If You're Happy And You Know It


deckard_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title If You're Happy And You Know It
Synopsis Huruma uses environmentally friendly biodegradable packing material to box up the lighter she borrowed from Deckard. She is always doing nice things like that! Magnes makes the delivery, and Huruma comes out of hiding when things get weird.
Date November 8, 2008

Staten Island

There's something about the fringes of Staten Island that will always inspire sentiments of unease. After the bomb, much of Staten Island has fallen into glorious disrepair, so much so that places that were already in stages of decay look more like monuments to entropy than once urban settlements in decline. While much of the island was suburban residential areas before the bomb, there were two crowning moments that drove this borough of New York into an early grave. The first was the mass exodus of survivors and panicked people fleeing Manhattan. They came by foot, bicycle and car across the bridges to Staten Island, all manner of desperate and frightened people flooding into a crowded place. While some fled through to New Jersey, others simply couldn't — or wouldn't — go further. This, like in Queens, led to an eventual chaos that would in time eclipse the pandemonium in the eastern edge of New York after the bomb.

Staten Island was in the direct path of the fallout from the explosion, and after thousands fled to the island, the entire populace was forcibly evacuated. Those few that managed to stay, clung to their homes desperately, and those few who did would suffer from radiation sickness and the ever-escalating crime rate. By the time Staten Island got the "all clear" from the government, the damage had already been done.

Staten island. It is not a pleasant place to be. Ruined housing slumps abandoned on either side of streets fallen into ragged disrepair. Tall grass and weeds burned brown by he creeping cold of November bristle up through cracks in the sidewalk and street. All the more reason for Flint to feel perfectly at home here, perhaps. Seated on the flat tire of an overturned car that's been parked belly-up before an abandoned shelter, he's elevated enough to have a decent view of the surrounding area without making a giant blinking target of himself either. Bound in the black of a shoddy overcoat over his even shoddier grey suit, he opens and closes his cell-phone, then opens and closes it again. Waiting.

Jumping, jumping, and more jumping, that's most of what Magnes does other than the occasional trick, going from building to building and almost falling into one when the ceiling gives… he hates when that happens. "I wonder what's in the box…" he says to himself as he grinds down the walls of an alley, then rolls out and makes his way to the designated spot. Flint can see him, but he can't see Flint. "And I wonder why it's in this part of the city… well, I can guess, but I hate being here." he says to himself as he cautiously looks around, pretty good at unintentionally making himself a target.

Click. Flint opens the phone again. Clack, he closes it. And then there's movement out on the street, and the scruffy salesman sits up on his makeshift throne to tuck the phone back into his coat. Against the greys and browns that dominate the area, he blends in quite well, but the movement of him against the metal of the car's underside isn't too hard to make out. "Hey. Kid! Over here."

Finally, no more nervously standing out in the open. Magnes slowly rolls over to the man, and he clearly matches the given description, so he nervously holds the box out. "I-I didn't look in it, I promise, I don't look in the packages. And I got it to you in an hour or less, forty seven minutes if I counted right…"

With a snort for Magnes's stuttering, Flint leans to take the box off his hands. "Heavy," he remarks once he's done so, and dropped it carelessly down onto one knee so that he can reach back into his coat. Rather than come up with the cell phone, he comes up with a ten dollar bill, which is passed down in the box's place once he's glanced at his own watch. "Forty-eight minutes. Here. Maybe you can put it towards a grown-up shirt."

Finding someone to come back to the island was enough of a task- to find a person suitable and willing to deliver a package to someone there was a whole new quest. There is, however, always a method to how things are done. Though the person that actually hired Magnes to deliver the package is nowhere to be found, the hand that boxed the package in the first place is; Huruma has been doing her best to follow the delivery boy through the ramshackle city blocks the entire way to Flint Deckard. She remains what she deems as hidden- and she is quite so even by expert standards.

Inside the box, once Flint dares to look, is something that nobody really should ever want to get in the mail. A pair of human hands wrapped in thick cotton gauze, cut below the wrists and clasped together in death. They are still red, still stained- and still bruised a sickly purple around the torn skin.

Inside, sitting oblivous, is Flint's long lost lighter.

