A Warm Welcome


abby4_icon.gif cat_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif ivan_icon.gif katarina_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title A Warm Welcome
Synopsis Team Russia arrives in the city of Ryazan and is shown to home where they will be staying for the duration of their mission. Over dinner, several of its members begin cobbling together a rough plan of attack.
Date November 22, 2009

Spektor Home, Ryazan, Russia

Erected at the turn of the century, the Spektor home is a two-story dwelling on the outskirts of Ryazan city. Camouflaged by trees, its brown brickwork exterior gives the house a dated appearance befitting of region; at one time, it might have belonged to the descendants of Russian nobility with a fondness for Art Nouveau, but today it's owned by a university professor and his wife, a retired cellist who once played with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Although there is no attached garage or carport to shelter vehicles from the elements, a long driveway of paved rock leads up to the front of the estate, its entryway covered by a stone archway decorated with potted flowers and plants, some in bloom, others brittle, but all tended to with loving care by the lady of the house.

Inside, the front doors open into a foyer with hardwood floors and an ornate staircase that leads up to the second level where the guest bedrooms and bathrooms are located. The downstairs living area is compromised of several small sitting rooms, a sizable kitchen off-limits to visitors and a dining room for entertaining those same visitors, complete with a glass table large enough to seat eight. While the floors are in good condition for being so old, the house's owners have made an effort to keep it from getting anymore scratched and scuffed than it already is by scattering silk and woolen throw rugs throughout both the first floor and the second. It's clear that they've done their job; not one is as vibrant or resplendent as it was when it was first woven back in Iran, Iraq, India or wherever else it originated from, though much of the colour still shows through.

The troupe was received at the Ryazan elektrichka station by an older man with about as much beard as hair — i.e. both short and dense despite his age, though entirely gone to various shades of gray. He removed the handcuffs of Elisabeth and Ethan, loaded everyone and their luggage into a conveniently-parked van, and proceeded to transport them all…

…to his own house.

With assurances that he will see the luggage to their rooms — please, go in, relax, unwind from the trip, make yourselves at home — Ivan passes them into the keeping of his wife Katarina, who welcomes each across the threshold by name.

The foyer is floored in hardwood, its walls painted rich amber; two pairs of shoes are already neatly placed on a square of floor evidently allocated for just that purpose. "There is coffee waiting in the kitchen," the dark-haired woman says. "I hope it is all still warm — we had been told to expect you a bit sooner, but one can never hope everything will happen just on schedule." She speaks English fluently, but with a definite accent — not truly Russian, though to the untrained ear it might as well be. "Let me take your coats, please; have you all eaten?"

There's a…..somewhat familiar figure in said kitchen, dressed not in his usual impeccably tailored suits, but in a sweater and dark pants appropriate for hard work in a cold climate. Fel's hair is darker and cut shorter than usual, his features seem harsher….but it's identifiably Ivanov, sitting calmly at the kitchen table, drinking tea, and flipping lazily through the day's copy of Pravda.

She didn't get any sleep on the plane, that was for sure. It's like 10 in the morning local time, which makes it…. something like 2 or 3am back home, Elisabeth thinks wearily. She did spend the three hour train trip snoozing for the first time since she woke from being drugged — dead asleep on Teo's shoulder. As she steps into the house with the rest of the group, she smiles gratefully at the woman in the foyer. "Food would be absolutely lovely," she admits quietly, though she keeps her jacket. She's still cold. Unlike some of the others, she brings no luggage with her into the house — she's wearing the same clothes she was snatched in — a pair of dress slacks and a light sweater and luckily enough a woolen dress coat. She walks tiredly toward the small kitchen and stops dead in the doorway. "…. Felix?" What the fuck….?

"Spasibo," Cat offers on entering the house after Elisabeth with her smaller item of luggage. Her larger item and guitar case are among those their host is retrieving from the van. Her coat, a grey parka with hood, is removed and handed to Katarina Spektora. "Food would be wonderful," she adds. Nothing is said of the men in the group, though both Teo and Francois spoke of hunger at the airport; she's certain they'll cover that angle themselves.

Then it's into the kitchen for Doctor Chesterfield, where she stops cold in the doorway on sight of the FBI agent. "This is turning out to be quite the familiar ensemble."

