Not A Diamond


kelly_icon.gif maddie_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Not a Diamond
Synopsis Kelly meets with Smedley to see the 'diamond' in the lunchbox, and gets to meet Maddie as well.
Date July 19, 2010

Fort Greene Apartments: Laundry Room

Rather than risk the wrath of his saintly pseudo-landlady by doubling the criminal population in the apartment, even if for just a few minutes, Smedley arranges to meet with Kelly in the building's basement laundry room. Girls have no shortage of laundry, right? That, and Smedley's not about to crash for free, even if that means doing simple apartment maintenance. And washing Maddie's affects.

The walls are cinderblock and decorated only with the random tacked up note either from the management or some passive aggressive tenant. Smedley sits on one of the industrial strength metal tables, a basket beside him. It's full of towels, but only the bottom few are folded.

"So," he says with a half smile, looking across the tops of a row of washers into the middle distance. "You ready to look in my lunchbox, Kelly?"

Laundry rooms aren't the usual sorts of places that Kelly meets people in, but a job is a job, and she's just intrigued enough to agree to the odd request. Fully armed, of course. More, she's even on time, almost to the minute exactly. Her steps are slow that carry her downstairs, eyes searching the place until she spots Smedley. "This is one hell of an odd place to meet, you know that right?" she asks in that empty voice of hers. "But yes, I'm ready."

A moment after Kelly, Maddie enters, not having stopped off at the apartment first on her way home from the gym, which she hit after work. It's her habit to wash her gym clothes immediately, rather than let them mold and mildew, even if it is just a little bit of a waste of water. Her blonde hair in a wet ponytail, fresh from the gym's shower, she swings the gym bag off her shoulder to drop onto one of the washing machines. Perhaps its the sunglasses she hasn't pushed up onto her head just yet, but it takes her a moment to catch sight of Smedley.

She doesn't say hello but surveys the situation — Smedley and a strange woman, clearly discussing … something. Is this a dangerous situation? Should she pretend not to know him? Behind Kelly's back, she tries to catch his eye, pointing to the door and tilting her head: should I go?

"Basket," is all Smedley says before his eyes focus in on Maddie. Or, more specifically, her sunglasses. Sunglasses are awesome, in a way. He smirks in a 'What the hell are you thinking?' sort of way, giving his head an almost imperceptible shake. "And be careful," he adds. "My delicates'r awful delicate."

Underneath two towels that lie slightly crumpled on top of the heap in the basket is a vintage Transformers lunchbox that has seen better days. It doesn't look special at all, and it clearly isn't worth much due to the condition it's in.

A look behind her? That has Kelly stepping in and around the wall before she turns, just enough to look at Maddie, just enough to present her profile, making her a smaller target. Habit, really, nothing personal. After a long moment of study, Kelly moves towards the basket, careful to give neither person her back, then she moves th towels aside until she can see the lunchbox in it. She looks unimpressed and flicks a glance to Smedley, then shrugs and opens it up.

Offering a shrug, Maddie opens the washer and shakes out her gym bag. Socks, panties, shorts, jogging bra, t-shirt all go in for one tiny little load. She glances over her shoulder. "Oy. No mentioning your delicates, there are ladies present," she says, her Australian accent alerting Kelly to the fact Maddie is no native.

She also pulls from the laundry bag a small, single-serving sort of package of Tide, tearing it open and pouring it in, before punching in her keycode for the laundry machine. That done, she turns to watch Kelly's reaction of the strange trinket in the box. "Buyer?" she mouths to Smedley.

And there it is. The lights on the electronic gizmo embedded inside the already yellow-tinged crystal make the whole thing glow. The rock itself is incredibly large and, if Kelly knows much about them, too perfect to be real. Even the stingy, artificial light in the basement makes the thing sparkle, but the lights within it make it glow. All of this is enhanced by the shiny metal inside the lunchbox.

"And don't even start beggin', Kelly, 'cause no amount of girlish glee'll get me to find some nutcase jeweler to set that rock for'ya." He glances across his shoulder at his fellow thief, or rather her left eyebrow, and winks. It puts him in a prime position to catch Maddie's mouthed question. But he purses his lips and frowns. No dice, Sheila.

"I'm no lady," Kelly says absently in response to Maddie's words, but her eyes are fixed on the…thing…in the lunchbox. Right up until Smedley speaks again. Her eyes slowly lift to his face, and she stares for a full minute, unblinking. "I have no glee, Smedley. You know that. Besides, this isn't a diamond. I have no idea what it is, but it's not a diamond. They don't glow, remember?" It seems that if he's comfortable doing this in front of Maddie, she is as well.

