Brothers In Business


edgar_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Brothers in Business
Synopsis Striking a deal, Wes Smedley brings Edgar Smythe into the world of smuggling.
Date September 14, 2010

Fresh Kills Harbor

Situated at one end of the Arthur Kill, this small harbor has clearly seen days of better and more frequent use. Though it's little more than a network formed by a few creaky docks and causeways, it's still more than suitable to tie up for those who have business on the Island. Invariably, at least one of the ports is taken up by a houseboat covered in seagull shit. A thick, greenish layer of bilge scum floats on top of the water and clings to the hull of every passing vessel. Welcome to Staten Island. If you have baggage or cargo to unload, there are usually a few layabouts at the Angry Pelican, which is just a short walk away. Just be sure to ask for a clean glass and keep one hand on your wallet at all times.

He's been racing around all day, from tattoo parlor to tattoo parlor, grilling each one of them for information about a woman with long blonde hair. His Lydia. With pretty much every place scoured for information as to where she might be. There've been no leads so far.

It's later in the afternoon when the speedster races through Staten Island, skidding to a stop near the docks. He was going to have a drink, until he remembered something important. Smedley wanted to talk to him. Ambling slowly toward the smuggler's docked yacht, he places two fingers in his mouth and gives a loud whistle. Much like the one that Smed sounded off at the party the other night.

The whistle is answered in kind.

It takes a moment, of course, for the response to sound out across the docks, but not long after the sharp sound - a reverse of Edgar's own cadence - is heard, Wes Smedley can be seen trudging his way up from among the boats, Carson trotting along beside him with his tongue lolling and tail wagging.

"Glad you could show up," Smedley says, holding out a hand to shake Edgar's while lifting the other to clap him on the shoulder. Due to the relative heat of the day, he's gone without his coat, the leather holster and two pistols at his hips in plain view. "Promise I won't keep'yuh long. But I got a proposition, and I am hopin' you've yet to find yourself employment that's too gainful. Am I right in that respect?"

The shake is firm, not knuckle busting like the one Smedley treated him to on the day they first met, but manly and strong. Much like Smedley's own. Unlike Smedley, whose changed and in full cowboy getup, Edgar's still in the pin stripe polyester pants, though he is wearing a sleeveless black t-shirt to go with it. Their styles contrast greatly, carnie to cowboy, night and day.

"No, 'aven't go' a job." Unless stealing ID and registration cards counts. Carson is given a wary eye, mostly because the dog isn't growling and barking at him. This is the second time the animal hasn't reacted badly so he's either very well trained or Edgar's losing his reverse animal magnetism. "Wha' sort you go' in mind?"

Carson does however sniff in Edgar's general direction. He smells of many things, given his jaunt around the city today, and the old dog is keen to get a sampling, even if he stays by his master's side. 'Well trained' is probably not the best way of putting it. Carson is old, and distrust not fueled by the subtle signals given by Wes Smedley is a new trick.

"Good, good," Smedley says with a growing grin. He turns back the way he came, gesturing for Edgar to accompany him. "Cause I figured, if you've got fingers light enough to nab that many wallets, you've got decent career as a petty thief ahead of you. Now, I can't say I condone that sort'uh work, but it takes a certain skill set to be good at it. Y'follow me so far?"

"So far… I follow you, I ain't plannin' on bein' a thief fer my 'ole life. Jus' teh ge' back on my feet. 'Til I find my fam'ly." The grin Smedley gives him isn't exactly returned as widely as one would hope. It's more leery and careful, though there's no suspicion in it, not yet.

Following behind Smedley, the speedster ambles along at a rather comfortable pace. His eyes wander toward the dog every once in a while, mostly to make certain he's not underfoot. That's all Edgar needs, is for Carson to loose a few of his teeth in his brand new polyster pants. "Whadd'ya have in mind? If'n yeh don' mind me askin'. More wallets?"

Smedley lets out a disdainful puff of air. Wallets. Please. "Opportunities, Edgar," he says as they come up to What Jenny Thought and he steps from the dock onto the deck of the small yacht. "Chance to move product in'tuh the places where people need it. And'll pay for it."

He narrows his eyes as he tilts his head slightly upward, his grin leveling out but not leaving his face. "I saw what you did back at that little shindig. Seems to me a trick like that could be mighty useful on a run. It'd be steady work, so far as I can see ahead'uh me. Getcha movin' a bit, but always landin'yuh back here on Staten. Ain't bad work, but it's got it's particulars what make it a little harder'n what some people care to do."

Cocking his head to the side, Ed tosses Smed a look of slight confusion. "Wha' sort'a particulars? I don' do nothin' involvin' gas or tall black men tha' stop me from runnin'… An' I don' do nothin' involvin' the DHS. Everythin' else is pretty much fair game." The words are earnest, the grifter's been looking for something and the smuggler knows that much all too well.

Leaping onto the deck of the boat, he's beside the other man in a flash. Literally. There's an air of curiosity and excitement about him as he tests his weight on the deck, seeming a little satisfied when the boat is a little too heavy to rock with his weight.

Smedley screws up his face in a thoughtful grimace for a moment, tucking his thumbs into the holster's belt. "Well, see… I ain't never run afowl uh'that department, but I know there're others'd be glad if they could pin me down for more'n a couple'things. But see, it's the little guy I'm thinkin' about, not Big Brother. Little guy needs things, from time t'time. Sometimes a little extra supplies to stock up his pantry. Medicine chest. Gun cabinet. Household sundries n'the like. Not much. But a man livin'n the shadow'uh Big Brother's nose needs another, braver, smarter man to do his fetchin' for'im. That's where I come in.

"But business is gettin' a little heavy lately. Lots'uh orders comin' through, and I gotta do bigger runs quicker'n cleaner. S'where I figure you step in. Take you cut, uh'course. Your fair share'uh the price we get from the distributin' offices."

"So wha' your sayin' is… You need a runner." For smuggling. The last bit is pretty much implied. There's the twitch of a smile when Edgar nods his head in concession that only grows as he thinks about it a little more. "Little guys, like who?" There's so many little operations, he's not quite certain if they'd be servicing one, two, or all. Possibly all.

"I ain' opposed to any o' tha' sort'a thing. In fact, I'm all well an' good with i'. You tell me where to be an' I'll be there, brother." The slip of the tongue is a word he hasn't said in a very long time. Somehow, it fits. The speedster isn't the leading sort, he's the follow and take orders sort.

It isn't that Smedley needs runners to do jobs for him - he just needs an extra pair of hands or two on the runs he makes. He gives Edgar a satisfied smile before he lifts a hand to seal the deal with a shake. "Good man," he says with a nod. "I'll let'cha know when the next run's set to go. You just don't go skippin' off someplace without hollerin' at me, fair?"

Pulling the little phone out of his pocket, Edgar gives it a bit of a shake while smiling at Smedley. "Just a phone call away, I'll never be too far." At most, a few hours run. If he's all the way around the world.

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