Just Like 1984


amadeus_icon.gif calvin_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Just Like 1984
Synopsis Logan's plans for a nice night on the town are interrupted by Amadeus's plans to break Logan's knees which are in turn interrupted by Calvin's plans for whatever it is that he is up to these days.
Date May 11, 2011

The Rookery

It hasn't been raining today, but still stagnant, filthy water gathers in the curbs and dips of pavement on the cool evening street in the neighbourhood still known as the Rookery, even if it's several shades dimmer than what it once was in its prime. Vainly, Logan would like to imagine that the burning down of his (first) brothel had something to do with it, but even if tanks aren't bold enough to drive the streets this far north on Staten Island, it's quite obvious that Big Brother's moving in down south of the island was the culprit. But it exists, for the rats that haven't yet been driven off the ship, with squatters in the wasted buildings, gambling dens and drug basements, bars in hovels, and strangely ethnic little eating places that sell American beer.

It's out of the last one that Logan steps, dinner in the form of noodles and deep fried vegetable matter consumed, and half a drink's worth of beer still sloshing lukewarm in a brown bottle his grips on his way down the quiet sidewalk, headed for the road that would take him to the docks to skip the official ferries and visit the mainland. His business here, if he has any, is over. Neon reflects off a shiny leather jacket and the silver threads of too-expensive shirt, patent leather shoes avoiding the dubious puddles. He is armed, as is only wise when you are a) in the Rookery and b) John Logan, a pistol snugged close at the small of his back and a lit cigarette between the fingers clasping brown glass, and he is only a little drunk.

Not enough that he can't steady himself when he slips a step off the curb and onto the asphalt of a trafficless street.

Big Brother is moving in, indeed. Amadeus stalks like the many cats that he has invaded, his Deckhard 2.0 bat in hand. He's been waiting in an alley very patiently for the pimp to come out, and just as he steps from the curb the thug clad in his black AC/DC shirt goes charging from behind, leaping in an attempt to wrap his legs around Logan's waist and choke him with the bat in both hands. "You snooty French motherfucker, I'll teach you to pimp out Delia! I'll choke you out and break your fuckin' legs!"

Not drunk enough.


Losing his beer, his cigarette and his footing all in one hit, Logan lets out a sharp yell as lanky baseball bat wielding psychopath!! who is also taller than him drives him down for dirty asphalt, the night going from chilly if pleasant to sharply violent and confusing. A hand flies out in sharp instinct in the midst of panic to smack his palm against the bat and take a grip, twisting in a struggle as a disbelieving exhale arrives on the tail of recognition. What the fuck. "'m not French," is huffed out after a gasp back in, and probably not the key item on that list to object to, but retrospect can come after.

His other hand reaches for the gun beneath his jacket in the midst of scrabble. His Budweiser is left to froth and drain in the gutter.

"Where the fuck are you movin' that hand?" Amadeus tries to move his knee to put pressure on the hand, but Logan's grip on the bat keeps him from getting choked. "You stupid fucker, I am going to do worse than kill you! How fucking anywhere close to dare you pimp Delia out!"

His teeth grind together, then he just growls and leans down to just bite the Englishman's shoulder, hard.

Well that was—

More abrupt than Calvin could have anticipated.

Having been on prowling approach up the middle of the street for a block or two now, shiny black shoes and long coat and bristled mane and briefcase tramping round puddles and fog pooled in the gutters, he draws up short at the sudden ruckus. Watching, for a moment, the herky jerky tangle of motion that is Amadeus wrapping himself and his bat around Logan from behind.

The Rookery's streets are narrow and cramped, business and hovels stacked high on either side of neon glancing warm off damp concrete. Which is ideal, as it happens, for the purpose of making a hefty statement on short notice: briefcase set carefully down at his feet, Calvin fidgets at his sleeves, raises his hands out and

flips the abandoned vehicles rotting to his right and left outward crash and crunch into the storefronts at his flanks. The dual impact jars the ground and sets an (unscathed) car's alarm to yammering; dust rises and shattered glass spills slick across the sidewalk. A little fire licks up in a window, somewhere.

One car rocks slowly back down onto all fours.

Then the other.

Bite gets verbal protest, wordless — a yelp that spins out into growl, sound muffled and bitten back. This is a nice jacket that Amadeus is putting his teeth through and Logan doesn't know what shots he's gonna need now. His grip in the bat weakens, jarring it to throat, other hand escaping the press of a knee but pistolless still, making useless claws against the asphalt— and then cars are careening through the air and filling the street with sound and shaking when they land.

