2007-08-04: Eye to Eye


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Summary: Cyprus meets with Stan to discuss a case that needs a… human touch. Despite the differences in position, they seem to come to a rather natural understanding.

Dark Future Date: August 4th, 2009

Eye to Eye

Manhattan Police Station

Once, this was a familiar precinct space that belonged to the NYPD. In those days, it would have been buzzing with activity, as beat cops and detectives went about their business, enforcing the day to day necessities of justice. Those were better days. Now, it's nearly empty, with only a few exhausted looking officers at their desks, each trying to manage a stack of paperwork. A single office in the back, with all the old lettering scraped off, has a light on with the door closed. There's also a form behind the frosted glass. The other offices still have names, at least.

Stan knocks and comes in. He too lacks the verve that he used to bring to his job. His archnemesis is just another Evolved hustling for a dollar these days, and nothing special. His family is separated now not just by distance and emotional pain but by barbed wire and work passes. Still, he dresses impeccably. He always has, he always will. The undertaker won't even have to change his shirt - it'll be that clean. "You wanted to see me?" he says.

Inside the office is standing Cyprus, wearing the usual dark business suit. The tie today is cobalt blue, and once again solid. At least the President's men seem to have decent taste in ties. He's commandeered a table from one of the other rooms, and has a briefcase laid out upon it. Other than the fact he's standing by a window, staring out into the city, it's obvious to see the roots of the lawyer turned political aide. He glances towards Stan, and regards him solidly. "You are Special Agent Crosetti, I assume?" he asks, before stepping forward. He extends his hand. "Cyprus Donovan. Aide to the President."

Stan shakes Donovan's hand. "Yes, I'm Agent Crosetti." he says, uncertain how to react, and lacking the energy to turn on the charm that got him so far. "What can I do for you, Mr. Donovan?"

Cyprus smiles in a way that does not reach the dark eyes, and releases Stan's hand to gesture towards a chair. "I have a matter of interest to the Department that I think would be best for someone of your… status to investigate," he offers, before crossing the room to move to the opposite seat. "You come highly recommended, and it is a matter that would require some delicacy. And I believe that you are the man for the job, Special Agent Crosetti." He pulls his own seat out, but waits for Stan to sit before he does.

Stan seats himself. "My status." he says. "You mean my /genetic/ status." It's a prompt, to get Donovan to say what he wants to say anyway.

"As a cooperative human, Special Agent Crosetti," Cyprus corrects. "We have a murder on our hands, and I don't need it blowing up in the administration's face." He opens his briefcase, and pulls out a folio, sliding it over to Stan. "Your forensics lab is still establishing an ID on the victim, but a reliable source has provided us with the fact of his own… status. He was an Evolved. And his murderers were human." By Cyprus's tone, the possibilities are obvious. And not good.

Stan picks up the folio and leafs through it. "Any …terrorist groups operating in the area?" he says. "Why do you think the murderers were human?"

"Positive eye witness ID on the murderers," offers Cyprus. The folio contains photos of the crime scene, an alleyway near Times Square, and information on two 'terrorists'. "Vasili Babenkov and Giselle Muldoon."

Stan says, "Eye witness doesn't count for as much as it used to." resignedly. "What's the President's interest?"

"An Evolved is murdered by two known terrorists, and you think the President knows about this?" asks Cyprus, lifting a brow. "You would not have gotten to where you are if you were stupid, Special Agent Crosetti. And now would not be a good time to change that. You enjoy a special status because you're efficient, you're effective, and you're loyal. If this got to the media, especially if an Evolved were leading the investigation, what do you think would be the result?"

Stan says, "Hm." in an absent tone that indicates he really doesn't much care about the question. He folds the folio and looks up back at Cyprus, closely for a moment, energy seeming to return to his body. He leans forward, the folio back on the desk in front of him. "What do you think would happen if the public knew there was a murder by terrorists, but that an eyewitness had already identified them and the government was sparing no expense in bringing them to justice?" he says, pushing. "I think that would be a lot like a lot of other stories in the media these days. Terrorist threat, government safeguard. The story practically writes itself." He adds, leaning back, "I'm not a journalist, of course."

