One Marine Two Marine


ananda_icon.gif danko_icon.gif

Scene Title One Marine Two Marine
Synopsis Just another quiet, boring night in the 'hood until Humanis First! shows up to sell Girl Scout cookies add yet another to their list of kidnappees. Not even double-agents are invulnerable.
Date September 17, 2009

Fort Greene - Mona's apartment

Twenty minutes from the ambient, kaleidoscopic night-lighting and whirl of people in Times Square- twenty in good traffic, that is— rests Fort Greene: physically only a bridge and several labyrinthine blocks distant from Manhattan's radiated heart, but atmospherically, already a world away. This street is tree-lined and quiet, its lonely flares of streetlamps like rows of little, golden, transfixed lanterns occasionally hidden by the spindles of a branch. There are straggles of passersby every minute or so, but no more, and generally no more frequently. Neither a seedy neighborhood nor an especially unsafe one by Brooklyn's standards, it's a haven of privacy at the best of times; now it's as if curfew has already draped itself onto this tiny slice of cityscape, a full hour early. A silent night indeed, but here silence is no stranger.

Moving profile partially obscured by the thick, horizontal bar bisecting her second-story window into clear and translucent glass, Mona is taking no notice of any of it, a pencil momentarily held between her teeth as she rustles at something in front of her. If she appreciates the solitude, the sense that nothing could really go wrong here— the lack of background activity easily leading one up to an unthinking, encompassing assumption of security— she's long used to it, as are many of her neighbors. It's a studio apartment, one-bedroomed and humble in size, but tidy and impressively nice for an 'author' of her supposed income. The lone door is locked and deadbolted, but her attention is nowhere near or around it. This late, visitors of any kind aren't expected.

In the hallway outside, there's movement. Combat boots scuff and muffle near silent over coarse (but clean) carpeting. Canvasy elbows scratch black at unmarred walls. Magazines cut and clip neatly into assault rifles; tranquilizer guns are checked and rechecked. Sidearms are adjusted in their holsters.

Five masked men in all black are making their way up the stairs and through the door to Mona's floor almost too quickly for how quietly they're moving. Like bull sharks ruddering through murky water after a single scant drop of blood, they circle 'round in rough formation outside of her closed door at a gesture from the shortest and slightest of them — four robust marines and the sergeant in charge all bristling with firearms and the ammunition that makes them go boom.

They don't waste any time, either.

A well-placed and securely planted boot smashes the door in right off the lock, deadbolt splintering through the frame like balsa wood to rebound hard off the adjacent wall. Then the four are swarming in and moving fast, muscle and fatigues and composite weapons blacking into the entranceway and beyond with blocky tranquilizer guns raised stiff ahead of them.

The delicate gridwork of telepathic reception blanketing outwards from the center of Mona’s mind, automatic, sprawling, all-inclusive, heeds the presence of four new minds with at first no more interest than a buffalo’s back registering the flitting, tiny feet of landing flies. There are population shifts within her brain all the time; people and their leashed thoughts drifting back and forth, in and out of vagueness, all hours of the day. But like four identical blips of radar relentlessly blinking their way forward on a map, cutting a path to the core far too quickly, all that soon changes – by the time Humanis First! piles through her ruined, gaping doorway, well beyond the outermost rim of her range, she’s no longer by the window. No longer visible, in that frame. The straying, hostility-filled thoughts of only a single marine in Danko’s retinue had been enough.

She had known that stuck, unbudging window, never fixed despite the recurring thought to have it so, would come back to haunt.

Either woefully or delightfully, depending, there’s nearly nowhere to hide. The living area opens up straight ahead: one low black futon, coffee table, television, a shaggy rug hiding otherwise bare wood. Two more white-framed doorways to either side of the TV, one leading off to a corridor-like kitchen, the other to the squarish bedroom.

Much of Mona’s training comes to naught here; weaponless, escape-less, all she has is wild, searching astonishment and the urgent edge it inserts behind her ability. The sound of her breathing is unchanged, if anything slower, but her own thoughts are raggedly racing. Silent, a long psychic tendril curls its way on outwards, slithering hastily and probing for the most bendable mind among them all; should she find it successfully, she’ll project her own slim appearance onto that of the marine’s nearest companion. It’s an illusion that can’t possibly last long, not with three other minds to confirm its sister reality, but maybe…

There's always one.

