Updating The Team


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Scene Title Updating The Team
Synopsis The Company's Investigative Team sits down to go over what they know on the Alton and Batsu Cases.
Date May 13, 2010

Fort Hero: Conference Room

Even though the weather has been something like out of a movie, that doesn't seem to allow for the whole world to stop in it's tracks. The world doesn't stop cause a kid throws a mother of all temper tantrum. That is particularly true for the group of people sitting in a conference room, in the bowels of Fort Hero.

The Company's Investigation Team has gathered together, because despite it all, the bad guys are still out there and causing havoc.

The tall imposing figure of Senior Agent Benjamin Ryans, stands at the front this time, rather then Assistant Director Crowley. It's an odd change, but it's like this for a reason. His fedora sits on the tables, next to a file and a cup of coffee. His eyes roam the room of people taking note of each person in turn.

"A lot has happened since we last all sat in the room," He starts, his quiet rumbling voice carrying without effort. "That is why I called this meeting. A lot of information has been dropped on us and I need everyone on the same page and coming up with ideas on how to deal with this."

His head turns to glance at Corbin out of the side of his eyes and picks up a file. "Currently the team has three major cases. There is a lot of information so bear with me." Flipping through the file, he folds the cover back.

"As you all notice, it is me standing up here, rather then Crowley. I'm going to com out and say it, so it's on the table, people can react and so forth." Ryans goes silent for a moment, before he announces. "While I am personally, not fully convinced, at this moment Assistant Director Crowley is a suspect in the Alton Case."

He holds up a hand to forestall anyone from saying anything as, the old man continues. "Information has come to me, that forces me to consider him a suspect until the investigation says otherwise. As many of you heard, when I went to extract Alton from Linderman's property, we were attacked. There is a chance it was an inside job."

Veronica sits at one end of the table, slid back in the large chair with one knee crooked in front of her. With no "bosses" present, there's no need to be proper. Her hands wrap around a cup of coffee. For once her Blackberry is not next to her, as it's all but useless unless one wants to play a rousing game of Pong, Snake, Scrabble or KungFu Panda. A memo pad is on the table with a pen lying on top of it; on top of that a small bag bearing the name Tower Records. Her brow shoots up and she tilts her head with confusion, but doesn't speak, assuming there is more information, evidence, to come.

Allison's brows lift at that little bombshell, then her head tilts as she listens to the rest. "I can understand why you say it was an inside job, as I'd gotten the same perception from what Kain Zarek told us, but what about that makes you suspect Crowley?" she asks.

This meeting, Corbin's not falling asleep at, at the very least, but he does look exceptionally tired, like he might any minute, even if his paper work and stuff are all spread out in front of him, with his laptop off to the side. He's ready to present the information, but needs the right cues to do so. "It may not be Crowley. There's a couple connections with FRONTLINE that I found in the research, including Stillwater— it was once owned by a new member of Unit 1, and a member of the same Unit might have reason to hold a grudge, because of Ryans' new youth."

There's a pause, and he looks specifically at Allison and Rain, as they are both newer attachments to the team. "Ryans was de-aged by twenty years by a suspect we were following, Albert Winslow, who also happens to be the father of a child with one of the newer members of FRONTLINE, Faye Crawford. It's a long shot, but a possibility."

Rain sits sprawled out in his chair. He himself actually has a blackberry in hand and is playing around on it, though were anyone to look he's actually organizing a fund raiser for the dead NYPD officer's family. He fiddles around on it until Ryans begins to speak, where upon his attention leaves the device, which is shut and put into a pocket, and his eyes lift up to settle on the older man. He doesn't seem shocked by the statement that Crowley is a suspect, and in fact nods his head a bit like it's something he expected. Corbin's statement earns a look from Rain. "I know about Agent Ryans current age Corbin. I spent quite a few months after escaping Pinehearst and being experimented on recovering, and reading mission reports and files. I also so Agent Ryans once, very briefly before I was inserted into Pinehearst. It was just after the bomb when he was retiring." He looks to Ryans then, waiting for the man to continue.

