Retrevials and Acquistions
I don’t own Buffy, Leverage or White Collar. But if I did, oh the things that would happen on those shows.Recovery and AcquisitionsIsobrek Mansion, D.C.
The party was in full swing as Sophie made idle chitchat with guests, all the while keeping an eye on the mark and waiting for word from her teammates. /“Give me two minutes to get control and we’ll be a go.”/
Hardison’s voice came over the earwig she wore. Looking around the room she spotted Nate and gave a nod, receiving one back signifying that they both understood what was about to happen. Up to that point the job, a simple recovery of an artifact belong to an old British family from a CEO that had illegally acquired it, had gone smoothly. She’d found out about this party he was holding in his mansion, they had gotten the updated blueprints and security specs for the building and come up with a plan to retrieve the artifact. Hardison had added himself, her and Nate to the guest list (under false identities of course). Parker and Eliot had gotten in as a server and security respectively allowing then mostly free rein of the mansion so they could scope it out for any changes or possible problems, like they were doing now. Hardison had promptly vanished, to find a place to setup where he wouldn’t be found or interrupted. Everything was going like clockwork.
This was when the whole thing went to hell of course. It started off innocently enough; she was approached by a handsome young man. He stood at 5’11’’ with a handsome face and wide shoulders; he was dressed in a dark black three piece tuxedo with an excellent cut, so she decided that if she had to mingle why not with the cute young man that sought her out. “I’m Xander, would you like to dance?” the introduction was punctuated by a small half smile half smirk, that made him look rather rakishly handsome, and an extended hand. Smiling back she placed her hand in his.
“Sophie and it would be a pleasure.” They danced for a few minutes, making small talk before she got her first clue something was wrong. After spinning her away he pulled her close him and leaning his head down next to hers blew on her ear, causing a small shiver to run up her spine, and then said something that made her stiffen up.
“Sorry boys and girls, but you’ll have to deal with a little radio silence for a while.” She pulled back from him with a shocked look on her face. Xanders ever present smile dimmed as he looked in her eyes. “I’m sorry Ms. Devereaux, this really is in your teams best interests.” With a bow he kissed the back of her hand, turned and started to walk away as the band wound down the song they had been playing.
“I never told you my last name.” she called out as questions ran through her mind. ‘Who was he, did she know him, and how did he know her. Was he from law enforcement or another group of thieves/con artists? What exactly did he know about her team?’
He stopped for a moment and partially turned his head to face her. “No you didn’t.” with a wink and the re-emergence of his smirk he continued to walk away. Passing by a camera Xander smiled at it before saying two words. “Do it.”
/”Sorry boys and girls, but you’ll have to deal with a little radio silence for a while.”/
After the declaration the line went dead and Hardison went frantic as he tried to contact the rest of the team to no avail. “Nate can you hear me, Nate. Damn, Parker, Eliot, Sophie…..” As he spoke his fingers were clacking away at the keys of his laptop, trying to figure out what had happened. He had tapped into and taken control of the systems (cameras, security sensors, internal communications, Wi-Fi, everything), nothing should have happened without him at least getting a heads up and a chance to stop it. Yet that was exactly what had happened, somehow someone had slipped by him and cut the communications even the teams own secure encrypted private channels.
Hardison was so engrossed in his thoughts and attempts to get some kind of contact with the team going that he almost missed it. Someone was trying to hack him, that wasn’t going to happen, no way no how. For almost a minute a battle of wits, skill and technique was waged on a virtual battlefield. “Yes, no one beats me.” Then his windows started turning to snow one after the other, first the cameras (did that man just smile at me), then sensor readouts, followed by the elevator controls and so on. “No, no not happening, this is not happening no, no!!!” Pulling up every trick he could think of he tried to regain control, only to be beat at every turn, until the connection that he was using was cut off leaving him staring at static on the browsers on his screen. “Nate is not gonna like this.”
Three rooms down from Hardison, in a locked and closed room sat a man at a computer. He was young (appearing to still be in his teens or barely out of them), with short cerulean tipped spiky hair. He was dressed in everyday clothes (jeans, a t-shirt and a light jacket bearing a patch for ‘Dingoes Ate My Baby’) which would make people wonder how he had gotten into that exclusive party dressed as he was. As he continued to type on his the laptop, the left side of his lip tugged up slightly before dropping back down.
“Clear.” He stated in an almost bored monotone.
With an almost imperceptible nod of her raven haired head the woman who had been standing near the vault room made her towards it. As she entered the room the two large guards took up a more serious pose before taking a look at her and beginning to leer (discreetly of course). She was in a word, stunning. Standing 5’5’’ with an ample chest, nice curves, long legs, a tight butt, pouty kissable lips and smoky bedroom eyes all wrapped up in a little black dress.
The larger of the two gathered his wits first. “Excuse me ma’am but you can’t be back here. I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”
The woman tsked as she wagged a slender finger. “If you boys had just kept looking a little longer this would have been relatively painless.”
