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When the Lion Wakes

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When the Lion Wakes

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:35 pm

Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better start running.

- An African Proverb

When the Lion Wakes

Ylanne Sorrows

Out of Character
(Now accepting new players!)

Dramatis Personae
Last updated 24 April 2011

Tahira Ali, a Hataf terrorist, played by Ylanne
Valiant Terret, a French assassin/mercenary, played by Raijn
Kaori Marie Furukawa, an FBI computer technician, played by LightningStrikes
Azzan Kam, an Israeli Mossad operative, played by Tempest
Gou Furukawa, a Hataf terrorist, played by LightningStrikes
Zackery Bishop, a CIA agent, played by Aufeis
Natalie Elisabeth Schultz, an FBI agent, played by Ylanne
Cassandra 'Casie' Schwartz, an FBI agent, played by Ylanne
Miles LaFleur, a private contractor, played by Thrydwulf
Tatiana Ivanova, a Russian mercenary associated with Hataf, played by Kai
Malik Jafari, a covert Hataf operative, played by Aliath
Joseph Lauzon, a Captain in the Royal 22d Regiment of the Canadian Forces, played by Aliath
Dawn Keating, a fiery and quick-tempered journalist, working on getting as much out of the Tahira Ali story as is feasibly possible, played by Parabola
Sasha Vladov, a homegrown terrorist freelancer, working for anyone with the highest pay, in Southwest Nevada, played by Imm3diate
William Conrad Jackson, an ex-mercenary now working for FedEx in the United States, played by True Grave
Alexander James Moratelli, a 42 year old CIA agent assigned to the Counterterrorism Center, played by Yesterday's Repeat
Rakhim Bethakha, a Syrian agent, sent to aid the Americans in the fight against Hataf, played by Aniihya
Nadine Elaina Zaria, a private practitioner (lawyer) with a secret vendetta to reap justice by her own hand, played by Cer
Joslyn Romanov, an FBI agent skilled at hacking and surveillance, played by Lego's Apex Predator
Alderson Morris, an FBI agent with anxiety disorder, playedby Ivanol
William Rapp, an interrogation specialist with the CIA, played by Tempest
Jessica Clark, the Director of Central Intelligence, played by Tempest
Mario Cabaltera, an operator with the CIA's Special Activities Division, Maritime Branch, played by Skallagrim
John Rose, a psychotic serial killer played by Makokam
Vladimir Mamatov, a Russian arms dealer played by Ottoman

When the lion wakes, all the earth will tremble, and it will be shaken at its core. The sky shall split in two, the light divided so that all that was once hidden in darkness will be made naked, and all that was clear made hidden and obfuscated from the eyes of man. The beast shall rise from the rubble of the middle earth, the fissure its home. It will be a beast with seven horns and seven eyes, and it shall ravage the cities of man, obliterating his monuments. The city without people shall stand in silent testament to the wicked sins of man, and all the peoples of the world shall be scattered to the ends of the earth.

Even so, the hand of the Lord will be upon them, offering grace wholly undeserved, and those who turn from their evil ways shall sleep with the lion and not be harmed. But woe to those whose every thought is evil and who boldly mock the Lord with their wicked passions; woe to those who harm the widow and the fatherless, and treat the orphan and the traveler unjustly; woe to those who are prideful and deceitful; woe to those whose hands are stained red with the lifeblood of the children of God; woe to those whose hands are clean but who filthy their hearts with their innermost thoughts; for these shall suffer the wrath of the lion of God.

They shall be torn asunder, their flesh mangled so that their faces will be unrecognizable to any but the Lord, and their names forgotten from all the earth. But for those who turn from their evil ways, who understand that the Lord is God, theirs shall be all the glories and riches of all the earth, and theirs shall be the river of life. Yea, though the earth be divided, these shall live in the presence of God, and theirs shall be the inheritance of the Lord.

When a man should look into his own reflection, then let him face his brother and say to him “Look, there is a stain upon your cloak”. When a man should say “Lord, I know what I am”, then let him face his brother and say to him “Thou art not worthy of the dust on my feet”. May the man who does not these things never utter a word to his brother again!

Thus wrote Muhammad Almontaser, the father of my father’s father. He was not like other men. Muhammad was gifted with a flat affect and gentle manner, and lived as a recluse. In his lifetime, he never once left the village where he was born, yet my family praises him with accolades of his insight into the human condition and its state under God.

I do not have that same gift. I have the knowledge of what will hurt you more than any other thing, if I know you well enough, but I do not understand your innermost desires or deepest fears. These things are clouded to me. If I do not know my own, how can I know those of others? If there is a god, then humanity must be damned for its uncountable sins. If there is a god, then I understand nothing of anything.

Tahira Ali

It was hot, like most summer days in Kabul, the sun’s heat burning down on the steppe, but most Afghans were unaffected by the heat, except a few mountain men unaccustomed to temperatures warmer than what they were in the mountains dotting Afghanistan’s landscape.

The Embassy of the United States was a stone building with a glass entrance, the seal of the United States in metal alloy relief over the tripartite door. Inside were the American diplomats, and the American ambassador, but, most importantly, the representatives of the American Central Intelligence Agency, who kept their offices in the embassy as well. Outside, the Marines stood guard at the door, their brows knotted in concentration, sweat seeping from hairline to collar, standing rigidly at attention, eyes sweeping the area constantly, ever vigilant.

The woman standing across the street from the Embassy could have been any Afghan citizen, an older woman with a few strands of grey hair fluttering in the breeze, the rest of it covered by a linen hijab scarf, dressed in the standard shalwar kameez with a long overcoat, her clothes worn, the edges frayed, her gaze very much vacant, as though she had seen things some hoped never to see and wanted nothing more than to forget them.

Thus, it seemed wholly ordinary for this woman to approach the Embassy, crossing the street carefully, though she seemed almost intimidated by the vehicles that passed by at inordinately high speeds. Anyone watching would have thought nothing of the incident, would have noted the woman’s movements only in the secondary consciousness and given no more than a brief, casual thought to them, and then forgotten she had ever existed only moments later.

Then, something happened to change the situation. The Marines at the door gave a start at the woman’s approach, and then, after a brief, inaudible exchange, they surrounded the woman, weapons leveled at her, and began barking short commands in a mixture of English, Arabic, and Pashtu, all at once. When the woman reached toward an opening in her clothes, one of the Marines smashed the butt of his rifle against the side of her head, dropping her to the ground, where another Marine quickly secured her hands behind her back, forcing her quickly into the Embassy and out of sight.

By this time, a small crowd had gathered, speculating as to the woman’s identity, but more importantly, as to why her harmless, calm approach to the embassy had led to what seemed to be unnecessary brutality on the part of the American soldiers. The few Afghan nationals and American nationals inside the embassy’s lobby, unlike the passerby outside, immediately understood the answers to both questions.

They had the opportunity to get a good look at the woman as she was led through the embassy’s lobby, and taken through a door marked RESTRICTED. Her face was identical to one on the wall of the lobby, where posters of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists were displayed prominently. The name on the poster, one visa-seeker saw, was Tahira Ali. Most others didn’t need to reference either the poster or the name. They already knew both.

She was in a small room with concrete walls and floor, a single bulb in the ceiling protected by a wire cage, sitting in a metal chair, with her ankles shackled to a bolt in the floor, her hands manacled in front of her. Her hijab was missing. She did not know where she was. She did not know how long it had been since walking to the Embassy. She blinked twice. She did not recognize the man standing in front of her.

“Tahira.” She flinched at the sound of her name, spoken by a stranger. Eyes rolled up slowly, gaze sliding across a tall, middle-aged man, receding hairline, salt and pepper hair, mostly pepper, round, black wireframe glasses, standard navy blue suit and silver tie, blue eyes staring coldly down at her. “We have a few things to talk about.”

“My name – ” she began. Even with two words, her accent immediately betrayed the fact of her foreignness, the two words clipped with cautious over-enunciation of the consonants.

“Don’t lie. We know who you are. Someone like you, you can’t hide forever.” His words seemed casual, though almost biting, as the man glared downward at her. He towered over her in height, the difference between him standing and her sitting only magnifying the contrast. “We have a few things to talk about, Tahira.”

“You know my name,” she said, and this time, he didn’t interrupt her, allowing her to finish the sentenced, though with imperfect cadence and intonation.

The man laughed. It was neither sensual nor bitter, neither hearty nor harsh, his laugh, but a natural, pure sound, rising from the depths of his throat to echo in the room. “Of course we know your name, Tahira.” He tapped the thick file folder in his hands, bound by a thick cord. “Your full name is Tahira Ali Almontaser, but you’ve never used the Almontaser part. You were born on May 12, 1950, in Mutalistan, raised by a single mother, Sumitra Almontaser, in the city of Harī. You attended St. Mary’s Mother of Hope Preparatory Academy and graduated in 1968. In 1965, you joined – ”

“Please.” The enjoinder of a single word was enough to stop the man from continuing.

He looked at Ali. This man, this nameless man, an agent of the American government, though she did not know which branch or agency specifically, was silent, gaze piercing. And he just looked at her, wordlessly, for several long moments. When he finally spoke, his voice was soft, unlike the commanding, authoritative voice he had used but minutes ago. “Why?” he asked. “Why did you come here? Don’t you know an American embassy is American soil?”

Ali did not make eye contact when she spoke, her gaze resting on the man’s neck, well below his eyes. “Yes, I know,” she said, her voice soft. “I have come because I do not want this to happen. Rahah Almarfud. They want the death of all good, by light and fire. I have come because I might be able to stop this.”

At the mention of those two words, Rahah Almarfud, the man immediately stiffened, his eyes narrowing, lips closing into a thin, hard line. “Tell me what you know,” he said.

“I can tell you everything. But not here. Here, they will know I have told you, and then the knowledge will be worth nothing. Take me to America. I will tell you everything I know.” Ali continued to stare at the man’s neck, her gaze as vacant as it had been when she had approached the embassy.

The man nodded thoughtfully, and then, without a word, turned and left, closing the door behind him. Once gone, the nameless CIA agent was the source of several outgoing urgent messages, marked to the Station Chief, the Counterterrorism Division Director, the Director of the CIA, and the rest of the national security and intelligence community. Within ten minutes, the President of the United States had an emergency notification of the situation. Within an hour, everyone significant in the government’s alphabet soup would know:

Sub Tahira Ali apprehended Kabul, wants to talk.

And within ten hours, Ali was on a heavily guarded military flight to the United States, and the intelligence community was buzzing to life, as the news leaked throughout the federal government, that Ali was in custody. All the while, the press had yet to learn of the stunning new development, and Ali herself remained ignorant of the government’s scrambling to address her situation. It would be a long flight.
​“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
― Arundhati Roy

“The only way to survive is to take care of each other.”
― Grace Lee Boggs

“every day is another chance to practice living out the values that matter most to us. to be our best selves. to be the legacy we want to leave.”
― Mia Mingus

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LightingStrikes on Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:06 pm

A younger version of Kaori Marie, brown hair brown eyed girl could be seen sitting in a car next to her husband a look of fright was on two children’s face in the back the ground was shaking terribly. “Mama..” The littlest girl cried out. Kaori looked at her daughter in the eyes “We’ll get out in time, I promise.” she whispered. The little girl nodded her head , she looked just like her mother. Kaori looked into her husband’s eyes, he turned to look back at her and nodded his head gently taking his hand off the wheel and squeazing hers tightly. “We‘ll make it.” was all he said before the truck crashed into them.

That had been her fatal mistake taking James eyes off the road, and that was when it happened when the truck smashed into their stupid small car. She had been stupid to bring her family to work that day, but Molly wanted to see where her mother worked and wanted to see her grandmother and grandfather. As the trucker blared his horn the truck hit her car, she blacked out and after that life seemed dead and hopeless. She had lost her husband, her children in that her very meaning of life. They had left her.

Kaori up until that time had a great career and loved her job. Like everyone else in America she had a masters degree and a second masters degree, or at least she thought that was like the everyone in America. Most people had one masters and a fall back. Not Kaori, first masters degree was in earth science, second degree was a computer technician job, and much to the horror of the teachers Kaori taught herself how to hack into computer programs. Though she never really put it to test until her computer technician job at the FBI.

Kaori woke up with a fright and she cried out with tears in her eyes as she was having another night mare about the death of her small family. Each nightmare was different, but they always ended up with the same with the truck hitting their car. Kaori took in a deep breath and shook her head no, she would not dwell in the past she was stronger than that. “Gou…” She called for her brother rather than her mother and father whom were asleep in the next room.

Gou came in and it was obvious he had been up all night with the baggy eyes. “Yes, little sister?“ Without even thinking twice about the regular routine Gou gently lifted her out of the bed and into the shower room, sitting her in a chair that was there, the shower was handicapped accessible, and had been changed to meet her needs before she came back from the hospital.

Kaori took her shower and got dressed as best she could she turned to move towards the chair that was there for her to sit in, then she slipped and fell to the floor. This wasn’t the first time she had fallen. She taught herself how to stand back up the first time with out even realizing it. “Ja…” Kaori was about to call for her husband then closed her eyes remembering he was not there, it had been five years and she was still calling for her husband, she wondered if she would eventually stop. She struggled to get back to her feet and then she stood there for a few minutes before calling her brother.

