Author Topic: Contact  (Read 334 times)

Aleksandra Biala

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« on: April 01, 2018, 09:23:40 AM »
Deep cover was the only way Hydra could survive in the current climate of world politics, and unfortunately, deep cover came naturally to an organisation that had been hiding in just about every organisation the world over until very recently. With the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the rising of A.E.G.I.S., however, Hydra had been forced into the shadows once again, and what better way to do that than to manage their own projects from within the confines of other intelligence agencies? Project Overmind had been whispered about just enough to catch the attention of A.E.G.I.S., but for those working on it, they had no idea Hydra was involved at all.

Still, things were not ... comfortable ... in the facility deep beneath Murmansk. People were disappearing, and enquiries into their whereabouts were not encouraged. Thus, one of the higher-ranking engineers had broken rank to secretly contact A.E.G.I.S., offering information on Project Overmind in exchange for her own safety. A few days ago, the message had come back to her - be ready to make contact. And to someone else in the facility, another message - make contact and confirm before operation initialised.

It wasn't too difficult to make contact, even inside a high-security research facility such as this one, especially when you were posing as a security agent and had access to employee information. He had been given her name and had learned her habits, knowing she took lunch at noon everyday. It wouldn't be hard for him to make some excuse to get away to the cafeteria for a little while, even if it just meant grabbing a cup of coffee and dropping her a note.

And sure enough, there she was, her access pass lighting up the security screen as she let herself out of the lab where she was working to walk toward the cafeteria, apparently lost in thought. Aleksandra Biala was not exactly a loner, nor was she difficult to talk to, but when she was working, she cultivated an air that demanded she be left alone. And right now ... she had a lot on her mind.

The moment he'd been waiting for had arrived, but he waited a few minutes longer, not only to give her time to get to the cafeteria, but so as not to arouse any suspicion among the other security guards. He used coffee as an excuse, asking if anyone else wanted a cup, before swiping his way out of the security room and starting toward the cafeteria.

By the time he reached the cafeteria, she was already sitting at the far end of the one of the long tables, unenthusiastically eating steaming soup as she frowned down at calculations she was making on a pad. Not so absorbed that she didn't acknowledge colleagues who called to her in hello, however.

Though he noticed where his contact was located, Maxim Ivanovich, A.E.G.I.S. sleeper agent, code name Uncle, passed her by on his way to buy a cup of coffee. He greeted a few employees with a friendly smile, most of them women - techs who worked in the building and liked to make sure he noticed them. He made a little idle chitchat here and there before he excused himself and wandered toward his contact's table.

Distracted she might be, but she wasn't blind. Nor was the sight of the best-looking security agent in the facility walking through the cafeteria a surprise. What was a surprise was that he seemed to be walking toward her table. Aleksandra glanced along the line of the table, a little disappointed to note other security agents sitting at the other end. Oh, well. Fantasies had kept her going for the last four years, she could put up with the fantasy of Ivanovich noticing her being curb-dropped yet again.

He stopped to chat with the group of security agents, laughing and sharing a joke or two that may or may not have involved her, before continuing on until he was standing in front of her, all six feet five inches of him. "Care for company?" he asked in perfect Russian.

Startled was a very good word for the expression on her face as Aleksandra looked up - and further up - at Ivanovich. She could practically feel the waves of envy rolling from most of the women in the cafeteria, and some of the men, too. A little at a loss, she found herself gesturing for him to sit. "Be my guest." Her own Russian was just a little accented, proof that she was not a native speaker.

"The lunch room is crowded this time of day," he said, creating an excuse for his reason to be joining her. Though the cafeteria was crowded, there were enough empty seats that he didn't have to sit there, unless he chose to. "I'm on my coffee break," he added, as he slid into a chair across from her.

"So I see." She looked him over, dark eyes quietly admiring him for a moment. "I don't think we have been introduced, though everyone knows who you are. Aleksandra Biala, engineering."

"I know who you are, Miss Biala," he replied, with that charming smile of his. "It's my business to know," he added, with an amused gleam in his eyes. Even if this was just a ruse, he seemed to be enjoying it.

"Do you?" Despite herself, she smiled, her eyes sliding away only to return, flirting unconsciously. It was very flattering to have the subject of several ladies' quiet hopes single her out, after all. "And why does the most eligible bachelor in the facility know who I am?"

"I know who everyone is, Miss Biala, even if they don't know me," he told her, pausing to take a sip of his coffee. "I'm catching a hint of an accent. Poland?" he asked, trying to make small talk so that he could slip a pre-decided code phrase into the conversation.

