2007-09-22: Rally The Forces

Starring:

Benjamin_icon.gif Meryl_icon.gif

Summary: Meryl runs into Benjamin again, and is surprised that he's actually been doing some work to find this Dorsey guy. What a pal! Also, she has some people in mind for the team.

Date It Happened: 22 SEPTEMBER 2007

Rally the Forces


Ben's Office, Hartsdale

Tucked away in his cubby of an office, Benjamin's hard at work. His desk is littered with papers and his printer is working overtime as he organizes a dossier on the tormenter from Meryl's past. He could easily refuse to work with the woman on this situation. Yet, he feels sorry for her, and how could he not? She suffers in her own way, and he wants to make things up to her for being a jerk. (Even if she did start the annoying pranking wars.) While things look like a right mess at this point in time, organization is slowly coming about. If he's anything, it's anal retentive about documentation. He wasn't an accountant for nothing.

—-

There's a lot that Benjamin would have found out already - Jeremiah Dorsey was still living in New South Wales at his last known location, though updates on his location have ceased in recent years. Much of the Company file is labeled as 'Classified,' demanding a password for access, but there's a bit that's available. His home is between Newcastle and Sydney, for example. He's thirty-nine years old. There are pictures. There's a description of his power which has been labeled as 'Memory Manipulation,' with notations that hes able to cause problems with the formation of memory or mental development.

He's been under the radar for the past decade or so, as well, disappearing off Company radar now and then; it reaches one point in early 2001 where no more information is disclosed about him - the file is simply Classified from that point.

Meryl makes her way toward Benjamin's office. Or, rather, she's going to her own, but happens to see the light on under Benjamin's door, so her destination quickly changes. She starts to open his door, but has a flash of insight and knocks instead. "Hey, you in there, Bingo?"

—-

Benjamin takes a drink from his can of Coke Zero as he meticulously puts together his own file on Dorsey. The roadblocks of 'Classified' files has been frustrating to say the least, but he's been using what's available to him in order to skirt that information. Accustomed to Meryl's own nicknames for people, he responds to 'Bingo' with, "Come on in." There's the whir of his printer as it generates another document on Dorsey. The Company may be blocking employee access based on clearance, but there are some things he can use to get information about the guy. Taxes. It's another country, but taxes are taxes and he can get through the system that way.

—-

Dear lord, she's been invited in! Something mut be wrong with Benjamin. Something terribly terribly wrong. He's having a heart attack, or a stroke, or perhaps he's being held up by garden gnomes or fairies - DAMN those fantasy creatures, always sneaking around the Company offices to hold agents hostage! But Meryl will not let them know that she's onto their little game. Pulling her sidearm from her belt, she opens the door slowly— AND SEES…

Benjamin at the computer.

"Well, that was anti-climatic," Meryl states, putting the weapon away before resting her hands on her hips. "I thought you were being held captive or something…" Pursing her lips, narrowing her eyes, she comes around the desk so she can look under it. "There aren't any gnomes in here."

—-

"Huh?" Benjamin asks as he looks up, confused and oh, Meryl's being herself. "Last I checked, no gnomes and no being held captive." Under his breath he mutters, "Unless it's by my friends for betraying them." Anywho. He sets the can of Coke down then swipes the fresh sheet of paper off the printer. "I've been working on getting as much data as I can on Mr. Dorsey for you. The sooner we get the information we need, the sooner we can organize and plan. I'm sure you'll feel better once this is sorted and dealt with."

—-

As soon as the can of Coke is set down on the desk, it's in Meryl's hand. HERS NOW. Finders, keepers! Takig a drink, she finds it not too bad! Yeah, she can get used to this! And so it's finished within the next handful of seconds and set right back down where it was on te desk, all before Benjamin turns back around from retrieving the paper from the printer.

Honestly, though, colour Meryl surprised.

"Wait, what are you doing?" she asks, as if it wasn't clear by what Benjamin just said. Actually, the 'what' is more like a 'why,' because she really didn't anticipate that he's help her without further prodding. Aw, now she feels bad about stealing his Coke! Damn guilt. It'll pass in— She looks at her watch - Ah, guilty feeling's gone. "What'd you find out?"

