War Economy, Part II


delia_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif jimmy_icon.gif lucille_icon.gif knox_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title War Economy, Part II
Synopsis An unlikely alliance between Company and Messiah — secret government organization and terrorist cell — ends with two lives saved, but one life lost.
Date May 19, 2010

"You know… Ben…"

Jimmy's voice echoes through the empty space of the warehouse, his breath visible as a cloud of steam that rises from parted lips, "I guess you could say I told ya so…" there's the crook of a smile at the corner of Jimmy's mouth, hands tucked into his pockets and shoulders squared, one foot scuffing out the glowing ember of a cigarette at his feet, next to the crisp black and white suit of the deceased agent at his feet, dark red blossomed up through the bullet holes in hischest.

"But— I told you so."

All this started with a knock.

Three Hours Earlier

The Corinthian Hotel

The door opens slowly in response to the knocking just a moment ago. The suite in which Benjamin Ryans has put his daughters up at has seen a variety of security coming in and out over the last couple of days. Being an agent of the Company has its perks, and the added protection of a few loyal agents means the world to him where his little girls are concerned.

"Hey there— Delia?" It's actually Lucille he's addressing, and the tall, muscular man in a sleek black suit stepping in to the suite offers a green-eyed stare around the accomodations. "Hey, wow, nice place you girls have here. Your dad really cares about you, y'know?" Stepping in to the suite, the darkly dressed man offers a warm smile and a quirk of his head. "My name's agent Nealson," and as he says that, there's a motion to another taller and balder man with a sandy brown tan and sunglasses, "and this is agent Madison. You girls go on, you won't even know we're here."

All it takes, though, is for Lucille to welcome in more of her father's babysitters and turn her back for just a second to allow agent Nealson to sidestep from in front of Madison, who already has a Company-issue tranquilizer gun readied in hand.

Two Hours Earlier

"Jesus, Ben I— Jesus I'm sorry." Arms wrapped around himself and gloved hands tucked under his arms, Jimmy Alton takes a thoughtful look around the silent and empty suite. It's not because he's looking for something, but because he's trying not to pay attention to Ryans, trying to give the man some semblance of privacy as he looks down at the note left pinned to the coffee table in the middle of the suite.

Agent Ryans,
Your girls will be safe for the next 120 minutes. If you will deliver James Alton to the Baxter-Farms Warehouse in Battery Park they will remain unharmed. If you fail to do so there will be nothing for you to bury. Do not bring anyone other than Alton, or they will die.

This is only business.

Rubbing his hand over his mouth, Jimmy offers an exasperated look to Ryans, swallowing nervously as his shoulders roll forward and back is stiffly tense. "What's it say?" Jimmy croaks out in a worn tone of voice. He knows, or he can guess at least, but giving Ryans something to think about, getting him to talk seems like a wiser idea than just letting him simmer in enraged silence.

"They have the girls." Is the only answer Ryans supplies, the words grated out as the note crinkles as it crumples in his fingers. The agent is literally sneering, eyes glares at it from under the shadow of his fedora. "They want you within' two hours." His hand jerks to the side, offering the creased and wrinkled note for the pre-cog to take it.

His gaze slides over the hotel room before those cold eyes settle on Jimmy. "I'm running out of options." He admits flatly, knowing Jimmy can pretty much figure out what he's talking about. He hates admitting that he's loosing this one. The bad guys are winning and it's leaving a bitter taste in his mouth.

His winter coat is open, showing the suit he's been wearing, leather shoes making no sound on the carpet when he moves away from Jimmy, not wanting the other man to see how much this whole thing is effecting him, there is no hiding it away at this point. Leather gloved hands reach down to pick up a chair on it's side, righting it, though the gesture is rough, making the chair give a small crack.

"Ben, I told you last night," Jimmy takes the letter, but doesn't give it more than a cursory glance, "I told you that I'd do whatever it takes to take care've your girls. You know what I said, about losing my whole family? I'm not just gonna' sit here and let that happen to yours, okay? The world deserves better than having two more dead kids and a— " Jimmy's teeth clench together, head turns to the side and his brows furrow, fingers curling against the paper of the letter.

He's silent for a moment, ruefully so, and despite his willingness to turn himself over to the individuals responsible for the kidnapping of two innocent children, he's still scared. "If you've got some last minute trick to pull out of your utility belt, Batman…" Jimmy's eyes lift up from the floor, settle on Ryans as he slowly shakes his head, "now's the time."

"I'm going to have to turn you over, Alton, your right." Ryans says softly, hands on the back of the chair, knuckles white as he grips it. His head droops forward, almost seemingly in defeat and he sighs heavily out of his nose. "This is not what I wanted for you. You deserve a second chance at things." It's not the first time he let a man go… it's how he ended up looking twenty years younger.

