2011 06 18: The Breakfast Club

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Mission Name: The Breakfast Club
Date of Mission: June 18 2011
Locale: Cafeteria — Division HQ

Dinner at Division HQ sparks a conversation about John Hughes films… and mandatory computer training.

Alex Birkhoff Geoff Mickey

It's dinner time in the Division cafeteria. Tonight the meal is dubious looking patties of some sort of meat, macaroni and cheese, and a fresh apple for everyone. Birkhoff sits by himself in the cafeteria, looking between his tray and his fork, like a surgeon might contemplate where he should cut first. "God, I knew I should have gone out." He grabs instead his bottle of water and takes a long drink, as if it's a shot of liquid courage.

After dropping by her room, Alex now makes her way to the cafeteria, wearily rubbing at the back of her neck as she steps into the hall. With a quiet sigh, she grabs a tray and joins the line to get her food, not really looking around too much in the process. It's only once she's been served turns to face the room again, this time with a tray full of questionable food, that she surveys the room, looking for an acceptable spot to sit.

Having left the line just a moment ago, Mickey finds himself joining Birkhoff on his lonely island of food funk. Dropping onto the bench opposite he remarks, "The government pays 75 dollars for a screw driver, I wonder how much they paid for this," and sliding his fork into that dubious looking paste-like meat, he flicks it a few times on the surface. Testing it scientifically. As if the small ripples along its surface, like a Geiger meter, might tell him something of its constitution. That said, the tall young man wastes only half a moment before he starts to dig in. It might look awful, but when you're on a high calorie and high protein diet to offset your burn, it becomes necessary to eat, no matter how unacceptable the offering. Mickey is big. So he eats a lot.

Geoff is not a regular face here in the cafeteria, though he may have been one a couple of months ago. Maybe he's here for nostalgia's sake, since he's just leaving the line with his mystery meat. He comes up behind Alex, tray in ond hand, and smacks her lightly on the lower back. "Hey."

"Nothing. It was made out of recruits who keep doing badly in my class." Birkhoff simply says. He is then compelled to pick the burger up and chew on it heartily, like some kind of nerdy Viking. He tries desperately not to make a face as he chews, but is unable to keep his eye from twitching. "…You do have a point." Birkhoff says to Mickey, shuddering a little bit when he manages to swallow down the meaty mass. He takes another drink of his water and then looks in the direction of Alex and Geoff, seeing the slap to the lower back. It makes Birkhoff raise a brow with some mixture of interest… and more interest.

Alex jumps slightly as she's nudged from behind, but nothing so terrible as to send her tray flying and cause a scene. She just turns around with a wary expression, which shifts to a more friendly one once she discovers who was behind the gesture. "Hey," she offers in return, shifting her tray to one hand so that she can use the other to brush her hair out of her eyes. "You're eating here by choice? Hate yourself that much?" she asks him wryly, oblivious to Birkhoff's interest.

"It's not my fault you want me to use Yewnix, why can't we use Windows? I do better with the mouse than the keyboard," Mickey replies and pantomimes his typing style, which is in fact hunt-and-peck. Which for a nineteen year old makes him look like a complete and utter failboat captain. Lifting his fork up again, he stabs it down again and lifts up some of the macaroni, twisting it a few times to get the strings of imitation cheese to fall off. His eyes switching back and forth between Birkhoff and his food until he notices the look, at which point he turns his head and looks over at Alex as well. Interest sparks interest, and so the cycle continues.

Geoff shrugs at Alex, showing no further inclination to bother her physically. Both hands now on the tray, he nods toward the table which just happens to be the one Birkhoff and Mickey are occupying. "Tastes like Army food," he says about the nourishment. It sounds like neither a compliment nor an insult. Just a fact.

The tech nerd looks as though he cannot possibly be hearing Mickey's mouthwords, his eyes bugging somewhat as the youth mentions Unix and Windows. "Because you have to know what to do. Every agent has to have some kind of working knowledge of computers…" He watches Mickey for a moment longer before adding, "…But something tells me you're a special case." Birkhoff puts his fork into the macaroni and twirls it around a few times with large eyes, finally deciding to brave the concoction and try a bite. He swallows it down and manages not to wince quite as badly as he did when he ate some of the burger. When Geoff nods toward the table that he and Mickey sit at, Birkhoff gives Alex his best cheese-eating grin. …Maybe there's something to it, since he has just been eating cheese. Or some variation thereof.

