Old Friends/New Friends


keira_icon.gif phoebe_icon.gif

Scene Title Old Friends/New Friends
Synopsis Following up on the job she was given by the Ghost Shadows, Keira tracks the arms dealer Kalik to an unlikely location…
Date October 20, 2018

Ferrymen’s Bay is a tumbledown shithole once you move a block in any direction from the major community centers. Most of the buildings here are marked for demolition, and those that aren't haven't been refurbished yet. There's a notable absence of inhabitants on each block, and Yamagato Industries want concerned with population density respective to geographical location when they decided what buildings to renovate and which ones to leave abandoned.

The brickfront building sitting at 108 Louisiana Ave in Ferrymen’s Bay is a poorly refitted townhouse. Plywood covers nearly all of the windows and the door looks to be the original wood, reinforced by some external locks. Grass grows up from shattered concrete out front of the building’s stoop. A classy but small plaque on the front door reads, Safe Zone Siren Offices.

This is where the Ghost Shadows leads on Kalik took Keira.

Safe Zone Siren Offices

Ferrymen’s Bay

October 20th

2:10 pm

There's no foot traffic on the street a couple hours after noon. Under a slate gray sky threatening rain, the offices of the Siren look notably abandoned, in spite of the delivery truck and beat up car out front saying otherwise. Why would Kalik have come here?

It's one of many questions Keira needs answers to.

Boots crunch on the pavement as Keira slips out of the van that has transported her here, and one hand raises to gesture to the boys to wait out here in the car. A cigarette hangs from the corner of her mouth, nearly completely finished; she raises one hand to pull it from her lips, blowing out a cloud of smoke that raises to the skies to mingle with the clouds and ostensibly contribute to the problem of global warming.

She’s got her new glass eye in today, with a pair of sunglasses resting over her face to make it seem a bit less strange for anyone searching; her clothing is loose-fitting, a simple t-shirt and too-big jeans, along with a large leather jacket. It has two effects for the woman; it makes her look smaller than she actually is, and it gives her options if she should need to change her face around a bit.

With a slight frown etched into her features, Keira approaches the door, taking one last draw from her cigarette; then, she tosses it to the ground behind her, lifting one hand to knock loudly upon the door.

A low din of music echoes through the door. It sounds like it's not actually coming from the first floor, but is loud enough to emanate from somewhere else in the building. After the firm knock,however, the door just swings open slowly, revealing a dangling, broken hinge and splintered wood at the lock.

Just inside the door a dusty hallway of unfinished sheetrock gives way to a cluttered office space where filing cabinets, bookcases, and desks are filled with a heap of loose papers, folders, and books. There's no lights on in there, just daylight spilling through gaps in the plywood covering the windows. To the left, an open door looks to lead down into the basement, where the music is emanating from.

Oh. Well then. That’s never a good sign; perhaps Phoebe Frady, that bitch who hung up on her boyfriend, went and got himself hurt. Would serve him right, probably.

The woman leans closer, examining the busted door, before raising a hand, gesturing to the men waiting in the van. Two of the three emerge, moving to flank Keira as she slips into the room, pulling the gun from the holster at her back. You know, just in case there’s a reason to have to shoot someone.

She gestures again, and one of her entourage goes to explore the main and upper floors of the townhouse; her and another fellow quietly slip down into the basement, guns held at the ready as they move.

The noise gets louder as Keira proceeds down the creaking wood stairs. There's a shoe halfway down on one of the steps, a blue and gray Nike, and just past that a cell phone that looks like it was crushed by the heel of a boot. The music is recognizable now, and Keira can hear the pumping refrain thumping against the walls.

Oh, oh, oh!

As she reaches the bottom of the stairs, a closed metal door seals up the actual basement. A board has been wedged between the handle and the floor like a bar, preventing anyone inside from getting out. A croaking voice in the music inside demands of Keira:

Come on Barbie let's go party!

Muffled over the roar of the music is a piteous, mournful cry for help that barely makes it through the door, drowned out by a raucous chorus of

I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world


Life in plastic is fantastic!


That music is going to have to go. Keira reaches down, picking up the cell phone and examining it. After a moment, she tucks that into the pocket of her jacket. She knows people who could probably figure out how to pull things from it — and she knows people who would probably be interested in those things if it just so happens to (formerly) belong to Phoebe Frady.

