King Hunt


avi_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif

Scene Title King Hunt
Synopsis Elisabeth comes to request Wolfhound's aid in the recovery of Richard Ray from Iraq.
Date January 17, 2020

Last night's phone call was both relief and terror. But Elisabeth's immediate need is to get people in the loop. A text went from the blonde to Huruma as well as to the leadership of Wolfhound, asking for a meeting at the Bastion.

The blond enters the main entry of Wolfhound's headquarters, wearing her usual work clothes — it is, after all business hours. A pair of dark gray slacks with a pair of ankle boots against slipping on the concrete outside, a heavy black jacket thrown over the top of her sea-green collared shirt. She's wearing her badge and her weapon at her waist, and she waits politely for an escort to wherever Avi wants to have this meeting.

The Bastion

Phoenix Heights

NYC Safe Zone

January 17th

9:47 am

She looks weary. It's been a long couple of weeks for her, just as much as it has been for Avi. The fact that Nathalie has also not turned up has been of concern to Elisabeth as well. Even if one doesn't assume the two disappearances are related, it's not exactly the norm for someone like Nathalie to go missing quite this long. And given what she now knows, it's hard to ask him, "Any news, Avi?"

“Fuck all of nothing,” is the first thing out of Avi Epstein’s mouth the moment Elisabeth is escorted into his office by a man she’s seen around the Bastion before but has never really gotten the name of before. Francis Harkness prefers it that way, especially when working with cops, and discretely slips out with a little push of one finger against his nose to make a pig snout gesture at Avi on his way out.

“That’s Francis Harkness by the way,” is how Avi immediately fucks all that up. “He’s Scott’s idiot son and probably guilty of something if you wanna just arrest him now.” Elisabeth doesn’t need audiokinesis to hear Francis’ near-voiceless, what the fuck man as he retreats from the doorway. As much as Avi would like to chase that conversational thread, Elisabeth has matters that he actually cares about in mind.

“Lucille paid a visit to Peyton Whitney,” Avi notes with a rise of his brows, slouching into the cracked leather upholstery of his desk chair. “Apparently tried to use her ability to locate Nat and just got… fucking darkness. I don’t know.” He looks aside to the crumbling brick walls of his round, tower office. “Monroe can hide from Whitney, and he isn’t the only person who's been able to. So… I don’t know what that means.”

It breaks Elisabeth’s heart when he looks up and asks. “Have… have you heard anything?” He worries, suddenly, that it’s why she’s here.

Smirking back at young Harkness, Elisabeth honestly can't be bothered to care what his opinion is. He's an upstart and she's not in the mood for a lot of banter. Her blue eyes study Avi's face and she quirks a brow. "Peyton seeing darkness can mean almost anything," she tells him quietly. "When Humanis First held me captive, they blindfolded me. That's all she ever got from me, too." She won't lie to him outright, but her guts are in knots.

"Richard got through last night," she tells him. "If I understood his message right, he knows what's going on with Nathalie too, but he was cautious about what he said on an open line. It was secured, but still." She rubs her hand across her chin, uneasy. "He woke up in Iraq. Mazdak's people had him. I'm hoping Huruma might have enough contacts to get to him, with your help," she admits.


Avi's doorstep darkens, although with a familiar frame. Huruma has naturally been eavesdropping before stepping into the fray, listening to the coils of nerves to plan her course ahead of time. Elizabeth's addition of a Where, however, has the dark woman sidling in a moment earlier than she intends, curiosity and a moment's disbelief fumbling down her sleeve.

The more she thinks, the more it will eventually make more sense. Surely.
"My Arabic is fine. My Farsi is quite rusty, but I hope you needn't go that far. I hope you have somewhere a little more specific." Huruma slips inside only then, head angled to Liz, studying her with eyes and feelers.

Avi doesn’t seem bothered by Huruma’s intrusion. He waves her in wordlessly, keeping his attention on Liz. “Iraq’s a shitshow, there’s no way we could get in and out without risking an international incident. To make matters more complicated, we don’t really have a way in, either. It’s outside of the Tlanuwa’s operational range, and we’re short anyone who can just,” he snaps his fingers, “get us there I Dream of Genie style.” He can make that reference, the people in the room are old enough to get it.

“But we can work with this,” Avi says, climbing out of his chair while picking up a small tablet computer, swiping his fingers up the screen to turn it on. “There’s no US embassies in Iraq, but as far as I know India, China, Pakistan, and Madagascar all have consulates there.” He looks up to Huruma at that. “It’s what, a six or seven hour flight from Antananarivo to Baghdad?” He squints. Give or take. “If Richard can get to a Malagasy embassy we could probably coordinate with Dajan Dunsimi to get him brought to Madagascar…”

"He's not ready to leave the country yet," Elisabeth tells him. Which in part is why she came here — because extraction can happen, but Huruma probably has better contacts in Madagascar than anyone Elisabeth can imagine. "He's …. Fucking pissed, Avi. Going after the head of Mazdak, I think." She looks between the two of them and admits, "I don't know what they did to him, but I don't think it was any kind of good. And he wants to know what the hell the agenda is before he attempts to get back. He thinks they're planning something stateside… and it may also have something to do with the .. travelling that I did. He asked for Huruma, though. I think he's thinking the same thing you are — out through Madagascar."

