Shadow On Water, Part I


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Scene Title Shadow on Water, Part I
Synopsis The criminal element of Staten Island is introduced to a shadow of different times.
Date May 23, 2009

The Happy Dagger, Staten Island

"Six-hundred thousand, Mister Zarek." The words are spoken with a steely intensity that match the cold look in the speaker's dark eyes. Staring up from an empty martini glass, the delicate lines of Liu Ye's face seem more sharp in the lightning of the Happy Dagger. Reclining against the plush leather upholstery of his booth, the leader of the Flying Dragons raises both brows in silent expectance.

A deep sigh and a click of his tongue is the elicited response from the man standing near Liu's booth. Having been gone from New York City for months, the raise in price of Liu's services seems unwarranted. "Look, Hong-Kong Fooey," or perhaps it's just Kain Zarek's colorful demeanor that gets him all of the good bargains, "we negotiated half that before Ah' went off t'Vegas, an' Ah' don' care if you happened t'off yer old man and run your little gang." Kain motions towards Liu, wiggling fingers of one raised hand in the direction of the Triad boss. "You either honor th' deal we made, or Ah'll just go straight on up t'Danny and see what he thinks."

There's no amusement in Liu Ye's eyes as he pushes his empty glass across the table with two fingers, eyes never diverting from Kain's. "Mister Zarek," there's restraint in Liu's voice, unwelcome and uncomfortable, "your negotiations were made under situations that have changed." The young man's head tilts to the side as he speaks. "Seven-hundred thousand dollars will ensure your employer the services of my group on this island for the remainder of the year, otherwise we will have to rethink our arrangements."

"Seven-hundred— " Kain's eyes widen and he takes a step forward, slapping his palms down on the table. "Listen here y'little eggroll, this wasn't a part of the agreement. You're lucky Danny's even pretendin' that you an' your little band of nutjobs because of what your old man did back in the day. But now, maybe it's— "

A cold hand cuts Kain off, a pale and slender hand coming up to his chin and then down to his throat from behind. It isn't a gentle cold, like a cool can of beer on warm skin, but rather the biting cold of something left in the freezer for too long. Song Ye's touch is as painful as it is gentle, and the way her polar caress moves across Kain's neck as she leans in against his back leaves faint red blemishes across his skin. It's the point of something sharp in the small of his back that keeps him from recoiling away.

"Shhhh," Song breathes out against the back of Kain's hair, her breath icy cold. "«If you move, I will slide this knife between these two bones, and take your legs from you. Then, I will make you watch as I freeze and shatter them inch by inch…»" It's moments like these when Kain Zarek wishes he spoke Mandarin, moments like these when he wishes he'd stop putting his back to dangerous and inevitably psychotic women. As if Mischa wasn't lesson enough.

Swallowing tightly, Kain's eyes widen as he looks to the side, trying to get a view of the small woman standing behind him to no avail. "Mister Zarek," Liu states in a hushed tone of voice, "you seem to have upset my sister. Perhaps we can both… cool our heads a little, and you can reconsider my offer?" There's a crooked smile as Liu folds his hands and leans back against the booth. "I want you to tell Mister Linderman that my offer has increased to eight hundred thousand for the continued cooperation of the Flying Dragons for the remainder of the year, and that he has you to thank for this increase in— "

The sound of the door to the private suite opening causes Liu to arch one brow, calling out to someone he cannot see behind Kain and Song's silhouettes. "I told you that no one was to disturb us!" Liu places both hands down on the table and begins to rise, as he sees Song yanked back away from Kain with a shriek of surprise.

There's a loud crash, a sudden chill rising thorugh the air as Kain staggers forward, coughing and holding his throat. Blue eyes turn in the direction where Song was, only to see a quick flourish of black clothing as whoever entered the room smashes a bottle of vodka from the nearby table across her head. The waifish young woman collapses to the floor, and that dark and sleek form moves towards Kain. "Wh— what the f— " Before he can reach for the gun holstered inside of his jacket, Kain feels a strong hand grasping his wrist, squeezing tightly as another grabs at his throat with fingers pressed around his windpipe.

