Vaguely Hostile


allison_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Vaguely Hostile
Synopsis Allison finds her reception at Fort Hero to be less than warming at the hands of agents Ryans and Sawyer.
Date March 30, 2010

Fort Hero Gymnasium

As with much else, the gymnasium at Fort Hero is not a single large room, but a succession of several. Some are smaller, used for individual practices, sparring sessions, private exercise; their concrete floors are cushioned with one or two layers of matting. There's a couple of moderate-sized rooms filled with exercise equipment, all of it relatively new, at most perhaps five years old. A single large room is typically bare, gear, equipment, infrastructure packed away across the hall, ready to be used for almost anything a group of people could come up with.

There's also a cluster of rooms designated specifically for training and exercise of Evolved abilities — at least, those abilities that can be safely utilized in an enclosed, underground space. Given that there's a whole base aboveground, it's not difficult to find alternatives for those that can't. These rooms, like the rest of the 'wing', have yet to be meddled with otherwise; the color scheme is gray, gray, and more gray, with touches of fluorescent lighting, rust stains, and bolted-down conduits..

One of the downsides of being an older and retired man, means some things got harder for him. He couldn't run as far or as fast, he couldn't throw as hard a punch as he once did. Age is a killer, there is not doubt in Senior Agent Benjamin Ryan's mind.

Then an age manipulator committed suicide and pushed all that green energy into the old man, it gave him back something he lost.

His edge.

But there had been some work needed to get him back to that point. So he's spent a lot of free time in the gym.

Wearing a pair of gray sweatpants, a white tank top and sneakers, it looks odd on Ryans. His hands are taped up, held before him, perched on the balls of his feet. His face as always schooled into that neutral expression as he suddenly lashes out, punching the long kicking bag with as much force as he can.

So as others make their way into the gym, the Thwap-thwap-thwap greets then as he works through a series of punches.

Though Allison has only just arrived in the city, she wasted no time in checking out the Company holdings. And didn't put off her daily routine of training. To get sloppy is to risk being too slow, too weak when it's most needed. And so she walks into the gym, dressed in a white tank top, black exercise pants and running shoes.

She ends up in the same area as Ryans, and she glances at him, but doesn't say anything to disturb his own workout. Instead she finds herself a mat and begins to stretch, thoroughly, in preparation for her own workout.

Having come into Fort Hero to peruse the files that aren't accessible from her Blackberry or her laptop at home, Veronica figures she'll spend the night again, and might as well get some use out of the gymnasium. Her apartment has a very nice gym, but she's always getting hit on by the men in the building, which isn't what she wants when she's in the middle of her five mile run, or kicking the shit out of a punching bag. The Company men, for the most part, know to leave her alone. She walks in, dressed in shorts and a tank top, iPod earbuds in her ears. She gives a nod of acknowledgment to Ryans before making her way to one of the treadmills. She punches in her program: varying inclines, five miles, and begins the warm-up "lap" on slow.

As she begins to run, her eyes drift over to the stranger in the room, a face she recognizes only from the file she looked up after receiving the memo of the new agent and psychiatrist joining their midsts. She had looked up the file so she'd know what the other agent looked like — in order to avoid her. Veronica has memories and thoughts in her mind that it's best the Company didn't know. Her eyes narrow a little, but she keeps running — it'd seem strange for her to simply leave the gym after thirty seconds on the machine.

There is a pause in what the man is doing, so that Ryans can glances at the new arrivals. The unfamiliar face gets a scrutinizing look, nothing forward in it, in fact, there is no real show of emotion. Of course, more movement out of the corner of his eye, as the older agent, twisting slightly to spot Veronica. This one is familiar, so a hand lits and he salutes her with two fingers flicked from his forehead in greeting.

He goes back to the scrutiny of the new agent for only a moment more before, he takes a few more punches, much like Veronica, he recognized the face from the memo he received. He just doesn't show it.

Finally, a hand moves to stay the slightly swaying bag. "I take it you're Doctor Richards?" The quiet words carrying quite well, with the deepness of it. He goes back up on his toes again, preparing for another volley. "Welcome to the New York branch." Much like the man's face, his voice holds no real emotion, even tho there is a calmness to it.

Allison frowns a little at the look she gets from the other woman. People can't dislike her yet. She hasn't met anyone! But then the frown disappears and she shrugs a little. Not her problem. She's here to work, not make friends. Unfortunately.

Hearing her name, Alli looks back to Ryans and she nods. "I am, yes. Thank you. And who might you be?" she asks as she resumes her stretching. It would be silly to get a pulled muscle just after arriving in the city just because she was impatient or lazy.

