Duty And Conscience


kain_icon.gif lola_icon.gif

Scene Title Duty and Conscience
Synopsis Kain Zarek finds a missing chick that's been on the run, and wants to bring her back to the foxes.
Date October 7, 2009

Red Hook

Red Hook is a shit-hole of a neighborhood, always has been and always will be. The charm of the red brick buildings and crumbling old warehouses may have at one time been endearing, but now every single street corner looks the same. Abandoned factories, poor tenement housing and barred windows on pawn shops and convenience stores make the run down ass-end of Brooklyn seem like a welcome change of pace from only one place in all of New York City — Staten Island.

One of Red Hook's most sterling establishments is still something like an infected sore on the face of the city, the Speakeasy Hotel and Casino attracts all manner of unfortunate clientelle, and perhaps it's because of this that Kain Zarek chose this particular spot to meet up with a wayward accomplice. Seated on the hood of a black Lincoln town car, Kain cradles gloved hands around a paper cup of coffee, sunglasses shielding tired eyes against not enough sunlight that filters down thorugh overcast skies. In the car's drivers seat, the big cue-ball head of Manny Calevera is just barely visible thorugh the tinted glass. Whoever it is they're waiting for, it looks like they've been waiting a while.

From the shadows, a form approaches the car. A dark hoodie, a hunched figure, the smell of morphine and blood - it looks like a junkie and nothing more. She approaches the car, hands in her pockets. She smirks a little, lifting her head - and there she is. Pale, eyes rather red, hair at least clean now. Her arm is hugged close to her body, as though it's injured, and she's walking rather gently on her one side. A careful look at her throat will display healing bruises of a hand print - someone tried to strangle her. But that smirk, weak though it is, is all Lola. "Aw, ya brought me coffee, sugar? An here I thought ya didn' care."

"The fuck happened?" Is the immediate and corase spit of words out of Kain's mouth as he slides off the car and comes to stand up close to the hooded woman. Keeping his voice down, Kain uses the coffee as a propr, brandishing it around with one finger pointed as he gestures to the car. "You just up an' fuckin' disappear in the middle of an assignment? Ain't nobody knows what the hell's goin' on with you. Wher've you been?" Free hand up, he takes a firm hold of Lola's bicep, leading her off the sidewalk and closer to the car, blue eyes up and quickly flicking around the street, looking to see if she'd been followed.

Inside the car, Manny quietly slides out a cell phone, casting a glance over the tops of his sunglasses towards the hooded woman, then back down as a number is dialed and the phone is brought up to his ear. The shut windows and idiling engine of the car drown out the sound of the conversation he's having with whoever's on the other end.

"Ah! Get off!" Lola yelps, and he can no doubt feel the bulge around her arm from where she's injured and bandaged. "Get yer fuckin' mitts off a me! That hurts! I got shot, ya dumb shit." She says, but she's dragged along. "No no no, Kain, stop ya gotta listen ta me! I had ta run! Somebody sold me out, ain' ya listenin? Stop, somebody's tryin' ta kill me an fer all I know yer buddy's talkin' on the phone ta him right now!" Lola's a lot weaker than Kain has ever seen her, but she's still fighting, trying to pull away from him. "Look, just lemme go!"

That hand lets go, only to move and grab her by the collar of her hooded sweatshirt. "Stop shoutin'," he growls out, looking towards the front doors of the casino before turning his attention back to Lola. "Fer shit's sake you ain't got a lick a' common sense in that head a'yours do ya? What the hell d'you think Ah' do fer Danny? Ain't you rememberin' what happened down in N'Orleans?" There's a long, stern stare given to the brunette, followed by a hiss of breath.

"Get in th' goddamn car an' tell me what the hell happened." Setting down his coffee on the roof, Kain then reaches out and opens the back door to the car, jerking his head towards the open door as he spits out, "Get in." Accompanied by a gentle nudge of Lola's collar to guide her towards the seat.

Lola's crying. She's actually crying. That has to be weird for everyone involved. "No! I been shot an strangled an…you don' even know what else! I'll get in the car an I'll tell you everything but you gotta let me go an ya gotta let me go alive! I called ya'll cause I wanted ta explain what happened! If I was runnin ya'd a never found me, so there ain' no damn reason ta kill me!" She knows Manny is there and, quite frankly, is hoping for a bit more sympathy from him than from Kain. But maybe she was wrong, about every single one of them. Maybe she will get in that car, and never come out again.

