Customer Service


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Scene Title Customer Service
Synopsis Sierra and Wu-Long visit Deckard in one of his luxurious apartment dwellings to file a complaint, and Ethan has some helpful advice, mostly concerning the many ways in which Flint is fucked.
Date November 13, 2008


Before the bomb, Chelsea was most known for being "gay-friendly," home of the stereotypical "Chelsea Boy." It was a place of culture and art, of eclectic ethnic restaurants and cutting-edge performing arts studios.

One of the last places in Manhattan to be reopened to the public, the streets of Chelsea almost give the impression of an urban ghost town. Many buildings are dark, inhabited only by the homeless, if by anyone at all. Their walls have been tagged with graffiti, the windows broken; forgotten cars line the streets, slowly rusting away. Close inspection reveals that their interiors have already been gutted of anything valuable or useful.

Housing in Chelsea is quite cheap; it therefore doesn't stay on the market long, despite the potential threat of residual radiation. The population has become a mixture of all ethnicities, desperation being their thread in common; those who have the money to live elsewhere do. Culture seems to have been washed out entirely on the neighborhood scale, survival taking vast precedence over art.

Apartment #2. The door, unlike most in this largely abandoned complex, is locked. There are holes in the walls and suspicious brown stains on the floor and carpet. The picked-over remains of someone else's life are scattered over a small living area that opens into an equally small kitchenette. A squat refrigerator hooms and haws gloomily about its business there, overseeing only the cheapest of paper and plastic dinnerware.

The bedroom beyond is as small as everything else, but clean(er) and organized. A few books with water damage are stacked on a dresser next to a briefcase and a 12 gauge shotgun. There is a small bed, and beyond that, a massive, ragged hole where an exterior wall should be. At current, a translucent plastic tarp billows gently over the gap, allowing exterior lights to creep dull across the yellowed wallpaper. The lack of heat (and wall) make it cold. As such, Flint has the usual black overcoat on over his suit in addition to reading glasses while he scratches a set of notes out into a spiral notebook with the help of a flashlight. He's seated on the side of the bed. Alone.

The debriefing had required all of ten minutes, including QA. Flint Deckard is the Vanguard's snitch, insofar as he was threatened with telekinetic evisceration and fed an envelope of cash in exchange for information on PARIAH or Phoenix, whomever his work took him across. He's Non-Evolved, Wu-Long had told her. Saw the flicker in her eyes, remembered their last conversation, across whisky and the heavy, varnished wood of Ethan's table. It's easier for her to kill when they're Evolved. All the better. She's showing her stuff today, but going overboard on an informant doesn't help anybody.

On multiple levels, Wu-Long appreciates the seedy and semi-deserted nature of their quarry's chosen hideout. If he'd taken up residence in digs like Dorchester Towers, they would have had a marginally harder time checking out security detail and looked more out of place sticking to the shadows. As it is, they look out of place enough, pulling up in a company car and clad in sleek black formal wear just as the last time Deckard had seen them— but it's the sort of distinctive gear that lets most of the indigenous scum think better than to knife tires or bring Uzis. You don't rob grunts, never mind grunts like these.

Moreover, if Deckard had selected a higher class of housing, the soldier would have had a little more compunction against kicking the door in.

It blows inward, propelled by the hundreds of pounds of force equivalent to a car crash, bouncing at the end of hinges that squeal and bend before rattling to a rickety halt against the wall. The leg behind it recoils like a wire trap, allowing the lady to enter first. The knife creases to her suit are so sharp, the dust motes sigh as she moves by.

Ahh its that time once again to collect information, the lady is honored the position as point for the team. A long trench coat adorns her shoulders replacing the jean one she usually wears and her dark sunglasses adorn her eyes. Dark hair is cut short and wild falling short of her ears. Upon hearing that the man is unevolved Sierras feelings are more relaxed even as she loads the firearm. Listening to the information Wu gives her she nods her head softly still packing the gun to be safe. She slides it to her trenchcoat.

The door is kicked in and as it blows inward she steps quietly within and she moves deeper into the room her eyes searching for her mark "come out come out wherever you are" she says like a sulking spider luring its prey with a silken sweet tone.

