2010-03-03: Smokescreen

Starring:

Cody_V4icon.pngDevon_V4icon.png

Special Guest Appearance

Pyle_V4icon.png

Date: March 3, 2010

Summary:

Cody heads to a memorial service for a fallen comrade.


"Smokescreen"

NYC

Like many cemetaries in modern times, there's multiple places where the dead get their names and some information placed for permenant memorials. Headstones take weeks, if not months, to create a date, so most new graves aren't completely marked by the time a body is laid to rest. This burial couldn't even be called a burial. There's no shifted dirt at all. Instead there's a wall, with many plaques, giving names and dates, some with epitaphs.

A Columbarium, the place where people who have been cremated get their memorials. Standing in front of the newest plaque, temporary at best, is a tall man, with longish hair hanging in his eyes, covering portions of his stubble covered cheeks. Dressed in dark clothes, leather jacket and dark jeans, one almost wouldn't even associate him with the clean cut, ex military man who supposedly shot himself in the face. At least until they looked into his eyes— and saw the same exact face looking back.

The ground walking up to the memorial is soft from the recent rain, the squishing sound from her dress boots almost echoes into the chamber as she makes her way in. It's been a long time since she's been to one of these, she usually doesn't attend funerals as they are an awful reminder of mortality. In her line of work, it's just something she can afford to think about too often.

Cody carries a single white Cala lily that is laid to rest in front of the row of plaques that contain her fallen comrade. Giving the long haired man a single nod, she stands at military attention for a moment before giving the plaque itself a stiff salute. It's a fitting tribute to a man that gave his life to protect everyone around him.

There's a strong aroma of smoke wafting off the man, the closer she gets to him. While the twin of Justin Law may not be smoking right now, from the smell of his coat, he probably smokes frequently. The approach gets a steely blue eyed gaze, blocked partially by the long hair that hangs down into his eyes. Eyes are narrowed, as if squinting, making him look perpetually angry.

"I was starting to wonder if all his ex-military friends were ignoring what happened," he says in a harsh version of the same voice, thick and hoarse, slightly deeper. He also has a fresher accent, making him sound vaguely southern. Justin had the same one, but his was less apparent.

"I only met him once." The woman replies, her voice a little low. "But he made a distinct impression. He was a very good man." She doesn't say soldier and she doesn't elaborate past that. Ducking her head down, her lips move in a silent prayer and one of the thin whips of long hair falls loose. Her blonde hair was pinned up under the hat in a french twist. It's easy to see that it's much too long for a military woman. When she is finished with her own silent vigil, she holds her hands together behind her back and moves to stand with her feet shoulder width apart. It's the classic 'at ease' stance.

"You must be his brother," she adds after a moment, the small talk isn't uncomfortable for her. Though she was hoping to meet the brother that collected the murdered soldier, now that the moment has happened, she doesn't know what to say. Condolences are meaningless, he was too young to die and they both know it.

"Yeah. Devon," the man says in the same thick voice. Chop his hair off, shave his head, and put him in body army and he'd look exactly the same, even. Not just brothers, but twins. The maternal variety. "So good he got himself involved in something that left him with a bullet in his face. Even overseas he managed to avoid getting shot…" From the way he's speaking, there's strong sense he doesn't really believe the story. The bullet gets there either way, no matter how it happened.

"Got a name?"

"Baker, Cody Baker." The woman says as she turns and gives him a grim smile while offering her hand for a shake. Hers is firm shake, almost with the same strength as a man. "So good that he got himself involved but too good to stop trusting the people he shouldn't trust. It's a pleasure to meet you Devon." She turns her head back to Justin's plaque and heaves a deep breath. "I knew another Devon once, back when I was in the Air Force." More small talk, possibly things that he just doesn't care to hear at the moment but her mind is reeling with what she should or shouldn't tell him.

"He was one of the good ones," she repeats softly. It's something she firmly believes.

"You're not likely to tell me what happened either, are you? I got a bunch of 'shot himself, no one knows why, sorry for your loss, blah fucking blah," Devon says, with a puff of mist coming from his mouth, mixing with the cold air. Though it's not as cold as it could be, really. The air even has a fog along the edges, creeping into the cemetary along the gravestones.

"But I can't even find out who exactly he was working for. Don't imagine you can tell me?" There's a pause, before he sticks his hands into his coat pockets and starts taking steps backwards. "He called me a few weeks ago. He said he had important things to take care of, and wanted me to be careful… Guess I'll never know why now."