"Shut up," Kain grates out thorugh his teeth, forcing Lola down and into the car, then slams the door shut once she's inside. Manny, for all his worth, just turns and looks over his shoulder once she's inside, tipping down his glasses and offering a nod of his head and a wiggle of his fingers before Kain opens the opposite side door to the back and settles down inside. With that, Manny's all business again, peering into the rear view mirror before pushing his singlasses up the bridge of his nose.

"Half'a the people Ah work for are thinkin' you flopped on us an' are runnin' with that Monroe whackjob now." Squinting as he considers Lola, it's obvious Kain forgot his coffee on the roof of the car. Even more obvious when the car starts to move again, and the coffee clunk-tumbles down the back window, leaving a mocha colored stain on the glass. Those blue eyes wrench shut, and Kain strains a sigh at the realization.

When they open again, his focus is intently on the emotion-wracked brunette, head shaking from side to side. "Ah' ain't shootin' nobody, now quit'cher blubberin' damnit…" Said with all the gruff compassion of someone who tries to pretend he doesn't care about people. "What the hell happened?"

Lola yells as she's thrown into the car, looking quite scared. It begins to move and she jerks with it, using a hand to quickly wipe her face. At least she's clean, but her clothes aren't and the sweatshirt is too big - clearly not hers. "Somebody told Monroe all about me. Not all about me, but enough. I know it wasn't Mortimer Jack - he seemed surprised to find out the guy had the hots for me. Whoever it was told him that I wouldn't sleep with him for the job, and I think he believed me toward the end, but he'd already promised that if he found out any other way, he'd strangle me himself…."

She looks up at Kain, looking younger and more scared than he probably imagined her. This job made quick work of her alright. "I didn' want ta come back to ya'll cause it was somebody on Linderman's side what sold me out. An I was so scared a Monroe, since he kilt Linderman's daughter an then he told me bout killin' his own wife. His wife. Killin' a wife you love is a huge thing compared ta killin' someone ya don' much care for. So I ran." No Mister Daniel, no teasing. She's just spitting information at him as fast as her lips can form the words.

"Jesus Christ…" Kain lets out a slow, frustrated sigh as he leans one arm against the window and rests his head in his hands. Manny, clearly, isn't driving anywhere in particular. The car is rounding blocks and just driving for the sake of not staying in one place for too long. "You got'cherself any idea who ratted you out? Ah' ain't got a clue if'n anyone else workin' for Danny 'cept you, Mortimer an' that other crazy broad were in with Adam." Narrowing his eyes, Kain looks out one of the windows, focus distant and stress showing at the corners of his eyes.

"How'd you get outta' Monroe's pocket?" Those blue eyes track back to Lola, one dark brow rising up slowly. "If he knew what was up with you, an' somebody wanted you gone… how'd you get the hell outta' there before he up an' killed you?" Suspicion, now, clearly hangs on Kain's words as he lets his tongue roll over the inside of his cheek. "Better yet, where'n the hell've you been hidin'?"

"I got out…um…well I ran is more or less what it was. He cornered me in the apartment - I think he meant to kill me, but he asked me to stay with him. He wanted me to be with him….I guess. I don' know. I can' imagine how this shit plan lasted that long anyway. I ain' no good at pretendin' an he an me didn' barely get along. I mean he was nice ta me…bought me a real pretty dress an everything but…I was just so scared I ran out. I been on Staten. S'where all this happened to me." She gestures to the bullet wounds, to the strangle marks. "An…there's more…"

Lola shifts uncomfortably, looking up at Kain then down agian. "While I was with Adam, he gave me somethin'. Somethin' blue, he said it was just fun. It was…that refrain stuff, ya know? Soon as I got away from him, I ain' touched it since, I don' want ta be under his control like that no more, I did it cause I thought it'd make him trust me an…." She grins, finally, though it's a painful sort. "well I ain' feelin' much good right now, specially since the morphine done worn off."

