Prelude To A Coming Storm


abby_icon.gif caliban_icon.gif elias_icon.gif

Scene Title Prelude to a Coming Storm
Synopsis Two men pick the same night to check in on Abigail Beauchamp and somewhat inadvertently discover they have some history in common. One warns of a coming storm while the other quietly takes note.
Date August 12, 2009

Old Lucy's

Old Lucy's has a vibrant and lively feel to it, from the dark wooden floors to the shady crimson walls lit up by neon lights and many times, the flashing of cameras from the oft-crowded floor. The mirror behind the bar reflects prices of various drinks, bottles lined up, as well as the entire saloon as seen from the bartenders; bolted-down stools line the other side, and there are loose tables and chairs placed all around, though many times they find themselves pushed back for more space within the center of the saloon. A few speakers are placed at strategic places and around a raised stage to the far corner from the bar. Above the counter, an obviously well-used bar is hung; it is this that the girls working will use should there be dancing, which is one reason many patrons choose to come aside from the drinks. Across the bar and near the back, there is a door that leads to the owner's office and just inside a stairwell that leads a apartment on the floor above the bar.

Best way to work off depression, anger and the like is to keep busy. The bar isn't that hopping, despite it being the hump night of the week, but there's a steady flow of customers. Abigail's given up studying, changed into jeans and a tank top and is behind the bar tonight. Becky's at one end, Abby's in her usual spot with the usual gold cross around her neck, hair in a ponytail and serving her customers that make their way to the end of the bar near the exit. The dancing on the bar just ended and things are back to quiet. Well, as quiet as it gets in the bar.

He slipped in during the time it took Abigail to switch into her work clothes, weaving through the crowd and around tables with the practiced precision of a shark finning through shallow water. Caliban even looks the part in his pale gray business suit, white dress shirt and a splash of crimson red at his throat where his tie cuts a vibrant line down the front of his chest. As usual, a pair of leather loafers encase his feet and squeak across the floor as he pulls out a stool and takes a seat on the end of the bar that's closest to the washrooms. Rather than draw attention to his presence, he reaches into his jacket and fishes out his cigarette tin and a matchbook thin enough to press between the pages of a book like a wilted flower. If she notices him, she notices him. If not, then he can still rest easy knowing that he at least stopped by to check in on her.

How long has it been? A long time since he stopped by Old Lucy's. Business keeping him away, and all that. It was time that's been passing quickly, because things seem completely different since the last time. The atmosphere is different, the clientele are different. Even the alcohols look different (although maybe that's to be expected). There is, however, one thing that hasn't changed. And that is the uncanny knack that the ex-terrorist, ex-assassin, ex-mafioso has for getting into places without anyone noticing. Even when he's standing right next to them.

"Good grief," the man known as Elias says to Abby as he surveys the number of patrons in the bar this night, and only after a few moments pass without her realizing that he's standing behind the bar with her, "Things have really gone downhill 'round these parts, haven't they?"

Abigail see's all. After being kidnapped twice and countless less than savory people who have come through the doors of her Bar, she looks up when she see's people come in. So the circling shark in the water that is Robert Caliban is noticed. As is his smoke. This is one of the bars that still allows smoking in it in the city of New York. Not likely to change anytime soon. "Mr. Caliban" She raises her voice high enough to let him know that she acknowledges that he's here. A golden colored ale is passed over to a customer in exchange for money. The five dollar bill though is almost dropped as the blonde startles from the appearance of A) Elias who she thought was dead and B) that's he's just there and she didn't know. "Oh great Heavens above . Don't do that!" and there's a smack to his shoulder.

She carries on though, a few moments later, once she's recovered her wits about her. "Wrong side of the bar, undead Elias. You're supposed to be on the other side with the customers not standing beside the Boss. Even Mr. Caliban doesn't get to come to this side of the bar"

"I most certainly do not," Caliban agrees as he strikes a match and brings it up the cigarette he purses between his lips. A few moments later, smoke is seeping from his nostrils and the corners of his mouth. Both the cigarette tin and the matchbook are placed back in his jacket's interior pocket. It's not every day you witness someone simply blink into being, but he doesn't look particularly phased by the other man's sudden appearance. The reason why becomes apparent when he asks Abigail, "Your friend wouldn't happen to be Elias de Luca, would he?"