Her brow rose, put on the defensive by the question. Too many people had questioned her credentials when she had arrived for her not to be a little prickly about it. "Do you have a problem with my being Polish, agent?"

"Polish is almost Russian," he replied, an almost teasing smirk on his face. "Tell me, Miss Biala, can you cook? It's been a long time since I've had a good golabki." And there it was - the code phrase.

She stared at him, shocked to hear that phrase from this man. Maxim Ivanovich was the A.E.G.I.S. agent here in the facility? Realising that her expression was not appropriate, she tried to cover her shock, looking down at her soup for a moment as she summoned up the answering phrase from the back of her mind. "No one makes golabki better than the Polish, Mr. Ivanovich." Something made her relax a little as she added, "But my bigos is very good indeed."

"Perhaps you should prove it," he continued. "How would you feel about having dinner with me some night?" he asked, as though he was asking her on a date, like any man interested in a woman might. But what he was really doing was fishing for a date during which he would sneak her out of Russia.

"If you are asking me to cook for you, you will have to find a private kitchen somewhere," she pointed out. It would have been nice if this conversation was actually about asking her on a date, but now she knew who he was, she knew his being here with her had nothing to do with him finding her in any way attractive. She was his mark, and right now, he was her only hope of getting out of the country safely.

What he actually thought of her might surprise her, but regardless of whether he found her attractive or not, it was his duty and responsibility, first and foremost, to get her out of the country. "That is exactly what I'm asking," he replied with a grin that looked a little too genuine to be fake. "I presume you have a roommate?"

She tilted her head, a curious flicker of a smile on her face. "I live in the facility," she pointed out. "Does the master security agent who seems to have looked me up really not know my living arrangements? Or are we pretending that you have not looked at my file now?"

"Even a master security agent can't remember everything," he retorted with a wink. "I might be able to arrange for a private kitchen," he told her, his words telling her one thing, but his eyes telling her another.
[size=9:8d3ec9cfc0][color=indigo:8d3ec9cfc0][i:8d3ec9cfc0][b:8d3ec9cfc0]The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.[/b:8d3ec9cfc0][/i:8d3ec9cfc0][/color:8d3ec9cfc0][/size:8d3ec9cfc0]

Aleksandra Biala

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Re: Contact
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2018, 09:24:06 AM »
Aleksandra leaned forward, aware of the envious eyes of a few female colleagues watching this exchange closely. "I'll bring the ingredients," she offered, the flicker of her gaze seeming a shy flirt to the observers but trying to share with him that the "ingredients" she proposed were not edible.

"Give me a few days to make the arrangements," he told her. Though anyone listening might think he was talking about making arrangements to use some private kitchen or other, what he was really telling her was that he needed a few days to make arrangements for her escape.

"I don't actually recall being asked, or giving you an answer, agent," she commented. She wasn't being difficult on purpose; she didn't know if he truly was going to help her, or if he was a double agent. If she gave any hint of her hope to escape, she might just as easily find herself in lock down, after all. Russian Intelligence was not known for making defection easy.

"You did say you'd bring the ingredients, Miss Biala," he pointed out. "But if you need a proper invitation, I will give you one." He reached for a napkin and scribbled something on it with a pen he had pulled out of a pocket. He then handed her back the napkin upon which he had scribbled an address and phone number - presumably his.

She took the napkin, glancing over it briefly before tucking it into her pocket. "I spend more time in the lab than I do out of it," she warned him, wondering how he was going to make a date seem like something feasible for her. "You may lose interest in pursuing this if it takes too long to settle."

"It's only dinner, Miss Biala," he reminded her, in case anyone was listening. "You have a point to prove, remember?" he said, smiling again as he got to his feet. His coffee break was just about over, and he couldn't risk raising suspicion.

She tilted her head back as he rose. "Then you will have to make sure that I do not forget you before then, Agent Ivanovich," she countered, giving him permission, at least, to interrupt her at work if he felt the need to. Her gaze flicked to the next table over - it had sprouted a trio of her female colleagues, itching to pounce the second he was gone to demand details of the conversation.

"Hopefully, I am not that forgettable, Miss Biala," he replied with a cheeky grin. As far as anyone else was concerned, he seemed to be merely flirting. Was it all part of the ruse or was he actually enjoying this?

"That remains to be seen." Her answer could almost have been a tease, the dimples showing in her cheeks as she smiled back at him. "Thank you."

