Seeing Redd


ace_icon.gif donna_icon.gif gideon_icon.gif kyla_icon.gif pete_icon.gif redd_icon.gif

Scene Title Seeing Redd
Synopsis Silas Redd returns to Howland Hook incensed and escorting recently-escaped guests of Plum Island.
Date February 4, 2020

Standing between one of the opened gates by Howland Hook Terminal, Ace Callahan paces leisurely in the afternoon sun. It's cold, but it barely bothers him. He talks to a phone held almost flush with his ear, gesturing loosely with a to-go container of coffee.

"I can assure you, there's still so much to see out here," he tells whoever's on the other end, charm engaged. He even has a false smile on for effect. "The New York Safe Zone is merely a launching pad for the splendor the rest of the area has to offer. There are a number of beautiful sights to see in the State, and no better place to pass through than New York City. It's safer than other regional airports, more amenities nearby. It's certainly not the way things were before, but you get to see what's fresh and new on your way through, and any money you spend in town goes explicitly toward making things more the way they were before." He pauses, posture opening up. "How many vacations can you take where you're doing a good deed and having a luxurious time?"

It's a hard and untruthful sell, and Ace is wildly outside the normal clientele for d'Sarthe's usual tourists, but he dreams big. "If you'll give it some thought, I'll send you over some materials. Summer in the Catskills will wipe all your stresses away. And if you decide it's not for you, a getaway to the Alps definitely will."

Ace has barely gotten those words out when something he doesn't perceive roughly pushes past him, deliberately jostling the arm with his drink in it. He jolts, breath catching, coffee flying. It doesn't get on his shirt, but it spills on his shoes. His eyes widen, practically bulging from his head. It takes effort for his mask not to slip. "Yes, that sounds wonderful," he says into the receiver. "We'll sync up soon. 'Ta."

And then he hangs up, turning and letting his anger manifest. His placid look swipes away for a sneer to take its place. "Redd!" Ace snarls across the yard, leaving his coffee on the ground. That motherfucker enjoyed taking him by surprise laying hands on him, having identified early on his distaste for being touched, but this was insolence he'd not abide.

Redd doesn't turn back, continuing to stalk toward the building Gideon's office is housed in. It's only then that Ace notices he's not alone. The sharp anger in the sharply dressed man fades just slightly at seeing that, and realizing he doesn't recognize who it is that's with him.

Arching an eyebrow, Ace finds himself following after.

The Office of Gideon d'Sarthe

Howland Hook Terminal, Ruins of Staten Island

The complex at Howland Hook began as something small, and with time has become something with a solid footprint. While it still, obviously, has its faults— the terminal is a far cry from what it was years previous. Ruination has been cleared, ground leveled, walls built and roads paved. Buildings were touch and go. Some found renovation— the ones least damaged. Others became rubble, repurposed into other construction.

Very few buildings have that gated feeling. The one receiving new visitors, for example. Plenty of security, though some know how to bypass.

He's been expected, regardless.

And by now, Mr. D'Sarthe is absolutely familiar with how his contractors operate, and expects nothing less than a subdued arrival. Doesn't stop the rumble of a dog's barking at the fore of the building, or the ping of some distant infrared scan. The interior remains industrialized in size and shape, with the recent veneer of a more modern industrial decor. Beyond the security desk, office spaces behind doors. A lounge. One elevator to the upper level, of which half is dedicated to the conducting of business.

Silas Redd had left days ago to handle a matter of personal employment, a gig that should have paid fat dividends and left him high and dry for most of the year. Instead, the whipped dog that is coming back to Gideon d’Sarthe with his tail between his legs is neither high, nor dry. Nor is he alone.

Donna Dunlap is a cipher to Gideon, a tall and attractive woman probably somewhere in her thirties by his estimate, dark hair and fair eyes. Her clothes look straight out of a federal penitentiary, that uniform blue-gray jumpsuit. The other man beside Redd is less of a cipher, but more of a puzzle. Pete Varlane is a square silhouette in that same prison-chic attire, ambling alongside Redd at double pace to keep up. Gideon recalls his face from federal records, a wanted man, connections with the Institute. His was a case more widely public than Dunlap’s. The third of the new faces brought to Gideon’s is a young woman, younger than Gideon’s daughter, a slip of a thing with chalk white hair who likewise looks like she was sprung from prison. The trend is easy to see.

Tetsuyama burned me,” Redd hisses the second he’s in earshot of Gideon, not even bothering to make introductions as he waves his hands around angrily. “That stupid bitch tried to double cross me and send me up the fucking river.” For all that Redd tries to play it cool, tries to be implacable, he has a tempestuous temper. “I’m gonna fucking kill her!

