deckard_icon.gif rico_icon.gif

Scene Title Bludgeon
Synopsis Things go pretty much exactly as Edward planned, except he didn't tell Deckard the whole plan.
Date January 23, 2009

Staten Island, St.George Terminal

Staten Island

A lot can be said about this place, just far enough from Manhattan to be unable to see the devastation of Midtown at night, just the glitter of city lights on water and the dark silhouette of buildings. But for all of Manhattan's scars that the distance hides, Staten Island has far too many of its own. It is a dirty, grimy, unwanted place filled with junkies, whores, criminals and the unwanted.

It's like Flint Deckard's summer home.

The St. George Ferry Terminal is constructed in the looming shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, in an area of Staten Island that — before the bomb — was finally starting to reap the benefits of urban renewal and a period of social renaissance. The destruction of Midtown and a looming cloud of radioactive fallout nipped that in the bud quickly. But much like the actions of shell-shocked survivors of the bomb, going about the motions of their lives amidst fire-gutted buildings, New York still tries to function as if Staten Island hasn't changed. Which means, the Ferry is still on time, and the piers are still open.

Under the glow of yellowed streep lamps, much of the St.George Terminal is cast to a stark contrast of sickly light and deep shadow. A crumbling brick wall lined with ivy runs along the narrow road that leads down to the terminal's parking lot, then out towards a bristling row of wooden piers in view of the ferry's dock.

Near midnight, there's hardly anyone out here. The Ferry doesn't run in these hours, and the cold that clings to the air and blows in off of the water drives even the drug-dealers and the homeless to darker and warmer holes to crawl into. That's all save for one man, and one boat. Moored at one of the wooden piers near the parking lot, a salty and rusted old tugboat that bobs up and down with the swell of the river. Standing beneath the glow of the streetlight on the pier, leaning against the rolled metal railing near the tugboat, a tall and thin man with a long face and rough gray stubble. A brown watchman's cap, pulled down low over his brows gives him a more surly look than perhaps he deserves, and the glow of his cigarette and the trail of smoke winding up from it makes the comparison almost like a charicature.

Flint Deckard is supposed to be a man named James Stutzman, but on his way down the narrow road to the piers, spotting the tugboat and the man who matches his build and dour disposition, Deckard is left to wonder: Is that the real James Stutzman?

It's never easy, is it?

No. It isn't. Hands delved deep into the pockets of a well-worn brown leather jacket, beat up knapsack slung over one shoulder, Deckard is almost an hour early. There wasn't actually that much for him to do. Get laid. Shower. Change clothes. Eat. Do a couple of shots. Send a couple of text messages. Nothing very exciting.

Staten's rotting sprawl is familiar to his feet. The sour, humid air this close to the river causes him no particular discomfort, and he walks like he belongs here. Junkies, whores, criminals. He passes out here often enough maybe he really should look into finding a place to sleep. You know. If the world doesn't end.

Spectral eyes masked as ever behind a pair of cheap black sunglasses, his hesitation at the pier's end is the first suspicious move he makes. He looks to the boat first, but it's the man that's more of an immediate concern. Tall, narrow, impressive collection of grizzled stubble. Deckard's jaw hollows and hardens, shadows eager to fill the void of his cheek when he turns his head aside and squints down the river's length.

Edward didn't mention that there would be auditions.

Breath fogging thin after an exhalation that's intentionally long and slow, Flint procrastinates for a solid minute before he finally pushes forward. Down the pier for the street light, and for a man who really, very hopefully is not called, "Mr. Stutzman?"

Metal plate in his skull, one of the screws is loose, god that must itch, right? The sound of footsteps coming down the pier doesn't draw the tugboat pilot's attention, but his name more than certainly does. He draws his cigarette out from his mouth, head canted to the side with one brow raising as much as it can with how low his cap's tucked down. He gives Flint a long and awkwardly quiet stare, pulling the cigarete out from his lips, pinched between two fingers.