Taking the ten dollars and stuffing it into his pocket, Magnes suddenly turns his back to Flint and stuffs his hands into his pockets. "Lots of adults like comics, but thanks for the tip. I-ah, um, I wont look, I don't look into the boxes, I'm just going to stand here in case you have a return package or some sort of message. And please don't try to hit me in the head because I can escape very quickly and then I'll have to tell the package person, it's policy…"

Deckard does not immediately reply. Rather, he leans over on his junked perch to feel up his own trouser leg after the strap and buckle of…sock suspenders. Dapper. Their purpose becomes clear quickly enough when he tugs the polished wooden hilt of a knife free, thumbs over a switch, and the blade pops free with a disconcerting and illegal quickness. Then, then he looks back to the package with an unnatural burn to the clear blue of his eyes. His knife tip dips, not towards the packaging, but to Magnes. He's hesitating. "Who…sent this, exactly? I mean. What did they look like?"

Magnes looks back, alarmed at the sound of what could possibly be a weapon. "Hey, no trying to stab me either!" he exclaims, then suddenly jumps into the air like someone on the moon, flipping to the left as his hands leave his pockets and he lands on the wall. Now, he stands there, straight up on the wall as if he were standing on the ground, he even seems to slowly roll upward a few times before gaining his balance. "Well, since I'm up here where you can't stab me, I guess I can tell you. This white brunette guy with glasses, he was um, he had like, these eyes, and he looked pretty much like a man… I suck at this stuff."

Flint, bless him, remains perfectly still when Magnes goes all circus clown on his ass and flips away to stick to the neighboring wall. The harsh chill of his glare follows his progress, and lingers upon man and wall without comment before he resettles the package on his knee and slides the blade of his knife in under one taped side of the top, then the other. "I don't stab people unless they try to stab me first. White brunette guy with glasses. He looked like a man. Thanks, kid. You've been a great help." From the sides across the top, the tip of his knife traces over the remaining tape, then eases in to pry the sides of the cardboard lid apart. His nose rankles immediately, and once he's parted the gauze, a swift stabbing motion sees the switchblade planted into one of the bloodied palms so that he can draw the clasped hands out into the open without actually touching them. "So you didn't notice anything strange about him at all?"

Indeed. Just a guy that wanted to earn a few dollars by doing a very tall, very scary woman a small favor. For his moment of trouble, he went home with all of his fingers as well.

Huruma is hanging back in one of the nearby buildings, perched in silence behind a tattered curtain at an old window. It's only in passing, however, as the woman keeps meandering through the building until she reaches the ground floor again. Now she pauses inside of the tiny foyer of the short apartment complex, eyes settling on Flint through the dusty glass frames. Even without his vision, if one were to look that other direction, her dark figure would be a shadow behind the front doors. Huruma is in a place where she can see both men, but neither will see her unless they glance aside and actually into the building.

"He seemed normal and quiet." Magnes informs as he sits down to cross his legs on the wall, still not looking up at the package. He does not enjoy people trying to kill him for knowing things he shouldn't. "I don't know where the guy is, all I can do is go back to where I accepted the package and leave a message if he's not there. His sitting is likely a tad surreal, considering his clothes lay flat against the wall, and for a moment he lays his glasses down to rub his eyes before putting them on again.

It is pretty surreal, and Flint's eyes flicker over to linger on Magnes's wall more than once, but he did just receive a box with a dead person's hands in it. …Hopefully the original person is dead, anyway. The thought is enough to prompt a private wince while he flexes his own free (and still intact) hand before he brushes the empty box aside. "Don't bother," is called over to Magnes, and his handkebob is lifted so that he can get a better look at the clasp of fingers and wrists that end all too abruptly. They're turned over once more, and Flint drops them back in the box so that he can reach into his pocket after a pair of leather gloves. He tugs them on before reaching back down to take a more solid hold on Huruma's present, with his knife rubbed lazily clean over the base of the tire he's sitting on once it’s been extracted so that he can set to trying to pry the fingers apart. "What's your name?"

"Magnes J. Varlane." he introduces, reaching into his pocket to pull out a small bag of chips, likely very crushed by now. "So what do you want me to do? And don't tell me what's in the box, I don't wanna know, less I know the safer I am." he instructs as a few crumbs fall back on to the wall instead of logically falling to the ground.

"Mr. Varlane," Flint repeats, strain rasping at his voice while he tries to find weaker points at the joints to loosen, "trust me when I say you really don't.” Finally, with a stout shake and a pair of his own fingers pried down into the gap he's made, he's able to loose his long-lost lighter. With a sniff at its exterior that he immediately regrets, he drops it back down into the box, and with a sick-sounding 'pop' twists the pointer finger he's already broken out of its socket. A little knifework is enough to cut away the last resilient bit of attachment, and the rest of the hands are flung swiftly over into an open drain in the curb. Eventually, there is a splash.