"He didn't shoot himself," Cody utters lowly. A quick survey is given to their surroundings, almost as if she expects someone to be there with them. "But it's not something I feel comfortable talking about out in the open. Is there somewhere else?" She glances back to the plaquard, she doesn't want to cut Devon's time saying goodbye short… But the honest truth is, Justin isn't really going anywhere at the moment. Taking a step or two backward, she turns her back to the wall and begins to turn her head from right to left, trying to look through the creeping fog to anyone else that might show up or already be there.

"I don't have much of a loyalty to them, to tell you the honest truth. I saw my own termination orders the other day." What she doesn't add is that Justin's name was on there, she was just too late.

"I figured he didn't. He was too driven to shoot himself," Devon says, even as he backs up another couple steps, watching her through some hair and narrowed eyes. "I have a hotel room in town," he says, finally turning away to begin to walk toward the closest parking area. Though not for himself. "If you got a car, we can take that, otherwise we'll need a cab."

The file on him had been sparse, a couple of arrests aside, he didn't even seem to have a permenant residence, or a cellphone plan, for that matter. How his brother was able to contact him was probably the same way the government did. An updated mobile number in contact lists. One that only took voice mail.

"I don't have a car." She says simply, too traceable. With all of the technology available on vehicles nowadays that comes standard they're just too much work to keep hidden. Public transit is much better for that when she needs it. Pulling a small cellphone from her pocket, she makes a quick phone call to a cab company and requests a specific driver.

Aside from the cell phone, her lifestyle is pretty much exactly like Justin's brother. She likes to call it 'mobile'. "We have to be careful," she says, probably stating the obvious to him at this point. "If you're seen with me, it's possible that they might try to eliminate the witness. It's what I would do in their shoes."

In many ways, they have things in common. Though Devon doesn't have a good military background. From all indication he never even attended school after high school. Odd jobs are probably what kept him with food in his belly. "That dangerous… next time we'll have to meet somewhere a little less obvious, then," he says, shrugging his shoulders as he looks around. The hand digs back into his pocket, pulling out a matchbook with a hotel logo and address on it, a cheap chain by the looks of it. He flips it over in his hands, and holds it out.

"I'm in room 32. We can go seperately. Less chance of being seen together that way." He makes no move to call a cab, though, as he begins to walk off in an opposite direction.

Cody reaches out to discreetly palm the matchbook as she passes by him on the way to her cab. It's pulling up to the cemetery almost as though it expected her call. In the driver's seat is a blonde man with curly hair and a receeding hairline. She doesn't turn to look over her shoulder to get a last glimpse of the other man, he has his own way of getting to their destination.

After climbing into the cab, she leans forward to the driver and gives him the address. They exchange a look through the rearview mirror and she just nods. "I'm already prepared, boss." Lifting the side of her suit jacket, she shows the silent driver a holster and that's when he finally presses his foot to the gas pedal.

About 45 minutes later

There had been a brief stop on a street corner where the driver and his passenger got a hot dog. She wasn't going to hurry to the location just in case he didn't arrive before she did. When her car finally pulls up she gets out and waves a hand to the blonde man. It might be noted that she didn't stop to pay him, perhaps she has a tab. Regardless, within moments she is knocking on door number 32. her eyes flit suspiciously along both sides of the corridor around her, just in case it's some sort of trap. She wouldn't put it past them, the other agents were killed in hotel rooms.

There's a smoking sign on the door, and it's a good thing, cause even just knocking on it, she can smell the cigarette smoke on the other side. A few moments after she knocks, long enough to walk over and look through the spyhole, the lock clicks, unlocking, and the chain rattles against the wood.

"See you managed to find it, Baker. Or your driver did, at least," Devon says, without his jacket and down to a button up shirt that has some style. He leaves her to close the door behind herself as he walks deeper into the apartment. There's a burning cigarette in a glass ashtray, and there's many more besides that that aren't burning.

Once the door is closed, he walks over to the windows, leaning there against the wall facing her. It's a small hotel room. Single bed. And oddly enough, despite the cold, the window has been cracked. The whole place feels overheated. Maybe the furnace vent is broken. Also odd, he leaves the cigarette burning across the room.

"So what was my brother involved in that was worth killing him for?"

After closing the door behind her, the blonde woman pulls her own coat off, revealing the holstered gun. She's not ashamed, she's wary and her eyes flit between the window, the cigarette, and the man leaning against the wall. "I found it," she says as she takes her hat off to reveal the torrent of braids that wind around her scalp in an artful pattern and tie up at the top of her head. The style has changed since they last saw each other, not even an hour ago. Even though the long braids are twisted around each other, the long chords reach down to her lower back.

