Cheat The Devil


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Scene Title Cheat the Devil
Synopsis Stranded in a world not their own, Kain Zarek and his questionable accomplices hatch a scheme to rob himself blind.
Date March 20, 2012 — June 16, 2013

Inside the Speakeasy Hotel and Casino, the hotel room belonging to Kain Zarek under his assumed identity has become more staging ground than place of rest. Kain has set up a table in the middle of the room, laid out printed maps from the internet, colored post-it notes adorning them with dates and times. There's a photograph of Daniel Linderman hanging up on the wall by the windows, and Kain has taken to throwing darts at it. Next to it is a photo of Kain himself — or the Kain of this world — and he's taken to throwing darts at that too.

Kain himself stands around the table, glass of whiskey in one hand and a ballpoint pen in the other hand. Kain clicks the button on the back of the pen in a steady rhythm, popping the stylus in and out.

“Okay everybody…” Around the table, Kain's conspirators have gathered to make of this world what they want of it, and Kain's ideal for doing so involves a plan so brazen and bold, the Devil himself wouldn't dare it.

“…let’s go over this one more time.”

The Linderman Building

Battery Park City

One Day Later

March 22, 2012

5:35 PM

Stepping through the revolving door off of the street, Kain Zarek flashes a fond smile to a brunette on her way out of the building. His navy blue suit with pale pinstripes is fitted perfectly to his broad-shouldered frame, the powder blue shirt beneath popping out against the dark red of his necktie.

First, we’re gonna need the safety deposit box key from Linderman’s office.

Striding through the lobby, Kain waves in the direction of the front desk people, then pats his chest down and pivots. Rolling his eyes, he starts to walk toward the front desk, continue to fumble at his pockets. “‘Scuse me, sugar, but Ah’ve no idea where Ah’ left mah ID card. Can you print me out a new elevator keycard?”

Ah’m gonna get a keycard printed up front that'll get us access to the penthouse level.

“Absolutely Mr. Zarek, we just need your biometrics.” The front desk security slides a small cordless device over with a palm-print reader. Kain flashes her a smile and presses his hand down onto the pad, and it begins to read his blood pressure, heart rate, and palm print. When a light turns green, the receptionist smiles broadly. “One moment Mr. Zarek.”

Once Ah’ get the key, Ah’ll hit the elevators.

The card is swiftly printed, handed over to Kain with a fond smile, and soon enough he's making a beeline for the executive elevators at the back of the lobby. The key card swipes in a reader, light green, allowing Kain to select higher-level executive-only floors.

It’ll take four minutes for the elevator t’reach th’ top floor. Once Ah’ step inside, that’s yer cue.

As the elevator doors start to close, he spots a well-dressed young brunette waiting by the bank of doors used for those at a much lower pay grade. Kaylee Thatcher winks and flashes him a mischievous smile; clearly enjoying herself. For someone like Kain Zarek, that kind of behavior is probably a pretty common occurrence in this world.

Barbie. It’s up t’you t’head up t’security and keep th’ guards busy and th’ cameras off me.

The telepath takes the elevator up to the where the main hub for the building’s security is located. Through the halls, her telepathy turns interest elsewhere, giving her a straight shot to her destination. Where — with her back to the nearby camera — Kaylee swipes a card at the reader terminal and taps out the code, that had been snatched from the mind of a poor guard, who was sleeping off a nightlong bender. The light turns green and the telepath steps into the room.

If’in you do yer job right, there should only be one in there that’ll need a mental whammy.

“Who — ”

The poor man in front of the bank of screens doesn’t know what hit him, as Kaylee’s ability curls around his mind. He’ll only remember his co-worker stepping into the room. The balding man turns back to the terminal and starts moving cameras and typing codes into the computers, while Kaylee standsbehind him. Arms folded, she directs him with mental nudges, while watching the bank of monitors and the progress of the others. Fingers lift to the earpiece, “I’m in,” Kaylee says softly to whoever is listening.

Once yer in, yer our eyes and ears up there. Bonus, if a’ accident happens and th’ drives accidentally get wiped.

“Alright, handsome,” Kaylee drawls out, eyes on the monitor that shows Kain making his way down a hall. Her attentions shifts to another monitor. “Looks like you got yourself a clear shot — wait.” On the screen a guard is lazily making his way towards Kain. “You got one coming your way,” she sounds rather calm Ready if you have any trouble.” She glances at her captive, “Who’s that?” she asks.

The balding man looks where she is suddenly, “Randel.” He looks ready to make a call to distract the guard to somewhere else if need be.

“You get that?” She asks Kain, even as she moves to check another monitor. “Alright, Ling. Access point is free and clear.”

An' then yer up, Smokey. Once Barbie's takin' care a' th' security situation.