Gou came in surprised to see her standing but then nodded “You will walk again one day.” Gou said softly “Just not today my young sister.” Gou lifted her up in his arms and brought her to the chair near the stairway. The electric chair went down slowly and Gou followed his little sister, an electric wheel chair with a backpack awaited down stars. Gou lifted her and placed her softly in the chair.

“Going to work today?” Gou asked softly as he lifted her from one chair to another and then they walked into the kitchen, Gou took some bacon. “Not with out breakfast first.” Gou said softly. And made a traditional Japanese breakfast, “I’ll make your favorite, tamagoyaki (Rolled egg omelets), and Ocha.” he said softly as he placed a cup of tea in front of Kaori.

Kaori smelled it, took a sip and smiled “Ocha yohosii (tea good). ” Kaori responded in Japanese. “Will you call me? Maybe we can go to lunch together today?” She was hopeful her brother would come around and finally tell her why he was so unhappy with life, but he didn’t speak much. She ate quietly and then looked at her brother.

Gou shook his head no “I want nothing to do with the FBI or any one in that department.” Gou snapped. “Well, anyone but you.” he said now wishing he could have taken his disparage, he knew how hard his little sister worked and wondered if they appreciated her. “You know I have people who would pay you twice as much as what you work for at the FBI.”

Kaori rose her eyebrow and wondered at the comment her brother had just made, if he has the people then why is he broke all time? She smiled softly at her brother “I know, but I am happy with the work I do for the team I am on.” Kaori said simply. “They keep me busy and every day is a challenge.” Kaori smiled “I even think I have gained a little respect from my boss. But I’ll keep what you say in mind Gou.” Kaori nibbled at the food Gou had made “Make sure mom and dad eat too, and I’m off, thanks for the morning chat Gou.” Then started to move to the door, the door electronically opened up for her in the garage there was a handicapped ramp.

Since her accident Kaori developed a fear of driving began after the earthquake Kaori had someone picking her up and dropping her off, she was fine as long as she scheduled the trip a day before. She was always on time, and never late unless it is due to her transportation.

When she was dropped off at work by a public transportation for persons with disabilities, picking her up at her front door and then dropping her off at her office front door. It was better than having Gou or her parents giving her a ride. Kaori rolled off the bus and smiled taking in the day as it was sunny and beautiful and there was barely anyone there, except the reporters, ever since Tahira Ali was captured those damn reports were hounding anyone and everyone for information.

Kaori hated reporters to this day because they were one sided and only told the readers what their bosses actually told them to tell the world, or told the readers or viewers what they wanted the readers or viewers to hear. To Kaori that was not real news. One all but messed all the facts up about the earthquake causing more lives to be gone than was necessary. Kaori placed her head seat back on took in a deep breath and went in the back door.

If it was one person at that current job that anyone could trust, it would be Kaori. She had a certain atmosphere about her that with one look you knew you could trust her. You wouldn't know why you trusted her. You knew you could trust her. Even the not so honest people in that branch knew of her and knew her work quality was great. The other workers in the FBI building knew of her loyalty to her current boss and knew that she would not take up extra task unless it came from Natalie Schultz, no one knows the reason for this.

Kaori always refused extra work unless it came directly from Natalie Schultz. Loyalty came rare to Kaori, but Kaori felt Natalie for some reason deserved her loyalty and needed more than others. Kaori thought that Natalie would make a good and faithful friend if only she would open up a little, Kori never pushed her boss to go beyond her comfort level.

There was many things Kaori’s co-workers did not know about her. They did not know she feared to drive again. They did not know she was walking again. They did not know that she felt guilty for loosing her family. They did not know she she was to blame. One thing they all knew was Kaori loved her country, right or wrong, she loved it.
Last edited by LightingStrikes on Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
When The Lion Wakes

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Aufeis on Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:10 pm

A wind torn traveler pushed open the door of the cab with rough hands, tanned and caked with dust and dirt. His boots left ruts in the sand as he made one smooth motion and swept himself out of the vehicle, not exactly with grace, but an air of confidence, or perhaps just with the sense of purpose. He sifted through his wallet and scooped out some pounds, placing them in the cab drivers waiting hands. The driver nodded in thanks and drove away, his tires kicking up dust on the travelers worn pants. Sweat was glistening on the travelers face as he brought an arm across it in a swift motion, his dirty skin leaving a streak across his face. The bandanna that protected his brow and hair from the wind flapped pathetically in the wind as he turned on his heel and headed inside the building. It was a long way from Cairo, but the information he was supposed to be getting would be worth it if it was legit. He gently nudged the door, the coarse wood sliding on dusty hinges across the tattered rug. He stepped inside and took his seat in the corner. When asked what he wanted to drink, he ordered a glass of water and nothing more. He looked at the the watch on the faded strap and watched as the minutes ticked by.

"Zacarias," A voice asked, and the man looked up slowly.

"Yeah. You Abbas Faisal?" His gruff voice almost croaked in Arabic. Seven months and he still hadn't gotten used to this damnable heat. He wiped a hand across his face again and felt the gentle scrap of sand.

"I am." The other man, who was dressed very much like Zack himself, replied, also in Arabic, and sat across from him.

"We have business, then." Zack said, leaning a little closer, arms folded on the table, "When we are done here, I'll wire the funds into your account. But only if I like what I hear."

"You should be most pleased. But I will not say the information aloud. Prying ears and eyes everywhere. What you want is in envelopes, locked in a safety deposit box in a bank in Giza."

"Then why drag me all the way out here?" Zack asked, raising an eyebrow at the Egyptian man.

"For a word of warning, my friend. This information is delicate. And if any of them know you have it, do not expect to simply waltz out of that bank. Expect everything and trust no one. Even we cannot keep tabs on everything. If even a word of this gets out to the wrong ears. Well..." He simply shook his head, as if to say the end was plain as day.

"Right. I know what I'm doing." Zack replied, and then his face took a more irritated demeanor, "Get out of my face. Your offer is worthless to me."

"You will be sorely mistaken," He said and stormed out. Not that the performance was likely necessary, but you could never be too careful. Zack simply remained where he was, sipping idly at his glass of water, savoring the flow of it down the back of his throat. People always romanticize about Egypt: The land of dust, heat, camels, flying carpets and genies, Arabia and the like. But this was the real deal. Nothing romantic here. Not when you get right down to it, it’s the same as everywhere else. But it was easier to fanaticize about things you’d never see. People did the same with his job. They saw government agencies as people in suits, solving crimes with science in a lab in a day. At least, if you believed the television. But this was the real world, where it actually counted. He’d been out here, following backwater leads and frayed edges on the blanket of society. All for this. Anything, really, that would lead them closer to Hataf. As he finished his glass of water and crushed the single remaining cube of ice in his teeth, he stood up, paying a woman as she passed by and left through the front door again. It was a long ride to Giza; at least an hour. He checked his watch again and grunted at the time. He would stop by home again and get a sit-rep on things back in the states. They would occasionally feed him leads, most of which were bogus, but there were a few real nuggets in there sometimes. Besides, it was good to here from the home front.

He looked up at the setting sun. It was getting late. He wondered how long, exactly, had he been out? He brought out his phone and looked at the timer he set for himself. An odd ritual, to be sure, but he wanted to keep a detailed log about his activities should something happen to him, whether in the line of duty or in a simple accident.

"Eleven hours, twelve minutes, and forty-one, two seconds." He said, watching the numbers tick and roll out of the screen. Maybe he should leave the bank until tomorrow. Giza was still an hour away, and if he wanted to stop by the apartment, that would be another twenty to thirty minutes. He sighed and waited for a taxi to catch his raised arm. He decided to see what news they had from home and go from there. If they had some excitement, he'd go to the bank; if not, he'd leave it to tomorrow. He scoffed, "Well, at least I'm getting to bed early tonight."

((Sorry about the wait.))
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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:24 pm

Special Agent Natalie Elisabeth Schultz
FBI Headquarters - J. Edgar Hoover Building
Washington D.C.

The glowing green digits on the analog clock turned in an instant's time from 6:29 to 6:30, but the woman's matching vivid green eyes were already open, staring at the numbers in eager anticipation of the transformation. When they did in fact change, she switched from a lying down position on her bed to a standing position in one smooth movement, standing to her full height of 5'4" by the side of the bed, which was draped in a mocha brown bedspread, handsewn from one hundred percent cotton.

She was dressed in a loose fitting tunic and drawstring pants, both in a warm, creamy color, and both also made from one hundred percent cotton. She walked toward the bathroom, counting off seventeen even paces made at even intervals of 1.5 per second, and took exactly two minutes to brush her teeth, and another seven minutes to shower quickly before spending three minutes blowdrying her thin, white blond hair. After her hair was sufficiently dry, she changed into a dark gray pantsuit, predictably made of one hundred percent cotton, and a white blouse, also cotton.

Glancing in the mirror, she frowned. The reflection was blurry, her image not clear in the least. She remembered. Two minutes to spare before she needed to be heading downstairs, she reached for her rectangular wire-framed glasses and shoved them up the bridge of her nose, to stay firmly in place. The clock now read 6:53, and she reached for an assortment of items on the nightstand by her bed - strapping on her hip holster and checking her gun before slipping it into the holster, tossing her shoulder bag over her shoulder where it rested neatly beneath her arm, and tucking a leather ID holder into her left pocket, the last item she grabbed was a black roller ball point pen which she gripped firmly in her right hand as she left the room at exactly 6:55.

Downstairs, Sophia was already in the kitchen, sloppily eating Cocoa Pebbles with her elbows on the table, unfinished algebra homework lying tangent to her bowl, backpack on the floor by her chair. "Mom? You going to eat something?" Sophia asked, the question futile and routine. In response, the woman grabbed an apple from a basket on the counter with her left hand, and waved it at her daughter as she headed for the door. "Let me guess - I'll need to ask Lisa for a ride home."

"Make the call first, then call me again to ensure your safe arrival at home," she responded, propping the apple between her teeth in order to open the door, which she locked and unlocked behind her three times before leaving it firmly shut and heading for the bucar parked in the driveway. The drive took exactly forty-four minutes, six minutes more than the average timing for the trip from home to office, and when she arrived, the hideous Brutalist structure loomed before her in much the same way it had every day since her transfer to headquarters. At first sight, the J. Edgar Hoover Building was a monstrous slab of concrete slapped unceremoniously onto the block, with windows haphazardly carved in parallel lines along its walls, a small sign declaring it to be FBI Headquarters.

Outside, a number of press representatives were loitering in the hopes of catching any stray comment about the Tahira Ali capture, as the bureaucracy had managed to contain most of the details, and leak precious little information about the story that had been headlining the news in all media forms for days now. At the sight of her, some started to shout questions, but it sounded more like feral screeching rather than words. It was almost enough to force her to take the back entrance, anywhere away from the rabblement creating such a raucous cacophony around her workplace, but she cringed, squinting as she walked lopsidedly through the crowd, arms pushing outward, pen in hand, at a steadily increasing rate until she made it inside, and released the breath she didn't realize she had been holding.

Though the officers at the security checkpoint inside smiled in recognition of her, they demanded her ID nevertheless, and she, ever forgetful, bent down, removing her photo ID and lanyard from her shoulder bag, and carefully hung it around her neck, pushing her hair out from under the string. The man nodded, and Special Agent Natalie Elisabeth Schultz was logged as entering the building at 7:59am as she headed toward the elevator, pushing the 'up' button three times at one second intervals, as she stared upward at the display of floor numbers above the elevator, her facial expression not unlike that of someone contorting in torturous agony.

When the elevator dinged, Natalie stepped inside, closed her eyes, and repeated the triple push of the button with the button for the fourth floor.

"You must be Schultz." The voice, masculine, baritone, and marked by what seemed to be an Arkansas accent, belonged to the man standing behind her in the elevator. Natalie whirled around, pressure increasing on the pen barrel as her eyes narrowed at the stranger, not recognizing him as anyone from her division. He was taller than she by several inches, and looked older by a few years, with light brown hair and a navy blue suit. His photo ID proclaimed him to be Caleb Delatizsky, also FBI.

"It's Natalie," she said, correcting him automatically, though she didn't realize a delayed pause of six awkward seconds had preceded the correction.

"Natalie." He wore a bemused smile, though she wasn't sure if the smile was genuine, warm, or hostile, or the kind of smile someone wears even when they're really upset or really taunting you. "I'll be sure to use the right name. I'm Caleb, from Intelligence." He reached out his hand, and in panic, Natalie glanced from the hand to the face, though never making eye contact, when she finally reached out, and gripped his hand briefly, as tightly as she could, even with the pen in that same hand, before releasing his hand and immediately pressing her own against her side. Caleb raised his eyebrow. "I've heard a lot about you over in Intelligence. You run the Ali task force, right? The media must be hounding you."

"They don't have my residential address or telephonic number," Natalie responded in a wooden tone, leaning awkwardly against the side of the elevator, half-facing Caleb as she spoke, staring at his chin.

"I'm sure they don't," he said, laughing. The sound was painful, and Natalie cringed at it. "Good luck - I hear Ali is worse than the fanatics. I heard she takes some sort of genuine pleasure out of hurting others. Don't let her get to you." Then the elevator dinged again, and the doors slid open, and Natalie slipped wordlessly from the elevator, blinking at the sprawling office space dedicated to the counterterrorism division at headquarters. Her own office was down the hallway and to the left, past exactly eleven rows of cubicles.

