Closed Ultramarine

Discussion in 'Role Playing Games' started by Lee, Jan 13, 2018.

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  1. Flag

    Flag V.I.L.E. Agent

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    The concern from the doctor was odd enough, but the commentary from their topic of conversation made it easy for Flag to return her grin. He shrugged at her inquiry. "Heading there now."
     
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  2. Joe Kerr

    Joe Kerr V.I.L.E. Agent

    Messages:
    115
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    VILE Agent, Part-Time Security Consultant
    Location:
    Tivoli Gardens, Denmark
    Color #:
    8a2be2
    [Cowritten between Joe Kerr, Carmen, and Flag]

    Interacting with Carmen never stopped being surreal for Joseph. Here was a woman so mysterious that she was considered by many to be merely a myth; those outside of VILE that did know of her thought her to be cold, emotionless, calculating, unapproachable. It was only within the hallowed sanctum of VILE’s corridors that a select few would be graced with the privilege of seeing her without her icy mask, albeit sometimes for only a brief few moments;

    It always intrigued the jester how Carmen could be cold and businesslike one moment and yet the next, should she choose to, be one of the warmest and most caring people he had ever met. Case in point, her greetings were tailored to each individual; she cared enough to know how each member of her team thought and functioned, and took the time to convey the appropriate amount of concern required in each case.

    Smiling warmly, he addressed his favourite and only employer.
    “It’s always a pleasure to see you Carmen, and I would be delighted to catch up with you. Maybe over a nice English Breakfast? However, if you would excuse me for just a moment, I do have something I need to briefly discuss with Flag first.”


    “Of course,” Carmen nodded in agreement.

    Turning to Flag, Joe’s warm smile switched into a more serious expression as he gestured to a room off to the side.
    “Flag, may I have a word with you in private?”


    Flag's own smile faded as he acknowledge the jester's request and nodded. "Fine, but hold on." Before departing he returned his attention to Carmen "Where shall I find you after this?"


     
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  3. Carmen

    Carmen Queen of Crime

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    39
    Color #:
    c00000
    [Co-Post: Carmen/Acton]

    To Flag’s question, she answered, “Come see me at the clock tower when you’re done. Both of you.”

    Stepping diagonally towards the masked Frenchman, she placed her hands back into her pockets as if ready to march.

    “Walk with me, Acton,” she led the way in a pair of white Converse with short, untied laces, “and keep up, please.”



    Acton looked at his leader, then back to Flag and Joe, then again back to his leader. She was already many steps away, and he scurried to catch up to her quick pace. How a woman may walk so fast with untied laces is a mystery.


    Carmen slowed down slightly to let the doctor close the gap between them, and then she tilted her head to glance at him with a smile.

    “Good, you’re keeping up,” she jested.



    Dr Roux chuckled under his mask and tried not to huff too loudly, “Oui, but you slowed down for me.”


    Carmen walked a breath slower, and then exhaled a mist into the cold air. “Give me honesty, Acton,” she spoke while looking straight ahead; pink clouds rose over a glittering gold ocean, “When was the last time you spoke to Adrianna?”


    Acton Roux froze, and fumbled for the right words. He had not known he dreaded this question until seconds before it was asked. It was not because he valued his innocence, no. It was because he did not know Contessa Adrianna Covrenzi well enough to disprove his own involvement in anything that she did.


    His silence may have spoken guilt in volumes, but the forgiving thief understood his plight. As they neared the clock tower, she decided to ease his mind.

    “I received a call,” she began the tale in a slightly sombre tone, “It was Patty.”



    The doctor turned sharply to his boss, but she her eyes remained straight ahead.


    “She wanted to talk, something about Adrianna, but I was… busy.” Carmen walked up the steps towards the tower’s hall and elevator, “I told her I’d call her back, but I didn’t, not until the next day.”

    The elevator opened as she approached, and once the door closed, she exhaled again.

    “She never picked up, I called again, she cancelled,” here, she turned to the doctor, “And then I lost her.”



    Acton felt this was a moment not fitting for a mask, so he reached up to remove the covering.


    Carmen placed a hand over his to stop him. She appreciated the gesture, but she wasn’t interested in consolation.

    “So I wanted to ask,” she continued, “for clarity, if you were still in contact with Adrianna Covrenzi.”