"Yeah?" There's a squint, eyes narrowing in the yellowed light. "You don't look Cuban," he notes so observantly with a wrinkle of his nose, shifting his weight to one foot while leaning off of the railing. "Yeah, yeah, m'James. This is the girl," he says as his head bobs towards the rusty tugboat. "They said there'd be cargo," He squints, one hand moving to rest at his hip, not far from the gleam of metal showing up in Deckard's vision, despite that the length of his coat should hide it— a folding knife, about four inches long. The bigger problem is the revolver tucked into the back of his pants, but at least he isn't reaching for either of them just yet.

God damn it.

Deckard's hands fall out of his pockets as he walks, metal noted in all its distinctive forms. Skull, screws, knife, gun. He looks a little friendlier than his doppelganger in the orange yellow light, lacking low-pulled hat and with the addition of a Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt under his jacket that has seen better days. "I'm not Cuban." James is observant! Good to know. He slows and stops when he's still well out of arm's reach — a good ten or fifteen feet at least.

It may just be that his life has been kind of stressful lately, but he's really not having an easy time coming up with ways to get this guy off the dock with a pulse. Money? How much did the Cuban guy pay? He just stands there while the minutes slip away, mouth thinned against clench of his teeth. "Got any kids, James?"

"Pfft," James' answers comes with a wave of one hand, swatting in Deckard's direction. "Been married twice," He holds up two grimy fingers, shaking his head while taking a few meandering steps away from Deckard, "Got a kid that hates my guts, but fuck 'em, that's what I say. Life's too fuckin' short to give a single shit about anyone that ain't worth it, right?" He stops walking, boots thumping on the boardwalk as he looks down to the burned stub of his cigarette, the filter starting to smoke.

"Motherfucker." He whips the cigarette over the edge of the railing and turns around, "You got a smoke? If we're waitin' here for the rest'a you, I ain't doin' it without a cigarette." James rolls his shoulders, looking drawn out and tired, more so due to the way the yellow light makes his skin seem just a bit jaundiced.

"Right. Sure." He's got a smoke. Stuck moving in slow motion, Deckard scrubs his left hand up over the back of his head, tossling dusty brown with grey that's probably about to get a lot greyer. He can see the muscled billow and squeeze of the guy's heart. The swell of his lungs and the state of his liver. Married twice, kid that hates him. Relegated to a thrilling career as the captain of a shitty tugboat and probably about to die in one of twenty or thirty variably painful ways.

Flint swallows, but his mouth is dry, Adam's apple bobbing leaden between collar and neckbeard when he reaches into his coat after a pack of cigarettes, and pulls out a .40 instead. He doesn't wait for a reaction. The grip he has on the gun falls automatically into the brace of his left hand, and he pulls the trigger twice, one two, both bullets bound for the pummel of the poor guy's herat.

Two gunshots in Staten Island. No one screams, no one calls for the police. This is what it's like to live where the law is keep your head down. And this, the sound of James crashing backwards into the metal railing, knees buckling before legs give out and he collapses down onto his side on the dock is the result of what happens when you don't.

"Life's too short…" That's what James had said. There's a bitter irony of that, in a way.

Slumped over on his side, a few wheezing and rattling breaths indicate the worst possible outcome for Flint. He isn't dead, at least not instantly. Both of the bullets tore through him, one grazing an aorta, the other perforating his lung. The effect, to Flint's vision, is all too obvious. He's bleeding out, but will likely drown in his own blood, choking and gagging, long before that happens.

Steam rises up off of the wound on his chest, and the blood pooling out onto the boards of the pier, dripping down through the cracks to feed whatever fish can actually survive in the water below. Life's too short.

Life's too short. Not quite as short as Deckard may like, in the case of Mr. Stutzman, who is not as immediately dead as he might have hoped. The black weight of the gun in his hand quivers in front of a shaky exhalation, the tremor chilling up through the muscles tensed in his arms and into his shoulders and back. Adrenaline mingled with the deep monkey-minded thrill of senseless murder. For five seconds that seem way more like hours, he stands there while a spent casing nudges around into the toe of his boot.

Then he's moving. Down the pier, right foot crossing over left at an urgent business clip that almost seems out of place. There should be more running, more screaming, but there's only the sound of his boots and the gurgling of blood in James's broken chest. There's no apology in the lines of Deckard's face when he crouches to snap off the guy's hat. Distraction, maybe — private horror, muted into the slack of his mouth and the careful placement of the balls of his feet to avoid pooling blood.