"Did he manage to tell you anything before he was assasinated?" Cody says as she tosses her hat and jacket onto the bed. Slowly, she reaches into her pockets and then begins to tap out a small nervous rhythm on her thighs. "I don't want to repeat what you might already know."

"If I were the paranoid type, I'd think you were here to find out what he told me and tie up loose ends," Devon says, raising his hands a bit at her shamelessly displayed holster. "I'm unarmed, soldier girl." With braids, that she seems to have styled in the car. There's that burning smell again, almost like the furnace just kicked back on, but it doesn't last too long. "I know he was involved in something, and that he found out he didn't want to be involved in it anymore."

The hands lower again, crossing over his t-shirt covered chest. "He didn't tell me a lot. And I'd rather hear your side, then the vague mentions he made the few times he contacted me."

"You might be unarmed but too many agents have died lately to make me feel comfortable about leaving myself unprotected. This program, the one that we both worked for… I don't know what he was told in the begining or why he joined." It doesn't need to be said that Cody's more than a little suspicious. The heat in this room isn't the same temperature as out in the hall. If he liked it so hot, he wouldn't have the window open. The cigarette is burning across the room. The smell of a furnace kicking in when there's a radiator. So many little things that were each separate would possibly be taken at face value. Together… it's a different story.

"Mind if I sit down?" She says, pointing to the bed. She doesn't wait for the answer before she does, always facing him. Almost as though she doesn't trust him completely, then again, why should she? "The soldiers that were brought into it in the beginning were told that they were dealing with terrorists on home soil. It's not true. I'm guessing, that he didn't want to be involved anymore because of you. He's different than most of them there." She refers to the others as 'them' like she's not a part of whatever they are. "He had more compassion for the detainees.. prisoners. The rest, they called them freaks."

"Freaks… Heard that one before," Devon says with a half shrug, one shoulder only, leaning a little more toward the window. He keeps an eye on her as she sits down on the bed, but doesn't move too much from where he is. "Always was a softie, fought to protect everyone. That's why his buddies in the Air Force nicknamed him Justice. They weren't the first ones, either. It was name from when we were in High School together. It's the problem with having a last name like Law."

For a moment, he seems amused, letting some of the tension go out of around his eyes, but then it comes back. "And what makes you think he didn't want to be involved because of me?"

"Just a hunch," How does one explain the process of deduction, even if it's just a guess. "The detainees, they're treated like they're less than human…" So many rules broken, the Geneva convention tossed right out the window. "I don't even know how to tell someone that hasn't either experienced it or is involved. It's possible that you'd believe me, it's possible that I'm completely off base about you and you'll think I'm completely insane."

The blonde woman takes a deep breath and closes her eyes to slits as she rubs her forehead with her thumb and middle finger to release some of her own tension. "You have the right to know that Justin didn't kill himself. I'm working on trying to find out who ordered it, but I'm a little out of the loop now that I'm on the run. I still have some contacts on the inside though, but there's a lot of work that needs to be done on other fronts. To make sure that what I think might happen doesn't."

"He mentioned that there were… things happening to innocent people," Devon says, glancing across the room to the cigarette he's left unattended, wafting a little stream of smoke in the air. "I also know he was working on Governor's Island, of all places," he says quietly, revealing a rather large piece of classified intel. Suddenly that stream of smoke begins to shift, as if drawn toward the window, stretching into a thin line, until it begins to shape itself in front of him.

Maybe he's not unarmed, exactly…

"He said he needed to find out more about what they were planning. Where it was going. He said that some of the most dangerous ones were beginning to disappear, being moved elsewhere. Some greek letters. I didn't understand most of it. But he thought he was somehow working with the very people he thought he was supposed to be fight. Guess you found that out too."

"I knew there was something wrong with the program when I went in." Cody says in a low tone as she watches the smoke ring itself around into a circle in front of Devon. Her blue eyes flit from it to his eyes. "You need to stay far away from them. If they find me, they'll just kill me. If they find you…" Her voice drops off, the unmentioned consequence of him being caught just implies that whatever will happen is going to be unpleasant. She purses her lips together into a rather grim expression and takes a rather deep breath.

"I wish I could have talked to your brother more. We only talked once, I never found out about the ones being moved. I was probably looking for the wrong things." Looking down to the floor, she taps out a cadence with her feet before looking up at him again. "There's Alpha, Beta, Delta, Epsilon, Eta, Iota, … Kappa is the one that I'm most worried about and it's the one that I can't find any information on."

