Worth One Bullet


amato_icon.gif dina_icon.gif ethan_icon.gif kazimir_icon.gif

Scene Title Worth One Bullet
Synopsis The rivalry between Amato and Ethan ends, one way or another.
Date November 14, 2008

Eagle Electric

The most notable business collapse in Queens was that of Eagle Electric, a major manufacturer based out of Long Island City for decades, comprised of acres of warehouses and manufacturing plants designed to produce electronic components to suit all sorts of needs. The western warehouse of the Eagle Electric lot is an enormous and foreboding red-painted building made entirely from sheets of ridged steel. Amidst the grass growing up through the cracks in the pavement and the burned out cars in the parking lot, it seems just as uninhabited as the rest of the area. A large and ruined sign at the top of the office and manufacturing building prominently reads, "Eagle Electric—Perfection Is Not An Accident."

«Wolf, I need you to return to Central. Arrive at sundown.»

«Conscience, I need you to return to Central. Arrive at sundown.»

«Freke, your presence is requested at Central at sundown. Bring your preferred firearm for an execution and plastic bags.»

Three seperate satellite phone calls utilizing the Vanguard call-signs. It is unusual for these communications to go out when not directly involved in operational perameters, which signifies that this very meeting may be an emergency. It is only after the sun has settled down over the concrete-laden carcass of Long Island City that the more grim truth of the matter is begun to be brought out into the open. Street lights flicker on one by one, even as Ethan's car rolls down the abandoned and untended streets heading towards the labyrinthine facility on the western coast of the city, the enormous sign rising high above Eagle Electric's main offices still visible even in the approaching gloom: Eagle Electric — Perfection is not an accident.

Tonight will most certainly be a night that is no accident.

The car stops in his usual spot. The spot the kind people of Eagle Electric allow him to have every single time he comes. Awfully nice of them, awfully nice. The door slams shut as Ethan steps away from the black car. Reaching up to his lips he takes the cigarette from his mouth and tosses it on the ground. Stomping it out as per usual the Wolf makes his way into Eagle Electric.

Dressed in black from head to toe, the man walks casually as he heads into the headquarters. Though anyone who knows anything of him knows he always has several weapons on him, they are not easily seen. His hands tucked into his coat pockets the man swaggers is way into see the boss.

The call is all it takes. Dina is more used to being a saboteur and demolitionist than an executioner, but it won't be the first time, and odds are that it probably won't be the last. She's got her leather jacket on, and she's also got a bag slung over her shoulder, which is full of both heavy-duty trash bags…and a high-speed jigsaw. At the small of her back, as usual, is her weapon of choice; Desert Eagle .50 caliber.

There is no reason or excuse to be late when called by one such as Kazimir. As if called for services or a Shabbat meal, Amato arrives at Eagle Electric before the sun has touched the cluttered horizon to the west, dressed as he usually is in suit, scarf, gloves, and coat. Not one hair is out of place, and the only addition to his 'wardrobe' consists of the bandages on the left side of his face.

It is when Amato sees Ethan's car that he pauses in his ambulatory approach, but it is only for a fleeting moment. He swallows, setting his jaw and focusing his mind. After all, Ethan is in charge of Phase 2, and with the information his Conscience has provided on both of the recent samples he has been given, it is an easy assumption to make that Kazimir Volken is ready to move on that intelligence. Those plans would of course involve the Wolf, Kazimir's loyal beast and the finest set of claws their operation holds.

The thin Italian doesn't make eye contact with his rival as he steps through the door into the warehouse merely a few paces behind the burlier man, though he does let his eyes glance to Dina. He gives her a small nod as he nears his Master while keeping his usual, respectful distance. After all, this isn't a one-on-one meeting.

It is save for Dina's very presence at the exterior, watching the freight doors, that marks the warehouse as anything but abandoned. No signs of any other members of the Vanguard having arrived save for the pair making their approach. When Ethan and Amato make their way into the facility, Dina steps in behind him wordlessly, following them into the structure. Standing in the wide open area by the freight doors, Kazimir is not his usual gargoylish bastion of stillness and calm, not looking like some aging statue too long left exposed to the elements. At the moment, he paces, the rythmic beat of his hard-soled shoes and the click of his cane making a frentic beat upon the concrete underfoot.

It is only when he spots Ethan and Amato's figures entering in through the freight doors that he is given pause, turning to view the pair askance, brow lowered. In the dim light filtering in from outside, the clear look of disapproval on his face is evident. Instead of a greeting, Kazimir's eyes drift over to Dina, and he holds out one gloved hand, "Dina, your firearm if you would be so kind."

