Eye For An I

Participants:

bebe_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif logan_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

eloni_icon.gif

Scene Title Eye For An I
Synopsis Deckard and Cardinal attempt espionage. It's all fun and games until…
Date February 21, 2009

The Happy Dagger

This building used to be a dance club a decade or more ago, and was later outfitted into a strip bar up until the bomb hit New York City and Staten Island became a refuge of the panicked people of New York City. After this neighborhood fell to ruin, the strip bar went out of business and was sold easily to a young man from Britain with similar but less legitimate intentions for the place. And so it became The Happy Dagger, a brothel that makes no claim to be otherwise, and a bright spot on a street with similar venues, lit up with lights of pink, red and orange, with a neon sign in cursive print reading its name.

Two strapping bouncers allow people through after a quick identity check, down a dark corridor wherein people seem to move in and out continually. The front room is crowded, more nightclub than brothel. There's a bar in the corner, and stages of different shapes and heights create obstacles, along with a quieter lounge area separated only by saloon style doors. Women dance aloofly or mingle with the clientele, marked as employees of the Happy Dagger by their costuming. There is a Middle Eastern bent in style, with warm colours and lights, women with Cleopatra eyes, wearing more silks than sequins, decked in Hollywood-exotic stage jewelry. The insincerity of this place is palpable. There's spiral staircase at the other end of the large area, a structure swathed in red light and eye-catching.

Upstairs is a catacomb of dark hallways and bedrooms of various sizes. It seems less like a strip club and more like the brothel it boasts to be, with more elaborate interior design. Curtains of silk and chiffon, incense making the air hazy, the walls papered with golds and reds. Women linger in the hallways to catch the strays who come up here alone and guide them to appropriate rooms.

Breaking the illusion of decadence is the occasional security camera hidden in the corner. This place is not without it's safety measures, beyond the bouncers. You may also notice that the man enjoying a drink in the corner hasn't gotten up in a while, and another prowling around outside hasn't moved from this street. The security is kept discreet and unobtrusive, but it certainly is there.


Eloni's eyes are not the only set peeled and watchful within the colourful brothel known as the Happy Dagger, but his are a pair at least obvious compared to the hidden security cameras in the dark corners. A young man with short dreadlocks, a big man for that matter, slouches against the wall adjacent to the hallway people must move through to get from the front door and into the dance hall, dressed in a pinstripe suit, a beer in his hand and an easy smile on his face quite token for a Pacific Islander. He talks to no one, and he watches those who come, those who go. To say there's nothing suspicious to see is a lie. It's just a matter of sorting out what's importantly so from what is not.

The glow of lights over and under and around the various stages create confusing angles of colour, shifting shadows as shoulders, legs, parts of people fleetingly interrupt them. A flash of money here, a clink of glasses there. There's a lot going on and that's just the interior design, let alone in the people. It's a flashy mask, a spiral staircase that leads upward bathed in sharp red light leading away like a beckoning come-hither gesture in architecture.

It directs your gaze. Look at the sequins, the flesh, the flashing lights. But some set their sights elsewhere. Eloni finishes off his beer, and sets his in between such attractions too, a silent presence as any other set of eyes within this building.

Deckard cannot see sequins, flesh, or flashing lights. He can't even see the sunglass lenses screened black over his eyes, keeping decadence out and demonic, otherworldly glow within. He cuts a grim figure in the otherwise happening establishment that is the Dagger, the long angles of his face stripped bare of its usual boozy fuzz while he searches across (and through) unfamiliar faces and skeletons. Somewhere, something's bound to be off. Something other than the fact that he's one of very few people here who doesn't look like he's having fun.

He hasn't had the presence of mind to look down yet, still too busy trying to peel back through the walls on his level, and a few of those above. Something he sees up there is enough to make him doubletake, scruffy jaw slacking open. It's not Abigail. Just, you know. Worth staring at.

The lights of the decadent brothel cast Deckard's shadow this way and that as he walks along through the establishment, flickering over the ankles of a working girl here and the legs of a chair there. There's nothing unusual about it at the moment, aside from the fact that tonight, it watches and listens with an intelligence all its own.

Bebe's working the bar tonight but not as the barback so much as someone who would be willing to put her back on the bar in order to be bathed in body shots or otherwise enjoyed with alcohol and a less-than-chaste chaser. However, the proposition to change positions from upright and laughing to supine and grinding hasn't happened yet and so, for now, she's slowly nursing something pink with a cherry skewered against the lip of a long, skinny glass, and engaging in light conversation with anyone who happens to hunker down nearby. She's currently clad in a bright white, belly-bearing tube top and a pair of too-tight shorts bedecked with a small, silver chain that's probably supposed to be a belt and a pair of knee-high boots that her momma might have worn when she was a teenager back in the sixties.