Alex looks a bit dubious at the idea of joining the table, what with Birkhoff grinning at her like that, but she just nods and starts heading in that direction, taking her tray back in both hands until she can set it down at an empty spot. "Whoever said that thing about an army marching on its stomach clearly never had to eat this," she points out to Geoff. Then turning to the table at large, she offers a wary nod to Birkhoff and a more neutral one to Mickey. "Hey."

Geoff shrugs, sitting down at the table and immediately starting to poke down the dinner qithout apparent distaste. It's like he doesn't taste it at all, for better or for worse. He glances at Birkhoff and nods, but being that he 'graduated' a couple months ago with relatively low marks in computer class, he's not overly warm with the fellow.

"Why can't you give me one of those USB things with like, a radio controller or uh.. a," Mickey pauses to think of something that sounds right, "Cell phone in it. And then someone who knows what they're doing can work on the computer." He once again pantomimes his typing, but he actually seems to be able to imitate other people typing and wiggles his fingers in the air- just so. "See, problem solved. I have a hacker in my pocket. Pocket hacker. I coined it, you use it, you owe me money." Pausing in his verbal techno-diarrhea coming out of his mouth, he looks at Alex and offers the inverted nod of all true men.

Inverted man nod. Yes. You are a person, I approve of your general shape and character. You may acknowledge my presence. We are the collective.

Looking to his apple, he takes a big bite and goes back to looking at Birkhoff. As if expecting some sort of response to his master plan.

It's unclear whether or not Birkhoff is actually processing Mickey's words. He just sits there silently for a long moment and stares at Mickey in total disbelief. "I'm sorry, what?" he says finally, before looking over at Alex. "You don't seem happy to see me. Does this have anything do with the SpyPod?" He asks her, then nods over at Geoff. "How's it hanging? I checked my chart the other day and you're almost due for a test. Come see me sometime next week and we'll get you taken care of so you can get back out there and be all that you can be."

Alex surveys her tray, trying to decide where to start. She ends up choosing the apple, since it seems safest. Picking it up, she rests an elbow on the table in a totally anti-Amanda-approved fashion. Catching the tail-end of Mickey's pocket hacker idea, she arches an eyebrow and then takes a hearty bite of her apple in order to stop herself from saying anything. When Birkhoff addresses her, she looks back to him with a shrug. "The SpyPod is fine. I'm just eager to get going." Geoff also earns a sidelong look, one almost of sympathy, as Birkhoff mentions testing.

Geoff looks over at Birkhoff, obviously not pleased by that news. "What. Like I can be studying that computer shit with my cover," he complains, although of course he shows up at HQ almost every day for physical training. "Fine." Definitely throwing a little attitude, but a safe amount, hopefully. He goes back to eating his food with his iron stomach. Or maybe it's the tongue that's iron.

Mickey seems about to try to actually repeat himself, but then decides that in this case silence may in fact be a virtue. So he shuts his mouth, or rather, opens his mouth for another bite of his apple. Looking over at the mention of something called a SpyPod, he asks, "WhatsaSpypod?" Even as he asks, he leans back a little, hooking his hands beneath the bench on which he sits. This causes the whole bench to creep a little, and protest with a low metal groan, his arms and chest flexing visibly. If one didn't know better, they'd assume he was showing off. He isn't. Turning his attention suddenly, he points at someone's tray from another table and asks, "Are you going to eat that?" pointing at their macaroni.

"Why is no one ever happy to hear me?" Birkhoff wonders aloud, though it's rhetorical. He gives a sharp warning glance first to Alex and then to Geoff before he pushes his tray at Mickey. "Soon enough, Alex." He looks to Geoff and shakes his head. "You have to. Not exactly my rules, but I do enjoy enforcing them." The tech nerd takes his bottle of water and drinks from it. "The SpyPod is a piece of technology that Alex has access to for her first op. Maybe when you become a real boy, I'll let you have something shiny too."

Alex draws in a breath, her mouth opening a bit like she might actually have an answer for Birkhoff's rhetorical question, but she catches herself and just takes another big bite of apple. She's being a good girl, see? When he mentions enjoying enforcing the rules, however, she can't help but arch her eyebrows a bit. He may have answered his own question. "Here, have mine," she offers to Mickey, having decided against risking the other food right now. "Yeah, it's really exciting," she deadpans about the shiny bit of technology, before giving her half-eaten apple a long look.

