The Devil's Due: Part I


kain_icon.gif linderman_icon.gif

Scene Title The Devil's Due: Part I
Synopsis Danielle Hamilton is missing and Kain Zarek is Linderman's prime suspect.
Date December 11, 2008

Linderman Building: Linderman's Office

One leg bounces up and down rapidly where Kain sits in a low-backed chair in the waiting room outside of Daniel Linderman's office. His blue eyes stare unfocused at the glass table scattered with magazines, trying to figure out which of his many off-the-books activities he might be in trouble for to be called up. Daniel doesn't call Kain up unless something is wrong, and to be honest he's been behaving himself — as best as Kain Zarek can behave — since the entire fiasco with Danielle Hamilton.

Remembering for a moment he still has a steaming cup of coffee in his other hand, Kain's leg stills, and he lifts the cup up to his lips, mind reeling with the possibilities. Things have been exceptionally strange around the building since Halloween. Security has been enhanced, and there was that mummified hand down in the archives, new and unfamiliar faces coming and going, and then there was that private business offer he was given.

Staten Island — What a shithole.

Kain covers his face with one hand thinking about it, a risky endeavor that could produce a lot of under-the-table money, maybe Danny just wants a cut. That wouldn't be so bad, would it? Hopefully just a cut of the money, and not a pound of flesh from Kain. That would be bad.

Time is money, and Linderman has invested a lot of it in Kain Zarek. Unless he accidentally falls asleep and the wheel and drives a truck full of hookers, dynamite and cocaine through the NYPD's headquarters in the Financial District, he's probably safe. When the door opens and his employer appears in the doorway, there's nothing about the neutral expression on his face that identifies him as angry or even upset; although he isn't smiling, his movements are slow and relaxed, one arm holding the door open while the other gestures Kain inside.

Kain leans forward, leaving the paper coffee cup down on the glass table before he stands, managing a something faded smile, "Mornin', what's all the hubub?" He tries to remain casual, Linderman isn't red in the face with anger, so chances are he's at least willing to tolerate Kain in a less-than-business mood. The lack of a smile is a sign that something is wrong though, Daniel is a rather light-hearted man, at least on the outside.

Following Linderman into his office, Kain's blue eyes flit around the room as he makes his way over to the chair opposite of the desk, moving to stand behind it rather than sit. He's up early enough that if he has to sit down again, he's going to roll over and fall asleep.

Late nights at Rapture will do that to someone.

Linderman lingers in the doorway, pausing to ensure no one else is outside who might somehow overhear the conversation that's about to take place. Satisfied that he and Kain are truly alone, he shuts the door behind him but does not lock it. "It's been brought to my attention," he begins as he makes his way over to his desk, "that one of my employees has been failing to keep her appointments. And no," Linderman adds, before Kain can leap to what is probably a fair conclusion, "the employee in question isn't Ms. Christinel."

Linderman takes a seat on his side of the desk, sinking into the leather office chair with a long, tired sigh. Like Kain, he's exhausted, if for different reasons. He places both his palms flat on the desk's surface and fixes the man across from him with a level stare. "When was the last time you and Ms. Hamilton spoke?" he asks.

"Ol' leathersnatch?" Kain quirks a brow and laughs, "Nah, but Ah ain't seen her for a while. Not that m'complainin'." He circles around the chair with that distant jab to Mischa delivered, about to sit until Linderman makes the suggestion about Danielle. There's a halting hitch in Kain's movements, and his blue eyes dart over to the white-haired man, looking at him with an intent stare that lingers a moment longer than is comfortable to both parties.

"Dani?" Kain doesn't sit down, "Ah' ain't seen her for…" His eyes wander, peering out the window, "Last time Ah saw her was down in the archives, back when you had me an' Dixon go drag up those paintings." There's a mildly suspicious tone there, and Kain's gaze drifts back from the window to Linderman again. "You think she skipped town on us?"

Linderman notes Kain's hesitation, the corners of his mouth pulled down into what is plainly a troubled frown. That's one strike against him. "Doubtful," he says. "Ms. Hamilton doesn't strike me as the type of woman to go absent without leave. Especially not without her partner, Ms. Chesterfield." Linderman leans back in his seat and moves his hands from his desk to his lap, fingers interlaced. "I haven't approached her yet, and I do not intend to unless all other leads run dry. I'm sure you understand how this must look from my perspective, Mr. Zarek." Mr. Zarek. Not Kain. Mr. Zarek.