There are a lot of things going on upstairs. Not all need mentioning in graphic detail, and besides, this place leaves little to be imagined as it is. Women occupy their customers behind closed, but not locked, doors, and others drift down the hallway, whisper amongst themselves and flirt with the men both exiting rooms and looking for ones. A room of a different genre, however, is Logan's office, the brothel owner seen through walls to be merely pacing through the spacious room over what memory would recall to be zebra print carpets, a cellphone open and set to speaker.

Eloni's eyes drift past the women, darting between those that aren't paid to be here, dismissing those acting as they should. Ogling. Drinking. Awkward flirting. And Deckard settles into his sight, not someone who doesn't have a right to be here by any means, but his tilting gaze towards the ceiling earns him a few more seconds consideration from the burly security hard. Eloni raises one large hand, curling it, scratching along a shaven jaw, simply watching him for now. He doesn't move from his spot. He doesn't really need to.

Wow. Abruptly in need of a cold shower, Deckard can't quite bring himself to — no. No, he can. He can look at something else, resume focus, do what he came here to do. Eyes rolled into a hard blink, he tips his head back down and turns to the bar (and Bebe, by default) seeing without really seeing.

"I don't think she's up there," murmered to himself and his shadow, he scuffs a hand roughly over the side of his jaw, still trying to recollect himself. Because. Wow. And the angle — just. "I should have had more to drink," muttered next, he digs blunt nails into the back of his neck and straightens up a little. Another quick sweep of the main room ends without success, and his eyes go briefly to the stairwell. Theeen back to a hallway in that same special direction. It shares the same lighting and decor. Not exactly easy to slink into without anyone noticing. "I need a distraction."

Someone must've just walked in front of one of the lamps that was lighting Deckard's back, because it just got a shade or two darker — not especially noticably, unless one is watching very, very closely. A very quiet murmur whispers in the shadows behind his ear, hollow and raspy, "I'm not the best for those. Give me directions and I'll go check it out and report back, if you can't think of one."

With two slightly bony elbows now propped up on the bar at her back, Bebe watches the comings and goings of the crowd with only a half-hearted vigilance; she's not here to see so much as be seen. Her babydoll brown eyes keep Deckard in her sights for a precious moment or two — men who insist on wearing sunglasses indoors always deserve a little look-see in order to determine what flavor of trouble they might be bringing — but she's easily distracted when someone at the bar shoulders up and engages her in casual conversation while staring intently at her chest.

"I can see that there's nobody else in there. Asshole." The problem is getting himself in there. Overcoat buttons unfastened over the lighter suit beneath, Deckard forces a flat smile at Bebe in the half second before he starts moving. Shoulders turned sideways to better manuever through a few people coming up on the bar ahead, he ducks his head a little, but there's really no hiding when you're six feet tall and wearing sunglasses. "We're going to have to make this quick. I'm going in through the second door — there's a camera in the back left corner. If you can do your shadow thing over it you might buy me a few seconds." He's already nearly to the hallway when he finishes muttering, voice shakey despite the near inaudible volume of it under the din of everything else.

"Stubborn, untrusting, withered up old drunken—" The lowly muttered insults fade off as business calls, and as Deckard strolls forward it's like he's going towards a light, the dimness fading from his back in a wash downwards. The shadowy essence blends in with the ambient shadows, slipping here and there to weave as instructed along up to the corner indicated. Up the wall, the shadow lurks behind the camera, waiting for the right moment to spill over the lens and darken like a moonless night and give Cardinal his few moments to slip through the door.

And his man makes his move. As for his trailing shadow, Eloni pays no attention to that, not even noticing it - this space is filled with shifting light and dancing shadow, after all, but what he does see is Deckard's track to the hallway. It's not so suspicious. Man knows what he wants. Of course, if Eloni isn't paid to ignore scuzzy lanky guys in glasses slipping off alone through the brothel. His eyes scan the area, before selecting a target.

Malo e lelei, drifts through Bebe's head, a distinctive greeting to perhaps indicate whose talking. A white, bright smile greets her across the room. Bebe. The gentleman disappearing into the rooms is alone. Maybe you can take a look, see what he's up to. It's not often that Eloni, or any security guard, seem inclined to pimp out the girls and point them to customers. That simple truth may indicate the fact that's exactly not what he's doing. And let me know if it's not business as usual, eh?

Pretty high on the list of Things Bebe Might Never Get Used To — squeezed in there somewhere between making metal move with her brain and catering to clients who want to be called 'daddy' — is the infrequent interjection of someone else's voice in her head. She almost audibly blinks and her big brown eyes do a sweep of the room until… over there… OH HI, ELONI!

Sure, she says mentally, maintaining line of sight contact with the Tongan man. After all, it's just that much more awkward having a telepathic conversation with someone you can't see; it makes you question your sanity. She disembarks from the bar and begins to make her way over to the red-lit hallway at an unhurried but determined pace.