He holds a finger up to Allison, "I'm getting to that." He says, nodding to her. "Like I said, I'm not completely convinced, but it's enough that I can not completely rule him." Ryans' eyes drop to the folder, before he lets it drop on the table. He glances at Corbin, brows lifting slightly. "Adding another suspect… That…" There is a flash of something when Faye is mentioned, he gives a small shake of his head. "…let me also put this forth too. Last meeting I said I would contact Rebel. Well.. I was successful." There is a blandness to his tone, arms moving to fold across his chest."The day I went in for Alton, I got a call from Martin stating that there had been a special request from Linderman for me to come get Jame Alton from the Corinthian."

He glances at each agent, watching them carefully. "When I talked to Rebel he told me that… yes they were coming for Alton. After they heard during on of his phone conversations what he could do." A small hint of a smile twitches at the corner of his lips. "He was bragging to a girl. Anyhow, the men we have that were killing during the Altercation… those were not Rebels men. James DeVille and Harold Clarke were the two men Rebel sent for Alton. He claims his men were executed in the basement of the Corinthian." He turns to Corbin, an arm unfolding to motions to the man. "Were you able to find anything on those two men?"

When Corbin looks at her Allison meets his gaze for as long as it lasts, then looks back to Ryan. "As far as you being called in on the Corinthian thing, it seems to have been the act of one person within the business. At least the man we spoke to seemed to think so, and I have no reason to believe he wasn't being completely honest in the questions he answered. It could simply be a coincidence, given the circumstances behind the whole incident."

"Unfortunately, our attempt to get information from Wireless was not successful, so I have nothing further on Rebel than what we already have. If Crowley is somehow involved, and he sees Rebel as a threat to whatever his plans are here, that would make sense why he wanted us to get information from Wireless," Veronica says, glancing at Rain and then back to Ryans. "I'm a bit pissed that our bridge with Wireless might have been burned, but if it's an inside job, then maybe her reticence turns out to be a good thing."

"Yeah, I found out some," Corbin explains, clicking over his computer to the local network to bring up some images. "James DeVille, 37 years old. A local, from Queens New York, worked as an automechanic. We bagged and tagged him in January 2008. He was a ferrokinetic, could liquify metal, which isn't as dangerous as some, but his personality made him dangerous enough to be held on Level 4 for a while, and then transfered to Moab in January 2009. When he was processed he was found to have a borderline personality, and a paranoid schizophrenic."

Click, another picture comes up. "Harold Clarke, 30. Also fairly close, from New Jersey. A father of two, he was bagged in August 2003 and detained in Level 5 due to an uncontrollable manifestation of electrokinesis which led to the accidental murder of his neighbor. Family had their memories erased, and believed that he abandoned them. He escaped during the Level 5 breakout in fall, 2008, and was recaptured by us, while trying to go to his family's home in New Jersey. He was briefly detained in Level 5 again, before being transported to Moab at the same time as DeVille." The report is given without much emotion, but there's something worried about his voice, even then. "Neither of these men had military backgrounds, or any connection to Stillwater."

Rain glances over to Allison and nods his head a bit to her statement, then looks back to Ryans for a few moments. "Apparently Linderman has a man who can paint the future. He painted the cheating and everything and that is how the Linderman people knew what he was doing. It's in our report on the incident, though I imagine with how busy you've been you haven't had a chance to read it." This addressed to Ryans before his eyes pull around to Veronica and he purses his lips. "The bridge wasn't burned. showing up armed or anything like that would have burned the bridge. And it's not like you were being at all successful with your talking to her." He's not being snarky oddly enough, he's just stating himself before his eyes pull around to Corbin. "Notice how so much of our trouble comes out of Moab." There are actually a few swear words used in conjunction with that statement and mention of the government and the grand mistake that was Moab, grand mistake in Rain's opinion anyway. He goes silent then and lays his hands one over the other on the table top.

