9534/A Desperate Visit

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A Desperate Visit
Date of Scene: 08 January 2022
Location: Outside of the Triskelion
Synopsis: After a working over by Red Room operatives, Melina stumbles to try to talk to her daughter one last time. Yelena takes her into SHIELD instead and gives May quite the shock.
Cast of Characters: Yelena Belova, Melina Vostokoff, Melinda May

Yelena Belova has posed:
Late night provides extra opportunities to blend in with dark clothes, even though there's less of a crowd, for a Black Widow either scenario is just as good, these agents adapt frighteningly well to whatever variables they are given. Yelena is decked out in her Black Widow getup when she walks out of SHIELD HQ, though she doesn't seem overly in a hurry, eyes set on the horizon. She doesn't appear like she has a destination already decided upon, as she starts towards the parking lot to secure herself a motorcycle.

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
Only years of training, patience, and the hope of seeing her daughter's face one more time has kept Melina Vostokoff alive. She can't tell how many hours it's been since she tucked herself in the corner across from the SHIELD parking lot, and she hopes she hadn't missed the woman already but consciousness hasn't been consistent. There's a damp spot of blood against the wall where she's been leaning, where she's bled through hasty bandages. She might not believe in a god any longer, but she thanks whatever there is as she sees the young woman coming out.

"...'Lena... baby." She rasps out, stumbling forward from her position. Not subtle. Not hiding. She'll let herself be arrested if she needs. But now the injured, ghostly pale woman staggers a few feet closer to Yelena before her knees give out. She's holding her jacket closed, like she's trying to hold her body together. Maybe she is

Yelena Belova has posed:
The voice is unmistakable to Yelena, and while she's had other plans when she walked out of the building, she already knows her plans just changed. Her scheduled checkup with the good doctor was hint enough there will be a meeting in her near future, just so happens that Melina found her first. "Not the best approach," she hisses, annoyed at a potential situation SHIELD would come down on Melina. She was just about to demand Melina goes back in cover, or at least jump on the back of the motorcycle before anyone has a chance to decide this is suspicious, when she realizes how Melina is carrying herself and immediately rushes to her side to hold her for support. "What happened...? Can you hold on if we go on quick bike ride? This isn't so safe for you...mama." It's weird how even knowing by now it's all been fake, she finds it hard to call Melina otherwise.

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
Her throat tightens as the girl -- no, woman -- calls her mama. Melina shuts her eyes tightly against the sudden sting that is there but she doesn't pick herself up quite yet. She might not be able, the flood of relief through her body cutting the last bits of adrenaline keeping her going. She reaches her one free, blood crusted hand out, clutching at Yelena's cheek as she presses her forehead to the young woman's.

She speaks in Russian now, it easier on her exhausted mind, "Yelena... baby... It... They're looking. They are here and looking and it's not safe. It's.... never going to be safe. But I won't. I didn't... let them. I didn't tell them, about you. I wouldn't let them take that. They wanted to... take it. I wouldn't let them. I just... I wanted to see you. My girl... My girl. I won't let them take you." She's half rambling now.

Yelena Belova has posed:
Yelena has a moment to come up with a quick decision, clearly Melina has been attacked, clearly by a very proficent agent or team, and if she wants her alive, she'll need to take action. Even if Melina might hate her for the choice she makes later on. "Hold on," she switches to Russian herself, "nobody is taking me...and they can't keep you either," grumbling to herself as she doesn't much like her choice either, she speaks to her comm unit to ask for medical to be ready, and goes about grabbing Melina to fully support her. Slowly she starts advancing back inside with Melina, "what happened? Who tried to kill you?"

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
There is a quiet trace of panic behind Melina's eyes as she realizes that Yelena is speaking into a SHIELD comm. It helps, though, because panic keeps her awake. She leans a bit more against Yelena, throat tight, trying to keep her breath even through her nose. "They... they can. They will. They have kept me this long. If I leave too, they come after... after all of you. I can hold them off, just let me go, please. Child. Let me *go*... I just wanted... I wanted to see you one last time." She tries to slightly struggle from the hold but there is no strength left in her arms.

"You are...happy there? Tell me that, please. Then let me go..." It was the one thing she wanted to ask. She almost forgot.

