anna_icon.gif lola_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Shipping
Synopsis Lola meets with Smedley to discuss some cargo for the Ferrymen.
Date December 18, 2010

Red Hook

Lola already knows about Wes Smedley's favored docking spot in Red Hook, so when she contacted him asking to meet, it was the logical place to rendezvous. The sun makes the winter temperature seem less harsh than they are, but the wind coming off the river is enough of a reminder. Smedley stands leaning up against a wall, not far from the dock where What Jenny Thought is moored. Carson lies at his feet, his head on his paws.

Dressed in his long oilskin coat over a ribbed turtleneck, Smedley's gloved hands are shoved into his pockets. Open, the coat doesn't reveal his usual sidearms, but the tooled belt that holds them is visible. He knits his brows and looks down the alley way before turning his gray-blue eyes back to the dock and the small yacht resting there.

He doesn't have all day.

And Lola's not even that late. Just a little, perhaps. Dressed down in all black - as she has been ever since taking the position as Elsiabeth's body guard - she approaches, cigarette being smoked between her two fingers. Her hair is down today, and she's letting it act as a little bit of neck and back warmth. Any warmth is good warmth. Oh, did we mention that she's wearing stuffed antlers? Because she is. What? She likes Christmas!

And she's not alone.

And she's carrying a box.

Indeed, Lola is not along. Anna Mary James is coming along with the woman. She doesn't seem to be quite sure what's going on here, but she figures that it can hardly be worse than … no wait, she is pretty sure it could be worse, but she's ignoring that feeling and trusting her hopes that this might be a better idea than some of the ideas she's had off her own of late. Like Lola, Anna is carrying a box along with her.

Carson is the first to notice the women, and he jerks himself up to a sitting position in order to let out a low growl. As they near, the dog stands and the growl grows into a sharp bark before Smedley snaps his fingers, making Carson sit and lick his chops anxiously.

Smedley regards Lola as he always does - with a measured degree of suspicion. That suspicion drifts from her antlers to her cigarette, where it becomes disgust for a brief moment before it moves down to the box in her hands. But then it shifts to the girl trailing behind her, and Smedley arches an eyebrow.

Pushing away from the wall, he pulls his hands from his pockets and folds his arms across his chest, lowering his chin and letting his eyes flit from box to box, antlers to corona of hair, never settling them on either female's eyes. "That's it? You dragged me out here for two measly packages? What do you think I am, UPS?"

"Naw, UPS don' gimme lip service. Now watch yer mouth, willya. They ain' the real packages. This is." She puts a hand on Anna's shoulder. "This here's what ye'll be taken ta the Ferry folk. An ah'll pay ya for it, afore ya open yer big mouth an complain," Lola leans a bit toward Anna, as if saying something as an aside. But everyone can hear it. "He's kinda whiney, from mah experience. Don' worry none bout it though."

Anna raises an eyebrow at Lola's last comment, but then she shrugs it off. She doesn't speak, far too happy to let someone else do the talking. She seems kind of nervous, in fact. Still, she raises her head up with as much pride as she can muster, even going as far as to force a smile.

"Who is she?" Smedley asks, his voice suddenly flat and dry as he looks Anna up and down before focusing once more on Lola (or her antlers, rather). "You ever done this before? Moved people? It ain't like movin' guns or sundries. It's a whole 'nuther ballgame, Peach."

"Relax, will ya. Ah ain' sellin' her. She's a kid with her own brand a problems, an she ain' got a proper place ta go. Now while Ah could invite her ta live with me…Ah don' think Ah'm ready fer that sitcom." Lola sets her box down at her feet. "Nothin' more, nothin' less. Ah mean come on, ya gonna sit there an talk crap about movin' folks when here's a sweet-faced little girl tryin' ta get someplace fer Christmas?"

"I'm Anna." The teen responds after a while, because apparently Lola wasn't going to answet Smed's question. "Like she says, I'm kind of homeless." A pause before she adds something she hopes will help in raising sympathy, and it's true too! "Had a nasty run-in with Humanis First recently." Then, she fishes out her registration card, which does clearly mark her as being evolved, even if unmanifested. "So, anyway. I need a place to stay, and apparently Maria here doesn't want me to stay with her."

