And Then There Were Four


jackal_icon.gif vera_icon.gif chloe_icon.gif hugh_icon.gif terry_icon.gif

Scene Title And Then There Were Four
Synopsis Chloe runs afoul of Jackal and Vera, but too many Agents put their hands in the cookie jar and nearly botch a routine operation in a bad way.
Date March 23, 2009


Though it's less than two miles square, Chinatown is home to some quarter of a million residents. Cramped, ancient tenements are the norm, though the fourty-four story Confucious Plaza standing at the corner of Bowery and Division does boast luxurious accommodations by comparison. Mulberry Street, Canal Street, and East Broadway are home to streetside green grocers and fishmongers, and Canal Street also boasts an impressive array of Chinese jewelry shops.

A quaint little street-side cafe, Chinatown, New York City. This is where Jackal and Vera, the unlikely duo, have met for lunch today at Jackal's behest. The bustling, crowded streets of Chinatown are packed with life, always moving. It's a wonderful place to simply watch the people, the way they interact, the things the spend their time on. That is why he chose this place, with its patio for outdoor dining. That, and they have the most wonderful pork dumplings.

The hulk of a man sits (on a bench that has been pulled to the table, the chairs are too small for him) under an umbrella on the patio, sipping oolong from a cup that, in his hands, looks tragically delicate and tiny, but he seems comfortable with it. Dark eyes fixed on the street, he looks contemplative. "This is why I choose to live in the city," he comments to his partner, deep, rumbling voice pitched low in conversational tones. "The people, the life. It's fascinating, at times exhilerating. Where my family lives, where I grew up, there are so few people, all so far apart. You do not see another person unless you arrange to meet with them." There's also the matter of his career in law enforcement, but that's something else again.

While Jackal's cup is rather plain, and, er, tiny, Vera seems to have managed to procure something a little more fitting for not only her stature, but her bearing; The woman sits primly in a chair across the patio table from her partner, the teapot between them, with a small, probably cheap china teacup and saucer placed in front of it. The ceramic itself is pale blue, with tiny little bears dancing around the rim. Cute, and it seems to match her delicate, childlike appearance despite the fact that she's far beyond the age to be looking so young.

She's completely dwarfed by her partner, however; Even his shadow looks likely to block her from view. "The city is loud, and the people are dull; I much prefer it back at headquarters, personally, but it's nice to get out and be in the sun for a while." she agrees, the barest hints of an Austrian accent coloring her speech. She sips from her cup delicately, wipes her lips with a napkin in her other hand, and sets it aside to cool somewhat more before she continues. As pale as she is, the comment about the sun should be taken with a grain of salt. She's also hogging the shade from the umbrella. "It's much more tolerable here, at least. The people seldom speak to you."

Hm hm~hm hm-hm! Chloe is just wandering down along the sidewalk here, minding her own business.. though she is humming to herself rather loudly. She swings one arm idly at her side, and holds the other up — there is a bird puppet over that hand, and she seems to be occasionally talking 'to' it. "You don't think that little boy is going to get any better at handling kids, do you?" She says, to her puppet — she tweaks her fingers inside a few times, making the beak move. "Tweet tweet! Definitely not!"

Chloe hrms thoughtfully to herself as she walks along, and then — as if at random — she turns on her heels and steps into the cafe. Why? Maybe even she has no idea — she certainly doesn't look like a person who'd patron any stores, with her faded clothes and a little smear of dirt on her cheek.

The barest hind of a grin plays on Jackal's features as his colleague speaks, and he gives his head a slow shake. "Some day, mladshaya syestra, you will learn to appreciate the things you take for granted." He seems rather sure of this, but doesn't push it. Instead, he sips his tea again and casts and eye towards the cafe, hoping to see a server bringing their food, but there is none yet. So his attention goes back to the street, and quickly fixes on the odd little girl with the puppet.

"There, take her for example. She is not something you would see in the facility. Impoverished, probably alone in the world, and yet she remains cheerful. Look, she has even manufactured a friend for herself. How sweet, and yet so sad. Does it not make you feel for her?" As he asks this, he places one huge hand over his heart, and casts soulful eyes at the girl across the table, though he knows how she will respond. The little monologue is almost more for his own benefit.