Someone had a TV out, in the hallway, an obstruction not normally pressed against the wall, jutting into the walking space the way its enormous, hulking black form was doing right that instant, some news reporter's voiceover while a 2007 photograph of Tahira Ali was displayed on the screen, with the headline "Ali Captured" tagging it. "Tahira Ali, taken into custody four days ago, is now believed to be held somewhere in mainland United States, but the FBI has released no further details, citing security reasons. The latest 2009 indictment charges Ali with several conspiracy charges related to recent Hataf attacks against Americans abroad, and in Minnesota last year. This morning, a press release affirmed the FBI's quote 'intent to pursue all avenues of justice in the case against Tahira Ali', but did not answer any specific questions. More details later on this breaking story."

Natalie stared at the photo for several moments before she realized a few agents in the nearby cubicles were staring at her, and then she hurriedly continued on her way, throwing open the door to her office and stepping inside. Here, piles and stacks of paper were thrown haphazardly every which way, some as high as her waist, even pushed up against the metal filing cabinet. Her desk was cluttered with various knick knacks and memos waiting to be read and signed, her laptop turned on, the password screen staring out at her. Natalie signed on, pulling up her work email. The first message was from the Director. Ali - USP Lee. Special assm't, custody AG, DOJ. CIA and DOD sharing responsibilities. You - debriefing. Interrogation to SA Schwartz, also to CIA reps. Your info has been shared.

In translation, Natalie deduced, Tahira Ali had been transferred to the nearest maximum security federal prison - United States Penitentiary Lee in Jonesville, Virginia, where she was officially in the custody of the Attorney General of the United States. Natalie had been asked to perform a simple debriefing interview of the subject, her partner being asked to conduct a full interrogation, with the CIA and the military also clambering for equal access. Evidently, Director Edwards had given out her contact information to the other agencies with access to Ali.

The rest of her messages were mainly from other members of the Tahira Ali task force, one of them from Special Agent Patty Knowles, who had been trolling known Hataf-related websites, and who had noticed several forum threads that seemed to be referencing Ali and Rahah Almarfud, which was the code name for some terror attack Hataf was planning for the not so distant future - intelligence had been coming in for months about references to Rahah Almarfud, but nothing solid and nothing concrete. No one knew what it was, or when it would be, or where it would be, or who would be doing it.

Natalie stood, pen still in hand, opening the door to her office, voices in conversation immediately hushing as she peeped out the door, and, in her customarily loud, flat voice, called, "Kaori - I need to speak with you. Now. Now." The repetition was an affect of echolalia, of which Natalie was afflicted mildly, and it surfaced at times of particular urgency or anxiety in varying forms. Later that day, Natalie would head over to Lee to interview Ali for the first time. Unlike most who may have been entrusted with the lead on such an exhaustive and major investigation, Natalie didn't seem particularly thrilled about the prospect of meeting with her quarry face to face - rather, it was another chore with which she was encumbered for the day, another god-awful social interaction looming before her. And so she thought this one, with someone familiar to her, would be far simpler and less draining.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LightingStrikes on Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:38 am

A young boy of five peered around the corner as he heard harsh and angry voices, that coming from his father and a man he did not recognize. The man he did not recognize shoved his father who allowed his body to crash into the wall of his home. The five year old boy watched as his mother and father continued to have yelling matches with the gang leader. “We’ll have that money on Friday.” the five year old’s father responded.

The gang leader looked at the old man and kept him pinned to the wall two gang members had the father’s arms pinned to the back and there hands on his shoulders and they both pushed him back into the wall. “I don’t think so.” The leader took his blade and placed it up near the father’s neck. “Pay us the money now old man, or we’ll take your wife and child as payment.”

“I told you I don’t have the mon--…” The father said once again, but he was interrupted by and gasped as he felt a knife being pushed into him, he gasped and looked up into the gang members eyes they were laughing at his pain. He looked past the leader and saw his son “Tuko, Kawa.” he whispered, saying hide hide. He fell to his knees as the gang members released him and he landed on the floor his eyes looking up towards the ceiling and then to a photograph of him and his family. “En suki maro, En sotsu,. Suki ware hanaikigaarai.” saying he loved his son and make him proud.

The little five year old boy heard all his father had said at his death, and the gang members left the house, thinking there was no one there to witness such a crime. Gou slid down the wall pulled his knees up and cried until his mother came home and found him. She had decided that Japan was too dangerous for her son and decided to move to America to be with her husband’s family. Gou of course did not want to go but he was five and had to do as his mother said. He looked into his mother’s eyes and nodded when she asked if he would go, only for her would he go.

When they arrived in America his mother started to have labor pains, the baby came and Gou’s mother died at her birth Gou’s eyes filled with tears. He at first wanted to hate the baby, but even at five he felt it wasn’t her fault. Gou lifted his sister in his arms and looked up at the doctor asking if they could stay together. The doctor shrugged, what did he care?


Gou’s eyes woke up with surprise he looked at his computer and the chair he was in he had fallen asleep at his desk he shook his head and shuttered at the memory of his past and s hook his head, he hadn’t remembered any of that in a long time. He looked at his clock and sighed seeing as it was early in the morning and his sister would be calling…

“Gou…” She called for her brother rather than her mother and father whom were asleep in the next room. Gou came in and it was obvious he had been up all night with the baggy eyes.

“Yes, little sister?“ Without even thinking twice about the regular routine Gou gently lifted her out of the bed and into the shower room, sitting her in a chair that was there, the shower was handicapped accessible, and had been changed to meet her needs before she came back from the hospital.

When he left his sister in the shower room he went down stairs and into the typical Japanese setting kitchen. The Kitchen had a microwave, refrigerator a rice steamer and other things. Gou had a love for cooking food, and he had given it all up to come and live with his sister and take care of her until she can take care of herself. He began to prepare breakfast for his sister and adoptive parents.

Gou walked back upstairs and then knocked on the door. When he came in surprised to see her standing but then nodded “You will walk again one day.” Gou said softly “Just not today my young sister.” Gou lifted her up in his arms and brought her to the chair near the stairway. The electric chair went down slowly and Gou followed his little sister, an electric wheel chair with a backpack awaited down stars. Gou lifted her and placed her softly in the chair.

“Going to work today?” Gou asked softly as he lifted her from one chair to another and then they walked into the kitchen, Gou took some bacon. “Not with out breakfast first.” Gou said softly. And made a traditional Japanese breakfast, “I’ll make your favorite, tamagoyaki (Rolled egg omelets), and Ocha.” he said softly as he placed a cup of tea in front of Kaori.

Kaori smelled it, took a sip and smiled “Ocha yohosii (tea good). ” Kaori responded in Japanese. “Will you call me? Maybe we can go to lunch together today?” She was hopeful her brother would come around and finally tell her why he was so unhappy with life, but he didn’t speak much. She ate quietly and then looked at her brother.

Gou shook his head no “I want nothing to do with the FBI or any one in that department.” Gou snapped. “Well, anyone but you.” he said now wishing he could have taken his disparage, he knew how hard his little sister worked and wondered if they appreciated her. “You know I have people who would pay you twice as much as what you work for at the FBI.”

Gou closed his eyes stupid fool, why did you say that?! he wondered and shook his head “I’m sorry Kaori, you know how much I love you, and how proud of you I am. I just hate seeing them take advantage of you.” was what Gou wanted to say, he was stupid sometimes.

Gou watched as Kaori left the house and went to work, then came back in the kitchen and prepared a grand breakfast for his adoptive parents. Gou realized he was very lucky to have his sister with him, and knew that this was not typical, he was very thankful for his family, but these people weren’t his mother and father, it pained him to hear Kaori call them such as they weren’t, but she did not know that. He shook his head softly finished and placed the food on the plate. Once he was done with that he left the kitchen dirty and took off for the day, he would be gone all day.

Gou followed the orders of his members of the gang he belonged to, currently it was Hafta. His leaders and Gou usually ended up talking about the FBI leaders all day long, no one knew that his sister worked for the FBI. Gou kept that hidden from them, just as he hid his true identity from his sister.

The leaders all grinned at each other as they had finally gathered important information on who was leading the FBI investigation on Hafat and it wasn’t who they originally thought it was. One leader opened his briefcase and pulled out a manila folder. “Memorize this well Gou, kill the boss, you get a bonus, kill their hacker and you get twice as much.”

Gou took the folder and opened it up the first photograph was that of a woman named "Natalie Shutz?" he looked at the photograph of her that had been taken and then looked up at his leaders "she looks to be an easy enough target." He turned the profile over and read what it said about Natalie Shutz and sighed. "Another Fed agent?" He asked looking at his leaders, Gou was used to doing his leader's bidding, but he had never killed anyone to date.

"Not just any Fed agent, the Fed Gou, the head of the Federal investigation of Hataf." said the leader. Gou rose an eye brow and nodded. He then pulled out a second and opened it up, there he was staring face to face with a photograph of Kaori Marie. "Now Gou, were not so much as interested in killing her, we'd rather have her on our side, but if she refuses to join you'll need to kill her." Gou turned the paper over and read the profilie, it was missing a lot of details about her as Gou assumed the file on Natalie Shutz was missing a lot of information.

“Both are very dangerous women, to the group. Unless you can get Kaori to turn on the FBI and work for us she would be spared. I doubt that could ever happen, they say she is very loyal to her country and even more so loyal to that one called Natalie Shutz, no one knows why though.” Gou’s second in command leader stated “I knew you’d be up for the challenge and we knew of your disdain for the FBI. We knew this would be easy for you Gou, all you need to do is follow our instructions. Now if you don’t want to off them, or the two hundred thousand dollars it comes with, then I can find someone within our team to do it for the money.” The man began to take Kaori’s file, Gou pulled it away and shook his head no.

“I will off them, he said, but I want to do it my way, no interruptions from anyone on this team, I will choose the time and day for their last life.” Gou mumbled shoving both manila envelopes into his back pack he had and then he turned to leave, muttering in Japanese which none of the members spoke or even told him they knew his language, he just walked away mumbling. A language neither of the other men knew anything about. They looked at each other as if asking what he was saying and then shrugged.

Kaori Marie had gotten to the office a half hour before her boss. She was on the computer reading the chat from Hafat the night before and was shocked to read some of the things they talked about she sighed and shook her head sadly these creeps need to be put away every last one of them. They don’t deserve to breath the same air as me or my co-workers. Kaori looked over at her boss's office to make sure she hadn't missed her entrance,she had not arrived yet.

Kaori gently began to put the file in her file cabinets, As she did this a piece paper fell down and on the floor just out of reach underneath her desk. Kaori tried to reach the paper and grunted out of frustration as she couldn’t quite reach the paper work. She finally turned on her electric wheel chair and moved it backwards, she then used the arms of the chair for support as she lifted herself out of the chair and allowed her butt to hit the foot stand. "Ouch." Kaori complained to herself, she then firmily placed both hands on the floor and pushed her self down onto it. Reaching for eached for the paper with a triumphant smile on her face. now how to get back up. her hand with the paper reached the top of her desk and the paper placed on the desk. She then looked around to evaluate what she could use as leverage support for her weight to lean on. No handicapped bars for her. She shook her head, nothing, then she heard her boss calling for her and then she heard the double now.

Kaori peered from around the corner on the floor and smiled as she waved at Natalie and smiled “I’ll be there in a moment." She grabbed her chair and managed to pull herself into a standing position, this would shock most people, even her boss didn’t see her standing at work. She plopped back into her chair with another triumphant smile and took her diet coke gently screwing the top back on.

At a moment’s glance, just by the way Natalie had a grasp of her pin Kaori already knew something was bothering her boss. Kaori didn't know quite yet what it was, but she knew something was bothering her. Kaori screwed the top of her pop bottle back on and placed it in her back pack. Kaori reached over and grabbed a pad of paper and a pen. She wheeled herself into Nat’s office, and looked at her, her boss looked petrified. “Here I am.” Kaori said as if nothing had happened and it was an ordinary day.
Last edited by LightingStrikes on Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Entity of Sin on Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:50 pm

A siren alarm rang within the room from the digital clock at 5:00 and got a hand hammering down on the snooze button. Groaning echoed from underneath the blanket covering the bed and soon appeared alive as the occupant stirred awake. Slowly the body sat up on the bed and turn the alarm off on the clock. Looking at the bright red digits, Casie read 5:02. Groaning and stretching her body to wake up, she stood and walked into the bathroom to get ready for work.

The routine of brushing her teeth always came first before everything else. Entering the bathroom, the feet smacked against the shiny and polished marble tile floor. Stopping at the sink, the nob to the cold water was turned, tooth brush and toothpaste were collected, and ultimately the woman began brushing the dirty morning breath away with a minty fresh scent to replace it. During this routine morning activity, Casie always took the time to look herself over in the mirror. There was nothing special about this habit, just a habit that she had developed over the years.

Her appearance in the morning seemed to have that attractive relaxed outward expression – she did not really mind it but it did make her smile at her womanly figure. There were times when it would be nice for a man to wrap their powerful arms around her in the morning and kiss her before she left to work. The thought made her smile as the tooth brush continued to work circles around her teeth and gums. It was not long until the tooth brush was rinsed and set back in its tray along the counter wall so both hands could cup some cold running water and then wash the mouth. Swish and spit – nice and quick too.

