The House Always Wins


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Scene Title The House Always Wins
Synopsis …except when everyone loses.
Date November 30, 2018

Palisades Sill, a Casino aboard Freedom of the Seas

One of the many gambling dens in Palisades, this particular casino is situated high on one of the top decks of Freedom of the Seas, overlooking most of the harbor and far out to the east. Here are the remnants of opulence, the kind that comes with new money or the promise of it — deep crimson velvet, polished walnut, bright brass, and everywhere, the familiar green felt of poker, craps, and blackjack tables.

Anyone can get in with about 100 credits — staying in is the trick. As Heide Klum might say, one day you’re in and the next, you’re out — here, it doesn’t take that long if the House decides you’re unwanted. The clientele can shift from minute to minute, and nobody wants to be taken into this casino’s backroom for questioning.

Valentine lounges with a cigarette at an unused mah-jongg table. There may be no security cameras, but it doesn’t take more than a sweet word or promise of some credits for the “staff” to ask her to check on what someone’s holding, to watch for cards tucked up sleeves or the like. She sips from a straw something pink and orange, her dark eyes watching over the various tables languidly. Nearby, Nick Ruskin plays at one of the card games, though he doesn’t look particularly invested in it. He folds easily, shrugging lazily at one of his fellow players. Easy come, easy go. Another player looks more upset, throwing down his cards and trudging off in defeat.

Payday isn't always the greatest day on the Cerberus, but when you scrimp like Delia does shore time is a lot more fun. She's wandering from table to table, deciding where to place a chip or two. Mah-jongg looks interesting enough but it's a bit too fast paced, especially the way the pros play it. So she passes by. When the spot at the poker table opens, she takes it without a second thought.

The redhead is dressed as casually as allowed in the establishment and with no colors that are particularly eye popping, it's almost as though she's wall-flowering on purpose. She's silent as she waits to be dealt in, not paying particular attention to anyone outside of the table.

Miles has appeared from…somewhere. It’s not immediately clear where, but it probably doesn’t matter — anyone who knows him can assume he didn’t walk. He also doesn’t move to be dealt in immediately, however, but instead starts to make the rounds, wandering through the tables absently without any particular destination.

“Hey, Val,” he says when his steps take him past her table, and there’s a lifted hand at Nick as well, though he doesn’t stop to greet him more than that, instead grabbing a chair near the artist formerly known as Peyton. He flips it around, sitting on it backward with one leg to either side of the back, folding his arms to rest them on the top before he plops his chin on the top of that. “What’s up?”

The horrid month of November come and gone, the Japanese woman calling herself Asi is noticeably less drunk than any time she’s been to the Sill in recent history. No red-faced cries of valor escape her today, and the bruises from her last escapade from jousting for a pittance of credits at the Kraken have faded. Today, although a glass is held in hand as she floats between tables to find something that captures her interest, she presents pleasant and well-dressed. A multi-tiered necklace of silver string dotted with white and grey dots that surely aren’t actual pearls is worn over a black turtleneck with designs knit into its stitching, and she carries with her a silver clutch, shining silver thread sewn into it catching the light ever so slightly. Nothing could part her from her well-worn boots, however.

She pauses in her scouting to drink, just as a man at a nearby table scowls and flees his seat. A note of amusement escapes her, and bringing the tumbler she holds in a bit closer to herself, she slides in next to Nick Ruskin with a brief, polite smile. “This seat spoken for?” she asks, even as she’s already invited herself into it. Her drink is set on the table to claim her spot, though her clutch remains firmly in hand.

The gambling dens are not Geneva’s usual haunt in these days- they are too raucous, too removed from the sea-wrapped silence that she prefers- but something has drawn her to one tonight. Loneliness most likely, or perhaps a boredom to occupy herself with something simply a little different for one night. Entering the place quietly, she can be seen wearing a modestly hemmed white dress with a loose jacket overtop to keep her warm. There is nothing about the girl that would stand out too much, save for her expression; she does not at all look like the average casino-goer in this respect.

There is one aspect of a gambling den which is a known and welcome quantity to her, however. And that would be the alcohol. It does not take her long to spot Delia’s head in the crowd, as the blonde had semi-followed her here to begin with. Tapping the Captain’s daughter on the shoulder, she pauses till the other woman is free to look up from her hand, then takes the opportunity to ask: “Can I get us drinks?”