Coincidentally, the shoulder that Liz had laid her head down on had been the one in which Teo got shot a few days ago. As such, the part of his body feels wound a little tight and simultaneously jerky on its hinge for a few minutes as they cross platforms, squeeze into the van, leaving an older man to tend to the luggage. Normally Teodoro would regard that as awful and stay outside to help, but it's cold here, and the people are jumpy and psychotic about things going precisely their way, so—

He goes inside, watching Elisabeth with great care, black duffel bag over shoulder and his peacoat skewed over at an odd angle across his broad shoulders by the weighed strap over one shoulder. There's only the briefest arc of pale eyes taking in the house, its beautiful furnishings and beautifully coiffed foreign wife, to whom he imparts the briefest of smiles and English greetings, be— f— ore—

There must be a lot of Felixes in Russia. Understandably, Teo doesn't instantly assume that the one the audiokinetic is gaping at is the one that isn't supposed to be in Russia, until he's clomping up behind her, tugging her coat off her shoulders in practical chivalry, saying, "I'll take your stuff upstairs." Somewhere between 'take' and 'stuff,' his voice bogs down bizarrely slow, like one of the delicate mechanisms that had been turning the audio reel in his head suddenly broke and halved the speed. Taaake… youuuur… stuuuuff… uppppstaaaiirs.

He blinks also.

"You surely will not," Katarina protests, lifting the coat in turn from Teo's grasp and making shooing motions towards the kitchen chairs. "Go, sit, sit! Your bags can wait; they will sit here and take no harm for it," she says, resting the gathered coats on a side table. "You, however, have been on the elektrichka for hours and hours, and now you are going to sit, here, and eat something." Drinking coffee (or tea) is of course a given.

His deadpan is utterly perfect — Felix lifts his brows at them, like a father confronted with a curfew-breaking daughter, and slants a look at the little assembly backing up in the doorway like a derailed toy train, over the tops of his glasses. "Privyet," he says, with glasslike calm. "Kak dela?" «Hey. How's it going?» "Musta been a hell of a date, Harrison, if he took you overseas," He adds in English. "Sit, have some blini, they're really good."

There are… any number of responses Elisabeth could make. A shaking hand reaches up to shove sleep-tousled blonde hair off her face, and she merely steps sideways out of the doorway to keep from holding everyone else up. Averting her eyes from Felix Ivanov, she demands softly, "You knew about this? You knew that sonuvabitch was going to INJECT me with something and chuck me on a plane around the world, and just… calmly WAITED here?" She looks back at her erstwhile de facto partner and shakes her head a little, refusing to let the tears that suddenly spring into exhausted blue eyes do more than a bare shimmer of an appearance before being ruthlessly squelched. "Well… I hope you at least locked my front door behind you, you bastard," she says quietly.

There's nothing more to say to Felix right now, in Cat's perspective; the detective has covered it all and she's interested in the answer. A few steps are taken, she sets down her small bag which was handcarried aboard the plane and begins to partake of coffee while listening. The blinis are also looked over, before a seat is taken.

Abby's in at the tail end of the motley group, taking her time shuffling into the house and out of the cold. Her time on the train spent with Francois, black and blue, sore and hurting from the impromptu trip around the car in 80 seconds or less. So the pink-haired woman is quiet, docile, in want of a hot hot bath and some epsom salts.

She didn't want to be herded into the kitchen to see Felix sitting and reading a paper, or that she is like probably the only one who's not understanding what others are saying in Russian. Thank God for Katarina talking in English. The youngest just stands in the doorway, peering over shoulders, sullen.

Teo's normally mobile features go blank. He turns and offers Abigail's own carry-on the lightest, most inobtrusive of tugs at the strap, a cant of his head over their hostess' shoulder specifying the invitation as an offer that he take her things, too. It's subtle when his eyes shift out of focus, turned away from the kitchen space proper, but a subtle sign to the pink-haired medic that his ability is at work.

A tendril of sentience stretched out of the confines of his own head, reaching, grasping through the space to check that Ivanov's heart is the hysterical kicking thing that a speedster's metabolism is wont to make it, before he slips back, and rebounds to look for Katarina's husband. It's only a precious few seconds of insight before his eyes blink back into focus.

The hostess sets out more food for her guests — smoked meats and marinated mushrooms, a vegetable salad dominated by the rich colors of beets and carrots, sliced cheeses and crackers, and a soft white cake that smells like it hasn't been very long out of the oven at all. The could-be confrontation between Liz and Felix is given a momentary bye as Katarina notices the expression on Abigail's face. She steps over towards the youngest guest, expression concerned. "Do you not wish to eat something, dear?"

