Answering The Call


alia_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif



Scene Title Answering the Call
Synopsis A panicked priority call pierces the mundane.
Date Jan 4, 2020

Alia doesn't make voice calls often. She almost never calls during work hours either… which means when Liz's phone starts ringing at maximum volume despite possible silence settings, and Alia's personal number… something must be urgent.

"Harrison." Elisabeth's voice is professional, brief but attentive to the voice on the other end. She's at work, so it's pretty much the normal tone for that. She didn't glance at the number first, or she might sound more worried. Anyone who is not supposed to have this number doesn't.

"Liz, Alia." Alia's voice is clipped, even more than usual, and it's clear she's not in the best of emotional states. And thus pictogram and code from the past tumbles out in a mix "Wolf's pawn took red king. Need you, Kaylee here." There is a pause, "check on kids too, please?" Those words required effort to be made that understandable.

It takes a long moment. Elisabeth's ears hear the words, her brain stutters over their meaning. Red King has a particular connotation to a lot of people, and a lot of times Richard is teased over it. But the tone of this? It has adrenaline dumping into Elisabeth's bloodstream instantly. She leaves her office, phone still to her ear. "We'll be there in five." It's maybe closer to 15 minutes to drive it, but there is no doubt that they will make it in far less than that.

Even as she hangs up the phone, Elisabeth snaps out, "Hart, let Modi and Wilson know we're out of the office. Thatcher, you're with me." She hasn't sounded like this with her team in the entire time they've worked for her. If she has a lethal edge, she's riding it now as she heads directly for the elevator to leave the building without even looking to see if Kaylee is on her heels. She rapidfire texts several emergency codes out, to the bodyguards of her parents and of all the kids including Kaylee's, to Harmony, to Devon.

If there's one thing Richard was, it was paranoid about the potential safety of the kids and parents.

At her desk, Kaylee’s head comes up from where she’s tapping away at a report, shock on her features at the edge in her sister-in-laws tone. She glances at the others before moving to join Liz. The telepath looks confused, at least until she gets closer. Her sister doesn’t have to say a word. It’s all right there. The look she gives is sharp, her face a mix of emotions.

“I’m driving.” Is all Kaylee says, moving for the exit. Even as Liz sends out texts, Kaylee is texting her ex-husband a warning there might be a bigger security presence at their home and with the kids.

Elisabeth leaves her to the drive while she makes the contacts. When those are done, she looks at Kaylee. "I don't know who the Wolf is this time, but someone has apparently taken Richard." She swallows hard. The rest of the drive is suspiciously fast, as they hit no red lights or anything else that would slow them down.

RayTech Building

The car pulled up out front and even if it weren't a police vehicle, no one is likely to mess with the two blondes who come out of it. Elisabeth and Kaylee are inside the door in seconds, the lobby awash with security people. But Liz isn't looking for them, she's looking for the technopath. She notes Bob's face when he spots the two of them, but he can fill Kaylee in as they all walk. At speed. Because if she opens her mouth to the man, she might just rattle his brains. How the FUCK did this happen?

Alia meanwhile has commandeered one of the offices next to the secured labs. The computer has a still frame of Richards office on it, showing Richard and Rue on it. Alia's backpack is next to her… and the three Spots outside the door standing watch give way for the incoming people. Alia is visibly upset. But if the robots are anything to go by, she's holding it together. It's a silent nod of greeting that she gives the crew.

As soon as they hit the door, Bob spots them from the group and moves to fall in beside the pair, looking concerned and furious. Lou was holed up like Alia, probably doing what the other was at at slower pace, looking at it with a different mind set. “Come, Ms. Chavez is waiting for you this way.”

What happened?” Kaylee asks instead of Liz. There is no knowing the jumble of emotions twisting at her stomach, her expression is calm.

Bob gives a hopeless gesture, seems he’s just as upset as Liz. It even shows in a thickening of his accent. “Your guess is as good as mine, Kaylee.” He glances at Liz, after realizing the informality of greeting. “Ms. Sum… Thatcher,” he corrects himself, twice. Even if he was more of a family friend after all this time. “All protocols were observed and she did not flag anything. She was an ally.”

She? Kaylee looks at the head of security with a squinted look, but then gives a sharp gasp. “Who?” She saw it, but doesn’t believe his memory. They arrive at the spot covered door, just in time.

