2007-09-10: Rock And A Hard Place


Cass_icon.gif Benjamin_icon.gif

Summary: Spy mission, success or FAIL?

Date It Happened: September 10th, 2007

Log Title Rock and a Hard Place

Bat Country Labs

Not knowing for sure, but pretty certain that Ramon told Cass about his affiliation.. Benjamin still shows up at the labs as scheduled. Trying to keep his mind clear, he pushes forward. He has a job to do, this is just a hitch. Perhaps it can be turned around in his favor. There's also the mental image of Noah's expression of 'I'm gunna keel j00' fresh in his mind. Whether or not Bennet would act on that? He doesn't want to leave it to chance. So here he is, at Cass's labs, as previously arranged.

Unfortunately for Benjamin, Cass has been informed about his attempts at infiltration. Not by Ramon, but by another mindreader of a sorts. When Benjamin enters, Cass is already siting at her desk, flipping through a book he probably can't see from his vantage point. Glancing up, her black rimmed glasses are set perfectly on the bridge of her nose and she smiles at him. "Hey, Benjamin, come on in."

Benjamin returns the smile, trying to squelch the nerves he's feeling. "Good afternoon Cass," he greets as he approaches the desk. He doesn't sit down just yet. Standing feels like the good option right now, rather than sitting and fidgeting. "I'm not late am I?" he asks simply to initiate small talk, as he knows he's right on time.

If there are ninjas hiding in the corners or ready to drop from the ceiling to take Benjamin captive for being a mole, they do not show themselves at this time. Perhaps they're waiting for a more epic moment. Instead, there's just Cass sitting at her desk, slipping a bookmark into her book and then shutting it. "Nah. Well, a little, but I don't mind." And if they're supposed to practice, where's their 'spotter'? The person who is either going to be put to sleep or make sure that Cass can wake up if she's the one being tested on. "Come in, sit down." If she notices his nervousness, she doesn't quite comment on it at the moment.

Benjamin is always nervous, there's no reason to suspect further cause, right? Okay, she's onto him. He's pretty sure of this. "We're ready to get star.. oh okay." He settles into the offered chair, making himself as comfortable as he can get for the moment. He doesn't ask about the spotter, if that's to come, well, it will.

Of course Cass is onto him. Is is possible that Ramon knows and Cass does not when it involves her clinic? Well, it is possible, but just not the truth in this case. As soon as the man is seated, she just kind of rests her arms on the desk in front of her. "I know what you're into," she tells him. Why bother with small talk. "And I need to know if you actually need help with your ability or if you're only here to spy on me."

With the suspicion on his mind, it comes as no surprise to Benjamin when Cass cuts right to the chase. The regret and apology in his expression isn't faked. He is sorry, and it's probably a mistake to wear his emotions on his sleeve.. but it might work to his advantage in this situation. "Both. I do need help.. and I was given a job to do." What he says next, is with all honesty, so there's no fidgeting or twitchiness that accompanies a lie, "I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here. I never wanted to lie to people I counted as friends."

"I don't doubt you are, but so am I, Benjamin." Cass sighs and just leans back in her chair. "You already know how I feel about the people you're working for now." Which is, she really doesn't like them. "And while I consider you a friend, the fact that you're willing to jeopardize other people's safety for your own and your daughter's sake when we might have helped you…well, it shows I can't trust you." Frowning, she rolls her shoulders. "I can't have you come back here, Benjamin. If you still want help with your ability, I'll gladly do it, but we'll have to do it somewhere else."

Benjamin frowns, as he was concerned about this. Noah's not gonna like this development. "They came for me a couple of months ago. Either I sign on, or they take my daughter. What else was I supposed to do?," he says in a serious tone, trying to make eye contact with Cass. "Up until recently, I wasn't aware there was anyone else who could help me… and the fact that you won't let me back here says that you have something you're hiding. All they wanted to know is what you were doing. I trusted that your group here was doing one thing.. helping. What else are you hiding then?" Maybe that wasn't a smart move, maybe he could have asked that a little more tactfully.. "Unless you're hiding something more, you don't have anything to be concerned about."

"I'm hiding the people I'm helping." Cass tells Benjamin simply. "The fact that they send someone in here to infiltrate and spy on me tells me loads about the people you work for, Benjamin. Someone could have just come to me and started laying cards on the table. They didn't do that. Instead they sent someone to try and spy on me. I'm not about to allow them to pick and choose who they kidnap and perform tests on from my friends because you tell your superiors names of people you meet here." She shakes her head. "What makes them think they have any right to check up on what I do? They're not the government and they're not a law enforcement agency. I'm concerned because you're my friend and…listen to you. They threatened your daughter so you're turning on everyone? That's ridiculous. What kind of people do that?"

"No.. they aren't the government or a police agency. They do more than they can do." Shifting uncomfortably in his seat, Benjamin doesn't blame Cass for what she's saying and thinking. She has a very valid point. "I'm.. look.." An idea comes to mind. "Cass. I've been put into a position I didn't want to be in. If I'm to.. help you out with it, cover my own backside.. I need to ask for a little bit of trust here. I know that's a lot to ask for right now, and probably something you can't give. They felt your lab might be a threat, there are things I know about them that I can't tell you. I'm here because I'm a familiar face, we didn't count on information from the future." Exhaling an audible breath, he looks back at Cass, "It's not a picking and choosing at random. We have people who are a threat to society. People who can't manage their abilities, or abuse them. Like any criminal on the street who abuses their right to have a gun. It's just that cops cannot hold some of these people. I.. what I'm getting at is, I'm in a rough spot because your lab here isn't so secret. I need to know what's going on here if I'm to help cover tracks."

