Can't Rope a Carnie


edgar_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Can't Rope a Carnie
Synopsis Mama don't let your babies grow up to be carnies.
Date September 7, 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.

Even at this early hour of the evening, the harbor is effectively dead of any human activity, though the gulls are happy enough to squawk about. The sun is low on the horizon, but it has yet to dip below New Jersey's modest skyline. Smedley hasn't wandered too far from the Angry Pelican - at least, not so far as to make it difficult for the man he left behind to find him. But neither does he venture so far as What Jenny Thought, the small yacht he has moored at one of the furthest docks.

Carson, for his part, putters about along the rickety wooden planks, chasing what gulls are brave enough not to move as he wanders amongst the boats, his nose low to the ground. Were Smedley a smoker, he might very well use the opportunity to light up. But as it is, he simply stands near the closest boats, his arms folded across his chest as he watches the sun make its westerly trek toward the darkening earth.

The low clomp of Egdar's boots aren't nearly as loud as they could be, but not quiet enough to completely absolve the pair of any notice should anyone pass by. Luckily, there aren't too many savory sorts around in this neck of the woods. While Edgar isn't a smoker either, he can definitely appreciate the ambiance that it offers the type.

His eyes aren't on the sun, far from it, they're on the dog and then the owner. "Edgar," he emits in a grunt as he approaches, "Me name's Edgar. An' I apologize fer the farce in the tavern, it was necessary." He glances back in the direction of the Pelican for a brief moment before turning his focus back to Smedley. His low brow furrowed a bit further down, giving him an almost neanderthal presence.

"S'pleasure t'make your acquaintance, Edgar," Smedley says with a smirk that is as evident in his words as it is plain on his face. "And there ain't no need to apologize for self preservation. S'matter uh'course. Genetic, some would say."

He turns then, to look down the plane of his shoulder at the other man for a moment before he continues his way around and offers his hand once more. "Wes Smedley." There's a pride - an honor - in greeting a man face to face and toe to toe - and it's one that Smedley finds comforting in a business where aliases are easily come by. "You gonna tell me the real reason you've got a pocketful of faces, or are we not quite t'that point just yet?"

"Genetics… Well I ain't much up on science, but you could say it's go' sum'then to do wi' that." The reply is rolled off the tongue at a fairly comfortable pace and he looks out onto the water before saying any more. Though imperceptible, his eyes flit between the water and Smedley at irregular intervals. He's keeping an eye out for any patrolling lawmen while trying to have a pleasant conversation.

"I need a' least five er seven teh keep DHS off me back. They found me when I tried teh go legit." The hand is gripped again, this time in a friendlier shake, even accompanied with a small smile. "If yeh follow the minors, I used teh play in Florida 'til about a week ago." If Smedley follows the minors, he might recognize the name and put it to the face. If he doesn't, it's just another name and face to add to the countless millions of others that populated the city.

Or it's a name and a face and a point of reference to remember so that he can later feed it to someone who knows there way around a Google search. "Never much cared for baseball," Smedley says with a nod, giving Edgar's hand a firm yet friendly shake before he releases it and tucks his thumbs back into the tooled leather of his holster's belt. "Sure it's a fine game, though."

He whistles as he muses over the number, then shakes his head with a cluck that wouldn't be out of place in a pasture full of horses. "The must want you trussed up like Thanksgiving turkey t'need that many." But he doesn't ask why, or even what Edgar has behind him that would make him such a target. "So the rest. You got somethin' lined up?" The fake/stolen ID market on Staten is a ripe one, especially now. And while many of the names, birthdates, and Social Security numbers floating around the island's blacker of corner markets have been obtained in methods similar to Edgar's batch, he's sure to find a buyer on this side of the Narrows.

The quick huff of laughter is really all the answer needed to Smedley's comment about how badley he's wanted. But there's a more vocal response. "I was tryin' teh save me fam'ly. I killed a bunch of 'em an' maimed quite a few more. Spent some time in moab before … " He goes silent and shrugs, there's not much he can really say about the jail's disappearance.

