How To Deal With Traffic


keira_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title How To Deal With Traffic
Synopsis Keira and Richard meet in a bar and discuss traffic and trade.
Date June 7, 2018

A Bar

It’s not the best bar in the Safe Zone, but then, it’s the Safe Zone. Unless one is going into Yamagato Park, they’re not going to find a really nice bar probably. It’s ideal for Richard’s purposes, though, because who’s going to recognize a CEO in here?

He’s dressed in his civvies; camo BDUs, a grey t-shirt, a fedora tilted down to shadow his face as he leans back in a booth, a drink in hand and his phone in his other.

He doesn’t get service here, but Alia put some single-player games on it for him.

“Fancy meetin’ you here,” comes a familiar voice from behind Richard, as Keira passes by the booth and slips into the seat across from Richard. The tiny tattooed thug never really was much of one for invitations. Whether she followed him here or just chanced to be here at the same time as he is remains up for speculation — but it’s not as if she’s a threatening presence.

A half-drank glass of iced amber liquid, likely scotch or whiskey, is set down on the table in front of her, as the small woman lounges back against the seat and grins at the man. “I’ve been busy,” she states, lifting the glass with a wink and taking a sip.

“I have some stories that you might like t’hear.” She chuckles, setting the glass down.

“I do,” says Richard, regarding her under the brim of his hat with a faint smile, “Like stories. I especially like the ones about men on horses, but I’m always open to expanding my horizons…”

His thumb slides over the phone to close the game - Alia beats him at Words Against Friends every time anyway - and he slides it into his jacket, bringing his own drink up to his lips for a sip, ice clicking against the edge of the glass. Still sprawled comfortably back in his seat, he looks at her expectantly. It’s story time, she said.

“I don’t know how much I know about actual Horsemen,” Keira replies, grinning across the table at the man. “Also, the fedora is kinda ridiculous, though I get the reasoning behind it.” She lifts her glass, ice clinking against the edges, and takes another sip. She promptly gestures to the barkeep, doing a complicated set of gestures that properly conveys that she wants him to bring her the bottle.

Then, her blue eye lands back on Richard. “First off, some tiny brunette woman climbed up the fire escape of the Staten Island Trade Commission, into the penthouse to, I assume, visit Alister Black. No clue what they were talking about, but I had her followed after she left,” She drains the last gulp of her scotch, nodding to the barkeep as he brings her the bottle and an extra glass for Richard, and promptly pouring herself some more. “My man disappeared, I can’t even find a body.”

She swirls her glass idly, letting that tidbit of news settle in before she moves on to the next bit of her storytelling.
“A very good man gave me this hat,” Richard opins, one hand lifting to nudge the brim up a little, “It does look better with the matching suit, I’ll admit.”

He brings the glass up to his lips for another sip as she talks, a glint of something in his eyes as he looks to her. “The Fourth Horseman,” he decides, “Your man’s dead. She’s the one that… well.” A hand lifts, one finger pointing at her eye. “You two had a little party.”

The brow over the eyepatch raises slightly, and Keira lifts her glass, raising it to the sky for a moment — probably in silent tribute to her lost man. “Good t’know that there’s a face to th’bitch that took my eye.” She shakes her head slowly, and then takes a swig. “That’s five of my men she’s killed.” This is said in a mixed tone, somber with a hint of rage at the edges.

Shaking her head, she continues. “I also have news of the human trafficker infestation on Staten,” she says; another sip of the scotch is taken, this one smaller so as to pace herself. “They apparently stole Alister Black’s ocelot named Eileen — he’s out for their blood, destroyed a meat packaging warehouse they were using as a front.”

She pauses. “I happen to have one of their faces, so I followed them and found out a few of their safe houses.” She swirls the amber liquid in her glass, peering at it. “I intend to listen in a bit more sometime soon. They haven’t really crossed me at all,” she turns her eye up to Richard, “but I am pretty morally opposed to such practices.” The shapeshifter takes a sip of the liquor. “I feel like this entire area would be better in general if they were not around.”

Even criminals can do the right thing, sometimes.