Suddenly, the chair is thrown aside, sending it clattering against the dresser there. "No." He growls out viciously, turning towards Jimmy again, there is something in those eyes… something rarely seen. Huruma would probably be proud. "We are not going to play it their way. Those sons of bitches are not getting you."

Jaw cletched tight agaisnt the rage seething through him, he pulls a phone out of his jacket, a satellite phone, he grabbed it from the communications center before dragging Alton out of Fort Hero, blind folded. He couldn't take a chance there… Company training coming into play. "They will be expecting me to call in my group… they will be looking for agents." Flipping the phone open, he moves closer to Alton, the younger man's shoulder gripped tightly, determination in those blue eyes."I'm turning you over… but not to them."

The hand drops away and he turns towards the door, eyes on the phone as his fingers tap — slowly — over the keys. "Come on… we're wasting time here."

The message?

Rebel… let's make a trade…

One Hour Ago

Battery Park

"Get the fuck in there," is the sharply hissed order from the man who had been calling himself agent Madison, shoving a blearily awake and drugged Delia Ryans through a doorway on shaky legs. The world spins and her head swims, knees buckle and she's left to collapse down onto them, then down onto her hands, shakily holding herself up. Details are still hard to see, hard to feel and it's like waking up after a too-short nap, coupled with the floating sensation of a head cold.

The metallic slam of the door behind Delia wakes up the young woman laying on the floor next to her, and when Lucille's eyes snap open, she's staring up at a riveted metal ceiling. The floor beneath her back permeates with cold, and the room itself is nearly pitch black, save for what little ambient light is shed by an electrical lamp situated on a metal cabinet nearby.

Irony of ironies is that this is a walk-in freezer, but with the weather the way it is and trhe electricity off, it's purpose is inverted. Thermal insulation designed to keep heat out and cold air in is doing the exact opposite in this case, keeping the freezing cold of New York's frozen streets out and allowing Delia and Lucille some small measure of comfort.

But alone is the dark is not a comfortable place to be, and the thick metal walls make whatever conversation is going on outside impossible to hear save for a murmur. All they know, however, is that they're in trouble.

As the gravity of the situation dawns on Lucille as she lays on the cold floor her head spins and her light grey eyes are wild as she sits up and grabs her head. Shaking it briefly, the blonde looks around the room and she sees.. well nothing. "Fuck.." she breathes out and then she's climbing to her feet and then crouching, she wobbles a bit and then she's slapping and shaking her sister. "Del.. Del, I'm gonna need you to wake up sweetie, okay?" she looks behind her shoulder and then she's standing again.

The hidden agent within comes to life as Lucille begins to come through the rooms, looking for anything that will help the Ryans girls. Upon searching for her phone and such she finds nothing and she swears again. "You'd think we'd be taken by stupid fucks." She mutters as she looks around the freezer, come on.. there has to be something.

Taking her long hair and tying it into a tight ponytail, her gaze travels over to Delia. "Deli, I need you to wake the fuck up." She says a little louder. Though careful not to be too loud, who knows if the men who took them can hear her. She blinks a few times and rubs her forehead. They really pulled a whammy on them.

She's groggy, very groggy, half awake. Her reality is just a pale shade of what it should be. Lucille is talking to her, but Delia doesn't answer, not right away. Not yet. She's still trying to piece together everything that happened, how they got from the hotel to where they are now. Why she can't remember. What the heck that pain is in side of her neck.

"J-just.. I'm awake.." The younger of the two mumbles quietly, interrupting as soon as Lucille starts shrieking. At least that's what it sounds like. "Gimme a second… gimme… I need to think…" Except she can't. Slowly, she pushes herself up off the floor and looks around. "Wha — Are we in a … Where are we?" She gets up and moves toward the door, heedless of any warning that her sister might be giving.

Then she starts pounding, and yelling. "Someone! Is someone out there! Help!! Someone help!!" Not that the inhumane weather outside would be any help right now.

"Deli! Del!" Lucille rushes over to Delia and holds her little sister's face in her hands. "Listen to me. No screaming, okay?" Lucille's expression is of seriousness and worry. She can't afford for her sister to crack right now, especially if she's not cracking. She didn't take her meds..

The older Ryans girl looks around the room and drags her sister away from the door, trying to take her over to farthest corner of the room. "Look.. we need to find something. Anything to help us outt of this mess. But screaming and freaking out isn't going to help." Lucille looks her sister in the eyes, blue eyes meet light grey ones. "I'm going to get us out of here, okay?"

With that, the older woman is looking harder and squinting as she searches for a weapon.. or something to pry the door open with.. anything at all. She'll be damned if she'll play the role of the damsel in distress. There's no time for that.