Dina walks on at Kazimir's side. To the right, and a step behind. The position is as symbolic as anything else. The brunette, without question, reaches behind herself, pulling out the gun and reverses it, holding it by the barrel and offering the grip out to Kazimir. Her eyes flit to the other two, but she says nothing.

The loyal Wolf looks over to his shoulder to eye Dina for a moment. A meeting fit only for Amato and Ethan should not include… her. Then the man looks back to the old man and his mannerisms. Theories bounce through his mind until they settle on the conclusion. Discipline. His brows narrow a bit as he clasps his hands in front of him at attention. No fear is shown on his features even when the gun is handed to Kazimir. Control is key, his heart rate isn't even going crazy. He watches the man without emotion. Damn you Kazimir for allowing her to be here.

While on the exterior, Amato is as calm as Ethan, it takes him a moment to get a throttling grip on his inner, hidden emotions. Trust, not control is the key. Whatever Kazimir plans to do with that gun, or whatever reasons he has for wanting Dina here (To observe? To witness? To be tested or punished herself?), they are his, and as a servant of Kazimir and of God, Amato does no - will not - question.

At least, not in this case.

Not yet.

It's hard at first, but soon Amato's physiological signs are in check. Though alert, he is as relaxed as he can be while still remaining anticipatory. He laces his fingers in front of him, letting his thumbs rest against each other to form a lazy sort of triangle.

Taking the firearm, Kazimir quickly slides his thumb along the side releasing the safety, then levels the gun up towards Ethan without a word. He stares for a moment, across the top of the barrel, then swivels the gun towards Amato. There is a momentary consideration on Kazimir's part, and then he lowers the gun slowly, "I can't decide which of you is worth the cost of one of these bullets to me at the moment." There is a venom in his voice that has not been heard in some time. The old man takes a few steps forward, then drops the gun down onto the concrete with a clatter, "I would prefer that if the two of you are going to kill each other, you settle that matter here and now so that I can be more properly aware of how many operatives I have." He almost raises his voice, something that in both Amato and Ethan's long tenure with Kazimir has happened on two other occasions, both being when Kazimir's trust in an operative led to a mission failure. — Both times the operative was executed.

"I am beside myself with disappointment at both of your actions." Pale blue eyes that usually hide the softness behind Kazimir's inhuman countenance is gone, replaced with only contempt. "My primary and most trusted agents in one of the most crucial operations in this entire plan are allowing themselves to claw, bite, and scratch at each other over what?" A snarl forms over Kazimir's face, and tendrils of black slowly begin to rise off of his shoulders and snake down his arms, ashen flakes floating around the fiberous tendrils of shadow as they seethe like a visible aura. "I expect better from both of you."

His eyes dart behind Kazimir's shoulder to Dina. He had to have her here. He had to humiliate him in front of the one woman who would relish in his humiliation. Ethan returns his gaze to Kazimir. He does not say how much he has furthered the Work, or where he would be without Ethan, or Amato for that matter. He doesn't say much at all, but his mind is full of it. He stares at Kazimir without a word, without so much as a twitch of a muscle.

It would be easier if that gun didn't also settle on Amato once it had been aimed at Ethan. It would be easier if this lecture were targeted solely at Ethan rather than shared between them. As it is, Amato swallows once his master has finished his undoubtedly initial browbeating. His pale eyes remain on the lined face of the older man for a moment, but then he slowly turns his entire body to face Ethan.

Amato lets his hands fall to his sides and clears his throat. "I am well aware of the service I have done and what that service and faith has earned me. Ethan," Amato takes a deep breath, lowering his head slightly while keeping his eyes focused on the other man. "I have seen what sin you have already committed in your mind. Committing it twice will not double the sentence you have already earned."

Kazimir's eyes narrow slightly as Amato speaks, and the gun is kicked over to him with one nudge of an immaculate shoe, "The two of you will either settle your disputes with each other here and now, or I will have Dina settle them for you." Blue eyes flick back and forth between the two. "I don't care who started this little rivalry, or how long ago the seeds for this were sown. I don't care which of you is right, and which of you is wrong, only that your inability to control yourselves around each other verbally and physically is going to end here." A serpentine tendril of shadows gently rises up from Kazimir's arm and snakes down his cane, slithering along the glossy black sheath.

"I take no pleasure in the second hand discovery that you two are having a little lover's quarrel." Perhaps it is that itself that raises Kazimir's ire the most. "The amount of secrecy I have been detecting between thw two of you and Munin has forced my hand to remove her from active duty until such a time as Gabriel can return from the assignment I placed him on." Blue eyes dart over to Amato, then to Ethan, "Now… One, or both of you are going to die here. Or the two of you are going to stop your petty bickering." His eyes narrow slightly, "Both of you can be replaced. As much as I would be loathe to consider it. Do not force me to."