"Fuck!" It's not hard to guess who that voice belongs to. It's followed up with a sharp slam when Deckard kicks the last door between here and there shut. The living room is pretty dark, but enough light filters in through a single dusty window near the door to hint at bedroom beyond, as well as providing some hazy indication of the crap and overturned furniture that gives the apartment its special fung shei.

There's some hasty movement in the bedroom while the glasses and notebook are tossed onto the bed, and Flint's eyes flare bright against the backdrop of the tarp. The shotgun is snatched, pumped, and fired once into and through the wall. At least two feet off target and to the right of Wu-Long and Sierra's entrance, the blast belches drywall and splintered wood across the living area in dusty abundance. "I'm not interested!" drifts through the hole after it.

The gun fire is enough to set her into motion, she gets herself down her breath catches, she moves silently and carefully creeping over to the bedroom door. She whirls about landing a sideways kick to the frame causing it to crash inwards "Oh I didnt ask if you were intrested…." she says her silken voice sing songish .. "Dont want to play anymore?" she asks "now now we gave you money, we want our information." she says softly.. her form closes in on Flints

Deckard grits his teeth when she just keeps coming, but past a wince for the second kicked in door, there's not much he can do short of actually blowing her away. Significantly, the eye glow is gone by the time the door bursts inward, but the shotgun isn't. Even with the room dominated by shadow, he keeps it hefted at her and braced hard against his shoulder. "Lady, I don't know who the hell you are, but I'm pretty sure we've…" aaand he trails off. Money, information. Yeah. Something clicks, and his nose rankles behind the barrel of his gun. "I don't know anything useful."

"The Englishman sends his regards," Wu-Long adds, his accent rusting his consonants over with an edge that tends to add a brutish harshness to his already dieselly register. Sprayed with drywall, he doesn't pause to dismiss flecked plaster and fragmented wood from the long bar of his sleeve. His eyes narrow fractionally. The quality of air changes, nothing you could smell or touch but hear: the shriek of distant vehicles, the wind over Manhattan, and pitchy hookers' calls war, thin, wobble like the insidious cloying of water dripped into one's ear canal before the world outside winks out to abject silence. Deckard's home is circumscribed in silence.

The next moment, the Asian man's figure dissipates, shreds away into a swatch of blackness. He trickles in through the hole the shotgun discharge had put in the wall as if from a punctured inkwell and descends into the shadows of the room, blacker than them, but camouflaged all the same. He swarms along a wide arc, too far from Sierra to either take any hits for her or be covered by the same hungry shotgun muzzle.

Sierra has her own gun leveled on Flint now, her green eyes dancing "oh well thats to bad" she says as she lets a warning shot go off the bullet whizzes by his ear so very close to his head "I dont have to miss you know" she says her tone softly seductive. She brings herself closer still to him "I am sure there is /something/ you could tell me, because if you dont… this will be the last breath you breathe" she promises

The introduction of Wu-Long's abilities into the fray is difficult to ignore. Flint breaks into a cold sweat, the sheen of it dimly visible across his brow when his head twitches aside after the movement there. After a second's jerky hesitation, he swings the shotgun around to where he thought he saw the Chinaman last, only to have a bullet hiss past his ear for the effort.

The loss of his usual advantage here in the dark is sorely missed. Jaw set, he stands very still, breaths measured carefully through his sinuses while he forces himself to think. "I'm going to set the gun down. Okay?"

Blackness pools in the shadow, boasting an emptiness and a cold greater than the ordinary stuff cast down by ordinary objects all around it, or the tenebrous twilight outside. It gathers, flickers, holds position if not precise shape just below a derelict chest of drawers by the wall, intimating the impression of a grown man crouching, wary, on the floor. Wu-Long stares at the white man out of eyes Deckard can't see, though his gaze weighs almost tangible on his skin. He doesn't pull his body back into being, and he doesn't answer on Sierra's half. He may have drawn fire, but she's getting the talking part in this play.

Sierra nods her head though he can not see her do so.. she pushes herself forward until the end of her gun comes into contact with his chest. "better start talking…" she says droping the playful singsong tone, it seems Sierra is done playing.