"Seriously?! Seriously?! What are you going to do? Catwalk us to safety? Left turn this door open?!" Yes, Delia is cracking (just a little bit). Turning to face her sister, she tenses a little bit and clenches her jaw, "Your Zoolander moves aren't going to help us get out of this. You can't just sleep your way out… Don't think I don't know what you've been trying to do with every one of our babysitters so far. Now sit your Blue Steel ass down and I'm going to try to figure a way out of here."

Delia's always been the stronger one, the thicker one, the one with more meat on her bones. Backing to the opposite end of the freezer, she takes a run at the door and slams into it. Knocking herself senseless.

Thirty Minutes Ago

Battery Park

Portions of Manhattan remain functional despite the storm, portions where government facilities require work, portions where the plows have maintained a semblance of order. Battery Park City is one of those regions, with its towering skyscrapers and proximity to the Financial District it is one of the neighborhoods necessary for emergency workers coming and going from the city to arrive by boat. With rumors that the Hudson River may be freezing over, however, there may not be much time left until it too is abandoned.

The black sedan parked out front of the three story warehouse perched on the edge of the Hudson river is crusted with ice, across the sides and rear of the car, freshly scraped ice leaving scuff marks across the windshield, and even with the heat blasting the car still feels cool on the inside. Seated as the passenger in the car, James Alton offers a suspicious and askance look to Benjamin Ryans, nodding his head and looking up to the closed bay doors of the warehouse. "So… you think they want us to knock?" Jimmy asks with a flick of his eyes over to Ryans, lips downturned into a frown.

"Do I just— do I just walk in there or?" Unaware of Ryans' plan, Jimmy hunches his shoulders forward against the cold. They've been sitting here, outside of the warehouse for nearly fifteen minutes before they see a sign of motion. A man in heavy thermal clothing stepping out of the warehouse and motioning for Ryans to drive forward before hastily ducking back inside the door. At the motion, the bay doors of the warehouse creak and groan and begin to slide open slowly on their rattling runners.

Eyes narrow under the brim of his fedora, but the Senior Agent is silent. An elbow propped against the door and window, hand runs slowly back and forth against the stubble of dark course hair on his chin… he hadn't really had time to shave today, going from one place to another. His thoughts are his own, but his gaze is on the building.

The old man tenses, fingers tightening on the steering wheel as someone steps out. He straightens, both hands going to the steering wheel. As the sedan slowly rolls forward, Ryans finally speaks up, his voice very soft. "Keep your side locked. When I get out of the car… lock the rest of it. No one is getting you til the girls are safe. If it goes south…" He pulls the phone out of his jacket and hands it to Jimmy. "You contact Rebel. He's watching that phone and you get out of here."

His head turns slightly to look at Jimmy, as the shadows of the building swallow them up. "If they gun me down… the girls are already dead. Just… go. Do you understand?" With the fedora on, Jimmy can't see Ryans brows lift with the question.

Sighing and literally facepalms, the model shakes her head and then comes over to grab her sister's arm. "You are being irrational and an idiot." Lucille's tone takes a rare quality now, the kind that use to scare Delia when she was a little girl whenever Lucille would bully her.

Eyes narrow and she grips her sister hard. No matter how strong, the stare should be enough. "Now shut the fuck up and use your brain." The blonde's hands begin to shake as she tries to keep the lid on her own crazy. "If you continue to act insane, I'll hit your ass over the head with the fucking lamp because you are no good to me when you're like this, genius. Use that self-proclaimed Jimmy Neutron sized brain and THINK."

The last bit she takes all her strength to slam her sister into the wall of the freezer. Something to shock her. But then.. is that a car? The young woman looks up and her gaze goes to the door, no way to really open it.. maybe.. hm.. her mind starts to work as she backs away from her sister and looks towards the lamp.

Knocked a little to her senses, Delia slinks into the corner and sits down, hugging her knees to her chest. "How are we going to get out, Lu? We can't open it from the inside… Who knows what's on the outside. Why did those agents bring us here? Did you check their ID?"

She too hears the car, but it only furthers to sink her deeper into self pity mode. This wouldn't have happened if they'd been at home. With their mom. She not only thinks it, she voices it. "Mom wouldn't have ever let this happen to us. She would have stayed with us."

She follows Lu with her eyes toward the lamp and closes her eyes a little to its brightness. The colorful orange spots dotting her vision enhance Lu's image to one of an angel, or something like that. The redhead's lips curl downward into a sad expression and her eyes rim with tears. This has to be one of the worst days of her life.