The Fed's face sets into those decidedly weaselish lines, eyes glittering cold behind his glasses. "No," he says, flatly, "Jesus P. God, Liz, do you think I'd willingly let anyone do that to you, job or no job, after what we've been through? I got shipped over here, told to meet up with the team I'd be working with here. And I got a text from your sweet baboo to the effect that you were safely here, somehow — after I got the notice that your alarm went off, and called 911. It's all been rather exaggeratedly cloak and dagger for me, too, I promise." And then there's Teo. How's about they send all his exes to Russia, it'll be great. Only, not the horrible rugby player from highschool. To the Sicilian's power, he's the bundle of highstrung nerves he always is, like one of the overbred and panting wolfhounds they breed out here. Only minus the constant pain of the maiming Humanis First! gave him — the plastic deadweight of the prosthesis is long gone, happily.

Blue eyes stare intently at Felix while he talks, weighing and assessing his words while Teo absconds with her jacket!. The idiotic phrase 'sweet baboo,' however, brings a brilliant pink flush crawling over her tired features. "All right," she says to him softly. There is relief, though, to know that people back home are not going apeshit over her whereabouts. She moves slowly and then she tugs Abby gently with her to go sit near Cat. "Thank you," Elisabeth says politely to Katarina. "It all looks wonderful… if you have some ibuprofen, I'm sure she could use it. We… had a bit of car trouble coming from the airport. She bounced off the seat." Elisabeth voice is soft, just…. puzzled at this point. Some people brought by force, others by Tamara, and still others given orders… she doesn't know what to think.

It's here Cat will take up speaking to Felix and address curiosity as to whether or not he and his bosses know more than she does, having found his explanation to Elisabeth satisfactory. "What exactly were you told about the mission here?" she inquires before drifting a glance to Abby and then toward the smoked meats with marinated mushrooms. These she chooses over the blini which Agent Ivanov recommended. After she's obtained a plate of said culinary features, her neutral expression once again settles upon His FBIness.

Laptop in carry-on is relinquished to her former roommate at the tug with very little protest. Jacket too if he's inclined. It's the hostess sidling over that snaps Abigail's attention away from Felix and Liz as she watches with a bit of worry that the one might snap the others head off. "No, no, it's not, no, I'm hungry, I'm starving," she professes in southern tones that she makes no attempt to conceal.

"We just uh… there was…" Liz offers an explanation and cheeks go as pink as her hair. "I'm just really sore and you don't have any ice do you?" You're in Russia, Abigail, she mentally chides herself. Of course there's ice. "I'll eat," she promises, swears, hand to heart, scurrying and limping beside Liz into the kitchen proper, quickly taking a seat at the table beside Cat lest she offend their hosts.

The brief astral projection out is enough to sate Teo's curiosity. The Sicilian's eyes blink pale clarity again, and he finds himself squinting and bracing slightly in preparation for Mrs. Spektor to sweep by like like the ravening hostess she is and snatch up the laptop bag and other articles he took off his companions. When she doesn't come blazing by, he rattles off to stow away the things into the closet he'd seen her at, like the good Catholic child he is, sparing only the briefest of glances over his shoulder at the cured meats and mushrooms.

Ironically, it is a remnant of a friendship they've never had yet rather than clingfilm residue from the affair he doesn't remember, that nothing Felix shares particularly surprises him, and he shared few of the suspicions his comrades had. It's hard out here for a temporally dislocated baby ninja terrorist. The laptop case is levelled neatly onto the nearest endtable, before he comes tromping back, a smile for Katarina.

Now comes the Mexican standoff: of whether the lady ought sit first, or her male guest.

The pink-haired woman is treated to a somewhat bewildered look as she settles into her seat. Of course there is ice - and aspirin, or ibuprofen, or some other form of pain reliever. "Give me just a moment, and I will get them both for you," she assures Abigail. Now she has them all seated properly… except that one. Dark eyes regard the Sicilian levelly. "Please, sit. Catch up with your friend." Because clearly they all know one another. "And eat!" On which note the woman slips out of the kitchen to retrieve the requested medication.

