Down The River


deckard_icon.gif feng_icon.gif

Scene Title Down the River
Synopsis When Feng Daiyu comes calling for Flint Deckard, down the river is exactly where he sells everyone and anyone he can think of.
Date May 25, 2009

Staten Island, Boardwalk

Brown and blue grey dominate the broken, garbage-strewn shorline that stretches long and narrow between The Lighthouse and the nearest bar. Warm light is still visible in the distance over Deckard's shoulder, though the sound of slurring voices and tinny classic rock has long since been stifled by the rush of a cool breeze and the churn of murky water against dark sand. The sun is gone; the last of its cool touch enough to distinguish some dull color against night vision's monochrome encroach. Human night vision. Weak, limited in it fuzzy scope. Prone to seeing things that aren't there.

Flint walks alone, long face painted blue and black in the waning light. His hands are stuffed deep into the pockets of his scuffed leather coat, head down and eyes dark beneath the hood of his brow while he scuffs quietly along the boardwalk's concrete brace.

He could have borrowed a flashlight. In fact, he probably should have.

But he didn't.

And he doesn't particularly seem to care that the dark is pressing in on all sides, molding decaying shops and abandoned motels into indistinct black shapes across the street to his right. The foamy crests of waves rolling in with the tide are barely visible at all. He keeps walking.

There are so many vistas on Staten Island that look haunting whether or in day or night. Be it the crumbling ruins of abandoned schools and residential buildings, to the broken spine of the Verazanno-Narrows bridge that dominates the eastern horizon with crooked angles of twisted steel and broken concrete. In the hours of dusk, places like this seem to have a life of their own; shadows deep and starkly contrasting to the lingering vestiges of sunlight that glow pale on the western horizon. It's vistas like this that remind anyone on this godforsaken island that it is truly a no-man's land.

That fact is likely what drives so many people who have sought to fade away from society to this place. People like Flint Deckard, people like Richard Cardinal, and people who have a vested interest in the both of them. People like the ink-black shadow resting up against the silhouette of an extinguished street lamp up ahead on the boardwalk. Any other day, and the dark outline of this stranger would be a luminous glow of bones to Flint's vision. However unfortunate circumstances have, understandably, denied Deckard of the supernatural gaze that would have alerted him to the stranger's presence. They say when you lose one sense, all of your other ones begin to improve in order to make up for the deficit.

Someone should've given Flint's senses the head's up.

"Excuse me," comes the thickly accented voice from beside the street lamp as Deckard approaches. Not waiting for him to pass, very openly leaning away from the post to step into the fading blue light. Dark hair, eyes, clothing, were it not for his drab skin tone, he could be mistaken for any other shadow on the boardwalk.

"Flint Deckard?" Why does everyone know his name? And more importantly, why does everyone who knows that name reach into their suit jacket after saying it.

Even if Deckard's other senses were operating on a hair trigger, the wiry crook is at the same disadvantage he always is at this hour on this stretch of wasted concrete. Whiskey's dusky stink clings to his coat and hangs heavy on his breath — not as thick as it could be, but there enough. Enough that his right foot has a tendency to weave just a little too far across his left, making the trekking scuff of his boots somewhat irregular and slowing his forward progress. He stops often, to scratch at the grizzled growth at his neck or to check his cell phone or to nudge at something shiny with his toe, looking for all the world like an easily distracted stray dog with nowhere better to be.

Then: Excuse me.

Having actually been distracted with something that looked distressingly like a massive humped shape passing sleek beneath brackish waves just beyond the beach, Deckard turns his head sharply enough to the sound of Feng's voice that the rest of the world is slower to follow along into focus. There's no automatic bioluminecent flicker, no animal heat in the line of his glare. It's hard to see his eyes at all, light as they are in their fractured search across the voice's shadow.

His head turns a degree or two further in hitched acknowledgment of the sound of his own name, but the shadow is reaching for something under his coat, and very suddenly, so is he.

One man is reaching for a gun, the other is producing a leather badge folio. Depending on what side of the fence people stand on, one almost always overpowers the other. There's not a noticably moment of tension in the short man's frame as he lets the leather folio open up to reveal an unfamiliar plastic badge. By now, Flint Deckard is familiar with a wide variety of law enforcement personnel and their shiny laminated liscenses to make his life as miserable as humanly possible. This one, however, is a refreshing change of pace.