"de who?" Elias asks when Caliban's question is posed, "Is he some kind of celebrity, or something? Doesn't sound like a half-bad gig, if you ask me, but no, that's not me. I'm just dropping by to see an old friend of mine, whom I will move to the other side of the counter of, just as soon as I get my hug." To illustrate this point, he holds his arms out. "Is that too much to ask? Really?"

"Friend might be too… familiar a word. he owes me for saving a life. I've never called it in yet cause I thought he was dead" Elias doesn't want to be known? Too bad Caliban seems to know who Elias is. "I'm not hugging you Elias. I hug you, and you'll just drop me on the other side of the bar all while saying 'don't throw up on my shoes' and I need to work tonight. Or I'm going to go crazy. Need to do something tonight. Besides, you of all people know I don't like touching" But it's Elias, the friendliest of the Vanguard and he does owe her. So after a pitcher of beer is poured, there's a soft sigh from the blond as she quickly leans over, hugs as softly and quickly as she can. "You said you needed to talk Mr. Caliban, is here okay or do we need to go in the back"

Caliban removes the cigarette from his mouth long enough to wet his parched lips with the tip of his tongue. There's some amusement hidden behind the matte blue of his eyes, guarded in the same careful manner that the rest of his predatory body language is. "I've read your file, Mr. de Luca," he explains, rolling the cigarette between his yellowed fingers. "Linderman's, that is. You're supposed to be dead." To Abigail he offers a tight smile, genuine in its sincerity. "Here will do. I don't have anything to say to you that can't be shared with an old colleague. How are you holding up?"

Linderman's crony, huh? Elias files that little tidbit away for the future, but doesn't worry about it for the time being. Besides, there's almost nobody that can catch him if he doesn't want to be caught. But hey, he's gotten his hug, and so true to his word, he moves to the proper side of the bar, although he does it using his legs rather than by 'jumping.' No need to call more attention than in necessary. "If you'll be staying out here," he says, "May I have a drink? Something fruity, if you wouldn't mind. Got a taste for the beach today. Everyday, really."

"One sex on a beach coming up" Spoken to Elias. Elias who was… an old employee of Linderman? Seems everyone at some point has been an employee of Linderman. "I'm alive, I have a roof over my head and food in my belly and my tuition for next semester is paid for. I guess that's about all I can ask for" Peach schnapps, vodka, cranberry juice, orange juice, a splash of pineapple and a disc of lemon wedged onto the side and voila. The drink is put before Elias. "On the house. Old times sake." A toss of blonde hair over her shoulder, there's a tap on the bar for Caliban's drink order. Becky's taking over customers so she can talk. "Ms. Mayeux down above the Black Cat Lounge apparently works for Mr. Linderman. Might want to have a chat with her about stealing things. Like my wallet, and my cross. She's also under the impression that I heal for you"

There's a pause as the gears clicking away between Caliban's ears speed up just enough to process what Abigail is telling him. It takes him an additional second or two to realize that there is no Black Cat Lounge in New York City — she's talking about New Orleans. "This Ms. Mayeux isn't within my jurisdiction, I'm afraid," he says apologetically. "Still. I don't suppose it would hurt to place a call with Mr. Zarek. She's not a part of his jurisdiction either, but I believe he's still in town." The fumes from his cigarette have begun to colour the air around him, filtering out the overhead lights and swathing his suit-clad shape in a veil of smoky silver. "I'll have a Kriek, if you have it. If not, then a Guinness will do."

Good ol' Sex on the Beach. Not Elias' first choice, sure, but hey, it's free, and that makes everything taste 100 times better. "First you're the boss," he says to Abby, "And now you're rolling with Linderman's crowd? All this happened while I was gone? What else did I miss? You're not married to Ol' Scruffy with a kid on the way, are you? Do I owe you a present? Or at least an apology?"