“What the hell are…..” the rest of the guards words were cut off by a knife hand chop to the throat, which caused him to gasp for air, followed by a hammer blow to temple which caused his already oxygen deprived brain to shut down and send him into a state of unconsciousness. The second guard in an attempt to regain control of the situation threw a right cross at the woman’s head, which she ducked under and spun around leaving her a small ways forward and to the side of him. Before the guard could recover from the missed punch the woman drove an elbow into his solar plexus, causing him to double over in pain, grabbed him by the hair on the back of his head and used it to lift his head back up before slamming it back down into her rising knee. In the space of 48 seconds both men were down for the count leaving the woman to readjust her dress.
“You enjoyed that way too much, you know.” declared a feminine voice, quickly followed by a tall attractive long haired blonde in a servers outfit. In response the dark haired woman shrugged her shoulders while maintaining a ‘cat that ate the canary’ grin on her beautiful face. Shaking her head the blonde turned towards the sealed vault door, giving it a once over. “Hey, we’re…..” the heavy door swung open with a slight pneumonic hissing followed by a secondary door that split down the center and retracted into the walls. “….that does get annoying you know.”
A short laugh and /“Everything in that room is tied to an onsite secondary system. You’re on your own.”/
was the response she received.
“I don’t see why I couldn’t do this part.” stated the dark haired female as she leaned against a wall, hands crossed under her chest drawing the eye to her cleavage.
The blonde raised an eyebrow as she slowly lifted off the ground to hover two feet above the ground. “Can you levitate and shield yourself from heat variable sensors?” At the returning scoff of the other woman she let a smug smile grow on her face. “Didn’t think so.”/“You guys better hurry up because if this guy tries to feel me up one more time I’m gonna break his arm.”/
At the angry declaration from the remaining female member of their team the two women gave each other childish smiles before the blonde turned and floated into the vault.
Two days later, FBI building
Special Agent Peter Burke of the FBI looked at the people gathered in the room; they were some of the best and brightest that the FBI had to offer……plus Neal Caffrey, of course. He cleared his throat to signal the room to quiet down. “We’ve just got a case that’s right up our alley. Three stolen artifacts in as many months, each piece is considered a work of art and supposed to have magical powers and valued somewhere in the 30-50 million dollar range.” A few of the agents let out sounds ranging from whistles to a “Whoa momma.”
“Expensive, but the occults not really my area of expertise Peter.” said Neal as he leaned back in his chair.
Diana clasped her hands together as she looked at Peter. “Neal’s right Peter, this sounds like something Robbery should be handling.”
“They were, but they weren’t making any headway in the case so they brought in cybercrime division to see if anyone recognized the hackers work or could identify them. When cybercrime couldn’t deliver they found something and got it turfed to us.” Peter said.
Neal got an inquisitive look on his face. “And just what could they have found to make it an art crimes case?”
Peter smiled as he clicked the remote in his hand and said one name. “Nathan Ford.” Behind him the wall mounted television came to life displaying a file on the aforementioned man.
“Ford’s back?!” Neal’s outburst caused all eyes to turn on him.
Same time, Leverage Consulting & Associates building, LA
After the botched job the team had gone their separate ways (because Nate couldn’t taking the screaming and accusations of screwing up or under preparedness anymore) for a day to unwind, now they back and looking for answers. “What the hell happened Nate, we were completely screwed on that job!”
“That’s what we need to find out, Hardison any luck on finding our mystery thieves.” Nate said as swirled the Bourbon around the ice cubes in the glass in his hand.
“Nope, I’ve got nothing, not even the image of that guy who was smiling at the camera. And that was on my computer Nate not the buildings systems. Whoever these guys are they are good, no fingerprints, no faces, no trace, not even any names. Nothing at all.” Parker sighed as she went and grabbed a soda from the fridge while Eliot looked like he wanted to cause grievous bodily harm to someone (of course he usually looked like that so it might have no bearing on the current situation).
Sophie’s eyes widened as a memory came back to her. “Xander.” The other members of the team turned to look at her but she focused on Hardison. “The man you saw did he have wavy brown hair, amber brown eyes and a handsome smile?” Hardison appeared to be thinking for a moment before he began to answer, only to be interrupted.
“Handsome, I was going for more of a devilishly charming, but thanks for the compliment.” The gathered team turned around from looking at each other and the large screen to look at the smiling man standing in the door.
Sophie pointed “That’s him.” identifying the man as Xander only to stop at the sound of breaking glass.
When Nate had turned around he saw someone that he hadn’t seen in person ever but that he had kept tabs on for the last 20+ years. The glass of Bourbon slipped from nerveless fingers and shattered on the floor. “Alex??” he said in an almost dreamlike voice.
“How you doing Nate?” Xander responded, his smile becoming half smirk.
“Wait you two know each other!” yelled Eliot looking between the two men.
Xander never looked away from Nate’s eyes as he spoke. “No, not really he’s just my father.”The End
Meet the team:
Alexander LaVelle ‘Xander’ Harris – ‘The Mastermind’
Faith Lehane – ‘The Hitter’
Daniel ‘Oz’ Osbourne – ‘The Hacker’
Amy Madison – ‘The Thief’
Cordelia Chase – ‘The Grifter’
I was going to have a nod to the movie Hackers but I really wanted to end this as a cliff hanger and the last sentence works so perfectly. Please review, it lets me know how I'm doing.