This time, Richard nearly spits his beer across the table, coughing into a few times as he leans forward. “He named an ocelot— Eileen?” He’s not sure if he should laugh or cough, but the latter’s required to keep breathing so he clears his throat before he leans back a bit.

“Mm.” he murmurs, expression darkening, “Human trafficking? Alister— Maxwell— will do what he does, he’s an overly dramatic bitch, more bark than bite in the long run. He doesn’t have it in him to ever be a big fish, as much as he wants to. There hasn’t been human trafficking on Staten since— well. Since John Logan’s heyday.”

He nods a little, ”Agreed. We aren’t Alister, though, and we don’t work like that — gather intel instead. I want names. Identities. Who their contacts are, what routes they use for trafficking, where they’re keeping the kids— “ It’s always kids— “And where they’re going. Blowing them up or shooting them would just take out a finger.”

A lean forward, “I want their arm.”

“Well, then I have a nice juicy treat for you. I can always get more,” she murmurs, “But so far as I can tell, there’s a few people at the helm. Eugene and Buddy Arrowood seem to be at th’helm, but there’s also some blonde bitch named Astrid — she’s apparently the one who stole Eileen the Ocelot — and some dude named Sly. Tall, greasy-lookin’ black hair, giant nose. Sly was th’one who seemed most in charge of things. Might even be the brains — he acts like he is, at least. I don’t see th’Arrowoods bein’ smart enough to run this shit.”

She raises her glass again, taking a sip. The fact that she pulls out a small envelope might confirm that she followed Richard here, but that doesn’t matter so much, right? “These are their safehouses I know about.” This is placed on the table and slid across to the man. “Give me more time, and I can find out so much more.”

“That’s where I get to my ability. It…changed.” She tilts her head. “I think it was one of th’healers, not sure which one, but it kinda leveled up. My faces are a little less easy to come by, but…the limitations are gone.” The tiny gangster smiles. “No more havin’ to touch someone to change face, it’s more…at will.

Looks like she’s not going to show him those faces, though. Only a few people are privy to that information.

Richard slips a hand into his jacket as she starts giving names, pulling out a small spiral-bound notebook - the kind that’s the size of a hand - and starts making notes, nodding now and again. As the envelope’s slid over, he reaches out to accept it, flashing a crooked smile to her.

“Good work,” he murmurs, “Keep it up. Get me more on them, and— look into this Sly character, the brains of the operation you said. We’ll want to know more about him.”

There’s a brief flicker of something - loss - in his eyes when she mentions her power, then he’s smiling again, “Well, congratulations. You’ve evolved a little more than before, I guess.”

“That was th’plan. It’s not easy t’find the time these days,” she murmurs, “got a lot of business drummin’ up. The Bronx is pretty ripe for the takin’, so I’m takin’ it.” Keira chuckles softly, swirling her scotch once more. “Figure it’s a good place t’set up shop while I plot my takeover of Staten.” Raising her glass, Keira takes a small swig.

The flicker of loss does not go unnoticed, and Keira dips her head toward Richard, brows raising inquisitively. “All business aside, you doin’ okay, Richard?” She leans forward slightly, sipping a bit more of the scotch, before taking the bottle and pouring a bit more. The bottle is then offered to Richard.

“You seem…stressed.” It might have been a long time ago, but Keira did date him long enough to be able to read his expressions a little bit, and time can only change so much.

“Me? Oh, I’m fine…” A twitch of Richard’s lips, a wry almost-smile, “…one of my executives is dead, someone made an assassination attempt on my sister, I had to throw my best scientist to the wolves because the feds came after her - which probably cost me my only chance to get my ability back. I have four assholes from another world running around causing trouble in power armor, and, well, I could go on— ”

He reaches out to accept the bottle of scotch, “— but I’m sure you get the idea.”

Brows raise slightly, and Keira tips her head toward Richard, idly swirling a finger over the rim of her glass. “Man,” she replies, shaking her head slowly. She looks concerned for Richard — despite their past and all of the shit that’s happened between the two, she still likes the guy. She wouldn’t keep jokingly offer to sleep with him if she didn’t.