Rubbing his hand over his mouth, Kain sighs thorugh his fingers and meets Manny's eyes in the rear view mirror. When his focus turns back to Lola, there's a mixed expression of uncertainty and blank drain in his eyes. "Ah'ight, this Adam jackass seems like one creepy bastard. Yu got any shit on you, drugs, guns, knives?" Blue eyes flick up and down her loose clothing, unable to discern those facts for himself. "Damnit you even seen a doctor yet?"

Then, realizing there's a hole in the explanation, Kain's brow kicks up. "If you ran, who th' hell shot your dumb ass?"

She reaches behind her, withdrawing a small handgun from the back waistband of her pants. It's been fired once, but she seems to be taking decent care of it. "Like I done told ya, this happened on Staten. Wrong place, wrong time. Folks were shootin, an I was pukin' up my guts from the withdrawal. After I got shot, I sorta hobbled my ass to this abandoned hotel. Some do-gooders there sorta turned it into a hospital - beds, morphine, sheets. I been stayin' there a few days. But the fellah that strangled me, he came back an found me - he's a…a mass murderer, ya know, the one that kilt all them hobos few weeks back? Yeah, he found me. So some friends a mine decided ta move me back to the mainland just this mornin', an I knew I could get ahold of ya'll then. Believe it or not most a this actual physical shit was just bad luck. I thought things after Katrina were bad, but yer Staten is one fucked up joint, sugar."

"S'why ol Uncle Sam wants to march the marines in to clean it up," Kain notes with a sarcastic smile that soon turns into a frown. Taking the gun, he hands it off to Manny in the front seat and shakes his head. "Alright, you probably got'cherself an infection from whatever back alley chop shop you got your bullet taken out in. Ain't no mater how nice thepeople were, a hospital's a hospital." Staring out the window again, Kain nods his head towards Manny, giving an unspoken order. Following that, Manny takes an immediate right and then a left, and joins the onramp for the Brooklyn Bridge.

"Shit's fuckin' hit the fan up in the city. Goddamned earthquake took out a buildin' and people on the TV are sayin' some Ee-volved terrorist did it. Danny's got his panties on so tight he's singin' soprano, an' half'a the government workers who were in that buildin' are workin' outta' the Linderman Buildin' now." Wetting his lips, Kain considers how much he wanted that goddamned coffee. "Ah'm takin' you back t'Danny. We're gonna get this all sorted out, an' Ah'll make sure you get to a doctor."

"No, Manny! Manny don't!" She yells over the front seat, looking back to Kain. "Whoever it was that sold me out, I'm sure as shit they don't want me talkin' ta Mistah Daniel about it. You takin' me back anywhere they can find me is gonna make it that much easier for 'em. Hell it ain' like I got far ta fall afore I hit dead anyway. Look the place I'm at now - I'm protected there, an safe from Monroe, from whoever's fuckin' Misah Daniel's pooch an from the crazy sonofabitch what's killin' hobos. I'll meet with Daniel but please…just let me stay hidden until ya found whoever done this. Ya know it's smarter this way, Kain. Please."

Manny doesn't stop driving, but he does slow down and meet Kain's eyes in the rear view mirror. Kain's expression is a stern, sharp one, and he just nods to Manny, and the click-click-click of a directional comes on, taking an immediate off-ramp back into Red Hook before hitting the bridge. As the car winds down the ramp, Manny pulls into a mostly vacant parking lot behind a brick tenement building. The tires crunch over the packed dirt as the car rolls to a stop. Kain reaches into his jacket, a side pocket, and withdraws a cell phone.

"Take this," he offers it out to Lola, "you so much as think somethin' bad is goin' down you call mah number from it." If it's not his phone, then he must be quite fond of carrying spares. He doesn't let that thought sink in much, though, as he lays the phoen down into one of Lola's hands and winds her fingers around it. "Ah'll talk t'Danny, see what the hell's goin' on and see if we can figure out what went on. Ah gotta' take a trip out t'Vegas in a few days with fuckin' Logan," his eyes roll, "but Ah'll be back after that. Mah phone'll be with Manny while Ah'm out, so if you need somethin', you jus' call an' ol King Kong here'll set you up."

