The Devil's Due, Part III


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Scene Title The Devil's Due, Part III
Synopsis Kain's assignment takes him to the seedy underworld of the Chinese Triads, where he unfortunately has to mix business and displeasure with Triad royalty.
Date December 13, 2008

Chinatown, Golden Dragon Restaurant

"Right this way, Mister Zarek." An aging Chinese man bows his head as he steps aside from a doorway, one white cloth covering his arm. A pair of young women with smooth black hair slip out of the door he opens, walking down a short flight of steps to the witing area and then past the leather bench seat where a blonde man in a dark suit sits patiently. His eyes track the two as they walk by, following the silhouette of fishnet stocking up to where they disappear beneath short skirts. One dark brow rises, and Kain Zarek breathes out a disappointed sigh as he begins to straighten up and stand.

The two girls move out thorugh an arched doorway into a dining room floor where many white-clothed tabled are arranged, soft music plays, and a minagerie of diners sit and have their meals quietly. However, this back room entrance is no part of the public restaurant, and once he goes through the door those two young prostitutes left from, Kain Zarek may well be a dead man.

Following the old host through the door, Kain is led down a darkly wallpapered hallway with creaking wooden floors, past unmarked doors where muffled voices, moaning, and gasped breaths can be heard. It "ain't his first time at the rodeo" as Kain would say, but the atmosphere and decorum of this place makes him uncomfortable and on edge. Espescially since now, he's alone.

"Right through here, Mister Zarek," The old man has stopped at a door at the end of the hall, a short series of steps leading down to where it's recessed into a narrow vestibule. Kain's eyes track to the old man, then to the door, emblazoned with a coiled Chinese dragon in gold-leaf. Kain takes a few steps down, reaching out for the doorknob to give it a turn, and the faint sound of running water catches his attention as he makes his way into the darkened chamber.

it sounds like a running fountain of some kind, but Kain can't see any source of water once he's beyond the door. The room is expansive in size, looking like it takes up the entire basement of the restaurant and brothel. The floor is tiled with green marble, tall circular columns painted a rich and deep red are wound with coils of black silk that loosely wrap around the smooth stone. Overhead, wooden lattice creates the illusion of being under some form of garden terrace, recessed lights in the ceiling not far higher than the latticework shine down with muted light, creating a shadowy gridwork on the floor.

"Ah," A voice calls out from across the room, "Kain Zarek, it is an honor to finally make your acquaintence." Kain's eyes move from the lattice overhead to an ornate pwir of wooden chairs, tall and upholstered in leather, seated around a circular table with smaller chairs nearby. Seated in one chair, a young Chinese man with short taek hair has a hand raised as if to cup a wine glass, but there is only a sphere of crimson fluid hovering above his palm, a levitated handfull of merlot.

At his side sits a woman a few years younger of the same nationality, her dark hair wound back into a bun behind her head. She's risen up and leaning over the table, out of her chair, holding out a long and curved knife to the bare chest of a woman bound to the table with black silk ties around her wrists and ankles. Kain's face screws up into a look of confusion and revulsion as he watches her, trailing the knife gently across bare skin, up the bound girl's neck leaving just a little pressure against the skin, and then hooks at a blindfold covering her eyes.

"I hope you don't mind, we're… entertaining guests." Liu Ye; Kain had always heard the man had a perverse series of tastes, knowing the underworld of New York was just one facet of his job, but he never in a million years would have figured he'd get to see just how unsettling the man's tastes are. The woman bound to the table lets out a slight noise as the blindfold is partially lifted, and Liu's sister Song curls her lips into a smile, watching as a droplet of merlot from the hovering ball of wine drips onto the bound woman's lips.

"You mind if we take this somewhere a bit more private?" Kain almost growls out the words, this is just a bit too much. Liu arches one dark brow, offering the floating sphere of liquid towards his sister for a moment with a lopsided smile directed to Kain.

"Oh, trust me Mister Zarek, this is most private." As Liu talks, his sister leeans up to bring her mouth near the globe of wine, and she exhales a deep breath with a cloud of cold from her parted lips. In an instant, the wine freezes to a solid sphere, which she plucks from the air with one hand, grinning broadly as her eyes track to Kain. "Do you know who this is?" He motions with one hand down to the woman on the table.

"No." Kain mutters, tucking his hands into the pockets of his slacks as he watches Liu circle around the table. "I ain't gonna say I care much either." Liu clicks his tongue at Kain's sentiments, clearing the distance between table and businessman with graceful steps.

"Alicia Friedman, I believe you may be familiar with her husband, the Mayor?" Liu grins slightly, "She and her husband have some… unique tastes." Liu folds his hands behind his back, and Kain looks away from the table as he watches Song begin to lower the cold sphere of frozen wine down towards the woman.

"Ah' told you Ah' don' care who she is, or what sick games your little club here plays. But mah boss — " Liu raises one hand and stops Kain in mid sentence, shaking his head slowly.

"Your employer's secrets are safe here, part of the confidentiality agreement of my clients. After all, where would the good mayor's wife say she heard you talking, again?" A dark brow rises up, and Liu smiles happily to himself. "But, if you are discomforted by our little show, we can take this talk to my office." He motions to a black-painted door in the room, and Kain's already beginning to move when the direction is offered. Liu just smiles, once Kain's back is to him, having perfectly knocked the smug man off of his stabile footing with the display.

