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Teaming Up

A collaborative post between @Chulance & @Xandrya

Flint had to be very careful with the role he was playing. Working in Liberty came with certain dangers that previous jobs he had didn’t include. But that was to be expected working for a black ops operation focused on combatting, detaining, and if needed killing unruly superhumans. But he faced more challenges then the average agent seeing as how he was working undercover for the CIA. Like the director Jack whom he’d became close to over the years, he didn’t trust this whole Liberty operation entirely.

It made sense to open up a new agency that focused primarily on the issue of the altered sure, but the fact that Liberty wasn’t known to the general public or even the government at large. As well as the fact that the Forrester’s family had a massive hand in the funding of the organization, it meant they had a very tight grip on the narrative of Liberty as well as the focus of the goals they wanted & wished to accomplish.

However now his work had come across something useful. Sitting in his office he was examining some files he had on some paintings. Liberty had different sections to divide the work-load. He was currently working in the investigative section, whose primary directive was to seek out potential altered human activity that they or the rest of the government at large wasn’t currently aware of. Which meant in layman terms they were looking for active altered humans using their powers with impunity irregardless of the new guidelines the President had decreed to limit the usage of these powers. At first this department was filled with mostly speculative work, but as they continued to progress they started getting a knack for their jobs & picking up on signs of potential altered human activity. Flint had stumbled on something himself, but this was unlike any of the other potential superhumans he’d investigated & encountered thus far during his brief tenure at Liberty.

No, this was something he had to report straight to Jack. As it was a potential game-changer, the files on his computer were a bunch of well done artistic paintings. The truly unique thing about these paintings is that the events depicted on them were not abstract, no far from it. Each event depicted on the digital renditions of these paintings he was looking at where real events that had transpired in recent times, and a few of which he suspected were to be taking place in the future. His hunch was one that he was very sure of, that somehow the person behind these paintings, had the ability to somehow gaze into and acquire glimpse of the future. Now whether they witnessed the future then used a brush to depict what they say or if they’re artistry was intimately linked with the functionality of their powers was something he had no idea about. Still under the guise of a smoke break he stepped out the office, making sure to take & spark an actual Newport to not arise any suspicion and shot a text to the CIA Director. I’ve got something major Jack, call me now, this is a game changer not just for us, but potentially your daughter too Flint shot the text then took out his phone as he took a few more puffs of his cancer stick awaiting the director’s call.

Jack had been through hell the last couple of days. He had not heard a single word from Olivia or this Reaper guy, though the only comforting thought and the only thing keeping him from going over the edge was the fact that her death had not been transmitted to him or anyone else for that matter. To add to his turmoil, his wife, upon finding out what had transpired, had gone to stay at her sister's house after a rather big argument. The fact that Jack was home alone made the days longer for him. Nothing to distract him from Olivia and her kidnapper, and nothing other than work to keep him busy.

Currently, Jack sat at his desk having just received a document from one of his field agents. Reportedly, there had been no activity at the warehouse and the burner hadn't been utilized again. Leaning forward, Jack positioned his elbows on the desk and rubbed his temples. How could he had been so stupid?

But his cell phone notifying him of a new message broke him out of his thoughts. Jack picked up the device and noticed it was Flint reaching out to him. After reading the message, he dialed him, wondering about the news he was so eager to share.

Flint had just finished his smoke & was debating on sparking another for a continued excuse for waiting outisde when his phone started ringing. "Finally old man." Flint said to himself with impatience but happy that the director was finally returning his contact. He quickly answered the phone to speak with the dirctor. "Hello I'm glad you reached out to me, I'v got intel on a truly urgent matter. As you know I'm working under cover in Liberty, I've stumbled across a potential altered that may be able to peer into the future. The evidence I've accumulated is a series of painting by an artist operating under a fake name but all the events depicted in her artistry have occured, and they were depicted long before they happened including one photo of a giant woman in San Francisco with buildings on fire, and Lorizilla written on the bottom left corner. I removed all my research from the liberty mainframe and have it on a flashdrive, I think we need to pursue this artist, having intricate knowledge of events before they happen will give the CIA the edge, not to mention if we get our hands on this person we can use their power to find Olivia if she's still alive..but I mean she's still alive right cause no confirmation." Flint caught himself at the end, he personally would never have put the lives of his family at risk for anything job related even if the punishment was prison so while he sympathized with Jack, he felt that Jack didn't truly love his daughter as he should since he risked an ambush on a dangerous altered rather then give up the intel Reaper wanted in exchange for her life itself.

