2011 07 08: Staff Meeting

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Mission Name: Staff Meeting
Date of Mission: July 8, 2011
Locale: Gogol HQ

The agents from the other wrong side of the tracks get together and catch up on each other's situations.

Irina Thomas Nadia

What's better to do on a Friday night than going out clubbing, or watch a movie, or have a fancy dinner? How about spending some quality time at Gogol New York HQ? Some may disagree, but Irina Galinova isn't complaining. Leaving her car parked a short distance away from the warehouse, she makes the rest of the way on foot - even in her heels. As she comes through the door, the high-tech security of the place becomes more evident: retinal and palm scans are activated, confirming her identity before it allows her entry. After all, the guards may or may not know her, and in any event Irina is known to adapt disguises, so such measures are definitely necessary.

The guards have some company, too, besides each other's familiar faces: over in another corner, Thomas is talking with one of them as he leafs through an olive-green folder. "I don't know about this one. I mean, illegal drugs. They hurt innocent people, don't they?" A pregnant pause— then they both break down laughing, the folder casually tossed back onto a desk. The guard, for all that he shares Thomas's mirth, keeps his eyes on the corridor he's been assigned to; to do otherwise would be to tempt fate.

Nadia is not a complete stranger around here, although she tends to more often work out of a small office across the river. Still, she does need to come this way every now and then in order to keep things running smoothly, and, quite regardless of this being Friday night, this seems to be one of those times. The petite young woman descends the stairs from the offices above, a few file folders in the crook of her arm, balanced there while she flips through one of them, making sure she has the necessary paperwork. At the sound of laughter, her dark gaze flickers up, over towards the corner, even though her head stays lowered over the papers. Her attention soon enough back on the writing before her, she finishes her descent into the main warehouse and then flips the folder shut.

Giving the collars of her jacket an idle adjustment, Irina proceeds towards the elevators which lead down to the lower levels of HQ. The laughter is sufficient to draw her attention as well, and her steps slow as she passes near the mirthful guards. "Good evening." She makes a detour and inclines her head at the men, the guard and Thomas, a glance is also spared at the folder on the desk. "Is Mister Taserov in yet?" She asks, but trails off as she hears footsteps approaching from behind. A backward glance over the shoulder reveals Nadia, who receives a quick once over, and a faint nod of greeting.

"Haven't seen him," replies Thomas, waving a hand toward the stairs. "Might be down in the basement today." He takes a brief look at Irina— and a longer one at Nadia. Well, what do you know? "And you, wash your hands. I can smell the cat on you from here."

Nadia returns Irina's nod, her own perhaps a little more outgoing and friendly than the one received. When she recognizes Thomas at this nearer distance, she actually smiles, despite his words. "My hands are clean and the cat is at home," she informs him, speaking much more easily in Russian than English - around here, she tends to stick to the former unless told otherwise. "She has a proper name now too, you'll be happy to know." A pause, and then she adds, "I didn't expect to see you here. No wonder your Russian is so good."

Irina quirks a brow as Thomas addresses Nadia, stepping back to glance between the pair. The switch to Russian, too, is observed with bemusement. It's clear there is some history going on here, something that she probably doesn't want to get in between. Instead, she crosses her arms over her chest and watches the back-and-forth, like a tennis match.

The annoyance proves to be as much a facade as last time— or at least it's set aside just as quickly. "I try to hold back," Thomas explains. "If anyone asks? I work for Poland." He pulls up a chair and flops into it, the reclining joint creaking a little. Have to get that one replaced. "And you'll forgive me for not visiting you at home, if you're keeping it there. Nothing personal."

"Most Americans probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway," Nadia points out, albeit without any real ire towards the tin ear possessed by most monolingual North Americans. If anything, it's to their benefit, she figures. "But my cover is Russian too," she adds, lest they think she's just being sloppy in her work. "Anyway, yes, that I think I can forgive," she adds with a grin. She glances towards Irina, almost curious about the other woman's curiosity about them. "You do speak Russian too?" she checks, switching now to English, which is still marred by a thick accent. "I was not meaning to be rude…"

"Not at all." Irina shakes her head at Nadia, vague smile on her lips as she switches to Russian. "I expect speaking Russian is a prerequisite for working here, no?" She pauses and glances briefly at Thomas. "I don't come in often enough to know everyone, not even most. I don't believe I have met either of you, in fact." She looks back to Nadia expectantly, but that look definitely includes Thomas as well.

And he takes the hint easily enough. "Call me Thomas," he answers, leaning over to offer a hand. It's not quite his real name, but she can probably work that out for herself. "And I wouldn't have met her, either," indicating Nadia, "except by accident. I keep forgetting how crowded this city is!" Only slightly more than Moscow, but that's not saying much.

