NPCs by Fedor.

Scene Title Pre-Payment
Synopsis I'm paying for my next question ahead of time. Everything in the box is yours upon receipt of this message.' //The bank address follows.
Date February 16, 2009

Text message at Mon Feb 16 01:04:38 2009:

'Safety Deposit box 467, show them your license and tell them your Mr. Kalinin's secretary. The verbal password is Ekranoplan. I'm paying for my next question ahead of time. Everything in the box is yours upon receipt of this message.'

The bank address follows.

Hell Of A Bank

s not the sort've place you can just walk into mind you, and hell without the address its unlikely you'd have ever found it. It was the American branch office of a Swiss banking firm, a small one at that which operated (stateside at least) only out of NY and Chicago. It was set in a generic office building, in a generic part of the financial district. Hell even inside where there are plush suede couches and a waitress attending just to coffee and foreign looking folks in expensive outfits.

"Hello sir, how can I help you."came a soft voice from the receptionist, there was no obvious logo or even an indication as to -what- this place even was. "do you have an appointment?"which was the standard defensive tact these days. Beyond her was a small little office that gave even less indication as to what the hell this place even was. Granted, the two big security guards by the security door and the six or so security cameras may give some indication.

A dozen paranoid precautions in, and Teo no longer has any idea what he's doing here but he's sort of spent thinking about it. His driver's ID flips up, photo side up. "I'm Mr. Kalinin's secretary," he says, a little drolly. He doesn't look like much of a secretary, honestly, six feet tall, seemingly dark hair only beginning to bristle out of its buzzcut. At least the sweater he's pulled on for this doesn't have a hood attached and a hole in the elbow, though, and he's foregone the jeans in favor of a respectable pair of slacks. "I'm here about a safety deposit box."

There's a solemn nod as she offers you a slender little tablet PC. "please sign where appropriate, I'll need to see your driver's license. At the very bottom I'll need you to sign the password to the box, before I can confirm or deny that Mr. Kalinin has an account with us."

The ID is passed to the woman, every detail as true a fact and authentic as Hana can contrive of. Extremely. Taking the pen, Teo scribbles down the appropriate signature, waits for one screen to fade into the next. Deftly, he taps in the password. Ekranoplan. What the fuck does that mean? He has no idea. Finds himself waiting for the device to explode in his hand and take his arms with it but, failing that, he offers it back to the austere little lady. "Thanks."

She doesnt even accept the pad back before it beeps and offers a dull green blink, then its a simple trade. She takes the tablet and offers back your driver's license and a safety deposit box. "Down the hall to the right, it will be the only door thats opened. For your privacy, there are no cameras inside the viewing area and only your key can open the door once it shuts behind you. If you should need any assistance, there will be a phone just inside the bay which will dial my desk immediately once you pick it up. Do you have any questions sir?"She doesnt even bother to glance back up as the security guards turn to use their key on the door, before the secretary hits a buzzer and finally it opens granting passage to the hallway behind.

It'll seal up. Airtight. Then fill with either poisonous gas or alligator water, Teo's sure of it. Not really. He turns up the corners of his mouth at the woman, says "No," bids her a good day in Italian, and lopes off the way he was so kindly directed. In lieu of boots, hard-soled shoes click the varnished stone in a cadence that passes for professional. He has to consciously suppress the urge to jam his hands in his pockets, yank on a hood that isn't there, and duck his head away from the innocuous eye of the camera that watches from around the beautifully groomed fern. He steps into the hallway.

It's a long hallway indeed, with "isles" cutting to either way but thankfully theres only one door and a bright green sign hung above it flashes clearly"OPEN" it declares. The doors here lack any visible door handles, and indeed dont even have any obvious place to swipe a keycard ot proceed fourth with any other manner of manipulation. The room itself has only ten boxes, and a large stainless steel table(and chair) set in the center. The boxes were really pretty large, about 3ft by 4ft and its tough to tell how far they went into the wall. The door does indeed slide, into place before four large electric motors at each corner clamp down to securely fasten it into place. It smelled like expensive cologne and silk in here.

