|2046-01-20 Once a Cop|
|Summary||In the midst of the storm Vega swings by Kaylee's apartment to ask for backup.|
| A small apartment, surprisingly decorated; the walls have a number of fannish posters on them -- mostly art deco renderings of scenes and elements from classic science fiction and fantasy films -- and here and there are a few things like model spaceships and such. The remainder of the apartment's space is taken up with shelves of books, and comfortable spaces to read. There's a small photograph on one shelf of a man dressed as Clone-Wars-era Anakin Skywalker, with a young girl beside him dressed as a fairly credible Asohka Tano. There are no other photographs to be found anywhere else in the apartment.|
| It is a winter night. The weather is freezing and snowing.|
Kaylee has moved the furniture around to clear half of her living room; she stands in the center in comfortable athletic pants and a shirt, a wooden practice bokken in hand, moving through sword kata. Perhaps it's practice, tuning up a skill that's more likely to be useful to her these days. Perhaps it's meditation, a way to focus herself and clear her mind. Either way, it's a way to pass the time when the weather's miserable outside and you have nowhere to go.
A message from Vega was received not too much earlier. Its content short and lacking in any kind of particular sweetness, but more reminiscent of work notifications Kaylee may have received while on the force. It read, 'We need to talk. Are you home?' Upon receiving an affirmative, another message came. 'On my way.' However, rather than a knock on the door comes one at the window as Vega hovers outside with her dark hood pulled up and entirely covering her pink hair. She is almost camouflaged, her dark clothing scattered with the snow that continues to fall. The tap is a little insistent. It's /cold/ out.
Kaylee pauses, lowering her bokken. She makes her way over to the window a little warily; old training -- Xavier's, rather than police academy -- takes over as her hand clenches into a position where she could readily summon plasma if she needed. She peers out at the obscured figure, but when no immediate attack is coming, she lets her hand relax and then opens the window.
The black clad figure slips eagerly into Kaylee's (blessedly warm) apartment with a soft sigh of relief, politely shutting the window behind herself. "Evening," Vega bids, pulling off her hood with a shake that causes her pastel pink hair to fall down her shoulders. It's a casual motion accompanied by a shake of her shoulders to remove the snow. Her dark eyes catch on the wooden weapon in her hand. "Sorry. Did I interrupt something?"
"Nothing that can't wait." Kaylee puts the bokken aside, gesturing to one of the seats in invitation; it may be pushed a bit to the side of the living area, but it's still comfortable enough. Though the former cop's eyebrows are somewhat elevated, she rather pointedly /doesn't/ comment on the whole 'so, you were hovering outside my window' thing. Look, see how calm and unsurprised she's acting? (To any telepaths: please ignore the internal 'WTF?' monologue.)
Sliding a hand back through her hair, Vega combs out some of her station that left it clinging a little to her hood. Her gaze flicks towards the furniture with a nod as she slides her hands into her hoodie pockets. The lack of questions are telling in a way. "You can ask," she suggests dryly. Taking a few steps, all firmly connected to the ground, she takes one of those offered seats. "It's... in part... part of why I am here."
"I'm starting to wonder if anyone in MA -- other than O'Donnelly, anyway -- is actually baseline human." Kaylee makes this observation a little dryly, but it sounds only half-joking. "But I'm guessing you didn't come here just to make a confession about that, did you, Zhang."
"We were there a long time before you showed up, Thompson," Vega points out with the slow edge of a smile. Her legs clank quietly as she crosses them, hooking the toe of her boot over her knee. "Lieutenant is probably clear. Are you sure that's a /human/ baseline we're looking at for O'Donnelly? There's something Neanderthalic there..." Pausing for a moment, she comes back around to her point. "Have you heard any rumblings in Mutant Town about our friends?"
Kaylee can't help but laugh at the assessment of O'Donnelly. "I feel like that might be unfair to Neanderthals." She sobers, settling into a chair opposite Vega. "The Russians? Plenty." She doesn't bother to pretend she hasn't still been looking into it. "They've been stirring up trouble, but never quite enough that anyone will care to intervene. And we still don't know for certain what they're up to inside the Bowery mission, though there's plenty of suspicions."
A lingering smirk on her lips, Vega leans towards Kaylee as she takes a seat. Her dark eyes are sharp with interest. She doesn't pretend like she didn't ask for information. "Their metric for that is interesting," she muses, tapping a finger on the ankle of her boot. "The Bowery? What are the suspicions?"
"Brothel." Kaylee's response is short, the tone clipped and unhappy. "And there's a possibility it's staffed with girls who didn't enter the business entirely willingly."
"Fuck." The sound escapes Vega's lips harshly. Kaylee has probably never heard her swear before, rare as it is. Gritting her teeth, she grips her boot a little more tightly. Rubbing a hand against her temple she sighs softly. "Well, there's the business angle I have been waiting for since their activity picked up. Even with protection money, there weren't enough moves being made." Glancing up at Kaylee, she wonders. "Do they seem to be active yet?"