A woman, clad in black from head to toe, walks down the street in front of the Linderman building. Despite that she carries herself with enough poise to look like she belongs there, no one notices when she slips into one of the adjacent alleys. Ling peeks up over her sunglasses, before moving to lean against the side of the building, smoke from the vents helping mask her presence…

Ah'm gonna need ya t'get in th’ vents an' make sure nothin's lurkin' that Barbie can't see.

…And her disappearance. When Ling hears Kaylee's, in a puff she turns into smoke, slipping into the nearby ventilation shaft. She's keeping a mental clock running in her brain as she winds her way up and up, following trails of smoke and sounds to vents to peer out and make sure every bit of the path ahead of Kain is clear.

That's just on yer way t'where y' really need t' be, though. See, Smokey, yer makin' us our //distraction in case anyone decides t' come knockin'.//

Through vents, between cracks, while Kaylee keeps an eye on the cameras. Ling never shifts back into a tangible form, instead trusting Kaylee to make sure the way is as clear for her as it is for Kain.

See, they keep a lotta valuables here. Ol' Danny-boy had his love fer art an' th' like, really liked th' priceless stuff. Ah reckon a smoke alarm's gonna get a lotta attention out that way.

Ling finds herself "looking" through one of the vents, and into a small, private gallery. Smoke drifts, and then pours out, cascading from the vent to the floor, where it pools in a manner that almost resembles a sort of dry ice, black wisps wafting up from the floor where her form spreads thin.

An by then, if everythin's runnin' on time, we're set fer th' next step.

With no sign of guards, and away from any visible cameras, the form of Ling Chao rises up from the smoke, her features still obscured as smoke dances across her skin, eyes black as she looks around the gallery, and waits.

With security distracted, we’re gonna have five, maybe six minutes t’get what we came for an’ get out.

At the penthouse level of the Linderman Building, elevator doors open to the klaxon blare of smoke alarms triggered by Ling’s mischief floors below. Kain moves briskly, visible on the security cameras in front of Kaylee. He cuts a swift path down the hall, turning to the doors to an office that once belonged to Daniel Linderman himself.

Th’ doors to Danny’s old office will lock in a security event, but so will every other door on the Penthouse level. He ain’t never trusted his security in times of crisis.

Reaching inside of his right sleeve, Kain pulls a small set of lockpicks from the wristband of his watch and takes a knee, bringing to the tools up to the door’s lock. He glances up and down the corridor, watching the elevator cautiously.

Danny was right not to trust his people. This ain’t the first time Ah’ve busted into his office.

The door unlocks with a click, and Kain swiftly stands up and pushes one side of the double doors open and steps into the sparsely furnished office. Much of Linderman’s personal effects were seized by the government during their raid, shelves are bare, discoloration marks the walls where original Isaac Mendez paintings — now down in the gallery with Ling — once hung. Kain is quick to move to Linderman’s desk, noticing that it’s already displaced from where it usually sat by a few inches.

Now, the feds probably got most of Danny’s private holdings. An’ if Ah’m at least half as smart here as Ah’ think Ah’ am, Ah left his strongbox untouched.

Pushing the desk aside with his hip, Kain reaches inside of his suit jacket and retrieves a small flat-head screwdriver and forcibly wedges it between two marble floor tiles. With a grunt of effort, he pulls the tiles apart and reveals a recessed chamber hidden in the floor. The keypad safe in the floor elicits a wicked smile.

Let’s just hope that no matter how much things change…

Kain keys in the numerical password, 551961, and the light beside the lock turns a vibrant green.

…some things stay the same.

Ignoring the stack of cash, documents, and hard drives, Kain instead retrieves a single old key without any number or indication of its purpose. He slaps the door shut and slides the tiles back down over the safe, pocketing the key.

Then all we gotta do is get out without bein’ spotted.

“Alright, handsome,” Kaylee starts, turning towards the guard and leaning towards him a little. He looks at her with a sort of devotion. “It’s time to get some real work done.” Long fingers curl around the back of his neck, a light touch really; but, it is enough to allow the telepath to fall into his mind and start tampering again.

So what Ah’ em gonna need you ta do, Barbie, is get that ‘ol security guard ta move those cameras lettin’ Smokey here wisp ‘er way out’a there.

There is a sharp pressure that comes with what she is doing. She won’t have much time, the alarms are annoying, making it tougher, but… after a moment the guard start shifting the camera angles, turning them away from Ling’s escape route. “Alright, Ling, shutting down the exhausts in vents behind you. It’s gonna be your best bet since all the people are filin’ out.” There is a moment of silence as Kaylee works through the guard who punches in the security override codes.

Best way to accomplish this, is gettin’ her outta those vents, but the air is gonna be going full bore, so tha’ is gonna ‘ave ta be dealt with.

“Okay go!” Ling didn’t really need her to say anything, as the bit of ribbon attached to the grating stops fluttering and lightly falls to lay flat. “Avoid any of the hallways, they are filled with workers, but if I am reading this guys head right, you can get out through the roof from that vent.” There is a strained quality to the telepath’s voice. It’s a lot of work manipulating memories.