"Thank you," he replied, with an emphasis on the "you". "We will see each other again soon," he said, picking up his coffee cup to take with him. "Good day, Miss Biala," he told her, turning to the group of women nearby who he was very aware had been eavesdropping. "Ladies," he said with a grin before turning to depart.

"Agent Ivanovich."

Aleksandra watched him go, though he had only made it a few steps before her colleagues descended on her, eager to discover if they really had just witnessed the gorgeous Maxim Ivanovich finally prove he was more than a marble statue of divine beauty by asking someone out on a date.

It was a few days before she heard from him again, and when she did, it was during an unexpected visit to her lab. To anyone else, he just seemed to be doing his rounds, but in truth, he was there for a very good reason. Security or not, he still had to get buzzed in, in case they were working on something that might be deemed dangerous.

Not dangerous, perhaps, but definitely secret. No one was allowed in without high security clearance, and little in the way of conversation was permitted while work was ongoing. Aleksandra had finally got used to the intermittent security checks that happened multiple times during each shift she worked, barely even glancing up when the buzzer went off. Her attention was focused through her glasses, on the innards of a complex piece of machinery she was attempting to fine-tune.

There were various security agents who made the rounds of the facility at various times during the day, and it hadn't been too difficult for him to arrange to visit the lab that morning. Talking to Aleksandra in private would likely prove the more difficult task. He buzzed himself in, doing his rounds as usual as he made his way through the lab.

The technician working with her noticed him first, murmuring to the engineer that her security boyfriend was on his way through the lab. Aleksandra glanced up from her work, a very faint flush on her cheeks more from fear of discovery than embarrasment.

"Miss Biala," the security agent said, making a beeline for her and looking dead serious. "A word, if I may," he said, practically ushering her away from her station and toward the closest unoccupied office. Whatever it was he wanted to speak with her about, it didn't look pleasant.

The labs were always hushed, but a fresh air of tension settled over the scientists and technicians as their most senior engineer was summoned by a senior security agent. Aleksandra's face turned pale, fear flashing in her eyes as she removed her glasses. "Of course, Agent Ivanovich." Handing the components to her assistant, she tucked her glasses into her lab coat pocket, falling into step behind the security agent. All the while with her mind screaming at her that she was going to be killed, that her attempt to defect had been uncovered, that he was a double-agent.

Agent Ivanovich opened the office door and waited for her to enter, all the while with a stern look on his face, before closing the door behind her and locking it. Once he was sure they were alone, he took a gadget of some sort from his pocket and tapped a few buttons to shut off surveillance, if only for a few minutes. "We don't have much time," he whispered. "I need proof you have the information."

By the time the door was locked, panic was gripping Aleksandra's mind. At five foot three, she stood no chance in any kind of melee with him - he was more than a foot taller than her, virtually a human giant in his own way. Then he was doing something with a gadget, and whispering to her, and confusion lit up her face. "How do I know I can trust you?" she blurted out, her own voice barely more than a whisper. "That you are not some double agent waiting for me to incriminate myself?"

"Do you want to get out of here?" he countered, openly annoyed that she was questioning him when he was there to help her. "If I was a double agent, I'd have reported you and taken you in already, before you had a chance to escape."

Shaking, she glanced toward the locked door. "People have been disappearing, you cannot blame me for being afraid," she countered, even her voice tremulous. "I have the information. Blueprints of Overmind, progress updates, projected completion date, application in the field. All of it."

"I need some kind of proof. What can you give me?" he pressed her further. This was not a requirement of his, but of someone higher up on the food chain, who wanted to make sure they were getting what they'd been promised. "Just give me a little something I can pass along to prove you have what you say you have."

"Uh ..." She forced her mind to slow, tearing her gaze from him as she sorted through what she knew off the top of her head. "Overmind is a project intended to provide the means of artificial telepathic links between agents in the field," she offered. She wasn't supposed to know that herself; the project was so secretive that no one working on it was supposed to know the purpose of it. But it's difficult to keep a well-trained engineer from putting the pieces together.

He knew he had frightened her and felt bad about it, but it couldn't be helped. He needed to keep a clear head and see this thing through or they'd both wind up dead or worse. He arched a brow at the tidbit of information she was giving him, quickly realizing the possibilities of such an achievement could be endless ... and dangerous. He nodded his head, hoping it would be enough to satisfy his own contact. "Be ready in two days. We'll go at night, after our date," he informed her in a hushed voice.
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Aleksandra Biala

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Re: Contact
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2018, 09:24:35 AM »
"Two days." She nodded, aware that she would likely not be able to take anything with her. A sudden rattle at the door handle had her jumping in terror, wild eyed fear turning her gaze back to him as the sound of a key sounded in the lock. "What do we do?"

