2012-10-03: Shaking Off The Rust



Special Guest: Yuri Petrovich

Summary: Connor's Uncle Yuri seeks Rashmi out to explain a few things, and ask for her help.

Date: October 3, 2012

Log Title: Shaking Off The Rust

Rating: PG

NYC — Thompson Square Park

Thompson Square Park is a small park in the middle of Mutant Town. The benches might need a fresh coat of paint, the fence might be rusted in places and the pavement is raised and has cracks but it's all part of the mutant haven and fairly relaxing. Trees and grassy areas are in between the many paths, there are a few structures and benches along the path as well as a special area of the park that is marked 'the dog walk'.

Two trees have been planted in the park as a Memorial to Carmencita Florez and Detective Baxter each with a plaque stating the tree is in their memory.

Since the kidnappings began, Rashmi has been on personal high alert. Since Connor got taken, she has been the center of a veritable whirlwind of activity. Not once, to common knowledge, has she set foot outside the Genoshan Embassy since the attack on the apartment, but some things simply had to be retrieved. Chief among them, Connor's medicine, to have on hand the moment she saw him next; whatever else he may need to recover from, the redhead refused to allow this, at least, to take any more time than it had to. Now, she sets the Embassy duffel bag down on the ground next to her, lowering herself to her haunches next to Detective Baxter's tree. "It's even worse this time, Detective," she murmurs softly, plucking a burger wrapper from the base of the tree and wadding it up. "I think you'd be *sick* at the kind of level this goes to, and I'm sort of happy you don't have to see it… but we're going to take care of it. I promise you that…"

"Promise who what, mutie?" Comes a voice from behind you, and the sounds of a couple different people's bootsteps on the pavement, until you can make out a half-dozen young men of varying ages from late teens to mid-thirties. All of them are dressed in jeans and jackets of either denim or leather, with a Church of Humanity shirt on under each. Their eyes carry the malice of unthinking hatred in them, and each has a weapon in hand, ranging from a baseball bat, to a couple chains, and a snub revolver. Again, the apparent leader, the one with the bat says, "Yer that one from the internet thingy. I remember yer face. Who the hell you think you are… this whole place oughta be burned down, an' here you are actin' like yer normal. Get up."

Rashmi starts at the sound of the first voice, head turning quickly to look over her shoulder. Her eyes flick from one potential attacker to the next as she stands slowly, brushing at her knees and turning around. "That's right," she says, a look of sadness and worry passing over her dark features. "That was me. Rashmi, if you forgot… Rashmi Franklin." She pauses, tilting her head and looking at each face individually again, a small furrow forming between her eyebrows, as though puzzled by something. "…Is there something I can help you with?"

Mr. Baseball Bat points it at you, letting you see that it's actually a signed bat, but by whom is lost to antiquity, and to the light stains of blood that have not been bleached out, "Yeah… I figger we beat your face in, and leave you here for the rest of the dogs to see, we'll finally have New York for americans. Not fer mutie trash." To which Chain one and Chain two both pipe up, "Yeah… go back home, freakshow!" "You ain't gotta right to look like us! Mess you up oughta show them!" And then Knife Guy checks the blade of the bowie he has in his hands, "I say we mark 'r too. M. Right on th' eye." The others laugh and agree.
The gunman seems to be strangely silent… and then your eyes see him go strangely… absent… from his fellows, a gloved hand grabbing the pistol before it can hit the ground.

"That's a really bad idea," Rashmi says mildly, shaking her head. "I was born to normal parents, you know… A lot of us were. A lot of us *will* be. No one really knows what'll turn the switch on, for any kid." The gunman's silent takedown is marked, the corners of her mouth ghosting upward, just slightly, for a moment. "…And since most mutants don't even *know* it's in them until high school… Do you realize, you'd have to murder every last child in New York City, every day, all the time, *forever,* just to make sure you've got them all." Here she pauses, looking between each of the five that remain. "Do you *really* think you can do that, gentlemen…? *Would* you?"

