2011 06 04: The Apartment Job

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Mission Name: The Apartment Job
Date of Mission: June 4, 2011
Locale: Apartment Building

Alex and Lance are sent on a training mission by Division and things go wrong.


Svetlana Lance Alex

Place: Jersey City

Time: 10:46 PM EST

Location: 6 minute subway ride from Times Square. Jersey city is New York's little sister. Its a cheaper place to stay, live and shop in then its larger bretheren just across the water, and is essentially no farther away then actually living in New York.

Mission Site: Apartment Complex

This is a small 6-story apartment complex, built during the 1920's. It is old and faded, but by no means 'low class'. Its furnishings and decorations may be old and faded, but they are antiques. Five of the six floors have apartments on them, and the bottom floor, no open apartments, has a security guard, of the sort usually watching tv or reading a book. The mission target, Samantha Mei Zheng, is a Chineese-American girl whom is a political consultant on international affairs. She's been politically connected as of late…and stirring up enough trouble that division wants this minor figure dead.

She has a small apartment on floor 5, on the opposite end of the hallway from the old elevator and the stairs. Its about 800 square feet, with only a single, barred window facing a similiar, but taller, apartment complex about 10 feet away. The city builds them close.

The woman is not expected to be armed, and is not expected to know any self defense. She returns from work around 5:30 usually, and has been sighted returning at about 5:50 tonight, entering the building.


Across the street from the apartment building, another building stands. The building is dark, being closed for the day. On the second floor, Lance sits at the window in a darkened room with the recruit. The two have been watching the apartment for most of the day, waiting for the target to arrive home. As the target enters the apartment, he turns from the window and looks back to the woman. "Okay, the target has arrived. Let's get ready." He says to her, moving to the table that shows a layout of the apartment building. "There's a single guard in the lobby and she's on the fifth floor." He says, looking over the layout.

Alex is nervous. She hides it well but it still shows in movements that are just a little too jerky and breaths that come just a little too fast and shallow. The waiting may be the hardest part, but it had almost lulled her into relaxing. But now that the target has arrived and things are about to get very real, the nerves come back. As Lance calls her into action, Alex gives a nod and moves to join him at the table, arms crossed over her chest as she looks down at the plans in the shadowy light of their darkened room. "Okay, so. What's the plan?" she asks, lifting her gaze back up to look at Lance.

Svetlana comes home, and goes through her usual routine. She enters into the apartment and takes off her heels (checking for intruders, signs of intruders, or bombs in a very discreet manner as she does so), and does some general relaxation activities. Yoga, television, and so on.

Lance looks over the plans on the table. "Okay, we're going to go in late when everyone should be sleeping. Since it's just the one guard, you'll need to distract him and get him out of the way. There's an alcove behind the stairs here." He points to the stairs leading up from the lobby. "Lead him here, I'll come in behind you two and take him out since you are not allowed to make your first kill yet." He looks up to her. "Make sure his back is to the door leading into the stairwell. I don't want him to see me coming." He pauses here to let her process the information.

"Distract him," Alex replies, looking back to the plans and then nodding. "Sounds simple enough. Okay." Still, she looks very closely at the layout, committing it to memory, and carefully studying the short route between the guard's station and where she's supposed to get him to go. "And then I just… stay there with him?" She's not sure quite how long she can distract the guard, but is willing to try her hardest, at least.

Lance shakes his head. "No. You're going to have to remain a ghost, so I'll hide the body while you check to make sure there's no tape at the guard station. If there's a camera, you always make sure there's no tape. If there is, take it and any copies. We're going to try to make this look like a break-in gone bad by some punks. Hence the spray paint." He looks back to the map. "We'll move up to the apartment, I'll pick the lock and we'll go in. We'll take out the target and then trash the place and add the graphitti." He hands her some photographs of some simple gang signs. "We'll spray these on the walls and take some valuables that we'll make disappear."