Looking stiff and tense, Jimmy offers a nervous look askance at Ryans from the passenger seat. "Ben," he offers tensely, "Ben I've got a really bad feeling about this…" there's a grimace spread across Jimmy's lips, hands trembling in his lap when he makes eye-contact with the agent again. "Just— Just make sure this all goes, right okay? Make sure this whole thing goes down good? Man I— I really don't wanna have to tell you I told you so when shit goes sideways."

The warehouse interior is a stripped bare and spartan structure. Cold concrete floors frosted with a thin coat of ice and ten heavily armed men in arctic survival gear standing silent around the vehicle. None of them look familiar, and the bald-headed and darkly tanned man that had motioned to Ryans outside is standing in front of the car, a Company-issue pistol out, aiming at the car's windshield.

When Ryans cracks the door open and steps out, he stays trained on him in silence. None of the armed gunmen move, just keep their AK-47s trained ont he vehicle, trained on Ryans and Jimmy. The beld man with an agent's gun makes a circular motion with his pistol, and Ryans knows what it means well enough to hold his arms out and turn in a circle while two of the armed and masked thugs pat him down and check him for weapons.

Removing his own Company-issue gun, one of the mercenaries looks it over, then holds it out to agent Madison. "Nice piece," the faux-agent notes, waggling his own gun in the air. "You know, these things are pretty customized, agent Ryans. Do you know how hard it is to get one of these made to specification? Your organization puts on a heck of a front, and pretending to be one of you is exhausting. Your girls," agent Madison nods his head once, "they're safe, for now. Why's Alton in the car?"

When he finishes the circle, Ryans bumps his door shut, satisfied when he hears a click of it shutting, hopefully Jimmy does what he's told. Everything is noted. The weapons, the people. People that will be dead one day — they just don't know it yet. If all goes well. It'll be today.

That little thought actually gets a small ghost of a smile from the Senior Agent. He just keeps his eyes on the fake agent in front of him, it's a gaze that conveys just those thoughts. He's silent as they yammer on, nothing they say really all that interesting at the moment, but filed away for later. Nothing is said until they inquire about Alton.

His voice practically purrs, but it's ice cold in it's tone, "Once I know my girls are safe, once I see them alive… then… only then… he'll get out of the car… then he's yours. Until then… he stays put." Ryans isn't in a position to deal, but hey… he's got to kill some time.

Where are they?

"I don't know Delia." Lucille shakes her head as she gets closer to the lamp. "Come over here and help me." She takes hold of the lamp. "In case someone comes in, we need to be prepared." Though what can they really do?

Sighing, "Check your pockets, maybe they left something useful Del." Fat chance, almost as fat as Delia's thighs.

Aside from the engine, there's something else that catches Delia's attention. "Ssh! Shut up.. Shut up Lu…" Slowly, she stands and then practically rushes at the door. Once again, she begins pounding, and yelling, quite loudly… and she can get pretty loud. "DADDY!! DADDY!! WE'RE IN HERE!! DADDY!!"

She turns to the bottle blonde and gives her a look of desperation, "Lu! It's Dad, come on! Here's here to get us out!" Turning back to the door, she hammers it with her fists as hard as she can. "DADDY!! WE'RE HERE!!" She really had no idea if they're the reason he is there, she just knows that he is there. Hopefully to help them.

A chorus of shouting voices echo muffled thorugh the door of the metal-walled freezer on the northwest side of the warehouse. The panicked sounds of Delia's voice soon joined by Lucille's seems so much less abrasive with a metal door between them. The mercenary faux-agent merely cranes his head to the side in response.

"I don't think you understand how this whole thing works, Ryans. You know, we have gone through some shit to get this guy, do you really want to fuck that badly with us?" Waving the gun at Ryans, Madison furrows his brows and tilts his head to the side, pointing the gun to the windshield again. "Get out of the car!" He shouts to Jimmy, and both the gun aimed in his direction and the raised voice has him bolting upright in his seat, fumbling the phone Ryans had left him to fall down on the floor between his feet.

"Don't make me ask you a second — " Whatever it was that Madison was going to say is cut off by the thunderous explosion of shattering brick and the sudden explosion of freezing cold into the warehouse. A seven foot by seven foot section of the east wall explodes inward to the building, showering brick and mortar over the concrete floor. The mercenaries jerk about in their place, all of them turning to the sudden intrusion through a solid wall and some trying to focus back on Ryans and then back to the darkly dressed silhouette making his way into the building.

"Well hey now, this ain't the Ritz Carlton, is it?" Offers the short and wiry man in black arctic survival gear, a red scarf wound around his lower face, the other end trailing over his left shoulder. Shaking brick shards off of his gloved hands, he nods his head towards the one metal building inside of the warehouse's northwest corner.