Chloe stands at a rather average height — about five feet, three inches. She has dark brown colored eyes, and dark brown hair, which is cut to about shoulder length. Though mostly left loose, a small amount of her hair has been gathered into a small braid against the rest of her hair, hanging down among the locks. She has a somewhat youthful countenance in both face and build, which makes her look a bit younger than she actually is.
She is currently wearing a somewhat faded navy blue t-shirt with black trim; a pattern of dark forest green colored flowers adorns part of the fabric, running from the lower edge on the right side, up over the right shoulder, and then down along the back to the hem on the opposite side. A pair of slightly loose fitting blue jeans cover her legs, with the fabric over one knee sporting a few small rips from wear — the rolled up cuffs of her pants come to rest on the tops of a pair of black tennis shoes with dark green trim and soles. More often than not, she carries a simple hand puppet over her left hand, made in the shape of a grey baby bird, with flappable wings and a movable beak.

A flick of fingers through long, blond hair is Vera's main answer to the silly insinuations of her Partner. She's not antisocial, it seems, just completely uninterested in most people in general. "That's what you always say, partner, but it's never happened in the five years I've known you." she says, a sweet, obviously fake smile playing on her lips.

A lift of her cup signals the change of her gaze to where Jackal is aiming his attention, and her eyes roll back and to the side before the tilts her head to look at him while swallowing. "We're also here to observe her, if you're not too busy feeling sorry for her." she says, with a shrug of small, slim shoulders as she again places her cup down, and steeples fingers under her chin. This is all said at a far lower pitch than she normally uses; "Don't feel too bad about her position. Can't have you getting all sappy on me if we end up having to bring her in." she mumbles, one slender eyebrow lifting to punctuate. All business, the little woman is.

Chloe glances over toward the man who glances at her — she pauses a long moment, and then smiles brightly. "Wave to the man, Chripy!" She says, waggling her finger inside the bird's wing — flap flap flap! That is, apparently, the best kind of wave you're going to get. "Now.." She murmurs off, glancing around slowly.. "Mm.." She mumbles, puffing her cheek up slightly. Two people, and yet.. they both seem a bit.. off for some reason. Should she do it? Is it really safe?

Apparently, Chloe is going to play it safe first! She steps over a bit closer to the two, standing near the edge of the table between the two — she smiles, and lifts her free hand to wave. "Hello! How're you two?" Her voice is PERKY.

This is an odd turn of events. Jackal had not expected her to approach them, but he takes it in stride, swallowing his mouthful of fragrant oolong and setting his cup aside. "Salutations, mademoiselle," he greets her amiably, though with no visible change to his expression. Shifting slightly in his seat to face her more properly, he gestures to the neglected chair by their table that could not accomodate his herculean size. "Care to sit? There will be food brought shortly, and I can have them send another cup if you would like tea."

The Agent adjusts his cravat a little self-consciously, and casts a brief, familiar glance at Vera. Behave. While he does not expect her to cause an issue, she can often be a little hard to swallow for those not inured to her manner. "This establishment is quite fine. The dumplings are especially delightful."

The little blond woman casts a glance at the.. unique target she's been assigned to watch, today. What a nutter. That's what she thinks, at least, but the look on her face stays mildly neutral and not quite friendly; Basically, what her face is like when she's normally looking at people in general. She's a bit of a princess, and anyone can tell this. "Sit, please, if you'd like to." she finally grumbles, after Jackal glares at her like that. She's not intimidated by him, but she knows better than to take his suggestions for granted.

"I prefer the potstickers. The dumplings get a little gummy when they're steamed, instead of fried." she finally says, lifting her teacup to gracefully sweep it over to the side in a 'welcoming' wave. "So, what's your name?" she finally asks, trying to make conversation naturally, and failing. It seems rather forced.

Hmhmhm! How.. nice. Chloe flops herself down into chair after tugging it closer to the table — she rests one hand on her lap, the other wrist planting against her thigh so that she can hold her puppet up a little. "Chloe. And this is Chirpy" She immediately replies, her lips curling into a beam-y smile as she raises her puppet a little higher. "What about you?" She asks, looking at Vera for a moment; "And you?" She questions, this time toward Jackal. "Not very many people are eager to talk to us..!" She says, with a tiny giggle.

As Chloe sits, Jackal levels a clamly approving look over her head at Vera. The waitress finally appears on the patio, carrying a tray laden with a wide variety of foods, including the aforementioned dumplings and potstickers, eggrolls, rangoon, a few different soups, and a couple of noodle dishes. Quite the spread, and it nearly fills the table. The black man exchanges a few words with her in some dialect of Chinese, his resonant voice giving the language an odd lilt. She nods and replies, then scurries back inside before Jackal can offer her a thin smile and a "Xie xie," but he does so anyway. Never let it be said that he is not polite.

