Worrying For The Future


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Scene Title Worrying For The Future
Synopsis Police Commissioner Donovan headhunts two important candidates for SCOUT.
Date March 15, 2019

Mid-day traffic cuts down a busy street. Crowds of pedestrians emerge from a pair of electronic busses parked at a newly constructed bus terminal. An airliner's engines whine noisily overhead as it makes its final approach to the nearby airport. A towering concrete building looms large over recently landscaped park spaces where teenagers throw a frisbee and watch in amusement as a dog comes out of nowhere to chase it.

This panorama, viewed from a 12th floor conference room feels like somewhere else entirely. This is the New York of old, busy city streets, cars, pedestrian traffic. This is the New York that was destroyed by corruption and civil war. Yet, that is the New York City that Elisabeth Harrison is looking down on from the window. Because in the distance, the bridges are demolished and sagging into the river, because in the distance Manhattan is surrounded by a high concrete wall. Because she did make it home…

"It's a beautiful view, ain't it?"

…through the looking glass.

The Watchtower Building

Red Hook, NYC Safe Zone

March 15th

12:17 pm

Marcus Donovan walks over to the window from the conference room table, hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks, blazer unbuttoned and smile lopsided. He'd made the call personally to invite Elisabeth over to see the new home of the NYPD, holed up in an old New York City landmark, but when she found out Kaylee was also invited knew this was more than a social call from an old friend.

Donovan's question is interrupted by the door to the penthouse conference room opening, and the aforementioned Kaylee Sumter standing on the other side of it, shown in by Donovan's assistant.

"Gang's all here," Marcus says with a smile. "Sorry about the short notice and narrow window of time, I've got a lot of baby birds squeaking to be fed."

Her blue eyes are turbulent as she looks out the window at the cityscape. The summons had been unexpected, and as is her wont these days, unexpected things make her a little more cautious and on edge. Even with a man who was once a friend. Elisabeth's working to ease her wariness into a smile and she's half-turned toward him as the door opens again bringing her gaze instantly toward the newest arrival. She visibly relaxes just that extra bit when Kaylee steps into view.

"The gang?" Liz asks Marcus drily. "Well….at least you're not calling us The Family yet." The quip about Old Mob Families might be lost on Kaylee, but it's definitely not lost on the old cop.

She nods a greeting at Kaylee along with the welcoming, if puzzled, smile. "What's going down, Marcus?"

It is shock that leaves Kaylee standing there on the other side of the door, eyes on Elisabeth with brows raised a bit. From the message she received, the telepath had been under the - clearly false - impression that she was there on Raytech business. Dressed in a tailored dark purple power suit and lighter purple chemise under the jacket. She was dressed as an executive of her company.

Which she wondered if this was really about. Liz gets a slow nod of hello in return before blue eyes shifting to Donovan, one brow lifting a bit high in question. Finally, she breaks out in her smile and takes the steps that would finish she journey into the office. Heels click on the hard flooring as she continues to close the distance between her and Liz. "Mr. Donovan,” Kaylee offers pleasantly, like she's always known him. Though in truth she's only seen him a few times when he’s visited her brother. “I have to say, I was rather intrigued as to why you called me here instead of Richard… but now you really have my attention.” A glance going to the other woman, amusement finally trickling through a curious facade.

“How can I help you?” This, Kaylee addresses to Donovan himself.

Smirking, Marcus make a gesture over to the long, hardwood conference table that looks like it's been repurposed from a turn-of-the-century building rather than made new. In fact the wood-backed swivel chairs also look like something out of another generation's police precinct. "Sorry about not filling you in on all the nuts and bolts, I didn't want either of you to say no over the phone."

Marcus moves to a chair, not at the head of the table but one facing the large brick-trimmed windows. "I'm not a big guy with coyness, so I'll get right to the meat of things. I know you both know each other, have professional relationships. I know you," he motions to Elisabeth, "have been off the grid for seven plus years, so I figure you popping back up onto the radar and proving that rumors of your death were greatly exaggerated is a sign you're ready to re-enter the public sphere."

Spreading his hands, Marcus leans back in his chair. "I don't know if you kept up on the news wherever it is you've been, but Kaylee here probably can fill you in full well that the NYPD hasn't been a thing since before the war really got going. That's then," Marcus motions to the table, "this is now."

Smirk to a smile, Marcus gestures with one hand to Kaylee and one hand to Elisabeth. "I want you both, for the NYPD. We're re-opening SCOUT, we need people I can trust. So, I thought, why not stack the deck with old friends," he says with a motion to Elisabeth, "and literal heroes," with a motion to Kaylee.

