Absconding Assholes


deckard_icon.gif elias_icon.gif

Scene Title Absconding Assholes
Synopsis Deckard meets Elias before sunrise in an undisclosed location, where they plot to blow up an old man.
Date January 5, 2009

Staten Island - Abandoned School

There are a number of places across the United States that might be considered inhospitable, and Staten Island in the middle of winter is one of them. But it's also a good place to meet somebody, if that meeting needs to be kept secret. WHo's going to be snooping around, and more than that, who's really going to care as long as it's not their problem? These are the very reasons that Elias de Luca finds himself wrapped up in cold weather gear, almost as heavy as what he wore to Antarctica, certainly giving the impression that he's come here to wait with a dark purpose in mind. This can only be amplified by the fact that, with the hood of his coat pulled up over his head and a scarf wrapped around a sizeable portion of his face, he is waiting on the playground of an emptied and forgotten elemtary school, idly sitting on a swing that looks as though it might only barely be supporting his weight. Looking like a serial killer, however, is probably doing a lot to keep away anyone who happens to be passing by without a good reason for being in the area.

If, in fact, there is anyone. It's just a hair after five in the morning, well before the sun has even risen, and the temperatures are far too cold for casual walking of any sort. Anyone with the guts to actually meet ELias under these conditions either has a good reason, or is insane. Potentially even both. Although he casually looks out across the cracked, distended asphault of the playground, he doesn't expect to see much of anything moving around.

Deckard probably isn't insane, but at five in the morning on zero sleep after a variably hellish evening, he could probably pass for a psychotic murderer. The circles around his eyes are deep and dark, his overcoat is an onimous shade of black, and the stark lines carved in around his mouth are shadowed by the creep of resilient stubble. He's a tall, lean rail of a man even in layers, which doesn't do much to help the overall image.

Neither does the fact that he's ducking his way through cut chain link onto the distorted asphalt base of an abandoned playground, for that matter. The shotgun slung across his back speaks more of paranoia than it does moxy, and the chilly light in his eyes is not borne of trust. But here he is and here Elias is, so.

Indeed, here they both are. Shotgun or not, there aren't many people out there who would deliberately make their way onto this lot. Rising from his seat on the swingset, Elias takes a moment to stretch his muscles before nodding his head towards the school building proper and beginning to trek in that direction. Not only is it even further from potential prying eyes, Elias has set up a camping stove, figuring that at this hour, both of them might appreciate a little heat and some instant coffee as well. Besides, with all the layers over his face, talking will be hard, and all the better that they do it where as little sound as possible can escape.

Of course, this will likely only make Deckard even warier than he already is. Elias hopes, really, really hopes that he's not inviting himself to get shot in the back.

Boots crunching over long-dead grass and isolated spans of black ice, Deckard pauses near the abandoned swingset to sweep a long look over the surrounding landscape. Metal, metal, more metal, asphalt, earth. No skeletons other than Elias's, dead or alive. Numb nose rankled against the whiskey-tainted fog of his own breath, he ducks his rumpled head into the wind and follows.

The camping stove is given a weird look, but warmth and coffee are hardly worth complaining about under current conditions. He's adopted the distant, zombie-like quietude of someone who hasn't slept in a while, probably because he hasn't, and does not shoot Elias in the back or anywhere else.

Drawing back his hood and loosening his scarf as he kneels down by the stove, Elias secures a small mug that looks more like an empty tin soup can than anything else. "It's terrible coffee," he says, "But it's not why I called." Dumping some of the dark coffee powder into the cup and pouring hot water on top of it, he offers the drink to Deckard. If the arms dealer would rather do without, then it still won't go to waste. "It's cold and early, so I'll get right to the point. Kazimir Volken is out of control, and I'm going to do something about it. This is about the point where you come in. Care to guess why?"

Deckard takes the coffee. He's probably had worse things to drink. And it's warm. And he's sleep deprived. After a wary sniff at the mug can container, as if he'd be able to smell anything suspect that Elias might care to have mixed in there, he lifts it and takes a sip. No faces are made. Not even a flinch against the too hot state of it, though he does lower it away from his mouth to swirl the contents together a little more evenly.

"Why?" It's cold and it's early. Deckard does not care to guess. He cares only enough to give Elias a flatly annoyed look over the stove and his almost coffee.

Elias gives a half-chuckle and a small smile when Deckard replies. Wasn't to the point quite enough, perhaps. "We can throw Volken out, but he'll just start a new organization and we're back to square one, so we need a different solution." He keeps quiet as to what it might be, instead pouring himself a cup of black water. The implication is probably enough that Deckard can figure it out on his own. "You deal with guns and ammunition, I know. What about explosives?"

