What Are You Here For


goodman2_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title What Are You Here For
Synopsis It's a good question, that applies to both Veronica and Goodman in the early morning hours and in this chapter of their lives.
Date December 28, 2010

The Octagon Veronica's Apartment

Dim light from the street is an ambient glow offering only vague suggestions as to the details of Veronica Sawyer's bedroom. The pale red light of numbers on a digital clock outline the gloss of her night stand, its faux wood finish and an orange pill bottle only partly in its glow. The comforter is twisted, mis-shapen by a body laid out beneath, and apartment 310 in the Octagon is silent.

The digital clock reads quarter past three in the morning, a reasonable hour for agent Sawyer to be asleep. On the opposite side of her bed, another night stand contains her cell phone, alarm primed to act as a back up should her primary alarm fail to rouse her weary frame from the warmth and comfort of sleep come morning. There's intellignce regarding Amid Halebi to go over and likely hours and hours worth of meetings and conferences regarding the arrests made in Jersey City several days ago.

A faint purple glow beneath her bedroom door indicates to no one in particular that Veronica Sawyer isn't going to get a full night's sleep. She doesn't stir when the bedroom door swings open on silent hilges, doesn't wake when a tall and lank shadow creeps into her room, lit only by the disparate and minimal illumination of tiny lights, his dark skin and suit doing little to aid in revelation.

"Sawyer," is Roger Goodman's sharply stated wake-up call.

They have to stop meeting like this.

Even before her eyes have fully opened, Veronica's hand is reaching for the firearm on the bedside table; this time, she's at least more fully dressed than the last time Goodman crept into her apartment, thanks to the cold wintry weather outside. As her groggy eyes alight on his figure and register his voice, she tosses sleepy-touseled dark locks out of her face to arch a brow up at him.

She looks irritated.

"That's a good way to get yourself killed, you know," Veronica utters, hoarse voice rougher than usual due to want of use, and that those words coming out of her mouth to Roger Goodman are probably not the most polite or compassionate is simply not an issue to her at whatever o'clock at the buttcrack of dawn.

She sets down the gun, using the hand to push through the tangled dark hair as she stares at him blearily. "Don't tell me. Let me guess. I shouldn't go in to work today," she says bitterly.

Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

"Quite the opposite, I'm going to need you this morning to help go over the information we've been able to glean from Celik. That is, however, unrelated to why I've come to meet you here," in your bedroom; kinda' creepy. "When I was running the Company here in New York, you were one of my finest agents. You went above and beyond the call of duty time and again, sticking with your convictions to a degree that I had underestimated you being capable of…"

Stepping away from the bed, Goodman slinks over to the blinded windows, using two gloved fingers to spread them apart, dark eyes peering out of the shades and into the sliver of light that spills in from outside. "Are you still that woman?" As much as it sounds like a rhetorical question, it isn't. Goodman turns to look over his shoulder, that thin band of light cutting across his face as he levels an expectant stare down on Veronica.

Admittedly, it's a good question.

The agent sits the rest of the way up, pulling off the blankets to perch on the end of the bed. The sweats are those given to her on the ship off the coast of Antarctica, since most of her belongings had been lost in Argentina.

So much happens in a year.

She watches him, dark eyes tracking his movement to the window, before one shoulder shrugs.

"There's a reason I didn't follow your advice last summer, Roger." Apparently she's decided they're on first name basis — since he's in her bedroom and she's in her pajamas.

"I'm not really the same person I was when you worked with me for the Company — too much has changed. But my convictions are about all I have left. That's about the only thing that's not different," she says, standing and crossing her arms as she watches him at the window.

"I want to trust you — that you and I are on the same side. I think we are but…" But how can you ever be sure? Veronica exhales, frustrated. "Do I even have a chance to do what I'm here for?"

Roger is silently judgmental, looming as a dark silhouette by Veronica's bedside, hands folded behind his back and brows furrowed, the dim light filtering in through those blinds behind him casting a crisp outline to his silhouette. "That raises an important question," Goodman begins, one brow visibly rising across his forehead, creaking wrinkles of age on the acting director's brow.

"What are you here for?" is the most important question Agent Sawyer may ever be asked.