The woman glances over to her bodyguard, silently pointing to the board that wedges the door shut; she keeps her gun trained on the door as the man reaches forward to pull the board off of the door, tossing it unceremoniously to the side.

Then, lowering her gun to aim at the floor, Keira moves to open the door, a frown on her face. Her bodyguard keeps his gun ready, the better to shoot anyone who might threaten his boss. Better safe than sorry.

When the door opens the music escaping it is like a hammer to the face.

You can brush my hair undress me everywhere

The basement is a small office, juxtaposed with a hot water heater and furnace. Desks down here are piled with old newspaper copies, piled several feet high. Dingy light filters through high, grimy windows. In one shaft of that light sits the Safe Zone Siren’s editor-in-chief Phoebe Frady, bound to a chair with orange extension cords and duct tape. She's trying to scream through his duct-tape gag, rocking the chair back and forth. Behind her, a stereo system blasts music like a weapon.

Imagination, life is your creation

Keira flinches as the music flies out of the basement like a brick wall, raising one hand to her head and gesturing wildly at the stereo with her gun, shouting to her bodyguard that it needs to be turned off before she shoots the fucking thing. His own gun holstered for now, the man darts into the room, hitting the power button on the speaker as quickly as he can manage.

The gangster leans against the door frame for a moment, rubbing at her ears and shaking off the aftereffects of the loudness. “What the fuck, that was some bullshit.” She shakes her head slowly.

Once recovered a bit from the blast of awful late-90’s music, Keira’s blue-eyed gaze lands upon Phoebe, peering at her from over the rim of her sunglasses. Thankfully, the glass eye is realistic enough that it’s not immediately noticable. Like a cat coiled to strike, the woman stalks over to the bound and gagged Phoebe, leaning forward so her face is inches from the other woman, an amused smirk settled on her lips.

“Well, well. This is an interesting predicament to find one’s self in.” She tucks her own gun into the back of her pants, before her fingers seek out a corner of the duct tape and rip it quite suddenly from the reporter's face.

Then, she’s suddenly straddling the woman, settling down on her lap with an amused smirk on her face. “Phoebe Frady, right?” She leans close, chuckling softly. “I of course have to ask first…why are you tied up with shitty 90’s music playing too loud?”

The tear of tape from Phoebe’s mouth is met with a gasp of breath. Phoebe’s had a bad day. One eye is black and blue and swollen shut, there’s a silver dollar-sized lump on her forehead, she’s tied to a chair, and she’s been listening to Barbie Girl on repeat for too long. So when the wild-eyed and restrained Frady comes face to face with a gun-toting woman and her equally armed bodyguard, her reaction is at first surprise, then—


She might need a minute for the ringing in her ears to die down.

The one-eyed woman can’t help but flinch, reeling back a bit as the beat up fellow screams. “Woah, don’t make me deaf along with you!” She frowns, reaching up to rub at an ear, before standing up and moving off of Phoeben’s lap.

She waits a moment for the reporter to recover from her momentary hearing loss, leaning against a wall with a frown. Once she’s sure Phoebe is able to hear her even a little better, she stalks forward once more. “What the fuck happened to you?”

Phoebe looks absolutely baffled by Keira’s presence as well as her demeanor, and the wood block of a bodyguard she brought with her. Shr looks from one side to the other, struggles against her restraints, then looks up to Keira with furrowed brows. “You can either show me a— a badge,” that seems unlikely, “or, uh— you can, uh, untie me.”

She makes a defiant face, brows raised and frown affected just so. “Otherwise I'm not talking. I know my rights.”

Her rights.


Oh she did not just go there.

Keira stares at Phoebe long and hard for a long moment, with an expression not unlike a snake coiling and preparing to strike. The effect is magnified a bit by that glass eye of hers.

Then, suddenly, she closes the distance put between her and Phoebe with alarming speed, pulling out the rather large gun from the back of her pants, and pushing the muzzle right up under Phoebe's chin. “See, that doesn’t fucking work for me, you little shitball.” She pushes hard for a moment, glaring down at her. “This is my badge.” She jerks the gun a bit under Phoebe's chin, just for dramatic effect.