His gun goes first, flung hard out into the oily black of the water off the pier's end, to be followed closely by the magazine. The magazine is followed by both spent casing casings.

Then it's back to James again. The guy is rolled over without much ceremony, still clinging to life or not, so that Deckard can drag the poke of his revolver out into the light. It's set down, followed by the knife, followed by a wallet. Breathing hard now, and impeded by the shaking that persists in his hands, it takes some effort to get enough of a grip on the guy's ankles to drag him inland. Not into the river where he might be inclined to float around inconveniently. Into an alley if there's a convenient one. Under deep shadow and piled garbage if not.

Gun, Knife, Wallet. All accounted for and left out on the pier. With his hands on his ankles, Dragging the still warm and kicking body of James Stutzman down along the docks, there's plenty of time to think between here and the dumpster at the far corner of the parking lot about the life choices one makes that brings them into situations like these ones. Where one man's life can be so quickly ended without so much ceremony as a goodbye. But at least, after a fashion, he got his final cigarette.

When the time comes for Flint, maybe fate will be equally as gracious.

It's a long, messy path from pier to parking lot, then across grass and gravel towards the dumpster. Fortunately gravity will be on the side of the soon-to-be-corpse. A stone stairwell descends down to a lower parking lot, the dumpster just below where Deckard stands, looking over a railing to the open top. One foot, a kick, a shove, and James' body rolls off of the ledge and crashes into the side of the dumpster with a horrible sound of choughing and fits of pain, bouncing off of the metal lip before he sinks unceremoniously into heaps of garbage bags and cardboard boxes, well out of sight and out of mind.

Looking back, it's a small comfort that it's too wet and too warm out here by the water for the blood to have been trailed through the snow. Staining the wood of the pier, yes. But it's Staten Island — maybe they'll think it came with the place.

Plenty of time to think. Deckard stands at the crest of the stairs and keeps his chin tipped down to watch for longer than he should.

James is still alive.

The new Mr. Stutzman stares, marking the faltering suck of half-breaths and flagging heart with eyes that see it all in significant, mind-raping detail. There's still movement down there when he finally turns away, the sweat slick on his brow masked efficiently enough by the tug of his new cap too far down over it. The sunglasses (and his holster, once he's shucked his jacket to shrug out of it) are flung down the stairs after what he just did, and his eyes go dull.

Any flagrant red remains are kicked over with unsoiled snow on his way back to the pier. Once he's there, he scoops up the items he looted off James's person — gun stuffed carelessly under belt and blue jeans around his back exactly like he told Teo not to do, knife slid into his pocket. The wallet is rifled through while he jumps over into the boat, cash and credit cards extracted to go in his own billfold, everything else flung out into the water. A towel is salvaged. The worst and reddest of the blood congealing in uneven, sticky globs onto the docks is mopped up and disposed of, along with his bag once he's retrieved the walkie talkie from its innards.

By the time he's done, the shaking has passed. Drained and numb against the cold, pale and drawn, he slings himself back over into his new boat and fumbles out a cigarette.

The time between breaths can be measures in cigarettes.

Three, to be specific.

That's when there's too much noise just to be people passing by in the middle of the night up on the road, when the sounds of boots on concrete are too numerous to merely be a few young thugs or homeless people shambling from one place of rest to another. At some point during the three cigarettes, it passed midnight.

Up the road a handful of men walk bereft of conversation, making their way up the low hill that follows the curve of that old brick wall towards the terminal. They take an alternate route than Deckard had, making their way down steps towards the Staten Island Rail's northern terminus, making a wide and broad sweep of the entire area. These aren't thugs, they aren't homeless people or junkies, and they aren't hiding it.

Four of them are dressed in urban camouflage with black flak jackets, duffle bags slung over their shoulders. Four more are dressed the same, sharing the weight of long ammo crates carried between them, stacked two high. One of them dresses differently; a ratty old green army jacket, black beret hiding a mess of wavy and dark hair. With the full beard and the cigar in his mouth, it looks like he's trying to pretend he's a young Fidel Castro. The other nice young arian men behind him don't quite fit the racial profiling though.