Yelena Belova has posed:
"They made you my mother, their choice, maybe they kill my real mother...they can't have another one." Yelena makes an assertion, and somehow speaking in Russian makes it sound all the more adamant. "Why one last time? What's going to happen...? Is Red Room after you?"

Yelena starts dragging Melina with her, even if she has to struggle a bit, the fact Melina is injured as much as she is should make it easier to take her even against her will. "I don't know...if I'm happy," Yelena admits, "I know I'm alive...and I know that everything is changed." When two agents come out the front door as Yelena approaches with Melina, she snaps, "I have full authority from Romanoff, clear way to medical," she snaps authoritatively in English, and it seems to do the trick. "Don't you dare die on me, mama," Yelena whispers in Russian again for Melina as she keeps going, "SHIELD won't kill you, I know that much."

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
Melina's head lulls faintly to the side, against her daughter's neck and shoulder. She's trying not to let her eyes close but it's a bit of a fight. Fortunately, she's always been a fighter. A bittersweet smile crosses slightly blood stained lips as she hears the honest answer about her being happy. For a heartbeat, her arm around Yelena's shoulders squeezes. It's better than words. Than affection she doesn't really know how to show, so she simply holds on tighter. "Red Room... they want their people. All of us. But maybe if I... if I stayed, they stop hunting you. That was the ... plan."

But now she's stumbling into SHIELD. Leaving a faint trail of blood dripping from somewhere under her jacket. Evidence and existence in this place that has saved, or possibly trapped, her daughter. A weak laugh escapes her lips as she hears the command in Yelena's voice to those agents. "You grow up strong... they listen to you, these people... You are not in charge, but they listen." Melina's proud. Amused, proud, and drunk on blood loss. But she's not passing out yet. She's also clinging to the one good thing she did in this world.

Yelena Belova has posed:
"Stay with me," Yelena mutters in Russian to Melina, giving her a slight night nudge in hopes some more pain will remind her to stay conscious, "what did they do to you?" Yelena gives out this sarcastic mock laugh, "ha!" Just the single one, "and you believe that mama? They want all of us, they don't settle for less."

And listen those agents do, as they clear a path, while Yelena remarks quietly to Melina, "I had public face cover in G.R.U. I can be authoritative..." she tries to pick up the pace, eager to get Melina to the medical room, so maybe they can save her life. "How many attack you?" She asks to keep Melina occupied and not losing consciousness, "what weapon they have?"

Melinda May has posed:
By the time Yelena has maneuvered Melina through the Triskelion's front doors, word has reached Melinda May about the unusual incursion and she is already in the lift on her way down to the main floor. The doors to the lift open and she strides purposely across the foyer. Agents all but feel her coming, moving instinctively out of the way, like swallows scattering to the trees before a rainstorm.

Not that May is particularly stormy. Indeed, she appears sharp and calm, in control. She's no doctor but, right now, she's the ranking agent on site. And a Widow calling for help attracts attention.

Not that she wants to respond to anyone who goes by the title of Widow.

She sees Belova first and draws from the focussed emotions of the medical team moving with her. "What's happened--" she begins... until her eyes fall on Melina.

Though the calm remains, the concern that was there drains, replaced by cold fury. Her hand wraps around the handle of her ICER, though she doesn't draw it. She turns to the med team, her voice more tightly controlled than anyone has ever heard it. "You take her where she needs to go and you get her patched up. But *no one* is to be left alone with her at any time and she is not to be given any freedom of movement. I don't care if she's unconscious. Do you understand?"

The med team looks at first like they might protest, save that she hasn't told them they can't save the woman's life.

"I'm sending a STRIKE squadron to cover you." Needless to say, those words make the team look at Melina like she's suddenly grown claws, fangs, and fur. And maybe May, too, for that matter.

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
A bitter, cold laugh escapes her lips and ends in a cough that has a touch of blood at the end of it. Something is punctured inside. Not just knives, but the beating she took was a bad one. She shakes her head to Yelena's questions, "...they do not... take me in. I report back. I... am still a good agent. I was. If I am good, I keep them off of... You." That might be the bit that May hears as she comes through the elevator and into the situation. "But they want you, yes. You are... right. And I tell them no. They had knives. Fists. I... started to fight back. I tried. I couldn't let them have you." She confesses softly.