Leaving the light on in the bathroom, the womanly figure walked back into the bedroom and gathered some clothing to wear, from the dresser, after the shower was done. It was either out of habit, again, or simply to ensure privacy inside her apartment – an apartment that she alone lives in. Work clothes were placed on the counter next to the sink and current attire was striped and left on the floor where they dropped. The shower and slipping into work clothes took up a total of thirty minutes and the clock in the bedroom reads 5:32. Plenty of time to grab something light to eat and then head out.

Standing in front of the dresser mirror, Casie looked at her strands of hair that had stuck together after drying with a towel. Reaching back to the long hair, it was collected and then wrapped several times in place with a small black scrunchie that matched well with her light blond hair. It would help keep it from being a problem later in the day at work. Eying her choice of clothing of a vanilla blouse over a white tank top both tucked in a belted pair of richly colored black pants.

While at the dresser mirror, ear rings were attached and a lightly colored red lipstick was applied. She was naturally a very beautiful woman and a little make-up only made her more attractive. There was no point going through the day not looking your best. She has a lot of work to do today and dinner plans with someone as well. So the day was looking promising so far.

Into the dining room she went to collect her Blackberry and pocket knife into her purse. The kitchen was not remarkable in any way, White was the universal color used in the apartment and was consistent in the kitchen. A bowl of cereal was made and placed at the table where she sat and ate during the course of ten minutes of munching spoon fulls of Frosted Flakes and drinking down orange juice. The clock on the wall read 5:47 – still plenty of time.

After the food was ate, Casie proceeded to equipping herself with the gun holsters that would carry the Glock .22 under her left arm and 9mm under her right. Digging into the purse, she pulled out the keys and stood from the table, which now has an empty soiled bowl, and walked to the door. Seconds later she was at the door, opened it and walked through, then locked the dead bolt and nob locks.

Outside is warm with small breezes passing by. These small cool summer breezes flapped against the FBI agent's clothing and fluttered through the loose pony tail. Resecuring the purse on her shoulder, Casie walked to her car while the sun was rising. The rumbling of the car engine roared and the clock read 6:17. Driving to work from home was roughly a half hour drive under normal circumstances. It was not a remarkable vehicle that she drove. It got her where she needed to be and that is all that really mattered to her. Replacing it was on her list of things to do.

Pulling up to the J. Edgar Hoover building back parking lot and turning the engine off. A hand dove into the purse, which is sitting in the front passenger seat, for her identity badge that she has connected to a black piece of rope-like material. This item was placed around her neck before she emerged from the vehicle. Pressing down on the locking mechanism of the door, she closed it and proceeded to move walk into the towering structure in front of her.

Time, 6:52. Still good timing but still earlier than her normal arrival time. Officers at the security checkpoint smiled at her inside. She held her badge up for them to see and they let her through with the time of her entry being 6:58. She headed to the elevator and pushed the button to go up what seemed to be an impatient dozen or more times repeatedly.

As it opened, she stepped inside the empty elevator and pressed the button to go to the forth floor several times. It was more out of habit to press buttons multiple times for no reason. Machines never seemed to respond very well to her commands and it frustrated her when they just simply did not do as they are told. It was almost childish in a way how Casie deals with equipment around the office but always in good taste.

Once the elevator dinged then opened, a path to her office was established and the slender beauty drags her feet in and closes the door behind her. People did watch her, through the office window wall, placing her purse on the coat rack and then closing the window blinds. It was more to symbolize she was going to be busy for a while writing up reports, organizing materials, making sure everything was in order and neatly placed throughout the office.

Casie's office had white colored walls, a darkly finished wooden desk, leather office chair in all black, book cases to the left of the desk that lined the wall towards the glass that had pictures of family, friends, and known associates. There was a small table directly across the room that has filing cabinets underneath it and a cookie machine on top. The coat rack was pressed against the wall in between the small table and desk. It seemed almost instinctive to turn the coffee machine on and begin brewing the beverage. That roasted smell of freshly ground coffee beans would fill the entirety of her office and slip through the room's door. It would be a subtle process and it made her feel much more awake and alert.

The computer was turned out and a winding start-up sound echoed out from the tower at the floor and side of her desk. It was time to get to work on managing her materials on the before something else came up that demanded her attention. Natalie's voice did echo through the glass window for someone to come to her office. Kaori from the sounds of it. Casie knew this person for their work. Always top notch and very professional.

Looking up at the clock on the wall across from her, she read 8:10. Casie stares at the screen for a moment and yawns. Moving the mouse courser to the print button on the screen, she clicked once and then pressed enter once the dialogue box popped up. It would print outside her office to the huge commercial printer in the hallway. Cringing at the thought of dealing with that piece of junk. Known for eating her documents, failing to print all together, and giving her the most confusing error messages on the tiny menu screen. It was quite frustrating at times. The documents being printed this time were things that needed to get organized and filed.

Stepping out of the office and standing in the doorway calmly and staring directly at the evil office printer in the hallway with narrowing eyes. A thought raced through her mind of just going ballistic and unloading both clips of her side arms into the machine. Flashy, destructive, and deserving to such an evil monster. With her presence at the doorway of her office, so came the overwhelming aroma of freshly brewed coffee. A few people did stick their heads up from their little work areas to check where the smell of coffee beans is coming from and only see Casie standing in her office doorway.

In moments time she went on the move towards the 'evil' printer. Standing in front of it and crossing both arms under her chest, she frowned in frustration at the error message she read: 'Error: Paper Jam'. “What the hell? There is no freaking paper jam!” She muttered to herself outloud and then lightly kicked the side of the printer. A man in the nearest cubical heard this and stood up then walked over to Casie.

“What's the problem this time?” The man asked politely to Casie. He looked to be around her age and had a fairly decent build on him as well.

Sighing heavily, she just pointed at the tiny display screen and the man chuckled and started getting the printer to work for her again. “I hate machines!” She proclaimed and watched as her document was coughed up and neatly collected in the tray where it came out. The man that helped just laughed at her frustration and went back to his cubical to work and Casie went to back to her office respectively to drink a cup of coffee.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Vain on Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:56 pm

"Car one has been hit!" came the call over the HMMWV radio. "Take defensive action!" SGT Carter called on the radio. "Initiate tactical vehicle defense maneuvers. Medics, move up to the lead car and check casualties. Everyone else form a defensive perimeter." The next few minutes went by in a blur as the convoy formed their defense. It was quiet, deathly quiet. The silence was broken by the shout of," Hostiles, 2 o'clock, 300 meters in the open!" Shots rang out as the convoy focused its fire on that sector. 'Dammit, don't focus everything over there. Then they'll...' Too late. "RPG!!!"

"Chief....Chief....Hey Chief anyone there?" Chief Carter was brought out of his memory by the soldier in front of him. "Yea, I'm still here," Amazingly, he thought. "Your paperwork's been pushed through, you leave for Virgina within the hour. Good luck Chief, we're going to need it," the Major General in front of Nathan told him. "Thank you, sir. I've had plenty so far," Chief Carter responded. "Let's just hope it hasn't run out this time Carter," the Major General solemnly. It almost made Nathan cringe. During his extensive career Chief Warrant Officer III Nathaniel J. Carter had been bless with what seemed like the luck of ten men. He'd come so close to dieing so many times he'd lost count and come out with just the scar over his left eye.

Chief Carter stood and shook the General's hand, grabbing the large file from the desk. He clamped it inside the black unmarked suitcase he'd brought with him and locked it before leaving the Major General's office. Virgina huh? Nathan thought to himself. That means the AG's got'm. That means things are about to get interesting. Chief Carter swept into HCT 301's headquarters. Well what they used for a headquarters anyways. The rest of his team was still diligently at work on reports, but he could tell they looked uneasy. "So, how'd it go Chief?" Specialist Baker asked him, turning from his computer screen with the rest of the team. He was a short kid for the age of 20. Baker had only been in for two years, but had already been deployed with Carter twice since things had blown up with Hafat.

"I hate to do this to you guys, but....I'm going home. Virginia to be exact," Nathan told them, giving one of his rare smiles. The team let out a cheer and Booth and Stearns high-fived each other. "We knew you'd get it Chief. You've got a track record a mile long. Your the best we've got," Baker told him. "Well....I'm not sure about that. Ramirez is pretty good in the booth too," the chief replied. "So, when do you leave?" Stearns asked. "In about 20 minutes," Carter told them. "I know it's sudden, but I'm leaving Sergeant Michaels in command unless they assign someone else. He's a hell of an NCO and I know he'll get things done. I expect you all to treat him with the same respect you treat me. Understood?" Carter told them. "Yes Sir!!" they responded. "You know how I hate long goodbyes so I'd better be gettin. It's been an honor to work with you guys," he told them as he turned and left the office. "Group, Attention!" SPC Baker called as the team jumped to attention. "Good speed, sir." Baker called after Carter. "You too," Carter replied as he shut the door.

Nathan opened the door to his assigned quarters and went about retrieving everything that was vital he keep. By the time he was done he had two duffel bags full and an empty room. I've got to start traveling lighter, he said to himself as he flung one bag over his shoulder and picked the other up in his left hand. Cater reached down and grabbed his weapon and headed for the armory to drop off the equipment he couldn't take with him.
There is a place within each of us where we cannot escape the truth; where virtue sits as judge. To admit the truth of our actions is to go before that court, where process is irrelevant. Good and evil are intents, and intent is without excuse.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Hunter_Killer on Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:37 am

"We interrupt this message for breaking news. Live at the scene is Katherin Harper. Katherin?"

"Thanks Paul. This is Katherin Harper reporting live from the downtown district, where terror has struck the streets of our city. Barely hours ago this was just a normal day like any other when it was all changed for worse. At approximately 3:35 in the afternoon a transit bus pulled up to the side of the road, a path many school children walk to get back to their homes, and detonated. Several witnesses say that before it pulled to the side of the road the Bus seemed to be... erratic in its driving. Hesitant stops, uncertain lane changes before it finally pulled up to the side of the road, hazard lights blinking for a supposed stop.

What happened next was truly the most shocking. Witnesses say, at the time, a group of school children were just approaching the bus when a massive explosion went off, catching some of the cars that had yet to drive past. Shards of glass and shrapnel from the explosion were thrown through buildings on both sides of the street and wounded several people. It is unknown exactly how many people were killed on the bus itself but it is known that the blast also killed 14 middle school students returning home. Identification for the children is all but impossible and currently the names cannot be given at this time.

As for those responsible for the bombing, there are many arguments exactly ho is responsible though some believe this is tied to the Mysterious group known as the Hataf. At this time our sources can only assume who was truly behind the attack and what their intentions were but this is a grave day for us all...

Back to you Paul."

"Thanks Katherin. For the full coverage of the indecent tune in for our Nine o'clock Newscast. And now back to your local program..."

"Hello and welcome to the Nine O'clock news this is your host Adam White.

Our top story for tonight. Tragedy stuck home today as a mysterious bus bombing went off between 3 and 4 today. Many witnesses recounted their initial shock and first hand viewing of the devastation but many are still uncertain as to what happened.... Until now. This video was recovered from a college student filming some side project and caught it all on tape. A word of note for all those families, this video might not be suited for young children and is extremely shocking. If you are not prepared simply turn off your television now...."

A small square, a special effect of the green screens behind the anchor popped up a freeze frame of a busy sidewalk with a mild case of traffic and appeared be taken from a chair at some across the street restaurant. Slowly the image was pulled up and the video began to play. The sounds of horns and traffic was loud, mostly dominating it all as the shot slowly pulled back revealing more of the block as several people passed by. After a few minutes honking could be heard and the camera rushed to the side, shaking more as the obvious cameraman couldn't keep it steady. Zooming back a little more the closeup of a side panel reveals the blue and white bus as it seems to almost be moving erratically. Horns from beside and behind the bus are constantly blaring before the bus pulls past and to a stop. Just as the right half of the picture is clear a group of children can be seen talking and walking towards the stopped vehicle, most paying no attention at all.

Just as the camera starts to turn away a massive bang can be heard as the entire screen is filled with a violent explosion as the bus suddenly changes from one solid piece into a hail of shrapnel, this is followed by silence as the noise and shock wave destroyed the sound equipment on the camera. The last image captured before the inferno went off was a few girls reaching almost parallel with the back of the bus. At once screams and screeches fill the air before the video stops.

"As you can see from the video..."

His eyes were bloodshot and ached from being kept open a small grunt emerging from between his lips as eyes squinted before hands rubbed furiously away to try to remove the hazed vision. From the vague squiggles he could make out, a 4, 3 and 0. He made the bold and stumbling leap to assume that was the meeting time for his new contact on a possible lead into the Hataf. Unable to decipher another symbol more he responded by forcing his head under the freezing water that filled his sink, trying to smash away the remained of his hang over, yet no matter how hard he tried, that cotton mouth feeling felt like it would never go away. Head soaking wet he opened his eyes, rubbing the water away as he tried to understand what he saw, with no success.

This is what he got for working cases drunk. Mondays...

