2010-01-16: A Mad Tea-Party

Starring:

Cody_V4icon.pngJade_V4icon.pngRandall_V4icon.png

Guest Starring The Hardworking Agents of Alpha Protocol

Date: January 16th, 2010

Summary:

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter weren't having tea at it….


"A Mad Tea-Party"

Downtown, NYC - Pawn Shop

Another day, another dollar for the dark-haired teenager employed by the downtown 'Electronics Store'. Having taken two busses to arrive to arrive here to open this morning, Jade wasn't in the best mood, hating anything that pulled her out of bed before eleven in the AM, especially considering her penchant for up-all-night routines that left her bleary-eyed and sulking until sometime in the afternoon when her depleted energy caught up to the rest of her body and she was inexplicably the smiling smartass she was known for.

And, at the moment, she was apparently perfecting her throwing skills on a dart board she had unearthed from within the depths of the store shelves. It was one of the fancier setups, with electronic lights and a digital display, revealing her score. Right now… that score was looking pretty low, and several darts were stuck in the wall, all sure signs of her really bad aim. Carnival knife-throwing would be a dream forever out of reach, it seemed.

"Miss. Excuse me, Miss. Can you tell me where the-"

Jade spares the customer a faint 'you're bothering me glance'. "I don't know, have you tried looking?"

In stark contrast - so what else is new - Randall has been gradually getting used to getting by on more like six hours a day of sleep… ironic, given his history. Simple hobbies and limited partying go far toward that end; fear of being kidnapped goes farther. And yet he's the one who got to blow in half past lunch. Such are the perks of being the boss.

Having taken his turn at the register while Jade was off at her afternoon gig, he's mostly been catching up on things in the back room since then. Emerging with a pair of boxes piled up in his arms that block his forward vision, he remains blissfully unaware that that dart is going to be headed right at him in about two seconds.

The blue glow of the torch and acrid scent of sulfur fills the air in the alley behind the shop. About two or three minutes after it started, it has stopped and two men in black flack gear lift welding masks as one of them raises a radio to his lips. "Alice, this is Hatter. The trap door has been locked. Over." Then he turns to the agent clearing up the welding tools and grimaces as he clips the radio back to his belt. "God I hate these nicknames sometime. Positions." As quietly as they can manage, the two men climb the fire escape and settle themselves right over the back door. Their rifles are trained should any evolved manage to break through.

A messenger parks his bicycle outside the store and begins to secure the lock. Turning his head, he gives a nod to a nearby woman with a bouquet of flowers. She passes by him and smiles cordially, something not commonly found in a city such as this. His radio crackles and he pulls it off his belt and to his lips. "March Hare in position, Alice, we are a go."

A line of agents on the roof across the street are ducked low and waiting. One of them with a pair of binoculars. All of them are dressed in black flack gear and all of their rifles are trained on the front door. The woman with binoculars lowers them and with one hand raises a radio to her lips. "This is Alice, we are about to trap the White Rabbit. Smother the rabbit hole." With the order given, one of the riflemen fires a smoke canister through the window and detonates it.

"No, I don't know where we keep them. …No, I won't go look in the back. …No, I won't call my manager. …No, you're the asshole."

Jade's responses to the customer's repeated questions and/or accusations are typically negative. In general, if it involved her doing anything that required interacting with people, other than ringing up the register, she typically did a very poor job. As such, she chucks another dart at the board, missing by a good margin what she was aiming for (the bullseye), and sticking it into the very edge of the outer ring, where it hangs there, not quite stuck in, but not quite falling, either.

The teenaged girl is giving the customer the stink eye as she rears back her arm and makes ready to let fly… right into Randall's skull. She catches his movement out of the corner of her vision right before her arm snaps forward, startling her, causing her to lose her tenuous grip on the tiny projectile and drop it, point-first, to the floor, doing a little hopping dance and a squeal as some sort of girlish defense of getting her toes impaled. After the mini-crisis is over, she squats down, plucks up the dart, then shoots back up, waving the feathered end towards her boss.

