2007-05-28: First Contact...?


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Summary:Ryan's just moving into his new apartment in New York when Natalie visits him on Company business

Date It Happened:May 28, 2007

First Contact…?

Midtown East- Ryan's Apartment

It's early in the evening, and the light of the setting sun is filtered into Ryan Cochrane's new apartment through the venician blinds over the main window. Amidst a large collection of moving boxes and packing wrap, Ryan is taking a break by watching the Yankees game on his new TV, an extra large pizza in a box on the coffee table, and a bottle of beer next to the pizza (no coaster, mother would disapprove). Ryan is comfortably relaxed in his coach as he watches the latest installment of the never-ending struggle of good-versus-evil that is the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry. Of course, which side is good and which side is evil is all relative…

Natalie arrives at the address on file. The bespectacled blonde is dressed professionally. Pantsuit, low heels. Not her preferred attire of choice. She knocks lightly at the door.

Ryan gets up off the couch and keeps his eyes on the TV while walking to the door in order to see Jeeter hit a double to send in a run. "Nice…." he mutters as he gets to the door. He looks through the peephole to see Natalie standing there. Keeping the chain in place he opens the door carefully. "Yes?"

Natalie smiles. "Mr. Cochrane? I'm Natalie Foster. I work for the same organization as Dr. Suresh. I was hoping you might have a few moments."

Ryan blinks for a bit. "Hmmm? Oh yeah…sure. Hang on for a second…" He closes the door to release the chain and opens it back up again. He's currently dressed in a Giants t-shirt and black sweatpants. With a slightly sheepish smile, he brushes some pizza crumbs off the shirt. "Come on in…ummm…sorry about the mess. I'm still unpacking from what the movers dropped off over the past couple days." He ushers Natalie in with a gesture of his arm. "Ummm…can I get you anything to drink? Or maybe some pizza, if you're hungry?"

Natalie smiles. "It's not a problem." She takes a step inside, and once she's there, she offers her hand to shake. "No pizza, but I wouldn't say no to some coffee, if you happen to have some around."

Ryan shakes the offered hand and gives Natalie a smile. "Give me a minute and I'll get some brewing for you." He leads Natalie inside and gestures to the sofa and loveseat. "Take a seat, this won't take long. Oh, and if you want to change the channel or turn the TV off, the remote is on the coffee table." He goes into the kitchen and starts rumaging for the coffee. "So, what brings you out here, Ms. Foster?"

Natalie moves out where indicated, moving to take a seat on the sofa. She does, indeed, use the remote to shut off the TV, just so she's not talking over it. "I'm given to understand that you're being tested regarding an…anomalous ability you possess?"

Ryan pokes his head out of the cupboard for a moment. "Umm…yeah…you could say that." He goes back to looking and pulls out a vacuum sealed package of coffee with an "A-ha!" of triumph. He goes to the brewing machine on the counter and goes about setting things up as he explains. "Yeah….I have the ability to control the weather. At least both Dr, Suresh and I are pretty sure that's what I can do. I did some blood testing and a bit of minor training before I flew back home for the weekend."

Natalie nods. "That's quite impressive. Has Dr. Suresh spoken to you at all about the ramifications of that ability? What you might do with it, or what other people might try to do with it?"

Ryan fills the pot with water from the kitchen sink as he continues. "Kind of. Although I already had a pretty good idea of the negative potentials of my powers. Especially if I lost control." He pours the water into the brewer and sets the pot back on the hot plate. After clicking on the brewer he walks back to the living room and starts to straighten up by taking away the pizza box and the beer bottle. "That's a big part of why I came out here to find Dr. Suresh. I wanted to lean how to control my powers so that I could help out when I might be needed and that I wouldn't be a threat by not having control over them. I don't want to be a superhero or anything like that; but if I had my powers as well as control back when Katrina hit, let's say, think of what could have been done to lessen the impact and the damage."

Natalie smiles. "That was exactly the sort of thing that we were thinking of. We'd like to propose some more substantial training, in exchange for your willingness to utilize your ability if the need should arise." Still sounding quite professional on the whole thing, watching him as he cleans up.

Ryan finally sits down on the loveseat now that the coffee is brewing. "Well, I'm all for that. But I want to take it slow, so that I don't start trying to run before I can walk, you know?" He gives Natalie an appraising look. "So…ummm…do you have…a power too?"

Natalie looks back at him a long moment, before she finally nods. "Yes. Mine is much less suited to field usage like yours is, though. But you'll find a number of people who work for us and with us have unusual abilities."

