2007-09-24: Bullet Allergy

Starring:

Benjamin_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif Meryl_icon.gif Niel_icon.gif

Summary:

There is a reason Benjamin isn't allowed unsupervised around guns. This is it.

Date It Happened: September 24th, 2007

Bullet Allergy


Primatech Firing Range

It's an echoing chamber, down in the bowels of Primatech's facilities. So thoroughly soundproofed that the shots fired there can't be heard even down the hall, let alone up on the grounds. There's a thin man in a white oxford and dark slacks, eye and ear protection on, working patiently with pistols in one of the lane's ranges - alternating mostly between a Sig 45 and a Walther PPK. Fel's expression is curiously bland, almost distant, even as he fires carefully at the paper targets.

It's not unusual to find Niel down here practicing either. Wearing safety gear and carrying his 9mm Glock, the bodyguard-turned-agent moves into a lane adjacent to Felix and begins to set up. Not exactly easy to hear conversation in here, but hey, he's a friendly sort. "You're Ivanov, right?" he asks as he presses the button to send his paper target down the way.

Fel's target comes reeling in, to be viewed with a critical eye. "I am," he says, quietly, slanting a blue glance at the agent. He looks much better - the bruises are gone, with only a pair of little white scars at temple and eyebrow as a souvenir of his stay in the cells.

Yeah, that's no shock. Niel knows what the guy looks like. Once his target is far enough back to his liking, he loads a clip. "Heard you joined up. Even after all that, hm?" He sounds … amused? But then again, he rarely sounds anything less than pleased about something. This particular something is the conversation he had with Giselle a month or so back.

"It was the only option that seemed acceptable," Fel explains, in his light tenor, clipping in a new target and sending it out, before squeezing off a few dry-fires on the Walther, and frowning at it. But he pop a clip in, and then empties it into the unfortunate paper silhouette.

BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM. Niel's aim is steady, each round squeezed off in rhythmic succession until his own clip is finished off. Back comes the paper target to be examined. "They partner you up yet?" Each bullet hole is neatly bunched together.

Fel squints down the lane, and then scoots the target away again. "No," he says, matter of factly. "I'm not sure I will be. I think I'm going to end up more a mole, since they left me with the Bureau."

Another clip, another target, and Niel grins. "That's the best way to work. Less of a hassle to work alone, and you get to actually have something resembling a life." Not that … he does. At all. "That's the sort of thing they've got me doing now."

Fel grins at that, lopsidedly. "Yeah? I….really don't know what to expect here," he says. "I'm still very much in the dark. I don't have a clear idea of what they want of me," he says, before he replaces the target again, the better to work with the Glock. They're in the firing range, which is a long,echoing soundproofed chamber.

The bullets aren't as close together this time around, but it's not like Niel missed his target by any means. When he brings in the paper again, he examines it, then reloads. "You'll get used to it. They don't exactly let everyone into the inner circle, and you're still fresh." BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM.

What better activity is there after losing a couple minutes of your life than to head to the shooting range and shoot the hell out of paper targets? Oh, Meryl's not angry with Megan, it's just that she's human (Despite all evidence pointing to the fact that she's from some other, distant planet) and it really freaked her out. While the firearm is still sounding off, she enters the range, finding someone else already occupying it. An inconvenience for some, but a blessing for Meryl. Stepping up behind Niel, she says - quite cheerfully - "Hi! You playin' cops an' robbers?"

Fel shrugs. "I know how this works. The same is true for the Bureau," he allows, switching back to the Walther, though something about it seems to irritate him. He's in dark pants and white shirt, glancing over to Meryl curiously. Not someone he's met.

Felix should count his blessings. Niel almost jumps when there's suddenly a crazy woman cheerfully exclaiming greetings at him. He turns around, stopping his target from returning a third time, and stares. "What are you doing here?" he asks of her, glancing up the way as though expecting an armed entourage to come barreling in to drag her out. "They let you around firearms?"

After a brief nod to Felix, she aims to give him a rather hearty slap on the shoulder in greeting; her expression for Niel states that she thinks he's crazy for even asking the question that he poses. "Of course they do. How else would I shoot things? Standing around yelling Bang isn't gonna do anything except make people think I'm stark-raving mad." This said, Meryl extracts a Beretta from her belt. "This is Basil. He's very good at what he does."

"You've named your gun?" Felix wonders, tone very mild, though his expression is now very wary. Because crazy people with guns ….it's never good, honestly.

If they let Meryl around firearms, they let anyone around them. Including Benjamin. Who enters the range, and debates on promptly leaving and coming back later. Letting Meryl around anything remotely dangerous, down to staplers, is just a /bad/ idea to him. Then again, Meryl wouldn't have a gun in hand if she weren't competent with it.. right? And oh God. She named it. Muttering, 'oi' and raising a hand to his temple, rubbing slightly, he approaches the trio. "Hey."