"Kiss me," he instructed her, knowing it probably sounded like a crazy request, but it was the only thing he could think of that might alleviate any immediate suspicion. They had already been seen flirting in the cafeteria, and it was no secret that he'd asked her on a so-called date.

"What?" But there wasn't any time to prevaricate or raise objections. Almost before the word was out of her mouth, she was moving toward him, hesitantly reaching up to his lapels to pull him down a little way - well, a long way - so she could do as he asked.

He reciprocated, moving toward her and settling his hands against her hips as he leaned down to meet her lips. It wasn't hard to make it look like a convincing kiss when he was secretly enjoying it.

He wasn't the only one enjoying it, though Aleksandra would rather have stabbed her own foot than admit that aloud. But they were clearly convincing enough for the second security agent who opened the door - so convincing that he watched for a few seconds before clearing his throat, making no attempt to hide his grin. No doubt the gossip train would run with this little snippet within an hour. Blushing, Aleksandra jerked back from the embrace, hastily turning away to smooth her hair and clothes.

"Nothing to report here," the agent who was known to friends as Maxim told his comrade with a grin. "Miss Biala, you are free to go," he said, slipping a hand into his pocket to click the button on the device, allowing surveillance to continue as usual.

Clearing her own throat quickly, she glanced quickly at him, not bothering to hide the shy flicker of flirtation that made itself known in thanks for the unexpectedly enjoyable kiss. "Thank you, Agent Ivanovich. If-if you require me again, I am sure you know where to find me." Nodding to the other agent, she slipped from the room, wondering why she felt more embarrassed about being caught kissing him than worried about the escape planned for just two days hence.

The other security agent grinned at Maxim. "Now I know why you volunteered for this check."

Maxim shrugged as if nothing was amiss. "I had to make sure she was worth the date," he explained with a grin and a wink at the other guard - anything, really, to convince the man that the last thing he was up to was espionage. Just another horny guy looking for some action.

The other guard laughed, shaking his head. "You always pick the best ones," he complimented Maxim, ushering him out. "And have all the luck. Message came through from up top - your date off-base is approved, you lucky dog."

"Don't worry. I'll tell you all about it," Maxim replied with another grin that promised he'd share all the details of his little date with the engineer, when he really had no intention of doing any such thing - so convincing it was worthy of an Oscar.

"Chief wants to go over your plans before then," his companion commented as they departed the lab, watched all the way by Aleksandra and her colleagues. "Is she under watch?"

"She's the chief engineer on a top secret project," Maxim reminded the other guard. "What do you think?" he asked, the question rhetorical for which he expected no answer. Of course, she was under watch. "Who better to watch her than me?" he asked with another grin.

"Let me know when you break her heart so I can put myself in position to console her," his companion chuckled, pushing into the security office. Their commander was waiting, jerking his head for Maxim to enter his private office.

"What makes you think I'll break her heart?" Maxim asked, nudging the other officer before wiping the grin from his face in time to follow their commander into his office.

Jurka Vadilensk, commander of the facility, took a seat behind his own desk. "Shut the door, Ivanovich," he ordered. "Take a seat. We need to know your planned movements in the city - you will be shadowed, of course."

"Of course," Maxim said as he closed the door behind him before taking a seating. As far as his superior was concerned, he was the model of a perfect security agent - albeit one who was a little too fond of women.

"When last we spoke, you had not yet decided your plans," Vadilensk said, pulling out a pad and pen. "Do you intend to make her cook for you at your apartment, or take her out to dinner?"

"I had planned on taking her to my apartment. Is that a problem?" Maxim asked, making a show of his feigned loyalty and obedience.

His superior nodded, making a note of that. "We simply wish to know your movements ahead of time, in the event of difficulties," he assured Maxim. "You intend to visit only your apartment? And to stay for how long, do you believe?"

"No, we will have to stop at the market to buy groceries. I would think that from there, we will go to my apartment to make dinner," he replied, feigning honestly. "What kind of difficulties?" he asked, looking concerned.

