1963-08-20 - Spies Like Us: Part III
Summary: Carol and Winter Soldier have a tense meeting on the train.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
name1 name2 

[12:21:31] Carol, was, if nothing else, a professional. In spite of the pressures of the system set against her, in spite of the man she was set to work with being the current source of all her grief - she would continue to excel. And wanted to continue to excel. So in spite of everything…

Carol was here, boarding the train station. And she was going to play to her cover the very best that she could - and what that meant was - understated ritz and fashion. Opals in studs at her ears, her blonde hair tied into a functional ponytail at one shoulder. A dress of expensive, although not altogether lavish make, and heels that clicked with each of her steps. Her gear, such as it was, was in the luggage that she carried with her. Pistol, bodysuit, other little gadgets.

She wore another pistol on her person, of course, and a knife at her thigh. And her earrings were actually smoke bombs.

Not that anyone would - or should notice such little things. Hopefully, /he/ wouldn't - as she tugs her luggage along the inside of the train, going through the hallways to the cabin that was reserved for them both.

The train rattles to life after a few minutes, then slowly chugs away from the station. Looks like the stoic Russian might have been a no-show, as the train picks up speed and starts surging into the European countryside.

About half an hour in, just as Carol might start to relax, thinking she's been the beneficiary of Russian incompetence— the door slides open. Which is peculiar, because she'd locked it. The fellow on the other side of the door? The scraggly-haired Russian, wearing a porter's uniform. It fits him, if barely, but it's so tight across the shoulders it's a wonder he hasn't burst a seam yet.

"You are here." Whether that's good or bad is anyone's guess, and he slips into the room and resets the lock. Pocketing a rake and tension tool, he moves to sit opposite Carol, without asking or waiting for permission, and digs out a manila folder from inside his jacket.
That was peculiar indeed.

Moreso was the idea that her 'partner', such as he wasn, was not showing for their little trip. In the spy game, the unexpected was ordinary - but the unexpected could also be quite lethal. But such as it was, she was stuck upon the train - and so she tries /tries/ to relax, her chin lifting as she gazes at the landscape rolling by.

It was hard, but she was managing just enough before….

The door slides open - and she has to resist reaching for the hidden pistol on her person. "It's you," she says in English, her tone of voice cold. Straightening up, she brushes her fingers over the front of her skirts, settling her gaze on the man. Another beat - and she brings up her hand to place a little device upon the window - barely the side of a pin. A white noise generator - it would be difficult to hear at human frequencies - the more sensitive amongst the human race would hear a low buzz. But if people were using microphones or otherwise to narrow in on this cabin, their microphones would only pick up a harsh buzzing sound, loud and painful.

"I thought that your request was granted, that you would not go on this mission with a partner such as I," she says. "I'm not certain how happy I am to see that I was wrong," she states.

"No more than I am," he grates, settling into the seat. He starts laying out some paperwork on a pull-out table while Carol secures the cabin. He doesn't make a production of it, but when he sits, he transfers a snub-nosed revolver to the bench next to him where it's handy if someone comes through the door unexpectedly.

"I do not like being political pawn. We are stuck together— try to stay out of my way," he says, as if that's all he can ever expect from her. He flips the photos around and sets them out for Carol to examine. "Baron Zemo." He taps a photograph of an older fellow gone a bit to fat and self-indulgence. "Self-styled— distant relation to bastard of original Baron. But with fall of German aristocracy and then end of Nazis, many are trying to reclaim bloodline heritage." The Russian snorts with utter contempt for such bourgeioisie indulgences. "However, very wealthy— family protected money before Nazis rose to power. Zemo apparently has it now, which is how he funds his research."

He sets out a few photos of lieutenants and aides, and some information on the family, along with a blurry photograph of the interior of some castle. "Smuggled from inside shipment facility. American rockets, Soviet engine parts," he says, tapping on the images with his right index finger. "Unfortunately, man inside compromised and this only image he got out before being liquidated. So my people do not know where he is, in Transia."

He gives Carol an expectant look.
One thing that was common amongst the pair was the dislike of the Nazi regime.

