huruma_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Floodgates
Synopsis On a mission from Ghost, Huruma proceeds to make it a bad day for Logan. The first of more to come.
Date July 10, 2009


9: 34 am

There is something of the Rookery in Chinatown, if someone drained the poison from the former, wrapped it in the ambient sound of distant traffic, injected it with life. The markets are familiar, even if these ones boast jewelry and food rather than pilfered weaponry. It's a slower introduction into this side of the river, although if anyone asked Logan if he were unsettled by this adaptation, the culture shock of pirate town with its spotty electricity, occasional running water and lurking dark alleyways through to— a place only partway more decent, he'd deny, deny, deny.

He wants to belong here, after all.

It's something like mid-morning, Logan a slightly too elegantly dressed entity moving through the thinner streets of Chinatown, violet-tinted sunglasses reflecting the glare of sharply angled sunlight and disguising the slight hangover that only shows in tired eyes. Black velvet over a crisp, royal blue shirt, fitted slacks and pointed shoes aren't much of a departure for him, although the briefcase in hand is somewhat new.

He's seeing a man about a girl, the former of which is seated on a bench, arms sprawled along the edges and his own briefcase in hand. White, too, no glasses veiling his eyes that swivels over towards Logan, recognises him for what he is without so much as a signal or clue needed. A black portfolio is already being extracted from the confines of his over-heavy coat, getting to his feet.

He radiates boredom, whereas Logan is mostly made up of cagey interest, a trickle of nervousness he'd never admit to, and some curious anticipation, interest and hope, too, all those things better suited for someone about to undergo a job interview, not receive grainy photographs for some underhanded assignment. Then again, both are kinds of auditions.

Following someone within the confines of the city is a much more complex affair; there are always other people milling around, in some way or another, and so simply staking out in a single place may get you a visit for loitering. For Logan, it is not all too difficult for anyone to follow him. Just put your nose to the air and go whichever way that one smells the scent of slimeball. Figuratively. In Huruma's case, it is an active task. A taxi here, an alley there, a fire escape anywhere. The urban jungle is as much a playground.

She has followed him all the way to Chinatown, where she sticks out like a sore thumb if she were to stand amongst the locals. Luckily, her tailing of John Logan ends when he seems to find the man he has been coming for. Huruma tucks herself immediately away inside of a building, which becomes a restaurant once she winds out of the back hall- for all intensive purposes, anyone seated in the eatery will have assumed she was in the restroom rather than filing into the back exit. She seats herself behind the red curtain to one side of the front window, sitting at a table in the shade of the wall.

She has a view of the bench from here, a quite perfect one, nearabouts fifty feet from the spot. Dark glasses on her eyes, she simply responds with 'Tea' when one of the hostesses realize she's appeared apparently out of thin air. And for now, the Empath waits, just for the right time, the whiskers of her ability unfolded so that she may discern Logan's meeting from the rest.

"If you had an email, this would be way easier," the man on the bench is saying, holding up the portfolio although not completely within reach. Slick brown hair is pulled back into a ponytail, and there's grey in his stubble. "You realise that this is probably Zarek's version of a hazing, right? You're John?" No last name. Maybe he's not even aware of one.

Irritation only manifests to those who have the talents to recognise it. Otherwise, Logan's smile is easy, almost relaxed, and he holds out a hand for the portfolio. "None of your concern, I'm sure." There's a pause, the other man waiting in expectation, before Logan's hand retracts only to fish out a couple of crisp notes, these taken from his smoothly and replaced with the shining black book. "Thank you." It's flipped open, even as the former pimp asks, "How recent are these?"

"They're all dated, amigo. Look for yourself," the contractor dismisses, shoveling the money into his pocket before he's picking up his briefcase from the bench. "The wildcat comes up again, I'll be in touch with you."

Black and white, photographs of Jessica Sanders fall into view, a slight frown to Logan's mouth as he studies the woman, frozen in some moment or another on the street side, her face a mask of seriousness and blonde hair pulled back. Single mother, pretend widow, strong as ten men. She's hotter than Logan thought she might be.

Maybe this'll be fun.

Then again, maybe it won't? The first hints of doubt trickle down from Huruma's mental hourglass.

In the restaurant, she is looking out the window, fingers twined under her chin. She leaves that trickle hanging when the hostess brings her a small metal teapot and cup, nodding over once to her as she goes again. When Huruma peers back out of the shadow of the window, her eyes alight on John Logan from over the ceramic rim of her cup, practically dwarfed more than usual in her fingers.

It could be fun, but is it really? It has begun, as the nagging sensation in the pit of him; wariness, doubt, uneasiness.

It's not a twist of anxiety that he questions, preoccupied with the idea itself. It should be natural insight, to reflect, to question. Logan lingers more than he's meant to, scanning the pictures of the woman rather than the times and locations. Blonde, like so many previously. Abigail had been just another task, too. And where had that led him?

Pain, mostly. A burning brothel, ultimately.