Turning back to the table, he picks up the tea pot and offers to refill Vera's cup before filling his own. "You may call me Marshall," he finally says to Chloe, "and this is Vera. It's a pleasure to meet you, Chloe. And Chirpy," he adds smoothly, looking to the puppet. "Would either of you like something to eat?" The waitress returns, placing an empty tea cup in front of Chloe, and without missing a beat, Jackal fills it.

By the time the food's getting placed down on the table, Vera's already got a pair of chopsticks at the ready, and immediately goes for the potstickers - Her favorite, of course, considering how she praised them before. She grabs one before the plate hits the table, and takes a small, dainty bite while leaning over the table, where a napkin is spread out; She's not going to even risk getting stains on her nice, clean sweater.

"Thank you." she says, tapping her cup towards her partner to fill, and after a couple small bites, when the dumpling is finally gone, she picks the cup up to sip again. It's nice tea, of course, but she much prefers something she can add sugar and milk to without it tasting off. Still, though, it's not terrible. "I wish you wouldn't make it so strong, Marshall." she says, before turning a small smile Chloe's way. It's the best she can manage without looking forced; She's not much of a.. smiler. "Feel free to take whatever you like. Otherwise, my friend will eat it all." she says, being a little bit playful while aiming that smile and a quick, knowing glance Jackal's way.

Chloe's reply comes in the form of making her puppet do the talking — "Hello, Marshall!" She says, in a terrible form of 'ventriloquism' that is just her talking in a slightly higher, squeakier voice. "And hello to you, as well, Vera." He says, in her normal voice; she smiles toward Vera, and then looks back toward Jackal again. "Oh, I'm not terribly hungry!" She replies, in a perky voice. "But, you see, I'm sort of low on money." She says, though she leaves it at just that for now.

Jackal's reply to Vera's complaint, and ensuing warning, is a simple, guiltless shrug. "A good tea needs time, or you do not get the full experience of its flavor." He says nothing on the subject of his appetite, but he shouldn't need to; a man his size is sure to eat quite a lot. Then his attention is once more focused on the girl that has joined them. "No need to be shy, Chloe. Nothing is required of you, this is simply my gesture of hospitality. You may eat as much or as little as you like."

The agent sips his tea again, sets aside the cup, and picks up his own chopsticks with which to pluck a steamed dumpling from the plate in front of him. It's a very deliberate, controlled motion that demonstrates a great deal of delicacy from the large man, and the dumpling disappears in a single bite.

The little blond woman's eyes roll back again, and she groans slightly. "Marshall; Leaving the tea to steep for ten minutes does not make it 'full flavored', it makes it liable to kill the person that drinks it." she says, as if they've had this conversation a thousand times before. And they probably have, knowing Vera.

"Anyway, please, eat. We're not lacking in money, obviously, and we're always happy to help someone that needs a little bit of it from time to time." she says, trying to sounds a little more friendly than usual. It's.. difficult for her, mostly because she's always been more than a little spoiled, in addition to always having had a home and a paycheck. It, of course, also makes little sense to her that someone would live on the streets, but hey, to each their own. She'd start on a lecture, but she's here to observe, not frighten the poor woman away.

Her legs uncross from their prim position, recross a moment later with the opposite leg over the other, and she cradles her steaming teacup between her palms, lips pursed to blow on it to cool it down. "I've already eaten, but he ordered for me, anyway. Feel free to have my share."

"I think that two to five minutes is best for a single cup, depending on what sort of tea it is. Too long, and it gains a bitter aftertaste." Chloe says, and then goes quiet for a moment. Not exactly a.. regular topic for a homeless person. "And green tea needs to be seeped at a lower temperature than black, or the leaves will get boiled and destroyed." Chloe strikes another perky smile, looking between the two a few times. She slowly holds up her puppet after a few moments, still smiling brightly as she speaks with it, wiggling her fingers inside. "And if that happens, it'll taste like crap!" She squeeks out, in a higer voice.

Jackal sighs and says nothing more about tea, preferring to drink it rather than argue about it. Besides, this is an argument he's used to losing, or at least conceding, to Vera. Another delicious morsel of pork wrapped in steamed dough disappears into his mouth, followed by a sip of his oolong. "So tell me, Chloe, Chirpy. What brings you to this part of town? Do you live near here?" It doesn't occur to him that this might perhaps be an insensitive question, given her social status, or lack thereof, he's simply attempting to make polite conversation.

