2008-01-25: Conflicting Loyalties


Elle_icon.gif Niel_icon.gif

Summary: In an effort to discover what happened to her father, Elle contacts a Company agent to ask for help.

Date It Happened: January 25th, 2008

Conflicting Loyalties

Company Headquarters & Lower East Side, NYC

This is not the first number that Elle has called tonight, and it likely will not be the last. As she walks at a quick pace down a street several blocks from Peter's apartment, the phone pressed to her ear, she swears with each ring that goes unanswered. Passersby are largely ignored; a few times, she must swing her shoulder at the last second to avoid striking another pedestrian by accident. "Pick up," she hisses into the phone, already clearly at wits end.

And Niel is just on his way out the door to head home — or actually to pick up something to eat and linger as long as he can before going home. Typical after-work ritual that keeps him out until long after his wife and whatever guy she's sharing a bed with go to sleep. The chirp of the phone in his pocket is, oddly enough, a relief. Phone calls can mean more work, which means not going home yet. He pulls it out and doesn't even glance at the display as he places it to his ear. "Youngblood."

The display wouldn't have mattered regardless; it would have said that the number was unavailable. Either way, the voice on the other end was bound to be a surprise. "Don't hang up on me," is the first thing Elle blurts out, her voice sounding entirely too desperate for her tastes, when Niel answers. "It's Bishop. I need to ask you a favour." A beat, and she quickly adds: "One that won't get you fired."

Niel freezes at the sound of the voice on the other end, but he doesn't hang up. It might sound like he has because he's dead silent for a few seconds. Then, with a glance over his shoulder at the facility he's just left, he takes a few more paces away from the door and utters, "You better hope it doesn't. What is it?" Despite the words, his tone is rather flat, neutral.

"I was just on the phone with my father," Elle says quickly, casting a cautious glance to a man walking the opposite direction, turning her head to track him as he passes. "The line went dead after two loud sounds. Might have been gunshots." Sucking in a breath, she realizes she hasn't gotten to the 'favour' part. She ducks down the nearest alley, falling back against the wall. "I need someone to go check on him."

Niel glances over his shoulder again, but it's not to see if someone is eavesdropping this time. He just left. Now he gets to go back in! Right on. "Gunshots?" he asks into the phone as he turns on his heel and starts heading briskly back into the facility — and toward Bob Bishop's office. "Where are you?"

"Standing on a street somewhere on the Lower East Side," Elle responds noncommittally, but in truth, she doesn't know any more than that. She's been wandering for some time. She's only hoping she can find her way back after this. "I don't know if they were gunshots. It sounded like it could have been, but it could have been something else." Not that she can think of anything at all which might have made that sound other than gunshots.

Niel's pace quickens and upon reaching the door, he knocks once, then pushes it open. "Mister Bishop?" But there's no answer, because there is no Bob Bishop. He's just gone, and the phone is off the hook, beeping quietly with the disconnect signal. "He's not here," Niel informs Elle. "You were just talking to him?" He eyes the phone, moves to the desk and starts looking beneath and around it.

Hissing a curse under her breath, Elle moves deeper into the alley, throwing an arc of electricity into a dumpster. The light very briefly illuminates the dark alleyway. "Yeah, I was just talking to him. I tried calling his cell, tried him at home— he won't answer anywhere." There's a stone sinking to the bottom of her stomach now, and Elle is trying very hard not to panic. She hesitates before the next question, leaning against the wall behind her again. "Does it… look like someone was shot?" As in, just how gory is it in there?

"No," is Niel's simple reply as he pulls aside the office chair and then glances around the room for any sign of an alternate escape. "Phone's off the hook. He's just … gone, disappeared. Teleporter?"

"Maybe." That's something which hadn't occurred to Elle, and now that Niel has suggested it, she clings to that little glimmer of hope. Being abducted by a teleporter may not seem like a particularly pleasant experience - but it's better than dead. "Who would want to take him?" She doesn't bother asking why; she's fairly certain there must be a large number of people out there with a vendetta against him.

"Who wouldn't?" Plenty of people out there who have a "why". After a moment's pause, Niel adds, "Only teleporter I know who makes noise when she jumps is Ivanov's wife, but I can look around. Maybe we've got a file." Though Mariska probably has a reason to take him as well.

"Fuck." Elle gives in this time, her curse loud and unabashed, as she throws a more substantial arc into the dumpster this time. "Get extra people on their kid. If it's her, that's what she wants." But it very well might not be, and Elle isn't in the position - nor was she ever, for that matter - to be making suggestions about how they ought to be running things. "Thanks, Niel."

Even so, Elle is Bob's daughter, and Bob is The Honcho. Despite her little estrangement with the Company, she'd be the one to have Bob's best interests at heart — and Bob's best interest is to not get dead. "You got it," says Niel as he heads for the office door again. "Take care of yourself. We'll get him back."

"I hope so." And that's where Elle starts to lose her composure, having held it together remarkably well up until now. She'd be proud of herself, if she weren't about to realize the danger her father's life is very likely in. Without another word, she flips her phone shut and stuffs it into her pocket, letting out a frustrated sound. One final fry of the dumpster, and she leaves the alley, turning in the opposite direction from Peter's apartment.

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