amato_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Missing
Synopsis They took her.
Date March 9, 2009

The Ritz-Carlton — Lucrezia's Suite


The phone call to Eileen was shorter than Amato would have wanted it to be, but the situations under which it came are dire and require him not to be blubbering across the city at a tiny young woman who can do little about it, when all is examined closely. So it is in a hurried rush that Amato apologetically ends the strange conversation and dials Teo's number. If it weren't for the open address book on the floor, knocked from it's position on the table by the phone, he might not have been able to do so.

At least the second call is more intelligible than the first.

Amato can't stand still, but neither does he really want to wander around the ransacked suite. Instead Amato has resorted to leaning against the windowsill with his left hand clutching his right arm, staring with blank fright at the scene before him.

He can only hope that Teo comes as quickly as he did a few hours ago.

For his aunt, always.

And Teo hadn't flattered himself to think that this could be about anything else. He comes quickly. Runs part of the way, buses, runs again. The boy that comes thundering out of the glass and gilded chrome of the elevator is sweating, rumpled, his hair and clothes in skewed and chaotic disarray. It's fortunate, maybe, that Amato had gotten him on his way to Staten Island.

That journey is always timed to the gradual process of getting his inner thug on. It's like armor, fortification, setting his center of balance closer to the scum of the ground, existential and emotional.

Still, by the time he slams in through the doorway his face is white and stiff as if bone were showing through. "«What the fuck?»" Manners can go away and die. Sweet salutations are dispensed with. There's a gun in his hand.

If Amato is at all phased by the fact that Teo has come armed, he doesn't show it. "«I need you to find her,»" he says in a much quieter but equally uneasy voice. "«The desk downstairs says it was some sort of official agency. Police.»" So not Kazimir, but an adversary that is just as frightening. "«I don't care how you do it. Just… just find her.»"

Amato turns away from the overturned furniture and broken glass to look over his shoulder and out the window. "«I have to go away. I have… I have to hide. Besides, I would only be in your way.»"

Iridescent wings and twitching, furred-wire legs are crushed underfoot as Teo stomps through the room, twisting to and fro, looking. His shoe slams in underneath the edge of the coffee table, a vicious, arcing kick that sets the overturned furniture over and up again, its legs swinging haphazardly through the air before juddering to an abrupt halt on the floor.

He shoves the boudoir door wide. Stares past sheer curtains, yanks back out.

The soles of his shoes munch exoskeletons. Bees. Spiders. The spindly, twisted, guts-gummed wrecks of tiny bodies. Nothing human here; so very little that's human. Obscurely, Teo knows that he should say Yes. Ought to promise he will, but Eileen would be the first to scold him for that. Making promises he can't know he'll deliver.

He kicks the same table he had rescued but a second ago. There's a groaning crack of varnished hardwood and glass coming apart; it cartwheels into the wall. Loud. Satisfying. Stupid, also. "«Where are you going to hide?»" he breathes.

Amato watches the other man storm through the suite just as he had less than an hour before, but part of his brain notes the difference in expression. Teo is angry while Amato was terrified.

"«Somewhere not here,»" is all Amato can say as he watches Teo as a terror-stricken animal watches a larger, more formidable force. "«They'll come back here.»"

In the simplest terms, Teo is better at anger than he is at fear, though he's neither an expert nor incapable at any of that. His heart throbs in his chest and his breathing isn't fitting right in his lungs. It's a horrible feeling. Arid, hot, hideous, furious from paranoia and the distinct sense that they fucking cheated.

He wipes his nose with the back of his forearm. Still breathing hard. Too hard; he can feel the pressure of it bleed warmth through his sleeve. "«The cattle-rustlers can hide you. The Ferrymen. That's what they do— hide Evolved refugees. She wouldn't forgive me if I let anything happen to you.»" That's a lie, but only because he isn't thinking straight. Lucrezia would forgive him for a lot of things.

He's self-centered enough that that isn't a point. His gaze pitches back to the older man's face, registering the gaunt terror there. "«Will you come with me?»"

The Ferrymen. The very sort of people who the Vanguard worked in opposition of, but the very sort of people Amato needs right now. He doesn't answer, though, but moves across the living room, his expensive shoes no longer soft on the carpet, but accented by the morbid crunch of lifeless insect and arachnid husks. A cigarette lies discarded, thrown, on the floor amongst the rubble, as forgotten as the open copy of Dante's Inferno. Amato stares at it a moment, then bends down to pick up the rolled paper that has long since ceased to smolder.

The token is carefully handled, then tucked away in Amato's trouser pocket and patted to ensure its security.


Someday, Teo will ask somebody to follow him and they won't do it. Something terrible will have happened, and something worse will happen afterward. For now, things seem unimaginably fucked up as it is.

Preferable, perhaps, to letting his imagination do what it would.

"Okay." He looks past the furtive grasp of Amato's hand at the discarded book on the floor. Dante's Inferno. The most popular and least convincing source of counterfeit Christian teleology you'll find anywhere, and a good read for all of that. Tale of revenge; always appeals. As does a map, even if it's incorrect, if it's the only one there is. Teo takes a last look around the room and tries not to feel lost yet.

Splintered wings sift away under the final kick of Teo's boot, and his gun rolls in his palm as he sets his pace toward the hallway, roots through his other pocket for his cellphone.

March 9th: Coming Home
March 9th: Highly Trained Agents
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