Number Seventeen



Number Seventeen Provided by:


Scene Title Number Seventeen
Synopsis … is so straight forward with information about Mortimer Jack that Veronica barely has to work on her outing to Staten Island.
Date February 2, 2010

Shooters Bar and Bistro

A place that used to be a cafe and is making a slow progression towards being a dive bar. During the day, the balcony and a good portion of the sidewalk is taken up by outdoor chairs and tables, where people can enjoy a beer as well as a sandwich or whatever else is on their menu - a decent, if simply array of bar food. During the evening, unless it's a warm night, these are taken inside, and the kitchens are closed. A wide variety of beer is available, along with hard liquor and maybe a few wine labels, but nothing fancy. The interior decor is similar to traditional British pubs, with a hardwood bar and brick wall. There's an old pool table towards the back, along with a dart board. The building is actually two storeys high, but whatever is upstairs is inaccessible to the general public.

It's early in the evening, but it's not too hard to find a Loco on Staten, especially anywhere near the Rookery. Veronica would have spotted Number 17. He wears all black leather biker gear, with a large red 17 on the front of his helmet. He stands at around 5'7, fairly lanky, and sitting outside at one of those tables. They never remove their helmets in public, but he has his visor halfway up, enough to show his mouth so he can eat a sandwich. "Those IT guys don't know what they're missing. Sandwiches on Staten. This biker thing is great. I bet I'll even get my own keys…"

Riding by on a newly acquired but well-used Harley, Veronica notes the helmet and pulls over in front of the Bistro, getting off of the bike with a confident swing of legs. Tight black leather pants, black boots, and a black jacket, she could be anyone until she pulls of the silver helmet, shaking out her hair and striding toward the establishment. She gives the man a nod — Biker to biker — and heads inside to grab some food for herself. A few minutes later, armed with a burger and a beer, she heads back outside, despite the chilly day, to take a table nearby the helmeted Loco.

The Loco, who by day is a simple IT worker, is filled with the confidence that comes with his new gear and position as a Loco! Seventeen stands and heads over to Veronica's table, taking a seat across from her. He grins, helmet still halfway up, and from what bit of his mouth she can see, he seems to be somewhere in his late twenties. "I don't know if you noticed or not, but I'm a member of the Locos. We're not huge, but we get the job done. Impressed?" Tactless, no skill, but at least he has confidence now? "Of course our glorious leader is Jack."

Inwardly, Sawyer is groaning, but outwardly she has to look — if not, impressed, at least not disgusted. She arches a brow. "The Locos, huh? And what's so impressive about that? You guys run around beating up hobos and tagging the empty warehouses or somethin'?" She picks up her beer and takes a long sip, before taking a big bite of her hamburger. "Who's this Jack guy?"

"He's our leader! But sometimes he's Mortimer and just sits around reading books and looking depressed. Jack gave us orders not to take orders from Mortimer unless it's an emergency." Seventeen seems pretty keen on showing off his knowledge of his new gang, starting to munch on his sandwich again. "Jack always makes us follow what we really wanna do! This one guy, I think either Thirty-One or Thirty-Two, he opened up his own ice cream shop, 'cause he always wanted to, and Jack helped. They used to do all sorts of stuff like kill people, but Mortimer doesn't let Jack kill anymore."

"… Ice cream shop," Veronica repeats, reaching for a napkin to wipe off the excess mustard from her bun, then replacing the bun on the burger. "So Mortimer and Jack — it's the same person, but with, what, two different guys behind the wheel from time to time? Sounds creepy. You must be really brave or maybe just a bigger person than me." Inwardly she's groaning at her flattery of the stranger, but 'you get more with sugar' tends to work with such people. "Mortimer's more in charge right now? How often do they swap off?”

