2010-08-29: Victorious Mark




August 29, 2010


CIA Headquarters


It's all about the mark.

The regatta gala along the short of NYC is alight. Harold Worthington, billionaire entertainer, painter (albeit horrible), and businessman is hosting a party in his — and his partner William Thibault's — large estate. While the regatta itself ended hours ago, the gala is well on its way with a sliver of still-present sunlight and a myriad of various party goers and guests all dressed to the nines.

Harold and William, are, of course, dressed in matching black tuxes and mingling among the rather crowded mansion.

In such a place, the woman in the red floor length silk dress manages to hide among the crowd. Her long neck, graced with a fine string of sparkling crystals, is almost regal along with that plunging neckline of her red dress. She manages to stay near the edges of the room, scanning it carefully for the target.

Nothing about her seems foreboding. Not the hopeful glimmer in her eyes and certainly not the dimpled smile she shoots to anyone who catches her gaze. Victory Ames, is, in all things, a chameleon.

Losi Williams is a soccer mom now, but once upon a time, she worked in the industry. Worse, she was a double agent, and made her money selling her fellow CIA agents out to her KGB handlers. The kind of person the CIA seldom forgives and never forgets. She hasn't been a top priority until now, when there's been intelligence that she's begun doing some fundraising for certain terrorist organizations… This pushed her high enough on the list to be brought to Victory's attention. She's an unremarkable looking woman, elegantly dressed, over-made up, and slightly intoxicated.

The — today — redheaded Victory takes several small catlike steps towards the other woman upon spotting Losi, a gentle smile spreading across her lips. "Losi? Is it you?" the question is accompanied with a large smile of recognition as she essentially pulls a girl 'squee' look. "You… I think… I think we met at John's wedding or was it his graduation…?" John, being a common enough name will, hopefully, get a hit in this regard. At the very least, it should help the spy-lady to root out whether this is the woman she thinks it is.

"It's me, Julia Thorne!" A hand is laid across her chest with that still-dimpled smile growing across her lips. Everything about her pushes sincerity, and with no obvious tell, Victory plays the role of Julia, wearing her alias' mannerisms, gestures, and expressions like a mask.

Losi looks over at Victory and smiles, albeit a little blankly. "Julia? Oh heavens, it has been years, hasn't it? You look great!" Losi settles into her role too, even though in truth she has no idea who this redhead is. "How have you been?" Losi makes small talk and waves the nice looking young man over with more wine. Because, you know, that will definitely help with her memory.

"Oh you know. Graduate school. Marriage. Babies," Victory lifts a hand flippantly like all of these things are passe — been there, done thats on her list of life. A glance is given to the wine glasses and she takes one, not that she intends to drink it, but giving the illusion that she is can only increase the other woman's consumption.

She shifts her weight from one foot to the other as she reaches for Losi's hand. "It's so loud in here — maybe… maybe we can go out on the terrace? Enjoy a little fresh air and quiet?" her eyes flit towards that outside balcony, just a sliding glass door away as she shuffles towards it. Over the bustle of the party she raises her voice. "Actually, things couldn't be better. And you?" Finding her way to that door, she slides it open, ready to lead the way around the wrap around balcony that is, currently, empty.

Losi takes another wine glass as well and takes a pull from it. She gives Victory her free hand. She rolls her eyes at the grad-school, marriage, babies summary of Julia's life. "There's so much more to life than that." she confides. She follows Julia out to the balcony. "I felt like my life was on hold while I did all that. Now I'm back doing the things I love." She smiles. "Things where I matter.

Victory leads the way along the balcony — far away from every door, window, and exposure. In fact, this particular locale is facing the water, not a witness in sight. But then, Ames doesn't seem remotely threatening, not in the least. "Oh? And where do you matter, Losi?" She bends down to fix her stocking, dropping down, closer to the ground as she fixes whatever is wrong with her shoe or hoisery.

Losi laughs softly. "Did you ever want to be on the center stage, where what you do matters in the grand scheme of things?" She keeps it vague, but her eyes sparkle with sheer naughtiness. "I've played on the center stage before. And I wanted it again. So I called in a few favors, and I'm in play again. More than corporate. Much more than just corporate. And it feels so good you can't imagine."

"Does it? Good work? Fun work?" Victory continues to fix her stocking before murmuring. "Dammit. I have run." Her lips quirk into a warm enough smile. Her eyes narrow while she watches the other woman, and reaches further up her own leg, presumably feeling the run along that hosiery.

Losi smiles deviously. "Well, it's not as much fun as what I used to do, but it's not quite as dangerous, either. Back in the day, I had governments in my pocket. How soon they forget. But nothing beats watching the news and seeing some national event and knowing you caused it, you know? It's a different ballgame now that the cold war's over, but… all you have to do is find out who the players are and what they want." She gestures back toward the house. "And the new players? What they want most is money."

