2009-11-05: The Scholar And The Slacker



Date: November 5th, 2009.


Joel checks in at Lee's school, offering to do what little he can security-wise.

"The Scholar and the Slacker"

The Palisades School

There's not been much contact with the highers up of late, the Company having hunkered down to weather the government hellstorm of craziness. Many agents have gone to ground, operating under what few orders they'd been given before. Some people operate well only within boundaries, set and delineated paths for them to approach tasks. Other individuals find a certain freedom when they're left to their own devices, and one such a fellow is Agent Nelson.

Protection and observation of known evolved individuals were the last orders given to Joel. They were broad orders, giving him a fairly wide field within which to operate. Lately he'd been dealing with pressing matters, dangerous individuals causing mayhem. Luckily that'd been resolved so he was able to turn his attention on something not quite as insistent, but still deserving of attention. A school of evolved with talented teachers would definitely be a place that Alpha Protocol would find juicy. It turned out to be reason enough for Joel to at the least investigate.

It was a small trip, travelling in the grey old sedan. He passed the school a few times, trying to see what there was to be seen. Some vehicles were noted, some workmen at an intersection, but not much else. He parked a decent ways away and made his approach of the school itself on foot. Hopefully in a suitably unnoticed way he found his way into the place of learning proper.

Company security is high, of course Joel is authorized to be there so nobody gives him a hassle. Nevertheless it's sort of absurd that behind the surveillance cameras and magnetically locked doors there's a hallway with lockers and a small lecture hall with a podium, and a teacher's office, and all the acoutrements of a small and wealthy school. The Company got Palisades cheap, it had been closed for years. No expense has been spared in refurbishing and repairing it, at least in the areas actually active. Sealed up doors and "Do Not Enter - Asbestos Hazard" signs reveal that other parts of the school have not yet been made active. With only 13 students by today's roll call, there isn't any need.

Lee is serenely putting a schedule up on a whiteboard in the hall marked 'READING ASSIGNMENTS' with a blue marker, while he is being berated by MacMillan, about something or another. Coming in halfway through the conversation makes it hard to tell but it's something that MacMillan thinks, A) is going to be on Lee's shoulders, B) will go into his personnel record, C) is going straight to the top if he has to, and D) Lee should go to hell and die for. Lee, impassive, or perhaps trying not to laugh, just keeps working, writing. "Chap 3, Section C" next to a student's name. MacMillan storms away in a snit.

It could be a credit to the manner in which Lee carries himself, or it could be that there's a simple problem with irate authority already at place in the young man's psyche, but for some reason Joel doesn't wander off after MacMillan. Sure the fellow's way seemed to indicate that he considered himself Lee's superior, but then again if Lee could casually ignore the fellow…

Down the hall the young man walks. Joel's got his hands in the pockets of his pants and has that certain stride and lazy sleepy gaze that signals one to perhaps consider the wastrel youth of today's malls. His shoes click a bit upon the floor, and his step is even as he draws up. He pauses, leaning faintly to the side as he considers the departing MacMillan, then shifts his blue eyes back upon Lee. He lifts his voice, "Pardon, sir. You wouldn't happen to have a moment, would you?"

Lee says, without really looking, "Sure, I have some time before lecture, what can I do for you?" He continues to write page references and chapters on the whiteboard, consulting off a clipboard when need be. Some students are getting full chapters, some even multiple chapters, while others are required to read only a few pages. They are all of different ages and levels, after all.

"Mmm," Of course it would have been good to have thought about exactly what he was going to say to the fellow, but circumstances often dictate. "I believe you're Mr. Jones, one of the teachers here. I've been tasked to keep an eye out n'all," A hint of an accent slips, but he seems unmindful. He looks up the hall, then back down as he adds, "I would like to also get your perception of matters here, if you would, sir."

Lee replies, "Yes, I'm Mr. Jones." He looks down at Joel with a smile. "Keep an eye out? So you're security, or…? My perception of matters here. Well, all right. My perception of matters is that we're running a segregated school and it's been over 50 years since Brown versus Board of Education." he adds with a light tone with a sarcastic twist at the end. "Is that what you mean?"

"Security, yes sir." He allows that to pass for now, his expression shifting a touch apologetic. "With matters of late, assets have become very spread thin." Joel's stance is such that he seems just a bit on edge, his gaze occasionally unfocusing and turning distant. "I plan to do what I can to observe and hopefully suss out any possible threats down the line. But that'll be easier with individuals on the inside also being aware of the recent difficulties." He pauses, lips pursing faintly, "I plan to acquire Mr. MacMillan's point of view as well, but figure a counterpoint might be… useful."

