Shadow Play


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Scene Title Shadow Play
Synopsis When the Company comes knocking at Albert Winslow's room in Red Hook, they get more than they bargained for in the form of an ephemeral creature of living shadow trying to help cover Albert's tracks, and a run in with a quirky gambler.
Date March 15, 2010

Speakeasy Hotel and Casino

As hives of scum and villainy go, the Speakeasy Hotel and Casino in Red Hook is a relatively tame one. Owned privately by the Linderman Group, this gambling den and flop-house is maintained by the notoriously inefficient Gilbert Tucker, who's absentee-daddy method of management has left care of the casino in the hands of several assistant managers during his prolonged stay in whatever Carribean beach he's currently sunning himself on.

Perhaps Tucker chose the right place to go, in truth. When the front doors of the Speakeast open there's a rush of frigid below-freezing air that comes gusting in through the foyer, where signs of life are as dismal as they are outside. A single morning clerk sits tiredly behind the worn and beaten old desk beneath the dirty yellow glow of an old light-bulb chandellier. Nursing a coffee in one hand and a danish in the other, he's focused more on the boxy and outdated computer monitor in front of him than the gentlemen coming in thorugh the door from the freezing cold outside.

The noises of the Casino are subdued at this hour, no sounds of slot machines or blackjack tables running. Only the whistling chirp of a dark-haired and chipped young gentleman coming down the spiral staircase from the second floor, counting a stack of money. "Hey, Chamberlain!" He calls out with a goofy smile, "You going to set up table six tonight? I've got a great feeling about the game, trust me on this one." Brows raised and loafered feet scuffing on the steps, the man arriving into the lobby bears no resemblance to Albert Winslow— even age regressed thanks to Lashirah's computer wizardry— just a round-faced and youthful looking man who may have more years on him than he lets on.

At the front desk, Mark Chamberlain (it says so right on his nametag) the desk clerk looks up at the man coming down the steps, snorting out a sigh and waving one hand in the air. "Tuck's going to have you drowned in a fucking river when he gets back, Jimmy. You keep sucking his goddamned money away from him at the tables, I tell you, he's gonna' be livid."

Seems like an ordinary morning.

Stepping through the door of the casino, Ryans face betrays nothing of what he is thinking, as eyes slowly scan the place. Stepping to the side he lets the young man with him, get in out of the cold. "Well," The older agent works the gloves off his hands slowly. ", it is about what I expected in a place named, Speakeasy."

The coarse fabric of his duster, lashed tight around his form, a maroon and cream scarf around his neck and tucked into the coat he is wearing. His leather shoes make no sound on the god awful carpet that casino's ALWAYS have. Only thing off about the stony faced man, is the dark bruise on his left temple, which makes the two butterfly stitches stand out.

"Webb." He says in those soft, rumbling tones. "You do have that receipt on you, correct?" His head turns slightly to look at the young man.

Not entirely unable to help himself, Henry's whistling the Cantina theme from Star Wars, as he comes in. He's in his best stodgy dark gray overcoat, black gloves, and dark gray fedora to keep the snow off him. He's removed the latter as he enters, looking around with bright blue eyes. "Aye," he says, before amending, "Yes, I do." He's got that pleased, eager look on his face, as he pulls off his gloves, digs it out of a little leatherbound journal.

"Gilly loves me," comes the answer from the smirking gentleman now tucking that fat wad of bills into the pouch of his gray hooded sweatshirt. "Come on, ditch the desk and let's go down to Aroma Joe's and gram outselves something caffinated that doesn't taste like it was made in an old sock." Ever the optimist and irresponsible lout, Jimmy leans on the desk, slouching to one side and eyeing the closed double doors that head out into the casino floor. "Unless you wanna' unlock the casino early and let me at the slots."

"Eat a dick, Jimmy." Comes the response leveled dry and askance from Chamberlain over the brim of his coffee, brows furrowed and a look offered to the door now that he notices neither of the two men who arrived had come right up yet. "Fuck me, make yourself scarce Jim, for God's sake, I think those're cops." There's a nod of the desk clerk's head towards Ryans and Henry, and Jimmy turns around languidly, resting ihs elbows on the desktop with a shit-eating grin, one hand raised and fingers wiggling in taunting hello.

