2011 06 16: Mission Possible

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Mission report found.

Mission Name: Mission Possible
Date of Mission: June 16, 2011
Locale: Division Cafeteria

Birkhoff tells Alex that she's going to embark on her first real mission.

Alex Birkhoff

Alex missed dinner — she actually spent the time in the lab on the computer, so maybe certain lectures are actually rubbing off on her. It leaves her to scrounge up some food now, which results in having an apple and a bottle of water for dinner. Not the most filling meal, but it'll do. She sits alone at one of the tables, seeming to enjoy the solitude, while she munches on the apple and picks idly at the label on her bottle of water, peeling it off in little strips. Her arms look a little bruised, but that's hardly unusual around here.

Birkhoff enters through a side door to ruin Alex's love of solitude. He seems to be on a mission though and makes a b-line right for the brunette recruit, sitting down at her table. He reaches up to take his glasses off and fold them, setting them on the table. It looks like it's been a long day in the lab. "Do you remember that word I said I'd put in for you?" He asks her, rubbing at the bridge of his nose before he puts the glasses back on.

Alex looks a little surprised when Birkhoff joins her at the table, but she just watches him with an arched eyebrow, not stopping either her apple-eating or her label-picking until he speaks up. She pauses and then gives a small nod while she swallows her current mouthful of apple. "Easter egg. Good word. I remember," she replies, since it wasn't really a particularly complicated exchange. While she doesn't come right out and ask, her expression clearly says 'why?'

"Not that word. The word with the higher ups." Birkhoff doesn't seem too annoyed that she doesn't recall that part of it, simply pressing on with matters more important. "I convinced Percy to put you out on your first real mission. Think of it as a trial mission." He reaches into his back pocket and takes out a small dossier, passing it to her. "Meet your new best friend, Jack Holton. We need you to get close to him… to keep an eye on him." Birkhoff pauses before he says the next words, as if he can scarcely believe he's doing so. "We need you to protect him."

The name doesn't immediately ring a bell, but as Alex looks through the dossier on Jack, her eyebrows go up in surprise, which she then tries to cover by turning it into surprise about the strangeness of this mission. "Protect him? From what?" She seems more wary than particularly grateful for the mission, but she handles it all in a surprisingly businesslike fashion — no bitching from the usually-sullen teen. She just gives Birkhoff a long, searching look before turning her gaze back down to the dossier.

Birkhoff's jaw sets hard before he lets out a laugh. "Someone's hired him to try to crack Shadownet's mainframe. Not does it yes, bother me, as you may suspect… but it puts us all at jeopardy. We need to figure out who he's working for and have them taken out." He pauses, and adds as an afterthought: "I may or may not have cut him a deal that could make things a little more dangerous for him. I told him that if he managed to crack it, we would intervene before whoever has hired him can. You can imagine that it could get messy."

There's a flicker of emotion in Alex's features before they go expressionless and distant, trying not to let her feelings about this kid's fate show in her expressions. "So basically he's screwed either way," she sums up in a hard-edged tone, staring down at the picture in the dossier for a long moment. Squaring her shoulders, she lifts her chin with a pointedly determined expression now set in place. "So who am I protecting him from? Them or us?" The question is more or less rhetorical though, since she's smart enough to assume she's not here to protect him from Division — at least not outwardly.

"He's screwed either way, but at least we can offer him a second chance if it comes down to it. Even if he doesn't manage to break our mainframe… he's still a person of interest. We can still take those guys out, and I can contract him every now and again if I need his services." Birkhoff pauses and looks at Alex for a long moment. "I know that it's not always easy being here, Alex. But being recruited here is better than having your mother murdered by some thug, and possibly getting murdered too." He doesn't answer her question about who she's supposed to be protecting Jack from, simply watching her with interest. "If you're not up to this, Alex, I need to know now."

"I can do it," Alex insists in a grim, determined tone, meeting his gaze calmly and levelly. "I just want to be clear on what I'm getting into." She gives a little shrug, resisting the urge to look back down at the picture again. "I get it. We're the best of a bunch of bad options. Lucky kid," she states wryly, with just a touch of pity showing through in that. "So, I make friends and get him to tell me who hired him — try to keep him from getting killed. Is that it?"

Birkhoff waggles his hand in the air as if to say 'sort of'. "I need you to get close enough to be invited back to his apartment and strategically place a few bugs while he's in the bathroom or what-have-you." Birkhoff reaches up to run his fingers through his hair before he scratches at the scruff growing on his chin. "Something tells me that these guys are the visiting type, and that when he can't hack us, he's going to get visited again. It may not be at his apartment though…" Birkhoff pauses. "So I might need you to drug him and put a transmitter on one of his teeth." Beat. "Yes, like Nikita did me." He pushes his glasses up on his nose and then looks down them at Alex for a moment. "I'm not saying that we have to recruit him, either. I'll avoid it if I can. But if he gets too deep and ends up knowing too much…" It is sort of preferable compared to being dead, right?

Alex has to bite down on the inside of her lips to keep from letting some telling expression show through when Birkhoff mentions what Nikita did to him. As a recruit, she just looks a bit clueless about that whole thing. Nikita who? "Sounds simple. Just make sure the bugs work and I'll be fine." She sets her apple aside, no longer particularly hungry, especially since the bitten part is starting to go brown. "Hopefully it won't turn out that way, but… We do what we have to do. I got it." Just another grim reality of life that she faces head on, apparently.

"Good. I'm glad you're up for this. I'm going to need to see you again later in the week — I've got some equipment I'll need to familiarize you with." Birkhoff stands up and straightens out his plaid flannel jacket and t-shirt combo before he starts off to the side door. "Amanda told me she'd like to see you too. Apparently she's got a few makeup and hair pointers." Birkhoff sounds dubious about this claim and turns to smirk over his shoulder at Alex.

"Gee, can't wait," Alex says flatly with a pointedly fake grin, the promise of a future with Amanda bringing back that sullen teen he knows and loves so well. "You know where to find me." She gives him a long look on his way to the door, before sitting back on the bench with a slouch and eyeing her water bottle like it's insulted her dead mother.

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