The Rear Window


ellinka_icon.gif rico_icon.gif

Scene Title The Rear Window
Synopsis Rico questions Ellinka's voyeuristic nature from her perch.
Date December 19, 2008

Jersey City, Irradiated Zone - Goldman Sachs Tower, Rooftop


Ethan Holden had taught Ellinka about control, about how all of the things in the world revolve around it. Once you establish control, everything else falls into place accordingly. Her training under Hans in the Spetznas also emphasized this point, and to that end Ellinka is working to control things otherwise involuntary to normal people, something as simple as shivvering.

On the high roof of the Goldman Sachs tower, over forty-five floors above the street, the blonde sniper lays on the stone in her long winter-lined black jacket, sniper rifle aimed between the black rod-iron bars of the railing. Both Ellinka and the whole of the rooftop are covered in snow, and her stationary position has made her blend into the environment with sleek and seamless natural camouflage. Snow settles atop her black cap, over the oiled wool of her jacket, across the barrel of her sniper rifle. She has remained stationary for hours now, even as the worst snow storm of the season has begun barreling down on the city.

Through the scope of her rifle she watches the flakes fall, watching vehicles swerve and skid across icy and slicked roads. It's as though when a few inches of snow falls, everyone loses their minds. Her eyes close, head wanting to lower down to rest against the stone tiles beneath where she lays, but it would disturb her cover. She needs to be in control.

"I was unaware that Mister Volken was hiring snowmen." The rough spanish accent crooning across the rooftop causes Ellinka to shift her eyes to the side, she can't see him, but the sound of boots crunching freshly fallen snow and the direction of his voice is enough to clue her in on where he is. She sighs, letting a puff of steam blow out through the urban camo scarf wrapped around the lower half of her face, and lowers one eye back down to the scope.

"Drake wanted me to come up here an' see if you felt like getting off the mainland tonight." Rico walks up alongside where Ellinka lays, each crunching footfall breaking the snow until he comes to a slow stop. One hand rises to pull the cigarette from his mouth, a stream of smoke trailing between falling snowflakes. Dark eyes fall down on Ellinka's snow covered form, "We're bringing some hardware out to Mattias' ship, if you're not in, we'll take King."

"I'm busy." Her voice is quiet and hushed, a stoic expression on her face as she watches the aftermath of a weather-related collision, a pair of expensive looking sedans having collided from the slippery roads. Both drivers now walk back and forth looking at the cars and waving their hands animatedly, shouting and hollaring at one another, voices unheard. "I'm practicing." She clarifies before Rico can grumble out a confused reply.

The abrupt end to Ellinka's words stops Rico dead in his tracks, and he raises one black brow up to the edge of his beret. The expression lingers in a frozen way for a time before he shrugs helplessly, "Mattias brought some booze back from Columbia, we're making a night of it." Rico's cigarette is left pinched between his fingers, smoke blown by the strongs winds that bring a shudder to his form. "It might be our last chance at leave time, chica." His pitch rises at the end, making it subtly questioning of her decision.

"I do not require leave of absence." Her words are carefully, if not mechanically chosen, watching blue lights flashing in the distance on that road the observes, police cruisers making their way to the scene of the accident in the driving snow on slick roads. Rico closes his eyes and nods his head once, finally bringing his cigarette back up to his lips with a prolonged inhalation of hot smoke deep into his lungs, slowly pushed out through his nostrils.

"Your choice." He takes a step back, then turns at the waist, looking her snow-covered form over, "Do…" His eyes narrow, focusing on a droplet of melted snow falling off of the brim of her hat, "…you do this all the time? Just, watch people?" It's an honest question, one he hasn't had the chance to ask. Given that Ellinka worked in the European Front and Rico the South American Front, the two have only recently been introduced. Already she's a bit of an enigma to him.

Ellinka's strained sigh is a form of an answer, and her eyes track to a thin wisp of smoke she spots getting caught on the wind from the cigarette. "Yes." There's a firmness — an adamancy — to her tone. "I…" Almost about to open up, she grows awkwardly silent, watching through her scope as one of the cruisers pulls up behind the scene of the accident, and the other parks on the side of the street.

"You…" Rico slouches forward, then crouches down at Ellinka's side, never one to let something as silly as tact get in the way of sating his curiosity. His cigarette finds his lips again, tucked into one corner to burn slowly. "If you choke under pressure," he chooses something obviously false and pointed to see her react, "I might want to know, si?"

Snow cracks and sloughs off of Ellinka's hat and shoulders as she turns her head to Rico at the statement. Her brows lower and a look of frustration crosses her face, but in that reactionary response all she finds is a shit-eating grin spread from ear to ear on Rico's face. She couldn't keep her temper under control. Her eyes close and she looks away, scowling as Rico croaks out a laugh, one cold hand stroking melting snow out of his beard.

"You lost your cool, eh?" He sucks on the cigarette, a quick puff of smoke popping out of the opposite side of his mouth as if he were smoking a cigar. "It happens, to all of us. Just because you're some Russian thing, hard to pronounce," His smile turns to more of a smirk, "It doesn't make you flawless."

"I should be." Her attention returns to the scope, and Rico rises back into a straightened position, looking down at her now in a slightly different light. He had picked at her until he found the corner of some unhealed mental scab, and kept picking until she bled. It's how Rico works, and it's heartening to him to know it works on his current brothers-in-arms as well as his countrymen.

"No one is perfect," Rico notes with a scoff, "Not you, not me, not Mister Volken." As much as those words cause Ellinka to bristle some, they're the truth. "Faults make us better, unpredictable, si?" His head cants to the side, plucking his cigarette from his mouth again to toss it down into the snow, vanishing into the few inches that have collected with a wet hiss.

She doesn't respond, not verbally, but the way her shoulders curl forward and the way she has a hard time keeping focus on the police officer laying down road flares on the street in the distance is a sure sign that Rico has hit a nerve, and she can't let him know that it's a particularly sore one. "Unpredictability means death on the battlefield. Control is — "

"Impossible." Rico steps on the spot where the cigarette vanished, habit more so than necessity. "Total control is a lie, and anyone who thinks they can totally control anything is an asswipe and more out of control than in." He cracks a smile and motions to the city, "You can't control everything, because something small, something subtle…" As Rico speaks, a small black spider scurries along the snow-lined railing, going unseen by the pair, "…something seemingly inconseqential will slip by, and change everything."

Ellinka's brows furrow beneath the brim of her hat, and she gives a mild scowl before nodding once more to the older member of the Vanguard. "How long have you been doing this, Sir?" Rico may not have an official military rank, but his age and his experience makes him — in Ellinka's mind — a superior.

Rico can't help but blanch a bit at the titling, and he rasps out another laugh as he turns his back on Ellinka's prone form. "Since I was a boy. Since I was old enough to hold a rifle." Tucking his hands into the pockets of his jacket, he turns to regard Elinka with a sidelong stare. "But between you and me," he smiles faintly, this one not as teasing as the last. "I envy you for not having my experience."

Ellinka says nothing, no response, not even a nod. She merely watches one of the police officers slip on the ice and land flat on his back on the sidewalk, a road flare rolling out and away from him to stop not far away. She presses her brow up against the scope to keep up the weight of her tired head. Rico takes the silence in stride, nodding once, more to himself as he turns back for the stairwell entrance to the roof.

"Think about it sometime, chica." He shrugs both of his shoulders helplessly, "Living a little."

December 19th: Trusting the Untrustable

Previously in this storyline…
Trusting the Untrustable

Next in this storyline…
One If By Sea

December 19th: One If By Sea
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