The Promotion Nobody Wants

March 11, 2017:

Alex Danvers becomes Amanda Waller's new best friend. (Spoofing by Task)

Characters

NPCs: Amanda Waller

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It is cold out today, a grey overcast that just bleeds in to the moods of those underneath the clouds fortunately much of the chill wind is kept at bay by monolithic skyscrapers that protect the inner city.

This street in particular is dedicated to restaurants, book shops and novelty shopping venues. Perfect for a date or just some time alone, a good read or very good (very expensive) food.

If anything this should be a casual off duty day for Alex Danvers. A fast rising star in the DEO not only hosting an academic background but a capable shot with an outstanding record in the organization since it's inception.

Alex is, in fact, actually enjoying her day off, such as it is. In New York, having been following up on a trail of alien artifacts on the alien black market on Earth, she's browsing in a book store. It's cheaper than buying dinner from one of those restaurants, in any case. And she can easily get by on the cappuccino she bought from the bookstore cafe. She stands by the latest fiction and is thumbing through a James Rollins novel — though you'd think she'd get enough of that in real life.

Leave it to a woman like Amanda Waller to wear a perfume called Poison, Doir Poison. The scent of it meets Alex Danvers before the legendary 'director' of espionage and intelligence is clearing her throat, "Hello, Alex." A simple greeting. A familiar one as the Wall is familiar with /everyone/. She makes it her business to be that person.
"James Rollins. Good taste, a Chicago man. One of my people." The smile of Amanda Waller is one that never reaches her eyes. They are always cold, shrewd and studious. Even when she likes someone and she very much likes Agent Danvers.

Alex looks up when she scents the perfume — not so much because she's expecting the director's visit, but more because it's a vaguely familiar scent and it intruded on her examination of the book. When she's addressed, however, she turns. And then blinks. "Director Waller." Her head cants, and then she straightens, cognizant of who she's meeting. "Uh… I'm sorry. It's my day off. I wasn't expecting…" She looks at the book in her hand and then puts it back on the shelf, straightening and raising her chin in a show of attentiveness and strength. "What brings you here, ma'am?"

"I can assure you it is not small talk, indulging in fantasy or a good book." Waller says, a hand stroking the spine of Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama. "Professionals like us are lucky to get such luxuries." Some hidden meaning in there. "Business, Agent Danvers. Always business." She motions behind Alex towards one of the corner nooks where there is a small table and a round sofa, private. Neatly private. The squat dark skinned woman strides past her, obviously that isn't just an invitation. She plans to sit and expects Alex to do likewise.

Somehow, Alex isn't surprised by that. She's heard that the director tends to just 'show up' when she wants something. This is the first time she's found herself in that situation, however. "I kinda figured," she admits, following the woman and sitting opposite her at one of the tables in the cafe. She sets the capuccino on the table and tries to look at least vaguely comfortable. It's… a mixed success.

Getting comfortable the woman folds her fingers together in front of her. Agent Danvers will see it now, not far off a man is seated in a similar corner nook, a white egg on the table beside his hand. Alex knows what those are. A white noiser it blankets an area in a null surveillance field. She can't hear the hissing from here or feel the vibrations it emits but she is not clueless to it's nature and purpose.
"Did you, Alex? What else have you figured so far? Play the game with me a little. Give me an idea of why you think I may be here and why someone of my position is engaging in a one on one with you. Your director doesn't even know I am here." A smile, coy, like a cat that just swallowed a canary it's entirety.

Ahhhh… yeah. Alex only got as far as 'business'. Not what business. She notes the nullifier and returns her attention to the woman in front of her. "Well, uh… Since you're not the type to go anywhere without purpose, I can probably assume you're speaking to me directly because I've either done something that interests you, or you want me to do something in your interest." She wrinkles her nose slightly in thought. "And, if you haven't let my director know you're here, then it's probably because you don't want him to know, either, which means it's likely something… off the record?" Her head cants slightly, perhaps curiously to one side. "I mean, I've got a decent record, but there are others out there with more experience. My skills are considered unique only because I'm a labrat with decent field experience. So… I have something or can do something you want?"

"Very good. I could easily say all of the above." Waller shifts, a rustle of fabric and she carries on, "I won't though. I will just cut to the chase here. You're young, you have a future, I feel you have a lot of potential, you're ready to be groomed and it's about time you seen another side of the DEO. A side of it they don't openly talk about. My side of it." She pauses, studying Alex. Profiling her. "Do I go on?" A serious question. The way she delivers it is saying its more than just a simple query.

Alex examines the woman's face, not that she's actually expecting to glean anything extra from the woman's expression. Nevertheless, it does give her the moment or two she needs to begin to process what's happening. Scuttlebutt says Amanda Waller handles… stuff that no one's supposed to know about and that no one's supposed to talk about. And that never get seen in any reports that Alex's grade lets her access.