“Probably better you see it for yourself, yes?” Bob doesn’t want to say it outloud, Sometimes seeing is believing. Stopping, he moves to let them into the room. There is no accouncing who it is, Bob knows the woman inside knows.

Elisabeth's jaw is locked tight, fear for Richard and anger at the situation firmly held behind her teeth. The sad truth of the matter is… this is not the first time. And the woman has a far easier time managing fear and rage under this kind of condition than under a situation where there is no focus. Her focus right now is on what happened and who. She can do her job. She's pretty good at being calm for everyone else.

As they make their way to the office Alia's using, blue eyes note the SPOT bots. It's a telltale signal of Alia's state of mind too. Pulling in a long, low breath and letting it out slowly, she looks at Bob. "Have all the bodyguards reported in?" It occurs to her that her own emergency code went to them before she even thought to send it to Bob first… she'll apologize later, if she needs to. Her attention turns to the technopath as the door opens and they enter.

Alia doesn't say anything as the video starts playing. Seeing is believing after all. It starts with the pouring of drinks and pauses on the moment Richard is teleported out. Alia then takes a deep breath, and then let's it out. "SPOT tasked to his phone's reported location. Couple minutes." Alia looks to the two, then whispers, "I should set system ping lower. Known sooner." Then, in a rather unusual show of frustration, she actually slams her fist into the wall… which is solid enough to not make more noisy vibrations then likely are already occurring.

“Of course, Ms. Harrison, as soon as they got your message. All guards are in place, we have check ins in place. I even sent one to Benchmark where Mr. Sumter works. He will be well watched, too.” That one is for Kaylee, his focus pulling to her, though her focus is on the screen. Though there is a grimace, this would give him one more reason to take her son and the girls and leave.

Kaylee didn’t like that.

“Jesus, Richard,” Kaylee snaps out under her breath, unable to hold it back, when it reaches the seduction. NOT something she wanted to see right th
en. She casts an apologetic look to Liz. Not for what he did, but her outburst.

The slammed fist against the wall, makes both Kaylee and Bob jump. It is enough to pull the telepath out of whatever thoughts she had going on and she rubs at her eyes. “It makes no sense.”

Elisabeth simply nods at Bob, looking a little more relieved. The fact that the bodyguards have all reported in on their primaries is a load off her mind, truly. Her blue eyes watch the action in Richard's office, and she merely quirks a brow and frowns slightly at the seduction. It's probably not the reaction Bob expects to such a thing. "Her body language is off. I wonder if she's on something." After all, Rue was picked up in a fucking drug raid not that long ago. But when it gets to the point that Richard collapses, Rue leaves, and then Richard's teleported out, her expression goes curiously blank. "Play it again," she instructs Alia, ignoring the fist in the wall.

The second time through, she watches for different things. Richard's expression holds her attention. "He couldn't figure out what she was doing. Look —" She points at the screen when he makes a faint grimace. "He always does that when he's waiting for the punchline. If he thinks I'm fucking with him and he's sure it's about to bite him in the ass." She shakes her head. "It doesn't make sense for Wolfhound to kidnap him, but…" She looks at Kaylee. "Maybe Rue's working with the Witches or something?" She grinds her teeth for a moment. "Looks like first thing on the agenda is a visit to the Bastion. If Rue's there, I don't give a fuck what classification this is listed under — if they're running a black op, this is the one way guaranteed to piss me the fuck off." She herself was kidnapped off to Russia and Antarctica by their own government, after all. Why wouldn't the Witches do something like that shit? Same tactic, different year. "If Rue's not there, then Avi or Francois will know what the fuck is going on." And they'll tell or she's likely to lose her shit.

Alia grimaces. "Wrong. Second item on agenda." Alia is pushing herself for words and it shows with the signs of headache on her face. "… Telling mama bird first." And Alia didn't like the idea from how she voiced it. Alia smiles thinly. "Then…wolf in den."

While Bob is confused, Kaylee isn’t… Richard’s sister is very aware of how the two operate with romance. The head of security doesn’t make it his business to know. Leaning down to watch the screen, Kaylee’s brows furrow. “You’re right. Plus, last I knew of Rue, he wasn’t her type.” It’s been awhile, clearly.