"They're both in charge, they've got rules. Jack can kill, but only if it's like, not against Mortimer's morals. And Mortimer can do what he wants as long as he doesn't do anything to hurt Jack's Southern Belle. Since Linderman killed Jack's Southern Belle, none of us are allowed to work for him." Seventeen still isn't all that bothered that he's dropping all this information, he's a fresh-faced newbie, smiling every time he looks over at her. It's a lewd smile. "They swap a lot, we don't know how it works, but they seem to know when it's good for the other to be out. You look like Mortimer's type, don't know about Jack. He's abstinate right now. Don't know why, 'cause his Southern Belle is dead."

Well, if that isn't creepy. "Southern Belle? How could this Mortimer guy hurt Jack's Belle if she's already dead?" Veronica asks. "It's really fascinating. I might wanna meet them as long as Mortimer doesn't let Jack kill me either. I'm not exactly a Southern Belle type, though. Desert Angel, maybe. From Phoenix." She smiles, dimples showing, before taking another swig of beer.

"Mortimer's a total pussy, don't worry about that. He just reads books and stuff. I've never seen him kill a guy. I don't even think he likes us, he hates all this gang stuff. He really needs to get laid. He's hung up on some cop he was dating. She left the country and now she's pregnant with some other cop guy, and Mortimer just bawls. Jack makes fun of him." Seventeen scratches the side of his helmet when she asks about the Southern Belle, and he shrugs helplessly. "I saw her once, before she died. She's a Cajun girl, hot piece of ass, but don't tell Jack I said that, he'd take my head off. I don't know what the deal is there, we're not supposed to ask questions about her, or even talk about her. But you're more Mortimer's type than Jack's."

The only cop she knows of who left the country was O'Shea. Interesting. "Yeah? Why you say that?" she asks, a jut of her chin toward Number Seventeen as she takes another bite of her burger. She's going to have to up her running, finally back on the treadmill at a slow pace this week for the first time since returning to New York. "'Cause I'm not Cajun? Or maybe I'm not hot enough."

"Oh, you're hot, you're smokin' hot, but Jack doesn't like women who can't understand his, uh, crazy. He doesn't think they're as enlightened. He's more impressed when a woman can relate to the way he thinks. Mortimer's a normal guy, not really crazy at all, he'd like you as much as any guy with a heartbeat would." Seventeen grins, leaning forward as he licks a piece of meat from his lips. "You interested in the boss? You better decide which you want. Mortimer never liked Jack's Southern Belle. Jack thinks she's the classiest chick in the world, and Mortimer thinks she's trashy."

"I haven't met your boss, so I'm not interested in him, but maybe interested in him if you get the difference, Seventeen," the undercover agent says with a laugh. "Depends on if he's hot enough or what as for the one. As for the other? Never really known anyone with two people in their heads. It's kinda intriguing. I used to have a name for my 'bad girl' self, separated from my 'good girl' self, but you know, I never actually thought they were two different people. Where does this Mortimer and Jack guy hang out?"

"We don't know how they became two people. After they, well, blew something up, it was just Mortimer for months and months. Then he says he went into a bar called Burlesque, had his head inbeteen a stripper's legs, and then Mortimer's story ends. Jack's story says he woke up suddenly, inbetween a stripper's legs, and couldn't remember everything Mortimer's been doing. Whatever's wrong with him, the secret to it is probably in that Burlesque place." Seventeen just shrugs though, apparently not caring, reaching his leg forward to nudge her's. He's trying to play footsy with a biker chick. "Mortimer hangs out at this Ichihara bookstore, on Roosevelt. Jack's a bookworm too, so he might go himeself sometimes."

"So they don't know what the other's up to? How does Mortimer keep Jack in line then?" Veronica asks curiously, not moving her foot, but not playing footsie back either. "They don't hang out here on Staten somewhere? And what do you do, if you're a member of a gang but they don't really do much since whenever they blew up whatever? I mean — I might be looking for some sort of group to run with. Last people I was with are in jail, so I'm pretty much on my own right now." It's too direct for good under-cover work, but 17 is very easygoing and forthcoming, so Veronica tries to gather what she can from the amiable Loco.

