Pacifists At Heart


fedor_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Pacifists At Heart
Synopsis No, really. They are. And next week, Moab Federal Penitentiary.
Date March 27, 2009

Staten IslandFresh Kills Harbor

Situated at one end of the Arthur Kill, this small harbor has clearly seen days of better and more frequent use. Though it's little more than a network formed by a few creaky docks and causeways, it's still more than suitable to tie up for those who have business on the Island. Invariably, at least one of the ports is taken up by a houseboat covered in seagull shit. A thick, greenish layer of bilge scum floats on top of the water and clings to the hull of every passing vessel. Welcome to Staten Island. If you have baggage or cargo to unload, there are usually a few layabouts at the Angry Pelican, which is just a short walk away. Just be sure to ask for a clean glass and keep one hand on your wallet at all times.

The edge of Fresh Kills Harbor is a snaggletooth, bristling array of small, half-petrified piers used more often by teenagers with rowboats and Ziploc bags of pot than any real or commercial traffic. Barnacles growing out of slime-sleeved slats, decay threatening the foundations, rusted nails poking out like a witch's teeth. Even a witch could be wont to get the shit kicked out of her on Staten Island.

Teo is sitting on a post and watching the breakwater. It is a gray afternoon, sky the color of fog despite the biting clarity of the sea air. His cellphone is in his hand, flipped open, the tiny display long since idled out to digitial dark.

"You'll have to forgive my lack of theme music to announce my arrival, I sent a memo but the theatrics department hasn't gotten back to me yet."Ingrid's voice was smooth and sultry, and right behind. She'd dyed her hair black since the last time she'd seen Teo, and by now she'd gotten used to the fairer sex. To the point where, it was getting more difficult to imagine her as a man than as a woman.

This isn't really Ingrid's flavor of dive, mainly because there were all the wrong photos on all the walls. Even out here though, she continued to feel the harsh in her vibe generated by the Angry pelican. All flight suit, jacket and a rather casually carried thigh holster she looked at first glance entirely like a police woman. A flying cop woman to be exact, which is probably partly why she didn't mind packing quite so openly.

Kind of a bad idea if you ask Teo, but then again, he doesn't like cops. And few people on Staten Island do. On the other hand, if you're going to be running around as one anywhere, it might as well be on the precipice of Manhattan Island. Right? Maybe. Maybe not. Alternatively, this is a good place to dump a corpse.


"Buongiorno." Teo gets up. The wood below him isn't, at least, screwed up so much that it betrays an alarming creak or anything theatrical like that. "It's good to see you, Ingrid. We're going to Moab next week. Are you still on-board for that?"

There's a shrug, noncommital like as she eyes Teo from under the rim of her baseball cap. "Maybe, I have limited tools to contribute though. Theres an airbase too close for a chopper, it'd need to be a fixed wing aircraft and then theres that flak bunker to concern one's self over. Anyway, look at me I'm babbbling like a school girl."She smiles, amused momentarily. "What is it, that you had in mind Teo? I'd be glad to help, if you want."

"You offered an air strike earlier. It was the weirdest fucking thing a person's ever offered me," Teo says, the pale of his eyes hooding slightly at the recollection of it.

It had been an extraordinarily odd conversation months ago. 'Sonny ol' boy, you'd be surprised at how much even a little fire from the sky can throw the enemy.' Clap on the shoulder, jovial grin. For all practical intents and purposes, nonliteral, that's what Fedor had presented the boy. Much to the boy's incredulity at the time.

Time passes quicker for baby terrorists than for other people, however, as does incredulity. "If you don't want to, I won't lose my shit," Teo says. "We didn't make promises, there's nothing to renege on. Still, if you're up for it…" Half-smile, quirked brow. "Phoenix can probably supplement your tool cache."

She doesn't shy away, thats for sure. "I could use some tools in my tool cache, but I'll need time. Closest aircraft capable of the strike is in Cuba, I'll need to take a face and get on base without raising eyebrows. Then I'll need help after the strike, I've already thought on getting people out of the camp and away from it. However, I'd be flying a Cuban aircraft in American airspace near a main hub for the F-22 program. There would be no escape for me, unless I had some serious help."