As the three of them engage in conversation, he eats intermittently, taking a little from here and a little from there. It doesn't seem, to anyone watching, that he eats especially much, but the amount of food that slowly vanishes from the table is astonishing. It won't be long before he has to flag down the waitress and order more. And he will order more.

Apparently, the tea and a couple of dumplings is enough for Vera. She doesn't eat much to begin with, and she's already had her dinner, so this is more of Jackal's benefit, than anything. She's got to be nice to her partner sometimes, at least. "Indeed. That's exactly what I tell him about tea, but he insists on steeping the hell out of it." she says, eyes rolling once more. She does that a lot.

As for the second point of conversation, she can't say much else to further the question; It's a topic that needs to be brought up, and funnily enough, she's the muscle of the team, and not really much of a talker, anyway, though she is well spoken. Just not a very good conversationalist, given her attitude.

Gesturing her hand a little, Chloe shakes her head. "Oh, I don't live anywhere, really." She replies, though she remains smiling. "I just go where ever I feel like. I'm very good at making people give things to me, so.." She murmurs off, lidding her eyes just a little. ".. But anyway! What about you two? Are you husband and wife, or something?" She suggests, completely at random — she looks between the two a few times, her smile brightening a little further. "I mean, it seems like it would fit! You're both here, drinking tea together.."
It's nice to be back in civilization. Of a sort, anyhow. Hugh is dressed in his usual suit, counting on the fact that his contacts and targets in Staten would not be caught anywhere on Manhattan. Jackal and Vera are somewhat familiar faces from around the 'office', and he veers towards them, expression lightening from the former thoughtful scowl.

This observation causes a strange mixture of emotions to well up in Jackal, though his expression barely betrays his inner turmoil. He quickly quells the flood of memories of his departed wife, suppressing the wave of longing and guilt that always comes with them, and focuses instead on his amusement at both the observation itself and Vera's sure reaction to it. Still, he can't help but fondle the wedding band on his finger, though this could be passed off as a nervous gesture.

"No, nothing like that," he assures casually. "We've just been good friends for a long time." His eyes are on Vera as he says this, watching for possible signs of trouble while trying to hide his smile. Hugh goes unnoticed for the time being, the black Agent's attention fully focused on the two girls sharing his table.

Oh god. That was the last question, statement, or observation that Vera would have expected to hear, ever. She's in the middle of sipping her tea when it's said, and immediately after she finds herself fighting not to spew the mouthful of tea over their guest and her partner's clean, white suit. So she makes a couple of coughing noises, swallows carefully, and sets her cup down while muffling a laugh into her napkin. She somehow manages to look composed during this, however. Somehow.

Once she's done with her laughing fit, she sets her napkin down on her lap, and spreads it carefully over her knees, shaking her head. "No. No, no, no." she says, firmly, waving a small hand in the process. "I've never been married, and I don't much want to. Ever." she finally explains, clearing her throat and aiming a glance over Chloe's shoulder at the approaching Hugh.

Wandering through the streets of Chinatown, Terry eventually finds himself walking by the restaurant that the small crowd has gathered at. His eyes move slowly around the street, taking in everyone around him, rather than simply making sure he doesn't bump into anyone on the way to his destination. Judging by his slow pace, and wandering eyes, he looks like he might even be a tourist. The smell of food drifts from the restaurant, and slowly his eyes turn towards there, taking in the outdoor dining area, and he considers the tables and wait staff for a moment, pausing around 20 paces from the division between the dining area and the street.

What. What! Chloe is clearly irritated to have had her vision of how these two should be dashed. ".. Why not? You two should get married. It'd be cute." She insists, narrowing her eyes. "I really think you should!" She reiterates, bringing her hand up to rest lightly on the table. She seems to zone out a little, her fingers curling in against her palm firmly. Maybe she won't have to do anything, if only they'd agree to her idea..! However insane it might be to ask something like that — it certainly doesn't seem so to this strange woman.

"I thought that was you two," Hugh says, genially, Scottish accent thicker than ever. He's disgustingly cheerful, really, save for when he's actually on the job. Very hail-fellow-well-met, which is why he's apparently very happy to join his fellow agents. "I haven't been around the office, doing onsite work," he says, with a faintly rueful look. "How've tricks been?" He glances at Chloe, gaugingly, eyes sharp though his smile is broad.

The outburst from Chloe brings Jackal as close to surprise as he ever is, which is not terribly, but it does cause him to furrow his brow faintly, lips pursing in thought. What an odd girl. Her insistence upon this strange ideal she's constructed distracts him from the entertaining spectacle of Vera's reaction, but before he can phrase a response, Hugh's approach provides a well-timed conversational redirection.

