koshka_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Courier
Synopsis Secrets are exploited in the name of good service.
Date May 14, 2011

Eltingville Blocks

One can only take so much homework before one's brain begins to melt. It's a known fact and has been the demise of many a high school student. So even though Koshka's intentions were to burn the proverbial midnight oil and catch up on her studies, she flaked once darkness had a firm hold over the land.

Leaving her books, paper, and pencil on the kitchen table, the teenager wanders outside through the back door. It has a quieter feel to it, like a pocket of space tucked away from everything else. The streetlights don't quite reach the yard itself and only a lone light shines several houses down the narrow service street. As she gently closes the door behind her, Koshka takes in a deep breath. As it's slowly exhaled, she walks slowly to the edge of the property line with a gait far easier than any other times. There might still be a subtle limp, a certain wound quietly reminding her of its presence, but it's no longer favored and nearly well mended.

Hands tucking into her the pockets of her jeans, Koshka remains where the grass meets an unpaved roadway. She lingers for a moment, standing and staring up at the sky, then glancing back toward the house. Giving a roll of her shoulder, she steps off the grass and onto the dark strip of gravelly dirt road. Though she has no destination in mind, it's been a week since she left the house for anywhere other than school, and so her feet carry her quietly and away between the backs of the night-darkened houses.

There's a rumble of an engine, around when she's steered herself onto the street. It comes from the side that lacks a streetlamp.

With a shudder, someone's stomp on the accelerator has the car jarring forward, careening on down the street with a growl and squeak of machinery, steered by lazy hands on the wheel and blind to the painted road lines. It's not a very good car, suited only to the informal patrols that civilian watch carries out, a less expensive force than soldiers in tanks. It rushes up behind Koshka, and as she gets a chance to look back or react to the possibility of being run over, its front wheel bumps up onto the curb, the sedan coming to a sharp halt in the space that Koshka just crossed.

The man that comes out of it is dressed nicer than the car would imply, if not formally — a leather jacket, clean jeans, a button down untucked loose over his waist, and a glimmer of silver at his throat, his hand. More obviously might be the shape of the shotgun, stunted with the barrel sawed down to something shorter, wilder in aim. But it's not aimed at her, at least, swinging alongside his leg.

They don't have a uniform, but they do have a uniform swagger. "Civvie watch," Logan says, in case she didn't pick up on this. "Got a card on you, love?"

Cars aren't too normal and the sound easily raises Koshka's wariness. Machinery usually means bad things, or things one wouldn't want to encounter. A hard lesson learned. She turns, as could be expected, when she registers the cough and growl of the beater, eyes widening as the vehicle appears to be coming right for her. She lurches away, and perhaps the only thing that keeps her from outright bolting, is that the car is not one of the soldier's vehicles. It's still met with bridled fear.

The teen watches, poised to run, as the driver reveals himself. Her eyes pick over his appearance, lingering on the shotgun before darting back up to the man's face. "…Yeah," she answers, tone lilting the word into a question rather than answer. One hand is pulled free of its pocket only to reach into another. The card is fished free and held up for examination.

He doesn't take it — even in this low light, Logan can see what he needs to see in a careless glance for the photo ID, then back to her. "I know who you are," he says, dismissing his own request for the identification, apathetic to the fact she can produce it. "Roughly, anyway. That thing 'round your ankle's got its benefits. Scanned in, it marks you as Bethany Ruslan, addressing reading as Harbour Courts. Does a few more things than that, too. It sends out a signal, which is a headache and a half if I'm not concentrating enough to block it out, what with how many of you people are all in here.

"My name's Logan. I'm a technopath, unofficially, but I'll keep your secrets if you keep mine. What's so interesting about the forest, west of here?"

The ID is returned to its pocket, Koshka's expression remaining guarded as Logan goes on about knowing her. On a technical level. "Koshka," she nearly whispers, an undertone that's asserted as her birth name is given. "You could always take it off me, if it gives you a headache." It's not so much a request as a snark, the ankle in question isn't even offered but shifted further away from the man.

Glancing away, the direction she'd been walking only a moment before, Koshka gives a small shrug. "Nothing really," she answers, the lie coming away easily. "Just a lot of trees and some psychotic robots that should be dismantled and melted down for teeth. Maybe some ghosts, but that could just be the kids at school telling stories." She looks back at Logan, brows lifting slightly.

"Robots aren't psychotic," Logan says, voice scoffing, stepping aside and around to pace a circle that would pen her between himself and the idle car. "They're programmed to herd and-or attack anything that's got an ankle tracker on them, on top of their programming to do the same to any Evolved in a fifty foot radius. They're vicious, and they've fucked you up before — Doctor Kozlow told me all about it." The shotgun comes to rest against his shoulder as he comes to a halt, looking her up and down as if to check for injury beneath her clothes, but of course, that's not his power.

Fingers dance musically over the stock of the gun as he considers his words. "You've gone out three times now. Must be a hell of a ghost story you're hunting. The second time, I noticed. Did you just think you were awfully fortunate, when you didn't get attacked?"

"Then whoever programmed them was psychotic." Koshka doesn't exactly shrink back from Logan, but there's the impression that she's still poised to take off. Her eyes flick again toward the shot gun when it comes into her range of vision, then back again to its owner. "He told you," she asks. It might've been better if she sounded more guilty instead of somewhat grumpy that the doctor ratted her out. "I wouldn't call it being fucked up, just… unnecessary."