From there, his gloved hands move quickly to dump out a mostly-empty box of cigarettes (one goes into the corner of his mouth.) The disembodied finger is pushed down inside, the lid closed, and the entire thing tucked back into wherever it came from. Almost done! He lights up the cigarette, slides off the side of the car, peels off his gloves, and crouches down to use his freshly-recovered lighter to set them ablaze in the middle of the street. All in a matter of minutes. "Ok. You can look. Don't suppose you happen to have any tape, by the way?"

Just as the man in the overcoat slides from the car to light his cigarette with his returned lighter, Huruma has slinked out of the foyer and along the edge of the street; the woman takes the longer route towards where Flint is, only leaving the silence and soft footsteps behind once she gets properly onto the sidewalk. Under her gold-buttoned, black wool coat, the telltale pants of a suit cover her legs down to a pair of black pumps. Click-click-click. Even if neither man saw her changing lanes, as it were, the sound of her shoes tapping against concrete should let them know where she is.

"Um, I have this scotch tape from when I was doing posters…" Not even duck tape, Magnes is essentially a very useless person in most situations, but he pulls it out and throws it down toward Flint. It takes a while to get there, wobbling in the air. "Aw come on, not again!" he exclaims with a pout, apparently not intending to do that. "Hey, someone's coming, I think…"

Still in the process of pushing his knife back down into its home beneath his trouser leg, Flint glances up at the offer of tape that never actually reaches him, and then aside at the mention of approaching company. Whatever he sees thataway is enough to have him jam the knife in and straighten upright with a swiftness that betrays the jet of adrenaline through his system. "Change of plans — forget about the tape. If you can stick to walls, you should probably climb the rest of the way up that one and run the fuck away." That groused off in a low mutter, he raises his voice to greet Huruma's approach with a far more cheerful, "Hi!"

Huruma comes into plain sight in just a matter of moments now, her expression pulled into one interested in whatever target those eyes are fixed on. Poor Flint. She approaches with an obvious sauntering to her steps, only curling her lips open into a smile when hearing range is decent.

"Hello.. again." Her voice drawls ahead, irises flickering momentarily in Magnes' direction whether he is there anymore or not. "…Do'ou like t'keep many souvenirs?" Huruma purrs this question with an obvious dose of amusement. If he always does it, they have even more in common. Unfortunately, she probably does worse things than simply keep parts around. Both of the woman's long arms are at her sides, fingers twitching against each other with only the accompaniment of the tiny click of nails.

Magnes remembers that woman, the kind of fear he felt the last time they met. He doesn't immediately run away, but he /does/ move up much higher, though not too high that he can't hear them. He doesn't speak, he's not terrified but he's too afraid to speak, he has no idea what's going on or what they're talking about.

Deckard's eyes are fixed on Huruma, with a certain healthy wariness for the fact that she just finished giving him a hand in the most unfortunately literal way possible. "Souvenirs?" is asked with a smile that doesn't quite match her own, and he lifts his gaze long enough to follow the flicker of hers after Magnes. "Can't say that I do."

Huruma lifts her hand to the upturned edge of the car, fingers running along the metal while she steps around the scrapped vehicle towards Flint. "No? Your actions betray you, I fear." Her eyes narrow lazily as she keeps them fixed. "I set somethin'ablaze just'for that- bu'I think it was… o'ershadowed." Another smile comes up, the corners of her lips sliding upwards. If he doesn't step away, she'll be right beside him in no time flat.

Magnes just observes, that's all he can do right now, swallowing nervously in anticipation to what this scary woman may be getting at. Though, breaking his wall's silence, he coughs, then quickly covers his mouth with both hands as if he were trying to hide and make them forget he's there.

Ah. Flint draws in a deep breath, steeling himself, but doesn't give up any ground. He just stands there next to the slow burn of his gloves and watches her the way he would…someone who cuts off the hands of their victims and has them sent out as party favors. "Maybe I'm going fishing later. I heard someone caught a bass with legs last week."

Huruma slips her elbow onto the edge of the car's flat tire next, where Flint had been sitting. "Did th'fish have them, or was it th'bait? Maybe if you catch something, I can.. sell you more…" Well, considering what happened to the city- three eyed fish, please? "I heard tha'you would b'able to help me wit'something." She finally gets to her point, leaving behind talk of catching fish with human fingers. For now. "It mus'be such coincidence that we've met already."