Into the hallway, Deckard fails to look casual in the twitchy glance he casts back over his shoulder in the second or so before he reaches for the handle of an unoccupied room, turns it, and pushes his way in. He claps it shut behind him with his heel, jaw hollow while his sunglasses flash immediately to the aforementioned camera. "Not upstairs," he repeats to himself, though he looks up to doublecheck anyway, less phased now that he knows what to expect. "I think you're the only person I've ever met who complains more than I do, by the way."

Next on the agenda are the neighboring rooms, easier to inspect without a seething mass of variably horny and inebriated skeletons between here and there. He's nervous, breathing quickly, with frequent glances up at the door until something, something catches his eye down between his feet. Then he's crouching, brow knit and jaw slack

Once the man with the x-ray eyes is safely within the unoccupied room, the camera suddenly has light again; the shadow flickering from patch to patch of darkness, a barely perceptible shift of lighting across the floor before bleeding beneath the door to merge once more with Deckard's own. Not in time to catch the complaint, either. "…find anything?"

The Happy Dagger unearths memories that Eileen Ruskin would rather remain buried. Until today, she's been able to avoid the brothel and the unpleasant feeling in the pit of her stomach she associates with men like its proprietor, and if it weren't for the debt she owes Abigail, then she wouldn't so much as step foot inside it — unfortunately, with no other leads to go on, she has no choice but to close her gloved fingers around the door handle and cross the threshold onto Logan's territory.

That said, you don't survive in the capacity Eileen has for as long as she has without keeping the right company. Today, that company comes in the form of one Teo Laudani: erstwhile enemy, quasi-ally and currently the closest thing she has to a friend in the Rookery. Shutting the door behind them, she glances over her shoulder at the Italian, pale lips drawn into an introspective expression that only begins to hint at her concerns. "In hindsight," she murmurs as her gray-green eyes rove across the main room from unfamiliar face to unfamiliar face, "maybe we should have brought a picture."

Clothed as she is in her heavy woolen coat and the white dress she wears beneath — one of the only articles she has left to her name — she doesn't exactly fit in with the other young women moving around the establishment. For one thing, she dresses a little too conservatively for a whore. For another, one side of her face is covered in bandages while the other is unnaturally pale, almost bone white in comparison to the curls of glossy black hair she wears tied back into a bun at the top of her head. The dark circles under her eyes and the veins above them are much more visible than they'd be on someone with even a hint of a tan. Even by Staten Island's standard's — and those standards really aren't that high — she isn't a very attractive specimen unless 'strung-out', 'haggard' and 'sleep-deprived' are descriptors that qualify one for comeliness.

Some people do strung-out, haggard and sleep-deprived reasonably well, on the other hand. Makes a man look like he's been through some shit and could hold his own if you lay more on him. There are shadows under Teo's eyes that go well with the scabs on his knuckles, his shoulders hiked underneath the lines of his scrappy jacket like a dog wears its hackles. He might have hung out with Al too long; he can pull it off okay, the Fido look, animal on the end of its chain.

"I don't think it matters too much," he replies, sidelong. Contorting bodies, silhouettes, and ambient light reflect off the pallid convexes of his irises the same way it does the high gloss and stainless angles of the furniture. The pulse and throb of subwoofer cuts out the lower registers of his voice, leaving the rasp of the upper register. "You don't ask a pimp about a kidnapped girl thinking he maybe just saw her at a bar or crossing the street, and didn't catch her name, do you?"

Somewhere, a videofreed acts as it shouldn't. A cellphone is taken out, a button pressed. Somewhere, a security guard having a smoke just outside straightens his back when an accented voice drifts through his head, and he stamps out the cancer stick, before he heads back through a door and into the backstagey catacombs of the Dagger. Somewhere, Logan ends the conversation he was having when a new call is put through, and rendered needless when a voice drifts through his head too. He snaps the phone shut, slides it into a desk drawer, listening now to quiet murmur going through his head.

"Flint Deckard," Logan says out loud to the empty room, picking up a cane of wood and metal, the wolf's head catching what hazy light there is in the room. "You don't say."

He still alone? comes Eloni's voice through Bebe's head as he makes his simple rounds around the minds he seeks out, apt at disposing what information is needed through what links he has. It's about then that Teo and Eileen move their out-of-place selves into the main room, just passing Eloni. Teo doesn't really get a second glance, actually, but his companion does, and not for the reasons girls in here generally get glanced at. "Eh," he says, sharply (if only to be heard), as they move by. Such suspicious souls in here tonight, but he offers the pair a smile, voice lyrical with accent. "You fellas doing alright tonight? Or did you stumble in the wrong place maybe."

There are only doors hung on one side of the ruby-lit hallway that's tucked away behind the lounge on the main floor and each sports a little brass nameplate that denotes what untold pleasures might lie beyond — from Paradise to Purgatory and nearly anything in between. Four pink-painted fingernails trail lightly over the interrupted wall until at last Bebe arrives at a closed door which lacks an 'Occupied' sign hung over the outside knob. Oops. Two small knuckles rap against the wood — knock, knock… — while her other hand slowly turns the knob.