"Zeta," Devon suddenly says, shifting from his position against the wall and walking through the smoke that's formed into little circles. From the looks of things, he was probably great fun at bars and parties. "He'd found mention of something called Zeta. That was the last time I heard from him. Right before he died." Moving through the room, he walks to the dresser and pulls out a small personal assistant, like a fancy iPod. It even has a touch screen.

"He got this for me in some fake name. It's been paid for a few years. He told me not to turn it on often, in case it gets tracked, but… He would send me encrypted emails. I have to use a program to get the information out. They're files, text files, stored in images. I went to check the place out, based on the floor plans. They'd have to catch me by surprise— but even then my ability kicks in anyway."

Not moving from her position but still keeping a close eye on Devon (or rather the smoke he walks through), Cody purses her lips lightly as he speaks. "Zeta," she repeats after him, "That's a new one, did he tell you what it's about?" Devon's been inside the building, that is a great help. The gears in the blonde's head are turning with possibilities.

She doesn't make a move to reach for the device, it'll be up to him to offer to show if if he wants to. She's still skittish about the situation and even though he seems to feel a little more comfortable with her presence things could turn very quickly. "Would you be willing to show me what he sent you? With what I have, I might be able to piece a little more together." She pulls out her dogs tags, attached is a small flash drive.

"Not much. He said it was related to Beta, and one of the final steps of the project. He'd been digging around trying to find out more about it, but I guess his digging got him killed. The last file just mentioned one thing. A date," Devon says, turning on the small handheld computer. It will take a while to load up, already making some noise. The smoke in the room seems to dissipate as well, seeping out the window and leaving the room smelling less… dangerous. No more fear of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"The date was April 15th. And the files were embedded into a touristy picture of a row of flags."

Her left hand rises to rub at her chin for a little while as Cody actually turns her head away from Devon and closes her eyes. Her eyelids flutter just a little as the orbs underneath zip back and forth. "Beta is the testing…" Then she opens her eyes to small slits and wrings her hands together, cracking her knuckles one pop at a time. There's 16 little snaps before she actually speaks again. "If it were me, I would test all the dangerous ones to see what capacity they have for damage. April 15th must be their deadline. I'm going to need to do a little more digging. There's another source that might have more information, I just need to get in touch with him."

It's at that point that Cody gets up and rifles through the pocket of her coat to pull out a pen and her wallet. She's without her notebook today, so she pulls an old receipt from a pizza place out of it. The blonde looks at it for a little while before handing it over to Devon, giving him an upturned nod as indication to take it. "Keep this in your wallet, the phone number on the bottom is mine." You have to hand it to her, it's not a regular kind of business card.

Considering he'd handed her a matchbook to give her his hotel address, it's not really that far off from the norm. Devon takes it, folding it over as he shoves it into the pocket he pulled the datapad out. "As long as someone's doing something with it, my brother didn't die in vain," he shrugs his shoulders again, holding out the datapad for her to take. "I don't really need it anymore. Just make sure you leave it off as often as possible. Justin might have been paranoid, but it seems with good reason."

Just like in the movies, cellphones can be tracked when they're on. The datapad is essentially a big smart phone. "I'll probably be out of here as soon as you leave, find another hotel room to hold up in."

"I'll be careful with it." She's never trusted these little electrical devices, all of her own phones are unregistered pay as you go phones. The number that she gave out to her coworkers is forwarded to another phone which is turned off and left in a locker in Grand Central Station. First step for her is to pull all of the information that this little device has on it, off. Since she has no need to study the material here, she turns the power on the "Is the program that I need to decrypt the files on it? Or do I need to get it from somewhere else?"

Once the power is off on the device she tucks it into her pants pocket and then moves to gather her coat. "That'd be a smart idea. If you need any help, with a place to stay or anything, just call. I'll find a place for you." Or at least Pyle will. On the outside chance the senior agent is unable, she and Erin have more than enough room.

"It's on there, under smokescreen. It's not the name of the program, but he told me to rename it to something else," Devon shrugs his shoulders. He's not the most original person in the world… But it got the job done. "I also don't let it connect to the internet often, just long enough to see if he's sent me more files. There's building layouts and some personale files in there, too. I didn't read half of it, honestly. Much of it just went right over my head."

Which would likely be why he thinks she'll get more use out of it.

"I can take care of myself, but I'll at least give you a number to reach me at. In case you need me." Cause he's too tough to admit he might need help? Possibly!

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