There's a slow and very slight shake to Edgar's head, "No, no plans for the rest though, I was goin' teh dump 'em before tha' woman pointed me 'ere. I was 'opin' teh sell 'em. You know, get a bit of cash teh find a place teh live." Where Smedley might look at home in a pasture of horses, Edgar looks like he might find a home in a gutter somewhere. He's not dressed nearly well enough for anywhere but Staten, even by those standards, his manner is rather poor.

"Well," Smedley says with a lift of his shoulders, drawing out the word as if it were a sentence in and of itself, save for the unmistakable leading tone it ends on. "Y'don't need me t'tell you t'steer clear'uh Roosevelt. They're lockin' that sumbitch down somethin' fierce." He shrugs, rolling his head from one side to the other in a lazy stretch, his eyes going from the distant sunset to Carson as the dog trots back along the docks toward the pair.

"Shouldn't have much trouble findin' a place somewhere'n the city. Plenty'uh people still don't care what it says on paperwork, so long as the rent comes timely and in full." He pauses a moment, then looks to Edgar with his eyes narrowed and one brow quirked a bit higher than the other. "What's your askin' price?"

Like a deck of playing cards, Edgar pulls out all of the registration cards and driver's licenses fanning them out with both hands. He's like a street performing in how flowery he presents them. There's at least a dozen or more, all male. "Fifty a' piece," he starts, well versed in bartering and fast talk, even though his delivery in the bar was less than stellar. Later, he might blame it on the gigantic woman at the end of the bar.

"As for Roosevelt, y'don't have teh worry, I ain't in the 'abit of using regular means o' transport." He's not planning on doing too much traveling that way anyway. One or two more trips, at the very most. Slipping the cards away again, he rubs his patchy beard with one hand and scratches the side of his jaw. "I ain't lookin' teh fill no papers, I'm… a little wary of tha'."

"Even so." Smedley already square stance stiffens a bit at Edgar's wording, as if steel were slowly encasing his bones. It's not his place to remind the newcomer that law enforcement on Roosevelt has supposedly started stopping individuals on the street to check IDs. It's not his job to watch out for anyone's hide by his own, and as fuzzy as he's been with sticking to that rule, he's not about to include Edgar in the list of exceptions.

Twisting his mouth in a thoughtful purse, Smedley reaches into his coat to extract a cell phone, thumbing at the keys. "Fifty, hm?" What the man is consulting on the phone has his attention, even as the panting dog returns and sits down beside his master, looking up at Edgar with an inquisitive expression. "I can maybe do forty'uh face."

SMS TO PEYTON: $750 4 Redbird Marketing Investment. Y/N?

Edgar's left eye twitches a little with Smedley's sudden tension. The cell phone extracted and in Smedley's hand, Edgar's backing up a pace and holding his hands down at his side. "For'y-five," he counters, there's the slight flick of his fingers as he becomes a little more twitchy and agitated.

What he's expecting is the sluggish feeling that accompanies a certain bald, black man who follows around a scarred blonde. Perhaps a legion of white HVAC suited mercenaries ready to fire at him as soon as a breeze blows a little of his hair the wrong way. "Y'don' need the phone," he glowers.

"Sure I do," and Smedley tucks it away. When he looks up at Edgar again, he tilts his head with a measure of confusion before he laughs. "You thought? Me? Well, ain't that somethin'." It's clearly a very funny joke, as Smedley has a hard time containing his laughter for the few moments he fights it. Still, when it does bubble out of him, it doesn't last long before fading off into a heavy sigh.

"Relax, boy. I've been runnin' shit on 'n off this island since before you got shuffled off to the desert." Of course, Smedley isn't sure of that, but he can guess. "I can do forty-five." He points to the side of his jacket where he's stowed the phone, a grin left over from his spell of mirth slipping onto his features once more. "That was the money. Just gettin' my ducks in'a row, Slugger. You bring those IDs back here tomorrow mornin' and look for the rig sportin' the name Jenny. We'll do business then."

He reaches out to clap the other man on the shoulder for the second time this evening, but it isn't in passing now that they're outside the bar. He gives it a slight squeeze and pats it again. "Keep your nose clean," he says with a nod, his eyes twinkling with leftover humor. Stepping away toward the docks, he whistles once, loud and crisp, and Carson trots off after him.

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