2011 06 18: Meeting with Q

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Mission Name: Meeting with Q
Date of Mission: June 18, 2011
Locale: Training Lab, Division HQ

Alex gets outfitted for her first real mission.


Alex Birkhoff

Birkhoff patiently waits for Alex in the training lab, with a few interesting little gadgets splayed out in front of him on the table. One of them looks like a simple iPod, another looks like a cell phone, and the last one seems to be a single stick of chewing gum. Birkhoff holds a magazine about electronics in his hands, the front cover folded and bent back around the rest of it as he peruses the articles, smirking contritely. "'Advances'… how primitive." He flips another page with mild disgust.

Alex gets told by a passing guard that Birkhoff is waiting for her, which, of course, just fills her with joy. Still, she doesn't exactly dally on her way to meet him, coming around from the dorms not too long after. "You wanted to see me?" she speaks up as she enters the room, keeping the snark somewhat under control for now, since she has a fairly good idea just what this is about. So Alex is in professional mode as she moves towards the table, looking at the gadgets curiously.

Birkhoff motions her over and even musters something of a smile for Alex, throwing his magazine down on the table a little ways from the rest of his gadgets. "Pull up a chair." He reaches for the iPod first and begins to toy with it, squinting down. "I made these special for your first op, Alex. I would say that they're not perfect, but that would just be a lie. They're some of the best things I've ever made." He gently puts the iPod in Alex's hand. "Would you say that there's anything different looking about that iPod?"

Dutifully, Alex pulls over a stool, perching upon it a bit tensely. His hubris is met with a slight arch of her eyebrow, but she fights back the urge to comment upon it as she takes the iPod, turning it over and giving it a careful look. There's something a bit strange in her expression as she does so, but after a moment of close scrutiny, she shakes her head. "I don't… think so?" She looks back to him as though to check if that's the correct answer.

"Good answer." Birkhoff says to her before he reaches over to turn the iPod on. It still looks like a standard iPod even with the screen on. "You can use the dial to change frequencies, which you might have to do once you get outside… but we'll get to that in a minute. Put your left earbud in." Birkhoff instructs, reaching into his back pocket for a small wireless headset that looks somewhat flimsy. He puts it on and waits for Alex patiently.

Alex's eyebrows lift a fraction of an inch, and that's the only real reaction she has to scoring well on that little test. "Go me." She watches him closely as he fiddles with the device, resisting the urge to push any of the buttons or play with the dial herself. She gives him a not-quite-trusting look as she picks up the earbud and carefully sets it inside her ear. "Now what?" She holds the device at a bit of an angle so he can reach it more easily, in case this is a hands-on sort of thing.

Birkhoff speaks into the microphone of the headset. "Can you hear me now?" He asks in a smart alecky manner, grinning at Alex. She should be able to hear him through her earbud. To keep from annoying her or just pushing her buttons, perhaps, he blocks the microphone to the headset. "You should be able to transmit a message if you hold the other earbud up to your mouth. Try it."

Alex can't help but roll her eyes at that cheesy joke and just how much Birkhoff is pleased with himself. "Yeah, I can hear you," she replies in a level tone. It is a little weird though, hearing him through both the earbud and just normally, so his efforts to avoid speaking into the mike are appreciated, even if she doesn't say as much. "Like this?" she asks, as she holds the other bud up to her mouth, holding it loosely between her thumb and forefinger.

"Right." Birkhoff says to her, the reverb audible from his headset. He takes it off. "That's pretty much all you need to know. We'll use it to communicate to each other if you need something when you're out there. Of course, I'll be able to reach Michael and Amanda if you have any other problems too, but I'm sort of running this show for now…" His look says, 'So yeah, you'll just have to deal with me.' He points at the cell phone. "There's nothing much to know about this. It's Division issue and all agents have one. If we call, you answer it, no questions asked. Being absentee for a Division phone call is bad news, my friend."

Alex tries not to look too skeptical of Birkhoff's ability to run this thing, though she doesn't make much effort to hide how not-totally-thrilled she is that he's going to be her handler. "A direct line to mission control, goody," she replies a bit dryly as she removes the earbud from her ear, bundling the two together with the iPod before she moves to set it down carefully. "I'm guessing I don't get any actual music on it, huh?" Leaving that for the moment, she looks to the cell phone. "Don't miss the call. Got it."

He makes no mention of Alex getting real music on there, simply pulling a stony poker face. He just ends up moving on to the next device, pointing at the piece of gum. "In case you haven't figured it out, it's not actually gum. It's both a tracking device and a transmitter. We'll be able to get GPS signals on our little hacker friend and hear everything that comes out of his mouth, as well as the chatter around him — if it all goes according to plan. All you have to do is stick it around his apartment once you're close enough to him. I have a whole pack just for you. I don't really recommend eating it though… I'd rather not listen to anyone's digestive tract."

Again, Alex's eyebrows lift coolly as she's met with that stony poker face, and she just dismisses the question with a shrug. It was worth a shot. With a bit of a patented teen slouch, she turns wearily to regard the not-really-gum as he points to it. "So I just … leave pieces around his apartment? Sounds easy enough," she replies, as she reaches for the stick of not-gum, in order to give it a little look over unless he stops her. "Will it do any damage if someone does eat it? Other than to your sensibilities, I mean. Like, what if he finds it and eats it by accident?"

"First you have to unwrap it. It's adhesive." Birkhoff explains. "But if he happens to find strange, unwrapped gum around his apartment and he eats it, I personally think that whatever happens to him after that, he deserves." There's a brief pause before he shrugs his shoulders. "I'd imagine it would bond to his teeth and take some expensive dental work to get off, and probably make for an unpleasant time altogether. We haven't really tested it out in that capacity though so…" Birkhoff shrugs his shoulders briefly.

Alex frowns down at the stick of gum and then sets it aside. "Okay. Don't eat it or let anyone else eat it under any circumstances. Check," she replies as she looks back to Birkhoff again. "I was thinking I'd drop one in his bag or something. Seemed easier than that whole … dental surgery thing you'd mentioned." But she shrugs, as if knocking the poor kid out and doing unkind things doesn't bother her at all. Yes, it was simply about ease of use.

"Pretty much. You're a quick learner, grasshopper." Birkhoff grins briefly before looking over at Alex. "You're getting out tomorrow. How does it feel to know that you're going to see sunshine and smell fresh air again?" He asks her curiously, tapping his fingers along the tabletop in rhythym with some unheard tune.

Alex gives a faint smile to his praise, seeming perhaps a little surprised by it, but not about to turn it down either. "Feels … good, I guess," she replies, her tone suggesting it's more complicated than just 'good', but she isn't really about to confide in him so easily. "Sky's still blue, right?" She settles back on the stool, propping an elbow up on the edge of the table for support.

Birkhoff nods to the recruit. "The last time I checked, yeah. Still filled with the usual New York pollutants too." Birkhoff stands up, pushing the magazine at Alex. "Have some extra credit. I don't want it anymore… and I want you to familiarize yourself with lesser gadgets." He starts to walk away, hands in his pockets, staring down at the floor. "You can reach me anytime through that SpyPod. Don't hesitate if you're in trouble."

"SpyPod. Cute," Alex replies dryly, but not as sarcastically as she could say it. While the magazine isn't exactly her usual fare, she takes it anyway, glad of something to read other than just their assigned work — though he did sort of just assign her to learning about the gadgets contained within. "Thanks," she says, just the same, watching him go for a moment before she starts bundling up the tech and magazine.


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