The CIA director had his free hand flat on a piece of paper, but the moment Flint mentioned Olivia, Jack subconsciously crumpled the document without caring about its content. "I don't know whether Olivia is alive," he responded, his voice cold and without a hint of emotion, "I just know we need to get her back." The director clenched his jaw as a sudden wave of anger washed over him, but he let it subside before speaking once more. "Can you—"

Just then, his work phone started ringing. Without thinking, Jack picked up the receiver and just as quickly slammed it back down to effectively end the call before it even started.

"Can you video call me soon? Somewhere private...I want this off the books for now."(edited)

Flint nodded he could tell that regardless of his perceived perception of JAck, he did care about Olivia. Perhaps what happened was a learing experience, even if it was the worst way for that to happen. "Yeah I can, I'm on break at Liberty right now and I can get away from the office. We need to get a lead o this paintr, right now the focus should be trying to look into the uploads made by her, track down the ip address, and that should lead us to her real location & identity. We make her an offer to get her help, either work with us or get turned in to liberty, whom I'm sure will be less forgiving to someone who literally has access to the future." Flint responded to his director

For the first time in what has felt like an eternity, Jack could hold on to a little bit of hope. "Whoever this individual is, she would be insane not to accept the deal. If for whatever reason there's a painting about this Reaper guy, I want to know about it and I want to bring this woman in the moment we find out her identity and question her. Even if there isn't a painting already done, maybe she can tell me more about Olivia.(edited)

Flint was ready to get out of this Liberty office anyway, he felt more comfortable around his fellow CIA agents whom he knew and could trust. "Right I'll be on the way, like I said I removed all the information from the mainframes so we should have the edge on this investigation." Flint responded a bit more excited then he should have been, an indication that he didn't want to maintain this post any longer then he had to. "I'll be at the office shortly." Flint added with a tone of finality before hanging up

Flint had finalized the call, and Jack sighed as he put his phone down, knowing that he’d be a little more anxious than normal as he waited for Flint to contact him once more. But deciding that sitting around wasn’t going to help him any, Jack stood up and walked around his desk to exit the office. As he stepped out, Beth turned around with a smile. She didn’t have any clue as to what was going on. In fact, no one in the office did. Aside from his wife and Flint, and the boys over at San Francisco Police Department, Olivia’s kidnapping wasn’t news that was spreading around. Not yet, at least.

“Hey Beth, Flint Walker is going to be joining me for a very important call. If someone comes in or calls the office, just ask them to leave a message.

“Yes sir, you got it.”

“Alright, thanks.”

With his hands now in his pockets, Jack walked past her and down the hall. He was going to make himself some tea to see whether that would help calm his nerves.(edited)

Flint finished sending the files over on the precognitive painter to Jack before turning the keys to his hotel & locking the door. Before getting situated he went to pour himself a glass of crown apple and took out his laptop to join the private zoom channel he'd set up with Jack. I'm sure the bossman will be happy with the fact that this painter's IP address from the majority of the uploads isn't in California. Hopefully that gives me an assignment that lets me get the hell out this state Flint thought to himself as the zoom connection finalized.

"Okay Bossman Jack, you got the notes I sent over. It's an assortment of all the paintings from this artist, I have no idea if all of them are precognitive in nature. I did the best I could with my limited resources, but you should have people from the tech/IP department revers search/trace those uploads to try to get an actual location for this artist, then we should search that area see what property if any are there, and who if anyone lives there, that should narrow down our search for this future painter.” Flint said bringing up his plans & ideas to Jack to possibly help aid them in finding this individual.

“Also this may not be related but there's been an assortment of lottery winners concentrated in three areas around Houston Texas, Atlanta Georgia, & Boulder Colorado, only reason I bring that up is I suspect that perhaps someone with precognitive powers is behind that either by selling winning numbers to people for a percentage or perhaps using their power to win multiple times & using different people to collect the proceeds, which may be a connection to this painter or anyone in this country that has a power to see the future." Flint added presenting the whole of his research on possible precogs in the United States

“Hmm...that’s a good suggestion. Alright, I’ll have some of the guys here look into it and once that’s done see if there’s any correlation between the locations of the images and the locations of the lottery winners. Either way, you and I need to take a flight out once we pin down the artist so I’ll reach out to Hanes myself and request you for a few days. I’ll tell him it’s a past case of yours, and if he asks you for details, just feed him whatever viable lie.”

Jack then saved the files he had received onto his desktop and double clicked the multiple images before moving them over to the second screen to still be able to see Flint. He grabbed his prescription glasses and put them on as he looked more closely at the paintings. “One of the techies here owes me a favor, so I’m sure he’ll work on this without logging it if I ask him to.” It was then Jack sat up straight once more and began drafting an e-mail.

