Ship of Death


deckard_icon.gif hana_icon.gif rico_icon.gif

Scene Title Ship of Death
Synopsis For Deckard, it's out of the frying pan into the fire. Hana is in her element. Rico is possibly the smart one.
Date January 28, 2009

The Invierno, five miles out to sea

Two staircases, a tinny radio currently occupied by static, a stool, peeling pea green paint and an occupied cage make the decor around this portion of the Invierno pretty bleak. Everything down here is damp, including Deckard, and the stink of corroded metal is not subdued much by the cold. He's sitting in a rear corner of his box, knees bent up to his chest to support the folded brace of his arms and the wet-blackened tousle of his scruffy head. He's not really awake but not really asleep, chilly eyes slitted open to watch the incoherent buzzing of the radio with something like hate.

Someone with a sense of showmanship (and Hana's power) would tune the radio to some song appropriate for accompanying a breakout. Some jaunty, defiant melody — or perhaps sappy lyrics to the tune of 'I'm thankful'.

Instead, the static buzzes on.

But there are soft, cautious steps on the stairs. The tread of someone deliberately working not to make much noise. Not that anyone other than Deckard is around to overhear; old habits die hard, and some are best kept in place anyway.

"This was a stupid plan."

The hissing, disgruntled voice is not very familiar; the one time Hana and Deckard met, she didn't say even twenty words. But the speaker, as she crosses to stand beside the cage door, is a hard face to forget. Even if a black wet-suit, an equally black Kevlar vest, a backpack, and tied-back hair that was clearly allowed to dry without the benefit of a brush make for a very poor fashion statement. The silenced gun in her left hand, resting idle at Hana's side, is a better one.

The key that unlocks Deckard's cage is perhaps best of all.

At the sound of something that's probably nothing (or at the very least, nothing good) on the stairs, Deckard does…nothing. He doesn't lift his head or bother to look. If anything, he sinks deeper into himself, shoulders hunched and brow masked behind the scuffed brown leather of his sleeve. More scuffed now than it was a few days ago. Not doing too great against the saltwater, either.

The voice, though. The voice gets his attention. Spine gone a little stiff against the knotted muscle in his back, he tips his head up enough to squint at his newest Vanguard friend only to have his mouth fall slightly open when her figure and face click into place over a distantly familiar profile. The woman who helped in his first escape.

He stares at her, perhaps dumbly, and definitely for longer than he should before he untangles his arms and grasps for the bars to his left to pull himself to his feet. He's stiff and weak, knees reluctant to hold the weight of him at first and face bleached sallow around the hollow of his eyes under the yellow light that buzzes overhead. He looks a mess. Sickly, even, though it hasn't really been that long. A few days. Three? Four?

The key is tucked in a pocket once the door is open, the gun returned to Hana's right hand. Deckard is given a long, assessing regard; he's not exactly a promising sight. "And if I see him, ever, he's dead," she informs Flint dispassionately. The sky is blue, the grass is green, and Edward Ray has a bull's-eye painted on his forehead. It has nothing to do with Flint, of course — but there's so much going on, and it all depends on the agenda of one untrustworthy statistician.

She steps away from the cell door, dark eyes scanning the room once in a reflexive, completely unnecessary sweep. Except in the sense of looking for anything possibly useful, which there isn't. "I hope you can walk." Because the only way he's getting out of here is on his own two feet. "We should have some time before anyone's even close, but I can't be certain."

Haggard breathing gradually catching up with ground lost over a wheezing cough and another, more substantial clearing of his throat, Deckard just watches her while she talks. Bad hair and severe demeanor aside, she's letting him out of his box. He's happy to see her. It stands to reason then that the shudder that staggers through his breath as the door swings open is one of relief, though he doesn't move himself for it as immediately as he should, preferring instead to hang where he is until the last of the static fuzz in his head ebbs away. The static of the radio remains at a dispassionate remove from the reunion. If it could be considered such.

"I killed a guy."

The confession doesn't really have much of a place in the here and now where a bunch of angry dudes with guns could come down and try to kill them at any time, but there's a compulsive, infirm need for him to say it anyway. To get it out. It's not exactly an answer to the 'yes or no' dilemma of whether or not he can drag his ass around under his own power.

