aviators_icon.gif cat_icon.gif sarisa_icon.gif

Scene Title Connection
Synopsis A conference call between SatCom command and teams Bravo and Charlie indicate just how dire the situation is becoming…
Date December 14, 2009

Spektor Home, Ryazan

It's a rather sophisticated setup, overall, a large LCD screen sizable enough to be used as a television but instead hooked up to a computer. This, wired in to the SatCom device and connected to the private satellite dish perched discretely atop the roof of the Skeptor residence. From here, at Ivan's computer in the basement, Catherine Chesterfield is able to connect to the satellite uplink, having followed instructions sent to the SatCom earlier in the day that Team Charlie's contact would have time for a conference about the information received.

Once the desktop and the handheld are synchronized, the display shows the SatCom's touch screen interface, and with a few clicks of the flat front plate, the streaming video connection is connected. A dialogue appears in scrolling text down the screen imposed over the crest of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Delivery Subsystem 550 requested action taken:

> Received: by with SMTP id m12mr1134482afg;

> Received: by with HTTP

> Message-ID: Subject: AUTOMATED TEST

> MIME-Version: 1.0

> Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

> Content-Disposition: inline



1bbybby 77111790 ++++systems normal++++ 76555#722#0

zzzzzz330 7711345 ++++systems normal++++ QX10022005#311



Delivery Subsystem 550 Requested action taken:

> Sent: by with SMTP id m11mr1134484mfg;

> Sent: to with HTTP

> Connection established.

Once the system analysis has completed, the dialogue minimizes and the green light on the desktop's webcam clicks on with a sputter. Displayed on the screen, a tiny window showing Cat's face appears, angled in the corner of the display of an office that clearly looks like one of the cabins on the USS George Washington. There, seated behind a desk, eyes focused on something down and off-screen, CIA Special Activities Director Sarisa Kershner seems to be preoccupied while waiting for the connection to begin.

A digital chime on both sides of the conference clicks on, followed by another camera display appearing showing a rainy jungle environment with a very battered and bruised man in view. He has a bandage wrapped around his head — more like a strip of bloody cloth from a shirt — covering one of his eyes. Behind him, the jungle is dark and damp, and the sounds of a crackling campfire come into view.

"It's good to— Jesus Christ." Sarisa's blue eyes go wide as she stares up at the screen, "What happened to you?" The man with the cloth wrapped around his head waves one hand dismissively.

"Can we get on with this?" His demeanor is gruff, taciturn and cold. An identifier beneath his screen reads: Bravo SatCom2 while the tag beneath Sarisa's screen reads SatCom Command.

Watching the displays come onto the screen, Cat is stoic. It's all remembered, of course, the string of techical info preceding the connection, then the office and the man with one eye bandaged. She doesn't comment on the location, it not being certain to her if that's Madagascar or Argentina, but presumably the former given her hope to speak with Eileen.

"Greetings," the panmnesiac offers to start.

"It's god to see you were able to— " Sarisa seems a bit taken aback still by the man's brutalized condition, "Ah— to make this meeting. You're fortunate, all three of us are in the same time zone currently." The blonde looks at an angle to something on her screen, teeth toying at her lower lip. "This is Agent— "

"No names." He grunts one, one hand massaging at the bandage over his eye, and the rebuking makes Sarisa recoil, brows furrowed. Tensing up, she merely offers a nod and looks dowmn to her lap. When the bandaged man's focus shifts a bit on his grainy and jerkily-streaming screen, he's looking over his shoulder to something behind him. "I'm with Unit Bravo-Two, you requested communication with Ruskin. I'll be the intermediary. We've broken for camp for the time being, but I have to keep this short, I think this communication may've been compromised." Or, well, he's been compromised, but Aviators isn't going to say that.

"Right, then." Sarisa says with hesitation. "I've read your most recent status reports individually, and I'll leave the floor to Chesterfield to start us off. How are things progressing in Russia, and what can we do to help?"

"To begin," Cat provides, "the question I have is if she knows of a female similar to herself whom Kazimir might have dubbed Hugin. Her call sign was Munin, and she interacts with birds, so it stands to reason he had another human operative to fill the pair. If so, that person may have critical knowledge."

"But more important than that is what I've learned from reading maps and looking into Norse mythology. In their lore, creation occurred between the cold place Niflheim and the hot place Muspelheim. Maps tell me that Ryazan, Russia is halfway between the north pole and Madagascar. The midpoint between Madagascar and the south pole is Marion Island, in the PEI."