Flint lets the shotgun's weight fall into the left-handed grip he has on the forestock, and leans carefully aside to toss it onto the bed, where it flops harmlessly across clean sheets. Pretty distinctly uncomfortable under the tangible scrutiny of a man he cannot see enough to keep track of, when he straightens again, it's to find Sierra's gun plugged into his sternum. Great. The fact that he's a foot taller than her doesn't really give him much more than a dim view of the wall over and behind her head when he looks up from his own chest.

"I've seen some things, but trust takes time. People don't walk up to me on the fucking street and introduce themselves as Joe the Evolved super terrorist." Deckard speaks slowly, words paced for calm and easy understanding. He keeps his eyes on the wall over Sierra's head, and his hands raised open away from his sides. "There was a girl in Chinatown. She touched a guy and he collapsed. Something she did, maybe. I don't know. She was young, sixteen or seventeen, and British. I don't know what her name was. There were people trying to take photos, but some kind of freak fog kicked up."

Sierra nods her head backing up just a inch, as the man looks to be complying with her request, she looks over to where Wu has been and then back to Flint "very good Papi" she says with a cool edge to it "You need to do better then that, We didnt pay you to come up short"… she clicks her gun pulling it hard the fire is aimed to the ground just to frighten him. As the sound comes up a Kick to the groin is given. A physical warning to what lies in store should he fail. "Lets go" she calls as she steps back into the darkness.

"There was someone else," Flint starts to say, but the gunfire cuts him off pretty neatly. He flinches, as people are inclined to do when there are shots being fired at their feet, but any movement more dynamic than that is headed off by her foot swinging up to catch him in the balls. His face contorts and his teeth bare out, but he doesn't fall or grab at the offending area. He just adopts a slight hunch and tries to hold his breath. Unsuccessfully, if the hoarse, "Fuck," that follows is any indication.

The darkness rises. Coalesces, finally, long legs and long coat sweeping out of its diaphanous folds and hitting the floor with a little more deference to gravity. Wu-Long's face shows in tanned relief to his ragged hair, and he stares at Deckard a moment, a knife showing a thin line of ceramic between his own fingers. He takes a long stride sideways, moving away from the drawers and toward the crumpled criminal. Stoops slightly, one hand braced on his knee, head cocked to catch Deckard's line of sight. "Tell us about someone else," he suggests. "And we will give you some advice on doing your job which could help you keep your testicles next time.

"You can have a moment. To catch your breath," he adds, almost kindly. He drops into a crouch, that he might not obstruct Sierra's view of her handiwork. As if realizing that the weapon in his own hand might be construed as a threat, Wu-Long suddenly buttons a smile into his lips. Reverses the blade in his hand, pointing out the side, away, downward, as one might preparing to stab, as if that would reduce Deckard's discomfort.

Sierra watches Wu as he steps forward her eyes flicker to his knife as it is raised up and the woman arches her eye brow slightly. Her attention goes to Deckard and she tisks softly "I gave you ample time to play by my rules" she says quietly as if this game were as simple as a childrens game of chutes and ladders.

Flint has been offered a moment. He takes it. Hands on his knees, knuckles white, he rolls his eyes up to take in Wu as well as he can, conditions being what they are. The tarp over the wall rustles. He breathes. He looks at the knife. He looks at Sierra. And back to the knife again. For some reason, he continues to look pained rather than particularly relieved or comforted. "Another girl, probably around the same age." Voice not having recovered his strength, he grunts, grits his teeth, resettles himself a little, and tries again. "Most of the bystanders were shitting bricks. She wasn't. The first girl left with her."

"'Girl' is not descriptive," Wu-Long states, succinctly, and with as much regret as he's physically capable of mustering. Not a lot, but there's a frown, caricatured disappointment manifested somewhere along the lines of sympathy. Mentally, of course, he's filed away the news of freak weather patterns and toxic skin. "A girl with some backbone — that's interesting, and a little rarer than we'd all like," he doesn't glance back at Sierra but she's a demonstration in flesh, easily available for Deckard to look at if he so chooses. "I think you need to be more proactive about business.