Hopping up onto the washer, Maddie crosses her legs Indian-style on top. "It's probably like some fake artifact souvenir whatsit from some attraction at an amusement park or something like that. I don't know, a princess fairy crystal that's supposed to summon the goodness of mankind," she says. Probably not helping, whatever deal he's trying to strike with Kelly. "Though I'm not sure why it's so important, if that's the case," she adds.

Smedley sniffs and straightens. "Can't say I'd know. I'm a fan'uh rubies, myself." He tilts his head toward Maddie and chuckles, keeping his somewhat dirty joke to himself for now. "Sheila's got a point. Like I told you last night, I've no damned clue what this thing is, other than somethin' at least two people'r willin' to spill blood over. Which can mean'uh damned pretty penny for the likes'uh us, if we play our cards right. But I need help countin' cards. S'where you come in, Kelly."

He pauses for a moment, then squints in Maddie's direction. "Sheila, is it like in those TV shows where newspaper types can get all sorts of information, just 'cause they're newspaper types? Meanin', could you see if something like this has been described anyplace?"

Kelly glances to the other two briefly, before reaching into the lunchbox, to carefully, cautiously take the stone out so she can get a better look at it. "If people are willing to pay for it, then it doesn't matter what it is," she says, shrugging. "The only possibility I can see where I'd care is it whatever it was, and knowing those details, would raise its selling price." Seems she wouldn't care if it was some sort of weapon of mass destruction. Rah, rah sociopaths!

"Be careful—" Maddie begins, looking a little worried. "I mean, we don't know what it is. You don't want to turn it on or something if it's dangerous." Apparently she doesn't think it's a souvenir pixie crystal. Her eyes shift to Smedley, and she shrugs. "I can nose around, do some queries into the system, but it's pretty much like Googling these days, you know? The only thing that I have access to are more news agencies' files and public records and such, that yer normal Joe Bloggs wouldn't know how to access maybe. I can try.”

The rock, whether it is a diamond or some other precious jewel, is in a brilliant cut. At the bottom of the pavilion, where the cutlet should be, is a tiny hole - the female end of a connection, which leads up into the rest of the electronics by way of a small wire. Smedley eyes Kelly's hands as she investigates the rock further, but his apprehension is more of the "what if she bolts with it" sort than the "what if it blows up" kind.

"I'd 'preciate that, Sheila," he says somewhat absently, his eyes fixed on Kelly, his mind on the revolvers under his jacket. "Whatever either'uh you gals can find out, I'd 'preciate."

Kelly frowns as she looks at the diamond, using only one hand to study it. She's lived too long on the wrong side of the law to not have a hand free with a stranger in the room. "There are no switches that I can see, but there is a connector here. I wonder if this isn't some sort of data storage device. Like a really odd flash drive. There is certainly a great deal of information out there that is worth killing for."

Maddie nod to Smedley, watching Kelly as well. "I know crystals are used for various mechanical devices… Could it be for something like that? I don't really know what would take one that big, or what would make it … glow." She's certainly no physicist or mechanic. "I'll do some research, see what I can find, but… I don't know. You wouldn't think people on Staten would be worried about that sort of thing, would you? They don't seem too high tech in that neck of the woods." She's starting to talk like Smedley — but with an Aussie accent.

Only true cowhands can do a long, appreciative whistle justice. "Damn big storage device," Smedley says with a nod toward the…thingy. Device. Rock. Lunchbox Whatsit. "Could be part'a sumthin' bigger, but if we go pluggin' that sumbitch into random shit…well, we could end up random shit, if you get my meanin'."

He nods in Maddie's direction without looking at her and hums audibly for a second. "Geoff might not have more intel than we do, Sheila. Could'a just be told about the lunchbox, and that I had it. Whatever he needed to make the hit and snag it. Dumb luck he's no good at stowin'. Betcha if you go back there, he'll have a grand in Mason jars in that God forsaken patch'uh dirt."

Maddie gets a nod. "There is that too," Kelly agrees before looking to Smedley and shrugging. "It was just an idea. I really don't know what this thing is. Just guesses," she says, replacing the rock and closing the lunchbox. "I'll do some checking though, see what I can dig up."

The reporter hops off the washing machine, glancing at the time on it and then pulls out a phone to punch in the alarm clock. "I'll go and do some checking now, and let you know… it'd be nice to know what it is, even if there weren't tossers shooting at us left 'n' right about it, just for curiosity's sake, you know?" She smiles at Kelly. "I'm Maddie. You don't have to tell me your name, though." She picks up her laundry bag. "I'm going to go make some dinner. Nice to sort of meet you." And with that, she's out the door.

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