2008-02-27: Over the Rainbow

Starring:

Felix_icon.gif Mariska_icon.gif Evie_icon.gif Niel_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Sasha, Rogerson, Caretaker

Summary: Mariska and Felix attempt to whisk away Sasha from the hands of the Company.

Date It Happened: February 27th, 2008

Over the Rainbow


Warren, Michigan

764 Bluebird Crescent. The small, narrow two-story house on a quiet street — crescent, rather — is actually blue. Like a bluebird. Paint peels off the sign that hangs above the door: 'Lacy's Bed & Breakfast'. The sign in the window is turned to CLOSED, and the plastic on the inside prevents anyone from seeing inside. Yet another sign, posted to the telephone pole in front of the house, indicates that it's For Sale thanks to local realtors.

In reality, it's a Company safehouse.

Inside, a dark-haired little girl sits on the floor, her white skirt pooling around her, a contrast to her knit cardigan with happy patterns of smiling people and flowers and suns. She's playing with marbles. A stuffed lamb is propped up beside her, and every now and then she has a quiet word with it. An older woman, her caretaker, flits about in the kitchen. It looks like a home, save for who can only be described as the guards.

One of whom is Niel who, when given the choice between of staying in New York with his wife and kids or flying to Michigan to watch someone else's kid, obviously chose the latter. First flight he could catch, actually. It's nice to have a dedicated guy like Niel. It's been pretty quiet and relaxing so far, and he's standing against the wall being boredly observant. Ho-hum.

Shit. Guards. And Felix can't simply go in, guns blazing, and slaughter them all. Much as he's tempted to. "Can you jump in to where you see her? Fast enough to grab her and jump out?" he wonders, from where they stand concealed in the trees that edge the property. "I can distract them…."

"«We'll have to get them to open the door. Or smash a window. I have to see where I'm going…»" But there's some hesitation in Mariska's voice, even as she feels the adrenaline pumping like fire through her veins already. "«I don't understand why it has to be this way. Why can't we just — she's our daughter.»" Poor fool.

Niel's partner for this temporary assignment is a agent in his forties or so, built like a rail with a gaunt face and a chestnut mustache. He ambles about the small house from time to time, glancing out the windows where the plastic has been cut for that reason.

Evie to the rescue? She does that trick where she's suddenly there — this time, outside the house, right on the doorstep. Did someone say 'distraction'? "Helloooooo?" calls the little girl — that is, not the little girl sitting quietly in the living room calls out, but rather quite a different sort. Rocking back on her heels, she peeks up underneath her fluffy pink winter hat. "Is there anybody in there? Pleeeease?"

And immediately, Niel is on high alert. It could just be a little girl, sure. It could also be something else entirely, like the prelude to a trap or something of the sort. With a glance to Rogerson that says, "Stay here", he heads for the door and cracks it just wide enough to take a peek at the impromptu visitor. Not exactly a welcoming sort of thing for a B&B. "Help you?"

«As if they cared,» Felix says, coldly. And then Evie's making her move, and Fel is rooted in place. "Oh, Jesus," he says, under his breath. "Charge of the Shirley Temple brigade." But he doesn't move. Not yet.

Wait — what? Mariska turns her head just in time to see that, sure enough, there's a vaguely familiar girl running interference for them on the front stoop. She sucks in a breath of cold air and watches — waiting — for the opportune moment to exploit a weakness in line of sight. Believe it or not, she's done this sort of thing before… once or twice…

Evie, caught by Niel just as she seems to be a second away from pounding on the door, looks oh-so-relieved to see someone. She becomes increasingly distraught now that she gets to tell her story. At the very least, she puts on a good little show. "It's my mom!" the girl, who couldn't be more than twelve, says. "We live across the street-she doesn't get out much 'cause she's sick and-I called 911 but they told met to-to do all this stuff but I'm not strong enough and I don't know— " she babbles, pointing, panicked, over her shoulder. "Can you come help me, mister?! I'm scared!"

Rogerson gives Niel a lifted brow and shrug. Helpful.

Sasha looks up from her playtime, pauses, and goes back to sifting through the marbles. Most of them are blue, green, and white; they look like tiny Earths. Her caretaker, curious about the visitor, lingers behind the couch looking worried.

Every instinct tells Niel not to leave his post. Every single one of them. But after a couple moments' consideration, he casts another glance back at the caretaker and his temporary partner and then back at the girl. "All right." He slips through the door, closing it behind himself. Just a couple minutes to check it out, that's all. It's been a slow night and Rogerson is there. What could go wrong?

«As if they cared,» Felix says, coldly. And then Evie's making her move, and Fel is rooted in place. "Oh, Jesus," he says, under his breath. "Charge of the Shirley Temple brigade." But he doesn't move. Not yet.