"We've seen some people come and go, but confirmation of anything's thin on the ground. We're looking at trying to get someone inside to find out more." Kaylee doesn't bother to clarify who 'we' are; she clearly isn't working alone, but also clearly doesn't feel she needs to explain.
Vega nods and takes a moment to work that over in her head. After a moment she wonders softly, "Can I ask who 'we' is?" She has a little bit of a guess.
"I signed on with Wallace's crew; I figured you knew that. But we aren't planning to take any action," Kaylee assures Vega. Because, you know... cop, and all that. "But we want to gather information on what they're up to. What all they intend. They're trying to pick a fight, and we need to know what exactly that means."
"That X-Factor... thing?" Vega clarifies as if she is mentally matching up pieces in her head. Satisfied with the answer and the way things match up she nods and watches Kaylee's assurance with a tip of her head. "Of course not." And the former cop wouldn't be dumb enough to admit it to a cop. There is a bit of a nervous tension in her figure as the pink haired cop smooths her hands down her legs. "If they were to pick a fight... Would you be ready to handle it?" She asks, not giving Kaylee more than a moment to respond. "Because we're about to... and I might be looking for some additional back up. If need be."
"A lot of what XFS does is troubleshooting. Helping someone move, talking to scared mutant kids, that sort of stuff. Not everyone's combat-ready because not everyone /needs/ to be; there's a teenage girl with no combat training I can see, for instance." Kaylee pauses, and then adds, "But the rest? Plenty who came through Xavier's... plus a few who ended up as mercenaries when things were too hot for mutants here. So yeah... if you need backup, I think I could manage to round up some."
"Sounds... handy, if a bit like a mixed bag," Vega opines, her fingers flexing against her knee. There is the slightest pinch to her brows at the mention of a girl with no combat training that evens out at the footnote. "I'd like you. If you're willing," she says slowly, staring straight at Kaylee. "This isn't official. Hell, I am pretty sure I would be assigned an eternal desk seat even if I hadn't been pissing off the Russians for the last month." With what, she doesn't explain. "As far as I am considered, you were as cop a cop as anyone on the force and mutations can go to tell. I want people who know what they're doing and what a raid looks like a my back. You and Atwell are my hopes for backup." Honestly. And just a bit of a warning there.
"Hn." Kaylee seems to mull that over for a moment. "I have no problem with Atwell. I'm not so sure the reverse is true, though. Either way, I'll be there. I'm pretty sure I can get one of the others -- another former cop who lost his badge when he was outed -- to show up, and probably a few of the others with combat experience. How many will you want?"
"She's... I'll talk to her. She'll make her own decision as to whether or not she's coming," Vega promises, tipping her head in a nod. Blinking at Kaylee for a moment, she frees a hand from its grip on her boot to run it through her hair before she adjusts a shiny cuff that is hooked over the tip one of her ears. It blinks green and yellow lights. "I don't know, Thompson. It's just... a hunch. I want someone, preferably the both of you, there if it goes down like I think it might." Best judgement is all she asks.
Kaylee nods once, apparently accepting this is the best she can hope for. It wasn't her intention -- or her fault, directly -- that Irene got outed as well, but she knows all too well that Atwell might not see things the same way. "Alright. I'll see if I can't round up a few I'd trust in a fight, both to know how to handle themselves /and/ how to work with others."
"Let's hope to god that I'm wrong," Vega says with a soft laugh standing with a smooth sort of grace. "And thanks, Thompson." An ex-cop may still be a cop but this isn't something she /had/ to do. It is a favor and she knows that. This time she does smile, full and genuine at Kaylee.
"Hey, badge or not, we have to stick together, right?" Kaylee's answering smile is perhaps one of the first really wide ones she's given since she left the force. But then she sobers, and adds, "Besides... they're a threat to the city, long-term. Better they go down now, when it's still just Alphabet City, than later when it spills outside 'mutant town' and becomes a national incident."
"Yeah. Always do." Smile lingering, Vega ducks her head and sticks out a hand to shake Kaylee's. It's a gesture of solidarity that fits the occasion a little better than a high five would. "I'd like to keep it from a witch hunt whether inside or outside of mutant town..." The thought is chilling. "I'll message you details as it gets close... do you mind if I?" She nods towards the window. "It's faster than finding a hidden bit of street to slip into."
Kaylee returns the handshake, then nods towards the window. "Go ahead, head out. I'll get back in touch with you in a few days when I know who'll be able to show up.""Sounds like a plan." As she walks towards the window, Vega pulls her hood up over her hair and lightly touches her ear cuff. "Be in touch, Thompson." Once the pink is tucked away, she opens the window and slips out into the night. It is an abrupt gesture, possibly a little more normal for someone who spent a lot of time around mutants. A little snow falls scattering on the carpet.