Dead Drop

Starring: Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage), Colin Chambers (Drew)
Date: May 25th, 2014

Summary: Aria and Colin are given a relatively easy mission - picking up a USB drive from a dead drop. What can go wrong?

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 5:14:30 PM)

I'll nod when he says he'll tell me when the play is. Neat! I get to see a play! I do like them, but I don't usually go alone, and no one really wants to go with me. Because of the fidgeting, I think. I keep telling Jax he should take me out but he never does! He's so busy. He needs to relax.

Colin's relaxed! Colin even said he met a guy tonight! That's great! If Jax would go out on dates he'd be much happier.

Once the phone booth is pointed out, I'll quickly stuff, possibly chew, and the swallow the remainder of the Pop Tart. "Yep, I believe this to be true."

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 5:24:05 PM)

Colin finished his own Pop Tart as quickly as was polite, and stopped as he wiped the crumbs from his mouth in front of the booth.

Don't look around, just go on in, look normal…

He swallowed and stepped into the doorless booth, picking up the handset, trying not to think about how germ-ridden it probably was, and leaned against the wall as he looked at Aria.

Did this look casual? Was he doing it right? He shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 5:32:46 PM)

I stand outside for a moment, dusting a few crumbs off myself. Long enough to let him pretend to do whatever he was doing. After about ten seconds, I slip in close, and fiddle with the change-dropper-thingy.

While I'm doing that, though, I also run my fingers along the bottom of the phone, pulling free the tiny little adorable USB drive hidden underneath. Ha ha!

"Hey, a quarter!" I declare triumphantly, placing my prize in my pocket. The day is mine!

I'll check the change-thingy again, in case there's a second quarter. When there isn't, I look disappointed in a most epic fashion.

Pouting, I'll wait for him to finish his 'call' and whatever else.

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 5:43:32 PM)

"Um, sorry, wrong number! Bye!" he said, discreetly scanning the street. Was whoever left the whatever it was waiting? Watching?

What was it, anyways?

He hung up the phone, wiping his palms on his shorts. That wasn't for him to know. Now he supposed they'd just take it back to the island. Which meant the tunnel, as the ferries weren't running.

Whoo, live the excitement.

"Okay, so… I guess that's it," he said quietly. "Time to head to the office."

There must have been some reason they didn't just send a gopher, mustn't there?

He shrugged the thought off, and began walking towards their new destination, the Kx International building.

"So, yeah, thinking maybe Tuesday for the play, does that soun—"

A gloved hand had snapped out of the alley they were walking past, and a second, holding a pistol, struck Colin across the head as the assailant yanked Colin into the darkened alley.

One of Colin's flip-flips fell off.

The assailant, dressed entirely in black and outfitted with a black mask, turned Colin against his chest, one arm around Colin's throat, the other hand holding the gun against the stunned man's temple.

The masked man's clear blue eyes were focused on Aria. "The package, or your boyfriend dies."

Certainly to the point, Colin thought as he regained his senses, followed immediately by Oh FUCK fuck fuck!

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 5:51:49 PM)

"But tacos first," I remind him! Tacos are important this late at night. I think Tuesday sounds like a great night to go see a play! I'm ready to say so when he's suddenly not there. My eyes fall to the abandoned flip flop, then to the alley.

Silly boy left his shoe!

…oh, that's why.

There's a very brief flash of memory. No no, Aria! You always protect your healer! They're the most important member of your party! Now, take the one with 20 sides..

Colin's a healer, so my first priority is to protect him.

"Okay, okay!" I step into the alley, out of the light of the street. Holding up my right hand, I reach into my pocket with the left. "I'm not armed, I just need to take it out."

Assuming I can get into my pocket without getting shot, I'll hold up the drive, questioning. "So…if I, like, toss it back there can you let him go? Or what?"

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 6:00:24 PM)

"I like that plan," Colin mumbled, straining in the awkward position.

The man growled, and struck Colin in side of the head again with the butt of the pistol. Colin's head slumped forward, his body limp and supported only by the gunman's arm, still wrapped around Colin's neck. "I know what you are, freak. Don't even think about using your powers, I swear I will kill him. Drop the package, keep your hands in the air, and turn around.

"…stop hittin' me, man," Colin moaned quietly, a small stream of blood flowing from the new gash at his temple. "S'hurts." He gently reached up, clumsily touching the wound. His fingers came away bloody, and Colin's eyes opened further.

Wasn't there some sort of law against hitting the medics? Weren't they supposed to be neutral? Like Switzerland?

Colin's blood ran cold as it suddenly occured to him that there was a very real possibility that he was going to die.

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 6:10:26 PM)

"If you hurt him again I'm going to step on it." I run my thumb over the drive…yep. I can step on it. I'll let it drop to the ground, right at my feet.