Wait — what? Mariska turns her head just in time to see that, sure enough, there's a vaguely familiar girl running interference for them on the front stoop. She sucks in a breath of cold air and watches — waiting — for the opportune moment to exploit a weakness in line of sight. Believe it or not, she's done this sort of thing before… once or twice…

Evie, caught by Niel just as she seems to be a second away from pounding on the door, looks oh-so-relieved to see someone. She becomes increasingly distraught now that she gets to tell her story. At the very least, she puts on a good little show. "It's my mom!" the girl, who couldn't be more than twelve, says. "We live across the street-she doesn't get out much 'cause she's sick and-I called 911 but they told met to-to do all this stuff but I'm not strong enough and I don't know— " she babbles, pointing, panicked, over her shoulder. "Can you come help me, mister?! I'm scared!"

Rogerson gives Niel a lifted brow and shrug. Helpful.

Sasha looks up from her playtime, pauses, and goes back to sifting through the marbles. Most of them are blue, green, and white; they look like tiny Earths. Her caretaker, curious about the visitor, lingers behind the couch looking worried.

Every instinct tells Niel not to leave his post. Every single one of them. But after a couple moments' consideration, he casts another glance back at the caretaker and his temporary partner and then back at the girl. "All right." He slips through the door, closing it behind himself. Just a couple minutes to check it out, that's all. It's been a slow night and Rogerson is there. What could go wrong?

And Fel is sneaking around the back. The better to sneak up on that remaining partner, and frankly steal his daughter right out from under their noses. Once he's certain Niel is far enough away that he can't make it back too quickly, there's a back door to be kicked in.

With 'suddenly Evie' taking unanticipated point, Mariska decides to allow the dreamgirl to serve as the initial distraction without qualm. She lingers in the place where she and Felix had originally been making their observation, though once the door opens, she's trying to reposition herself to a spot that might provide her with uninterrupted line of sight… just in case a hasty jump needs to be made. The adrenaline suddenly flooding into her veins very nearly seems to make the whole world shake. It's a wonder they can't hear her heartbeat all the way in the house as it bangs away like a big, brass drum in her chest.

Evie instantly takes off, waving at Niel to follow, her face a perfect little bundle of nerves and heart-wrenching distress. She runs, jaywalking right across the quiet street to the house on the other side.

As Niel tends to the little girl, Rogerson, glancing toward the back of the house, heads that way. Sasha's caretaker moves to the front of the house, trying to peek out the window. "Hope the poor dear's okay."

Sasha, a handful of marbles in one hand, picks up the stuffed toy beside her — the one Felix gave her — and just smiles.

Niel trots after the girl and is in the middle of the street when he hears the bang of the door at the house he just left. With it comes the thud of his heart hitting his pancreas. Goddamn it. Leaving the girl, he turns and takes off back toward his post, which he never should have left in the first place. His hand goes to the taser holstered at his belt as he runs.

There's the bang of the back door being kicked in. Fel's got his pistol in both hands, and bellows, "Freeze, police!" Like that might help. Maybe it will give Rogerson that fractional hesitation that'll let Felix simply pistolwhip him into unconsciousness.

It's go time! Knowing that the very moment she jumps from one place to the next she'll give herself away, Mariska leaps with an echoed KRAK! KRAK! as her jump sites just so happen to be within earshot of each other; she goes from behind safely tucked away behind a minivan to right in Niel's line of sight, albeit conveniently out of taser range… but only for the next couple of seconds until he closes the gap.

Rogerson, coming upon the little porch area at the back of the house, doesn't pause on the shout of 'Police!' — but in the time he takes to reach for his taser… he might be meeting the butt of Felix's pistol.

In the living room, the caretaker whirls around, and Sasha drops her handful of marbles; the little glass spheres clatter, rolling along the uneven hardwood. She stands up, in the midst of them, and clutches the stuffed animal to her chest.

Out on the street, Niel and Mariska are alone. Evie? What Evie? She's just gone.

Crunch. Pinehearst will owe the unfortunate Rogerson a new nose. There, good. One obstacle dealt with….and now fel's bolting for the front room where he suspects Sasha is being held. He doesn't call out to her or Misha - there's just the sound of pounding feet on the hardwood floors.

Once someone appears right in front of him, Niel doesn't hesitate. As soon as he's in range, he fires the taser directly at Mariska. Even running, his aim is fairly accurate.

Accurate, yes, but the taser just doesn't fire fast enough to tag Mariska in time before she jumps again. KRAK! KRAK! But since she's now facing away from the house, that presumably means she's located behind Niel now; somewhere out there is a rogue teleporter running interference for her husband and, so far? She's not doing such a bad job, eh. Of course, if there's anybody home in this neighborhood, the noise sounds not unlike a firefight is taking place out in the street…

Which means the local police may very well be here soon, but for now? The commotion only draws rustling curtains from neighbours.

