jenn_icon.gif mason_icon.gif

Scene Title Vows
Synopsis Mason and Jennifer Chesterfield discuss the future of Pinehearst, and realize that they are both on the same page.
Date June 3, 2009

Pinehearst Headquarters, Basement Level 4 – Mason Chesterfield's Office

The click-clack of heels down a tile hall come to a stop outside of an office door, where bare knuckles rap on faux-wood. There's a quiet noise inside, something of a familiar place between go away and come in, it's one Jennifer Chesterfield has spent nearly all of her life coming to know and, in some ways, enjoy.

The door to Mason's office is opened slowly, her first genuine smile of the day afforded to him from across the office space floor as she slinks in and presses the door shut behind her with a press of her back and the flats of her hands. Tearing his focus away from the glow of his computer monitor, Mason looks to his wife with a mild smile, head slowly hanging as he slouches back into his leather chair with a creak of the material.

"Long day?" She opines with a few casual steps deeper into the office. The way Mason removes his glasses and rubs at the bridge of his nose, works fingers back and forth and exhales a sigh is another one of those tells he has that she has become so familiar with. Jennifer circles around the office in a stalking motion, a certain feline quality to the motions possessed by progeny in her own ways. Finally, she comes to settle on the corner of the desk, one leg folded atop the other, hands folded in her lap, eyes diverted to Mason's computer screen.

She waits—she's patient. "I ah—I've been going over what Arthur has of the Formula." Mason manages in a tired exhalation, pushing his glasses back up the bridge of his nose, one hand half-distractedly motioning to a combination of compounds displayed in the scanned image. "I've been making my best guesses as to what the remainder of the compound could be, and I've just sent my analysis off to Doctor Meier for—"

Jennifer leans in, pressing one finger to Mason's lips to silence him, then leans forward and gently presses her lips to his forehead before leaning back. The gesture catches him off-guard, as most shows of affection by her tend to. It's a pleasant game of back and forth, a vacillating between stoic and warm that Jennifer can manage that Mason has always appreciated. She knows the right moments to be stern, and the right moments to be gentle.

"Go on," she finally allows with a nod of her head, motioning to the screen. Tension having faded some, Mason smiles wordlessly up to Jennifer, folding his hands as he leans back into his chair with hands resting on his midsection.

"The ah—the Formula that Adam brought to us, there's some irregularities in the chemical composition that I've just—it has Alison and I both scratching our heads." Two fingers point at part of the compound, "I just—neither of us know what to make of it. It just—something about it seems wrong."

Jennifer leans to the side, looking at the screen, then back to Mason with one brow raised. "Do you think this is a fake?" She peers over the top of her glasses, one brow raised with a curious look of uncertainty. Mason just shakes his head, pressing a sigh out from his nostrils as if it were a monumental effort.

"No, no… it's not a fake, the odds of that are far too slim. It doesn't look like it's been tampered with either I just—I was hoping that something of this Formula might make enough sense to be able to understand what Doctor Zimmerman's original intentions were with it, so that we could reproduce the remaining half on our own. But…" Mason trails off as Jennifer looks from the screen to her husband, lips quirked into a puzzled expression.

"I saw Matt Parkman a few days ago." The jarring change of topic brings a wide-eyed look from Mason to his wife, lips parted in an unspoken litany of confused and stuttering words she just knows would come if she let the pause between her thoughts linger any further. "He came here with a group of DHS agents, they were here for Maury." Both of Mason's brows shoot up at that, and he just falls back into his chair again with a stunned look. "Arthur told me to bring him down, take him right to his office," her brows crease together, "so I did."

Clearing his throat, Mason motions towards his door with one hand in a vague gesture. "You—how did he even know to look here? I don't—wait—what would the Department of Homeland Security want with Maury of all people? Matthew I could understand, but—"

"Do you remember that little girl in Lab C? The one that neither Arthur nor Alison will let us speak to?" Jenn arches one brow, her tone leading. Mason's silent and slow nod is another tell, one that shows he was wishing he had no idea what Jennifer was talking about, because the grim weight of anticipation looming over him is setting him up for a frightful revelation. "She's Matt's adoptive daughter, and Maury kidnapped her for Arthur."

The breath is practically sucked out of Mason's chest, and he leans forward in his chair conspiratorially, voice lowered to a more hushed tone than his wife. "Good—Good heavens, what—" he practically spits his words out, "how did you find this out? Matt told you?"

