Instead Of Egypt


christian_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Instead Of Egypt
Synopsis In which Christian talks about the next month as if they have more than two weeks left and Teo feels better.
Date January 22, 2008

Harlem — The Golden Luck Dragon

A Chinese restaurant with tasty eats and polite waiting staff.

"Golden Chinese Luck Dragon" was slowly turning into Christian's favorite joint, and no small part of this had to do with the fact they'd just make him whatever he asked for. Orange beef, General Tso's shrimp or whatever he found himself craving. The fact it was open twenty four hours was good too, because Chris never did seem to be able to keep halfway decent hours his whole damned life.

Hung out in a quiet booth in the corner, Christian works over a coke filled with orange slices. His shemagh pulled low around his neck, and the majority of his jacket and gloves and whatever simply stuffed in the booth beside him. He was being kind though, he'd wait for Teo before ordering himself a late breakfast.

Teo is dying. That's what it feels like, anyway. Nothing really hurts anymore, and apparently his biological clock no longer sees necessity for sleep: where once a five hour nap would have left him wiht the distinct conviction his nerves were seared off and his eyeballs were going to combust in his head, he is doing okay right now, walking along the sidewalk with one foot in front of the next, bizarrely light in his boots and quiet inside his mind. Fucking great. He is pretty sure that this calls for another late-night sparring session with Hana: she'll hard-reboot his cerebellum.

"Buongiorno, Chris." By now, his figure is a familiar one, loping into the Golden Chinese Luck Dragon with a swinging scattering of reflected morning sunlight off the plateglass door. He looks okay. A little blank, no paler than usual; grown out from winter, his hair is sticking up and alternately feathered down in characteristic windblown recalcitrance. He lumbers to the corner of the booth table and peers down at Christian's menu upside-down, despite that his Chinese isn't good enough to read in that configuration. "May I?"

Christian offers the Menu over with a soft smile. "Morning, I figured you deserved advanced notice. End of the month, I'm supposed to ship out to Egypt. Command says I'm not doing anything here worth the legal risk of deploying soldiers inside the US." Goodness gracious, not even waiting for appetizers was he. "So I handed in my resignation." Point blank, indeed.

The menu bends like a wilted flower from where it is held between Teo's gloved forefinger and thumb. Apparently Teo isn't as awake as he thought he was, or that news was pretty shocking, what with the starting out like Chris was going to leave and the ending up that, plot twist of plot twists, Chris — isn't? The Sicilian has gotten used to having Chris around. Motorcycles, cigars in the microwaves, derelict heterosexual romances, barbecue, and all. Someone outside Phoenix who he could talk to without having to conceal everything about his life; a self-serving and gratuitous reasoning, but reasoning nonetheless.

After about thirty seven seconds, he remembers to blink his eyes and relax into the seat he had taken across from the FCC agent. "Y—you're staying?" he asks to confirm. Coughs, reaching up to drag his fingers down the line of his jaw despite that there's no growth there to hang against, his gaze jumping and falling between the menu print and Chris' face. He looks all the world like a furtive child.

Christian nods softly, glancing between the waitress and Teo. "Yeah, I'm not done. I wont let somone turn this into vietnam for their own political agenda, so I went and dropped off some applications today. Telecom people, I'll be making a whole lot more as a civilian."he says that last word a touch softer, like he was ashamed of it. "I got a mission here, and your the only friend I got Teo you act like your surprised I'd bail over ditching you."

Hot tea, scallion pancakes, and— why do they have Vietnamese style summer rolls here? Teo wants a serving of those too, though. It should be good. By now, he can't imagine his friend hasn't learned better than to be discerning about the quality of the Chinese cuisine he cares to undertake. After all, it's important to learn from one's mistakes. Teo gives the waitress a beatific smile, is privileged to one in return; watches her leave on a long stride out before he turns his head back.

His expression wobbles on the fine line between sincere pleasure and uncertainty. "Only you could get away with saying that after spending twenty years serving country, amico. Not even me, and I'm always doing and saying sincere shit that makes people want to shoot themselves. Or me. It's better if you stay," he adds, quickly, as if to dismiss any burgeoning impressions that this is the bad kind of surprise. It isn't. "Thank you."

Christian nods softly, shrugging. Theres a smile there he's trying very hard to hide, and absolutely failing. "I'm sure my partner is a spy, and she doesnt want to play hardball. So I'm gonna break down and try this on my own for awhile, maybe pull Dantes with me. I'll need to wait until I turn in my Leonidas and my sweet baby girl before I start killin folks so." He shrugs and shifts uncomfortably"I'll be needing those AKs all the sooner though, and some place to keep my bikes while I go get the hammers."

Teo slouches slightly over the elbows he put on the table, his shoulder blades steepening under the hemisphere of his collar. His face loses some of its warmth if none of its sanguinity as he turns those words over in his head, worry working its way into the knit of his brow, his attention seeming to slide fractionally out of focus as his brain pushes the new pieces around the existing image.