"Oh I fucking hate you here." Keys are slapped down on the desktop by the clerk, and Jimmy immediately stops waving, snatches up the keys and offers a lopsided smile before he makes his way around the front of the desk, twirling the key ring on one finger. "You know you love me, buddy." He comments on his way towards the casino doors.

"Excellent." Ryans offers actually sounding pleased, "I imagine places like this are all the same." Pulling out one side of his jacket, he fishes out a wallet. A hint of a smile threatens the serious lines of the agents face, as he says softly to his companion. "Try the law enforcement angle, if that fails offer to acquaint them with a few dead presidents." Even after a few years out of the job, the need to teach the younger agents is still there.

Once they are close to the desk, Ryans gives a small nod to the man behind the desk. "Hello, my apologies for interrupting." Eyes don't follow th man with the keys, he trusts his partner in this to watch his back, instead the drop to the name tag. "Mr. Chamberlain. I am Agent Ryans, my associate is Agent Webb." The wallet is opened to show the Homeland badge. "I hope that you can answer a few question?" The old agent's words are pleasant, he even manages a small friendly smile that deepens the wrinkles around his eyes.

Bring me an old fed and a new fed. Henry's just all puppyish cheerfulness, as he beams at Chamberlain from behind Ryans' shoulder. Like they're here to distribute Girl Scout Cookies. He nods to Ryans - he's not as tall as the older man.

"Oh son of— " Chamberlain breathes in a hissed breath thorugh his nostrils, one hand coming up to smooth over his face as he leans back into his chair slowly. He wishes he was wrong about them being law-enforcement types, but he thought they were just cops; this is a whole new level of shit-fuckery. "Ah, yeah— sure whatever you guys need, right?" Brown eyes flick from Webb to Ryans and back again as the desk clerk wheels his chair over and turns to more properly face them, setting his coffee down with a clunk. It's obvious he's nervous, but there's a thousand things in a place like this he could be nervous about.

While Ryans and Webb are speaking to the desk clerk, his jovil thorn in his side unlocks the casino doors, whistling to himself as he spins the keyring around his extended index finger, and head on inside, turning the interior lights on with a swat at the wall nearby as he goes; Seems like he does this sort've thing regularly.

The old dog loves when they don't argue. "I assure you, Mr Chamberlain, you can relax. We are simply here to have a look at one particular room." He waves Webb forward, turning and taking a step back for the younger agent and the receipt in all its baggied glory. "Webb, show this good gentleman the receipt." He rests an arm on the desk leaning towards the man behind it as if to let him in on a little secret, a knowing look in the agents eye. "An establishment such as this, I image has spare keys to the rooms?" A thin brow lifts with a small twitch.

"I'd like to borrow that key, so that I can have a look around." That calm rumbling voice explains softly, Ryans adds. "In the name of co-operation, of course."

And that's when Henry's smile turns predatory. Oh, just a bit, not much. Mutely, he proffers the plastic wrapped receipt. No, they don't have a warrant, why do you ask? But then, they have the 'Do Whatever I Want And Get Away With It' badges, don't they?

A tattered shadow whispers in the corners of the Speakeasy, creeping over the floor to investigate what these two cop-looking guys are up to. After a moment, Richard Cardinal realizes which room they're probably looking for. Ah, hell.

A torn ghost of shadow and darkness slips over the floor, checking to see if that room's currently occupied - or if the man's out and about.

As freyed darkness slithers up the spiral staircase out of sight of the investigators, the desk clerk Mr.Chamberlain breathes out a noisy sigh and leans back in his chair. "Yeah, yeah we— I got keys hold on." As he rises up from his chair, the desk-clerk looks over his shoulder to the two agents, scrutinizingly. "Can you guys tell me what this is about? Man if we got some fucking nut-job terrorist living up here I wanna' know, the manager will have my balls in a fucking juicer if this place goes up in smoke, you know?"

Creeping over to where the keys hang on a corkboard behind the desk, Chamberlain pulls out one ring and nods his head. "Come on it's upstairs, I'll open it up for you." Stepping out from behind the desk, he makes his way towards the old spiral staircase, head shaking from side to side before he looks back over his shoulder to the agents, hoping this isn't about some nut-job terrorist.