He does nod, though, after he's taken a little longer to think about it and turned his face back to the radio. He can walk.

He killed a guy. Hana responds with neither surprise, alarm, nor disgust; it's not exactly an out of place statement on the Invierno and in this company, although its timing could have been more appropriate. The statement is merely noted and filed away. "I'd ask if you can shoot straight, but I don't much need to." Not with the way he's shaking. As the woman leads the way up the stairs, she adds another question to the quiet conversation. "Alcohol or drug?"

A mild flinch is the not-answer there, followed up by a firming of his grip around the last bar of the open door, which doesn't actually do much to stave off the rattle of his fingerbones against it. "Booze," is the actual answer, given with as much procrastination as is possible while they're both in a confined space and there isn't exactly a lot of other stuff going on down here to be distracted with. He's slow to drag himself over to and up the stairs after her. There are probably going to be a lot of stairs on the way to where they're going. He hates them already. "It was worse…yesterday. The day before," it's a rough approximation, almost apologetic, though it's an apology directed down at his boots. "What — is." Not a statement or a question. Flint blinks hard, clears his head, tries again. "Is everything ok so far? Abigail? Teo?"

Hana cautiously edges her way out into the corridor; seeing no one, she sets off down it, presumably with some destination in mind. "So far," the woman affirms. "We're still a couple hours shy." Anything can happen then. Including the end of life as they know it. Stalking predator without a target, Hana's attention seems to be directed everywhere but at Deckard, for all that they're carrying on a conversation meanwhile. "Did you get whatever you were here for?" There better have been a reason for putting this wrench in her plans.

Deckard could be a camera man for all the good he does in the stealth department right now. Just some damp down-trodden guy in jeans and a Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt under a leather jacket, he hangs back on the stairwell, eyes unnaturally bright against a bar of shadow between bulbs. He move when she does, careful at least to muffle the dragging scuff of his boots over riveted metal when he follows some five or six paces behind.

"No." Mouth open to follow that up with an excuse, instead of giving it, he opts to qualify the negative with, "The space beneath us is full of explosives. Ammunition. Everything. There can't be many people here, and I think the guy running the boat has doubts."

"There aren't," Hana agrees. "Three dozen, maybe three and a half, from the equipment." Whatever that's supposed to mean in terms of 'how she found out'. "Ten fewer now." Quiet ensues for several moments, save for the sounds of their footsteps on metal flooring. Then the severe woman lets out a soft huff, the vocal declaration of annoyed frustration. "What is it you're supposed to look for?"

"An RF-67 mortar launcher made by Titan Enterprises. Also, a helicopter or some other means of escape they could use to get clear if we attack. How did you get here?" Deckard covers a little more ground between them while he speaks — enough that the stink of him is in range before the question of how is posed. Rust and warm metal and a guy who hasn't showered or changed clothes in five days. There are probably things that smell worse, but there are whole bunches of things that smell better.

"Alone," is all Hana supplies. The subject of 'how she got here' is completely irrelevant, so she doesn't dignify it with an explanation. Neither does she pay attention to the stench that comes with Deckard catching up; nothing in this old ship can really be said to smell good. Also, Hana in hunting mode is not much prone to distraction. "How close do you have to get?"

Deckard trips, toe catching over nothing. He manages to catch himself against the wall soundlessly, but the overall effect is somewhat unimpressive. Particularly with his hands still tremoring in their brace against peeling paint and exposed gunmetal grey. Alone she says. He lacks the willpower not to look flustered while he rights himself, and maybe, maybe just the slightest bit suspicious. "A couple've rooms over. Maybe…three if people aren't moving around too much. A wall at a time is ideal." Not very good news, probably. "You don't care that I killed a guy?"

Hana pauses, looking over her shoulder at the wall-ornament stumbled Deckard has become. Impassive as her expression is, that could be an 'are you slowing me down' glance just as easily an an 'are you okay' check. It's probably both, given that Flint and his x-ray vision are moderately important at the moment. "A lot more will die before we're done," she reminds him. "Preferably not of ours."