"So stop it and put him down right there and I'll trade you spots, okay?" I take a half-step back from the drive, closer to the wall, and just a little tiny bit closer to Colin, ready to give our new friend a wild berth so he can get his precious USB drive.

"Deal? Right? Put him down." I hope he really really wants the drive. And if he doesn't want it all that badly, I hope I'm fast enough. Otherwise…who am I going to go to the play with?

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 6:24:30 PM)

The gunman raised the gun, pointing it directly at Aria's face as he released his grip on Colin, who slid to the ground with a groan.

Great job, Col. Failing your second mission, he thought. Awesome way to endear yourself to the team. If he'd been paying more attention, been taking things more seriously, maybe this wouldn't have happened.

The gunman stepped forward, one foot planted on Colin's chest as he leaned down to grab the drive, the gun still pointed at Aria.

The breath left Colin at once as the man's weight shifted, and he grunted, lifting his head, grimacing in pain.

The man grabbed the USB drive, sliding it into the inner pocket of his jacket as he stood. "Good girl, you stay right there."

No, not like this, Colin thought, and as the man lifted his foot from his chest, Colin's hands wrapped around his ankle and pushed up.

The gunman lost his balance, crashing against the wall of the alley, his aim wild when he pulled the trigger, a flash of light and a tiny pffft as the silenced bullet left the chamber.

Colin, who had been struggling to his feet, felt like he'd been hit by a boulder as the bullet pierced the left side of his chest, ripping straight through him and embedding itself in the far wall.

Pain, white hot and blazing, filled his head as he stood, his blue t-shirt turning black as the blood began to flow from his wound. He lost his balance, falling onto his back. He coughed, a bubble of blood bursting from his mouth.

This was not how the night was supposed to go.

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 6:36:19 PM)

For me, everything fades into slow motion as soon as I hear the gunshot. As fast as I can move, he won't be able to stop me. I rush for the gun as he's still trying to regain his balance, not even taking it out of his hand. He will find his wrist moved-or broken-so that the barrel of the gun is angled toward his own jaw. I'll put my finger over his, using his finger to pull the trigger. No prints.

In an instant, actually .78ths of a second, I'm back at Colin's side. Oh, blood. A lot of blood. Coughing blood. This isn't good. "Colin? Colin, c'mon…you…heal or whatever you do!"

Jacket! I have a jacket in my backpack. I strip my backpack off and pull it out, pressing it against the wound. Pressure, pressure! I'll hold it in place with my knee while bloodied hands fumble with my phone. I have to get in touch with base, now.

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 6:46:31 PM)

The gunman's body, now minus most of the back of its head, slid down the wall, the look of sudden surprise in his eyes fading before he hit the ground.

Colin nodded, looking at Aria. He could fix this. He knew he could fix it, but oh god it hurts can't breathe. He sucked in a wheezing breath, but was rewarded only by a wet sucking sound and more blood.

Focus, focus, gotta focus holy shit that's what a sucking chest wound sounds like FOCUS

The sigil on his collarbone flared into golden light as he felt his powers activate. He'd never fixed something major like this on himself, though - scrapes and bruises, a cut or two, but never a gunshot wound.

Concentrating, he could feel the hole in his lung repairing itself, and he took a gasping breath - this time, the air stayed where it was supposed to. The blood flowing from his chest slowed, the stain in his shirt stopping its spread, as the bullet wounds began knitting itself back together, on his chest and back. The gash on his forehead shrunk and sealed, followed by a few grains of dirt and hair popping out of the skin where the cut had been.

The light from the sigil faded, and Colin lay there, finally opening his eyes, a wave of exhaustion threatening to break over him and force him back down as he pushed himself onto his elbows.

"He's dead," he said quietly. "Are we allowed to do that?"

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 6:52:51 PM)

"Ohgoodyouaren'tdead!" The phone clatters to the ground as I reach over to to hug him. Someone will probably pick up while it's down there. I don't care. Colin could have died!

I look baffled when he mentions someone being dead, then look over my shoulder. Oh, right. I did do that.

"Yeah sure it's fine. Are you okay? Can you stand up?" Oh! The phone! I'll reach down and pick it up to see if anyone's on the line yet.

"I think someone needs to come clean up."

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 6:59:20 PM)

He accepted the hug gratefully, and then pushed himself to his feet, looking down at himself. His shirt was soaked through with blood, but it was a dark material anyways, and dark out - people probably wouldn't notice.

He put a finger through the hole in his shirt, frowning. That had been close. If he'd been any slower in reacting, he may not have been able to fix it.

He was shaking, he realized, and was a little surprised (but relieved!) that he hadn't wet himself. He looked at the gunman.

"I have an idea."

