To Russia, With Love


abby_icon.gif cat_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title To Russia, With Love
Synopsis When Fate comes knocking, she is going to put you in coach class.
Date November 17, 2009

Old Lucy's: Back Room

This backroom looks more like a living room than just a plain old back room. There are a few armchairs placed about the room and a black rug is in the middle of the room, on top of the rug is a big table with a few chairs around it as well. In a corner of the room is a flat screen TV on the wall.

In one hand is a pint of stout, not an uncommon thing when Cat comes to this place. In the other is her English to Russian and back again dictionary, complete with the Russian words in the Cyrillic alphabet and also transliterated into Western styles. She's devoted a good bit of time to this, given the information in her possession. Nearby is a pharmacology textbook belonging to one Abigail Beauchamp which the panmnesiac occasionally glances at. She views a page long enough to have seen all of the text on it, then takes a drink from the pint.

But Russian and pharmacology aren't the only things on Doctor Chesterfield's mind. In the back of it is musing over why Eileen was targeted by name and not the others present, along with concern over Emile Danko not being secured.

Cat's good at memorizing, and with very little effort. the perfect person to have help study on subjects that she just can't quite get the grasp of. Not yet, she's bound and determined, she won't let some people she knows down. Already in the pits though, thanks to a certain gentleman, the pink haired woman plugs away at the conversion equations, scratching down numbers and doing the math in her head.

"How fast does it take you to learn a language?" asked between one question and the next. "Learning it out of the book, will you learn to speak it as fluently as if say, you were in russia or will you speak it like an american, until you hear a russian speak it?" She passes over her sheet of answers for checking by the brunette.

Outside the back room door, the bar isn't rowdy like it is at night. Just folks in for a lunch time drink and meal before heading back to work. There's the few regulars who are consistanly soused and this is their second home. Brenda's manning the bar.

There's such a thing as having too much on one's mind. In some sense, Tamara is a walking case in point. Despite the sun outside, the wind makes it more than a bit chill; which probably has something to do with the dark violet scarf draped over her shoulders, the loose-knit light blue sweater over a charcoal shirt. The laces of her right shoe are working their way loose, plastic-tipped ends rasping against the floor as someone rather younger than the regular crowd steps into the doorway.

Tilting her head slightly, Tamara scans the room with detatched curiosity, her gaze just a little off, a little unfocused. The teen sniffs, then glances down at the bag whose handle is looped over her arm, before continuing her progress into the room. "Americans speak like Americans," is her contribution to the subject at hand. "It's why they're not Australians." Though she doesn't walk in the straightest of paths, eventually the sybil winds up over by Abby and Cat.

Eyes edged with a hint of redness settle on the would-be EMT. "Can I borrow your phone?"

Her focus is on Abby as the question is asked, Cat seeming to form an answer and about to speak when a third voice joins them in the back room with her take on the subject, but the words are held for the moment. "Hello, Tamara," she offers pleasantly. "Good to see you again."

Then she's back on point with Abby. "It varies, really. Reading and writing are easier than speaking, but it can be picked up well enough from comments on pronounciations in the books. The trouble comes in getting the voice to reproduce the sounds. I'm not so good at rolling r's like a lifelong Spanish speaker."

"Sometimes also," she goes on to say after a collection of thoughts, "expressions and figures of speech need actual time using the tongue with people to pick up. Things not taught in books. One language I learned was a challenge, even in reading and writing. Hebrew."

Then her eyes shift to Tamara again. "I was thinking of going to the zoo soon." Now she won't have to.

"Tamara! Sure, I got a phone" A glance to red eyes and there's furrowing blonde brows as the former healer gets out her cellphone and passes it over. "Take a seat. Cat's helping me with school work" Francois could be around, maybe is around. Possibly. Either that or he's got her keys and taken the SUV for a drive. She's discovered that he quite enjoys driving. "You okay?" She's not ignoring cat, she's soaked in what the woman's told her, processed it and stored it.