Alex listens intently as he explains the process, and then nods again. "Distract the guard, take the tapes, up to the apartment, trash it. Sounds easy enough," the teen replies as she takes the gang signs and gives them a quick once-over. "I'm good enough at being a ghost, I guess," she adds, as she sets the gang signs aside and looks back to the layout of the plan again, tracing over their path with a finger. "So when do we start?"

Lance smiles and stands up straight. "We'll head in at 3 in the morning. Should be quiet around then and anyone awake is probably drunk." He looks from the map to her. "Make sure you're familiar with everything and we'll get going." He says before he moves to the pistol he'll be using, making sure it's clean while he watches the window of the target's apartment, waiting for the lights to go out.

"Just us and a bunch of drunks. Can't wait," Alex states wryly, trying to inject a little humor into the situation in order to help steady her nerves. She watches Lance move away, before returning her attention to the layout, studying it in silence for several more moments. "Ready whenever you are," she speaks up, once she figures she's memorized it as best she can. Moving away from the table, she heads a little closer to the window, but is careful to stay back out of sight.

Around three in the morning, the place is quiet. The front door is locked, with a key for tenants and a buzzer. The guard is just inside, facing the door. He is looking at a laptop, watching something. There not even any signs of drunks, though there are still the occasional people wandering down the street.

As the clock draws closer to three, Lance heads out of the room they're in leads Alex towards the apartment building across the street. He ducks into a dark alley, his weapons hidden beneath his coat. They wait in the shadows until the top of the hour when his watch beeps once to signal the time. "Okay. You know what to do. Anything seems wrong, you just keep walking and call me. We'll meet back up at HQ and go from there." He glances up and down the alley quickly to make sure the close is clear before he looks back to her. "Ready?"

There isn't much quipping as Lance leads her out of the building and down to the alley in between. As his watch beeps, she reaches up and pulls out the elastic that's been holding her hair back from her face, letting it fall forward around her shoulders, a look she's not really rocked since being brought in to Division. "Always," she replies to him with a quick grin that doesn't quite reach her eyes. "See you in there." Without allowing herself to falter or hesitate, she heads out of the alley, running a hand back through her hair to fluff it, and yanking her skirt a few inches shorter. On high heeled shoes, she strides purposefully up to the door of the building, and raps sounding upon it with her knuckles, offering the guard her best sheepish 'damsel in distress' smile through the glass. Clearly she's just some upper-class kid having some sort of problem out at this hour of the night.

The guard doesn't notice at first. Hey, he's watching X-Men: First Class. Torrents are wonderful. He's having a good time. He has an easy job. Takes awhile before he bothers to look up at the sound and notices Alex, and then he hits pause on his movie, and -then- he wanders towards the door. "Can I…help you, miss?" he asks, trying to sound authoritarian and failing utterly. He's just some college student.

"Yeah, hi," Alex replies with a rush of relief as the guard finally comes to answer the door. "I, uh, I think I'm lost and my cell phone is dead. My parents are going to kill me. Do you think I could use your phone? Pretty please?" she asks in a somewhat vapid tone, giving him the full puppy dog eyes and eager co-ed smile. She resists the urge to add more, just continuing to stare at him in silent appeal rather than risk overselling the act.

The guard frowns, hormones competing with sympathy competing with rules. After a moment, a very brief moment, he shrugs, and opens the door. "Phone's back here." he says. "Come on in." He walks back towards the desk.

Lance waits in the alley, looking around the corner with one eye, keeping himself out of sight. He watches Alex move to the door and knock. He waits for the right moment before he puts on a hat and moves around the corner towards the open door. Hoping the guard is distracted by Alex, he slips into the lobby, making his way towards the mailboxes as he tries to act like he is suppose to be there. He keeps his back towards the guard as he tries to look like he's just checking and looking through his mail by picking one of the mailboxes. Easier to sell the act if the mailbox is open, right?