Veronica reaches down to turn off her music while the two other agents are looking at one another — that way she can hear what they are saying but doesn't have to act like it if she doesn't want to. The earbuds remain in her ears so it looks like she's distracted. Of course, it is hard to hear over the pounding of her feet on the treadmill, especially as her warm up moments end and the machine kicks into a higher gear.

While her legs are still slim and well-shaped, it's easy to see she earns her keep — the back of one has a straight and thin scar through most of the length of it, while the other has an uglier scar that looks a touch fresher. Neither injury looks too old, though they aren't keeping her from a fast pace on her run.

"Senior Agent Benjamin Ryans." Is offered after another hard hit at the bag, hands reaching out to catch it as it swings back, his breathing deep from the work out. His head turns towards the new agent slightly, blue eyes glances at her out of the corner of his eye. Having been with the company since just about it's founding, he's traveled most places. Though if she's ever heard of him, this is not an old man like his files would say he is.

His head turns a bit more to glance at Veronica again, she can see the look of caution in his eyes, but then Ryans hasn't done this job for nearly 30 years without that caution.

Letting go of the bag, he starts to rip the tape off his head, hair tousled from his workout, falls into his face some, he's started to let it grow out a little, now that he has more of it. "What prompted the move to our fair city?"

Either Allison has never heard of Ryans or she's hiding the fact that she has for some reason. So her only response is a polite, "Nice to meet you." Her gaze follows his to Veronica, then she's shrugging and beginning to move through a slow, precise kata. "I was told to come here. Apparently the Company thinks that I'm needed here," she explains. Lips curve into a bit of a smile. "Think there's a lot of agents who need psychiatic counseling here?"

Veronica chuckles, and pulls one of the ear buds out of her ears. "I think that's probably a given, though I think it might be the various serial killers we have on our hands they called you in to help figure out. That's my guess, agent." She's not going to call the other woman 'Doctor.'

"I'm Agent Sawyer. Where you coming to us from?" she asks, husky voice just a touch breathier than usual from her running, her tone friendly enough despite her distrust of the psychiatrists on staff in general, and anyone with an ability like Allison's in specific.

That gets a bit of a snort from the old man, though he doesn't look at her, tape torn off his hands in strips. "We need field agents, not shrinks." The senior agent clips out in those calms tones.

He turns slightly as Veronica speaks up, the first hint of some sort of emotion on the man's face showing in the form of a small quirk of one side of his mouth. Just a hint of a smile. "It's true. There has been an alarming influx of serial cases." Of course, he's only been back for a short time, but he's been on the go since he has been.

Allison's gaze shifts back to Veronica, her head tilting. "California. And perhaps you're right." She smiles, a warm, friendly smile, then resumes her workout. "And what serial killers are currently on hand then, agent?"

That friendliness disappears as she looks back to Ryans, a brow sliding upwards. "And what makes you think I'm not both? Or perhaps those who employ us disagree with what is needed here at the moment," she says with a shrug.

The brunette agent smirks a little at Ryans, since his view on 'shrinks' is much like hers — ironically, she has a degree in psychology, though only as far as it would help her in a prospective career in law enforcement. "Small world. California here as well, though it's a big state. Welcome to New York. It's a big city, but a lot smaller in a lot of ways — everyone seems to know everyone here, unlike back home," she tells the blonde in an easy tone.

"As far as the cases go, we should probably let the brass update you on those. We operate on a need to know basis and all, as I'm sure you're used to, so I wouldn't want to speak out of turn," Veronica says, a dimpled smile cast toward the other agent. She can't even talk to Ryans about the Gray case; she's certainly not going to say much about it to the newcomer. "You meet Crowley yet?"

Brows quirk upward as he glances at the young woman, but yet, "How much field would have you actually done?" He asks his tone bland, as his attention strays back to his hands and he starts working on the next hand. "Either way, you will be useful with some of the ones we're after." He can think of one young man in particular.

His head shifts in Veronica's direction as she speaks, but he doesn't really look at her, intent on what he's doing. "He isn't hard to miss. He looks like a hippy trying to be a yuppy." The words said completely deadpan, but it sums up his thoughts on their boss. I have been meaning to ask Sawyer." He finally gives the woman his attention.

"Is that what they call… what was the word my oldest used… meterosexual?" Brows lift slightly with the question, even if he's totally showing his age.

"Considering I've been with the Company for almost ten years, yes, I'm quite used to it," Allison says with a little smirk of her own. The kata she's doing is smooth and very nearly perfect, like she's been doing this same routine for a long time. It looks vaguely aikido-ish, but there are differences for those who know. Aikido doesn't normally include flips and handsprings, which she throws in now. Perhaps proving that she's not just a shrink? Though she certainly won't mention that she learned those moves as a cheerleader!

"No, I haven't met Crowley. I only just got into the city. But I'm sure I'll meet everyone I need to soon enough." It's a moment before she glances at Ryans and smiles. "Some. I'm an agent, not just a shrink, after all. And I wouldn't be much good as an agent if I just hid in an office all day."

