Date: December 18, 2009
George gives his irregulars a new assignment.
"Hunting the Hunters"
An office in New York
It's taken a while, off and on, but the remodeling has finally borne fruit. There's a decent amount of room for people to work in, the walls are soundproofed— and the sole entrance requires going around a couple of corners toward the parking lot and then walking through a door marked as leading to a utility closet. In short, it's a reasonably discreet situation room within an otherwise innocuous office space.
"Can you hear me now?" George calls out from inside, before opening the door again and peering out at Clarence. Thumbs up or down? Meanwhile, he checks his watch— the others should be here within a few more minutes.
Clarence gives a little call out, "Oh, yes sir. I can hear you now." He smiles only slightly to George as he peers out from the opened door. "I do believe you've made yourself quite the excellent office space here, sir." The bald British man says with a confident not. "Now, I'd like to think that I've seen just about everything, but I never thought of hiding office space as such." He speaks in a lower tone, so what he says can't be overheard while he approaches the door. "And who else are we expecting today, sir, if I might be so bold as to enquire."
Ophelia was a little impressed herself. The office space was cleverly hidden, that was for sure. Shifting the bag hung over her shoulder, the girl moves towards the two, stopping once she's close enough for normal conversation. She doesn't interrupt, instead moving to turn her phone on vibrate as she slips it into a pocket, adjusting the bag again as she waits to speak. That, and her mind seems to be elsewhere, so the few more moments of silence to finish her mental argument are quite the welcome relief.
Coming in the door, Robin pulls off his winter jacket even as he takes a look around as he steps inside. He's dressed well, nothing formal but a plain red polo shirt and black pants, doing his best to look professional instead of geeky as usual. He makes his way inside slowly, just holding his coat for the moment.
George starts to answer, but instead stops and ducks out of the way. "Ah, here they are," he adds afterward, closing the door once everyone's inside. "Clarence, this is Ophelia, our psych expert, and Robin, our resident computer hacker. Clarence is an old friend of my father's— he may play the bumbler out in public, but don't worry, it's just a cover. The rest of the team" - he glances over toward a screen in the corner - "is conferenced in from the other office. You guys can hear us, right?" Of course they can, Robin wouldn't have given his go-ahead otherwise.
Clarence bows his head to Ophelia and Robin. "It is a pleasure to meet both of you." He lets his gaze go between the two people he's just met. "You could say that while I'm not the psychology expert or a computer expert, I am still an expert of people. Of politics. I can wiggle my way around." He seems quite serious, despite using 'wiggle' in the sentence. It may not be the official term to use for his job, but it's the word he decided to use. "Well, lets engage this meeting, shall we?"
Ophelia rubs her neck sheepishly. Every time George gave her that title, she felt as if she were cheating, somehow. Psych expert usually was not a term for a college-freshman majoring in psychology. She had top grades, yes, but felt like a cheater all the same. Her gaze shifts for a moment to look at the computer hacker, making a few mental notes before she looked back to George.
Robin gives a smile as he and Ophelia are introduced, and he nods to both, "Nice to meet you." He then adds to George's question, as he sets his coat aside, "The connections should be working just fine."
The DC group confirms things from their end as well, then George leans back against the wall and nods. "First of all, the situation's obviously a little different— I've been working with each of you individually, but right now I need a team effort. Get to know each other, get each other involved if it moves things along faster. Stay creative. Don't wait too long for me if I'm tied up elsewhere, just fill me in when you can."
"Specifically, the situation involves Senator Wynn's anti-terrorist initiative. Yes, he's stepped down, but it's still going without him— and it's picked up at least some people who haven't actually done anything wrong, along with some others who probably have. I've got reports of train transports with armed guards and sedatives— I need more specifics, but they're just a means to an end. What I really want to know is who's at the top of the food chain, now that Wynn isn't. Unless he's still secretly— but my gut says he isn't."
At this point, George presses a button, bringing up the pirate video of Jamie on a second screen. "One last thing— keep this in mind, whether you believe it or not. Anything directly relevant goes to the top of your reports, got that?"