"Who— who the fuck— " the noise of chaos and confusion comes only a moment before most of the gunmen feel a wave of anguish and feel swell over them, and the source of it halts their trigger firing, makes them hesitate when they see an equally darkly dressed woman saunter in behind Knox. Her fut-trimmed hood hides a dark complexion and amethyst shadowed eyes, immaculately red lips and chocolate complexion a shade lighter than coal black eyes. For all that it is the ninth frozen circle of Hell outside, Huruma still does this looking good.

"I think the word you was lookin' for," Knox comments with a slap of one fist into his palm, "was shoot."

Somewhere in between the morning, a 'they've got my girls' and 'Ritz-Carlton', Huruma found the time to make herself equally puzzling and terrifying. A Woman is a woman is a woman- especially when she strives to make impressions on the ones that they are likely going to be coming nose to nose with more than today.

Her figure slips in through the entrance that Knox has created, spine straight as she takes carefully swaggering steps down over the fresh pile of rubble. One hand is pulling a leather glove tighter around her fingers when she appears, plush hood not doing so much to soften her wild features. If anything, the striking ivory gaze that filters out from under it is made worse by the lion's mane of tawny brown. As Knox provides his colorful commentary and gesticulations, Huruma is rolling one shoulder to flick up the small automatic rifle hanging across her back. Though frankly it seems like something out of a Tarantino movie- Huruma is all business- her muscles are tense beneath the thick layers of coats, and her stillness befitting a coiled snake.

The insipid sort of fear that has blanketed over the faux-agents is encompassing and sudden, wriggling through them as if their veins have begun to freeze- begun to fill with the same ice that blows jerkily in through the hole in the brick wall.

The men are ignored for a moment, eyes dart around when he catches the familiar sounds of his girl's voices, his heart about stops in his chest from the sound. His brief moment of fear there to fuel on Knox. However, Ryans doesn't have time to think about it, before the wall explodes. Instinct makes him crouch down, hands going up for his head.

With the bad guys distracted, however, that is when his brain shifts gears, worry for his girls pushes away so that he can get down to business. His body twists and he thrusts upwards with his bent knees, coming out of the crouch, sending an elbow up under one gunman's chin with a sickening crack and spray of blood.

The world goes into slow motion for the older agent, totally at home in this sort of situation. Fingers twist into the dazed man's jacket, jerking him towards Ryans, off-balancing him. The old man, swings behind the gunman, so that he can put him into a choking hold, bending the man back as his arm pulls tight against the man's neck. At the same time, his free hand moves to twist the gun out of his new shield's hand, before it is dropped to the cement floor.

And before anyone can recover, the gun it brought around and Senior Agent Benjamin Ryans puts several holes into another gunman, going for a high shot, figuring on body armor. "Alton! Stay down." His shouts so that the pre-cog in the vehicle can hear him, since it's doubtful weapons aren't the only things customized for the Company.

Swinging the choking man around to aim at another of the men, the look in Ryans eyes is a deadly one, brows furrowed under the brim of the fedora, as he pulls the trigger again.

Fear typically takes on one of two forms, the classical fight or flight. It is the former of which that is imposed upon the ex-marines operating out of this warehouse. It's hard to say which of the remaining mercenaries started shooting first, but bullets begin flying from the crackling pop of automatic weapons mixing with screams of both fear and injury. Ryans' body shield takes two in the chest almost immediately, but the vest he's wearing serves as an extra level of deterrent from actually injuring the senior agent of the Company.

When bullets pepper the windshield of Ryans' car, however, sending shattering chips of glass in a cloud with each blast, Jimmy is rapidly pushing himself out of the door in a frantic scramble. "Oh— oh shit! Ohhh shit!" His feet slip on the icy floor, running towards a green tarp-covered row of shelves, bullets perforating the canvas and ricocheting off of the metal as he runs.

Knox is hit almost immediately sending him off of his feet with a squarely placed round to the chest. He lands flat on his back on the floor, wheezing but alive. He rolls onto his side, bullets exploding over his head, some punching against the metal door of the freezer ineffectually, but sounding like the slamming of a hammer on the inside.

Moving to the twinned sources of fear in the dark, Knox crawls up to his feet and begins to move, running through the hail of bullets to find the freezer door. Grabbing it by the handle, he notices the padlock with one raised brow.

Little concern.

Light spills thorugh the doorway when Delia and Lucille find the freezer door torn off its hinges, ripped free as if it were made of balsa wood and tissue paper, slammed down on the concrete and braced like a shield over one of Knox's arms. "Get behind the door!" Knox shouts, gunfire plinking off of the freezer door as he holds his hand out to Delia and Lucille, "Come on!" He may be a total stranger, and that fear is what is holding Lucille dead in her tears, tears streaking down her cheeks, hands trembling. Delia is going to need to be the big sister here.