While Agents Ryans and Webb are downstairs, Richard Cardinal has made his way up to the third floor, drifting like a sheet blown in the wind across the floor, a creeping man's shadow cast by no body at all that then ghosts beneath the door of room 302, where the lights are dark and the room unoccupied. It doesn't look like Albert has been home today, though his photographs are scattered over the nightstand and desk near the bed, steamer trunk at the foot of the bed and suitcase near the bathroom, there's a lot here for them to find…

…what a time not to have hands.

"Only checking on a lead." Ryans offers softly, as he follows the clerk. A pair of Benjamin Franklin's, a man who Ryans himself shares a first name with are offered non-nonchalantly to the man when stopping him at the top of the stairs, with a hand planted firmly on his shoulder. The old man is a touch stronger then his looks suggests. "In fact, I think it is best we open the door, Mr Chamberlain, and a bit of amnesia is in order when and if the current occupant returns." Another bill is added as the agent adds, "If he should return, I would appreciate you ring the room." This was a dangerous man after all.

The other hand is held out for the keys. "Safety first after all, I will return the keys to you as soon as our task is complete. That is a promise."

And once they've successfully dispatched Chamberlain, it's Henry who insinuates himself before Ryans, like he intends to go in first. So much for 'age before beauty', eh? HE nods at Ryans' comment about discretion.

Oh hell. The photographs. Albert left the photographs out where they could see, where they could find them. It'll lead them right to her, and endanger… well, potentially quite a bit. Not to mention the girl herself. The tattered shadows of Cardinal sweep over the scattered photographs uncertainly, pulled this way and that as different parts of him follow various urges before he reins them in.

"I'm not supposed— " Chamberlain looks down at the money offered out, brows furrowed and one hand snatching them quietly. Tuck doesn't need to know, he admits to himself upon trading the key for a few hundred dollars. "Just bring it back when you're done doing whatever it is you're doing in there." This isn't the first time he's been asked to look the other way, and when your business is owned by Daniel Linderman, it's not entirely unlikely that these feds may be on the payroll.

When Chamberlain turns to head back downstairs, the irony is lost on him in just how true the ties between Linderman and these men may be, even if separated by generations.

Outside the third floor door to Winslow's room, Cardinal can see the shadows of feet in front of the door and the sound of jingling keys and conversation beyond the dark.

"Good man." Ryans says taking the keys from the man, watching him go. Once he's out of ear shot, Ryans turns deadly serious, as he moves towards the door in question, right hand dives into his trench coat, extracting his tranq gun, personally with his one he'd rather use an actual firearm. "I am sure you understand just how dangerous this individual is?" His tone, taking on a harder edge as he eases up to the door, keys jingling some as he moves to push the key into the lock. "If he is in there, I suggest shoot first and ask questions later. Else you may end up like those other poor souls."

The key turns in the lock, a glance goes to Henry, a small nod given to the young man, before the older agent turns the knob, pushing the door in so the other can go in first as he seems to want too.

"Aye, sir," breathes Henry to the senior agent, not realizing he's slipped into the Corps' vernacular, again. He's got an actual pistol out, a lethal little thing, before he's through the door like a terrier pouncing on a rat. Gotta love that element of surprise.

The shadow is lingering beneath the door, listening, hoping they're heading for a different room, looking for a different suspect… no luck. Shoot first, ask questions later? These aren't cops. Spooks, at best. Company, at worst. Damn, damn, damn…. As the key slides into the lock, Cardinal's tattered substance flickers across the room, lingering on the photographs where they've been spilled as if he could somehow hide them…

The door to the hotel room rattles as the key turns in the lock and the door swings open. A single shaft of light from the hall spills into the dingy and poorly maintained room, cutting thorugh the darkness to shed yellow light across a made bed and an old steamer trunk at the foot of it. From what little light is available in the room, peeling wallpaper, water spots on the ceiling and stained carpets remind the agents that this isn't the Ritz Carlton, or even a Motel 6, it's a hole.

With Agent Webb first in through the door, his eyes take time to adjust to the dark of the room. There's no sign of movement save for shadow on shadow, too subtle for human eyes to discern. Smartly reaching out to flick at the light switch, Henry is disappointed to hear that click and not have anything resembling illumination kick in after a fizzling snap and a pop when the light blows out.