The agent on the treadmill snorts at Ryans' question, unable to keep her stoic mask at the pairing of Crowley and metrosexual. "He's a little more hippy than metrosexual, in my opinion. Paulson might qualify as metro, though," she says with a smirk, shaking her head at the question. "I'll point one out to you next time we're out on the field, all right, Gramps?"

The show-off moves of the doctor get an eyebrow raise from Veronica. "That's cute. Just don't try that in the field or you'll be shot in the middle of the third cartwheel," she says dryly, her dark eyes once more going to Ryans as if to say, 'do you believe this chick?'

A brow arches at brow at the smirk, then both brows lift upwards some, as turns back to his hands to tear off the last of the tape. Bending down — something he can do now without getting a crick — he scoops up the tape. He straightens in time to see the little display, there is actually amusement in is face, his eyes meeting Veronica's for a moment, his thoughts about the same. "Indiana Jones comes to mind." Of course, he's known to shoot as well. "Survive another twenty years and I'll act impressed."

Does this man ever have any emotions when he talks.

It seems that on occasion he does, as Veronica earns another one of those ghost smiles, and an amused. "I appreciate it, Kiddo." The jab flung right back. "I'm finding with this new youth, I need to learn all these terms so I do not sound like an old fart." Another term his girls have used on him time and time again.

Allison shrugs. "Actually, you'd be surprised how often it works as a distraction. And since I have yet to be shot, apparently it's more effective than you think."

To Ryans, "Indiana Jones didn't hide in an office either," she points out. "But tell me…is this something you two have against people in my profession, or is it something specific to me?"

"Did you learn that from a Disney movie?" Veronica asks, looking amused. It reminds her of that Mighty Ducks moment where the ice skater on the team starts doing a spin so the other team stops playing offense. "If you haven't been shot, you aren't trying hard enough. Ten years, and no gunshot wounds? You must spend more time in your office than the field, or they're giving you the easy cases."

She punches a button and the machine makes a purr as it kicks up her incline another couple of degrees. "Nothing personal, don't worry. I don't like anyone and nobody likes me. Ask Crowley." She reaches for her water bottle and takes a few swallows, though she never stops running.

Okay, now the nw person gets an amused look from the senior agent. "Richards, I have been in the Company since just about when it started. Fancy tricks aside, I have not seen you in the field yet, but I have seen agents cut down while 'distracting', so I will be leary until I see you in action." A hand motions to the rest of the gym, "Not in the comforts of the facility."

"I don't call it having anything against people such as you, it's called…" The tape is wadded up and tossed into a small nearby waste basket. "…it's called not getting attached." The mention of being shot, the older agent runs hands over his shoulder, it's smooth skin there now, all the scars of the past gone. There were so many before, now… none. His hands flex some the scars, recieved during one nasty case, that gnarled his hands some also a memory.

"Give her time, Sawyer, she'll get her just like the rest of us." The states calmly, rather sure on the fact. "Can't live her and not end up with it." A glances goes to Veronica, a smirk there. "Oh yeah, everyone hates you." There is actually sarcasm there, but then he doesn't exactly hate Vee, — not too many he rally hates — she's a trusted associate.

"Oh, so you're a bitch. Okay," Allison says to Veronica in a light voice, sounding as though she could've said "Oh, the sky is blue". Her hands settle on her hips as she looks back to Ryans. "There's a difference between being vaguely hostile and not getting attached. What you're doing is a distancing technique, yes, but it just prevents others from getting attached to you, not the other way around, which is what you intended, I assume."

Shrugging as she moves to one of the punching bags herself, she adds, "And I'm not here to measure up to your standards, either of yours. I'm here to do my job. You can love me, hate me, or think I'm worthless. Doesn't matter in the least to me. So long as I please the bosses, I'm content."

"Oh, so you're a sycophant," Veronica tosses back. Because pleasing the bosses is certainly not on her list of worthy goals — it was once, but now? It's hardly on her list of priorities, except for the fact that she's afraid to get herself mindwiped if she takes a step toofar over the line.

"Crowley'll love you, I'm sure. He tends to like the showboats and lapdogs. Like Paulson. Like Webb." She pushes a button that gets the treadmill to slow, her legs slowing with it. Once at a stop, she grabs her towel and wipes her face with it. "Do your job and we don't have a problem, and if you ever use your power on me without my consent, I'll make sure your streak of never having been shot comes to an end. Sound like a deal?"

"Vaguely hostile." There is a touch of amusement in the agents rumbling voice. "That is a new one," The older man, turns and moves out of the young womans way, a glance goes to Veronica brows lifting slightly. "Well, that there gives me all I need to know about you, young lady." Titles gone, a hint at his annoyance for those that actually know him.