—-

Benjamin blinks, that was his drink, then he just lets it go. It's a can of Coke, he has more in a mini-fridge. He looks from the can up to Meryl, puzzled as to why she's asking that. Then.. D'oh. She has the attention span of a goldfish and the memory retention of one as well. "I said I would help you. Anyway.. He's still in Australia for one. So that's good that we don't have to search the globe for him. Right now, I'm using some sources of mine to get a better lock on what he's been up to based on tax records." Uhm. Maybe that's too much information for Meryl to digest. "Long story short. I have an idea of where he's at. We need some more information before I feel comfortable with this. Or maybe I'm overthinking the situation. Still. No one needs to go after him half-cocked."

—-

She's not dumb, though. Whether or not she can't string a whole day together without getting side-tracked, she still knows that Ben isn't exactly her biggest fan. She didn't care, really - it was a fun little rivalry they had. "I just didn't think that you— " She starts, somehow managing to prevent herself from up-ending a pencil holder on his desk for the sole purpose of seeing how all the writing utensils would land. "I didn't think you'd do it on your own time."

Tax records sound boring, but he's done the work, so she can try to focus - even if the printouts probably don't have pictures. Maybe she can add some. "Thank you… Can I see what you've gotten?" Meryl asks, holding out a hand for the pages, cracking a smile. She can't really help it— "You said cocked."

—-

She still has memories of what happened. It didn't hurt, but it was frightening. There was a good chunk of her life where she was scared, frustrated. She understood what happened to her, because she was more than able to think and reason, to learn… She just never grew up. As she pages through the documents given to her, Meryl frowns.

"Well, you don't have to feel bad about what you did. Wouldn't have been the first time someone got sick of me, like that one time in training when I filled my temporary partner's shoes with cat vomit — I think that might have been the last straw. He wasn't really happy with me. Then there was that time I nailed all my roommate's furniture to the ceiling - had help with that one, though. Though I'm pretty sure that if you'd managed to install that beeping thing in my office without me knowing, I would have shot you. Sorry, Ben. I like you, but not that much." Flipping a page, she comes face to face with a photo of the guy, and shivers. "Have to admit, you're growing on me, though.

"Thing is, he's not— It's a different country, I guess he— I don't know. There must be a reason why they haven't brought him in." That's one of those 'Classified' things that no one's been able to find, as of yet. "And you dont have to feel bad about what happened to me, Bingo. I live with it. I'm an asset. I still survive. I wonder what I'd be like if this asshole hadn't screwed with my head, but— " Trailing off, she hands the pages back. "I met someone the other day. I'd like her to come with us."

—-

Benjamin blinks as he looks over at Meryl as he busies himself with sorting the papers on his desk. Things are now shaping up with some organization and that alone makes him feel better about the project. The related papers are also kept separate from current and official work. Again, it all goes back to how fussy he is about things. "Then I'm glad I didn't get to hide it in your office. I don't think I'd like to be shot. I've been hit with a gun and punched in the face. That's more than enough pain for me… and thanks. I think." He takes the folder back from Meryl and starts putting more papers within. "We all have something in our lives that we stop and think about, wondering if a particular event hadn't taken place, what would we be like. Some are just more serious than others.. and really? Who is it?" He has no objections to more people in on this. Not exactly the more the merrier, but a small 'task force' of sorts couldn't go amiss.

—-

"I've been shot at," Meryl says. It happens when you're in the Company. She's also been in a pretty bad accident that killed her partner and what would have been a very valuable Evolved asset. But that was over a year ago now, so there's no need to dwell on the ery distant past, right? Right! "Sometimes I'll think about how it's not fair or how I could have done something different to avoid what happened. Had my parents stop at the drug store on the way home, and we would have gotten there well after the robbers left. Sure, our stuff woulda been long gone, but they would still… And I… But it's not worth losing sleep over. What's done is done, aye? Her name's Nova Armstrong. She's from Australia, too. Has the muscle." And to demonstrate this, Meryl FLEXES ONE ARM, and smiles. "'sides, she's got a cool name. Go' someone else in mind, too, but I need to talk to her 'fore I make any decisions."

—-

"….." That would be Benjamin staring at Meryl then, "Yeah. I know she has muscle." So long as he doesn't give the woman cause to punch him in the face again, everything's kosher. "Who else do you have in mind?" He takes a post-it note and puts down Nova's name on it, then = muscle. It helps to know the assets of those involved, make sure people play to their strengths and the resources are pooled together. "I do see your point in not dwelling. I've had to make myself stop doing that a lot these days."