"I went to prison for nearly a decade for blowing up a barn." The hot mug is shifted from one gloved hand to another when the prolonged contact begins to burn through the abence of feeling in his fingers. Around the same time, Deckard's pale eyes flare back to life, checking Elias over once more at closer range. Not for guns. For wires. Or anything else that the teleporting crazy man might use against him in a more ominous capacity.

"If you want to blow your boss up I'd be happy to help."

"Yeah, well don't go spreading that around. Things like that have a way of getting back to him, and that'd be bad for basically everyone." Elias has a very serious edge to his voice when he says this, finally trying his own cup of coffee and finding it far too hot to actually drink. "But, and this you might want to spread around to the right people, he's up to something. I don't know exactly what, yet, but it's big. You know all this nonsence we did with going around town, killing people, blowing up schools, and the like?

"Whatever he's planning, I've got the feeling it's going to be a lot worse than that. Biblical stuff, lots of people dead. Maybe even us, if we don't get away in time. Not exactly the kind of afternoon leisure I like to enjoy, I don't know about you. You see why I said it was important?"

"When you say…'Biblical.' I'm assuming you don't mean locusts and frogs." Looking rather demonic himself, all underlit shadow and eyes glowing blue against what little light the stove manages to provide, Deckard shifts his weight over onto one leg. The fingers of his left hand are lifting away from his coffee one by one, falling to the same fate suffered by those of the right.

"I don't know that they're as afraid as they should be," is muttered after a lengthy pause. His words are chosen with care and delivered in the same fashion, with no blinking to obscure any reaction in Elias that might indicate he's said too much despite having said very little. "False confidence, maybe. I don't know. But it's hard to drive the point home when you don't have any details."

His dismay at that is hazy at best, and the coffee is finally swapped again, left hand to right. "What kind of scale are we talking, with the IED? I'm not building something for you that could take out an entire building, if you'll forgive my distrust."

"Locusts and frogs? I hope not, but would you be surprised?" Elias asks. If Deckard cares, he'll see that 'hidden' in the teleporter's coat is a handgun, an accompanying suppressor taped to the holster it rests in, along with spare magazines and some concealed knives, but nothing that poses an immediate threat. Yet.

"Nothing that big, no," Elias says when Deckard clarifies what he's willing to provide, "I don't know where Volken lives or roosts or whatever the hell that bat does. The only place I think I can get to him is in the warehouse we keep our stuff at. Big, open and filled with bullets, rockets and grenades. I'm thinking less like a demolition charge and more like a pipebomb. Something with nails, or whatever, that maybe doesn't look like a bomb. You follow?"

"Kaczynski style." The gun is neither surprising or a point of immediate concern, though Deckard does lean back a step or so when a short silence tips over between them. Out of easy 'hot liquid flung in his face' range. "Any ideas on likely disguises? Does he have a birthday coming up?" Hollow optimism for the idea of something that easy doesn't even try to get a foothold on his face. He frowns down at his coffee, finally takes a longer swallow of the stuff, then sniffs it again. The acrid tang of the hot can on top of everything isn't doing much for the flavor.

"Frogs would surprise me."

"I can find out," is all Elias offers, at least immediately, in reply to Deckard's question, "I haven't made a point of getting buddy buddy with him, but others have, so I hear. It's just as well, because Vanguard is big. Worldwide. But even in New York, it's big. I don't think that everyone I know is everyone in town who works for him, so I need to find that out too, figure out how to deal with them."

"I'm not going to count on remote detonation, either," he continues after pausing and thinking for a moment, drinking more of his coffee. "Something with a timer, if you could do that. When I get back to you with exactly what I need, how long 'til it's ready, do you guess?"

"Timers and triggers are both doable. Given that you're uniquely capable of extracting yourself from the blast zone efficiently, either could work. With a timer you run the risk of not being able to abort and reattempt if conditions are unfavorable. If he leaves or someone else is there. With a trigger you run the risk of having the wrong stimulus set it off." Bombs are one of few things Deckard actually delights in talking about, even in the cold and in the early morning. There is a sick energy and morbid cheer to his treatment of the subject matter, tangible even through the hoarse rough of his voice and ill-temper.

"A few hours, if I don't blow myself up. More if I have to disguise it on the fly. Is this just you? By yourself?"

"Only a few hours? Seriously?" Elias was expecting a number closer to a few days. But if it'll only take Deckard a few hours to make a cake of death, or whatever else he could need, that greatly expands the flexibility of this operation. "Chinese guy's with me, too. He's got nothing to lose and plenty to gain, so I can trust him. Might get a couple others in on it, but I'm not asking until I have leverage. So it's basically just me.

"Is there anything you can't disguise it as and still have it do the job?"

"I have a few already made or partially assembled. Different sizes and shapes. …It's a hobby." Brows lifted in unapologetic acknowledgement of his fail choice of hobbies, Deckard looks away long enough to swallow down another long draw of coffee sludge. It's not doing a lot to wake him up. Then again, he hasn't fallen asleep standing up yet and he very much looks as if he'd like to.

