Sandman, Part I


archer_icon.gif iov_icon.gif

Scene Title Sandman, Part I
Synopsis Little stars are peeping / To see if you are sleeping / Go to sleep, my children / Go to sleep, good night.
Date November 30, 2020

Loose documents flutter in the wind, becoming heavy as falling rain soaks through the paper. They cling to the wet, cobblestone streets.

A shadow cast on a cracked concrete wall shows a man in panic, arms windmilling. He comes into view around a corner, escaping the oncoming glow of headlights from a pursuing car. He slouches against one wall, clutching his chest, breathing heavily. The gray-haired man looks back, business suit dappled with rain. The skyline of a city is visible across the water from the pier he has fled out onto. The car pursuing him stops short, a door opens and slams shut and a long shadow is cast ahead of the vehicle.

The fleeing man starts running again, down the pier, fumbling for a gun in an underarm holster. He looks back over his shoulder, now able to see the car parked in the alley head on and the massive shadow of a broad-shouldered silhouette slowly approaching in the rain. The gray-haired man turns, firing several times until the revolver's cylinder is empty. The massive silhouette neither relents nor hastens its pace. It is a slow, methodical walk. Fleeing to the end of the pier, the old man gasps for breath and wipes rain from his eyes. He stares down at the approaching figure, heart racing. Mind racing.

"Стоп! Сколько бы тебе ни платили, я утрою!" The old man yells at the approaching monster, a towering man head and shoulders taller than he is. Pale as a ghost, bald, black eyes like a shark. "Пожалуйста!" The old man cries out again, dropping his revolver, hands trembling. It's only now he notices the looming albino approaching him carries an iron rod in one hand, the kind used for splitting concrete.

"Schlaf." The albino says once he's in speaking range, and his gray-haired quarry collapses to his knees and then falls onto his side. The looming figure finishes his approach, looking down at the sleeping man at his feet.

The albino raises the metal rod, and drives it through the side of the man's skull.

Six Hours Later

St. Petersburg

November 30th
6:22pm Local Time

A white-haired woman settles down inside of a cafe, shaking off the cold from the outside. She sets down her purse beside herself, looking at the broad-shouldered albino man sipping a chamomile tea across from her at the table. "Iov," she says with a tension in her voice, unbuttoning her coat but not taking it off. "You're looking relaxed."

"Archer," Iov greets in return with a strong German accent "Sync." He adds flatly, retrieving a small, square metallic device from his suit jacket's pocket to set down on the bare wood tabletop. Archer fixes Iov with a silent look, put out by his brusqueness. She retrieves a matching device from her jacket and sets it atop his. It clicks into place with a metallic snap. One face of each device turns green and they demagnetize. Iov takes his back and Archer the same.

"Retrieval contract," Iov says quietly, returning his attention to his tea. "It is a return from our previous employer."

Archer closes her eyes and rubs her gloved hands together. "The one that fucked the delivery, because they couldn't wait?" Iov nods in response, eliciting a deep sigh from Archer. "What's the tab this time?" She asks, one brow raised. Iov looks down into his tea, then back up to Archer.

"Twelve million euros," Iov says quietly. The figure elicits a raised brow from Archer.

"Are we getting them all?" She asks. Iov shakes his head in response, sipping his tea.

"Just one."

Archer sits forward, folding gloved hands together. Raising her brows, she looks intently at Iov. "In the States?" Iov nods in wordless confirmation and archer hangs her head while sighing.

"What's our time table?" She asks without looking up.

"Our discretion. They learned their lesson after the plane crash." Iov says, then finishes his tea and sets the cup down beside Archer. "You don't look like you've been getting good sleep." He observes. "Do you— "

"Don't." Archer replies, only then looking up at him with a mild expression that doesn't quite match the feigned frustration of her tone. "Do you want a ride back to London?" She asks, and Iov looks down at the table, retrieving a billfold from his jacket. He counts out the money for his tea and sets it down on the table.

"If you would be so kind." Iov replies.

The table is empty. There is no one sitting at that spot by the bay window. There is just ₽150 tucked under the saucer.

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