The Valkyries Call, Part III


ruth_icon.gif sarisa_icon.gif

Scene Title The Valkyries Call, Part III
Synopsis Special Agent Kershner comes to collect a third FRONTLINE candidate.
Date June 26, 2009

Outside Fort Carlson, Colorado

Located almost in the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain, not far from Colorado Springs, Fort Carson is considered one of the best Army training bases. Not so strange, then, for Ruth Crow Dog to have been assigned here most recently, as it seems like everything she does these days is either use her ability or train more with it.

The specialist isn't currently at the complex proper, however; speaking with her this morning means traveling away from the fort's buildings and into less-developed spaces. Not, fortunately, off the beaten path — her camouflaged uniform doesn't hide the woman seated at the base of a mature oak tree, perfectly still. Her back is to the road, and thus to any probable visitor; yet out here in the foothills, on the fringes of a designated national forest, there is the definite sense of being watched. The kind of expectant tension that makes hair stand up on end and skin crawl.

A little way's away, there's the sound of a car purring to a stop, the distant squeak and slam of a door being opened, shut, and silence.

The government official is dressed, first, in brown leather boots with a modest heel, halfway up her thighs where expensive jeans are tucked in, clinging to her legs. The blouse she wears, a pattern of dark blue and green, is light for the weather, expensive and formal in some ways, and her blonde hair is kept loose but thoroughly brushed to professional glossiness, errant strands tucked behind her ears as she moves down the road at a somewhat hesitant, wandering pace. A practice bag of brown suede hangs from her shoulder.

There's a crunch of ground underfoot as Sarisa steps off the road without real concern for rougher terrain, eyes honing in on the silhouette of the specialist in camo, coming to a halt a respectable distance away. "Ruth Crow Dog?"

They are a study in contrasts, the woman who emerges from the car and the one on the ground; opposite in colors, opposite in garb. Sarisa's movement is the antithesis of Ruth's stillness, the specialist failing to react to the summoning call of her name. A light wind tugs at wisps of dark hair, the sun shines on her arms, and a butterfly spooked by the agent's entrance flits past Ruth's face without eliciting so much as a twitch.

Something else twitches, however; a brush against fallen leaves in the underbrush, the rustle of branches displaced by deliberate motion. Tawny eyes blink into existence amongst the shrubbery on Sarisa's left, a young male cougar stepping partway out into the sunlight.

He stares at Sarisa for several heartbeats, ears angling backwards in uncertain agitation.

Sarisa snaps a sharp gaze towards the sound of movement, still competence outshining the city-girl appearance for just a moment before it softens once more into surprise, blinking rapidly at the delicate face and jewel eyes of the large cat. Her hands grip onto the thin, durable strap of her bag, taking a step back.

A moment ticks over, and that initial surprise is veiled once more with stoic professionalism— even if she's about to talk to an animal, though loud enough so that it may carry towards the woman's ears too, a glance spared. "My name is Special Agent Kershner." Her hand dips into her bag, withdraws the identification - even flips it open to flash to the cougar, some wryness in the corners of her mouth, not quite a smile. "I'm with the CIA. I'd like a moment of your time."

"So I've heard," the woman over by the tree states, making no pretense that she hasn't been watching the agent's approach all the while. Ruth pulls herself up to her feet, turning to face Sarisa; one hand leans against the tree perhaps a little too heavily, but it's a matter of seconds before she straightens entirely. The specialist doesn't quite come to attention, but there's a formal stiffness to the stance she finally adopts.

Dark eyes rest on the cougar, who still looks a little uncertain about this whole situation but is remarkably calm nonetheless. Ruth speaks three words in something decidedly not English; one black-furred ear swivels towards her, followed by a pair of tawny eyes, before the cat breaks into the brush. Gone, as abruptly as he appeared.

"I imagine," the specialist continues, returning her regard to the special agent, "you either have somewhere you want to send me or something else to test with my gift." There have been more of the former lately, and less of the latter, but one never knows what clever new brainstorm the administration will decree.

The soft leather of the identification is closed, slipped back out of sight and once again, Sarisa looks impossibly New York and civilian, but there's a steeliness in the way she carries herself, emulating the authority her badge represents. "Something like both," she agrees, and the forest ground crunches a little more beneath her heels as she comes forward a little closer. Sun glints off the shades currently perched on her head.

"I'm here on behalf of General Sebastian Autumn. He wished to inform you that you will be transferred from Colorado to New York effective immediately, to join FRONTLINE Unit One." An eyebrow raises a fraction. "Congratulations."

Ruth watches the agent approach, one dark brow arching at her response; inadvertant mimicry of Sarisa's own expression. The thoughts behind Ruth's version, however, are not voiced; the specialist simply inclines her head in acknowledgment. The brass says jump… "Thank you for the notice, Special Agent," the woman replies calmly. "Shall I return with you?"

A nod is followed by the verbal response of; "Allow me." Sarisa's hand goes out in gesture towards where her car is parked along the road. And with that, along with a scanning, hawk-gaze sweep of the surroundings in case anything furry or feathered wants to poke its sleek face out from the branches and the bushes, the agent turns her back on the specialist and moves for the road, low heels sinking into dirt and scraping asphalt when she gets there.

"You will be FRONTLINE's intelligence operative, under the leadership of Michael Spalding, and take part in the first military branch to formally utilise the assets of Evolved individuals in the Western world." Her footfalls are efficient, gunshot-like against concrete, as she moves towards the car, headed for the driver's seat so she might peer at the other woman across the shining top of the vehicle. Her words are precise, almost practiced if recited — or perhaps she just talks that way. "Your involvement will be invaluable."

Ruth's boots are better-suited to walking across grass and dirt than Sarisa's heels; her steps are softer, though not necessarily quiet. She pauses at the passenger's door, shaking back a bit of loose hair; all traces of the faint, faint smile that Sarisa's inspection of their surroundings elicited have long since disappeared. Oh, if only she knew.

"I wouldn't expect the brass to make the transfer otherwise," Ruth remarks neutrally, regarding the other woman across the car. "That phrase, or its close cousin, shows up in most of my orders." If the glory and honor of a FRONTLINE assignment makes much impression upon the specialist, she isn't showing it.

And if there's offense in reply to Ruth's pragmatism, it certainly doesn't show, if it was ever there. Sarisa simply regards her for the tick of a second over the vehicle, head canting in a gesture of acknowledgement, before she's smoothly opening the door and ducking down inside. Not so many seconds later, an engine is key-twisted into an expensive rumble, the whine of wheels on its axis as it curves a rounding trajectory on the forest road, before the German built piece of technology is smoothly carrying both women away from the rural, verdant atmosphere of the Colorado forests.

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