Gift Shopping



Scenery and NPCs by:


Scene Title Gift Shopping
Synopsis Cardinal decides that Logan's office is his own personal gift shop.
Date March 31, 2009

The Happy Dagger: Logan's Office

This place is office by name only - there certainly isn't a desk in sight, let alone a filing cabinet. It's decorated almost the same as any other room in terms of colours and decadence, with quality thrown in for good measure. The walls are painted a dark red with warmer golden trimmings, and layers of chiffon surround and cover the one window in the room so that only the lights of the outside world make hazy spots on the rich fabric. Hung upon the walls are paintings, likely expensive ones, depicting erotic scenarios and characters.

A couple of couches provide areas of comfort, some conventional, others more of the old Greco-Roman style designed to recline in rather than sit, and a small round coffee table with elaborate patterns etched into the wood boasts a perhaps ornamental hookah, although it's clearly seen use. The wooden floor is mostly covered by a large zebra striped rug, soft on bare feet and kept immaculate. An antique teatray is pushed into the corner, and holds a stunning array of fine liquor and crystal glasses. Next to it, an antique writing desk, although there's no chair near it and doesn't seem to hold anything, although the locked drawers may have purpose.

Despite it being called an office, this room seems more to cater to luxury and relaxation than business, although business occurs here regularly. Just not as much as pleasure.

The red light of dawn spills over the river as the sun begins to pull itself up from its evening slumber, cast over the waters as though the blood of all its hidden bodies had shown itself at last in a dark revelation of so many personal stories come to a sudden end. As the morning breaks, bodies begin to stir themselves from their beds here at the Happy Dagger; Johns buttoning up their jeans, whores stirring to find themselves gratefully drawing breath for yet another day, and employees working to clean up the messes of the night before. Just another day in the Rookery.

Opportunity knocks but once, and a certain thief has situated himself to take advantage of that knocking when it comes. A shadow slips beneath the door of the office, sliding along the edge of the wall to spread up through a corner and take stock of the office proper.

It's long since empty, the dim lights switched off and the candles all displaying black wicks rather than fire glow. Pre-dawn light doesn't really penetrate the swaths of silken chiffon on the windows, and the colour, as ostentatious as it is, seems to be sucked out of everything, desaturated and drab. Long since Logan has left this place to find somewhere more comfortable to sleep off his work hours, this time actually taking one of the women with him after some hands-on coercion and promises. He doesn't like being alone, these days, and he has many options available to him.

He's left the office in a slight state, too, less immaculate than usual but not too unexpected. There's an empty wine glass lying by the divan, a few drops collecting in its curving side. There's a jacket strewn on the floor, and on the coffee table, loose cigarette papers, a few scrapings of dried out marijuana leaf scattered clumsily and several shot glasses. The aftermath of a party of two (or three). The entire place reeks of incense.

The only thing that's bright and technicolour is the continual glow of red in the corner, a pinpoint of light that Cardinal will know well to be a security camera. If anyone's watching at this hour, however, knowing full well their boss is gone for the morning, is anyone's guess.

One has to wonder why Logan doesn't like being alone, these days. Could it be the certain periodic visits by a certain obtenebrative personage claiming to be part of his psyche? Cardinal likes to think so, anyway. It makes him feel better knowing that his efforts are appreciated so.

That crimson eye that watches the office is crept towards one shadow at a time, careful not to spread too openly over the carpeting lest the later footage give something away. The umbral form spreads up the wall beneath the camera to ensure there's no direct shot of the thief, and then he steps out of it in a ripple of darkness given flesh. Cardinal's dressed as he was when he hit the warehouse, all black from head to toe, gloves, balaclava to conceal his identity. A moment to recover his equilibrium, and he heads for the painting in question without missing a beat. He'll only have so long to work before somebody notices him.

There are a few paintings to choose from. A replica of Venus rising from a clam shell, all blonde hair, outdated and strange body type and modest hands. Others are more blatant, more obscure and more original. Naked women, men too, sprawled on leopard prints, god-like entities in baser configurations. There's a garish aesthetic to it all, in keeping with the theme of the place, but they're not entirely bad either. If there's any flaw to them, it's the fact they're all in the same room.

A couple stand out. There's painting of mostly white and ice blue, an abstract face, nothing erotic about it, or outdated. Maybe Logan truly does appreciate this stuff, in keeping with the fact that most of the items of furniture in this space are genuine antiques. The painting Cardinal is looking for also has some worth, and stands out from the rest, even from the Icelandic princess painting.

There's a building of cement and medal, and fire rages from it with wing-like appendages. A bird shape, a fire sign, and the bottom half of the painting is all reflection. The same building, but smoke. Smoke with eyes, teeth.

The style of the painting is distinct, and recognizable to one whose eye is trained to pick out the gold amongst the dross. Were it not for the auction he'd likely have never known it, but thanks to whoever put its sibling painting up on the block, he does. Beneath the muffle of black fabric, a smile just-curves to his lips, one gloved hand raising to brush against the painted canvas lightly. "Thomas Brill, I presume," he murmurs under his breath, "Why are people so interested in your work, I wonder?"

It's not for the thief to wonder about overmuch, at least not immediately. He reaches up, fingers sliding over the edges of the frame and hefting up to try and pull it off its moorings.

It gives easily. This is no museum - no alarms sound at the attempt of removal, not even with the camera taking in the activity. No sounds of footsteps coming running, no door being flung open. The painting is lifted up off its hook and settles its weight into the hands of its new owner. There's nothing behind it, either, just the dark red paint that looks a dirtier kind of dried-blood tone in this lighting.

Too easy. Some might scrawl a message on the wall suggesting that the owner improve their security, or some other calling card to mark their presence, but Cardinal… well, from his way of thinking, it's far better to let John wonder. The painting's drawn down and into his arms, and he heads back towards the camera, and that safe-ish corner in which to shadowmeld. After all, no sense in lingering overlong. He suspects Mister Linderman will be quite eager to recieve his present…

…thud-thud-thud-thud. Luckily, the noise comes from upstairs, not directly over Cardinal's head, but a vein of hallway that would inevitably lead to the stairwell just at the end of the one connected to the room the thief is in. It's really all the warning he gets - there's no shout of voices, no buzz of electrical communication, just the heralding sound of footsteps that someone has woken up.

Oh, and he smiles all the wider beneath that balaclava at the sound of boots on flooring. "Too slow," he murmurs under his breath, the shadow spilling over him as he steps to that corner - darkening as if night's falling, the painting as well, though it takes him a few seconds before he truly begins to melt away into the shadow.

The door will open to more shadow, the looming figure of a security guard paid either by guilt or wages or maybe something even more illicit, rumple suit and a gun in his hand. Metal flashes in the minimal light, meaty hand going out to flick on the lights, banishing back the darkness— to nothing.

The painting is new enough that there's no mark on the walls to indicate its absence, but the empty hook still catches the guard's eye. He may want to wait until tonight to alert Logan as to this break and enter, he's not sure the man is in the mood to hear it. If he ever will be.

A shadow slides into that of the guard's own, to catch a ride when he goes back downstairs again. It's just easier that way, and besides, it's so nice of Logan's employees to be so helpful to him. Mission complete… irony and all.

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