Hour Remaining: 43
Location: Masked helicopter over the Pacific Ocean.
Security Level: 1
Operator note: the first rest is the last one.
The helicopter pierces the darkened sky. There's practically no light source outside, and the radar map is the only thing it has for navigation.
"Welcome back, agents." Central, flying vehicle controlling expert of many descriptions, is a happy woman. At least, she is as ecstatic as possible considering her lifetime work had been destroyed and now she's on the wanted list of ninety eight out of ninety nine countries in the world. The other hasn't discovered electricity yet. "Especially you, Nika."
"Good to see you again." Nika, supported at the arm by Decker, settles herself down to a nearby seat. Her wounds aren't anywhere near lethal, but she's definitely shaken up. She has all of her limbs intact, but there at least has to be three different types of poison coursing through her veins, ready to rupture them at any moment. It's not a pleasant thought. "Didn't think I'd make it."
"It's nice to know that an agent's life isn't wasted because of me," Central remarks. She's the main target during the initial raid of the united corps at Invisible Inc.'s headquarters, but it was Nika and the doctor who stays behind to ensure the head's escape. She'd rather not have more bodies on her conscience. "Any idea what happened to Xu?"
"He was alive, but we were separated." Nika doesn't appear optimistic, and it's hard to blame her. Just like the old kidnapping statistics, the longer an agent remains in custody their chances of being killed increases dramatically. Even worse, it's more time for the captors to pry information out of them, which in this day and age can involve anything from old-school wrench torture to brainwave hacks. Whatever it is, better to have them die first than reach that point. "I wouldn't advise counting on his usefulness at this point."
"Noted." The helicopter makes a sharp left turn, as Central steers clear of the Bermuda triangle. Inside there lays an extremely potent energy disruptor, and she'd rather not have to deal with crashing into this ocean at this hour. "How are you feeling?"
"Good enough." Nika, right hand on her stomach, cautiously gauges the amount of damage her body has suffered. It's not anything too visible, but more subtle, nerve-wrecking substances have been injected into her during her time in confinement, and she hasn't gotten a good idea of what it is yet. "I think I'm going to need some medical attention still."
"Indeed." Central turns her head for a moment, peering across the flight cabin. "Internationale."
"Yes?" Maria snaps to attention. Her mind has been greatly occupied, but she's quite aware still.
"You have my permission to operate on Nika." Maria nods. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, despite her lack of expertise regarding the human biology field. Getting scanners to work and selecting a few options on the fully automated table is hardly a challenge. "Take it slow. We're a few hours away from Seoul."
"Acknowledged," Maria replies. Bending, she wraps her right arm under Nika's, and lifts. The blonde operative seems momentarily lost in the haste, but such a display does not last. They go to the back, leaving Decker to his lonesome in the cabin.
The portable laboratory installed on the helicopter is not a very advance one. After all, it's meant for temporarily fixing field injuries and such, never as a serious medical station. Still, it's the best they have. Nika is let down completely onto a flat illuminated glass surface. Around her, equipment and documents of all kinds spread wildly across the tables and chairs.
"Are these all the case files?" She asks, wiping her eyes and peer away from the blinding light dawning on her face.
"Yes." This helicopter belongs to Maria and Decker, and is always mission ready. As they don't actually live on it, there hasn't been a single attempt at cleaning it up. There's no one trustworthy enough to be a janitor, and international spies are viewed to be above 'being neat'. "Apologies for the mess."
"Oh no, it's nothing important." Nika notes how completely different it is from her office. She really isn't that much of a stickler, but Central and Xu are by far the most organised people she has ever met, even more than her last employer. Then again it's hard to compare a Russian mafia boss to anything.
"Please stay still." Despite what Maria says, she knows Nika isn't moving. They're both professionals, after all, but it feels like something that's needed to be said. Turning on the console, she initiates a full body scan. A laser light horizontal beam spreads from the bottom of the surface and runs itself over the subject. The test results shows contamination of chemical compound within the blood stream. Still, this isn't hard to fix.
"Poison?" Nika asks, patient wearing a bit thin.
"Of sorts." Maria initiates the reconstructive sequence.
"You don't talk much, do you?" That question catches Maria off guard. Has she not already removed herself from the controls it may have actually caused damage. "Don't look so surprised."
"I guess I don't." That was the Cuban woman's attempt at salvaging her conversational prowess. Nika would have laughed at it, had that act not possess a high probability of the operation currently being performed on her body failing and leaving her missing a left eye. Still, she's been far worse.
"I used to be like that." Nika says, smiling reservedly as to limit as much body movement as possible. "Old employer didn't like the talking type. He never wanted anything more than someone to save his hide, and told me the pretty face was just a perk of the job."
For once, Maria smiles. With whatever doubt she's been having regarding the recent mission, it seems to have disappeared from her attention. Decker's not much of a talker himself, so it's hard to say her speaking has ever been missed. The operation finishes quickly enough, as the room falls into silence. Yet it's not that of discomfort, but utter content.
"Once this is over," begins Nika, picking herself up, "what do you plan on doing?"
"I can do odd jobs." Maria's definition of odd jobs probably involves high profile robbery and infiltrations, but it's all about perspective. "I'm not really strapped for cash."
"Plan on enjoying life for once?" Nika grabs at a retro e-cigarette from a nearby table and starts it. For everything about Decker's obsession she hates, this one isn't that bad. Though there hasn't been a cigarette made for forty years, it reminds her of those days under the cold winter. Her father would smoke a real cylinder of nicotine stick from the early 2000s, and she'd happily bask in its inadequate warmth.
"I'll see if I have any family left." Internationale grins shyly. It's not a thought she's been able to entertain for a long time, and perhaps this earth-shattering event is her opportunity to make everything alright again. Having been away from home since fourteen, the prospect of a family motivates her greatly.
Nika, on the other hand, simply observes.