The Day The Earth Stood Still
October 7, 2012
"We've got incoming!" Huck yelled across the office as he swiftly made his way down the hall towards the conference room.
Quinn, Harrison and Abby emerged from the conference room and briefly glanced down past the office doors and at the unopened elevators. Olivia, with Stephen on her heels, slowly opened her office door and entered the hallway; she wore an expression of fatigue and slight annoyance. It was, after all, Sunday morning and while Sunday's usually proved themselves to be a "slow day" by Olivia's standards, she could not shake the feeling that this day was about to get a lot more complicated. The ding from the elevator announced an arrival and each member of Pope & Associates watched the parting of the elevator doors with a unique amount of curiosity and trepidation.
Three men, each wearing black suits and enveloped by an aura of danger, stepped off of the left elevator and walked into the office. To the untrained eye, the man in the middle seemed to be the leader. He stood tall and confident and walked slightly ahead of the other two men. His expression was serious and alert. The man to his right, similar in stature, wore the same expression. It was the man to his left, however, that caught Olivia's eye. As they continued their advance into the office, Olivia studied the man. He walked with an air of invincibility and a certain amount of blitheness. Having met some of the most important men in the world, she knew from experience that such luxuries were only afforded to men who were well protected. He exuded arrogance and power and lethal danger. He wore a stoic expression as he gazed upon her team's faces. That expression quickly gave way to amusement when Huck, glaring menacingly at the three men, shifted slightly so that he was standing a bit in front of Olivia. A small smile tugged at the man's lips and a set of dimples played a quick game of hide-and-seek in his cheeks. His eyes finally meet hers; they were intense and held a combination of recognition and intrigue.
"You are?" she asked as she met his stare head-on.
"Ms. Pope, I presume." He stated with a slight French accent while ignoring her question and extending his hand to shake hers. "I am Jasper Deveaux."
"Jasper Deveaux." She repeated as she tried to place his name. As recognition began to set in a frown appeared on her face and grew deeper with each passing second.
"I see my reputation precedes me." His eyes left her face, travelling the length of her on their way to the floor. When he met her eyes again, he smiled slowly, revealing his deep set of dimples, but his eyes were devoid of any smile. "You can't believe everything you hear."
"So then you're not an international arms dealer?" she asked boldly, gauging his reaction.
"No, that part is true. Although, I'd like to think of myself as an intermediary between those with means and the less fortunate." He answered unapologetically and without hesitation.
Olivia continued to stare at Mr. Deveaux while she decided whether to invite him and his men into the conference room, listen to his plight and then kick him out or whether to just jump to the end and kick him out now. She had a feeling that even if she wanted to, the latter option was not viable one and that he was not leaving until he voiced whatever it was he had come to say. She noted that while he didn't look like he was currently in the throes of a crisis, his eyes were so intense and troubled. They were the darkest bluish gray she had ever seen and they reminded her of clouds in a thunderstorm. In fact, while staring into them she could have sworn she saw flashes of lightening dancing across his irises.
"Quinn, show Mr. Deveaux and friends into the conference room." Olivia ordered as she turned and walked back into her office with Huck, Harrison, Abby and Stephen hot on her trail.
"Are you kidding me Liv?" Abby shrieked the moment the door was closed. "We are not taking him on as a client. I don't care how gorgeous he is." Stephen shot Abby a look and Abby shrugged in response.
"We're just going to talk to him, hear what he has to say then politely ask them to leave." Olivia stated calmly. "Unless –"
"No. No unless, no." Stephen said emphatically.
"We don't know what they want, and they have guns." Huck stated simply.
"Like I said, let's go see what he wants."
"So, what exactly is it you think we can do for you?"
"As of last Friday, I was what they call a 'Artillery Procurement Liaison' to your government at which time I informed them I would no longer be of their service in that my interest have come to lie elsewhere."
"You mean you got a sweeter deal with another country?"
"Something like that," he answered while cocking his head to the side and staring at her. He quickly continued talking when he saw that she was about to speak, "Before you jump to any conclusions, it's perfectly legitimate. My contract with your government is up, I've opted not to renew and new employer is not an enemy of your government or anything of the sort. In fact, I'd dare say it's one of your closest allies. It seems however your government is refusing to take our breakup with class and move on." Although the latter part of his statement was stated with controlled precision, Olivia knew that beneath its surface was rage and resentment.
"I'm sorry but what exactly do you want us to do." Quinn asked.
With eyes never leaving Olivia, he spoke slowly and clearly, "In two weeks, unless I reconsider my refusal to renew, your President and his Department of Defense intend to label me a terrorist to the world. I am not. And I want you to stop them."
No one spoke for a full 20 seconds as Olivia watched Mr. Deveaux watch her process his words. There was something he was not saying. Labels such as terrorist, arms dealers, criminals were merely semantics to men like him.
"You know how the game is played Mr. Deveaux, today's freedom fighters are tomorrow's terrorist. Surely you were not that naïve to think that you might never be on the other side."
"I am not a terrorist."
"What aren't you saying? I can't help you, I won't help you unless I know everything." The rest of the team's heads shot towards Olivia and they stared at her incredulously. So much for just talking. they thought.
"My wife and daughter were killed in a targeted terrorist attack a few years ago as a result of my work. I've worked faithfully with your government to arm the opposition in countries too depleted of resources to arm themselves. Yes, I know how the game is played. But I will not be bullied; not a man or a government."
His voice became deadly as he locked eyes with Olivia, "I am not a terrorist. I will not be labeled as such. With or without your help, Ms. Pope."
"You seem like you have something specific in mind in terms of my helping you - and to be clear, I am not agreeing to help you. But what do you have in mind?"
"Ms. Pope, I'm not the only one whose reputation precedes him. I know what you do. And while I have no doubt that such tact and diplomacy will be of use to me, I am told you also have the ear of the President. I would like for you to start there."
Olivia remained stoic as her heart sped up, there was something in his eyes and voice that - while she couldn't place it - she certainly did not like it.
"I believe you are mistaken, I-"
"With or without your help."
End A/N: Continue?