And then something changes. She realizes who is ahead of her. A mix of a thousand emotions rushes across her face, including more than a bit of guilt. "...you are certain they will not kill me here? Some wish." She whispers to her daughter, cold, drowsy eyes narrowed on the commander in front of them. Medical is finally trying to scoop her up, away from Yelena's arms. Her jacket falls open to reveal at least two long knife wounds. Wounds made to torture, not to kill. She's been bleeding a long time, slowly. But they aren't stab wounds.

Yelena Belova has posed:
"Maybe that's why I'm kept mostly within Triskelion," Yelena offers to Melina, if only to calm her down a bit about the level of risk Yelena is exposed to for the time being. "If they would kill you here, I would be dead, mama," Yelena offers to Melina in Russian.

When May arrives on scene, Yelena's eyes shift towards her, she hadn't had any personal one on one with May, but she knows enough to recognize that woman is a high ranking agent and has full control of the situation. So Yelena, unfortunately, would have to abide by her decision, even if Yelena doesn't like it. "Wh..." she was about to answer, when May takes on an aggressive demeanor and seems about as likely to help Melina as she is to kill her, which makes Yelena stops her answer. "She's already down, no need for that," she snaps upon noting May reach for the ICER.

Yelena lets the medical team take hold of Melina, looking a little bit scary when she takes note of the gashing knife wounds that she recognizes were specifically done to torment. Right back to Russian she goes, "Melina, I need names, they die who did that..."

When May notes she'll send a Strike Squadron to cover Melina, Yelena sighs and takes back to English, even though May likely speaks Russian, "come on..she's at door's step, you have her in full restraints...and you like...Strike Force for cover? Really?"

Melinda May has posed:
May understands Russian. She speaks it *horribly*. Her accent is all wrong. More Chinese than Russian, certainly. But she absolutely understands it. So she tracks their conversation easily enough.

Her hand doesn't move from the ICER and she doesn't back down when Yelena snarks at her. "I know Black Widows can do," she says evenly, though the pitch of her voice has dropped enough into the low alto range that it's only just above being a growl. Her dark eyes fix on Melina's face. "And I know she'd return the favour." She already has... in the form of five simple words.

She taps her com and makes the order for the security detail. She doesn't, however, impede the medics as they do their work. Part of her would like to, mind. She's just much better at channelling her anger than anyone realizes.

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
As Yelena tries to get information from her, Melina's eyes cannot help trailing from her pseudo-daughter back to May. Speaking in front of this woman is bad, she knows. But everything about her situation is bad. Her lips hover open, fresh blood at the edges of them. But she might not survive this, she knows that, for the SHIELD agent here as mucha s her own injuries. Her hand drunkenly reaches for Yelena's, trying to hold onto the woman as they start wheeling her towards medical.

"...Dreykov. He... he is giving orders. He sent them. Catalina and Grigory. They are close. They are his... you remember them. Right hands. They watch me... they want you. The other one. They want... control in SHIELD. Any way. But this..." She drowsily glances down to herself, eyes threatening to shut. "This is punishment. For thing ... I give you. Natatsha. They stopped asking questions after the first blood. They did not care. But I fought... Grigory. He is dead. Maybe. Bastard. I hope he is dead."

Then her eyes slowly turn, looking directly towards May. There is a certain sadness there. A tired resignation in her barely conscious features. "What I do... all I do, it is because of them. Dreykov. To protect... her. This is not me. I... am not certain I know who... Me is." It's not the words of apology but the tone is completely apologetic. For something. Maybe for everything.

Yelena Belova has posed:
Yelena holds Melina's hand one last moment before she's taken too far from her reach, but she does hear the response, and by the look on Yelena's face, she recognizes it's not a good thing. "Dreykov..." she whispers the name under her breath, looking a bit shaken, Melina wasn't joking. They REALLY are after them. She listens to Melina's potential success with Grigory and quips, "then I kill Catalina and we complete a set, da?"

