deckard_icon.gif raith_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Details
Synopsis Raith and Teo meet some resistance in trying to brief Deckard on the latest Ferry cause he's been drafted into. Apparently his shrink is evil and everyone's on Evo smack again. Go figure.
Date February 13, 2010

A bank in the Ruins of Midtown

The littlest Sicilian became incapacitated in the way that only the littlest Sicilian could: at the eleventh hour, but a day before the raid on Sheridan's abduction and experimentation facility is scheduled to go down, and by walking out of the second floor window of a building while— he claimed, across the phone, a little after noon and audibly either groggy from painkillers or monosyllabically terse from refusing to take any— he had been asleep rather than drunk.

When he called Raith, he had the air of a beleaguered dog. One who expected to be scolded and already felt bad and mad enough before it, but served up apologies unprompted and a second plan. Teo thinks he can still go too, but just in case, there's someone else who can go as well. A better shot than Teodoro himself, he insisted, handy with homemade demolitions as well, intimately acquainted with the ins and outs of construction. The only real complications being that he was an unwitting friend of Sheridan's, and would explicitly prefer Teo to choke sooner than talk to him about the lofty purposes of heroics.

Which was where Jensen Raith would come in, armed with photographic evience, logistical details, and Pastor Sumter's good name. Possibly also knives, guns, wads of cash, lewd jokes, funny faces, and whatever else Raith was so-inclined to carry, but those were hopefully somewhat less the point.

Something like that.

It's nightfall by the time Teodoro's made enough phonecalls to have figured out where Deckard's at. Not Isabella's place anymore, thank God and all his angels, but Midtown. Since the recent compromization warnings had started flagging up all over the Ferry, from Meredith, Elisabeth, the Company itself, more and more of the locations on Deckard's map have begun to see regular traffic. That explains why Ferrymen have seen him around here, though not what precisely he's been doing.

"He's supposed to be up there." Hanging halfway out of a car that doesn't legally belong to him, Teo points up at the second floor of what was once a bank of some size and renown. Palatially-proportioned black volcanic marble makes uneasy abysses out of the gaping sockets where plateglass used to fill in. He squints in search of windows, but they're blacked out solidly enough to look like they're empty of people or light. Somebody paid attention to safehouses 101.

Teo pulls his foot out of the vehicle and sort of falls into the next stride; it's obvious that the boot took some getting into, its ankle bulked out into the wrong size and shape by a cast, lopsided asymmetry compared to his other. Snow and sooty frost snaps and grinds under his tread, uneven but game. Other than that, Teo looks okay. Shaggy, scarred, but all right. Maybe he'd landed on his head. "His name's Flint Deckard. I don't think you two've met."

"Hey, listen, that's great and all, but what do you mean supposed to be up there?" It's an absolutely legitimate question to be asking, and Raith has no problems asking it as he likewise climbs out of the vehicle. Not that he's unwilling to give Teo the benefit of the doubt, but when terms like, 'supposed to,' eventer the equation, they bring surprises. And Raith hates surprises. "What about definitely up there? Why can't you give me that? Too hard, or something? He had better be up there, or you are so grounded, mister."

The bank is dark inside.

Most buildings in Midtown are.

The marble lobby is scattered with drywall and slushy snow clotted grey with ash wherever there's space enough for it to have blown in.

Whatever time it is, whatever day — Flint isn't at work. He's stretched out long across a worn out cot in a dusty executive office, propane heater radiating its orange glow into socked feet and spilling dim over the paper back of a novel whose cover is blackened beyond easy legibility. A flashlight casts brazen white upon the relatively unscathed interior, glinting crisp off the low set of reading glasses and chilly eyes.

Between here and there, a single staircase offers gloomy passage. And between the top and bottom of the staircase, approximately shin high, a single steel tripwire presents a puzzle.

There is a flapping of Teo's hands, expressive of either his ambitions in aviation or that he thinks Raith should stop talking jeez. "It's not like I told him I was coming." If he had, maybe the Sicilian would be impressed at his own redundancy or have gotten the night off, but you don't make a lot of friends in this business and it's only a natural part of the course that you forget how to keep them. "It's not like he has a little bell on his collar.

"And I don't know where my ability went." This last admission is grudging, unhappy, colored with misery that's discernible even in the lobby's lack of light and the staircase's stagnant chokehold on sound.

Teo produces a flashlight to shove at Raith's chest, and levers his bad foot up on the steps. For the first time, and probably not the last, it occurs to him that his bad foot and his bad cheek are on the same side. He grimaces and ignores the slushy crawl of dirty meltwater up his pant leg. "Can Kaylee shoot now?"