Tired eyes — not merely sleepy from just having woke up, but exhausted from the fights and battles she has fought for so many years in her young life — lift to his. There's a line in the proverbial sand that she's toeing. And she knows she can't do what she's come to do alone. Roger Goodman cared enough to warn her that her life was in danger — for whatever reason, after she had helped assassinate him. And now he's here asking her about her convictions.

There's a reason he's here — rather than asking her this question in his office or by the water cooler, and Veronica has to go all in, or the game's done either way.

She swallows, licking her lips. "To bring it down."

When Goodman reaches inside his jacket, it's hard to tell if Veronica gave the right or wrong answer. Tired muscles go reflexively stiff, only to relax when a folded packet of stapled paperwork is handed out to the agent instead of the barrel of a gun. "This is a photocopy on everything I could gather from the Institute's mainframe about a woman named April Silver. You will recall her name in relation to a Company investigation just prior to my dismissal from my psotion as assistant director."

Goodman's brows knit into a furrow. "The Institute has a standing order to capture Silver, according to the database they would like to recruit her to join this organization. I knew April Bradley," which is to imply that he knows the difference between the two. "She was a good agent, a good woman, trustworthy." Already, Veronica can see where Roger is going with this.

"I want you to bring her in, just like the Institute wants. If I'm guessing their intentions right, they'll likely put her to work as a field agent, using her hatred of the Company to track down former agents. I need you to turn her to our side," and apparently there is a side, and that both Veronica and Goodman are on it.

"I find no nobility into the life they rudely forced on my unwilling corpse." That much at least solidifies part of his stance.

Her lips press into a thin line as she waits for whatever to be pulled from his coat — Veronica's sure she'll die sooner or later in this endeavor, and every day she lives is a surprise. "I know her," she says with a nod, stepping forward to reach for the paperwork.

Her brows furrow a little at the word corpse, and her eyes drop. "I'm sorry," she says softly — sorry he's roped into this work, sorry she had a part in killing him. "For what that's worth."

Her eyes come back up and she tips her head. "You could leave?" she suggests — though she knows it's about as viable of a choice for him as it was for her. That is to say — not.

"I'm on borrowed time, they explained as much to me after I returned. Running would be a futile waste of my time and skills, something better put forward doing what I did best in life, destroying an organization from the inside-out." Roger has no time to accept her apologies, or perhaps he doesn't begrudge her what she expects herself — this is a job with a short life expectancy, whatever tag or title goes on it.

"When I got a look inside of the Institute, I could feel what it was. Pinehearst with any semblance of forward progress stripped out of it, a mechanical skeleton of their industry wearing its good intentions as a cadaverous mask. The Institute is as morally bankrupt as th Company and as financially well off as Pinehearst was. It's exactly what I feared would come."

Roger's lips creep down into a slow, steady frown. "April will understand that much. You need to make sure she's aware that she's not joining the Institute to work for it, but to be your backup. You can't do this alone."

Veronica reads a few of the words visible on the papers folded in her hands, then looks up to nod. "It's good to know I'm not alone. For however long that lasts," she says quietly — meaning that he is helping from the inside as well, since April's compliance isn't a given.

"Silver — I tried before, but she's skittish. I'll try, but…" Though she has a feeling that April is like her — she's already given up everything else that matters, and working against the Institute might make it feel worthwhile, if only they can do some damage.

Otherwise, everything they've given up was for nothing.

One hand comes to the necklace with a ring on it that lies under her sweatshirt. "So. I'll stop in at Starbucks on the way to work — you got an order preference?"

Goodman's head tilts back, dark eyes assessingly scanning Veronica in the near lightless room. "Remind miss Silver that if she continues to run, the Institute will continue to chase. Whoever they send after you will likely not be as civil." Then, as a crack in his facade begins to form, Goodman affords Veronica a faintly visible smile, crooking the corner of his mouth upwards just a touch on one side.

"Grande mocha with whipped cream," he admits amusedly, followed by a thoughtful amendment, "and a shot of whiskey if you can spare it." Though Goodman doesn't allow much time for the joke to sink in, his exit is as luminous as his entrance, as he breaks apart into a rapidly dissolving cloud of superheated violet-colored gas that explodes outward and then implodes in on itself with an audible pop, leaving behind a heat ripple in the air ever so briefly.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License