It Was The Russians

July 16, 2016:

A diplomatic package goes missing. Tigra lends a hand to find it.

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Things get lost. That's one of the universal truths of living in a city with as many people in it as are in New York. People lose things all the time. Mostly there things of no major consequence, at least not to more than one or two people. Pocket change or keys or a wallet. Not the end of the world, really, if any of those things stays lost.

And then there's things of more… import. Part of engaging with the world diplomatically means drawing attention. Part of drawing attention means people get curious. If the wrong people get curious they're apt to resort to some pretty shady things to satisfy that curiousity.

So when a parcel of diplomatic documents intended for Ulani goes missing, a parcel from one of the friendlier nations, it's important to get them back, pronto. Rowan let it be known among his few contacts that he needed someone good at finding things. That request eventually got to Tigra.

Who would steal them? That no one can know just yet. Where they went? Well….


There are certain people, or in Tigra's case, felines the fishy underwater types have dealt with enough to develop more trust between them. Aware of her past (and sometimes current) time in the detective field, she was reached out to and the gist of the matter explained.

After listening to what she was told, it didn't take much for Greer to suspect the line between 'lost' and 'stolen' was pretty much blurred to the point that either thing was just as likely as the other. But, the who, why, and where were all questions that needed answering.

It began with a check of how the documents were meant to be delivered. Nothing out of the ordinary there, one of those overnight priority deals. The catch? Upon speaking with one of the supervisors at the mail service, it came out that there'd been a rash of disappearances lately when it came to just that sort of delivery. Someone was apparently of a mind that packages like these, with very time-specific deliveries, probably held more value than the standard stuff.

From there, a little prodding led to finding a few schedules of employees that handled the route that would have gone through the neighborhood the documents should have been taken to. Interestingly, and most suspiciously, the normal carrier had called in sick that day. Was it possible the replacement was responsible for this? That's what Tigra had to find out, and after getting the address of the employee who'd been out and taking the subway (smelly!) nearby, she found herself staring up at one of the many housing projects in a less-affluent part of New York City.

"Doesn't look like this guy's moving on up to the East Side any time soon," the tigress mused to herself, peering at a piece of paper with the guy's apartment number on it. "Time to see if he feels chatty or not."


"The message from Tigra said to meet here, Rowan." Ulani murmurs as they arrive at the housing project, trying to keep a low profile. She's wearing Surfacer clothes, a pair of shorts and a tank top. It's about as close as she can get to her normal wear and not upset the Surfacer sensibilities. She still wears her 'slave bracelets' and the pendant at her throat.

"I really hope this is just a mistake and someone isn't targetting us." The likelihood of that seems low really. That package had been marked - signature only.


Rowan nods, looking about. Tigra isn't too hard to spot. "There she is… she looks like she's about to make a move. Why don't we let her…"

The dragon Blue has a very tactical mind and it goes to work very quickly. He waves to Tigra on the off chance she sees them and starts to move around the back of the building. Just in case.

The replacement won't be moving up any time soon but he should be coming out to walk his pomeranian in just a minute or s-

There he is. Slacks. A frame. Sneakers. Backwards hat. Whistling. Not a care in the world. Not very fashionable either. He sees Tigra and stops to… appreciate her.


Indeed, the cat-woman is very much in cat-woman mode, doing nothing to hide her appearance or stray from her usual attire. In an area like this, it'd do to take a second or third look around just to make sure she doesn't step on any broken glass. Or, worse, dirty needles. Those can still be found in these places.

A glance is shared with the pair of ocean folk, a nod following when they begin to take up a position that should allow them to cover the rear. About that time, a quick sniff and sound draws her attention to the dog along with the guy holding the leash. While he's in the midst of staring at her, she heads over that way, casual as can be.

"Hey, buddy. You know a guy who lives in 4C? Tommy, uh, Graves?" Tigra gives a subtle look to the pom, just a little way of letting the thing know who the boss is here, then she adds with a grin to the man, "It's kind of a surprise."