Huruma is of a mind enough to close the door behind her; she will know about any prying ears, but this way she maintains an intent of privacy. Liz has her cone of silence, but whatever. She is otherwise silent and somber as she absorbs what's going on. Avi's ahead of both of them, though Huruma fails to convey that after the fact.

"It is likely they would take him in immediately. He's the CEO of an American firm, I'm sure it would be a non-issue…" But apparently it's not to be. Mention of Mazdak has her features pinching in a moment of frustration. "Has he finally lost his mind?" Huruma breathes out with a clench of jaw, arms linking in front of her.

"If they aren't planning something over here, I would be more surprised. They know what they're doing over there, and it is not like it takes much to strike on American soil. He is being stupid." Huruma fails to mince the words, and rather than dwell on a fleeting desire to dangle someone off of a ledge, she just runs a hand down her forehead and moves on. "It's roughly seven hours, yes… on a commercial aircraft, in any case."

“I don’t know if you have Dick on a hotline or not,” Avi says with a scrub of one hand at his head, “but you need to tell him to get his ass out of Mazdak’s backyard before they incinerate his ass. I don’t care if they ran him raw, all he’s going to do over there is get himself killed.” Avi swipes across the tablet again, then taps the screen. “Fuck, Francois is out of comission for the forseeable future. We had a break in up at the Bunker, he got stabbed like… I don’t know twenty times. Nat did what she could for him but we— got into an argument the day after and she wasn’t able to finish. He’s going to live, but he’s going to be in recovery for months.”

The reason Avi seems laser-focused on Francois doesn’t seem obvious at first, until he sets down the tablet on the table. “We need to leave someone in charge of operations while you and I are gone,” he explains to Huruma, “I’m thinking Scott, unless you think one of the pups is ready to test drive command for a few days.”

Blue eyes give Avi a Look. "Have you tried to dictate to my husband recently, Epstein? It's no simpler now than it was a decade ago." Elisabeth's tone is very dry and she sounds exhausted, but when Avi indicates he's going out there? There is both relief and worry on her features. And then there is horror. "Wait, what? Francois?" Her heart is in her throat. There is genuine love for the man in question and fear and horror that he's been hurt so badly. There's a low level of relief that he'll recover, but Jesus…

Dragging her hands through her hair, Liz blows out a slow breath. "Okay… look. Let me know when you're ready to lift off. I'll make sure you have secure burners." And she may have to keep Alia from sending the goddamn cat. She looks at Huruma. "I don't think he's lost his mind… I do think that whatever the hell he knows or guesses about why we're all being manipulated this way, he certainly couldn't say on an open line. Our technopath has a secure line to him for now, though he'll need to get a new burner relatively soon. The location we have on him is literally in the middle of Baghdad."

The news that Avi intends to go along appears to actually surprise Huruma, if a raised brow and a suspicious look counts as surprise. At the very least, Liz also offers the explanation of Richard being unable to communicate effectively over a line, which tells her enough.

"If you have a secure line," Huruma turns a serious look to Elisabeth, and the other woman knows when she means Business. The shift in intensity from exasperation is written all over. It's worse than that. "Have him move as south as he can, if possible. ." She doesn't offer a reason why, but given Richard asked for her, he must trust her direction.

"We'll leave Scott in the driver's seat… " Finally, she does address the issue of piloting Wolfhound, eyes moving to Avi and giving one last narrow of eyes. "If you're certain that you want to go, we may need to stay over in Antananarivo for prep. Will that be a problem?" She expects not, if only out of necessity, but she knows what the place means to him too.

"I should be able to call in a flight as soon as possible."

Avi sighs, scrubbing a hand over his mouth. “We should stay in Madagascar if we go. The risk of setting one itty bitty foot in Iraq’s too big. If Mazdak ain’t stupid, and I’m wagering after taking over two fucking countries they aren’t, they’ve probably got clairvoyants, prophets, whatever. They’ll know if we try and slip in. No, if Richard’s there and they haven’t found him yet that’s all the better. At night he’s stealthier than either of us. He can maybe get to the Malagasy embassy and request transport out and we can meet him in Antananarivo.”

Sliding his tongue over his teeth, Avi shakes his head. “This isn’t good. That’s a shitload of kidnappings all happening potentially together. If… if Nat hasn’t just run off, then— between this and Liberty Island? Shit’s catching on fire.” Rubbing a hand at the back of his neck, Avi looks over to Huruma. “Think your kid can get us put up for a few days and a jet for Richard?”