The commotion inside causes the caretaker to rush toward Sasha, to take her up in her arms - but the little girl has other ideas, running away from the lady instead. Her small footfalls pound on the hardwood floor in lighter, parallel staccato to Felix's until she comes rushing into view, bright, round-eyed stare fixed on the man she now realizes is her dad. She seems struck speechless.

"Come on, honey, we're going home," Felix says, trying to keep his tone gentle. He's holstered his gun, but he's not waiting for Sasha to come to him entirely on his own. He hustles towards her to scoop her up. "Your mother's waiting," he adds, before heading right back out the door he just kicked in. Once he's clear, he bellows at the top of his voice, "MISHA!"
Niel casts a glance over his shoulder, but his main goal is to get back to the house, and that is just what he continues to do. The used taser is tossed aside, useless now that it's been fired and missed, but he withdraws his real gun this time. He moves slower toward the house this time, pressing buttons on his phone in a well-rehearsed maneuver. A quick text is sent to any and all agents.

That's her cue. KRAK! KRAK! Mariska manifests precariously on the roof of the bed and breakfast in order to grab a bird's eye view of the situation and determine if Felix's shout was intended to be a cry for help or the signal that things have gone as (kinda sorta) planned. She peers down over the back of the house and hesitates.

While Rogerson's phone helpfully lets him know, with a little vibration, that he has a text message, Sasha clings to Felix, tossing her arms around his neck. The soft stuffed toy bounces against his back. She's scared, holding on tight. "She told me what a family was like," Sasha squeaks out, barely audible, save for the fact that she's by Felix's ear. "She told me you were coming!"

"Here!" Felix yells at Misha. Yeah, it'll let Niel know where he is, as well, but he's betting the teleporter is the faster one. "Got her," His tone is both jubilant and incredulous. "Who's she, mushka moya?" he wonders to Sasha, more quietly, even as he balances her on a hip.
GAME: Novak has disconnected.

Even though it's a futile effort, Niel does indeed break into a run to get around the back of the house. By the time he gets there, though, it will very likely be too late. A+ for effort.

YAY! Misha prematurely celebrates with a wild smile as she calls down in Russian from the rooftop, "«Are you ready to go?»" Of course, that question appears to be primarily rhetorical as, in the next instant, she's on the ground and running right along with them. Odd that she's not trying to teleport out with the both of them, isn't it?

"My friend," the child answers, looking over her shoulder as if searching for said friend. There's no one there, to anyone else's eyes, but Sasha seems to think so, smiling at something in the distance. She's quickly distracted by Mariska, and as the woman runs alongside Felix, Sasha, bouncing along on his hip, bursts into a smile that can only be described as hopeful.

«Take her,» Felix says, handing her off to Misha without hesitation. "Here's your mother, little one," he says, more cheerfully. "Off you go," To his wife, he says, «Go. Don't got somewhere I know. Let me call you, give you the all clear. Then we meet up, right?»

Once Niel rounds the corner and spots the three making off, he fires just one shot. Just one. He aims for a leg or something equally non-lethal, but he's careful at least to not aim high enough to hit the girl. That's definitely not his intention.

As the exchange is made from reluctant father to anxious mother, Mariska's head is turned just enough to allow her a glimpse of Niel turning the corner just in time for her gather the daughter close to her chest and jink abruptly to the left in an attempt to dodge incoming fire. This technique works, but only for her, and she inadvertently ends up careening into Felix which ends up both throwing off his freak mojo AND earning him a flesh wound.

Sasha, shuffled from one parent to the other, does her best to just cling on to Mariska. The gunfire prompts her eyes to shut tight. She gives a tiny squeak, holding on tighter. "Disappear!" she shouts, high-pitched. She remembers — Mariska can disappear and reappear somewhere else! Why aren't they all disappearing, all three? She shuts her eyes tighter. "Disappear!"

«Disappear!» Felix echoes, impatiently, just as the bullet strikes his leg, and he falters. No, it's not bad - no arteries, just muscle. But it's right in the thigh, and Fel just topples for a moment, going for his gun as he does - trying to turn it into a controlled roll and bring his gun to bear on Niel. «GO!» He orders Mariska. «Don't wait.»

Oh, hell no! Screw the plan. Mariska isn't leaving Felix behind. Not here. Not now. When he takes a tumble, she turns on her heel and snaps out a hand to grab onto the man's arm or shoulder or shirt or rally any part of him that she might be able to grasp with certainty before she desperately tries to test her maximum carrying capacity across vast distances. Here goes nothing —

Niel keeps tight to the B&B, trying to use the shadows and a close proximity to the building to make him a smaller target, but he's definitely not invisible and he's not behind any substantial cover. He fires one more shot, this one aimed toward Mariska.

Niel's treated to the odd spectacle of his bullet stopping in midair - it glints like a snowflake, before it falls to the ground. And then there's the tremendous concussion of all three members of the Ivanov family vanishing - it sounds like the mother of all doors being slammed behind them.

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