2007-08-19: DF: Fortuity


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Summary: The Petrelli government gets a break at the last minute regarding the whereabouts of the President — from an unexpected source.

Dark Future Date: August 19th, 2009


Marriott Marquis, New York City

It would be good for business, if the government actually paid the Marquis Marriot for their use of the facility. As it stands, however, it is just a matter of being the only place where everything gets done. It's one of the conference rooms that has been converted to a full-time office for Cyprus Donovan, complete with a phone and too many folders filled with information. And sitting in a safe place on the middle of the desk is a certain mason jar of chilled milk. And for the moment, Cyprus seems to be shaking his head. "So, we now have an invisible assassin who's probably as unstable as Ms. McCarty, just less potentially deadly on a mass scale," he says, glancing towards George. "Any definitive word on Halifax yet?"

"Something like that." George makes a sour face, peering darkly into his coffee cup, as if it's gone sour on him as well. "But it's worth pursuing, if only to keep someone else from turning her against us. And no, Laurel's still MIA at last count." The coffee is finished off and set aside. "As is Aileen— just as I suspected, the dental match came back negative. I made sure they checked against the offsite backups, too, so… someone wanted her alive, and didn't want to be pursued. Maybe once this is all over, we can spare some resources to pursue that as well."

This particular conference room is easy enough to find, once you drop some names and know where to look. It's easier, when you've been searched by security and found to be carrying nothing harmful; nothing at all, in fact, save the clothes on your body. It goes even smoother when some of the presidential staff recognizes you as a "friend" of the President, though it draws a few eyebrow raises considering everyone knows the President is very much not here.

Shortly thereafter… "Knock knock." The female voice, sultry, comes before the actual knock itself: two short raps on the door, mimicking the words. Standing outside of the room Cyprus and George occupy is Jessica Sanders, standing close to the door with her knuckles still poised after knocking, waiting for it to open any second now. She's dressed in a sharp, fitted black business suit (and little else). Her golden hair is loose and not quite flat around her shoulders, and her stance is confident — as if she belongs here, among the businesspeople, a powerhouse, not the girl in a dress who came to the Marriott the last time.

"Once the crisis is over, Dawson," says Cyprus quietly. The clock that was counting down, however, is gone. The precise implications of that go unsaid. "There will be a lot of accounting to be do—" Knock knock. Cyprus glances towards the door resonates with the knock. He glances at George, then back at the door. It appears he wasn't expecting anybody. He seems to focus for a moment, then nods to George. It appears that he's expecting George to open the door.

George inclines his head to Cyprus, then walks over and opens the door slowly, briefly looking the new arrival up and down. He's seen her before, but two years and one personality ago, so there's no conscious recognition going on. "Shave and a haircut," he murmurs, for lack of anything more relevant to offer this early in the conversation.

There's a faint smile — no, grin; it's not friendly, just amused, secret-holding — on the woman's face when the door is opened. Jessica looks evenly at George, sizing him up without moving her gaze from his face; then cants her head to the side just enough to catch sight of Cyprus and do the same. "Boys," she greets. "Let's cut right to the chase," she says, an air of seriousness suddenly weighing down her voice. Already, she's trying to brush past Mr. Dawson, into the conference room — but she pauses long enough to add, "I know where President Petrelli is. It's in your best interests to let me in."

Cyprus regards Jessica with a long, even stare, then glances at George. There's a lifted brow, and he turns back to woman moving into the room. "Well, then," he says easily. "Who ever you are, you certainly know how to make an entrance." There is a moment of a pause, and Cyprus waits for George to close the door before he continues. "I assume you already know who we are, then."

George closes the door— and takes Jessica's advice immediately, even the vague remnants of his low-key sense of humor promptly dropped. "And I assume you're here to cut a deal for the information. What do you want?"

A low laugh is Jessica's response to George's talk of deals; under her breath, it's hardly above a 'hmmm,' but it's certainly amused. In other words: no. "Cyprus Donovan," the blonde says, confirming, as she saunters further into the conference room turned office. She glances around, almost casually, as she speaks with her back to both men. "Aide to the President. Right-hand-man." She looks over her shoulder to Cyprus, then to the other man. "George Dawson. Another aide, Homeland Security supervisor." She turns to lean her arms on one of the empty chairs around the conference table. "I work for the Syndicate. You mighta heard, we can find anyone in the world, for a price. Your man's already paid."

That gets a distinctly lifted brow from Cyprus, followed by a pointed look to George. He turns back to Jesica, and cants his head just a bit to one side. "I see," he offers easily. The tone says it all. A contingency plan, one rather late in the hour to show up, but it seems Cyprus is none too keen on looking a gift horse in the mouth. Still, it seems he's not too quick to except any offer of aid. "Knowing who we are is easy enough," he admits. "I don't suppose you have any proof as to your credentials, Miss… Sorry, but I don't think I caught your name?"