"Awesome, thanks," Alex gushes as she follows the guard inside, pausing just long enough to catch the door before it can swing fully shut and latch again. Then she's quickly catching up to head for the desk with him, smiling with relief all the way. Positioning herself so that the guard will have to look away from the door to look at her, she picks up the phone and begins to feign confusion. "So, uh, what do I do to get an outside line?" she asks, watching Lance move into the building out of her peripheral vision.

"Dial 9, then one, then the number." the guard replies, shutting his laptop lid. He doesn't even notice Lance. He pulls out a pen and an official-looking paper, and begins writing on the paper, still standing. "Gotta log it or they'll wonder about the call." he explains.

"Oh right. Okay," Alex replies, dialling 9 and then a string of random numbers. While the operator tells her to please hang up and try her call again, she makes like she's ordering a cab to get her home. That done, she hangs up and flashes him another smile. "Thanks a ton. You really saved my life." She takes a step further back, trying to get the guard to turn with her, to make sure his back is fully to Lance. "I really owe you one."

The guard turns around and smiles sheepishly. "Oh, its nothing. I'm sure anyone else would do the same. World can be lousy, you know?" he says sympathetically, his back to Lance. "People just…act like jerks. Just trying to do my part."

"Yeah, I know how lousy the world can be," Alex agrees with some feeling. "Good to know there's still some nice guys helping to balance it out…" She gives him another smile, before glancing sidelong towards the door to the stairwell. "So the cabbie said he'd pick me up at the back door. Is that through here?" she asks, and without waiting for his response, she's already heading towards the stairs, albeit, deliberately moving slowly enough for him to catch up and stop her before he ends up with a ditzy teen walking around in his supposedly secured building.

"The back door?" the guard replies in confusion. "What? No, thats not right. That doesn't make any sense." He follows after Alex. "You can't go back there, that area's under construction!"

As the two start for the stairs, Lance closes the mailbox, mail returned, and turns back towards the two as he starts to follow them into the more secluded area of the building, trying to remain as quiet as he can without drawing undue attention to himself. He waits until they are out of sight of any potential witnesses before he draws out his pistol, using it to hit the guard at the base of his skull where it meets the neck, trying to knock him out.

The guard falls to the ground with a 'thump' cracking his head hard against the ground as he does so. He'll be fine. He'll probably need medical attention, but he'll be fine.

Alex can't help but wince slightly as the guard goes down, feeling guilty for her part in it, but … a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. "Sorry about that," she mutters to his unconscious form, before looking back up to Lance. She gives the agent a small nod before she heads back to the desk in order to check for any security feeds begin recorded on tape.

There is a single video-feed, which alternates between the front lobby and the back door. The back door, in a small, dirty alley behind the building, is almost blocked by a large empty truck. Just in front of the truck is an open dumpster. Apparently -noone- was picking Alex up there.

Lance watches the guard go down before he returns Alex's nod before he puts his weapon away and starts to go through the guard's wallet, taking his keys, wallet and any jewelry that the kid may be wearing, stuffing them into his coat's pockets. He drags the kid's body beneath the darkened area beneath the stairs leading up, using the kid's belt to try to hog tie him so he doesn't go anywhere and takes off his right shoe and sock, using the sock as a gag, though it's only in principle. As he finishes with the kid, he waits for Alex to return, looking up the steps to see if anyone is coming down them.

Alex quickly eyes the feed, not too worried that her story didn't hold up under scrutiny. The deed is done, and now it's on to phase two, which involves getting the tape from the machine. She pauses for a moment then, casting a glance at the telephone, but after looking between Lance and the desk, she leaves it be, heading to catch up with the agent at the stairs, holding up the tape as she approaches, to show him that part is done also.

Noone is coming down the stairs. The front door is quiet. All seems to be going according to plan.