Shooting a silent glance to Song, Liu follows Kain through the darkly painted door to the office, something more conservatively decorated, with a pair of tall bookshelves pushed up against stone walls flanking a desk where a laptop computer sits. Liu steps around Kain, motioning to a chair at the desk as he moves to settle down into his own behind it. "So, Mister Zarek…" Liu folds the laptop closed, leaning forward to fold his hands on top of it. "What interests of Daniel Linderman do yoou represent today? Are his sights now on my father's enterprise, now that the Civellas have been crippled?" The words come off as biting and cold, a knowing sneer forming up on Liu's lips.

Kain rolls his eyes and exhales an overly dramatic sigh, "Look, Lucy," he takes a few impertinent steps forward, not taking the seat but instead leaning over the desk, both palms resting on the desktop as he leans in to face Liu. "You know what Danny-boy's got on you, so if you don't want your dear ol' daddy to find out some very untoward things his good ole' boy's been doin', you'l just shut yet mouth and listen."

Liu's eyes narrow, and his lips press together tightly as he unfolds ihs hands and gestures broadly with them, leaniing back with a creak of leather into his chair as he gives Kain the proverbial floor. "You got your fingers in a lot've pies, Lucy," Kain leans back from the desk and stands straight again, adjusting his tie. "I need'ta know if you've seen someone 'round town." He reaches inside of his jacket, producing a photograph which is thrown down onto the desk.

Liu arches a brow, casually glancing at it before speaking flatly, "No." His lips curl into a satisfied smile, "Will that be all, Mister Zarek?" Kain's expression is an inverse reflection of Liu's, the corners of his mouth downturning into a scowl as he brings one hand up to pinch at the bridge of his nose, breathing out a sigh. "Unless of course, you have more than blackmail to offer me for this exchange. That got you in the door, Mister Zarek, but a sweeter pot may help jog my memory."

Fair enough, "Pancratium." The word comes out with a bit of a drawl from Kain's lips, and Liu's eyes widen as his hands come sdown torest on the cherry-wood armrests of his chair. He leans forward, a dark brow raising as his eyes settle squarely on Kain's.

"Go on…" Whatever the word means, it immediately catches Liu's attention. He regards Kain curiously for a moment, wondering just how the Linderman agent knows that word, and just how much he may know about it. Kain tucks both of his hands back into the pockets of his slacks, spotting a bottle on one of the bookshelves, and slowly wanders towards it.

"From yer bug-eyed expression, Ah'm takin' it you've heard of it?" Kain glances over his shoulder, then reaches out for the bottle, holding it at an angle that can make the label more easily read in the dim light of Liu's desk lamp. "The fellas' in charge of it have gone and made me an organizer." Blue eyes track towards Liu, and he begins unscrewing the cap of the bottle. "I'm findin' people, special people, to be a part of it."

Liu watches Kain's motions as he unscrws the bottle top, but it's his words that more than fascinate the triad boss. Liu tilts his head to the side, rolling his tongu on the inside of his cheek for a moment, "How does htis involve me, Mister Zarek?"

"Ah'm delighted you asked, Lucy." Kain's lips pull back into a wide cheshire smile as he brings the bottle up to his nose, sniffing at the top before bringing it to his lips to take a swig. "Damn that is good ain't it?"

"Do you have any idea how expensive — " Liu closes his eyes and strains a groan as he leans back into his chair. "Get to the point, Mister Zarek, I'm feeling remarkably forgetful today." Liu's brows lower as he glares at the bottle, considering what he could do with the contents to Kain, and that Kain knows this very risk, and is so brazenly flaunting his protection under Linderman's umbrella of security about it.

"Ah' could get you in as a promoter. You could get your boys in on it, on the money angle." As Kain speaks, one of Liu's dark brows raises slightly, watching as Kain stoppers the bottle again and sets it down on the shelf, using his now freed hands to produce a small envelope from his pocket, which is carelessly tossed at Liu like a frisbee, hitting him in the chest to land in his lap. "S'all the contact information you'll need, they know Ah'm out lookin' for people."

Liu reaches down to pick up the envelope, turning it around in his hands as his gaze tracks back from it to Kain. "I had no idea that Daniel Linderman was so deeply involved with — "

"He ain't." Kain quickly asserts, "This is mah own little side-job." That is even more so music to Liu's ears, a source of income not directly tied to Linderman's puppet strings. Kain, he feels, he can deal with in due time, but the opportunity presented here has smoothed the conversational waters and made some things much more clear.

"I've seen her before." Liu notes with a nod to the photograph, "Recently." He sets the envelope down on the desk as Kain starts to walk back. "She was here asking about a gentleman who she presumed may have been affiliated with my organization. Regretably, there is no Zhang Wu-Long in my group, and I had to inform her politely of this."

Kain arches a brow, the name doesn't ring any bells for him either, but it's a place to start. Zhang Wu-Long. "How recently?" The closer to now the better, because if this was a month or more ago, Kain may as well be chasing his own tail.

"A week ago." Bingo. "I have not seen her since." Liu picks up the photograph, regarding it more closely now, "She is an attractive one, isn't she?" His eyes lift up to Kain, head tilting to the side, "girlfriend of yours?" Kain reaches out and takes the picture from Liu's hand, sneering as he tucks it back into the pocket of his suit jacket.

"Somethin' like that, yeah." No sense in giving Liu any information he doesn't need, "If you see her, if any of your boys see her, you give me a call." He motions to the paperwork in the envelope, "You got me?" Liu's eyes lower from Kain down to the envelope, and back up again with a thin, painted smile.

"As clear as water, Mister Zarek."

December 13th: Put Your Foot Down

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

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

December 14th: Lost and Found
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