"Watch where you're walking when things are being thrown! I almost just killed you. …Shoulda did it, too. I'm in your will, right? You should consider putting me in as the sole-" But a loud *CRASH-PLINKPLINK* startles her into stopping her running commentary, instead looking at the strange foreign object with wide, alarmed eyes, then at the hole in the window it had just come through. "Did the fundies take to vandalism?" Then the canister begins spewing a cloud of fumes, further adding to alarm. "Um… Um…"

Meanwhile, the offended not-customer is already halfway down the block, nattering to a friend on their cell phone - "Well, I never!" - and rounding the corner shortly before the frontal attack on the shop is launched. Jade's unconventional logic holds true yet again, driving away the ones offering the lowest profit margins and the least credibility to their word-of-mouth.

Whereas the near-miss with the dart caught Jade off guard right before she tossed it, it trips Randall up right after it thunks into the floor. Fortunately, the boxes break his forward stumble, leaving him leaning heavily against them and glaring up at her as she waxes Addams some more. Until the much louder thunk, that is.

Clambering quickly up to his feet, he grabs his backpack with one hand, her wrist with the other. "Follow my lead!" he yells, and without further ado makes a beeline back toward the warehouse. And the Alpha Protocol goons guarding the back door. Is he really panicked enough not to see that coming?

Around the corner the customer from the store is darted and tossed into a black van. It's all done very quickly and New Yorkers, being New Yorkers, don't even bat an eyelash at the kidnapping in progress. The men are wearing black suits and they look official, the person on the cell phone was probably a criminal or something.

When the customers begin filing out the door, the bicycle messenger plays the part of the concerned bystander and begins 'leading them to safety.' The safety just so happens to be around another corner where the customers are summarily tranquilized and tossed into yet another black van. Raising a radio to his lips, "March Hare to Alice, White Rabbit darted for the hole. I repeat, White Rabbit darted for the hole."

A small smile comes to the lip of the woman on the roof and she narrows her eyes at the small shop which is now spewing smoke out of the door and the hole in the window. "Dormouse, this is Alice, commence the flush."

From below the city streets, five agents in gas masks begin placing charges against the cement of what should lead to the basement of the building. The pipes have been tapped, the gas has been shut off. Their bases are covered and there are plenty of angry residents on the block who have no heat or water. Once the putty has been laced with wire, the men tuck it into a detonator and run the line for twenty meters and wait. "Commencing flush, Alice, you will be go in five… four… three… two… and…"

KABOOM!!

A ten foot hole has been blown into the basement of the building. Just large enough for Dormouse and his men to get into.

"Um… Um…"

It's highly likely that, given the ample opportunity, Jade would have stood there staring and um-ing at the gas-spewing canister until she had begun to choke and her eyes burned from the fumes. Thankfully, she doesn't quite have time to do such a foolish thing as her employer's much quicker thinking, and reflexes, burst into action, and she's finding herself being drug along, not even thinking to grab either her coat or her favorite scarf, a decision that would likely be lamented as soon as they hit the cold air outside.

An explosion nearly knocks the girl off of her feet, but she just manages to keep her boots under her, thus preventing her from being literally drug along by the older male by the wrist. As if her nerves weren't on edge enough already, having short-circuited her brain and disallowing her to think rationally of what was going on, the explosion sends them over the edge, with a squealing, whine that would have been comical in almost any other situation.

"Oh my gawd, what is going on? Is it an earthquake? In New York!? Why are they throwing gas cans through the front window!?"

Randall glances back toward Jade for a split second, as if to reply— but no, he's pushing his limits already, he doesn't have enough presence of mind left to discuss the enemy's tactics. At least he did anticipate that they'd have the back door covered; stopping halfway there, he shoves a crate out of the way, uncovering a hatch leading down. "C'mon!" he whispers, pulling it open and starting to climb down a metal ladder.

He should have counted on them checking the building plans. Hey, nobody's perfect.

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