When, Not If

finnegan_icon.png muni_icon.png nobara_icon.png

Where: Primatech Paper

When: August 4, 2012

What: The answers are insufficient when agents are asked what went wrong, but the two time travelers are at least given the affirmative to one question they ask.

The mission was a failure. There's no way that it could be deemed a success unless you count that Alexander Caldecott and his girlfriend were brought back from the 1950's. That alone was a success. But everything else, utter and abject failure. Amelia was whisked away for surgery, the lone healer that the Vegas chapter had in the form of Tilly being stuck still in 1955 meant that there was little alternatives other than good old fashioned surgery. Not that the medical team here at Primatech wasn't more than capable.

The civilians who had been brought through were put away, sequestered till they could be dealt with and Doc placed in a cell all his own as well. Many questions to be had for him.

And here, down in them ultiple levels beneath Primatech, hidden in the industrial level, waiting for word of Amelia's condition is where Muni Shaw, the Senior Agent in charge of the other agents, is storming down to in search of those who came back.

Finnegan hasn't sat down once since being forced out of the medical ward when he'd neither sit still there nor let anyone see to his own lesser injuries — a bloodied brow and probably broken ribs. He's pacing the hallway just outside, hands on his head like a runner who's just finished their race. He hasn't said much since his first few questions about what happened and when the portal will re-open.

In short, he's terrible company for Nobara.

He makes another turn of the hallway and the rhythmic patter of his wingtips on the tile return closer to where Nobara waits, before making his trek away again. It's 22 steps in either direction each time.

The worst thing that Nobara seems to have is dust damage. For all the damage he did to the Moulin Rouge club, and the mess he made, he got off too easy. And now, in part, it is his fault that they lost a senior agent in the fifties. His consolation, however, is that he did exactly what she wanted him to do. Though he knows he could have acted sooner- but then again, who were those men? They never identified themselves, and he could have ended up in the same situation.

The younger man is less keen on pacing around as he thinks, preferring to sink as far as he can into one of the plush chairs of the waiting area. A small luxury, if something. his suit jacket, vest, and tie are gone, and even his shirt is unbuttoned along the top. A cup of stale, tan-colored coffee balances in his hand on the top of one knee. Nobara's eyes are drawn to Finn every time he passes by, like a cat taking stock of someone who keeps walking through the room. Perhaps there is a little bit of reach to that look, though; a silent mental grasp at trying to get Finn to do something that does not make Nobara nervous.

Finn's path is stunted by the arrival and stop of Muni who regards him, then to Nobara. A stiff line to his lips, the skin aroudn nostrils white, he looks an unhappy agent. "Would someone care to explain to me-" His hands settle on his hips, turning to encompass the both of them in his view. "Just what the fuck happened and who all you brought back"

Stopping abruptly, Finn shoves his hands into his pockets and looks downward. "The civilians from 2012 that shouldn't have been here were all recovered. I brought the doctor back because I had a feeling he knew what was going on, which makes me think he's from now, not then. If I'm wrong, we can bring him back, I figured, erase the pertinent memories, sir." The words come out in a quick rush, and then he glances up, brow furrowed.

"Marshal got held back. I didn't notice until it was too late, but I'll go back now, sir, if there's anyone who can make it happen." Finnegan's offer is earnest, and more of a request.

"Out of nowhere, some guy started making a scene in the club, trying to arrest Tilly for espionage and treason. Fuck if I know why." Nobara rubs hard at his forehead before sitting up straight, putting the coffee on his knee aside to whatever flat surface lingers nearby. "Given that we didn't even know why we were there in the first place, we were lucky that everyone else got back here." He my be a little angry, for being thrown into something he obviously was not prepared for.

"When they started on her, more men started drawing guns, and all on us. By the time I was ready to set up a distraction for Marshal, someone had me, and she told me to light it up anyway. My charge was … off for some reason. I didn't set it that high, Finn-" As a note, for the other agent, however needed. "It collapsed part of the ceiling, fell down in front of her. I went to get her, but she told me to get everyone and go."

"I would have …not listened, if it weren't for the gas canisters that fell in through the hole in the ceiling." Nobara finally breathes, a strangled sigh, as he stands. "Someone was ready for something. If not us, then there was something else going on we bungled right into- I hope to blue hell you didn't know about it, sir." The latter is only somewhat forced, as Minawa has been rather informal with the debrief so far.

"yes Minawa, we have a crystal ball and could have predicted the clusterfuck that you both found yourself in." It's a rare flare up of Shaw's temper and loosing control of it. "We have no way currently of forcing the portal open, nor know who is controlling it. Maybe the individual you brought back will have some more insight and help us. Unless nakamura magically appears"

Odds of that happening are pretty slim and Muni turns away, rubbing a hand against his forehead in thought. "For all we know Marshal is dead. Minawa's objective was not completed and the picture has been altered. It's blank. The timeline has been altered but to what degree, we don't know. And likely further, Marshal's presence will complicate things. Shit" Shaws bossses are not going to be happy. "You said they were arresting her for treason and espionage? Did they come for all of you or just her and Minawa?" This directed to Finnegan.

