huruma_icon.gif kain_icon.gif

Scene Title Predatory
Synopsis Seeking out Kain Zarek, Huruma finds entrance into the bloodthirsty cage of the Pancratium.
Date February 22, 2009

The Happy Dagger

This building used to be a dance club a decade or more ago, and was later outfitted into a strip bar up until the bomb hit New York City and Staten Island became a refuge of the panicked people of New York City. After this neighborhood fell to ruin, the strip bar went out of business and was sold easily to a young man from Britain with similar but less legitimate intentions for the place. And so it became The Happy Dagger, a brothel that makes no claim to be otherwise, and a bright spot on a street with similar venues, lit up with lights of pink, red and orange, with a neon sign in cursive print reading its name.

Two strapping bouncers allow people through after a quick identity check, down a dark corridor wherein people seem to move in and out continually. The front room is crowded, more nightclub than brothel. There's a bar in the corner, and stages of different shapes and heights create obstacles, along with a quieter lounge area separated only by saloon style doors. Women dance aloofly or mingle with the clientele, marked as employees of the Happy Dagger by their costuming. There is a Middle Eastern bent in style, with warm colours and lights, women with Cleopatra eyes, wearing more silks than sequins, decked in Hollywood-exotic stage jewelry. The insincerity of this place is palpable. There's spiral staircase at the other end of the large area, a structure swathed in red light and eye-catching.

Upstairs is a catacomb of dark hallways and bedrooms of various sizes. It seems less like a strip club and more like the brothel it boasts to be, with more elaborate interior design. Curtains of silk and chiffon, incense making the air hazy, the walls papered with golds and reds. Women linger in the hallways to catch the strays who come up here alone and guide them to appropriate rooms.

Breaking the illusion of decadence is the occasional security camera hidden in the corner. This place is not without it's safety measures, beyond the bouncers. You may also notice that the man enjoying a drink in the corner hasn't gotten up in a while, and another prowling around outside hasn't moved from this street. The security is kept discreet and unobtrusive, but it certainly is there.

There is something about the spiced perfumes in the air, the aroma of jasmine and curry that seems to cling to the walls of the Happy Dagger. There is something about the twang of sitar music that reverberates off of the walls, mixed with crashes of cymbals and tambourines. Ther eis something about the Happy Dagger that draws on distant, foreign feelings that add to the overall aura of exoticism that oozes from the very pores of this establishment.

There is something about Kain Zarek, however, that seems like the proverbial fox in the henhouse. Seated at a round corner-booth partially shrouded by gauzy silk curtains, he is surrounded by the ladies of John Logan, the club's owner. These scantily clad dancers, leaning on Kain from either side, serve as set pieces for his stage of debauchery.

One hand of the well-dressed cajun cradles a martini spiked with two olives, his other wrapped around the bare midsection of one of Logan's dark-haired and young whores. Burning in an ash-tray on the table, his nearly forgotten, black-papered cigarette burns with the spicy string of cloves instead o ftobacco.

This is the man that is the gateway to the Pancratium, the man who is both the money, and the face for the underground fight club.

There's something about him, that's very familiar to Huruma.

Word of mouth leads to gossip, which in turn leads to thorough investigation; Huruma has only recently tiptoed through the realm of the latter, taking her time in searching out one of the few men that will be able to assist her. Walking into the door of the dagger is already bringing the slightest of curls to the top edge of the woman's lip. Certainly not the first time that she has experienced the perfumed and shady world of a brothel, and obviously not the last. Compared to the men milling inside, and the girls employed, Huruma still remains a sore thumb.

As if she were more than prepared to come here, her dark clothing is wrapped taut around her frame, and what accents hang around her wrists, neck and ears are a smooth, distracting golden color. Real? Who is to say?

Her destination is simple- a word or three exchanged with one of the men at the foyer points her right over to that corner booth. Her tall figure coming closer is hauntingly apparent even from afar, and only when she reaches those gauzy curtains does the sheen of her eyes show through- just seconds before her long fingers curl around the edge and tug it out to the side. Enough to put her in the crack that it creates, lending no glimpses inside or out. Just her.

Her voice carries amusement even in one word, and she is too tempted to laugh at this sight and the memory. It is hard to forget. "You."

Tired looking blue eyes, more gray in this lightning, lift up from the martini as the sound of Huruma's thick voice. Both of the girls at the booth tense at her presence, something unsettling about her eyes, about the way she carries herself — like a large, hungry predator. A single dark brow rising up is Kain's first response, setting down his glass before curling his lips into a matching crook to Huruma's.

"Well, if'n it ain't tall, dark an' creepy." Patting one whore on the back lightly, Kain murmurs, "Go on girls, daddy's got business" in as patronizing a way as possible. The two young harlots slide out from the booth, giving Huruma a wide berth as they move around the much larger woman to the club floor. Once they're well out of earshot, Kain slouches back against the booth, retrieving his cigarette from the ashtray as he does.

"So…" his eyes scan Huruma up and down slowly, "Exactly what brings you up in this ol' neck o'the woods?"

Sometimes it just is not necessary to put the fear of self into some hearts, as evident by the way the girls regard her and then soon depart. It makes Huruma's job that much easier.

Huruma answers Kain's question with nothing of her own; her heels make a few calculating clicks over the few feet taking her closer to the booth. Once there, the woman pivots slowly, eyes on Kain all the time. She sinks herself down, depositing herself over the next portion of the cushions and swinging one leg fluidly up over the other, arms all but slithering over the backbone of the upholstery.

