Felix Ivanov Is Stuart Redman


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Scene Title Felix Ivanov is Stuart Redman
Synopsis Felix tells Judah and Colette to get out of town.
Date January 27, 2009

The Nite Owl

Although most patrons of the Night Owl prefer to dine in, there are those who habitually take their orders to-go. Judah Demsky is one of these people, and this afternoon finds him waiting on his food at one of empty booths toward the front, a mug of coffee in one hand and a mechanical pencil in the other. He's still working on last Sunday's crossword puzzle, steadily filling in the boxes a few at a time and crossing off clues with bold strokes as he goes.

What's a five-letter word for 'exhorbitant brew'?
Fel, on the other hand, always eats there. Let someone else clear it away. And…lager? He's not drunk, at least. He's just grim - a pale figure in a dark suit and black overcoat, glasses blind glinting discs in the fluorescent light. Winter's never agreed with him, but this one has bitten deeper than most, and the bones of his face are stark under the skin. But he smiles a little, sheepishly, when he spots Judah, and heads for him.


Judah's chicken-scratch completes the series of boxes labeled twenty-one, across. The sound of approaching footsteps causes the detective to look up from his puzzle, dark eyes narrowing almost imperceptibly when he recognizes Ivanov's figure making his way toward him. He takes a sip of his coffee, sets his pencil down on the table's surface with a small click. "Look what the cat dragged in."

Fel's expression can be described as 'sweet' once in a blue moon, but the look he offers Judah now gets close. "Hey," he says, a little stooped, settling across from the cop uninvited. "How're you?"

"Fine," Judah replies in a tone that suggests he's mildly surprised Felix might think any different. His mug joins his pencil on the table and he folds one large hand on top of the other, watching the other man with something of a bemused expression on his face. "Any news on Volken?"

Felix leans in, and his voice is very low. "I'm not supposed to tell you this," he says, quietly. "But. It's all about to hit the fan. We're going to stymie the attack Volken's been working on."

Any humour that might've crept its way into Judah's eyes vanishes in a heartbeat. "Who's we?" is the first question that springs to mind, immediately followed by: "And just how soon are we talking? Do I need to put Colette on a bus?"
"A loose and rather strange alliance of the pro-Evolved underground and bits of local and federal law enforcement," Felix explains, pausing as the waitress swoops by with fresh coffee. "Tomorrow, yes. And you, too. Please," he says, drawing the mug towards him with clear greed.

"Tomorrow?" Judah fixes Felix with a small scowl. "You can't expect me to pack up the kid and the dog and just duck out of town with my tail between my legs," he says. "Even if I wanted to, I don't think I could make arrangements on such short notice. What can I do to help?"

"Actually, yes, I can," Felix says, presenting Judah with one of those utterly expressionless masks. "We're not talking about mild inconvenience, Judah. Did you ever see or read 'The Stand?'

"Kazimir Volken is not Randall Flagg," Judah says flatly, "and you're no Stuart Redman. What are you saying? He's going to release some sort of superflu on New York?"

Felix splays his hands on the tabletop, tendons like wire under the skin, skin pale enough the veins are blue traceries. "He's not even -human- anymore, Judah. Not for any useful value of that word. I cut off his head and he's still alive. And he is going to release a plague originally tailored to kill Evolved, and now capable of killing more swiftly and efficiently than a filovirus."

"And you won't let me stick around to help." Typical. "Just last night you were telling the kid how instrumental men like me would be in the coming weeks." There's bite in Judah's tone, but outwardly he remains calm, the expression on his face remains placid — still. "Tomorrow, you said?"
"That's why I was urging you to let her heal you," Fel retorts, quickly. "If it all goes to shit, the last thing you need to do is be hobbling around. Yes. Go tomorrow."

Judah blows out a snort through his nostrils, shaking his head, though it isn't necessarily in disagreement. "All right," he concedes. "Tomorrow. I can't promise we'll go far, but I'll make sure I take her somewhere safe." If anywhere can be considered safe. The way Felix has described the situation, Judah doubts his parents' home out-of-state will be outside the red zone. "Who else have you told?"

Felix grits his teeth at this. "God. You remain a stubborn bastard," he says, with a mingling of affection and exasperation. "Head south. IF this is going to be ground zero…..hell. My parents live in Sarasota. Go there. And don't spare the horses. Certain members of SCOUT know. Lau knows. My SAC knows. I've managed to convince them not to totally blow this op and come stomping in. I think we've got HomeSec with us, to some extent. Other than that, strictly close to the vest."

Judah's thoughts on the matter couldn't be made more obvious if he spit into his ashtray — his nose crinkles, mouth twisting into a quiet grimace. He doesn't like this. He doesn't like it all. "All right," he says. "Sarasota. But if I come back, and you really are in the morgue this time, you're a dead man — you got that, Ivanov?" The emptiness of the threat completely escapes him, as he starts to rise from his seat at the table. "Don't you fucking go cold on us. I don't think Colette could take that kind of hurt twice."

Felix lifts his hands, with the air of one making a vow. "I have nine lives. That's only the second. I've seven left," he says, facetiously. "Just you wait. I'll be fine," His assurance is about as convincing as Astroturf trying to pass for a lawn.

Seven is probably something of a generous estimate, at least by Judah's standards. He picks up his coffee and finishes what little remains at the bottom of the mug before setting it back down again, taking out his wallet and leaving a modest tip on the table for his waitress. Up at the front, the woman rings a bell, signaling to the detective that the food he ordered is now ready, sitting at the bar in an unremarkable brown paper bag with the receipt stapled to the lip. "I'm being serious, asshole. You're no cat," he says. "Cats always land on their feet — you, on the other hand, have a nasty habit of falling on your head."

"That explains a lot, doesn't it?" Fel says, more drily. "I'm not out to pull some crazy cowboy shit. This is a team effort, if it's going to work at all, not Felix Ivanov pretending he's Phillip Marlowe. Just get Colette and yourself out of town."

There's a small twitch at the corner of Judah's mouth at the Marlowe reference, but that's all. "I'll call you." The low tone of his voice indicates that this, if nothing else, is a non-negotiable point. "If you're still alive, try to pick up your phone. I don't know how I'm going to explain this to the kid without her throwing a fit."

"You call, I'll answer, if there's any way at all I can," Fel says, any sign of mirth fading away. The blue eyes are very earnest, as he watches Judah go.

Judah can't quite bring himself to meet those eyes. Without another word, he turns on his heel, briskly collects his bag and heads out the door, his departure marked by the cacophonous jangle of bells and a brief gust of icy wind blowing in from the street outside. The door then slams shut behind him, and he's gone.

January 27th: Just Plain Cantankerous
January 27th: Cantankerous And Aloof
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