"And you're giving it to them," Victory observes with a wry smile. "Who are the players?" it's a quiet question, accompanied by a curious smile — a smile that implicitly displays that she wants a position like Losi's, something that pays and feels fulfilling while simultaneously being fun. Her face flushes slightly as she looks up at Losi, her features mischievous from their inception.

Losi presses her finger to her lips. "Giving it to them? no. More… arranging for others to give it to them. The last thing I need is a money trail back to my own pockets. As for who the players are… does it matter? When a group of people can make the government of the United States sing and dance, who really cares who they are or what they believe?

"Fair enough. The information wasn't part of the job anyways…" Victory quips before drawing the gun from the holster under her dress and, without asking any more questions firing — taking aim at the other woman's forehead. One bullet — silencer already on gun — to be lodged between Losi's eyes. Of course, after which, Ames will have to remove the other woman's ear.

Losi doesn't make the mental adjustment between teasing her old friend with the naughtiness she's been up to and the gun being drawn and her brains being blown out. She drops like a sack of potatoes and stares at the sky. How much she sees, what she thinks is hard to tell. She manages to take only one more breath as the blood pours out of her forehead, and then the blood slows and the breathing stops, and she's gone.


The picture across the television pauses as CIA Director George Baker uses the remote to freeze frame it. His voice comes out gruffly as he regards the agents in the room, "Look. I know some of you are out the business, but this is the tenth agent, or former-agent, related death where an ear has been taken. Since Ames went AWOL people have cropped up dead or missing. This is the first we've seen of her on camera actually carrying it out."

The director shifts around his desk before adjusting his tie all of his features turn stern while he peers from one set of eyes to the next. "The truth is, something is off about Victory Ames, she has gone rogue and needs to be taken care of accordingly. I want someone to bring her in." Ideally alive. "And that's why you're all here…"

Danika thinks about it. She hates cattle calls like this. They expose her face to far too many people who may one day take a dislike to her. But. "How much does it pay?" she asks. The accent du jour is American, from somewhere south of the Mason Dixon line. She does it well, and the lack of makeup, jeans, t-shirt, and casual denim jacket, combined with the faded tattoo over her belly make it hard to believe she used to be the Stasi's best. Harder too, hopefully, to recognize.

Baker, in all of his wisdom smiles, but it's a sly smile, almost like his face was never intended to curl that way — it's grim and borders on evil. "How much would it take?" No names. There are never any names in this room, not with this crowd, Baker knows better than that. His smile grows into a grimace rather than an actual smile, still grim, but the churlishness extends to his eyes now, almost like a bear daring to be taunted.

His gaze remains on Danika, however, as his thoughts move forward. "You need to know the CIA would rather Ames be found alive than not. She knows secrets but we think something's happened." Thanks to Porter's run-in with Victory, there are suspicions that the woman isn't thinking right. Begging the question: what happened?

Danika says, "A million plus expenses. The company of wolves is dangerous." Dani says, languidly, letting each word play out all the syllables a Southern accent gives them. "Paid into escrow up front, as usual. Leastwise that's what it'd take f'r me. Any 'f these guys wants ta risk it for less, they're welcome to it. You c'n always call me back if the job don't get done."

Eyes narrow so much that crow's feet line the middle-aged-man's eyes. A hand is run over his bald head at the words, considering the offer. "I can give you half now and half on delivery. We don't need Ames running around killing off the rest of her contacts and our agents. Meanwhile, we need to get the bottom of who she works for." His lips press together before he offers, "More than one of you will likely be needed for the job. We need resources put into this. Ames is not going to be easy to catch. We taught her to be a ghost." He pauses. "So much that we thought she died." Of course, getting caught on camera doesn't exactly follow her MO, suspect in and of itself.

Danika nods. "Alright. You providin' handlers an' support, or are we s'posed to subcontract it?" Dani runs the numbers in her head. Half a million up front for what should be a fairly low-impact run, notwithstanding the level of danger. Doable. She's less sanguine about the other faces in the room, though. Looking at them, the ones she recognizes are real has-beens or they're people she wouldn't have done business with in her prime, let alone now. And the ones she doesn't know? Given the scale of enemies she's accumulated recently? Not safe.

"We got handlers and support in place. We'll be tag-teaming with the FBI," yes, the CIA is taking this seriously. "All have been raked over the coals to be fit to work with you. And all are beyond qualified." He's worked with the FBI director to ensure the best possible handlers and tech out there. "We're going to be hiring some external contracts as well for tech and other support. You'll need to work together if you're going to bring Ames in." He glances among the contracts. "And by you… I mean our handlers and tech people…"

Danika leans back and props her cowgirl boots on the desk, and laces her fingers behind her head. "Seems like old times, don't it? Alright. Send it to the usual account an' gimme the dossier. Let's see what we c'n see."