Glancing between each agent, the oldest of them nods slowly. Corbin's information gets a small hmms as he looks at images on the screen. "Any reports of bodies being found?" He asks curiously. "Or are the police still having too many issues?" He glances at Corbin again, brows lifting, before he turns to Rain at his words brows lifting. "Now that is interesting… It begs the question… why go after Alton… and not this guy." Ryans's eyes narrow slightly in thought. "Speaking to Alton, his ability only goes minutes into the future. While having even that much knowledge is dangerous… but if this man paints it…." He trails off thoughtfully.

There is a small shake of his head. "Either way… I don't know how reliable Rebel is… but I've gotten tips that were good before. But he also told me… he had nothing to do with what happened after his men were shot. So… someone had to have run the security on that place… which puts Linderman's Group on the suspect list as well." The Senior agent gives a heave sigh, "The list keeps growing."

"Add on to this… that my youngest daughter was involved in an attempted kidnapping that I am fairly certain is tied to this. Hence the ask for help watching over both of them. Both men were former marines… but identities are slow coming around thanks to the weather, but I'd about put money on them being Stillwater. Which also places me as a possible target for some reason." He leans forward to place both hands on the table as he looks at Corbin. "What else have you found, if anything?"

More it was that the painting showed one of the casino employees being killed, and Alton just //happened/ to be in the painting," Allison says a bit dryly. "It seemed his cheating and being caught was more incidental. The potential death of their floor manager was their priority. And apparently part of why you were called in," she tells Ryans.

Veronica gives a shake of her head. "It can't be coincidence, their asking for you, their attacking you, and now an attack on your daughter, I agree," she says quietly, frowning and reaching around to scratch at the nearly-healed gash on the back of her skull. Healing itches. "As far as Crowley goes, what specifically connects him to this, as opposed to some other insider?"

Much of the new information that is dilvudged is put away in Corbin's mind, but he sticks to his own information for the moment, rather than speculating. "As I said originally, Stillwater has more connections with FRONTLINE than the Company, but also with Pinehearst and Moab. The man who owned it originally was Diego Thulani Smith, now Intelligence Officer for FRONTLINE. He liquidated his assets in close proximity to the Moab raid of April of 2009, and suspected in involvement with that, but no evidence was ever found. He vanished off the grid until recruited into FRONTLINE. I've found nothing that connects Crowley to this other than knowledge of things." Which in his mind would also implicate him, and anyone else in a senior position too.

"Stillwater was purchased by Pinehearst, which— definitely wasn't an ally of ours. And finally, after the fall of Pinehearst, it was purchased by the United States Government, through a shell corporation in August of 2009. They provide private security in the Reclaimed Zone of Staten Island, and seem to work in cooperation with the Department of Evolved Affairs— and here is where things really got interesting…"

There's a click around to pictures of the black vans. The ones they have reason not to like, at least some of them. "They are suspected to have ties to the Institute, the people behind these black vans. This has not yet been confirmed by agents Bishop and Buckley yet, and as far as I can tell, Ryans— you're one of the few Agents in history to not ever have any complaints or bad marks against you, even in the higher sealed files I have access too. Which makes me think it's not an inside job of the Company, but perhaps an inside job of someone else who's been doing our work."

Rain glances over to Allison and his head gives a little nod to her. "I doubt he just /happened/ to be in the painting. They realized he was involved because he was in the painting. And there must have been some clue that the man was evolved or they'd not have called Ryans in. So, either they called him in to deal with a man they had no clue that was evolved, which seems highly unlikely, or they knew he was Evolved, by dint of that painting, or another, or… they put two and two together, the man wins a ton and then is in a painting involving the death of a floor manager. Pretty easy to find 4 in that solution."

Eyes pull to Veronica and the kid shrugs his shoulders. "Crowley is one of the few people with the kind of access that this individual seems to have. The thought that he could be involved has been one I've carried since I heard about the deaths. I don't believe he's involved, but he's definitley suspect by sheer dint of position and authority. I mean heck, even Ryans could be considered suspect if you really wanna get nitty and gritty. He's a senior agent with massive amounts of knowledge about the way the Company works, it's history, and he'd know just how to go about fooling it. His involvement? The attempt on his daughter? A man of Ryans' intelligence would know he'd have to throw us off the trail, and what better way when we all know how attached he is to his daughters?"