Flint nodded taking in the information that he got from Jack, it seemed everything was going according to plan. "Your right and I'm looking forward to the flight, both to get an edge and also because personally I'm suspect of what Liberty's true long term intentions are with the altered they bring aboard. I can understand the need for secrecy but something about the upper management gives me a bad feeling boss. Let me know as soon as you get in touch with hanes, I'll start packing ahead." Flint said with a grin eager to get going and be around the CIA people he trusted more

A few moments later, Jack ended the video chat and phoned Hanes. The two men exchanged some pleasantries, chatted for a minute or two, and then Jack dove straight to business. He went on about a previous case, an actual one Flint had worked on that had given him headache after headache and despite being old, still had some loose ends to be resolved. It was the perfect excuse, the only lie being that Jack hadn’t revisited the case just yet, but that didn’t matter much as there wasn’t any urgency to get back to it. “I appreciate the loaner, Hanes. I’ll make sure to repay the favor in the future if needed be. He shouldn’t be here for long.”

After saying their goodbyes, Jack let Flint know he was in the clear.
Unfortunately I come bearing bad news. Keeping it short but I’ve taken on a project and it’s gonna take up quite some time from me. With my other RPs I’m currently engaged in, I’m afraid I won’t have the time to post here. I appreciate being given a chance regardless, and if time permits, I look forward to reading some posts here and there.

9/10 times I will be a happy drunk. 1/10 times I will be a sad and/or angry drunk for the most insignificant reason.

I figured I'd jump on the train before I get left behind. 😁

She gasped herself awake, beads of sweat on her face and neck adorning her skin, making it glisten from the soft glow of the night light. Alana glanced around her space, the gunshots somehow deafening even though the dream from a moment ago was now a thing of the past. She breathed a little slower, looking up at the crease where the ceiling and bulkhead met. Curse her for letting sleep take her unwillingly, though the true culprit was the boring novel which lay on her chest. Just who in their right mind would conjure up such nonsense? But on second thought, she was the one reading it, so maybe that judgment could be tossed aside, at least for the moment being.

Finally getting herself up on her own two feet after tossing the book aside, Alana shuffled on her way to the galley. Her mouth was extremely dry and if she didn’t eat anything soon then it would leave her feeling miserable just as well. She reckoned Abby to be sleeping away the pain and medication in her system, and who could blame her. Hell, Alana didn’t know what it was like to take a bullet, but she wasn’t planning on finding out any time soon, not if she could help it... Even though one could have easily killed her years ago, but that was a thing of the past.

“Sure...” she whispered bitterly to herself, shaking her head in defeat against her own thoughts. Alana continued making her way across what appeared to be a lifeless ship. Well, they were docked, so it wasn’t any surprise there was a lack of bodies through every turn she took. She too could have been out and about, minding her own business by her lonesome self while eavesdropping on those conversing nonsense thanks to the drinks in their systems, but in that moment, the allure wasn’t enough to maker her wish for such freedom. Whether Abby was down or not, staying onboard didn’t bother her any that evening. And even if it did, the sweet girl at the very least required her nearby presence.

A moment later, Alana reached the galley, which was unsurprisingly just as empty and lifeless as the halls. The young woman would go on to prepare herself a quick snack after downing what could nearly pass off as a week’s supply of water. Maybe that evening wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Count me in! I've lived in Miami for the majority of my life though I was born in '87. Still, miss being a kid in the 90s.
OOC: collaborative post with @sail3695

The scan showed the bullet hadn’t penetrated all that deep, thankfully, and Alana reassured Abby removing it would be a quick procedure. Though, from what she’d learn thus far about the young deckhand, Alana didn’t need to pile on the words of encouragement simply for the sake of it. Abby was brave, and she admired her for it. She helped Abby lie belly down for optimal comfortableness, as that’s where she’ll remain for the foreseeable future.

Abby’s layin’ in her least favored spot on any boat...the Doc’s exam table. Her right hip n’ cheek was hung out through an open square of them surgical sheets Alana set down. Things hurt pretty bad, but by far worst had come when she heard the doc cuttin’ off her jeans an’ unders tah git the fix started. Aunt Lupe tole me, she thought all remorseful like, ”never wear yer ‘goin’ tah town’ jeans afore touchdown.” Now, for her foolishness, weren’t just socks she was in need ‘o’ buyin’ this stopover.

“I’m going to administer a local anesthetic, get you nice and relaxed. The extraction will be quick, so I reckon you’ll be alright with that?”