Arms lift to fold over her chest, as the teenager watches Logan for a moment. Through the wariness there's consideration, her mind working back to the too-silent journey she'd made and just how much she'd be willing to share. "Was that you? Do you control them? It… it seemed really strange."

Instant denial would have been what follows — of course Logan doesn't control them. A conversation, a deal made, from a night or so ago, has him hesitating, but it's left as silence only, focused now on this interaction.

"I don't," Logan says, matter-of-fact, crisper still for his London accent. "But I can block the signal," he points, with a hand, for the ankle with the tracker under trouser leg, "so that they've nothing to stop their patrols and pursue, unless they get too close. After that, it's out of my hands. And don't worry about Kozlow— he tells me everything, and everyone else precious little. Especially not the real authorities." Coming forward a step, he flicks a glance back to Brian's home, as if wary of the other man coming out, seeing the conversation. Interfering.

He doesn't. "Of course, sometimes I do, because I should. In this case, I'd rather strike a bargain. I need a courier."

At least there's that much, the doctor isn't telling everyone. Still, it only marginally lessens Koshka's caution. "That's why last time they pounced before we got a third of the way from the fence. They were too close." Or he simply didn't care. She shrugs, to show her own dismissal of the idea. "Only thing I'm chasing in the woods is ghosts. Don't think anyone but me'd find interesting things there." It's offered as a compromise, keeping her secrets for now.

Her eyes flick toward the house she'd left as well, then back to Logan. His statement earns a single raised brow and another look toward the house. "What for," Koshka asks carefully. "What's in it for me?"

Logan only blinks at mention of the third time, neutral and unreadable — whether he couldn't save her that time, or wasn't paying her the same attention, is left unresolved. He moves on, instead, to the negotiation he came here for, his smile growing crooked at her words. "You get a free pass. And the ability to go wherever you like, as long as you're carrying what I want you to carry. Otherwise, I don't see a reason why I shouldn't tell. I don't think you're chasing ghosts, and they'll go looking. I hear sometimes, they lock their children in the rooms when they misbehave.

"But it won't come to all that, will it?"

He dips a hand into a pocket, and brings it out again — the item is tossed for her to catch, and it soaks up the light to reflect blue. It's a syringe, filled with blue fluid, as vibrant as cleaner and holding a deep-sea glow, and it lacks the needle that stabs, simply sealed. "Refrain. I've a stock of it outside the bounds, and I'm looking to trickle it in."

The syringe is caught, snatched out of the air then turned over for Koshka's examination. It's held up briefly, allowing the light to catch for less than a heartbeat before it's lowered again. Another glance goes toward the surrounding houses, not just the one she belongs to, as her fingers wrap around the small tube of blue liquid. Brows knit together slightly as she looks up at Logan again. "I can go anywhere, as long as I'm working for you," she repeats. "No more anklet snitching and calling those robots down on me?"

Her eyes drop again to the sealed drug held in her hand, weighing, considering carefully. It'd be dangerous work, but the freedom to move could be useful. "I'll do it." Koshka's chin lifts as she looks up at Logan again. "I'll ferret this stuff in for you. And I'll offer my secrets once I have answers for them as long as you don't turn me in." She tilts her head meaningfully in the direction of the woods with its ghosts and hunterbots.


Logan holds out his hand for the syringe back, with the intent to grip her's when she does, in a sealing gesture of a shake, a deal struck. "Come by tomorrow night to Saint Clare's — don't go into the church, but there's a side door into the convent. Security'll know who you are if you show your card, and give you the drop points. They'll be all in Staten Island, a bit north, so you'll have to be quick, and careful. Go in your own time, but I want this run done soon. And if I find you not taking the packages back to the convent once you get them, you'll have to worry about something a whole lot worse than the Department of Evolved Affairs. Me."

He retracts his hand, and thinks to add: "And don't go in the mornings. I'm hardly ever awake in the mornings."

Despite her reserved nature, Koshka extends her hand to return the syringe and complete the handshake. Her lips press together into a line while she listens to the instructions, a trifle unsure, yet her gaze remains steady and watchful of the man as he speaks. She nods, a single bob of her head, at points in affirmation of message received and understood. "Got it," she states quietly, even respectfully, with no hint of her earlier snark.

Drawing her hand back, both are pressed into her hip pockets. "I got school in the morning anyway," Koshka points out, edging backward a step or two. "Evenings only, after dark." It's easier to hide in the dark, when hiding is necessary.

Logan's mouth twists some in suppressed smirk at the mention of school, but he nods once at her preference of the hour. Being naturally nocturnal, that suits him fine. "Then I'll see you around, Koshka," he says, his accent putting only a slightly different bent on her preferred name, before moving back for his car. A brush of his shoulder does little to spin her, and he's more focused on his own actions as he goes to wrench open the back door and toss his gun inside, before spidering into the driver's seat.

He doesn't offer her a ride back to Harbour Courts, as he goes to kick the engine to life, wrench the car off the pavement with a yank of the wheel.

Koshka remains standing, just off the street and watching Logan make ready to depart. As the engine roars its protest, she takes another solid step further into the grass and farther from the road that cuts between the houses. "Koshka," she states quietly, accented in far better Russian than she'd normally bother giving it, a correction meant for herself and not the man. She lingers just a moment longer, to make sure there's going to be no driving onto the yards and running her down, then moves toward the house that Brian owns. She should return to school work before she's missed.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License