Rather than wait to see if their hosts have any painkillers, Fel pulls a little tube of what proves to be Advil out of his pocket, gestures to attract Abby's attention before proffering it to her. At least he doesn't throw it. As if it were a matter of course, he takes a pack of really cheap and horrible ersatz Russian cigarettes out of his pocket, lights up carefully with a match, and exhales with a long sigh like a patient dragon before answering. "Officially I'm detached to the FBI legat in Moscow to advise on the Vanguard situation. Which is Bureaucratese for shipping me off to find the nuke, too." He looks exhausted and grim, like the flight has somehow taken far more out of him than it should.

Elisabeth helps herself to the feast spread before them. It's been hours and hours since she ate… and her appetite is reasserting itself. As she starts to eat, she glances at him and says, "So…. how'd they know that Cat and Abby and them were going to be here? I know how they knew Ethan and I'd be here," she says bitterly.

Her coffee cup is lifted between bites of the smoked meat and marinated mushroom combo as Cat listens to the exchange between Felix and Elisabeth regarding their mission, her expression still mostly neutral. Whatever impressions she's receiving are kept in the confines of her psyche for the moment; she says nothing save "«The food is excellent, thank you very much»" in Russian directed at Katarina Spektora.

Abigail will take that, yes she will, with a soft thank you for Felix. Enough time has passed and she feels safe dosing up. There's a glance to the door, wondering where Francois done went and got himself off to. probably looking around and the like, seeing how different the country is from when he was last here. No move made to touch the food yet, but the coffee is helped to. "Tamara knows, but Tamara is probably never going to tell, how she came to possess tickets for a plane." Movements are stiff, reaching for a cup and uncapping the bottle to shake out about three pills and swallow them with some of the hot brew.

A slow smile curls ruefully at the edge of Teo's face. He ducks his head briefly, murmurs his thank-you in English and finally assents to pick a chair. There's a moment's hesitation, where to leave Francois his preferred spot should he manage to drag himself in from the cold.

He leaves the spot at Abigail's side free for that reason, adopting the seat next to Elisabeth instead. As ever, the instant he puts himself down on conventional seating he's instantly awkward, shifting to find a comfortable arrangement of his long arms and sea legs. Not to make a big deal out of it. The next moment, he's distracting himself adequately with a fork pointed at sliced ham, taking the pepper shaker once it's up. "Motion sickness or tension, you think?" he asks Abigail.

Katarina comes back with aspirin rendered unnecessary by Felix's generosity; she sets the bottle on the table anyway, and then makes up a small bag of ice for Abby. "Here you are, Abigail — let me know if I can get you anything else, yes?" The young woman is saved from further fussing by Cat's compliment, which evokes of all things a protest from their hostess. "This? Ah, it is only a few little things; the least I can do for my guests, no?" Katarina proceeds to make up plates for those who haven't already claimed one on their own; and to ensure that everyone has a beverage, and that the cups are all comfortably full.

Somehow the mention of the sibyl doesn't seem to surprise Felix. He taps ash into an ashtray with a delicate flick of a finger, nods to that. "She sent you all over here?" he wonders, glancing between them. "And I don't know," he admits to Liz, without shame, blinking at her. His English is accented again, if only faintly. Doesn't take him long to start to go native, does it? "Ethan Holden?" There's none of the sparks of the usual ire. "The American Vanguard have an absolute talent for seducing the strangest bedfellows," he notes, sounding resigned. He ignores the food — presumably he's already eaten.

Elisabeth reaches out and takes that damnable cigarette from Felix. "Yeah, he's in the other room with Francois or something," she says. "Quit that. So if you're not the one here to brief the lot of us, who the hell is?" She stubs out his stinky cigarette — nasty thing to have at the table while people are eating. "And if we're going to be tromping around Siberia, for heaven's sake, I'd really like a pair of boots and something warmer than what the nasty boys grabbed me in," she admits, then picking up the cup of hot tea. She's finally starting to get warm, though her feet are still wet and chilly.

"Tickets were provided for me, Teo, and Abby by Tamara," Cat explains, "Elisabeth was abducted, Ethan Holden was I presume arrested and sent here with no distinction between him and Elisabeth." Her voice downplays it, but there's an edge which hints at the travesty she sees in that fact. "I'd not be surprised if at some future point Gillian Childs and Eileen Ruskin also join us. Both were taken in by DHS, and given the seeming recruitment of persons who've faced the Vanguard, logic says they should be in the mix also." Her fork poises over the plate of food she's enjoying, the other hand near her coffee cup while speaking goes on.