Logan looks up as if to ask a question, but the contractor is already headed away from the bench, leaving the Brit alone with his pictures and nagging uncertainty. He'd never been the kind to delay pulling the trigger - always quick to fire, too much so sometimes but that's the price you pay. With a snort as if to dismiss these feelings, an attempt at dodging, Logan briskly closes the file, goes to slide it away into his briefcase, tries to ignore the struggling pip of doubt working its way through the accumulation of bloody muscle that is his morally deficient heart.

East of Central Park

2:12 pm

Zeroing in on the same man throughout the day becomes much easier once Huruma realizes where to try and preempt his presence. She has narrowed his location down to a small area eastward of Central Park; a nice, choice few blocks of neighborhood, speckled with some fine dining and cafes.

Huruma has been inside of one of the latter for a short time, waiting and observing out of the window once more to see if John Logan rears his face from some door along the street. She is fairly certain that if he is not already here, he may be- a few of the buildings house familiar locations for him. While she waits, the tall dark woman ignores the curious peering of lunch-break businessfolk and students popping in for a cup of coffee, meanwhile nursing at her own cup of flavored sweet tea and watching the outside world through that pane of glass.

High-end without being high-end, Logan imagines he likes it here. The little restaurant across the street was serving scallops although neither of them ate much at all, just traded glasses of wine and chilly words. Eventually, Huruma's wandering gaze will land upon the now familiar man stepping out onto the sidewalk— the woman at his side less so. As tall as Logan, perhaps a fraction more on her heels, the woman has copper-red hair and a pinker shade around her eyes, as if she'd been crying.

Frustration, fear, these are the things that roil inside Viv, and she's not really looking at the other man - faint disgust and blame, too, are potent ingredients. Logan feels nothing like that - apathy, in some ways, boredom. Whatever doubts he had have been staved off for the time being, distracted in the need to diplomat his way back into his former madame's heart, for whatever reasons that may be. He kisses her on the cheek and she allows it, even offers a strained smile as he goes to hail her a cab.

Glaring daggers at his back, however, when he moves to open the car door for her.

When he turns- when he sees her face again as he opens the door- the pink eyes, the defiant manner- he will feel a bigger doubt, hinged on whatever he may have possibly done to make her this way. A bigger doubt, a bigger uneasiness, brimming on a dose of guilt, however not quite. There is something wrong with you, John, making a woman like this.

There is something wrong with you. Do you feel the that fault yet? Be still in the field of introspection.

As for Viv, Huruma has seen this as a moment of opportunity. Viv, despite her state of frustration and fear- she feels a sudden rush of courage. Boldness. Pride. Worth. Something that seems to gradually yank the manipulated little girl out of her and put in its place, a woman, grown with every step she takes.

He freezes a little in place as those emotions line up so neatly, like checkers on the board, when he sees her face, drawn as it is, both flushed and pale. This is— new. Surprise crosses symmetrical features, confusion bubbling up beneath those feelings of wrongness, blame directed inwards rather than at her for letting herself get like this. It steals away his final departing words, especially when Viv only gives him a stone cold look.

"Look— don't look at me like that," Logan says, defense making tremors through his voice, but gives up the argument when silence acts as the slap in the face that doesn't come, that's likely closer to coming than he'll ever know. "Christ. Here, let me pay— "

"Fuck you, John," the madame finally unleashes, that inner anger turning around and pointing towards him. Exhilarating, in some ways. Freeing. "Forget it. Forget everything. I am not doing this anymore." She steps forward, an authoritative click of her dagger heel against the concrete, placing a hand on the partially opened car door— and shoving.

Metal connects sharp enough against him to have Logan reeling back with a hissed curse, Viv barely glancing his way as she slides into the cab, chin tilted proudly.

Upper East SideOrchid Lounge

6:56 pm

It had been some hours ago, that Logan had been abandoned on the sidewalk with new and interesting bruises both inside and out. The Orchid Lounge of the Upper East Side is a place he's been to before, usually with company in the form of whoever he's intending to shmooze, or the shadows of his security, or a girl on his arm.

For now, Logan is alone, soothing recent injury with, right now, a thickly red glass of wine.

It's not as though Toru monitors when his employer comes and goes from the apartment they currently share, if only until Logan gets that lovely condo a part of him is still sure he deserves, but perhaps he'll be wondering about such a prolonged absence. Truth be told, the social creature that is Logan is looking to be alone. Alone in the midst of company, sure, bartenders and patrons, but alone in every way that counts.

It's been a strange day. Tipping back the rest of the wine, letting it glide smoothly down a welcoming throat, Logan shuts his eyes and allows the alcohol to warm him on its way to his stomach. It would be easy, if he could turn his own ability in on himself - he'd never get anything done, but it would be—

Easy. Things were just a moment ago, he could have sworn— but anxiety, doubt, has knotted itself amongst his gut, mind unable not to wander on back to where his mistake lie, the long road its taken for him to get here, and what on earth is here, anyway?

"Gin and tonic," he requests of the bartender, before resting his chin in his hand, a solitary figure still dressed in velvet.

John Logan has been here quite a time, sitting, when the front door to the lounge opens to admit someone. A tall someone, a someone that wafts past the barstools towards the tables on a pair of heels, breezy, unconcerned with the surroundings.

