American Pimp Outfitters


logan_icon.gif tuck_icon.gif

Scene Title American Pimp Outfitters
Synopsis Logan pays Tuck a visit and walks away with a unique item in lieu of some debt owed.
Date Februrary 19, 2009

Tucker's Pawn Shop

Every shelf, every flat surface in the entire shop is covered with things. VCRs, DVDs, small pieces of machinery, cheap jewellery - all the kind of stuff worth little money. It's the merchandise that's not worth protecting, even here. If someone wants to steal a VHS copy of 'The Little Mermaid,' then so be it. The primary purpose of the clutter of items is a front - to distract from the fact that the real purpose of the shop is to sell stolen, high-value goods.

The front part of the shop with its knick-nacks and assorted low-value items is separated from the high value items by a counter and a layer of bulletproof glass. There is a slot beneath the window for exchange of money or small goods. At the base of the counter is a chute for larger items. Surveillance cameras keep a vigilant watch over every square inch.

There is a small arsenal of weapons up on a pegboard above the counter. Not just guns but knives, tasers, pepper spray, handcuffs, nightsticks, brass knuckles - all sorts of things meant to cause pain. There's a rotating case at the counter that holds many expensive jewellery pieces, including a few Rolexes and a large assortment of engagement rings. There are expensive cell phones, iPods, laptops and other various small electronics, including listening devices and CB radios. Just about anything worth stealing is displayed behind the glass and up on the walls. Many items however, are by special request. You gotta know what you're looking for.

It's snowing like Christmas, but when the dancing flakes reach the Rookery streets, it turns to dirty slush and mud, as if the roads themselves were too caustic to artfully pave itself with fluffy white snow. Logan's foot steps make tracks through the grime, and though he's wearing nice shoes, he doesn't seem to mind it awful much as he makes his way towards Tuck's Pawn Shop. He doesn't bother with the front entrance, though, huddled figure moving around towards the alley way that winds around the building, buzzing light bulb planted just above the barred door illuminating the immediate area in a dirty shade of fluorescent.

Dusting his arms and shoulders off of flaking white snow, clad in a black coat over further black in the form of a dress shirt and suit, Logan leans back once to peer back down where he came. A looming figure of a security guard, one of his, can only be identified across the street by the size of his shadow and the flare of a match stick when he lights his cigarette. Too far away to be of any use. One would think.

Logan's hand, in a black leather glove, knocks twice against the barred door. At least he's expected, and he waits mostly patiently to be permitted inside.

Tuck is a businessman, and a fairly good one. He knows when not to leave people waiting. And this guest is not one to leave standing in the snow. So the heavy door swings open only a few seconds after it was knocked on. There door screeches back on its hinges as he yanks it backwards. "Good evening sir. Welcome. Come on in."

The pawn shop's back room is surprisingly neat for a place stacked floor to ceiling with…stuff. The floor itself looks newly swept and there's minimal clutter on the table in the centre of the room or on the couch and TV that are tucked off to the left. There's a staircase to the right that leads to the upstairs and a box of antiques at the foot of it.

Once Logan is inside, he shoulders the door closed and locks it. "Can I get you a drink?" There's a cigarette dangling from his lips, glasses on his face and a clean long-sleeved blue t-shirt paired with a pair of jeans that have a few old oil and paint stains on them.

"Gin, if you got it," Logan says as he shrugs off his coat, moving into the almost homey backroom at a meandering pace. "Otherwise never mind." He drapes his coat over the back of one of the chairs but doesn't yet go to sit down, leaning his hand on the furniture as he casts his pale gaze about the space. "Good to see you're doing well for yourself," he says. "I suppose what with terrorists very helpfully choking us off to the rest of New York, business must be blooming."

"Sorry," says Tuck with a shrug. "I don't drink myself, but I do keep beer for guests. Not much else. Unless you're a collector of wine. A guy pawned a bottle of what he says is a very expensive red. I haven't had time to check how much it's worth." He shrugs and walks over to move aside one of the boxes of antiques. A cane drops down, which he rights and leans next to a Mary Poppins-style umbrella.

"The boom hasn't quite hit yet, but I'm suspecting it to soon enough." He takes a drag from the cigarette and half-squints at Logan. "So. What can I do for ya? If you're here to bleed money out of me, I'm afraid I'm a little dry at the moment."

"Save that for a special occasion, or a customer," Logan declines with a wave of his hand, watching as Tuck shifts around the antiques. "My, but you're giving the Oubliette a run for its money, aren't you? I remember when pawn shops were mostly broken VCRs, outdated computer equipment and— well, guns. But that's Mexico for you."