Sure enough, Flint Deckard's stumbled into Oceania all by his little lonesome and the whorified, brunette version of Doris Day asks with honey on the tip of her tongue, "Are you lost?"

Meanwhile, Eloni receives from a French-accented Bebe: "Not any more."

Deckard doesn't reply immediately. He's either really, really digging the carpet in here, or he's found something worth staring at on the other side of the floor. Right hand splayed down as a brace to keep him balanced in his current crouch, he scans jerkily over small skeletons cramped single unit bedrooms. One skeleton in particular catches at the breath in his chest, blanks out his face, lifts at his brows. It's something like relief. Only not relief exactly, because he's found her…but he's found her locked up in the basement of a whorehouse.

"They're downstairs. She's — blonde." Voice hoarse, he stays down, scraping after and soaking up every little detail he can force into the folds of his brain when there's a knock at the door. No time for more detailed description. Bebe's here, all whorified and honey-tongued. Still in an awkward crouch, Deckard's mouth opens, hangs there, and closes again without ready explanation.

Oh, now, isn't that wonderful. As the whore of the hour steps into the room, the shadow attached to Deckard smoothly glides to hers — lingering a moment to savour the few, so bittersweet that he keeps having to leave before the real fun happens — and past her. That's enough for the shadow, for Cardinal, who now just needs to search the brothel for the stairs down in shadowy near-invisibility.

Deckard will just have to survive Bebe's succubus-like wiles on his own for a bit. Poor him.

"You don't throw wild accusations in his face, either," Eileen points out mildly, her gaze finally honing in on Eloni when he makes himself heard and questions their intent. "If Abby is— employed here," she says as she approaches, voice low, for her words are meant for Teo and Teo alone, "we would've heard something by now. Pretty blonde thing like her wouldn't go unnoticed by Logan's clientele, especially not with what she can do."

Maybe Eileen knows something Teo doesn't. Or maybe this is just wishful thinking on her part. Considering the amount of physical effort it's taking her just to keep the revulsion out of her voice when she addresses Eloni, the latter is probably the smarter bet. "We've a meeting scheduled with John Logan," she tells him, and while this is most definitely a lie, the stony stare she fixes him with gives nothing away. "You wouldn't happen to be able to point us toward his office, would you?"

Wild accusations, knives, knees, Teo doesn't know. There are options. Or something. "'Pretty blonde thing,'" he repeats after her, a humorless smile bringing up one side of his mouth. "Answers to 'Abby.' Nice. Guess it won't look personal, si?" It isn't clear to him where the disgust in the girl's voice comes from. Might be the kidnapping part. Might be the carnal slavery part. God knows, both areas have received an uncomfortable amount of allusion and direct exploration over the course of their acquaintance.

It doesn't say much for either of them, that he's the closest thing she has to a friend available on Staten Island. He parks his boots when Eileen decides to answer Eloni, thus alotting himself in the dark little girl's entourage. Her answer is a good answer. He shrugs his shoulder in her direction to second it, looks somewhat uncouth though never rude.

The fluid shadow of Cardinal's form has an easy time with all the dark corners of the Happy Dagger, as many of those as there are mood lights. Down the luxurious hallway, around a darker corner, and then down, down, down a far less than luxurious cement stairwell into a place that looks more like a basement apartment floor than a whorehouse. The hallway ends in a metal grate rolled over it, secured with chains, metal bars being all that keeps (or doesn't keep) the weather in, seeing as it leads out into a grimy alleyway, rain drifting inside.

And doors. Rows of doors, all locked, none guarded. Down here, none need guarding. Or so is the plan. The red glow of a security camera monitors this hallway watchfully, but shadows are shadow are shadows.

Meanwhile.

Considering the potential shitstorm that may or may not happen tonight, Eloni is a little distracted - but for all intents and purposes, outwardly calm, his smile easy and posture relaxed against the wall. He switches his gaze from Eileen as she makes her claim, then to Teo, a thick eyebrow raising up in perhaps a moment of cynicism on his youthful features, but then he shrugs broad shoulders. "Mr. Logan's busy," he says, now taking his weight off the wall. "But he'll be with you in a minute." He points between them, towards the decadently lit red spiral staircase. "You head on up there, the girls'll point you to the right door and you can make yourselves at home. You wait," he adds suddenly, pointing at Teo. A moment of silence and concentration, before he casts Teo another smile. "Nah, you're good. You two go. Don't touch 'nything." Whatever that was about. Perhaps some correspondence with the doorman.

Like one of so many circling sharks, now, Eloni steps around them to head for Deckard's chosen room, with only a polite 'excuse me'. To Bebe, his voice murmurs through her head again, gentle and almost breezy, You don't get yourself hurt, babydoll. What's he doing?

Pretty soon, the percussion of footsteps in the hallway just outside of the corner Deckard's gotten himself into will start to beat their warnings. Nothing goes unseen here, apparently.

The telepathic reply that Bebe beams indirectly into Eloni's brain is slightly cryptic: Squatting.