Having once been a Master Chief in the Navy, Ryans doesn't seem to notice, or doesn't mind, Henry's descent into the military mind. Year Company and military training come into play, as he follows the younger man through the door, tranq gun sweeping the opposite way as the kid. "Check the bathroom." He says softly, while he slowly and carefully closes the door behind him after gently extracting the key. "And for god sake check the shower." A mistake made by many.

While his partner moves towards the bathroom, Ryans gaze sweeps across the closet, eyes narrowing he moves towards it. Flattening his back against the wall, he turns long enough to catch fingers on the sliding door, giving it a gentle shove open, his tranq gun trained on the inside of it.

Bathroom it is. Henry's tread is really surprisingly silent for his height and weight, a curiously gliding gait. He sweeps aside the ratty vinyl curtain with a hasty motion of his hand and a rattling of plastic rings, checks the cupboards in the bathroom. He's got a little flashlight with him, one of those tiny keychain LEDs like a blue firefly.

The closet rattles open to reveal coat hangars and an empty dry cleaning bag, an old rusted iron up on the top shelf and nothing else save for a crinkled newspaper shoved at the bottom. Whatever they're looking for, Ryans didn't find it there. Henry's approach through the room brings him around the foot of the bed, past that old trunk and towards the partly open bathroom door. As he walks, his eyes catch sight of the reflection of light on somethiing glossy at the long low-set dresser beside the bed. There's photographs, dozens of them, spread around the faux wood surface. It's too dark and that tiny LED light isn't quite bright enough to bring out the detail in the dark, but it looks like someone has been interested in a little amateur photography. No camera anywhere in sight though, as Henry makes his way towards the bathroom door, pushing it open to reveal a pale column of gray light from the exterior window.

Light is coming to the room, more and more, and leaving Cardinal with less places to hide. In the tiny, white-tiled bathroom, Henry finds the greatest offenders to be mildew and mold lining the grout of the tiles, soap scum clinging to the filmy curtain pulled open and away from the shower. There's a straight razor on the side of the sink, the folding kind old barbers used to use, and a bottle of barbasol shaving cream. There's some remnants of a fresh shave in the drain and around the basin of the sink too, though it's dried in, probably a day old.

The closet rattles open to reveal coat hangars and an empty dry cleaning bag, an old rusted iron up on the top shelf and nothing else save for a crinkled newspaper shoved at the bottom. Whatever they're looking for, Ryans didn't find it there. Henry's approach through the room brings him around the foot of the bed, past that old trunk and towards the partly open bathroom door. As he walks, his eyes catch sight of the reflection of light on somethiing glossy at the long low-set dresser beside the bed. There's photographs, dozens of them, spread around the faux wood surface. It's too dark and that tiny LED light isn't quite bright enough to bring out the detail in the dark, but it looks like someone has been interested in a little amateur photography. No camera anywhere in sight though, as Henry makes his way towards the bathroom door, pushing it open to reveal a pale column of gray light from the exterior window.

Light is coming to the room, more and more, and leaving Cardinal with less places to hide. In the tiny, white-tiled bathroom, Henry finds the greatest offenders to be mildew and mold lining the grout of the tiles, soap scum clinging to the filmy curtain pulled open and away from the shower. There's a straight razor on the side of the sink, the folding kind old barbers used to use, and a bottle of barbasol shaving cream. There's some remnants of a fresh shave in the drain and around the basin of the sink too, though it's dried in, probably a day old.

Relaxing somewhat, Ryans says a soft, "Clear." Before moving to look around the room, left hand dips into his coat again and extracts a little mag light from an inner pocket, a thumb on the back makes it light the floor in front of him. "Watch what you touch, Webb. Take nothing if we can help it, we dont want him to know we were here." His flashlight sweeps across the glossy surface of the photos, eyes narrow some as he approaches them.

"Do you have a camera phone?" He rumbles softly as he draws the light over the photos slowly, brows dropping slightly. He nods to them. "Get some photos of those. They might be a target." The flashlight, sweeps over to the steamer truck, his expression turns thoughtful.

There's a splash of panic across the rising frustration in Richard Cardinal's mind, just a shadow spread over the photographs where they lay, a shadow that could be cast by anything, although it looks rather odd as the flashlight spills over it. Harmless, ephemeral, and impotent in him inability to so much as touch anything as Ryans turns his attention to the pictures.