"You wouldn't have so much real estate if you didn't know that," he says, allowing the possibility to dangle into the other man's thoughts: that the Vanguard knows where else he might go to ground, if he bolts. Next time he bolts. "So I think there's something else going on here. I don't understand why you're not volunteering everything you know. After all, you already know what it's like. Eh, pengyou," he says, motioning toward Deckard's injured stones with the handle of his knife.

"My memory is probably less fuzzy when I haven't just been rocked in the nads." Still strained, Flint is back to watching Wu-Long. His face, rather than the knife. It's a searching, measuring look — not very subtle even in the darkness, and he straightens slowly after it, shoulders still curved forward into the ghost of his hunch. Deep breaths. Okay. And one more for the road. "Her hair was long. She had…kind of wide eyes. Far apart or something, I don't know." He winces again, in pain or in something else. "They're kids. I don't — I mean. There's a delivery boy who climbs walls. What's he going to do? Party too loud in your apartment complex? Piss off the side of rooftops? None of them have bought anything from me."

Sierra may have taken a step back from being point, but shes still there and her gun is trained on the man as Wu now questions him "It sounds as if one girl did an attack and the other covered for her, but where are the names, descriptions, details … your giving us nothing to go on.. nothing" she says with a little shake of her head, her eyes look to Wu then she looks back to the man taking a step closer "Because your not evolved…I think we can afford to give you a break.." she looks to Wu "cut the jewels, and bring them to me" she says softly "In a week we will be back Papi, You better have names and descriptions or your blood run payment for betrayal." She leaves the castration to be done by Wu's handy work if it is to be done at all and with that Sierra turns to leave.

Collecting a dude's nuts is never funsies, not even for a man who generally enjoys blood all over in a reasonably good-humored fashion. Nor is castration particularly conducive to getting one's unhelpfully reticent informant to go and get out there and, you know. Inform. Nevertheless, if Deckard isn't doing that anyway — Wu-Long waves at the departing woman without turning; a flash of honed blade. She passes through the wall of silence without disturbing its stagnant contours.

The city outside is jarring, once Sierra breaks into it. In here, though, the bubble remains perfectly self-contained. "Long hair, wide eyes," Wu-Long repeats blandly. He isn't bothered, this time, to foster an artificial semblance of incredulity. "I might have been born overseas,but I wasn't born yesterday. They haven't been buying anything from you because you haven't been selling." Ceramic flips over in the air, razor tip over blunt handle, lands back in his hand, held flat across his palm. He straightens.

A callused fist draws a vicious arc through the air, plants knuckles squarely against the white man's narrow jaw. It would be a blow hard enough to shatter, if it weren't angled against the loop of Deckard's spine to drop him on his ass, anyway. "What happened to the guy?" It isn't a question Wu-Long expects to have answered immediately. His standards aren't ridiculous.

Deckard has started to sweat again, eyes gone a little wide at talk of the great snip. If there was any doubt in his mind that these people are psychotic, it sublimates on that sticking point. Despite his posture, his shoulders and neck stiffen, wiry muscle cording taut in his arms in anticipation of an oncoming death struggle. "Take it there and I'll put a bullet in my brain for you. You'll have to scrape names and addresses out of my—" There is that pleasant crosstalk, and then a fist in the space his jaw was occupying. How rude.

Caught off guard, he drops. Back into the side of the bed, sprawling, awkward, and making all manner of disgusting throat-clearing noises against the sudden presence of blood thick in the side of his mouth. "Which guy?"

They are a little, at that, but to be fair, they'd given him the money up-front. They're well within their economic rights to enforce the contact, as far as Wu-Long's concerned. This would not be the time to refer to his father, who always felt his son never had any sort of business sense. He appreciates that Deckard sat down. Drops into a crouch at the other end of the man's sprawled legs, his head tilted slightly one way, and the other the next.

He's dimly glad to have been spared the unpleasantness of having some American asshole swear at him, even if he had to punch Deckard's head to make it happen. "You realize this doesn't look very good," he says. Dark eyes flick up to study white boy's oddly vulpine visage. "We gave you money, made our terms clear. You start this meeting saying you don't know anything, then you change your mind. Talk about a girl. Then another girl. Can't think of details until nu zhi there kicks you in the testicles." Yes, he just said 'testicles.'

