Short Sleeves


cardinal_icon.gif fedor_icon.gif

Scene Title Short Sleeves
Synopsis Fedor and his newest employee discuss matters of recruitment and Africa while in flight.
Date March 16, 2009


The Hardest part of being Fedor, is being the guy who picks what shit Chicago air flies. Now you'd think that'd be like a dream job for a pilot, but not so really. You see its really not that hard to fall in love with any number of aircraft, so it typically falls to a test period of a week or so with the new aircraft. This is how CA avoided Eurocopter and went with Agusta the last time they needed to acquire aircraft, but now it was time to replace their MD500s used for pretty much everything shy of VIP charters.

Anyway onto more pressing matters, Ingrid had specified a time and place to meet Cardinal. A sunny afternoon at one of the busier heliports in New York, and of course supplied our favorite shadow ahead of time with a ticket and such so as to get through security. Right on time, on pad number eight in comes the Chopper. A most unusual bird you see, featuring a pair of counter rotating rotors up above and no tail rotor. The white and red however, is distinctive around here as is the "CHICAGO AIR" stenciling just behind the cockpit. It touches down, rotors slowing to an idle as they're feathered. A moment later, our favorite blond pushes open that big sliding cargo door and beckons Cardinal in. "Hey, C'mon!"

Cardinal never really expected himself to be an employee of an airline - even an airline that was basically a front company for terrorist operations. It's a strange feeling being here on the heliport and not being here to spy on someone or steal something, not to mention feeling fairly exposed on the pad. The worst, though, is the sun. He's wearing dark shades but he's still squinting and grimacing a bit, lingering in whatever shadow he can edge towards.

He ducks as the bird flies along down in, his head lowering as he jogs across the pad to the doors, clambering inside and shouting over the noise, "It's -way- too fucking bright out today. Nice bird, though!"

Fedor smiles broadly as she welcomes Cardinal aboard. "Thanks, here put this on!" She hands over a helmet with a mic attached, and then kicks the door closed oncemore. The cabin back there, is prepared for its passenger. In otherwords, its almost entirely pitch black save for a narrow slit of light that pours through from the cockpit up ahead.

"We'll talk once we're airborne, FAA says its against the rules to ever bug an aircraft for any reason. So we're always safe to talk, but only when we're flying alright?"Ingrid smiles, setting a nice cold soda on the floor before Cardinal. Then slithers back into cockpit, waiting to hear Cardinal over the intercom before she lifts off oncemore.

The helmet's taken into Cardinal's hands, and he slides it onto his head; reaching down to take hold of the soda can and picking it up. Ah, blessed darkness. Relaxing quite a bit, he steps over to a seat, and he drops down into it, strapping himself into place as he reports over the intercom, "Ready. You really expect people to obey the rules, though, Chief?"

There's a pause, as the airframe sways a touch before lifting off. "Do I, no. I really expect them to be cheats, but if this ever goes to court I want to beat it."And then, dustoff and the big Kamov is off. "So me and this girl from Phoenix, one who went on the raid with us is going to go check out a some giant illegal evolved only prison in Moab. It may or may not be a bad idea to get involved, but I think they know more about the test kits than we do. Before I ask anything of them, I want them in debt to us to their eyeballs though. You follow me?"

"Moab." Cardinal's silent for a moment, considering that, "I've heard the name." He pops the soda open, though the hiss of the carbonation is silence against the helmet and the roar of the rotors, "Which girl would that be? And yeah, I follow."

Fedor shrugs up yonder in the cockpit. "Don't know quite yet, I'm going to meet with her later tonight and we'll fly out there to look at it all. In the meantime though, I have some house cleaning for you to attend to. You don't have any plans or anything do you?" Her voice just as sultry as ever, if not all the cooler through the intercom.

"You don't know her name?" A dubious hint to Cardinal's tone, before he admits, "I've got to comb downtown for someone, but, after that I should be free. Whatcha need me to do, Chief?"

Fedor laughs a touch, though the mic kills most of it. "They told me, I don't remember. Naw, I want one more person for our marry band before we start breaking things off to do on our own. I don't have any particular requirements, I may just try and recruit this chick I'm flying with but I want there to be five of us. So either find someone you know rocks in a pinch, or look up that Huruma woman? She was the tall African woman, her or Gabriel Gray. I dont know anything much about Gabriel, other than that Phoenix thinks he's worth something. The fact he isn't with them already, may indicate some level of intelligence."
The big Kamov swings smoothly to the left, circling out before slowly cruising its way towards Staten.

