Filatov's and a Favour


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Scene Title Filatov's and a Favour
Synopsis Muldoon gives one of his employees an extra-credit assignment.
Date February 5, 2009

The Rookery

After the bomb, Staten Island grew to become a haven for undesirables. If the Island is their home, then the Rookery is their playplace. Equal parts gritty and decadent, it boasts dark alleys, bright lights, and every pleasure that one could imagine. Provided you know where to ask, of course.

Some areas have fared better than the rest of the island; some have fared far worse. For each well-tended brothel or gaming house, there's at least one creaky, crumbling structure left over from the days of pre-bomb suburban glory.

The population is considered universally distasteful, even by much of the rest of Staten Island. Criminals, refugees, victims of radiation poisoning… Those who have nowhere else to go often end up here. The most common method of getting out is to have your body dropped in the river, followed closely by being left wherever it is you got killed.

Good luck.

Early morning at the Rookery sees very few people on the streets. Apart from a few stragglers who are still drunkenly making their way home from staying out late the night before, the snow-covered sidewalks are virtually empty. For James Muldoon, a well-known face around this part of Staten Island, it's the perfect time of day to get his most important errands out of the way — and even though his chances of running into trouble are low, he isn't the type of businessman who takes unnecessary risks. He's brought his personal bodyguard — a Mr. Charlie Ford Riggs — along on his walk, and is immersed in quiet conversation with the other man as the pair makes its way down the main drag toward the Filatov Clinic where he has an appointment with its proprietor.

"I'd like you to do me a favour, Riggs," he says, "if you could."

It's too early for Riggs to have been drinking, either; even then, it takes him a few hours from noon to get a buzz going. When he's not on the job. If he's an alcoholic, he's borderline, and so he's alert when Muldoon addresses him. "Uh huh?" Not the most eloquent man. He eyes a young man who might be doing a walk of shame scramble by.

"I'm looking for a man named Ethan Holden," Muldoon continues, though he's quick to add, "he hasn't been causing us any trouble, but the potential is there, and I suspect I'd sleep easier if I knew where he was and what he's up to. He's a… relation of one of our people, and you know how nosy relatives with their family's best interest at heart can be. We don't have much to go on other than a name — to my knowledge, he's never set foot on our side of New York, and quite frankly I'd like to keep it that way. Can you handle this?"

Charlie scratches the back of his bristly head. "…Yeaup," he confirms after a moment's thought. "Could use a bit more to go on, though. Nothing else? Who is he, who's he related to? What's he like? Hard to track someone down with only a name." Charlie stuffs his hands in his pockets, glancing sidelong at his employer. "I'll do my best." That's tacked on the end there. He sounds dubious.

A smile twitches at the corners of Muldoon's mouth, though it never gets the opportunity to fully form on his lips. "Tavisha," he says. "I don't think you've met him yet. We pulled him out of the water a week ago when the Narrows collapsed — he doesn't remember much of anything, but I've been doing a little research into his past. It would be… unfortunate if Holden were to turn up here in search of him. Killing people is an unpleasant business, Riggs, and I try to avoid it if at all possible." He returns Charlie's glance, blue eyes dark. "Holden used to reside at the Dorchester Towers apartment complex on the Upper West Side. I don't have a picture on hand, I'm afraid, but he's tall — roughly six foot. British. He may have changed his appearance since the last time he was seen."

"Heard about him," Charlie admits, brow furrowing. That's a lot of brow to furrow, too. "Any way we can make sure he doesn't get his memory back? That could be bad." He rolls his broad shoulders. "British. Might've changed his appearance. Abilities?"

"I've promised Tavisha that I will do everything in my power to restore his memories, but fortunately for us I know of no such individual whose ability would allow them to do so. If I should happen to come across someone willing to lend him a hand, then…" Muldoon trails off. No need to finish that particular sentence. Judging by his tone, he has no real intention of keeping his end of the bargain. "No abilities. At least not that I'm aware of. Still, dangerous. Approach with caution if you find yourself in a position where you have to approach him at all. It would be better for everyone involved if he didn't know we were keeping an eye on him."

Charlie smiles thinly. "I dunno. People like big, dumb drinking buddies. That's the usual angle for me, anyway." It really is. If there's anything Charlie's good at, it's big and dumb. To the point where there are quite a few people convinced that's all he is. "I won't try to take him out or in."

Muldoon gives Charlie a short nod. "I trust your judgment in the matter. If that's the angle you want to take, then so be it. I don't need to tell you to be careful." Not twice, anyway.

"Play it by ear," Charlie confirms. He tips his chin toward Filatov's as they near it. "Anything I need to know about this trip, boss?"

"It's nothing you need to worry about," Muldoon assures his bodyguard, footfalls crunching in the snow beneath his feet. They arrive at the steps of the clinic and he pauses there, sliding a look inside to where the doctor can be seen standing by one of the open windows, his tall, lean frame silhouetted by the faint glow of lamplight as he sorts bottles by their labels, getting an early start on the day's work. "I only want to speak with him about our current arrangement. I'll see myself home."

Charlie comes to a halt beside the door; he only remembers or thinks to hold doors open for Muldoon about half the time. "You want I should wait out here or get lost?"

As Muldoon climbs the stairs, he glances back at Charlie, one shoulder lifting up into a light shrug. "Why not get a head start on Holden?" he suggests. "Take the rest of the day off."

Charlie rubs the top of his head, nodding after a moment's thought. "Alright. See you later, boss. Don't let the doctor shove a hand up your ass." Thank you, Charlie.

Thank you, Charlie, indeed. With a small chuckle, Muldoon pushes open the door and slips wordlessly inside to where Filatov is waiting, his announcement heralded by the bell dangling above his head. His gait is easy, stride relaxed — he has faith in his bodyguard's ability to get the job done. If he didn't, he wouldn't have hired him in the first place.

February 4th: Tidy

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
Would You Kindly Get In the Van?

February 5th: Dogs, Pilots, and Women
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