Taking the phone from Abby, Tamara holds it at arm's length for a moment. Why she does so becomes self-evident a couple of moments later when the teen covers her face with the opposite arm, the better to deflect a sneeze. 'Okay' is apparently relative, although by her terms… "I'm fine," the seeress informs the former healer with a smile, even as she sniffs again. Her fingers fly across the phone's keypad, gaze wandering to Cat. "Maybe you should. The leopards are probably lonely."

Lifting the phone to her ear, Tamara falls silent for a moment, waiting for the other end of the connection to be picked up. When it is, a slow smile spreads its way across her face; her voice, however bright and cheerful, doesn't sound anything like Abby's. "You should come visit."

Her pint of stout is lifted again, Cat imbibes from it while Tamara partakes of telephonic conversation. She opts to be silent lest she disturb that interaction, her eyes dipping to focus on the translative dictionary in hand. There is curiosity about just who should come visit, it may have some significance in that Tamara made the statement in the presence of her and Abby.

There's also musing in her mind over a zoo visit. Is the seeress saying in her cryptic way she'd encounter something of interest by visiting said leopards?

Ew, cold. That's enough to make the middle-aged of the three of them rise from her seat and head for the walgreen bag that contains the drugs that she was using till flint force healed her for her own good and as payback. The bag crinkles and is soon deposited by the sybil. "Here, for your cold. Before you get any worse" Box of kleenex and hand sanitizer next. Abigail might be on her way to being a germaphobe.

Tamara smiles at Abby, the phone still held against her ear. "It's only a little fuzzy," she remarks, for whatever that's supposed to mean. Her attention diverted by the phone, the seeress grins broadly. "Yes. It doesn't matter and I didn't anyway," she adds, laughing softly. Convention would add some sort of farewell about now, but all Tamara does is close the phone and end the call. Then the girl passes it back over to Abby — "Thank you!" — rubs her nose with her sleeve to cast out an itch, and plunks herself down in a chair to wait, paper bag held across her lap. If Tamara noticed the kleenex and sanitizer, she seems also to have forgotten about it since.

Perusal of her book continues, as does the slow consumption of stout. Cat takes in a few pages of the Russian, then trains her eyes on the pharmacology text. Speaking is still withheld, though curiosity grows. Patience is called upon to wait until Tamara chooses to make with the riddles which generally occur in her presence. It seems she believes that will come in the sybil's own time and not sooner.

Abigail's not gonna be patient. When the pink cellphone is passed back over, she opens it to glance at who she called. "Teo?" Puzzlement some more. "He hasn't been over in a bit" Not since, well, the talk about a lack of memory and then the subsequent time up top with him and Leo. "SO, besides the fuzzy, what brings you out way oh Tamara of the red eyes"

Leaning her chin on the top of the bag, Tamara smiles ruefully at Abby. "No, he hasn't. But it's a small bit." She taps her fingers on the paper in a staccato rhythm, sniffs again. Wrinkles her nose and, very quiet for a moment, manages not to sneeze. When the moment has passed, the sybil digs in her bag, paper rustling noisily. Three white envelopes are withdrawn, which Tamara fans out before her face. They seem to be unlabeled. "This."

"He might be busy, looking for someone," Cat muses quietly between tastes of stout and pages of books at hand without looking up. "And/or seeing to someone still receiving proper accomodations." She too can do cryptic.

It's the sounds of Tamara rustling in her bag which causes Cat's head to lift in time to see the envelopes produced. Three of them, and the dots start to connect. Two present, a third told he should come visit, and Tamara getting to the point with Abby's question. Fingers extend, poised to accept one of the sealed things should it be placed in them.

Blank envelopes being born by the hands of people who can see through the murky waters of the future usually never bode well. "Am I going to regret this?" Please be lottery tickets, please be lottery ticks. Bubblegum pink curls tilt this way and that as she closes up her book and imitates Cat with her own hands.

Clopping, and then a rattle. Teo's head emerges past the doorframe, bar lights and bodies flickering texture across the back of his jacket, the hood flipped out over the collar, hair in a choppy pinestraw tumble on the roof of his skull at a neglectfully unshorn length that is beginning to verge back to the appearance of fashionable — or at least deliberate design.

