2007-08-15: DF: Chess

Starring:

DFAileen_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif

Summary: Aileen sets up a meeting with Lee to see about taking advantage of the current lack of a president situation.

Dark Future Date: August 15th, 2009

Chess


Washington Park

Lee's minions have underlings and they have associates and the associates have superiors and the superiors have colleagues and somehow Aileen got the date and the time and the place.

The chessboards at Washington Park are now bare, a few pieces scattered in the over-tall grass. This end of the island is underpatrolled, virtually abandoned, dark buildings with shattered windows half-collapsed in on themselves, a busted fire hydrant only dripping water halfheartedly into a black puddle. No one fights here. No one would want to fight for anything here.

It's fitting that it's the chessboards where Aileen has the meeting. Shifting the bag on her shoulder, which contains only a few papers and notebooks, research-type things, the woman is more antsy than everything. Timing is crucial. She has a bit of time before anyone would be expecting her anywhere, the President's gone missing and while Aileen doesn't know where Felix is, she knows he was shot and that if she sticks around long enough for the President to return and he finds out she's been thinking about leaving? Yeah, she'll end up just like that. The photograph of Mohinder Suresh is a constant reminder.

Letting out a deep breath, Aileen looks around again, then glances at her watch. She'd just like /something/ to relieve all the pressure, all the stress that had been building up. And so far, none of it was working.

Lee comes walking up just like a normal person would, from across the park. He draws up before her, his full height, looking slightly down at her, the silence of the moment stretches out, before he finally says: "Hi." And then: "I'm Lee." He offers his hand, like they never met before, and in a way, they haven't.

He didn't appear from out of nowhere, there were no armed guards, and it was someone who, at the very least, didn't seem like someone likely to run around and shoot people in the head at a moment's notice. They haven't formally met, no, but the fact that he's a familiar face eases Aileen's nervousness tenfold. She smiles, letting out a tightly held breath, taking the hand. "Aileen. But you probably already knew that." There's a half-second pause before the doctor glances anxiously back towards Lee. "Felix Ivanov.. is he.. okay?"

Lee says, "He's stable. I wouldn't say he's up and about yet, but we have a network of medical facilities - triage, first aid, treatment, emergency…he went right to the best." reassuringly. "I understand you're desirous of leaving government employ."

Second move that entirely relaxes Aileen. "Good. I didn't know if he had.." She swallows, then nods after a moment. "I have more than enough reason to believe that my life is in danger by sticking around there for very much longer. Given that the situation with the government right now has abruptly become rather chaotic, I can safely say this would be a very.. well, it's the perfect opportunity to get the hell out of Dodge, so to speak."

Lee says, "What's your eventual destination? Out of the country to work on things with one of the refugee networks, or helping us here in-country?" Like a travel agent. He leans against a chessboard, the cool evening wind ruffling his hair.

"Depends on how risky things get. I'd like to say in-country. I've spent my entire life helping people and I don't plan on stopping now. But if it causes problems for any of you.. I can get out of the country. I've still got citizenship in the United Kingdom and relatives there. I just.. don't want to get stuck in a position where I can't help anyone." Aileen glances back over. "You understand?"

Lee replies, "What changed your mind? The last time I spoke to you, your loyalties seemed fairly fixed."

That causes a weak smile, and Aileen looks down. "When the war first broke out, I didn't know what to do. I'm human, not an Evolved. I didn't have a lot of friends and my family is all dead or over out of the country. Not knowing where to go, I went to one of the few people I trusted at all, George Dawson. I knew if anyone could keep me safe it'd be him. So I went with it. He was the only option I knew I had at the time, and we had a relationship, so it worked." A breath. "The relationship.. well, it was a little strained after a while. At the time when.. we spoke last? George was still the only option I knew I had. I was throwing all my eggs into the same basket, simply because I had no idea what else to do. But Felix and I were still talking and were keeping in touch on a regular basis and the further I went with this project the more I felt like things were less in my control and that I was entirely in over my head, George's help or not. The whole project to do all this /was/ George's idea, so it didn't really help that things were getting really.. really extreme with the project." Another pause. "But, I guess if I had to say what /really/ changed my mind was this." Fishing in the bag for a moment, Aileen hands over a picture. It's Mohinder Suresh, quite obviously dead, riddled full of bullet holes. On the back is written, in the President's hand, the geneticist's final words: This is madness. "The President himself gave me that, suggesting it was a consequence for failure. That was after he gave me Suresh's clinic and told me to go ahead testing my work on detainees. Work that's not nearly close to being able to be used on humans. I may be a doctor, but I'm no monster."