"While I do love a man who can appreciate a good shag," she says to Deckard, tone of voice teasing but ever so slightly tense. "…you're not supposed to be in here by yourself, okay?" When her bare shoulder comes to greet the doorframe, she adds for the sake of comedic clarification, "This isn't the bathroom." Just in case the sound of water might have confused the — oh!blind man. Suddenly, the whore feels intensely insensitive and actually makes the mistake of joining the man in the room, entering with hand outstretched, instead of remaining in the hallway and waiting for whomever might be on their way to investigate. "Come on. I'll help you out."

"I…ahhh. No…it's. Not a bathroom." Deckard is confused, but inclined to agree, failing to make the connection between his current position and day to day tasks it might be associated with aside from using x-ray vision to peer downstairs. Part of the problem is that he's distracted again. Whores tend to be distracting. Head cocked aside just the right amount of degrees to insinuate uneasy bafflement, he pushes back up onto his feet without assistance. All privy parties may rest easy in the knowledge that his belt and trousers are securely fastened behind the swing of his overcoat once he does so.

Rather than take her offered hand or ignore it blindly, he withdraws half a step back, kind of like a dog that's been kicked in the face one too many times behind the offer of a biscuit.

The baleful red eye of the camera quite likely spells death for any thief or intruder that walks down these halls, even should they manage to crack the locks upon those heavy doors and grates. The doors themselves, locked to keep any from entering in, or entering out.

Ah, but what security system can keep out a shadow?

It's merely a shadow, a trick of the light, that moves occasionally through the hallway— to one door, to the next, bleeding through the cracks, unneeding of even light to see, in search of the woman they're looking for. Ignorant of whatever might be occuring upstairs.

Tension unwinds through Eileen's neck and shoulders, her body visibly relaxing a fraction now that Eloni has given them the go-ahead. Even though she has all the confidence of a lioness, it doesn't change the fact she's stuck in a kitten's body; she's glad Teo is with her, but the littlest Vanguardian isn't so proud that she refuses to show her relief — and by extension her gratitude as well — as she ascends the staircase. Just before she mounts the last step, she purses her lips and blows out a slow breath, a muttered "careful" barely audible above the brothel's swirling ambiance. Then she's gone, or so it appears to anyone who might still be watching, her shape swallowed whole by the yawning darkness upstairs

Ignorance is bliss. Equally unaware of the theatrics of superpowered espionage converging on clusterfuck at the other end of the floor and basement levels, Teo answers the bouncer's preliminary ambivalence with a frown of self-conscious consternation, before bending his face around a thin smile as soon as that resolves itself. He turns on a boot, cooperatively tromps off after the way his fearless leader is flitting. If there's time to be troubled about the possibility he'd be recognized as a Fed's erstwhile drunken lout of a companion, it's somewhat past. He takes the girl's warning with a shift of his eyes askance and a long breath of his own, no discernible syllable etching the movement of air out of his lungs. He mounts the stairs behind her.

Squatting? Eloni doesn't reply, just attempts to tick off all the things that doesn't mean. No gun. No attacking. No taking photos. No sudden investigation. Squatting in a room. He'd prompt for more, but by now it's about time they see for themselves. Into the hallway, he comes a hulking shadow, meeting Logan's gaze as the brothel owner rounds a corner, oblivious to the more two-dimensional shadow that passed by moments before. The affected click, click, click of his cane is almost jovial as he walks. Another figure of a security guard looms up behind him from his smoking break, Eloni flashing a smile to both.

Flanked by the two men like some well choreographed team, which is only slightly the truth, Logan casually twists open the handle to the room Oceania. He's dressed well in black pinstripe suit, deep blue silken shirt and no tie in sight. The cane in his hand is yet another ostentatious touch, shifting from his casual grip to something a little more severe as he moves inside, other hand coming out to brush against Bebe's back when he nears.

Pale green eyes, however, are fixed on Deckard in the way a cat might stare down a mouse, a forcibly curious smile alighting his features. "Mr. Deckard," he greets, in his uppercrust English tone he puts without a thought. "Got a bit lost, did you?" There's not much of a question in his voice, really, it's a verbal prod.

Bebe's mouth opens. Bebe's mouth closes. Looks like her boss and the blind man are already acquainted, which means she probably doesn't need to tell Logan that she thinks Deckard's blind. Instead, she relays as much to Eloni, mentally, though it comes complete with a hand gesture wherein she covers her right eye with the fingers of her right hand, as if what she was trying to express was that she's pretty sure Deckard might be wearing an eyepatch or something. Annie Sullivan, she most certainly is not.

Without any real indication as to what she ought to do with herself now, Bebe takes a step back in order to allow Logan and Deckard their conversational space, but she lingers just on the outskirts of the room by the door, curious. Why not watch, right?

Even decently dressed, Deckard falls far short of the pimp bar as it's set by Logan. He's tieless and boring, black overcoat over grey suit over white shirt. His sunglasses are sharp enough for all that they aren't terribly expensive — made all the sharper by the fact that it's Logan and his pimp brigade currently reflected in the lenses. He glances to Bebe, but the way she falls back after the brush of hand to skin isn't exactly reassuring.

