2010-03-30: We Soar



Date: March 30, 2010


To punish mankind for stealing the secrets of fire, Jupiter ordered the other gods to make a poisoned gift for man. Vulcan's contribution to the beautiful and foolish Pandora was to mould her from clay and to give her form.

"We Soar"

NYC and The Sky


Hair, check; bag, check; powerbars, check; suitcase containing rifle, check… 7 minutes overdue for the cab and 2 minutes ago it drove away without sounding the horn. Cody steps out of the warehouse and begins the slow jog toward the subway station. The streets are dark and bare, her black clad figure is the only one out at this god awful hour of the morning.


Max gives himself a lingering look in the mirror and artfully tousles his hair a final time. "We're so pretty," he murmurs to himself, pursing his lips into a kiss. His pockets are patted to check for a few essentials. Cash, cigarettes, and cosmetics, mostly. Then he slips on his heavy belt and flicks a fingernail against the metal inlay. "So very pretty," he repeats as he steps out the door.


The subway car is jammed with people, one of the reasons why she never uses it from this far from home in the morning. That and the case carrying the rifle isn't as inconspicuous as she would like, it's too late to make all of her stops this morning. She'll have to skip Chinatown which means straight from Grand Central to Mark's house. Her cool blue eyes pass over all of the people around her and grips the handle of the black case a little tighter.


Riding in a train car with the plebs is not Max's style. Instead, he crouches on the roof, magnetically secured while he scans the exiting passengers at each stop. When Cody bypasses her usual station, he narrows his eyes and tsks under his breath. "Not on my watch," he murmurs, his voice lost in the noisy tunnel. He raises his remaining hand (his prosthetic is curiously absent today) and points to the track just ahead of the train. The invisible electromagnetic beam that he produces is powerful enough to force a shuddering halt.

Max lifts his finger to his lips and blows away an imaginary wisp of smoke. "More powerful than a locomotive," he congratulates himself.

As the train comes to a shuddering halt, Cody frowns and checks her watch. What more could go wrong this morning?


The Lane commuter plane is gone and all of her necessary stops along the way had to be bypassed in order to get to the airport when she did. With the rifle stashed carefully into one of the airport lockers, Cody tucks the key into her bag and heads to the bathroom. Less than 15 minutes later a brunette walks from the restroom wearing a pair of black framed glasses and a lab coat. The Lane Industries badge is displayed clearly on her pocket. Approaching the ticket desk, she places her passport on the counter and opens her mouth to speak.

The grizzled man behind the counter is clearly more interested in Cody's identification than in anything she has to say. "Baker… Baker… That's right. Got a ticket for you." After verifying the information on her passport, the man prints out a boarding pass and slides it across to her. "First class. Somebody likes you."

With a puzzled quirk to her eyebrows, Cody takes the ticket silently and examines it. "Must have been Mark," she says absently. It started out at one of those days, but first class always makes that better. With a smile, she waves the ticket at the agent and makes her way toward her gate for final boarding. The gate is devoid of life aside from the steward taking the tickets at the entrance. "Aisle C, enjoy your flight!"

Meanwhile, with the liberal use of cosmetics, a set of false teeth, and a forged passport, Max has boarded the same plane and settled into the seat connected to Cody's. Not much of a feat when you consider that he purchased both tickets. A few hundred dollars in the proper hands ensured that eggs benedict, Peruvian coffee, and cold mimosas were served just as he arrived. Confident that his traveling companion will arrive shortly, he pours drinks for both of them.

The smell of the coffee hits her before she actually boards the train and it only makes her stomach growl with hunger. The steward smiles and points to the seat, oddly enough, the entire first class section is empty. Looking further into the plane, there are only a smattering of passengers and this causes the hairs at the back of the agent's neck to prickle, literally. Until her eyes settle on the figure in the seat next to hers. Then there's a twitch to her lips and she slides in as she tucks her briefcase under her seat. The twitch is neither a smile or a frown, simply a small tick of acknowledgment.

Max lets out a rich, rolling chuckle at the sight of Cody's apprehension, then her abruptly casual attitude. "Starting to slide into focus, is it? I'm surprised it took you this long. The Q train is never late." He takes another sip, then sets his glass down and nudges it aside with the stump of his half-arm. Rather than pinned at the sleeve, his suit jacket has been tailored to accommodate the shortened limb, making it far less visible.

He glances at Cody and arches an eyebrow. "So. Why are we going to Washington? Something to do with this Lane Industries, I presume?"

"It's been a morning," She says without as much amusement in her voice. Picking up her mug of coffee, she takes a few gulps before setting it down again. Then Cody turns to Max and licks her lips, "To what do I owe the pleasure? Just looking into my new job or keeping in touch?" The woman looks around the empty cabin and then back to him, tries to hide her smile and promptly fails as a small half smirk comes to her lips. The mimosa is plucked from the tray and she takes a sip.

The evasive answer is noted, but it only seems to further amuse Max. He picks up his fork and cuts deftly into his breakfast, which is a difficult proposition with only one hand. He pauses with the bite halfway to his lips. "Actually, I came in search of information. One of the detainees that I interrogated is missing, and I'm not convinced she's dead. When I stuck her under the white noise generator, she seemed… motivated to survive. E. S. McCarty. You wouldn't know anything about her, would you?" His voice is deceptively light and mild. Ever the cosmopolitan killer.

