2007-07-29: DF: Bugged


DFCyprus_icon.gif DFGeorge_icon.gif DFAileen_icon.gif DFNathan_icon.gif

Summary: The Empire prepares to hunt down the man who trashed the White House.

Dark Future Date: July 29, 2009


A temporary facility somewhere in the Washington, DC area

With most of the Capitol building and White House still being so heavily fumigated it might violate the Geneva Conventions, the government still needs a place to run its day to day businesses. For the moment, this equates to a small village of portable housing units that have been placed throughout the large greens of the White House lawn, and surrounding park areas. Soldiers with tactical gear and assault rifles patrol the area, keeping a tight watch over security. Somewhere, the sounds of bug zappers fill the night with the electric death of insects.

The call went out earlier today, brought to George by a courier. It's a number and location of one of the portable housing units, and a request to come immediately, signed by the President's aide. Outside, two soldiers wait by the door, complete with an electronic locking unit, otherwise indistinguishable from the countless other units.

George walks along at a brisk pace, glancing up every now and then to check the progress of numbers and the relative positions of the units. There are enough of them that both measures are needed to track the place down. Oddly, there's a daddy longlegs perched on his shoulder, which he blithely ignores.

The guards stop George at the door, check his ID, and call it in. After a second, there is another chirp on the radio, and they nod. One swipes a card over the lock, and it buzzes. The other soldier stops for a second, and holds out a hand for George to stop. "Sir," he says simply. "You've been bugged." He reaches into a pouch and pulls out a small plastic bag. He gingerly moves to sweep the spider into the bag, with the utmost of care.

George glances over at the soldier. "I— oh, right. That's a live one, don't worry about it. Harmless— saw swarms of 'em all the time back in Texas. And if anyone's using organic bugs as listeners…" He trails off, acknowledging the possibility, but not voicing out loud the difficulty of countering it.

"It's orders, sir," says the soldier. "Find a bug, bag 'em and tag 'em." With that, he sweeps the spider into the bag with a brush of his gloved finger tip, and zips it shut. The other soldier pulls open the door with the hand not resting on the gun, and he holds it for George. "Sir," he offers with a nod.

Heading over from nearby, Aileen's removing a pair of gloves. She's actually doctor's coat-ified and everything. Spotting George heading in, however, she diverts her attention from some paperwork and heads in that direction.

From inside, a voice can be heard, talking. Just one voice, though, so it's only half of a conversation. "Margie, this is why I have you around," the voice rattles off. "I understand that Al-Jazeera has copies of the cellphone photos. We both understand how damaging it would be for those to be broadcast on the news. All I'm asking for is that you take care of it." It's a simple office, more for emergency than anything else, without any major decorations or the like, in immediate visible range.

George inclines his head to the soldier. "Fair enough," he replies, catching sight of Aileen in peripheral vision and holding the door for her. "Dr. Kincade, always a pleasure. Wish it were under better circumstances." At that, he leaves off and turns his attention to the interior of the building.

Smiling as the door is held, Aileen moves inside, giving a small nod. "Indeed, if only it were better circumstances." She dusts her hands off and steps aside once she's entered.

And there is Cyprus, pressing the fingers of one hand into his temple, and holding a cellphone with the other. He takes a deep breath, with his eyes closed, then turns towards the door. He nods to George and Aileen, and holds up a hand with one finger to ask for a minute. He turns back to address the phone. "Get me someone who can walk through walls, then, Margie. Just make sure those pictures don't go public." And with that, he snaps the phone shut, and tucks it away. He turns back to face his guests, and straightens his suit slightly. "Mr. Dawson, thank you for arriving so quickly," he says evenly. "How was New York?"

"Or someone who can fry electronics at range," George muses, nodding to Cyprus. "Picked up a troublemaker with more guts than brains. The usual. At least she shouldn't be hurting anyone any time soon."

Cyprus nods, and glances towards Aileen. He narrows his gaze for a moment, and regards her evenly. "I don't believe we have met," he comments. He steps forwards and extends his hand. "Cyprus Donovan. Aide to President Petrelli."

"It's a pleasure, Mr. Donovan." Aileen states, smoothly. "I'm Dr. Aileen Kincade. I'm a neurologist by trade, though there are times when I get the opportunity to.. treat bug bites." She wrinkles her nose at the infestation.

Cyprus gives the hand a firm shake, and nods. "Neurologist," he repeats, giving a faint smile at something. "Interesting. Well, if you have been helping with the recovery efforts, you have our gratitude, Dr. Kincade." With that, he turns to George, and gestures for him to come in deeper. "If you do not mind, Mr. Dawson? I have a request of you."

George takes out his own phone and flips it open for a moment, then puts it away again with a shake of his head. "She has," he murmurs, returning his attention to those present. "Much bigger things in the works— but that can wait. What sort of request?"

Cyprus glances at Aileen, then back to George. It's an implicit question, a matter of trust and security. It's a glance that asks, simply, can she be trusted?

Aileen smiles faintly in George's direction at his words, a glance going between George and Cyprus. Oh, she's seen that sort of look. It causes a slight frown, and the doctor taps a finger to her lips for a moment.

George narrows his eyes at Cyprus. The implicit response is just as clear: what, you think I'm stupid enough to keep talking in front of someone untrustworthy? Get on with it already!

Cyprus lifts his brow, and walks over to his desk. He pulls a folder of information from off the top of it, and holds it out to George. "This is the entymology report on the… unprecedented vermin infestation that occurred," he states easily. "Most were local species, or the type breeders keep. Just in extremely large quantities. Which means we're going to be needing some help on this one."

Aileen folds her arms quietly over her chest, glancing between George and Cyprus for a moment before her gaze stays on Cyprus, studying him as he speaks. She purses her lips, mind silently running over the issue. She doesn't speak, simply because it wasn't asked of her.

