A Business Opportunity


keira_icon.gif lance_icon.gif

Scene Title A Business Opportunity
Synopsis Lance ends up with a job offer.
Date March 13 2018

Red Hook Market

It’s a normal, busy day here in the Red Hook Market, with goods and money exchanging hands as per normal. The food is still scarce, but that doesn’t stop the sale of various other goods in the Safe Zone.

Keira is being a fly on the wall, as it were — her hood is up, and a cigarette hangs loosely from her lips as she quietly people watches from a bench nearby. Her phone is out, and she’s idly messing with it — though the vibe is that she really shouldn’t be messed with in the first place…

Lance isn’t there to mess with anyone; he’s just after a few things, doing some shopping, a backpack full of scavenged and traded goods slung over one shoulder. He’s stopped off at one of the stalls where a selection of books is spread out, and he’s picking them up one by one to check what’s under them — searching for something specific, maybe.

Not finding whatever he was looking for, he steps away from the stall, raking a hand back through his hair and rolling both eyes upwards. “Maybe it is getting a little long,” he mutters, stepping away from the stall and nearly tripping over the bench that Keira’s on.

“Whoa, sorry— “

The shapeshifting thug thankfully notices Lance as he approaches, which allows her to scoot away from any potential contact that might happen, still fiddling with her phone for a moment longer before slipping it into her pocket and taking a long drag from her cigarette.

“Y’should watch where you’re goin’, kid. Some people out here would jus’ as soon punch you than be forgiving.” She still has a ‘don’t fuck with me’ vibe going, but it’s certainly dropped a tiny bit. She eyes Lance and his bag of scavenged goods, taking another drag from the cigarette.

“That shit get you anything worthwhile? How long’d you have t’scour the ruins for all of it?” Her question comes from a place of genuine curiousity — she’s certainly not bothering with such a thing herself, of course. The cherry flares up again as she pulls another puff of smoke from the cigarette, examining the kid.

“I said I was sorry, Jeeze,” Lance’s eyes roll in his head expressively, and he reaches up to shift the strap of the pack he’s wearing. A bit more securely, perhaps, at her interest. It may be a ‘Safe’ Zone, but that doesn’t mean someone should be cavalier about their belongings.

That shoulder shrugs all the same, “I get out there now’n again. And I haven’t found anything I’m lookin’ for yet today, so— not yet, no.”

“I’m not mad,” Keira replies to his insistent apology, a shrug rolling down her narrow shoulders. “Jus’ sayin’ that there are people out here that’d punch you despite th’apology.” She examines the boy thoughtfully, eying the bag.

“I meant in general. I ain’t been out here long, so I dunno how it works.” She places the cigarette in her mouth once more, the embers flaring up as she pulls smoke into her mouth, inhaling for a moment, then exhaling the smoke up toward the sky. “If it’s not workin’ out for you as well as you’d like, I happen t’be hiring for some…odd jobs.”

Blue eyes slide back over to Lance. Young man, impressionable, and still has his entire life ahead of him. Perfect person to recruit…right?

“I mean,” Lance says with a sly, teenaged-confident smirk as he straightens up, “They could try to punch me, but… I mean, people make bad decisions every day.”

She gets a curious once-over, then, “Oh? You new to the Zone, or something, lady? And what’re you hiring for, I can always need some money…”

Keira laughs at that one. Oh, cocky teenagers are always amusing. She sizes up the boy with those blue eyes, pulling another puff of smoke from the cigarette as she quietly and thoughtfully considers him. His cocky remarks don’t receive a response.

His question, however, prompts the woman to smirk. “New to th’Zone, yeah. Not t’New York — I was here before the war and all that crazy shit.” She was fighting on the wrong side of the war for a while, too.

Keira pats the seat next to her, scooting over to offer Lance room to sit. “Small jobs. Mostly sellin’ shit you won’t find in Red Hook, or anywhere else in th’Zone for that matter. It’s not the safest line of work…” A final inhale of smoke is taken from the cigarette, which is then tossed to the ground and smooshed beneath the heel of her combat boots.

“I was from the City before the war, too,” admits Lance, hesitating before with a shrug he drops himself down to sit on the offered seat, breathing out a chuckle, “What, you just sit around looking to hire random people for— “

He looks her over, brows lifting, “The Black Market? Mafia? Triads— no, you’re not chinese or korean. Pure Earth?”

“Fuck that shit, I don’t answer to anyone. People answer to me.” She leans against the seat, blue eyes veering upwards. “And I have very active interests against Pure Earth.” She reaches one hand up to her mouth, pulling one of her gloves off with her teeth. Then, without warning, she suddenly reaches over and brushes a finger along the back of Lance’s hand.

For just a second, suddenly Lance is sitting next to himself. Then, she’s back to normal. The woman eyes Lance for a moment, before nodding and pulling her glove back on. “Looks like you do too.”

