cardinal_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif

Scene Title Scumbags
Synopsis A disembodied voice wakes Deckard up to a hangover and the name of the guy who owns the infamous periwinkle mystery mobile. The good news is that the voice wants to keep helping. The bad news is that there is a whole lot of bad news.
Date February 18, 2009

Deckard's Apartment

Deckard's apartment. It's much the same as it was last time. Approximately zero decoration, rickety wood flooring, one couch, one coffee table, one light on — this time somewhere in the empty bedroom.

He didn't make it to the couch this time.

He's passed out prone on the floor, snoring too loud to be dead, with his head propped up out of the grit a few inches away by the fold of his right arm. He smells like booze, and there's no telling how long he's been here. The door is locked, though, so. Whenever he got here, he had the presence of mind to take care of that.

"Jesus -Christ- you're a wreck, Deckard," This time, the hollow, echoing voice comes directly from the crook of his arm so as to carry straight into his ear, the shadow spread out beneath his toppled form, "C'mon. Wake up you drunken bastard. Up and at 'em! Huns at the gates!"

There's a hitch in the snore — a faltering intake of breath and an immediate catch in his chest when the pain of wood planking pressing hard against his rib cage creeps into his consciousness. Left hand brought up to press over his head, Deckard rolls stiffly, sorely over onto his back, sunglasses tipped off his face at a weird angle until he drops them carelessly aside. His eyes are dull. Human. He looks ill. God knows why.

There's a brief, silent pause, the shadows sweeping themselves up the nearby wall into a somewhat human-like form—head cocking to look down to the other man, that ambient echo of a voice observes, "You look like -shit-. Did you just drink too much, or did you catch the plague or something?" It's roughly said, but perhaps there's a flicker of concern there.

The hand on his face keeps moving past it until his entire arm is stretched over his line of sight, blocking out what little light filters in through the bathroom while he drags in a couple of slow breaths. "I'm fine." Deckard's fine. Obviously. Perfectly fine. Just, apparently he passed out and there's a disembodied voice in his apartment again. "Everything's fine." His stomach doesn't feel so great. Maybe he can get rid of the Metatron before he has to puke. "What do you want?"

"You're going to kill yourself like this, you know," observes the shadowy form of Cardinal with a sigh that echoes like the rasp of sandpaper on wood, "I suppose that's your fuckin' decision, though—anyhow." Wry, the twist of his tone then as the shadow settles into the shadow of a chair, kicking back, "You wanted to find out who has the van. I know who has the van."

"I have a lot of lost ground to make up for." Trying to drink yourself to death is harder when you have a no-good healer around to regrow your organs all the time. "Trust me." Ngh. One leg is drawn up into a bend, heel scuffing a clear path through dust while Deckard swallows bile down against the rasp that's already lodged in his throat. "Who has the van?"

"Logan," is the name offered by the shadow, ever so casually, "The owner of that brothel down in the Rookery — the Happy Dagger? He bought it from some low-life awhile back, apparently. Kind of ironic — fTeo slept over there last week, with Ivanov."

There's a pause while that sinks in, followed by the croak of a simple, deflated: "…Oh…god."

Teo must really, really love that van.

Deckard's scruffy head lifts off the floor just enough to thump back down into it with a fair amount of force. His brow knits, his teeth grit. He draws his other leg up and starts to push himself over onto his side, so that he can get up, using the coffee table for support as he goes. "Teo went to a brothel with Ivanov?"

That reaction's noted, and the shadowy form regards the man for a long moment. "So why," he asks, lightly, "Is this van so important, anyhow, Deckard? There's really a whole hell of a lot of concern about some shitty purple van, you know." The question about the brothel is left alone, ignored for the moment.

"Precious cargo." Wow. He hurts. His back pops at least twice on the way up, followed by a knee once his weight settles onto it. He winces, winces again, then doubletakes, long face dropped slack. The disembodied voice isn't as disembodied as he thought. For a second or two he stares like a spooked animal, then his eyes flash blue, checking for bones. Internal structure. Anything. There's nothing.

"What," asks the shadow'd form, the lines of it stretching out across the wall in a more threatening darkness, 'wings' spreading out in almost demonic countenance, "Sort of cargo are we talking here?" The voice echoes in an irritable rasp, "I've fulfilled my part of this bargain here, and it wasn't easy. What's Logan been using it for?"

Generally, nothingness in the presence of a definite something is discomfiting. Deckard's eyes go dim again with just enough urgency to catch the spread the spread of demonic wings, and he takes half a step back, mouth still hanging slightly open while his guts turn a cold flip. This whole thing just got a lot creepier.


"Ah." The shadow swirls across the wall, spilling back into a more generic, humanoid form once more. "A friend of yours? I hope it wasn't a woman, being kidnapped by a pimp like Logan is—unfortunate, at best. I've heard rumors, though…" The form's head cocks a bit to one side, "Who is it?"

Profile highlighted by the sheen of cold sweat that's collected across his brow, Deckard hunches reflexively against another damp wave of nausea. Not going to make it. "Hhh," is what he has to say along these lines, hesitation mingled with the distraction of his stomach enforcing an immediate and mandatory evacuation. Face pale and eyes hollow, he makes an abrupt break for the open bathroom door. Retching and the singularly unsettling sound of wet mess plummeting into toilet water are close behind.

