2010-09-11: Special Delivery




September 11, 2010


Zurich — Switzerland


“Negotiating means getting the best of your opponent.” — Marvin Gaye

Shawn Ezra Martin has been all over the world. Thriving metropolitan cities, African jungles, Middle Eastern deserts… Whatever the case may be. Switzerland is not one his most natural locale, but, at least in appearance he fits in well enough. He sports a pair of nice slacks and a long sleeve shirt. Its the sort of thing that might qualify as some people's nicest or the 'I'm just a normal guy' outfit of the upper crust. If you're not sure what it is you're going to be getting out of a security deposit box, you need to be flexible.

Now, Ezra is standing outside the bank that once upon a time was on a slip of paper in a safe but now is just a pile of ashes in South Africa. Well, its stationary was anyway. Slim black sunglasses keep his eyes covered as he smokes a cigarette. Just a guy smoking a cigarette. Behind those sunglasses his eyes dance across the faces that come and go, the other loiterers, anything that might be of interest. It just becomes habit after long enough. What kind of cars are parked nearby? These are the details he memorizes by instinct alone. He doesn't let his hand stray to the small of his back where his gun should be; he knows it isn't there, and checking won't make him feel any better.

The sway of a short skirt interrupts Ezra's view of the bank and a young woman who looks to be in her mid to late twenties skips up the steps to the bank itself. She turns to look at Ezra over her shoulder for a brief moment and gives him a little smile before opening the the door.

She's dressed in a short kilt, boots that go most of the way up her calves and a short wool jacket. Whatever might be under the jacket is well hidden by the thick dark material. With a twitch of her hips, that skirt sways a little more than necessary as she flits right into the bank. The dark tint of the windows doesn't allow Ezra much more of a view, not even to see how far she walked in.

The girl gets Ezra's attention for a few moments, but its passing thing. Was she being flirtatious? Maybe. She may well have unresolved daddy issues. Or maybe she's looking for a sugar daddy. Who knows? In any case, its not the sort of thing that stays on his mind long. Maybe on a normal day. The fantasy of a young girl who doesn't know any better, who isn't part of the life, it might dance along at the edge of his consciousness the rest of the day. Unless they look like Maria. That kills it every time.

But today isn't a normal day, and he has more important things to do than wonder. Especially when you consider that the girl is probably near the same age as his daughter. A strange thought. In any case, he switches gears as he finishes his cigarettes. He finds the nearest trash can or ash tray to deposit it in before making his way into the bank. Its a Swiss Bank. It is probably one of the safest places on Earth. But he's on edge in every situation these days, so this foreign place doesn't do anything to make that go away.

Inside the building is unlike any other banking facility that Ezra has ever seen. There are no lines, no tellers, not even an office on the first floor to go to. What there is, is that same blonde woman leaning over the information desk and talking to the guard. Her voice echoes through the empty lobby, it's husky and low toned, obviously flirtacious and the portly man behind the desk is falling for all of it. Whatever she's saying though, it's in German.

She lets out a single laugh and reaches for his tie, letting it slip through her fingers, all the while talking to the blushing man. Then… two words might catch Ezra's attention. "Vasha Kruger…" Whatever the young woman is fishing for, it's got something to do with the woman who formerly employed the man at the door.

From her pocket a key is produced, much like the one the South African left for Ezra in the safe. She holds it up for the guard to see and then angles her body slightly, allowing him a view of Ezra behind her. This is when he snaps to attention and points toward the elevator.

This bitch is going to be trouble. Ezra's pace quickens once he hears Vasha's name. He was heading for the desk but once the little blonde actresses little performance plays out he veers smoothly towards the elevator she was directed to. Call it a hunch, but if he's wrong, he'll just claim to have made an honest mistake. Stupid Americans. Stupid, rich, Americans. Anyway, he walks with a purpose. The kind of gait that says 'I know what I'm doing and I've done it a thousand times so the last thing I'd expect is for anyone to bother me on my way'. Not a rude not bother me, but just that it would be a surprise for anyone to think he was doing anything wrong.