"No, you're an agent, and a good one, if I'm to believe what others tell me," Cyprus says, regarding Stan evenly. "Make me believe them, Special Agent Crosetti. I want this matter resolved, quickly and cleanly. When this hits the talk shows and blogs, I want it to be known that this government is willing to reward humans who cooperate." There is a pause there. "And what happens to those who don't." With that, Cyprus stands. "Take care of the investigation. Bring these terrorists to justice. And let me handle the media."

Stan says, "Fair enough." a lot more good-naturedly than a minute ago, as if the flattery works. "I, ah…have something along those lines that might be of interest to you on a different matter. If you have time to hear it." he says. "It's just a possibility, not something /I'm/ in a position to pursue, but someone like you, someone in your position…"

Cyprus lifts a brow, and gestures. "By all means," he states. "I'll make time."

Stan says, "It's the recent double attack, you might have seen it in the papers. The armory and the admin center. The HomeSec agents assigned to it are fine for what they do. They're approaching it as a done deal. A terror group attacked, they were ran off from the armory and got away with some documents from the admin center. Case closed." He shrugs. "Maybe that's better for the papers, you don't want to encourage people. But I think the attack on the armory was a ruse. There were a lot of bullet holes in the walls and floors of adjacent buildings that were in all different directions, and a burn of thermite - a very small number of people used a lot of noisemakers and some homemade smoke bombs and a few gasoline cocktails to make it seem like a full-on assault on a high-priority building. It attracted everyone away from all the low-priority buildings, including the admin center, which they then hit with a coordinated assault. They cut cell reception in one place, landlines in another, power in a third, and they came in strong - with Evolved. What they wanted was in the admin center, not in the armory. They weren't after weapons, they were after information."

Cyprus seems to consider the information, stepping away from the table for a second to look towards the window. It's obvious he's going over the scenario in his head, and he crosses his arms over his chest and narrows his gaze. He finally nods, and turns back to Stan. "Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Special Agent Crosetti," he states. "Is there anything more you can tell me?"

Stan says, "From my perspective, there's only one option I can investigate. And that's the option that the terrorist group is very strategic, they're very tactically minded, blah blah blah. And maybe they are. Maybe they can put together the information about where HomeSec will respond from how they've experienced it so far." He doesn't sound like he thinks that's true. "The other possibility is that they have someone inside. The information they targetted at the admin building….according to the witnesses, they were obsessed with getting one particular set of documents. It's about an intergovernmental corporate agreement to exchange information with a company who is supporting the government. It's useless to a gang of terrorists. But to someone higher up in the government, someone who might be able to learn the details and timing of the deal and profit from it…it would have to be someone close to Cabinet level, if not /in/ the Cabinet. Someone with a lot of suction but who is outside the HomeSec structure." He stands up, picks up the folio. "Someone that high up betraying the President for profit…well, I'm not in any position to investigate /that/. You understand."

Cyprus seems to mull the matter over, his gaze staring towards the table. Eventually it lifts back to Stan. "I'd be very careful whom you shared this insight with, Special Agent Crosetti," comments Cyprus evenly. "The people close to the President… can be very dangerous. This is something you needn't concern yourself with any further." There is just a hint of smile there, and this one reaches Cyprus's eyes. A conspiratorial smile. "I'd suggest to put it out of your mind. Do you understand?"

Stan says, gracefully, "Like I say, /I/ can't investigate it any further with the kind of authorizations, clearances, and so on. I have that other theory that I'm pursuing. Of course if I'm ordered by someone not to look into it further, I would, and I would close the case. With a 'closed' flag in the computer file. Which is on the back of my card here." He slides it across the desk to Cyprus.

"I believe that suits… the country's best interests, Special Agent Crosetti," says Cyprus, picking up the card with a simple movement, and tucking it away. "Don't you agree?" He pulls his own business card. And this one quite notably has the Symbol on it. "Be sure to give me a call if you need any assistance in this case. It is good to meet someone who understands how truly close we stand to utter chaos." He holds the card out to Stan.

Stan puts the card away. "I try not to understand too many things." he says cryptically. "Clutters up the mind." With that Sherlockian admonition, he withdraws.

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