He can't let them find these, can't let her find out like this - she'd be devastated, and she'd be endangered, the whole organization could be endangered, all because Albert left his pictures scattered all over the god-damn floor. There has to be a way he can move them, has to be something he can do, has to

— and suddenly a portion of the shadow rears up, peeling off the floor in tendriling lines of darkness like some two-dimensional cartoon come to life, rippling as something that used to be a hand emerges to reach for the pictures. It was a hand, once, although there may not be enough time to identify it as such, even if anyone's looking in that direction. Now it's a warped and twisted thing, flesh and muscle burnt to char, splitting here and there to reveal raw, red muscle still steaming with heat - the tips of the fingers little more than crumbling, carbonized bone. The sudden, sharp stench of burnt flesh floods the apartment for the bare moments that hand exists before a scream echoes throughout the room, a scream the like of which no human throat has ever uttered. That dead hand collapses to the photographs and breaks once more into fragments of twitching shadow, the hollow, echoing cry of inhuman agony reverberating on and on for several moments before cutting out like a needle scratching off a record. Richard Cardinal's tattered shadowflesh darts across the room as if a bird had passed before the sun, a streak of darkness that vanishes out into the hall.

"Jesus Christ!" Henry screams from the bathroom, having heard the shout and practically tumbling into the tub from the noise. All notion of warning Ryans about the photographs ends when that ghostly wail fills the room, and Henry comes bursting out of the bathroom with his gun held out and one hand crossed beneath it shining the pale blue LED light out over the hotel room. "What was that? What the fuck was that?" Eyes wide, he can see Ryans' silhouette, then the flapping black tatters of shadows moving in a streak out between Ryans' legs and out of the room entirely.

"Damnit!" Henry shouts, bolting for the door, nearly tripping over the steamer trunk as he comes barreling out of the hotel room at full speed, crashing into the door with his shoulder before colliding with the opposite wall outside the door. Pushing off, Henry's eyes follow the flick of shadow out of his periphery, a look left, a look right, and then a hissed breath of frustration as he sharply states, "I lost it."

It, not him.

There's no way that was a person.

The scream causes Ryans to spin around gun raising towards the sound, the sweep of light only to find the tattered shadow. His eyes widen slightly, the hand with the flashlight moves to hold the rough fabric against his nose as the stench. He follows its progress out of the door, letting Henry chase it like a good agent. The old agent, himself, turns his attention back to the photos, his heart vibrates in his chest and makes the blood thunder in his ear. The light moves over them again as they have just become that much more interesting.

"What is it about these photos?" Ryans wonders softly, eyes narrowing. "Webb." The command is firm in his voice. "Photograph these. I want to know who that is." He is not happy about what just happened, it colors his voice with irritation, as he glances towards the door again. Then he moves towards the Steamer truck to see if it is unlocked.

"Yeah, yeah I got it…" Henry offers with a spooked quality to his voice, glancing down both sides of the hallway. "Was that a literal bat out of hell?" He asks with a furrow of his brows, coming back into the hotel room and reaching inside of his jacket, withdrawing his cell phone and flipping it open. There's a glance over his shoulder again, gun still out, breath drawn in with a heavy inhalation and sharp exhalation. Henry approaches the table top of the dresser and leans over, about to take the photographs before hesitating.

"…Sir?" His tone of voice is indicative of uncertainty. "You— might want to take a look at these." Swallowing dryly, Henry folds his phone close and looks back up over his shoulder to Ryans as the older agent is crouching down in front of the trunk. There's a click and a pop as he undoes the latches, a lock on the front but not set.

As Henry's leveling a look to Ryans, the senior agent is opening to trunk to reveal passed foam with molded recessions, the type of thing you'd normally pack a gun in, but instead there's cameras. Six expensive traditional film cameras, long lenses of different utility, and one camera and lens missing from inside.

"Sir." Henry insists, offering out one of the photographs over the top of the trunk towards Ryans, pinched between two gloved fingers. It's of a familiar looking brunette woman standing on a street corner waiting for the walk sign at a crosswalk in the snow. "It's her."

The same woman Corbin found photographs of at Winslow's home out west.

Peyton Whitney.