Ace lingers behind far enough to keep in earshot while being out of line of sight, at least in the immediate. He follows behind at a leisurely pace until they reach Gideon's office, at which point he allows himself to begin make up the distance. The only thing that makes up for the inconvenience he was caused earlier is the apparent inconvenience Redd seems to have suffered in making his way back here.

His brow lifts as he leans against the doorway, arms folding as he listens to the temper tantrum. Should one of the ladies turn back his way, they'll earn a lift of one hand and a waggle of fingers to accompany it. Well, then.

Earshot gives Gideon enough time to pull away from his desk, laptop closing under one hand. The other lifts simply to adjust a collar that doesn't need adjusting, fingers smoothing down the front of his suit jacket. While there is not, precisely, an irritation that burns off of him, there is, however, a displeased expression between brow and mouth which says he would have much rather been rang first. Well-dressed and silvery hair combed back, Gideon d'Sarthe is a complete juxtaposition to the storm which Redd drags in behind him.

A storm which slams against the side of a mountain, for all that it phases the suited man behind the large desk.

"We both know you can swim…" It may not be the response Redd seeks. It is what he gets. The huskiness of d'Sarthe's voice lifts along with his chin, blue eyes instead on the little entourage that has been towed behind Redd's boat. The fire over Tetsuyama takes a backseat; Gideon steps out from behind his desk, one hand slipped into his trouser pocket, posture straight despite the casual gesture. All dark blues and shining oxfords, a strip of gold clasp at his breast. "We will deal with it."

"You've brought some guests." Not much of a question in it; he has eyes. He can pin only one of them down. Pete earns the majority of a lion's stare, and the gravel of his tone. His attentions then hesitate on the youngest of the group, colored only with that drab slate of prison.

Redd rankles at Gideon’s brush-off, but the head of the d’Sarthe crime syndicate is one of the few people alive who can do that to him. Redd immediately stands down, much like a well-trained dog, and turns to the small group he’s brought. It’s only then that he notices Ace with a slow narrowing of his eyes and a wordlessly but carefully-mouthed go fuck yourself followed by a feigned smile.

“Pete Varlane,” comes the introduction from the broadly built man. “I’m familiar with your work, Mr. d’Sarthe. Charity and the like.” Pete isn’t ignorant, he can see the situation he’s in, and he finds himself lacking a surmountable number of fucks to do anything other than go with the flow. “Your uh, business partner helped liberate me from that rather awful prison situation. I’d be obliged to return the favor.” Pete is also quick to lick whatever boot is necessary to save his own ass.

Donna doesn’t say anything, lingering nearby to the white-haired young woman. It’s Pete that steps aside and motions to her. “These two were bystanders,” he explains in what Donna perceives as an unusual amount of charity. “They know how to keep their mouths shut, as you can clearly see.” And he immediately goes back to neutral in Donna’s book. “But Dunlap here flew us out in a helicopter, so I consider her debt to society repaid in kind.”

“The kid’s name is Kyla,” Pete adds, “but really, she’s just a kid. No sense in her sitting at the adults table.” And Donna’s perception of Pete unexpectedly pivots back toward favorable again.

"I hope you didn't bring explicitly uninvited guests right to Mr. d'Sarthe's doorstep as well, Redd," Ace chimes from behind, expression dour. "We've made such inroads with the local militia, after all. It'd be a shame if we accidentally caught the attention of the entire government in such an unfavorable way."

He shifts his look over to Gideon next, letting his words as well as the lack of welcome in his features imply he's not a fan of keeping what their cleaner picked up at his last jobsite. "Wouldn't it?"

After, his attention shifts to Kyla. Just a kid doesn't accurately describe anyone who ends up in a unique prison situation like the one they'd all just waltzed— well, flew out of. Whatever Pete is hiding in her is valuable in one way or another. Either she's useful outright, or a tool to manipulate the other two with if they keep Varlane and Dunlap around.


"This does seem like a charity case," Ace notes drily. "One which doesn't seem likely to pay dividends over time."

"Bystanders don't get brought along." Gideon finally speaks after all of the groveling and bickering comes to a close, having spent the majority of it pressing his tongue to the roof of his mouth, eyes following, the rest unmoving. Nobody can say that he does not let people make a case. "Callahan's not wrong about attention. At least I have faith you covered that, Redd…" After a long pause, Gideon turns and steps behind his desk, breath coming out in a small, self-contained growl.

"Now, now, Ace." Gideon drawls, a palm smoothing his manicured, peppery beard. "You know I'm not completely unreasonable." Grayed brows lift up, tone set to mollifying; eyes remain fixed on the small party happening in his office. Mr. d'Sarthe picks up the phone on his desk, pressing a few buttons at the console before bringing it slowly to his ear.