"Kazimir Volken was known to call his previous attempt at purging the world of people the Flood, and precognitive products mention waterfronts where there aren't any now. So my suspicion is the goal is to detonate a nuclear weapon under the icecap of either pole and cause it to melt completely."

"Yeah, right, because this crazy mythology patchwork shit is exactly the kind of intel we should be following. Do you have anything worthwhile as a lead or just more of that Vanguard call-sign horsesh— " Aviators, who is notably lacking his namesake eyewear, is interrupted mid-tirade by Sarisa's sharp clearing of her throat.

"Answer her." Sarisa spits out, blue eyes glaring at the side of the screen Aviators is on. The CIA operative covers his face with one hand, rubbing at his unshaven face tiredly. Shaking her head, Sarisa leans back in her chair, arms folding as she waits impatiently for him.

"Ruskin said it's pointless. She didn't know anyone else named Hugin except for a girl that Volken met in New York City. Some precognitive named Tamara, the one who helped him find the Shanti Virus. She says he called her Hugin, but— She wasn't Vanguard either." Aviators looks over his shoulder again into the jungle, then back to the SatCom in his hands. "There."

With that, Sarisa nods her head slowly and exhales a sigh. "Our interrogations of the Vanguard operatives we've apprehended so far also do not indicate the presence of an operative named Hugin. As for the Marion Islands… that's a convenient connection, especially given Ryazan's positionning as well. We can't turn a blind eye to it, but at the same time we do not have a great deal of resources to spread around on a wild goose chase. Marion island is only a few miles across, mostly barren volcanic rock during this time of year." Running a hand through her hair, Sarisa considers something in her lap. "The soonest we could get a scouting party out from the carrier is tomorrow, and it would take two days to reach Marion Island. We don't have any arrangement with the South African government at this point, which would make an open search of the island difficult. Have you ascertained any coordinates or information relevent to the island, or is it just speculation?" Her blue eyes uplift to Cat again.

She doesn't seem at all affected by the display of skeptocism from the Man Who No Longer Wears Aviators. Cat doesn't even bat an eye. "I'm giving an assessment based on my knowledge of Kazimir Volken, sir. Do with it what you will." She pauses then, before pressing forward. "Tamara and I have met. She, in fact, is the reason Mr. Laudani, Miss Beuachamp, and I are in Russia. She walked up to us with plane tickets. And no, she isn't Vanguard. Why she would lead him to the virus is mystifying, if she indeed did. If Tamara has further information on these matters, she will find us, and not the other way around."

"I do agree, the Islands don't seem a likely target for the weapon's use, nor does Ryazan. In fact, our inquiries lead us to believe Munin isn't here. I mention them simply for a possibility, based on the mythology. Kazimir didn't just use Norse imagery because he thought it was cool, no, this man sought to bring such things about. Flood in the biblical sense, world-depopulating virus." Her brows lift as she speaks that segment, to underscore the point about thinking global.

"From there, I went back to thinking of what was in that song. Flooding. I don't have any data about the exact effects of such a water volume increase, but I would estimate the total melting of a polar icepack might do the trick. And in recent months there've been news reports of drilling into Antarctica."

"In Russia, we've had some scrapes with Zhukovsky and his associates. It seems Zhukovsky is also seeking Munin. A man named Carlisle Dreyfus has been led to give us information through subterfuge. He tells us it's believed Munin is aboard a tanker named Verano, one of two Kazimir bought years ago. The other, Invierno, was sunk off NYC during our operations against that arm of the Vanguard eleven montha ago. We have nothing on the Verano's location."

"We are told a man called Mikhail Wagner is at the head of this operation. He is said to be aboard Verano, and planning to detonate Munin. Zhukovsky sent someone named Skoll to assassinate Wagner in Berlin, retrieve Hugin, and discover Munin's location, but was blocked from doing so by the raid on that place. Both Skoll and Wagner escaped."

"Hey, don't waste that thing's battery we're going to need the GPS."

A familiar voice echoes in the background of Aviators' screen on the display. The one-eyed CIA operative turns jerkily, looking over his shoulder, the screen jumbles and there's the muffled noise of a hand being placed over a microphone. "Huruma where the fuck are my cigarettes?" Is barely heard, despite Aviators trying to muffle the microphone. It's just silence after that. Silence that gives Cat time to recall that timbre of a voice, that horrible thread of memory connecting the dots to one name.

Emile Danko.