Despite waking up a little past ten, it still took almost another hour and a half for him to stumble through his morning routine and make it to his door. BY now most of the ill effects were nothing a bad memory, still close at hand, but not as impairing. Grabbing his gun and keys he reached the door and moved out into the dull corridor of a certain apartment. Thankfully this one WAS his this time. That was a Monday that might have been worse than this one, considering her almost got arrested in the process.

Pausing at the door he slowly looked to his left. Propped next to a ragged looking couch was a purple backpack that seemed almost chard black and torn apart. The only thing he could find "in one piece" of his daughter, he had refused to part with it. Not when the wound still stung at night. That was his reacquiring nightmare now, those two damn news reports. Every night he was watching, unable to do anything, watching as his little girl walked to her death. Oh he screamed and he fought but in those dreams he was unable to move and even his yells were drowned out by the explosion that took out the area.

It had to be a Monday...

Looking back around the apartment once more he pulled the door shut and locked it as he left. Other than his gun and his keys, he held the sticky note he had written intoxicated trying to figure out, just what the hell it even said.
Last edited by Hunter_Killer on Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:37 pm

Special Agent Natalie E. Schultz
Counterterrorism Division - Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
Washington, D.C.

She slowly rocked on the heels of her feet as she stood in the middle of her office, after hastily shoving a particularly tall stack of papers to the side to make room for Kaori's wheelchair amongst the disarrayed clutter. Natalie's office was a living example of 'discombobulation', and it had been Casie who had remarked not to long ago that a photograph of the room ought to appear next to the word in the dictionary. At that, Natalie had shrugged, unsure whether it was in jest or a mean-spirited insult, and no more had been said.

But now, Natalie hardly seemed to notice the monstrosity that covered what was once a floor, instead, staring fixedly past Kaori, never making eye contact. It was rare for Natalie to do so, and anyone who had been around her for a while had long grown accustomed to the strange affect. Those who hadn't availed themselves of the opportuntity to acquaint themselves with the FBI agent were often thrown off by the lack of eye contact, finding it not quite repulsive, but more than merely unsettling.

Her mannerisms and vocal patterns too were almost otherwordly in affect, sometimes lacking the typical cadence and intonation of typical speech, and sometimes adopting strange emphases on the wrong parts of the sentence. She rarely used acronyms or abbreviations, and often substituted a sesquipedalian locution when the simple one might have sufficed. But mostly, it was the way in which she chose to speak. Natalie didn't waste time with pleasantries, especially with people whom she already knew, and she often went straight for the jugular, bypassing the 'up-talk', and the typical introduction to a topic. Casie had told her repeatedly that one needed to introduce background information before discussing any specific topic or assignment, and sometimes Natalie remembered to do so. Now was not one of those times.

Natalie shoved a printout of Agent Knowles's email at Kaori with her left hand, her right hand occupied with increasing and decreasing the pressure on her pen at steady intervals, holding it out at a strange angle from her body. "Patricia sent me these links from Hataf-related websites, which seem to be referencing Tahira and "Rahah Almarfud". Retrieve the internet protocol addresses of all discussion participants and obtain names and physical addresses of the registrants. Contact the internet service providers if necessary. Create a topographical depiction of the locations of each participant, and contact the local FBI offices, requesting traces and appropriate warrants to wiretap."

She spoke rapidly, without pausing for a breath, her words almost spoken in an unabated monotone, whirling her pen furiously as she spoke, not blinking even as she continued to stare blankly at some point on the wall immediately behind where Kaori was seated. "Inform me as soon as progress is made." Natalie turned around then, without another word, leaning over her desk as she retrieved the printout of the Director's message, and before Kaori had a chance to wheel out of her office, Natalie brushed past her, striding down the hallway toward Casie's office, half-squinting, half-bent forward at an odd angle, the expression on her face not unlike that of one experiencing terrible anguish, though she was in fact fine.

Natalie entered without knocking, waving the email in her left hand at Casie. "You're responsible for the primary interrogation of Tahira. I'm leaving for the penitentiary in about eleven and a half minutes, in order to conduct a preliminary interview. Did Robert send you a courtesy copy of his message?" Another annoying tendency of hers was to refer to anyone and everyone solely by his or her complete first name, including those in authority over her. In this case, Robert was a reference to Director Robert Edwards of the FBI. Other agents often winced at what seemed to be blatant disrespect towards others, but Natalie believed that a forename was a more personable and amicable form of address than any form of the surname.

Tahira Ali
United States Penitentiary Lee
Jonesville, Virginia

They had seized her possessions upon arrival, all the things she had in this world, carefully cataloguing each item seized, half of which went into Sharpie-labeled evidence bags, sealed and stored in an evidence locker elsewhere in the prison. The officer noted in the log what was seized, his penmanship even, neat, lacking any errors but a few smudges, before all of the items were taken from the intake room.

- a Republic of Mutalistan passport and ID documents for Fatima bint Batya, with an older photo of a woman who was clearly Ali
- an Islamic Republic of Iran passport and ID documents for Soraya Khan, with a still older photo of a woman who was also clearly Ali
- a letter in Latin signed "Carlos Hodgson", addressed to Tahira Ali, dated 26 April 1967, the paper folded crisply, the ink dark and neat
- a letter in Arabic signed "Sumitra Almontaser", addressed to Tahira Ali, dated 3 September 1968, marred with a few drops of blood, the paper worn and slightly damaged
- a wanted poster in the Arabic language, with Ali's 1968 and 2007 photographs juxtaposed, issued for Tahira Ali by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- a black and white photograph of a young East Asian girl, who is clearly not Ali, dated 1967, folded in half twice
- an olive gray overcoat with four pockets, two on each side
- an Egyptian cotton tan-colored shalwar kameez

The officer was a young man of African-American descent, with a rich, dark complexion, a gently sloping forehead that recalled memories of one of her childhood teachers, and a neatly trimmed beard and mustache, dressed in a khaki officer's uniform with a shiny badge and a photo ID proclaiming him to be Moses Kent clipped to his shirt pocket. He had taken photographs of Ali for the file, and stood over her as he gently pressed her fingers against the scanner to take images of her fingerprints. For the most part, Moses was taciturn, speaking in a soft, low tone when he did speak, addressing her as "Ma'am".

She was in a separate part of the prison, cordoned off in an otherwise empty cell block under armed guard 24/7. Moses had this duty for much of the daytime, standing outside her cell, half-watching Ali while he conversed quietly with his counterpart. She had been here for just over a day, confined in a space that, unbeknownst to the prison authorities, was larger than her childhood bedroom, although decidedly less homey. There were no windows, and the walls were painted a solid white, the furniture metal and bolted to the floor. They had confiscated her papers and the one photograph she had, and so there were no decorations.

Even Ali herself was different here. Moses had told her that other government officials would be coming by later in the day, and that until then, there was really nothing she could do. They would not let her leave the cell, though she was not technically in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She did not know the time, and could not guess it, but Moses was for all intents and purposes a stranger, and since he had not spoken to her in some time now, she did not dare speak to him, instead staring at the cell wall, appearing on the closed circuit monitors motionless.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LightingStrikes on Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:31 am

Kaori Marie listened very carefully to her boss’s wishes and began to write down the list of information she was required to get. She nodded “about time.” She thought to her self. As she was finished writing the paper work and looking over the information Natalie gave her she sighed, just like that Natalie was gone like the wind.

Kaori wheeled her self over to Natalie’s desk and looked at a photo of, a young girl who clearly looked more like Natalie than Natalie's cousin. It was a photograph of Sofia her daughter and Casie, and Natalie herself all three together. Kaori smiled at the photo. Kaori turned on her wheelchair and moved out of Natalie's office. She looked towards the direction of Cassie's office and nodded softly, she heard Natalie saying that she would be gone in eleven minutes exactly, and Kaori knew Natalie was good to her word. No mention of when she would return was made at least not when she had wheeled past the room.

Kaori did not spend much time socializing with anyone really when she was at work, she was there to work. She gave out good quality work too and she was very tough to get for other groups. Kaori would only work for Natalie and under Natalie’s direction. This was probably why she was hand picked. Kaori picked turned on her computer screen and picked up her die pop bottle and took the top off, she would be here for a while. She would also be eating in.

Gou meanwhile was getting things prepared for his quest. He wrote on a pieces of paper all the ways he could do in someone. He decided he wanted to play games with this one, see how smart she is. He began to make his plans. Tomorrow he would go to the FBI building as a surprise to his sister and have lunch with her, perhaps he would get to see his victim face to face.

Gou went to his desk and pulled open a dwar and took a $20 bill out, then he changed his mind and took 3 twenty dollar bills. Kaori might have a friend to introduce him to and he’ll feel obligated to take that friend out to lunch as well.

The group Gou belonged to paid him for the jobs he did, little jobs, he was never trusted so much with a task like this although he was familiar of many that had been. Gou turned on the TV in his room to hear something new about Ali. He had met her once before. There was very little news and promise of more news, all anyone knew was that she was captured. Gou shook his head and turned off the TV.
Last edited by LightingStrikes on Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Vain on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:16 pm

Chief Warrant Officer III Nathaniel James Carter
350M10 Human Intelligence - United States Army
FOB Dark Detention Facility
Location - Classified

Nathan wiped the sweat from his brow as he stepped out onto FOB Dark's airstrip; one duffel bag over his shoulder, another in his left hand, and a black suitcase in his right. He was a little startled when he saw the aircraft that would be giving him a ride back to the states. An AC 130, Uncle Sam's not taking any chances with this one eh? he thought to himself.

As Nathan approached the plane its pilot came out to meet him. "Chief Carter?" he called to Nathan over the roar of the engines.

"That's what it says on my name tag!" Nathan called with a little joke. "You must my ticket out of here! Nice to meet you!"

"Good to meet you too, sir! Warrant Officer Sam Hinckley at your service!" he said offering his hand to Nathan which he grabbed and shook.

"So, how long do you think the flight will be!?" Nathan asked, following the pilot back to the plane.

"A little over five hours, sir! We'll be touching down at Langley!" Hinckley told him as he climbed up into the plane.

"Langley Airforce Base!? Nathan asked following behind and into aircraft.

"You know another Langley!?" the pilot shouted and laughed a bit. Stupid question, Nathan thought to himself as he stowed his duffel bag in the luggage compartment of the AC 130 and strapped himself into one of the seats lining the walls. Before long he could feel the plane start to taxi and then there was that sinking feeling as the large aircraft rose into the air. Nathan pulled the black suitcase up into his lap and stuck his key in, spin the combination lock at the same time. When he reached the right numbers he turned the key and there was an audible click as he opened it. Inside was the large document he'd taken from the Major General, the front reading TOP SECRET FOR YOUR EYES ONLY in bold print. As the plane started over the Atlantic, Chief Carter started his mission. He opened the large file to the first page and three words on the KB stood out the most. Tahira Ali Almontaser

(Sorry for the short post)

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Raijn on Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:17 pm

"Mérde!" cursed the voice of a young mercenary as he kicked a giant insect positioned at his foot for the second time that day. The beetle, or whatever one would call that thing, seemed oddly displeased about the entire ordeal and scampered away into a corner, waiting for its next chance to collect food from the outside world. Frowning, Valiant corrected his clothing, his eyes searching for one building in particular as he walked down a street in Giza, chanting in his inner monologue that he would never willingly visit this place again.

Normally, Valiant was reluctant to accept contracts outside the states, but as he had already been nearby when the offer had been given, he saw no reason why he couldn't have a look. Especially, he added to himself, because the mission-giver himself had sounded interesting. The man on the other line had refused to reveal too much about himself; a common happening among Valiant's employers, but had still insisted on meeting the mercenary in person. Little information had been given other than this, which was probably the second reason why peeked his interest in the first place.

For once his hair was not combed perfectly backwards, something that annoyed him a great deal as his hand constantly flew up to correct it, only to remember why it looked like such a mess in the first place. “Don't look business-like when you get there,” the voice had demanded. “Try to blend in as much as you can,” it said. So Valiant walked around in an inconspicuous attire, his hair was combed but not dragged backwards like he usually did, and his weapons were hidden well on his person.

It was getting late, though not too late, but Valiant still wondered if he would be better off finding a hotel. He was, after all, not expected to arrive before the day after, as the person he would be meeting apparently had business elsewhere, and the mercenary was supposed to have taken the bus from his previous location. Fortunately for the 25-year-old, he had managed to travel by faster means, but was now left with a choice – to either risk the trust of his employer by searching his apartment, or to simply find a hotel and meet up where he had been told. As his eyes finally found the right building, the choice was made for him as a taxi pulled up in front of it, and a man he guessed to be his employer stepped out. Though still curious about the mission, Valiant began a slow walk downwards towards a bar, making sure he knew every little detail about the person's appearance before he saw himself ready to speed up. The man didn't completely fit the description Valiant had made himself when hearing his voice, but people often betrayed him that way.