Ryan smiles widely. "Cool. It's nice to meet someone with powers, you know? It makes you feel less alone in the world." He sits back in the loveseat. "So, what can you do, if you don't mind me asking?"

Natalie chuckles. "I have the ability to alter the language centers of the brain. Basically I can upload and download languages."

Ryan smiles in amazement. "Wow…that must be totally cool! Any language at all? Did you have your powers during High School when you had to take a language class?" He gets up as the coffee finishes brewing with a gurgle from the machine. "How many languages can you speak now? Is there a maximum to the number you can know at one time?…."

Natalie laughs. "I didn't have my ability in high school, so I'm afraid it didn't help so much. I did study quite a few back then, though. Right now, I know about a dozen. As to a maximum, we're honestly not sure yet. All of this is sort of charting new ground, and in most cases, there aren't any prior cases to look in on."

Ryan blushes a bit and smiles. "Sorry if I'm babbling…" he says as he pours the coffee into a black SF Giants mug. "This is pretty much the first thing in my life that's gotten me motivated and excited outside of sports. Oh. you want cream and sugar with this?"

The blonde shakes her head. "Oh, not at all. I was just as fascinated when I found out. Heck, I'm still fascinated when I find out the kind of things people can do. And yes, both please. It's really been a change."

Ryan nods and goes to the fridge to pour some cream into the cup. A stop at a canister filled with sugar yields 2 spoonfulls that he stirs in as he walks back. "I know what you mean. Dr. Suresh…Chandra, I mean…he saw us as the next evolutionary step for humanity. I kinda wonder if, like, the Neanderthals knew how different they were. " He shrugs as he gives Natalie the coffee and sits back down. "Eh, sometimes I guess I just think too much and over-analyze things."

Natalie smiles. "I'm pretty sure that we're a little more cognizant of evolutionary science than the Neanderthals were. Though, that does lead to an important point. The need of keeping all of this quiet."

Ryan nods seriously. "Oh, yeah. Of course. That's part of why I haven't done anything with my powers. Not just because of what could happen if I lost control, but also to not get anyone suspicious. I just trained myself enough to be sure that I wouldn't loose control under everyday stress. There's a bit of an advantage with 'Activating Evolution' being disregarded off the cuff. I mean, I started reading it before I got my powers because I thought it would be an easy A for my Genetics class." He smiles at the irony. "Who knew, yeah?"

Natalie smiles a bit at that. "Good! It seems like you've got the right view on things." Which means she doesn't have to call in anyone for a tag-and-bag. "I'd like to give you my card, and if you have any trouble with your ability, or any trouble in general, give me a call and we may be able to help, all right?"

Ryan nods. "Sure thing." He takes the card and looks it over for a moment. "And…what about calling you for…say…a cup of coffee sometime?"

Natalie blinks. Her professionalism slips, and the blonde looks a little flustered at that. "I…" For someone who speaks so many languages, none of them are being terribly obliging at the moment. Cheeks red. Brain resynch. "I'm sure you can find plenty of women who are more in your class, Mr. Cochrane. I'm a language nerd and a bureaucrat." Not, you know, a model or dancer or any of those pretty things that rich types tend to gravitate to.

Ryan nods and smiles a bit. "Which means that you've either got someone already, or you're not interested. Got it." He places the card on the coffee table. "Well, now that I put my foot in my mouth with that…is there anything else that you wanted to ask me or needed to know?"

Natalie blushes even brighter. "No, I don't! And I—" Okay, mortified now. Blonde stands, flustered and boldly attempting to rally her dignity. "I think that's everything, Mr. Cochrane."

Ryan nods a bit and stands as well. "Okay. And I promise that I will only call you if there's an emergency" He mulls over his next words, not wanting to make the situation worse. "Sorry that I upset you there. Ms. Foster."

Natalie manages to keep a pleasantly neutral smile, despite her stomach sinking a moment. God. Way to screw up, Natalie. She shakes her head. "Not at all. Take care then, Mr. Cochrane; I hope your training goes well." With that, she starts towards the door, hoping she doesn't look as red as she feels.

Ryan follows Natalie to the door and opens it for her, trying to let her leave with some grace and dignity. "Thanks for stopping by and have a good night.". Gently closing it after she leaves, he sighs as he makes his way back to the couch. "Smooth, Ryan…real smooth." He plops down on the couch and picks up the remote to turn the game back on. "If my luck stays this constant, New York is gonna be pretty lonely." He sees the cup of coffee, untouched by Natalie and takes a drink from it. "Yeah, pretty lonely…."

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