Feng Daiyu it reads at the top, above the depiction of a colorful blue and green depiction of the planet earth, imposed over a sword and scales. A rather garish emblem, really. But the logo above and below that picture sort've brings everything into focus.



That about makes a baker's dozen of law enforcement branches to come knocking, doesn't it? "I didn't want to approach you at your residence, mister Deckard." The thick Chinese accent comes with an all-too-starched demeanor that seems more rigid than the short man's relaxed posture would indicate. "I have a few questions I'd like to ask you, if you don't mind?" Of course that is the polite way of demanding information, and it seems that standard of interrogation is the same no matter what branch of public inconvenience is doing the talking.

The gun is a hefty semi-automatic, less compact than his usual in size, weight and caliber. Deckard might be compensating. …A little. He whips it out with all due speed regardless, graceless aim arcing out to narrow onto…a badge. Oh. Tension carved stark into the ridges and hollows of his face eases just enough to allow for the beginnings of a muzzy-headed scowl. His distaste is depressingly ordinary for the situation, tired and put off and maybe even just a little annoyed. Like Feng pulled him over to write him a speeding ticket on his way home from a long, long day at the office. He had a pretty good buzz going on, too.

Letters bleed together, black ink less stable than it should be against crisp white. INTERPOL. The gust of air that gruffs wheezily out of his sinuses sounds a lot like a sigh. Meanwhile, the gun stays up, impolite in its blank presence between them. At least his finger isn't on the trigger.

"Questions about what?" The end of the world? The murders he didn't commit? The ones he did? There's a lot of potential ground that could be covered, here.

Slim fingers slide a folded photograph from behind the badge of the worn leather folio, and Feng takes a few slow steps towards Deckard, eyes drifting towards the barrel of the gun, and then back again as if he were just holding out a raised thumb and pointed finger in a threatening manner. Feng comes close enough that the gun's barrel is inches away from one ear. He doesn't carry himself like a federal agent, the posture lacks the sense of self-important authority. No, Feng carries himself with a familiar slink that is far more at home on this island's slimy underside.

"This man," he states in a firm tone of voice, unfolding the photograph to punch between forefingers and thumb. There's no mistaking the man depicted there, no mistaking him in the least. The two other people in frame are entirely unfamiliar though, but it's clear from the way the picture's been bent and folded, they're not the focus.

"I was told you had contact with him, and I need to know his current whereabouts." There's a quirk of the Feng's head to one side, eyes moving from Deckard's down to his mouth, then neck, then back up again, looking for something in his expression. "Take a good, long look," he adds, offering out the old picture.

Feng steps forward. Half a beat later, Deckard steps back. Confidence is confidence. It translates regardless of its packaging, and whatever unconscious and dishearteningly unspecific alarm bells said packaging is drilling out through the back of his thick skull. Tension spiders back into crows feet and bares his teeth out in an uneasy sliver of shiny white while one boot heel flirts with the empty space across the back edge of the sea wall. Concrete dust skitters lightly down into the sand some ten feet below.

Whatever Feng's looking for in the long lines around his face is probably there. It's dark: he has to squint, but recognition is a reflexive thing, and the booze running warm through his bloodstream does a number on any wish he might have to hide it. Thoughtful silence doesn't manage to come across quite as thoughtful as he might like while he continues to consider familiar features stamped in between deliberate creases. He looks like he's holding his breath, not sure which way he wants to jump when both options really, really resemble bottomless pits.

"He's dead."

For a moment there's an obvious look of surprise; bros creasing together with it to take on something confusingly like disappointment. A moment later, the picture is withdraw, clenched in one hand with a crinkling sound. "How long ago?" Feng's countenance betrays nothing in his eyes anymore, that moment of weakness faded into so much scrutiny now leveled squarely on Deckard. How long is a precisely difficult question to answer, especially given the lack of knowledge on just how much this man is armed with.

