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Scene Title Misdirection
Synopsis One of Houdini's greatest achievements was involving misdirection. Get the crowd to look towards the flames and the explosions, so they don't notice the Elephant trampling around in their midsts.
Date November 20, 2008

Decommissioned SM-65 Atlas Missile Silo, Somewhere in the Nevada Desert

In the current era, much of the US missile arsenal has been placed on submarines instead of expensive to maintain subterranean missile silos. The increase in decommissioned missile silos has led government agencies to sell them to individuals, who then convert them to indisputably unique abodes. Residential dwellings, however, aren't the only use for a milti-million-dollar instillation designed to survive what the United States felt was the inevitable nuclear holocaust of the Cold War.

the groaning sound of stressed steel echoes for fifteen solid minutes in order to open the bay doors of one such decomissioned missile silo built into the arid Nevada desert. The bay doors are the only means for vehicles to enter the facility, a pair of sloped steel blast-doors designed to endure an atomic detonation constructed into a natural hillside that conceals much of the facility from the outside.

Over fifty years ago this place was much different, but the same grounds where Kazimir Volken and Richard Santiago's paths inexorable crossed seemed a fitting and ironic place to situate a seat of his newfound power. The black SUV that passes through the enormous doors once they are opened quickly drives across the dashed yellow and black security line and into the expansive maintenance hangar where a pair of other trucks are parked, both looking far for rugged and worn-dwn by the desert environment.

A handful of workers maintaining the facility clear out as the vehicle rolls to a stop upon the freight-lift. One worker presses a large red button attached to an iron box on a hanging cable, and railings slide up from the floor around the periphery of the lift, soon engaging hydraulics that lower the vehicle down further into the installation.

Two floors down, the SUV drives off of the freight elevator and down a sloping corridor to settle into a parking space alongside two black sedans. Waiting there, a technician in a gray military uniform with no visible insignias or markers stands with his hands folded behind his back, blonde hair cropped into a short buzz-cut. The door opens to the rear of the vehicle, and the moment Kazimir Volken steps forth from the SUV, the man in the gray uniform snaps to attention, raising one hand in a salute.

"At ease, soldier…" There's a faint sense of camraderie there in Kazimir's tone of voice, almost jokingly so. The old man quickly clears the distance to the soldier, nodding to him in a slow and assessing way to let his eyes wander up and down the young man. "You're the spitting image of your grandfather, you know."

"You're… too kind, Herr Volken." The Russian accent of the young soldier is unmistakable. "When I heard you would be touring the facility personally, I must admist I was surprised. You have not been here in…" His eyes wander away from Kazimir, hesitant to assess the length of time, and in the end he leaves that note up in the air. "What brings you out here?"

"Operational plans are underway, Hans, changes are coming." Even as he speaks, Kazimir is leading thew way, walking to a red-painted access door that leads out onto a catwalk that circles around the no longer operational missile silo itself, somewhere on the second tier, near the top and the sealed blast doors. "In the coming months, I'm going to be moving our operations east, and this facility may be closed down indefinately."

"Indefinately, sir?" One blonde brow raises at the suggestion, "Sir, if I may be so bold as to ask why? For the last four years I have maintained this facility under the direct assumption that it would be utilized as a safe-haven from the final phase?" He pauses on the catwalk, falling behind Kazimir, who is given that same pause a moment later.

"Plans have changed." There's only a moderate amount of vitrol in his tone of voice, and it would seem this young soldier has earned some freedom of expression in Kazimir's eyes. "The Nuclear option isn't our avenue of conclusion any longer." That there causes Hans to seem stunned, looking up for a moment to the blast door overhead, then back down to Kazimir. "I've come into the discovery of a sugrical knife, where once we were using a hatchett."

"Sir?" The notion is met with some skepticism, Hans' entire purpose has been setting up for the final phase of the Work, for the ultimate cleansing that would come. Now, all his hard work and best-laid plans are being thrown to the wind without forewarning.

"You will know when the time comes. But for now, I would like you and the infantry to prepare breaking down of facilities. We will be setting up a new base of operations in New York City, it will be the epicenter of the final phase, but the true groundwork is being laid sooner than expected."

"This…" Mattian closes his eyes, his hands wringing together behind his back, "Does this have to do with the mortar launchers we had delivered here? And the biohazard suits you had us ship out?" Kazimir only nods slowly, and continues walking along the balcony with slow, deliberate strides. "Sir, are you planning on utilizing chemical weapons against them?"

"Something like that." The old man says with reserved amusement, "As I said, Hans, you will know it when you see it. But for now I reserve the right to play that card close to my chest. Not even my closest agents operating out of the epicenter are aware of what I am planning to unleash on those creatures." Spoken as if he weren't one himself.

"Then, if we're decommissioning the base…" Hans quickly begins walking again, making double-time to catch up to Kazimir and walk by his side, "Why are you here?"

Pausing, Kazimir lets Hans catch up, then looks up to him with a silent stare. The two exchange that eye-contact for a brief moment, in which time Kazimir lets his gloved hand come to settle on Hans' shoulder. "Because I felt it would be best if this news was delivered in person, Hans. Besides…" There's a hint of a smile, for only a moment, on Kazimir's face. "This may be the last time I get to see you before the end of things." To his credit, the notion of sentimentality almost seems genuine, "You know how this will end, dear Hans. I am one of them after all."

There's a hesitation to accept what Kazimir says, not out of the sense that he is lying, but out of the disbelief that one day this crusade may actually be over. "Sir, you are better than any one of them." Hans looks to the hand on his shoulder, then back to Kazimir, "Even the ones who opt to serve you, they are merely serving their own self-interests, prolonging their lives as much as they can before they too are expunged."

"That may be so," Save for perhaps Amato, but Kazimir keeps that thought to himself. "But they all serve a purpose. Just as they will eventually perish to cleanse this world of their kind; so, too, shall I." He squeezes Hans' shoulder gently, then lets the gloved hand fall away to rest at his side.

"You should reconsider." The young soldier's words require Kazimir to restrain the hint of a smile he mat have shown. "Stay with us, guide us, in the event that there are survivors of the final phase. We will always need — " A hand raises, gloved fingers held up to silence Hans.

"There will not," of this, Kazimir is very certain, "be any survivors." He remains silent, letting that reassurance settle in. Then, when he is certain his point has been made, his hand moves to rest on Hans' shoulder again. "Come, now. We can spare a few minutes before I talk to the rest of the men. Let me tell you a bit more about your grandfather, and what he did during the War…" That smile he's tried so well to hide finally slips across his lips, "Did he ever tell you of a man named Adam Monroe?"

November 20th: Far Be It From Me

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 20th: Safety Third
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