"This— according to your plan," Teo's brows are knit so hard they push into a furrow. "You'd be flying a machine with no way out, but the others would be getting out of the camp in a different machine without trouble? Or does the collective— all of you— require assistance after you leave Moab?"

The more people, the more hassle. Both of them know this. The presence of Evolved abilities makes life easier, but only by so much. It does not require great stark strokes of genius to accomplish this deduction.

It does require a certain amount of intelligence and experience to assemble a procedure the likes of which Ingrid is talking around, however, and there's no end to the curiosity that Teo studies her with.

"There are frequent C-130 transport flights from a nearby airbase to the facility in Moab, we'd wait for one of these. Shortly after they've landed, the F-15s or F-22s or F-16s or whatever will circle overhead and linger. I'd sucker punch the two orbiting, and then roll in to destroy towers and the AAA gun with rockets and cannon fire. Then, immediately I'd vector towards the oncoming reinforcements and meet them in the skies. Meanwhile, your people empty the C-130 out and fill it with your people. You leave, and I tie up everyone in the sky. If it gets much beyond eighteen or twenty to me, I wouldn't be able to keep their attention for very long."Ingrid shrugs, apparently quite comfortable with taking an aircraft long since outdated into combat with a furball of american fighters. "The C-130 flies somewhere else, unloads then torches the plane. I could eject whenever it suits me, but I'd need help once I got there."

Well that sounds crazy. If it didn't, it would definitely not work. There's no sane way in and out of attacking Moab Federal Penitentiary. "Phoenix knows of two teleporters and a guy who can manipulate time. This shit is probably going to run them both ragged, but there's an Evolved ability augmentor around, and they're all very good." The edge of Teo's teeth show, an enamel glint under the darker line of his lip. Thinking.

"I hope you take it as a compliment 'stead of no care for your wellbeing, the fact I'm not freaking the fuck out that you really think you can pull this off." His left eyebrow hikes upward a fraction of an inch.

A teleporter, access to a teleporter. Well, that radically changes the game as far as Ingrid's concerned. "Can either one of them teleport more than me, like a whole jet? If I had access to an SU-37,47 or a Mig-29SMT then I could tie up half the united states airforce with relative ease. I could also drop far more precise munitions, making everyone much happier. Is that a possibility, because I would consider offering my services on a far more regular basis if I could be furnished with more modern equipment than I currently have access to."

"I don't think either of them can do that unaugmented," Teo admits ruefully, running the blunt of his fingers down his jaw. His eyes narrow on some indistinct point of horizon, the jagged silhouette of breakwater. "Still, if it's just the augmentor, a teleporter, you and the jet, that might be possible. Take a few tries—

"I can't fucking believe I'm considering the logistics for this." His mouth flattens, whitening for a moment, before he cracks a sharp monosyllable of laughter. "Fuck it. Find the bird you want and a precise location — or we can help with the latter, and then I'll see what they can or will do."

Ingrid's own ruddy painted lips press thin, before a smile flourishes like spring flowers. "I love it, You know no F-15 or F-22 has ever lost an air to air enguagement? I am so very excited by the notion, goodness I feel positively electric. I'll contact your people soon, but I'll need two things from your side in addition to moving my jet where I need it. I'll need help acquiring armaments, the SU-37 is doing an airshow circuit but that means it'll be moving around with just a cannon. I'll need six R-73 air to air missiles, ammunition for the cannon and two S-13 rocket pods. One pod filled with penetrating explosive, and the other full of Fuel air explosive. Beyond that, I just need help finding a place to park it and wait for the C-130 to land. Does this sound tennable?"

At this, Teodoro's face goes more blank, as if somebody had smeared an eraser down the metaphorical chalkboard. There's a powdery particle smudge of residual sentiment left underneath it. "Frankly, signora, I don't know.

"That sounds like a lot in the way of armaments, and personally I don't know how or where they're kept or how to deal with storage. I think it's doable, but I'd need to see about locations and timeframe first." As it is, he has the feeling Hiro may need to leapfrog back and forth in time multiple times so that he and Anne can be everywhere that they need to. There's a beat's pause.

