Contending Troubles


amato_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Contending Troubles
Synopsis Still recovering from his altercation with Nick Ruskin, Amato delivers troubling news to Raith.
Date August 6, 2010

Port Ivory

Situated on the northwestern corner of Staten Island's most criminally active northern shore, Port Ivory is a sprawling region composed of red-brick duplexes that have since become the home of squatters and vagrants looking to find shelter outside of the chaos of the Rookery to the east on the other side of the Martin Luther King Expressway that divides the two northern regions.

As one travels further west into Port Ivory the region becomes more and more industrial, sporting dozens of abandoned warehouses, factories and wharves. The streets here have not been tended since 2006, leaving many of them cracked and split from frost in the winters that have passed, grass growing up between the splits in the concrete and entire parking lots having become overgrown with weeds sprouting up from fissures in the concrete.

The absolute northwestern end of Port Ivory contains the Goethals Bridge on interstate 278 which connects into Newark New Jersey. It is only on the Jersey side of this bridge that a police checkpoint keeps vehicle traffic out of Staten Island and affords a distant police presence that watches nervously into the wilds of Staten Island..

Providence continues to smile on Amato. In a way.

After a quick phone call, he learns that Raith is not that far from where he just got his jaw broken. Not that Raith is a doctor. It's the other development that Amato is eager to discuss with his associate.

Port Ivory is a place that Amato is not greatly familiar with despite his recent activities, but Raith's instructions were clear enough to lead him into the abandoned office building. He scowls at the physical reminders of other meetings long ago in similar locales.

Silence inside is the first thing to greet Amato when he enters the empty structure. This isn't necessarily a bad thing: It means he hasn't been greeted by gunfire. It's not an unfamiliar routine, either. Amato arrives, several seconds pass by, and then-

"Nice to see you again."

And then Raith makes his presence known and steps out of the shadows, more heavily armed than he has been in past meetings. Either something's happened, or he's just going crazier. "What can I do for you tonight, Signore?"

"Two things," Amato says after the initial, if small, shock of Raith's emergence has passed. He walks with his hand cupped over his jaw, and the effect the injury has on his speech is easier to hear in person than it was over the phone.

"First, I need you to help me find someone." Amato pauses then, partly to wince and partly to think for a moment. "No, three things. First, I need you to help me find someone. Then I need some tips on how to tail someone. And lastly, I need a doctor." Old Vanguard habits when it comes to medical treatment are hard to kick - especially when one is still wanted for various crimes against humanity.

Raith mulls over this for a moment, considering all the information and the associated causes and effects. "Well, a doctor's easy," he says, "I can give you directions to a good one on the island that won't ask you any questions. Finding someone, that's a little trickier. Tailing someone…." That sentence fades away into the air and Raith shifts his carbine from in his hands to hanging from his shoulder. At least he's at ease enough to do that. "That's not so bad as long as they aren't expecting to be followed. Who you need to follow? Don't tell me why."

Amato snorts out a chuckle, which is immediately followed by another wince before he leans back against a dusty desk. "It won't be hard for you to guess. You have to promise me something, though. This…it may seem trivial, but I assure you it is extremely important."

Without missing a beat, Raith asks a simple question that can only underscore the importance of what Amato means to say. "When have you ever told me something that was trivial?"

He smirks as much as a man with a broken jaw can successfully smirk before grimacing. "His name is Nick Ruskin. He's English, but not posh. Early twenties. Probably here doing some sort of smuggling. Drugs, firearms - that lot."

Raith doesn't respond immediately. It clear from the expression on his face that he is, once again, considering this information, although it's also clear he's considering it much more carefully then information previously given to him. "It's the name that bothers me," he says, "Ruskin. Just, tell me if it is or not, and then I'll work out the rest." 'If it is or not,' while pretty meaningless by itself, is probably clear in meaning to Amato, given the context in which it was raised.

Bothers? Amato hides his contempt at the descriptor with another facial contortion of pain. "I wish it wasn't," he half-growls, his teeth held tightly together. "You have to promise you won't let on that you have this information. Not to anyone." Not that Raith would bring this sort of thing to light. "The results could be…devastating."