She's still silent, but there's a curl of her lip at Kazimir's words…a smirk as she looks to Ethan. She rather hopes that they do decide to settle it. Or even better…let her settle it. Because there's really NO doubt over how that would get settled. No words, though, as she just watches the both.

A death cold stare is directed to Dina. Then back to Kazimir. His eyes watch the gun slide over to Amato emotionlessly. He cannot be replaced. No one could do the things Ethan does for this man, for this cause. Or at least, that's what is pounding in his head. He finds himself a fresh faced recruit years ago in the face of superiors, forced to prove himself. Proving himself before has always been through someone else's death…

Black shoes clap quietly as the man makes his way towards Amato. He stares into his face, crouching down he picks up the gun. Standing back up he maintains cold eye contact with his Italian rival. The Brit takes a step back and raises his arm to point the gun steadily at Amato's head.

Click. The gun is cocked.

Amato's eyes widen and narrow as he studies Ethan in his approach, and he even takes another deep breath when the gun is lifted and aimed. But by the time the click sounds, Amato is as calm as any martyr, though his eyes flutter closed.

"I spoke with Eileen last night, Mister Holden," he says in a lower tone, one far more intimate than any he has ever used with Ethan before. It's a voice that one might suspect from a close friend, not a rival. "She's 'getting her head on straight.' What do you think would happen to her if I lost my own by your hand? What would that do to the Work - to you - potentially? Or could you put a bullet through her head as well?"

Asking such a question of Sierra concerning some hypothetical lover is one thing, but asking it of Ethan concerning Munin is another altogether.

Kazimir remains silent, watching the pair with an impassive expression, only the corners of his mouth display what little emotion he has; downturned into that disapproving frown he has worn since before the arrival. He doesn't divert his stare from the gun, not so much his two subordinates. Instead he's focused on the point of action, and while his body may show signs of patience and calm outwardly, it is the tempest that he keeps restrained within that is beginning to show the cracks in his composure; thin tendrils of night-black dripping with ashen flakes that slither out of his sleeves, filter through the fabric of his jacket and coil gently around his neck, ephemeral arms of death that so eagerly await the passing of a life.

From Ethan's free hand a single finger is pointed up and brought up, then placed levelly on Amato's lips. "Shh." Is hissed through the Wolf's teeth. The gun comes forward till the barrel rests against Amato's forehead. The finger is withdrawn from the blonde's lips.

"Could you?" Ethan asks in response to Kazimir's most loyal. "If 'e asked it?" The words are spoken very softly, nigh a whisper. Though it is a question that is not meant to be answered.

Then it's a blur of motion. When he wants to, Ethan can move incredibly fast. One hand flies up to the gun, a button is pressed, a magazine is slipped and a release switch is pushed. Moving both hands at the same time, the gun and the clip are tossed into the air. Landing in a bouncing mess of bullets and parts the Desert Eagle slides in front of Kazimir's feet in a puddle of bullets. Theatrics. Kazimir's not the only one who can do them.

Bringing up one hand, Ethan places it on Amato's shoulder and edges him so that he is facing Kazimir, Ethan by his side, and his hand on the blond's shoulder. A steady gaze from the Wolf is given to Kazimir.

Amato's eyes, already closed, shut tighter when he is touched. His lips purse and his jaw tightens, but it is as much because of what he sees as it is what he hears. The touch isn't long to give Amato much of a look into Ethan, but what he has previously seen whizzes by in an instant, letting the most recent of Ethan's transgressions linger the longest. The flash of gunfire. The agonized twist of a familiar feminine face.

When brass and steel clatter to the floor and Amato is free of Ethan's skin against his own, his eyes flutter open again. They settle first on Kazimir, but as he turns with Ethan's guidance, he can't help but glance briefly back at the man beside him. The smallest of smug smiles slinks into one corner of Amato's mouth before his eyes find Kazimir's again and that smile fades away like a whisper.

Those black tendrils slip back inside of Kazimir as the pieces of the gun strike thr ground with so much theatrics. Kazimir's posture relaxes some, even as that last serpentine coil of darkness receeds up along the staff and into the palm of his hand, the lighting around him seeming to brighten some, "Then let this be the end of that rift between the two of you." There is a tone of finality in the statement, and it's clear that he would not have afforded anyone but his two best this opportunity to not have their problem settled for them." His eyes divert to the side, not enough to see Dina, but the implications of it are there. "You may retrieve your firearm. It seems we will not be needing the plastic bags today."