Lance looks back to Alex as she returns, offering a smile. "Good work. Let's go up." He says, as he moves up the stairs quickly, but also deliberately, trying to make as little noise as possible as the two make their way up to the fifth floor. As they arrive, he opens the door a crack to check if the cost is clear before he starts towards the target's apartment, taking his lock picks back out. He remains silent, trusting Alex to do her part of the plan.

The target's apartment is down the hall, far away from the elevator or the stairs. Its not in the corner of the building, but just -beside- the corner. The door is made of oak, and has a 1950's-era lock - not that hard to pick, really. It could be worse. The carpeting is rather far from the floor as well, very thick and fuzzy, making it impossible to see underneath the door, but also obscuring any motion or movement against the light from the outside, from being visible on the inside. There is a small one-way peephole set into the top middle of the door, and a brass plate has the number "505" in it. Apparently, this apartment building was once a hotel, and was later converted.

Alex tries to smile back, but it's a weak and sickly thing. This was, after all, the easy part, and she's not exactly looking forward to what comes next. "Up we go…" she replies in a quiet mutter as she follows him up the stairs, trying to keep her heels from making too much noise in the stairwell. She sticks close behind Lance, waiting patiently in the stairwell while he checks things out, and then following him out into the hall, shutting the door to the stairs quietly behind them, rather than letting it swing to with a bang.

Lance moves quickly to the apartment, keeping quiet and crouching below the peepholes of the doors. He kneels at the door of the apartment and gets to work on the locks that secure the door before he slowly tries to open the door, making sure to be careful in case there's a chain on the door and not wanting to make too much noise.

There is a chain on the door, and it is an unoiled, very creaky door. But all of that is irrelvent, there is a small 'ting' of aluminum hitting a wooden floor as a pepsi can, discarded beside the door, is pushed over and rolls across the hardwood floor. Annoyingly enough, apparently this apartment building is only carpeted in the halls. It doesn't seem to have made very much noise, however.

Inside the apartment it is dark. There is a small flat-screen television, an open closet filled with all manner of women's clothes and shoes, and a bathroom.

There are no nightlights, but there is a certain amount of ambient light drifting in from the one window, in the single bedroom, which has another apartment building just a few feet beyond it. The window does open and close, but that ability is blocked by interior bars, which are fairly common on such buildings. The light gives the bedroom a soft, pale glow, and almost, but does not quite, drift into the living room. The bedroom door is only halfway open.

Alex waits silently in the hall, every tiny noise seeming that much louder in the quiet, and her nerves frayed enough as it is. Idly, she plays with the tab on the side of the security tape, not even realizing she's doing it. Standing beside him while she keeps an eye on the hallway, trying not to let her anxiousness show through, but there's still some telltale fidgeting. She winces at the ting of the can hitting the floor, biting down on her lip as she takes another look up and down the hallway.

Lance winces and pauses as the sound of the can is heard. He glances towards Alex, signaling her to wait there as he reaches into his coat, removing his pistol and a silencer, screwing it onto the gun before he reaches through the open door and attempts to take off the chain before he enters the apartment, scanning the apartment for signs of anyone. His weapon at the ready.

There is no sign of anyone in the apartment main. It seems fairly quiet and relatively pedestrian. Exploration will reveal that the woman is probably in the bedroom, and indeed a dim outline in the bed can just barely be seen from behind the half-open bedroom door.

When no one comes charging out to see what's going on, Alex breathes a quiet sigh of relief. She gives a nod to Lance when he gestures for her to stay, and her eyes widen just slightly when he pulls out his weapon — not that she didn't know that was bound to happen sooner or later. She leans in just slightly, trying to peer in through the opening in the door, and then straightens again to give the hallway another scan.

Once he's satisfied that there is no one in the room, Lance motions for Alex to enter the room behind him. He reaches into his coat, opposite of where he keeps his gun and takes out a can of spray paint and offers it to her to start spraying the room before he heads into the bedroom. He peers into the bedroom from the door frame, hiding his body behind the wall before he tries to slip into the bedroom without touching the door and takes aim at the form in the bed, creeping towards the bed.