The most he can do is squinch his eyes shut, body convulsing once in animal attempt at escape.

Amadeus tries to reach down for Logan's gun as he releases the bat and starts quickly rolling away from the man, a bit surprised at the sudden crashing of cars. "What the fuck, man!" he yells after he stops about ten feet away from Logan, spitting blood from his mouth. "Fuck, I've got diseased French blood in my mouth"

Air hisses cold from a punctured tire somewhere to his aft and Calvin advances casually, carelessly briefcase in hand. Swinging it a bit, even, while he surveys destruction with a rubneck-y, passing interest sort of curiosity in passing. What a mess!

That someone has made.

He grins a touch, comfortable despite a broken pipe and that fire back there that a vagrant is flapping a blanket onto, proud foreman on the scene of a Work In Progress. "Sorry, Mad," he says, politely enough, "but I couldn't help noticing you choking out m'good friend Mister Logan."

Logan is on his knees by the time Calvin has approached, disbelievingly grabbing his shoulder and coming away with blood on his palm. He looks up at the sound of his name, with no recognition for his hero(?) and unfocused in distraction because he's quickly looking to Amadeus instead. Expression hard and eyes flinty cold, he makes a more successful grab for his pistol and points it for the younger man as he gets his feet back under him in a long-legged stagger away.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" sounds angrier thanks to the affects of drinking, smoking, and choking of the evening, raw and streetly London.

"This guy ain't no one's friend!" Amadeus shouts at Calvin, then he's standing himself and staring down Logan's gun. "You're pimpin' out Delia! Don't think I'm fuckin' stupid, manipulating a chick like that and whorin' her out! I will fuckin' kill you, you better shoot me now 'cause when I get to you again I'm gonna rip your throat out with my fuckin' teeth!"

"I have it on good authority that Delia thinks John's a really great guy. And furthermore that the only whoring she's doing is of her own volition. With men that aren't me." So far.

Calvin's accent has smudges of Mother England in it, but it's also got smudges of everywhere else and drawling vowels fail to breed real comradery. The pointed gun lifts the breast of his coat across a sigh; he hooks thumb and index finger up on his free hand as if to remind him which way is left and the gun follows, preferring to point itself at the nearest sulfer lamp.

"The limey faggot you're looking for is named Nicholas Ruskin. He's the one itching to make floppy babies with her."

Logan has what?! lined up and ready for Amadeus, and it does manage to happen in a hiss, just under Calvin's more logical and centred responses, pistol remaining in its hover and pointed for Amadeus' chest at the end of the straight line Logan's arm is making. He looks now, though, at Calvin, a bewildered blinkablink squinted across at him and mouth opening in wordless protest about Nicholas Ruskin until he makes himself shut up. Barely even notices that his gun moved, by the time it has.

"Goes by York these days," he finally offers, mystified, before noticing that he— isn't aiming— "Fuck," is because he is spooked, a compulsive tug at the weapon that wavers off back to aim at Amadeus before it pulls off in a stronger tug. Fingers remaining locked on it— it's a good gun— Logan clamps his jaw. He can feel the Internet super highway even on dreary Staten Island, and there's no green eyed glow for Calvin's efforts.

"If I fuckin' find out that you're doin' anything at all to Delia, you ain't gonna see it when I give you what you've got comin'." Amadeus turns around and starts walking, allowing him to keep aiming the gun. "I'm gonna go kill this York fucker, and if he tells me different, I'm gonna break your fuckin' legs."

"Alright," says Calvin. "Keep in touch. I'm curious to know how that turns out."

Especially if there's a successful murder involved.

Voice not raised quite enough to tail Amadeus all the way into his retreat and even dropped down to an openly faux enthusiastic ~waver~ at the end, Cal follows in enough of his footsteps to bring him approximately round to where his half brother last stood down the sight of Logan's gun.

He releases his hold on the weapon and hikes his brows around the same time, wordless invitation to try, try again if his temper cares to give it another go.

Logan's temper is elsewhere, maybe following at Amadeus' heels like a yappy dog, fading off with the dull thud of the other man's exit. He's quiet in the face of flung back threats (save for a low sound at the threat of leg breaking), and Calvin responding to them for him, and so when the gun releases from the strange pressure, it's with a twitch of Logan's hold on it, hesitating and aimless as he looks back at Calvin, adrenaline dropping to a simmer, bite mark down to a throbbing annoyance.