Whether or not Raith is enjoying this ribbing of the crippled Sicilian is not clear, but he probably is. "Hey, take it easy, bello," he says, taking the flashlight after it is shoved into his chest and then flicking is on. "You know I could never ground you. Not without a battery, at least." Yup. Lobby looks empty save for them. The stairs going up look just as good. "She could shoot before. Now she might actually hit what she's aiming at, which is a plus. Not sure she understands the tactical use of automatic fire, though, so I would avoid standing in front of her whenever possible. We should bring extra mags, just in case."

"Watch your step. Won't do you any good to trip when we're this close to the wire."

The what? Teo stops sliming up the stairs a moment to crane his head around and up into the next flight. Sees it. The wire, winking in the shape of a hyphen. His expression changes marginally, registers neither specific fear nor particular distaste, but simple certainty: "He's definitely upstairs." He doesn't manage to sound especially ecstatic about that either, and it's hard to tell if the wire's the downer or he'd been holding out for some obscure hope this was for nothing.

Maybe he would rather be grounded. "Do you want to throw something at it?" Teo asks, his fingers tightening on the rust-notched railing. "Or should I start yelling?"

Raith looks from Teo to the wire, then back to Teo, then back to the wire, and then back to Teo. His expression contains no irritation nor any bemusement. It's simply flat. "Why don't we just step over it?" he suggests, as if that were the most obvious solution in the world.

"Be my guest, uomo," Teo answers, making a grand flourish of his free hand, paranoid of Deckard, trusting of Deckard, or merely being difficult all around. All three, possibly. He is going to look mildly dorky storking his cast over the wire, if only mildly. It is cold in here. The Sicilian's eyes cross slightly as an exhale fogs the cone-shaped ray of light from Raith's torch, and there's a mumble under hsi breath. "Prego."

"You'd better." It's a bizarre threat, even for Raith. Or in would be, were it taken out of context. At only shin high, there's not exactly a great deal of athleticism involved. In fact, since all he has to do is step over it and not have an aneurysm in the middle of his action, there's really no athleticism involved. Even Teo could make it over!

"So, what, are you going to call him? Or should I just go charging in there, leap onto him, pin him down, and then politely introduce myself? Or, never mind. I got this." Without another word, Raith turns and continues on up the stairs and, in true Jensen Raith fashion… starts to sing.

"La donna e mobile. Qual piuma al vento."

Click. That's the sound of Flint's thumb ticking the flashlight switch to off. At the end of he hallway, there's a change in light from the open office door from dark to darker, with only the heater left on to cast its hellish glow in molten hues of orange and red across a heavy desk and chairs to match. Hot metal tinks and plunks according to no particular pattern, and ironically against cinematic potential, the big black shotgun Flint lifts from the floor at his cotside makes no sound at all once he's pushed overlarge feet down into snakeskin boots and hooked a vaguely pinkish dress shirt on over his shoulders.

Directly through the wall ahead, Raith's is a skeleton he's seen before, but only once. Teo's behind it is markedly more familiar. AND YET.

He flicks the safety off and pushes soundlessly to his feet instead of putting the gun down.

Does he now? Teo studies the back of the older man with some skepticism, seems of half a mind to indeed leave him there to face the lanky old dragon alone. However, he still owes Raith a few pounds of flesh and hasn't forgotten it. 'The smart thing' had been the objective over the wellbeing of his teammates, once, but it isn't this time.

Teo takes railing, one in each hand, and pops himself over two steps. "I said I'd call him," he says, irritably, "but you want to go in like cheap American Pavarotti. Which is redundant," he adds, falling into the pit trap of facetious cultural clashes despite himself. It is hard to play the straight man to Jensen Raith's funny one, even without gay puns involved. "Deckard?"

The next few steps are hurdled gingerly, fat boot over normal, his fingers itching for the grip of a handgun while he keeps them instead braced carefully around railing. "It's work. There's something we have to tell you. About Joseph and Colette."

"Now that's more like it," Raith retorts, but that's all he has to say. Teo can take the reins from here.

Tick tick tck tk plink.

Deckard skulks in his hole like a grizzled old snake, rough scales and long face, grit teeth and bright eyes with the shotgun laid cold across his hands. His glare isn't tangible exactly, but if you believe humans really have a psychic ability to sense when they're being watched, odds are the pair of them might share a static prickle of that exact sensation.

"They've been taken captive," his voice croaks out of the black and orange office, finally, somewhere off to left and out of sight. "I already know. What do you want?"