    “No,” Acton Roux confessed. It was truth, he had not seen either the Contessa or Patty for some time, “I am sorry.”
     
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  4. Joe Kerr

    Joe Kerr V.I.L.E. Agent

    Messages:
    115
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    VILE Agent, Part-Time Security Consultant
    Location:
    Tivoli Gardens, Denmark
    Color #:
    8a2be2
    [Co-Written: Joe Kerr/Flag]

    Once he was sure they were out of ear range of anyone else, Joseph turned to address Flag in what he hoped came across as an earnest, none-too-demanding demeanor.

    “Look Flag, I know we don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, and frankly, I’ll admit, I don’t really trust you. But,” Joseph paused to look up into his eyes. “I need a favour.”


    The Sivoan had been pushing the conversation through the mess hall and into a side corridor, on his way to the set of ‘green rooms’ to follow through on his new apparent promise to their employer, but the man's request gave him pause. This was a weird day.

    Without saying anything more, he gestured for the jester to speak.


    Nodding, Joseph continued.
    “This favour, it concerns our mutual friend, Neb. I take it you are aware of her plans regarding the object of our last heist?”

    Joseph had the good grace to wince as he said that last part, recalling that the less than stellar ending to their last adventure had been the cause of some considerable angst for all three of them.


    Flag crossed his arms, quirking a brow as he did so. "She told me a little."

    The jester let out a sigh before continuing. “I don’t really agree with her course of action, but we both know there’s no changing her mind once she’s set on something. ”

    Pausing to let out a small smile at a memory of Neb, Joseph huffed before continuing.

    “But, as much as I don’t endorse her choice, I don’t want her to have to go through it alone. She won’t admit it but she needs someone to there to pull her back if she is becoming too reckless; she’ll need someone to support her, to advise her regarding this stuff; someone who can protect her if things go horribly wrong. Someone, like...you”


    A huff of a laugh escaped Flag and he shook his head before starting them back down the corridor. The girl already had access to his same resources on this planet and, frankly, they were lacking a thing or two. It was likely she wouldn't succeed without them, which meant that Joe would probably get his ultimate wish. Despite this, her quest was more intriguing to the sorcerer than it was troubling.

    "You're asking me to make sure that she doesn't kill herself in her attempts to make herself immortal? That's..." Flag was stuck somewhere between wanting to laugh and wanting to delve into the math of it all, but the only word he could think of was "interesting."


    “Just...please look out for her,” Joseph called back to the retreating figure.

    “You’re the only one who can.” he added in a soft, melancholy tone.

    Shaking his head, the Jester made his way to the mess hall to grab a quick bite enroute to the observation deck.
     
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  5. Flag

    Flag V.I.L.E. Agent

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    Flag had taken note of Joe's departure, but found himself turning to look over his shoulder toward the sorrowful tone. Having missed it - and it's context - as the jester returned to the mess hall, he entered the men's green room.

    Most theaters had rooms like this; a place where performers would decompress between scenes, change costumes, and practice monologues if needed. A shut door and a cue-caller (sometimes a closed-circuit television) would ensure that the noise never reached the stage. Each of these rooms had it's particular quirks and this one had two; an unexpectedly comfortable couch that seemed to always contains a person's worth of ugly clothing in it's cushions, and a private shower. Flag took advantage of both whenever he found himself staying on the island.

    He tried to reflect on Joe's words as he went through his brief morning routines, but found his thoughts drifting instead to Abu Dhabi and all that it meant. Carmen's greeting a short while earlier had payed on that and he wanted to delve into it more but his introspection was interrupted by the realization that most of anything he could change into was currently in a London locker or an arab tailor's shop.

    A quick glance at the couch immediately negated the idea of borrowing from it. Instead he crossed the room and opened a lockable cabinet that contained his journal and a folded set of deep black robes. That was all. He once again acknowledged the couch and reaffirmed that the long garment featuring a row of elaborate golden casps was his only option for the day. He swore under his breath.

    It had been soaked in his blood and torn the day that he first met Carmen and he had been hesitant to wear it around her since, despite that it had been cleaned and mended to near perfection. He sighed and put it on, caving into the weird day's demands, and left to rejoin the others at the clocktower.
     