Then, Keira removes the gun, glaring at her. “I have nothing to lose and a hell of a lot to gain if I kill you, Frady.” For a moment, she ponders the possibility — she’s heard her enough and read her words enough, it wouldn’t be too difficult to become her. She apparently gets some funding from somewhere. And she has a voice that Keira could use to her own liking.

But no, now is not the time to senselessly kill people. Not yet, at least.

“So how about this. You tell me what the fuck is going on, why you are in this position…and I’ll be your nice friend who unties you, instead of being a gangster who wants to kill you while you’re still tied up.” Keira scowls at the other woman, still holding the gun out — not aimed at her, as that can make people freeze up, but she already knows that Keira’s not afraid to put it in her face. “What does the name Kalik Nasan mean to you?”

Frady is silent for a long moment, eyes wide, face ashen, and heart racing. She stares at Keira with abject confusion, fingers in a white-knuckle grip on the arms of the chair, sweat beading on her brows and rolling down the sides of her face. She swallows, audibly, looking between Keira and her bodyguard repeatedly. After a moment she exhales with a spluttering noise and blinks a few times.

“Oh,” is the first thing Frady manages to say. “Oh okay so, you're not— ” she flashes a grimace, “Okay I uh, okay. Okay.” Her eyes dart around the room, then flick back to Keira.

“So, here's the thing I— Don't… know that name?” Frady’s mouth pulls into a grimace and her head ducks down. “But if he's a short middle-eastern guy with a face full of scars then, uh, y-yeah he might've tied me up here.” Phoebe swallows loudly, staring at Keira’s gun. “Did uh, did… does he… owe you mon— ” That line of questioning ends as soon as she remembers that Keira had asked her a question.

Phoebe furrows her brows and makes as serious a face as possible. “Okay it uh, he uh, the— so— he came in here? Uh, while I wasn't home? And he was trashing my place. So like— I mean— I grabbed my baseball bat and… I mean I learned a thing or two about bravery from playing Dungeons and Drag— on— second thought… it just— so he tied me up.”

“Here.” Phoebe adds. “After dragging me down here.”

Then she flicks a look to the doorway. “Then he turned on the radio and… left. Upstairs?” Phoebe smiles awkwardly. “That's all I know.”

As Phoebe sings like a canary, the gangster woman slowly places her gun back into the holster at the small of her back, nodding slowly. “He owes an acquaintance of mine a great deal more than money.”

She does roll her eyes a bit as he mentions bravery and Dungeons and Dragons, but now that Phoebe’s not trying to assert her rights, she seems much less dangerous and angry than she was initially.

When Phoebe finishes talking, Keira promptly raises one foot, balancing it on the tied up woman’s knee. “Do you know what he was looking for? Did he make any mention of anything strange?” She draws up the slightly baggy leg of her pants, and pulls out a rather terrifying-looking black-bladed hunting knife.

She only lets Phoebe fear for her life for a moment before she is taking the knife to the orange extension cords that keep Phoebe tied to the chair. “If you don’t, that’s okay. You’re going to figure it out with me.” While she knows where the weapons that the Triads want are, she still wants to figure out what happened . “Find out whatever it is he might’ve taken, you know?”

It doesn't take long until Phoebe is freed. “You’re not going to do anything stupid, I hope.” She replaces the knife in her boot, fixing the reporter with a rather…bored look. “Don’t worry, the asshole that tied you up down here is not really a friend of mine.”

“Oh uh. That's— yeah that's really good to uh, to hear.” Shaking her head, Phoebe quickly glances around the basement room. “I uh, he— he looked like he knew what he wanted. He was— I don't know how long he was uh, here for? He hit me on head pretty hard and I just— I didn't— um…”

Trailing off, Phoebe slowly rubs at her wrists and eyes the cord Keira cut off of her, then around the room again. “He… he didn't look through anything down here,” she says quietly, “he just— he went right back upstairs.” It's strange, because for all that Keira knows Kalik, he isn't prone to leaving witnesses alive.

Which means one of a few possibilities: One, Phoebe is lying. Two, Kalik had to leave in a hurry. Three, Kalik is still here.

The one-eyed woman quietly watches Phoebe, a frown on her face. “See, thing is…” She idly twines the electric cord into a loop, setting it on a nearby surface. “Kalik doesn’t usually leave people alive. He’s Ukranian, ex-military, doesn't usually fuck around.” She leans a little closer to the reporter.