Familiar with Donovan's tendency to cut to the chase — a tendency she's always admired — Elisabeth is still taken aback at the words. There are just a few misconceptions in there that she won't be correcting. He wouldn't believe her anyway, and the rest is superfluous information. Lowering herself slowly into the chair across from him, both of her brows rise to her hairline. «And he doesn't even know that in some alternate world we were partners…»

The amusement factor in that is huge and the audiokinetic has a moment where she has to stifle the sudden possibility of impending snark. What, I'm not hero enough for ya?

No poking the bear, Liz! Bad!

"What… exactly are you asking us to do for you?" Liz asks warily. She's been literally at war for all of those years, though some were more low-key than others. "I …. don't think I'm interested in getting back on the streets. Not like that." At least not now. Maybe not ever.

There is a mild tilting of the telepath's head in interest as what he's saying, working very hard not to look into the man’s head to understand his reasoning. Turning on a heel, she follows his path towards the table finally moving to do as he asks when he motions to the table.

Manicured nails grip the back of the chair, but freezes at what he says about her joining NYPD. Elisabeth's mental commentary grabs her attention. She had memories of that timeline.

Him calling her a hero, however, that gets a literal snort of laughter, depreciating herself. Kaylee has never really thought herself that way. "God, I keep hoping people would forget that. People like Eileen were heroes." Not her. Especially, not at the moment. "A hero I am not, Mr. Donovan." A brow lifts eyes narrowing at him slightly, though she isn't reading him. "Unlike Liz, I have no law enforcement background."

Pulling out the chair, Kaylee settles herself into it because, despite that very fact… she was interested. "A hero means you want a face to put in front of the cameras." A brow tips up asking him if she's wrong.

"This isn't about the war," Marcus says, "but it is about public appearances." He ignores Elisabeth's concerns for the time being, focusing on Kaylee. "The last police commissioner, Irons? He was a fucking Humanis First plant. There's a reason why someone with my outspoken Pro-Evolved sentiments is in charge here, there's a reason why I want people like you front and center. It isn't just because you're a registered telepath, or that you worked with the Ferrymen saving thousands of lives before the war, it's because you're trustworthy."

Exhaling a sigh, Donovan turns to Elisabeth, ignoring one of Kaylee's concerns. "As for you, no. I'm not going to put woman in her mid-forties on a beat patrol. Not saying that you couldn't do it, but that's not where your strengths are for what I need. You were the head of FRONTLINE NY, you had the good sense to turn against the government when the going got bad. I want you in a logistical position, Elisabeth. I want you to take on a Lieutenant's position under the prospective Captain for SCOUT."

Then finally eyeing Kaylee, Donovan kicks up a brow. "And after you graduate from the police academy, I'd like you to work with her." When, not if. Marcus Donovan only believes in the world he wants to have, not the world that is.

A single brow quirks upward. Elisabeth is not naive enough to ignore the politics involved in this. She understand the optics he's shooting for, though she does narrow her blue eyes slightly at being called old. "I'm overqualified in the extreme for a beat anyway," she points out under her breath. "Who's the prospective Captain? Anyone I'm going to have to rip a new ass off of in the first week?" Those are the first questions that occur to her. And it's clear she is very wary of answering to someone who could be a pain in her ass if she agrees to this. Her next words to him might or might not surprise Kaylee. "I was considering approaching you about the idea of being a powers trainer or something for your new team."

Having someone who barely knows her calling her trustworthy gets a look of utter surprise, not even hiding it from that man across from her. Kaylee is used to mistrust, because of her ability. That look doesn't stop even as he continues on.

He wants me to do what?!?

The telepath's mouth opens and closes a few times, words failing her. While her first instinct is to say no, she had a company to run… she finds herself unable to say that. Her head turns to look over at Liz, a bit like a deer in headlights. The other woman knew about her other life. Kaylee still remembers it and remembered how it felt.

A breath escapes her as Kaylee settles back in the chair with a touch of disbelief. Was she really having this conversation. "I-" she starts, but then something occurs to her. There is a bit of an apology to her next words. "You do realize what you are asking me to walk away from." Though from her tone it isn't something she is totally against. "I would have to talk to my husband… My siblings." It would be a really big change. She was COO of Raytech! It was too big to just say yes, as much as she wants too.

“I know who you are,” Donovan is clear to explain. “I know you're a woman who lived in a subway station for more than a year so you could help smuggle children out of a country that was killing them. I'll be honest, I've talked to Richard. Not about this but about your company’s assistance in a material fashion. Your talents are wasted there, Kaylee. Anyone can do the corporate shuffle. But you?” Donovan points to her brow. “You're gifted. Out there,” he then points to the windows, “you could make a world of difference.”

