Shadow And The Serpent


cardinal_icon.gif feng_icon.gif

Scene Title Shadow and the Serpent
Synopsis Feng Daiyu seeks out Richard Cardinal for a lead on the man he's seeking, and it comes to light that Flint Deckard lied through his teeth.
Date June 3, 2009

The Rookery

After the bomb, Staten Island grew to become a haven for undesirables. If the Island is their home, then the Rookery is their playplace. Equal parts gritty and decadent, it boasts dark alleys, bright lights, and every pleasure that one could imagine. Provided you know where to ask, of course.

Some areas have fared better than the rest of the island; some have fared far worse. For each well-tended brothel or gaming house, there's at least one creaky, crumbling structure left over from the days of pre-bomb suburban glory.

The population is considered universally distasteful, even by much of the rest of Staten Island. Criminals, refugees, victims of radiation poisoning… Those who have nowhere else to go often end up here. The most common method of getting out is to have your body dropped in the river, followed closely by being left wherever it is you got killed.

Good luck.

It's an hour before midnight, and in this town that the law forgot, that's the hour that most dark business goes down. Desperate-looking girls in fishnets and miniskirts flash their wares at passers-by from outside the gaudy paint of brothel fronts from buildings that were once respectable businesses, lights blaze from between the boarded-up windows of bars and gaming halls, and occasionally in the distance there's the sounds of some sort of struggle or fight.

The skies are stirred black as if the moon were ashamed to look upon the decadent heart of Staten Island. It's just another night in the Rookery.

The wire-mesh glass of the door leading into Tucker's Pawn Shop swings open, and Cardinal steps out into those streets once more. Aviator's sunglasses mirror the neon that blazes from a sign across the way, reading obscene words inversely, a flight jacket bearing the logo of Chicago Air draped over a black shirt, pants of grey and black urban camo spilling down to combat boots. Almost a uniform, but not quite. He's shaking his head, a private smile faintly gracing his lips, brow furrowed above the edge of his shades in thought.

"Richard Cardinal?" The stilted Mandarin accent comes right from the wall beside the pawn shops front door. Jerking a glance over his shoulder, Cardinal sees a man noticably shorter than him leaning up against the store's front wall, arms folded and head down, sunglasses tucked into a pocket on the front of his black zippered jacket. Despite the Chinese man's casual dress, his posture and mannerisms scream federal agent to Richard, posturing and mannerisms that could get a Fed killed on this island.

He pushes off of the wall, black dress shoes scuffing across the pavement as his arms unfold, one hand moving into the half-zippered front of the jacket to retrieve a folded photograph. "If I could just take a minute of your time…" tucked behind the folded hotograph is a leather identification folio, "…I promise I won't hold you long." There's no question of whether he has the right man, no uncertain are you him look in his eyes, just a steely-eyed determination of this stranger in a strange land.

Oh, it's his full name. Nobody ever calls the shadow-man by his full name unless things are really, really bad. Cardinal stops in mid-step, the door to the pawn shop still slowly creaking shut behind him, his head slowly turning so that he can regard the other man over the edge of mirrored shades. His body language tenses up, wary, although not afraid. He turns slowly to face the chinese man, sizing him up briefly before replying confidently, "You couldn't hold me at all. But you asked nicely, so," A tip of his head, a gesture of one hand, "What can I do for you?"

A smirk comes from the dark-haired man as he deftly switches folio and photograph between hands, offering out the leather badge folder first with a flip. The plastic identification card inside reads a flavor of federal agent that Richard isn't entirely familiar with: It displays an emblem of a world with a golden sword placed in front of it. Over the globe, the acronym OICP — ICPO is printed in blue lettering, while below is it's more informal title, INTERPOL. A mugshot and some printed text identifies the man as—

"Feng Daiyu, Interpol." His words come out as smooth as his clearly second-language English allows for. "I have a person of interest I'm investigating, and I was informed by someone I spoke to that you would be able to be of some help to me." The photograph is unfolded between nimble fingers, lifted up towards Cardinal, revealing a face that the shadow man hardly expects to see.