"Buona sera," he says. If he is still concerned about the underaged sybil's presence at the bar, or arrests made on account of false identification, associations with known terrorist factions or anything of the like, it's concealed because you can hide almost anything under enough pain. His is a notched lip, subdermal haemorrhaging matted purple and acid green on his jaw, a faint fumbling to his breathing here or there to reflect where he had agilely blocked the Department of Homeland Security's rubber rounds using his. Torso.

Ordinarily, his course through Lucy's takes him up a wall or stairs to the apartment above. Though it was a coincidence and exploitable to Tamara's wily agenda, it's a sure bet he would have missed this weird little congregation if he hadn't received the call. There's a squint, a backward glance pitched over his shoulder. Teo nudges the door shut with the side of a knee, offering a chuck of his head in salutation to the older women with Tamara. "I think there's a horror film that begins like this."

Looking over at Teo, the seeress offers him a rueful smile. It dims as she glances to Abby. "You regretted not more," she says softly, before dispersing one envelope to each of her companions. After which Tamara proceeds to bury her nose in her sleeve again, the better to not sneeze on anyone. Or at least anyone else. "I'll go before I get someone sick," the girl declares brightly, hopping up from her seat. "That's better than not."

In the envelopes? Plane tickets to Moscow, one each, identical in all ways save holder names and seat numbers.

The envelope is opened and the contents studied with a single brow raising. "This is intriguing," Cat states, "what do we do once we land?" Her head tilts, Tamara being quietly studied. "I've been planning a trip to Russia, or, more properly, trying to form a plan for such a trip. Serious business is afoot." She doesn't elaborate, instead listening for whatever reply might come and making plans to secure first class seats for all three.

"Why?" Abigail's peeking in the envelope, pinching the ticket out between two fingers so she can see that yes, yes her name is on the ticket. "Glad I have a passport. But why Tamara?" She's not so much in the loop as the others are as she glances between the trio she's with hoping maybe one of them has the answers. "why am I needed with these two?" She assumes it's these two since they all have the same destination.

Russia. Teo has considered visiting before, knows the language in some pastoral dialect, but ultimately neglected to go because—

—of the weather, mostly. Slid by on a boat, once, but all he retains is the vestigial impression of a spired urban skyline and how fucking tall the people had been, sketched out on ursine parameters as if the necessity of surviving the weather had been bred into its people that directly. Wwwweather. Abigail's query draws a brief glance, and he runs a thumb down the side of his bruised nose, testing cold numb against sore injury. He suspects that isn't a question that is going to get an answer informed by the practical application of skills, knowledge, or expertise. "This is for the Vanguard," he says, despite noting Catherine's careful silence. His isn't a question.

Tamara pauses at the door, one hand held about half an inch away from the doorknob. Her head turns, bringing Cat into peripheral view. "A plan is a puzzle of a thousand pieces," the sybil remarks quietly. "I have three. You are— " Dark eyes flick to Abigail, to Teo. Her lips twitch at the suspicion he doesn't quite give voice. "— yourselves. That's the most important part; it's in everything you do. Always overlooked, never lost even when forgotten." Quiet for a moment, she shakes her head a bit. "The mirror lost words and you didn't have the mirror. All I can offer is chance," Tamara concludes, looking to each of them in turn.

Chance, three plane tickets, and a door pulled quietly closed in her wake as the sybil takes her leave without saying a word of goodbye.

The sybil is observed stoically in her departure, commentary is refrained from across several beats after the door closes. But Cat does in time use her voice. "It's never uninteresting when I come across her. I'd been thinking to visit the zoo where I saw her before and see if she had insights I could figure out." There's a quiet chuckle. "Seek Tamara, and she shall find you." Then more thoughtful silence as eyes settle on Abby.

"Teo's correct, I believe. The job's unfinished, elements of Vanguard stole one or more nuclear weapons. It was in the news months ago. Russian nukes. Information gotten to me says these weapons might also be the sort which can't be disarmed. And I think we have a deadline to work from. December 12th."

"This could be a one way mission," she observes, "and the flight will be fairly long. Therefore we shall fly first class."

