What's The Vanguard Up To, Monsieur?


anton_icon.gif cat_icon.gif

Scene Title What's The Vanguard Up To, Monsieur?
Synopsis A very large document exchanges hands.
Date October 9, 2009

The parking lot of a supermarket somewhere in NYC.

The purple Neon is parked some distance away from the building this Friday morning. Cat had hoped to beat the crowds, but it didn't happen that way. She's left to hoof it across the lot toward the grocery store. That doesn't bother her so much, she's accustomed to the exercise and walking is very much a New York thing anyway. What troubles her is the possibility of needing to maneuver among and around other shoppers as well as longer lines at the checkout counters.

There's no shopping list with her, Cat doesn't need such things.

Anton has been at this for the better part of the last few weeks now, so the trip to this particular location and the presence of that distinctive Neon is not altogether unexpected. "Catherine?" comes a soft voice from behind, painted quite liberally with that thick French accent of his. He smiles, hands tucked in pockets and a cheap cigarette dangling from his lips. "Goodness how long's it been, years right?" He picks up a step, as he starts in to close to what might be called a comfortable conversation distance.

She slows in her steps as she's spoken to and turns toward the voice which just addressed her. The face is calm, the mind active, as this man is regarded for the first few moments in silence while she seeks to call him up in that impressive memory.

However, the five feet eight inch brunette doesn't let on if she's seen or spoken with him before. "Pardon, sir?" Cat begins.

Anton just smiles broadly until he closes the distance. "I'm Anton, I'm an operative for the French Intelligence service and I have a large document containing information to Kazimir Volken's next plan. Do you have a moment?" He opens his jacket, slowly mind you to expose a large book of stapled papers tucked inside.

"Helena Dean is a moron, and our files suggested you might be more worth our while."

If he didn't have her attention before, he certainly does now. The reference to Helena is allowed to pass unacknowledged, what matters to her is what the man says regarding Kazimir Volken and the papers he's showing to be in his possession. Cat's eyes watch him carefully, they're alert and mental wheels can be seen to turn behind them.

She opts to speak in his native language, her accent that of a person taught in schools rather than by life. «The French government has a file on me?» she inquires quietly. «Whatever for?» That's not so much a good development, but a good thing to hear about. How many files might be out there bearing her name? Humanis First, FBI, DHS, Company, France. Britain? The Russians? This man, she realizes, has obviously studied her.

«What's the Vanguard up to, Monsieur?»

Anton's joy at her switch in language is plainly obvious. «There are nuclear warheads developed as a test program during the late nineteen eighties, during the fear that American double agents were slowly disarming their warheads one by one. So they felt it would be an excellent idea to develop warheads entirely incapable of being disarmed, any attempt to do so just sets it off. Turn a screw, it explodes, attempt to freeze it, it explodes. It's a very simple concept. These weapons are designed to be invisible, they melt in with the rest of the warheads. You need to know their specific identification codes to find these weapons, and the Russians lost that information long ago." And then, he produces the nearly nine hundred page document and hands it over. «The CIA copied this master list in eighty nine, and hid it. Someone talked, they told Volken that the list exists. So he abducted a senior field agent, and then made him cough up a copy of the document.»

Her fingers take it, and the first few pages are scanned as Cat listens. «Thank you much. It fits with news reports from some months ago, that the Vanguard has a stolen Russian nuke. That their nuclear arsenal was at loose ends after the end of the USSR was the reason this nation bought up large amounts of Soviet weaponry. To ensure they wouldn't get stolen or sold on the clandestine markets.»

Her head tilts, she assesses the man again for some moments. Is he actually French intelligence, or just claiming to be? She'll need to alter some practices, again, given being found. If this were HF, she'd be abducted or lying right here dead now. Not good, not good at all.

«Does the term Munin have meaning for you, Monsieur?»

Anton shakes his head, but apparently he's a poor poker player. There's just a touch of surprise at that name. «Never heard it. Do not attempt to contact me, giving you this document is a violation of my orders. Any attempt to contact me may endanger my position. I will attempt to offer further guidance when able. You should find Cardinal and discuss this with him. They have a head start on you, you will need to act swiftly.» And then just as casually as he walked up, he steps back and with a puff of his cigarette eases back the way he came.

She just nods once before the man makes his departure and watches him for some moments as he does so. Once he's gone, Cat conceals the document and goes about her purpose in this place, although careful now to be alert for signs of people following or watching.

Some time later, when she has privacy, the document is pulled out. Each page is looked at long enough to be fully seen and thus take residence in her memory. Then the location of Stepnogorsk is looked up.

Still later she scans it for easy reproduction.

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