Cardinal observes with a bit of a snort, "I don't trust anybody in a pinch, Chief. Everyone's just out for their own necks in th'end…" He tilts his head back, helmet thumping to the wall of the chopper, eyes closing, "…Huruma? She could work, if she was willing. Seems to be a woman who's willing to get the job done, any way necessary. You might be able to recruit Izzy with her, though she's a bit've a hothead." A faint chuckle at his pun.

Fedor reaches over to flip off the landing lamps, finally. "I don't want too many people yet, just work on Huruma or this Gabriel Gray. Any other names I should be thinking about?"

"If you're looking for reliable people? 'Fraid I can't name many," Cardinal admits a bit darkly, "You want me to talk to Huruma, though, if I can find her?"

Fedor nods "her, and Gabriel Gray. Even if we don't recruit him, I want to know more about him. I want to know all of Phoenix's moves before they make them, because when we move they aren't going to know the details and I dont want them stepping on our toes. So Gabriel Gray and Huruma, don't offer anything but an interview though. Think that's doable?"

A thoughtful sound in Cardinal's throat, "Sure. I don't have any idea who this Gray character is, though, but I can probably track Huruma down— " He pauses, "— what exactly am I offering her? How you want me to spin it?"

Fedor uuhhs for a moment, yeah who the fuck was Gabriel Gray. "He's someone very important, perhaps very powerful. Teo originally sent me in to find him, and make sure he stayed safe and met Phoenix. He was involved or present with the fighting ring, He may not be going under his own name. I guess I'm making that really easy, aren't I?"She smirks, dropping low to buzz the coastline.

"Spin it, well don't spin it. tell her the truth of it, we're the only group in New York that has its shit together, we aren't exclusive and we provide a cover for our people. Tell her, I fought in Africa. Tell her, I've shot Machete men and I dated a woman with short sleeves. She should understand, she'll know what I'm talking about."Africa, well and the Middle east was a subject Fe-Ingrid preferred not to speak about. It was a dark time on the dark continent.

"You'd better not get my face ripped off for tellin' her that stuff, man, she scares the living shit out've me," Cardinal admits freely, shuddering a bit, "Not sure why, but there's somethin' about it… ah, anyway, yeah, I can talk to her. I'll see what I can do about Gray, but I can only be in so many places at once."

"Do you want to hear a story, about Africa?"It was not an offer she made lightly, but it seems she wasn't so adverse to telling stories when she was airborne. She told Teo about her time in Vietnam, and now she was offering to tell Cardinal about Africa. If Cardinal flew more often, or flew himself. Who knows, maybe then he'd understand why. Things were on -her- terms up here.

"Sure," Cardinal accepts after a moment's hesitation, "Go for it. I've never been outside the states, myself…"

"I was teaching back then, this wasn't long before I met Jake actually. My first big job, ended up sort've sideways."Ingrid pauses, inhaling deeply. "I was supposed to be an instructor, this was in the Congo. Well the Government hadn't really split yet, and revolution hadn't really broken out but in the quiet parts of the country these things were already happening. The school I worked at, got taken over by these rebels. So me and another instructor just stuffed everyone we could into the planes we had and we left, we didn't really know where we were going but we knew we couldn't hang out around there anymore. We didnt know, I mean me and the other guy were both Russian we couldn't have known what was really happening. "

Cardinal's brow furrows, glancing over towards the door to the cockpit. "…so you were just a whole bunch've people on these planes, flying in hostile territory, without any clue where the hell you were going?"

"Yeah, and you know its like we were way overloaded. The Cash isn't a really big plane, but its well built. So we just landed in the first place we could, the first open field we found maybe a hundred miles away, we were so deep in the jungle we were walking places I was sure no man had ever seen."she pauses, inhaling. Ingrid's sharp eye peering at Cardinal in her little rear view mirror.

"The jungle is fucking hell on earth, its so hot and claustrophobic. You can go mad there, and here I was with this other Russian guy. You know we were both from Far east Russia, by Mongolia so I mean this was so far from what we knew it wasn't funny. Our planes were dry, so we resolved to just go to ground and we'd meet back up in Egypt. So I went with these women, they were sisters. Six of them, and I mean really they were beautiful. They took care of me, and one girl in particular and I took a fancy to one another. She was lean and slender, moved like a cat."Her voice cools, dropping just loud enough to be heard over the intercom.