Scott will be so thrilled, Liz is sure. She doesn't know the man, but given that things are starting to come unraveled….

There is a long moment where Elisabeth looks between them, her jaw working back and forth while she weighs her thoughts. "I don't know what resources you have specifically, or whether you're able to tap any of them for this, Avi. But I can get you to Madagascar." Blue eyes flicker to Huruma and the she offers a faint smile. "Being the wife of the corporation's CEO has some small perks," she observes ruefully. "The jet has the range to get you there, or if it doesn't, I'm betting we have a refuel ability somewhere between."

Dragging her hand heavily through her hair, she worries at the edge of her lip. "Two things — do you want to take Dev with you? And do you want a technopath on board?" Devon because he's their own known and well-trained operative in addition to his ties to Richard, and the technopath for a host of reasons she can think of, including whatever the hell machinery they've got over there. "I'll get him the message that you're heading for Madagascar, but… I'm worried, Avi. He's got tunnel vision on getting to this guy and I'm not clear on what actual purpose he has for it. I don't think it's just revenge, though. It's tied to this shit with Monroe somehow." She looks between them. "You may well have to decide whether to go in after him. If you opt not to… please alert me ahead of time."

What she might do at that point is unclear. Maybe even to her.

As tempting as it may be to take a brief vacation to the south of Iraq, he's right. Huruma frowns in passing, similarly gathering a storm of irritated nerves in her head. There's been too many fires, and the intent going forward is not going to be putting them out- - rather, finding a way around first.

"They'll put us up." Huruma answers without hesitation, teeth grinding down at Liz and her questions into a team. It's probably better to keep this small. And there's the question of Devon's presence being a beacon. The technopath… she's not sure.

"Devon's up to Epstein." She'll give an opinion if pressed. "The technopath too." Madagascar isn't wanting for its own skilled people, after all. Huruma turns her attention more fully to Liz, last. "If he does not leave the country, tunnel vision will be the least of his problems. Tell him to get to the consulate and wait for a bird. They can have one up in no time, if there is not one there already."

“Clendaniel is out,” Avi says flatly, “security concerns and the fact that we need him here for the NYPD contract, we’re short-staffed at the moment as it is.” He angles a look over to Huruma, then back to Elisabeth. “As for the technopath, no sense in risking unnecessary brain-splattering if they can you know, work in their jammies or whatever. Just have them keep tabs on Richard and keep us abreast of his movement as best as they can.” He may be overestimating Raytech’s technopath, having been used to working with Hana all these years.

“I say we leave sooner, rather than later,” Avi recommends, “because the longer I have t’think about this the more likely I’ll say fuck it and talk myself out of going back to that malarial hell island.” That isn’t the proper name for Madagascar, but it’s what Avi remembers it as. “No offense,” he adds to Huruma as if that smooths everything out.

Elisabeth immediately nods to Avi's intent. "Once you're off the ground, I also have to report to SESA that he's made contact." She looks at Huruma, her worry for Avi's headspace and for everything else surrounding this mess brutally clear to the empath. There's also more than a little relief. She didn't have to pull out the other thing — that Mazdak is claiming responsibility for Hana too. It's something Richard can tell them on the ground. "I can have you wheels-up in two hours, if you can get things settled on the far end." She apparently spent the ungodly early hours of the morning getting a private jet ready to fly. She just didn't know for sure who'd be on it.

"If the technopath needs to come with to help, we can find a place for them." Huruma hasn't forgotten the array, where Avi has. Her eyes hooded, she gives the latter a squint as she replies offhandedly to Elisabeth. She can read the other woman as well as she imagines; no need to explain whatever turmoils her- - right now, anyway. "Tell SESA we'll have it handled."

Huruma seems convinced of it. A good sign for Liz, less so for Richard.

"Some offense." Huruma scoffs. "That is exactly why I asked if there would be a problem." Her muttering comes with the landing of fingers on her hips, narrow look lingering. "When was the last time you brushed up on the place? Aie." Exasperation more than anything actually angry. It's a familiar bit of bickering, in the face of something new and precarious.

"I'll call it in." Eyes back on Liz, content to treat the blonde as her new primary direction. "Hopefully there is minimal interference." Not in the call, mind you. Other types.

Avi grumbles something about always keeping an eye on Madagascar, but Huruma’s fairly certain he’s both sarcastic and still bitter about what went down during Operation Apollo. When he turns to Elisabeth, Avi motions to her with one hand. “One question,” is the last thing he needs to know before he starts putting a plan in motion. “If your boy doesn’t want to come home, do we let him keep playing in the sandbox?”

“Or do we hit him over the head and drag his ass home?”

The answer is obvious.

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