Kind of like the church confessionals at home. Teo doesn't laugh. Somehow. His life really doesn't make any more sense, though; Daniel Craig should be in here, not him. He comes into the available compartment, his gaze flitting up and down the sterile geometry of the walls and furnishings. Metal, subtlety of security. Place was designed to make a man feel his shit was safe, evidently. Ironic, that it leaves the baby terrorist feeling anything but. Expelling a low breath, he pivots through the small space on his feet, glancing high and low for the number to match: 467. Get in, get the fuck out. A litany he's had under his breath, at the back of his mind, for almost two hours now.

"BURN AFTER READING" "DESTROY IMMEDIATELY" "TOP SECRET" "DO NOT TRANSPORT" "ORIGINAL COPY, DO NOT ALTER." Ribbons, paper ribbons looped around neatly stacked manilla folders. There was CIA letterhead, FBI letterhead, DSS letterhead and towards the back even more with all manner of stars and perhaps similar warnings only in russian. The files themselves where neatly organized atleast. Operation reports, personell files and right before the little russian section was a place for what looked like intercepted intelligence reports. They were all dated of course, with the newest one labeled as from 1990. There was cash too of course, you could just make it out towards the back underneath the russian stuff. Neat piles of bills.

For a long time, Teo simply stares at the letterheads. After that, he spends a long time looking at the money peeking out from underneath. It feels like a long time, anyhow. In reality, it probably isn't; a few seconds spent here or there, poised on the precipice between convenient ignorance and the burning desire and ever-increasing necessity to know. He reaches up, drags his fingers backward over his shaven scalp once, hard enough to lay red lines into the scalp underneath and force a blink of eyes through. "Cazzo." The curse goes under his breath; he reaches down into the pile, begins to flip through papers, calling up his working knowledge of Russian to screen out the gist of this alphanumerical mess. Doesn't touch the money. Not yet.

The bills are in small denominations. Fives and tens, and while yes there are dollars theres currency from every major European entity here as well as premade "blank" passports that've been aged and run through but lacking photographs of course. The documents however are a little more difficult to discern at first. Some are just a ton of photographs, in one dated 1988 there are photographs of some men standing in front of missiles and later a fighter jet but no explanation. Others are detailed reports of missing parts manuals, in fact most do deal with the theft of "technical documents of a strategically invaluable nature". The repair manual for an F-15's radar and avionics, detailed schematics from an F-14. Theres even a detailed report of the attempted theft of an entire F-4 from the Luftwaffe, and another of an F-104. They all delt with aircraft, but none of them really had much information on suspects. It was always "Soviet intelligence directive yet to be named."

The juicy parts, are CIA scans of Israeli intelligence reports and a short brief that explains some of the more cryptic language. During the six days war, two times Israeli pilots fought against a detachment of supposedly Egyptian Mig-21s. While the migs showed Egyptian markings visual observation made it immediately obvious they werent the usual export version that Egypt had gotten their hands on. They were an unknown Soviet variant, piloted by men which the document suggests were indeed Soviet in origin. Shots had been enguaged between the migs and the Mirages the IDF was operating, but its made clear that the MiGs didnt seem to really try and shoot anyone down. The enguagements were still prolonged, and included extended periods of intense dogfighting without losses to either side. The IDF summary suggested this was a Soviet attempt to size up the French Mirages. Stapled to the back, is a short report by Israeli intelligence detailing the dissapearance of an IDF pilot and his attempted defection to Egypt. The plane was disabled on the runway, but the pilot successfully escaped.

History tends to be painfully dry to paw through, so this is— refreshing. Insofar as that it confuses the Hell out of Teodor until he pays attention to some of these dates, weighs the significance of the story against the skeletal profile that Hana had assembled out of ninety years' worth of records, fiscal, military, corporate. It's a strange man who disappears in and out of history, more even of a ghost than Kazimir Volken had ever been. His brow furrows. He looks at the faces in the faded photographs. Fails to recognize any of them. His train of thought switches tracks abruptly, then. Away from what he's given and onto—

Quid pro quo. He doesn't know what this is going to cost him.