"How long ago, where, and how?" The specifics continue to get thicker as a hint of irritation strains its way into Feng's tone of voice, that tightness on the end of his sentences making his accent seems slightly more stilted than it did a moment ago, his proper enunciation shifting to more comfortable levels.

"I…Christ, I dunno. He wanted me to dig up dirt on some feeb trying to work the island undercover. Didn't hear from him for a few weeks after I got back to him." Deckard swallows after the vanished photograph, adam's apple sliding up thick against the base of his throat. His mouth is dry — this guy is getting pissed. The grip he has on his gun adjusts, trigger finger lifted delicately off the guard, then once more before it settles restlessly back into place, still a half inch out of an easy pull. To make matters worse, he's starting to sweat, short-shorn hair curling dark at his temples while his brow settles into a harder level.

"Last I saw him, he was under the old bridge with everyone else the assholes on the river are too lazy to bury. Sold his watch to Tuck," there's a hint of punctual emphasis on the name, oh-so-neatly placed in the line of fire, "he may still have it."

"Gilbert Tucker?" Christ this guy has his nose up everyone's ass. "I'll follow through with that," there's an askance look given to the gun, before Feng's dark eyes peer up Deckard's wiry frame again. "Which federal agent was investigating him, what was the date you wre doing a favor for him?" Feng's head rolls to one side, a hand moving up to pick a mosquito off of his ear, rolling the tiny insect between his forefingers and thumb in a red-brown smear.

"Moreover," his brows give a twitch down, "who else do you know that openly associated with him?" The way Feng asks that has a slight tinge of knowing to it, a contrasting and comparing of information seems to be going on here, mentally cross-referencing Deckard's story with other lies spun around on the island. There's got to be a fiber of truth tying them all together, after all.

"Ivanov," is the inevitable answer. Of course, Ivanov. Flint can't quite keep his tongue from forking around the name despite the ease with which it rolls out into the whiskey-rich air just past his teeth. There's a twitch at the bridge of his nose as well, a ghost of a rankle that's mirrored in the hatred shining manic through very human blue of his eyes in the dark.

"Tavisha. Broody guy with eyebrows who used to work for Logan." There's a twitching narrow of his eyes there, as if irony has been detected but he isn't… quite sure. His gun persists in its wavering point, navigating somewhat insecurely from clavicle to breastbone. It's harder when you can't see all the organs pumping like fat, fluid-filled slugs…

"He was harassing some French kid named Sacha the night he asked me about Ivanov."

There's a derisive snort that comes from Feng, brows lowering slowly and then rising in response of Deckard's words. He finally flips the badge closed, one hand shoving the crumpled remains of the photograph into his pocket. A long and silent stare is given to Flint, one that carries with it that same amount of scrutiny as before. Even if the meeting itself wasn't entirely successful, so many names dropped like overripe fruit after shaking just one tree is a success all in itself.

"Thank you, Mister Deckard, for you time." The folio is tucked back away in the jacket, dark eyes swiveling to the gun one more time before meeting the taller man's stare again. "If you happen to…" there's a rise of both of Feng's brows, indicating a marked level of uncertainty, "find out anything to the contrary," the undertone of that line being: if you feel like coming clean any time soon, "don't hesitate to give me a call." A card is flicked out of the same hand that one held the folio, either it was concealed in his palm or Feng moonlights as a magician doing little kid's birthday parties.

The card-stock has the same Interpol logo printed on it, with a New York number and extension on the back. The card is offered up, much in the same gesture the photo was earlier. "There's a reward for his capture."

Deckard used to be pretty good at staring contests, mostly on account of not actually having to look into the other person's eyes. As things are, he manages to hold his ground for about four or five whole seconds before eye contact on his end wavers weakly aside under the poor guise of casual interest in something other than the creepy dude with the wallet and the photograph and the tendency to come out of the shadows, initially unseen.

A quiet, "Sure," seems to cover all questions and suggestions in one. It's difficult for him to break his left hand away from its support of the right long enough to reach carefully for the offered card. The hint of a tremble in his fingers could be borne of ongoing unease. Alternatively, he could be a fucking drunk who can't even hold his goddamn hands steady anymore.

"Wouldn't be the first asshole around here to come back from the dead."

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