"I don't know how they do it, but Jack just can't do anything that Mortimer thinks is bad. They're complicated. They couldn't control it before, before they were just going nuts trying to get control of the one body, then this dream chick fixed them. Now they both help her fight someone called the Nightmare Man when they're asleep." As for where they hang out and what they all do, Seventeen shrugs his shoulders and points around. "We don't do much violent crap, but we still try to do whatever we want. We ride motorcycles and I guess we all just kind of do everything on our bucket lists. We're more of an actual club than a gang these days, I guess. They don't stay on Staten often, they're almost always at that book shop in Roosevelt, or on Manhattan helping with the move. In a few weeks, we won't be on Staten anymore, FRONTLINE and all that."

Veronica nods, slowly chewing her last bite of hamburger. "Where you moving on Manhattan? I suppose it is time to get, before the government comes in and fucks up this place. I liked it. It was like a frontier or something, every man for himself. But you know, if I wanna look you up or something." Alas, in Company training, she was taught to recognize her assets and use them to get information. It makes her feel cheap and often gives her a guilty conscience, but if 17 thinks he might get a visit from her, he's more likely to give up the goods. "Plus I'd love to meet this guy — I used to read those books like Helter Skelter and shit when I was a kid, all that stuff was fascinating you know?"

"Jack's no Manson. He's not political, he doesn't have any goals, and he's not even a sociopath. He hates sociopaths because they kill animals. Nah, Jack's just crazy. He likes to kill people, people who waste their lives or just make him angry. He thinks cutting people with a scalpel is an art form. He doesn't give a damn about pathology and all that, hell, he understands it. You're lucky you're a woman, he's only killed a few women, out of hundreds of men. He only kills a woman if he thinks he has to." Seventeen reaches into his pocket, grabbing a pin to write on a napkin. "I think he'd get offended if you compared him to some crazy cult leader. He's smart, really smart. The stuff he says sounds crazy, but you've gotta listen, I mean really listen, or you'll miss something. And we're moving under Midtown."

"Oh, I didn't mean he was like that, I just meant… you know. Crazy people." She shrugs, hoping she didn't offend, then reaching to take the napkin. "Under Midtown? Like underground?" she says, with a tilt of her head, watching him write on the napkin to see what he's writing there. "How long you been with the Locos? You sure know a lot."

"I don't know a lot, there's just no secrets. All I know if that we're moving underground. The only real secret is the exact location of our base, and gang rules. Mortimer isn't allowed to know that stuff either, he's not a part of the gang, he just lives in our base." Seventeen nods to the paper, which simply has his number on it, and Midtown written under that. "I've only been in the Locos for about a year. I'm an IT guy, I didn't have to go into that building and get killed with everyone else. That raid took a chunk out of the gang, so there aren't a lot of us left."

She wipes her fingers on a napkin and then picks up the other napkin, nodding as she sticks it in an inside pocket of her leather jacket. "Well, maybe I'll look you guys up in Midtown. When you hope to make the move over by?" It shouldn't be too hard to watch the boats for the Locos, and follow them to their new locale, of course. "You got a name, or do I just say 'Is this 17?'"

"My name's Seventeen. Only Jack knows our real identities. We don't even know who the others are. And we're not moving all at once, we've moving stuff bit by bit, member by member." Seventeen rises to, holding the sandwich and its container at his sides. "Hey, I'm just giving you a heads up, but if you're gonna talk to Jack, be crazy."

"He likes them crazy, huh? Got it. Well. Thanks for the chat, and the number, Seventeen," Vee says, patting her leather jacket. "You can call me Sam." It's as good of a fake name as any. "I gotta get, but maybe I'll see you around." She picks up her helmet and waves once more, heading to her bike and throwing one leg over to sit astride it. She pulls her helmet on, tucking her hair out of her face, then starts the engine and rides away.

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