It didn't take him long to find a hotel, thanks to the directions of the bartender. A beer later, Valiant happily entered a humble, perhaps even slightly shabby, hotel and managed to bargain himself into a room without revealing his identity with surprisingly little trouble. He decided to call it a night, feeling no need for food before he managed to pass out on the single bed, his phone close by, and his weapons closer.
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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Syreaa on Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:25 pm

Doctor Everett Camille
En Route to Washington, D.C. from California

The plane zipped through the sky, parting the air as it did so. Everett had grown accustomed to flying in recent years, it didn't seem like such a bad experience, not anymore, at least. His eyes scanned the jet's interior, searching every crevice for something interesting; he had already grown bored. The walls yelled ambiguity, the color, an odd darker blue, supposedly promoted a peaceful mood. Everett understood the calming affects of colors, but dark blue didn't seem like the best color. The carpeted floor was pristine, not a crumb on it - the crew took care of their vessel, a sign of loyalty and unity. The chairs, of reasonable quality, didn't squeak, but they offered limited accessories and often left the passenger with a numb lower region.

Everett shifted as he looked out the window. His eyes could barely comprehend the wonder that sped past him - the beauty was breathtaking. He cracked his knuckles loudly, and, much to his neighbor's discomfort and annoyance, he cracked his neck. He wanted nothing more than to review the file, but no one was to be trusted on board the plane, and he'd been instructed to keep the file sealed until in Washington. His boss' tone over the phone sounded stern. He had to go pick up the file from the local FBI office and he was doing his best to make it seem as though that wasn't the most exciting moment within his short life span. A solo criminal analysis "mission". Chills conquered his body as the idea played through his mind.

The monotonous sound of the plane engine started affecting his mind, soon making him sleepy. Oh, if only he could be back in his bed, sleeping next to his cat, Bubbles. He closed his eyes, imagining the seat beneath him wasn't a seat at all, but his queen-sized mattress with the Star Trek bed sheets (added for a bit of nostalgia). Sleep overtook him as he slowly lost all conscious thought, letting his subconscious work for a while.

His dreams, usually particularly disturbing, seemed to have paused for the time being. As he slept, his dreams consisted of bright colors, odd shapes, and incomprehensible patterns. That is, until his mind decided to start working in overdrive. The colors and shapes faded, the face of a six year old, her smiling face, missing teeth, rosy cheeks - they all stared at him. That picture faded to one of the same girl, her body mutilated beyond imagination, her face had been cut off, her minute legs had been crushed, burned, and cut.

The picture, or what Everett perceived to be a picture, moved. The girl, in her bloody, dead state, stood up and stared at Everett with her empty eye sockets, the darkness within them sucking him in, accusing him, yelling at him. Suddenly, she spoke. "Why?" Her bloody, exposed jaw moved awkwardly as she spoke again, "Why would he do that, Everett?" He could only stare at her awestruck, no words came to reconcile either of them.

For what seemed like eternity, they stood in silence, the dead girl, the sleeping boy. She screamed. He awoke, screaming himself. A flight attendant shook him, giving him a concerned look, "Sir, are you alright?"

"Yes, I apologize, I tend to have horrendous dreams... I'll try my best not to fall asleep again."

The flight attendant nodded and walked off, trying to comfort the other passengers on her way back to the front, where she began whispering with another flight attendant. The passengers around Everett gave him a variety of looks, a concerned look from an older woman, a look of annoyance from his seat mate, and a look of confusion from a young girl. It was going to be a long flight.
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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Thrydwulf on Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:05 pm

New York, New York
Approximately three weeks ago

The chill in the morning was unbearable. Actually it was pretty unfair to classify it as a chill, something more like a dreadful and consuming wind only New York could conjure which also made standing outside seem more and more intolerable. But still, obligated to do so, Miles Lafleur waited outside the coffee shop until he could enter the establishment.

As the time slowly dragged on he began to speculate the mission, more specifically what exactly the mission entailed. His superiors had mentioned something of a risky individual who had caused enough trouble somewhere in Latin America. But up to that point he had no information as to who exactly he would be killing. So many possibilities began to shape in his mind.

A puff of white smoke curled from the cigarette placed betwixt his lips. He had formed a sort of rhythym in his head and at each interval he would suck on the fag and at the next would realease it. The glowing ember seemed inappropriate in the elements, considering the tempatures were incredibly low, even for New York's gauging. And despite this, the cigarette had retained its timid vivacity and in return helped Miles retain his. He rose his hand and gazed at the blue monochrome watch around his wrist. With a great inhale he finished the fag and flicked it into a growing pile of snow.

"You won't be waiting for my arrival, so don't stand out there all day. At ten til six I want you to head into the "spot" and pick a booth in the corner of the room. After ten minutes a waitress will come out and serve you. She's a pedestrian though she will hand you a USB clip. On the USB will be the rest of the mission's entailments with intel, photos, and your objectives. Oh, and one more thing. Miles, it's a standard assassination. Just quick and clean nothing fancy. You got me?"

He casually pushed open the door, his less than enthusiastic attitude already kicking in. The place was occupied by a few characters, none of them unusually suspicious. All of them shared the same tired, exhausted, "worked to death for barely anything", "can't believe I'm up at six in the morning" look, as he did, some even sported it better. After several languid strides he came to the booth and took his seat. He looked down at his watch. "Just five more minutes," he said inwardly.

Ten minutes had past, each minute went by in no rush. The calignant setting allowed for some alleviation of this, its therapeutic lighting allowed for some leisured thoughts to rise to surface. For awhile he dwelled on these thoughts, these moments of yore. He tried earnestly to find their significance, besides being those most random and useless thoughts boredom had allowed him to conjure. But he failed, as he always did. It came as no surprise to him; it wasn't that he was ignorant to such things, but his mind had established a mechanism of sorts. This technique would ensure that those most foreign and precious moments would never plague him as they once had. He barely heard the hasteful footsteps approaching him. He turned his head slowly, his gaze met that of a charming waitress.

"Good mornin'. What can I get you," she asked with an unusual briskness. Her accent suggested her home being somewhere in the south, though in his line of work, one's speech peculiarities were as viable as their name.

"I'll take a small coffee, please."

"Alright." She turned around and headed down the aisle, the sound of her eager gait seemed more pronounced in the silence. Before him was a large window with an elaborate signature at its center. The wordings were fashioned in green and white. Beyond that was the street which, by this time, had gained a plethora of people. Everyone walked by, no face was unique, no stride was peculiar. As many as there was they all seemed burdened by the same thing. Life.

Once again a perky gait was heard and its producer was noneother than the waitress. She strode up to him and placed a water on the table."They say coffee's bad for you, so I brought you a water. Hope you don't mind," she said with authentic care.

"No, not at all."

"Good," she retorted. She began to leave and as she did she dropped a small black item. Where it fell from he could not tell, her movement was this swift. He decided on waiting to retrieve it, picking it up at that instant would certainly draw the suspicion of a wandering eye. He took to frequently and casually glancing at it. After several minutes of him toying with his PDA and idly sipping his water, he stood up and turned to leave. As came up on the item he allowed his device to fall to the floor. With a theatrical exaggeration he retrieved both items and took his leave. Bidding farewell to the beauty he opened the door and stepped out into the lively cold.

Seven hours later...

A loud, unnerving screech tore through the silence as the plane lurched to a stop. He listlessly rose and retrieved what luggage he had decided on taking. Before the onslaught of groggy passengers could clog the aisle, he made his way out of the plane and down the terminal. He searched the vicinity for the man destined to meet him and upon spotting him headed towards his direction.

"Mr. Lafleur I presume," asked the man as Miles approached. The man was clad in a black suit, white tie. He sported a "no-nonsense" expression that forced a smile from Miles' lips as memories of a stern teacher made their way into his mind. He instantly noted his rugged posture and the slight "slack" that destroyed any potential for handsomeness. A face one would do best not to trust, and eyes with their appropriate beadiness stared back at him. His hand was casually concealed in his coat pocket, where Miles was sure a piece awaited. Catching hold of his realization, the man erected himself a little and offered a sly smile.

"Can never be too careful," he added," but you know this much."

The conversation had no meaning, and the man's being there was nothing more than a follow-up. Miles' abilities had been required and the agency that hired him were simply reassuring themselves. In this day and age reassurance was beneficial, even at the form of questionable characters following you around. While it was a good sign it did little to reassure himself.

"And I can assume that whatever branch you represent, has properly outfitted me with the means to see this mission through. I imagine from the details provided, this "journey" will require quite the cooperation," Miles asked though his intentions had made it more of a statement.

The man looked humored as he motioned for Miles to follow him.

"You couldn't honestly expect us to jeopardize the mission for your well-being, now could you? We wouldn't want them discovering America's play in this, all because you decided to fuck up and die. Like I'm sure you've been told: you're in and you're out. Need I remind you of Emi-"

"Do you think it wise to finish that word," once again a statement. Compelled by an underlying fear, the man changed the conversation. Fear was an artificial creation though one naturally accepted by those with no will to do otherwise. Miles hadn't coasted through his life on the basis of instilling fear into those he met, no his reputable prowess was enough to quell even those most anxious minds.

"Wings are waiting for you at terminal H. You'll be lifted into air, but that's it. Near the Marioni River in French Guiana is where you'll be dropped. There's a wooded area to the north; you're to proceed northeast for a couple miles until you intercept a man, Bloshevik is his name. He should take you to Kourou, and there you'll be further briefed. No communication, no weapons; just the clothes on your back. Oh and do remember one thing: until you finish this mission you'll be considered an antagonist against the United States. Good seein' ya traitor."

The man with no name took his leave after offering another of his greasy smiles. As his silhouette faded into the crowd of passerby, Miles held onto one word: traitor. Appellations came in a variety when in regards to Miles, but this one, that word: traitor, was truly an unfamiliar term. He had expected as much, the less the ties, the less the room for discovering America's foul play. But expecting something and living through it bring about entirely different results. He stared off after the man, seemingly lost if not incredulous of the circumstances. He was without color, without a country, and without a home. The spirit of a wanderlust vagrant embodied itself within him, the spirit he had tried so earnestly to bury if not forget. But the bond at which this spirit attached itself to him was deeper than any means to eradicate it. As if it never left him he was again without home, without love-- only this time no Dan Cody could save him from the predicament he had been thrown in.
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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:13 am

Special Agent Natalie E. Schultz
Special Agent Cassandra M. Schwartz
Counterterrorism Division - Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
Washington, D.C.

In stark contrast to Natalie's office, Casie's was cleaner, organized, and had plenty of space for visitors to sit, stand, and wheel themselves around, but Natalie didn't seem to notice any of these differences as she leaned into the doorframe, head poking inside the office, body pressed against the wall, pen whirling lazily in her right hand.

When Natalie spoke, Casie didn't even look up or turn around, though she stifled a small gasp of surprise. She wondered if Natalie was aware of her disturbing ability to approach someone else soundlessly. This among other things had almost led to conniption in the past, but Casie showed no emotional response to Natalie's entrance or words, still sitting at her desk reviewing her latest emails.

"You didn't get the latest message," Casie said flatly.

"Pardon?" Natalie stepped inside, plopping on one of Casie's chairs, until her back was fully supported by the cushion, wedging her body completely into the piece of furniture.

"I'm needed elsewhere. You'll need to find someone else from the Ali Task Force to conduct the primary interrogation, unless you'd rather attempt it on your own." Casie spun around then, in her chair, to face Natalie, with a thoughtful frown. "There are plenty of competent interrogators on this floor alone."

"Where are you going?" Natalie asked, the pressure on her pen suddenly increasing as she began to slowly rock back and forth in the chair, her voice now terse and low.

"Don't worry about it - I'll just be gone for a month or so."

"Where are you going?" Natalie repeated, the words coming fast enough that she seemed to string them together to create an amalgamated word-phrase.

"Undercover," Casie said. She turned, pawing through some papers on her desk before she located what she was looking for and handed it to Natalie, who grabbed the paper with her free hand, memorizing it in an instant. The heading was the Bureau's seal, the words immediately beneath it TOP SECRET, in a blazing red font that made Natalie wince in pain at the sight of it. The description, full of codewords and acronyms known only to the intelligence community, was of a Hataf cell operating out of Washington D.C. itself. "I'll be out of town for a while, possibly incommunicado."

"Your cover story?"

"Arms dealer." Casie offered Natalie a half smile.

Natalie glanced at the clock on Casie's wall unabashedly, and frowned. She had four minutes to get out the door. "I will be sure to notify someone else. There are several very competent interrogators in this division, and I distinctly recall notations to that effect on several personnel files associated with the Ali Task Force." She stood abruptly, and without so much as a farewell, strode from Casie's office, down the hallway, into the elevator, and out through the lobby, where one of the security guards called "Good bye!" to her, but she didn't respond or seem to ackowledge his words.

Natalie made it into her car with ten seconds left on the clock. As soon as they were up, she started the engine and began the over two hour journey to USP Lee, turning on the music, to listen to one of Enigma's albums, turned on to a deafening volume as she drove with the windows partially down, at exactly the speed limit, ignoring the buzzing of her Blackberry on the passenger seat beside her.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tempest on Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:38 am

"Was that really necessary?" Asked the quiet female voice in his ear as he looked over the edge of the rooftop at the mangled body below. He didn't reply right away, instead he leveled his Tavor Sub-machine gun, sighted carefully and fired two silenced rounds into the head of the fallen man.

"That seems an absurd question given I just chased him across four roof tops after a rather strenuous three hour tail in that shit box cab." His eyes probed the darkened streets. He knew others were watching but they wouldn't be able to see him, he had taken care to ensure he had a billboard at his back, the menacing black shadow would completely hide his shadow from anyone's view. His ears detected the faint buzz of the watching predator drone and he glanced up, raising a closed fist, middle finger extended.