"I dont know if they were the same rebels as from the airfield or not, but they weren't very pleased with us. They grabbed the women, raped them. Then they'd hold them down, and ask them if they wanted a long sleeve or a short sleeve. If you said long sleeve, they just took your hand. Short sleeve, and they'd take a machete to your elbow. I dont understand it still, I mean they didn't know who we were or what we were about. I think they just wanted to make people scared, of who though I'm still not sure either."

There's silence from the back for a few long minutes. "Jesus Christ," he swears under his breath.

Fedor stays quiet for a moment "when it came to me, they told me I was a missionary. I told them, I was a Russian arms dealer and that they'd just butchered my wives. I knew enough back then, I knew all the players so it wasnt hard to convince them. So I told them I was very angry, demanded payment. So I got an AK, and a pickup truck. I dont know what those poor women thought of me, probably nothing good. After about five miles, I killed the driver. Made him stop, and I kicked his skull until there was nothing left of his face. I walked back to the road, to tell the girls to go get the hell out of there but they'd gotten a head start. Left me all alone, I wanted really bad to explain all of it."She inhales, with a slight shiver.

"I dont know, I only knew her for like a week but I felt like I owed her an apology. I wanted her to know I wasn't just being a weasel, she was like the first person since my old handler I felt like I had to explain myself to. She bailed though, and so fucking what. Good for her, she'd already lost a fucking arm."

"Jesus." A quiet echo, Cardinal's head thumping against the wall behind him again, the helmet clanking to the metal. He's silent for a little while, before murmuring, "That's some fucked up shit there, Chief."

Fedor waves back towards Cardinal. "I want to go back, I mean I was in Africa alot but never saw anything remotely like that. So its not like that entire continent is like that. Anyway, hey where do you want me to drop you off when we're done pretending to do work? Back where I picked you up?"

"Yeah." Cardinal clears his throat, "Yeah, that'd be fine. Shit." Quiet for a moment, "You've seen some serious shit, haven't you, Chief?"

"I'm very old, and I've been involved in just about every major conflict between Soviet and Western interests. It sort've comes with the territory, some of its good times and some of it makes me want to vomit."Its the world we live in. So would you be interested in some flying lessons, I don't mean being a commercial pilot unless you want but maybe just a general license so you could pilot some simple stuff. "

"I couldn't get a license without a seriously deep cover identity, Chief," Cardinal observes with a slight grunt of breath, "HomeSec's got my scent now, any whiff of me'n they'll come gunning. I'm pretty sure they've been pretty tight 'bout flying licenses n'shit since 9/11, too." He pauses, admitting, "I… wouldn't mind picking it up a bit, though. Can't hurt. I'd probably need to fly at night, though, way too fuckin' bright during the day. I'm half blind."

Fedor pffts"The sky does not belong to the FAA, if you want to fly I will move heaven and earth to give you the opportunity Cardinal. So I'll figure out a cover, and if nothing else we can slather you up in sunscreen and very dark sunglasses. One of the guys who flies for me, flies a PC-12 glows in the dark. If he spends too much time in the sun, he glows so much at night he's sort've uncomfortable to be around. So its not like you'd be alone."

A faint chuckle tumbles past Cardinal's lips at that, audible with his breath in a hiss against the microphone. "We'll see, then," he says quietly, "I'm sure your glowbug isn't wanted by every law enforcement agency in New York City…"

Fedor shrugs"Heaven and earth, dont worry about it. What is it that they want you for, I may know all the right people. I can pay the guys I dont, and besides the more legit you look the easier your job is. Am I right, Angel Eyes?"Which makes more sense, if you've heard Fedor call Jake Tuco.

"Just let me know, Chief," Cardinal murmurs, "Anyway. I had a thought you might like… you read Hollingwood's little 'editorial' in Pause magazine? Not your usual sort've periodical I'm sure, but it got a few refs in other news sources."

"Naw, I'm polite society not high society. I change my face too often to build a reputation, but why what'd I miss out on?"She glances up, peering at Cardinal in the mirror again if only for a moment. "Oh shit, jesus christ come up here and hit me for it. THeres a brown box back there, its for you. Your jackets as requested, two sterile and one with Chicago Air patches so you can come and go as you wish."

