Cat's Eye



Scene Title Cat's Eye
Synopsis Following a devastating loss on Staten Island, the Ghost Shadows second in command reports to her superior.
Date November 12, 2018



At the flip of a switch, fluorescent lights turn on row by row, buzzing noisily. The concrete hallway the lights illuminate is old, dotted with metal bolts running along the middle length of the wall, each one streaked with a brown line of rust stain that stretches from the bolt to the floor. There are old metal doors with closed viewing slats, each door set ten feet apart on either side of the hall. At the end of the long, lonely corridor rests a single red metal door, paint flaking off to reveal rusting iron beneath.

Wai Ching Tsai looks out of place in a location so drab and forgotten. The crisp red flower patterned blue silk blouse is in pristine condition, unlike the rest of this damp basement. Hesitantly, she begins walking down the corridor, eyeing the closed metal doors with wary eyes. As she walks, there are shuffling noises behind the metal and the occasional murmured voice too slurred to be intelligible speech. The sounds elicit a chill that spreads down her back, prickles the hairs on the back of her neck, hastens her breathing and her steps in equal measure.

Halfway down the hall, there's a thump against one of the doors and a guttural moan. Tsai lowers her eyes and hurries to the red door at the end of the hall and knocks repeatedly. She looks back, over her shoulder, watching one of the fluorescent lights flicker and sputter. She knocks again, this time a little hastier. The sound elicits a louder thump against the same sealed door and another slurred moan.

Pressed, now, against the red door at the end of the hall Tsai releases a held breath when she hears it unlock from the inside. When it swings open, she flows in like she were a wall of water released by floodgates. As she hurries into the room, a broad-shouldered man with his long and dark hair in a bun offers her an apologetic incline of his head, and motions wordlessly into the square room to a folding table erected in an otherwise vacant space. There is only one chair.

Tsai's expression starts at confused, then turns accusatory to the black-clad man who let her in. "Zhào zài nǎ'er?" She asks with knife-like sharpness. The long-haired triad officer seems cowed by Tsai's tone, and motions to the table without saying a word. She notices, now, the deep scar on the front of his throat. He couldn't explain anything to her even if he wanted to. She knows that mark.

Turning to the table, still rattled from her journey here, Tsai approaches the otherwise unoccupied table and brushes her forefingers and thumb together. Her eyes narrow, brows furrow, and she focuses for a moment in visible concentraton as—

— a black cat jumps up onto the table from the floor.

Tsai's shoulders square, back stiffens, and eyes widen in sudden understanding. She averts her gaze from the cat, hands folded behind her back and head bowed. "Dà lóng Zhào." She stays rigid, unmoving in her bow to a housecat. A single bead of sweat runs down Tsai's forehead, and her lips downturn into a frown. Hesitantly, she looks up to meet the cat's yellow eyes, and then stiffly straightens her posture.

"Wǒ bù zhīdào," Tsai says with a slow shake of her head. The officer behind her watches the exchange, recognizing that she's replying to something but that he can only hear half of the conversation. "Tā ma?" She says, surprised.

The cat looks away from Tsai and begins to groom itself, pink tongue bright against black fur, one forepaw brushing its brow and ear dilligently. Tsai seems momentarily uncertain if she should continue, but something goads her to. "Bellamy wèi Raytech gōngzuò," Tsai says with a small gesture of one hand, "Mas yǒu tā de shì…" her eyes wander the room, "Wǒ bù zhīdào Yingsu zhù zài n— " She cuts herself off, straightening and offering a quick nod of understanding.

"Miáozhǔn Yamagato huì hěn nán," Tsai agrees, inclining her head into a slow nod. "Zài wǒmen qǔ huí nǐ de qiāng hòu, wǒmen jiāng chǔlǐ Dawson." In that, Tsai seems confident. Then, with a slow shake of her head in the negative she elicits a pointed look from the cat. The two exchange a steady stare at one-another, ending with Tsai looking down at the floor.

"Rú nǐ suǒ yuàn." Tsai says with a nod. The cat looks away and meows softly, then hops down off the table with a twitch of its tail. Tsai breathes in deeply, then exhales a shuddering sigh and looks up to the officer waiting for her by the door.

"Get me the fuck out of here." Tsai says sharply.

She's had enough of this tomb.

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