“So if you’re lying about anything, it’s best to come clean right the fuck now.” Keira tilts her head. “I really don’t like being lied to, so I always give people one chance to come clean with no repercussions, but after that one chance…” She reaches back, patting the gun at her back. “Sean, tell him what I did to the last guy who lied to me.”

Sean winces. “It wasn’t pretty.”

“If you aren’t lying, that’s all good, though. We can go through this entire place,” she raises one finger into the air, swirling it in a circle to emphasize her words, “Until we figure out what he was looking for.”

“Woah, woah hey— hey— I'm not…” Phoebe holds her hands out. “Not lying and— he uh, he didn't look uh, Ukrainian?” He grimaces a little, as though unsure how to broach the topic of race. “Let’s — let’s go upstairs, sure, yeah I— I can totally help there y-yeah.”

Grimacing as though this entire situation was painful — and it may yet be — Phoebe follows Keira, continuing to wring her wrists. “I didn't see shit, I don't know who you are, and I'm shit with faces,” she adds like a mantra, as if that would help.

“What’d he look like, then?” Keira leads the way up the stairs, tucking her hands into her pockets as she goes; Sean ushers Phoebe ahead of him, his gun casually held aimed at the ground. The woman glances over her shoulder once she reaches the top of the stairs, before stepping to one side to allow the men to exit.

After a moment, Keira leads the way into the office space, crossing her arms over her chest. “Anything look out of place? Anything else you can remember?” She moves to lean against a desk, pulling a cigarette from her pocket and placing it between her lips. She quietly watches Phoebe as she lights it, before blowing a small cloud of acrid smoke out into the air of the office.

Keira's mostly quit smoking, but lighting up a cigarette is decidedly more intimidating than blowing cotton candy-scented vapor at the person you’re trying to intimidate. “See, Kal was kinda kookie, if you catch my drift.” She tilts her head toward the bearded man, watching him thoughtfully.

She takes a long drag from her cigarette, blowing the smoke in Phoebe's general direction. “And wouldn’t you know, he went and disappeared without delivering a very important shipment to a very dangerous group of criminals. I’m talking waaaaay above my head kind of people.” She pauses for dramatic effect. “And those people are the ones that sent me here. I’d hate to have to report back to them that you couldn’t help. They might want to talk to you if they’re not satisfied.” She lets the implied threat hang in the air, watching his reaction intently.

I'm really not sure you should be telling me that,” Phoebe mumbles to herself, not wanting to have even heard details as to why Keira's here. She dodges the question of what Kalik looks like, and instead starts walking around the ground level. Phoebe pauses to look into a living room, but nothing there has been touched. Her eyes alight to the top of the stairs leading to the second floor, door still closed. Worriedly, she then moves to her office.

Through that wide doorway, it's hard for Keira to tell what's a new mess and what's an old mess. There's a wall that looks like the ravings of a lunatic; newspaper articles pinned to a corkboard with photographs and push-pins, plastic baggies full of weird pieces of junk, and red strings connecting the points. Past that are piles of old newspapers from before the war, many of which have been cut apart. A few old computers, a typewriter, and then…

“Oh come the fuck on!” Phoebe says when he sees a tall metal filing cabinet torn open like an aluminum can. A crowbar rests beside it, files scatters all across the floor around the cabinet's over-extended drawers. “God damnit that cost me a hundred bucks!”

Seemingly forgetting she's being interrogated by a criminal, Phoebe rushes over to her filing cabinet, running both hands through her hair. She fails to notice something Keira spots: one of Phoebe's files has been laid out on a desk next to the cabinet.

It is with a relaxed posture that Keira steps off to the side, letting Phoebe figure out what’s going on — she’s noticed the dodging of the question of what the man looks like, and she’ll bring it up again soon enough — but for now, she lets the reporter do her thing.

As Phoebe curses at the filing cabinet, Keira nonchalantly meanders over after the woman, pulling a wallet out of her jacket and slipping two Benjamins out. This is pointedly set atop what remains of the filing cabinet. “There. For your troubles.” It would probably be better to be on the reporter's better side, since she does have a public voice. Keira dips down and picks up the crowbar, handing it off to Sean.

Then, Keira quietly scoops up the file that’s laid out, stepping away from Phoebe as her blue eye turns down to examine what is contained within. “This looks promising,” she adds, glancing over her shoulder briefly at Phoebe, before turning back to the file. “Is there anything else in there that might interest me?”