"Ah, Mister Wickham. How nice of you to join us. Please, sit down, eat something, have some tea. There's more than enough, and we can always have more brought." He smiles faintly to the Scotsman as he speaks, and rises easily from his seat to tower over everyone on the patio. Leaning over, he reaches out and pulls an unoccupied chair up to the table for the fellow Agent. "I'd like you to meet an acquaintance of mine. Hugh, this is Chloe. And her friend, Chirpy. Chloe and Chirpy, Hugh, an associate."

Thank you, god, if there really is one. Something must be protecting her today, because the embarrassment she nearly suffered at the hands of this.. low-class nutbird and her dinky puppet was about to push her over the edge. Jackal probably sensed it, too; Targets tend to annoy Vera on their best behavior, and ones like this are liable to tip her over the edge really fast.

"Hello, Hugh." she adds, not-so-artfully dodging the conversation at hand in hopes that it'll be dropped now that there's a new person here. Well, sort of; She's also sort of hoping it continues, because at least she'd have an excuse for losing her temper and bagging this one.

As Terry catches sight of the group at the table, something, or someone catches his eye. He frowns to himself, and then turns his gaze away, studying a building across the street from the restaurant intently for a moment before he starts walking again. He passes by the restaurant without another glance at the people inside and instead focuses his attention on a nearby shop. Inside are a number of televisions, all set to broadcast the same basketball game. Within minutes his attention is entirely on the game.

Chloe slowly lifts her free hand — almost as if she's going to.. dundundun, /do something/. But Hugh's timely arrival stops her for the time behing — she turns her head to look toward Hugh with a suddenly nervous expression. Perhaps this is too many people at once. So instead, Hugh gets the cold shoulder — Chloe turns her head away — as well as the head of her puppet — and narrows her eyes. She huffs irately, and mumbles. "Don't you thik these two would make a good husband and wife?" He murmurs idly, vaguely to Hugh, though she's facing away.

"I haven't the faintest," Hugh says, amiably, as he drops into the offered chair. "Chloe, huh? I'm Hugh Wickham. I take it that's Chirpy?" he says with complete aplomb and a nod towards the puppet, as if he were introduced to sock puppets every day.

With Hugh hopefully serving as a distraction for Chloe from her little tirade, Jackal's attention is turned to his partner. His gaze is level, meeting her eyes with his, and he quirks one thin eyebrow faintly. He knows the signs of her temper begining to slip, and now is not a good time for such things. Without a word, he resumes his seat on the bench, reaches across the table, and refills Vera's teacup. Drink, syestra, and be calm. "In due time, comrade," he mutters to her in Russian, so that with any luck only the two of them will know what was said.

Letting Agent Wickham do the talking for now, the larger Agent helps himself to the last of the rangoons on the table, and raises a hand to grad the waitress' attention as she goes by. A little quiet Cantonese sends her back inside, soon to return with more food. They could be here for a while, it seems, and Jackal intends not to waste the time.

The small woman shoots a glare Jackal's way as he refills her teacup, and the mumbled Russian makes her gaze harden all the more. "This woman is insane, you know. I'd rather punch her in the skull and drag her back to the company than listen to her inane prattling any longer." she shoots back in fluid Russian, which is.. a very strange language, coming from her.

But despite what she says, she aims a very practiced smile at Chloe, before turning back to the other agents suddenly joining their table. How odd; Normally backup doesn't come unless it's a very dangerous target, and this one is.. not. At all. Crazy as hell, sure, but not dangerous, as far as she can tell. She watches Terry enter the restaurant itself, with a passing glance, but she knows who he is. As long as she's been with the Company, new faces tend to stand out in her mind.

Chloe certainly doesn't know any Russian! But she soon grows back into a glowering expression. She glances toward Hugh, then back toward the other two again. "You didn't answer my question," She murmurs, looking up at Hugh again. She lifts her puppet, twitching her fingers a bit to make the beak move. "Wouldn't these two be a good couple?" She squeaks out in a higher voice, for Chirpy. "I think they would, and they don't seem to want to cooperate.." She puffs out in her normal voice, sounding irritated.

Is she Evolved - did I just drop in on a bag and tag? Hugh wonders, casually, also in Russian, blue eyes flicking from Vera to Jackal in turn. And crazy or not, it's a bit rude to discuss her in front of her face, no matter what language she speaks. His tone is offhand, before he answers Chloe. "I suppose," he says, noncommitally, even as he runs an eye over the menu.