The breakfast certainly looks delicious and the fact that she's looking at it probably helps when he brings up the name of her room mate. "McCarty wasn't anything without her power. She didn't have an immune system and when we started pumping the solution into her she couldn't survive." It's a rather lighthearted response to a serious question, but there's Eggs Benedict to be had. After taking her first bite, she looks back at him as she chews. Her eyes narrow a little suspiciously and she puckers her lips as she swallows. "You didn't check the incinerator logs after they hauled her body out?" With that, she takes another bite of egg.

"Of course I did," Max replies haughtily. He his morsel to his lips, chews several times, and swallows with a satisfied sigh not far behind. "But I wasn't there to see her fed to the flames," he continues. "After moonwalking out on a whim, I no longer classify the old haunt as impenetrable."

"Oh, it's not. I was officially terminated, remember?" Cody retorts quickly, rolling her eyes at the efficiency of the organization. "So why are you looking for McCarty anyway?" When the stewardess comes by to announce their departure, there's a slight, almost imperceptible, growl from the back of the brunette's throat. Disturbingly enough, it's not at her appearance or her message, simply because the woman was protecting her food.

The plane begins to taxi out of the terminal and before it lifts off, Cody's mimosa is finished and she's tilting the glass toward Max for a refill.

Max smirks at the feral behavior and continued evasiveness. "Why do you want to know why I want to know?" he asks, his voice deliberately light and cheerful as he refills Cody's glass from the carafe. There's a hard, unforgiving glint in his eyes as he stares mercilessly into hers. "You wouldn't lie to me, would you? I despise lies." His final words are elongated, accentuating the sharp consonants.

Narrowing her eyes, Cody stares unflinching back into Max's baby blues. "I want to know because I might have a lead for you but I want to know what's going to happen when you find her." Without blinking or breaking her gaze away, Cody tilts her glass and takes a very long drink from her glass. She swallows and parts her lips to allow him view of her feeling around her canine tooth with the tip of her tongue. "Max," she begins slowly, "I lie to everyone, just because you're included in the ones I'm most fond of… it doesn't give you a free pass to everything that's in my head. Whether you despise them or not, if I need to lie, I will."

"Ahh. So when you say you might have a lead for me, you mean that you do, but you're protecting her. Else you would've told me what you know." Max nods briskly, assessing and rearranging facts in his head. "Well, that's more than I expected to learn."

His breakfast forgotten, he now produces a file from somewhere up his sleeve and goes about buffing his fingernails. It's a slow, methodical process. One that keeps his hands busy while leaving his mind free. "For what it's worth, she's no use to me dead. I will have her, though. Help me or stand in my way. The choice is yours."

Plucking a magazine from the seat pocket in front of her, Cody flips it open and peruses its contents. "Might have a lead for you, meaning, it might be an avenue that you've already explored." Cody continues casually, "I can't imagine that I'm the first person that you've contacted regarding McCarty. After all, I've been a little busy on this project that I'm on." She pauses to tap the ID badge on her labcoat. "But before I tell you what I know, I want to know what your plans are for her when you find her. Alive is more dangerous than dead to me. If you were going to just kill her, I'd probably tell you quicker."

"Is it so hard to figure out?" Max curls an incredulous eyebrow and quirks a crooked smile around his scarred mouth. "There's only so many things that a man like me could want from a woman like her."

He's not buying the coy, demure act. He's scented blood, and like a shark, he'll follow the trail until his hunger is sated.

"You want her to make a virus, what kind of a virus and what is it going to do?" From the floor, she pulls her briefcase and places it on the seat next to her. There's a self assurance to the brunette beside him and as she turns toward him, Cody gives him a sweet smile and pulls a pen from her labcoat. "It's a simple request, Max and considering everything that I'm about to face, I really don't want to be looking behind my back to find her being used against me. Can you blame me?"

Max lets his eyelids droop, then sag completely closed. He lifts the fingers of his good hand and twitches them to and fro, conducting an imaginary orchestra. A beatific smile crawls across his face. "I have a vision, my dear. I see a world where all men truly are equal. I don't think I'll tell you more than that. If you don't trust me, it doesn't seem smart to trust you."

As Max looks away from her, Cody turns to open her briefcase and pull out a notebook. "That's something I could get on board with," she says quietly as she flips the book open. There's a pencil in the spin that she uses to make a few marks on the page. Of course, like all of her notebooks, this one is in a code. Dancing stick men. Pages and pages of dancing stick men. There are no spaces to indicate where words might begin and end, making it just that much more difficult to decipher what's contained on those pages. "Agent Morris," Cody finally says, "Agent Timothy Morris. He was the last one to see her body."

"Your contribution is appreciated," Max purrs, half-lidding his eyes to peek out at Cody. "When you've finished your personal crusade, let me know if you're ready for a new cause." He's not judging. Far from it. Crusades are something he understands far too well.

The purr from Max has Cody twitching an eyebrow as she looks up from her notebook. "Well… I might consider the offer. Tell me, Max, have you ever considered joining the Mile High Club?" He can't really blame her for taking an opportunity when it presents itself.

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