All she is really missing is a cigarette, pausing there for just long enough to sway her weight onto one leg, bending at the waist and extending the muzzle of her gun as she bolts towards what cover might be offered her. Her rifle flashes and barks loud in return fire, biting cold air and then flesh or concrete when they land. Huruma heads speedily after the rows of shelves and tarp that Alton had ducked behind. For a split second, there is a hitch in her long strides-

-but whatever it was she pays no mind to, swinging into view around the back of the shelves. It was a trade, after all- bad form to leave it hanging- or let half escape, even if her concern is reserved for the Ryans clan. Knox can take care of it- for all his dicking around, he does his job.

Once he sees the man who arrived with Huruma moving for where the girls are held and the tall woman moving after Jimmy, Benjamin Ryans feels better. As long as they are safe he can work on making sure that they men that took his girl pay for it. Forcing his shield to move, with a jerk of his arm, Ryans continues to fire at one man after another as he drags the man towards cover, the heels of the guys boots scuffing along the slick floor, fingers clawing at the rough fabric of coat the Agent is wearing.

Ryans continues to fire at least till the slide clicks and doesn't move… empty… the body he's using as a shield is still alive. Also not good. A rifle is spotted close by, dropped from the hands of a dead man.


However, a rifle takes two hands… which means…

Ryans tosses the hand gun aside and grips the back of the man's head and with a swift jerking movement and the audible sound of a snap, his shield falls to the floor in a ragdoll heap. Even as the body slumps to the ground, the Company agent runs to grab the rifle and duck down behind the car for cover, his hand working the bolt.

"Huruma!" He calls out, his voice roaring over about the noise. "Get Alton and the girls the fuck out of here."

Gripping Lu by the arm, Delia drags her sister toward the man holding the door. He's a stranger but he's getting them out, that's good right? The blasts of clouded air coming from Delia's mouth and nose only increase as she shivers in the biting cold. Whoever took them wasn't nice enough to provide them with near enough winter gear to keep them safe from the frigid temperatures.

Pulling Lucille with her, Delia reaches with her free hand to grip Knox's as the tears spilling from her eyes form little icicles on her lashes. "D-d-daddy!" she stutters as she watches her father move and actually kill other people. Not that she's complaining much.

Bullets continue to plink and clink off of that heavy metal door, and Knox drags it like a massive shield by the handle crushed between his fingers as Lucille and Delia huddle behind him for cover. "Huruma! You got Alton!?" The question comes sharply as Knox is not advancing towards the exit but towards Ryans' car instead. There's a slam of the shield-door down on the ground, and knox watches the reflections in the remaining windshield before reaching into the pocket of his winter coat, door braced with his shoulder, pulling out a three pound iron ball, resembling something like the trailer hitch on the back of an old truck and just as rusty.

He steps out from the side of the door, throws the lump of heavy metal with all his strength, and it punches through the chest of one of the vest wearing men leaving a crimson explosion of gore behind him before shattering the brick behind the victim and leaving a small hole in the stone. Knox drags the door across the floor with a scrape, hearing gunfire on the other side of the warehouse.

That sound of gunfire is coming from one of the mercenaries rounding the shelves, wide-eyed and in fear. Jimmy has his back to the man, cowering behind the shelves and looking up to Huruma as she approaches. "Oh— oh shit! Oh shit I am— don't kill me!" is the oh-so-brave thing Jimmy immediately does upon seeing Huruma, right before there's a loud pop-pop-pop of gunfire and bullets whip past Jimmy, one of them perforating the fur-trimmed hood of Huruma's winter coat, the bullet flying so close to her that she can feel the air it displaced and hear the buzzing of it in her ear when it whips past.

There may only be three mercenaries left alive, but they're cornered between a certain death in the cold and an almost certain death here.

The feeling is like that of a giant hornet weaving past her earlobe, and Huruma recoils away from the sound and path of the bullets being tossed her way. She leans forward in her run, and it carries her in a slightly unwieldy motion for a few more long strides. Her rifle is still up, and poor Alton is literally the monkey in the middle, with Huruma and the mercenary exchanging immediate and hurried gunfire just above his head. Rather than hang back and shoot from behind a shield-

The woman rushes him, aiming for the element of shock, face peeling into a snarl- the fear in his blood boils over the edges of his psyche now, as she makes to literally descend on him.

Pulling the fedora off his head and dropped to the floor next to him, dark hair left in a disarray, Ryans uses the the car as a shield he angles his head to hazard a careful look for a target. What he does get is first hand view through the spider webbed windshield, of Knox's little trick. Brows lift rather impressed, but then movement beyond, catches his attention.