“Yes, ma’am,” the girl answered. “Local? That mean jest somethin’ they use here on New Melbourne?”

She couldn't help but chuckle at the girl's comment. It'd honestly caught her off guard. "No, not at all; it just means you won't go night night before I pull the bullet out..." Her gaze shifted downward accompanied by a slight smile. "Unless you want to? It'd take you a bit longer for you to come to, so you'll be groggy and the likes but nothing some rest can't put a fix on."

Abby shrugged. “Long’s I’m numbed up down there, don’t rightly need tah be put under.”

"Alrighty love, I got you."

Things was warmin’ up well enough under these sheets, ‘cept fer where cool air raised goosebumps on her pi gu. Doc had give her a pillow; Abby tucked arms underneath of it an’ lay her head down. Afore now, she really had no idea of Alana. Met her once, then agin when she come seekin’ dramamine fer him what shot her.

She knew some docs. Ones worked on Mariposa over time was kinda straight up no nonsense types who jabbed needles an’ rushed stitches afore pushin’ her out with a handful ‘o’ pills. But Alana was...diff’rent. Somethin’ ‘bout her voice, an’ the way she touched Abby. Gentle...kind, she conjured. How I reckon a mother would.

For the remainder of the time, Alana worked in silence. Not because she didn't want to engage Abby, but she'd much rather let her simmer down some instead of forcing her into conversation. Alana prepped the gear to have it set up adjacent to her. She double checked to make sure she had what she needed before moving forward.

"This just be me giving you the anesthetic, hold tight," she whispered as to not catch the girl off guard. The minor discomfort from receiving the anesthesia was rather brief, something so quick it barely registered in the moment. Alana then put that down, momentarily waiting for an adverse reaction but thankfully there was none. You never knew with some people...given the job, she'd seen it all at her age. The lights were dimmed, Abby seemed to be alright, and Alana carried on. She shone the overhead light directly into the wound and took a closer look. "Huh..."

Them needles jabbed alright, but how Abby conjured t’was like pokin’ about the edges of a hornets’ nest...not even enough tah raise a flinch. But jest like the doc promised, sting began droppin’ Penelope’s dialin’ a knob down on her console. Abby liked thinkin’ on it that way...picturin’ tha pilot, that grin bright as the deckhand’s hurt cycled right down tah zero.

Got all quiet in Medbay. Ever’ now and agin she heard a tool clink soft against the tray, or rustlin’ of Alana’s operatin’ gown when she moved. Abby got all relaxed...even took drowsy under tha dim light. Her mind wandered...past him what shot her. There’s jest too much happened last three days tah stick on that sumbitch. She thought on her new boat. It’s kinda weird, everything’ bein’ almost exactly like her home on Mariposa, but still jest a touch diff’rent.

Like a dream.

An’ tha folk. The Cap’n. Penelope. Hook. Ms. Baker...Marisol. Alana. It’s like someone give her a whole shelf of books all at once. New ways ‘tah ways tah think. Fer all her years, Uncle Bob an’ Aunt Lupe tole her ‘bout tha world she’s’ that become her take on life. Now, layin’ here gettin’ a bullet yanked, Abby commenced tah wonderin’ about tha truth of things…

“Huh.” So caught up was she, that’n almost got by. Doc said “huh” same way Marisol did when she found somethin’ weird. Same way Cap’n did when he seen all them Lucky Cats…

“Huh?” Abby asked. “Yew say somethin’, Doc?”

"I did...because I saw something." Alana regretted her words instantly. She was thinking out loud again, despite her discovery not being all that grave. There was no use in hiding anything from Abby though as she'd gotten around to figuring out something was not all there, and she was right. "The bullet's lodged in there a little deeper than I originally thought. Nothing to worry about on your end, I simply have to be a little more careful, that's all." There was nothing but honesty in Alana's words, and she could only hope some form of reassurance was conveyed to the young girl. "I got you, Abby, you have my word."

“It’s ku,” the girl said. “Long’s tha bullet didn’t hit nothin’ important, it’s all shiny.” Had been moons since she’d looked over pitchers of a woman’s innards. Abby couldn’t conjure up anythin’ major down there…’cept fer mebbe one thing. She reckoned if the bullet did any harm tah that, the doc woulda tole her straight up. Shame tah conjure losin’ somethin’ afore she ever...Abby put it from her mind. Gittin’ way ahead ‘o’ yerself, girl.