It can certainly be said that Hana doesn't much care.

"That mortar could be almost anywhere." It's not an admission the Israeli woman likes having to make. She weighs it for a moment, then visibly discards the original idea. "We don't have time left. Come on. This is the first place they'll look for you." She resumes moving down the corridor, assuming Deckard will follow along behind.

"The place they left me last? That would be strategic of them." Effectively ruffled by the implication that he might not know better on top of the whole 'lots of people are going to die' thing, Deckard sticks to his wall for a few extra seconds when she moves off again. There are other doors, other stairwells, other places to go — the potential of each examined as half-hearted alternatives before he sets his jaw and starts after Hana again.

He's dehydrated, sick. Shaking. Unarmed. If anyone finds him alone, he's toast. "Are we just going along with what Edward told us to do? Ignoring the fact that he's already lied about at least one thing? I mean, I realize it's probably not a very big deal in the long term, but I nearly became a science project for some British asshole with two needles and some spare time—"

Bones. Moving, on the other side of the hatch door at the end of the corridor Hana is approaching. Deckard can see the shape of a skeletal structure, one hand raised, pinching a cigarette at his lips. It is about time for his sit-down time with Rico, probably the world's worst interrogator, at least from what Deckard knows about forceful interrogation. He can make out the white shine of his gun holstered under his jacket, make out the bullet between his first and second rib, the seized tension of his lungs.

Hana can feel him approaching, even if Deckard isn't aware, while he's not speaking on his walkie, the radio — the one that Edward had given Deckard — sits on his hip, turned on and waiting to hear if the other side tries to make communication with the captured spy.

"Edward," Hana informs Deckard, without looking back his way, "didn't tell me what to do." Thus, not only is Flint stuck with a crazed killer (again), she's apparently a loose cannon of a crazed killer. Just his luck.

Whatever else Hana might have said is caught behind thinned lips as she weighs the approaching radio (and walkie-talkie, both being clear as day to her senses), calculating quickly. A sharp gesture of her left hand directs Deckard to the wall on the door's hinge-side — it will take whomever's approaching just a little longer to look there.

The handgun is tucked into a retaining strap on her vest; more of a hazard than a help, it is, when the quarters are this close. Hands and feet will do. Hana moves up the last few steps to also put herself on the hinge side of the door; not right next to it, but just inside the line its edge will draw when it opens, giving her a heartbeat's ephemeral shelter and the thinnest breath of surprise. The best approximation of an ambush she can manage here.

Deckard freezes like a spooked deer at the flash of bone over bone over bullet out of the abyss on the opposite side of the hatch ahead. The fact that he does it right in the middle of the corridor is both unstealthy and generally unhelpful.

The effort it takes to get to the indicated wall at a speed high enough to make up for his initial reaction is enough to have him breathing hard again. "It's him," panted out with as much quiet urgency as he can manage, he raps the flat of his hand once against the span of wall between them. Trying to get her attention, under the impression that she might have things other than listening to him on her mind. "Don't kill him."

Bones viewed through a wall jerkily stop for a moment, head tilting to one side at the soft thump thump on the wall. "Nave de mierda," Rico murmurs, stopping to retrieve his lighter and draw up the flame to his cigarette. There's a draw of ash and smoke into his lungs, then pushed out through his nostrils. A few more steps take him to the hatch door, tucking the lighter back into the pocket of his pants. "Juro, uno de actualmente…"

Giving a shake of his head he reaches for the latch, wrenching the door open and pushing it out into the hall, taking a few clunking steps over the raised threshhold of the door both hands tucked into his pockets and shoulders slouched. He pauses, the moment he's in the door, catching the silhouette of Deckard pressed up against the wall by the door, and his expression becomes one of absolute confusion as he turns to look fully at the ragged looking man. "How the fuck did you get out of— "

The answer to that question is just behind the half-open door. It's also in the palm-strike that smashes Rico's temple and drives his head into the opposite wall. Two more hits follow in quick succession, all of them reluctantly held back to non-lethality, but at disorienting her target and driving him to the ground they should do just fine. There's a gun to be thrown clattering down the corridor Rico emerged from — it's not like anyone is back there to notice — and then Hana can wrench one of his arms around, plant a knee between his shoulderblades, and glower up at Deckard.