"You and Ms. Hamilton have a… ah, history."

"Partner?" Kain misinterprets, and not in the way that Kain is usually prone to. For once his mind is out of the gutter, when it in truth should be. "Ah didn't know she worked with — " Then he actually parses what Linderman was implying, and Kain's voice cuts off just as his brows lower and a rather put-off look comes over the cajun. "Wait just a god damn minute here Danny, do you think Ah' had somethin' t'do with Dani bein' a flake?" He steps to the front of the desk, folding his arms and shifting his weight to one foot, "If Ah' had a damned reason to put her down, it would'a been a whole long damn time ago, before she was on the payroll." He clicks his tongue, looking away with a sour laugh, "You know Ah' don' fuck with your employees." His eyes track back, "Right?"

Linderman raises both his bushy white eyebrows at Kain, saying nothing. No, he doesn't know that he doesn't fuck with his employees, or they wouldn't be having this conversation. He lets the silent accusation hang in the air for several moments before allowing a short sigh to slip past his lips, body seeming to deflate with what looks like resignation. "You've been a member of this organization for a long time," he agrees, voice soft, "and normally I do not doubt your loyalty. If you had nothing to do with Ms. Hamilton's disappearance, then you shouldn't have a problem tracking her down for me."

"Tracking — " Kain cuts off what was going to be a little too snippy for his status in the group. He too deflates, stepping away from the desk as both hands come up, first to rub over his face, and then rake through his hair. He has a lot of things going at once this time of year, though unfortunately none of them are official work, so he can't truly use it as an excuse for non-complience. "Yeah Ah' can give it a shot," Kain is a people person after all, at least by his own definition.

Pausing as he takes in a painting against the far wall, a strange image of a man in a suit and tie fighting a dinosaur with a katana, Kain wonders just where his employer's taste in art really lies. His thoughts settle back on business, and he turns to face Linderman again. "You sent anyone over to check out her apartment yet? Talk to her partner?" One brow raises inquisitively, "Or am Ah startin' from scratch?"

"I'd prefer that Ms. Chesterfield remain undisturbed, but if you feel you can glean something useful by conducting an interview with her, then you have my permission to visit her residence at Dorchester Towers. You'll find the address in Ms. Hamilton's file, which I've left downstairs with reception." Linderman continues to observe Kain studiously as he speaks. "If there's anything else you think you'll need for this assignment, speak with Ms. Moore at the front desk, and she should be happy to accommodate your requests."

Miss Moore. Kain's mind wanders for a moment, and he rubs at his cheek, remembering a slap delivered that was quite deserved the last time he and the receptionist spoke in less than terse terms. He cracks a smile, and nods, "Ah'll get on it with Manny an' Dixon. If she, you know, shows up for work or somethin', lemmie know so Ah ain't jus' runnin' round the city lookin' for a gal who ain't missin no more." Kain slides his hands into the pockets of his slacks, watching Daniel for a moment.

"Hey ah…" There's a worried look that crosses his face, and Kain's posture relaxes some, "Ah' know it ain't none of mah business, but," When he tilts his head to the side, some of his sandy blonde bangs fall to cross the middle of his face, one lock clinging to his nose, "You ain't seemed well lately. Ah mean, you know, more tired than usual… Ah know we ain't talked much, not since things went sideways a few years back." It's Kain's delicate way of speaking about the bomb, and his recovery thanks to Daniel, "But, you know me, Danny. Ah' ain't gonna screw you, because Ah'd be dead if'n it weren't for you." Perhaps not the whole truth of Kain's allegiance, and that may be the reason behind the request. "There somethin' Ah' should be worried about goin' on?" He grins, lightening the tone, "We ain't goin' bankrupt an' gettin' one'a them bailouts, are we?"

Linderman gives the other man a flat look. For a moment or two, he really has to stop and consider what he's asking. Kain doesn't have all the dots on his dice, and there are times — like now — that he wonders if he could even pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel. "No, Kain," he says, voice strained, "we aren't. Please remove yourself from my office." On the bright side, he's dropped the formality and is calling Kain by his Christian name — if that isn't a step in the right direction, what is?

December 11th: Vendetta

This is the beginning of a storyline.

Next in this storyline…
The Devil's Due, Part II

December 11th: The Devil's Due, Part II
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