Fandom: Night At The Museum II: Battle Of The Smithsonian.
fic list is here.
sequel to: Running differently,
title: Running differently, part II.
(the epilogue is now complete)
Characters: Al Capone, Amelia Earheart, Octavius, the Vietnam Veterans Women's Memorial, Lincoln, the Tuskegee Airmen, some of Capone's mobsters, a squirrel.
mention made of: Kahmunrah, the Strelsty, Hoffa.
note: I have two Chicago muses...and since my Dresden Files muse is AWOL, I had to use the other one for the accent.'
Location: On the Mall:
"Freeze!" they're told, and they do so.
"Hand it over!" another of the mobsters says, enjoying the opportunity to boss someone around.
Amelia looks at her co-conspirator before surrendering the tablet. "Anything else on your mind, boys? Besides the obvious I suspect."
"Yeah, you're coming with us back to Kahmenra," the first mobster said, mispronouncing the name. "That means you, Larry Daley, and your canary too."
"Canary? Why I never!"
"We ain't goin' nowhere," Capone said, raising his head to look at the men that he had once commanded. "Daley ain't here."
"What?" another mobster asked.
"Ya don't get it, do ya? We pulled the wool over your eyes, and you were dumb enough to fall for it." Capone chuckled.
"Well, at least we've got the two of you."
"And what're we gonna do?"
"We've got the tablet now," said another mobster.
"And what's the plan there?" Amelia asked. "Even Kahmunrah couldn't get it to work, so what now?"
"Agh!" shouted the one holding the tablet, who shoved the tablet back into Amelia's hands. "Come on!" he shouted at the other mobsters and the knights. "We have to find him!"
As the knights and mobsters ran off, trying to find Daley, Capone chuckled.
"Oh you enjoyed that, didya?" Amelia asked him.
"Very much, yeah."
She grinned. "Me too."
They looked at each other.
Recalling one of the maps he'd looked at inside the Art Museum, "Give'me the tablet."
"What?" Amelia asked. "Why?"
"I need it."
"Fer what? Everybody's already awake."
"What I'm thinkin' of, it's not in the Smithsonian, it's next door - not sure if its awake or no."
Amelia handed him the tablet. "Meet me in front of President Lincoln."
"They got Hoffa, they won't get me," Al said. "I'll be there."
As Amelia headed off to recruit her choice of help, Capone headed in the other direction.
Halfway to where he was heading, Capone heard a faint sound, like a very hushed shouting. Bending down, he saw that there was a Roman soldiers, of the same size as that cowboy in the birdcage; and the soldier was standing alongside a squirrel that had collapsed. "Good," the Roman said to the squirrel. "All bow before Rome," sounding both rote and exhausted.
Capone picked the Roman up. The squirrel didn't stir - it was alive, but it was even more exhausted than Octavius. "What's your name?" Capone asks.
"I - am - Octavius!" the little Roman declares proudly.
"I- I'm sorry?"
"Your last name. Ya'know, like Julius Caesar, Flavius Josephus. Octavius what?"
He muttered something.
"Hard enough to hear you normal, little man," though strangely it felt like those words would be more insulting to that twerp Napoleon. "What'd you say?"
"I have no family name," Octavius ground out. Normal, "Nor any clan name. I am Roman, and that has always been sufficient for me!"
"Fine," and started to set Octavius back on the ground. "A regular firecracker you are."
"I am not Chinese," remembering the exhibit neighboring his, back when we were in New York. Now those were fine soldiers.
"Wha?" Capone asked, then, "Never mind. You know if there's any Romans in the Natural History museum down the green here?"
"No idea," Octavius said. "Let's find out, and let me do the talking."
"We ain't got time for chances that might not pan out. So we're going this way," and started walking.
"Where are we going?" Octavius wanted to know, particularly as he was still in Capone's right hand. It could be worse, I suppose - I could be clinging to that gun of his for dear life.
"To get some folks who weren't here when last I was in the neighborhood."
"Shut up and we'll get there faster." If we weren't up against the clock here, pal, I'd deal with you proper.
And soon enough they were there, looking right at a smallish Memorial - certainly smaller than President Lincoln, bigger than a flesh-and-bones person - of a wounded soldier and three nurses: one looking to the sky for planes or helicopters, one tending to the soldier's wounds, and one -
- looking right at Capone and Octavius. "Hey," Capone said to them. "Nice to see you're up. Need your help."
"You're kidding, right?" asked the one who was scanning the skies.
The one whose hands would've been blood-soaked - if they weren't made of other materials - hushed her. "We're kind of busy here, sir...mister," she said, noting Capone's lack of uniform. "In the middle of -"
"War's over," Capone said.