"I would hope so," Nadia replies, switching once again back to Russian and offering a grin to accompany the comment. "I'm Nadia," she adds. "Nadia Kayakova, as far as official documents are concerned these days." Looking back to Thomas, she nods in confirmation. "So big and yet sometimes it seems so small, with the people you'll run into. Have you been here long?" she wonders, addressing the question to them both.

"Thomas. Nadia." Irina nods to each in turn. "I am…." A thoughtful pause. "…Nikki. That's my current alias, anyway." Following Thomas' lead, she's not giving her real name. Yet. "Me, I've been here about six months. It's quite an interesting city, don't you think? So different from everything else." She offers her view, then turns to Thomas for his.

Thomas nods to 'Nikki'. "Almost that long. Four, five? And not all of it, but… there are some good parts." Join Gogol, see the world! "But the cover job is a pain in the ass. Having to act all interested because some glorified valve factory is going to save a dollar a part?"

"So long… I've only just got here myself," Nadia admits with a grin that's just a little sheepish. "I know, you would never have guessed, right? I'm still getting used to the city, but at least I can usually find home without getting lost in the subways now." She laughs easily at her own expense. "The cover job, yes… But at least the rest must be exciting?" she suggests, trying to be optimistic.

"Cover job is indeed a pain, but yes, the rest is decidedly more exciting." Irina inclines her head to that, uncrossing her arms and resting her hands on her hips. "You are…. not a field agent, are you, Nadia?" She tilts her head to gauge the other woman. "What's your specialty?"

"No," Nadia admits without any shame, shaking her head. "Maybe one day, but … I'm not really cut out for that sort of thing." She glances down at the folders still tucked in the crook of her arm and then hefts them a little higher. "My specialty is paperwork, mostly. I look after an office that legally owns a lot of company property. It's not nearly so exciting, but important too, I think. In its own way."

"The cogs that keep the machine running." Irina points out with a sagely nod. "My advice?" She lowers her voice, almost conspiratorily. "If you don't think you're cut out for that, /don't/ do it. The excitement isn't worth the risks, and we do so need the cogs to run in the background." A wry grin appears on her lips. "Also, since you're new in town, I can show you around the local nightlife if you like." Beat. "That's exciting too."

At that, Thomas spares a sidelong glance for the guards, both seen and unseen. Hello, cogs! At least they're well-paid to stand around all day, but he wouldn't be able to stand it for long himself, no matter how good the money was. "I'd offer, myself, but it would be more complicated that way. Better if Nikki takes care of it."

"Cogs, yes, that's a good way to put it. Not so glamourous, but … necessary. Back home I was just analyzing chatter, so it's a step up, anyway," Nadia admits with an easy shrug of her shoulders. She turns a touch more serious when Irina drops into the conspiratorial tone, and gives a sage nod of understanding. "You're probably right. I'll skip the risks, unless they tell me otherwise." Perking up again, she offers a grin to the offer. "I'd like that. I haven't really had the chance to do all that much exploring. Knowing more about the city might help it feel more like home. Or at least some place friendly." She glances to Thomas, still grinning. "As long as you're not just trying to avoid my cat."

Irina glances between Thomas and Nadia. "I don't know what this is about a cat, but…." she lifts a finger and gestures between the pair. "…it's really not /that/ complicated, Thomas. A man taking a woman out to a bar for a drink? What can be simpler?" She smiles meaningfully. "But yes, Nadia, I'll pencil you in for some girls' nights out. It'll be good not just to have some fun, but to learn the terrain as well."

"It stops being simple when the man is already going out with someone else." The man speaks from experience; recent, even. "Speaking of," Thomas continues, picking up a set of index cards and pocketing it, "I should get going— good to see you both, though. Never know when we'll need some extra backup out there."

"I certainly don't want to cause any trouble," Nadia assures Thomas, seeming quite genuine in that. "But perhaps I will run into you again, at some point. It was nice to meet you," she bids in a friendly manner, before looking back to Irina and grinning again. "I look forward to it. Remind me, and I'll give you my number before you go." She quickly glances down at her folders to see if she has a pen handy, but there doesn't seem to be one ready-to-hand.

Irina bobs her head to Thomas. "Likewise. I'm sure we'll talk some more. Who knows, maybe we'll even get to work together - but we'll keep it simple." That smile is a very subtle one. Turning back to Nadia, Irina gestures at the younger girl with the flick of a wrist. "I'll be around HQ for at least an hour, so I'll make sure to get your contact information before I go."

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