As Lance slips between the door and into the room, there is a brief rustle of motion in the darkness, from the vague vicinity of the prone form on the bed. Its not really clear what it is, but it goes flying towards Lance's legs.

Actually, its a throwing knife. Painted black. And followed up by another knife, aimed higher.

There is then a larger rush of motion, as the prone form - wearing only a nightie - leaps up from the bed, grabs the window bars only a few feet away, and throws them towards the door. Apparently they wern't on that tight.

Left in the living room to do her thing, Alex is oblivious to whatever problems Lance is having in the other room, at least until she hears the crash of the window bars, whether they collide with the agent or the door itself. In the meantime, she's pulled the cap off the spray paint after quietly shaking it a few times, trying not to make too much noise with the weight inside the can. Lifting it to begin painting the walls, she pauses as the sound of conflict reaches her, and whirls about. She opens her mouth, as though to call out, but quickly thinks better of it, instead opting to quickly take a defensive pose against the wall, around the corner from the bedroom. With no weapon, she just holds the spray can at the ready, figuring a blast in the face will at least buy her some time.

The sudden motion does catch Lance off guard, but his instincts and training kick in and he dives to the side, but not before one of the throwing knives find it's mark in his leg. He lets out a quick cry of pain as he pulls the trigger on his gun towards the bed, praying and spaying at the bed. He collapses at the door as the second knife and the bars hit the door. Apparently, the intel on this woman was wrong…

The woman, whom was about to fiddle with the window, rolls out of the way and into a small closet. She remains there a moment, a long moment, and then fires several cover shots out of it, before peeking out to spy on Lance.

Outside the room, Alex ducks instinctively as the sound of wild gunfire starts coming from the bedroom. She may not be in the crossfire, but then, she doesn't entirely trust these walls to stop a bullet either. She's torn for a moment, between whether to run or try to help in some measure. So, for now, she stays put, but moves to the opposite wall, carefully watching the bedroom to see who, if anyone, is going to emerge first.

Lance lays where he lands for a few seconds, his breathing heavy until the gunshots emerge from the closet in which he tries to roll out of the way of the gunfire. So much for the quiet approach. "Mother fucker, he says, his voice still hushed before he returns fire towards the closet as he scrambles towards the bedroom door. "Where's a grenade when you need one?" He asks himself as he moves.

There is no further sound of gunfire from the closet, nor does Svetlana peek out. Nor is there sign of motion or movement of any type.

As the gunfire dies down, Alex risks creeping closer, moving carefully down the hall, keeping her back against the wall, and walking on tiptoes to keep her heels from clacking — also to help her peer ahead and try to see through the door if it remains open even a crack. The can of spray paint is still held up like mace, since it's really her only weapon. And she figures it will be more effective than trying to bean someone with the security tape.

Lance slams against the wall next to the bedroom door, breathing heavily as he keeps his gun pointed towards the closet, pulling the knife from his leg. He remains still as he waits for a moment before he starts to creep towards the closet, firing a few more rounds into the closet in areas he thinks she may be hiding at before he finally peers into the closet to see if she's dead or just playing possum.

The closet is empty. It is filled with some dresses, and some women's shoes, and a gun-case. And a neatly cut hole in the floor, leading to the apartment below. A dim nightlight below reveals an otherwise empty, barren room. This woman had at least one escape route planned, in advance.

Alex shrinks back from the doorway as Lance fires more shots, since from her vantage point, she can't tell whether they're enemy or friendly fire — nor can they differentiate when it comes to her. So she presses tight against the wall, holding the can of spray paint so tightly her knuckles turn white.