Rising to his feet, the Senior Agent fires several rounds at one of the remaining man. He doesn't look at his girls, not yet, but they can see the complete lack of emotions on his face. Thirty years of trenches and fire fights… it gets comfortable. Familiar.

God he missed it.

Ryans is pretty sure the Company shrinks would have a field day with that, not that he really cares at the moment. Only thing on his mind is to make sure everyone of those bastards are dead. They messed with the wrong Company Agent.

Delia has her arms curled around Lu as they try to keep each other warm. The redhead is shuddering violently as she watches the carnage mount around her. She doesn't move from behind the shield or allow Lu to run off toward … the hottest guy in the room, whoever that may be.

Her eyes are trained on her father, her father who is currently killing just about every living thing in the room. "S-s-s'okay Lu.. W-w-we're g-g-gonna be o-ooout soon.." She manages with a trembling breath. With each intake she can feel her lungs crackle, causing her to cough.

Jimmy lets out a keening wail as he watches Huruma lunge past him towards one of the armed men. The gunman had already dropped his assault rifle, finding only the power and weight of Huruma leaping at him remaining as he topples backwards and out of Jimmy's line of sight, letting out a horrified scream once the woman is atop him.

The one remaining mercenary finally decides that he may have a better chance not freezing to death, turning to run for the bay doors as fast as he can, booted feet slamming against the concrete. Knox hefts up the door, digs his fingers into the metal as if it were putty and then throws it like a javelin, the gigantic door soars over Delia and Lucille's heads, over Ryans, past the car and then slams into the fleeing man, knocking him clear out of the warehouse and into a bright red heap in the pale white snow.

With the last of the gunfire having ended, Knox looks back over his shoulder and to where he saw Huruma take off. "Huruma!" His voice rings a little shakily through the warehouse, "Tell me you got him!" Knox is carefully popping open the driver's side door, looking to Ryans. "We're gonna borrow your car too, hope you don't mind none." His eyes flick over to where Delia and Lucille are cowering together beside the vehicle, then over to Ryans. "Deal's a deal."

Scrambling away from Huruma, Jimmy offers a wide-eyed stare around the warehouse, crawling on his hands and knees past the bloodied corpse of 'agent Madison', noticing his still lit cigarette burning on the floor beside where his body lays. Swallowing tensely, Jimmy shakily gets up to his feet, eyes wide, hands trembling. "Yo— Y— " his breath comes out in a hiss, awkward.

"You know… Ben…"

Jimmy's voice echoes through the empty space of the warehouse, his breath visible as a cloud of steam that rises from parted lips, "I guess you could say I told ya so…" there's the crook of a smile at the corner of Jimmy's mouth, hands tucked into his pockets and shoulders squared, one foot scuffing out the glowing ember of a cigarette at his feet, next to the crisp black and white suit of the deceased agent at his feet, dark red blossomed up through the bullet holes in hischest.

"But— I told you so."


What was it Jimmy told Ryans? He had a bad feeling? That much is expressed in the way Jimmy's smile and cocksure posture falters after a moment, the way he burbles out a weak nose and steps away from the corpse and around the car, revealing the dark, wet mark on the front of his jacket near his stomach. His brows furrow, lips screw up into something similar to a frown, and his legs give out as he collapses down onto his knees, then onto his side. "I— think they shot me," he laughs out the words shakily, "Ff— fantastic."

Alton leaves Huruma behind in his scramble to get away, but she is there in no time flat, red scarf jutting from her collar and face knitted into an expression of brooding displeasure as she immediately heads past Knox and the wounded trade target- wait- Huruma stops, looks back across the short span to Alton. The woman lets out a noise not unlike a scoff- at first it seems like she is making faces at his getting shot-

But when she unloops the rifle from her shoulder, the red stain on her otherwise army-grace coat is unmistakable. Unlike Alton, she remains standing, though vaguely unsteady on her thick boots, fingers clawing at the hole amidst watery fabric.

Surveying the carnage there is a look of satisfaction on his face, the rifle is tossed away with a loud clatter and a look of disgust. He glances at both of his girls, knowing that nothing between them would be the same, but… "Deals a deal." Ryans echoes to Knox, blue eyes turning to the dark skinned man. "I need my phone to call in… Alton?" He turns to pre-cog, to inquire where his satellite phone went, but ends up watching him, with mild amusement.

When he falters, Ryans' breath hitches in the back of his throat. No. Then his charge collapses and the Senior Agent is moving rushing the man side. "Jimmy!" He barks out, dropping to his knees near him, hands pulling at Alton's jacket so that he can try and put pressure on the wound, ignoring how the sticky warmth clings to his fingers and turns cold almost immediately.

