The Devil in Still Waters


bella_icon.gif jet_icon.gif

Scene Title The Devil in Still Waters
Synopsis Jet and Dema meet Bella at the appointed place and time, and work out an understanding.
Date April 26, 2010

Staten Island

The edge of the Reclaimed Zone.

The year's second winter has yet to sink its bitter teeth into the city, content for now merely to slaver in the form of a steady snowfall, frosting the roofs of the abandoned houses that populate the reclaimed zone. A great chain fence marks the edge of the RZ, and parka'd security forces move in slow roving packs along its silvered winding. The line separates firm, enforced order from the grim chaos of the Island proper, though the steadily dropping temperatures have driven even the most desperate and wicked of the Island's predators into temporary hibernation.

Not that anyone would consider Dema an easy target, massive as he is. He stays close to Jet, guarding her with the ever-watchful aspect of a German shepherd. He wears a balaclava, obscuring his features - Staten Island is precisely the wrong place for a former bratva enforcer to show his face, so he has chosen both to warm and to hide it. His great arm is wrapped about Jet, indicating how thoroughly she is under his protection, and offering what warmth his body can provide. As the RZ looms up ahead, he only clasps her tighter. They are here to meet an old employer, the veiled Madame with the needles.

For her own part, Dr. Sheridan has decided not to make a show of her dominance in this region. She has the backing of her government funders, and thus the protection of the RZ's security forces, but she appears to be alone - contrary to her previous assertion - as she stands at one of the sliding entrances to the RZ. She's wearing a big coat with a faux fur collar, giving her an arctic explorer look, and her red hair flows out from under a large black beret. Her face uncovered, she isn't at once recognizable as the project director responsible for Jet's abduction. However, she has provided a clue to her identity: both her hands rest on the grip of the wolfshead cane she carried during her administration of the Refrain facility.

Of course, she's not actually without protection. Not only are there armed guards near the entrance at which Bella waits, but within the fur collar of her coat is nestled a microphone. Each word she says is being transmitted to a pair of snipers, perched high in the windows of nearby buildings. She is not taking chances. Not this time.

And Jet moves with Dema. She lets him get all protective over her, because telling him not to would no doubt be a losing battle. She speaks softly to him as they walk towards their destination, just idle chatter about the weather, what is on the television tonight, keeping the conversation light for the time being. She's in the same body as in the hospital, wearing a black zip up Northface coat, mittens, and a black scarf. A trendy look, in blackness. "Don't worry Dema," she breathes out softly, "It'll be fine."

Jet knows Dema well, and knows where he will give in to her (on most everything) and where he will stand firm (most everything else). When it comes to her safety, he is beyond reason. "You will do the talking?" Dema murmurs, "You are more clever than me. And not so used to taking orders, I think."

Bella comes into fuller and fuller resolution as they draw nearer to the appointed meeting place, and Dema, who has seen her without her veil, who has seen her telltale red hair, slows when he discerns her, waiting. He nods, "There. She is here." Bella herself cannot fail to recognize the towering Russian, and the slight girl next to him completes the picture. Her smile is grim, and she lifts a hand from the cane, waving to them, as if to old friends. She doesn't shout out - that would be cruel to her eavesdropping guardian angels. Instead she waits for them to approach within conversational distance.

A soft chuckle from her to Dema's words, "Not so clever, I can get angry at times. Let's see how it goes. But you know I love you." That's all she speaks to Dema before nearing the red headed woman, releasing her hold from Dema as she rubs her hands together to get a bit of warmth going. "Good evening," Jet speaks as she nears the woman, a faint smile on her lips. "Chilly out here." Plesantries first, it seems.

Bella's smile is comparably chilly. "You should know there are a number of snipers watching over me," she says, offering what must count as her own form of pleasantry. Dema instantly moves to shield Jet with both his arms, eyes moving up and around to scan for any sign of danger. "But they are under orders only to fire if I am placed in danger so, really, if you're here for what you say you're here for, you have nothing to worry about." Bella lifts a hand to adjust her hat, "You said you want a job? I'd like to know why. And I'd like to know what you're willing to do. You must already have an idea of the extent to which I'm willing to go to achieve my goals. You're certain you want to be party to that?"