All four of them in the Memorial turned to look at him.
"Congratulations," Capone told them.
"Then what's our help needed for?" asked the third nurse.
"A fight. Big fight."
"No," said the nurse who'd been listening for choppers.
"Set me down," Octavius said to Capone. "Near him," and Capone complied.
Octavius looked up at the stretched-out man who had been tended to ever since being installed here, and had been tended to for only a short time in comparison. "Soldier," Octavius said. "I will not pretend that I know you, or that I have suffered equal to you. Though I am a General, I am a citizen of the Roman Empire, and thus cannot order you to come with us.
"But rest assured of this," Octavius told him. "Your wounds were gained through your own sacrifice for the sake of your friends, your kin, your nation, and our world. We are safer because of you. So I will understand if you wish to remain here; you already have my deepest respect," Octavius said, saluting him.
The soldier saluted back.
"What I tell you now," Octavius added, "I tell you so that you will know where I am going. There is a royal pretender who, like you and I, is living and animate where once he had been none of that. I go now to join the fight against him, so that he will not release his army upon the world."
"He doesn't have an army?" the soldier asked.
"Not yet," Capone said. "Just a few Russian soldiers and some of Napoleon's men."
"Russians," one of the nurses said under her breath.
"They'll go," the soldier told Octavius, then looked at Capone.
"No," said another nurse.
"We're not supposed to leave you," said the third. "Ever."
"Where'm I gonna go?" the soldier asked, amused despite his perpetual state. "And its not like anything can hurt me anymore." To Capone, "Right?"
"That's what I know," Capone said. "B'sides, your arms work, so it's not like you need to worry about pigeons or anything."
"We'll let you know," the second nurse told him and Octavius, cutting off the other two before they could comment on Capone's comment.
"You do that," Capone said, picking Octavius up. "We're fighting at the Smithsonian Castle. You know it?"
"I know it," said the soldier.
"The gods look upon you with favor, my friend," Octavius told the wounded man. "Whatever you do, it will be the right thing."
The soldier saluted him, and Octavius saluted him back.
As soon as the two of them started walking away, the four statues began to argue amongst themselves. "Coulda gone better," Capone said.
"I have faith they'll make the right decision," Octavius said.
"You sure you're not Saint Augustine?"
"No, why?" Octavius asked as they headed for the meet-up point in front of Lincoln's chair. "Was he someone signifigant?" Then, "Mind you, if they decide against us, then I'll point out that you didn't want to partake of anything that wouldn't pan out."
"You wanna walk?" Capone asked. "I drop you here, you'll walk, and that's if you land good."
Octavian glared at him. "Carthoginian," he muttered.
"From what you've told me," they overheard Lincoln saying, "he sounds rather like Robert Lee."
"The General?" Amelia was saying.
"But he was a Confederate."
"True, and from what I've learned, he was quite torn as to where he should give his loyalty - to his home, or to his nation. Perhaps if I had had a chance to talk to the boy..."
Capone coughed, which ended the discussion.
Seeing Capone, Amelia waved him over to her group. "No joy?" Amelia asked him once he was near enough.
"They're talkin' it over," Capone said. "Looks like you had better luck," seeing the African-American pilots standing behind her.
"They're like me, they don't shy away from anything," with a grin on her face.
"Good ta know."
Lincoln came out from his Memorial and asked them, "Are we ready to rescue your friends?"
"We need more," Capone said.
"You're a criminal, aren't you?"
"You don't want my help, say so," Capone warned. "Now I can get in the Castle and get that Daley's friends out of their crate - but I do it my way."
Amelia turned her head to the Airmen and mouthed, "Moxie, definately."
"Oh very well," Lincoln granted.
"Will they not," asked the Tuskegee narrator, "know by this point that you have betrayed them?"
Capone chuckled. "Loyalties shift. Even a rat can go loyal again."
"And a thief may become legitimate once more," Lincoln said.
"We'll be ready," Amelia said, stepping up to Al before he could be off. And she planted one on his kisser - a kiss on his lips, that is. Pulling away, "Just wanted to see what it was like."
"Huh," Capone said, and was about to leave when -
The distinct feel of footfalls behind them, that was answer enough to Capone. Sounds like the ladies decided.
"Let's go," the soldier said, one arm slung around a nurse's shoulders. Then, seeing Lincoln, "Sir!" and all four of them saluted the ex-President.
"Good lads," Lincoln said. "So nice to see people of decent stature around here." Looking to Amelia and the Tuskegee Airmen to the four, "Shall we go?"
"Yes we will," they all answered.