"What we're looking for seems already known to all of us; nuclear weapons which possibly can't be disarmed. Who we're looking for, in terms of organization, likewise. The Vanguard. What lacks is individual identities of members, where they may be operating, and the precise details of their current plot. All I have on that front is speculation, much of which may cause my sanity to be questioned." Her fork lowers toward the food, she seems about to partake of another bite, but pauses to address Elisabeth.

"Assuming we've time to explore the city and shop, outfitting with proper gear won't be a problem. I brought a decent supply of rubles and can get more." It's an apparently easy thing for her to speak of.

When she returns to silence, she wonders where Ivan Spektor is and what light he might shed on things, as well as the knowledge Spektora may have, but she doesn't ask. Perhaps she believes if the hostess knows anything she'd share given her presence during the conversation.

Ice is taken, the bag laid across the back of her neck and shoulder where it's gonna do the best for her at the moment. "Maybe both," murmured back to Teo when he's inquiring to her while Abby takes the plate served up for her and listening to the rest. Francois is probably looking over Ethan and making sure the man didn't break anything in his neck during the car ride. The youngest of them tucks into her food and coffee with vigor unmasked.

Flatware and dish clink and scratch with enthusiasm in Teo's hands too. He's young, and no speedster, but fierce enough with his metabolism and propensity to run around, get injured, heal rapaciously from it. He floats a brief glance up at Abigail's face, concern shadowing his features when she jiggles the ice into a useful configuration, before glancing back at his other companions. None of this situation happens to be more absurd than the circumstances of his entire existence, what with being two people, and none, the various involvements of seeresses and other versions of the dinner's participants in the forging of both. Still—

"Do you happen to have any beer, ma'am?" he thinks to ask, craning his head at Katarina with an optimistic blink of blue eyes.

"Baltika or Zhigulevskoye?" Katarina inquires of Teodoro with a small smile and finely arching brows that match her head full of dark brown hair. That's a yes. She keeps an attentive ear on the conversation as it plays out around her, punctuated by silver scraping across plates and the occasional thump of a dish being passed across the table. Cat's beliefs about what their hostess does or does not know are supported by her silence as she wipes off her hands on a table napkin and says nothing of the younger woman's assessment except, "There is plenty of time for exploring. You could start tomorrow."

Liz apparently has license. There's not a squeak of protest from Fel as she takes his cigarette. He just looks at her, mildly, with one of those canine expressions, utterly ingenuous, and doesn't bother to light another. "This isn't Siberia. Is that where we think this thing is?" He seems tempted to shudder at the idea. "I've got money," he says, offhandedly. "Converted a lot." He nods absentedly at Cat, still withdrawn.

There's a nod to Cat's offer and Elisabeth comments with a grimace, "My feet haven't been dry since the airport." She glances at their hostess and seems…. puzzled. Nonplussed at the not-urgent nature of the morning. With a soft sigh, Elisabeth says quietly, "And I pretty much haven't slept since the bastards grabbed me. If our lovely hostess doesn't mind, I think I'd like to catch forty winks if we're all just going to be relaxing around the table." She bites her lip and asks Felix, "May I use your cell phone?"

Felix hands it off to her without protest. "It should work. It's a satellite phone," he says, simply.

"Sleep well, Elisabeth," Cat offers, herself wondering about the suggestion of the next day rather than this one. She, however, doesn't speak of that, choosing instead to address His FBIness. "Information I received some weeks past indicates a place called Stepnogorsk was an origin point for such weaponry, but that's in Kazakhstan and I doubt it'd be a location still relevant. Most likely our targets would be holed up in abandoned businesses or the like. Or disused military bases. Siberia's a possibility, I think sometimes it comes to mind for actions like this because in Western minds it carries the image of being remote."

The cellphone passing from Felix's hands into Elisabeth's draws Teo's eye in a disconcerted jolt of movement, as if he's about to ask for same, but another beat of introspection refines his mouth to a thin white line in his face. Whomever he was thinking about calling is apparently nnnot a good idea.

Or impossible reach; hard to tell what stops him, exactly. It's merely obvious that something did. He's distracted for a straggling few seconds longer, glancing down at his plate, the swept sheen of oil residue there. "I think we should look up the motherfuckers Ethan and Francois remember from their days in Russia and ask them polite questions. Thank you." The latter is for the beer that Katarina brings to him in a veritable tower of a glass.