"My lab's not really supposed to be secret. It's supposed to help people who need it." Cass gives a shrug and frowns at Benjamin. "I'm not here to threaten anyone. The people you work for has the market cornered on that. And I'm not working from information from the future, either. Other than confirmation of what you're doing here." With a sigh, she frowns and watches Benjamin. "Maybe you pick up people who are a threat to society, but I haven't heard yet who decides who is a threat. They somehow think this place is a threat simply by being here when, really, it's just here to help people without feeling the need to mark and track them. You already know what's going on here. I told you. I help people who come in who might not have control over their abilities. Give them a place to talk to someone so they don't feel like they're the only people in the world who are like the way they are. It's not a secret."

"They have their reasons. How many more bus crashes was I going to cause if it weren't for them? A plane crash.. what else? They also /help/. The tracking.. I don't.." Benjamin raises a hand self consciously to his own mark before lowering it, "It's necessary. They aren't some evil entity Cass. Your own father works there, surely you've talked to him by now and he's told you why the secrecy is important." He falls silent, and unsure of what else to really add. "I know you don't want me here now.. if you refuse to let me come here, they're just going to try again, or do worse. With or without me. I've already been made aware of how expendable I am."

"The ends do not justify the means." Cass shrugs. "Look, we already don't agree with this, Benjamin. I'm never going to think that your Company is how it has to be. Maybe they do help, but I don't think you should have to kidnap someone, mark them like an animal, and then wipe their memory in order to help them. There's a way to be a human being about it." There's no mistaking or missing Benjamin's reach up to his neck. "Do not talk about my father as if it's a good thing that he's a part of that place." It's a bit of a sore subject. "I want to help you, Benjamin. You shouldn't be trapped like you are. And you shouldn't be strong armed into doing things you don't want to do. You're not expendable. You're a person." She sighs. "But I can't have you accidentally slip a friend's name to the people you work for."

"Your father's a good man and a good doctor," Benjamin says, and he is saying it like it's a good thing. "He helps a lot of people." Drumming his fingertips against the arm of the chair, he looks down. "Cass.. it was explained to me in no uncertain terms that if I don't do this.. I /am/ expendable, and extreme measures can and will be used." He pushes up from the chair and looks at Cass, "I guess we don't have anything else to talk about." Now that this one decision has cost him the few friends he was gaining. Looking to Cass, then around the room, he's not sure what else to do. This turn of events is not going to be liked, especially if he returns empty handed.

"I'm not saying he's not," Cass replies a bit sharply. Because she still loves her father. He's her father. "I don't know what to tell you, Benjamin. I want to help. I do. If you want out of them, we can help you. Or figure some way to make sure Rose is safe." The girl's her employee, of course she feels an attachment to her. "But I can't in good conscience give you names or information about the people I'm helping. You can keep coming here, but you're only going to see me."

"Of course not.. and fair enough." As to his daughter, Benjamin is pretty sure she'll laugh at him wanting to protect her. "I understand your position completely and your terms." As he speaks, he's trying to use his ability, and seeing it not working. Plan B, out the window for the moment. "I'm not sure how in the world you can help me out of the position I'm in."

Is Benjamin trying to use his power? Cass doesn't even feel anything, which is probably why he needs some more training with her. Finally, the woman stands up, too. Benjamin's pretty tall and when he stands it'll only give her a crick in the neck if she continues to try and look up at him. She genuinely looks sympathetic. This can't be an easy situation for him. "I'm not sure, either. But…let me at least try. You're not a bad person, Benjamin. I know you're not. And I know you don't agree with what you're doing." It's obvious. He even said so.

"Right.. I keep hearing that said to me." Benjamin says in a mildly sour tone. "I'm just not believing it anymore with what I've been pushed into doing." A glance towards the door is made, then he's looking back at Cass. "I don't ever want to see you hurt. I was given orders, that I have to follow.. I know you say I can be helped out of this situation, it's just not that easy."

"You're not." Cass is a bit more emphatic about her reply this time, stepping around her desk. But as she moves, she's hit with a sudden wave of exhaustion. Placing a hand on the solid piece of furniture to keep herself standing, she blinks. Is…is he…? It's hard to think through the fog her mind suddenly finds itself in. Right now she's just trying to keep herself awake. "Benjamin…don't…"

Benjamin could easily give another 'push' of his ability, it wouldn't take much.. and he could.. No.. Not today. It's still too early to throw in the towel. There's a noise of disgusted resignation as he moves quickly to guide Cass back to her seat as he tries to break off the effects of his ability. "Sorry.. I still lose control when I'm upset," he apologizes, even when it's not exactly the truth.

It would take very little for Benjamin to make one more push and drop Cass. She's already sleepy and can't even fight back when he moves to help her back to her chair. Not that she really would. "It's okay. That's…why I'm here. To try and help." Even if he's a member of the Company. She'll just have to be careful. "We'll think of something. You shouldn't have to fear for your life or for your daughter's." Even if saying that is very different from acting on it.

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