Blink Twice


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Scene Title Blink Twice
Synopsis Abigail decides to visit Caliban at his hotel in the city but is unprepared to deal with what she finds. Good things come to those who wait.
Date December 13, 2009

Ryazan, Russia

For a Linderman goon — a term that he would likely take offense to, by the way — the hotel where Caliban has holed himself up is surprisingly on the shabby side. Either he's gone out of his way not to draw attention to himself or is here out of his own pocket, but this is something that Abigail can confront him about when he answers his door. If he answers his door. After their confrontation in the parking lot outside the hospital, he might not. The fact he hasn't checked out yet and caught the first flight back to New York City is a testament to—

Well. Whatever it is that brought him here in the first place. She can ask him about that, too.

The carpeted hallway leading to Room 206 on the second floor of Ryazan's Hotel Youzhni is soaked thoroughly through with meltwater and squeaks under the young woman's feet as she approaches. On the bright side, the smell of vodka overpowers the faint traces of urine and ammonia that waft out from one of the supply closets on her way past, and when she comes up on the door it's replaced by the familiar notes of Caliban's cologne. He's been outside, and recently.

Not that where they've chosen to live smells any better in the hallway. Inside the apartment is different since she's taken it upon herself to make sure that the smell doesn't come into the apartment. Hood of the parka turned down, car keys slipped into her pocket after careful - and long winded driving - to Calibans place plus a stop to find a place to buy some coffee. peace offerings of sorts.

Transferring the cups to her other hand, one balanced atop the other's lid, she knocks on the door then takes a step back to wait. Maybe he's there, maybe he's not and the smell is him leaving. Either way, she'll find out soon enough as Abigail looks down at her feet, scraping snow off one toe with her other. She's not liking Russia. She's ready to find the nuke and head home. Because some people don't have the decency to answer their phone and add to the former healers worries.

It's almost a full minute before Abigail receives any kind of response, and it's in the form of footsteps crossing the floor on the other side of the door. When it opens, it opens just a crack, providing her with a sliver of Caliban's profile, gray and unshaven. Dark circles make his eyes seem more sunken than they really are — if it weren't for the sharpness of his stare or the tense set of his jaw closed around gritted teeth, it would be easy to assume that he's just woken up after a long nap and is still in the process of willing the world into focus and eliminating the static fuzz buzzing between his ears.

"Miss Beauchamp."

"You look like the ass end of a…" nope, she's not going to say it. Instead, with a tentative smile, the top coffee cup is lifted up and offered forward. "I uhm, came bearing an apology, and questions. Question about Muldoon I mean, not about… If you're not busy. If you are, I can just, give this to you and go, come back at another time" The other hand bearing the cup meant for her is gestured towards the door that hides the stairs. The stare's making her uncomfortable, that much is easy to see.

Caliban's gaze drifts down to the proffered cup of coffee and then back to Abigail's face. The wool sweater he's wearing camouflages the tension beneath his neck, but does nothing to hide the muscles contracting in his throat as he forces himself to swallow and turns his head just enough to glimpse at something in his peripheral vision behind the door. "As it happens," he starts, voice growing thick and tight, "I am a little preoccupied. Will your question take very long?"

Oh. Oh. "Uh, just uhh, you know, what I'd asked you about Muldoon…" There's no craning of her neck to see through the sliver just the worried glance at him. Take a moment but she's putting the cups down quietly before she's digging in her messenger bag for her notepad. Pen next and the brunette is scribbling out something him. "I kept forgetting to ask you about it between everything that was happening" The pad is turned to face him, clear writing on it.

Blink twice if you need help.

Although Caliban doesn't blink twice, his fingers curled around the edge of the door are straining. Whatever he might have been about to say next is cut short by the sound of a voice that's more familiar to Abigail than the publicist's cologne, though it's been months since she last heard it leering at her on the other side of a cage in a warehouse on Staten Island. "I think we should let her in," the voice says. "What about you, Robert?"

Oh. Fuck. Blue eyes widen and there's a significant measure of fear in them than there has been since she got here. That Caliban's ever seen in her. No wonder. A great many other swear words go through her mind right about now. "I don't think he needs to James" The notebook is dropped and quick as she can be, for the second time this week, she's running, hands digging for her cellphone. Coffee is knocked over, brown liquid pooling out of the little opening and Abigail's winter boots make their noise on the floor as she's dashing for the stairwell.

The door explodes open on its hinges and thunders against the wall with enough potency to wake up anyone on the second floor who, unlike Caliban, might have been sleeping. Muldoon drags him out by the scruff, a handful of his sweater clutched in one hand, the other gripping a pistol with the muzzle applying steady pressure to the publicist's left temple. "Where are you going, Abigail?" he calls after her, his voice carrying across the hall without effort, even as the stairwell doors slam shut in front of her as if blown shut by an invisible force that turns the passageway into a wind tunnel.

Frozen air whips past, tugging at Abigail's clothes and hair, so cold that its mere presence forms frost on the walls and turns the floor under her feet to ice. It prickles across her skin and condenses in her lungs, making it difficult to breathe without experiencing a sensation that's similar to drowning but not quite. If an illusion, it's a very convincing one.