Fish? Well, that sounds harmless enough, so Magnes smiles at the direction of the conversation… at least until she wants Flint to help her with 'something', then he grows worried again. Something is keeping him from simply leaving, maybe it's morbid curiousity, maybe he's worried that they might hurt eachother? Who knows.

"Right. Because I said…'with legs.' Nice one." Jesus. Flint has to blink hard to clear out his thoughts, and that long-drawn breath is exhaled in a short, draconic blast of smoke from his sinuses. "I'll have to see if it works before I can decide whether or not it would be a profitable move for the long term. But — if there's anything I can help you with in the meanwhile…" He lifts an open hand. "That's what I'm here for." He does not look up after Magnes again. Maybe she'll like, forget he's up there.

Huruma hasn't forgotten. She just does not appear to care. For now. The woman shifts her weight onto one leg, the other toe tapping lightly against the asphalt. "Mhmmm." She hums, the sound reverberating in her chest. "I need some things, and was pointed alllll th'way back t'you…" Her free hand slips up to the collar of her coat, fingers sliding underneath of the woolen fabric before coming back with a simple, folded white paper, which she slowly holds out towards the man's hand. "…consider it a grocery list." And boy-howdy, is it ever one. Normal folks don't usually put Israeli assault rifles on theirs. Among a list of such things, plus a few simply hard-to-locate gems, is a non-descript phone number.

Grocery list, fish… fishing supplies? Magnes puts it all together, and finally speaks up. "U-um, ma'am, I don't mean to interrupt, so please don't be angry, because I'm not trying to make you angry, but um…" He swallows again, nervously straightening his glasses as he continues to sit on the wall. "If you want fishing supplies that badly, I could find them all. I'm very good at item collecting, one hour or less for each item."

Her hand is watched all the way up and out again, so that it takes him a second to register the offer of folded paper. Once he sees it, he reaches to take it off her hands and glances quickly over the contents with no change in expression, save perhaps a slight upward twitch about his brows. "The bigger guns could take a little while. It depends. But I'll see what I can do." As the paper is refolded and Magnes's voice trails down from above, Flint reaches into his coat to lever out the weight of his handgun. "Nice kid, but a little over eager. And I already tipped him." Without further warning, two shots are squeezed off at the wall, apparently with little regard for who or what might be standing behind them. One plunges into the brick a few inches south of Varlane's feet. The other shatters through a window to his left. "FUCK OFF."

Huruma does have a moment to answer Magnes before he gets shot at- "I'm no'fishing what you think I am fishing for." Then, BANG-BANG; true to form, the woman does not react much at the firing of a gun, or its presence. She seems to know what she's up to.

Magnes panicks when he gets fired at, not having time to run away, he just suddenly starts falling /up/ the wall as if he were going down, then he ends up on the roof and starts skating away. "Guns! I knew there would be guns! Oh god oh god oh god!" he yells as he makes a huge leap to a higher rooftop.

Tink, tink, go the spent casings, one narrowly missing Haruma in its skippy way across the pavement. The gun remains pointed up while Flint watches Magnes falling in the same unlikely direction, but as he seems to have made his point, no further shots are fired. "Sorry. I get a little defensive when people try to leech off of my business. You understand, I'm sure." Ears ringing, safety flicked back to on and muzzle snugly reholstered down against his side under coat and suit, Flint double-checks that Huruma's grocery list is likewise tucked safely away before he looks her over and moves to take a step back. "Do you want me to contact you as I find it our wait until I have the whole set?"

Huruma watches the entirety of the younger man's retreat with her head tilted and eyes travelling. When Flint decides to explain himself and continue his business transaction, her head turns slowly back to him. "As you find it, if you would? I would rather'ave one than'ave zero…" And that's a good explanation as any, for her.

"Sure." One more step back, and a little more confident now that she's going to let him just walk away without cutting off anything attached to him, Flint allows the stiffness in his shoulders to slack out a little. "I'll be in contact, then."

For now, she can use him, and so Flint Deckard is safe. In time, when business is done, we'll see how things go afterward. "Sure, darling. Jus'don'lose m'number?" With that, she turns again, hand trailing on the metal of the car before dropping back down to her side.

"I won't!" Faux-cheerful again, he lifts a hand in farewell despite the fact that she's already turned away. The same hand is used to flick his cigarette into the gutter after the hands he had earlier, and then planted back over his forehead when he's made it a fair ways off down the street. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck." And so on.

November 8th: Trust is Like Ice Cream
November 8th: Stand in the Rain
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