You say, "It ain't just someplace, Lola," Smedley snaps before he takes a step closer to Anna and lowers his arms as he raises his chin to look her over again, listening to the summary of her story. He takes the card and frowns at it, pursing his lips after a moment.

He takes a step back, still holding Anna's card. "She'll have to get over it," he says with a shake of his head. "I can't take'yuh until Monday at the earliest." Lifting the card between two fingers, he salutes with it. "And we've gotta see if you check out. I don't need you haulin' down feds on my ass because you ain't tellin' me all you need t'be tellin' me." Or worse."

"It ain' personal, kid," Lola tells Anna, softly. "Ah ain' exactly the safest person with the safest lifestyle." Her eyes harden as she looks across at Smedley, her mouth making a small little line in a frown. "Look, yer a big boy, we get it. Hallelujah, yer balls have dropped, lucky you, whatever. You got a problem takin a 15 year old kid someplace she might be safe, you just let me know an Ah'll pay ya whatcha need in order ta get her taken care of."

As Lola is called Lola by Smedley, Anna raises an eyebrow, "Wait." She speaks up, "I thought your name was Maria." Another pause before the pieces fall together in her mind. "You've been lying to me about who you are, haven't you?" Then she looks back to Smedley, "Look. I really need a good place to live. The police is looking for me." She hadn't told Lola that part yet, "Humanis First isn't likely to let me off the hook easily either, so I just need a solid, safe place to leave." Tears start forming in her eyes, "Please."

Smedley's gaze flits to Anna's eyes, and he immediately cringes and looks away, ignoring Lola's barbs for the moment. "It ain't that easy, kid," he says before exhaling a sigh. "There're a lot more people in your same position, and I can't put them at risk just t'get you outta dodge. Give me t'Monday to make sure things check out right, and then we'll figure shit out."

Looking to Lola again, the more subdued Smedley narrows his eyes anew. "You got the money? Good. Take 'er to the Four Seasons and stick her in a room for two nights. My fee should cover the bill nicely. I'll pick 'er up on Monday."

"What?" Lola asks, looking at Anna. Then she shakes her head. "Naw naw naw, Ah lied ta ya once. Then Ah just never corrected ya. If it makes ya feel any better, Ah lie ta everybody. It's a safety thing." She turns her head back to Smedley, cocking her head to the side. "Well if that ain' yer Christmas spirit. An there'll be a small box with her too, on top a her own stuff. Gift fer the Ferry, just little bits a this an that."

Anna can't be bothered to respond to Lola right now, looking back to Smedley. "Please." She begs, even going as far as dropping on her knees, "Humanis First got within an inch of killing me. Don't give them a chance to finish the job, please." She sounds afraid, terrified even. "Please allow me to live, I'm too young to die… I'll make myself useful I promise, just… let me live…"

"Don't take it personal," Smedley grunts, turning so he doesn't have to look at Anna while keeping Lola in his peripheral. His jaw tightens, and his eyes focus sharply on the yacht moored not a hundred feet away. He grits his teeth and takes a deep breath. "You ain't helpin' your case much," he says carefully, patting his leg to draw Carson to him before he pockets her ID.

"Only person can keep you alive is you, but if Lola's worth her salt, she'll do right by'yuh." He nods to Lola again before he starts to walk away. "I'll get in touch as soon's I know somethin'."

"Worth my salt, hah. Look who's talkin'." Lola promptly sticks her tongue out at Smedley. "Doncha worry none, sugar. He don' come through he knows Ah ain' got a qualm in the world 'bout makin' him a eunuch. C'mere darlin." She reaches for Anna to help her up, if the other will allow. "C'mere now. We kin go get drunk or somethin' an stay snowed in. Trust me, there been folks tryin' ta kill me fer more'n a year now an Ah stayed safe. Ah kin take care a you a few days at least."

After being helped up by Lola, Anna looks down. She doesn't speak anymore, but it's readily apparent she's crying. Not to mention that she's sobbing. And not even the mention of getting drunk seems sufficient to cheer her up.

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