Terry's gaze is fixed on the basketball game for a while, but eventually it goes to commercial, and with a frown he glances back at the restaurant again, taking in the behavior of Chloe and the puppet. If he's here as backup, it's clearly not meant to be interactive. Instead, he turns away from the restaurant and fishes around in his pocket for a moment. A cell phone emerges, and he flips it open. He punches at a few buttons, and then continues his slow walk away from the restaurant, letting himself be distracted by every shop, building, or item of interest in sight for a few moments.

Clearing his throat, Jackal finally responds again to Chloe, his tone carefully even and polite. "I'm already married to another, madame Chloe." He raises his left hand, showing the back of it to Chloe to display the gold band around his third finger. "I don't think my wife would take kindly to me marrying Vera." Nevermind that his wife is five years dead. Not an important detail. And it hasn't changed the Agent's love for her.

A little delayed, he raises a brow at Hugh, curiously. "My apologies, Agent Wickham," he offers, again in Russian. "I was not aware you were privy to our conversation. But you of course understand that there are things to be said between Agents that a target should not be allowed to hear." Coughing politely into his fist, he picks up his chopsticks again and procures the last remnants of the Lo Mein for himself. "There will be more food, momentarily, if you're hungry, Mister Wickham." As if on cue, the waitress comes back out to the patio with another tray laden with food.

Well. Interesting surprise, another Agent that speaks Russian. She'll have to switch languages. "Way to bust up my fun." she mumbles to Jackal in German. She then turns her head to Hugh, and aims a small, almost-threatening smile up at him. She's not someone that takes constructive criticism well. "We're not here to be friends with them. I'm hear to drag them back and do my job, not be Pretty Princess Goodyshoes." she says up at him, the last word in English, the rest in Russian.

That's that; She doesn't seem likely to say much besides that. Just because they're coworkers, in a sense, doesn't mean she has to be nice, and in fact, most people at the Company have some beef with her because of her mouth and attitude. She's.. understandably hard to get along with, if you don't have the patience of a saint, or some kind of control of her, both of which Jackal seems to have. Somehow. Again, German. "Now. Are we going to bring her in?" she says, before turning to Chloe for once. "We're not getting married. Sorry, sweetie."

// I know. But you're talking about her in front of her, and you don't know that she doesn't speak Russian, either.// Hugh's smile is more than a little wry, as he settles back in his chair. I'm not proposing that you feed her and take her home and buy her new shoes. He glances at Chloe, running a critical eye over her, as if assessing what sort of threat she might represent. Not much, apparently.

Chloe slowly lifts herself up from her seat, eyeing the three with a suspicious look. She certainly has no idea what the three are saying, or she'd of probably fled by now. She does, however, look progressively more angry at both Vera and Jackal's refusal to go along with her crazy idea. "You're.." She murmurs off, narrowing her eyes and drawing her smooth lips together tightly. "How could you not want to perform my idea?!" She suddenly growls out, first darting her hand out at Hugh — for him, it's probably something akin to a suddenly being grabbed by a snake, all over. A sudden pressure that grips him from all sides and, while not leaving him worse for wear, leaves him having to fight against a sudden paralyzating sensation.

"You two.. would make a good couple." She huffs out, as if saying it enough times would make it true — "I don't care if you don't think my idea is great! Who cares what you think!?" She jerks her hand now toward Jackal, leaving Hugh to struggle against the paralyzing sensation if he pleases.. she doesn't stop him from talking or the like, however. Jackal gets the same treatment as Hugh, although she certainly isn't terribly quick about it; she makes no effort to restrain Vera yet — and quick reflexes could no doubt thwart her attempt on Jackal.

The outburst from Chloe draws a couple turned heads, though most quickly go back to focusing on whatever it was they were doing before. Terry, however, keeps his eyes on her, and starts slowly walking towards the group again. His right hand lingers deliberately around his thigh, fingers sliding beneath his open jacket, looking like he might be reaching for something in a pocket. His eyes move between Chloe, and the other three, though his face is calm and patient for now. He noticably does not stand on the same line as Vera and Chloe, instead circling a little bit around, as if he's trying to avoid that somehow.