"Yeah, I got you," Geoff answers Birkhoff simply, this time with less 'tude, but still less warmth. Then he pokes back the rest of the mystery meat. He starts working on the apple.

"Thanks!" Mickey says towards Alex as she offers him some of her food. He is a growing boy, and he wants to grow up and be just like Birkhoff. "Shiny. I wonder what I'll get, a robot, maybe?" he remarks, and does appear to actually be joking deliberately for once. Though it isn't actually all that funny.

Birkhoff smirks at Mickey and were the boy not so large, may be inclined to reach up and smack him in the back of his head. But he doesn't and instead looks back at Alex fleetingly before shifting his eyes to Geoff, then to Mickey. He glances around at the rest of the cafeteria afterward. "What a merry band of misfits we are. The boxer, the chameleon, the smart mouth, and the nerd. It's like a regular Breakfast Club." He glances to the three sitting with him and frowns. "I get to be Anthony Michael Hall. Ew."

"Don't mention it," Alex replies to Mickey's gratitude, sliding the pasta over towards him. "Yeah, you didn't come out so good in that one," she points out with a wry smirk, unable to avoid enjoying it when Birkhoff inadvertently puts himself down. "And this isn't exactly Saturday detention." Her apple gets another thoughtful look before she takes a bite and chews it slowly. "I wouldn't hold out hope for a robot," she adds as an afterthought.

"Wait," Geoff says, after he swallows a mouthful of mealy apple. "Which one am I, again?" Not that he seems too concerned about it. Or about the pasta he shovels down next.

"Is that a movie?" Mickey asks. A pause and he seems to think about it. "Is that the one where the guy holds up a girl's underwear? I think I saw that, she wasn't that hot, I didn't get it," he remarks, having been of the proper age to consider Molly Ringwald not so long ago. "I'll hope for some new sap gloves then, I don't have mine anymore, and I don't like it when I punch someone and their teeth lacerate my knuckles, it's not cool," he remarks, sharing a bit of his experience and preferences on punching people. Punching people is a very important cornerstone in the construction of Mickey Lynch. "No robot. Huh."

"No, that was Sixteen Candles." Either Birkhoff is an insufferable know-it-all or a big John Hughes fan apparently. The brown-haired man reaches up to adjust his glassses on his nose before finally just taking them off and putting them in the pocket of his flannel jacket, rubbing at the bridge of his nose with some exasperation. He stands up from the table. "I have to go work on some things, not that any of you were concerned about where I was going." He looks over to Geoff. "You're definitely Judd Nelson… Alex is Ally Sheedy… Mickey is Emilio Estevez…" And of course, he knows his lot in life.

Alex listens as Birkhoff explains the casting, arching a skeptical eyebrow but not arguing with his choices either. "You really watch a lot of movies, don't you," she observes, keeping her tone neutral and just letting that statement imply what it will on its own. She does offer a little nod in farewell. "Good luck with it, I guess." It's not exactly heartfelt, but it's not terribly sarcastic, so she'll consider it progress. She sets her apple down carefully and picks up her water, twisting the cap off. "From a robot to gloves? Not a lot of middle ground there, huh?" she notes, looking aside to Mickey.

Geoff considers Birkhoff's characterization, then nods a little. "Yeah, maybe," he admits. "I do like to predict how people are gonna get fat." He glances over at Mickey. "Maybe don't punch a guy in the teeth with your bare hands," he suggests.

Realization dawns on Mickey's face as he puts something together, "Isn't Emilio Estevez, like, five-foot seven?" and then indicates himself with the other hand. Confusion evident as to the 'jock' connection- as he doesn't know the movie from a hole in the ground. Holding up the other hand about five inches off the top of his head he clearly is not five foot seven. Turning on the bench, he looks at Alex and eats some of her pasta or whatever it was she offered him, because he is still hungry, though there isn't much left on his tray. "Well, I figure if I can't have something awesome, maybe I can have something useful. You know, or like a gun that shoots heat seeking bullets," he tells her, being facetious still. A look towards Geoff then and he explains, "Punching someone in the face is sort of a big part of a fist fight."

