Working Vacation


sabra_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Scene Title Working Vacation
Synopsis Veronica is cut orders for a trip to Argentina. There is actually no real vacation involved.
Date November 15, 2009

Fort Hero: Sabra's Office

Weekend? What's that? If Sabra ever takes one, and presumably she must, it's not readily apparent in the running of Fort Hero and Company. It may be Sunday morning, of an hour at which many practicing Christians attend church, but the elderly lady is still ensconced in her office, behind her computer and a substantial quantity of paperwork. It's the computer that has her attention now, however, as she slowly scrolls through something. A report, perhaps, or an evaluation; something worth a decent amount of focus when read. Ashton isn't in sight in the office, but the door is open to an adjoining room, suggesting that's where he's disappeared off to.

Weekends have little meaning to the young agent who knocks on the door, reporting to the summons that has brought her to Sabra's office. "Good morning, Ms. Dalton. You wanted to see me?" Veronica asks. It's taken some time to get here, as Sawyer does not opt to live at Fort Hero. She has managed to look professional on short notice — a well-tailored suit in the pinstripes the agent favors, with a silk t-shirt under the blazer for comfort when the jacket's off.

Distracted from her reverie by the sound of Veronica's voice, Sabra smiles warmly at the agent, waves her in to a chair. "Veronica! Do come in, sit down. Would you care for a cup of tea?" For all that he can't hear the words, Ashton is well-practiced at interpreting Sabra's demeanor and gestures; he materializes out of the side room as the director finishes speaking, tea service in hand. She is of course having tea, and in the lull between query and answer, Ashton prepares a fresh cup for Sabra.

"Sure. That would be lovely. I'm still waking up a bit, I confess," Veronica says with a smile. It's hard not to like Sabra Dalton, even if her summons has instilled a touch of nervousness and fear in the agent. She takes a seat, her attache case neatly set on her lap. She smiles up at Ashton as he serves the tea, before her dark eyes flicker back to Sabra curiously.

The elderly woman smiles genially at Veronica, but lets a patient silence carry as Ashton sees to their guest's refreshment. It isn't until the agent has her tea and the aide has retreated once more to the sidelines that Sabra takes up her own cup and sips from the rim. "I have… call it a request for you, Veronica," she begins, regarding the younger woman steadily. "It is an assignment, but an unusual one, and if you feel uncomfortable taking it on you are free to refuse."

Setting the cup back down on its saucer, Sabra considers the papers on her desk, extracts a single file from one of them. "I presume you are familiar with the Vanguard in some degree?"

Veronica's brows knit together, as they are wont to do when she is curious or perplexed. She nods slowly. "Some. I haven't dealt with them myself, as you probably know looking at my file. I'm by no means the expert Agent Dahl was, but that's true in far too many things, I think." There's a sad smile for the fallen agent.

Sabra nods once, holding the file folder at an angle before her. "The primary leader of the Vanguard, Kazimir Volken, was removed early this year, but there are still a number of holdout cells around the world. Of late, it's become evident these cells still have access to at least one nuclear warhead."

Setting the folder down on a clear section of desktop, the director slides it into Veronica's reach. "With help from some overseas counterparts, Homeland Security is assembling crews to address several Vanguard cells before they can use that weapon." Which, her subsequent pause indicates, is where Veronica comes in. "By extension, of course, that means we are also participating. Of the agents I have available now, I believe you are the most appropriate to send."

Lips part, then close again, and there's a nod as Agent Sawyer reaches out to take the file folder that holds the next assignment in store for her. She opens the file and flips through it, raising a brow at the contents. "I'll do my best to help out however I can," she says finally. Just as she's expected to do. Her voice and features do not hint at the ambivalence that tumults within — part of her is perhaps happy to be fighting a battle that is less nebulous in the spectrum of right or wrong; part of her, of course, does not wish to be so far from the few people she knows care about her: Brian, Kat. Her mother, though she's 3,000 miles away. California is much closer than Argentina, however.

Sabra smiles graciously at Veronica's acquiescence. "Thank you, Veronica," she replies — as she might if the answer were in fact in doubt. The woman picks up her cup, drinks a bit more of her tea, giving the agent a few moments more to wrap her mind around the assignment.

"I have one other thing to ask of you, in that case," the director continues soon after, setting the tea down and retrieving a second file for Veronica's persual. "We've been asked to relocate an individual and bring them in, preferably with minimal fuss, but by whatever means necessary." Which generally involves tranq darts.

The brunette takes the file and opens it; despite knowing from video surveillance exactly who the woman in the photograph works with or for, her face remains impassive but for one slow blink. "This has to do with the Vanguard assignment, somehow?" Veronica asks, flipping through the file, skimming pages here and there, her eyes flicking from left to right, and then back up at Sabra.

"It does," Sabra replies evenly. "Not with your mission, in the end, but with one of the others." And given that the woman both assumes silence and returns to drinking her tea, it's clear she has no intention of providing Veronica with the full and complete details. Which surely comes as no surprise. "Do you have any other questions?" she asks at last.

"I'm sure the files have all the answers I'm supposed to have," Veronica says with a chuckle. "When do I leave? And can I get some surfing in on my time off?" The amusement in that remark actually reaches the agent's dark eyes.

"Transport is scheduled for the 21st; earlier can be arranged if you request it," Sabra supplies promptly. Blue eyes smile at the agent across the desk. "If you find yourself with the time, then by all means go surfing with my blessing." The trick is finding the time, of course. The elderly lady inclines her head. "Thank you, Veronica; I do appreciate it." The meeting, the willingness to take the job, the capability that gives her a good chance of succeeding: eminently laudable characteristics in Sabra's domain.

Veronica picks up both folders, stacking them once on the table in front of her and nods. "I'll get right on it. Thanks for having the faith in me." She stands, and reaches across the desk to shake Sabra's hand, before turning to head out of the office.

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