"No." Jennifer breathes in a deep breath, then exhales it slowly as she straightens her posture, eyes falling briefly shut before slowly opening again. "No, I overheard a conversation between Arthur and Maury when I was waiting to deliver Alison's test results. Matthew is currently being detained here in order to divert the department's attention, and Maury— Maury is masquerading as his son to… to…" she strains a frustrated sigh between clenched teeth, "I have no idea. Mason," Jennifer's gaze steadies on her husband, "Mason what are we doing here?"

Eyes wide and head shaking, Mason just slouches back against his seat again, massaging his temples with two hands as he exhales another sigh. "I—I don't know. I thought—Arthur seemed like he had the right idea when—I don't know." Dejectedly, his shoulders slack and head hangs, resting his brow on splayed fingers. "This is all spiraling out of control… ever since Roger died."

Looking away at the mention of Roger's death, Jennifer closes her eyes and takes on that more stoic appearance she is often wont to do. "Alison is obsessed with the formula, she has been spending an inordinate amount of time with Zimmerman, trying to coax information out of him… Roger died because—" she wipes a hand over her face, "Mason I don't think we're doing the right thing anymore."

Biting down on his lower lip, Mason glances to the screen displaying the Formula, then looks back up to Jennifer. "I agree, and—I need to tell you something." When her eyes fall on him again, Mason can see the mixed look of both hope and uncertainty painted on Jennifer's face. She tenses, he tenses, and his explanation comes with difficulty. "Roger was… he apparently had a change of heart about his assignment right at the end. Before he—" Mason dithers, giving a shake of his head again, "he sent information to someone, I think someone inside of the Company. He wants to bring down the Company and Pinehearst together, and he wants—he told this contact of his to speak to me."

Both of Jennifer's brows rise, and she looks at Mason with that look of abject confusion that he had given her when she mentioned Matt. "What—did you? Who is she?"

"She gave me an alias— Chance." A dry laugh escapes Mason, "I—she seemed to honestly want to do what she said. Going over the data of everything I'd observed Goodman doing and her body posture, I ascertained a high chance of probability that she's going to follow through. I… I told her to talk to Catherine."

"Jesus Christ, Mason." Jennifer's voice becomes a hiss, "that was the most reckless—" she clips her reflexive and protective words off, biting down on her lower lip. For a moment, she has to sit and remember that her daughter is grown up, that she's made her choices, that she's found her own path. "Did she?"

Mason nods his head slowly, eyes closed. "She called me to confirm their meeting shortly after, it seems like it might be productive. I… dear, I don't trust Arthur's sanity. I think he's—I think he may be as blinded by revenge as Adam is." Jennifer's slow nod of agreement comes with reluctance, but also relief that she and her husband are on the same page.

"What do you think would be the best course of action, then? We can't just up and leave," her eyes wander to the door, "God knows what Arthur would do to Catherine to get back at us, or—worse. God, Mason, we can't let him finish this work on the Formula, we—we can't. God, did you see the records of Alison's trials for her own version of the Formula? Did you see the number of deaths? I—" Finally, after all this time of doubting, Jennifer's confidence begins to crack, and her head rests in her hands.

Rising up from his chair, seeing that the composure of his wife cracking under the strain, Mason adapts to fill the void of her confidence. A hand comes to rest steady on her shoulder, squeezing firmly before he looks towards his office door again, considering something. "I have an idea, darling. I think we have exactly what we need right here…"

Looking up to Mason with a creased brow, Jennifer's lips part in an uncertain and silently searching expression…

Pinehearst Headquarters, Basement Level 4 – Research Room 3.

The magnetic lock on the research door clicks loudly as it unlocks and pops inwards to the eggshell white walls and fluorescent lights. Opening the door only enough to slip inside, Mason Chesterfield quietly enters with his card key in one hand, holding one of his wife's hands with the other as he guides her inside. The beep and hiss of machinery reports in the research room; a respirator and brainwave monitor.

Carefully and quietly making their way over to the side of the patient's bed, Mason swallows dryly and looks down at the man strapped to the gurney. Jennifer moves to the other side of the bed, turning down the drip on the sedative, before removing the IV from his bare arm. Mason's brows furrow, peering at the small man behind an impassive mask of uncertainty in the probability of this coming situation. "Wake up Doctor Ray…"

"…you've got work to do."

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