Her voice remains velvet in the midst of the spicy little world of the Dagger. "I hear tha'you can… introduce me to a line of work." Huruma's face has turned, pale eyes unblinking and intent on the Cajun as he retrieves his clove.

With that brow still raised, Kain watches the fluidic movements of dark lines moving like some great cat slinking down to sit. The ember on the end of his cigarette glows brightly as he draws in a breath of hot smoke, letting it filter out his nose in a pair of thin trails, slowly withdrawing the cigarette, pinched between two fingers afterwards. "Ah'm takin' it you ain't lookin' for a bookkeeping job?" There's a hesitant smirk at the rhetoric, and Kain reaches out to rest his cigarette back down in the ashtray, eyes following it before slowly, languidly raising back to up Huruma's monochromatic stare.

"There's two things Ah' figure you're here for — one'a them is leg breaking for Logan, and the other one is leg breaking in the Pancratium." Kain's eyes narrow slightly, head tilting to the side with a swish of dirty blonde hair across his cheek. "Which flavor'a violence suits you, darlin'?"

"I've no reserved words for a man tha'runs a pack of whores." Well, first of all, there is your answer. Huruma settles back into the cushions, a moment of rigidity passing her by. The leg propped over makes a slow bob in the air, a tick-tock of movement in the corner of Kain's vision.

"I need a place where I can hurt-" Huruma leans just a few inches closer, the further arm from the man sliding down into her lap, where those sharp looking nails grind against sleek leather. "-an not need t'worry about cleaning up m'mess." Her voice turns almost as sharp as her claws, purring down at Kain with an obvious straining. Even harboring the thoughts make her nerves salivate under her skin, and the tenseness of her muscles betray this.

"Well—" Kain grimaces uncomfortably, his expression what one would expect from a person around a large and unfamiliar dog for the first time. He reaches down for his martini — it'll ease the nerves — taking a sip to drown his words and anxiety before settling it back down on the table. "Ah'd direct you to Flint Deckard, he's the Pancratium's bookie, but he's done gone and pulled a disappearing act on mah ass, leavin' me with a boatload of unfinished work and unpaid debt." Kain's lips purse into a frustrated frown, then even out as he settles his martini back down on the table.

"Ah can get you in the door, sure. Ah' ain't gonna' ask if you think you can handle yourself, since you seem set on this anyway. Ol' man named Truman owns the place, an' Ah'll get you ll written up with him." Blue eyes flick to the tabletop, then back up to Huruma. "Fights pay off at one-fourth the total gross of bets you take in for the night. On good nights it can be a few grand, bad nights a few hundred bucks." Kain wipes at his nose with the back of his hand, sniffing quietly before settling his back against the booth's creaking leather.

"If you get yourself al fucked up, but ain't got yourself killed, I hear tell they've got some kind'a miracle worker who heals all sorts've stupid wounds. Saw some guy squeezin his guts in like a sack'a spaghetti the other night, and he came back the next day right as rain. Y'get your ass dead, well, Ah ain't seen no comin' back from that."

"I've lived through death b'fore." Her head turns towards the table, resting hand lifting from her lap and stretching out to pluck one of the rogue olives from Kain's sitting glass. "If I'ave tricked m'father once…" She can do it again. Her teeth clench around the olive she brings to her lips, pulling it back into her mouth.

"Nine lives, you see." The only smile of the evening thusfar plays immediately across her features, baring those selectively and subtly sharpened teeth.

Kain's brows raise, watching Huruma anxiously as she takes one of the olives from his drink. He was saving that for later. Nose rankling slightly, he offers nothing more than the expression to show his disappointment to one less olive in his glass. "'Course, you're jus' one big pussycat ain'cha?" Breathing out a nervous sigh, Kain shifts to lean forward, eyes settling down to his glass as he quietly plucks up the last olive, taking it for himself before the hungry cat absconds with it for herself.

"You got a name, or m'Ah jus' gonna tell ol' Truman to look for th' biggest, baddest kitten prowling th' junkyard?" His lips crack into a smirk, perhaps not the best person to be playing the nickname game with, but there's some lines Kain enjoys pushing.

That is what felines do- they treat the world around them as their very own. Huruma leans into the back of the cushioned seat again, leaning onto the arm slung over the side, inching closer to the man near her. Her lips curl up at the edges, the sharp lines of her cheeks softening slightly with the smile. "If you call me a kitten again, I will tear off your ears wit'm'teeth an'spit them in your next drink."

Stay away from these particular lines, Kain Zarek. "Huruma."

The expression dawning on Kain's face is an unspoken touche, afforded to the frighteningly calm woman beside him. "Well then, Miss Huruma — " Kain's lips crook up into a forced smile, "Ah'll let Truman know you've got your eyes on the prize, and the boys at the Pancratium'll be ready to set you up into the fights by tonight. You check in with an old Russian guy named Vasya, he covers th' rosters and does some pre-fight warmups for the crowd — spooky shit."

Kain nudges his emptied glass across the table, indicative that he is both finished with this drink, "If that's all, Ah've got some ladies that need calmin' down" and finished with this overly tense conversation.

Huruma tilts her head, listening as Kain wraps up his thought and making notes of the names he has told her. "Mmm." She smiles with her lips again, on the verge of a laugh. As she rises from the seat, that smile turns into a phantom kiss at the air, down at Kain. Thank you for your time, mister Zarek. With silence Huruma appeared through those curtains, and with silence she slides back through them into the Dagger, her dark figure disappearing in due time.

February 23rd: Strange Flesh

Previously in this storyline…
Strange Flesh

Next in this storyline…
When Fear Compels Us

February 23rd: When Fear Compels Us
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