"So she is." Ulani acknowledges the woman and takes the other side of the building. Should Tigra's target try to run, he should be met be either one of them.

Of course, the two Blue need to be careful - as they discussed the other day, it would be easy to discredit them if they got too … exuberant … The media could be used to turn public and political opinion against them.


"Yeah that's me. What kind of surprise is this? I like surprises. I think…" Tigra is kind of known, what with her membership in high profile heroing groups and all that. Of course she's also rather pretty. And of course Tommy hasn't immediately think of what she might be here for.

Rowan motions to Ulani. There's a second line of escape just to his left. He's got this one. If Tommy really has something to do with missing diplomatic packages… he'll be bolting soon.


Tigra practically purrs at Tommy. "Oh, that's you? Perfect!" Or, maybe, 'purrfect' given how it sort of rolls off the tongue. She gestures down at the pom, adding, "I saw your cute little dog, but are you just a dog person or are you a cat person, too?" The question is punctuated with the flick of her tail, which just happens to brush against one of his arms.

Anything to keep the guy from rabbiting right away. Almost anything.

About the same time, her right hand is close enough to settle at his shoulder. "Actually, even though my date slate is open tonight, I wanted to ask you about something else. I found out you've been sick from work a few times lately, and a somehow a few packages never made it where they were supposed to go. That sounds really fishy to me. What's up with that?" The hand grips gently enough, but he'll surely feel it.


Ulani rolls her eyes at Tommy. She's getting used to Surfacers and their ways but still, it's eyeroll worthy.

She was already moving in the direction that Rowan indicated, separating to close off the exits. Not that she looks threatening or intimidating, unarmed as she is, but theres a degree of confidence about her.

She'll be ready when, and if, it is needed.


Tommy's eyes widen just a bit too late. He jerks away from Tigra and tries to run. It's possible that Tigra's already got enough of a grip on him to prevent him from bolting. Or perhaps not. Either way he sweeps a knife out from under his shirt, lets go of his pommeranian and takes a swipe Tigra's eyes.

Rowan lets out a shout that's part indignation and part signal to Ulani and sprints in but he'll need a moment to get there. Ulani has more… ranged options.


He's loose, mainly because…well, maybe Tigra let him break free. The knife is out pretty quickly, for what it's worth, but she's fast enough to lean back before it catches her. "Now, now, Tommy. That wasn't very nice. Why so skittish? Do you see any camera crews around? This isn't an episode of COPS."

And then, he's off and running. Touching something at an ear, she speaks into a small communicator. "The chase is on." Did it sound like she was kind of pleased at being able to make that announcement? Why yes, it did. The tail lashes and the tigress even hunkers down briefly, waiting for Tommy to get ahead a ways, then she leaps into action to race after him. "Dog person, then. Tsk. Too bad."


Ulani does have more ranged options and as Tommy makes a break for it, she calls water from the ground and the sewer (ewww) forming it into daggers that shoot at the mans thighs and knees - she's aiming to maim not kill.

This is a practiced manoeuvre, something she's done a number of times - underwater, generally - and she knows to avoid the leaping Tigress.


The attack makes Tommy stumble. Rowan slows to prevent him from getting back up but Tigra's going to be the one close enough for the takedown. He's already trying to recover the knife from where it clattered to the pavement. He's probably not going to make it fast enough. "Hey hey hey, this isn't what it looks like. I didn't know they were Russians, I swear!"


"No crippling!" Tigra calls out, half-seriously as Ulani and Rowan both move to help intercept. She was probably trying to avoid going straight to wounding, but you never know with those predator types. The pomeranian is left to its own devices, hopefully not resulting in it running out into any traffic, and as Tommy starts to go down Tigra ensures that's how it'll end as she springs forward to land atop his back and pin him down.

"The Russians, you say? Tell me more about the Russians," she encourages from her advantageous position. "Is it Boris and Natasha again?"


"I didn't try to kill him." Ulani speaks softly as she joins Tigra with the man held to the ground. She's a soldier and they've just finished a war - her first instinct is to kill.