"Well…" Well. Abigail's lips purse. "Glad I have a co-owner for this place. There goes my classes" One more month to go and she was gonna have to pull out. "And Richard tells me to stay out of trouble, not realizing that trouble finds me" Not a bad thing to go to Russia really. Who would have imagined that she'd ever go there. "Too bad I was learning Italian instead of Russian" WHy she was going, she didn't know, other than maybe… to pray for everyone. "Flint will be happy"

There are supposed to be other people to do this job. Teo's mouth finds a thin line, whitening as it tightens. As the seeress leaves, he thumbs ticket back into envelope, pauses to consider both women for a protracted moment, before offering a grunt of assent. "Any clusterfuck that has the Vanguard, government, Fedor, nuclear weapons, and Tamara all tied up in it is something to take seriously.

"Sorry about your classes, signorina, though I'm not sorry about the Italian." His eyes go squinty with a smile. He drops a close-lipped kiss on the curl of his forefinger, leans over to nudge it onto the pink-haired medic's chin, even as he glances at Catherine. They're experts at one-way trips. At finding their way back home, also, but the thought is still welcome and appreciated. First class isn't a luxury he can afford in 2009, and he'd skipped straight up the rungs to teleporters by 2019.

"I'll do what research I can on Russia before then, but the only man I know with much experience in the region is short half of one foot and preoccupied by those and other concerns." Ivanov. Fortunate, that though Teo doesn't know it yet, they have another contact between them.

"Tamara being who she is, I have to imagine we'll come into contact with useful people and things on the ground in Russia," Cat speculates. "She doubtless saw further than the three of us flying there. In country, we'll have to be resourceful. Making contacts to find Vanguard locations, acquiring weapons… can't take them with us on a plane."

"Maybe there, i'll figure out why i'm going" Abigail offers up. "Russia. Colder than here" There's a scrunch of her nose and she flinches at the incoming finger. not happening, the touching. Not at all. There's a glance to the ticket again and a rub of her hand across the none bruised cheek - not that the bruise is visible thanks to the miracle of make up - and sighs. "I'll start getting my stuff in order, i'll see if I can afford upgrading to first class" She could be able to swing it. Since she didn't buy the ticket in the first place. "Wonder who else we're meeting up with there."

The touching isn't happening, then: Teo reads the telegraph to retreat before he inadvertently presses the girl to it. Doesn't. Senses there's something wrong, for once refraining from randomly misattributing what he sees to his being a horrible person or whatever. Something's wrong, but if she was going to tell him, it probably wouldn't be here or right now, not with plane tickets and nuclear bombs and college cancellations to busy herself with. He drops his hand. "I'll ask Ethan and Raith if they know anything about Russia.

"I don't know anyone else who has experience with Volken's people beside them, or who they know. Get on that tonight, maybe ask Wireless where the tickets came from, and whether we should be concerned about these names sending up flags at the airport." A beat. "Or Tamara thinks it's better for the greater good if we get snapped up by HomeSec. Who would I be to say?" He rolls a shrug through his shoulders, only slightly rickety around his right.

"It could be the mission is best served by coming into the hands of DHS," Cat speculates with eyes resting on Teo, "we do know Feng Daiyu of the CIA was/is pursuing former Vanguardites and had an interest in Else Kjelstrom, in fact he violated her apartment some time ago to get at her. He was blocked in that attempt. We also know Eileen was snatched up by DHS, called out by name at the time. But they didn't grab you, Teo… Also on that other hand is the fact she could simply have led DHS agents right to us, if that was the goal."

"What we're facing could be as outlandish as a plot to cause an eclipse by messing with the moon through nuclear weapons, or come right out of a Cold War spy novel. Detonate a nuke, cause countries with giant arsenals to start throwing them around."

"Arthur Petrelli had his fingers in something involving the Vanguard. When he took Eileen's birds away, he didn't kill her. That was surprisingly not like him. I asked her once what he was after, other than her power, that he might need her alive for. She said her memories. But… she wasn't missing any to my knowledge."