Lance sees that the closet is empty and sighs. "Fuck." He growls as he sees that she got away. "She's down one floor." He calls out towards Alex as he spots an another gun in the case, grabbing it before he rushes to the living room and tosses the gun to Alex. "Head outside and try to cut her off. If you don't see her, get to the room across the street and start clearing the room. If I'm not there when you're done, get to HQ. I'll meet you there." He tells her before he heads back into the living room to follow Svetlana down to the next floor, peeking down first with his gun ready in case she's waiting for him.

Alex catches the gun, though she has to drop the can of spray paint in the process, jumping slightly at the noise it makes hitting the floor. "I- Uh. Okay!" Alex replies, flustered and feeling in completely over her head, but there's no good in staying here like a deer in the headlights. Leaving the can of paint where it is, she heads for the exit, so that she can run down the stairs and try to meet the woman at the bottom — even if part of her is really, really hoping she doesn't actually run into her.

The next floor down is more utilitarian. While the immediate room below is empty, the next one is not. There are several laptop computers set up, and various supplies; food, water, several cell phones, electronic equipment, maps, pepper, mace, rope, grappling hook, a number of different varieties of knives, two umbrellas, one pink, one blue, several changes of clothes, and a few more guns. This woman is -prepared-. The computers seem to already be locked down, whether she just did that or thats the way she keeps them is irrelevent for now, probably.

She is no longer in the room, and seems to have exited into the hotel proper. More of a problem is that there seems to be a simple boobytrap on the door; specifically designed to be easily set and to slow down anyone trying to follow her. Its not immediately clear what the trap is, but there is clearly a device. So, she's technically inclined, too.

And somewhere out in the apartment complex. With Alex.

In case it wasn't clear, below is just another apartment, rented out and used for more…interesting…purposes.

Lance sees the room is empty and he moves down to the door. He climbs down to the apartment below, looking around. He gives an appraising look as he looks around and then pulls out his phone to call Division. He explains the situation and what he found before he requests a cleaning crew to come and warns them about the device on the door. After he finishes with Division, he grabs a chair from nearby and uses it to climb back up the hole he came through. He quickly tries to get out of there, figuring the target is in the wind now, and meet up with Alex.

Svetlana is not, unfortunately, in the wind. Whereas before she was the one under target, now its Alex and Lance whom are the targets. And they are on her turf. Or at least, her turf for the time being - she'll have to be gone soon enough. Wearing only her nightie from before, and, now, a kevlar vest set overtop it, she prowls down the hallway past the fourth floor (the one where the under-room was), heading cautiously towards the stairwell. She looks up, and down, hoping one of the asassins comes down the stairs so she can ambush them.

Alex takes the stairs two at a time, trying not to kill herself in the unfamiliar heels, which does slow her progress somewhat. While she's not making a lot of noise, heels, speed and stealth don't all combine perfectly, so she can certainly be heard coming if someone is listening for her. The surveillance tape is tucked up under an arm so that she can ready the gun, but she doesn't really expect any trouble until she reaches the lobby, if even then. She's really just hoping the woman ran off free and clear.

Lance moves into the stairwell, hearing the heels echoing up the walls. While Alex may be ahead of Svetlana, Lance sure isn't. He starts his descent, being cautious as he nears the fourth floor door. He can't be too careful and doesn't know where she is. His gun is held at the ready, but the wound in his leg causes pain with each step. He pushes through the pain. Whoever provided the intel on this girl is going to have to answer some questions.

Svetlana hears the heels come, and then hears the heels go. Slinking out from behind the door (which does audible shut!) she hoists her gun and fires several shots towards Alex's back. Fortunately, by spy standards, Svetlana is a godawful shot. Ergo the knives under the pillow instead of a gun. Her face is calm and emotionless. They tried to kill her, it is her job to attempt the same for them in turn.

Alex lets out a little shriek of surprise as the bullets still come far, far too close for comfort. Ducking her head, she jumps down the last four stairs to the next landing, nearly twisting her ankle in the process, but managing to steady herself on the railing just in time. But it leaves her scrambling to bring her own gun back up and fire a couple of wild shots back up the stairwell, trying to keep the other person back rather than actually aiming to hit anything.