"The nerd leaves and dinner takes a violent turn…" Alex mutters to herself as the remaining boys begin discussing fist fighting. She's neither surprised nor upset by it, but it bears remarking upon just the same. "Robot, gun or heat-seeking bullets, they'll pretty much give you whatever suits the mission, as far as I can tell. And then I'm pretty sure you gotta give it back." Alex puts the cap back on her water and goes back to her apple. "And I think the Estevez thing was more, uh, metaphorical."

"You can punch somebody in the face without punching him in the teeth," Geoff points out. "But that's me. I ain't ever punched somebody with a pair of gloves on, so I don't know how to do it right," he says, smirking before he shovels away the last of the pasta.

"Do you think they'll make you give your peapod back?" Mickey asks Alex with a smile.

"We're talking equipment, not boxing. I mean, I can knock someone out with a brachial strike, but a good hit to the jaw is usually the easiest. You haven't been in a lot of fist fights then, it's not all going to be nice and clean hits to the side of the jaw, eventually you're going to hit them square in the mouth, or even just palm strike to the nose, or a simple open strike to the throat can hit them in the teeth if they are trying to evade and zig when they should zag," Mickey replies. Taking a moment, he then describes the function of sap gloves, since Geoff seems not to be familiar. "Sap gloves are best made of kevlar, they fill the knuckle areas with metal powder, not a lot, just enough to add a little mass. It actually makes my hits less likely to actually bust a guy's head open, and more likely to knock him out. That's why they call them sap gloves, I think. You know, for the similarity to a sap."

"Pretty sure, yeah," Alex replies with a shrug, not too bothered by that. "Unless they find some other reason I have to stay in constant communication with Birkhoff." And that is a thrilling idea. Finishing her apple, Alex sets the core aside on her tray and picks up her water again, looking between Geoff and Mickey at all this talk of punching. "Guess I know who to avoid on the training floor," she remarks dryly as she sits back on the bench, sparing a glance around the room.

Geoff smiles at Mickey. "So serious," he says, apparently amused. "But yeah, I see you're the expert here." He gets up and nods at Alex. "I'll see you around," he says, mainly to Alex, though he nods vaguely at Mickey, too.

"Hells yeah, I'm cancer. I'm serious shit," Mickey replies and offers a peace sign towards Geoff. No inverted man nod for Geoff. His question makes his part in the collective a question. Turning his eyes back towards Alex, he finishes off his tray and pushes it away. "So, the pod lets you stay in contact with Birkhoff?" he asks, having caught that much. Maybe he has some spy material in him afterall. "I wouldn't want Mr. Wizard in my ear either, but I imagine it's better than being alone. Nothing worse than facing an enemy knowing that you're your only backup. It's sort of invigorating too, though, you know? It's like, you know there is no alternative but to win."

"Good seeing you again," Alex replies to Geoff, giving him a nod. "Thanks for, uh, bumping into me." She gives a quick grin with that before looking to Mickey again, considering his point about backup. "I don't really get a choice, anyway. If it gets too bad, I guess I could just suffer technical difficulties," she muses, though not altogether seriously. "Anyway, I'm not exactly facing the enemy. Just doing a bit of recon, you could say."

Geoff gives Mickey a chin-thrust right in return. Earnest respect in the gesture despite the sarcastic tone he tends to take. Then he lifts a hand at Alex. "Peace," he says.

"Maybe if you suffer difficulties they'll let me out of the cage," Mickey suggests hopefully and strokes his chin a few times. It at one time suggests that her life is in danger, while at the same time it would allow him to go out and perhaps become an agent as well. He hasn't been here as long as Alex, but a guy can hope. Getting up then, he holds out a hand towards her tray and will carry one or both over to where-ever such things are deposited. Returning a moment later, he goes on, "So, want to go do something? I don't do well to just sit with my hands on my lap for too long, but we've never really talked before, and everyone needs a friend, right?" Aw, he's like a big puppy. Please be my friend.

"I- Yeah, maybe," Alex replies, not quite sure how to respond to that, as she realizes the same Catch-22, albeit from a very different perspective. "But I'm sure you'll get something soon enough. Enjoy the peace and quiet while you can," she advises with a faint smile, as she hands over her tray with a quiet, "Thanks." In the moment that he's gone, she just stares thoughtfully at her bottle of water, mulling on a few details. His offer surprises her a little, but after considering it only briefly, she gives a shrug and moves to stand from the table. "Yeah, sure. We can go do something. As long as it doesn't involve punching anyone in the teeth," she adds with a quick grin.

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