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  6. Kid Kidman

    Kid Kidman V.I.L.E. Agent

    Messages:
    124
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Currently named Neb Ulyss
    Location:
    Here and there
    Color #:
    323E4F
    Meanwhile, Neb waited at the clock tower, dryly amused by how many times she ended up waiting on towers for her life to change.

    She’d been up here for hours at this point, after sleep failed to find her. After her meeting with Carmen it soon became clear that the cacophony in her head wouldn’t allow for rest, so she’d proceeded to do what she usually did in such situations, and fired up the teleporter pad that led from the misty grey Stone to the hopefully less misty grey San Francisco.

    The link to her apartment held many benefits, but the one most dear to her was easy access to a shower and bathroom, for in Stone Harbour such amenities were a decent slog from her nest in the attic. Once home she’d taken a moment to praise the gods of hot water, then leaned against the shower wall as she parsed through the implications of what she’d just agreed to.

    The woman had almost allowed herself to believe that she’d exchanged one safety net for another, far more secure one, but it didn’t take long for her to dismiss the idea. Placing her survival purely in Carmen’s hands was naive at best and selfish at worst.

    The real reason she’d agreed was seemingly more simple. Carmen had offered help, she’d asked her to stay and Neb wasn’t about to turn that down, even if accepting didn’t guarantee a better outcome.

    After all, if she’d really been ready to live at all costs, she would have left VILE for ACME and hid in their shadow instead, close to medical care and far from Flag. But that would be a betrayal of her fierce sense of loyalty and possibly put her teammates in danger.

    If she had to fail in her quest, she’d rather fall amongst friends, even if it meant falling to one.

    Coming to the realization that she’d become dangerously attached to Flag had not been an easy one. It wasn’t that she hadn’t been aware of it forming, there was no way to ignore that. But accepting how far it extended, how deep it had become was incredibly unnerving, and she’d only faced it enough to know something had to be done.

    In fact, she’d only really allowed herself to acknowledge it once she was sure she would be cutting ties. Now she was staying here, and the knowledge remained.

    Of course, that would not be as much an issue as it seemed, she'd reasoned as she’d taken far too much time selecting her wig for the day. Flag was a wanderer. She doubted she’d see much of him now that he had no reason to stay put, as evidenced by the past six weeks.

    That left her to ponder what future Carmen had planned for her as she waited high upon this observation deck, and she tugged at her long, wavy black wig as two figures take shape in the fog beyond.
     
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  7. Carmen

    Carmen Queen of Crime

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    Once the double doors parted, Carmen's eyes found Neb waiting. The ringleader nodded approvingly, and turned first to the man beside her, "Acton, would you open the blinds for me?"

    Then she walked towards the woman. "I'm glad you're here," after the whisper, she planted a cheek-kiss and paused to study the long wig, "This is nice, you look good."

    Stepping back, Carmen removed her coat and draped it over the nearest chair.

    The observation deck was located in a clock tower at the centre of Stone Harbour. While it was newly renovated, attention was given to the turn-of-the-century nautical theme prevalent in other parts of the grounds. Copper handles and slate blue woodwork played contrast against aged ash flooring. Considered a 'war room' while Carmen was in residence, a large round desk with overhead projectors displayed data while borderless windows showed panoramic views of the entire compound and the sea beyond.

    "Did you get much sleep last night?" her question was simple but directed.
     
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  8. Kid Kidman

    Kid Kidman V.I.L.E. Agent

    Messages:
    124
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Currently named Neb Ulyss
    Location:
    Here and there
    Color #:
    323E4F
    [Co-post: Neb/Carmen]

    Neb was once again startled by such attention and she blushed slightly at the complement of her wig. Each one held special significance, a shade of a personality she wished to own, but these expensive dark-haired ones were of considerable significance to her. Her hair had once been this colour, she’d once been told.

    “Thank you,” she murmured, then added with a weak smile, “I’ll get some sleep eventually.”


    Reaching towards Neb, she offered a hand.

    “I thought about you quite a bit,” she led the young woman to the round table at the centre.

    An AMOLED screen displayed menu items while projectors above flashed on.

    “I want you to shadow me while I’m here,” she explained and then spoke in a quieter voice, “and I want you to keep tabs for me while I’m not.” She glanced briefly to the unassuming Acton Roux, “Do you know what that might entail?”