"I can hear you just fine," she snaps at her ally and unfortunate hindrance. "And so can anyone else."

Hey there, Rico. Deckard freezes all over again, spine straight and stiff against a wall that isn't going to do much to protect him should Rico decide on a reaction that's more gunpowder than conversation. His eyes flicker to Hana an instant before she moves, and…a lot of painful things happen very quickly to the Cuban. Not daring to peel himself away from his wall until the gun has clattered off and away, he's quick enough to join them once it has. Out of arm's reach, anyway.

"I generally find it's a good idea to enunciate when dealing with," crazy people, psycho killers, "…people like you, Ms. 'A lot more will die before we're done.'" Nose rankled he presses a shaking hand back over his head, trying to assess the damage as well as he can from where he is. "Jesus."

Slightly stoned and a little drunk, Rico is manhandled with remarkable ease. All of his training is thrown out the window as his face quickly meets the wall at quick speed, blurring his vision a moment before a strike to his ribs, a hammering blow to his shoulder and a kick to the back of his leg sends him down to one knee. A knee to the face finishes everything, sending Rico sprawling to the floor, arm grabbed and wrenched behind his body as a knee is pressed between his shoulders.

This isn't the first time he's been in a situation like this, but it's the first time he's been in a situation like this at the hands of a woman. It's emasculating.

Looking up with one eye, cheek pressed to the wet floor, Rico stares up blearily at Hana, cracking out a hoarse response, "It — " He swallows, painfully, looking now to his hand-wrapped cigarette, laying on the floor, smoking silently. "Good to see… you are taking Mister Deckard out for 'is walks, Seniora." His eye squints, jaw clenching from the pain his only partially numbed body is feeling. He should have had more to drink.

She could get annoyed at Deckard (more annoyed, that is), but Hana has rather more important considerations right now. So she simply ignores him. Also Rico. The woman merely gives Deckard a level look. You'd better have a -good reason- for this. And then she drops her gaze to Rico. "Blink in a way I don't like," Hana promises Rico, "and you won't have a next breath." Because if she'd been left to her own devices, he wouldn't be breathing now.

After this, Rico is allowed to rise, though he'll find Hana is out of reach and has that gun trained on him well before he actually gets to his feet.

Worth a shot, crazy lady says the look Deckard meets Hana's with, brows lifted to furrow lines flat across his forehead while she sets about the process of letting the guy go. Sort of. "Hey there," is directed at Rico — kind of a casual greeting considering that Flint just broke out of a shitty cell in the bottom of a Ship of Death and Rico just got his ass kicked by a girl. "While we're all here and still alive I was hoping we could have a quick chat about the way things are going."

Grumbling as Hana removes her knee from the middle of his back, Rico exhales a choking breath, one hand slowly — so very slowly — moving out across the floor to pluck up his cigarette, because clearly that's the most important thing right now. He rolls onto his side, raising a hand to his mouth to put the cigarette between parched lips. Looking up to Deckard, Rico raises one brow slowly, then shifts his dark eyes to Hana, sitting on the floor as he just slouches against the wall slowly, letting out a pained groan as his other hand holds the side of his head.

"Seniora, you hit like my mother." From the way he smirks as he says it, it actually sounds like it's supposed to be a compliment, not an insult. "I take it… you're here because the world is coming to an end, aye?" One dark brow raises, and Rico's hand at his head straightens his beret, focus shifted back to Deckard as he uses his hand to feel at the red scrapes on the side of his face where it was introduced to the wall. "You have a captive audience, senior." Rico seems to speak the same language that his buddies were trying to talk to Deckard with — violence.

Given that Hana lives in the shadow of her own mother — and her grandmother — the compliment is possibly regarded as such. Or maybe it isn't. There isn't so much as a twitch to indicate either. Most people, in this sort of situation, would greatly begrudge stopping for a chitchat session. But since she's fairly sure they won't be interrupted, Hana doesn't get agitated. She merely waits and watches.