George waves a hand to Cyprus. "He's got a point— in theory, you could be wasting our time on a wild goose chase. But if you are who you say… then you know what information I bought from you before. Or I assume you can find out in short order." That's the trouble with field operatives, they start doing things their own way as soon as they're out of sight of the home office.

"Jessica," is her only answer in regards to name. "Aileen Kincade. Underground," she answers George promptly with a short-lived smirk. Someone came prepared. Addressing both men, she says, full of confidence, "You're not gonna believe anything I have on paper, so don't waste your time. Time's not something you have." Incase they hadn't noticed. She shoves the chair off to the side on its wheels to lean on the table instead, gripping its edge as she gazes back and forth between the others. "Only thing I want is the guarantee that if anyone asks, the Syndicate had nothing to do with this little rescue."

Cyprus regards Jessica for a long moment. And he chuckles faintly. "You expect us to believe that you are willing to simply hand us the last puzzle piece in finding the most important man in potentially the world, and all you want in return is our… guarantee to do something that would be in our own best interests?" he asks, a little incredulously. "I'm curious… just what kind of people do you take us for, Miss Jessica? I can assure you, neither myself or Agent Dawson are fools. Is all you truly wish for is… to simply not have the credit?"

George takes the opportunity to pour himself another cup of coffee. A discussion this important is worth that. "Well, her credentials do check out… and if they've already been paid in advance, then that guarantee actually kind of makes sense. Leaves them an opening to keep selling to the opposition as well." He's visibly not happy about that idea, but hey, it's expected of the likes of the Syndicate. Business is business. "I'm inclined to go ahead and pursue this… though if it /does/ turn out to be a red herring, I'm sure I don't need to spell out the consequences."

"You have no idea," Jessica voices with faux awe in Mr. Donovan's direction. "Trust me, I'm not doing this out of the goodness of my heart— and it's not a trick," she adds with a scoff, even though it's a criminal's word. "Coulda done it the minute he went missing, but he shot me, so. Serves him right." She twirls the chair beside her about and sinks into it, sprawling back - an indication that she has no plans to leave until both of the men believe what she's telling them. So she starts with: "The Saints have him. Leader's a man by the name of Jack Derex." Jessica watches their reactions closely, gauging whether or not this is new information.

"The Saints, you say?" asks Cyprus. He tilts his head to the side, and seems to consider this for the moment. He turns to pick up one of the folders, and lifts it up. "One of the nastier known terrorist organizations, I believe. We stole some information from the mind of one of the Alliance cell leaders. And you say that this Mr. Derex is their leader?" He glances at George, then turns back to Jessica. Somehow, the comment about getting shot by Nathan doesn't seem to even phase him an iota. Which might say a lot about both the President and his aide. "And how many Evolved, do you know, are in his ranks?"

"Yes, we know who Derex is," replies George, impatiently. Hell, the man claimed credit on video, and the Saints… have a flair for the theatric. Still, it's nice to get independent confirmation of what passes for their organizational structure. "More to the point, do you know what sort of forces are directly assigned to holding the president?"

"In my professional opinion? Bunches." But that's an easy guess. "They've got Nathan— " Hello, first name basis, " —under wicked tight security, but hell if I know what kind of freaks they've got in their parade." Jessica shifts about in the chair casually, rolling a shoulder back. "Mmmm, but Jack. He can steal your valuables from across the room. Watch your weapons." She winks. "Anyway, the President's at the Weischel Carcass House. Meatpacking district." The woman slides her chair back, so soon after sitting, and starts to stand.

Cyprus looks at George. Manhattan. It fits into all the pieces. He pulls one folder slightly out of the stack, and watches as Jessica starts to stand. "Don't suppose you'd happen to know where, exactly, in the building we'll be able to find him?" Because when you're given something as useful as this… does it hurt to ask for more? Cyprus seems willing to at least risk it.

"What weapons?" George holds up his hands. See? No gun. Well, in a pinch, he could… throw hot coffee in your face. Yeah. "I do wonder, though, if a ten-billion-dollar ransom isn't best countered with something equally ludicrous…" From pacing back and forth, he turns his attention back to Cyprus. "I don't suppose you ever saw Harrison Bergeron? Not the short story, they made a TV movie of it."

"Nope." And her job, apparently, is done. Jessica strolls away from the table while the men strategize, but looks over her shoulder — neat and squared, by the cut of her jacket — as she makes her way, heel-click by heel-click, to the door. The blonde woman winks again, this time paired with a devious breed of smirk as she opens the door. "Send the President my love."

Glancing at George, Cyprus comments "Didn't you watch Mrs. Petrelli speech, Agent Dawson?" And sometimes, Cyprus is a little bit cruel. Just a little. As Jessica moves away steadily, Cyprus's gaze turns to watch her go. After a moment, he asides to George, "Well. That was… fortuitous." And he leaves it at that.

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