    I’m still asleep, aren’t I? Neb thought as she blinked from lack of comprehension. “I, uh….what? Me? Keep tabs on you?”

    Memories of a disaster that technically never happened burst forth to mock her, and she bit her lip to push it back. “I mean...isn’t that sort of impossible?”
     
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  9. Joe Kerr

    Joe Kerr V.I.L.E. Agent

    Messages:
    115
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    VILE Agent, Part-Time Security Consultant
    Location:
    Tivoli Gardens, Denmark
    Color #:
    8a2be2
    Polishing off the last of his hastily improvised sandwich, Joseph Kerr began to make his way to the clocktower by means of a brisk walk. Stopping momentarily to wipe off any crumbs and ensure presentability, he paused to consider the purpose of the meeting.

    The ‘war room’ was reserved for only the most private and important of meetings, ones for which even the hidden rooms of the theatre were deemed insufficiently covert. The last time Joseph had been in there, plans for the MAMBA had been the topic of the day; the jester was under no illusion that today’s discussion would be as pleasant.

    Rumours of Patty’s disappearance had been circulating; theories, ranging from a kidnapping or an untimely death to her eloping with a secret ACME paramour, had been proffered, but no credible information on her whereabouts had been obtained.

    Despite not showing it, the jester was actually one of the most affected by her disappearance; All of VILE was a family to him, but Patricia had been one of those he’d been especially fond of. Having worked closely with her during a couple of Carmen’s previous absences, Joseph had gained an appreciation of how skillfully she employed her sharp wit and the surprising intelligence lying behind those baby blue eyes. Plus, with the natural charisma that she just seemed to radiate, it was impossible for anyone not to like her; little wonder that Joseph himself had pegged her as the most likely to succeed Carmen.

    As he reached the door of the clocktower, Joseph silently prayed that Carmen had some good news.

     
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  10. Kid Kidman

    Kid Kidman V.I.L.E. Agent

    Messages:
    124
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Currently named Neb Ulyss
    Location:
    Here and there
    Color #:
    323E4F
    When Joe entered, Carmen briskly tipped her head to welcome him.

    Returning to her conversation, a genuine smile formed on the thief’s face and she nodded to Neb’s question, “Alright, you do know then.”

    Opening a map of the world on the tabletop, she showed Neb the commands. Then whispered, “I’ll have full instructions for you later, but when I’m not here, I’m going to give you a way to keep in touch with me. Are you left or right handed?”



    The lot of the situation didn’t make sense to her subordinate, but Carmen usually knew what she was doing. There was bound to be some spectacular logic behind her actions, a plan too amazing comprehend at this moment, so Neb let go of her attempts at logic and rolled with it.

    “Right handed. I can have only so many abnormalities in one body,” she replied with a hint of jest.



    Sharing the woman’s jest with a soft laugh, VILE’s leader knelt down. She removed a thin rose gold bracelet from her right wrist and placed it on Neb’s.

    “Right, it is,” she smiled. The jewelry was a chain only half a millimetre in width, with a single blue moonstone cabochon glinting like a frozen tear.

    As Carmen stood, the door opened and she acknowledged Flag’s entrance with a hesitation, smile and nod before turning back to Neb.

    “I’ll show you how that works as well,” she paused briefly, “Are you all right?”



    Carmen’s voice became distant in her ears as Flag entered the room. Not only was he still here, but he now donned a robe she’d seen him wear only once before. The blood drained from her face and she looked to the floor as her heart sped up in her chest.

    “Yeah, just overwhelmed. Just a lot going on,” she forced out as her cheeks flushed with her heart’s redoubled effort.



    Empathetic, Carmen placed a palm on Neb's colorless cheek, wordlessly conveying positivity.
     
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  11. Acton Roux

    Acton Roux V.I.L.E. Agent

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    Acton immediately did as he was instructed, walking up a set of steps to a systems box and flipping open the switch to turn on motorised curtains.

    When the blinds retreated, morning sunlight cast its golden beams onto Carmen. Dr Roux clasped the brass railing of the raised walkway to observe her from above. Beauty was often arguable, but at times a woman takes one's heart long before the effects are felt. From his vantage point, Acton wondered what drove this woman, he asked himself why she would take the blame for young Patricia's leaving. Then he watched her interactions with Neb and also wondered what she saw in the pale girl. How does one read the Esoteric Carmen Sandiego?
     