A hand lifts to rest on Dema's back, a comforting gesture before she makes to move around and face Bella on her own unless Dema fights her on it. "I'm not here to hurt you. I have others ways to do that. Why do I want a job? BEcause I'm lost when I'm not working. And for Dema. He seems lost at times too. Twas not my idea to leave the facility. I am happy there. Content. Chilling. I got to be with Dema. They hauled me out of there. I want to do something, and I am loyal."

Dema doesn't hold Jet in place. The fact is that it would take only one bullet to take him down, clearing the way for a second to end Jet. His gesture of protection is a talisman only. His brow furrows at the thought. But Jet speaks clearly, and makes her intentions clear. Bella listens, and nods, "I have spoken with my backers and they feel that you would make valuable additions to the project. They have a great interest in your ability," she says this while speaking to Jet, "Though they understand that you will be working /with/ us. Still, I hope you will be willing to undergo some tests for the good of the project. I guarantee this will be wholly voluntary."

A lifting then a shrug of her shoulders to Bella's words. "Sure. Testing. Fine. Whateva." A small quirk of her lips at this then a grin. "You only need to direct." One of her small hands slips into Dema's now, fingers lacing with his own. "Will we need to be relocated, or are we to stay in our current apartment?" A glance up to Dema, then back to Bella. "I would offer to let you put a tracking isotope in me, but it's really not worth it. But if it makes you feel better."

Bella meets Dema's eyes for a single drawn out moment. They spent many hours together, though most of the words exchanged were gifted from Bella to Dema, director to assistant. She searches Dema's face for confirmation of Jet's honesty. Of course she finds no wavering and no doubt in his cool blue eyes. But that says nothing. People in love are so much trouble.

"You may find it convenient to relocate, simply because of the commute," Bella says, "I'll speak with my backers about the particulars. For now, I think we can come to an agreement. I will place you in my direct employ. Understand that, for all that the previous project was secretive, this one is more so. Breath a word, and you should count your remaining breathes. That goes for all of us, myself included. Choosing to come with me constitutes passing a point of no return. If you understand this, and still accept, well," her smile flashes, "I'll be happy to welcome you to the team."

Jet watches Bella for a long moment in silence, before she turns her body to face Dema as her hands slip into his own. She doesn't speak for the longest of moments, but just gazes at him. When she finally speaks, her voice is soft. "You know this is what I want, Dema. But your happiness is just as much yours as it is mine. Are you ready to go back?" A firm squeeze to his hands, "I will be happy with her, but I want you just as happy."

Dema cannot answer swiftly, though he is tempted to. What Jet wants is what he wants, he has insisted upon this to himself. His desires are something he has long suppressed, and Jet provides a chance to desire fully, through the conduit of her desires. But now she is stating that she wants /him/ to state his desire. He reaches down deep inside of himself, pulling up dusty thoughts and wishes. Service, survival, safety. All of it so old, so obsolete. "I am with you, my love," he states, finally, "I will do whatever is asked of me, as long as I am at your side."

Oh, how very touching. Bella keeps her expression under control, prevents any eye rolling. Though she is no romantic, she understands that this love is likely a stronger guarantee of loyalty than the threat of death. She'll take it. "I'll have instructions sent to you within a few days. Lay low for now. If we need to relocate you, we will provide transport for your possessions. I'm pleased to have you back with us, both of you. Hopefully this time we'll have a longer professional relationship."

And to further the the need to eyeroll, Jet moves to her toes to press her lips against Dema's own for a lingering kiss before pulling away. Cheeks flushed she turns her eyes back to Bella. "I owe you afterall, in a way. You brought me to Dema. It has taken me fortysomething years to find someone. We'll be awaiting your instructions, and we do not have much for possessions, I don't see the need for such material things."

Jet is just full of admirable sentiments. Bella smiles tightly and nods. "Then it's agreed. I will see you both soon. It's been a pleasure." She dips her head, "Good evening."

"Have a good evening." With that Jet laces her fingers with Dema's own as she looks to him, before jerking her head in a 'Let's go' manner. A faint smile once more to Bella before beginning to head off and back the way they came. Unless Dema has anything more to say, of course.

Dema has no words for the Madame. He turns and moves with Jet, adopting that same protective posture he used to ward her throughout their journey there. He steals a glance at Bella, who is retreating back behind the safety of the fence. "V tikhom omute cherti vodyatsa." he murmurs, "We must remain cautious, my love."

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