Baseball Bat, Chain 1, Chain 2, and Bowie Knife all begin to move closer, your words falling on deaf ears as they continue to spew Church of Humanity rhetoric at you, but now, the as of yet unnamed fifth man, who had been standing to the back and watching, cigarette still in his grip is suddenly gone, a pair of gloved hands hauling him off into the darkness of an alleyway, leaving just the smoke on the ground, rolling back and forth a few times before it settles. From out of the same shadows comes the form of a whipcord lean man, making one think more of a cat, or at least a dancer with his movements. The unnamed man's smokes are in his hands, and he looks to be lighting up as he just casually walks towards the remaining quartet.

Rashmi holds up a hand in the newcomer's direction, loosing a slow, heavy sigh. "Thank you," she says, pitching her voice to clearly carry it past the quartet, "but I think I've got this. I really am sorry, gentlemen," she says as her spheres fade into view, spinning tightly around her shoulders, "I don't like hurting people. But if you won't listen, I have to defend myself." And with that, the spheres explode into motion as Rashmi stands still, hands folded in front of her. Toes, fingers, weapons, elbows, and shoulders are the targets this time, and if during the melee any of them want to peel off and run for it, Rashmi is perfectly willing to let them.

The man behind replies in a thickly accented voice, "I am thinking you are being correct, young lady." That accent is clearly russian, and there is something oddly familar to Rashmi about the man's jawline and the eyes. That however, seems unimportant to the quartet currently under assault by the spheres. Chain 1 and Chain 2 end up bolting as one nurses a dislocated shoulder, and the other is pulled up, bearing a heavy limp that looks like it's coming from a knee that refuses to support him. Knife isn't so lucky and yells out as his fingers break under the smashing blow, his signature falling to the dirt as he cradles it. Oddly, Baseball bat rides it all and takes two more ominous steps towards Rashmi and raises the bat to strike.
Watching, the russian-sounding interloper removes the cigarette and exhales, spiralling smoke in the air as he watches with the kind of amused air of a teacher.

One sphere arcs in behind Mr. Bat's knee, one to the leading elbow, and one to the wood itself as the bat is raised. "*Stop it,*" she shouts, not even angry, but tired and saddened and hurt. "I don't *like* doing this! Just *stop* already, and take your friend home and sleep it off and *wake up* will you!"

Knife barely manages to get Baseball Bat out of the way after your assault, none of them seeming to notice the russian standing behind them. He follows after, scooping up the knife and the bat on your behalf. About a minute passes, and the lone figure returns to you, the cigarette being put out on his boot, and then tossed in a trashcan before he speaks once more, "Da… you are very much being like little Volk described. Belief is most dangerous weapon there is."

Rashmi's lips twitch upward as the spheres fade out of sight, tugging her braid over her shoulder and worrying at the lower fifth of it. "Dangerous isn't always effective though," she says, for all that she flushes faintly at the compliment. "And I'd really rather back up my beliefs with things that *work.* It's good to finally meet you though… Um… Uncle Yuri? Just Yuri? Sir?" Pausing, she blinks, then looks over his shoulder at the darkness behind the Russian. "…You didn't kill them, I hope."

Yuri sniffs once, and then pulls out a phone and dials the local 911. It looks like a disposable, probably bought from a local corner mart… and then he drops it, so that the remaining two can be picked up by the police, "We should being going, da? And yes… Yuri will suffice." Then he gives a bit of a lopsided smile, "Your SHIELD watch-team was sloppy. They did not spot the ambush. Lucky then, yes?" Motioning down the street and away from things as he then adds with a laugh, "Kill them? For what… being stupid? Girl, if I was being killing every man who was stupid in my life, I fear we would not repopulate!"

"Just checking," Rashmi answers, her smile blooming across her face as she stoops to pick up her duffel bag. "I wanted to make sure, is all… I *guessed,* but better to follow a hunch with the truth, right?" Falling into step next to Yuri, she looks up, scanning the rooftops across the street. "That's too bad to hear about the watch team, though… If they really *did* drop the ball, they're probably in for a lot of hot water. Unless they got *ordered* to pull back for whatever reason and those thugs just happened to slip through… that'd be forgivable to the higher-ups, I think." Slinging her bag over her shoulder, she looks Yuri in the eyes, eyebrows rising. "…Does Mr. Blake know you're here, sir?"

"No… well… he will, as soon as your watch team is reporting." Yuri replies with a bit of a scowl, the closeness still carrying the cling of cheap tobacco on the sweater and leather jacket he had on. Occasionally he checks back over his shoulder as he continues along with the young mutant, and then says, "There are things you must be knowing… unforgivable things, in my mind. I have come to help my godson. For all I have prepared him… as one who has been a prisoner… this will not stand. Nor will I being watching any more as Donald tears himself between duty and truth."

