Ken And Barbie's Big Night Out


conrad_icon.gif helena_icon.gif kain_icon.gif

Scene Title Ken And Barbie's Big Night Out
Synopsis Helena and Conrad pay Kain a visit.
Date November 17, 2008


The pulsing beat of bass throbs through the walls of Rapture, a high-class nightclub in the heart of Harlem. Rows of expensive cars line up out front of the exclusive club and a crowd of would-be patrons wait outside, cherry-picked by the bouncers to have only the cream of the crop on the interior, while leaving just enough eye-candy outside to entice other patrons. The club serves as a respite for the trendy and the influential from the grind of daily life.

On the inside, Rapture is as much a spectacle as it is a structure. Multiple dance floors in tiered balconies overlooking an enormous central dance floor ringed by plush leather-upholstered booths. Pale blue light shines on the wrap-around bar that curved around the back of the establishment, and the entire building is filled floor-to-floor and shoulder-to-shoulder with the pulsing, flowing sea of people dancing to the rythmic beats of electronic dance music piped through the expansive sound-system.

Kain Zarek is a man of business first, and a man of action second.

It should come as no surprise to people who have operated within his circle before that when push comes to shove, Kain's a man with a bit of a slouch. Unless a certain green-backed incentive comes flipping down the pipe towards him, any and all actions he takes are done with a certain lazy sunday afternoon pace. Given the phone call that Helena placed to him on Friday morning was only finally responded to on the early afternoon of the following Monday, it's fair to say that no real monetary incentive was given to speed up the pace of the arms dealer's activities.

Come Friday evening though, Kain finally pulls through. Invited not just to come down to Rapture, but to come as VIP guests, Mr.Zarek spares no expense for his erstwhile business partners. Monday evening at Rapture is the single slowest night of the week, even for the usually packed club. The line outside is kept artificially long by slowly seeding people in through the door, leaving much of the usually packed dance floors and bar areas feeling exceptionally sparse. It's perhaps for this precice reason that Kain has chosen to hold there meeting here and now.

Greeted at the door not by the bouncers, but by one of Kain's personal bodyguards — a mountain of a man with a bald head and small red-lensed sunglasses — Helena and her guest are escorted not to the private booths that encircle the central dance floor, but beyond the DJ's station and the bar, up a flight of metal stairs to the second tier balcony that overlooks the central area of the nightclub, and then finally into a VIP lounge.

The entire place has a certain feeling of class and taste about it, distinctly smeared by the presence of Kain Zarek. Standing by a curving wall of windows overlooking the club floor below, Kain looks for all his worth like a hick stuffed into a suit. His dirty blonde hair swept back to fall down at his shoulders, suit jacket off and laying over the back of a chair behind the nearby glass-topped desk, sleeves of his dress shirt unbuttoned and folded back. His five o'clock shadow is visible on his reflection in the glass when the door opens, eyes lifting up to the sound as Manny leads the way into the suite.

"Mista' Zarek, you's lady-friend and her guest are here." The bald thug steps aside, holding the door open and motions into the furnished lounge, towards a pair of leather couches flanking a glossy black table. Kain's reflection cracks a smile, and the cajun turns around with one dark brow raised.

"Well hey there Militia-Barby," His smile spreads from ear to ear, arms folding across his chest, "Lemmie' guess, that's Ken?"

So of course Helena dresses to the occaision. Off the shoulder seafoam green silk blouse, one shoulder left bare to the world, pants appropriately tight enough for people to know certain things about her personnal business, and some boots that Claire would give eyeteeth for. She nearly did, because they're hers. "You want to check him to see if he's anatomically correct? Kain, meat Conrad. Conrad, meet Kain." She slides into the booth. "Play nice."

"Holy shit. Is that guy for real?" Conrad asks, glancing over his shoulder at the bald thug and then looking back at Kain.