"Now that's just rude darling." Came the voice again. His handler was female, always had been, something about making them more likable for him to deal with. Suddenly her voice stiffened. "Four contacts south of your position, moving fast and quiet. Advise immediate fall back."

Unlike James Bond, or hell, just about any Hollywood "bad ass", Azzan nodded and immediately began to follow his standard fall back procedure. His rubber soled boots made very little noise as he raced back across the roof tops, leaping the three foot gaps between the buildings without a pause. He had slung his Tavor over his back, arms pumping as swiftly as his legs as he moved.

"Three contacts dead ahead over the next roof top. Advise immediate right turn and find a way to street level." There was no sound of panic in the voice, just calm, cold professionalism. They both knew what was at stake here but, as Mossad had always intended, she knew nothing about him save for his voice, no reason to get attached.

Taking her advise in stride, he had to trust her after all to see everything he could not, he cut right to the edge of the roof. Looking swiftly about he saw a ladder on the side of the building across the alley. The jump was only about seven feet but somehow it always seemed like the biggest jump in the world. He ran back a few paces then turned and with three strides launched himself into the air. The jump took him clear onto the far roof and he regained his feet after a swift combat roll and hurried to the ladder. Placing his booted feet and gloved hands carefully he dropped like a stone down the ladder, braking when only a few feet from the ground. He dropped the last distance and followed the voice in his ear.

"To your right, a narrow alley. Down there." He ran. "Sharp left, watch out for the goats." He barreled around the corner, leaping one of the goats who gave a startled bleat. "Roof top ladder coming up on your left. Get up it." He spotted the rusted rungs in the darkness and swiftly began to climb it. "Hold." He froze only halfway up the ladder, pressing his body against it. He could hear voices somewhere nearby, angry Arabic voices to muffled for him to make out much of what they were saying. Then... "Move. To the roof and your right. Three roof tops. Go."

He resumed climbing again, reaching the top, taking a quick glance around and then running across the roof tops to his right. He suddenly became aware of a heavy downdraft and looked up to see a darkened helicopter gliding in out of the night. "Hello sweetheart. Hope on." Cooed the voice as he leaped into the open door of the helicopter. "See you next time." The transmission in his ear went dead as he looked out the open door of the stealth helicopter and watched the roof tops of Beirut slip past.
* * * * * * * * * *

"Agent Wrath, how nice to see you in one piece." Said a heavy set man in a rumpled buisness suit. The head of Mossad, a man known only as Atonement, smiled and gestured for him to sit. Azzan had long wondered at the strange code names until he discovered that his boss believed Mossad to be doing the work of God. Silly but he liked his particular nickname.

"Thank you sir. It's been a long couple of days." Azzan replied as he sat in a plus leather chair. He looked about the office, always amazed at the sheer volume of literature to be found. He liked to read too and had absorbed vast amounts of more or less useless historical information, political insight, fiction and god knows what else.

"And its about to get even longer!" Atonement had the wicked smile he always got whenever he had some particular nasty task in store for one of his agents. He waited for Azzan to reply but the big man just looked at him. "Fine, fine, don't ask what I have in store. I'll tell you!" He paused as if for dramatic effect. "Your going to America!"

"Fuck." It was all Azzan could say. He was not particularly fond of the Americans for a number of reasons, some personal, some work related.

"I knew I could count on you. It seems the FBI are in need of our help. Seems they have stretched their resources rather thin. They are looking for Hataf." Azzan didn't blink, after all, who wasn't looking for them. Atonement continued. "Your job is provide them every assistance you can and in doing so, make sure Israel gets to them first."

That last sentence caught Azzan of guard and it must have shown because the Director of Mossad smiled. "Thats right Wrath. You are too aide the Americans in whatever they require of you and ensure that we are the ones to take down Hataf. I want their leaders dead, or alive, doesn't matter, and I want it to be an Israeli hit. It is time we sent a proper message to the terrorists and Americans. We can handle our own affairs."
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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LightingStrikes on Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:34 pm

Kaori began to work on a long list of members of terrorist groups already well known to be Hataf members. She began to open up some of the actual websites that were for communications the main link was Hataf Pride all the main members of the group if they ever got on online used this to channel the group. Kaori began to hack into some of the information you weren’t supposed to know about people’s privacy.

Her desk being there near Casie’s more so than Natalie, Kaori had heard everything that was said, she looked into the room when Casie was preparing for her undercover bit, Kaori had not heard what undercover bit there was. She did know whenever you went undercover it was extremely dangerous, especially if you were going at the investigation by your self.

Kaori stopped her work when she saw Natalie leave with out saying good-bye and wheeled herself over to Casie’s door, she knocked softly and wheeled herself inside. “My name is Kaori.” she smiled softly, of course she knew everyone knew her name in the office just some never had the opportunity met her. “I couldn’t but help overhearing you're going undercover.” Kaori said

“My house is open to you anytime you need it for whatever reason you need it. My father and mother will be informed, as well as my brother Gou. And if you need any computer work related jobs after work hours for you I’d be willing but between 9-5 my butt belongs to Natalie, after that time if you need my help call this number.” Kaori placed a number on Casie’s desk “And come back alive, your one of our best.” She said gently and wheeled herself out of the office not giving Casie a chance to respond to her.

As the day grew long, towards the end of it Natalie would find the addresses of at least five on her desk when she came back from Jacksonville. Kaori grinned now as she found an address and began to write it down. She loved challenges; they made her day go by much faster.

While Kaori worked hard on the address list of at least five of the terrorists
, she also was monitoring the talk by the group and saw they were talking about the man they put in charge to off the FBI agents in charge, they would never come out and say exactly who it was they were after.

Kaori felt Natalie and Casie should be told, but how to tell them? It was her job to monitor the conversations and to report anything out of the ordinary. Plotting to kill a life wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary for Hataf, coming right out and saying who they wanted dead and why was.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Syreaa on Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:48 pm

Doctor Everett Camille
J. Edgar Hoover Building
Washington, D.C.

The flight had ended quietly, no more distractions or strange dreams haunted Everett's mind. The flight attendant patted him on the back as he left, a concern and caring look on her petite features. The staff apparently really cared for the passengers.

Now in front of the J.Edgar Hoover Building, he sighed as a gust of Washington wind hit his face like a brick wall, chilling his tense body. Bracing himself, he stepped into the massive building; behind him, cars whizzed about their upholstered seat occupied by unsuspecting, unknowing citizens who, for the time being, had no idea what darkness lay behind the tan walls of the building. Life buzzed about in the edifice, the monument to justice. This place played host to some of the greatest minds in history. Every agent, every lab geek, every trainee, they worked to change the world - make it a better place.

Men and women in standard issue FBI clothing strutted about, this building serving as their sanctuary, and in some cases, their palace; their place to rule the day-to-day activities of others. Everett could see hate, contempt, love, passion, scorn, and regret written on their faces. A flood of emotions, body language, movements, and words deluged over Everett. He almost didn't catch Emily Mitchell waving to him from across the room, her rounded features, soft eyes, and light blond hair making her easily recognizable. She'd been working with him for over a year now and they had become relatively good friends. A grin played on her lips as she greeted Everett with a hearty handshake and a hello.

"Emily! It's a pleasure to see you again, how was Tahiti?" Everett smiled exuberantly, excited to see a familiar face.

"Splendid! Oh, have you met the new BAU Unit director? They apparently shipped him to Quantico a few days ago. I hear he's a bit of an odd pickle." Her southern belle accent twanged slightly as she said "pickle", making Everett think of his grandmother, who lived in Alabama, but the thought quickly disappeared.

"Oh. Interesting. Are you working on the Ali case?"

Emily's eyes widened and she grabbed his shoulder lightly, pulling him into an empty elevator, "Yeah, but you can't tell anyone... I'm sort of on it unofficially. I wasn't supposed to be back for another week, so the Bureau's records say I'm still out of the country. Boss man figured it would be easier just for me to work the case unofficially." She smiled as the elevator dinged on the fourth floor, picking someone up. She lowered her voice and continued, "Did the boss man fly you back from California?"

Everett nodded and answered, "I was about to head back home when he called me and sent me to Washington. No real information. Just the address of a police station to pick up the file and where to get my plane ticket." He jolted slightly when the elevator dinged, the red, digital number on the top now displaying a "12". Both he and Emily stepped off the elevator, their steps in time with one another. The noise from the floor appeared from seemingly nowhere and penetrated the conversation. Talk could be heard from across the room of desks, phones rang often, and computers dinged non-stop. Everett sighed and looked out over the expanse of desks and workers. Welcome to Hell.

Emily picked the conversation back up and took off running with her words, her southern accent becoming more obvious the quicker she spoke, "So, as far as I can tell, I have no idea how we can trust her. She's a terrorist, and if anyone knows terrorists, it's you and me. I mean, we spend our lives hoping for a chance to catch those sneaky, crazy bastards before they waste innocent lives. And here one just walks in, no real problem, just waltzes in."

Everett nodded, "Yeah. I could spend hours studying her and probably get no where. Life would be easier if I could truly know what she was thinking. Sadly, the puzzle pieces I conjure up don't always fit together. Do you know if they've interrogated her yet?"

Emily shrugged and started walking towards her desk which sat directly adjacent to Everett's. "I don't think they have. There's been a lot of talk of interrogating, but I doubt anyone has actually done any interrogating. I think they're still processing her. See, my biggest problem with her walking in, unarmed and without saying a word, is that we can't tell her true intentions. It really just eats through me. Does it do that with you?"

Everett thought for a moment and nodded, adding a quick "Mmhmmm." Before sitting down at his scantily clad, impromptu desk. On it stood an older Macintosh computer, a paper rack, a cup for holding writing utensils, and, at the bottom, sitting on the ground, an empty wastebasket. His chair, a cheap one, squeak as he adjusted himself slightly, trying to get a feel for the area. That desk would be his home until the case was cracked.

Emily sat at her desk which already had a myriad of photos, memorabilia, and figurines. Her chair didn't squeak, but rather sounded like a dying squirrel, "RrrrrrrrrrrCk!... RrrrrrrrrrrCkA!" For a moment, it held Everett's attention, but he soon wrestled his thoughts away from the ear-drum shattering noise. The computer whirred to life when he punched the button on it. A boot screen appeared and soon after, a login screen. He punched in his Federal Password and soon the Ali file was sitting in front of him in digital form, its black letters standing out on the stark white background. Both he and Emily began reading the file.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LightingStrikes on Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:55 pm

Gou clinched his teeth and grunted as he sat on his bed looking at the photo of Natalie Schultz. He was memorizing everything on the photograph, but Gou knew that photo’s could lie. The photo perceived Natalie Schultz as a normal woman with out any complications.

Gou opened the manila folder and Inside the folder the first thing he read was :

Special Agent Natalie Elisabeth Schultz
FBI Headquarters - J. Edgar Hoover Building
Washington D.C.

Then more information on the FBI agent than more information came to follow, a description of her looks and height, in case he missed it from the photograph, the type of car she had. Other information was included, but nothing personal about Natalie Schultz was added.

Most people who were told to kill someone off went the easy rout and bombed a car, or climbing up at the top of and became a sniper, a nice clean shot, if done right once was fine. Not Gou. Since he had never killed anyone this was a new experience and Gou wanted to see how far he could go.

The file Gou read wasn’t perfect and left crucial information, Gou wasn’t about to complain he knew this was part of the fun for the rat trying to catch the mouse.

Gou placed the file down he wanted revenge on his father’s death, that is why he had joined Hataf, but Gou wasn’t sure what Natalie Schultz if anything had to do with his father’s death. He wanted to get a good sense of Natalie Schultz, if he found she was innocent of his father’s death, he most likely not kill her. Gou would especially not kill her once he found out she had a child, he would not leave another child to be raised by their aunts.

Gou began to wonder now if his leaders were just using him to get their work done, but it was too late to back out, if they even thought Gou was thinking about leaving he would be on their hit list. Then where would his little sister be? Gou wondered, it was pretty clear Gou would not be killing his sister.

Gou stood up and placed the folders in his desk, in his room, a place that was good for keeping things, but if anyone went snooping in his room they would find it. Who would do that? His sister? She couldn’t even walk, true she was getting stronger and standing now for long periods of times, but walking she would never do again, that is what the doctors had said. His aunt and uncle, who insisted he called them mom and dad, for Kaori’s sake? They never even bothered with him, it was Kaori they had wanted in the first place.

Gou wondered though how his sister had been party to his father’s death? She hadn’t even been born yet. It had been a gambling debt that killed his father nothing less and nothing more. Though people had been involved it was his father’s fault at the beginning for not knowing when to stop?

When Gou became part of Hataf, Hataf fed on the promise of revenge to him. They promised to help find and kill the ones involved in his parents deaths. Gou having been young at the time of his initiation believed the lies that had been told to him. Twenty years later he now began to wonder.

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Re: When the Lion Wakes (IC/open)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:28 pm

Chief Warrant Officer Nathaniel Carter, MI
Special Agent Natalie E. Schultz, FBI
Tahira Ali, detainee number 29083564
Jacksonville, Virginia

It seemed cold in the interrogation room. Moses had taken her here an hour ago, and left her, sitting on a plastic chair in a nearly empty room, her manacled hands resting in her lap, her gaze staring blankly at her reflection in the mirror on the wall, unsure what to make of her own image. Tahira Ali seemed almost Lilliputian here, though there was little space in the room to begin with. The walls dwarfed her. The shadows from the light fixture played with her features, and when she shifted her weight ever so subtly, the shadows too moved.

