Charitable Concerns


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Scene Title Charitable Concerns
Synopsis Tuck and Nataliya eat lunch together and discuss Cardinal's suspicious (re: charitable) activities, what's to be done about the kid who changed Tuck's hand to bone (Satoru), and power vacuums in general.
Date June 3, 2009

Sheung Wan Kitchen

It's not just the large selection that makes Sheung Wan Kitchen special - it's the quality, the sights, the atmosphere, and the friendly service. This is a very small restaurant with only a handful of seats in front of a large, flat counter where meals are prepared in full-view by some of the Rookery's more knowledgeable chefs. Stacked high against the far wall are wicker baskets full of dried sea creatures, mystery animal parts, deer antlers, wine with whole king cobras, heaps of herbs and twigs and tree barks. Although these are meant to go into the dishes that are served here, it is not impossible to haggle for them.

Nataliya is good for a few things: fixing cars, for one, and also for getting Tuck out of the house. She even brought him a sling to stuff his bone hand into so it'd be less noticeable. Then she lobbed it at him and demanded he buy her lunch. And now they are in the Sheung Wan Kitchen, taking up a corner table. Nataliya is eating soup and waving her weird little spoon for emphasis. "…I would like to learn to fly, yes, but Chicago Air, it is having a lot of publicity."

"You sure you wanna be mixed up with these people? I mean, whoever the hell actually wants to do something for Staten has to be a certain shade of…fucking nuts." Tuck sets the spoon down so he can add a little soy sauce to his soup. Then he picks up the spoon again.

The sling is actually a brilliant idea. He doesn't know why he never thought of it. Sure makes his shoulder ache less, and the bony part looking bulky wrapped in bandages isn't quite so suspicious.

Nataliya waggles her spoon in her broth to coax some noodles into it. "No," she tells him with a smile. "That is my problem. It is steady work, yes, and I could learn how to fly, which I would very much like." Natasha likes things that go ZOOM. "But so many pictures in the newspaper. That is the last thing I need."

"Yeah. Yeah," Tuck pokes at something unidentifyable in his soup, then scoops it up and sticks it in his mouth. Oh. Mushroom. Funny, he wouldn't have guessed that. "They seem too legit for comfort. And if they're not legit, I'm worried about what they're really after. Card…" he purses his lips. "…seems to be doing things since he joined with these people. Watch yourself."

"Doing things other than flying planes and passing out soup?" Nataliya inquires, arching one eyebrow. Some soup spatters the front of her shirt. She ignores it.

"Those are the things I mean," says Tuck. "The man's a thief, Tali. But lately he's dressing all corporate and doing favours that he doesn't expect to be paid back." He looks into his soup, takes a bite and then mumbles, "I'm worried about him."

Nataliya pokes some noodles onto her spoon with use of a chopstick. She sucks at chopsticks. Fail, all the time. "No such thing," she says absently. "Favours that are not to be expected to be paid back. No such thing. Dressing nice, doing corporate things? Fronts? This makes me think of my sister and others like her. There are many old families on the island that will not like newcomers."

"No. Card keeps talking about cleaning out some of the scum and stepping into the power vaccum to take it over." Tuck frowns and picks up a spring roll. "I think he's in over his head. Doesn't really know what he's getting himself into." And the pair of them know better, know Staten, both before and after its fall.

Nataliya considers this for a small time; she shrugs a shoulder. "If he and his allies succeed, perhaps this is not such a bad thing. Perhaps it is good. The best we can hope is to warn him and try not to be pulled with him if he goes down."

"I can't imagine anyone with decent motives even wanting this place," says Tuck in a mumble into his soup. "I've stayed alive this long by knowing my place and not messing with the wrong people. Now here's Card with all the big fish in his sights."

Nataliya slurps more soup, shrugs again. "Try not to go down with him. You really are worried, aren't you?" She peers across the table at him, her squint thoughtful. And then one eyebrow goes up, up, up speculatively.

Tuck looks perplexed by the look Nataliya is giving him. What? WHAT? "He's a kid. He's in over his head. He's idealistic and he doesn't totally understand how shit works on this island." His voice has gone dull. The spring roll is crunched into.

"Ahhh," says Nataliya, nodding slowly. "Hopefully he will learn quickly. The Bulatovs are likely to be making some noise soon, in any case."

"You be careful. This whole…airline thing doing charity and taking back Staten smells fishy to me." Speaking of smelling fishy. More food arrives. Tuck's fairly handy with chopsticks, generally. Right now he's trying to eat with his left hand. It's rather pathetic.

Nataliya sighs faintly. "I suppose this means I will not be learning how to fly. I will watch my back. It's something I'm good at. You be careful as well. Will you be managing the business ends of their operation like Richard asked?"

"I don't know what I'm doing yet. I owe him. But he doesn't want me to do it because I owe him," Tuck frowns and stabs at a bit of fried…something.

"Mmph." Nataliya shakes her head and gestures at his slinged-up hand. "I care more about getting you to the doctor."

"I'm not going to the mainland, Tali. It's too dangerous." Tuck makes a brief sound and then chews on another bite of his food. "We found the kid who did this to me. Card's people are going to pick him up."

Nataliya's eyebrows both go up; her spoon dips low, forgotten for the moment. "Oh? And then what? Will he undo what he did? And what of the man that sent him?"

"We'll make him undo it. And I doubt Logan would care too much what we did to his errand boy. He's a bastard." Tuck scoops up a bit of rice, this time with the spoon. Chopsticks plus left hand equals fail.

"Personally? No. I also doubt he would care," Nataliya says, fussing the spoon about in her bowl. "He may care that he has been defied."

"Maybe, but this is Card's call. He wants to take Logan out. So it doesn't really matter how angry he gets, right?" Tuck lifts a shoulder. "Plus, he's getting his money. And we're not going to kill this little fucker." Just punch him a few times.

Nataliya squints at him again. "…I cannot help but notice that my life was much less complicated before I looked you up again."

"It's not me, punkin. The times, they are a changing." And Tuck's not particularly happy about it, either. He was doing fine with his quiet little shop and the occasional poker games. But nothing is stable in his new world.

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