As Ling dissolves into smoke to slip through the vent, she hears, “Good luck and I’ll see you outside.”

Once she’s safe… let’s get those hard drives wiped. No reason to tempt th’ fates. Less evidence th’ better.

There is a light throbbing behind her eyes as she snags the passcode from the guards mind. This part will be much easier if she does. Kaylee drops into the seat next to the guard and pulls the keyboard over, he only watches her blankly. Fingers move quickly over the keyboard. “How about a complete system wipe,” Kaylee purrs out softly with a mischievous twist to her lip. Each drive for the cameras is selected and told to factory reset from scratch. Her hear them reboot one by one. A few more clicks and the computer itself restarts. A line of code types across the screen and a progress bar comes up.

“What did you do!?” yelps the guard, yanking the keyboard away from her and starts punching at keys.

Make sure th’ guard don’ have no way to point you out in a line up an’ get ready to skedaddle when th’ chance comes.

Kaylee smile wickedly and stands slowly, while the guard frantically tries to reverse what she did. It’s too late, but she can acknowledge a valiant effort. Finger come to rest on each side of his head and his goes perfectly still, fear clearly rendering him motionless. “What…?”

“Sorry, handsome,” she murmurs. With that, and a protesting stab of pain in her head, the telepath start altering the man’s memory, replacing details. A trickle of blood, oozing from her nostril.

Once yer outta Daniel's little monument t'audacity, ya got one thing left t'do before ya make yer way out, Smokey.

As Ling's smokey form slips through the grating and into the ventilation , she doesn't immediately head to the ceiling. Instead, she begins to wind her way in what, if anyone could observe her, might make appear like she's lost, confused, or just plain stupid. Like she's doing everything except leaving the scening of the crime.

After all, none a' this is any good if yours truly doesn't make it out unscathed. An' that's going t'be your job.

When she finally slips out of the vents, it's in a not in at the roof, or the back corner of a hallway like she always there to begin with. This time, she comes out in one of the lower maitenance rooms - the air control room, specifically. The air system had been a hinderance, only solved by Kaylee's quick thinking, but now with it off Ling has decided to turn it into a boon for them.

An' really, Ah don't care what ya have t' do t'make sure that everythin' stays clear an' the cameras stay off, but ya better make it good.

It takes barely a moment to get the system running again, and Ling turns back to the vents with a wicked smile on her face. She knows if she were to travel into them while they were going this strong, she would risk being torn apart by the strong winds.

That's why she doesn't send herself into them, but rather, she picks some key vents, directed along the path Kain himself will be taking to escape, and she opens her arms. Smoke begins to aft and drift off her, before suddenly beginning to flow freely from her form, generating as much as she can before starts to feel weak - it's not a trick she can do much of, since in many ways she is giving up part of herself.

With the vents flooded with her smoke, of a particularly thick and overbearing density, it begins to leak out of vents and fill hallways - furthering the illusion of a fire or some sort of horrible event occuring within the building that she started in the gallery.

Once ya got whatever yer goin' t'do figured out, get the hell outta dodge however ya can. With any luck we'll be waitin' fer ya at th' end.

She takes a deep breath, letting out a coughing fit that results in further plumes of smoke puffing out from her throat. Taking just the barest moment to collect herself, she flips off the ventilation for the vent Kaylee had mentioned to her earlier, and begins to make her way to the roof so she can escape from this god forsaken building.

The chaos of fire alarms sounding flood the Linderman Building, and scores of employees filing out of offices, apartments, and businesses fills the hall with so many faces that it’s easy for Kain to slip into the guise of anonymity and disappear, to be just another face in the crowd rather than Mister Zarek. As he breezes by the security station, Kain gives a four-knock rap on the door.

When Kaylee finds him, his smile is a devilishly accomplished one, and he ducks inside with her and shuts the door. Once the crowd has filled the hall, Kain and Kaylee re-emerge and the pair come hustling out with the others filing out onto the street. It’s only a matter of time before he’s out on the side street through an emergency exit, bag in one hand and feet clapping down hard on the concrete.

Spotting Ling waiting on a bus stop bench, Kain’s smile grows broader, and he looks down to the briefcase in his hand.

With any luck, we’ll be home free by sunset.

Kain keeps walking past the park bench, and Kaylee in a third direction; crossing the street with some of the other office building evacuees.

An’ we’ll be on our way t’fortune.

Riker’s Island Prison

July 16th, 2013

Dean Carver,” is called over the sound of other inmates filing through a chain-link fenced paddock. With a slow shuffle of steps it is Kain Zarek answering to that alias in the orange jumpsuit of a prison inmate, his hair cut short and a gash at his brow with butterfly stitches. Kain looks down at the handcuffs around his wrist, the up to the prison guard that called his name “Welcome home.”

Ah’m sure of it.

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