Lee listens carefully, and sympathetically. He looks at the photograph closely, turns it over and reads the epitaph as well. "I assume you have been given a high clearance at this facility, then?" he replies gently, clearly not wanting to panic her with the question.

"Yeah, I guess that's one way of putting it. I have full access to everything, so far as I know." Aileen purses her lips.

Lee says, "I'd like a full data dump from the facility, especially the condition of any test subjects, and security measures." He reassures her: "I wasn't kidding when I said I didn't think your work was related to this struggle. I still don't. But we're never going to get a better chance to rescue the people in such a high security facility than the collusion of someone at the very top. And perhaps in the attack, you could be killed." he adds encouragingly. Then amends: "/Appear/ to be killed." just in case she didn't get it.

Oh, right. Appear to be killed. Much better than /actually/ being killed. "Yes, I suppose that could.. work." Aileen's expression is distant, nodding for a moment. "Actually.." She pauses for a moment before she pulls out a manila folder. "I have probably all of the information you need right here. It's the information on the facility the President gave to me when he presented it to me."

Lee says, "Ah, excellent. Good instincts, bringing this." A cellphone camera snaps pictures of the documents one by one. "We'll work out a plan. We always have a plan in the Alliance. It's one thing you'll get used to." He recites a few rules clearly he's used to explaining: "We don't stand and fight if we can get away clean. We don't use deadly force if less would do the job. We don't do anything that would jeopardize the political mission. That's priority one. Not revenge, not anger….liberty."

"Good." Aileen murmurs, nodding a little at that. "I'm not a fighter. I'm a doctor.. and if I can manage to do that in a way to actually impact people, I'd like to. The project.." She hesitates, then shakes her head. "It's a great theory, but I'm not sure it would ever really work."

Lee says, encouragingly, "It might. Who knows what's possible? Everything we thought was impossible went out the window a few years ago. I don't want you to think I have some expertise that could tell you it wouldn't work. It might! I just don't think it would /do/ anything for us if it worked." He finishes with the papers and hands them back. "You actually met with the President about this…what did he say?"

"He seemed to believe it was possible. He wanted to know if there was even a way to stop Evolution. He gave the whole project the go-ahead. Hell, he took charge of the project personally." Aileen shakes her head. "He obviously finds it interesting, that much is certain. I just.. I don't think I'm the one that can come up with this. Not right now. I'm burned out just /trying/ to find a way to create it without it harming anyone."

Lee says, "We have some doctors on staff, though they're more treatment than research…that's interesting. To /stop/ it….hm." He shrugs. "Bizarre. Is there anything else you want to know, need to know about what you're getting into?"

"I can do both. I'm actually not really much for researching as much as it is that I just adapted to what I had to do. I'm a neurologist.. so my specialty is all sorts of lovely head trauma, amnesia, things of that nature. Surgery certified, though, so.. even if it's not a brain tumor, if it comes down to it, I can help operate." Aileen smiles, looking back over. "Actually.. I don't really think so. I just want the opportunity to help."

Lee says, "We'll give it to you. There's always too much to do and not enough hands. We've checked out your background and we're confident you're not faking." He puts out his hand. "Welcome to the Alliance, Aileen."

That causes a bit more of a smile, and Aileen accepts the hand, shaking it gently. "Thank you." The whole discussion all of it, seems to have her a lot more at ease than she was before. While it's not perfect, the stress is still there.. she has the plans set in place.

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