Now that's just rude. Chloe's little exhibition causes Jackal's brows to draw down, knitting in consternation rather than anger. Anger is not a frequent visitor to Jackal's emotional spectrum. One enormous hand reaches out to take hers in a calming gesture, but she avoids his grasp as she rises to lash out at Hugh. The Agent's expression darkens further by degrees, and he too rises from his seat, towering over all present. "Chloe, I would strongly recommend that—"

As the invisible restraints grip him, Jackal grunts and makes a few brief attempts to move, but quickly resigns himself to paralysis. "That you stop this," he finishes. "There is nothing that you can hope to accomplish by this, and you've just immobilized the only individual present that can restrain the girl behind you."

Oh yes, this is where she works best. Vera was about to rip Hugh a new one, but Chloe beat her to the punch, sort of - It definitely distracted her from the task at hand, at least temporarily. And when the girl goes for her partner, too, that's definitely the last straw.

It's swiftly apparent that Jackal is not the muscle of the operation - Vera is. She girl's immediately on her feet, eyes narrowed, one foot scooting behind her for support, while her hands raise in what is obviously a combat stance, open palmed. But she's ten feet away, and not likely to get close enough soon enough to stop being immobilized, right?

Wrong. The foot behind her suddenly sweeps to one side, catching in the leg of her chair before flinging it towards Chloe's skull without a hint of hesitation; Not only that, but her hands also thrust out from her in a couple of palm strikes that seem to be useless, but there's a pair of dull 'thump's on the metal of the chair as soon as she does, even though she doesn't touch the flying furniture, and the thing wobbles as if struck, not to mention gaining further momentum in the process. It all happens in a fraction of a second.

The Scot makes a startled little grunt, like a dog waking out of a sound sleep. He's stiff in his chair, and apparently that paralysis extends to his throat, because he neither goes for a weapon nor makes any further sound of protest. Mostly it looks as if he were suddenly disabled by a cramp. But his gaze cuts to Jackal desperately, and then to Vera.

As the chair flies towards Chloe, Terry stops, raising a hand and closing his eyes. The chair ricochets off of…air… in front of Chloe, and lands harmlessly on the ground, sliding across the pavement before it comes into contact with another chair and stops. Terry's moving again, and now his coat is pulled to the side, revealing a shoulder holster, and his hand quickly drawing a pistol out of it. The gun is pointed towards Chloe, and Terry finally speaks. "Let 'em go," he says, a hint of command in his voice. "Or I let the next one hit ya."

Oh my. Oh no. Like a deer in headlights, it dawns upon Chloe that she has chosen the exact wrong two targets. Her eyes go wide — Hugh is suddenly released, though Jackal remains under the effect of her ability, and she jerks her hand over toward Vera.. but it's too late, and she knows it! Her attempt is for naught as that chair comes flying right at her; her hand drops as she abandons her attempt, waiting for the impact — but it doesn't come. The sheer mental effect of the chair bouncing off the sudden forcefield with such.. well, force, causes her wobble backwards and fall onto her ass on the pavement. Her head turns toward Terry, only to find a gun pointed at her from her would-be 'savior'. Oh my. This is very not good. "I.." She murmurs off, lips remaining parted for a few moments. T'would seem she is either unwilling or unable to save herself from this situation, in her own mind — she slowly gestures toward Jackal, and parts her fingers, releasing him from the paralyzing bind. She's got a rather pathetic expression on her face by now, like a beaten pet.

This is not going well. This is not going well at all. Jackal takes a deep breath, preparing for the worst, as Vera goes into action. He really doesn't want to have to deal with the red tape on a botched operation and dead Evolved, not to mention the weight on his conscience that would pose. The time it takes Vera to react is much less than the time it would for him to advise or direct her, so the chair is en route to a certain knockout before Jackal can order his partner not to use it.

Terry's intervention, however, lifts a weight from his shoulders. The sight of the chair bouncing harmlessly away is a relief to the Agent, though not the end of it. A barrier like that won't stop his partner, and he knows it. "Vera, minimum necessary force," he orders in German, keeping his terms simple to account for their varied dialects and to make sure she hears and understands before making another move against the target.

This becomes far less important when Chloe falls to the ground and the hold on him is dropped. He shrugs heavily, to make sure of his freedom, then reaches under his jacket, presumably for a holster like Terry's. "Cuffs," he instructs, calmly, and instead of a gun produces his Department of Homeland Defense badge in case anyone should try to cause a scene.

That.. was a bad idea. A really, really bad idea. The little blond girl's normally prim and perfect expression twists into a snarl, and she shoots a momentary glare in Terry's direction before focusing on the task at hand once more. "You stole my kill, you jackass!" she growls, before falling back into a combat stance.