What the kids at home would see written on this panel, if it were a comic book, would be some neat little effects or else a box of text explaining that the thug doesn't hear a word of this. Because Conrad's power is to control sound. And he's very good at it. And to Mr. Thug it looks like Conrad alone has been muted. His words are all audible to Helena and Kain, however. Especially the next part where he perfectly, down to pitch and timbre, mimics the thug's voice. "Mista' Zarek, so nice t'meetchu. It's a pleazha, boss." Grinning to himself, he extends a hand and offers his own big grin, saying in his own Conrad voice, "Love your place. You pull in all the hot chicks."

Keeping that brow raised, Kain follows Helena with his eyes as she slips into the lounge and over towards the sofas, then flicks his eyes up to Conrad. "That must be great fun at parties," Kain offers with a crook of his lips that turns a smile into a smirk. "Alright then, dollface, what do y'all need?" Straight to business it seems, as he circles around to walk over towards a minibar situated across the room from the sofas, picking up a highball glass, settling it down on the marble countertop with a clunk. "Ah' figure since y'all went t'me an' not Deckard that you got yourself somethin' you want that's a bit more than just a couple a sticks a dynamite?" A bottle of bourbon is lifted up from the bar, stopper pulled off with a soft plunk before he begins to fill about an inch of the glass. "Saw your handywork on the evenin' news last night, you kids sure do know how t'make a guy feel safe…"

As Kain misinterprets one militant pro-Evolved group for another, Manny moves over to slowly close the door to the lounge, stepping outside before the door shuts with a soft click. "Either a'you thirsty?"

"You're mistaking us for people who enjoy random violence. Actually, the reason we're here is so you can meet Conrad - who will probably be coming to you if he determines we need further supply…and to ask you why you think Deckard things it's cool to ask questions and make inquiries about my people?" Helena's expression is politely inquiring, with a promise of less politeness later. "Just water for me."

Conrad's dismissive wave at the non-compliment is casual. "I'm just good with impersonations." he says, clearly reverse-exaggerating. "Anyway it wasn't us. It wasn't even the other guys." He lets that hang for a beat before snorting and shaking his head. "Deckard…I gotta catch up with that old pirate. But yeah, this is a get-to-know-you type meeting. So you can see my pretty face and we can fall in love and make beautiful deals for far more beautiful hardware together. That other part's Her business." Con inclines his head at girl he sits down next to.

"You're in a saucy mood, darlin'." Kain grins as he takes a sip of the bourbon from the glass, "Ain't any difference between whatever it is you do, and whatever it is the other people do. Long as it ain't bangin' on my door Ah ain't gonna give it any extra thought." With the bourbon left on the martbe countertop, Kain snatches a bottle of water and begins sauntering back over to the leather sofas. "First, lemmie' make this crystal clear to th' both'a ya — I ain't Deckard's keeper." He stops behind one couch, waggling the bottle of water held by the cap towards Helena, "He's his own ornrey little bastard, but a cut a his profits go to mah employer." His eyes shift over to Conrad, "Secondly, you coulda' picked a prettier face if'n Ah'm gonna' have t'be seein' it all the time." He flashe a quick and wide smile, "No offense sonny-boy, Ah' was hopin' for Shotgun Barbie."

"Shotgun Barbie will no longer be appearing in this production. Thanks to your aforementioned friend, Flint Deckard." Helena says faux brightly. "And while you're not his keeper, you did reccomend him to me, and his wayward behavior reflects on you." She accepts the bottle with a murmured thank you.

Conrad waits patiently for Helena to answer that, then adds, "Anyway Mister Zarek, I'm better than Shotgun Barbie. I'm Pay-Up-Front Ken, with Fair-Deal Action. Guaranteed never to turn into Bad-Mood-This-Week Barbie or Pissed-Off-At-You-But-Not-Gonna-Tell-You-Why Barbie, and especially not Asks-Too-Many-Stupid-Ass-Questions or Runs-His-Mouth-To-Wrong-People Barbie. Barbies are overrated."

