already been brutal out there and they're both swamped. She sets the bag on his desk and reaches out with a soft laugh to smooth a lock of unruly hair at his temple, forgetting for a moment her companion. "Cute, babe," she murmurs affectionately. He always looks, to her, like a little boy when his hair stands on end. Clearing her throat, though, she adds, "I brought company too!" Because Ziadie's just behind her. "And cheesesteak and a couple of Reuben's that I'm claiming one of, and uhm…. I think there might be a couple of BLTs in there too."

Ziadie leans against the doorway for the moment, with a very quiet comment about 'to be young again' as he watches Liz interact with Cardinal, and a wistful smile on his face. He's subconsciously playing with a silver wedding band on his finger, and then stops, as if he noticed what he's doing. "Coincidence is funny like that," Ziadie says. "I'd have called ahead, but I still can't figure out the phone Felix got. Cordless thing, buttons are too small for me to easily press."

As she tries to smooth his hair out, Cardinal wrinkles his nose, batting her fingers away lightly to do it himself. "I'm not eight you know," he mutters, waving her off. Not in front of other people! Leaning forward a bit, he reaches for the bag to open it up, greeting in tired tones, "Mister Ziadie. Good to see you again…"

Elisabeth laughs. "Sorry," she says. "You look like freakin' Alfalfa, that's all." She blushes, though. She's tired enough that doing it was entirely an accident; he looked tired. Pulling sandwiches out of the bag, she doesn't look back toward the door. How embarrassing! "I ran into him in the lobby. I can leave you two to talk if you have business, though," she tells Cardinal.

The smile on Ziadie's face is pressed back into something a lot more reserved and less bemused, as he takes a chair, an attempt to spare the other two present any more embarrassment. Or at least to downplay it as if it didn't happen. "Thankfully, it wasn't literal." He shakes his head at Liz. "No no. I jus' had questions, again." A pause. "That, an' he offered me a job, figured I'd come by an' talk to him about taking him up on it."

"I swear to God, if you ever do that in front of godforbid Kershner or somebody, no-one will ever find your body," Cardinal grumbles (mostly) good-naturedly as he claims one of the sandwiches, unwrapping it from the paper with a shake of his head. "Well, ask away, Mister Ziadie," he allows, glancing up with a wry expression, "I can't promise you'll like the answers."

Oh dear, the blush goes absolutely crimson. "I'm sorry," Elisabeth mumbles. "I haven't slept in like 36 hours. Gimme a break," she mutters as she lays the sandwiches out where Ziadie can choose his own. Taking the one she's claiming for herself, she goes to sit in one of the chairs with a chagrined expression over on the side of the desk so she can use it as a table. She is really embarrassed. Her eyes flick back and forth between the two men, leaving Ziadie to ask his questions while she listens.

Ziadie is having to try very hard to keep the bemused look from his face at this point. It's replaced by a wince and the older man rubbing his head. He busies himself choosing a sandwich for a moment, one of the reubens, and then looks at Cardinal. "Joking or not, you know, that hurt. Though the reaction it got was …" ooops. Ziadie purposefully shuts his mouth, and offers a sheepish smile to Liz. He really wasn't trying to embarrass her further.

"I would love to know what got an FBI agent snooping about the precincts in hope of finding me, and then coming to the door late in the evening. Unfortunately, I still haven't figured it out." There, he's changed the topic.

"Hurt?" The older man's words get a bemused look from Cardinal as his hands close around the lightly-toasted bread of one of the reuben sandwiches, his brow furrowing slightly. The questioning expression becomes more of consternation at the latter statement, though, and he leans back a bit.

"An FBI agent…? Which one? What were they asking you?" Crunch, goes a bite of sandwich.

Elisabeth's head comes up at that too. "What hurt?" she asks. Because she won't hurt him on purpose if she can avoid it. "Something with your ability?" she asks. Because she's already gathered that much from other conversations. "Do you mind if I ask what it is, actually?" He uses alcohol to numb it, whatever it is. And then the brow quirks about the FBI thing.

Ziadie nods to Liz. "Yeaaaah." He pauses, considering. Her question first. "Lie detection," Ziadie says, rubbing his head. "Never was this bad when I was younger." That's about as much as he's going to elaborate, and he works on unwrapping half of his own sandwich, something he can argue takes more of his concentration, as he isn't generally right-handed. "And yeah. Unofficially, she said, but 's far as I'm concerned there's never been such a thing as unofficial. Not really."

Well, now. Cardinal's brows lift at the revelation of the other man's ability, and he drops the sandwich down with a rustle to the paper while leaning forward again, arms resting folded on the table's edge. "Now, that's an interesting little trick," he murmurs, "Alright. So who was this Agent, and what'd she want?"