Lance stops in his tracks as the gunfire erupts behind the sound of the door shutting. He ducks down from the return gunfire as he moves towards the source. As he peers down the corner at the fourth floor, he turns the corner and aims his gun at anyone still there… if not, at open air. At least he knows that the target is still in play.

Svetlana is smart, but she isn't perfect. And gunshots, even silenced ones, are loud. So Lance manages to aim at her while she's dodging Alex' bullets, and one of them slams into her. Fortunately, she had a kevlar vest in that room, so she's just knocked flat against the landing, knocking the wind out of her.

Recovering quickly, Svetlana sends some cover shots upwards, while trying to avoid Alex' own shots.

From her position, Alex can't really tell whose shots are whose, and the stairwell makes everything sound that much closer. She stops firing blindly up the stairs for the moment, instead moving back to the far wall, trying to keep herself out of range from above, while keeping her gun levelled on the stairs coming down, her hands shaking slightly.

Lance pulls the trigger as soon as he sees the woman in kevlar and a nightgown as she starts to fall back from Alex's shot as the return fire erupts causing him to duck for cover and his shots go into the wall above her. He calls down to Alex, aware the other woman can hear. "She's on four." He peeks around the corner, seeing if he can get off another shot.

Svetlana opens the door back up and heads inside. She needs to think. Did she ever actually put the tear gas in the canister? She can't remember. She didn't mean to, but she might have. She can't risk it. She takes a moment, running tactical scenerios through her mind, playing out different scenerios the way a chessplayer might play out chess. She rules out going out a window, rules out calling 911 on a cell phone, and rules out a prolonged stand-off. She suspects she has more bullets, but there are more of them then there are of her.

So, having decided on a tactic, she heads for the elevator.

Hearing Lance's shouted instructions, Alex begins to creep back towards the stairs, careful to keep her gun at the ready and trying to peer ahead around the concrete stairs as she goes. When bullets don't start to rain down on her, she sets a foot on the bottom stair and starts slowly working her way up, taking each step at a time and trying not to make much noise. It's all moot though, as she finds the landing empty by the time she gets to it. "She's not here," the teen offers in reply to Lance, not quite sure exactly where he's positioned either.

Lance peeks around the corner just as the door starts to close again. "She went back inside." He calls back down to Alex as he moves around the corner towards the door, readying his weapon. He looks to Alex as she arrives at the stairs. "Cover me. You aim high and I'll aim low." He says as he cracks open the door, peering into the hallway as he tries to keep in cover as much as possible before he throws open the door, gun aimed down the hallway.

The fourth-floor hallways is empty. There is no sign of Svetlana, or where she has gone.

Meanwhile, the elevator on the fifth floor 'dings' and she gets off. Holding her gun in front of her, she moves slowly and cautiously, expecting to see Lance, but…he's gone. Looking out at the landing to make sure he is not there, she runs back towards her room. She still intends to go after them, but she has a few things to clean up, first.

Alex gives a little nod to those instructions, looking completely overwhelmed by all this, but at least acknowledging that she does understand what she's supposed to do. She can't entirely hide her relief when they step out into an empty hallway, however. She takes advantage of the lull to readjust her grip on the gun, which she's been holding too tightly for proper form. But this isn't really time for a lesson. "Now what?" she asks Lance, still watching the hallway carefully and levelling her gun ahead once more, in case there's something or someone lurking behind one of the doors or around a corner.

Lance lowers his gun as he sees the hallway's empty, looking around the area for a moment before he stands and looks back to Alex. "The cleaners should be here soon. Let's get out of here. I'm sure someone has called the cops by now." He says as he starts down the stairs, unaware of the elevator arriving at the fifth floor. "Cleaners will take care of the rest."

