It's a hideously ordinary night. Fog, of course; the neighborhood, quiet; nothing pressing in any aspect of life and nothing much to do for entertainment. In a word: boring. Then the text message pops up from a DanicaK: "Sorry to bother you, but I need you to do me a favor. Get under your desk RIGHT NOW."
Sherlock frowns and quirks an eyebrow in mild curiosity. Scanning over the message once more before glancing around the room, his gaze fixes briefly on an open window. Still going over every possibility in his head, he ducks under the desk.
Almost immediately a flashlight beam spears through the window nearest his desk. It sweeps across his work area and crawls along the wall, flicking out as it moves from window to window. There's a faint rustle outside, and the flashlight moves on. A few seconds later, the chat program beeps again.
Grinning like a madman, he resurfaces, following the trail of the beam in his head and working out just where it had come from. He stands tall and twirls on the spot. Finally something interesting. Sherlock lived to be interested. He settled himself and typed out "Very impressive." on the keyboard, hitting send eagerly.
"Thanks," DanicaK replies. "I try. That should buy you some time. There are what the boss calls some 'nasty men with firearms' after you. Sorry to be that blunt, but I'm in rush. I'd really prefer to help you survive this. They will have to start knocking on apartment doors soon. They don't have your actual address."
"Time for what? Who are you? How did you know about them?" He types out quickly, hungry for answers.
"Ok. My name is Danica, and I'm someone who was hunted by them a few years back. They have a hit list. You are on it. Maybe you have an unusual talent they covet. Maybe you're just really weird in some way. It doesn't matter; what matters is, they're after you. As for time for what--time to pack and get away from them, what do you think?" Faint sounds of a discussion outside in the fog. Noise carries in these conditions.
He glances back to the window, sliding open a drawer and taking out the handgun inside as he types out his reply. "I'm assuming you have a plan. I don't like to assume; assure me."
"I do have a plan. I can track their movements and yours right now. When these guys go after another person on the list, some of us survivors try and do something about it. You got a locker at the airport with travel money, passport, tickets and a way of reaching me. I'm sorry about this, but to shake these guys, drastic measures are needed. You can't fight them directly, not without taking a serious hit."
"Airport? Oh. No point taking the gun, then. Give me the locker number and I'll take a look. Of course, how am I to know you're not one of them and this isn't all some clever lie? You're asking me to trust you, Danica. Something I'm considerably inexperienced at doing.
Running feet, out in the dark. "That's a good question. Fair. Locker number 1438, the key is under your door. I am not one of them, but the only way I can prove that is time and effort. I'll tell you this, though. If you go open that locker, middle of the night or not, you will at least be compensated for your efforts. If you don't, well, expect some moron to come through your window tonight and make life difficult. I can stall and distract them, but they are fanatics. Persistent. I'll tell you what. I'll stick with you on mobile throughout and answer any questions I can."
"Oh, you are resourceful." He smirked, checking his phone and slipping into his coat. "Fine. I'm going to sign off and head out. I can make it to the airport in an hour." He hit send and turned off the laptop, wrapping his scarf around his neck and heading for the door, still high on adrenaline as he tugs it open and slips outside.
A man's shout of shock echoes from around the corner. "What is it?" "I just tripped." "Well, hurry up, let's find the skinny sonofabitch's apartment and get home. I'm freezing my balls off here!" American accents.
Sherlock notes the accents in his mind; American, most likely not used to the city he knows so very well. He hails a taxi and barks orders to the driver, detailing every necessary lane and road to use on the way to the airport before going quiet, running questions over and over. Only one way to find the answers he needs.
The airport is fogged in when he gets there--not a terrible surprise this time of night--but a steady cold wind blows in out of nowhere, and departures start to flick back into existence on the board as he enters.
He walks forward normally, eyes darting around, checking for any sign of suspicious behavior, any odd looks or stares. Satisfied, he finds the locker mentioned and inserts the key. "A perfect fit." He mutters, as he pulls it open.
Inside is the regulation manila envelope, stuffed with something paperish, with a new model Blackberry sitting atop it.
He stuffs the envelope into a pocket and picks up the phone before closing the locker and turning around. He brings the phone to his ear and starts walking, brushing through the crowd as inconspicuously as possible, like any normal citizen who was late for their flight.
The crowd is a press from all the delayed flights, and there are angry people, disruptive people and scads of quiet grumblers around. A ripple of relief goes through them as the departure announcements start to go out. And then the phone vibrates against his ear.
He lowers it, presses 'answer' and brings it back to his ear. "Crowd like this, they'll never find me. Well done. Tickets, fake passport - good quality, by the way. You've certainly gone to a lot of trouble for me."
The voice on the other end has an American accent again, somewhat raspy--possibly a smoker--and female, very confident. "We're what happens when some of the people they hunt survive and get a benefactor who hates genocidal maniacs. I can't take credit for the papers. But I'll pass it along. I know this is a big leap to ask you to take in the middle of the damn night, but...oh damn. get out of sight of the front doors, quick."
He smiles to the phone, keeping up the act as he blends into the crowds, moving casually so as not to attract any unwanted attention. "Genocide. Odd. Ah. My flight is in. If they're armed, they won't get far, believe me. I'm going to board. I take it there'll be someone waiting for me on the other side."
"Genocide is the most apt term. Their hit list is long. We're helping as many as we can. Your name came up because the boss thought you'd have the brains to take the warning and not get caught. Good, good. Go. But expect a message inflight, ok?"
He blinked, giving the phone an odd look and deciding not to pursue his questions. He ended the call and boarded the flight with the other passengers as normally as possible.
It's a decent seat in First Class, well away from the Crying Babies Section. The wind keeps blowing away the fog; they manage to get underway without any trouble. But right as they are taxiing out, a car screeches onto the runway. It looks like it's going to barrel into their path when someone in a loading van sideswipes them and keeps them from entering the runway.
Sherlock watches from his window, but it's too dark and foggy to make out any detail. He turns his attention to the other passengers instead, all fairly wealthy bland businessmen; dull. He leans back and sighs as the plane takes off, nothing to do now but relax and think things over.
The plane is cruising at altitude when the phone vibrates again, inexplicably.
He checks around to see if anyone noticed before bringing it back up and pressing 'answer', finding himself amused, intrigued and impressed. "You were serious. So this is your...specialty. Technological genius?"
Danica's voice is a bit of a needless whisper. "I um...let's text actually, it'll be more subtle. I can't take credit for this, either. It's...a gift from one of us that didn't survive the run. take good care of it, Okay?"
"No one's noticed. They're all too focused on their own dull lives. Why did you call?"
Well, they almost rammed your plane's landing gear. I admit, I was worried. The truth is, we had to keep about five guys off of you just since you arrived at the airport. They have more people in the UK and Europe than over here, and they called reinforcements. I don't know what your talent is, but they're scared of you."
"So they hunt those that are a cut above the rest, striving for total abhorrent mundanity and a world filled with mindless identical sheep?" He rolled his eyes at the thought.
"Sheep. Yeah. Great word. Sheep are exactly what they want people to be. Sheep watched over by the lions, as it were. When I found out, I wanted revenge. But helping others get out is smarter."
"Well, they made a mistake. If they'd ignored me, left me to it, I'd have never known. Now...now I'm interested. When the plane lands, where do I go to meet you?"
"You have two stopovers, which is why we stuck you in first class. San Francisco International Airport, I'll met you there. I'll send a photo. From there we go to a safe house."
"Very well. I hope you have answers waiting for me." He said, ending the call and sitting back for the journey.