English is his second language. Sometimes, he winds up taking the dictionary route through his sentences. "And they're still really terrible details, even for a day with bad weather. This isn't what we paid for." He doesn't like to complain; it's not very Confucian, but neither is shirking one's transactive responsibilities, really. Hoping that that whole concatenation of logic is self-evident, Wu-Long clarifies: "I meant the guy who the first girl knocked down."

Bell effectively rung, Flint spends some time staring a little blankly at the ceiling while Wu-Long talks. Eventually he picks a hand up to wipe at the corner of his mouth, which does little more than smear black blood into the bristle of his stubble collection. Bloodied fingers dutifully inspected, he swallows, Adam's apple bobbing while he wipes his hand blandly across his chest. One cold swat to the head, and the fight has rather gone out of him while he tries to recover.

It takes a little while for his eyes to find their way back to Wu-Long, and they do so reluctantly. When he speaks, his voice is raspier than it was, roughened further by blood in places it shouldn't be and a couple of loose teeth. It also lacks energy. "I said I didn't know anything useful. You were looking for PARIAH. I haven't found them. I've been a bystander at a couple of freak accidents. I saw a kid skateboard up a wall." He swallows again, and rolls his eyes back over to the tarp and blurry Manhattan beyond that. "If you want me to follow up, fine. I'll follow up. I'll buy a camera. Find a car with tinted windows." Another pause there, then: "He got sick. Started having a seizure."

"Someone in this city sells to PARIAH. Or the other one—" Wu-Long motions vaguely. This time, with his empty hand "Feng huang. Phoenix. I think you should find them. Let us know who they are, what they're buying. Do some advertising. You're not an easy man to find. That's…" He knows this word. Finds it in the air above Deckard's head, probing it with a lidded stare for a moment. "…counterproductive. Follow-up is good too. Good job," he adds after a moment, like a parrot picking a phrase; the words hold some water, but his tone lacks consistency. He's better at pretending to be human when the situation unequivocally calls for it.

This situation exists somewhere between, in the ever-oscillating territory between social games and antisocial sport, if you will. Wu-Long's face empties. "I suppose someone called an ambulance," he remarks. It doesn't sound like one, but it's a question.

Deckard as not as raptly interested as he could be considering that his testes are on the line. Maybe he detects the insincerity. Or maybe he has a concussion. He's definitely unhappy about the way things are playing out, so he hasn't completely checked out. His face is even longer than usual, and eye contact is fleeting and irritable in the rare instance that he bothers to make it. "I'll talk to Kain. He may know something." Careless slip of the tongue or intentionally sadistic namedrop? You decide! "Some woman said she was a doctor. She started doing her thing. Don't let him swallow the tongue, or whatever. I don't know if an ambulance could have even gotten in through all the people. The girls checked out and so did I."

Whomever Kain is, he isn't about to divert Wu-Long's attention from the man more immediately available at hand. They'd managed to find the rock under which Deckard was hiding. Contact references shouldn't be difficult to follow up on, should Ethan choose to do so. "You're not a bad liar," he remarks, studying the patterned combination of spit and blood and mingled expressions on the lanky man's face. "It's pretty strange that you didn't make up with a whole story beforehand. Even after I bitched about the way you handled the girls. Wait a moment, would you?" Abruptly, a callused hand locks around Deckard's ankle.

Wu-Long straightens, muscle and sinew buckling only briefly under the other man's weight; he drags Deckard out across the middle of the floor, cloth scraping against creaking floorboards— making space between him and the walls, the furniture, any nook or cranny where a discerning rat as himself might have stowed a weapon. The next moment, the Asian man drops the appropriated leg like a sack of shit, and conjures his cell phone out of some unimaginable place.

Beep, says a button. Wu-Long presses it to his ear, and stares down at Deckard as if he owes him money. Which, technically.

"It was in the middle of fucking Chinatown. People everywhere. It's probably in the papers, somewhere." Voice still gravel shot, when Wu-Long moves, Deckard shuts up. Hand, around his ankle. Ok. Now he's being dragged. Ok. Maybe Wu-Long likes dragging people. The salesman offers no resistance at all, putting forth only the effort necessary to keep his head and arms up where they aren't dragging limply on the ground. When Wu-Long stops, so does he, scruffy head thumped back against dirty carpeting so that he can flick a sideways look up and over at the space under his bed. No telling what's hiding under there. No telling what's hiding anywhere in the dark apartment, but he does definitely seem the type to have been creative in his foray into interior design.