Grimacing, he couched in front of the man, and reached into his jacket, grabbing the USB drive and searching for anything else - wallet, papers, cell phone - but nothing. The guy was clean.

Taking a breath, he reached out and picked up the gun, holding it by the barrel and holding it out to Aria.

"You should hold on to that."

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 7:08:56 PM)

"It was a fake," I point out. I'll take the drive and show him a deep scratch I made in the side, so I could pick it out without looking at it. Secret agent stuff, right? All it had on it was every computer virus I could find.

Still, I'll take it back, but hesitate when he offers me the gun. I don't really know where I'd put it! I guess, maybe…well. I'll take it, and tinker will it until I get the safety on, then tuck it behind me. My backpack will keep it hidden, and if it goes off I'll only shoot my butt! I only use it for sitting on anyway.

Then I frown, looking down at my hands. And then wipe them on Colin's shirt.

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 7:15:42 PM)

"Oh, that's smart," admiration clear on his voice, then "Hey!" as she wiped her hands on his shirt. He let it go and looked down at the body. "He's got nothing, no wallet, even." He reached out, and grasping the fabric of the mask over the man's forehead, he tugged. The mask slid off the man's ruined head wetly, snagging a bit on some bone fragments.

He was blond, or, had been, at least, and didn't look like anyone he knew. Unremarkable, really - not especially handsome, but not ugly, either. A completely unremarkable face.

He turned, dropping the mask. "Yeah, we should go. There are probably people who can deal with stuff like this, right?" He wiped his hands on his shorts again.

Shockfront command had picked up, but was waiting for Aria's authorization code before speaking. All operatives were given several codes to memorize, for a variety of situations. Colin hadn't found the time to go through the entire book yet, but he assumed there'd be a code for "I'm fine but you should come deal with this dead guy."

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 7:18:57 PM)

"Oh hi. No, we're fine, but I'm out of Pop Tarts. No, completely out. Okay." I'll hang up the phone, and stuff it back into my pocket…rubbing the back of my hand on his shirt again.

"Yours is darker than mine. Besides, it's mostly yours anyway!" It is! Why should be mind me putting his blood on his shirt?

"Are you sure you can make it back? You can lean on me." I offer. "Lean on me, when you're not strong…"

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 7:24:02 PM)

He frowned. "No, yeah, I'm fine. Just tired. I'll be fine," he said while watching her.

"Is it always like this? Random people jumping out, trying to kill you?" he asked quietly. He walked over to the entrance of the alley, ignoring the strange looks of the oblivious citizens passing by as he shakily put his foot back into the abandoned flip-flop.

Being covered in blood apparently wasn't all that big of a deal in New York.

Colin wasn't sure whether that was a pro or a con.

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 7:26:13 PM)

((||"Winnipeg suddenly doesn't seem so bad."||))

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 7:31:34 PM)

"Well, sometimes," I slip my backpack on again, after I've bunched up the jacket and stuffed it inside. Oh well. I didn't like that one anyway.

"You, um…you did really good, though!" He didn't die, right? That's good! In fact, in the not dying department, he did very well! I should give him a gold star. I'm not in charge of star distribution. At least not anymore. Not after the Great Sticker Incident last winter.

He says he's okay, but I'll try and walk close to him. He already got hurt once tonight. I need to do a better job of keeping our healer safe.

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 7:37:23 PM)

"No, I didn't," he said, not meeting her eyes. "I was careless, wasn't paying attention. Almost got us ki— in trouble. And almost lost the drive, well, you know, if you weren't so smart."

He was pretty sure this wasn't the job for him. He wanted to be better - he loved the idea of being in Shockfront, loved the idea of the action and the adventure and the saving the world - but who was he kidding? He was just a kid from Winnipeg.

This wasn't him.

Aria Daylewis (RabbitMage) (5/25/2009 7:41:54 PM)

I stop suddenly, grabbing his arm. No one cares if you make a scene, so I don't worry! I'll stop him, tug him a bit to make him face me. The look on my face is suddenly very serious.

"Everyone messes up, Colin. Everyone. And when you do you can give up, or you can try and get better. I know you can get better. I trust you." I made a mistake, too. I misjudged the situation. If I had been quicker to confront the attacker everything might have been okay. But I didn't. I was wrong. I know better now.

"And…and if you leave….who's gonna go to the play with me?"

Colin Chambers (Drew) (5/25/2009 7:45:12 PM)

Her words brought a small smile to his blood-flecked lips. He looked terrible, he felt pretty shitty, but… but maybe things weren't so bad.

He was still new, right? He had time.

Unless the next bullet hits him in the head. Then, not so much. But until then…

He looked down for a moment, then back up at her, and nodded. "Thanks, Aria." A pause. "So, Tuesday?"