"Gee, wouldn't want anyone to think that," utters Niel, smiling in spite of himself. As Benjamin approaches, he gives the man a small wave. "Didn't expect to see you around here either, Winters." And after glancing at Meryl a moment, he adds, "… they didn't partner you two up, did they?"

As she turns to face Benjamin, she does something amazing.

Points the weapon toward the floor.

Staplers would be another story, perhaps. The urge to find out just what happens when you staple a fellow human being is just too strong. Then again, there are no classes on Stapler Safety, and there are no laws regarding Stapler Control, so there's no reason why she shouldn't staple someone. However. "Yes, Basil. After the Great Mouse Detective."

The question about her partnership is met with a roll of her eyes and a chuckle. "They wouldn't partner me up with Bingo." Beat. "We're married."

The sheer irony of that statement is not yet apparent to Felix the Extremely Unfortunate. Give him a little. Benjamin gets a genuine smile - he's one of the few Company ops that Felix actually likes. "Winters," he says, cheerfully, even as he loads another clip into the Sig.

Benjamin glances between Niel and Meryl, then shakes his head. "Babenkov's my partner. I was partnered with Butabi, but he got called back to the Alaskan facility." He doesn't really want to be down here, but rather than face the wrath of those higher than him, "I never really handled a gun before, so you could say I'm on remedial training.. wha.. what? No we aren't! Oh god Angie's is going to kill me." Or puke laughing. It's a tossup. A nod is made towards Felix with a weak grin.. Oh god.. Meryl is just too much sometimes.

"Huh." He glances between Benjamin and Meryl, despite the man's denial, and grins. "Mazeltov." No, Niel is not Jewish. The congratulations are punctuated by an empty clip being ejected. "You don't really need a gun, considering what you can do. But hey, you wanna learn, that's good. Always nice to have a backup." And then there's the sound of a cell phone ringing — or, well, actually, it's the shriek of the Wicked Witch of the West declaring that she will get you, my pretty, and your little dog too, but it is a cell phone, and it happens to be Niel's. He scrambles for it as he removes his ear muffs. "Sorry, gotta take this." It could only be his wife.

"Why do you people always use last names? It's like you're in the army or something." Or a secret non-government agency - you know the kind. "I'm changing my last time to something obscene. That way people will think twice before they call me 'I Have a Bad Case of Gas.' Yeah, who's your partner? 'I have a Bad Case of Gas.' Totally too much information. They'll have to call me Meryl. Or maybe I'll change it to 'Your Mom.' Man, I'd hate to run into the guy on the second floor with all those tattoos if he happened to ask who stole all the binder clips from the supply room. 'Your Mom?' Whooo. Wouldn't wanna be that guy." Pointing 'Basil' toward the target, which is hopefully back where it's supposed to be by now, she fires a handful of shots in a cluster right through the centre. Only then does she steal Niel's vacated earmuffs. "Knew I forgot something."

Felix just looks….bewildered. 'cause honestly, Meryl is a whole 'nother level of weird. He snatches hastily for his own earprotectors and claps them on. "It's not that hard to learn," he assures Benjamin. "I'll help you, if you like."

"Point taken, but I know I'm not always going to be in a situation where I can use my ability. I'm also not the best with it so far." Benjamin's getting good, but his accuracy isn't something to be depended on at all times. The cellphone's ring gets Niel a second glance, but he's not one to judge so nods. He heads towards claiming a pair of earmuffs himself and a company issue gun to practice with. Seeing as he wisely has not been given one yet. Gun in hand, he does remember enough about which way to point it while carrying it over to the markers. "Thanks. Angie tried to give me a few pointers, but I'm.. I really shouldn't be near these things." Want proof? He has a hard time getting the safety off on the gun. Once it's off and he takes aim in the vague direction of the target.. people might want to leave.

Niel has enough time to answer his phone with a rather snappish, "What?" before Meryl starts blasting within close proximity, nearly causing the man to stroke. He startles, the phone drops from his hand and clatters onto the floor. From it can be heard a woman's voice repeating his name with growing alarm. "Christ," he breathes, rubbing his ears. "You know, you could warn people before you go blasting off!" And as for the phone, he just leaves it there for now. Not like he really cares much.

"You don't have to call me 'Christ.' Meryl's fine," she notes, turning to look at the floor where the phone is, tilting her head and sticking her lower lip out. How curious! Putting the safety back onto the weapon, she holsters it again, leaning down to pick up the dropped phone. Covering the receiver for a moment, she says, "Well, next time you're on a mission, just make sure to tell the bad guys to wait 'til you get your protection on." Ear protection, of course. "Hang on, I gotta take this." Removing her hand, Meryl says into the phone, "Hello, Blaine's Adult Video Rentals, how can I help you?"