"It -is- remote, and a fucking big place," Fel shoots back, easily. Liz slips out, and Felix watches her go, a little sadly, before turning back. "It's like planning in New York for something we need to do in Anchorage." He rises to refill his teacup from the samovar. No hint of a limp - he's back in fighting form. Another of those terrible cigarettes is magicked out of a pocket, but he only toys nervously with it, rather than lighting it again.

"My estimation is also," Cat offers after she's chewed the latest bite carefully and swallowed, "is we may have only until the 12th to pull this off. Research shows that date to be allegedly the anniversary of the biblical first murder, and there's an eclipse attached to it. My wildest theory, one which might cause my sanity to be questioned, involves somehow trying to alter the orbit of the moon and make a permanent eclipse which might affect SLC abilities. I had that thought based on some work Edward Ray once did suggesting a link between birth of children with the SLC and eclipses, coupled with the re-emergence of thing called the Munin project. Notably, precognitive songs also mention Munin doing a thing which sounds like an eclipse. It also forecast shores where there's dry land now. Mess with the moon, mess with tides, that could do it. But that might just have been about Norman White. It's outlandish, but we all know the Vanguard thinks big. World-altering plots."

"I've thought about the chance their goal could be to simply use nukes to frame one country for attacking another and spark a global war. Can't rule that out. The US and Russia have enough nukes still to wipe each other out several times. Or the idea could be to make it look like another instance of an SLC ability causing widespread destruction."

"Teo's right," she concludes, "brainstorming is only that. Tossing around theories. Someone in the Vanguard knows all about the original Munin. That person must be found."

Next to his plate, Teo turns up a thumb of Approval. This is a response to Cat, while he's momentarily too busy stuffing his face. If his companions hadn't been aware he'd been starved for the past few hours, they'd probably be concerned that their potentially helpful baby ninja terrorist was going to be reduced to a man-sized gumdrop of flab and food coma for the rest of the trip. Until December 12th. Until the world ends, maybe. It wouldn't be a bad way to go, even if he doesn't have anybody to call.

"It's good to come up with theories, though," he offers Catherine, reciprocally polite. "We can watch and see if any of these hypotheses strike a nerve. Sends them scurrying off to make contact with others, what they say." Or, if you're in Ghost's school of thought, a panicky dilation of a pupil is enough of a break in pattern to warrant collecting somebody's head. But no one's in Ghost's school of thought, here. Teo pauses hoovering up meat and mushrooms long enough to tip beer into his mouth.

This sounds like the kind of movie where they send John Cusack to save the world. No, really. "I could use some sleep, too," is the Fed's final opinion on that. He does look bad, but then, he's looked bad for months. "I really hope it's not the moon. If it's one person able to do that, we'll have to kill them," he says, flatly, as he moves to rinse his teacup out in the sink.

"I need a book," Cat muses, "on facial expressions which give away untruthfulness. Some people's tells aren't hard to spot, but for a skilled liar it takes more study. I've also done a little reading, but I need more." Post-remark, she appears thoughtful across the span of a few heartbeats. "The original Munin, I was told, isn't a person but a thing, and there may be more than one. The source claimed, sadly, to have only been partially clued in by Kazimir."

"I also believe somebody somewhere in whatever chain of command arranged for persons to be here and tackle this has evidence. Something which says Russia is the place to look, that they didn't move the stolen weapons to some other part of the world."

Some of this, Cardinal had mused to her. Some of it, the pink haired woman is just learning for the first time. Abby quite obviously - at least to her - is not here for the intel that she might provide. The bag of ice is shifted to a shoulder, meat and other foodstuffs still picked at, nibbled, listening intently to the words tossed around their group.

There's a crowfoot squint at the corners of Teo's eyes, a smile that doesn't reach his mouth until he manages to finish his mouthful. "I get the sense a book isn't going to be able to give us enough about tells to give evidence conclusive enough to work with. But it's something to consider. Sleep well," he adds, casting a nod of salutation in Felix's direction.

"Signora," he turns his head to Katarina, curiosity tipping his brows up in twinned accents for his curiosity. "Do you have Internet access here, by any chance?" Beered and fed, it wouldn't appear that Teodoro has any real interest in sleeping anytime soon. "Figure I can do a few peremptory searches, familiarize myself with a map of the area."

A beat. Blankly, he considers the ferocity of the weather outside, steels himself for courage; he'll tackle that the way he does all of his problems. Through a strict dichotomy of either obsessive avoidance, or brutally head-on. "And build a snow fort, if you don't mind."