On through the entryway into the living room, four pairs of boots clod and thump while a door out in the hallway starts to open and Danko reaches up to sweep his balaclava neatly away from pale skull and colorless fuzz. He's holding it in one gloved hand and a shiny, official-looking badge in the other when a curious face blinks after Mona's broken door with eyes the size of white wall tires. "Agent Resch, Homeland Security," offered at an easy lilt, he even forces a winding smile at the younger woman as he tilts the badge to better reflect silvery light. "We're acting on orders to detain a dangerous Evolved Individual in this building." A tilt of his head indicates the door she was staring at, shattered wood bared pale through the open frame. "If you could step back inside, I'll have one of my agents by shortly to answer any questions or concerns you might have."

Back inside, a body thumps slack to the floor, loose-jointed limbs ragdolled over thick torso when the guy that had started to take aim at one of his own catches a dart in the back of the neck. These guys are quick, all spit and polish and scraping canvas when they step over him and continue on, the spent dart gun dropped and exchanged for their unconscious compadre's on the way.

Whump, in goes a bathroom door. Another winds quick through the kitchen. Only a matter of seconds before they come right up on her.

The agent can't resist a silvery smirk darting onto her lips, birdlike, when 'Agent Resch' announces his presence to a room utterly devoid of his intended target. On the outward wall of the bedroom, there's another window - it's this that Mona can be seen attempting to pry open, one knee driving into the thin ledge that comprises the windowsill, when heavy booted feet trail right through the door. Drapes flung wide, a ribbon of chilly, nighttime breeze flows into the enclosure, flutters the twining borders of the curtains.

"Touch me and have hell to pay for," she rasps out when finally caught head-on, wariness overlaying natural contempt — for once, in a decade or so of service. Within another split second she sends a psychically-powered scream tearing into the fabric of his mind, shrill enough for three to have emitted simultaneously and planting itself there, bypassing the normal route of ear apparati; it's an echofest to make his skull clash and clang as if hollow. Her hand grips at the side of the window, readying her body to haul itself up and through.

No response. A marine already at the bedroom door shoulders his way on in, gun up and taking aim, as impassive to threats as he is to begging. Sobbing. Flaming debris and hydrokinetic blasts to the face. Odds are he's seen a lot of crazy shit over the last few weeks. One woman and one window is hardly —

Fuck. His hand jerks; he pulls the trigger too soon. The dart puffs off and flings itself into the wall some three feet off target to trip to his knees, gloved hands pawing and clawing rough at the cling of balaclava to no effect. There's no shutting it out.

But it doesn't matter. Where the second man has fallen, there are still two to fill the vacuum, and there are only so many spaces in the studio to check. They appear in rapid succession, nearly shoulder to shoulder when #3 hefts his weapon and pulls the trigger. Condensed air flashes cold, and this time the dart ticks home, cold needle to warm flesh before a Mona who is actually Ananda can get more than a few inches of herself out into the night.

Mona squeezes out a gasp when the dart's sharpness flits into her neck, hilting itself into the taut, sloping triangle of flesh where her earlobe ends. There are no more taunts, certainly no sobs, no more anything from the agent-turned-mole as far as words go; under the grip of tension, she keels one-handed to the floor without ceremony, half-moving and half-crashing into a sitting position against the wall. A hate-laden glance is pinned upwards on the soldier for as long as she lasts, but there is nothing she can do.

The light of arrogance, of consciousness, melts away from her eyes — but her eyelids stay staring and open.

Back out in the hallway, Danko's still watching the woman with wide eyes retreat in slow motion, painted door creaking closed milimeter by milimeter until wood clicks to wood and metal to metal. The lock turns over with a solid click, and he tucks the badge away apparently without being able to remember which pocket it was originally in, because it doesn't seem to fit back in any of them. Hm.

In Mona's apartment, things are progressing a little more smoothly, now. The guy that had fallen staggers to his feet and into the door frame, still holding his head when Tranquilizer Marine moves in to pat Mona down while she's still conscious. He slings her over his shoulder once he isn't — shoves past Deaf Marine on his way out. The other guy still sane and mobile is busy dragging Tranquilized Marine (ed not to be confused with er) towards the door. Eventually the deaf and dumb one will follow once he figures out where they're headed. Probably.

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