A sigh rasps itself through the shadows. "We really have to do something about this, Deckard," calls the voice after him, twisting through the room as the shadow spills down the wall, streaking like a silhouette in the dying sun to shadow the edge of the bathroom door, "It's really very hard to hold down a conversation with you sometimes. Take your time."

He got most of it out during the first couple've goes, fortunately. A little bit of dry heaving and a drag of towel off bathroom counter later, Deckard flushes and sits back away from the toilet, shoulders braced into the join of wall and raised tub opposite it. He looks worse than he did before, face downturned into the towel looped over his arm, empty-eyed and tired while he waits for the rest to pass. It takes a little while, but Cardinal gave him the go ahead to procrastinate, so.

"I don't know if I should tell you."

The darkness that speaks works its way along the wall, flowing upwards in defiance of gravity to paint the wall above him, reflecting a humanoid form crouching upon the sink—although, of course, nothing is there to cast such a shadow. "Mmhm. And are you really that sure about everything else in your life? I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be passed out drunk on the floor if you were."

"I don't have much love for kidnapping scumbags. You can trust me, or you can not. It's up to you."

"I'm a murdering scumbag and you seem pretty attached to me so far." Head lolled back into the wall, Deckard follows the lift of Cardinal's impossible shadow with a distinct sense of unease, only to look away before the look qualifies as a stare. His eyes flicker to life, ghastly light reflected blue off the bath's white tiling when he peers that way instead. He liked him better when he was just a voice.

"You also work for that sonuvabitch Zarek," observes the voice, rather dryly, "So I've never said that I have good taste, Deckard." A few moments of silence follow, the unseen eyes regarding the other man, before noting, "I found the van. I could very well help you find your friend, as well."

"I don't work for Zarek. I work for some other guy. Zarek's just…a piece of shit. I don't know." Deckard pushes the towel over his face one last time, then flings it weakly over into the empty tub. "I don't know," repeated at a mutter, he seems content to sit there and look worn out on his bathroom floor. Which is, in contrast with the rest of the place, spotless. "I'll…probably have to look into it. Maybe you can come with me."

"You couldn't stop me," the shadow observes with an ash-dry twist of amusement, "I could ride your shadow until the day you die, and if I didn't want you to know I was here, you never would." The pool of living darkness twists itself across the spotless floor before him, stretching out a bit over the flooring, "Of course, I could certainly help more if I knew what I was looking for."

Gosh. What a happy thought that is. Deckard has to sit there for a moment to ruminate over all the fun things it would mean for him. What it might already mean, if this guy's already been following his ass around Staten. "As much as you like to talk…" Flint trails off, brows lifted only to be hidden behind the splay of his hand over his face, "I'm not sure you could stay quiet long enough to convince me you weren't there."

A low chuckle rasps in the shadow for a moment. "You'd be surprised," he murmurs, "I've had a lot of time to practice keeping quiet… if you really don't want my help, though, I suppose there's nothing I can do to change your mind."

"I could use your help. What I don't need is you following me around 24/7 like some kind of intangible…symbiotic parasite." That was kind of a mouthful. Knees drawn up close to his chest, Deckard falls quiet again, withdrawing into himself against the mounting pressure of a headache. "Do you have contact information?"

"I haven't," admits the shadowy form, "Not yet, anyhow. I have a number you can call. There's no name attached to it, so don't try tracking it down, or anything."

"Give me the number." It's supposed to be an order, but it comes out more like a request. Flint doesn't have the energy necessary to be too much of a dick about it. "I have people I need to talk to. It's — a girl. I don't know how old she is. But she doesn't need to be in a whorehouse."

A number's recited in response, and the shadows swirl lazily about on the floor for a moment before rippling up the wall once more in somewhat-humanoid form. "Do you have a name, a description? I can do some… poking about the Dagger."

"Yes and no. You can have it when we go 'poking around the Dagger.' Or if not me necessarily, someone I actually trust. You've been a big help for a disembodied, shadowy voice, but you're still a disembodied, shadowy voice." Still mostly dressed from whatever prior adventures culminated in a collapse in his apartment, Deckard reaches into the confines of his coat to fumble out his wallet and a pen. Cardinal's number is scratched down onto a blank card drawn out of the billfold.

"You're a terribly untrusting man," points out the disembodied, shadowy voice that's refused to give a name or what his interest in anything going on is. Apparently, one can add 'hypocritical' to the lost of adjectives above. "I can live with that. Just give me a call, then… and try to sober up first, mm? Or make sure your friend is."

"I'm going to call you Dave. You sound like you could be a Dave." Speaking more to himself than to Dave/Cardinal, Deckard takes a deep breath while he tucks the new number away again. It doesn't help with the nausea or the headache. Nor does the sigh that comes inevitably along after it. No acknowledgement of the suggestion that he should sober up. All signs are pointing towards the idea that he should get really drunk again instead.

A quiet chuckle answers those words, the shadow blending into those ambient in the living room.

Whether or not the shadow that speaks is gone, though, well — can you ever really tell?

February 18th: Chow

Previously in this storyline…
The Kidnapping Magnet

Next in this storyline…
Getting Dangerous

February 18th: Lounge Lizards
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