Oh… Christ. Lie detection? Yeah, uh….. ouch? She can't imagine an ability like that in a world where everyone tells little white lies all the time. Ugh! Elisabeth winces in sympathy. As she nibbles on the still-warm reuben in her hands, she continues to listen with a faint frown between her brows. "And she showed up looking for you at Ivanov's?" she adds to the query. "I wasn't aware anyone really knew you were staying there." It's more like an afterthought — not that it's a problem, just an observation and perhaps a telling one. In her world, people don't mention where they're staying about half the time!

"I didn't think very many people knew I was staying there either," Ziadie says, thoughtful, pausing to take a few bites of his sandwich before continuing. He seems grateful for the food, in the way that people who still aren't used to having a next meal can sometimes be. "One of my old buddies from the force, he knew." Another pause, and Ziadie sets the sandwich down. "And his sister. That'd be it. She'd have had to do a lot of asking to be able to find me. Most people I'd known in the force, they …." He trails off. He doesn't need to say 'died in the bomb' for it to be apparent

"Name was … Audrey. Hanson, I believe." Ziadie rubs his forehead with his hand, a bit, then using his right hand to move his left arm more into his lap. "She said she'd been getting some caller, called himself …" a pause, "hell, I can't remember, but it wasn't a name. He told her to find me. She wanted to know what I knew 'bout people saying they're DHS, disappearing people into thin air. One …" another pause. "Gibbs. I can't remember the first name she mentioned. Never heard of him in my life, though."

"Really?" Cardinal's brows raise ever so slightly in surprise, "There're actually people investigating that…? Well, will wonders never fuckin' cease." A rough snort of breath, and he takes another bite of his sandwich, murmuring around a mouthful, "Odd that someone'd send them to you though."

It's by the grace of a decade of being a cop and the fact that Elisabeth has long since learned to keep her expression entirely neutral that she doesn't whip her head up and stare at Ziadie. The FBI is looking into a man being taken out of DoEA custody? Really?? Interdepartmental cooperation is usually not something you see often — at least not without a lot of pissing and moaning on everyone's parts.

Ziadie's brows raise slightly in response. He purses his lips a bit, and his own expression takes on a remarkable mirror of Liz's neutral. "Audrey was pretty adamant that she wasn't investigating, technically." Another pause. "She was telling the truth, too. She was doing a favour for some friend of hers, got herself cease and desist notices. And then the sympathetic phone call through a voice modulator. What I want to know is why that person …" a pause, and a bit of a frown plays through on Ziadie's face, "Gaston, I think it was, sent her to me."

Ziadie picks up his sandwich, but doesn't take another bite, yet. "She said it was suggested she needs me. And since I don't know anything," the tone of his voice and the pacing of his words suggest that he doesn't want to know more, either, and that if they do know something, which was more than obvious to the older man, they should keep it to themselves, "I can only assume that this Gaston person wants to use my ability for something." One final pause. "I don't like it."

"A favor for a friend…" Cardinal taps the tip of one finger over the toasted bread, his brow furrowing slightly, "…Pak, possibly. Gibbs was taken while in her supposed custody at the Suresh Center." He muses his thoughts aloud, taking a bite, chewing, swallowing and glancing to Elisabeth, "It fits with the intel you got recently. Someone in the Department is trying to pry up dirt on the Institute, I think."

Elisabeth chews on the bite in her mouth, swallowing and lowering the sandwich to the paper in front of her. Her wording is very careful. "I find it interesting that Pak would turn to the FBI — she's hitting her own brick walls within the DoEA but she's not taking 'no' for an answer," she observes. "I can't decide that's good or bad," she admits.

Ziadie simply works on eating his sandwich for the moment, quietly. "She took a fair interest when I brought up what's been happening in Midtown," Ziadie says. "I don't know, I might have looked enough there to have attracted attention to the fact that I exist." He frowns. "She wanted to go with Ivanov on a bit of a walk, see for herself, when it was mentioned." He frowns more. "I think I talked Ivanov out of it."

"If she wasn't with the Department, I'd suggest just telling her everything," Cardinal's restless, gloved fingers tap against the paper his sandwich was wrapped in, "But I trust Praeger's smiling mug as much as I'd trust someone named Goebbels who told me that everything was going to be all right." A grunt, "That'd be interesting. Did Felix ever read Team Alpha's report when we were on the Washington, Liz, or did he round-file it?"