"Your help," Teo says, as if Teo is qualified to say so. He glances at the ex-CIA agent to check for any physical manifestation that there's an uncomfortable self-consciousness needling at Raith's nape, too. This would be some of the hostility he had intimated earlier in the day. Buried somewhere between unease and obscure wist, is more than a little surprise that the old man already knew. It stands to reason. The Ferry's a big network. "They're raiding Midtown tomorrow.

"I got hurt last night so I can't run. We were hoping you could step in. You know Sheridan's face and voice, too. There's some of them calling for capt—" Teo's voice abruptly dies in his throat. His brow knits, and he glances sidelong at Raith for the second time in the span of seven seconds, as if he actually values or relies upon the older man's judgment, never mind that in this particular instance, he has more relevant experience. Uncertainty shifts his feet, and he ends up favoring his left. "How much did they tell you?"

Teo doesn't get much out of Raith at this juncture. Raith knows he's being watched: They are in another man's lair. Of course they're being watched. What he does give to Teo, however, is a simple hand signal that he should keep Deckard talking. Probably so the older man can attempt to pinpoint the other older man's location. He doesn't like not having the advantage. Old habits.

"I'm already helping." Crosstalk. Flint's voice drags at a nasal drone across Teo's younger pipes, not too quiet to escape notice and not too loud to drown out the name of Sheridan amidst explanation and inquiry. His brow hoods and furrows, scowl pulled long opposite the damp, peeling wall he's using as cover. Up until the point Raith's gesture swivels his focus suspiciously over in the direction of wavery fingerbones, he stares in stock stillness and silence. A floorboard creaks when he shifts his weight, but nothing changes in the way of them being pressed into having this conversation with a hallway. From the quiet, one might deduce that the answer to Teo's question is 'very little.'

He's already helping. Teo doesn't look at Raith this time, despite that salient operational details like— 'who's coming' should have been up the older man's alley. It's good they know now. Less good, the ominous silence. Deckard's way of asking questions. There's a slightly different brand of quiet for outright excommunication and a neon signpost fuck off.

"Colette got taken while she was doing some espionage, and she managed to get some photos back to us of layout and personnel. It's Isabella Sheridan. We haven't seen any other Company suits or demonstration of Evolved abilities, and the hardware seems more US military than what Denton or Dalton ask their agents to pack, so. It's probably—" what she said. Teo discards these words in favor of, "Company-funded, but not one of their operations proper. Can we come up?

"Raith has pictures." Abruptly remembering he isn't alone again, he swivels a look at Raith. Makes an encouraging bob of his head. G'wan. He was a big fan of more stairs three minute ago.

Raith looks right back at Teo and does not move from his spot. Not yet, at least. He knows all to well that going up without permission, in this situation, might be a Very Bad Thing. All the same, however, he does fish his cell phone out of his coat pocket. There are photos after all. "Espionage without authorization," he hisses at his younger compatriot. Let's not forget where the fault here lies.

Complex thought vaporizes off the surface of Deckard's skull like a water off a hot rock, gone in an insubstantial hiss and furl that leaves him staring blankly at the little bones stacked up in their boots like bags of dice. The vacancy left behind is slow to refill. It's a good minute or two before his voice drifts out again more quietly than before.

"Maybe she's trying to help them."

He can envision it in his head of he really tries; Bella making earnest appeals to a faceless supervisor to loosen restraints or increase rations via thinly veiled exaggeration about the positive impact it might have on their willingness to cooperate. It is kind of pathetic and probably not very hard to guess that's what he's doing in there either, all alone with his blank stare and his shotgun and his propane. "Fine," follows on a delay — shoddy permission to proceed maybe better than none at all.

An arm loops out and bumps the curved bone of Teo's elbow into Raith's side, reassurance more for himself than for the older man. "Unauthorized— espionage," he echoes imperfectly, suddenly more glum than manically procedural, now. He doesn't personally really want to go upstairs anymore. Not if Deckard's making excuses. Maybe if they were going to fight some more, he'd be more eager to go upstairs. "We're coming up."

Of course, Deckard could have heard him doing so even if there hadn't been any kind of verbal caption preceding. His boots clunk, more unwieldy than his characteristic hooligan swagger thanks to an ankle cased in too much plastic and velcro to be able to bend. It takes him four or five ungainly steps for him to pick out some words, which is fine; Raith might as well herd in first. "Well," is the rather weak beginning. "She's giving them Refrain." That is supposed to be more of a No than a Yes.

When Sicilian and ex-CIA both make it into the garish sodium light, it makes three of them, now, weirdly hollow-eyed men in Jack-o'-lantern colors but none of the macabre mirth.