“It’s a personnel file,” Phoebe says with a side-eye focused on the money on top of the filing cabinet. There’s a look spreading on her face, that anxious expression of someone who was convinced they’d read a situation correctly, but is beginning to think they may not fully understand how out of their depth they truly are. Keira’s very familiar with that expression. “It’s for uh… Maddy? Uh, Madeline Simmons.” Phoebe fans the handful of papers out, mostly tax documents and pay stubs. “She works for me, she’s a uh… personal assistant, basically?” Phoebe looks around the place, then back to Keira.

Phoebe turns to Keira, shaking his head. “She’s a kid,” sounds defensive, as if she’s just as worried Keira’s going to try something. “She’s not— the fuck would some thug want with her? She’s just a fucking kid.” Phoebe's defensive tone turns pleading.

“Maddie?” One eyebrow arches over Keira’s eye patch as she looks over the file. “I’ve heard that name recently.” She frowns a bit. “Don’t know her myself, but word on the streets is, a dead girl named Maddie popped up. Had some kind of animal-based ability.” She breaks this one to Phoebe as gently as a curious criminal can — though Keira never was the most charismatic person in the world.

The woman frowns, quietly putting two and two together. “Probably something about those electric rats in the sewers.” She purses her lips. “Kalik was obsessed with those fucking things. Don’t know why.” She turns, setting the file back down on the desk and leaning against it.

“Either way, I don’t think that kid was as innocent as you seem t’think. There’s talk of a stash, and Kalik had to have some reason to be lookin’ for her.” Keira frowns at the man. “How the fuck do you play into all of this, then?”

Phoebe doesn't react right away. First she's confused, then she's visibly angry, and that simmers into a boiling frustration. “Maddie’s— ” she can't deny it, the evidence is so considerable. “No she— she said she was gonna— No.” Phoebe runs her hands though her hair and paces like a caged tiger. “No, no. Goddamnit!”

The news that her staff member and friend died seems to break Phoebe, and she doesn't seem to hear Keira’s inquiry, or perhaps just can't pay it any mind anymore. Exhaling a ragged sigh, Phoebe continues to pace and shout to herself, to Maddie, to the world that put things together this way.

Keira, however, starts to piece some things together. Based on everything she's learned, if Maddie was holding on to the stash and Kalik didn't know where she lived, finding her at her place of work — or information about her — would be his next move. But leaving Phoebe alive still feels off-brand for Kalik. Something else had to have happened, and if not here…

Her attention focuses on Maddie’s address in the files on the table.

…maybe there.

Briefly, as Phoebe's demeanor melts from defiant into mourning, Keira frowns sympathetically. She’s shed her fair share of tears for those under her employ, so she can at the very least understand his trouble. “Sorry for your loss,” she murmurs, though she knows it won’t help.

As Phoebe's busy reacting to the death of Maddie, however, Keira turns to the desk, snatching up a scrap of paper that doesn’t look too important, and scribbling down the address — as well as anything else that might be pertinent to her search for what the fuck happened to the Ukranian.

The scrap of paper is tucked into her back pocket, and she turns to Phoebe. Another hundred dollar bill is fished out of her pocket, and placed on the desk. “It helps to make sure they have a funeral service. Buy her some flowers for me — I’m sorry.”

Then, she’s slowly meandering toward the door. “Kindly keep me out of your paper.” It’s a vague threat, but she doesn’t tell Phoebe what will happen to her if Keira's name suddenly pops up for the entire Safe Zone to see.

“Yeah, yeah…” Phoebe says as he looks down at the bill in her hand. It feels heavier than she’d expected. “I uh…” looking up to Keira and her associate as they start to make their way to the door, Phoebe scrubs one hand at her mouth and crumples the money into a fist. “I won’t say a thing…” She wouldn’t even know how to begin talking about this experience, at any rate. But Phoebe had turned out to be a dead end for Keira, in as much as she had hoped to find Kalik.

As she makes her way out of the offices of the Safe Zone Siren, Keira has a new angle to approach Kalik’s disappearance from. She finds no small amount of humor in the notion that she — of all people — is tracking a man with a reputation for being a tracker.

Kalik would appreciate the irony.

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