There's a groan. "Oh no," Elisabeth sighs. "You didn't," she says in an aggravated voice. "Unless he swore flat out to your face and was not lying that he wouldn't go, you didn't talk him out of anything. He just didn't argue with you," she informs Ziadie on a sigh. There is a reason Felix is known as a bulldog, and if she knows one thing about the other man who shares her bed occasionally, it is that he really likes to get into trouble. "I don't know if he read it or not," she admits to him. "The full reports didn't become available until the ship was on its way back from the tundra." She trails off, searching for words that won't embarrass either of them. "By the time we got back, he and I both had a lot of other things on our minds," she finishes with a glance at him that's part regret, part remembered soul-deep grief.

There's a long pause as she studies Cardinal, and Elisabeth asks quietly, "You want footage? I'll send him in with an exoskeleton and a helmet." Because they record everything. "But I don't know if Agent Hanson will come out of it so lucky."

"He promised that they wouldn't go tonight," Ziadie says. "And he knows well better than to lie around me. I couldn't get anything else out of him." The frown on the older man's face doesn't go away, and the look he gives Elisabeth suggests that he did try to get more than that. The last bite of the first half of his sandwich gone, the older man rubs his forehead with his hand. "I tried, Liz. He only listens to me so much. An' …" there's a pause. "I haven't been in the greatest of sorts recently, which means he as listens even less." Ziadie bites his lip, and his face goes back to careful cop-neutral, hiding whatever dislike he has for admitting his own weaknesses.

"I already talked to one speedster about it, although I could use a second," Cardinal says with a nod to Elisabeth, "I was going to send him in with some Brians to get some more— interesting footage, but I'll take what I can get." A quick, wolfish smile, and then he takes another bite of sandwich, chewing, swallowing. "He said tonight. Didn't mention tomorrow. And… honestly, I'd rather him be out there doing things."

"I've seen him when he isn't. The man needs a focus. He wasn't meant to sit around."

Elisabeth sighs again, apparently resigned. "It's not like I'm not keeping him busy enough on the streets, Richard," she retorts drily. And then she shakes her head. "Well, at least he won't try to go in until I can talk to him if he's not going in tonight. But I'll warn you — any footage you get from a helmet camera's going to be pretty distinctively from the helmet. Sending in the Brians might be a far better use of assets — get them to chase Felix and your other speedster. I'm ….. almost sure they won't be able to keep up. Yet." There's doubt, but… it's not a lie. She's almost sure. She's seen the human hurricane in action.

Ziadie begins work on the second half of his sandwich, quietly letting Elisabeth and Cardinal talk strategy. "One thing, if I may add," Ziadie says. "Larger caliber weapon, rifle preferably."

"That's my concern," Cardinal admits, "That they could identify it as a FRONTLINE's helmet camera from the footage." He drums his fingers over the desk's edge, then shakes his head, "But anyway, we weren't talking about the robots. Why would someone send Pak and Audrey to him…" A gesture to Ziadie, "…no offense… about Gibbs?"

Elisabeth nibbles her lip. "Ziadie… what did she actually say when she came to see you?" she asks, retrieving her sandwich to eat as they talk again. She hasn't eaten in about 8 hours, so she's wolfing the sandwich in a rather indelicate fashion, though not without manners.

Ziadie shakes his head, takes a breath, and leans on his hand. "I don't know," Ziadie says, to Cardinal. "I said pretty much as much as I can remember." The older man winces a bit. "I been … as I said. It wasn't one of my better days, th' past few." He glances at Liz, a slightly hapless shrug. The older man takes another deep breath. Report, it was drilled into him for half his life. Even if he wasn't in the best of ways last night, he can still do it.

"She knocked a few times. Ivanov answered the door. She said she was looking for me, said someone at the precinct told her where to find me. She was walking her dogs. Ivanov asked why, she told him it was unofficial, he let her in."

"Then she asked me if Gaston meant anything to me. Which well, it doesn't." Ziadie rubs his forehead more, pausing to pay attention to his sandwich again.

"Aside from the guy from the Hunch— no, that was Beauty and the Beast, right?" Cardinal slants a look to Liz. She probably knows these things, right? She's a girl. Sappy musical disney movies come with the territory. "Doesn't mean anything to me, either…"

Another bite of sandwich is crunched down, and he shakes his head a little bit. "I'm not sure how to proceed here. We've got two corrupt-as-fuck agencies looking into each other, and one wants information we have…"

Elisabeth listens to what he says and she does, in fact, snerk at the name "Gaston." She can't help it. "Uhm…. that's actually kinda funny," she admits. Though she doesn't say why. She does, however, ask, "Did she specifically come asking about Aric Gibbs to you guys? I can't see why they would send her to you — to Felix, sure."