"You mean Felix," he says belatedly. A wry half-grin, only the slightest curl of a sneer to it; Teo resents the Fed who nearly blew the Ferrymen safehouse less than he used to. He is pretty bad at resenting anybody for long. Inevitably as math, any and all spite he has for them loses out to that which he holds for himself. Conveniently, he fails to notice Chris smirking at him. There's nothing to throw, anyway. "Okay. I'll tell you where to pick them up and we'll figure out the money part within 48 of that, all right?" A quaver-beat. His mouth finds a white line.

The part that concerns him most. "A spy?"

"I already got the money, dont worry about that. My biggest concern is a place to hold my shit while I go get the stockpile."He sort've resented Felix nearly blowing the safehouse too, but from a different perspective. "And yes, I do indeed mean Felix. His field work sucks, but he's got everything else in spades. He just needs somone to show him how to do it right, and he'll be a fine fieldman."

He falls silent as a waitress comes to refresh his drink, speaking oncemore only after she's left. "Pretty certain she was sent here to spy on me, to keep me tied to the book. I think, I was doing too well and the brass decided it would be a bad idea for an evolved to set a good example so they sent her to foil me. What do I know though, right?"

Oh, that kind of spy. That's better than some kind of spies, Teo thinks. Like Homeland Security's abduct-Evolved-for-Nazi-camp-experiment spies, or put-Phoenix-in-jail spies, or snipe-Christian-in-the-back-of-the-head-for-making-anti-government-noises spies.

There are as many kinds of spy objectives as there are incriminating secrets, and over the past few months, he's become deeply aware of how incriminating secrets can be. Given his green tea, he finally starts to peel his gloves off, biting into the cuff and pulling at the fingertips. "Doesn't sound like she's going to fuck over the showdown next week, then," he hazards to guess. "Huh. It's possible. I'll see if we have somebody that can check her out. Do you need a place to furnish and crash or just x by x feet of storage space?" Teo's head tilts right.

"Storage space, I'm gonna stay where I'm at for now. I just need someplace to keep my bikes and a few guns, and those radios I showed you earlier. I'm gonna slip out of state, get some of the stuff I've been stockpiling. I'll be in town by the start date though, and ready to rock."Christian wasnt sure what kind of spy Minea was, and frankly he didnt care. He just knew she wasn't on his side, and that tends to simplify manners plenty for Chris.

For Teo, it does the opposite. There are certain kinds of spies he wouldn't ask — order — to have shot. Giving Christian's wild and crimson ways a counter-balance and meet his practical needs isn't the kind that warrants shooting, he thinks. They'll see.

"Storage space should be easy. I'll get something registered under a different name and drop off the key next time we meet. You— wait. Can you come to the war room tomorrow? Or do you want Ivanov or your partner to relay what happens to you?" Mixed feelings again, as ever. There's enough anti-authority in Phoenix to start fires, and Feds tend to be something of a powderkeg; at the same time, if they can't handle sitting in a room and staring at a PowerPoint presentation together, Teo doesn't fucking well think they're going to be able to do their jobs when it it's time to save the world from a viral apocalypse.

"Cazzo. I hope nobody does anything stupid before next week."

In about thirty minutes, Flint Deckard is going to call him and he will be in for a pleasant surprise. For now, Teo's left to wonder if his SCOUT mole is going to be thrown in jail, whether Ethan's going to murder Alexander and Helena, and the bridges are going to blow. Grimacing, he looks up in time to see his food arrive.

"Just me and Felix, the bitch aint going. She's shut out operationally, and theres jack shit they can do cuz I'm quitting."is about the clearest summary Christian can provide. "I'll drop by tomarrow and leave right after, if I leave you my house keys and leave everything out think you could handle that for me? I have a very narrow window, of when I'm gonna be able to get out of town without anyone following."He doesnt explain how that works, but then again he didnt expect he'd have to.

"I can be there at the war room, and ahead of time I can tell you I have a preliminary promise of air support in the way of a pair of F-18s and a trio of longbows. I'll know by tomarrow, if I can bring them for sure but I wouldnt be surprised with either eventuality to be honest."he inhales deeply, pondering where his food is before he changes the subject. "Hey you think I should take flying lessons?"

More thinking. Teo tends to be obvious with his verbs. Laughing stretches his mouth so wide his ears shift upward half an inch, and he has a shade of red for every discrete degree of rage that processes through his adrenal system. When he's thinking, he could probably burn through a Bible with the strength of his squinty stare. There's the distinct temptation to lend teleporters and bug sweeps for Christian's getaway out of town, but a part of him is aware of the part of his friend that sometimes needs to do things alone. "Let me know if there's any way we can help." Independence, self-sufficiency, competence in working alone; attributes he appreciates in Felix and Christian, sometimes grudgingly, sometimes not.

And holy shit. Air support. Teo blinks twice, insipidly, then nods his tousled head. "I'll tell them about the possibility. When you find out for sure, you can tell the presenter yourself tomorrow. It'll be good to see you there." Belatedly, he picks up his chopsticks, arranging the plastic spears around his fingers without visible difficulty. "Flying? It— could be fun," he says. "You don't do that many things just for fun." Maybe that'd be healthy.

January 22nd: F*** Me, We Cleared It!
January 22nd: Have A Little Faith In Me
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