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  12. Joe Kerr

    Joe Kerr V.I.L.E. Agent

    Messages:
    115
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    VILE Agent, Part-Time Security Consultant
    Location:
    Tivoli Gardens, Denmark
    Color #:
    8a2be2
    Upon returning Carmen’s greeting with a nod of his own, the Jester took a brief moment to take in the observation deck in all its nautical/steampunk-esque glory. Purposefully walking away from what he deemed to be a private conversation between the two ladies, Joseph ascended to the raised walkway the encircled the chamber.

    His eyes immediately fell onto the plague mask wearing doctor who had been stoically observing the ladies; Joseph observed with some mirth that given Acton’s current position and mask, he resembled one of Poe’s eponymous black birds, watching morosely from a tree.

    Ever the outsider looking in, eh Roux?

    Approaching cautiously, the jester paused in mid stride to note Flag’s arrival before carrying on toward the silent doctor.

    “Penny for your thoughts, Roux?”

     
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  13. Acton Roux

    Acton Roux V.I.L.E. Agent

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    403050
    Acton Roux stood up straight to greet Joseph Kerr, but he did not understand why the man wished for pennies.

    "I do not have coppers with me," he said while feeling his coat pockets. He thought it may be a joke, as often the jester had words to make people feel good no matter the situation. Perhaps, he deducted, the question was meant to ask his thoughts.

    To this, the doctor paused and pointed with his beaked mask towards the woman in Converse, "She is blaming herself for our young colleague's disappearance. Have you any word from your contacts?"
     
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  14. Joe Kerr

    Joe Kerr V.I.L.E. Agent

    Messages:
    115
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    VILE Agent, Part-Time Security Consultant
    Location:
    Tivoli Gardens, Denmark
    Color #:
    8a2be2
    At the mention of Patty’s whereabouts, or lack thereof, the jester’s smile disappeared.
    ”Unfortunately, no. You’d think a big ball of glittering sunshine would be easy to spot…”

    Whatever Joseph had meant to say next died on his lips as he stared blankly for a moment; memories of a happier time momentarily overwhelming him.

    Shaking his head to refocus, he quickly added to his previous statement.
    “Then again, she was trained by the best. If, for some reason, she doesn’t want to be found, she won’t be; not by you or me, at least.”

    Having said his peace, Joseph moved to join Acton in quiet observation of the conversation below; silently they stood together, Comedy and Tragedy, keeping vigil over their charges, over the theatre of dreams.
     
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  15. Vic

    Vic Confidence Man

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    Vincent "Vic-the-Slick" Fumigalli was back in Stone Harbour after one of the longest business trips of his life. Carmen wanted a little celebration and it was up to Vic to get the team in Italy ready for some freezing fun at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.
    Italian team, Chinese fest, nothing could be more international.

    "I have the plans!" he opened the door to the Observation Deck thinking he would be seeing only Carmen. When he saw the others he laughed, "Crack-a-Mole! Did the party already start?"
     
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  16. Carmen

    Carmen Queen of Crime

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    Color #:
    c00000
    When Vincent arrived, she arched toward the door and spoke his name, "Vincent Fumigalli, come, please."

    She let him gather his papers and his thoughts, and then she took Neb's hand, "You remember Neb, Vincent," she re-introduced, "she'll be my shadow for the while, can you set this up?"
     
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  17. Vic

    Vic Confidence Man

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    Male
    Color #:
    008000
    "Sure thing!" Vic gave Carmen a quick hug. "Good to see ya again, Kiddo!" He said to Neb and gave her a quick hug too, "We'll get you all set."

    "So this thing..." he lifted the plans up, "did you want to look through it?"
     
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  18. Carmen

    Carmen Queen of Crime

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    Color #:
    c00000
    "It's been a while since we've done anything together," ignoring Vic's question momentarily, Carmen stepped towards the middle of the room, speaking to everyone there, "This year, we're sponsoring a team of Italian ice-sculptors for entry into the Harbin Ice Festival, and I thought..."

    Catching the eyes of her adopted family, from goggles to sunset, VILE's ringleader gave a soundless laugh.