"Flint ain't mah friend." Kain corrects, taking another sip of bourbon, "Ain't mah fault he can't keep it in his pants." He goes for a usual problem-causing assumption for the precocious Deckard. Blue eyes shift over to Conrad as Kain makes his way to stand beside the glass-topped table between the two sofas, rolling the glass around in his hand as he does. "Alright, darlin'," His focus shifts back over to Helena, "Ah' like th' way your boy thinks." He shifts focus back over to Conrad, giving him an assessing stare for a moment before nodding his head, sending a stray lock of hair to slip out from his swept back coif, "Pay up front pretty much sold me on that."

Taking another sip of bourbon, Kain rolls one shoulder and looks back to Helena, breathing in a slow breath before exhaling a sigh. "So's there anythin' in particular you want me to start keepin' mah eye out for, hardware-wise, for y'little merry band a' thieves?" His head cocks to one side, brow raising expectantly.

Helena shakes her head, looking fairly put off as she swigs her water. "It's not about that. But he's been trying to get personal info on Abby for one, me for another - and I doubt he's doing it to get his jollies. Conrad, if you've got a wish list, now's the time."

Leaning back where he's sitting, Conrad crosses his arms and appears to think. And…actually does think. "I didn't really come here with a list in mind, but now that you mention it, how much ammonium nitrate can you get your hands on? We're gonna be pretty interested in that. Also symtex, detonators…no C-4. None at all. Uhm…and if you can get a deal on NATO-caliber pistols with silencers to fit em, I think that's all I'm really thinking of for the time being. Oh, and tasers."

Kain affords Helena a bit of a stare as she carries on about Deckard, "If he's bein' a prick, call 'em on it and give him a good ole sock to the eye. He responds well t'violence." Or so Kain would love to imagine anyway. Conrad, however, keeps Zarek's attention far more intimately. "Whatever you need Ah' can find a way t'get it. If we're talkin' bulk of the nitrate you're gonna have to wait if'n y'want it all at once. Suppliers get a little itchy when you start haulin dump-trucks of that across state lines."

He eases down to sit on the arm of the couch opposite of Conrad and Helena, taking a sip from his glass. "Everythin' else Ah' can get, long as you're still pay-up-front-Conrad." He flashes another wide smile, "Got me enough connections that the stuff civilians can't get their hands on ain't much of a problem. But it'll cost ya." It always does. "If that's everythin'," His eyes flick over to Helena, "Ah got another client lined up for tonight that's got a little laundry list they want too."

Helena rises from her seat. "Have a good evening, Zarek." she says, and tilts her head toward Conrad. "Come on. We've got our own appointments to keep tonight."

"Oh I'm Pay-Up-Front. But remember the Fair-Deal Action. I need a price." Conrad says, adding with a grin, "And I know how much symtex and the nitrate costs." Then to Kain as he rises to leave, "Great meeting you. We're gonna be friends, I can tell." Wink and point. Pure cheese.

Kain nods slowly, motioning over to the door. "I'll phone you with a price tag by the end a'the week." There's no immediate sign that Manny was listening in, but the door opens and the gargantuan man steps in with a duck of his head beneath the door frame as he stands aside as Helena and Conrad make their way out. The large bodyguard watches the pair slip out of the lounge, then nods to Kain as he closes the door again. The blonde-haired Cajun breathes out a sigh through his nose, then reaches down to pick up a cell phone on the glass topped table, flipping it open after pressing one of the speed-dial buttons.

"Yeah, it's me." His eyes scan over to the large glass windows that overlook the dance floor of the club, "My seven o'clock just left. You an' Fedora comin' on down or what?" There's a bit of a pause, followed by another sigh as Kain slips off of the arm of the sofa and walks to stand by the window, watching Helena and Conrad arriving on the ground floor. "Yeah, Ah'll be here. You best be wearin' that fancy dress darlin'…" Kain pulls the phone away from his ear, cracking a broad smile as the person on the other end shouts loudly, and then gradually eases it back in place.

"You sure got a way with words, Melinda."

November 17th: Come To Terms

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 17th: The Kiss Heard Round the Roller Rink
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