"Ha-Yun, would you kindly send for a car. …Just the car is fine. …Tell Beauchene to expect company. Oh," The conversation is short, though crystal clear. They'll be remaining guests, for the time being. "…and bring down two of Marie's coats." His daughter will have to forgive him raiding her office fashion on another day.

"Callahan, If I were to ignore every 'unlikely dividend' that comes in my door," As he hangs up the receiver, Gideon opens a hand to the rest of the room in an encompassing gesture. There's a smile on his face, not too small, not too wide. Just right, when it reaches the spark of his eyes. "I wouldn't have you, now would I?" It's a compliment. In a fashion. Ace knows his job is secure, even if his boss calls for him to heel.

Redd starts to talk and Pete Fucking Varlane just steps up and talks right over him. “Now I know what you’re thinking,” comes out of Pete’s mouth without a moment of hesitation. Redd, momentarily flabbergasted, looks back at Ace as if to check if he’s hearing this himself. Pete continues on, unabated. “Here’s this doughy old man,” he makes a few sauntering steps closer to Gideon’s desk, “bit of a boor, bad table manners, snappy dresser though. Felon, admittedly. But I have a feeling that’s not an issue. But you must be asking yourself, what’s in it for me?

On that note, Pete glances back at Redd and Ace, briefly holding up one finger as if to indicate he’ll only be a moment. “Now,” Pete says, turning back to Gideon, “I remember you… from back before the war, when everything went sideways. You see, I used to work at the Commonwealth Institute up in Massachusetts, biosciences division. I’m a chemical engineer by trade, but they had me digging into some more uh, intuitive arts.” Pete ends his approach to Gideon’s desk, one brow slowly lifted.

“One of my pet projects,” Pete says, smoothing down the front of his prison-chic jumpsuit, “was after we absorbed the assets of one Pinehearst Corporation, testing field research on those assets first done by one doctor Bella Sheridan. You see, Ms. Sheridan got out of her prison stint by selling me up the river. But you know what she and I both worked on?” Pete’s brows rise.

“Have you ever heard of amphodynamine?” Pete asks, lips curled up into a toothy smile.

At this point, Ace shoots Redd a look similar to the one that had been tossed his way. He must have heard incorrectly— except for the part where Pete had set his reveal up so there was no misconception. Amphodynamine, huh?

Fancy that.

"Not a huge market for amp, these days," he voices thoughtfully, eyes on the back of Pete's head. Ace flicks a look to Gideon next, allowing, "But those who would pay value its worth, without a doubt."

More out of Redd's shock, Gideon gives a small, breathy laugh as Pete begins his sales pitch. To his credit, none of it particularly makes Gideon want to shut him up just yet. He waits for Varlane to finish, lifting his chin and resuming his patient stance in the meanwhile. D'Sarthe has time for a story, if that is what this takes.

"I'm familiar." Blue eyes bright under the lowering of his brow, Gideon regards Pete with newfound interest. "With all of it." He allows the specifics to ghost into the air, instead looking past the man to Ace and Redd, rather than giving Varlane the full attention he appears to so desperately crave. His utmost effort to get the tiger to pursue the steak and leave the sheep. For now, it seems to work.

"No doubt." The gravel of Gideon's voice murmurs assent in the wake of Callahan's words. He turns to slide back behind his desk, mouth curling sharply at Pete."I'll have to make a decision— if keeping you alive and out of prison is really worth the trouble. If I like what I see, Varlane, you'll know it." He spends a moment clearing his throat, one hand adjusting the front of his jacket. Behind the group, the door to the office opens again.

"As for our lady guests," D'Sarthe opens a hand to gesture towards the young Korean woman stepping inside the office; she has a pair of coats over her arm, dark eyes assessing the room on entering. "You'll be accommodated as well. Ms. Mun," the round-faced woman is nothing but professional as she visually sizes up the two women and passes the two coats to them in turn. They fit differently, of course, but it's enough. "can show you to the car."

"As for you," Both brows lift to Pete last, gaze moving between him and Redd, settling on the former. "You'll be joining them, mister Varlane." So much for setting himself apart— Gideon has no intention of dividing the three just yet— not before he can see them once they shake off the cold of PISEC. "I'll send for you." D'Sarthe's smile doesn't touch his eyes.

"Redd, I'd like for you to stay. We need to talk."

Rolling his forefingers and thumbs together, Pete smacks his lips as if tasting the conversation like someone might a sip of wine. His brows kick up, like he got a nice pleasant aftertaste, and looks side-long over to Redd. “You have fun pal,” he says nonchalantly, turning without so much as another word because he feels he’s used each and every one to the best of his ability, and a single one further out of his mouth might as well be his last.

Pete gets about two steps before he pauses, looks over his shoulder to Gideon and snaps his fingers, then taps on the side of his head as if remembering something. “Thank you,” Pete says to Gideon with as charming a smile as he can muster, and then turns back to follow Donna and the others out with Ms. Mun.