Of course, Raith went up after Teo didn't get blown to bits, and even let him do the talking from then on. Too bad it doesn't seem like they really aren't making much progress. "We also know that they're operating out of an abandoned warehouse in Midtown, and hired private military for security, or at least gave them enough hardware to be private military. What they're doing in there is one hundred percent not legal, and that means it's very likely one hundred percent not ethical, either. Otherwise, why keep Colette? If she's still alive, I mean." What Raith's angle is, who can say? Is he trying to guilt Deckard into doing this? Appeal to the goodness in his heart?

Is he just a jerk?

Deckard is perhaps weirdest of all. Otherworldly orange light does little to flatter the long lines and stark angles that comprise his distinctive features, and his eyes stand out as rings of pure, unholy blue in the bleak shadows cast down black by the cromagnon set of his brow. He sees through them both more literally than either might like if they had any illusions about keeping how much heat they're packing under wraps, and lowers his shotgun only enough to let it point dejectedly at the floor without actually setting it aside.

"I've given him Refrain," outs at a near snarl, teeth bared harsh white behind irritable honesty and even iller-tempered resentment. His grip on the shotgun flexes tighter, knuckles bleached pale. He isn't taking this very well.

But there are two of them, and he has to snap his electric eyes over onto Raith when he starts talking rather than cave Teo's head in with the butt of his gun. Now that he is closer, it strikes him how much bigger he is than both of them. Even his bones look thick.

Flint shrinks a little, almost imperceptibly in a duck of his head and a twitch at his hackles. "You don't actually know what's going on."

Teo saw this coming. Sort of. Anxiety pinks across the bridge of his nose and his cheeks on either side, and when he inhales sharply the ragged hole in his left cheek flutters like the orifice of a flagging hot air balloon. Sometimes, Deckard is better at dealing with jerks. Conrad, may he rest in peace and not to speak ill of the dead, was a jerk. The Sicilian is, however, unfortunately incapable of telling whether these two are on the same wavelength or still synching, synching, pulse and rhythm staggered at odds.

"Me too," he answers, instead. It is diplomatic. He's given Joseph Sumter Refrain before, too: a whole syringe of it. Look, everybody in this room does shitbag things sometimes, and so does Isabella Sheridan. That's supposed to be the reasonable and emotionally neutral workings of a tactical strike with a lot of bombs and things. "We're going to break in and get everybody out. Primary objective. If assassination was the idea, we would've taken care of it earlier."

"Who's given Refrain to who is not the issue here, gents," Raith says. Finally, he begins putting that phone of his to good use, tapping the screen to browse through his collection of pictures: Through Raith, Ethan's desire for an iPhone is kicked in the balls. A Palm Pre. "The issue, is that they are giving Refrain to a lot of people in that building, and they are doing it without their consent. Third world slavery shit. Joe Sumter's one of them. Colette Nichols is now one of them, too. Or, she's dead. But dead or just in chains, she still gave us a parting gift."

At this point, Raith turns his phone over to Deckard so that he can see the things inside the warehouse. The few that were captured in digital form, at least, and even that isn't very helpful. Nothing really incriminating, but enough to show that this operation has significant resources invested into it. "I don't think these pictures are worth a thousand words, but they're worth something."

"You were in her apartment. Pointing a gun at her." HOW EASILY WE FORGET. Except for Deckard, who seems to have a serious penchant for remembering things just the right way to be angry about them. Fortunately, his assault on that account is limited to a dirty look more penetrating than he was capable of managing a month ago. The barrel of his twelve-gauge stays slanted blackly at the dusty floor.

Behind him is a cot I should have described earlier, which looks like most cots Deckard has set up in various locations like this around Midtown. Minimal sheets, clothes dirty and clean strewn over crates and cardboard boxes. Guns are more of a presence than water or food, most loaded. Everything is lit a near uniform shade of orange by the space heater.

He snatches the offered phone out've Raith's grasp like a homeless dog snatching a lump of rawhide, frigid eyes darkening for the time it takes him to thumb somewhat clumsily through the available album. He is not very good at phones. Unfortunately, he figures it out soon enough to have fresh tension hollowing his jaw and steeling into his glare before either of them can get impatient enough to try to help only to get mobile device to the teeth for their efforts. "…" comprises his thoughts on what he sees.