“I am the worst at bein’ comforting, but…” She reaches out, and touches the back of Richard’s hand. It’s not a suggestive move or anything of the sort — it’s a show of solidarity, more than anything else. “I’m here for you if you need me, man. I know I constantly act like I wanna get back in your pants,” and there is some small measure of honesty in those attempts, “but I kinda think of you as a friend, when it’s all said and done.”

She raises her glass. “If I can do anything t’help you keep your mental health in a good place, let me know and I’ll do my best.” A small swig is taken, then she sets her glass down.

A swig’s taken directly from the bottle, Richard’s expression screwing up in a grimace as it burns down his throat. He sets it down with a thump before her, leaning back in his chair once more. “I’ll be fine,” he dismisses with a faint smile, tugging the brim of his fedora down a bit, “Believe it or not, I’ve had far worse months than this before.”

The touch to his hand, he nods a little, “The one thing you can do is what you’re doing. Keep an eye on Alister, make sure he’s looking for the Horsemen. Gather information about these traffickers.”

“Oh, I’m sure. Just…if you need a drinkin’ buddy, I’m always game. Shit’s busy these days, and spyin’ is kind of a side project, but I can always spare a moment for a drink.” Keira smirks, nodding her head toward Richard.

“Already on it, in any case. I was plannin’ on droppin’ by to see our friend Alister soon. Might as well make friends with him for now.” She takes another swig, letting out a soft sigh as the heat flares in the back of her throat. “I’m going to kill him eventually, but until then, I can be his ally.”

“If you’d like,” Richard shrugs, “He’s a prick, I don’t care. There’s— “ He pauses, “There’s a woman there, hiding out under his protection. Dark hair. Showing blonde roots, last I saw her. Make sure he’s okay, if you get the chance.”

The chair rocks back a bit, resting against the wall, “I’m more interested in removing real threats. Alister isn’t one.”

“Oh, he’s not a threat at all. I just hate him. I’ll gladly tolerate him for now.” Keira smirks, sipping the last of her second glass of scotch. She doesn’t pour herself any more, just yet — no use getting sloshed. “He’s a useful prick, and he’s depressingly easy to manipulate, so I’ll keep him around for now.” His awful personality is actually a saving grace that might allow him to keep his face for a while longer.

“By th’way, there’s a food market opening up in the Bronx.” She taps the empty glass a few times, before she rethinks her decision to abstain from a third glass, and pours herself half a glass instead. “Someone had to capitalize on th’food shortage, I guess.”

It could be her setting it up, it could not be. It’s just an observation.

“Just don’t capitalize too much,” Richard replies in dry tones, “We’re building a hydroponics farm in Jackson Heights and I’d hate to have that turn into some sort of trade war.” A twitch of his lips. He knows who’d win that one.

“Still, make money where you can,” he shrugs a little, “It’s a capitalist world.”

Keira raises a brow slightly, a smirk appearing on her face. “I’ll be sure to pass on that message.” She smirks. “I just hope whoever it is running the gig won’t mind the dip in profits — I’m sure they have plenty of mouths to feed, too.” She lets her blue-eyed gaze linger on Richard for a moment — he’s not the only one who takes good care of his employees.

“I hear they mostly deal in the nonperishables, in any case. They occasionally get fresh fruits and veggies, but mostly it’s canned shit that won’t go bad.” She apparently has heard a lot. “Either way, I hope that everyone can peacefully coexist.

Neither of them wants a trade war, no matter who would win.

“What matters, at the end of the day, is that people eat,” says Richard with a slight shake of his head, reaching back over for the glass of beer - what remains of it - and tilting it back to his lips to finish it off. The glass is set back down, and he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. “Alright. I’ve got to get going,” he allows, moving to rise, “Good seeing you again, Key.”

“Agreed,” is the reply, and Keira offers a slow nod, apparently satisfied enough that they won’t come to blows over the act of feeding people. She drains the last of her scotch as Richard moves to stand; setting down enough to cover both of their drinks and more, she raises as well. “Good seeing you too, Richard. I’ll keep you informed. As always, pleasure doin’ business with you.”

Turning, Keira moves to make her way out first, straightening her shirt as she goes.

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