She smirks, then, nodding to herself as her voice lowers. “Nothing huge. Drugs. Guns. Anything else that’s difficult to find here but easy for me to find.” She pauses. “Tryin’ to get some food in, too. Might as well capitalize on our government’s failures, right?”

She’s watched curiously as she pulls off that glove, and Lance almost pulls away in time when she reaches out — but then he’s looking at himself, and he blinks twice. “Whoa,” he breathes out, “Primal. You’re a shapeshifter?”

He looks her over curiously, “Don’t see a lot of those! And— “ Then he smirks a bit, “I mean, anyone who hates those Pure Earthers can’t be that bad. Don’t think the Co-Op would approve of drugs and shit in here, but nobody cares about guns, and… well. Yeah, we need food.”

She’s eyed a moment, “So what d’you need, and what’re you paying?”

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ve met another.” She makes sure the glove is on all the way, before reaching into her pocket once more and pulls out another cigarette. She really ought to chain smoke less, but when she gets to talking, she likes having something to do with her hands.

“I can’t really change into other Evos,” she adds, tilting her head toward the boy. “Just what you saw. Non-Evos, though…” She chuckles. “Let’s just say that I have some ideas on how to handle the Pure Earth douchenozzles. Plus, I was kind of an asshole back in the day, before I knew I was Evo, so…got some makin’ up to do. Redemption type shit.” She lets that remark stay there, with no further explanation.

“I got product t’push. I give you a supply, you sell it, we both profit. Pretty fuckin’ simple.” She pulls out a zippo, flipping the top and lighting it in one quick motion, before holding the flame to her cigarette. “Most place don’t approve of drugs, but people everywhere want ‘em. I just make it a point to give people what they want, and sometimes what they need.”

“Look, I might be a lot of things, but I’m not a drug dealer,” says Lance in wry tones, a brow arching a little, “I mean, I appreciate that you’ve got a hate-on for those Staten Island shit-heel racists, but— “ A shake of his head, “Drugs, no way. I mean, maybe other stuff, but…”

He normally wouldn’t even go this far, but the food shortage has him worried - and he has a lot of mouths that he feels are his job to feed.

The tiny woman eyes Lance for a long moment, before smirking. “Aight. I can appreciate stickin’ to your guns. I got other people who are fine with th’drugs. I got plenty of shit you can move for me that won’t go against your moral code.” Keira chuckles, taking a long drag from her cigarette.

As she places the lighter in her pocket, the cigarette hanging from the corner of her lips, she pulls out a card and a pen. She scribbles something down on the back of the card, and passes it off to Lance. “This is th’number you call when you got someone interested in my product.” She pauses.

“Guns, I got just about anything y’could want. I’ll let y’know if my food shipment makes it safely.” She pauses. “I can pay you in money, or when my shipment comes, I can pay you in food — at least until this starvation shit blows over.”

Lance still looks uncertain as he reaches over to accept the card. “Just let me know what you’ve got to… uh, push,” he says, grimacing briefly before he slips the card away, “And I’ll see what I can do.”

He pauses, then, “So you can smuggle stuff in to— like, into the Zone, right?”

The woman gestures to the card as he puts it away.. “Call that number, I’ll give you a list.” She pulls the cigarette from her mouth, idly examining the ember on the end. “I’ll be sure to omit anything that might offend your sensibilities.” She smirks to the Lance, placing the cigarette back into her mouth.

“I can, yeah,” she replies, nodding. “For an extra fee, I can get special requests. It ain’t fast, though — we gotta find whatever the request is, and my base of operations is on the opposite end of the continent. Takes a little bit for it to make its way up here.”

She takes a long drag, inhaling and holding it for a moment, before exhaling. Blue eyes turn to meet Lance’s, brows raising slightly. “I’m Keira, by the way.” This is offered as an afterthought. “Call me Key.”

Just about to give his name, Lance pauses and corrects, “You can call me Lake.” He smirks, then, “I’ll give you a call and get a list. As for what I need moved into the Zone… I already know where it is, I just need to get it all past the borders, and it ain’t small.”

He pauses, “We’ll talk about that later, though. If this works out.”

“A pleasure,” she replies, dipping her head toward him as she files his name away. “I look forward to doin’ business with you, kid. I’m sure we’ll have a profitable relationship.” She takes another drag from the cigarette.

“As to your needs, I’ll letcha know a price on that one once I get th’details.” Her brow twitches upwards briefly. “I don’t traffic people,” she adds as a disclaimer.

“Good,” Lance replies with a smirk as he pushes himself up to his feet, “Then I don’t gotta kill you, Key.” Maybe just teenaged bravado. There was a glint there in his eye for a moment, though, that she’s used to seeing in much older and more hardened people than some eighteen year old in a market.

Then it’s gone, and he’s turning to stroll off, “Talk to you soon.”

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