Svetlana heads for her apartment, and begins quickly scooping up id, documents, and the like into a trash can, which she quickly sets on fire. She then heads through the closet into the sub-floor, and, unlocking her computers, runs a clean command on each one of them - setting the hard-drives to begin formatting. All of this is done with the careful movements of preplanning and practice, and doesn't take more then a minute-45. After finishing, she unscrews the tear gas canister connecting to her door-trap, and peers through the peep-hole of the door, checking to see if anyone is in the hallway.

Alex certainly isn't going to argue for sticking around. She lets out a slow breath as Lance sounds the retreat, lowering her weapon to her side, but still keeping a tight grip on it, as she trails behind him on the stairs, still making some effort to be quiet, but not as much as on her way up — so the light clack-clack-clack of heels can certainly be heard. "Are we going to be in trouble?" she asks, glancing back up through the center opening of the stairs. "I mean, that… didn't exactly go to plan."

Lance hurries down the steps, his gun at his side. "No. If we had proper intel, we would have been prepared. She sure as hell knew how to defend herself and she was definitely a pro. CIA maybe, but she is no ordinary woman." He frowns as he moves quickly down the steps, the adrenaline rush covering the pain from the wound. As he reaches the bottom floor, he looks out into the lobby, holstering his weapon as he makes sure it's still empty. Once satisfied, he motions for her to follow. "Stay close." He says to her as he slips into the lobby and quickly walks for the front door.

Svetlana looks out the peephole and doesn't see anything. They could be anywhere in the building by now. They could be hunting her, or they could be heading out. She takes a moment to think. She knows the back-door is blocked off, so they'll have to be heading out the front door. She doubts she has forever - the cops will be coming by now, at the least, but she probably has enough time for one last attempt at salvaging something from this mess.

She heads back up into her real apartment, grabbing a grappling hook before she goes. She throws the gun case down into the hole, and then covers up the hole as best she can.

Then, opening up the window - remember, the firt thing she ever did was to pull off the bars - she opens it up. She attaches the grappling hook onto the side of the window, and then proceeds to grapple down. This is her territory. And now she's lost it. Perhaps even her cover; she hopes not, it depends on who they are with. She has no idea. Perhaps division, perhaps a terrorist group, could be anyone. Hopefully division.

But she's going to try and find out. She grapples down the side of the building. She really has too many plans going on.

Alex raises her eyebrows slightly at that, but there's no arguing that this isn't just some untrained woman they're dealing with, clearly. She might have more to add, but after reconsidering, she opts instead of silence over stupid questions. Keeping her gun down at her side, for lack of a better holster, she follows Lance out into the lobby, looking around carefully as she goes, and then jogging a few steps to catch up with his fast walk for the door. He says stay close, so that's what she'll try to do.

Lance pushes open the front door and quickly looks up and down the street, the sirens starting to be heard in the distance and drawing closer. He nods towards the alley next to the building they were in previously. As they cross the street and head into the alley, he glances back towards Alex. "We'll get a couple of blocks away and we'll start for HQ. Someone is getting canceled for this and it sure as hell isn't us."

Svetlana reaches the bottom of the alley, and yanks on the grappling hook until it falls down after her, in a loud 'clank'. She looks outwards, cautiously, at the street, but sees noone. Her assassins have vanished as if into the wind. Hearing the sirens, she heads back into the alley of her own building, determained to get away before the police arrive. A woman wandering around with a gun and a kevlar vest wearing nothing more then a nightie is…suspicious, to say the least.

Alex trots along quickly in order to keep up, keeping her head down as they cross the open street and only breathing a tiny bit easier once they're in the alley across the way. "Easy for you to say," she replies, of the cancelation. He's an agent with a proven track record and she's a rookie recruit. One of them is far more expendable than the other. Not that she likes the idea of anyone getting cancelled over this. "Maybe it was just bad luck. Maybe she wasn't supposed to have any training…" But the teen just trails off into silence, leaving the arguments at that as she continues along after him, actually almost eager to head back to HQ — which she never would have thought possible.


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