Yelena doesn't bother making any special requests on behalf of Melina, she knows there won't be any amenties given, Melina is lucky enough just to have her life saved. Who even knows where it goes from her, she just hopes she was right in guessing SHIELD would not execute Melina, since they did not execute her.

Taking a deep breath, doing her best to calm down, she levels her gaze with May and actually says, "thank you, I appreciate your help. I didn't mean to make it sound like I needed the emergency medical, but I had to be sure she'll live..."

Melinda May has posed:
The worst part, as far as May is concerned, is that she can feel the fallen woman's remorse, resignation, and frustration. She can feel the genuine apology behind the excuse in the words. It doesn't make her feel better. It only makes her angrier.

Angrier, because she's an empath and she can't unfeel those things that turn the elder Black Widow into a victim as much as a perpetrator.

But she's agent enough that -- even though there are some things she physically can't speak of -- there's enough to what they say that she can. And when Yelena meets her eyes, she gives a stiff nod. "I need to know what you're both talking about," she says bluntly. "Dreykov. And whatever it is she gave you. Who Catalina is." Her eyes narrow. "I want to know *everything* there is to know about the Red Room." And she sets eyes on Melina, challenge in them. "And *how* you and Romanoff beat it."

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
One last squeeze is given to Yelena's hand, and then her fingertips drop, any strength left in her. A tired, almost hiccuping little, cracked laugh escapes her throat as Yelena says they complete the set. "Da." She breathes out to her daughter. But then her eyes are closing. She's so tired. She can hear Melinda challenging her, the anger behind the woman's words. The guilt from her is only followed by a drunk, tired acceptance. Acceptance of what happened. Acceptance of her possible death to come. She is tired. Ready.

"I beat it, because I make it... They do not need to... train, if we control their mind. I make that happen, so... I make antidote. And I give it all for... them. Not for me. So, I don't... " Maybe she hasn't beaten it after all. And then it's too late, her eyes are closing and medical is diving in to take over.

Yelena Belova has posed:
"Dreykov is a god," Yelena explains it in simplest terms to May, "he speaks, it happens, just like he say. Nobody talk back." That's one answer Yelena gives, even if it's quite vague, it does give the main gist. "Catalina is dead." Not as helpful as her last answer, but nevertheless, that is Yelena's response about that other woman.

Yelena does laugh when May asks to know everything there is to know about the Red Room, "I am Black Widow, I train, and I do what they tell me to do, I don't know what all everything is Red Room. But I imagine it's not so different from SHIELD, right? Big boys with power send little agents to do dirty work, yes?" Not too flattering, but probably not too far from the actual truth either. Though notably, Red Room seems to primarily have women as their agents, perhaps deeming them more expendable then men, or just preferring the extra edge that comes with seduction as an option.

When asked of what she was given, Yelena notes, "I did not make report...? I'm pretty sure I have," and no, she did not report it to anyone save Natasha in person. Or did she? Maybe she just wanted to or meant to. "I have antidotes to special chemical drug Red Room use..."

Melinda May has posed:
Very few people have ever seen the unflappable Cavalry visibly struggle not to lose her shit. But as Melina explains, tells her about the antidote, May's eyes widen and bald fury and ragged fear wars with agonized hope. In fact, it's hard *not* to feel what the empath is feeling right now. It radiates from her like heat from a fire, palpable to anyone within a football field's distance from her throughout the building.

Her teeth grind behind lips pulled back into a grimace, fists curling at her sides. "Wh--" She tries to speak, turning toward Yelena as Melina passes out and the medics pull her away. But the words don't come. "Report..." she manages to choke out. "I need... to see that."

She grabs hold of one of the med techs before they're gone and points at Melina. "Save her. Anything it takes." Then she pushes the poor medic after the rest of the group and tries not to give in to her desire to hit something. Or run. Or just cry.

Yelena Belova has posed:
Yelena gives May a look when she inexplicably gets a strange sensation, which she weirdly assume is an emotion of someone else. Yelena is rarely if ever given to such weird sense of hope. She says nothing of it, but offers May a salute, "if I may be excused...? I'll go to my quarters and find that report, I'll make sure to send you a copy." Doubtful she'll have to find it so much as actually make it for the first time, but no doubt it would appear as if it was made in a timely manner.