He's alone on his side of the room, then, pale and tense. He's been in too much trouble lately to be anything else, and it doesn't take much more than Logan's organized presence and the sound of his voice to put him in a cold sweat. He swallows, but his mouth is dry. No answer.

Innocent men have no secrets. And they almost always have answers. Logan lets the silence settle, lets it draw out and create its own symphony of general guiltiness, the background thud of music outside, the palpable tension in the room climbing it's claws up the walls. Logan's smile widens a little more, almost sympathetically, trying to see Deckard's eyes through the barrier of darkness the accessory provides. Coincidentally and without suspicion, he states, "Nice glasses."

…and then comes the cane.

The wolf head flashes as it suddenly arcs around, Logan letting the cane slide through his hand as his brings it around like a bat, catching it at the very end, trajectory of the silver aimed straight for Deckard's face as if to knock the sunglasses right off it. Or worse. It depends how quick either man is, really, but Logan is pretty damn fast, twitching from tensely amicable to, well— this.

Four!

Eloni flinches as his boss apparently lashes out at a reportedly blind man, but perhaps he isn't so blind after all. Either way, one security guard steps forward but the Tongan man feels inclined to place a heavy hand on Bebe's shoulder. Offering to escort her somewhere a little less violent.

The startled noise that suddenly erupts from the heavily painted lips of the whore in the background sounds like precisely the sort of thing that most men in this place pay to hear. Bebe brings both hands up to cover her nose and mouth in a mask of fingers. From big eyes unhidden behind her hands, she looks up at Eloni and asserts unequivocally with her gaze that she most definitely does not want to stay and watch this. Go, Tongan man! Take her somewhere that's else immediately!

Deckard endures the festering rot of established silence with…still more silence. And stillness. He doesn't so much as twitch under Logan's lengthening scrutiny, intent on waiting for him to make the next move. At the remark about his glasses, he has about enough time for his brows to push down over the frames. Then there's a cane flying at his face.

The older man is quick enough to jerk himself about an inch out of the way, which is probably about the only thing that saves Bebe's wall from having soggy bits of spongy grey brain spattered across it. If she's lucky, the blood that does go that way, along with the glasses, will come out with the right application of chemical cleaner.

His eyes are a blur of blue in the instant it takes his head to snap aside with the force of the blow. Ghastly, glow in the dark, definitely not a human shade of blue. It flickers, dulls, and goes dark while one of his knees buckles out from beneath him, and it's mostly a lucky arrangement of long limbs that allows him to land on all fours as opposed to face down on the floor while blood sets to matting its way through his sideburn. "Fuck…" One hand curls immediately to his head, and eyes squeezed shut, he tries to rewind his way back to a blaze of bone he caught somewhere in the midst of what just happened. Teo.

There's the opening of the door as the littlest whore is ushered out of the room, possibly into the caring arms of the summoned madame, Viv, who came bustling down the corridor several moments later at Eloni's urging. The redheaded woman is treated to the briefest sight of what's going on inside before Eloni's hulking figure is obscuring the way as he moves back inside, and almost politely shuts the door behind him, face grim. When you work for various Rookery royalty, you see a lot.

Logan, meanwhile, has his gaze fixed on Deckard, breathing a little shallowly from the rush of adrenaline attempting to brain the older man gave him. He didn't miss that flash of preternatural neon blue, knowing well the various kinds of implications that means. He has similar cues, for better or for worse. It might be fun to find out.

There's a smear of red now marking the silver of the cane in his hands, which gets brief inspection before having it rubbed away with his thumb. As Deckard tries to collect himself, hunched on the ground, there's the silken sound of a blade being run against leather, the thin rapier withdrawn from its sheath— and the sharply tapered metal tip coming to settle, rather harshly, onto the back of Deckard's hand, the one still planted against the floor. Logan puts enough pressure to make a point (har har), but not enough to do damage. Not yet. His own eyes flare a little greener, and Deckard will, rather suddenly, lose the skeletons he sees through the walls, whether he wants to or not.

"What don't you see now?" Logan asks, with too much innocent curiousity for this situation. Security remain a silent, strong presence in the room, unsympathetic gazes on both their boss and Deckard.

Nghh. His head doesn't hurt as much as it should. Probably not a good sign — not with the damp warmth spreading too fast under the ginger brush of his fingertips. What doesn't he see? Teo and Eileen. Abigail downstairs. A held breath shivers out between his teeth, somewhere in the unstable middleground between a shudder and a laugh. Sword cane. He should have seen that coming.

"Dead people. A bright future. A rhinocerous," is his answer. He might attempt something more creatively coherent under less dire circumstances, but as things are, his creativity is feeling a little cramped and all of his thoughts have pleasantly fuzzy halos around them. And to be fair, he doesn't see any rhinocerouses in here.