Cameras? Brows furrow slightly, curious under the photo is thrust in front of his face, there is a blink as he focuses on the photos. The lid of the trunk is closed and he snatches the photo from Henrys hand, as he climbs to his feet, his knee making a familiar cracking sound. "Quite the stalker." He says softly, turning back to the photos, with a frown. "The question is" why?" Dropping it back on the dresser, fingers moving across the others curiously. "What could this young woman mean to him?" Eyes narrow into slits.

The flashlight moves to the last object in the room. "Take a look in the suitcase, before we go." His voice loud in the quiet room. He turns his eyes back to the photos, hand moving to pulling out of his reading glasses out of his coat. Bending down, he looks over the photos looking at the details of each.

"Rich socialite? Shouldnt be too hard to locate." Ryans murmurs softly. "We might want to put tail on her. She may be our key to catching him."

And Henry's not real keen on that, by the funny pinched look he gets on his face. "Using her as a stalking horse, eh?" he says, with a nod. "Her buddy just got killed. HF got her, or something."

"Sometimes, Webb, you have to do things such as that." Ryans face is as neutral as ever, he leans back from the dresser and moves to pull open the draws searching. "Youll learn soon enough." Not the first time the Company agent has used bait. Hell, there was a time he captured someone to lure someone out. "Now, the suitcase, I do not want to waste too much more time here, weve wasted enough as it is with that — shadow — thing." Each drawer is checked in turn, leave no stone unturned if possible.


An old telephone situated beside the bed makes a noise of shrill analogue announcement that a call is being placed to the room. Perhaps it were not as heart-attack worthy had living darkness not just made some ghostly attack on the room, but that phone ringing in the gloom of the hotel room might as well be the sound of a gun firing for how it turns blood icy, and that's even before the agents realize what it means.

Ryans had asked the desk clerk to buzz up to the room if Winslow was coming back to the building. Now, with the phone ringing in the room, both agents realize exactly what this shrill sound means. But even over the sound of the ringing, they can hear a distant shout three floors below that sounds something like "Wait!" echoing up the stairwell across from the room.

The sound of the phone, makes Ryans freeze, his breath catches. "Well, well, we have company." He says softly glancing at Henry. There is a choice to be made, attempt to take him down or leave and wait for another day. "Could just ask him why hes stalking the young lady." He clicks the flashlight off, tucking it away and tugging the tranq gun out again. Holding it to his side, Ryans moves to the door, pressing his shoulder to the wall next to it and with care, turns the knob and eases it open, checking for bodies in the hallway.

The question was, did they feel lucky today. Only one way to find out really.

The younger agent's gaze is keen. "Do we take him down now?" he asks, quickly. "Or bail? He'll know we've been here, he'll likely move…."

Ryans' approach to the doorway at the top of the spiral staircase affords him a view of the hotel lobby from three floors up. He can peer down that spiral staircase to the carpeted lobby floor and hears the ring-cling of the front doors shutting just as he looks out there. Cursing erupts from down below, and Agent Ryans can see the front desk clerk stepping away from the desk, running his hands through his hair. He turns around, phone he had called up to the room with still in hand, and catches eyes with Ryans three floors up from the lobby.

The desk clerk shrugs his shoulders, waving towards the front doors. "He must've known something was up!" The desk clerk calls upstairs sharply, "He bolted as soon as he saw me pick up the phone when he came in!" He was here and he's running.

"Damn it." There are rare occasion that the old man cusses, this seems like a good moment, to belt that thought out. "Webb! Hes on the move." He calls, even as he is already moving down the stairs, his meeting started moving as soon as the clerk started to talk. He may be in his 50s, but when he has to move he has too.

His duster flutters around his legs as he races across the casino, his shoulder thumps into the door as his free hand moves to open the door. Theyd come back for what is in the room, he wouldn't dare come back.

There's no cursing from Webb. Just a nod of acknowledgment, as he hustles for the stairs. Despite his build, he moves with surprising speed.

Plowing out the front doors and onto the street, Ryans is attacked by the vicious winter cold gnawing at his bones and the freezing wind stinging at his cheeks. There's noise from light traffic coming up and down the street, the din of work at the shipyard several blocks away, the clanging warning sound of train tracks preparing for a freight train to cross them, along with the blaring horn of the locomotive up the street. A young black man in a puffy jacket walks past, knit cap pulled down low over his brows, a young woman passes by on the cell phone chatting noisily as she passes by Ryans' field of view. The old man can see his breath as thick fog in the air, his shoulders heave and there's a twinge in his chest as the cold air bites at his lungs.