Or she would like very much for everyone to keep believing that. Huruma, dressed in a knee-length black dress that wraps around her like a cocoon, with only the caps of sleeves on her long arms. Dangling bits of gold on her ears, wrists, and neck glimmer lightly as she moves past, finding a table for two once she gestures to something on the host's reservation list. For all the world, she is here to meet someone. A someone that has not yet come to meet her. A someone that possibly may not exist.

Still a few minutes later the woman that drew some attention when she sat is now part of the ambiance. Some leave, some come in the door on those minutes after her. Enough of a wait. And then Logan, in all his introspection, begins to feel a similar spiral downward once his mind draws back to the earlier mood. Thinking about such things makes it worse, you see.

A more considerable measure of doubt, weighing on his shoulders like a pair of hands belonging to a large man leaning down onto him from behind.

Upon Huruma's entrance, her languid motion into the bar, she gets a glance, as most patrons might, just fleetingly. More important things to concentrate on. Himself.

Logan is no stranger to the fickle moods of alcoholism. The superficial highs and of course the sinking, irrational sadness. So even he's aware that this is different, bone deep, chemical deep— maybe more than that. Distracted, he slides across the money appropriate for the drink and drags is closer, fingers fidgeting with the slime slice on the rim of the glass before a fingertip delicately flicks it inwards.

Caliban had said it, that Linderman would look after its own more than Muldoon ever had, but Christ, isn't this more of the same? Blonde girls to be punished, money and promises, and prior nihilism doesn't seem so unimportant anymore.

What had Mu-Qian told him about escalation? What had Hokuto told him about change? A little desperately, Logan takes a quick sip of his dry tasting drink. Introspection is hard.

Huruma even goes through the trouble of ordering a drink. Though of course, it contains a lot of ice, and a rather weak drink in of itself. She is not here to get smashed, she is here to watch John Logan out of the corner of her vision.

The same old shit, right? More of the same old nonsense and trouble that has gotten him here in the first instance. The same thing that got his brothel burned to the ground, and the same thing that has made him an enemy of so many. As he sits, thinking, emotions in a small, crashing thrunderstorm above his head… another one comes. Not entirely new. Old. As if he has not felt it in some time, though all humans possess the capacity. Guilt. Dribbles of it, one- two- three. Maybe he shouldn't have done this, maybe he shouldn't have done that, maybe he shouldn't have done anything. Doubt turns into a feeling of wrongness, a foreign feeling, still, but not completely alien. A child-like feeling, depending on how long it has been.

Old is a good descriptor, on a couple of levels. One more ancient, prehistoric level, summoning up of the emotional write up of all humans everywhere, of what has been there all along. Kind of like the survival instinct that manifests in all of us at surprising, confusing moments.

And old in that it's been a while. Who could say when Logan hit a wall? When normal became abnormal, when the capacity to learn veered off into repeated mistakes and self-delusion? When everything that made up human relationships, the underlying social conventions, what made people like people— when all that seemed to just go away.

Guilt. What on earth do they put in the water, in these parts?

Another sip of gin and tonic like it's going out of style, or perhaps to douse that newish feeling, before the glass lands heavily back down upon the bar, and his hand travels up rub the bridge of his nose, to stave away a headache. Huruma can enjoy a show of spiking and dipping emotion, of veering away from it, of being pulled in again. Gravity. Abigail, and Viv, and hell, Cardinal, and Mu-Qian— maybe he could get the photograph back, maybe if he apologised—

Bebe. He doesn't even know where she is. Run away from him, like the rest of them, like Muldoon did, too, when there was nothing Logan could touch that didn't break. So much more wrong than it ever all had a right to be. And it might just be his fault.

The notion is enough to take his breath away. Off-balanced, Logan moves to get up from his seat at the bar, expression drawn into something suppressed, a mask, jaw tense.

As he stands, Huruma's claws sink into those spikes as they come. Nails dragging into the emotions he links with the people in and out of his lives. And she pulls, just like a mischievous kitten with a roll of paper towels, throwing it all over the place. Or in his case, throwing the mainstream guilt that he suddenly associates with figures- and tossing it like fifty-two-pickup all over his head.

Associations only drag more into the mix. Countless whores, and Eileen, and Deckard, and Teo. Connections confuse, fizzle, spark. It's almost a physical pain, something burning in his torso that refuses to be swallowed down or dim or worked out in some other way. Instead, it rises, tightens his lungs, sears his heart, fills his throat—


He manages to muffle the choked out gasp against his sleeve as salt water seems to flood his eyes, other hand gripping onto the edge of the bar, white-knuckled, desperate. There's no real way to run away from it, unless he could magically become another person, someone who doesn't light fires everywhere he goes and brings things to boils as his only form of revenge. It's meant to be never too late to change, but it might just be.

What is he supposed to change in to? Who would care?

And— and he's crying in public. Uncomfortable. Neglecting the rest of his drink, Logan shakily pulls his jacket around him a little more and makes his hurried way for the door, trying to ignore people that have by now turned to look, finding freedom in the form of the street side.

Huruma does not follow. As it so happens, she has a date with a blond.

And really, who wants to watch a pimp cry into his sleeve? Not I, said the Empath.

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