Make The Most


deckard_icon.gif niles_icon.gif

Scene Title Make The Most
Synopsis Lucky for Niles, the Ferry's been watching for him. Deckard disseminates the good news and they set to circling each other in anticipation of all the time they're going to be spending together over the next few days.
Date May 17, 2009

Hotel California

There's the scent of cigarette smoke curling up from their 'camp' level. Niles has a cigarette pinched between his lips and is dealing out a torn pack of cards for a game of solitaire. He didn't pack them on purpose, rather, they were already in the bag he packed before he was ousted from the trailer farm. Probably a remnant of some road trip from back in the days when he had a real life.

He's sitting cross-legged on the sleeping bag, a tiny airplane bottle of rum at his elbow and a bag of open chips beside that. He's got all the essentials.

Back down into the cool shadows of the desolated office building, like a jackal skirting back down into its burrow, Deckard reappears more at ease than he was when he left. There's no gun in his hand anyway, no imminent threat of death or ejection written out terse across his long face. "Good news." He even sounds a little upbeat — enough so that it's almost awkward in the hoarse rough of his voice, especially when it's paired up with a cynical twist at the corner of his mouth. Good news: he rarely has any. "The Ferry's been expecting you."

His backpack is slung down next to the table with a clank and a slosh so that he can occupy the opposite chair, booted feet quick to seek out a position in range of the heater's glow. "Bad news is I still dunno what's going on."

"Well," says Niles as he eyes Deckard. He pulls the cigarette from his lips and exhales a mouthful of smoke. "That makes two of us." He flips up the cards, then takes a swig from the little bottle. "I suppose the man who sent me to you was legit then. If your people were expecting me. Perhaps they'll have some answers."

He shifts over so he can lean back against an overturned filing cabinet. "So. What happens now? I have images of being brought before a council of elders with hoods up over their faces."

"Don't think so." Clink, clank. Deckard leans over sideways to shuffle around in the contents of his pack, nudging sharp metal out of the way in favor of a beat up old flask. "She didn't know who I was talking about when I passed on your description, and we only knew to watch out for you. Not that you would actually show up." We, we, we. Half an hour ago he wasn't sure the Ferrymen would deign to talk to him again. Now it's all we and us.

"None of the people who know I've shown an interest in doing this kind of thing fit your description. Maybe next time you get broken out of prison and sent off on a mysterious quest by an asshole in glasses, remember to ask what his name is." Helpful advice from an old piece of shit who didn't remember to ask Niles what his name was. The cap of the flask is unscrewed so that he can swallow down a long pull of the contents. Only then does he bother to look at his watch. Noon.

Ngh. It's five o'clock somewhere.

"We stay here a few days while information filters in, then move somewhere that sucks less."
"Well. Let's hope our organs don't get liquefied by the radiation in the meantime." Though Niles doesn't look particularly concerned. He leans his head bac and coughs. And what's good for a cough? More rum and smoking.

They'll get along juuust fine.

"From the way this guy was dancing around my question of 'why did you bust me out of prison?' I doubt he would have told me the truth even if I had asked." He paws a hand against a part of his cheek and immediately regrets it. Right. Bruises. Busted nose. "It's weird to suddenly feel like people know things about me. Things I don't know about. My friends sure as hell did. Gio punched me like I flushed his favourite hamster." A grunt. "We never got along great…" mostly because he was competition for Aria's attention and affection. And he didn't like following Niles' lead. "…but usually when he breaks part of my anatomy, he does so with good cause. I haven't seen him in over a month."

"The levels aren't bad, here. The worst of the fallout went the other way." Unless you count the steady stream of ionizing radiation trickling out of Deckard's skull, because that stuff's aimed right at Niles. Poky ribs rise and fall around a deep breath across the table. Eventually, after another long draw of whiskey, Deckard reaches down for his pack again, this time to collect the flat black of his notebook and a pen to match.

He listens. He's good at listening, glances timed to an unconscious T to confirm that he's still paying attention and tuned in even as he flips through the battered little book. "Slander and defamation have come a long way with the rise of the Evolved." If it could be called a rise. "If someone's seriously trying to smoke you out, there's no telling what they've been made to think." 'Math-e-son,' is scribbled carefully out next to Grace's name and number.

"Bloody fucking hell. Apparently I got important while I was locked away." Niles plays a move in solitaire. "I'm beginning to prefer anonymity." He crunches a chip, then pokes the bag Deckard's way. "So. Who are the Ferrymen anyway? I've heard of the orphanage, but not them. I'm guessing you protect people. Somehow."

The ash from his cigarette is dashed out to the left. What's one more bit of dirt on the floor in here? "Aren't you going to ask me why I think they locked me up in the first place?"