—-

"Well, way I figure it, I'm better off than my parents." It sounds cold to say, but… Benjamin hasn't met them, he hasn't seen what they'e become. She could have ended up like that - alive, but with no life at all worth living. "Oh, you've met, then. Good, that means introductions won't be necessary. Those are always awkward." Meryl also doesn't mention the fact that Nova's been in the Company for awhile, and they might just let her lead a team. It's a wonder they'll let Meryl have a handgun, honestly, but putting her in charge of a mission? That's asking to be shot in the foot. "Well, I've been working with this girl. Megan, don't remember her last name. She's got this ability that could really come in handy. Not sure she'll be ready by the time we go, though."

—-

Benjamin doesn't know what to say, so he simply nods at Meryl. When Megan is mentioned, that has his attention once again focused on Meryl. "… Megan.. Deatley?" It's the only Megan he knows, and just mention of an ability and not being ready has his radar beeping. "If.. it's her. There might be some hard feelings against Armstrong and me. Just to get that out there."

—-

"Yeah, that mighta been it— Do you know everyone already?" She almost seems put out by this, because she should know more people than she does. It's just hard to keep track of them all. The Company is a big place, after all. What does worry Meryl, however, is the whole thing about 'hard feelings.' She doesn't want this mission failing before it even starts, and… With what Megan can do - or potentially do - she's almost needed. Yes, Meryl does pay attention sometimes. "What'd you do?" is asked, eyes narrowed, suspicious.

—-

"I.. uhm.. was on a date with Megan.. Armstrong and Max ambushed her. Forcefully brought her in. I had no idea she was evolved, or that there were orders to bring her in. She kinda hates me right now, Megan that is. She thinks I was part of it." Benjamin says as he unnecessarily shuffles papers around and into the folder, not looking up at Meryl. "What's done is done. Maybe she'll believe me someday." If not, it's something he'll have to deal with. "But if we're all going to work together, we have to put personal feelings aside, be professional and get the job done."

—-

Oh, well, that's not so bad! See, think positive. "Well, at least you didn't kick her cat or something." Didn't… Megan tell her about this? Yeah, probably. In fact, the answer to this is yes, but it wasn't really important to recall it until just this moment when the entire cohesiveness of their little team could dissolve prior to even being formed. It's a small annoyance… Meryl can make it work. "We'll be fine, I'm sure." Hopping up on Ben's desk, she crosses her legs and starts playing with that pen holder she's been eying for the last ten minutes. "You know what she can do now? It's amazing, Bingo. You should see it." Arranging the pens into a rude word, she adds, "I'ma have to repair this - I'll arrange a meeting. Just don't let her, you know. Touch you. Might turn out badly."

—-

"Something about possession.. I know that much. I haven't peeked into her file or anything. It's just what I've.. heard.." Benjamin is distracted by looking down at the rude arrangement of pens and pencils there on his desk. "I don't think she'll be too happy to see me.. but we have to work together." A reminder from his Outlook calender beeps and he pokes a few keys on the keyboard to check the schedule. "I have an appointment to keep, but I'll work at this some more afterwards, okay? We should have enough to move on shortly."

—-

"Yeah, she…" About to describe the ability in a bit more detail, she's distracted by the Outlook alert. The story will have to be reserved for another time! The wheels are already turning, in order to make this work, there are several steps that must be followed promtly. Step one - get self some Chinese takout. Step two, sleep for twelve hours. Step three video games. Step four, ???. Step five, Profit. And that is how things are done in the Company. "Oh, you go ahead. I'll go ahead and clean up your office." Question is, do you feel lucky, Benjamin? You could come back to find all your stuff affixed to the ceiling.

—-

"That's not necessary. I appreciate the offer though. I like cleaning it myself." Thinking fast as he rises from his seat, Benjamin suggests as a way to get Meryl out of his office so that he can lock up.. "I think there was mention of something green and nasty growing under the vending machines in the first floor break area. Looked like aliens from what I was told."

—-

Sadly, he knows her too well already. Meryl could protest, she could fight his decision, she could sneak into his office once he's gone, but aliens under the vending machines? Too good to pass up. "I'd… better go… see…" She says, standing, leaving the pens in their formation on the desk. "See you later, Bingo!" she says as she leaves.

A moment later, she returns, peeking around the doorframe, smiling sincerely. "Thanks, Benjamin," Meryl says, and then she's gone again. Alien life on earth! EXCITING!

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