The blade digs a little deeper in a sudden jab, as if trying to seek out the carpeting beneath Deckard's hand. The cold metal nestles itself between bone, muscle, tendon, Logan's hand resting almost too casually on the wolf head hilt. "Fascinating," he says, tiiilting the sword just a fraction, just enough to send spirals of pain down Deckard's arm. "Talk, Mr. Deckard. I'm sure you have plenty to say. What did you come here for?" His voice is almost kind, although there isn't a trace of that kindness on his face, bright green eyes somehow still cold, expression mask-like.

A gasping, voiceless exhalation is Deckard's opinion on this development, sweat mingling with the thickening coagulation of blood at his temple. All the weight he had rested on his hand goes flat to the floor, right hand lifted and curled as if dying to intercede while his face presses itself harder into the carpet, only — there's a sword. Can't grab a blade. Not unless he wants to learn how to jerk himself off with his feet, at this rate.

"I don't — I don't — I don't…" Apparently, he doesn't. Three times over, in fact. Jesus fucking christ there's a sword in his hand. The free hand clenches, flexes open again, fails all around to find a position that eases the pain roping hot through the wiry tendons pulling all the way up the length of his forearm.

"Bloody hell," is Logan's sigh. One polished shoe moves to step on Deckard's outstretched fingers, gently somehow, but firmly, pinning his hand in place as he sets about removing the sword out of Deckard's hand with an efficient jerk. Crimson drips, for a moment, onto Deckard's skin before the pimp is backing up a few steps, spitting out the following order with an audible sneer: "Get 'im on his feet."

The heavier footsteps of Eloni and Other Burly Man are muffled against rich carpeting as they approach Deckard, grab his arms and haul him up, lending him their strength if that proves to be easier said than done. Logan's eyes scan over Deckard, judgmental, replacing the sword within the wooden sheathing, clicking it back into place with a twist. Gentler, he instructs, "Against the wall." That's not an order for Deckard, more of an indication of his immediate future as the two men drag the lankier of the three to shove him back-first against the wall, beefy hands gripping onto his arms.

The cane is tossed onto the bed within the room, Logan still studying Deckard, glowing green eyes still stealing away Deckard's particular gift for the next several seconds… before, in sync, his eyes fade to their icy paleness, and Deckard's are allowed to flare bright blue once more. "Tell me something," Logan says, moving in close, hands up to fix Deckard's coat a little. "What if I took 'em from you?"

Oh, the shadow's found something, all right. More than something, Cardinal's hit the jackpot—well, if the jackpot is 'abused women locked in dungeons' anyway. Really, though, can you imagine trying to cram that into a one-armed bandit? The darkness that lives slips back upstairs, flitting from patch of shade to patch of shade, assuming that Deckard would be roughly where he'd been left, or at the least perched at the bar getting hammered. Or maybe, god help us all, getting laid by Bebe.

What he didn't expect was blood.

Oh… mother-fucking hell. I knew I should've ignored the drunk bastard and just scouted out the place myself.

Cardinal nestles in as part of the shadow of the doorway, a silent observer.

The sword goes in, the sword goes out. Pat. Pat. Pat. Deckard doesn't make a sound, face downturned forcefully back into the carpte to smother any he might have been on the verge of making.

Bleeding starts in earnest there, no longer impeded by the plug of razor-sharp stainless steel. His eyes are blanched as pale as the rest of him when he's heaved up to his feet, damaged hand at a lax half-curl, having assumed the 'move as little as humanly possible' position even as his weight is taken on by Logan's fine friends. And it has to be, because he's really not that interested in standing up or being shoved back against the wall. Maybe the on the floor, sword in hand thing wasn't so terrible after all.

Still, even with the sharp downturn his situation has taken in the last few minutes, he can't quite mask an exhalation of what can only be quivering relief when Logan's curious face is replaced by the impersonal, hollow block of his skull. Not that limited, temporary relief is enough to smother out the paranoid tension that pushes inneffectually away at his thuggish restraints. "Took what?

Cardinal's presence is unnoticed, ignored, as Logan slips a folding out knife from his pocket, the small but efficient blade catching the light a little as he turns it this way and that. His free hand comes up in that moment, clasping comfortably around Deckard's throat, not to cut off breathing but to hold. Tension, paranoia, fear, these things do not need encouragement, not even a little bit, but it isn't. Not yet, whether by Logan's preternatural doing, or the sudden touch of the cold knife's flat side resting high on Deckard's cheek, the tip pointed up towards one glowing eye, just within his periphery.

"You're going to tell me why you're here," Logan says, voice low, almost seductive in a way, though doubt it stirs much for anyone in the room right now. Force of habit. This amounts the same to Logan, anyway, as when he drives people into dizzying bliss - except now he encourages the adrenaline in Deckard's system, heightening the physical effects of panic. "For what purpose. For whose purpose. Everything. Or I'm going to cut out those eyes of yours and you will regret ever snooping around my building. Who sent you? What is it, the police? Zarek?"