"That's putting it lightly." In a lot of ways, it is putting it lightly. "Not a word to anyone, you or me." And that's that, as it were. "I'll check my usual contacts, see if anyone's seen him. Any idea where he might be? How long he's been in the city? Description? Anything like that would be helpful." Apparently, Raith's smartphone will also be helpful, as he withdraws it from his pocket, likely to take notes so he won't have to memorize everything.

"Not far from here when I saw him last, and I first saw him in the Rookery." Yes, leaving it 'at that' is enough for Amato. He'd like to forget about ever seeing Nick Ruskin, but he doesn't have that luxury. Providence has turned to Duty. "A bit shorter than me. Lean, dark hair, blue eyes. He smokes - a British brand, but…" Abby destroyed that bit of evidence. "But I don't remember the name."

"If he smokes, then he'll smoke whatever he can stand the taste of here," Raith replies. But it's still worth noting, the ex-spy's thumbs dancing across the keypad of his phone, recording everything Amato says in his own flavor of shorthand. "Figure he'll be staying on the island for the time begin? Know if he's part of a gang? Working alone?"

Amato just shakes his head, relying on the desk to take more of his weight. "I realize this is all very important for items one and two, but item three is becoming quite the pressing need, Raith." Amato squints at the other man as he nimbly keys the information into his phone. "Unless you have some sort of pain medication lying about."

"And I most certainly do not." 'Save.' Raith's phone is closed and placed back into his pocket. "And all I can really get you on such short notice is morphine or vicodin. You got a phone with a notepad? Or a piece of paper and pen? I can't promise he'll be up and about at this hour, or even in a very good mood during 'decent' hours, due to recent events. But he's a very good doctor."

Herein lies the trouble of being a Luddite in the digital age. Amato just groans, letting his eyes roll as he lightly palpates the side of his jaw which has started to bruise. "He ran off," he says, changing the subject. "I don't think he'd come looking for me. I could… I could just go see her. I know where she is." Better than having to remember an address, or scrounge for a piece of paper.

"First things first, you need a doctor. I will simply assume you know Nick Ruskin is in town because he tried recently to fuck you up, with some degree of success." The light isn't great, it's true, but even despite that, it's a bit difficult to miss Amato's injury when he keeps drawing attention to it. "If you had a dislocated arm, I could do something about that right now. Even a gash, I could probably sew up." But there are other things on Raith's mind than playing doctor. "Drugs and firearms, you said?"

Amato shrugs. He sort of asked for it, but he'll let that remain an unknown factor in Raith's investigation. Besides, letting a man like Raith go about jostling body parts back into their original position or shape isn't something that Amato is keen on doing, even if it's his only option. It's likely to do with why his jaw broke in the first place. "I only know what I saw, and those were the latest things. That he is doing it here is an assumption."

The expression on Raith's face might look completely at home on someone who just bit into a particularly sour lemon. It's the general lack of information that's causing it: Raith is never happy when he doesn't have information he feels is vital. But then, there is perhaps some merit to Amato's earlier suggestion. "If you're going to see her," he says, "I'll tag along. You can fill in any remaining details along the way. How's that sound?" It's an uncommon gesture of trust coming from Raith. But then again, allies are in short supply these days.

"Fine," Amato grunts, both to save himself the pain of any more lengthy prattle and to further express both that pain and his own contempt for it. Of course more information would be nice - more information is always nice. The dark is, of course, never the frightening thing. It is the unknown that lurks within it that terrifies children.

Amato pushes himself up from the desk and starts toward the door. "But you're going to have to ask questions. I don't know what else to tell you."

"I'll ask any questions that come to mind, when they come to mind," Raith replies. Like Amato, he moves towards the exit. However, his carbine has moved from being slung over his shoulder to his hands again, still not quite sure about the safety of the darkness outside. There are a lot of unknowns in it. Always have been, always will be. But by all accounts, the worst unknown at the moment is the fact that Eileen's dear brother is in town, and neither Raith nor Amato have any clue as to where he might be. But then, they already have dozens of troubles to contend with. What's one more of the pile, anyway?

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License