"Yeah." They're here because the world is coming to an end. No point in lying, although Deckard is technically still here because Edward is a dick who might have tricked him into living — but that's sort of beside the point. He stoops for the cigarette, dragging out enough of a long draw to get the ember started with a little more energy. His trembling hands are then tucked into the pockets of his jacket, sodden heavy and dark from the moisture down below. Unfortunately, removing the most visible symptom of his current condition doesn't actually serve to make him seem any more impressive. "Your coworkers are assholes, and you seem pretty level-headed for a guy who works with a psychopathic terrorist cult. I can relate. But the way I see things, the world is going to end and you're going to die from what's coming, or from your superiors hearing of the weakness and mercy you've already demonstrated…or you're going to die from the world not ending and what's coming…or you can help us with that last thing and not die. Right now. No guarantees on the whole 'forever' thing."

"Nobody lives forever senior, nobody except Kazimir Volken." There's fear in Rico's response, layered with begrudging respect. Dark eyes flick up to Deckard, then over to Hana, "You think two people, and one gun, is going to stop him?" Shakily, Rico finally manages to stagger to his feet, one hand braced on the wall to keep himself up, head still spinning from Hana's attack. "He… has something, some plan. There's men coming here," looking around in search of a clock, Rico hisses when he finds none. "Sometime soon, they're delivering something… a biological weapon, we're launching it from the ship. They aren't my men, belong to another of Kazimir's…"

Coughing fitfully, Rico slouches against the wall and holds his side, that rib is definitely broken. "I'm fucking done with this, I can't — It doesn't matter. Mattias would shoot me if I asked him to turn the ship around. I don't know how to fucking pilot this thing." Looking over to Deckard, Rico's lips crack into a smile. "I could run, but no matter how far you do, no matter where you go… he'd find you. I have known him since I was a baby, I know what he does…" His eyes squint, shoulders slouching and head hanging, "There is nothing that can stop him."

The revelation of Kazimir's plan — or a fraction of it, anyway — is met with continuing impassivity from Hana. Because… they already know. "We're aware," she tells him brusquely. She doesn't mention all the other prongs of 'their' multifaceted attack… because it doesn't really matter. Not here and now. Her head turns just slightly; not enough for her attention to actually leave Rico. "There's no one on approach yet." We have some time. Dark eyes level on the injured man. "The question is, what are you going to do?"

"Gosh. You're right. I would have to an idiot to think she and I could do this alone." Everyone thinks he's stupid.

It'd hurt his feelings if he wasn't too busy hurting way worse everywhere else.

With a sideways glance at Hana and Rico's smoke still poking out of the corner of his mouth, Deckard turns sideways and steps between them with clear intent to snake his way down the corridor after the tossed gun. Then they'll have two.

"My plan was to have a smoke, bring some whiskey down to senior Deckard, and drink away the end of the world." Rico's lips draw back into a ghost of a smile, finally leaning off of the wall. "Even if I shot the men coming on to my boat, and my own men didn't try to kill me, there's more. God knows how many more, at least four, that he's going to launch in the city. Men more loyal, more crazy."

A scowl comes over the Cuban as he pops his neck to one side, rubbing it with a grimy hand. "I don't know how many he's sending — They're Drake's men, fucking batshit crazy." He eyes Deckard as the lanky man walks, "Drake's the fine fellow who wanted to introduce you to some drugs that Mattias had." One eye squints, and he looks to Hana. "If you know… about all'a this crazy shit." One hand flails wildly, gesturing to the ship at large, "Do you have a plan?"

Hana is starting to get impatient. Not because she's concerned they'll be discovered, but because she's really not interested in bonding over certain doom. It's evident in the stiff set of her posture. Rico's question earns him a basilisk's glance — you think I don't have a plan? — and a slow, thin smile. Oh yes. There's a plan. It involves Vanguard losing.

"You have whiskey?" Deckard's voice pipes down the corridor's length, loud enough to be heard without being overheard, hopefully. He turns back, gun hanging slack from his side while he looks Rico over again more closely. Hopeful.

