Date • 2020-04-24
Summary • London gets recruited for an extra hush mission for one of The Group's subdivisions.
|log=Corona has had a strong if indirect effect on the operations of The Group. Its favorite method of stealth--hiding in plain sight--is far more difficult in the current state of the region. Most operations have dropped in scale. White vans with two or three operatives dressed as contractors have become the new standard, but the overall activity--or "op tempo" as the ex-military members call it--has slowed considerably.
It is 0412 when the bay lights flicker on and the sound of multiple pairs of boots moving about in the main bay stir the light sleepers to waking. People that continue to sleep, like the man slumbering in the bunk closest to the door, get their deltoid pinched for a quick shot and a bandage slapped over the needle prick. Those more awake are given little different treatment unless they resist. Those doing the injections are wearing head to floor PPE ending with heavy rubber overboots similar to those found in CBRN attire. Anyone entering a private room does so without knocking. Instead, the words "Mandatory vaccination." are announced as the doors are already opening.
Jetlag and other things have taken its toll upon the bi-racial woman, London quite dead to the world in her slumber. Faceplanted down on the side of her pillow, her body drapes half on and half off of her bed. Normally she might stir with the sound of footsteps and the like, but her soldier skills are clearly inactive at the moment - likely due to the fact she is nestled away within the safety of the 'House' and able to catch the first solid sleep she has had in months. Sleep of the dead or not, however, the moment her door is thrown open and the words 'Mandatory Vaccination' are given she bolts upright, highly disoriented.
Silva isn't as unconscious as some of his peers. He's already up and getting dressed to go work out when he hears the group enter. Already on the alert he cracks the door open and peers out into the hallway to get eyes on the group moving through the building. Spotting the team and hearing them speak of the mandatory vaccination, he opens the door and steps out in the hall, waiting for his shot. He watches the group move and studies the needle before its pressed into his arm. "What is this? It looks like... Vapor, gas?"
The Group's medical team is in many ways the coldest of them all, but the middle aged woman that steps up to Silva to pinch his shoulder and give him an admittedly quick and easy shot does spare long enough to look him in the eyes through her visor and say, "COVID-vaccination. Extremely classified." Whether it's because he was awake enough to be deemed worthy of conversation or because she likes something about the cut of Silva's top, she adds, "Drink lots of water, 'kay?" With that, she's onto inject a man three times her size.
The man that injects London does it a bit slower than the last few people he hit before; careful to gather up as much meat as possible from her deltoid before injecting her. He spares her nothing but a small, forced smile of gratitude for how easy she made his job before moving on.
This is when a white-haired, old Asian man dressed in denim comes stepping in on a cane to observe; trailing behind the rest of the team presumably because he is slow. He wears no PPE at all. As he watches, his eyes do not shy away from those that look at him.
Shot received, London rubs the sleep from her eyes a bit before stepping into the hall with the rest of her fellow operatives. Clad in a pair of sleep shorts and a tank top she stands outside of her door letting her eyes adjust a little to the shift in lighting. While she may miss Silva getting his own vaccination, she is in time to take note of the older Asian gentleman that trails on in. Dark brown eyes slip to regard the caned man curiously, brow lofting in silent observation.
The old man waits until someone there is bold enough to meet his eyes and not pull away. When London does so in her curious rather than challenging manner, the old man lifts one hand from the cane he had them both rested on and points at her. He then makes an upside-down beckoning motion that could be misinterpreted as ‘go away’. As if he understands this communication foible, he lips to her from that moderate distance between them, “Come here.”
Seeming to expect no argument, he does his three-legged walk to the exit of the bay; only there turning back to look at London and wait.
Nothing like taking a bull by the horns, the woman straightens her posture and spares a brief sidelong glance towards Silva before breaking from her place outside her door and turning to following him down the hall in her sleeping attire and bare feet. She does not speak nor challenge the directive, instead maintaining an even disposition as she spares no other look for those she passes along the way. London is not one to keep any man waiting, let alone an authoritative member of the Group.
Despite the man being several inches shorter than her, her posture, and her attire, he is an exemplar of professionalism. His faded brown eyes meet hers as she comes to him, then gives her a knowing nod before he takes her through not one but two doorways; aware of how well some of the agents can hear. Once they arrive in one of the breakaway rooms, he canes himself over to the far side of the table as he gestures to it. "Sit." The room is chillier than her room and the bay by a few degrees, and the hard plastic chair is no exception. The man doesn't notice; the advantage of a suit over shorts. "I need someone outside my department to do something for me," he cuts to the chase. "It isn't dangerous, but it is very delicate. Can you handle delicate?"
The chill of the room is definitely felt by the young woman as evidenced by the manifestation of goosebumps upon her skin. London does not complain though. In fact, the woman doesn't even dare to grant any outward reaction to the temperature with regards to her expression or motions. Once she is securely tucked behind the two doors, she moves towards the table and indicated chair. Standing for just a moment longer almost as if awaiting him to sit first out of respect. However, once it becomes apparent that he may not be doing so, she lowers herself ceremoniously into the chair. Brown eyes continue to focus upon the man, intent in their scrutiny as he dispenses with all the flourish. Nodding once in solemn offering, the young woman replies, "I can handle delicate if that is the necessity, sir."