Teo was in her apartment. Pointing a gun at her. Also unauthorized action, no doubt, but he can't find it him to apologize to the ex-CIA agent and leader on the spot, not just yet. At least Raith will be pleased to extrapolate— hopefully— that Teo hadn't betrayed how much he knew about Sheridan's involvement in the Refrain trials, even at gunpoint with his best friend on the other side. It probably would have salvaged the situation a little, but he wasn't about to jeopardize the raid.

There's a little wince, but just a very small one.

"I figure you weren't given mission details, so… we can do that too. We're going to use explosives on the outer-wall, since the experiments and laboratory area is concentrated in the middle, a hundred feet inside and there's a lot of other load-bearing structure. Then we start making corpses until we get in. The fact that a fat portion of the guards are wearing suppressive gear makes it — pretty clear that they aren't inclined to do violence to the hostages 'emselves, so we're thinking they'll just try to pull back and evacuate underground.

"No above-ground movement besides drop-offs for weeks now." Sometimes Teodoro does this thing where he tries to inundate the emotional significance and ugliness ambient in the air with a lot of words and practical issues, where practicality is more of a disguise than anything else. He figures all three of them would much prefer that to actually discussing Deckard's feelings of betrayal, skepticism, and distrust.

He figures.

"Teo, you really need to stop talking," Raith cautions, "We can answer your buddy's questions if he has any to ask. Fact is, the plan's simple on paper. Get inside, get the captives out-" Because they aren't really hostages since no one is demanding anything- "Bust up equipment and torch any Refrain we find. Violence towards personnel will be restricted only to what is necessary to get everyone out alive, because that is the objective cake. Anything else is just icing." Raith extends his hand once again, ready to take his phone back when Deckard is done with it (and of course, he'll be done with it right about at that moment).

"All we're asking you to do is to go in with a gun, and help us get people out. That's all. If you want cash, I can pay you five thousand. If you want something else, we'll negotiate. The only question I have is, are you in?"

A roll and hard blink of Deckard's eyes renders them back into flat discs of neon, pupils constricted into draconic points. Expression inscrutible and shoulders stiff under the open rumple of his shirt, he pushes the phone into Raith's palm without argument or procrastination.

Then he just kind of stands there, looking in the vicinity of (but not actually at) both of them. "5K is fine."

Teo stops talking, as instructed. His jaw doesn't even does anything so inelegant as tread drooly and split open one side in empty air.

He merely shuts his teeth, seals his lips, and grinds his fists into his jacket pockets again. It's slightly warmer in here, and he doesn't know if it's purely because of the creepily quiet propane heater stuffed into that garish fluorescent orange corner of the room or if Deckard's also been breathing and generating organic byproducts long enough that it's soaked into the concrete and grime veener. He isn't getting paid five thousand dollars. Rather vaguely wishes he was.

"Glad to hear." Raith stuffs his phone back into his coat pocket, but when his hand comes back out, it's holding a manilla envelop that he offers out to Deckard. "Don't spend it all in one place." Just like that, 5 G's. All at once shows that Raith doesn't expect Deckard to skip out on the raid. More to the point, however, he was supposed to kill Abigail Beauchamp to earn this money, something he not only mess up, but that he's pretty sure is not in his best interests anymore. That still leaves him with the cash. Raith is buying off Deckard with blood money for Abby's life.

If they only knew.

If only. A slick crocodilian blink of light to dark then light again is required to accurately judge depth and distance and Flint reaches to take the offered envelope with a scuff of callus to manilla. It's weighed in hand as if he'd be able to judge whether or not there are actually the relevant amount of bills, then tossed back onto his cot to join ratty sheets and The Hobbit without so much as a muttered, 'Thanks.' The only thing implicit in the look he's focused on Raith once the exchange is semi-official is a flat request to please get the fuck out and leave him alone.

Teo doesn't get a look at all.

"I'm sorry," Teo says, eventually.

Unpaid and now unsettled, he starts to drift toward the door. The first three hobbled steps are punctuated by a backward glance, a slight furrow to his brow as he tries to boil down Deckard's expression to sentiments small and simple enough to have names. He can't, in the end. Rubbing his jacket sleeve on the hole in his cheek, he lets his head sink a few inches closer to the line of his shoulders and finishes the trek to the hall. His footfalls acquire an emanating echo. When he blinks, the propane's chemical processes leave a lime-green light behind his eyelids.

Raith likewise doesn't linger in Deckard's space. Their transaction is complete, their contract, or whatever it is, has been signed. That means it's time to go, and so he follows Teodoro back down the stairs, once again stepping over the steel wire that Deckard had left for them. When they are at the bottom, out of earshot, he flatly asks his comrade, "Am I the only person you know who isn't chronically depressed?"

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