"Tell us about the Russians." she stops with her legs in front of the mans nose.

Rowan gets a quizzicle look, they've spoken in passing to the Russians, but nothing serious.


"The Russians! They said anything coming through marked to an Ulani Blue would be worth a lot of money. They had a drop set up but I hadn't gone yet. It was supposed to be tonight." Tommy is not a brave man. Tigra can smell the scent of his, er, lack of bravery.

"So you still have them." Rowan presses.

"Yyeah they're in my apartment…" He whines. "Please don't kill me…"

"I'm not going to…" Rowan glances to Ulani and Tigra. "They might though. I'll go get the things."


Tigra flashes Ulani a quick little grin, the reason behind it unclear at the moment. She remains in place with both hands and feet used to keep Tommy well and truly pinned. "You really should have known better than that, Tommy," comes her voice from above him. "I know the projects suck, but you never do a deal with the Russians. You'd better hope they haven't been monitoring this place already."

However, as they learn the secret papers are still here and Rowan talks of retrieving them, she slides off of Tommy and hoists him back to his feet, starting to dust off his shirt here and there. "My friend here will need your key. Don't worry. He isn't a thief like you. Your 'Game of Bones' video will be right where you left it."

Then she sends a look the way of both Blue. Idea time! "Hear me out on this, Tommy. I'm thinking if you want to make it up to my friends, you fill us in on this drop and we take your place. Maybe the Russians turn up, maybe not. I don't need to remind you about the laws against stealing mail, but I might be able to put in a good word or two for you when we talk to the feds about all this. What do you say?"


Ulani doesn't grin back. It's not that she doesn't like the tigress - she's just rather serious. "Give him your key so he can retrieve the mail." She doesn't mention that it's for her.

Letting Tigra dust him off, the Blue female crosses her arms - looking confused over the name of the video "I thought it was Game of Thrones?" There's some things she's still assimilate about the Surface.

Tigra's plan, though, gets a nod of approval. Poor old Tommy, just gets a flat, threatening look as the water around them starts to form … not into anything specific, yet … but the threat is inherent.


"It was supposed to be at St. Petersburg. Not, uh, the city, the Russian 'pub' down in the diplomatic quarter. I was supposed to meet a guy there at eleven thirty PM. He was gonna be the guy in there with the bloody mary." Cause what Russian drinks a, well, nevermind.

"I swear that's all I know. They want to know the details that Miss Blue is getting on some kind of deal or other…"

Tommy's not that bright.

Rowan snorts. "Thank you Tigra. Where shall we have your compensation sent, by the way?"


Tigra offers Ulani an expression that's more unreadable than otherwise, then she makes a face and handwaves the question about the show away. "Better you pretend you didn't hear that. Look it up and you might wish you hadn't. And don't ask me how I know about it, either."

Back to Tommy, she sizes him up with a scrutinizing eye, crossing her arms. "You two got that, then? I figure you can follow up on that lead yourselves. I was serious when I said the Russians are bad news, but I'll make sure Tommy Boy here is taken care of just fine, and his little dog too."

Not quite as an afterthought, she remarks over toward Rowan, "To the usual place." Meaning the Hall of Justice. "Fresh fish makes the best sushi." Is that the arrangement they have?


At least Tommy isn't up on current affairs and doesn't recognise the Blue Envoy. Thank Appolymi for small mercies. The water drops and settles back on the ground and she nods to the Tigress. "Our thanks for the assistance." Yeah, they got this.

Fresh fish is certainly something the Blue can offer. Heck, Ulani can collect it on her morning swim and deliver it in person most days. "If there's nothing more, we'll leave this gentleman to you to deal with. It's time we are going."


"We'll make sure you get some." It's not the only arrangement they have. Rowan and Ulani can also compensate in more monetary ways. The Blue State can compensate them later. It's not like Rowan's rent is that bad.

"See you tomorrow then. We'll… go say hello to our Russian friends tonight."

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