Turning his attention to Elisabeth, Marcus takes a moment to consider her inquiry. “Oliver Wilson,” is a name she never expected to hear. A former Sergeant from a Chinatown precinct, former partner of the late homicide detective Richard Myron, someone who worked tangentially with Elisabeth on investigating Tyler Case. “Wilson stuck with the NYPD through its collapse during the war, kept a squad of former cops together and worked as peacekeepers in refugee settlements moving Evolved out of New York. It took him a while to realize folks like us,” Donovan motions to himself, “weren't on the wrong side of the conflict but he came around hard.”

Blinking a look over to Kaylee, Donovan taps a hand on the table. “You wouldn't be alone in the academy, either. One of your former freedom fighter friends, Demsky? She's already enrolled. Like I said, I want to fill this place with a certain quality of people. I want SCOUT to be… something memorable.”

Colette's enrolling too? Elisabeth is…. Not as surprised by that news as some might think. Judah Demsky — his death at the hands of the government, a death she failed to stop, still sits at the back of her mind — was a good cop. There were a lot of good cops, and Elisabeth never heard bad words about Wilson either. She considers the idea that he's going to be the Boss.

Donovan wants her in Will Harvard's role. That's… something she never expected. Not in this lifetime. She's not sure how to respond to that thought, either, among the turmoil of sorting out that they want her back on the NYPD. Rubbing her forehead, she looks up at Marcus Donovan. "I don't want to be any kind of face for this squad. You promise me that Wilson or whoever else keeps the press away from me." She is seriously considering his offer, clearly. "Richard told me that interview went viral before the war. I don't want that shit resurfacing."

There were aspects of her old life that Kaylee did miss, it was why she tended to get into so much trouble lately. How often did she think of those moments from her Ferrymen days? The aspects that kept her there, even beyond the man she married. Donovan doesn’t hear any argument from the woman about anything he says. She agrees with him, really.

Still there is a feeling of guilt that wraps itself around her stomach, when blue eyes follow his finger to the window. Eyes don’t really focus on the world beyond; they turn inward to the memories of another version of herself. That one loved being a cop, missed it even.

Manicured nails, painted red tap on the surface of the table as she considers.

But was that her now?

The mention of Colette brings her head around sharply. “Really?” Kaylee asks, interest piqued a little more. The debate in her head hits a fevered pitch. “You make quite the salesman, Mr. Donovan,” a smile tugs at the corner of her red lips, eyes studying him. “You’re not wrong.” she admits, finally. “I miss making a difference that doesn’t involve standing and talking in front of a room, looking like a barbie doll.”

Donovan bites his tongue on a comment that isn't work-appropriate, and instead of addressing Kaylee he points a finger at Elisabeth. “The boat sailed a long time ago about you not being a public figure, Harrison. Right about when you stood up to the Vanguard back when the NYPD had its collective ass handed to it. It's just that now you're recognizable, people can say what you've done.”

Flicking his attention over to Kaylee, Donovan motions at her with a curl of one finger. “As for you, of course you deserve to be more than a figurehead or a— whatever it is CEOs do.” She isn't a CEO but he doesn't let the detail stop him. “You belong in the thick of it. I need people I can trust in this, and if I'm gonna make the NYPD work I've gotta surround myself with people who will hold me the fuck accountable. Which I know you,” he motions to Kaylee, “and you,” then to Elisabeth, “will do.”

“It's time to get over the fears of being in the public eye. That's gonna happen even after you're dead,” and Marcus cracks a smile at Liz, “and in your case I have proof that's true. Just look at the magazine covers that had your face on it after that interview went out. The world needed heroes, and you all were ones. They just didn't realize it.” Clapping his hands together, Donovan exhales a quick sigh. “Don't make me deliver the hardball sales pitch about triads, human traffickers, and drugs, ladies. You all know how nasty the world can be. I just want you fixing it.”

Elisabeth reaches up and pinches the bridge of her nose. Mother fucker. He's not wrong. But her head hadn't been on being a full-on cop again. Sure, she'll be at a desk, but she'd been simply considering consulting and training. Blue eyes flicker to Kaylee, and her lips purse slightly. «Am I insane to consider the offer?» she wonders, knowing her de facto sister-in-law will pick it up. «Is it taking a step backward to take it? I don't think I even remember what it's like to be a cop. Lazarro once told me I was a shitty cop anyway.» It had stung at the time, but over the years she's realized that in a way, that bastard was right.

A long breath is let out slowly and the audiokinetic looks at Marcus. "What is the SCOUT unit going to entail? Is it a full unit — like street cops, SWAT, and investigative branches with Evo cops who have abilities that complement their jobs? Or is it going to be straight-up SWAT like Frontline pretty much was — backup for the street cops and called in only when there's a problem that the regular units need help with?" She pauses. "And does Wilson know you're approaching me about this?" Since the Captain is already chosen, she kind of expects he wants a say.

