assassinat: alex mareev ⧗ (you should have.)
darkness is a lover when you live undercover ([personal profile] assassinat) wrote in [community profile] thecapitol2014-05-10 10:48 pm

seemed easier than just waiting around to die; (OPEN)

Who| Nat and YOU!
What| Another newcomer and the fronts she puts on
Where| District 8 floor, shopping area, wherever else
When| With the rest of the newbies
Warnings/Notes| #comics (N/A)

Whoever her abductors were, they were good enough to capture the Black Widow without it being a part of her plan and therefore in doing so have earned themselves her temporary cooperation. It isn't that she wants to rebel (because she does), but there were more important matters to tend to other than pointlessly question those who will deny her significant answers. That and she's had decades of experience when it came to asking questions: these goons aren't going to tell her what she needs to know.

The next best thing is to experience it herself. The first chance she gets to peel away from the other tributes and those watching her, Natasha takes it and explores to her heart's content. If there's something or someone out there she needs to find, she'll be sure to do it before entering a death arena.

Natasha's time here is minimal. Just enough to memorize faces, to pick apart those who might seem familiar and those who aren't, and to identify who may be trouble later on. There's no hint to what her skill set may be when she's around others, choosing instead to feign ignorance and charm others with a smile that shows her discomfort. The role she plays today is that of a scared woman, who has just been ripped from an everyday life to participate in a bloodbath. A woman who is petrified of death, but attempts to face it with a brave face.

It's a flimsy mask and Natasha already fears something may slip through the cracks. Her thoughts are elsewhere, but she remains focused on her role until she leaves the Training Center building.

It isn't so out of character for a woman to take up retail therapy when something devastating happens to her, so Natasha lingers in this area for a good amount of time. There's a lot to take in, but more importantly the people are vocal with their conversations so there's plenty of information to be found. This is what she thrives on, the good honest speculation is more reliable than any book she can request at the Training Center.

There's also no harm in looking at what's for sale either. What better way to understand the culture than to look over the absurd things they value?

OOC | Have an idea or already coordinated something with me? Feel free to hit me up with anything.
yourmove: (Default)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-11 08:13 am (UTC)(link)
[Lemme know if anything should be changed. I figured Natasha is better at undercover than Alex is, so he can't see through her cover]

They refuse to get this damn rig off him. Says he just needs to get used to it and it's the only thing keeping him alive. Between the eyesores these people call clothes and all this talk about "pre-Games maintenance” like he’s some car getting its 25k in a garage and Alex Murphy’s had enough for today.

He storms out there before they can hook him back to that nightmare they call his cradle.

The worst part is they let Alex know that if he tries to leave the Capitol limits, he won’t get far. There’s some kind of kill switch hooked into the suit, supposedly, and it’s “in your best interest (honey), to leave it be”. Since he can't leave the Capitol without risking the kill switch, Alex figures the least he can do is sniff around. Get the lay of the land from someone who doesn't look like a Cirque du Soleil reject. It'd be easier to blend in if every step he made didn't sound like he was trying to kick holes through the floor.

Alex does his best to ignore the constant background sounds the rig makes: it purrs, something clicking so softly he can feel it in his gums more than hear it. When he turns, he finds he takes corners in these precise angles instead of just...taking them like he used to, without thinking about it. Even the swing of his arms feels somehow wrong, this left-right-left that looks wooden.

Pretty sure he just lost his job working undercover at this rate. You can’t pass yourself like Joe Scumbag looking like this.

He finally spots someone who looks normal. Red hair, carries herself differently than the people he’s seen here. She looks scared, biting her lip. Nervously brushing her hair over her shoulder more than once. Blinking rapidly as she stares at the “Avoxes” and the people coming in through the lobby. Basically she looks like how he feels. He can’t blame her.

“Hey, you got a minute?” Alex comes at the redhead, hoping he doesn’t scare her off looking like a drone. What he needs is a non-local here and she’s the first one he’s seen. “Alex Murphy. DPD.”
yourmove: (028)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-12 06:03 am (UTC)(link)
"Yes, you." Alex can see he's not helping put Red at ease: she looks like she wants to bolt for the hill, as if he's already coming at her with handcuffs for something she didn't do. He holds up his flesh hand. "Just a few minutes, had some questions. Promise you're not in any trouble."

He even manages a watery smile, unsure if it's just his face muscles not working like they used or he's just not feeling it either. He might not know much more about this place than she does, but way he sees it, he's supposed to be the authority figure here as the resident cop. Alex isn't too sure what to make of the Peacekeepers in white. All he knows is he doesn't like the look of the weapons they carry in the crooks of their arms or the way their face is covered.

Makes a guy think they don't hold themselves accountable.

First order of business is to calm the lady down, show her that he's on her side. She's not full-on freaking out. Good sign, right?
yourmove: (039)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-13 06:00 am (UTC)(link)
Alex gestures for her to join him off to the side, away from the traffic from the door and catching himself wishing she'd cut it out with the handwringing. Christ, he's not holding her at gunpoint. You'd think he was from the way she's acting. Maybe he needs to work on his people skills.