Carol clings to that, in her mind. Bringing up a hand to pull her carefully permed hair over her shoulder - it wouldn't last very long, she suspected - she lets her lips purse as she glances over the photos. A hand lifts - and she pulls one forward, lifting it up to look over the picture entirely. "I've heard of him," she says. "Alongside all sorts of crazy rumors. The Captain and he had a fair amount of fights over the years, but…" A beat. "That was a long time ago," she adds, the edges of her eyes pinching a bit.

The lieutenants and aides were pictures that Carol has more interest in. Her jaw tightens. "But our people have an idea of that," she says, glancing up from the photos to the man. "Some of our rockets had tracking devices installed, and we were able to track our rockets to here," she says, drawing a photo from her purse and setting it on the table as well, to join him. A monolithic castle was seen there, in the photo - fog obscuring most of it from view, and… "Grimmholde," she says, her voice low.

"The radio signals from the trackers went silent soon afterwards, but…" she flicks her chin upwards. "If I had to guess where he was - I would say we could do worse than to start there."

"Captain… Ah. THE Captain." Something tics in Bucky's left eye, but he seems unaware of it. "Captain America, yes? He fought the father— Heinrich Zemo. The original Nazi aristocrat. This is the son, Helmut Zero."

He digs in his jacket, which has seemingly endless pockets, and comes up with a map of Transia, setting it so they can both read it and coming up with an old military protractor and compass as well, laying a pencil down. He finds Grimmholde on the map and plots a few lines, then taps the point with the eraser. "Old area. Lots of underground caverns and railways. We lost what little signals we were receiving after a point."

He draws a few lines on the map then taps on the small town nestled at the base of the castle. "This is Koenigsbrun. Small town. Not far— Wundagore Mountain. Nazi sympathizers," he says, growling a little. "We must be careful. Helmut Zero might be well heroic to them."
[13:13:23] "He give you some trouble in the past, there?" says Carol - a certain measure of pride in her voice. Of course, with all the stories surrounding Captain America - there were few people that served that didn't at least think fondly of the hero. "That's an important distinction," says Carol, pursing her lips at that point.

"Helmut Zemo, then," she says.

A handful of moments admist the planning, and she draws in a deep breath. "So. If you didn't want to become a political figure - why be KGB at all?" she asks, her voice almost distracted as her eyes flicker over the information. "We know next to nothing about those tunnels - but that might be the best way in," she says. "I've been informed of a tavern in the area that would be… ideal for an informal base of operations. They ask few questions if the money is right, but if they find out that we're foreign agents - I doubt all the money in the world could buy silence. Might be better to try to camp in the woods surrounding the town, but there are rumors of… things in the woods, after dark," she says.

"Never met Captain America," Bucky says, shaking his head. "Only stories. He was killed in action by the Red Skull, yes? Fought well— hero for the common man, even if America has become decadent since his loss." He seems completely unaware of the cold rage lurking at the edges of his voice, as if Captain America had personally offended him, somehow.

"Transia is part of Balkan nations— former Soviet protectorates." He flexes his jaw a few times, then starts speaking with a surprisingly relaxed American accent, a bit of Brooklyn in his inflection. "I can pass for American in Europe, but there is little hope of you passing as Russian. Could adopt disguise as American businessman and his secretary looking for uranium. They export little else. Would give us reason to stay in town and to contact local authorities."
There was surprise in her features. She purses her lips. "Why would they trust an American businessman if the whole town sympathesizes with the Nazis? My German is good - perhaps we should choose that sort of cover instead," she says. But a moment passes, and she nods her head. "Either way, I think that might be preferable to camping in the woods," she says.

A moment more, her eyes narrowing.

Of course she could pick up that hint of rage at the edge of his voice. Like a lot about the man, it wasn't very subtle. A breath in - and a breath out. She lifts her hand to pick up one of the papers, lifting it up to her eyes to glance over the page, her jaw tightening. "But as for America… some people are decadent. Most aren't. Far better than the oppression your side trades for order," she says, setting the paper back down upon the table. "So. Are you going to continue to work as an usher for the rest of the train trip, or do you need a change of clothing? At least, I hope you have a suit if you're going to pretend to be a businessman. Because I don't think we can find much in your size," she says, with a light gesture.

"Money is universal language." He considers her suggestion of German, and finds it less objectional. "My German is also acceptable. The current administration is not popular but there may be some nationalist pride we can exploit. German it is. I will develop cover story for us before we arrive."