The sharper edge of the knife turns so that Deckard can feel it against his skin, without yet slicing into it.

Unnoticed by all, perhaps, but Cardinal is still there. The shadow watches in cold, calculating regard with a sight that has nothing to do with eyes as the interrogation continues to grow in its intensity. There are still things to learn, here.

It really isn't far from the latent stirrings of fight or flight to an all out panic. Deckard's neck is slick with sweat beneath the bristled fade of his stubble collection, narrow jaw twisted sideways, away away away from the delicate, cold touch and the the opaque white of that little knife obstructing just the barest corner of his peripheral vision. His eyes are wild, whites showing manic around either side of unholy blue, and Logan is speaking, but not all the words are making it through the ringing in his ears.

His breaths come fast and quick, tainted (as ever) by whiskey until a spasmodic jerk of his neck tries to twist his head in the other direction, taking the stink of Crown Royal with it. His shoulders wrest in a similar fashion lurching with whatever irregular build-up of wiry, adrenaline-thirsty strength he can manage, but he isn't making much progress. Three guys holding him in place against a wall and nowhere to go. "Please— "

"Please," Logan murmurs, repeats back at him, own pale eyes hooding a fraction as he watches the way the panic attack begins to work its magic. Not conducive to getting answers, but he wasn't getting them anyway. "Please. That is so…" His fingers tighten on Deckard's throat, pushing him harder against the wall. "Vastly…" The knife shifts, slithers against skin as he tracks Deckard's movement. "Unhelpful."

The security man working together, Deckard's arms are pinned both by hands and bodies, now, one hand grabbing his hair in an effort to hold him still, but Logan barely waits. You don't make threats and refuse to follow them through. In this corner of the city, that gets you nowhere but dead, as far as Logan is concerned.

His fingers grip Deckard's jaw as, with a smooth and notably practiced movement, the blade slides as if through warm butter into the man's eye socket.

Cardinal hesitates— perhaps some deep moral qualm stirring to uneasy life within him as the scene unfolds before his eyeless sight— but as the blade's edge slips into the eye of the man who brought him here, the man who acted on the news the shadow whispered in his ear, the darkness slips back forth from the room. No last-minute heroics, no cry of defiance, merely gone— although none had even noted his presence.

Down again, to the darkness, and the dank, where women suffer behind doors of iron under the guard of a camera's burning eye. To cozy up to Abigail's shadow, to hide within it, and bide his time. If he talks, and they move her, well—he'll be going right along with her.

Deckard howls. It's a weirdly inhuman sound in its rise after Cardinal's departure, mindless, animalistic pain and fear against metal sinking soft and deep into his skull. This is the kind of thing that happens in nightmares. Not in life. And he has a pretty hellish life, for those who haven't been keeping score.

"TEO!"

The name is torn ragged from his throat, hoarsely hollared loud enough to turn still more heads in the wake of the initial outburst. It's a cry for help, begging as much as anything else, for all that his broken voice has little chance of lancing as many walls as his remaining eye can and is.

It's a mess. It's all blood, gore, and bodily substances that shouldn't be described, and Logan knows what's he doing. His mouth is drawn into a thin line as he works the knife, nostrils flaring with shallow breathing, knowing a surge of adrenaline on his own accord, utterly different to what Deckard has to deal with beneath the immense pain of the knife in his skull. Scraping the mess with the blunter side of his knife off from Deckard's face, Logan steps back, wiping a bloodied hand absently off on the sleeve of his nice jacket as he studies Deckard's face, from the thick streaks of dark red coursing down on side of his face, to the hollow carving now gaping at him. Logan is not as much of a sight, but it should be noted that a dark spatter of blood now streaks across his face, which he smears with the back of his hand.

"Teo," he says, head tilting a little, and smiles at Deckard as if it were something he'd notice. He bends his back a little, a hand resting on a knee as he tries to seek out eye contact from the one remaining. "Thank you," he says, evenly, politely, genuinely. "A name. That wasn't so hard, was it? You get to keep an eye for that."

"Sir," Eloni says, managing not to flinch when he gets a sharp look from the pimp. "You still have peoples waiting into your office, Mr. Logan."

"Oh bollocks," Logan curses, wrinkling his nose. There's a click as he snaps his bloodied blade closed, wiping his hands on the sides of his jacket before moving to pick up his cane. "Alright, then. Toss 'im somewhere and lock the door. Where someone can't hear 'im, preferably. If he doesn't die, we'll kick 'im out as a warning to whatever fucker sent 'im."

His cane is picked up off the bed despite sticky fingers of blood and gore, Logan leaving Deckard in the hands of the two men still stapling him to the wall. The show must go on, in any case, and he needs a change of clothes one minute ago.


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February 21st: Crazy People
Previously in this storyline…
Russian in the Rusted Cage

Next in this storyline…
Exodus 21:24

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February 21st: What The Hell Did You Say, Teo??
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