He turns then to hold a hand up to Ryans. "I don't think you're involved. I'm just pointing out the fact that at this point, anyone from about your seniority and up is suspect. I think you are a loyal agent who believes in the work we do or you wouldn't have come out of retirement, and I have the utmost respect for you even if it doesn't always seem like I do." He offers the senior agent a big smile, then turns his ehad to look over at Corbin. A snort at the mention of Pinehearst not being an ally. "And I've got the scars to prove it." He mutters, not angrily, just .. muttering. When the man goes on Rain shakes his head in a slow fashion to what Corbin says. "Doesn't make sense is the problem. However, an insider leaking information to those people who then put things into action based on that information sounds entirely plausible. Of course, when we're dealing with Evolved, anything and everything is possible and we can't really rule any theory out, so.. my apologies, it makes sense if they have intimate knowledge of our operations."

"Only cause he was the one that called me to send me in…" Ryans explains to Veronica. "And at this point with my girls in danger everyone is suspect." Straightening from the table, Ryans turns his ear to Corbin's information. Eyes narrowing at the image of the black vans, something the says has Ryans' head turning towards Corbin. "The Institute?" He turns to the other agent, thoughtfully. "You.. don't think…" He glances at some of the others in the room with a neutral expression.

"Okay… so… take the Company off the table for the moment." There is relief in his voice as he says that, as a loyal member for so long that it would be a blow to think that they would stab him in the back like that. "Put the Institute on it. My feelings on the Institute are not secret… And with how they do things. Not to mention… Harper." There is not hiding the older man's dislike for the man.

"And Rain… what are you talking about?" Ryans gives him a confused look. He points at the kid. "Just… sit there quietly for a few moments." Before his hand moves to rub at his eyes. "Okay… so… how do we want to proceed. Some one should talk to Faye… that person can not be me. I would just be a reminder of Winslow's suicide. What else? Ideas?"

Allison leans back, head tilting as she glances around the room. "You know, it would be a very simple matter to ensure whether or not Crowley is working against us, whether individual or as a whole," she muses aloud, glancing at Rain, then directly towards Ryans. "The only downside would be his reaction if he is innocent." Not that she explains how this would be accomplished, but she doesn't seem to think it's necessary. "Same goes for Faye. They won't be able to hide the truth."

Veronica rolls her eyes slightly. "There are a lot of people with enough know-how to pull this off. Crowley's middle management at best, O'Niel. The information needed to pull this off is hardly that classified, though I agree, it's someone with more intelligence than some of our field agents." She sighs and glances back at Ryans. "We've had a history of people turning turncoat on us, but this is getting personal." She sighs and jots down a couple of notes on the memo pad. "I have a contact in Frontline, I can see what I can find out about this Faye Crawford or if my contact knows anything else connected to this," she offers.

"It could also be this Rebel, or someone connected to him, or someone within the Institute of they were called to do pick up. Since we aren't actually supposed to detain anyone anymore," Corbin says, looking at the boy agent with an aside. "I know your daughters are important, but suspecting everyone is actually pretty dangerous as well, cause the more we look into everyone, the less we learn on each specific target. It will get muddled. Not saying that protecting your girls isn't important, if you didn't suspect Crowley, it'd be safest to transfer them here temporarily, I have to wonder if Rebel might be behind this, and implicated people high in the Company so you wouldn't turn to them for help. You have to decide who to trust, and I don't envy you for that."

"But there is another case we definitely need to talk about that's of pretty huge importance, if you don't mind, Ryans— It's Batsu's case." Batsu. Akado Ichihara… He clicks and pulls up scenes from a snowy crime scene, an agent who looks as if he's been crushed in various ways. "Agent O'Niel and I were called out to the city last night to do another case of Batsu's murders— this one was not microwaved. Which leads to a very big problem. First of all, Batsu has another puppet now. The Agents who were at the scene first suspected two things— super strength and telekinesis. We couldn't get the bodies due to the weather to examine them ourselves. And…

"This puppet is almost certainly a Company Agent with at least Level 3 access. Because the picture found at the scene of the crime— was taken from pictures we took from Batsu's hide out when we detained Campbell, which only full Agents would have access to. When I went to examine what we had, more pictures had been stolen." A list of names goes up on the screen now. Crowley is included on this list. "And there aren't that many Company Agents with the mentioned abilities." This is when he looks specifically at Veronica Sawyer. Because she knows quite well who one of those Agents is.