The fact is, though Alex is not the squeaky clean girl her family thinks. She's not a girl scout. She's a lot more of a pragmatist than that. Enough of a soldier to get the point. So, with a decisive nod and a faint dip of her brows she says, "Please."

"Good. You are exactly as I hoped you would be." Amanda Waller lives in the world of advanced technology but some things are just practical, they allow for no trace. Paperwork for example. Hand written and not printed. It is pushed out across the table towards Alex, "Read all of that later then destroy it."
"You are going to continue your work here in the Tri-Cities but you're now being put under disciplinary action as per a paperwork fuck up. Your fuck up." She holds up her own cell phone now, a job Alex did two months ago is red-barred, she hands it over and lets Alex look it over. That job is one Alex knows she performed flawlessly. "Now you have to ferry DEO hardcases to and from Belle Reve for the next three months. This is also makes it mandatory you check in on them."
"That aside, you're now one of MY operatives. I have assembled a team of some of the most despicable and rotten individuals this world has been forced to suffer, you're going to be their operator, their go-to and their team leader on a mission to mission basis. You're going to get to know them and you will likely hate them." Waller in kind matches Alex's gaze, she locks on and waits for it all to sink in before she will continue.

Alex looks at the cell phone and her eyes grow wide, because, yes, she did do that one flawlessly. And she knows it. And she can't see anyone who knows her believing that she fucked up. For a moment, her brows dip… and then the rest of it sinks in. Talk about a black-ops initiation. Her hand comes up, elbow on the table, as she pushes a fist thoughtfully against her lips, thumb on her chin, again playing for time to react and process.

Finally, a tight, humourless smile touches her lips. "Yes, ma'am," she says, now. Her expression grows serious, entirely businesslike. "So, exactly who are these people, and what type of missions are we talking about — I mean besides completely deniable ones."

"Suicide missions, Alex. You will be leading suicide missions and expected to accomplish the impossible while leading criminals, people the world has given up on and rightfully so. Your flawless record is now going to be marked in failure and you will be of service for a greater good that will never acknowledge your deeds. Do you understand what I am saying?" Waller's eyes reflect nothing only a predator's intelligence. "You will never get to take glory in any of this. This is going to be a service to our Country, to our world only you, me, a select group of individuals and these walking piles of garbage will know about. This is a thankless job and your career with the DEO is going to be tarnished in the process, it is a must, you will no longer be shiny."

Alex listens and her brows rise faintly at the information. "Suicide missions?" That's what being obsessed with not being second best gets her? She doesn't sound so much incredulous as a little surprised. She really didn't think she'd attracted this type of attention from the higher-ups. "I understand, ma'am," she says, but it's just the beginning of a sentence, not a final acceptance. "But… if, I may… Why choose me? I mean there's gotta be other agents out there with more field experience and certainly more black ops experience. I never expected praise or glory when I joined the DEO; I know that's not what this agency's about. That's not a problem. I just want to know why you chose me for this dance?"

Her eyes have narrowed. She's pretty sure she's not, actually, the first choice for this job. Squeaky clean, shiny baubles are not what you drop in to a mix of psychopathic wackos like the bastards kept at Belle Reve and expect to lead. She knows this. She knows that the person who gets dropped in is supposed to be able to hold their own; likely by smacking down would-be challengers. And for the first time, Alex recalls the word 'groomed' in what Waller said earlier. Is she actually being asked to learn how to be the next Waller? That might not lead to a shiny career… but it does lead to one that makes a difference — for better or worse. Hence, the narrowed, curious eyes.

"You're right, you're weren't even on my list of candidates. I had to hunt you down but you wish to know why? Why… because no matter how hard you try to be perfect, Alex Danvers you are not. You never will be, you know this. You're always going to be the one overlooked at first, you're always going to be the one that doesn't get a second glance but you'll still fight for a place, still fight for your share. You're a scrapper. An imperfect scrapper with a cunning and brilliance that will always be underestimated. Those are the kind of people who excel in this line of work, Alex. Women like us. We are not the prettiest, we are not the best of the best but we are fighters, damned mean dirty fighters. We go for the throat. You and I, we have been in the trenches of life and we came right back out of them stronger." Waller straightens up, adjusts her blouse and stands, "Now, enjoy your books. We will be in contact again very soon, I intend on introducing you to the rest of your team ASAP."
The man with the 'noiser' is also now gone. It would appear business talk is done.
"I look forward to seeing you again soon, Miss Danvers."

Alex rises as Waller does. She simply nods her acceptance of the farewell, because she's not sure if she should look forward to the same or not. Instead, she gives a tight smile, and steps back out of the way as the woman takes her leave. The rules of the game have just changed, and Alex now needs to go figure out exactly how.

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