Clarence keeps to the background now, deciding to listen to everything before he decides whether or not to speak up just yet. "I…might be able to see if I can ask around to some people, see if anyone knows anything about ex-Senator Wynn's initiative and who is running it." The British ex-patriot says thoughtfully. "See if I can't pull a few strings, call in some favours." He furrows his brow. "Whether we believe it or not? Might I ask for some clarification, Congressman?"
Robin blinks, but then nods seriously to George. "You got it." Then he grins to Clarence, "Oh, it's real. I think so, anyway. I've examined that video. There's no traces of artifacts from camera trickery when she first changes. And either way… while it's possible, if her clothes had changed with her, for a computer to do that, if you watch how the fabric moves in addition to the water when she changes back? Even if you had all the computing power they put into the movie Avatar, there's no way a computer could have rendered that."
George scratches his head. "What do they call it, when the CGI is almost right but it just makes you notice that one little bit that isn't? Anyway— yes, I believe it, too. And I think some of the people behind the anti-terrorist project believe it, too. Based on what I know so far, I'm thinking jaded black-ops types who've seen so many real threats before that it's clouded their judgment, and probably some greenies who're just following orders. No idea how much the president knows, I'm afraid."
Clarence shakes his head as he watches the video of Jamie. Excuse me if I seem a little cynical but…well, it all seems so difficult to comprehend. That little girl actually changing into water? Please forgive me, congressman and all, but I'm not about to be blindly led around being expected to believe something I see on a screen. If I see something in real life, I'll be more than happen to open my mind to the possibility. But for now, whatever the case, I'd care to wager that there must be something else going on."
Ophelia seems actually amused. "I'm more inclined to believe the thing's real. I've seen some pretty strange things in my day." She does nod a little. "But I'll keep my eyes out for anything and everything, however I can. Whatever help I can be, I'll be."
Robin shrugs a little to Clarence, and says, "You're not the only one. There's tons of people online saying the same thing, it's a fake because it has to be a fake. A lot of people have trouble believing it." He nods to Ophelia and then asks George, "You want unconfirmed info too? I have some pretty reliable sources for info online. But, it is online, so it's more just clues and rumours than any actual evidence. We could also get in contact with the email in the video, see what info comes out of it."
George nods to Robin. "I've heard they've been responding. I don't know how reliable any of it is, but for now, let's just pull in whatever information we can— then we can work out how much of it is correct, and where we need to push from there." By now, he's pacing a bit, hands in pockets. "Obviously there's some amount of danger involved here, so I trust each of you will stick to calculated risks— I don't want to lose anyone. Ophelia, have you heard anything from Tracy Strauss since the last time we talked? She promised me some more information on the program, but that was before Wynn's resignation, so I'm not sure of her status at this point."
Clarence shakes his head. "You all can believe what you wish to believe, and I shall do the same. For the time being." He nods to George. "Calculated risks. Of course sir. I'll be sure to let you know of any information I am able to pull on the government's activities in regards to the initiative put in place by ex-Senator Wynn as soon as I know."
Ophelia shakes her head. "She hasn't really been in contact with me. I can try and check in with her, if you'd like. I'm not sure about her at all, though. Given everything with Wynn." She glances back towards Robin and Clarence as she listens to their information.
Robin nods to George and grins again, "You got it. I'll have some info gathered for you as soon as possible, and I'll contact them. Besides a couple hours of homework, I can put all weekend to this. And don't worry, I'll be untracable." He looks to the others again then, quieting again as he listens.
George inclines his head. "Okay, just don't kill yourself doing it, all right? I've been down the workaholic road myself, it's not pretty." He still works long hours, but he does actually take breaks for a personal life. Possibly after the occasional reminder. "All right, any more questions before we get moving on this?"
Clarence shakes his head. "No sir, Mr. Congressman. I think everything sounds clear." He smiles. "Find info, report on everything even if it sounds hard to believe, leave no stone unturned on unmentioned." He bows his head in a nod. "Perfectly clear, Congressman."
Ophelia glances to Clarence, then to George. "Yeah, he's right. Pretty simple. We'll get it done, of course." She makes a mental note to check out the info she's got on others with powers, just in case they've got anything else on what's happening.
Robin shakes his head to George, grinning, "This'll be relaxing, really. I'm browsing the web and chatting online all the time anyway, might as well look up something important." He then nods in agreement with the others and says, "Yep, all pretty simple. No questions here."