Brows tilt upward with worry, as eyes move from the bloody wound to the face of the man he had been trying to protect. "Hell of a way to waste your second chance, Alton. I told you to stay in the car." His words are rough through clenched teeth, "I kept you alive this long, you're not allowed to go dying on me now. "

A glance goes over his shoulder to his girls, Ryans doesn't bother to hide the worry and fear, "Lia… I need your help."

Delia's eyes are saucer wide when she sees Jimmy go down, and when the girl goes to peel herself away from the car, Lucille lets out a keening shriek and grabs on to her sister's arm, not wanting to be left alone. Delia takes her hand, fingers lacing together as she rushes over and brings Lucille with her. Crouching down at Jimmy's side, she moves his hand away from the wound, shakily unbuttoning his shirt and looking at all the blood spewing up from the entry wound.

"Ben— " Jimmy bubbles out the name, "h— ha— hey it— it's cool, man. I— I ain't gonna be missed," he says with that light-hearted charm he's always managed to have. Head tilted back and mouth closed, he swallows noisily and looks to be in shock. "Ben you— "

"Sssh," Delia hisses out, looking at the injury and measuring something in her head as she applies pressure to the wound with her bare hands, blood pulsing up between her fingers. "D— Dad— Dad he— he's— thh— this probably hit his— hit his descending aorta. He's— oh God," she squeeks out, wrenching her eyes shut at the feeling of blood pulsing between her fingers. "Oh God," her jaw clenches, eyes wrench shut and tears begin to roll down the sides of her cheek.

"B- Ben," Jimmy mumbles, staring up at the ceiling, steam rising from his bleeding wound and from his lips. "Ben you— you know… it was gonna be you," Jimmy hisses out through his teeth, "I was justbeing the plastic " he hiccups out a laugh, "plastic rabbit."

Staring down at Jimmy, Knox looks around at the other bodies around himself, brows furrowed. There's a slow shake of his head, dark eyes angling up to Ryans, helpless to do anything. For all his strength, he cannot save a single life.

"Dammit, Alton, it's my job to take the bullets. It's yours to live." There are no tears in the Agents eyes, but the scene is almost too familiar, it's enough to send a sideways glance to Huruma as she moves towards the car. Ryans is furious at the man laying there bleeding out on the cold concrete. "You could have lived." The words hissed softly between clenched teeth, as Delia gives her assessment.

Jimmy may not think he'll be missed, but this moment will be etched into the aging agents memories forever. He had worked so hard to make sure Alton lived. Tried and failed. Jaw clenched, Ryans leans to where Jimmy Alton can look at him, a hand resting on the younger man's shoulder. "You will be missed, Jimmy. You're a hero." A smile hitches up the corner of Ryans' mouth.

Not too many will see a Company Agent take something like this personal, to actually show that he gives a damn for the well-being of another… Especially, a man who was a target. A glance goes to his girls huddled there next to Alton, brows furrowing he looks down at the dying pre-cog again and adds a grateful.

"Thank you… thank you, for helping save my girls."

On the verge of sobbing as she tries to hold Jimmy's blood in, Delia ducks her head down, feeling the heat and warmth of the red flowing up between her fingers. There's a shuddering breath, a hitch in his throat and Jimmy seems to be staring through Ryans. "I— I didn't save them…" he murmurs, one hand lifting up to paw bloodily at Benjamin's jacket, "Ben— " Jimmy's throat works up and down, his pupils growing wide and dark as his fingers slide wetly along the front of Ryans' coat. "Ben," he hisses with scared urgency.

"They're— " his jaw trembles, throat working up and down, "Ben, don't listen— " Jimmy's babbling incoherency comes with a few sharp, short breaths, his eyes staring up vacantly at the ceiling. "Don't listen to the radio— " his throat tightens, he swallows again, hand slides down away from the agent's sleeve.

"Every prophet…" is Jimmy Alton's last words, "every… every…" Then nothing but silence, and crying, followed by the low rumble of an engine starting next to where Jimmy Alton died.

"You guys need to get out of here, just make sure I have my phone before you do. I need to call this in." Ryans says, his tone turning back to the flat tone he uses, when retreating behind that mask. A hand moves to gently close, the mans staring eyes. There is twinge of jealousy at the fact that Jimmy Alton gets to finally join the one he loves. Then hands push off the cold surface of the concrete, allowing him to rise to his feet and turn to look at Knox. "I guess this means, I'll have to owe you for the assistance. I can't seem to fill my end of the deal."

There is a chance that what happens next, may not happen again, but Ryans offers his hand out to Knox, the look in the old man's eyes sincere. "Thank you, for your help. Let Huruma know, too." His eyes shift to the silhouette of woman in the car and then to his girls.

"It was worth it…"

He took a risk, but his girls are alive and that's all a father can ask for.

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