That is all she has to say to prompt him to reach into his jacket. He pulls out a thumb drive and slides it across the table to her. "Supply will have a package waiting for you. The code is enclosed. Additionally, you will find a spreadsheet of names and addresses inside. These are Corona-positive cases currently in quarantine in the area. Your mission is as simple as it is delicate." There is something powerful about the way the executives of The Group state anything starting with 'your mission'. "Find one of these people, confirm their positive status, inject them with our vaccination, and monitor. All without being discovered." He pushes himself upright with his arms more than his legs.
Glancing from the man to the thumb drive and back again, London lofts a brow slowly before reaching forward to take the drive between her finger and thumb, "Any one of them?" She lifts the drive to turn it idly within her hand, "Sounds easy enough." She doesn't bother to ask the reason, in many ways, she doesn't seem to really care. However she does inquire simply, "And the vaccination? I trust you will provide the essential dosage needed?"
The old man smiles. His eyes are heavily lined, as if he has spent a lifetime smiling in such a way. It's shudder-inspiring for some reason, though that might be the chill of the room.
"Everything you need will be in the package waiting for you." He takes a few slow, cane-tapping steps as he comes over to her and stops beside where she sits. A liver-spotted hand is set on her shoulder. "Easy it may be, but take this test seriously. Let nothing compromise you." He pats her and departs.
Turning to regard the older man as he departs, London finally turns once more to the thumb drive. With a practiced motion she slips it somewhere into her cleavage for the time being before rising from her chair. She waits several moments to ensure the man has had time to take his leave before turning and following after, hopefully to head back to the confines of her room.
Examining the thumb drive once alone shows nothing more than two files inside. One is a spreadsheet with several dozen names and addresses on it, as well as estimated number of people living in the household. Another is nothing more than a requisition list with a number. It includes a test kit, one vaccination, and a blank spot for London to add whatever weapon she'd like to it from those in the armory.
Once within the confines of her room, London inserts the thumbdrive and begins scanning the spreadsheet for single households or those with only one other individual if the first search fails. She looks at the line for requisitional equipment and puts in for surveillance gear and lockpicking tools. While she is tempted to request a weapon, doing such would not be in keeping with the 'delicate' nature of the mission at hand.
After slowly chopping down the options, London believes she has an address that is both secluded and belonging to a family of one. Now all she has to do is prep, choose a time to execute, and get it done.
Though lately people have been sleeping in, the vaccinations today have more than usual stirring at an early hour. Coffee is brewing somewhere. Someone is clanking weights in the gym again. The place is starting to wake up.
Jotting down the address to her selected 'target' she submits the requests for the surveilance equipment and lockpicking tools. While she does not anticipate she will really need them, it is better to have them than not. Looking at the calendar upon the screen, she decides to opt for tomorrow morning as long as the package is prepared by then. Better to rip the band-aid off sooner than later. The sound of the weights clanking outside are no doubt partly Silva's routine as she looks back to her screen and closes down the computer. Removing the thumb drive, she moves back to her bed and removes one of her throw pillows. Unzipping the cover, she pulls out the square pillow and gives a slight tug along the seam to loosen the threading just enough to slide the drive in between the folds and into the stuffing. Once done, she pulls the treading tight again to mask the entry and slips the square pillow back into its decorative cover.
Many hours later, after London has waited until the right time, concealed her vehicle, and positioned herself on the property's flank in accordance with standard operating procedure, the desired dead time of night is reached at precisely the same time as she reaches the property. It's a sleepy little spot surrounded by slight hills. Terrible to defend, but pretty to look at. Leaves from last autumn still blanket the ground, and the sky above is mostly black due to the still-thick canopy that dropped them. A single Buick sits in the driveway.
A single light is on in the house, but she's too elevated from her current position to see inside.
Favoring her all black attire for the given mission and clad in gloves, London creeps on closer to the house trying her best to keep to the shadows. She inches bit by bit, pausing along her advance to duck behind items as necessary in an effort to get a better vantage point of the house interior.
It isn't too hard to get close to the house, but as she does so the motion activated lights in the front--opposite almost of her approach--go on. For a moment, it might seem as if she somehow miscalculated, but then a man in a bathrobe and slippers comes out of the front of the house where she can't see him at first. As he wheezes a garbage can from his driveway to the sidewalk, however, he comes into view. He leaves the garbage can in place, rests against it for a few seconds catching his breath, and then starts to head back towards the house. He appears to be in his early to mid forties, dark-skinned, and somewhat heavyset. The manner in which he walks is unhurried.
With as light of a step as she can manage, London covers the distance between herself and the man in a stealthy rush. She falls into step with him, drawing close like a shadow as she prepares to grapple him as soon as they get back to the threshold upon the porch.