Rain sighs softly at Ryans statement that he sit there and be quiet. Of course, he doesn't listen. He looks ato the man and rubs his hand over hsi face a bit. "You're going on the assumption that all of these attacks on our personel and orginization are unrelated. What if they're all very much related. Batsu and the Stillwater stuff. What if it's all one big plot to take down the Company? God alone knows how many lives we've ruined. For a good cause yes, but the people who's lives they were are not going to agree with that. We've angered alot of people, and the Government has no love for us. So who is to say this is not one big conjointed effort by multiple groups, or even the same group from multiple fronts, do dismantle us?"

He looks around the room a little bit, then looks down at the table. "I'm always up for talking to people." he mutters under his breath, though loud enough to be heard. Allison's suggestion has him turning his head a touch. "It would be a good idea, and I think Crowley is intelligent enough to realize it's necessity, but in the end, right now any of us could be the traitor, you could implicate him, or be in league with him and declare his innocence. Until we can remove an inside job as a possibility, then your word won't matter." He offers her an apologetic look, then nods hsi head a bit to Veronica, not replying, just nodding in affirmation of what she says.

Eyes go to Corbin then as the man speaks, but Rain doesn't seem to have any reply for the man, or at least, just nothing to say to what he says, just sits there, quuiet now as Ryans wished, not that he did it when the man wished. He toys with his black berry, which he retrieved from his pocket, spinning it around on the table top with a finger.

"No." Ryans tells Allison sharply, his eyes showing his dislike for what she does. "You will not use your ability on Crowley, Period." He studies the woman a few moments longer before turning to Veronica.

"Good. Do it. See if you can find anything out, otherwise, we'll have to see about getting a meeting with her. I'd rather watch what bridges we burn doing this… but by god, I will burn them if I have too." There is a slight growl in his voice as he says that.

Corbin gets a sharp look. "No." He states firmly about moving his daughters to Fort Hero. "Even if he wasn't… just… no."

A glare goes to Rain, but Ryans listens.

"So we have one of our agents now under his control. Wonderful." The sarcasm this in his voice, something people don't often hear. Cause at this point there is possible two cases pointing a finger at the Company. He slowly turns his attention back to Corbin, He flips the pages of his files and passes over a picture to Corbin, for only his eyes at the moment considering the content. It's one of the Ryans family and the Hokuto's family, the young girl staring out of the picture. Her folks congratulating the Ryans on a red headed baby.

"Best call Batsu by his real name… Delia identified him." His eyes are on Corbin as he offers the photo… There is only one other man in the photo. "I imagine you figured that out too? You said puppet. Is that his ability? How did does work?" His worry placed on the fact his daughter was face to face with the man in the photo.

Rain gets Allison's attention next. And an unfriendly look. Then she looks back to Ryans. "Care to share his real name? And may I remind you that others do find my ability to be useful, and I've proven it to be exactly that in the past. But if you have no wish for me to use it, then perhaps I should refrain from sharing the information that I discovered from Campbell by using that ability on him?" she asks, her tone bitter.

Veronica reads the list of names on the screen, noting Crowley and Paulson. "There. If you think the two cases are connected, then Crowley is trying to kill himself," she tells Rain with a shake of her head. "But no one ever operates under an assumption things aren't related. It's the first thing to consider in any case."

Her eyes are somber as they return to the list, then to Corbin's and then to Ryans'.

"It's Ichihara. The power seems to be a remote puppetry. We need to figure out his range. The fact that this new victim wasn't microwaved at least suggests that Campbell and Campbell's power is no longer in his control, unless he dropped Campbell's power for another reason. If it's because of range, compare the locale of the murder to our location here at Hero, and that theoretically tells us what's outside of the range — but not the limits."