The gun drops to his side, and he looks towards the mess of thrown cars, the cracks and scrapes where one hit storeside wall, the glitter of broken glass. Okay.

Being saved doesn't come with a rush of gratitude. His instincts are wondering where the fight's gone and what his posture should be like and of course, what does this motherfucker want. "Who're you," comes out flat, like a statement.

Halcyon blue eyes lock on green, plying in past warm jelly with a raking familiarity that may or may not tingle the spine when he says, "The shape of things to come."

Calvin is taller than Logan but not tall, unorthodox countenance and crest offset by the sharper lines of a suit grey under the sway of his coat in dank city air. He looks like he enjoys makeup, breaking things and walking around in dark places looking dramatic, which is more or less accurate. So.

He crooks his right elbow slightly — enough to call attention to the cold iron sides of his metal case. "Presently," he elaborates, catching himself before he can start to leer, "I am a mysterious man with a briefcase full of money and you are a technopath."

Unexpected people keep knowing what he does these days, despite telling no one. Not a one person. Kozlow being the exception, and doesn't count as a person because he's Russian and bar+ely talks to people, and so it's a legitimate kind of shock that's familiar enough to fritz into annoyance that Calvin can only see in the tighter lock with which Logan holds his gun. Steam in the air with a sharp exhale through his nose, the night just cool enough to accommodate.

He can't help it, looking towards the briefcase.

A hand goes up to sulkily rub at his own neck, collarbones, above the silvery flop of shirt collar, rocking a step forward and flicking on the safety to his pistol. He has a gold-plated one somewhere, and looks like the kind of guy who might, even dressed down in leather jacket instead of three-piece zebra stripes.

"It's not my usual selling point."

"It doesn't need to be." As long as it is a selling point right now at this moment then they're on the same page.

Calvin's eyes tick down to account for the step Logan takes, then back up again. Steady.

"Are you aware," he begins again after a beat, words chosen carefully for all that they have a tendency to fall out all in a razor-edged rush, "that there are autonomous robotic sentinels patrolling parts of the city in search of wayward genetic abominations of the likes've ourselves?"

There is some good humour in the way Logan's mouth twists, a sardonic smirk, and he puts away his gun then, hands coming to plant on hips once freed. The step he took is the only one of its kind for now, standing ground. "Just don't go dicking around the forests south've here," he says, by way of answer. Yes. He's aware. If not necessarily aware of the ones on Manhattan. "It's my recommendation, as a technopath, that you not fuck with them, mystery man."

But the cars, in dented metallic mounds, spiderweb windows or no windows at all, paint sheered off from impact, are right there. But Logan also knows about the negation gas, so he doesn't amend.

"But if I could," says Calvin, "and did," says Calvin, "I might find myself in need of a technopath with flexible moral alignment."

He pauses there, teeth set all in a line until he smooths them away and takes a step of his own, briefcase in tow. Steel and a shock of titanium through and through, determined to follow up what he's started. What's the point of this conversation, otherwise?

"Someone game for flipping a switch here and there. Someone who wouldn't mind seeing suits set to scrambling when a trusted pet turns on its tail."

"Suddenly." The 'suddenly,' comes after a pause. Pointed. Poisonous, maybe. Less subtle in its implications than he'd like.

"Terrorism's a blooming business on this coast, innit."

This is mused out loud, with only a little irritation. Logan's been here too long to get overly exasperated at the shenanigans of terrorists, and sometimes they do things like break bridges that sharply shifts the focus off of emerging crime rings, or offer you a suitcase full of money. A pause ticks by before he gives into addiction — the cigarette case is shining silver, half-filled with fags, one lit via match book and all movements swiftly done, too practiced. In the future, he speaks with an even more razorly rasp than he does now.

Lit match is tossed aside, left to suffocate on slick asphalt. "I don't know if I can do a thing like that," he says, words and smoke. And reluctance. Better to turn down offers because you can as opposed to because you can't.

"I'm not boring you, am I?"

Apology does not come not come naturally to Calvin.

There's a toxic fork to the tongue he slips in past his teeth for a grin that is very clean and very white. Sodium to water white, blazing sheer light and ill-temper pure enough to corrode when he paces closer still, irises ringed glassy pale round the pitchy swell of his pupils.

"I mean, I thought I'd try to go the nice route before I did anything more drastic." Dras. Tic.

The street lamp dims and buzzes and filters bright and gold again in time with the deliberate placement of his next step.