"The Ferrymen are people who help people who need help." Not the clearest of explanations, but not overly complicated either. A few more notes are made, scratchily incomprehensible, and Deckard flicks the book shut so that it can be dropped back into his open bag.

"If I ask you questions and you answer them, then there's an expectation that I'll answer questions for you in return." Ronch ronch ronch. He takes advantage of the chip offer with his left hand and has the good grace to chew with his mouth closed, if only as an afterthought. "If you eventually succumb to the tension and ask the question yourself…" he lifts his brows, vaguely expectant of an answer despite not actually having, you know. Asked.

"I know that if you can do something, then it's not defensive. Otherwise you wouldn't be carrying a gun." Niles inclines his head towards where Deckard set a weapon down earlier. He very gently touches his nose and regrets it immediately. He winces as a sharp pain pierces through his skull. Ow. Yes. Still very broken.

"I will tell you this much. What I can do? I think that's why they locked me away. Why there's marks like a cat scratch on my neck. And it might be why whoever those people are busted me out."

"I see in the dark," says Deckard, with an air of exaggerated, 'ok you got me' confession even as his chilly eyes trace neatly over the break in the skull beneath Niles's battered face. For lack of anything better to do with his hands, he belatedly follows the kid's example and reaches into his coat after his box of cigarettes, one tapped out onto the table. It's followed out by a flip lighter and another glance at the tell-tale marks on Niles's neck, even if Flint has no idea what tale they're supposed to be telling.

"Seems plausible. They almost shipped me off without a trial and all I can do is look at people."
"Anything worth seeing? In the dark, that is?" Niles continues to flip out the cards, but he's not really paying much attention. He's not making particularly smart moves. There's a soft grunt, then, "My power involves electricity. It doesn't take much for me to overload someones' nervous system to the point where they just black out." Or fry their brain so it will no longer work. But he'll leave that part unsaid. Also the part where he could fry five brains at once.

He butts out the spent cigarette and washes out his mouth with what's left in the little bottle of rum. He's not going to be bored easily. Hell. On Level 5, he didn't have cigarettes, booze and cards and he managed to not go crazy after weeks. This is positively sensory overload in comparison.

So he fries people like a fork in an electric socket style. "Cool." It's a legit 'Cool,' rather than a sarcastic one, though his earnestness is made somewhat ambiguous by the muffle of his hands around the cigarette he's trying to light at the corner of his mouth. A gusty breeze has other plans. It tugs at Niles's game in progress too, but soon enough it's lit and he's breathing deep. Also, wondering if he has any of the good stuff left in that little baggy he saw at the bottom of his pack. His brow furrows when he reaches to poke at one of the stacks Niles has made thus far. Hm.

"Got any family?"

Niles reaches out and flattens a palm against the cards to stop them from blowing away. A few get unsettled and he replaces them in a way that benefits his game. Cheating, but, whatever. "Do you?" asks the fugitive in response to Deckard's question. It's a not-so-subtle hint that family isn't the best area of discussion. Considering he flash-fried his stepfather, widowed his mother and left his half-brother without a dad. Family's a touchy subject.

"Sister." Concise answers for concise questions. Healthier color bleeds into the pale wash of Deckard's eyes while he watches the rearrangement of scattered cards, but he declines to comment. Who doesn't cheat at solitaire? "She sells drugs." Even his elaboration is concise. Also, delivered rather matter-of-factly given the choice of career in question. "So if you ever want any, I've got the hook-up."

Hard to tell if it's a serious offer, but with the way he's burning through whiskey and the cigarette he just lit, odds are he dabbles a little himself.

"Something tells me my family would be no happier to see me than my friends were." And that encounter left Niles talking funny. He considers Deckard for a moment, and that offer, genuine or not. "Only weed. Could use some now. Aspirin's barely taking the edge off." He starts to gather up the cards and when they're stacked together, he offers them out to Deckard.

A tip of Deckard's head acknowledges the shittiness of family relations gone down the crapper. A sideways set of his jaw marks private consideration over whether or not he likes the kid enough to share his remaining stash. …Maybe later.

The cards are taken and shuffled together, once, twice, then bridged back down beneath the nimble cage of his thumbs so that they can be set back out in a neat stack between them. For cutting, or just to sit there while he taps ash away from the end of his cigarette. Yeah, onto the floor. Why not? "We'll probably spend the next few nights here, then move somewhere with electricity."

"And a roof, maybe?" Niles quirks a grin. Less sharky this time. "Not that I'm complaining. Anything's better than a windowless room. Well. Unless you count the one-way mirror." He waves a vague hand. "I can give us electricity. It just wouldn't do us much good."

"And a roof. The weather should hold as long as we're here, according to the forecast. If not I'll clear out a space a couple of floors down." So he's a gun seller with a drug dealing sister, but he's one who does his homework, so. Maybe that counts for something in the way of vague responsibility.


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