As she writes down the names on the screen on her memo pad, she also jots down others: "These are the agents, off the top of my head, with Telekinesis, of some variety, aside from Paulson: Agents Devereaux, Nguyen, Morton and Pellerino. Superstrength of some sort, Agents Weir and Valdez. We should start by figuring out if any of them are having blackouts."

"Akado Ichihara," Corbin fills in, but Veronica handled a lot of it for him. "His normal file had him down as a telepath, but— when I dug deeper he could actually control people remotely. What we don't know about his ability is how he takes control of them. If he needs personal contact, or if he just needs to get a puppet close enough. I can't help but wonder if bringing Campbell here was what allowed him to transfer to an Agent with access to what he wants."

There's the guilt he couldn't show well last night due to being all bundled up. Not that it was entirely his decision, but—

"Sawyer's pretty much right, we'd need to question those Agents and see if they are missing time."
Rain shrugs his shoulders in a slow fashion to Ryan's statement. "We might. I mean, I know that what's being done is pretty similar to how I'd go about it if I wanted to destroy the Company. Little differences sure. But, attack them on a personal level on one front, and try to take out a well respected, very experienced, senior agent who is as much a symbol of the Company as the founders are on another front? Yeah, sounds like a damn good plan to me. Keep you distracted so you can't concentrate and are more worried about your girls than you are the case? It's a fantastic idea. Whether it would work or not I don't know, as I don't know you on a personal level very well. I imagine though, that you will choose your family over the Company. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that in my opinion, had I family to choose over the Company I might, but I don't so it's not an issue for me." He offers Ryans a sympathetic look, then sighs softly before glancing to Veronica and arching a brow at her, no words, just the skeptical brow for her statement. Then he's going quiet to listen to the rest of what she says.

"Don't forget gravity control, control of body parts both skeletal and muscular, as both could be used to twist things in such a fashion, super speed as I imagine enough inertia could easily be used to rip someone's head off, and… I think that about does it, though there might be more powers I'm not thinking of capable of doing such a thing. I mean, those in addition to super strength and telekinesis." He purses his lips, then nods and goes quiet for a few moments, until Corbin speaks. He nods hsi ehad a little bit, his eyes gone thoughtful, mulling stuff over as he goes back to spinning his black berry in slow circles.

"Okay… so… Veronica you are finding out what you can about Faye Crawford, if you don't get what you need, we'll see about Allison interviewing her. Corbin… keep an eye out on the reports about those Marines see once we get a name if they are Stillwater… also" Ryans moves to settle into a seat, he glances at the agent. "See if you can get anything on the groups that take our bags. Especially Harper. If it's too risky… don't, but they know how we feel about them. And I know how the Company has been in the past, so I don't put it beyond them, too." Then he looks at the other three. "Allison… Sawyer… Rain… Split up on the agents that need questioning. See if they are missing time. If you need to have Allison use her skills. Remember these are still our co-workers."

There is a deep sigh from the Senior agent as he leans back in his chair, fingers rub at his eyes. "And if any of you can spare time to look in on the girls… I'd be grateful." His voice sounding tired. "Though if you see a tall black woman, she's a former Moab detainee, pardoned for her crimes. Don't turn your back on her, but also don't try to take her one, she's actually helping and the one that stopped the men from taking Delia."

The hand drops away, the man looking a little older for the moment, "I think that covers it folks… Thank you for indulging an old man. If you get anymore ideas, let me know." His gaze shifts to Corbin, giving him a small touch of a smile, he reaches over and pats the man on the shoulder.

"Rain, you take the two superstrengths and anyone else you think could've done the job. Richards, you and I can split the TKs between us — you take Devereaux and Nguyen, I got the other three."

As the other agents get up to go, Veronica picks up the small Tower records bag and slides the package with a flick of her wrist across the conference table toward Rain. "A little listening material for you," she says with a smirk before standing. She grabs her memo pad and slips out of the room, patting Ryans on the shoulder as she goes.

Inside the bag Rain will find the newest Justin Bieber CD.

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