Ziadie shakes his head. "She wasn't asking Ivanov. She was asking me." Ziadie pauses. "She said that Gaston had called her twice. He said I had what she needed." There's another pause. "Told me that Aric Gibbs had disappeared, while in DoEA custody in regards to an incident about abilities, that the people who picked him up were … DHS, on a warrant, that he was shoved into a coffin in the back of a white van and disappeared with." Ziadie pauses. "All of which was news to me."

"Gaston apparently told her …" Ziadie pauses, doing that struggle to recall exactly what Audrey had said thing. "Told her that she would need me, that she needed to talk to me, but didn't tell her why. He thought it'd become apparent, told her to figure it out herself." Another pause. "Wanted to know if I'd seen a white van with a coffin, heard on the street of anyone being disappeared like that. Asked Fel, too. Ivanov hadn't heard." A shrug. "I dodged half her questions. Ivanov trusts her, but I don't trust not knowing who sent her. Cloak and daggers suspicion seems reasonable these days." With that, Ziadie leans on his hand once again.

"It's politics," Cardinal says with a shake of his head, "We were told that something like this was going on…" The last of his sandwich is finished off, and he snatches up a napkin to clean his mouth, murmuring, "Not sure what to do, here, to be honest. Although if we get the FBI investigating the robots… that might be a good thing."

"Sure as hell can't hurt. I can't investigate. I can't even ask questions about them," Elisabeth admits. "It's already come down from on-high that we should expect to see them in service in the not-so-distant future," she says, looking to Ziadie. "Which is something I'm not sure I'm willing to countenance, but at the moment there's jack shit I can do about it." She continues to eat the last third of her sandwich and opts not to say more about Aric, though.

Ziadie looks up, and nods. He's still resting his head on his hand, though, waiting for whatever residual wave of headache to pass, and possibly just a little uncomfortable that he's visibly not quite okay in front of Cardinal and Liz. "Hate politics," he says. "God damn lies, half of it. More than half of it."

"You all right, there?" Cardinal regards the older man with a bit of concern, his brow furrowing a little.

Elisabeth finishes her sandwich and moves to put her paper in the empty bag that she brought in. "Ziadie, does anything help the headache?" she asks gently. Because she recognizes that face — it's one she's been making for months. Every time she used her ability even a little ever since November.

Ziadie shakes his head, very slowly. "Headache's twofold," he admits, with a bit of a grimace. One headache from too much time without giving himself a few days to rest from his ability, something that was easier if he could go camp in a corner of a park where no one else was, and the additional headache from the relative lack of alcohol recently.

"You should get some rest," Cardinal advises, shaking his head slowly as he leans back in his chair, "Liz, can you ask Felix to come by? We'll figure out what to do about the robots at least. The Gibbs situation…" A pause, "…I'll have to think on what to do there."

That brings to mind something. "By the way….. " She trails off and comments softly, "I don't think they're aware he's gotten his memories back. I don't know if that's something that will come in handy, but…" She shrugs a little. "And yeah, I'll …. no," she amends. "You should shadow on by the apartment. Or visit the base in shadow or something. Just so if Pak is watching she doesn't see the two of you meeting. That could get pretty dicey, don't you think?"

Ziadie's eyes flick between Cardinal and Liz, several times over, watching the exchange. "Meant to talk to you about that job y' mentioned, too," he says to Cardinal. Another squint, and Ziadie sits up again. "I'll be alright." The last statement is probably a lie, but aside from a bit of a grimace, Ziadie gives no sign of it.

"Good point. Have him come by the apartment, the four of us can pow-wow…" That said, Cardinal's gaze sweeps back to Ziadie, a smile tugging up slightly at the corner of his lips. "If you're sure," he says simply, not about to nag the older man about his discomfort.

Elisabeth nods. "I can do that easily enough," Elisabeth agrees. And she tilts her head at Ziadie. "You going to work for … him?" she asks with a grin.

Ziadie nods, slowly, perhaps so the headache doesn't manage to sneak back up on him. "Retirement's boring," he says, in response to Liz. Though how boring it ever gets, well, still. "Ivanov seemed to think it was a good idea."

"I was just going off his experience," Cardinal admits to Elisabeth, "But given his ability… he'd make a hell of an investigator. Since Nakano isn't available anymore, I could use someone to fill her shoes." A grin's flashed to Ziadie, noting, "Felix probably just wants you somewhere that he can keep an eye on you."