Honestly, it's Meryl who has Fel's attention now. It's like watching when they throw the frozen chickens into the croc tank at the zoo. You know it's gonna be bad and you can't look away anyway. Benjamin's shooting makes him wince - there's the sound of rounds thudding into the backstop.

Safety off, gun in hand, Benji turns to look over at Meryl in some surprise at her audacity. Oh yeah, he's not pointing the gun at the floor either. Everyone, DUCK. "… Did she just.. I hope that wasn't an important phonecall, Youngblood." With the safety off, and finger on the trigger. Benjamin's just.. he needs remedial remedial gun safety lessons.. because the gun goes off.

Meryl is honestly not paying attention at all to what Benjamin is doing with the firearm - which she should, really, because, hello, someone with a weapon who's never used one before is FLAILING ABOUT. In any case, as she moves the phone away from her ear in order to turn it onto speaker phone, it suddenly explodes, bits and pieces of plastic flying everywhere, especially into Meryl's hand. Dropping the remains of the phone and falling at the same time, she cradles her bleeding hand while managing to look completely horrified. Uh. "Right, then. Lesson one." Standing, using the hand that isn't lacerated, she grips Benjamin's wrist and squeezes. "You can pick up another weapon when you master Nerf darts."

"Who the hell is this?!" shrieks the woman on the other end of the phone. And then it gets blasted into pieces. Well. That ends that phone call. Niel just stands there staring a moment — gaping, even — before he reaches into his suit pocket to withdraw a handkerchief. Always have one handy. "Give me your hand, you're bleeding."

There's something hovering in the air, just a foot or so beyond where the phone was - a little gleaming thing of silver and brass. Fel was a little slow off the block. Without calling attention to himself, he cups a palm and lets the slug fall into it, pocketing it for the moment. He walks up and plucks the gun from Benjamin's hand. "First rule. You only point that at what you intend to kill. Ever. Even if it's empty."
Benjamin stares, open mouthed and wide eyed as the phone turns into little pieces, "Wow.. Sweet Lincoln's Mullet… did you /see/ that!? That was incredibly.. OH MY GOD, you are bleeding! Did I — OW OW AAAH!" Not that Meryl's grip is terribly strong, he's just caught off guard by the gun firing, the phone exploding and accidentally hurting the woman. "Oh my gosh.. I.. right.." He gives Felix an incredibly sheepish expression. "I'll keep that in mind.. Meryl, I'm /so/ sorry. I'll take you right up to get that looked at!"

Damn, that hurts. Holding her hand out from her body now, even if it's a little too late to keep her shirt clean, Meryl's not in much of a mood to be herself at the moment. Dour, angry, she allows Niel to wrap her hand. Still, with no real temper to speak of… "It's fine, Benjamin." Tight smile. "Happens all the time. I'm sure it'll be just fine tomorrow." She doesn't notice Felix's little ability there, because there's this kind of pounding in her ears that comes from a near-disaster experience. "Niel, I'm very sorry about your phone." She does look at Ben, though, nodding a little, now that she's worked her frustration out. "It was a good shot. At least it was just the damn phone." She nods down the range, though. "Try for the target next time, okay?"

Niel's not a doctor, but he at least knows how to bandage a wound. Sorta. To keep it from not bleeding out. "It's fine, don't worry about it. Just my wife." He says the word as though it's not a happy sort of word. "Don't worry about it, Winters, I can take her." Because the last thing anyone needs is Meryl being angry and killing Benjamin for hurting her hand while he's taking her to get it looked at. "Come on, Meryl."

Felix breaks the gun down, quickly. He's tight-lipped, but he's not gonna beat on Benjamin further. Some people are clearly just not meant to have weapons. "Don't keep it in mind. Just learn it. You nearly killed her, and while this may be the Magical Mystery Tour, last I heard they don't have Jesus Christ working here."

"It's all my fault, I'll replace the phone, Youngblood. I'm really, really sorry about this." Good work Benjamin. He's going to be apologizing about this accident for weeks to come. "I.. alright.." It's not alright, because while this could be considered and on the job accident, he's not really going to fight. A flush coloring his neck all the way up to his ears, he ducks his head in a nod at Felix. "I told them that this was a bad idea.. and.." He looks just ill at the thought that he possibly could have killed Meryl. Harsh and extreme words from Felix, but necessary. ".. I'll just focus on my ability instead .." Which can lead to people getting killed. Augh.

She doesn't want Ben to feel bad, but then again, he did kind of just nearly shoot her, and with two other people in the room… Technically, it would have been the agents' responsibility to show him how to use a firearm properly, but he should have realised. He's a grown man, for God's sake. She can't just say it's okay, and give him a pat on the head and go on her way, especially if he's going to be on her team. "I'll be recommending you for some weapons training sessions," she says, wincing as her hand is touched, before heading off after Niel. Jeez, talk about a close call.

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