"I've heard of Wagner," Sarisa says without batting an eyelash to what's going on at Aviators' end of the conversation. "From what we gathered in Berlin, Wagner was the power behind that organization. We have rumors that he's some sort of Evolved, but we don't know the extent of his ability. It may be why we're unable to locate him. Psychometrists and remote-viewers who were trying to gather intel on Wagner have come up blank, as if he doesn't — and never did — exist. He's like a black hole to their senses." Shifting awkwardly in her chair, Sarisa watches as Aviators uncovers his SatCom and shakes his head. The background is different now, it looks like a different part of a jungle.

"We still have no intel from Argentina, there's fears that Team Alpha may have been entirely lost. We've been without communications from them since three days after their arrival. Unfortunately, this means we're left with nothign but speculation on that end." Shifting her focus from Aviators to Cat on the screen, Sarisa exhales a sigh.

"Drilling…" There's a troubled look on her face. "The drilling reports were from Chinese researchers, and I've been handed some unsettling intelligence out of the People's Republic over the last week. Team Delta has apparently been slaughtered to the last man, but the Vanguard element in China also looks to have been exterminated. Signs point to elements within the People's Liberation Army of China having been responsible. Intelligence analysts indicate that China may be aware of Hugin and attempting to get it on their own."

Her head tilts for a moment at the sound of that voice coming from near the male operative, and her features betray something of disquiet, but Cat quickly clamps it down. "I would recommend, Sarisa, consulting with scientists about the exact effects of melting away the Arctic or Antarctic ice. I've never read data on that angle, and haven't the facilities to try calculating the exact numbers. I would also suggest tasking satellites to focus on any and all ships around both icecaps, and to investigate drilling sites. A nuclear detonation on the surface could destroy the icecap, it's true, but probably not produce a flood. If, however, it were lowered into a hole and set off, that could trigger ice melting."

"We are also told the Vanguard intends to reboot civilization after the flood, which means they have some prepared survival location. High ground, I'd estimate."

"That would be the bunkers, their bases of operation, if I had to guess." Aviators murmurs, rubbing at the side of his face. "This one in Madagascar's up half a fucking mountain, this whole country is nothing but steep hills and cliffs. I think the intel for Argentina had theirs on the top of a snow-capped peak too." Eyeballing the screen, he's pressing keys while he talks. "Yours, out in Russia, if it isn't high above sea level is at least relatively far inland…"

Sarisa strains out a sigh thorugh her teeth, looking at something off-screen. "I'll see what I can do, getting data out quickly isn't going to be easy." Blue eyes divert back to the screen. "We're assuming this flood idea is correct, I can't verify the veracity of what this precog you're talking about stated, but she could be lying to you, or seeing something completely different. Right now, however, it stands that we continue to find out as much as possible about the tangible leads we do have. Specifically, Wagner and the Verano."

"I'll see if anyone on our side can keep an eye out for intel on him." Aviators notes with a scratch at the side of his head, a mosquito bite that looks particularly unfortunate has taken roost on his cheek. "Fuck, we've got a lot of problems down here. But we'll make it work… I dunno how many of us will be making it out of this pit alive, Kershner. We've already lost most of our team, Sanderson, Bennet and Allard are probably fucking dead after what happened to them." Yes, he thinks the regenerator is dead.

"That's enough. We'll discuss that later." Sarisa says flatly and sternly, looking back to Catherine's side of the screen. "Was there anything else?"

"You can look it up easily," Cat provides, "Shores Of The Empire State, from Else Kjelstrom. You may have heard it already, it'd had radio airplay." If need be, she'll cite the lyrics of it verbatim for Sarisa, believing her point will be seen when/if she does. The information she hears from the male operative isn't responded to, she doesn't bat an eye.

Inwardly her thoughts turn to how Bennet will take this if it's true, telling Helena what she knows, and Candy… But she can tell Ethan his daughter is likely alive and, well, she saw Claire die dispowered once, just before Delphine repaired her. There is hope.

"We'll continue our efforts on this end. Good hunting."

"Kjelstrom?" Sarisa arches one brow slowly, blue eyes betraying a sense of knowing behind that word, as if the reiteration was some sort of feint. "Interesting." But then, Sarisa had already said she in reference to the precognitive earlier, when Cat had gone thorugh such great lengths to obscure her identity — had she already known?

"I'll get on this." Aviators says curtly, "I'll be in touch. Powering down the SatCom to conserve battery." The screen goes dark, and Sarisa turns her blue eyes back to Catherine when Aviators disappears. The CIA agent nods her head once, watching the woman on the other side of the screen carefully before echoing those final sentiments back.

"Good Hunting."

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