She was going to run away, run away, really fast. But someone, Muldoon, is seeing to making sure that doesn't happen. Fingers try to punch out the speed dial numbers associated with the sat phone, Team Charlie's sat phone before she plows into the door and the hallways turns into some other worldly really damn cold air tunnel. Send is pressed and the phone dropped, hoping it connects and that someone on the other end picks up before she's scrabbling to wrap her scarf around her mouth and lower face, make it easier to breath.

Herbviously, Muldoon isn't getting answer from Abigail as she plants her feet at the far end of the hall to face him down and an apologetic look to Caliban as he's dragged out.

The wind subsides, diminishing into nothing, and leaves the hallway looking like Chernobyl in the grip of winter. Ice and snow cakes shut the doors to the stairwell as well as those belonging to the other rooms on the second floor, isolating Abigail from anyone who might come to her aid, and as the air becomes deathly still Muldoon's mouth curves into a slow smile that shows no teeth. "This would be so much more enjoyable if you fully understood the irony of the situation," he says, talking over the sound of Abigail's ringing phone as he begins to approach the brunette at a leisurely pace and hauls Caliban along with. "Shall the three of us go for a ride? There's so much I want to discuss."

"Rather not if it's all the same to you" Each step he takes forward, is one for her backwards till she's against a wall. 'Rather like not being in a cage and all that" A slender hand flex's, chilled by the impossibly cold air, drawing down into a little fist, slender fingers arranged as Xiulan taught her to. All so you don't end up breaking your thumb. Forget the rest of your hand. "You could let Robert go"

Muldoon stops, regarding Abigail with the two chips of chilly blue that are his eyes. "I could," he concedes, his chin raised. "I'll tell you what. If you can convince me that I don't need him, I'll leave him here and it will be just the two of us. How does that sound, hmm? Do something truly noble for the first time in your life?"

"Pretty sure that your definition of noble and mine, are two very different things Mr. Muldoon. But you should because he just came to bring me information on you which he hasn't given yet and guns. We haven't talked much around him, he's overheard very little. I'm sure he's not been very talkative anyways. Let him go back to Linderman, and to the United States. He's not with us. He's just… He's just someone who cares for me. Besides, he hasn't been with us the last few days other than to pick us up after you drove in and took Kozlow. He brought us guns, that's all." Her eyes are for Muldoon, not looking over to Caliban. "He's stayed here, he hasn't stayed with the group"

Caliban's face has gone bone white, all the colour blanched from it except for where the bristle of his beard stands out, but even this is more gray than it is blond. He says nothing to either confirm or deny Abigail's assessment — if Muldoon believes her, then he isn't about to argue. If not, he somehow doubts that he'll have better luck pleading his own case than she will. Instead, he keeps very still, careful not to jostle the gun at his head by turning it.

"You're telling me that this man has to value no me whatsoever?" Muldoon asks, perhaps for clarification. "He knows nothing about Munin?"

"The nuclear bomb or the satellite up in the sky? Or do you mean Eileen? Because there's a great many Munin's these days floating around and all three of them seem to have some link to Russia or Kazimir. You remember Kazimir right?" Abigail's free hand wiggles. "Let him go. Please. I don't know what value he has to you. Just please don't kill him, shoot him or hurt him any more than you already have. Just please let him go, and I'll come with you"

Muldoon does not waste much time considering. He shoves Caliban forward and drives a booted foot into the small of his back, sending him to his knees. Another blow to the back of the head puts him down for the count, but true to his tacit word Muldoon does not pull the trigger. Running his tongue over his lips, he steps over the other man's prone form and closes in on Abigail, handgun leveled with her chest. "The bomb," he says. "Ruskin is inconsequential, Fenrir's problem."

He must remember Kazimir, because he's seizing her roughly by the wrist next and pulling her along with him on his way toward the stairwell doors. Already, the ice and snow around them is beginning to melt, trickling down from the walls in thin silver rivulets that glisten brightly under the hallway's fluorescent lights. "Cooperate and you'll be turned loose at the end of this. Don't and I'll do as I did to Faina and turn you over to Skoll."

Turned loose is likely not an option. Abigail's head whips around as she's grasped, a look down to Caliban's prone form, feet having to do some fancy footwork to keep from tripping over the ice around the floor and falling down. Too bad for Muldoon that she knows very little about the stupid bomb in the first place, but at least it's saved Linderman from probably having to find a new PR rep. Skoll doesn't trigger in her head, she doesn't know who that is as she follows behind him, not resisting yet.

A wave of Muldoon's pistol hand throws the stairwell doors open. Behind them, Caliban remains face down on the thawing floor, one arm stretched above his head, the other slack at his side — Abigail can't rule out drowning if he doesn't come too soon enough, but there's nothing she can do except for what she's already done. Muldoon is leading her down the stairwell at a brisk pace where at its bottom a severe-looking woman with hair as blonde as Abigail's used to be is waiting, winter coat drawn snug around her slender frame.

Anya Orlova gives Muldoon a curt nod and leans back against the stairwell's fire exit, providing him with an avenue of escape that doesn't involve trekking through the hotel's busy lobby. He takes it without so much as a thank you.

"Anya" Abigail gives a curt nod to the woman, the appearance of her means that the swift kick to the nuts, followed by an elbow to the face or back of the neck is liiiiikely not gonna happen. Surprise on one side she might have made it, but not with the woman who can turn things to stone waiting. "Pleasure to meet you again"


When the fire exit closes behind the trio, it creates a sound that reverberates through the stairwell like a crack of a gunshot, then silence.

She doesn't even have her phone.

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