The unwitting man is a step from his still ajar front door when he is surprised by the grab from behind. He would have yelped if he didn't somehow instead manage to choke on it in surprise. The sound he makes as she bends him is that of rasping, strange hiccup that never would have been heard in normal, everyday life. His right arm--in her control--twitches as he struggles, but his left arm is thrown back in attempt to dislodge her that fails even if it does provide a solid hit to her ribs that will likely blossom into a colorful bruise later.
London winces inwardly as the large man's left arm connects with her ribs, but she maintains her hold. She tightens the grip as she wills the jolt to connect with the proper nerves in an effort to subdue with delicacy. It takes but a moment for those synapses to relax as the man slumps into a weighted mass against her. Once subdued, she drags him the rest of the way into the house and shuts the door behind them with her foot. Lowering the man to the ground gently, she proceeds to remove the serum from its case and prepares to inject the man in his glute.
The incoming thud is lessened by her gentle efforts. The man is a bit heavier than he looks, but dragging someone over carpet isn't very difficult. Flipping him over is a bit more of a challenge, but only because she ends up having to shove the coffee table back to make it easier and knocks over an open beer in the process. The television is streaming some sitcom on Netflix. Why wasn't the man asleep? Well, before now. The table has a number of bags and bottles from the pharmacy, and it looks like the man has been living here on the couch and coffee table. Used dishes and cups cover a good portion of it.
Pulling his robe up and his flannel pajama pants down reveals his cheek to her administrations. In her hand is a syringe just like the one she was injected with. She didn't really look at those earlier. Now that she's holding on, what Silva saw is clear. The syringe isn't loaded with a liquid at all. Instead, a white vapor is ever-moving in its chamber. It looks like dry ice fog caught in a current.
There is just moment's hesitation as she looks at the syringe's contents, the material clearly not like anything she has ever seen before. Concern starts to weigh upon her features, London's medical training inspiring her to halt just a moment longer before she sticks the syringe into his glute and dispenses the 'vaccine'. Part A of the mission accomplished, the woman prepares to try and drag the man up onto his couch. Noticing the knocked over bottle of beer, she mouths a silent 'Fuck' before going about her business. She needs to get him situated first before she can set up the hidden surveillance equipment within the house.
It isn't easy to get the man onto the couch, but she manages it. The cameras are practically The Group standard issue at this point. She has a handful of cameras the size of flies to install in the home, then a transmitter to conceal somewhere outside of it, and then mission accomplished.
Which is exactly why the last thing she should expect is a voice from the hallway asking "The fuck?" as she is balancing on the corner of the couch to shove a camera into the ceiling. There is a young man that looks to be the son of the man on the couch. Maybe a teenager. Maybe twenty. He is staring at the woman in the corner without seeming to realize, at least in that moment, that she is a hostile. "You...?" He's going to ask something, but his mind is putting the pieces together before the words get out of his mouth. He looks from where she is suspiciously installing equipment, to his father, to the tipped over beer, to the marks in the carpet, and back to her all in two blinks of an eye.
London all but freezes when the youth catches her mid set-up. Scarcely having time to think, she launches at the youth with a quick grapple takedown manuever. She again wills that pulse of energy, not unlike some neural EMP, intent upon shutting the kid down. Using her body to cradle his fall, she gently lowers him to the floor and decides to scout the house for any other individuals to avoid further surprises.
As she's lowering him to the ground, she might conclude that they're the same age. He wasn't supposed to be here, but... here he is. Fortunately, as she pokes around the rest of the house, she discovers no one else is home. There are some interesting things in the house, but none of them involve her mission. The meth lab in the second bathroom, for example, looks to have been used very recently. There is also an otherwise empty room literally piled with random goods that appear to be from cars and stolen. In total, there are two beds. Three if one counts the couch.
Once it appears the rest of the house is clear, London moves to collect the youth and drags him back to his room. It takes a bit of effort, but she finally manages to put him in his bed, or at least in the bed that seems like it would be in a teen's room. She goes back to remove the cameras he likely saw her set and repositions them elsewhere in the house until every room is relatively covered. As for the listening device, she hides that somewhere within the main room. Last but not least, she makes one more check of the larger man passed out upon the couch. Moving the table back into place, she repositions the beer bottle to look like a natural spill for one who passed out in exhaustion.
Everything apparently tended upon her side, she decides to lock the front door and slip on out the back, making sure it lockes upon closure.
With the first phase of the mission accomplished, she can return to base and observe from comfort. The cameras are all installed in good locations, and even if the two men remember anything about being taken down, they likely will be foggy at best and completely unable to follow up on what they remember at worst. Hopefully.
Only time will show the effects of this vaccine--if that is truly what they were all injected with today. |mortal=No |vampire=No |atariya=No |ghoul=No |lostboy=No |werewolf=No |psychic=No |wolfblooded=No |psychicvampire=No |spirit=No }}