One If By Sea


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Scene Title One If By Sea
Synopsis Three members of the Vanguard reunite with Mattias aboard the Invierno off of the coast of New York.
Date December 19, 2008

Atlantic Ocean, New York City Coastline

From a far, Manhattan looks like a glittering piece of rock set upon turbulent waters. The lights of a city divided by fear and chaos receed over the horizon, consumed by clouds and a haze of white as snow hammers the jagged skyline. Cold, whipping wind scores across the water's turbulent surface, and the hum of a zodiac raft's engine barely rises above the sound of the wind and the sleet.

This far out away from the mainland, the snowstorm raging inland has turned to so much rain and sleet, a cold and wet mixture of unfavorable conditions for travel, but favorable conditions for covert operations. The matte black raft skims across the choppy surf, and a lone former SAS operative steers the vessel, his black knit cap encrusted with ice, eyes narrowed to slits with cold rain streaming down his cheeks.

Sitting alongside Drake in the raft, Rico is hunched on a bench seat with his arms wrapped around himself and head down, freezing rain slicked in his long, sraggly hair and beard, crusting across the top of his beret. An unlit cigarette hangs limply from his lips, wet with rain. "I should have followed Ellinka's lead…" His words come as a complaining groan as his dark eyes move to the man sitting next to him.

King weathers the storm with more dignity. His black body armor and matching BDUs are covered by a glossy black poncho that the freezing rain slides off of. His arms tucked beneath the slick and hooded garment are far warmer than either of his compatriots. His silence, however, is because he knows warmth and comfort is not far away. Only as far as the lights of a ship on the horizon.

The Invierno.

Having dropped anchor two days ago off of the coast of New York, the Invierno is holding its position and weathering the rough weather for the mission the vessel was purchased for, the third phase of Kazimir Volken's work.

By the time the zodiac raft pulls alongside, winch ropes have already been dropped, quickly tied off to either side of the vessel by Rico and King, and the raft — along with its passengers and cargo — are hoisted up onto the deck of a large cargo transport vessel. The raft is dragged aboard, greeted by a half dozen soldiers in rain slickers with automatic rifles. Rico is the first off of the raft, waving one hand dismissively as the men salute and step aside. These are his people, they know when they're not needed.

"Good to see you back, Sir." Mattias gives Rico a crooked smirk as he spots the ice rimming his beard, then motions to an open bulkhead, "Crew has already prepared changes of clothing and a hot meal for you all." The portugese smuggler peers out from his rain-slicked hood to a black weapons case that King carries under one arm, and then to a pair of matching boxes — somewhat smaller — brought aboard from the raft by Drake.

"Sirs." Mattias affords another nod, "My men can take care of — "

"We'll be bringin' it below decks, f'now." Drake says with an impatient hiss to his voice, "Volken's orda's." Mattias hesitates for a moment as he's interrupted no his own ship, then gives a curt nod at the mention of who's direct authority it originated from.

"Very well then." He nods his head towards the bulkhead, "Come down, get warmed up." Rico grins at the second time the invitation is given, flashing Drake a when in Rome look, one that the former SAS officer is beginning to understand more and more each time it's given to him as an excuse to do something outside of mission perameters.

King watches as Rico heads down towards the stairs to lower decks, then around the top of the ship, to the cold rain blowing across in the glow of the flood lights. "Keep tight security, Kazimir believes we may be under surveilence." Mattias grits his teeth at being given an order, and nods. When King passes him, he fails to notice the black spider hiding in the folds of his poncho, blending in to the dark fabric.

"Don' min' him." Drake offers, slapping a hand on Mattias' shoulder when he notices him tense up, "C'mon down an' share a drink." Mattias' eyes flicker down to look at the hand, and his posture relaxes some, hands coming out from behind his back where they were folded.

"If I may ask, Mister Leeds." Mattias' eyes move to the pair of black plastic boxed carried under Drake's other arm, "What ordinance are you bringing aboard my ship?" A single dark brow raises, drops of water falling down from the brim of his hood as he watches the ice starting to melt on Drake's cap.

"Need to know." Drake says with a firmness to his voice, but then cracks a smile. "Off th'record?" The steely glare Mattias was about to shoot Drake shifts to something more puzzled, inquisitive and intent, yes, off the record he thinks to himself, head tilting to the side. "Still none a'you fuckin' business." Drake pushes Mattias back and away, then walks off towards the stairwell.

The Captain stumbles from the light shove, breathing in a sharp breath to calm his nerves and stay his hand from reaching for his revolver. His eyes focus on Drake's back as the man descends the stairs carrying the plastic crates, and then looks up with narrowed eyes to the black skies overhead, and the cold rain falling from them. "Deus, me diga isso é certo."

God, tell me this is right.

December 19th: The Rear Window

Previously in this storyline…
The Rear Window

Next in this storyline…
After the Ball Was Over

December 19th: The Devil's Due, Part V
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