Only one way to find it, honestly. Stepping back, he lids the box and reaches up to pull the phone off the wall, dials the coiffed concierge. "Ma'am?" his voice is pleasant. "If I could get an expanding binder off you— office standard's fine — I'd really appreciate it."

"Yes sir, just one?"comes the only question, she didnt balk at all come the request but then why would she? Minutes later a little cart has been delivered outside the door and then simply left behind for you.

You had to take the documents with a thread of faith of course, because for one there was no indication of any one man doing all this. There were but a few delicate strands which connected them concretely into the suggestion of a single man. There were more than a few reports of "behavoiral abnormalities" or reports of forgetting passwords, prior conversations and the like but really how strange was that for would be defectors or suspected spies for the soviet union?

Maybe. Not. The sort. Of people. You want to get involved with. Then again, Teo makes a profitable but unpaid business out of making friends with people you don't want to get involved with. Six billion people might be dead if he didn't. Just one. Accepting the folder, he returns to the room in order to begin to file away the papers in roughly chronological order. It may not mean a damn thing, but it was given to him and that merits what little examination he or any of his pertinent resources have time for. He straps the thing shut with a pinke hooked around the elastic, shunts it underneath his arm. Is left staring at the ludicrous mess of money.

After a protracted moment, he drops a long-fingered hand down into it. Takes a single bill out, the smallest numerical denomination if not the lowest value. Folding it up, he tucks that into his wallet. He rifles the rest of the money to check for anything else hidden in the paper litter before lidding the box again, moving to replace it on its shelf.

A single crisp 5 dollar bill, which seems to be the smallest bill available.

The cash is indeed just a distaction, of course. If he had a swiss bank account, why would he need to hide cash in a safety deposit box? Anywho hidden under all that cash is a wooden crate with plain rope handles and no small amount of russian writing. It was long enough to contain a rifle easily of course, but perhaps thats not unepected considering the guy's line of work.

That single crisp 5 dollar bill has a history, and if Hana feels curious enough to trace it, she will.

One final shove of Teo's shoulder slides the deposit box home. He's left half-turned, looking down on the crate, squatting blocky on the table. He puts the folder on the table, reaches over to pluck up the latch and pull the lid free with a sturdy yank of his hands on the edges. The heavy rectangle slides free in his grip; he swivels to drop it on the table beside the box. He hangs his fingers on the edge of the box and pulls it closer to look inside.

Sitting atop a veritable swelling of loaded pistol magazines is a Makarov PB, and at the far end is yet another case. Its a squat thing case that sits inside. A stainless steel affair that doesnt look too far from the sort've thing every other technician tended to carry. Inside of course, was the handy work of the Soviet Arsenal. Its a VSS Vintorez broken down and slipped into its form fitting cutouts. In 1990 the Vintorez and the PB both represented the very bleeding edge of soviet smallarms manufacture, but by now they'd been eclipsed and if you knew the right people you could probably snag a pair on the black market. That doesnt make this pair of silenced firearms any less deadly of course just far less likely to fetch the princely sum they may have once commanded. Both were of course in immaculate condition, appearing to have never been fired.

Out of Teo's pocket, the cellphone rolls into the hollow of his palm. He thumbs it open, keys in another request to Hana. Nothing particularly proactive. Save this location.

Not to be ungrateful, but there's no way that he is going to walk out of here with a crate-load of weapons, and there's no way he wants to be beholden to an— ex—KGV defector, spy, assassin, millionaire, immortal Evolved godfather-of-Felix type bogey man with a cheerful ideological interest in taking sides when there's war in the streets, but with a teleporter and a number of trigger-happy fiends in the crew, he'd expect to find takers and a way to take it.

For now, the crate goes back into the deposit box and the folder of papers underneath his arm. The phone stays loose in his hand, clacking shut, open again, shut, flipping around between thumb and forefinger as he mulls over what might be appropriate to write back to the gentleman giver of gifts. It takes him a few minutes to decide, mostly because he isn't thinking very clearly anymore, but he gets there eventually. When he runs out of hallway.


February 16th: Friends Of Friends
February 16th: The Kidnapping Magnet
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