Felix taps his chest with a fingertip, lazily. "For the first, I'm your man," he says, with no air of boasting. "What sort of thing - more of the loa like what's riding Deckard right now? Or like the one on Santiago?" He's perversely haunted by the idea of that other Agent who died so long ago, body taken. Curiosity caught enough that he doesn't follow through and stumble off to sleep.

The look Katarina gives Teo is mild but apologetic. "There is a cyber cafe downtown," she says with a shake of her head as she busies herself clearing Elisabeth's place from the table. "Across the street from the Uspenski Cathedral. I believe their rates are reasonable, and it is difficult to miss. University students are there always. Foreigners, like you."

A map. Thank you, Teo. Cat also turns toward the Hostess, asking "Do you have a map of the city I can look at, ma'am? I won't need it for long. Books on city services and features would also be helpful." She doesn't elaborate on just why that is, though the panmnesiac inwardly muses she may already know, having been expecting them here and knowing their names. Company links, dossiers perhaps shared. Perhaps and probably a link between them and the FSB much as that entity has at home with DHS.

From there she faces Teo to inquire "Will you need money?"

Felix is next. "Thing," she elaborates, "as in object. I believe Munin is a code name for what we're hunting. And the Vanguard is all about Norse mythology. In that pantheon, Munin was one of a pair of ravens. Interestingly, the Munin project I mentioned is a pair of satellites."

"I knew a hooker who went by that alias too," Teo adds.

A beat. He has the decency to color, very abruptly, and look at the pintglass with a faintly accusatory knit to his brow.

"I have some cash. If it's more expensive than that, well. I'm sunk, and I'll come back and ask for some help." He crooks Catherine a grin, apologetic, albeit not in a big way. What's a little money between heroes of the planet? He lifts himself up from his chair, sets fork and knife on plate and downs the rest of his beer in a long pull that yoyos the bump in his throat. Inwardly, he hopes that the cyber cafe serves coffee was well as Internet.

He's always that bizarre mix of thug aesthetics and the sensibilities his mother taught him: he starts to carry his things to the kitchen sink, but simultaneously wipes his mouth on the back of his wrist. There's a brief pause as he passes Katarina by, inquires duly, "Need anything while I'm out?"

"Which demands the question - where is and who has Hugin?" says Felix, grimly. He glances between them, gaze softening when it lands on Abby. "I'm gonna have a smoke, sleep. Tag me if I'm needed, or there's another council of war." Time to go out and stare at your homeland again for a while.

Clucking like a mother hen, Katarina is fishing in her purse by the time Teo passes her on the way to the kitchen. "There is a bakery beside the cafe," she says, several rumpled sheets of vibrantly-coloured paper currency folded between her fingers. "The gentleman who owns it makes the best pirozhki in the city. Bring back two dozen for breakfast tomorrow and use what is left to buy something for yourself. What they are filled with are unimportant, only that they are packaged in a box and not a bag."

To Catherine, she gestures vaguely in the direction of the hall adjacent to the kitchen. "If you need books, there is no shortage in my husband's study. He is an English professor at the university here in Ryazan. Perhaps you might find more information at the library there as well."

"Spasibo," Cat replies. Her eyes light up a bit. A library. Katarina might as well have aimed a hungry lioness at a nice stationary herd of striped horses on the savannah. It's an easy plan for filling time between now and when she feels the need for sleep. Or permits herself to sleep, more likely. She will gorge her brain on anything relevant to Ryazan city and Ryazan Oblast. After she finishes eating.

"Son horosho," she offers for the benefit of Agent Ivanov. Then it's back to eating and drinking coffee, displaying herself the very model of a modern Emily Post in her table manners.

Abigail's just going to go find the room she's been assigned to. There's a quiet thank you for the meal to Katarina, avoiding Felix's gaze as she gathers her plate and cup to put them in the sink. The bubble gum haired woman is content to slink off, go be with her ice, maybe go out and just lay in the snow for a bit. Who knows.

Box instead of bag. That sounds terribly mysterious; Teo wonders if he should watch the baker lest some sort of secret message is somehow implanted in the pastries—

"Non problema. Thanks." He accepts the cash, crinkles Katarina a grin. Abigail's hair gets a flick of salutation as she moves away, sore and disgruntled, before a soft monosyllable of salutation metes out his departure from the others.

Fel's quiet, as his question's apparently taken as rhetorical. And he's not minded to push it. Without another word, he retrieves his worn overcoat, shrugs it on, and vanishes out into the winter daylight.

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