Alia gets a glance when she speaks up, Kaylee grimaces. “She’s not wrong, Liz.” The telepath straightens and gives the other blonde a look of pity. “You need to tell Michele first, before the rumor mill gets to her. Then go. You might send a message to both to keep Rue there and you’ll explain soon.” They had control of the proof, which allowed them time before they had to send it up the chain to SESA.

Looking at the screen, Kaylee’s lips press together. “In the meantime, I’ll get ahold of Wilson and brief him.” She looks from the screen to Liz. “I need to take leave.” Her head tilts towards the screen. “Someone has to keep the lights on.” So to speak.

It's the first thing that has been said that has broken through that forced calm. A brief instant of panic shows in the blue eyes at the idea of Michelle. Oh God. What the hell is she going to say to her mother-in-law? Fffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

Her eyes snap to Kaylee, and Elisabeth hesitates. This is not a side of Elisabeth that this Kaylee is familiar with, though the Kaylee who stayed behind would recognize the look. Tactics being assessed and dismissed, a battle plan in place. "Don't tell Wilson he's been kidnapped," she says after a moment. "Just tell him that you need an emergency leave of absence for a family problem and that I'm… assisting but I'll be back in tomorrow to brief him. If it turns out to be government-related bullshit, then it's a temporary problem and it won't be a big deal. If it's… really a kidnapping, if Rue's lost her fucking mind and is working for Adam or something? You don't want that out on a blotter report before we're ready."

She glances at Bob. "Please let Mike know I'm headed for the greenhouse and will need him." She won't be dodging her detail anytime soon. "And I'm pretty sure Richard had protocols in place for Kaylee to have a detail again?" His expression assures her of it. She simply nods. "Please tell Alessandro to meet Devon in the lobby, he's on his way home." She contacted him using emergency codes to get him here at best speed. "I'll meet him in Dad's place. After Michelle." Assuming I'm still alive and Michelle doesn't need to be sedated. The thought is definitely loud enough for Kaylee to hear.

As is the sense of tightly controlled fear. This isn't her first rodeo, but this is the first time it's happened since she got home. And it's like she's been waiting for the shit to start. Now that it has… she feels… in her element.

Alia picks up her bag, and puts it over her shoulder. The computer turns off, and upstairs, a SPOT fetches Alia's own tablet to meet her with. "I'll go with." She offers to Liz. You don't need mind reading to tell Liz is at the point she is, even if exact thoughts might not be. "But you get explain to Harmony." Alia cheerfully adds. Apparently Alia has learned how to worry about the controllable some.

For now, Alia is focused on making sure her family, such as it is, is safe and relatively stable. She'll worry about giving others just desserts later.

“What do I look like?” Kaylee chides her sister-in-law with a smile, trying to lighten the mood a bit. “Seriously though, I’ll be right here if you need me. I’ll make sure to brief Valerie and Warren what’s happened and the plan.” Keeping Warren in check would be fun.

“I will watch her myself,“ Bob reassures Elisabeth gruffly giving Kaylee a look that brooks no argument. The telepath’s face falls flat. She might have forgotten about that part of being an exec. However, Kaylee knows better than to argue with him; Bob was not above tattling to Luther about her.

Speaking of which, Kaylee looks at her phone. “Catch me up when you are done okay?” She looks to Bob, “I’ll need you to have Sera set up a team meeting if this turns out to be an actual kidnapping.” If he was going to be her ghost he was going to help her. “And make sure Mike checks in hourly.” Kaylee gives Liz the same look that Bob just gave her. “If he doesn’t then I’m calling in SESA.”

A faint smile quirks one side of Elisabeth's mouth. "I think you're a well-trained cop." There's a deliberate pause. "Who also just happens to be a billionaire, and you're about to take a position that is high profile after the possible kidnapping of the previous occupier of that position was potentially kidnapped," she retorts wryly. "If you were anyone else, you'd have had a bodyguard all along. And don't think that Mike and Alessandro didn't have orders straight from the top to keep their eyes on you too." Just because Kaylee doesn't think she needs one doesn't mean she didn't have one.

"Mike will check in. I promise." Liz turns on her heel and follows Alia out. This is not a meeting she's looking forward to.

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