He approaches again, uncaring of the haze of cigarette smoke he finds himself walking through, picking up the cane - surprisingly heavy, for one thing, and the stylised handle of it draws a second glance. If he suspects it to be true silver, he says, nothing, just runs his thumbnail over a ridge of it, deep lines worked into the shape of a wolf's head.

"Where'd you find this?" Logan asks, rather lightly. No word on bleeding Tuck dry yet, attention caught on a shiny thing.

"I don't turn away anything these days. With supplies cut off, you never know what people are going to need. Antiques are generally sturdier than new stuff. That means this stuff'll actually start getting used again, instead of sitting on some shelf, gathering dust." Tuck picks up an old school sausage grinder with both hands and sets it aside, then roots through the box to tug up a gas lantern.

He looks up as Logan examines the cane. "That? Came in with the rest of this stuff. I'm fencing it for a…" he hesitates, then grins wryly, "…friend who has an eye for things of worth amongst antique crap." Yes, he actually says 'amongst.' "Most of the stuff goes to dealers. What the dealers won't take because the pieces are too distinctive or the stuff's not worth enough, comes to me."

Logan continues to study the object, as if there is something curious about it he can't quite pinpoint. His thumb hovers over a ridge in the design, before darting a glance back to Tuck. "Well how about we talk about your apparent dryness," he says, settling the blunt end of the cane and balancing it there comfortably, hand covering the handle. "I think just between us, Tucker, we can agree that no man can afford to be an island on this island. I can guarantee you won't enjoy your time here if you suddenly find yourself without friends like me. That isn't a threat, consider it a reminder. I'd hate to be meaner than the sharks I beat back for you, you realise."

"Oh, you don't need to lecture me about the dangers of island-ness, sir." Tuck tilts his head down, then up, then pushes his glasses up his nose with a calloused thumb on the bridge. He sniffs once, then waves the cigarette holding hand in front of him. "My business depends on others. I am an artery in a heart. I pump things in and out. If there's nothing to pump in or out," he lifts one shoulder, "I wither and dry up."

He clucks his tongue and does his best to read Logan's body language. "As we are an island unto ourselves at the moment, my deeds and my personage are worth more to you than cash. Money only goes so far when resources are limited, as we are both aware. Pretty soon folk will be hit with the reality of our situation. At that juncture, I expect to be sitting quite pretty. And in a position to be a great deal of help to a man such as yourself."

As far as body language is concerned, Logan portrays only his usual somewhat arrogant confidence, relaxed and casual and entirely without threat. "You're a good man, Tuck," he says. "And I mean that in the way you can respect the valuable things you come across to be good. The day you start to be more trouble than you're worth will be the day I can afford not to know what's going on, and that day won't come around soon."

The reassurance is allowed a brief moment to sink in, Logan's gaze dropping away dismissively, voice coming a little icier as he continues. "All the same. Other people only see in numbers, and I have promises to keep. You have time, but less than you seem to think." A pause, then he raises the staff up so that Tuck suddenly only sees the wolf head staring at him mere inches from his face. His voice is suddenly jovial, younger. "'course if I get to keep this than I won't bother you for a good while. I can wring more money out've Muldoon for a good while yet."

"Ah yes. I understand. Everyone leans on someone else to stay upright. We're like a stack of dominoes, barely kept in line." Tuck tugs the cigarette out of his mouth, examines the burning ember end, then taps the ashes into a nearby tray. He inhales again and keeps his attention on Logan as the explanation is given.

"I admit I perhaps bet on my usefulness a little too much. If I'm dead, there's a lot of people who aren't going to get paid. And I doubt you want to raise the ire of your fellow operators. So there is one small benefit to not being discriminatory about who I owe money to. But…" He taps the side of his forehead. "I get your point. The situation I find myself in is that I am not making enough money to pay more than a 'stay alive' tax to my respective debtors, such as yourself. Such as Mister Kain Zarek, who busted in the face of my employee and caused him to quit."

Tuck knows he is a necessary cog in the community. He is painfully aware this is one of the primary reasons that he's still breathing. And someday soon, someone will decide that they're pissed off at him enough to ignore his usefulness.

"Kain Zarek… we are similar men, in some respects," Logan says, lowering the cane, and flashes a smile. "Except I'm smarter. Less of a blunt instrument. I can see how Kain keeps himself alive across the river, but it's a different sort of game here. You can't just kill everyone…" A thoughtful pause, a casual shrug. "…usually. The domino effect, just as you say."