Finnegan's eyes dart to Nobara when the other man appeals to him and gives a short nod. But his eyes flit to Muni as he is addressed. A shake of his head accompanies a shrug. "The doctor had a gun on him, pulled it. There were people shooting in the hallway at Amelia and the Crain guy, so I'm guessing they came for all of us, but I was trying to keep a handle on Caldecott and Abrams. Abrams doesn't remember Caldecott, it seems, and my guess it's the doctor's doing," he says.

A hand comes up to scratch at the dried blood on his face, wincing just slightly as he continues his assessment. "I'm not sure if they were all together or if the doctor was separate from the rest, but I suppose we'll have to check with the doctor about that, preferably with someone who can tell if he's telling the truth or not. Amelia might know more." The frown he's worn all night deepens, and he looks over his shoulder to the medical doors, the worry apparent, before turning back.

"When's the portal open again? I'll go back for Marshal." Finnegan looks back to Muni.

"As long as we're not being jerked around." That's the only reason Nobara asked. They are, after all, a covert organization. Secrets within secrets, and all. "The guy pulled her off to dance, and by the time I came back in from casing the outside a bit, it was only a few minutes til he pulled her down to cuff her, and then they started coming out of the woodwork. Effectively intelligent, too. They were too good."

"If they were together, yes, the doctor is our best bet. If he wasn't with them, I don't think we have any leads. He never identified himself as …anything. I could describe him, but he was kinda plain."

"And the timeline being altered seems like the icing on the cake… I know I'll be the first one to tell you about anything different." There is not much more that Nobara can do, besides that. His thoughts dwell away from Tilly being captured or worse- he can't stay on it for too long without feeling guilt creep up. And Guilt, for Nobara, is a somewhat foreign concept. "How is she?" Nobara voices what Finnegan does not, when it comes to Amelia.

"She'll pull through. Lost a great deal of blood. It would have been been better if Tilly was here, but we make do with what we can and it's just proof that we can't rely on her ability" Muni replies to Nobara, looking over to Finnegan. "We don't know what it will open again, and I don't know if they'll let us go through if it does, to retrieve her. it was always a risk when we sent you lot back. That one or all of you might be caught. It was a risk we were willing to take, but we never imagined that this situation would occur. We'll have to talk to the Doctor that you brought through and see what insight he can provide. If he is indeed from here, but Reggie's been providing pictures of people who have gone through since we became aware of the portal and he wasn't one of them"

At the news Amelia will be okay, Finn suddenly turns away, his back to both men for a moment; shoulders rise and all with a mighty sigh before he turns back. That his last partner before coming to Vegas was murdered might be common knowledge; no doubt they heard about the incident in Texas, but whether they connected it to the newcomer, he doesn't know — no one mentions it around Finnegan, and he hasn't spoken a word about it to anyone.

"He might have gone back before we knew about it. Hell, he might be the one who put it there. All I know is he knew more than he should have, but that mighta been the kid's doing, I don't know," Finn says about Doc. "Let me go back. I won't screw anything up. I fit in easily enough. We can't leave her back there."

"Yeah, maybe he's from before we knew it was there. From what I understand, it wouldn't be the first instance." Nobara adds, backing up the possibility. "If it opens again, you're not going alone." Hands on his own hips, Nobara has some wishful thinking going on- though he'd understand if his presence on time missions has lost its …sparkle.

"What are we going to do about the Caldecott boy, anyway? And the girl? Seems like someone turns around and trips over one of'em." Nobara rubs one hand over his face, casting a shifty look across the hall to the nearest clock. He needs some sleep. Or something to light up, possibly.

Muni knows, about the murdered partner. So it's little surprise to the older man when Finn turns to have a moment. "Reggie is watching the portal and the moment we have word of it being big enough to go back through, we will send a few people back. I will make sure that your name is on that short list, Minawa, we can't chance, given your ethnicity when the time comes. We're not leaving her Finnegan. We're going to look through archives, see if there's any mention of her in FBI records or any intelligence records. We're going to be smart about this. I'm not going to loose more agents back there in time. But we are not leaving her. I don't leave anyone behind if I possibly can" He lays a hand on Finn's shoulder, giving it a squeeze.

As for the Caldecott boy and his girl. "We'll deal with them as well. For now, Finnegan, get checked out, or I will be benching you when it's time to go after marshal. Nobara, you can escort him and make sure he goes. By then, I'm sure that Amelia will be out of surgery and you will both be in a better frame to write up your reports. We'll keep both of you updated on the Marshal situation as we find out more"

Muni's words have the desired effect, and Finnegan nods his assent. "Thanks," he says quietly, now that he's no longer being told "if" but "when."

He makes a couple of steps toward the end of the hallway the medical bay is, but turns back. "I'm sorry we screwed up, sir," takes some effort from the already bruised ego housed in Finnegan. "I'll do better next time." With that, he ducks his head to head to the doctors' care.

"Then at least put me up with Reggie when it opens. I can help him there, if it starts getting rough." Nobara casts out for something else this time. A little bit of something. He does try not to laugh when he gets told to start escorting, but that's neither here nor there. On the other hand, there is a smile, and he gives a shrug and nod. "Writing up reports? Well, maybe we should just stay in the medical wing." Paperwork, ew!

"And there's always a next time." Nobara offers a simple agreement with what Finnegan says, falling into line beside him. "Let's get going, we've got a long night. It is nighttime, right? That analog doesn't have a timer…"

He's off a step in front of Finn, after that, making sure the other man follows.

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