"I inherited the bar after someone killed my boss Elias. And I don't roll with Linderman's crowd. I got caught healing someone on TV and Mr. Caliban here saw fit to tell the press off and a television station off for giving out my name and demanding that I be left alone." Kriek, yup. They have that. It's served up soon enough for the cigarette smoking man. "Scruffy can't look at me without … something" Ohh, Elias hit a nerve there it seems. "I've met Mr. Zarek. In fact, I met Mr. Zarek months ago, and I met him while I was home. Gold bar Ken who has an accent far worse than mine. Were you only checking in to see how I was doing or was there something else Mr. Caliban? If it's about Tyler Case, he's good and dead. I won't be needing your help in that area like I left on the message. What's done seems to be.. done and permanent of a surety now. It's lost forever to someone else"

"Not about Case, no." Caliban closes his fist around the glass, raises it to his lips and takes a liberal swallow. When it comes away, he uses the back of his opposite hand, cigarette dangling between the knuckles of two fingers, to wipe the foam from his upper lip and the stubble clinging to it. "Your ability may not be forever lost, Abigail. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Personally, I've no reason to believe that the inverse isn't true as well. These things have a way of working themselves out, and if they don't… well—" He makes a vague gesture with his free hand, trailing smoke. "You don't need God's healing touch to help people, which is what I came to speak with you about."

Whatever it is that Abigail and this Caliban guy are talking about, it's clear to Elias that it a) isn't his problem or concern, and b) he probably shouldn't make it his problem or concern. But since no one's told him to sod off, he keeps quiet and leaves an ear opened to listen. He does owe Abby. Big time. Maybe this is his chance to pay her back. At least in part.

"If you knew what I knew Mr. Caliban, then you'd know, it's lost. It's sitting in someone else and there's a reason God's done that" A high ball is plucked up, and the tap that contains cola is pulled over to fill the glass for herself. "I lost my gift Elias. I can't heal anymore" He does have that look on her face. "If you need healing, I can point you to someone else, and she doesn't respond well to threats" You know, not that Elias ever actually threat.. well there was that one time… well no, really, that was more Wu-Long than Elias. "I'm listening. I'll give you that Mr. Caliban. At least, in exchange for what you've done for me"

Caliban's eyes move from Abigail to Elias and then back again, his reservations manifesting as thinned lips peeling down into a faint frown that exposes a brief shimmer of less-than-pristine tooth. Ultimately, he decides that the benefit of having Elias included in their conversation outweighs the risks. "There are murmurs that Liu and Song Le are preparing to move against Linderman," he says in a softer voice, his accent bleeding heavily through, somewhat difficult though it is to place. "Loath as I am to admit it, we've adopted John Logan as a new hire. He's less of a threat to the people around him when he's on a leash, and it's one I intend on keeping a tight grasp around. There's nothing he can do without speaking with me or one of my superiors first, so you oughtn't worry about him. The Flying Dragons, on the other hand…"

Another drag from his cigarette, and Caliban blows out still more smoke. "I've faith that we can hold the Le siblings off, but if something were to happen?" He shakes his head. "Mr. Linderman has a lot of enemies. Sooner or later, when our backs are turned, someone will catch him off-guard and that will be the end of that. The ensuing power vacuum will cause a turf war the likes of which the city has never seen. Blood will run in the streets."

Move against Linderman, blood running in the streets, et cetera, et cetera. Although Elias continues to listen, he puts a little less effort into it, focusing a bit more on finishing his drink. Linderman might have a lot of enemies, and him being dead might result in a power struggle in the city, but somehow, the teleporter doubts it. Within organized crime empires that aren't held together by family ties, the underlings are always looking to get ahead. A real 'turf war' would only happen if whoever replaced Linderman couldn't keep their shit together.

But those are the problems of a gangster, and Elias doesn't do that anymore. Only honest thievery from here on out.

There's white knuckles suddenly around her glass of coke and around the swell of her nostrils. She doesn't quite know what to say and if there was a telepath around, they would probably be needing to get away from the blonde and the flurry of expletives that run from one end of her mind to the other, but never off her tongue. "What does this have to do with me. What could you possibly want with me, in any connection with that… fucking animal" Look, Elias, Abigail swore. Take notes. She can do it and not suddenly implode with holy fire. "why, why did you take that base and.. and.. he kidnapped me Robert! he CUT MY TONGUE OFF!"

There's some glances from others at the bar and one of the female bouncers is glancing over. "I have nightmares still of him and his fucking eyes. So tell me what mentioning him has to do with this street war you have going? Are you looking to me in the hopes that I might hide Mr. Linderman above my bar? Because I'd hide him, but the filth that is the animal, I won't"

Caliban's shoulders twitch back a fraction of an inch, the muscles in his neck and face growing tight, but he keeps the colour from flooding patchily into his cheeks. Abigail's tirade should shame him, or at least compel him to experience trace feelings of guilt — unfortunately, just as there's no way for him to listen in on the blonde's thoughts, all she can do is guess at what he might be thinking. If he is indeed thinking at all. Blue eyes blink away whatever emotions might have begun to pool there. "I told you about Logan because you deserve honesty," he says hoarsely. "I couldn't keep it from you if I wanted to, and I don't. When I employed him, I did so with two very important caveats — the first of which involves staying away from you. The second prevents him from doing what he did to you and your friends to anyone else, ever again."