George skims through the report, nodding. "Someone dragging them out of the woodwork, so to speak." Finally, he sets it down and presses his lips together in thought. "Any known persons in the area with abilities along those lines, or is this going to involve combing the area based on first principles?"

"None on staff," states Cyprus with a shake of his head. "I've spent most of the morning going through them, just to double check. As for known individuals, that was what I was hoping you'd be able to help with. You've got Homeland Security, after all." With that, Cyprus straightens his jacket slightly, and smiles. "Might I recommend starting with the war records? Whomever is responsible, I suspect they might have had some kind of training. That, and they had to be local. Which might mean they're still in the area. Probably in the only building in the entire city that has any roaches left in it."

It's been an eventful day. Vacated the hotel in the morning, left for an undisclosed location, and back before dinner! Nathan, flanked by security, walks across the green and towards the portable housing, casting a slightly… well, amused expression about the setting. Nothing funny about an evacuation of his home and office, but all the same. Directed to Cyprus's "office" when asked, Nathan heads towards the door. The guards snap off smart salutes before admitting him entrance, and he steps inside without warning. He hears the tale end of what's being spoken, and smirks. "His accomplices might be a little difficult to arrest," he says, wryly.

"I actually meant the perp's abilities," George replies, scratching his head. "But I take your point. Points. Speed's an issue— if they are still in the area, they may not stick around for long. Especially with military training, they'd have a better idea of what they were going up against."

The president's arrival snaps him out of his brainstorming mood. "Hasn't stopped the men outside from trying their damndest, sir," he offers. "There'll be a run on freezer bags before the day's out."

"It keeps them busy, and keeps the spirits up," comments Cyprus with the vagaries of a smirk playing at his lips. "Morale is very important in a crisis." He nods to Nathan, and straightens. "Mr. President. I was bringing Mr. Dawson up to speed on the situation, and the need for assistance in this matter." He turns back to George. "I don't have direct access to the profiles on known unlawful combatants, nor to any who served in the war. That's why we need Homeland Security."

"Mr. President." Aileen greets him with a nod, staying back out of the way. She's not directly involved, so she doesn't want to interrupt, but she's still looking thoughtful, even with the new arrival.

The greetings generally go ignored, Nathan immediately latching on to the topic at hand. "I don't think we have any doubt that this was an Evolved terrorist," he says. "Or at least a grand stander. Either way, Homeland Security is obliged to make their resources available to you, Cyprus. How goes the investigation?" That's when he glances at Aileen, a double-take, as if checking to see if he knows her.

"Mr. Dawson vouched for her," states Cyprus with a nod towards Aileen. It's not quite a lie, but not quite the truth. And it seems to come almost too comfortably to Cyprus. "Her name is Dr. Aileen Kincade. She's a neurologist, and has been treating some of the more… vicious attack victims, Mr. President." And he leaves it at that. He glances towards George for him to continue.

George rests a hand on Aileen's upper arm. "We may be seeing big things from her in the coming months. Keep your fingers crossed." He inclines his head to Cyprus, then to Nathan. "We've apparently got a psych profile worked up, and I have to agree with the artistic touch as well. Practical, besides— more resources immediately at hand when the inevitable counteraction goes down."

The doctor offers a smile to the President, and Aileen nods in response to George's words. She glances between the group, silently wondering if there's a way she can contribute.

For whatever reason, Aileen has captured Nathan's interest (perhaps because she's so quiet), studying her before breaking his gaze towards George. He gets an approving nod and really, this is what these men are paid to do. Then back to the doctor. "How good of you, doctor," he says. "Did anyone suffer anything severe? I'd hate for my staff to get hurt or even killed from something like this. Well, the useful ones, anyway." Haha, funny joke.

Cyprus doesn't seem to be laughing. He picks up another folder from his desk, and states "Two dead, Mr. President, and a good two dozen more significantly injured by black widow and brown recluse bites. The two who died… well… one was allergic to bee stings, as it turned out. The other… tried to take a chigger out of his skin with a knife. Several times." He closes the folder, and replaces it on his desk. "I believe Dr. Kincade has been treating the widow bite victims, sir. She'd have more accurate information on their status. It was all local vermin, with a few common breeds of imports. Which is why we'll need access to Homeland Security's files to pursue this. No easily traceable foreign origin."

George winces, even as he takes out his phone and starts punching buttons. "Cover story notwithstanding, there are still rumors going around of a deliberate action. If I were you, I'd make sure those rumors include those two dead as well. —Benny? Need you to mobilize for a field action. I'll rendezvous soonest with details."

Aileen doesn't break her gaze from Nathan's until the President looks away, but she smiles after a moment, shaking her head. "From the ones I've treated? We got to them fast enough, thankfully. Black widow bites rarely kill save for in the very young and the elderly, but they can cause lasting damage if not treated quickly, so I wouldn't worry about it, Mr. President."

Death? More death. Nathan doesn't seem surprised by Cyprus's news, just… inconvenienced. But there's always silver lining. "Murder and an attempt on my life," he says, almost thinking out loud. "That will look wonderful on this bastard's record once he's brought in, I'm sure." He addresses both men as he adds, "Make sure Homeland Security has everything they need, and vice versa. But you both know the drill." Evolved terrorists? Not an uncommon occurrence. Right up HS's alley. "If you'll all excuse me, I have a country to keep under control." A glance to Aileen. "Dr. Kincade, a pleasure. Cyprus, my phone will be on - update me on the investigation if anything new comes up." He's already moving towards the door.

Cyprus nods towards Nathan. "Absolutely, sir," he replies. He turns back to George, and picks up the third folder. This one is big. "This is everyone we know about who might possibly be able to control insects, Mr. Dawson." It's going to be a long night.

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