He's still looking for a place to put the gun when he's stepped back through the door. Too long for his jacket pockets. Not familiar enough for him to feel comfortable sticking it down the front of his pants. "I don't. But somebody else does. I'm just following directions. I have no idea what the fuck she's doing here."

For a long while, Rico just stares at Hana, his gaze vacant and lips slightly parted, "I seen that look before." Rico says with a slight slur, "Little girl I trained to shoot guns, Sierra." He lingers on that thought for a moment, shaking his head slowly as he looks over to Deckard, as if perhaps in some regard of crazed sympathy between grubby sociopaths. "I think your crazy novia here is going to get us all killed." There's a ragged, hoarse laugh at that, and Rico gives a shake of his head, looking up to Deckard.

"I have whiskey," He reiterates with a shrug of his shoulder, "Then… sure, why not, I was not planning to do much with my day before the world ended." He straightens his beret, rolling one shoulder, "There's worse times to grow a spine and die, right?" Looking to Hana, Rico's lips purse together and his eyes close.

"Let's hear this plan of yours."

A single dark brow arches, and Hana snorts softly. Not deigning to answer Rico's question — is he nuts? She's not stupid — she looks to Deckard. Nods towards the gun in his hand. "You interested enough in the alcohol to trust him?" Given that Deckard also has a gun and Rico doesn't. Tactful? No, that Hana isn't really.

"I think…you shouldn't talk about my novia that way if you don't want her to set you on fire and kick you down a flight of stairs." That's what Deckard thinks. Gun switched over to his left hand, where there's a faint metallic rattle to go with the shakes, he offers his cigarette back to Rico with the right. He watches Hana as he does so, trying in vain to get a read on whether or not she thinks it's a good idea.

He doesn't stare for long. Eyes washed pale to match the pallor and stink about his hide, he glances over his Cuban amigo one last time. "There are others coming. We know what's happening. Or — we think we do. If what you said is right, then." He nods half to himself and half to Rico, distracted. "It's not complicated. Seek and destroy."

There's a snorted laugh, and Rico takes the cigarette — every man should have one before facing the firing squad, right? "Seek and destroy…" He echoes Deckard's words and gives a shake of his head, drawing in a slow and tired breath. "I was about to give up and lie down, die like a sick dog in the dark." Wincing as he starts to move, just a few lurching steps, Rico looks up to Hana with a suspicious stare. "If you're not planning on using that," he nods to the gun, "Tell me what you need me to do… and we'll see how quick it gets us killed."

Hana tilts her head just slightly, that distant look returning to her expression. Matching up the blueprint file with the original ops plan, she thinks for a moment — then focuses intently on Rico, rattling off a section of the ship. "Clear it. If you can delay launch, that would help." But it's evident Hana doesn't expect such a thing to happen. Certainly not if the incoming team don't answer to him. A hint of a crooked, grim smile is given to the Cuban. "If you can't come up with a better excuse for moving your men out — send them looking for me." Someone beat up Rico, after all. Then she glides past their possible new ally, soft steps carrying her down the corridor.

Deckard? He can go whichever way he wants.

Decision time. Deckard's eyes take on a healthier blue tint while he watches the business between Hana and Rico, only to have it leach out again when it's clear she's moving off. "I need the whiskey." As in, give it to me before I go completely crazy, not…may I please have some. Head turned to follow Hana's awayward progress, he tries to pull in a deep breath and fails when the effort dissolves into a series of muffled coughs instead. "It may help with the shaking. And a place to hide, if you're going to tell everyone to go after her."

"Alright," Rico says quietly, looking to Hana as she begins to walk down the corridor, clicking his tongue as he looks back to Deckard. "I'll bring you down to my cabin, no one fucking goes in there. You can hide out for a while," His head cants to the side, regarding Hana's retreating form with a slowly crawling smile on his face. "She's a firecracker, Mister Deckard." Rico says in a hushed voice, straightening as best as he can.

"Come on, let's go do something stupid." He says with a grimace, rubbing the side of his face, "Either way we're probably dead, so we may as well die kicking."

January 27th: Fighting 101
January 28th: The Parting Glass
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