Lola looks down at the phones as he pushes her fingers around it, nodding obediantly as she holds it tight. "Thank you," she murmers softly, heaving a sigh. "When'll you be back?" She asks, her tone changing just a bit, actually sounding a bit worried by the prospect of him being out of reach, although Manny and Dixon are, to be sure, a great comfort. When she looks up, she seems to have regained a bit of color now that she's not scared for her life. Her good hand, her free hand comes up, pushing her hair back behind her ears as she looks from Manny and back to Kain again. "Listen, also…I dunno if ya'll care or not, but that buildin, the one that done came down, I know who done it if ya'll needed ta know."

"Ah'll be back after the weekend," he hopes. "An as fer who brought down that buildin', Ah' ain't given a lick a' shit about that, because from where Ah' stand, th' less Ah' know 'bout guys who can blow up buildings jus' by thinkin' real hard 'bout it, th' better." Kain cracks a cocky smile, nodding to Manny a moment before a chunk is heard and the car doors unlock.

"You get yourself outta' here the same way you came in, an ol' Kain'll fix things up with Danny nice an' solid-like. Jus' keep her head down an' yer eyes open, and we'll see what rolls down hill. Y'got me?" Raising a black brow, Kain's head tilts to the side slowly, a smile spread unevenly across his unshaven face.

Lola smirks, looking down at the cell phone she's been given - by trading away her firearm, which she's pissed about, but she's sure he'd give it back if he were going to let her have it. "Ya ain' wrong in that, sugar, even Monroe's scared a him. He's sixteen kinds a fucked up." But she tucks the cell phone away, looking up at Kain again after a moment, swallowing. Nerves. She doesn't want to die, which if everyone thinks back, was sort of her desire at the start of this! Being alive!

"Yeah, sug', I gotcha." Ninja-smooch! It happens quickly, it's not meant so much for seduction as it is a soft peck - maybe soft enough just not to be a peck, but Kain gets little more than that. "Thank you. Specially for not shootin' me." She looks over, and sits up, leaning over the front to give Manny a little kiss on the cheek. "An thank you too, darlin, an you look way better'n he does in that suit," That done, she seems about ready to go, even opens the door to get out of the car, but something makes her stay. Something makes her look back. "I can't…have my gun back, can I?"

Stunned from that unexpected kiss that he seriously thought was going to be a headbutt — that's how fucked up his love-life has been — Kain offers Lola a confused look to the question, as if he entirely forgot her gun. There's a look over to Manny, then realizing exactly what she's asking for he turns to look back and shakes his head. "If you ain't got a gun you'll play it safer. Don't go gettin' yerself inta' any more trouble jus' 'cause you're a crack shot. Y'hear me?" There's a knowing squint of Kain's eyes as he watches Lola, then jerks his head in a nod.

"Go on, git yer ass outta' here before somebody mistakes you for a hooker or somethin'." Mistakes. SOmehow Kain doesn't emphasize that word enough, and the smirk he's wearing shows it clearly.

Finally, that mischevious grin of Lola's perks up to it's old, former self. More or less, as much as it could be given the circumstances. Almost nonchallantly, she shrugs a single (good) shoulder. "I got a rifle anyway," she says, just to rile him up, before slipping out of the car and pushing the door closed behind her, yanking up her hood nad hurrying back into the shadows from whence she came. She'll have to go a few blocks to get back where Cardinal has stashed her, but she wanted it that way - she didn't know what was going to happen with this meeting. At least, Linderman's people know they have a spy. At least they might find it and squeeze the life out of it. She carries that among the other more hopeful thoughts she managed to get during that meeting.

There's a quiet click of the door as it's pulled shut. Kain's brows furrow, and he breathes out a slow and tired sigh. "Did you call Mista' Caliban?" The question comes with a silent nod from Manny, and Kain folds his arms across his chest, staring down at his lap as his head shakes slowly from side to side. "Take us back, guess it's time Ah' check in an' let'em know Ah' found 'er…"

As the black Lincoln pulls away from the parking lot, tired crucnhing the dirt underfoot, Kain Zarek's pale eyes watch out at the crumbling city through the tinted panes of glass, towards the high rising spans of the Brooklyn Bridge in view, and the tired strains of gray that cloud the sky.

Sometimes, he hates his job.

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