New York – Outside of Empire Diner – 7:45PM
Dave had never been to New York before, the farthest he had ever been in the state was out to the west. He wasn't afraid of large cities, in fact he worked day to day in DC. But there was just something about New York that felt different. Maybe it was all the apparent violence that seemed to be a common thing for this city, or that it seemed to be the number one target for terrorism, but whatever it was, it seemed to add to Dave's feelings of anxiety.
Dave fumbled with the cigarette pack, trying to get out his last remaining smoke, but in his nervous haste he managed to snap the cigarette in half, spilling the tobacco contents onto the wet pavement. Letting out a large angry sigh, Dave starred down at his only attempt at calming his nerves, and it was then that he noticed that he had company.
Dave looked to his right at what appeared to be an older man in a three piece suit, umbrella in one hand, and a pocket watch in the other. The old man snapped the clasp on the watch, slipped it into his pocket, reached into his other pocket and withdrew a long silver case. He opened the case, took out what appeared to be two cigarettes and held one out to Dave.
“Would you mind joining me?” the old man said with a smile. He handed the cigarette to Dave and held up a lighter for him.
“..Thanks..” stammered out Dave, who took a long puff and breathed out the smoke through his nose. He sighed and said “You have no idea how much I needed this”. He indicated the cigarette to the old man.
The old man chuckled, “Something got you a bit nervous, lad? Business or personal?” The old man turned to Dave, waiting to hear any story he might have.
Dave nodded a few times to himself, “I guess you could say business, I'm meeting with a co-worker to get their input on a project that I'm working on.”
“Then why so nervous?” the old man implored.
Dave laughed to himself, “Well, I have never met him before, and he has a reputation as a legend, I'm a little nervous of what he has to say. Might even think I'm being foolish.” Dave let out a reserved sigh and took another long puff of the cigarette.
The old man dropped his cigarette to the wet pavement and carefully butted it with his shoe. He leaned up against the side of the diner next to Dave. “So what kind of work do you do?”
Dave thought about the question for a minute before responding, “I'm a research scientist.” He finally said to the old man, ready for any follow up questions.
“Research Scientist!” the old man nodded a few times thinking to himself. “Not a very lucrative career... unless you can get in with the government. Even more lucrative if you can work for a government agency, say maybe the CIA” the old man concluded.
Dave looked puzzled and confused at the old man. “I'm sorry... have we met before?” Dave was unsure how the old man was able to guess how he worked for the CIA. The old man laughed, obviously amused with his game. He held out his hand to Dave, “Call me Jones, I believe you referred to me as a legend?” he said with a large grin.
Dave relaxed a little bit and dropped his shoulders, “That was quite an interesting ice breaker.”
“Well, you seemed to be so sad to have broke your last cigarette, so I thought I would help you out a bit before you faced the “firing squad”. So... what does Dr. David Green, research scientist for the Department of Metahuman Research, Deployment and Control want with an old retired agent like me?” Jones stated with a completely blank face. He turned his head slightly to the left to indicate that he was curious, and leaned his umbrella against the wall of the diner.
In answer, Dave grabbed his brief case that was secured between himself and the wall of the diner, he opened it, grabbed a folder from inside and handed it to Jones.
Jones looked at him inquisitively and held the folder closed, “How much trouble could you get into for showing this to me?” Jones asked.
Dave's eyes flared and he was about to speak, but didn't seem to be able to put thoughts to words. Jones nodded his head a few times before opening the folder. “That much, eh?” The old man chucked, but stopped as he read the contents of the folder. He looked up to Dave for an answer, “They re-opened Project Eclipse? Who authorized that?”
Dave withdrew a single piece of paper from his briefcase and handed it to Jones. Jones' eyes widened and he let out a surprised whistle. He closed the folder and crossed his arms in front of himself. “So.. why bring this to me?” he asked of Dave.
Dave, still flabbergasted, waved his hands in front of his face for a few seconds, “I had heard some old rumours that you might be able to prevent something like this, like you did back in the 70's” Dave was almost ready to beg.
Jones sighed to himself, he was getting too old for this kind of work. “I'm going to need to form another team, and because of this...” he indicated the letter, “I'm not going to have the same backing and resources that I had back in the 70's... what's your interest in this?” He asked of Dave, stepping closer to him that was comfortable.
Dave was trapped between the wall of the diner and Jones, he swallowed hard and lowered his voice. “My son is starting to show signs of being a metahuman...” he whispered.
Jones shock his head, “A mutant in the family...” Dave winced at the slang term, and Jones indicated an apology. Jones nodded once and looked at Dave. “I will see what I can do, and I just want you to know that I'm sorry...” he opened his vest and slid in the folder and letter.
Dave looked at his puzzled, “Sorry for what...” Dave looked down at Jones' hand and saw the long black muzzle of the gun, he swear he didn't even hear the shot before he hit the wet pavement.
New York – Outside of The Hilton – 9:00PM
Jones picked up his satellite phone from within his jacket and began dialling numbers. He held up the receiver to his ear and waited for a response. He heard the half asleep “hullo?” on the other end.
“Steve, I'm going to need you in the US as soon as you can, we have some business to discuss. Need to put another band together.”
Washington DC – Residence of David Green – The Next Day
Dave woke with a start and waited for his eyes to refocus, he started down at his still sleeping wife and rubbed at his eyes, trying to clear his head. He tried to concentrate. Wasn't he in New York for something? Maybe a conference for work, Dave thought about it for an hour and shrugged, maybe it was just a weird dream.