Deckard's vatic stare penetrates their uniforms, recognizing the layered abalative plates of heavy body armor on the soldiers, picking up the sheer level of firepower they're carrying. Crates of ammo, automatic weapons, rockets. The swaggering cuban with the cigar is armed in an equally absurd way, what with the handful of grenades tucked inside of his jacket.

As far away as they are, and with the time they're taking, now is as good a time as any to reach out and touch someone with that walkie. Hopefully Edward knows what the hell it is he's doing.

By the time he hits cigarette number three, Deckard is getting religious.

Hey God, it's been a while, but you might've noticed I just shot a guy and fucked it up.

The conversation is one-sided and self-contained, banking on God being telepathic, apparently. If he can hear you thinking about coveting your neighbor's ox and his wife's ass, it's only fair that he should hear the stuff you actually want him to as well.

He doesn't get far, though. There are people coming, and one of them is in a stupid hat.

Ungloved hands nearly frozen stiff despite their rest in his pockets, he extracts the right to reach for the walkie talkie. There is apparently somebody on the other side. Around the beginning of cigarette number two he thought about trying to start up a conversation, but in the end God won out as the choice somehow less likely to make thing go terribly wrong for him. His thumb trips over the talk button, blasting static across the frequency once, then again before it sticks, and his voice croaks lifelessly over the line.


No response comes, no flicker of light on the horizon from help that is bound to come, no reassuring voice on the other end. Is anyone on the other end?

"Hola, Senior Stutzman." The man in the beret storms across the pier, pitching the butt of his cigar over the railing with one hand as the other tucks into the pocket of his cargo pants, fingers curling around a lighter kept there. "Good to see you are as punctual as we had heard," tired eyes scan James up and down, then turn away as he pivots to look back to the approaching soldiers. "Ey! Get a fuckin' move on it! Load it up an' we're out!" Rico draws back his lips and turns, spitting into the ocean over the railing before reaching up into his jacket, withdrawing another cigar to bite the end off, standing at the edge of the plank that lead sup to the tugboat.

The soldiers quietly pass by, bringing an unfortunate amount of ordinance up and onto the tugboat, clomping and heavy bootfalls making a god-awful noise as they move, followed by the loud crash of crates being settled down. "Senior," Rico spits the end of the cigar off over the edge of the pier, bringing up his lighter to flip the top open, "You'll be taking us on a course to a freighter five miles off the coast, follow a compass bearing of 155° and we'll get there no issue."

He pauses in speech, lightning the end of the cigar with a few slow puffs, flipping the lighter closed to tuck back into his pocket. "If you're stopped by the Coast Guard," He pulls the cigar away, eyes inspecting it as it trails smoke, "You're bound for a trawler called the Sea Sun, and you're alone." Rico motions his head towards the boat, "We'll be below decks. You fuck anything up…" He shrugs one shoulder, leaving the answer vague.

"Evening," Mister…whatever this guys name was. Castro. Blackbeard. Stupid hat. None of these seem like wise selections to make with the heat they're all packing. Brows lifted, Deckard lets the absence of a more detailed greeting linger awkwardly between them while he's looked over. His jeans, jacket, boots, and t-shirt are all comfortable, if not particularly warm. Maybe he spends enough time on this rustbucket that he's used to the cold. The faint touch of whiskey still on his breath from earlier is suggestive of an absence of caring in general, but it's a struggle to keep his eyes on Rico and not the floor, their inhuman glow dimmed to nothing in the face of close scrutiny.

"One-fifty-five and bound for the Sea Sun," he repeats a little vacantly once the direction is given, and he nods once, hands tucked back into his pockets before he leans aside enough to watch Rico's butt monkeys clomping around his ship with their apocalyptic luggage. "And don't fuck it up. Roger. Shout if you think of anything else. I have some cheetos if you get hungry."

Giving a quiet lick of his lips, Rico watches Deckard for a moemnt, bringing his head down into a quiet nod as he pulls his cigarette back up to his lips, drawing in a slow breath as he climbs up onto the plank that lead sup onto the tugboat — just before a crackle of static and Edward's voice from the jacket ruins everything.

«Affirmative, Deckard. I'll have someone from Phoenix sent to keep an eye on you and make sure you get there safely. Good luck and godspeed.»

Jesus fucking Christ.