Alana wiped her brow with her forearm, and she looked over the tray of instruments off to her left. A moment later she reached for her trusty pair of forceps, the very same one that had gotten her out of one too many binds in the past. Well, not so much her really, but her various patients. Alana let out a slow breath and went in. Her hand was steady, maybe from years of practice or maybe from the fact that despite not knowing Abby for all that long, she truly cared about her. Or in all honesty, a combination of both. As she guided the instrument down, she was met with some resistance. Yes, that would happen more often than not, unfortunately. Alana narrowed her eyes just the slightest. She was nearly there, though she wasn't deep enough just yet, or so she thought. Her eyes widened in surprise when she had the bullet within grasp. She held her breath and shifted the forceps to align with the bullet and a moment later, she had the intruder tightly grasped.

The extraction was successful, that much was evident when a clank interrupted the silence as the bullet landed on the tray. Next up was sewing her up, though that was the easy part.

"See, what did I tell you? Easy as pie."

Abby let out a happy sigh. “Didn’t hurt none,” she agreed, but she felt that tool reachin’ in deep, a feeling tah put a body right off. She looked over her shoulder. “Thanks fer gittin’ it outta me, Doc.” Worst part’s done, she reckoned. Now come the stitchin’. She settled in, her head down on the pillow.

Uncle Bob would talk ‘bout folk meetin’ up with their bullet. “These ain’t mine,” he tole her one time when he unloaded. “Each one’s got a name on it. Name of a man, Chick Pea. I jest carry if fer a spell...til I send it to its’ owner.”

So that’n had my name on it, she pondered. Should I keep it? Don’t much want to. Uncle Bob never had advice fer that. Mebbe, she thought as her eyes got heavy, if I do keep it…. Abby yawned, snuggled into the pillow. ...won’t come ‘round looking’ fer me no more…

Closing her on up didn't bring about any burdens. Alana was fast and efficient while she worked, just as she'd done so in the past many times before.

"Well that just about does it," she whispered, cutting the last bit of thread. She'd noticed Abby had gotten nice and comfortable, and she wouldn't wanna disturb that. "I suggest you stay here for a bit and rest, though it ain't required of you if you so wish to up and go. I can always grab some water for ya too, or anything else you may need. I don't have much going on out there either way."

“Wouldn’t mind,” Abby drowsed, “layin’ here fer a spell…thank yew, Alana.” She closed her eyes. “Yer so nice…” The girl went quiet, but for the sound of deep, even breathing.
The current ruckus had her flying to and fro. On occasions, storms were quite relentless, and combined with the seldom surge of hardheadedness fogging her judgement here and there to get something done, the results were oftentimes...amusing. Alana let out a hushed curse under her breath, despite being by her lonesome self in the infirmary. She supposed it to be habit, not wanting her professionalism to falter any in front of a body or two, but she found her actions worthy of a chuckle nonetheless.

Some of the equipment had fallen to the deck—none that required any fixing later on—and that was the reason as to why the medic wasn't properly strapped down and secured, so to speak. Of course, this latest hiccup in flight had her rush some. She felt a headache coming on, and despite her workplace currently holding the status akin to that of a playroom with kids who'd strewn just about everything they could get their sticky little hands on, she figured she'd save the clean-up for later. Just her luck that the latch on the overhead storage had given out...

Alana took careful steps towards her seat, and some time passed after that point as her mind grew distracted and her body went on autopilot. However, the shot that unexpectedly went off somewhere outside the supposed safety of the infirmary drew her back to the now, and her eyes widened. The images all came flooding back to that cursed evening at supper time back home. She hadn't had time to react, not when her parents were shot dead without so much as the chance for a plea to leave their lips. The blood splatter, the rather brief surprised expression from her mother a split second before her life too was taken from her, more blood spatter... That alone was the sole cause of many sleepless nights to come for Alana. Yet the one thing that always sent her spiraling was the extreme guilt when she thought back to her brother contemplating ending her life, followed by her wishing he had simply gotten the courage to pull the trigger. It wasn't so much that she had bouts of depression or the likes prior to the incident, but having to deal with the aftermath of the double homicide / suicide was something she simply wasn't equipped to handle.

But in that moment, Alana shook it all off. She stood and did her best to maneuver her way to the door without being tossed about like a rag doll. One could say her actions were slightly foolish given the potential danger opposite her, but it didn’t phase her any. She stuck her head out and heard some commotion quite aways, deciding then to further investigate as it seemed to be coming from the cargo bay.

A second shot, her heart just about threatening to burst from her chest but nonetheless she remained concentrated on not losing her balance. An eternity mighta gone by but she finally made it to her destination, the scene before her freezing her in place.

“W-What happened?"
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