Kazimir slowly takes a step towards Amato and Ethan, and just as he said that is that and the topic is abruptly changed. "Gabriel Gray and Elias DeLuca are currently on assignment in Nevada, tracking down a telepath. I intend on turning Gabriel's skills towards the further discernment of the other agencies that are operating around us. After a conversation with Adam Monroe, I have begun to become concern about the Company we have worked to avoid all of this time. Their presence in this city is stronger than I expected, and we will need to take extra precautions to avoid them."

Blue eyes flit over to Amato, "Did Gabriel bring you the sample of Doctor Knutson's hair yet? I am eagerly awaiting your analasys of her predelictations. She is… more than I imagined." His eyes narrow slightly, then shift to focus over on Dina, as if considering something. His words, while not particularly directed at her, don't exclude her either. "How has she been adjusting?"

With the tension somewhat diminished, -now- her smarm returns a bit. "Pity that. Didn't get t' use the power saw I brought." But she walks over and crouches down picking up her gun. The slide is re-racked, the clip slid home, all with a smoothness similar to the field-stripping Ethan gave it. She slides the gun back into its original position, before stepping away to look at the three.

"He did," comes Amato's answer in time, accompanied by a nod. "She shares some of the same sinful desires as he does, though she has had less of an opportunity and perhaps the same skill he has in fulfilling them. She is also quite the selfish creature - though from all I could tell, her life with this Company was without want, she desired freedom, and though she retains her life, the…souvenir," and that twinge of a smile returns with the word, "you left her with has her quite troubled. How she looks is important to her. As a physician, she is hardly ethical in regards to administering available pain medication when performing procedures that would normally dictate its use." Amato draws no parallel between Odessa and Kazimir in this way, however, but seamlessly moves on to the next topic. "She indulges in no vice, other than her own thoughts."

Kazimir nods his head slowly, watching Amato for a moment, "Tell her to buy some turtle-neck sweaters if she's that concerned." It's uncertain if that was an attempt at a joke or not, though it may be the closest Kazimir ever comes to making one. "Be certain that she stays under observation, and if Wu-Long seems in any way incapable of handling the assignemnt I leveld onto him, let me know."

Pale eyes divert over to Ethan, then, and settle on him for a brief time. "I expect you to more thouroughly utilize Amato from now on, and as far as Munin is concerned…" His eyes shift back to Dina for a moment, then up to Ethan, and then Amato. "Gabriel will be doing a bit of an investigation into her. I'm worried that her recent string of injuries has caused her more harm than good, and I'm going to see what a more direct assessment of her psychological state brings up." Why tell that bit of information to Ethan and Amato specifically, it seems strange. Perhaps part of

Dina's quiet, a long moment. And then yes, she goes there. "Given her screaming the other night with these two in their little spat, I'd have t' say you're right. Just a suggestion…but I think the wee bit might do well -without- having naught but a bunch of hard men about her for a time."

If it is, results are immediate. Amato glances from Kazimir to Ethan and back again, his eyes narrowing with anxiety. "Master…I know that we have previously discussed Gabriel's role, but I must express my concern for Munin's welfare in the hands of one so new to us." This has to be his reason for making this known - to subtly ask for input.

Amato looks to Dina, his expression one of hesitant worry. He should trust. He should, but the game changes when matters involve Munin. "It was unfortunate that those events occurred in such a way, and doubly so that she witnessed them; however, she is stronger than she looks."

His own pale eyes return to Kazimir, and Amato pauses to breathe before continuing."Perhaps if Ethan or Dina, since Wu-Long is already occupied with watching our newest … " but there is no adjective for Odessa. Not yet. "…if they were present during this investigation, perhaps it would make such an environment safer for Munin."

While it would be easier, from an efficiency standpoint, for Kazimir to take Munin's power using Sylar as a proxy, Amato is counting on the affinity the Vanguard has grown if not outright nurtured for the frail young woman.

"You let me worry about Munin's safety at the moment, you've done more than enough to her for now." To, not for. The choice of words are clearly deliberate, and likely referencing the maniac evolved that attacked the group at Wilkens Park. "She needs time to reaclimate herself to her surroundings, and, as much as I have considered it… She needs a break." Kazimir breathes in slowly, then exhales one thoughtful breath through his nose. "We're done here." The old man turns slowly, beginning to break away from the three, "I have something I have to consider…" He adds at the end, brows lowering as the click-clack-click of his shoes and cane resound against the concrete floor.

Dina chuckles. "Damn. And I didn't even get to kill anyone tonight. Ahh, well. Night's still young." With that, chipper in her tone and a bounce in her step, she heads for the door. Fun to find.

November 14th: Chivalry
November 14th: Blessed are the Doomed
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