"I will continue to work as baggage handler," Bucky tells Carol. "This will give me access to the servant's quarters. Easy sources of information and can learn much for the cost of a bottle of whiskey. I will check in as I can. You should go to the dining area and make some inquiries. See if there is anything to be learned."
"Just make it more convincing than your German accent," Carol goads Bucky a touch, bringing up her leg to cross over the other as she leans back against the seat of the train, her eyes dead on Bucky's. "And your outfit? Will you be able to take care of that before we arrive?" she asks, her voice a bit on the sharp side of the force.

Although at his other suggestion, she frowns a bit, bringing up her hand to kinda fluff her hair a touch. "I can do that," she says. "We could, at least, see just who else is going to this little town, and what that may spell for us," she says, reaching her hand out to touch the device on the window. Not to turn it off - not yet. "I'll see you in a few hours - when we are arriving in town?" she asks, tilting her head a touch to one side.

"Fourteen hours," Bucky tells Carol. "I will change after we arrive in town. I will wear suit once we get into town, after the train leaves. I do not wish any handlers to identify me." He's scraggly, a bit unshaven, and built like a baggage handler, so the notion of him acting as a suave businessman is a bit of a stretch of the imagination.

"Are you up for this? Espionge is not woman's game," he warns her. "Easy to get killed if you are made. Not too late to stay in your room. Take train from Transia to Serbia, then flight back to American consulate. You can tell them I would not let you join me. I don't care— as long as you're out of my way."
[14:09:10] And Carol lets silence dangle in the air for a few moments more, unfolding her legs and rising to a stand before him. She looked unconvinced at the man's assertions of being able to handle the deception, and her doubt was obvious on her features. One hand wraps around one of the straps that dangles from the ceiling, and her jaw holds tight.

"It is also not a game for fools or cowards," she says. "And you would be a fool to underestimate the women that play this game," she says, her voice tight. "Doubly so to underestimate /me/, Winter Soldier," she states. "If you want to go back to Russia, and wash your hands clean of this - do so. Otherwise, I will get the job done. With, without, or against you," she says, her jaw tight. "I always have, and I always will."

Except in Monaco, no?

The Russian agent doesn't stand up, just looks at the exquisite blonde scowling down at him. He cocks a brow at her, clearly unintimidated by her efforts to scold him down. "Intefering with me will be the last thing you ever do," he rasps at her. It's not a threat— but a very, very chilling remark of mere fact. As if he'd said it'll rain outside. He rises then, balanced effortlessly and with no need for the overhead hand straps to check the rattle of the train underfoot.

"If you are so confident, then you handle the major disguise. I will go as laborer," he tells her, his tones flat. "I will find work to infiltrate Zemo's castle and surveill his supply lines. You look for trade relations. Pose as arms smuggler— perhaps one of his aides will contact you with an interest to purchase firearms. I have new German machine pistol in baggage car, not for sale yet. Would serve admirably as prototype piece for business sale," he suggests.
[14:29:12] A handful of moments more as the man says that idea - no - that fact that the Russian agent was so confident in. Carol clenches her jaw. In spite of her rhetoric - she feared, she feared, he was right. But like everything else she had done, she would resist him to the last. "Then let's not interfere with each other," she says. "Give us no reason to test these threats, hmm?" she says.

And perhaps it was her brashness that strengthens her resolve and causes her to snap out a, "Yes - I can do that. I'll be the representative of a German small arms factory, perhaps - hoping to help arm the last dregs of the empire, perhaps," she says.

"Get the machine pistol prototype into my luggage - it'll make for a perfect cover," she states. A few moments more. "And you can contact me at…" a pause, as she tries to remember the dossier on the town. "… Hotel Sofia. I'll get in touch with my people and get that set up," she murmurs. "Do you need anything else from me, then?" she asks.

"No. I will check in at two hours past midnight," Bucky says, walking away. "I will make contact at the hotel once I have secured the immediate area. Do not acknowledge me or address me otherwise, there is no reason for a businesswoman to talk with a baggage porter. Once I am reasonably sure we are secure, I will make my way to your room and we can reasses before moving on to the next objective." And on that note, Bucky glances into the hallway, then slips off silently, closing the door behind him.

When you are done, don't forget to tag your log with the names of the participants as they appear on the game![[/size]]

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