"I *knew* it," Rashmi murmurs, shaking her head. "I *knew* it was fishy when Connor's dad lost it over the Barnes letter. I'd meant to talk to him, but with one thing and another…" Closing her eyes, she lets out a soft, heavy sigh. "Anyway… sorry. I'm listening, sir."

That little diatribe actually causes the larger man to chuckle, as he guides you around a street corner, and then off to the far end of the park from the sirens, and ends up sitting down on a bench in front of a bus stop. "Forgive me for being obtuse… but two things… one is if you are minding me smoking… the other is… would you being kind enough to explain what you believe you are knowing?" Asked as politely as possible as the light shows for the first time the eyes of the man to Rashmi. Those are the same eyes that Jessica Drew has. The eyes of the career operative. Those eyes that forever have something dead in then, a thing they can never get back, "Your video… I admit, was reason I am here. After that, I resolved myself to break my terms of repatriation… regardless of what consequences are being."

Rashmi's nose wrinkles faintly, but she shakes her head. "No, I don't really mind. As for what I think I know… well, not much," she says, lifting a shoulder and checking about herself to make sure the conversation isn't being easily eavesdropped on. "What I *asked,* and didn't push on, was whether or not Connor's dad was a SHIELD agent. The fact that the answer was a non-answer instead of a no told me enough to want to talk to him myself… but um… 'Duty and truth,' 'terms of repatriation,' this doesn't do a whole lot to tell me I was *wrong.* …But if you *do* come to grief over it… I know a *really* good lawyer to argue for you, if it comes to that."

Yuri shakes his head as he pulls out a box of black cigarettes with a logo in Russian on them, and then a lighter with the old hammer and sickle of the previous regime. After he lights up, and sends a strand of pungent nicotene into the air, he nods once, "My actual name is Yuri Petrovich, Miss Franklin. I am the son of the former partner of who you would be knowing as the Black Widow… when she was still a member of KGB and the Red Room. I was also one of the pilots of the Crimson Dynamo. However… my growing disdain with the direction that the government was taking our great nation after meeting true Americans made me…" The pause makes him smirk, "Inconvenient. When one is inconvenient… one is often being shipped off to Siberian gulag to hopefully die."

Rashmi nods slowly, clasping her hands together in her lap and simply listening. If she has questions, it seems, she's content to sit on them until the story is done. The talk of inconvenience earning one a spot in a Siberian gulag brings a distinctly bitter twist to her face, which is smoothed out in record time.

The twist is not unnoticed, and that earns a flicker of the eyes and he nods once, taking another puff from the cigarette, as Yuri continues on, "Donald Blake is credit to his nation. He volunteered for mission that was being nothing but favor by Nick Fury to Natasha… to infiltrate secret russian prison only being on satellite photos and rumor. To escape with high value prisoner, and then get to American embassy." Fishing into the sweater, he takes out a Russian cross and kisses it once, "A man to respect. In six months we spent in prison together, no one but myself ever knew he was anything more than political dissident with high-value family connections."

Rashmi blinks, eyebrows rising sharply. "…I can see *why* you'd respect him," she murmurs, nodding slowly. "And I'd agree… but I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt. Go on, sir?" Once again, she is the picture of attentiveness, all but taking notes on Yuri's story to review later.

With a nod, Yuri stands up for a moment, making the motions of adjusting a sore back from the bench, but looking around for any tails or other problems that might have cropped up, his general demeanor with that 'Thou Shalt Not' aura around him. It's enough to send a shiver even to you before he settles back in, "This will all being coming out soon enough anyways… SHIELD has been watching Blake house for Connor's entire life. When I came to the States, my conditions of helping your country was that my handler be Donald, and that I remain close by them. I have always being felt responsible… my being a prisoner robbed Donald of seeing his only son being born. I am owing the man for watching out for his son. It does not help either that Connor does not know… and does not know respect he should have for his father."
But then the man shakes his head and sits back down, "Donald was… stubborn. Refusing to tell his wife of his true profession. She has only just learned… the truth has been… jarring for Alexis."