"I believe this might also tie into a pair of satellites now in orbit called the Munin project. Your aunt Lucrezia, Teo, once told me Eileen wasn't the original Munin, but that Kazimir hadn't shared much beyond it being two objects, or persons. In any case, Ethan and Raith may be able to tell us of places the Vanguard used in Russia and/or might still use. Or where they're likely to hole up."

Her gaze lands on Abby, and a quiet chuckle escapes. "I said we were flying first class," Cat chides gently, "not that I was flying first class and you two are on your own. As to classes, arrangements might be possible. Don't despair."

The look given teo is an 'ask later' sort of look before she focuses her attention on Cat and the information spilling forth from the other woman. Okay. There is. There is a lot of stuff she didn't know and some of it that she did thanks to Richard.

"I uhh… I have Francois."

She gives that a moment to sink in. "As in, the real Francois, not it. He's staying with me. Hiro took Eileen and I back to the woods and we brought him… you know… Here." She looks between the two in the back room.

There's a considerable silence, after which Teo blinking his eyes almost pops off audible noise in the back room's insulated quiet. "Where is he?" His mind is moving ahead, inevitably, assimilating the other erstwhile healer's arrival in with the soupcons of information he knew about, the details he hadn't heard before, that Catherine reports rapid-fire. He moves his envelope into his jacket, tucks it away with a pinching shove of callused forefinger and thumb.

"Francois," Cat murmurs, "I take it he has the healing ability?" Then she falls mostly silent, save for what might be the sound of quiet growling from her throat before she grouses. "Hiro comes to New York, and doesn't even take a moment to drop in. So nice of him."

"He doesn't. We picked him up about five or so minutes after he passed it to me. He's out sightseeing, I can call him back Teo, if you want to see him. He's fresh from 1994, he's fascinated with the hybrid" The folder is turned over and over in her hand. "Hiro took off right after, I think he had other stuff to do. Dump and run at the Garden."

Nakamura Hiro would have other stuff to do. There's a short-lived wrinkle of disconcertment in Teo's brow. He thought there were rules against that. Maybe. According to… a science-fiction novel he read when he was thirteen. Instead of Jane Austen, or de Gualbes, or whomever had been listed on the syllabus for actual academic consumption at the time. "Okay," he says, nodding to show he remembers. The Garden. He'll do that later, and speak to her about whatever shook Abigail up so bad, too. "I'll get back to you two tomorrow evening, latest. Call you with whatever I find."

"I thought briefly of asking him to handle Emile Danko," Cat comments. "Hiro could imprison him in a place he'd never escape." A slow grin spreads across her face. "He could give Emile what he wants so badly, a world without SLC abilities by dropping him off in dinosaur times, or deposit him with a tribe of Neanderthals. His kind of people, he'd fit right in."

She gathers up her language source book and finishes off her pint, then approaches the door. "I've arrangements to make. We'll be in contact."

"Yeah. We'll be in contact." Pharmacology is not longer.. important. small part of her resents this, money wasted. Time wasted. But if this doesn't turn out to be a one way trip, she'll restart it. Maybe she'll luck out and can pick up where she left off. "I gotta go visit the bar's lawyer, make up a will I suppose" Cat will be busy. "Teo, i'll bunk pila with a friend. She'll be safe with her" Assuring the other man that his princess of the blue feathers will be safe. "God bless" Her usual wave away. "I need to track down a Frenchman and make some calls."

One grunt of laughter, almost coughed into the side of Teo's hand. All right. "He looks like a fossil," he offers the lawyer, amiably, jerking the lapels of his jacket flat against his torso. He steps into the adjacent doorway, aiming his long gait for the staircase. He has a dinner date, by which the reader may take to mean A lot of drinking to do. "Grazie, Abigail." He can't forget Pila once reminded, at least. "Tell them it's a family emergency," he suggests. "A Ferry contact should be able to print something out sealed with letterhead to make it believable, maybe get tuition for next semester waived.

"Should be acceptable." And not so great a lie. The disasters of Vanguard proportions rarely think to limit their zone of destruction to the few young people. If Teo is disconcerted by his fairly recent propensity for deception, he doesn't let it on.

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