"She tapped me for information 'bout Staten, although then she called the cops on me, the bitch, but, anyway" Cardinal looks over to the box, grinning briefly, "thanks—ah, anyway, it was all about how the government's ignoring all the shit there. Gave me an idea. If we could get a film of one of the really nasty fights at the Pancratium, and slip it to the media…"

"she burned you, did she give you a reason or does she just lack journalistic integrity?"Now comes a, well normally you'd call it a paternal but for now lets call it her maternal instinct. Cardinal was one of -her- people now. "Should I have words with her?"

"I suppose I could've knocked instead of just showing up in her place for a chat," admits Cardinal, "But, shit, it's not like I touched any've her stuff. Or her, for that matter." A pause, "What really pisses me off is that she's a fuckin' unregistered Evolved herself, livin' large off it, apparently untouchable. She talks, you have to obey. Plus, she's a huge bitch."

"Would you hate me, if I suggested we out her? Perhaps, we could arrange for her to be screened by one of those dreadful little test kits. Either that or we could just steal something of hers, deposit it at a crime scene where theres DNA. Let the cops test her, see how she likes it?"Vindictive, maaaybe just a little but Ingrid's been called far worse before.

"I've tried," Cardinal grunts, "I told the cops, but I don't think they listened to me. It's not a bad idea, though." He grins against the intercom's mic, "It's kind've low priority, but I'd love to see her get outed. Hell, maybe she'd do some fuckin' good trying to save her own ass."

"Why not report that she's conspiring with Phoenix, because she's evolved? I bet DHS would love to fuck with her then, or of course we could always just fuck with her directly. Maybe pull out the ignition wires, and set a fake bomb on top of the engine? I figure that'll send some degree of bad vibrations her way, of course I could be wrong. Do you know what it is she does?"sweeping smoothly round the end of the island, before heading on the final leg of her circuit.

"Like I said, it's some kind've… mind control, apparently focused through her voice," Cardinal admits in disgruntled tones, "Probably how she got so fuckin' rich and famous. She probably just tells HomeSec to back the fuck off, and they do."

Fedor well, that does change things a little doesnt it. "well, we could always kidnap her and leave blood at the scene. Maybe just prick a fingertip, but they'd be forced to investigate and of course screen the blood. Then when they have results, we dump her naked out in staten."

"I suppose it'd be a little too ironic to sell 'er to Logan, eh?" A faint chuckle of breath, before Cardinal admits, "We've got too much shit goin' on right now to worry about it, though, we can deal with her later. What d'you think about the other idea, though? Get the public enraged about the government just letting this shit go on…"
Fedorsmirks "or make Logan think she's part of Phoenix and she's responsible for this entire mess. I do like the idea though, but I think a blog would be a better outlet. get somone who can write, take photos and tell stories. let it go that way, see what happens."

"No, no…" A dark twist to Cardinal's tone, "I'm dealin' with Logan in my own way." He's quiet a moment, "A blog, eh? Dangerous. Whoever it is could get tracked down real fast…"
Fedor ehhs "I dont know, I dont think they can trace those if you know what your doing. We'd just need to find somone who can do it, I'm really not the technological sort when it comes to the really advanced portion of things."

"We could use someone who is, then," Cardinal points out, "I'm not huge into the technical shit either, outside of how to circumvent most've it."
"We'll put that on the backburner for now, lets focus on Moab and the test kits. You work on recruiting, now shut the fuck up and go try your jacket on before we land. I would appreciate not learning about fit issues a week from now, you know?"And indeed, this would be the opening stages of final approach.

"Yeah, yeah…" Cardinal unstraps himself from the seat, pushing up and stepping over to the box; flipping it open to check out the jackets. Hey, he can always use some new duds!

One in black with all the bright red and white "CHICAGO AIR" patches and stencils, and then two in plain khaki. Multi pocketed, loose fitting, tough as nails. "We're two minutes out, so tell me how it fits and then strap back in cuz we're gonna be on the ground in notime."

The jacket he's wearing is shrugged off, and Cardinal pulls on one of the black and logo'd jackets, turning a bit as he tests the fit. "Not bad," he observes, "Not bad at all… oh. Shit, landing—" To the chair, batman!

Not that you'd know they've landed, until you look outside. The touch down is silky soft, and soon enough the rotors have feathered and the engines at idle. "And we're down, now get your helmet off and get the fuck offa my aircraft!"Granted, she's hardly serious.

A bark of laughter, and Cardinal replies dryly, "Don't make me kick your ass, Chief." The helmet's pulled off, dropped to the seat before he steps over to pick up the box of jackets—pulling open the door, eyes narrowing against the glare.

March 16th: The All-Seeing Cat
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