Logan holds his ground, iguana patterned oil-slick leather shoes steadfast on pavement that has a similar quality in the dankness, all light reflection and texture. The single glowing orange eye of his cigarette flares on an inhale, streaking down as his hand drops and he streams smoke away — when the haze lifts, he's matching stare for stare, his mouth going into a crooked smile— kind of— when he recognises, as he does, the notes and undertones of threat. And overtones, as it happens, and there's a darting look for the wobble of electrical light from its metal stalk.

"I meant it," he says, voice edged, and meeting territory by a step. "I can download pornography from the sky, move finances in my sleep, and track you to the ends of the earth given the right circumstances, but I've not touched the robots. Because I'm not stupid." Wisps of smoke escape on emphasis.

He pauses, then, and eyes squint, vaguely feline in his study, as if something's jjjust caught his attention. He doesn't have the benefit of supernatural glow to make his stare piercing, just sharp curiosity.

"What is it exactly that concerns you? The AI?" Arrogantly skeptical only the way people who've nooo ability to have any idea to begin with can be, Calvin stands up to scrutiny — and that's about it. No E for exceeds expectations. No quaking fissures to be pried or chipped away at: he is dead tired and possibly on something and thin enough now to take on that hungry. glittery-eyed look that stray animals sometimes have about themselves.

Clean and alert but not to be hand fed, if one values the full use of their hands. And all ten wiggly fingers.

"I've had the pleasure of researching the brain they based it on and you'll have to trust me when I say she's on the less ominous side of handicapped." His own sneer is enough to distract him from the way he's being looked at, aforementioned arrogance layered thick into careless do it faggot derision. It takes him a solid beat to read and re-asses, the rankle bit hard into the bridge of his nose ebbing gradually into something warier. What are you looking at?

Rather than study the shadows beneath the kohl printed around Calvin's eyes, Logan searches something deeper, looking through pseudo-Brit and only retracting around when he just notices that Calvin's expression has formed into comprehension that Logan is. Staring at him. His posture twitches straight, a nothing barely muttered beneath a heavy layer of muted fascination. There is something he can detect, a signal, and it's interesting. The compulsion to leap right in and start jamming at metaphorical buttons is only tempered when he remembers Calvin's been talking to him, and the cigarette is ashing on his sleeve.

"'She'," he repeats, now flicking his gaze away from the metallokinetic, inspecting the end of his cigarette. His accent hiked into a crisper class than the blurrier snarls he'd leveled at Amadeus. "Never thought've it as a she, but I've not made her acquaintance. But I'll give it a try, for a price." A tilt of his head, towards the suitcase, before he looks back at Calvin's stare, cautious against looking any deeper than corneas.

Logan's smile comes across as a smirk, the kind that tempts others to swipe it off with the back of a hand, more often than not. Eyebrows go up. "And a name."

Well it's too fucking late now, isn't it? Calvin's already suspicious. Paranoid, even, in a twitch about his core that might've manifested into another physical threat if he had less of a grip on himself. The sudden shift in interest and agreement doesn't help. Too quick for his own good. Mind in too many places.

Bottom line is that he should've brought someone else with him.

But he didn't.


He's waiting when Logan's eyes fix back on his own, acrid dislike a byproduct of his unwillingness to rise to unintentional bait. He doesn't have to know. Even if he feels like he does.

A matter of unconscious degrees in the angle and set of his skull on his shoulders asks (and warns against answering) for him in the same slow settled breath.

"Her name is Alia."

Logan isn't telling, it seems, if he reads the question at all through body language. It's a card taken from no where and tucked up his sleeve. Lingering smugness is, at least, distracted from as he blinks his familiarity at that name and vague enough interest that might have covered for him a few moments ago, but there's no doing for it now. He's quiet this time, an arm roping around his own waist and cigarette raised to breathe from, although he only lightly sets nails against his chin in a thinking man's posture.

He doesn't take it back or layer on his agreement with affirmation. Normally he'd make for a handshake, but it's not his offer. "And yours?" he asks, lightly, and then a slight slant of coyness when he adds, "I mean, what'm I supposed to call you?"

Restlessly spooked as he already is in the face of unresolved curiosity at his own expense, Calvin has to struggle to keep himself from pacing like a caged tiger through ensuing quiet, all lithe bristle and stripes. There's a beat where his eyes seem to pulse bright, electric blue searing cold 'round bloodless irises. Searching. But the effort's spent to no avail.

Logan doesn't have the answer written across himself in iron fillings.

And he's too valuable to squeeze like a rotten bit of fruit.