"You might have a little support in the air. Coincidentally." Teo's shoulders square. "Gabriel Gray has brought down planes before."

Theres a dismissive wave "naw, I wont need any help. Teo, I'm the most experienced fighterpilot in the world. I've made ace in every conflict I've flown in anger, and I've shot down far more aircraft flown by better pilots than there are days in the year. At twenty to one, there might be a fair fight. I'd still give myself the advantage though."She's all smiles now, but christ when wouldnt a fighter jock be thrilled about air to air combat?

"Alternatively, can you keep a secret Teo? If you can prove your worth by providing me with the equipment I need, I wouldnt be terribly opposed to getting you in on an operation I'm planning."

The Sicilian's features go still, the steep definition of haughty cheekbones and aquiline nose adjusting to the harsh quiescence of carved ice. Teo doesn't look angry, mind you; merely cautious. If he wasn't, he'd be still worse at his job, no doubt.

"I don't — please don't take this the wrong way, donna, but I'm not one to prioritize 'proving my worth' over getting this thing done. If I can get you your equipment, I will. If I start putting my ego into the mix, I'm pretty sure it won't do what we want it to." There's a beat's pause as the greater intellect behind Teo's commonplace politeness and strenuous virtues assesses the value of this ambiguous, undefined secret.

He won't ask about it, anyway. Not now. He'll probably be dead before Fedor's secret project comes into play.

Then, "Speaking of that — uhh. My ego. I'm sorry I was an asshole the other week. I know that a lot of people could have done better at the warehouse raid and it went pretty good, all shit considered. I'm grateful to you."

Theres no hard line to be found on Ingrid on the other hand, fixing her gaze firmly on the young man before her. "Oh relax, I'm speaking simply. Dont take me so literally. As for Zu, thats fine. I'm not happy with what she did, but I'm hardly going to blame her for her inexperience."She diverts her gaze, hiding it under the rim of her ballcap oncemore. "Anyway, when I'm done here I may invite you along to help destroy the test kit manufacturing complex. "

Half a smile emerges over Teo's features, looking altogether more worn than the blank stillness that had preceded it. "If there's no one inside the test kit manufacturing complex, I'd love to. If not, well," a shrug seesaws through Teo's shoulders. "Contrary to popular opinion, I'm not the end-all of Phoenix, and the one I answer to has always said we only kill to defend ourselves.

"For now, anyway. Your men would follow you with that much obedience, so…" It's apologetic, the stoop of Teo's shoulders. "If I can, absolutely."

She just smiles, for a couple silent moments. "I've seen ethnic clensing more times, than years you've been alive. I dont want to kill anyone, ever if its at all avoidable. I'm a socialist Teo, I'm a pacifist at heart. I want change, not body bags Teo."

"Cool. Me too." Always one for eloquence, Teodoro is. He presses a smile into his mouth, if one that doesn't last long. "I should get out of here and work down your grocery list. Uhhh.

"Could you actually text me the whole thing over again? My memory for numbers is a lot better than it used to be, but I don't want to cock this up." He pushes his fists into his pockets, curls long, scar-notched fingers around the plasticky carapace of his phone. A seemingly unwonted sigh moves through his lungs.

Its produced in a snap of the wrist, a folded over slip of paper held delicately between outstretched fingers."I was going to ask for them, for this next thing actually so I scribbled it up ahead of time. Now, if you have any problem with finding this stuff just text me. "Ingrid steps back a touch, leaving the slip for Teo. "We'll go on our little adventure, when we rescue your comrades."

That requires Teo to get one hand out of his pocket, take the slip of paper. He looks at it briefly, matching the neatly penned letterforms there with the ones that Ingrid had spoken aloud to him. The next moment, he straightens his hand, saluting the scrap against his brow. "Sorry our other field trip has been postponed. If we're all alive after Moab, I figure we can do it then." Smiling small, he hides hands and paper, all, in his pockets again. "That it, signora?"

Another step back, and another and another until Ingrid's strolling leisurely away. Theres no real response, or goodbye or anything else. Just a lifted hand, granting a lazy wave until departing like so much fog into a departing crowd of drunkards. Just like that, she's little more than a memory.

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