    "I thought we could use a little party."
     
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  19. Vic

    Vic Confidence Man

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    Male
    Color #:
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    "And here's the plan!" Vic announced right after her, and passed around paper that had itineraries from breakfast on ice to festival tours and staying alternating nights in an ice hotel.

    "No heist, no pesky detectives, just us enjoying some R&R!"
     
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  20. Chase

    Chase Director

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    Occupation:
    Director of Operations
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    San Francisco
    Color #:
    536373
    [Co-written by Chase/Patty]

    Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow, Russia
    3:45 PM Local Time


    In the busiest airport in the country, Chase Devineaux landed and entered through one of the North terminals. After a lengthy talk with the employers of the spy known as “The Seal,” he was guaranteed a spot on the negotiations table with an environmentalist pact that called themselves “Ultralett,” Norwegian for Ultralight. Normally Devineaux might wonder why, but he stopped thinking about the naming conventions of special interest groups a long time ago.

    As he left the airport, he started looking for the appointed driver. Someone holding a card with his name would take him to the predetermined hotel where he would check in under scrutiny and then someone would pick him up to take him to the negotiations location. Chase had done this before, enough to know the steps.

    His phone rang, an unknown number.

    Devineaux,” he answered, eyes still scanning the area.

    If you have a Bluetooth earphone hook it up,” the voice was female, and impatient. From the sound of it, she must be watching him.

    Right,” he replied and put a wireless earphone into his right ear, pocketing his phone into his jacket, “I’m doing that, and you’re going to tell me who you are.

    Later,” she interjected, “the man holding that sign with your name, don’t go to him. Head the other direction, towards the restrooms.

    Chase paused, “Miss Larceny, I’m not playing games.” He had been replaying her voice from the recording enough to recognize it.

    Neither am I.

    Exhaling, Devineaux walked towards the airport restrooms, “Do I go in?

    No, just turn the corner so they can’t see you.

    He did.

    I’m next to the phones, by the window.

    Chase looked around for those signature Russian phone booths and spotted her, an unassuming braided blond with tight jeans and a black sweater. She looked the part. Their eyes never met, but she started moving.

    Follow me,” she said over the phone and then hung up.

    He made his way through the crowd to her, “Are you intercepting this negotiation? A man’s life is on the line.

    There won’t be any negotiations,” she whispered harshly, “The guys waiting for you are taking you straight to Gunnar Maelstrom. Once that happens, I can’t help you.

    The name was familiar, but Devineaux would have to search through the ACME network before concluding anything. The way she said the name, though, did not sound good.

    Patty’s alternating boots led him to the airport parking lot.

    Get in,” she said as they got to a dark gray Skoda.

    You’ll need to give me something,” he stood still, “Because I would be really stupid to let you take me to a second location.

    Patty sighed, “What do you want?

    Your name,” he countered, “You know mine, tell me yours.

    After a lengthy few seconds, she replied with weight in her voice, “Amber Argo.

    Chase brought out his communicator, “Middle name?

    Amber Cecilia Argo,” she elaborated, “Happy?” Patty entered the car first.

    Doing a quick search through an international database, he found a ‘missing persons’ report that was retracted. In the remarks section was simply the word ‘Runaway’. The picture was a black and white frowning girl, resembling the one in the vehicle. Nodding to show satisfaction, he entered the passenger side.

    Why are we meeting under these circumstances, Amber?” Chase asked.

    She rolled her eyes at the mention of her other name, but decided she need to let that go, “Gunnar Maelstrom, when that name finally rings a bell, maybe you’ll get it.” Patty made a turn out of the airport, “The men sent to pick you up are his thugs. After I drop you off, I’m going to have to go back and blame them for losing you.

    Because…” Chase deducted, “you’re Gunnar Maelstrom?

    No! Oh my God!” She intonated in low frustration, “Can you not joke around?

    Then tell me,” Devineaux nodded, “What do you want from me, Amber?

    I want your help,” she admitted, “I need out, the right way. And as far as I can see, it means keeping you alive.

    Good to know.

    And I have a plan,” she added as Chase read the signs pointing towards a military airport near Moscow, “If you trust me on this, I have to get you on a plane to Harbin.

    He was silent, processing that information.

    What? The ice festival?
     
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