Lee says, with an almost gleeful smile, "Oh? You're here to put me in the loop? Please, feel free. You'd be the first." More seriously: "What recent difficulties are you talking about? Other than government kidnapping squads that apparently have had their head under a rock for the last thirty years and don't understand how badly that always works out."

"That'd primarily be it, sir." Of course he doesn't elaborate at the moment about the trains, the holding cells, or the government teams. He tilts his head to the side, calm blue eyes refocusing fully upon Lee. "Figure this'd be a prime place where they'd strike if it became compromised." He slides his hands out of his pockets, calmly adjusting the hang of his jacket one motion. "I'm going to do what I can to at least give a heads up if needs be. But extra set of eyes and all that." He grimaces a bit, looking off down the way that MacMillan wandered down, he looks back. "Also from what I've read I'm hoping you wouldn't have an agenda that might interfere with folkses welfare." A strange turn of word, and it's at least becoming a hint more apparent that he's not entirely at ease speaking in quite the 'official' capacity.

Lee says, "No, but the Company does. Or did nobody mention to you that the place runs their own kidnapping-and-detention squads? I fully expect these kids to be handed their diploma and hit with a taser before they get off the stage." with a nasty smirk. "As for what will happen if the government finds out about this place? I fully expect it to be raided at some point. I've done what I can to prepare the kids for the possibility. But it's out of my hands."

Another nod is given as Lee speaks, then Joel frowns distantly. He lifts a rough hand to rub at the back of his neck, then he meets the other man's eyes. "A'right. I'll set up a few positions for observation. I may be called away at times, or if my presence might risk compromising things then I might have to run off and all that." He grimaces again, some thought occuring that clearly doesn't sit well with him. "Our usual points of contact are kinda higgledy-piggledy at the moment. If I give you a number, I'd appreciate it if you used it as a point to drop intel or if things go down."

Lee lifts his eyebrows. "I assume that the security guys would have that, but sure, I'd be happy to." He takes out a stack of index cards clipped together with a binder and a red pencil to write on. "What do you mean higgledy piggledy, I got the impression you had some big secret headquarters somewhere, and a bunch of front operations, you know, like the mob, or COBRA."

"You mean like the PITT, or like Springfield?" Joel reaches a hand into his jacket, pausing a moment to dig… and dig. "Ta be honest it's a bit more like the former, though crossed with Officespace." He withdraws from his jacket a small card that has upon it,

Joel Nelson

It, of course, also has a number upon the back. The young agent type fellow tilts his head to the side a touch curiously. "If it's an emergency you can type nine one one and I'll respond as such."

Lee laughs at Joel's quip, he certainly is glad that there's at least a bit of banter involved. "Okay, thanks, Mr. Nelson. Can I ask you something? Is anything being done about the government surveillance at other sites? I've heard they're even targetting people's homes. Now that's just what I've heard, I don't know if that's true…is there any attempt to disrupt or mislead them?"

Again there's that faintly apologetic look to him, his eyes distanced. Joel replies in that easy sleepy tone of his, "There's a fair amount of misdirection, sir. The very fact that a lot of our resources and assets are compromised gives us a bit of flexibility in bluffing or feeding misinformation. But right now…" He seems about to say something else, to elaborate. Instead he settles on simply saying, "Things are very difficult."

Lee tucks Joel's card into the binder clip and puts it away, returning his attention to the whiteboard and the assignment, "Fine, if there's anything you want me to do in that direction, let me know. The worst I can do is say 'no, go to hell', right?" in a casual tone that strongly implies that's not even close to the worst Lee can do.

"Honestly, sir…" Joel looks around slowly, his expression turns a hint troubled before it falls back into its normal state. "I think keeping your charges safe and all, doing what you can here, that's probably got your hands full." He slides his hands back into his pockets. He takes a step down the hall in the direction of the formerly retreating MacMillan, "But trust if needs be I'll be in touch. Just if that comes about, well… then things'll have become really rough all over, not to be too rude."

Lee says cheerily, "Rougher than having to go to a segregated school while hiding from one kidnapping squad under the threatening watch of another? What a bright future these young people have. I'll see you around, Mr. Nelson." without looking down from the board even once.

"And you, sir." That having been said, Joel starts to step down the way once again, his footsteps even and smooth as he walks. That wasn't as entirely horrible as he half-expected it could have been, but then again he has to go and speak with Mr. MacMillan and that might be another entire set of unfun in a different way.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License