"The Chinese guy is with you." Repeated for emphasis here, because it's not the kind of thing that makes sense. "Trusting crazy people not to do something crazy isn't going to help your cause. But — I don't know. Keep it simple."

"Think of it like, uh, like teaching a monkey to play the cymbals," Elias offers, "Sooner or later, with the might urging and direction, he'll figure out how to not be an idiot. Hopefully, before he gets himself or worse, me, killed. If it makes you feel any better, I know how to handle explosives, so he doesn't have to be anywhere near them." Simple enough, right?

"How much?" Just because failing to blow up Kazimir means both of them will die, doesn't mean they aren't businessmen. Deckard's gotta eat.

"You can teach a monkey to play the cymbals but you can't keep it from going postal and attacking people. You can't trust it not to run off with someone who has more bananas either. Because. It's a monkey." And monkeys do what monkeys do. Deckard's delivery is slow and pointed. Wary in the same way he gets with Abigail sometimes when she starts talking about God protecting her from terrorists and other improbabilities. He'd look tired if he didn't already look tired. Instead he looks back down at his mug, chilly eyes blind to the murky liquid pooled at its bottom.

"A thousand. Alternately, five hundred if you can give me more specific information on what's got your panties twisted enough that you're trying to singlehandedly put the brakes on."

Elias offers Deckard a simple, knowing look. "What's bothering me this much is just a feeling." Translation: I don't know. "In any case, the organization has a lot of resources I think could be put to better use. There's no money in blowing up schoolkids or assassinating presidents." Definitely not for him, at any rate. "Besides, it's been what, three or four months since we moved in? How much longer do you think we can really go before someone finally brings the hammer down on us? It'll be a lot easier to get out of punishment if we move faster than some outside force does."

One last sip of coffee downed, Deckard turns his can upside down to clear out the remaining backwash and tosses the empty container at Elias. Then he sighs. "If your motivations are always this noble, they're probably already keeping an eye on you. Be careful. And don't confide in any other crazy people." For god's sake, is the unspoken tag there, contained purely in the accompanying look once his eyes have dimmed dark beneath the hood of his brow. "Anything else?"

"Yeah." Casually avoiding the tossed can and reaching into an outer coat pocket, Elias tosses an object back at Deckard. The low light of the camping stove will reveal it to be a smallish wad of $20 bills. A couple hundred altogether, at least. "Don't spread this around. Like I said, Volken probably has people in this city I don't know about, and if something from you gets traced back to me, it's both our asses."

"Somehow I don't think my new friends would be pleased to hear I'm being paid to make pipe bombs for the enemy." The wad of bills is snatched without too much trouble, alcohol having had plenty of time at this point to move on from inebriation to the dry-mouthed beginnings of a hangover. Bills tipped to better reflect the stove's light, Deckard thumbs lightly across one edge once, then twice. All twenties. Apparently satisfied for the short term, he tucks it into the interior of his coat without bothering to count it out. "I haven't even told them we've been in contact. It's harder to make people listen to you when you tell them they're idiots when they know you're open to the idea of slinking around with one of the dickheads out to kill you."

How does Elias reply? WIth a shrug. "That's why I go to you and not them," he says, "We aren't in a line of work that gives us bonus points for being nice, and you understand that. Which is why I know I can count on you to help me blow up an old man. If I wanted to raise a boxful of lost kittens, I'd go somewhere else." Probably to wear he could sell those kittens for a wad of cash. In that sense, maybe he and Deckard aren't that different.

"Sounds like he has it coming, to me." It's a little easier for things to sound that way when your ears are plugged with twenty dollar bills. And a lot easier when the old bastard in question is planning to go all old testament on the entire world. Which is where Deckard lives, by the way. Lapel patted down to erase the lump of money snugged in next to his cigarettes, Deckard looks Elias over one last time and steps back, preparing to make his retreat. "You have my number. Let me know when you have the details sorted out."

"Will do," the teleporter replies, refilling his can and offering it to Deckard. "One for the road? Cold outside, and all." Not much warmer by the stove, either.

"No thanks. If I need another warm drink I'll piss in a cup." Head tipped into a definite 'no' at the offer, Deckard turns in full to tread his way down the narrow hall. "It'd probably taste better."

"No kidding." As Deckard turns to leave, Elias kills the camping stove and, once it's cooled, begins packing it back into its box so that he can return it to the hardware store he 'borrowed' it from, erasing as much evidence as possible of their campfire conspiracy.

In turn, Deckard scrapes back out into the full brunt of the January ice and cold and wind, shoulders hunched against the cut of it through his coat. Sun up before too long. He should probably find a place to sleep before then.

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