Only now does the man hold still long enough for Kain to get a good look at him; he's far shorter than his physical strength would make reasonable. Ink black hair that matches the color of his suit is cropped close to his head, black eyes peering up at Kain with an emotionless and neutral expression. All of this — information brought in from a fraction of a moment — happens in the time it takes for this man to sweep a leg behind Kain and hurl him down to the ground, causing the back of the Cajun's head to collide with Liu's table.

As Kain falls down, needle-like darts of water spring up from glasses set on the table, whipping through the air with the speed of bullets. But by the time these tricks of hydrokinesis have left Liu's proximity, the dark-haired man has already fallen to the ground on top of Kain, shoving a hand inside of his jacket to retrieve the gun holstered within. The semi-automatic nine millimeter is withdrawn and aimed at the legs beneath the table, and two quick — but loud — pops of gunfire strike Liu at the shins, sending him collapsing to the ground with a loud scream.

The dark-haired man rises up to one knee, pistol whipping Kain before dropping the gun and springing over the table, scooping up one of the martini glasses in one hand as he does. Dropping down on the other side of the table to Liu, the stranger shatters the glass and presses its broken stem up beneath the young hydrokinetic's chin.

Liu's breath hitches in the back of his throat as he feels the sharp sting of the glass breaking the skin. His brows tense for just a moment in concentration, drawing at the moisture around the room, only to feel a sudden press of a knee into the middle of his stomach. The young man gags, struggling through the pain as that piece of glass is pressed harder against the underside of his chin. "«Move again and I will see if you can control your own blood.»"

Liu's eyes search the man kneeling over him, unfamiliar in every way save for the language he speaks. That dialect of Chinese so common in the slums of Shanghai, it has this unmistakable tone to a trained ear. Liu remains silent in his discovery and silent in his predicament, knowing that security at the dagger will be there soon. But it is when his mysterious assailant retrieves a photograph from his jacket and holds it out to Liu that the predicament seems to change.

"«I know you know this man, where is he?»" Liu's recognition at the man in the photograph shows clearly on his face, and there's a stuttering look of confusion that follows. "«Speak,»" his attacker demands, breathing in sharply through his nose.

"«I— he's been gone for months. I— I don't know.»" The answer isn't to the attacker's satisfaction, and Liu quickly and unpredictably finds himself hauled up off of the bench seat and slammed down onto the table, even as the sound of thundering footsteps are approaching the private room.

"«Tell me two names who know where I might find him, or you die before they open that door.»" The threat is compounded by the doorknob rattling as someone tries to force the lock. Across the room, Liu can see a piece of jagged metal jammed in the doorknob's handle, his eyes tracking back to his attacker.

Swallowing tightly, Liu stares up at the man pressing down on him, choking out barely audible words, "«Deckard— Flint Deckard.»" The piece of glass twists against his skin painfully, a reminder that he was asked for two names. "«Cardinal! A— a man named Cardinal— I don't— I don't know his full name!»" Liu's words come out as a strangled hiss, fingers curled tightly against his palms.

As a reward for the answer, the dark-haired man pockets the photograph and quickly grabs Liu by the hair, dragging him up to his feet as he pulls both himself and Liu off of the table and to their feet. Shifting his weight, Liu's attacker swings the younger man around, pushing him away as he draws up a leg to plant a firm kick to the middle of Liu's chest the moment the door is busted open, sending Liu sprawling into the security team that comes storming inside, knocking them all out into the hall.

With a haste, the darkly-dressed man runs across the room and towards one of the windows, crossing his arms in front of himself as he smashes through the plate glass with his shoulder, tumbling out of the window and soaring out into the dark of the third floor drop. Glass rains down on the floor inside and in the alley beyond the window. Two members of the security team struggle to get up from the ground beneath Liu, while a third member rushes into the room, eyes spotting Song's unconscious form, and Kain kneeling on the ground holding his head.

Moving quickly over to the broken window, the security staff member looks out into the alley, then across to the adjacent rooftop, neither location showing any sign of the man who fled through the window after assaulting three guests of the establishment. There's a hissed breath, and a shout that carries out the window, "Get outside, go!"

By the time anyone from the Dagger's security team gets to the streets, the shadow of Feng Daiyu is already long gone with what it came here for.

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