Old Lions


cardinal3_icon.gif roderick_icon.gif

Scene Title Old Lions
Synopsis A shadow visits a painter to ensure where his loyalties lie…
Date April 14, 2010

Traveling down from Kain Zarek's apartment, it's not too hard to find the apartment of the southern man's wee associate. The sound of music softly thumping through the walls, is a pretty good indication of where Roderick Sweeney live's. It's amazing that no one complains about it, though as the tattered shadow slips under the door and the music crashes over him, U2's Beautiful Day.

The door leads straight into the livingroom which is fairly plain, rather bachelor like with it's mismatched furniture, yet the home theater is rather nice. That, however, isn't the center of attention, blue tarp lays on the hardwood flooring, an easel set up, a rolling cart near it, the top of it covered with various paint jars and brushes… the smell of paint thinner thick in the air.

At first there is no sign of the short man, at least till he comes half dancing out of the a bottle of water in his hand singing along to the chorus. "It's a beautiful daaaaay." At least he doesn't sound too bad, of course the music is loud at the moment. His hair is blond, sticking up like he just washed it and dried it, but didn't bother to comb it, a light beard of dark hair. He wears a pair of pain spattered jeans with holes in the knees and a white ringer that also is smeared and spattered with paint.

He glances as the easel and the painting he's working one, a pleased look on his face, eyes bright with excitement. He sets the water bottle on the cart and picks up a remote for the stereo that he turns down. "Alright, my beauty. It is time to finish this." He grins rather toothily as he picks up a brush out of the mason jar filled with murky paint thinner, with fingers decked in silver rings and pain smears, the nails painted black.

The painting itself is nothing grand, though his technique is classical. A Roman villa with a pair of woman lounging at the edge of the pool. A glance goes to photos attached to the easel, no one interesting. Seems he's working on a commission.

He's an odd sort of man… didn't Kain warn him?

A shadow slithers beneath a door's edge, weaving through the living-room and trailing across a wall without anything to cast, a tattered phantom of torn shreds of darkness, slithering across the floor and coiling up over a wheel of the rolling cart, whispering up silently amongst the artist's tools.

As the paintbrush is drawn from the mason jar, poised in the hands of the painter, Richard Cardinal's voice stirs in a hollow, echoing whisper through the air, audible now that the music's been lowered to a quieter resonance in the background.

"Roderick Sweeney… Evolved ability expressed as medium precognition, the medium in this case being painting. His most recent painting being something that seems a touch… disadvantageous for his career." Linderman…

"Maybe this one will go better."

The painter jumps at the voice, backing up pint brush held tight in his fist as if it can protect him. Roderick's eyes are wide as he glances around, brush following where his eyes go. "Who's there?" His accent apparent, the British man moves cautiously, looking for the source. "How do you know me?" The paint brush lowers, eyes narrow dangerously. "Kain sent you? Yeah?"

That was the only other person that knew about that painting. "What do you want?" Of course, Roderick looks confused by time he's done a full turn of the living room, the brush lowered to his side as he asks, "And where the bloody hell are you?"

"You ask a lot of questions, Mister Sweeney, for someone who can't afford them…" Can't afford them…

The lazy coil of Cardinal's shadows remain out of sight, the eerie whisper stirring in the room, "…I'm the thirteenth at the table, Mister Sweeney. The uninvited guest. The Red King. I'm the amnesty you asked for…" Amnesty…

"There's a new regime coming, Roderick. You want to be part of it, I understand…"

"So that is going to be the way of it, is it?" Roderick doesn't sound completely happy about it, but he slowly and cautiously, returns to the painting. "But, yeah… that's right." Eye scan around as he drop the brush into the jar again.

"I coulda givin' the paintin' to Linderman, but I didn't. The old codger ain't getting' any younger. A new lion with sharper teeth is bound to come around sooner or later." The water bottle is plucked off the cart, the lid twisted off as he turns to his work again.

"Only reason I work for him anyway is he got me out from behind bars." A long drink is taken from the bottle, before he continues. "Reformin' a petty thief, he told them. Pull some strings."

"I'm not stupid enough to lay down my hand before I've won, Roderick," the whispering voice points out in dry tones, "I suspect we'll be introduced face to face soon enough. You can never be too careful, though…" Careful…

Cardinal chuckles— a low, hollow sound, "That's why a lot of people work for him. I was in your position once myself. Did some time behind bars too. These days, I do… other work. You've got a rare talent there, you know…" You know…

"Oh aye… I know." The Brit says softly, turning away from the painting, bare feet make the tarp crinkle as he moves. "Learned it the day the world exploded." Reaching the couch, he turns and drops into it, feet sprawled out before him. "About a month before Midtown went kablooie, I blacked out while paintin'. When I came too, I had painted about it. The exact spot I was standin' "

"It was the paintin's that got me out of that shit hole jail, later on." Feet are drawn in so that Roderick can sits up again, arms on his knees. "That Linderman, he's got the connections, I hope you know what your getting' yourself into."

"I've made something of a… collection of such paintings," admits the shadowman, "When you have enough of them, they can be more valuable than anything… knowledge is power, and knowledge of the future can be ultimate power…" Power…

"Linderman's grown complacent… that's something no man in power can ever afford," Cardinal observes quietly, "As you said… a new lion with sharper teeth will come along eventually…" Kain…

The echo of Kain's name has Roderick glancing around. "You always doin' that?" He asks outright, "That whole double voices thin'. Kinda odd if you ask me." Hands held flat he rolls the bottle between his hands slowly.

His tongue touches the back of his teeth as he considers the room, eyes fliting to this corner and that, he's nervous even if he's trying not to show it. "So… why you comin' to see me. Just ta see the bloke that painted it? Or is there a reason."

"It's always good to meet the people you're going to be working with," notes Cardinal, "I don't suppose you have any other of those… special paintings? Or prints of the older ones you've done? As I said, I'm a bit of a… collector." Collector… If there's a reason for the echo, he doesn't seem willing to go into it.

"You'll let Kain know if you produce any more, of course."

"Nothin'" Roderick admits. "Only one I've kept was the one that started this sodding mess and you'll understand if I don't want to part with it. Sentimental value and all that." Pushing to his feet, water bottle protesting the pressure, the painter strides back to the easel. "Anything else is in Linderman's hands. Pays a pretty penny for what I make. Nothing changeable really."

"This bloody ice age for one." His hand motions to the cold weather outside. "Rather boring paintin' that one." He turns back to the painting, the brush plucked out of the jar. He smooths the bristles though his fingers, he's quiet for a moment.

"I can't hand over all the paintin' I make. Linderman will get suspicious if they stop comin' to him." The brush is dipped into some sienna brown paint. "But, I can make sure ol' Kainy Boy, gets a look at it first."

"The ones that should be kept out of his hands… do. The ones that can be risked… well, it'll keep him off my back, yeah?"

"You might be surprised at what can be changed, Roderick. You might say I specialize in just that, in fact…" Change… The voice grows softer as the shadow slithers away, tattered blackness drifting off through the room, "…I suspect you won't need to keep Daniel at bay for much longer, either. I look forward to working with you…" With you…

The painter stands there for a long moment, the tip of the brush still buried in paint, music still going in the background, "Hello?"

Scruffy jaw moves back and forth as he considers, a sigh escapes through his nose, and the brush is dropped into the jar again. Fingers of both hands run through his hair, and he turns away from his current work of art. "Oh bloody hell, Roddy… I hope you know what your doing."

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