"Let's start with your name. Where you're from, what you were doing before you got here." Alex was never good at this thing, the part where he should be talking civilians down. Not his department. "Anything of interest you think you may have heard."
yourmove: (071)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-13 07:16 am (UTC)(link)
Alex buys it. No questions asked, no niggling feeling that something isn't right here. The instincts that saved his life back in that diner when Vallon's men tried to jump them and they don't even make a peep when he's staring right at Natasha. He looks her in the face and he sees a pretty young lady of ??? age with red hair that he has no idea if it's real or dyed, and she's the type he would've wanted to call in a squad car to take her home. She looks more like the girl who wandered into the wrong side of town and was breathing "holy shit" to herself, not some Tribute who was supposed to be down with murdering people left and right.

"I'm working that out, ma'am," Alex says, and he remembers not to drop "trying" in there. Civilians really hate that word when cops use it. Somehow they think the police have all the answers, they're on it even if they're just as human as everyone else. "I'm from Detroit myself. Did you see your abductors? Anything helps," he adds, aiming for a comforting smile.

Alex wishes he had something more concrete, but the last thing he remembered on his end was walking to his car and wishing for the car alarm to shut up. A white light. Heat. Then this place.
yourmove: (012)

oops, got my tenses mixed

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-13 07:54 am (UTC)(link)
When he said "anything helps", he'd meant something a little more substantial than what she just gave him...which was exactly the same song and dance he'd gone through with the Gamemakers. This lady wasn't one of those rare, one-in-a-million star witnesses. Alex suppresses the urge to sigh and pinch the bridge of his nose. Patience. Jack used to say he could use a good smack in the face or two of patience. Alex tries to practice some now, his mouth thinning into a line for a second.

"It's fine. You gave me a lot," Alex says, the words sounding hollow even to him. "They scored you, I'm assuming."

The thing is, he's at a loss here. Jack could talk up people better than he could. Alex was better at playing the roll of the thug, looking like some lowlife who made a ton of bad choices and of course he couldn't be on the DPD's payroll. Is he supposed to ask if she needs to talk? Leave her alone? Alex was grasping at straws here, suddenly aware that he isn't equipped for this and it has nothing to do with the rig the Capitol stuck him in.
Edited 2014-05-13 07:55 (UTC)
yourmove: (002)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-13 08:20 am (UTC)(link)
Alex has that out-of-body-experience saying he should be flushing an ugly red. The reality is for once he doesn't feel the blood rushing to his face and that scares him.

"It's just, uh, just a rig. Temporary," Alex underlines that more for his sake, because he just can't see himself being stuck in this suit like a sardine in a can longer than necessary. "Like a prosthesis. It won't get in the way, if that's what you're worried about."
yourmove: (079)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-13 08:43 am (UTC)(link)
Alex has the general idea that he'd like to shrug: it's only when he tries to actually do it, the rig doesn't respond. It kind of just...hunches the shoulders a fraction.

"Life-saving procedure, supposedly."
yourmove: (027)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-15 07:39 am (UTC)(link)
Alex tries to work out if Natasha is focusing on that part to distract herself from everything else or she's trying to work out if it's an advantage in the Games. The truth is he knows it's screwed up, that the "Escort" or whatever seemed to think all he needed was to walk it off and suddenly he'd be a-okay with being stuck in a can.

Granted, Natasha didn't need to know all that. She (hopefully) sees him as a cop and maybe he's old fashioned, but he wants her to see him as a cop first and scared-shitless never. Civilians expected him to be the badge 24/7. A lot of the time they don't want to know that badge has the same problems, the same ability to go oh God we're screwed. Alex flexes his shoulders, something underneath the plating whirring.

Note to self - don't shrug.

"They did. I'm guessing they're fans of the 'toss 'em in and see how they swim' method," Alex says, trying to keep it light. "I'm fine. I'm more concerned about you, Natasha. You going to hold up?"
yourmove: (071)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-16 05:18 am (UTC)(link)
She's staring. Of course she's staring - if he'd seen some guy in a big metal suit, he'd be staring too. Alex tries not to take it too personally as he pauses, trying to think of how to put this delicately in a way that won't set Natasha off because she looks like she's trying to hold it together.

Actually, she sounds like she's trying to convince herself that it can't happen. Like if it makes any difference saying it outloud.

"It's not," Alex hedges around that first part. He could always straight-up lie to Natasha and if he was working undercover, he would've without even thinking about it. Stuck in the suit like this and suddenly he felt way, way more vulnerable than he liked. He just hoped she couldn't see it in his face or something. "Look, just..Sit tight, I'll see what I can do. Sound good?"
yourmove: (055)

Think we could wrap up the thread soon

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-19 05:13 am (UTC)(link)
And somehow he's still surprised Natasha's together enough to address the elephant in the room: he'd pinned her as being too shellshocked about the Games. A muscle tightens in Alex's jaw as he debates what to say. There was a reason he'd never been picked to do a whole lot of public speaking for the DPD.

"Not as much as I'd like," Alex admits. "But it's worth a shot. Just hang in there, I'll get back to you."
yourmove: (014)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-05-20 07:09 am (UTC)(link)
"Thanks. I'll be in District 5," Alex says, although he's not sure how useful that information is. Not when they have to stick him in giant metal torture device cradle and sedate him to sleep. He just hopes she doesn't decide to be proactive and check up on his progress while he's like...that. "See you around, Natasha."

He pivots, the movement divided into segments of head, chest and then hips, and heads off. Alex can't shake the feeling Natasha is going to be the first of a growing list of people he'll disappoint in the Capitol.