Of more immediate concern may be the small arsenal stowed on Flint's person. Two knives, a gun, and a taser dwell peacefully under the man's clothing, but he hasn't so much as thought about trying for any of them. Beep, goes the cell phone. Flint closes his eyes. "I used to be a used car salesman."

(Ethan's cellphone buzzes or twitters an incoming call. The moment he picks up, Wu-Long's voice comes across, a brisk clip, otherwise mechanically toneless: "Flint Deckard is lying to my face about something, but he says he can talk to somebody named Kain and follow up on a few Evolved sightings. There were two girls. Freak weather and seizure-inducing touch.")

("And 'im the phone.")

(A beat's silence. Then, "Should I put him on speaker?")


Anything Deckard had to say for the first couple seconds there was was blanched out, muted by a twitch of power, a momentary sound barrier— though less because Wu-Long is easily offended by the sorts of things he expects the other man to say than because he was about to embark on a conversation with boss.

His lips move in silence for a moment, shuttered out of view by Deckard's own weary eyelids, quick words, summarizing the situation. The next, he pulls the phone away from his ear, presses another key. The silence haloing Deckard's head is dismissed with as little ceremony as it was granted him, and Wu-Long crouches down to offer him the phone in question. It is a flip phone, of minimalistic and commonplace design, resembling a legless beetle. A look at the liquid crystal display indicates that it also happens to be on speaker. "The Englishman would like to have a word," Wu-Long adds, by way of caption.

(The phone clicks to speaker with an audible shift in air pressure. Wu-Long's voice first, though fainter, as if he had held it away from himself. Which would logically be the case. "The Englishman would like to have a word.")

Deckard reaches up to take the offered phone, negligent of the fact that his index and pointer fingers are sticky with cold drying blood. His eyes, now open, refocus on the ceiling. Now that they've had time to adjust to the dark in earnest for the first time in a long time — wow, the ceiling is dirty. If he wasn't never coming back here again, he might do something about it. "Hello," he rasps across the line, decidedly cheerful despite the fact that he sounds like he's swallowed a shot of battery acid, "Flint Deckard speaking."

(“Hello," Flint's voice rasps across the line, decidedly cheerful despite the fact that he sounds like he's swallowed a shot of battery acid, "Flint Deckard speaking.")

(“It's great to 'ear from you CherryBlossom." The 'Englishman' starts. " I've got a question for you. I do 'ope you 'ave a good answer." A pause for Deckard to answer. "If you don't give me whot I need, whot use are you to me alive? You 'aven't necessarily been buyin me beers or nuttin'. So whot do I do with you, my son?")

Looking more like one of Munin's crows than a gentleman in a suit, Wu-Long tucks his heels in underneath his squat, and peers inquisitively at Deckard. He keeps his mouth shut and his eyes open, his knife flattened neatly against the cuff of his jacket, inner-wrist, consummately unobtrusive as far as the conversation goes. He wouldn't have been nearly so good a soldier if he didn't observe hierarchical protocol. He is interested in Flint's answer.

If there's one thing you learn trying to get through job interviews as a convicted felon, it's to think before you answer important questions. This one may qualify. Deckard opens his mouth, then closes it, jaw set at an automatic aside that immediately makes him wince. His left hand lifts to feel over the damage there again. His eyes flicker from the ceiling to Wu. He's kind of hard to ignore. "You guys are good at this. If I had to guess, I'd say that you've probably had a lot of time to organize yourselves. You've probably had a lot of training. You're efficient. You know what you're doing. I am none of those things." Off to a convincing start so far. His hand pushes up over his face, and there's another short pause. His head hurts. It's hard to think. Bad timing. "What I am," he says finally, "what I am is a lot less scary than you…people. I have the ability to make connections, and find ins, and get information without sending people running for the hills and pissing in their pants. There's just a learning curve. New York City is its own game."

