2007-03-26: Contingencies


Katya_icon.gif Bob_icon.gif

Summary: Anticipating an angle, Bob calls a certain number to request some insurance…and it's not 1-800-GEICO.

Date It Happened: March 26, 2007


The Bronx Zoo, Bronx, New York

As with most of these things begin, they start with a phone call, patched straight somewhere in the UK. A man known as "Curtis," after getting the name and the agreed upon signal, releases a certain number to the man on the other line. It doesn't take long to reach its target, who informs the caller that she is, surprisingly, local, and specifies the time and the place to meet. The conversation is brief, and perfunctory - one minute, no more, no less. It was bred more out of habit than necessity, given technology has advanced to the point in which calls could be traced in lesser and lesser time.

It is the late afternoon in the Bronx Zoo, a public place. And while it is certainly occupied, by parents who take their children to see the animals after school, as well as a few tourists and field trips, it is late enough in the day that the traffic has tapered off slightly. Despite the crowd, however, the Russian would know the caller on sight - this isn't the first time she has met him.

Dressed in a tailored, button-down coat, a pair of ash-gray slacks, and high-heeled boots, the only thing that gave a bit of flair to the neutral colors she wore was the gauzy, iridescent-green scarf that was knotted around her throat. Her hair today is fashioned in a dark bob, with dark glasses perched on her nose. Lip gloss is carefully applied on her mouth. As she stops at the tiger exhibit, she leans against the rail, watching the magnificent cats behind the cage as they lope around. It looks to be feeding time - they were nocturnal creatures by nature, after all and she impassively observes the long fangs as they tear into bits of flesh offered to them. She checks her watch absently. As always, she was early.

Bob is always punctual, which means right on the dot rather than early. So he comes up to draw beside her. Watching the tigers tear meat apart he says, "I knew you'd have an appreciation for the zoo." But with this woman, pleasantries don't last long. "This is what I have for you." He passes over a thick envelope. "Your job is to watch him. Or get close to him. Whatever it takes. But don't let him see you. If he does anything which could reveal the existence of my organization or 'exceptional people' the deal I have with him is off. The moment the deal is off is the moment that I will want him eliminated."

"They are magnificent. You were always one of my more perceptive clientele." No names. Katya knew his name, but never addressed him as such in public unless warranted. Despite the woman's Eastern European roots, she had no accent. She is able to bring it or hide it when necessary. She reaches out to take the envelope - and doesn't open it right in the open. Once it is passed, it is slipped in the inner pocket of her coat, and left to leave there. "It is my typical protocol to keep the mark at arm's length. It makes things less complicated." She inclines her head to Bob. "Let us talk contingencies. What do you wish me to do if he finds out he is being watched? I suppose it will depend highly on whether he keeps his part of your bargain regardless. If this man is clever, he will expect this already."

"I told him nobody would try to harm him if he upheld his end," Bob says dryly. "I never told him I wouldn't keep an eye on him to make sure he was avoiding becoming the next of a series of headaches to cross my desk. You'll find the complications inherent in this all in the file. I'm sure he's working some angle with me right now, I'm just not sure what it really is. I'm having trouble believing for one minute he's just grown tired of the chase. He's spun me a line of philanthropy that I am having equal trouble taking at face value."

"Mmmm." Katya slips her dark glasses off her eyes so she could look at Bob askance. Her irises were a virid green - but they could be contacts. She taps one of the stems on the railing, thinking for a few moments. It sounds interesting, but she doesn't say it so. "And if he expresses outrage in being followed and threatens to do something drastic?" She perches the sunglasses on her hair, fashioning it into a makeshift headband. "Naturally it doesn't sound like your agreement with him precludes surveillance, but as I stated before, if he is as clever as he seems to be, he might expect this already. He might even test how seriously you are taking this. Still, it doesn't mean that I can't try to hide my true intentions. In fact, I am getting the sense that it is certainly necessary."

"It's absolutely necessary, but if he grows outraged, subdue him. Don't take any chances." Bob's voice is flat. "Whether subduing means you capture him and call me, or cut off his fool head, is up to you and how philanthropic /you/ are feeling. If he seems to think it's funny or ignores it and goes about his business, then he gets to continue smiling prettily at life in general. The amount of issue it is depends entirely on how big of an issue he chooses to make himself."

She nods once, her eyes on the tigers. And when she speaks up again, she moves on. "You mentioned he might be playing some sort of angle with you. Will you require that information as well should I ever discover it?" It would, naturally, be common sense - but Katya was an outsourced contractor, meaning if there are limits, they would have to be defined. This isn't really anything new to Bob himself. That and she would hate to run into conflict with another agent in play should he have one already in charge of ferreting that out.

"Oh yes." Bob says. His head half shakes in irritation. Things are not going well for Mr. Bishop lately. "Anyone he contacts or gets in touch with I'll want on a list as well, along with a brief of the conversations he has. If you can get me his bathroom schedule down to when the man takes his Ex-Lax and the subsequent results, I will be a happy man. I'm offering triple your usual. This isn't an easy man to handle."

"I look forward to the challenge," Katya says. The money is no object - she has earned enough to live off the rest of her days in the French Riviera should she choose, but she needs a drive. Purpose. She looks over at Bob, and gives a small nod. "I will review the file, and give you my impressions. I will also need access to surveillance equipment - but you needn't worry about those. I'll take care of that end." This meant she would have to find where the man is holing up, and if he is mobile, that would make the task harder. But again, once she finds him, she'll try not to lose him. "I take it you have provided me with a list of aliases he has been using recently?"

"Yes." Bob says. "And his age in there is not a typo." He doesn't want to get that call, with her wondering if he's given her some sort of prank to follow around. He slides his hands into his pockets. "He's charming. You might even find yourself liking him. That's his whole problem."

"Which is why I stated in the beginning that my protocol is to keep the mark at arm's length. No direct contact or interaction unless absolutely necessary. It keeps temptation at bay, and despite the differences between you and I and the rest of the world, we're are all still human and prone to such," Katya states simply. The mark is hands off….until it's time to kill him anyway, should it come to that. She pushes away from the railing and gives Bob a glance. "Unless there is anything else?" She will take her leave once he's ready to let her go. "And would you like me to drop you off somewhere?" Courteous, as ever.

"No, thank you, though I appreciate your consideration as always," Bob replies, with a touch of a smile. He inclines his head. "You have my number if there are any issues." And off he goes, looking a touch more relaxed. One more base covered means he's doing good work for the day.

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