“Don’t tempt me,” Kaylee comments about the hardsell, with a bit of a mischievous smirk. Make him throw out the hard sell. “But. You and I both know that you don’t need, too.” No doubt he knows she’s already on the hook. What he doesn’t know, is it isn’t completely for the reasons he thinks.

Memories from a brighter world helped drive that decision, but still she doesn’t say yes or no. A twist of nerves at the thought of bringing this up to the others, especially Richard… it holds her back.

Even so, Kaylee looks to Liz, her head tilting slightly. She hears her that gesture says. «No more insane than me or as much of a step backwards.» She was a top level executive after all and had a company of employees that counted on her. «But it is a different world, Liz, it needs a different type of protector… so… I mean… why not?» A faint hint of a smile touches her lips. «Somehow I doubt you are anymore equipped for the quiet life than I am.» She isn’t.

«Let’s do it.»

Eyes flit back over to Donovan, when Liz speaks up questioning him. The telepath leaning forward with interest for the answers he offers or maybe Kaylee’s just weighting the character of this man.

Donovan just shakes his head and pushes his chair back, standing up from the table. “The people who need to know I'm making you both this offer know already. As for what SCOUT is going to be?” His brows raise, and he smirks. “That's the first good question you've asked.”

Walking a few steps to face the tall windows, Donovan assumes his guests will keep pace. “SCOUT is a Swiss Army knife. It's a small bullpen of people like us,” he says with a hand at his chest, “who come in to follow through with the police work that is too tall of an order for a non-expressive precinct. We’ll be working with the feds just like always, except it'll be more SESA alphabet soup than FBI. Our SCOUT unit will be specialists, each with their own perfect tool for the job that an ordinary cop just can't replicate.”

“Now, you want SWAT?” Donovan frowns and shakes his head. “That's not a 2019 initiative, according to the mayor. No budget for t. For now we’re going to rely on the MPs for the street-level door busting, while we rebuild. But when the going really gets tough? SCOUT will be supported by a private military company based out of Rochester.” He spreads his hands. “Wolfhound.

Elisabeth smirks at his taunt. The man is a piece of work. Pursing her lips, she parses what is being described. Truth to tell, although Marcus Donovan may not see her relief, Kaylee can certainly perceive that feeling. She's not ready, in her own mind, to handle the kinds of things a SWAT LT might get called into — she needs a bit more time to get her head away from lethal responses to threats, away from war and us vs. them mentality. A desk job or training suits her just fine right now.

At the news that Wolfhound is going to play heavy-hitters for the team when they need it? The audiokinetic is forced to rub her eyes and stifle a laugh. «Well, aren't we gonna be an inbred little cadre of folks? Old home week.» Because so many of the people Liz would trust to have her back are up there — and that, too, makes her feel a little better.

"Building this department from the ground up is going to take time — I'm actually glad we're outsourcing the SWAT-level shit," she admits aloud casually. "Realistically, it's going to be a handful to train or retrain cops on procedure and what law enforcement is and is not. I'm going to need a good refresher course on some things myself, what with the new laws that have been enacted while I've been … away. How big a team are we starting with?" She pauses and then smiles faintly. "My former partner has shown some interest in coming back."

Sliding back her own chair and standing, Kaylee sends a look Liz’ way as she moves to stand at the window. “Non-expressive.” There is a touch of amusement as she says that word, coming to standing near him at the window, arms crossing. “I don’t know. I’ve seen some pretty amazing things from people that don’t have gifts like us when I was Ferry. Sometimes, they have more determination and grit then the rest of us.” She angles a look his way, “I don’t count them out for what you want to do. We did fight for an inclusive world, Mr. Donovan.”

Food for thought her expression and words says. Maybe a little non-expressive is what SCOUT needed to succeed this time.

But then almost immediately, the telepath shifts gears. “However, what I’m most interested in; the academy… I’d like to hear more about that.” The change to her life was going to be significant.

“Well, good news,” Donovan says with a hint of sarcasm, “you’ll both have the next three months to reacquaint yourself with the academy. Or acquaint, since it’s in a new building. Anyway,” he says with a dismissive wave of one hand. “The details will work themselves out. I’ve got people smarter than me working on training procedures. As for team size, that’s not set in stone yet. I’m trying to feel that out.”

“But, if you’re referring to Ivanov,” Donovan looks over at Liz squarely, “that grayhound’s already been sniffing around. I figure him and Demsky were a package deal anyway. So,” he looks down to the floor, then back up to Kaylee and Elisabeth. “Don’t sweat the details.”

“There’ll be plenty of time for worrying tomorrow.”

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