Redd drags his hand down his face, shaking his head and firing a side-long stare at Pete’s back the entire time. He waits until Ms. Mun has led them all out of the room before swiveling a languid look back to Gideon. “He barely said a fucking word in the helicopter.”

"I can appreciate a man who waits for the right moment to put on a show," Ace idly comments from his spot inside the door now, allowing it to shut behind him. He's not been shooed away, and so he'll stay. Whatever this is, perhaps there's an action item that will fall out for him as well. Eavesdropping can't be all pleasure all the time.

He slides his hands into the pockets of his slacks, waiting to see what the nature of the conversation turns out to be. Any anticipated smugness about it is kept firmly to himself as he lets his gray-green eyes linger on Redd for only a moment before going to seek out Gideon's form next.

At least if he's to be dismissed, he can just smear himself out of tangible form rather than suffer the hit to his pride seeing himself out might otherwise be.

Impassiveness meets what Varlane gives on his way out of the door. Gideon's sharp eyes follow the group to the last glimpse, hand freeing from the pocket of his trousers once the door closes. Teeth clench in a silent square of jaw, fingers raking tensely through peppered hair in response to Redd's postscript. It moves down his face, over beard, into a tight curl at his side.

"If you had made him talk, you would have saved me from having to listen." The edge contained in his jaw comes out in a seething hiss of words. "He shouldn't be trying to sell me something I can get for free."

"So tell me about the whole sordid affair." D'Sarthe holds one hand on his hip and the other gestures to the air, an embittered flourish to the narrow of his eyes and the growl of his voice. "Enlighten me, good sir, please." Heavy hands clap in front of Gideon's chest, brows kneading upward in a mockery of a plea.

That smile he gives Redd is strained, a half-rictus below the forced kindness of his eyes.

Make it good. He'd like a good story right about now. It would be spectacular.

“There ain’t much left to tell,” Redd says with a scrub of a hand against the back of his neck. “I took that job and the Oni double fucking crossed me. Her and that weasley little teleporter Aman. Swear t’god I’m gonna put a bullet in all their fucking heads,” he growls those last words through clenched teeth.

“Pete and the others were busting out in the chaos,” Redd explains, pointing with his thumb over his shoulder, “and it just so happened we were able to make some mutual arrangements. The tall one with the dark hair,” Donna, “flew us out in a commandeered chopper like I said. In exchange for savin’ my bacon, I told ‘em I’d give ‘em a place to flop.”

Redd sniffs the air, then smooths a hand over his slicked back hair. “Whether that’s here, or a dirty hole in the wall in the Rookery… now that’s up t’you.” He clarifies, clearly still not liking the situation overly much.

“Don’t know what the broads were in for,” Redd says thoughtfully. “Pete I recognized from the papers, big trial, Institute. Huge bounty on his head got cashed by Wolfhound last year. Dunno if the others were scooped up with him or what. But they’re all special,” he notes. “Otherwise they wouldn’t’a been at that fancy prison.”

Hands still in his pockets, Ace lifts his chin a touch in acknowledgment of the situation, looking to Redd with a thoughtful expression. "Well, all's well that ends well, there, right? You've been… mostly spared from the embarrassment that all could have been."

His opinion's merely his opinion, though.

"You," D'Sarthe lifts his brows, expression darkened by the end of the tale. "You save your bullets." Moving aside, a hand moves to his head, exasperation in the process of quietly dissipating. "Or do it on your own time and dime." Gideon's expression moves to something more rankled, the graze of his eyes a blade between the two. They can both tell that he agrees with that big mostly Ace offers up.

But, that's done with. There's nothing to do about it now. As far as the prison incident is concerned, he's moved on. Redd can dwell if he pleases. Gideon turns on a heel and paces fully behind the desk, hands coming to rest on the back of his chair.

"Varlane's a liability. One I'll be keeping on a very short leash." Fluorite-blue eyes bore ahead through the far door. "If he steps out of line, he's done." D'Sarthe's grip on the chair tightens. Metal compresses. Warps. Composure ekes back into place soon enough.

"The other two," Gideon slides back into his seat at the desk, the outline of his seething grip crushed into the chair, suit jacket unbuttoning to free his movement. The depth of his voice growls, holding onto a finality. "Bon sang. We'll see. Either they'll be worth saving— or worth more turned in. Although, we could use a pilot on the payroll."

"Redd, you'll be getting a missive later this week." Hands folded on a closed laptop, the two remaining men are addressed one at a time. "Take a few days off from your vacation." Gideon flashes a smile, crow's feet creasing, head tipping towards Ace. "Callahan, I believe you have somewhere to be soon."

Get out.

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