It's not an emblem that Cardinal recognizes, nor an acronymthat he does… but the more informal text printed beneath? Oh, that he recognizes, brow furrowing a bit as he draws back to look from the badge to the dark-haired man with a rather bemused expression. The question of what the hell Interpol is doing in the area at all, clearly writ upon the thief's features.

As Feng's purpose is explained, however, he relaxes a touch and takes a step closer. Hey, if they're not after him, all's well in his book. The flash of the photograph is considered for a few moments in the dim light of this decadent corner of hell before memory stirs, clicking into place. "Him?" A look back up to Feng's face, a frown pursing his lips, "What the hell do you want with him?"

There's something unusual about Feng's smile, almost a knowing one, but in a more sarcastic and smarmy manner. "I'm not at liberty to discuss those particulars, mister Cardinal. But any information you might be able to share about his location or the last time you saw him would be beneficial." There's a crook of Feng's lips again, shifting the one upraised corner of his smirk to the other side of his mouth in an unusual expression.

"Mister Deckard seemed to assume that you'd be the man to tap in this instance." The intentional slip comes with an arch of one brow, an unspoken exchange of information; selling out the man who sold out Cardinal, in exchange for information on his target.

At the revelation of who gave his name, Cardinal exhales a brief, amused snort of breath. "Thanks a lot, old man," he mutters under his breath - not to Feng, but to the absent Flint Deckard, one presumes - before he shakes his head slowly. "The last time I saw him? Shooters Bar." A jerk of his chin directs towards the establishment not half a block away, before he brings a hand up to scratch under his chin, short nails rasping against the stubble there.

"This little visit a surprise," he asks mildly, one brow arching as if to mirror Feng's own lift, "Or you want the word getting out that you're looking for him?"

"Shooters?" Feng's head tilts to the side as he takes a half step closer to Cardinal, "how long ago?" There's no answer given to the latter comment, but from the look in his eyes and the way he's keeping his voice down, it's clear he isn't plastering up wallpapered posters with that man's face on them, for certain. Subtlety, at least in some forms, seems to be the order of the day. But if this is as cloak and dagger as he seems to be making it, why the public interrogation?

Something isn't fitting together.

"You do want word getting out." Cardinal's eyes narrow behind the mirrored lenses of his shades, as he suggests half to himself, "But you don't want it to seem like you do." The man tilts his head a little to one side after that, index finger tapping thoughtfully to the side of his jaw before that hand falls, down to his hip. A thumb curls through a belt-loop in an unconsciously stubborn gesture as he asks firmly a question that seemed to have been answered already, "Who are you?"

A lopsided smile comes from Feng as he folds the identification badge and photograph up, and the question Cardinal asks makes the content of the photograph seem more in question. "Feng Daiyu," he reiterates without missing as beat, "Interpol." It comes off as a bit rehearsed, something that isn't quite as honest as it should be. A lifetime of picking up on these inconsistencies, a lifetime of living around the criminnal element has Cardinal's senses on alert. The more he sees of Feng Daiyu, the more he seems like he's not what his outward appearance indicates, like there's something else being hidden behind the quirky smirks and the slinking movements.

"No you're not." The accusation is simple - no heat behind it, the dismissal of an absurdity like a homeless man claiming that he's the Pope. Cardinal gestures with his free hand, a horizontal cut of splayed fingers through the air, "You might be Feng Daiyu, but if you're Interpol, I'm Nathan Petrelli."

Both dark brows rise in a then what am I? gesture as Feng pockets the folio and photograph, tucking his hands into the front pockets of his jacket. "How long ago did you see him?" His question, still not answered, seems to be the most pressing. "At shooters," he clarifies, looking down the street before turning his attention back to Cardinal with only one brow raised now.