Rico stops like a cat that just saw a mouse run in front of him, snapping his head to look over his shoulder even as two of the men loading crates stop what they're doing, looking to each other, then to Rico. The Cuban just stands there quietly, biting down on the end of his cigar before letting all that smoke he'd drawn into his lungs trail out through his nostrils. "Senior…" Rico says quietly, coming back down onto the pier with slow and measured steps. He stops, shifting his weight to one foot as two of the soldiers come walking up to the side of the boat, one unzipping a dufflebag full of guns, the other reaching for a knife sheathed in his vest. "You have very dumb friends."

Gosh. What to say? In the entire English language, what words are there to encompass the awesome depths the uneven hammer of Deckard's heart has sunk into in the course of a single affirmative.


Can't go wrong there!

Six shots against a bunch of scary motherfuckers with bags full of guns. Deckard considers the revolver warm against the small of his back, pale eyes wide and wiry muscle seized taut over long bones. The men are reaching, unzipping. He moves.

Jackrabbit reflexes lunge for the walkie talkie, an entire hand braced over the transmitter so that he can let loose on the son of a bitch on the other end.

"Burn in hell forever you fucking flaming piece of—"

An assault rifle is raised, one of the soldiers drawing a bead on Flint. Another with his knife drawn stays still on the tugboat, but it's Rico who moves first, lunging forward to wrench the walkie from Deckard's hand, throwing it down to the pier with a loud clatter of plastic on wood. That arm is twisted, bent around by the wrist in a manner all too uncomfortable. He wrestles with thee wiry man, catching sight and then hold of the revolver, clicking the hammer back as a boot is delivered to the back of Deckard's knee, sending him dropping down on one leg, followed by the press of cold steel to the back of his neck, "Motherfucker. Rico hisses out through his teeth, "Anders, get your gringo ass over here."

The man with the knife comes bounding over the side of the tugboat, feet skimming the railing befoe landing hard on the pier in a crouch. "Sir, Hans' orders said we're supposed to execute— " Rico turns to look at the approaching soldier, scowling.

"I fucking heard Hans you shithead. But he's Flint fucking Deckard. Holden's contact." Dark eyes flicker over to Deckard again, "If anyone is going to know what that fucker was up to, it's him." So, Flint's famous. That couldn't be more wonderful.

Deckard damn well wrestles back, imminent threat of death enough to shock adrenaline through his system again. There's strength in his arms and especially in the cords of tendon in his hands, but his style is prison and street, all off-balance and instinct. It lacks the sort of finesse that people who know how to bend wrists and twist his arm behind his back typically have, and before he can writhe out of it, there's a boot in the back of his knee.

It cracks down, scraping inches off his height advantage even as he tries to snarl his free hand into — nothing. Nothing. There is a gun barrel at the back of his neck, and Deckard stills, free hand falling immediately away from whatever it was in the process of getting a grip on.

Cigarette lost, his breaths come quick and irregular, panting enough to be near panic. He squeezes his eyes shut, tries to steady the steep rise and fall of his chest to move even less than he's already moving. No comment.

"Fuck." Rico spits out, "Fuck this." The soldier he designated as Anders comes walking over, light from the street lamp gleaming against his combat knife. Blue eyes peer down at Flint, then up to Rico with an expectant stare. "We'll fucking pilot the boat ourselves. Call Mattias, tell him to get one of the cages ready. We need to find out how much he fucking knows."

"What about the Coast G—" Anders' words are bit off by spat out words from Rico, a snarl as he pulls the barrel of the gun away from the back of Deckard's neck for a moment.

"Fuck the Coast Guard. We'll deal with it when we come to it." And then the gun comes down, smashing into the back of Deckard's head. The world spins, blurs and darkens unevenly, equilibrium becomes uneven and pain throbs behind his eyes.

It isn't the first time Flint Deckard has been rendered unconscious.

Hopefully it isn't the last.

From: FDeckard
To: LDeckard
Time: 2100

Text: If you never hear from me again, I eloped with an 18 year old Italian stripper who doesn't speak any English and retired to a private island off the coast of Mexico where I intend to get fat and have lots of screwed up children. Have fun in NY.

January 23rd: Stormfront
January 23rd: The Date
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License