As Ezra barges past her toward the elevator, Friday simply smirks at his back and follows him in. Once the door is closed, she reaches with one hand for the satchel that's hooked to her shoulder and uses the other to press the button of the elevator to the basemetn. She doesn't make a secret about sneaking a discreet look at the bald gentleman beside her.

Just as the lift is about to reach the lowest floor of the building, she leans back against the wall and stretches her leg out, pressing her foot against the big red button and jarring the box to a stop. "Ezra Martin, I presume?" Her husky voice rings out clear as day, the accent? Definitely American, west coast to be more specific. "You're sort of a hard man to track down."

"You're doing a lot of presuming." Ezra replies, though he keeps his arms crossed over his chest. It was a posture he assumed once he was in the elevator, and apparently the woman doesn't present enough of a threat to justify freeing his hands. Yet. Appearances can be deceiving. Her accent does nothing to disarm his innate distrust- there are a lot of people on the West Coast. She's too young to be any of the ones he knows, really.

"But from the sounds of it this Ezra cat probably is hard to find on purpose. Are you sure thats the kind of person you want to go locking yourself in an elevator with? I mean, pretty little girl like you, locked in a tiny little room like an animal? People act funny in tense situations. Do things they normally wouldn't."

"Hope he's worth whatever you're looking for him for."

"Well, I have a package for him, wherever he is and if you're not him… Then I guess I can keep looking." The blonde reaches into her satchel and pulls out a photocopied picture of Ezra in a uniform and holds it up for his perusal. There's a slight smirk on her pillowed lips as she eyes him, her green eyes narrowing ever so slightly. "Dead ringer though… Man, I would have you pegged for him."

Pushing off the wall, she comes to a graceful stand and reaches down for that button again. It's punched with one fist and she settles herself in front of the doors, waiting for them to open.

"Alright, lets cut the shit then. Whats the package?" Ezra might not be the most polite man, but people getting kidnapped -even if it is by the U S of A's own government -will have that effect on people.

That smirk widens and the young woman flips open her leather bag and pulls out a thick envelope. "This came to me yesterday, addressed to you… to be delivered today. I almost failed and that would have ruined my reputation." With that, she flops the large manila package into his waiting hand. Whatever's inside it, she doesn't give any indication that she knows or that she even cares. As soon as he's got it in hand and the doors are open, she's out of them and gone. Not even a 'bye handsome' to part way with.

The 'bye handsome' is implied. I mean, she looked at him, right? Anyway, he doesn't offer any parting shots as she dissapears. Instead he steps out of the elevator with a quick glance around the room to make sure he's not going to be mistaken for a bank robber. Then he opens the envelope- at least he didn't have to sign for it. Then again, that skirt is not a uniform for any delivery service he's ever seen. Which gives him a fantastic business idea for later…

When the flap of the envelope is released, the first thing that slips out is a picture of a young woman with long blond hair. A young woman that looks suspiciously like the wife he left behind so many years ago. She's laying in a bed, sleeping, it doesn't look that there's anything suspicious about it at all. Except for the fact that it's been taken presumably without her knowledge.

Further inside the envelope is a thick ream of paper that's bound together with an elastic containing a large folded sheet of paper that reveal themselves to be a schematic of some sort, a type written letter, and a flashdrive disguised as a keychain.

To the attention of one Shawn Ezra Martin:

I would introduce myself but that would be a folly, let us just say that I am very interested in the woman whose employ you were formerly under. To make things even simpler, I want to add her to my collection. In exchange, I am prepared to give you back your daughter. You have twenty four hours from the delivery of this package to make your decision. Inside, you will find the designs for the Supermax installation, all of the files of the current employees, the rotation which they have followed since Kruger's incarceration, and a small video of your daughter's fourth day in my care. I do hope you enjoy it.

Should you decide against the trade, I will be more than pleased to accept Alexis into my fold.

Mr. S.