This is a bitter echo of the past, right here.

"Woah, you guys alright?" Nearby to the door of the casino, the dark-haired man who'd unlocked the casino floor earlier is standing with his back up against the brick wall, cigarette pinched between his fingers and a plastic cup rattling full of quarters in his other hand. "Seriously, you alright gramps? You look like you're gonna' drop dead right there…"

Breathing heavily, Ryans shoves the tranq gun into his coat, the only real sign of his irritation and bends over enough to press hands to his thighs as he takes a moment to catch his breath. A sharp look is angled at the young man, as he does, "The man — who just came out of the casino." He lets out a heavy breath, straightening, "Which way?" There is a dangerous look in those blue eyes as they narrow at the casino worker.

"And I do not — suggest —lying."

His younger counterpart is almost literally prairie-dogging, trying to see if he can catch a glimpse of their quarry….even running a few steps one way, a few steps the other.

"Which way what?" Jimmy asks with wide eyes, looking left and right down the street. "Oh— fuck— " It clicks pretty quick what the Agent is asking about. "That dude with the beard that came runnin' out of here? Oh, Jesus, shit, I didn't even pay a single fucking bit of attention to where he went…" Jimmy leans off of the wall, looking around both sides of the street, brows creased and blue eyes a bit wide, it's not every day you witness a police chase on foot.

Henry's popping up to view over the traffic across the street yields little, just the wind-driven snow that comes off of buildings roofs and the drifts down alleys that haven't been plowed. How a man just vanishes out of the blue like that is astounding, though if he's lived for as many years as Corbin suggests he has, Albert Winslow may have had plenty of centuries to practice artful dodging.

"Hey, woah man, sorry… I— I see a lot of people running around here." Jimmy's concerned answer comes as he takes a step closer to Ryans' side, pinching his cigarette between his lips and cradling his plastic cup of quarters to his chest. "Don't worry man, you catch him, it's okay… just take it easy or you'll bust something."

There a twitch of Ryans shoulder, hes picturing slamming that young man against the wall, hand at his neck. Hed happily bust something. In fact, as the man moves closer, a look from the old man states clearly to back off. "Webb." Benjamin Ryans barks suddenly, glancing at the young agent. "Call it in, get a team down here." His neutral mask is cracking at the edges.

Then something the young man said, clicks in the older agents head whips around, eyes narrowing at him, but at least Ryans doesn't look ready to throttle him. "Wait. What did you say?" He turns slightly, his eyes move over Jimmys form. "What do you mean, You catch him?" There are certain things that catch an Agents attention. Though for Ryans would be one of them.

That has Henry turning to peer narrowly at Jimmy as well. He doesn't say anything, but that open face is suddenly much, much less friendly.

"I— You'll catch him." Jimmy notes with a furrow of his brows, blue eyes flicking from Ryans to Henry, "Beard guy?" Both thick brows go up as Jimmy looks askance at both of the agents. "Hey, look, I've seen people rabbit from the police or— you know— whoever you are plenty of times to know that if you run you're just gonna' get caught tired right?" There's a crooked smile on Jimmy's face as he cocks one brow up, looks back and forth between the agents and finally plucks that cigarette out from between his lips and throws it down to the snow, stepping on it with the toe of his boot.

There is a long moment of silence from Ryans, but then he gives a small nod. Reaching into his jacket, Ryans pulls out a business card, its dropped in the mans cup, followed by a fifty. Feed an addiction, get an ally. " Should you think of anything you think I might need to know, or you see him return." He moves back towards the Casino, " Give me a call, but stay away from him. Just — ." He motions at the Casino doors, " — try to use a bit more discretion then that guy?"

"You make that call yet?" He asks the younger agent, Jimmy forgotten for now, even as he pulls open the door to go back inside, where its warmer. Though a bitterness deep within the agent will sit there cold for sometime.

Past always seems to come back to haunt you.

Course, he'd give anything to get some of the past back. At least he could chase after a guy without looking like hes going to keel over. Not to mention hell be a bit sore in the morning.

Getting old truly sucks.

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