"Of course, of course." More notes were added to the pad. Vadilensk met his eyes wearily. "Command is concerned that other agencies are at work in the city, possibly attempting to infiltrate this facility," he explained. "You will be shadowed in case they attempt to remove Miss Biala from your custody. However, your plan to keep your movements simple is a good one. I doubt anyone will attempt to storm your apartment. And how long do you expect to have her there?" A somewhat lecherous smirk flickered on his face. "All night, perhaps?"

"It is hard to predict, but if things go well ..." He shrugged his shoulders in answer to his superior's question, letting him think what he wanted. "If she wants to stay, I will not argue," he added, matching his superior's grin.

The commander chuckled, nodding once again. "Your charms have yet to fail, Ivanovich," he agreed in amusement. "Well, it seems simple enough. Your handler will be Olensky; he knows not to make contact unless trouble is suspected."

"Is he going to sit in his car outside my apartment all night or sleep on my couch?" Maxim asked, with a smirk to convince the man that he was merely joking. It was a question he needed an answer to though, more as a spy than a man on a date.

Vadilensk chuckled, shaking his head. "No, no, we have an apartment in your building," he told his agent. "Two floors up from you, street-side. Unless you activate your surveillance monitoring equipment, he will not hear anything."

"He might learn something if he did," Maxim said with a chuckle to show he was joking, at least in part. Of course, all of this was part of the ruse, part of the personae he had worked on projecting in his position here. Though he considered himself loyal to Mother Russia, he had his own reasons for wanting to eradicate Hydra from his home country and the world.
[size=9:8d3ec9cfc0][color=indigo:8d3ec9cfc0][i:8d3ec9cfc0][b:8d3ec9cfc0]The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.[/b:8d3ec9cfc0][/i:8d3ec9cfc0][/color:8d3ec9cfc0][/size:8d3ec9cfc0]

Aleksandra Biala

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Re: Contact
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2018, 09:24:51 AM »
"He has orders not to show himself unless you call for assistance," the commander assured him. "We have faith that you can handle Miss Biala. After the death of her brother, her allegiance is, perhaps, not what it could be. A further emotional attachment would secure her, at least until her current project is completed."

"I see," Maxim replied, committing all that to memory. He'd read Aleksandra's file and knew most of this already, but he had to play the loyal employee, intent on doing as his superior said. "I will, of course, do what I can to ensure her allegiance," he lied.

"It will only be for a few more months," Vadilensk told him. "Once the initial field tests are begun and any major design faults are dealt with, she will no longer be required. I'm sure you understand." He finished his notes, looking up at his agent. "You are cleared to leave the base between eighteen hundred and nineteen hundred hours on your chosen date. Your colleagues will let you pass without incident."

"Well, there are certain things I would prefer he not hear," Maxim remarked with a sly look in his eyes that hinted at plans he might have for the evening - or so he wanted his superior to think.

"Are you requesting minimal observation, agent?" his superior asked, brows raised. It wasn't unusual for Maxim to have minimal observation, of course, but it was unusual for him to ask for it directly. That suggested that he might actually have taken a liking to this mark.

"I am requesting my activities in the bedroom not be privy to my handler or anyone else," Maxim clarified. "I believe I have earned this right as a loyal comrade and trusted worker, have I not?" he asked, realizing his request was unusual but not out of realm of possibility.

"You have," the commander nodded, still eyeing him warily. "You believe there is more to Miss Biala than can be discovered within the limits of the project, Ivanovich? You are aware that, without recommendation, she will be removed when her part is complete?"

Anyone else might have been taken aback by the commander's question, but Maxim knew the way things worked at the facility and that was part of the reason he'd agreed to help extricate the engineer. "I believe she has more to offer," he replied. "Why waste an exceptionally talented mind such as hers?" he asked. "Wouldn't it be better to make her a permanent part of our organization?" he asked further, letting the man take that as he might.

Vadilensk considered him for a long moment. "I will ... take this under advisement," he told Maxim. "Your orders stand, agent. You will give her reason to want to stay with us; I will discuss her future with our superiors. Dismissed."

"Spasibo, Commander," Maxim said as he stood, moving to his full height. "Hail, Hydra," he added, rising a fist into the air in salute of the organization he had sworn to help eradicate from his country and the world, before turning on a heel to make his way from the commander's office.
[size=9:8d3ec9cfc0][color=indigo:8d3ec9cfc0][i:8d3ec9cfc0][b:8d3ec9cfc0]The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.[/b:8d3ec9cfc0][/i:8d3ec9cfc0][/color:8d3ec9cfc0][/size:8d3ec9cfc0]