So, he makes forcefields, huh? Well, whether he wants to protect her from physical harm or not, there's no way he can stop Vera's ability. The woman's stance shifts again, and one hand, palm-out, thrusts forward, towards Chloe's stomach, followed by an upthrust palm that would connect with the girl's chin if she were a few feet closer. But despite her distance, there's a definite imprint of the shape of a palm in the center of Chloe's shirt as.. something connects, and unless Chloe figures out what's going on before this happens, both it and the thrust to her chin are going to somehow connect.

Even if Jackal's released, there's no way that Vera's going to let this one get away without being roughed up a little bit, not after attacking her partner of all things.

And Hugh? Hugh is watching in horror. "Jesus wept," he says to Terry, curtly. "Put a leash on her." Referring to Vera, no doubt. He's gotten to his feet, but makes no move to join in the mess, other than to be the one to cuff Chloe, motion almost absent-minded. "And one of you, call this in. We'll need a van, unless any of you have suppressant on you." His tone is crisp.

Terry keeps the gun trained on Chloe, though as Vera continues the assault his eyes leave Chloe, and move between Vera and Jackal instead. There's a request in his look at Jackal, and a calm, almost cold professional look towards Chloe. He says nothing, however, and keeps his attention on covering the girl in the middle, making sure she stays where she is, and apparently making sure she just calmly accepts the beating.

Chloe has a pleading look on her face — she can see what's coming. Her breathing starts getting faster in panic, and then she suddenly lets out another cry, more tears streaming down her cheeks as she's struck in the stomach. Some spittle escapes from her lips to the ground at the sudden impact, only for her chin to be jerked up by another impact there; it seems this woman's ability is of no use against this sort of attack, and she clearly has no training or preparedness other than that. She fully bursts into tears as she curls up into a crumpled ball on the ground, sobbing like a little girl despite being a grown woman — her arms cluch around her stomach, and a little trickle of blood pools at the corner of her lips.. though on closer inspection, it's merely from where her lip impacted against her teeth. She wobbles just a little, her mind becoming hazy — she's finding it difficult to concentrate, or even stay concious.

This has escalated much too far, much too quickly. This is why so many Agents should not be focusing on a single target. Vera is obviously not heeding his orders, and Terry isn't doing much to help the situation waving his gun around like that. Jackal can only see one clear course of action to resolve this.

The table, thankfully laden with only empty dishes now, is upturned with a crash and the clatter of broken glass and ceramic as the Agent rushes forwards. Chairs are kicked aside, Hugh shouldered out of the way, and Chloe is scooped up like a child in Jackal's huge, strong arms, cradling her to his chest protectively, which serves to immobilize her as well. "Vera, enough," he orders curtly, as close to raising his voice as anyone is likely to hear. "Collins, holster that. Wickham, call it in. We're done here." His tone demands no rebuttal, and his stature backs it up quite nicely.

Well, it's certainly true that Jackal's probably one of a handful of people that can rein Vera in without a taser or a baseball bat. The little blond girl aims a glare up at the big man as he scoops up the target, but her stance immediately drops, and she brushes her skirt off, as if she didn't just turn into a whirlwind of teeth and beatings.

She crosses her arms under her breasts, jaw set, and turns her head off to the side to glare at Terry. "You know, if you hadn't interfered I would've had her down way before now." she says, grumbling unhappily, though she knows now not to throw things at people when Terry's around. Useful information. Hugh's off the hook, it seems. For now.

Hugh's expression remains firmly unimpressed, as he punches in the call to get a nominally 'HomeSec' van sent out to get her. ALmost….sympathetic to Chloe, in fact, by the way his gaze softens when it lingers on her.

Terry nods his head at the order from Jackal, and the gun is smoothly put back into the holster. His jacket falls smoothly back over the gun and holster, to the point that they may as well not even be there. He says a quick "sorry, Sir. Wanted to give her something to focus on that wasn't you three." He shrugs, and then glances over at Vera. He frowns a little, and then says, "if I hadn't interfered you would've killed her. As it stood, I had her neutralized before you beat the shit out of her." He doesn't sound mad, just stating the facts. He glances up at Hugh as he calls in the van, and then turns back to Jackal. "You want me to come in, fill out a report or something, or should I go get some dinner?" he wonders.

Chloe just.. flops. And bleeds a little on Jackal's suit from her pierced lip. Oh goody, he gets to have a drycleaning bill! Chloe's final revenge. She seems quite dazed and passive now, utterly defeated — "Don't.." She mumbles out, staring up at Jackal for a moment. Whatever she was going to say, however, is lost as she falls unconcious, her head lolling a bit.

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