Now he's leaning forward, one hand reaching over to tap ash from his cigarette into the nearest tray, the other grasping at the edge of the countertop for support. "I'm not asking you to hide Linderman. I'm not even asking you to help Linderman. What I want from you is a promise that you'll help me protect innocents when the Dragons inevitably decide that the media backlash they receive every time they catch civilians in the crossfire no longer matters."

As the conversation progresses, Elias likes the sound of it less and less. Especially since it appears that, if Caliban's not exaggerating, there's going to be a real rumble in the Bronx before anyone knows it. Definitely not good, especially since it appears to show that the cops are basically useless when it comes to controlling New York's gangs. Once again, he's listening, as he is now certain that somewhere in here, the chance will present itself for him to pay back his debt to Abby.

Even if that payback is in the form of him saying to her, I'll take care of it. He was pretty sure he didn't do that anymore, either.

She'd help Linderman before she'd help John Logan. But he wants help with the innocents and there's guilt across Abby's face that she's let her temper get the better of her and 'shot the messenger' so to speak. Her hand comes out to rest on the one grasping the counter top. "I'm sorry" Properly contrite. "I shouldn't.. have gone off on you like that. You're not John Logan and you have been nothing but nice and helpful to me. I'm not having a good day. My shrink got killed and I.." And I'm in need of finding a new one so I don't go off on people, goes unspoken. "and I have final coming up soon and I'm trying to show the person who's paying my tuition that it's not for nothing. What exactly does protecting the innocents entail, do you think" Good ol Abby. Can always count on her to do that. "What would you need me to do"

Caliban's fingers flinch under Abigail's touch, and yet he does not pull away. Instead, he lifts them from the counter and turns over his palm, closing his large hand around the blonde's much smaller one. This is either his way of accepting her apology, or physical contact purely for the sake of ensuring his intentions don't go miscommunicated again — whatever it is, it's brief, and he's rising to his feet in the same breath. His hand falls away, goes fishing for the wallet he keeps inside his jacket along with his matchbook and cigarette tin. "I don't know yet," he admits, tone terse. "You see a lot of people every day. You strike up conversations with your customers, learn names, motivations. If you have any contacts with a sincere intention of keeping the violence from spilling out into the public sphere, then tell them what I've already told you. I'm only one man, Abigail, but forewarned is forearmed. What do you do with people sitting in the path of a hurricane when evacuation isn't an option?"

Caliban's example is an interesting case that Elias has never had to deal with. But he gets the idea; things are going to get messy, and there's no way around that. Although Elias doesn't say anything, yet, he makes a point to himself that he ought to stick around for a short time after Caliban's finished his piece. He's no more 'off the grid' than he was back in January, but he's been much more selective about who is aware of this fact. Surely, he can trust Abigail Beauchamp with this information. If he can't trust her, who can he trust?

"You put them in the superdome" it's spilled from her mouth before she can stop it. A hint of a smile on her face at the tasteless joke. "You get them to highest ground with all the emergency supplies you can gather and you wait it out. Pray" She lived down there, down in Louisiana, just an hour away from the center of the devastation. She lived with her parents and when they could, she was down there healing all she could. "If there's innocents, send them here. Send them here. There's an apartment up above that I stay in occasionally that belongs to the bar, or if they're hurt, I know some people who can help them. In a few months, I can.. I'll be an EMT, and I can help that way. Not the same as laying on hands but.." But it might save a life the hard way.

As for trusting Abigail. Well. That depends on who you talk to. Abigail glances to Elias. "If you need a place to stay, you can. There's one spare room left, the other two are taken and I expect you to play nice with scruffy. He's living up in the master bedroom" easy to tell by the pervading smell of whiskey and tobacco that marks his territory.

"Thank you." Caliban lays down enough cash to cover his tab and an appropriate tip, slides his wallet back into his jacket and reaches up to adjust his tie. "I'll stop by again soon," he promises. Then, "It was good seeing you." As he turns away from the bar and gently nudges his stool back into place with his knee, he gives Elias a curt nod. "Mr. de Luca. I'm going to assume that you'd prefer your, ah— animate state remain a secret. I don't have any problems with this as long as you owe Ms. Beauchamp a debt, but do keep your head down? It would be embarrassing if someone discovered that your presence here apparently slipped my notice."