As the chinese man looks at him, his gaze is reflected in those mirrored lenses, behind which Cardinal's own eyes regard him in calculating consideration. There's something here that doesn't add up here, some piece of the jigsaw puzzle that he's just been presented with that doesn't fit the rest of the picture… and maybe more than one piece, the longer he considers him. The shadowman's always been fascinated by puzzles.

"It seems," he observes, mildly, "That we're at an impasse. You want what I know. I want what you know." A sardonic half-smile, "But I'm not willing to give mine until I have yours, Daiyu."

Both brows go up again, the expression less questioning of Feng's own motivations, and more of Cardinal's. "What, exactly, is it that you want from me, Mister Cardinal?" Dark shoes move across the pavement, bringing Feng right up next to Richard, looking up into the man's glasses with hands tucked into his coat pockets. "Perhaps we can make some sort of arrangement? I'm not against negotiations."

He's not Interpol, he's purposefully letting guards down to show that much. The posturing now changes as easily as a theater mask does, and the way Feng walks and carries himself now, his authoratative tone of voice, it seems more military then federal.

"I want to know who you're really representing, Mister Daiyu," Cardinal replies in quiet, firm tones, not giving an inch even as the other man steps close… although his muscles tense, ready to edge away in case of any sudden attacks should he be quick enough, and the shadows deepen ever so subtly about his form. As if the nearby lighting had faded just a little bit more in this already-dark part of Staten Island.

"And," he adds, "I want to know what your interest in that man is. Honestly, I'm neither a friend nor an enemy of his, so I've no personal stake in whatever your answer is. Professionally, however…" A tight smile, "…well, you know how that is."

"I plan on killing him," Feng states with a crooked smile, "I figured that may have been obvious, but perhaps not. Subtleties in your language are so hard to convey." The dark eyes wander up and down Cardinal, then settle on the reflection in mirrored sunglasses again. "Personal reasons, mister Cardinal, I assure you. So, I would appreciate it if," the position of his footing changes slightly, one foot shifting more left than right, shoulders angling, "if you could tell me when you last saw him?"

"Less than a month," Cardinal admits finally, his chin tipping in a slight nod, the faintest of smiles curving honestly to his lips, "And the world won't miss him, I can assure you of that. Now." One brow lifts, "You can go with that, and see where it gets you. Probably not far. Or you can make me an offer that holds my attention." That smile widens into a faint near-smirk, "No offense, but you're clearly more the 'kill target' sort than the investigative sort, Daiyu."

A smile replaces the stern look on Feng's face. "Less than a month? Thank you, mister Cardinal, you just proved to me that my other informant is unreliable." There's an askance glance given to the taller man, followed by a shake of his head as he reaches up to run one hand over short-cropped black hair. "Thanks for the offer, but I work alone now."


"Feel free to send mister Deckard my regards." Feng makes a quick motion with two fingers as a sort of half-salute half-wave, and begins turning from Cardinal to head down the street in the direction of the Happy Dagger.

"I wasn't offering," Cardinal replies with just the faintest of chuckles, a stir of breath upon the wind as he points out, rather casually in the wake of the man's turn, "You aren't asking the right questions, Daiyu. Such as 'what master does one of the servants of Kazimir Volken serve now'."

He smiles, ever so faintly, and waits expectantly as he watches the departing man.

Feng turn shis focus back to Cardinal the moment that name is spoken, looking over his shoulder to the shadow-man with an expression unlike the ones he delivered before. "You do not ask questions," he states with a firm tone, "to things you have already found the answer to." A lingering stare is given to Cardinal for just a moment more, before Feng reaches down and retrieves the sunglasses folded in the front pocket of his jacket, unfolding them to slide over his eyes as he turns his back to Richard, and begins headed towards the Happy Dagger once again.

Ah. A reaction. A private satisfaction stirs, unseen, behind mirrored lenses. Cardinal's chin dips in a slight nod, and he calls after the man in casual tones, "You know where to find me if you change your mind." Then he watches the man go for a few minutes, shoulder resting to the window of the pawn shop, just observing his path.

A path that leads Feng Daiyu straight into the Happy Dagger, and his next target:

John Logan.

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