Ali did not speak. Words were thunderous, easily fatal, and she did not wish to disturb the tranquility of silence. Silence has a beauty all its own, untainted by suffering and pain that words too easily convey, too easily shatter hope and dreams with. Ali reflected then, that she was alone, completely isolated from anyone, and she thought, not without some hint of sorrow, that she had never felt as alone in all her days as she did right now.

Meanwhile, the cabin jolted as the AC 130 touched down on Langley’s airfield. Nathan replaced the dossier into his black suitcase and spun the combination lock before inserting and turning his key. As the plane taxied around the runway to the refueling station, Nathan readied himself for his coming task. From the reports, Tahira Ali seemed to respond to direct questioning well, but he wondered how much she would reveal. Why was she talking now; to prevent the death of innocents of all things? She’d never shown any problems with killing in the past. Did her conscience catch up with her in old age, he mused. Nathan chuckled at his line of thinking. Not likely, he decided.

When the plane came to a halt, the cabin door opened up. To his surprise a lieutenant colonel boarded to get him. “Chief Carter?” he asked, extending a hand. “I’m Lieutenant Colonel Mahaffey; welcome to Langley Airforce Base.”

“Good to meet you, sir,” Nathan replied, shaking the colonel’s hand. “I expected a different welcoming committee.”

Mahaffey laughed. “It would seem Uncle Sam’s taking more precautions. I’m here to make sure you catch your ride. Sergeant Richardson’s just outside in a HMMWV to take you up to Jacksonville.”

“You mean they’re holding her in Lee?” Nathan asked dumbfounded. “Isn’t that a bit reckless sir?”

“It’s maximum security Chief Carter. She’s under the AG’s jurisdiction now. I know how you feel, but it was all we could do to get you in there. Don’t fuck this up,” Mahaffey told him.

“I won’t sir,” Nathan replied as Mahaffey motioned for him to exit the plane. Carter followed him down the plane’s boarding ramp that ended at a HMMWV with a single man in ACU’s in it. As they reached the vehicle the lieutenant colonel turned to Carter.

“I pray for your success Chief. Give her hell,” he said as he opened the passenger side door. Nathan climbed in and shut the door, looking over at the sergeant.

“It’ll take us about an hour to get there normally. I’ll get us there in thirty,” he said giving Nathan a sly smile.

“In a HMMWV? Not likely, Sergeant. This thing won’t go over fifty five,” Nathan countered.

“Maybe not, but if I take the back street’s it’ll be faster than getting through traffic. I know what I’m doing, sir,” the sergeant responded. “Staff Sergeant Richardson by the way. Nice to meet you, sir.”

Nathan just nodded and they were on their way after Nathan tossed his gear into the back. Carter just stared out the window as the world passed by in a blur of trees, the occasional car, and some buildings.

At the same time, Natalie was driving exactly sixty on the interstate, not bothering to speed the way most of the other drivers here were. She considered it, briefly, considered pulling one or two of them over to give them a good verbal assault on their reckless and illegal driving habits, but she continued, her watch telling her she was another hour or so away from Lee, her mouth turning to a small frown.

In the prison, Tahira Ali was still alone, left unmolested and without company in the interrogation room, wondering who was coming to speak to her, and how soon it would be. It had been another half hour or so, and she was almost beginning to worry, the old anxiety coming back. She wondered again, for the thousandth time, why she was doing this. Was it a ludicrous idea after all? No. Ali steeled herself. It had to be done. It had to be.

It was mid afternoon when the HMMWV pulled up to the security gate of Lee Penitentiary. Sergeant Richardson unzipped the driver side window and handed the guard his ID. The guard swiped it through a card reader and handed it back to the sergeant. Two more guards opened the prison gates and the HMMWV drove into the government section of the parking lot. At the same time Nathan noticed a dark blue Camry pull into the parking lot behind them. It held FBI license plates. Hmm, this doesn’t look good, Nathan thought to himself.

“Looks like someone’s trying to beat you too her,” Staff Sergeant Richardson noted, pointing to the agents vehicle.

“Well, let’s hope we can do something about it,” Nathan replied, grabbing his suitcase and stepping out of the vehicle.

Natalie Schultz parked exactly parallel in the lines, and then climbed out of her car, blinking in the sudden brightness of the sun, the pen in her right hand twirling lazily as eyes rolled upward, noticing the two military men. She began to walk toward the entrance to the prison, not bothering to greet the two, or ask their business, or even look at them as she stared fixedly ahead at the door.

Nathan hadn’t expected the agent to speak to him. It was typical of other agencies to stick to their own business seeing as they often competed. Instead he did much the same, heading towards the door with suitcase in hand. He entered the left side of the prison’s double doors next to the FBI agent and headed for the interrogation rooms. As he approached the door he noted an officer standing outside. Nathan approached and showed the man his ID card. “Chief Warrant Officer Nathaniel Carter. I’m with MI and have authorization to speak with detainee number 29083564,” he told the man.

As soon as the military man was within arm's length of Natalie, she frowned and began to walk slightly hunched forward, almost bouncing on her toes as she moved, though she followed him toward the interrogation rooms, standing behind the man and just out of arm's length, her gaze almost unfocused, almost not understanding his words, though the number, that she recognized, and looked up, a movement of just her head, eyes raking the man but not resting anywhere near his. "That's why I'm here too," she said, too loudly, and after an extra moment, produced her credentials and held them out in her left hand, right hand busy increasing the pressure on her pen.

“I thought as much. I don’t want to cause an uproar, but I’m going in first. I’ve got a mission to complete, Ma’am, don’t allow my leisure,” Carter told the agent. It was imperative that he got in that door first. He knew how detainees got after being talked to about the same thing over and over. They were never very pleasant and the more you talked to them with different people the more reluctant they became to give information. Nathan hoped that getting in first would give him a better chance of getting the information he needed. And oh did they need it.

Natalie began to rock back and forth, small movements, hardly noticeable but for someone trained in analyzing behavior. "I need to conduct a preliminary interview," she said, without inflection in her voice, still speaking too loudly, still not making eye contact.

“I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I don’t have time for that. I’m not here for a screening. I’m here to conduct an interrogation and my superiors expect fast results. The longer I take the more people will die. I don’t care what you do after I’m done, but I have to get in there now,” Nathan told her, his voice cold and unemotional as always. Things were starting get out of control. He wasn’t sure if she noticed, but the longer they talked, the more the agent started to fidget. Must be something subconscious, he thought. I’m guessing she’s angry.

The rocking turned into larger, more obvious movements, the pressure on the pen increasing even more as Natalie stared without blinking at the man's chin, several moments delay before she spoke again. "I need to conduct a preliminary interview; I need to conduct a preliminary interview," she repeated, in the same tone before she took another pause, and then spoke again, having heard and processed the man's words to her. "I - I - I was told to come today, now, now, but you may go; I am adapting to a sudden change."

No, not angry, Nathan corrected himself. Nervous? No, that’s not it either. Could she be….afraid? “Thank you Ma’am. I’ll try to be as quick as I can,” Nathan said as he began sanitizing his uniform, removing his name and rank from the velcro of his ACU. Then he nodded to the officer at the door.

Natalie remained outside the door for several moments, before abruptly turning back down the hallway, walking toward the lobby where she took a seat, closing her eyes as she rocked slowly back and forth, increasing and decreasing the pressure on her pen at steady intervals.

The officer opened the door and Nathan stepped inside to confront the woman he’d been fighting against for years. The Ace of Spades. He noted the shackles she wore, strapped to the chair and held in place. “Remove her restraints,” he told the officer.

“B-but sir,” the officer stuttered.

“I said remove them,” Nathan ordered, this time more forcefully.

“Y-yes sir!” the officer said, walking across the room and unlocking the woman’s shackles before leaving the room; closing the door behind him. Nathan walked over and sat down on the chair across from Ali. “Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Nathan,” he told her.

Ali looked up when the door opened, eyes narrowing slightly at the sudden sound. She watched the man who entered, wondering why he had ordered the shackles removed, but letting her hands rest on her lap again once the chains were gone, her vacant gaze sliding over to the interrogator, who wore a military uniform, though she did not meet his eyes, nodding at his name. "My name is Tahira," she said, her voice soft, almost inaudible. "It is nice to meet you." At once her accented English stood out, the greeting almost rote.

"You've told us before that you wish to offer information to us; why come forward now?" Nathan asked, his curiosity getting the best of him instead of heading straight for direct questioning.

"I cannot let this happen, what they want," Ali said, her gaze resting on some spot just beyond Nathan's shoulder.

"I see, and who is they?" Nathan asked.

"Hataf. Their leaders."

"Alright, then I'll begin. What organization is Hataf directly subordinate to?" Nathan asked, his voice changing from curious to professional.

"Hataf is, it is subordinate to no one," Ali said slowly, mispronouncing the word 'subordinate'. "Their leaders believe they follow only God."

"I see, then let's go the other way. What is one organization that is directly subordinate to Hataf?" Nathan asked, deciding to go down the scale seeing as Hataf was larger scale.

"Al Ulema, is one," Ali said, with a slight inclination of her head.

Nathan began drawing a link diagram in his mind with Hataf at the top. "All right, what is another organization directly subordinate to Hataf," Nathan continued.

"International Association of Students of Divine Justice," Ali answered, each word pronounced carefully, to get it correct.

Nathan drew another line in his mind as he fished a note book from his briefcase and began writing. This was too important to venture to memory. As he wrote Nathan asked again, "What is another organization directly subordinate to Hataf?"

Ali's eyes followed Nathan's movements, watching as he began to write, her frown deepening. "Al Da'wa al Nur," she responded, "which means Call to the Light."

Nathan nodded and began writing, as his hand moved he watched Tahira. From years of experience he'd trained himself to write without watching his hand. Once again he asked, "What is another organization directly subordinate to Hataf?"

"Abuddin," Ali said, this name spoken as she looked away, blinking at the wall opposite her.

Nathan watched each of Ali's reactions to each question. She seemed to have a different one for each organization. He wondered what she was thinking. "What is another organization directly subordinate to Hataf?" Nathan continued.

"That is all," Ali shook her head, looking back at Nathan, while noticeable avoiding eye contact. "There are no others."

"Is there a reason you won't look at me?" Nathan asked. "I would appreciate if you would look at me while we talk." Nathan looked across at Ali making eye contact. It was never good to let the detainee look around aimlessly.

Ali dropped her eyes immediately, looking at the ground. "It is - it is a way to show respect," she murmured, flushing as she spoke. The behavior was cultural and reinforced throughout her life, to the point where she was hardly conscious of it, until, of course, Nathan had pointed it out.

That explains it, Nathan thought. So that's why everyone else I've talked to looks me straight in the eyes. No respect, he almost chuckled inwardly at the revelation. "I see, that's fine then. Now, what is one organization directly subordinate to Al Ulema?" Nathan asked, going back to questioning.

"International Body of Apocalyptic Scholars," Ali said, butchering the pronunciation of the word 'apocalyptic'.

Nathan raised an eyebrow, "Apocalyptic as in end of the world, correct?" He had to ask. Nathan cursed himself for the leading question, but he had to know for sure.

"Yes, that is so," Ali nodded.

Nathan wrote that down and continued, "What is another organization directly subordinate to Al Ulema?"

"The Pan-American Society of Islamic Thinkers."

Nathan was still astonished at how large these organization spanned even after all these years. "What is another organization directly subordinate to Al Ulema?" Nathan continued.

"I do not know of any others," Ali confessed.

"I see," Nathan said, crossing out an extra line from his diagram. "What is one organization directly subordinate to the International Association of Students of Divine Justice?" Nathan asked.

"There are none," Ali said. "But the regional offices, in each continent."

Nathan nodded and added a note to side of the organization. "What is one organization directly subordinate to , Al Da’wa al Nur?" Nathan asked.

"La Société Européenne de Prière," Ali said, completely mispronouncing all of the French.

"What is another organization directly subordinate to Al Da’wa al Nur," Nathan continued, once again stumbling a bit over the Arabic. Even after DLI he wasn't able to pronounce the language very well.

"Hijas del Omnisciente," Ali said, stumbling over the Spanish. She spoke her own language slowly, and speaking any other compounded what might have otherwise been diagnosed as a minor communication disorder.

Nathan glanced at his watch, blinking at the time. It had already been a couple hours since they started and he wasn't anywhere near done. He looked back up at Ali, "We've been talking for quite some time already. If you don't mind I'm going to step out for a bit. Would you like a glass of water?" Nathan asked. His own throat was parched, he could only imagine how she felt.

"I would appreciate it, sayyid," Ali said, nodding. "Thank you."

Nathan nodded and rose from his chair, taking his notes and briefcase with him. He pushed his chair in and walked to the door, knocking on it to let the officer know he wanted out. The officer cracked the door, and seeing Nathan there, opened it the rest of the way letting the warrant officer out. "I'll be returning shortly," he told the officer as he entered the adjacent room on the other side of the interrogation room.

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