(There is a definite pause before Deckard answers, filled un-aesthetically with the sound of his raspy breathing. When he does speak, he speaks carefully. "You guys are good at this. If I had to guess, I'd say that you've probably had a lot of time to organize yourselves. You've probably had a lot of training. You're efficient. You know what you're doing. I am none of those things." Off to a convincing start so far. There is another short pause. His head hurts. It's hard to think. Bad timing. "What I am," he says finally, "what I am is a lot less scary than you…people. I have the ability to make connections, and find ins, and get information without sending people running for the hills and pissing in their pants. There's just a learning curve. New York City is its own game.")

(“Oh fuck off!" The man responds in a snap. "You think I'm some meat'eaded chump that is gonna fall into that fuckin' ploy? Fuck you for insultin' my intelligence sweet'eart. I'm givin' you a proposition, fuck 'ead. Be our friend, or be dead. You 'elp us out, and I swear to you on my dead relatives graves, we will protect and take care of you. But if you don't get on the FUCKIN' game, Deckard, I will 'ave you fucked over in so many dif'rent ways, it'll bring a whole new meaning to: Fuck you." The phone is slapped shut.)

Flint wrinkles his nose and furrows his brow. That is a lot of fucks. He holds the phone out away from himself, for Wu-Long to resume control of at will. "I think he hung up," is his simple observation. "And that he wants to fuck me." Thump. His head hits the carpet again. "There's beer in the fridge if you want to hang around and throw rocks at people out of my wall hole."

Wu-Long wills it. Accepts the phone back into his possession with a crisp flick of a hand, tucks it back into his jacket. Always one to be cooperative, he confirms: "He hung up. You have until next time." Easing over, Wu-Long drops a consoling pat on the nearest part of Deckard's person. That would be the elbow, half-retracted, bent up and at an awkward angle like a squashed cockroach. "A week. That should be long enough to get somewhere, I think." He straightens with a slight bounce of his weight across the balls of his feet, his boots rolling soundless across the dusty canvas of Deckard's carpet, backward, angling a curious look at the refrigerator. "Unfortunately, I have to feed a hostage." What sounds like genuine regret tinges his voice; he pats down the front of his shirt. "What kind of beer do you have?"

"Miller Lite." Classy. Flint returns the pat, not quite appreciative or condescending. Just kind of there, as a manly gesture of understanding. 'You might have to kill me later because I'm a stupid douchebag. It's cool.' "I'm watching my girlish figure." In no hurry to get up off the floor, he works his tongue over the wobble of one of his freshly loosened teeth and lolls his head over at the fridge.

Wu-Long studies the man a moment. Gives him his shoulder, walking over to the ice box in question. Gripping the handle, he hauls it open, reaches in to snag a few bottles by their necks, his long fingers winding easily around them to keep grip. He shuts the fridge with his knee, a concussive whuff of chilled air shifting his curls across the sharp collar of his shirt. Always one for kindness, he lays one bottle down horizontally on the carpeted floor and toes it with his boot. Clink.

It rolls across, parks somewhere in the region of Deckard's thigh, fogged glass only faintly encrusted with the extra particle layer of insulation Deckard keeps here. "Much obliged. I'll seek you in a week," he says, saluting. Even before his straightened hand falls from his brow, he's changed shape, color, shadow flowing through air. Chelsea crashes back in through the windows, a cacophony of stainless steel ringing and rusted joints squeaking, scat, spit, and a high wind that can't ever quite get rid of the stink.

In the ice box, next to the beer and below the milk, a .40 glock sits, as innocent as a glock in a refrigerator can be. Back on the floor, Flint doesn't reach for the beer until Wu-Long has gone all spectral on his ass and ninja'd his way out. At least, he thinks he's out.

The fresh flood of New York noise is a pretty effective reminder of the pain aching dull and hot through the side of his skull. Enough so that he doesn't really concern himself with the quandary of Wu's stealth. Hostages to feed, he'd said. Probably important. The bottle, dust coated, is turned up against the curve of his jaw.

Yeeeaah. He's just going to lie here for a little while. And think.

Poses that were conveyed over the phone appear in parentheses.

November 13th: A New Set of Sins
November 13th: A Very Brief Rendezvous
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