"I am not bending over to please our bosses, I do my job." The senior agent points out softly, "Which is to keep people safe at whatever cost, which doesn't always sit well with our brass." Or other agencies, but his track record will show for itself.

He move to step towards the door and turns back, there is a rather dangerous look in the older agents eyes, it's an empty look of a man who has seen to much. War before, evolved later on. "Let me add to, Agent Sawyer's threat. Should I find out that you have used your ability on any of my people — unless sanctioned for a very damn good reason with the brass —…" And he does think of them as his people, even Veronica.

".. I won't even talk out my feelings first." The threat is deadly serious, he is pro-evolved, but it only goes so far, especially with co-worked involved. "Do your job right, don't get me or mine killed and we'll be just peachy." He even gives her a smile, which deepens the lines of his faces, it doesn't reach his eyes however.

"Ahh…So that is why you dislike me," Allison says, her lips curving into a smile. "It's not me, it's my power. Which, of course, leads to all sorts of interesting implications. I do hope that the bosses ask me to put you under. I really do. I'd love to know what secret you're worried about getting out," she murmurs, looking, for a moment, like Pandora presented with the box.

Her gaze flicks towards Ryans, and she shows no fear at the threat. "My name is Doctor Richards, not little girl. And you'd do well to remember that. There are few people that I fear in this world, and you are not one of the few. More, I've heard that threat again and again from other agents, people who are supposed to be my allies and coworkers. It's funny how often I get treated like a bad guy because I have an ability that I didn't ask for. I put it to good use, keeping those who would use their power to harm, yet because of the potential I have, I'm mistrusted."

Allison glances between the pair for a moment before she laughs softly and shakes her head. "You two have just as much potential to harm as I do, since I'm sure you both carry guns. But that's something you understand. Either way, it's good to know what type of people I'll be working with here. I'm glad I don't have to worry about making friends." Then she moves towards one of the other rooms, blatantly turning her back on both Veronica and Ryans.

"I don't trust anyone who can get in my mind. Don't think you're special. Stay out of it. If the boss gives you permission, bare in mind that I do not — and my warning will stand," Vee says to the retreating back of the other agent.

Stepping back off the treadmill, Veronica gives a weary smile to Ryans. "One of your people, huh? It's nice to feel like someone's got my back. I certainly don't feel like many here do." She gives a slight huff of a laugh. "Not that I blame them. Maybe we were a bit hard on her?" She's not trying to speak quietly, so it's possible Allison can still hear her. Veronica looks up through lashes at Ryans, as she takes another long drink from her Evian bottle.

Lips press into a thin line, thoughtful, his attention on the doctor for a long moment, "That is only a piece of paper, means nothing in the field." Then he turns towards the door, pausing by Vee, letting the concern show where Allison can not see it. "That one will be a liability, mark my word Sawyer." His voice soft, his turning enough to glance out of the corner of his eye, but he can only see the vague movement.

"The one thing our group has going is team work, it works." An amused look goes to her, a mouth pulling up on one side. "Even Webb, he listens to what he's told." A sigh escapes him as he eyes the woman before him. "And yes, you're one of mine." A finger points at her, giving her a matter of fact look, "You were my assistant before I was reinstated… you proved yourself."

"She has a ways to go and if she can not take the pressure, she would not have lasted." His face turns thoughtful. "You never met Claude, did you? The man was an irritating asshole, this.. was nothing to some of the shit he pulled." Sawyer gets a once over as the senior agent moves away, heading for the door. "Your a sight prettier too." He quips in that neutral tone of his. "And won't sneak up on me at the urinal, sneaky invisible bastard."

"Like I said…I'm always considered the bad guy because of what I am," Allison says, pausing at the doorway to glance back at the pair. "It's a good thing I stopped giving a damn what anyone thought of me years ago. I'll do whatever I'm told by those with the authority, and you two? Well, do whatever it is you do." Then it's off she goes, to continue her workout in peace.

"Methink the lady doth protest too much," Veronica says as Allison insists on not caring what they think. She turns to look at Ryans once more, her own lips curving into a smirk as she arches a brow at his words.

"I think you have the relationship backwards, there, Gramps. You assisted me, if anything." Her dimples show as she turns to walk behind him toward the door, dark eyes dropping to take in his form as he just took in hers.

"And this Claude fellow? Maybe he just liked to see you from behind. Who could blame him? Your ass is looking pretty good these days."

"Only cause you have curves, something I seriously lack," Ryans points out rather blandly, turning to take a few steps backwards. "Had he been light in the loafers… it would have been a whole 'nother story, Sawyer." There is a rare bark of laughter form the senior agent, before he slips out of the gym, head shaking slightly. He'll have to get use to stuff like that, his daughters warned him.

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