Which is the real issue, here, Mister Sheridan is quickly beginning to realize, gears twitching against sprockets into the start of a gradual re-think on the brilliance of this entire branch of scandalous plot.

"M'name's Calvin."

Paradoxically, considering the exchange, having biochem sounds like a good idea suddenly, whether to stifle searing glow in case it portends anything bad, or smooth ruffled feathers that he's slowly— ever so— picking up on in the form of answers and no questions. But he doesn't have powers.


Logan just blinks a nod at the name given to him— unsure whether it sounds familiar or not— and doesn't talk this time, stems his questions and signals this with a twitch of his fingers. Sets his teeth back again on filter, and pockets his cigarette case.

Calvin watches on, level and unblinking even once he's taken Logan's non-response for invitation and unlatched the metal shell of his case, clack clack to yawn it open wide and expose the banded columns of cash contained therein. Hard to tell how much is in there, exactly, but it looks to be most easily counted into 'thousands,' in the few seconds of peep-time John gets before Cal shores it up again.

"Consider this a fifty-percent advance. You'll get the rest once you've followed through. Which I trust you will, given how easy you've made yourself to find, lately." Mister Eltingville.

The remaining distance between them is crossed at Calvin's usual wind. Not quite a sashay. He is tired. The closed case is proffered. As heavy as it looks, for all that there's strength in his arm to keep it rigidly aloft when his eyes drift chill after blood seeping black through expensive shirt.

"I can doctor your shoulder if y’like."

Linderman Group afforded him the opportunity to deal in things other than money — occasionally, he got to be the mysterious queer with a briefcase full of it. But civvie watch doesn't pay the same and his safety net is all favours and drugs rather than cold hard cash. There's a bloodhound tilt to his chin as Logan peers after the little field of green offered in the metal mouth of the case, not quite blood on the wind but it has the same attraction. He flicks ash off the end of his cigarette as Calvin nears, gaze dipping when the view is closed for the evening.

A quick glance around, then, thinking of the ferry ride to the mainland he isn't going to take and his own unwillingness to sashay through the Eltingville gates with a briefcase of money — fortunately, he has allies, means, and a limitless text plan.

His lip curls at this left field offer, glancing after the evidence of the wound, before his free hand goes out— the one not attached to injured shoulder— to wind his long, scarred fingers around the handle of the container, letting its weight rest with Calvin for a few moments longer. "I've got one of those. A doctor. But thanks anyway." There's a note of sincerity in his voice that could well be fabricated, but if so, it's not done badly. He goes to take the case, to tug it out of Calvin's hands.

"How will you want it?"

Offer made and declined as anticipated, Calvin dips his bristly chin into a tolerant suit yourself, manners for manners fabricated or not.

Closer up he smells a bit like a hard-ridden engine: metal and heat and a harsh chemical tang on the tongue. Not entirely pleasant. It clings especially thick to the matte black of his coat, arcing hot across his near sleeve until Logan takes on the case's weight and custody of the cash is relinquished without pitfall or flourish.

"I'll get your attention once I've got one or two boxed up for your perusal. Unless," he glances to blood again on his way to stepping off into the start of an exuent, "you'd prefer to do it remotely."

"No, I'll need to be close," is clipped and business-like, abruptly, because necessary arrangements will have to be made for. That kind of thing. The suitcase swings at Logan's side, satisfyingly heavy, and he pitches his cigarette away, almost over Calvin's shoulder but not so rude to threaten singeing of gingery dreads. There is that barest flicker after that thing he sees and doesn't see, made manifest in intrigued hesitation. Like maybe he should. Ask.

Over in a blink. "You have a good night, then." Logan retracts, from conversation and proximity, on the retreat before his own scents can begin to cloy beneath acrid metal — smoke, mainly, and this morning's cologne dousing. Italian heels click smart his strides away, in a tangential direction after some space he can bunker down until the reinforcements arrive.

"Right," says Calvin. The way his eyes drift temporarily out've focus probably has more to do with thinking what other parts of him will be up for being singe-ed soon than irritation or pause. Rrrobots.

Robots and intrigued hesitation.

Return awareness shutters pupil apertures down into shrill saurian points. He's used to being looked at in a lot of different ways. This isn't one of them.

On the edge of rounding to ask himself, temper worn desperately thin, he stiffens his shoulders out into the start of a bristle only to have Logan swish immediately out of reach. Fine. Flummoxed and irritable, Cal is quick to swallow and follow suit in the opposite direction.

Mutual departure.

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