Logan moves away, the cane clicking experimentally against the floor as he goes. "And I don't intend to harm you, Tucker. Considering the friends you make… there are worse fates. No, really, I did mean it, can I have this?" The cane, it seems. Business meeting and veiled threats aside, Logan seems taken with it. What's a pimp without one?

"Yes, yes indeed." Tuck works his mouth side to side. "I do hope that Zarek figures out how to operate here before some dominoes end up with…well, with holes in them." He makes a little bit of a face at the death of that particular metaphor. The cigarette is crushed out and he exhales a mouthful of smoke. He steps forward and reaches for the cane to examine it.

"Well, who am I to refuse a friend, hmm?" He clearly means 'friend' in the business sense. Men like them don't have real friends - they have people they'd prefer not to kill. "I hope you consider that little gift as my 'stay alive' tax, at least for the time being?"

Doubtful he could move a fancy item like that anyway, but he's a salesman. He knows how to make every worthless scrap in the shop seem valuable to the person who wants it.

And Logan is happy to indulge, watching as Tuck takes it off him for inspection. The wolf head does look to be real silver, and there's a catch engraved into one of the statue's grooves. It's also far heavier than wood would suggest. "Sure, we can strike it off your bill for tonight," he says, with a half-smile and a load of irony, swiping the object back off Tuck. One pale, long-fingered hand wraps around the wolf's head… and twists. There's a click, a flash of metal, as he shifts it a little, as if remove it from the rest of the cane— but it doesn't come off. A flash of metal later, and Logan is withdrawing what appears to be a couple of inches of rapier sword. "Fantastic. Oh, and— you know the skinny girl Filatov's got at his clinic?" Click! The sword is slid back into the cane-sheath.

Tuck is about to check for the very thing that Logan just discovered, given its weight. "…well. Worth a little more off that bill then, hmm?" How…ostentatious. The only indication of his thoughts is a momentarily wrinkled nose. Only a pimp'd be impressed by that. The pawn shop should have a 'pimp outfitting' section just for him.

"Who? Eileen? Yeah. She came to my poker game, of all things. Didn't do too badly, actually. Funny little girl. Seems to know how to handle herself."

"I wouldn't go that far," Logan says, in a bit of a warning tone, but it's nothing he bothers to follow up on. He's made himself clear, or at least, he thinks he has. The wolf-head back in place, he settles the cane against the ground once more. "That would be the one. What's her story, man of the people?"

Tuck leans up against the wall and folds his hands over his chest. "I don't know much about it. Nothing except she asked me to keep a lookout for a dad. Man she says is named Ethan." A beat, "Why? Do you have business with her?" He can only imagine one kind that Logan'd have.

"Ethan," Logan repeats, mostly to fix this into his memory. It doesn't ring any bells, but you never can be too careful, especially when missing people are involved. "No, no business. She's just been asking interesting questions. Perhaps I could be of some help to her." Out of the goodness of his heart, and all that. He grabs up his coat off the chair, switching cane from hand to hand as he pulls the garment on. "Let her know I say hi, if you see her before I do."

"Any other information I can keep an ear out for?" Hey, it pays to know what information Tuck might be able to gather that Logan'd find valuable. Maybe he could whittle down his debt a little more. "People…" he lifts up a hand and flaps it like a sock puppet mouth. "…beat their gums around me. I'd like to know what gems you might be interested in me…passing on."

Logan pauses, weighing the pros and cons a little in his mind as he stops by the door, hands resting on the cane as he thinks. "Nothing out of the ordinary," he decides to rest back on, apparently whatever paranoia had given him pause shuffled under the rug. "Just let me know if a storm's coming before it hits, as it were. Any new names and faces I should be aware about?"

Tuck considers this for a moment. He rubs his chin. "Nnnno. Just Eileen looking for her daddy. Surprisingly, business has been normal. Ish." He could tell Logan about Felix snooping around, but part of what's kept him alive is knowing when and to whom to volunteer information. "Enjoy your sword there, samurai."

"More of a musketeer, really," Logan says, jovially, not a man to be mocked easily as he swings the cane - luckily, sheathed - once, before he shoulders his way back out into the alleyway with a cheerful laugh. "All for one, one for all." Nothing could be further than the truth when it comes to the Rookery, and at least for now, Tuck is left blessedly alone for the evening.

February 19th: Favour For An Old Man
February 19th: The Search For Cally
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