Rashmi clears her throat as the forbidding glare sets her spine to crawling for a moment. "I can imagine," she says softly, shifting in her seat, "and I hope they turn out okay, Mr. and Mrs. Blake." Drawing in a deep breath, she nods to herself. "Well… if it helps, sir, I do know that you're the next best thing to a personal hero Connor has. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing… that's not for me to say. I just think it speaks very well for the kind of man *you* are, sir. If he knew the truth about his dad… I don't know. Probably a lot would have been different… but I don't think most of it would have anything to do with what's happening now. I'm very glad you came out, though, sir… *I'll* speak for you, if they'll listen to me long enough. Seeing you'll do a lot to help Connor heal, when this is over."

Once more, Yuri laughs a bit, and then shakes his head, "Miss Franklin… is being very good bet that when all is over… nevermind. Is not important right now." He then looks around, "I am going to work now. To find this… Church of Humanity. They will look for mutants, which is why being human has given me advantage now. And to be honest?" Another pause, and the cigarette's tip burns, making him tap the ash off the edge, "I am not being good man. I am killer… and I am spy. There is nothing good about us. The only good things I have done in this life are loving woman who I will never see again in this life, and helping raise my only friend's son. As another I once met put it… there is being too much red in my ledger."

"I know a few killers, sir," Rashmi says quietly, "and I know a *lot* of spies. That doesn't change that I mean what I say." Looking up at Yuri, the Hindi girl smiles. "You've put your life, or at least your citizenship, on the line to help track down and save a man who *twice* stormed a fortress to get me out of real danger, sir, and you're doing it because you feel it's the right thing to do. I don't *need* to know how much red is in your ledger to mean it when I say that you're a good man. *Or* to mean it when I say I will fight tooth and nail to make them let you go back to Seattle, if that's what you want."

Fishing into his pockets for a few moments, Yuri takes out a slip of paper, and passes it to you, "This is being SHIELD inventory code… I am needing your help then. I am needing to know where this is stored. My own accesses only tell me it is being here in New York, but I cannot translate rest. But you… if you are willing to help out old spy… may do so. All I am needing is address and rest I may do myself. And what cannot be obtained with cunning make be taken by force." The cigarette burns down, and he stands up, tossing it with expert ease into the garbage can, "We are being short on time. If you have questions, now is time. Is being good bet we will not see each other again soon."

Rashmi takes the paper, gives it a quick once-over, and nods to herself. "All right… if I can't get the address, I know a couple people who can. First question… Where will I drop this once I get it? Second… Hm." Chewing at her lower lip, she shakes her head. "…Maybe it's silly, but… Once this is all over, maybe you and Connor's parents can come over one day, have dinner with us? I know Mami and Papi would *love* to meet you all."

Motioning with one finger, Yuri replies without looking, "Other side of note has phone number. Text only. Do not call. Once I have, I will take it from there." For the second part though, he stays quiet a beat too long before saying as he shades his eyes, flicking them up and down the street, "I am not going to be making promises I cannot keep. I am sure they would enjoy this… however… times are being hard on family now. They are being moved across country to here, where they can be secure in headquarters, and Donald may help look for son. I am not being so… patient in this. Plus is trying to explain to wife and kids why daddy is american James Bond. Like I said. Complicated."

Rashmi bobs her head. "I know. But complicated doesn't mean impossible. And you don't have to promise. Just… something to look forward to. I've been in the fire too, sir… I know how important it is to have *some* kind of light to keep reaching for, after the dust settles… even if it's just a nice dinner with friends." The scrap of paper is tucked into her ever-present bookbag. "I'll text you as soon as I know. That, I *can* promise."

A turn of the head hides the shadows of sadness in the man's eyes as he begins to walk down the street and away from the young woman, "There was group of these men waiting at your home… and another watching Grand Central. You have made target of yourself. I would tell you to be careful, but I am thinking… this you already know. So instead… this I will say… good for you. Any man can hit another… but takes something more to tell them your heart. The world needs more like you, like little Volk. Dobroye bratstvo luchsheye bogatstvo."

"The world can have as many more like me as it wants," Rashmi replies with a small smile. "All it takes is more people deciding to do the same thing for themselves. And… Take care of yourself, Yuri. Please. Connor's going to need your help, after this." Lifting a hand in farewell, she turns the other way, walking back toward the Embassy.

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