Elisabeth smiles faintly at that. "Perhaps it's twofold," she murmurs. "He wants Ziadie somewhere safe and he wants you to have someone to count on." She moves to stand, dropping a hand on Cardinal's shoulder briefly. "I need to get back to the base. I'm not sure when we'll be able to meet you at the apartment. But I'll text as soon as I can." Dinnertime over, she's got to get back out there. "The incoming weather front has the potential to make things bad if it comes in strong." She's personally hoping it skips north of the city, but never can tell. "Ziadie… congratulations. Redbird's a good place to work." There's not a hint of a lie in that assessment.

Ziadie nods. "Something like that," he says, a nod to Elisabeth as she leaves. The older man doesn't mention the discussion he had with Felix about whether or not he was fit for any sort of work. The two comments about Felix make the older man chuckle, though. "So." He looks at Cardinal, head tilted slightly.

Cardinal lifts a hand to briefly cover hers as it lands on his shoulder, his gloved fingers over hers, and he offers a quick smile to her. "Alright. I'll talk to you later, Liz," he says quietly, before turning back to Ziadie, hands spreading, "So. I assume you've had time to look into the company, talk to Felix and all… any questions?"

Ziadie nods. "None in particular," he says, "though I noticed you do seem to know all sorts of things are slightly beyond the scope of Redbird, as what I could tell." There's a half a chuckle. "Not that I saying I mind; I like answers, after all, and appreciate that you trusted me to give them. But it seem noteworthy." Ziadie's words are tinged with a slight Caribbean accent, now that he's not carefully thinking out each and every sentence he says.

"I make it a point to know what's going on," Cardinal admits, his head tipping in a slight nod, "I'm in a… unique position, you might say, to keep an eye on things. I've been involved in several operations that've given me a dearth of contacts." Wry, "And so far my usefulness and dangerousness has outweighed the desire of certain parties to simply shoot me in the head late one night."

The older man nods once. "Always a good thing." He's probably talking about not being shot in the head. His tone has reverted to nearly neutral, though, so it's hard to tell, and there's a muttered under his breath musing about probably updating his registration at some point, not really aimed at or meant for Cardinal, and even the neutral tone of voice can't quite hide the older man's dislike of the concept.

Of course, Cardinal's choosing his words carefully here. He isn't lying at all, but he's likely skirting around a few topics. "Given the current political and cultural climate," he notes, "It's something that's important to do. One wrong move, and we'll all find ourselves in ovens."

Ziadie nods, raises his eyebrows once, briefly, and leans back in his chair, carefully folding the paper from the sandwich into a small square. "In the mean time, all we can do is to do th' best we can." The older man smiles. "I assume, as pertinent to employment, you've some questions of your own," he says. Asks. It's not quite a question, and there's a distinct tone of bemusement to Ziadie's voice, if not outright curiosity.

"Oh, there'll be the usual forms to fill out— background checks, drug tests, everything we need for our records and the government requires of their contractors," Cardinal admits, turning up one gloved hand palm towards the ceiling, "Not that you'll be working as a contractor, but, bureaucracy - you know how it is."

Ziadie nods. "And there's more of it now than ever." Even the carefully neutral face doesn't hide the grimace at the mention of a drug test, but it's only a momentary grimace. The older man nods another time. "Of course." Still, the grimace is replaced by a smile, and a quiet admission. "Thank you… I appreciate it." A pause, and Ziadie decides to leave it at that.

Cardinal notices that slight grimace; a brow lifting slightly in questioning, but he leaves the matter alone with a slight nod. "Ivanov's recommendation is really all I need," he admits, "If he says you'd do a good job, you would."

There's a bit of a grin from Ziadie at that, and a nod. There's an ever-so-slight headshake to respond to Cardinal's unvoiced question. "Done it before," he says. And another bit of a grin. "Ivanov's a good kid. Even if he spilled coffee on my paperwork once. More than once." And unsaid, that Felix is the closest thing to family that Ziadie's got.

"I can see that," Cardinal chuckles, his shoulders shaking a bit, "Anyway. If you're interested, I'll start getting all the paperwork together…"

Ziadie nods. "That sounds good," he says. A bit of a smile plays on the former cop's face - a genuine smile rather than one of the little half-ones in response to some thing or other.

Cardinal nods once, flashing an easy and genuine smile, "Good. I'll get it all together and let you know, then, and we'll get all this set up. And get you vaccinated before the flu hits."

Another fractional nod. "Well, you know how to reach me, yes?" Ziadie says, slowly rising to his feet. "Good." He leans against his cane, slowly making his way towards the door. It's late enough that he doesn't seem to think he'll have a problem simply hailing a taxi from the street, to get back. "Take care, Mr. Cardinal," he says, after he's a little bit into the hall. "You take care."

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