"It's di Mio, now," Elias says plainly. No sense in trying to hide that he is, or at least was Elias de Luca, especially since this Caliban joker won't let it go. Telling him to update his contact list is the next best thing. "And I'm only stopping over, so I'm sure your reputation will survive mostly unscathed. Good night, sir."

Money goes in the till, tip jar, where it's supposed to go. She's learned to not fight Caliban on the matters that pertain to paying for his drinks. She just leans against her end of the bar, watching the two exchange words before she lets her blue eyes drift to Elias. "Di Mio" She'll remember that. "God Bless Mr. Caliban"

"God Bless," Caliban returns, and with that he's gone, reduced to retreating footsteps and a shrinking silhouette that eventually dissipates into the crowd.

Elias watches as Caliban retreats, and when it's 'clear,' shifts his focus back to Abby. "Only stopping over, but it's easy for me to come back whenever," he says before throwing back what remains of his drink. "All that, stuff I did when you first met me? I don't do that anymore. But like you said, I owe you. You need any help with this, at all, just call me and I'll come running over right away. Okay?"

"Sounds like if I call in that debt, Mr Linderman will be informed that you are very much alive and well. Calling you for help doesn't sound like a good idea Elias. No offense" Caliban's bottle is retrieved, rinsed then tossed into a grey rubbermaid container with others. "Eileen, Ethan, and Gabriel are still alive. I can get messages to them, if you want. I think Eileen's staying at the Garden last I knew when I was there. That's out on Staten Island. She has a key for here and shows up now and then. That's if.. you're looking to get in with them. I don't know where Amato is anymore. Wu-Long is dead, but his wife is around. She was on Staten Island and she's looking for who killed her husband" The status of everyone else in the group, she doesn't know.

"Kazimir Volken is dead. He had an allergy to me, pretty fatal allergy" The last likely to make him happy if he hadn't heard about that yet. "I'll be fine Elias. I can't heal anymore, therefore my potential for kidnapping is tremendously low. Right now, I only got potential serial killer with a thing for blond's and.. a boyfriend is all"

Raising his hand up, palm forward, Elias moves it once from left to right; no-go. "Like I said, I don't do that stuff anymore. I'm just Robin Hood, now." Rob from the rich and give to the poor. After expenses and payroll. Which usually equals 100 of the haul, but Abby doesn't need to know that. "Eileen, maybe. But not anyone else. And paying back what I owe you? That's only a problem if Caliban finds out about it, don't you think?"

"There's a card with my contact info in the till as of right now," Elias adds with a smile and a wink, "Little sleight of hand while you weren't looking. I'm in Ram's Gate, so that's an international call, but it's there just in case. Try to stay out of trouble, huh? You must be running low on extra lives."

There's glance over to the till and a roll of her eyes. "Heavens, yup, some things about you never change" But he's offering her a number and the little black notepad is pulled from the counter, her landline, cell phone scribbled down. There's a third number scribbled and a name. "Richard Cardinal. Tell him Abigail sent you. If you get bored, he's.. Well. He claims he's a thief and a bad guy, but, for all that he protests, he still calls me to make sure I'm okay and he see's fit to warn me when things are coming down the pipe and get me out" The topic of how many lives she has left, well, she's not Ivanov but surely, she's running low on her own too. "I always stay out of trouble. I just can't hide from it" But, the paper is slid across. "Call. If you need anything too. I'll see what I can do. oh!" healer. Hadley's name is written down and the address for piece of cake bakery. "Healer. Be nice. she's old, sweet, but she can.. well, She can do a whole lot"

When Abby finishes writing, Elias pockets the slip of paper. "I'll keep all that in mind," he says, "I like Ram's Gate, but I like New York, too. I think I can divide my time between them." His turn to stand up from the counter now. "Thanks again, Abbs. You're a peach."

"God bless Elias" He'll poof out, she's sure, and if he does there will be some awe, but really, every bartender here is evolved, some publicly, some not, and the bouncers too. It's not new in Old Lucy's to see a flexing of ability. As the religious blond turns to head into the back room she shakes her head. "Where on earth is Ram's… Gate…."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License