Tania, as it turns out, is part of the decor promising wealth and prosperity here in the casino. She's dressed in a gown, jewels and shoes that have gotten all the more expensive now that no one is making them anymore. But, unlike so many people, she had time to prepare for the world to end. And clearly had her properties in order.

She sways her way through the room, talking to clients, schmoozing, drinking, but her path brings her over to Nick's table. She doesn't sit in, but lingers nearby to watch as if doing so might impart some luck to the players.

Nick watches the winning hand play out with low interest, his eyes noting new arrivals and nodding to the redhead who slides into one spot, then Asi when she joins the seat next to him. He doesn’t bother to answer, since she’s already taking it, his lip curling up into a smirk, before he turns his cards over for the newly dealt hand. Without looking up, he seems to notice Tania’s presence behind him.

“Stop looking at my cards, Tee,” he says over his shoulder, eyes still on his cards, East-End accent thick. “No kibitzing. How do I know you’re not working with these people?” He moves a couple of cards around, than sets aside two for the dealer to swap out.

He nods to Asi. “That one’s lucky. I’d watch out for her,” he informs the rest of the table. “Also you don’t wanna get on her bad side.”

Over at the empty Mah Jongg table, Valentine’s eyes drift slowly up to Miles; this close, he can see her pupils constrict to normal size, turning those black eyes to brown-and-black again. “Not much. It’s boring tonight,” she says with a sigh and a shift of posture, crossing one long, bare leg over the other. Tonight she’s in a short silk shift that was made for someone shorter than she, the color almost identical to the crimson trappings of the casino. “How’s the world beyond?” she asks, curiously, taking another sip of her drink, glancing past him to the tables in play.

Delia's eye flits quickly to Asi when the declaration of luck falls on her ears. "Awesome," she murmurs. Her cards are kept flat on the table and only peeked at with a little corner lift. She's not risking her chips on any of the table drifters helping others with unseen signals. Geneva, though, receives a grateful smile and a nod. "Water in a clean glass."

When all five are dealt, she slides one back toward the dealer. Her expression returns to a very careful neutral whenever she's got her attention on her cards or the others at the table. Running a hand through her hair, she pulls the unruly mass of curls back over her shoulders only to keep it tame by pinning it between her back and her chair.

Tonight?” Miles repeats with a little emphasis, leveling a skeptical look at Valentine, though he’s still grinning. Not just tonight, perhaps. He shrugs at the question, waving a hand a little vaguely. “Wet,” he says. “Cold. Gray. As per usual. So more boring than in here.” Which is probably why he has come, honestly.

That vague gesture turns into a more purposeful wave as he sees Tania, before his eyes settle on Asi as she sits down next to Nick. That grin gets, if possible, even wider, and he leans over to murmur something quietly to Valentine, whatever he’s said followed by a laugh.

Almost as soon as she's sat down, Nick accuses someone of cheating. Unlike him, Asi glances to see who, figuring 'Tee' is about to be dragged away from the table. Seeing just who it is, though, has her unsuccessfully bite back a short chuckle. A second, more appraising look is given to Tania, taking a moment to appreciate just how well dressed she is. "Whatever 'kibitz' is, sounds like far too cheap a word to describe anything she does." she comments offhandedly before pulling together the cards that have been dealt her way.

At the assertion Asi is 'lucky', she reaches for her drink while reviewing her cards. A note of amusement escapes her as she funnels away most of her hand back to the dealer. "Only on the second draw." she remarks modestly enough after taking a languid sip. "Good thing this game permits those sorts of things." When three new cards are returned back, she seems pleased enough with the outcome, like it's come to pass how it said she would. Setting the tumbler back down, she agrees with a flat earnest to her voice, "Though the other part — certainly true."

Tania waves back at Miles with little more than her fingers. But there’s also a smile, and a genuine one, which so few people actually get.

But Nick’s accusation gets her attention and she turns toward him with a playfully shocked expression. But, her arms come to drape over his shoulders— giving her a much better view of his cards. “Nicholas,” she says in a sly tone, “if I was looking at anything, it wouldn’t be your cards.”

And she safeguards whatever she sees there, not letting her face give away his hand.

Silas is haunting the craps table, a smile on his lips and a glass of something alcoholic in front of him, his gaze focused intently on the table. He's better dressed than usual - a cream silk shirt under a well-cut gray jacket, understated but expensive looking cufflinks on his sleeves, an equally expensive watch on his wrist.

Somehow or other, against all odds Silas seems to have managed to clear his worklist on the Forthright, leaving him with a surplus of spare time… not a good thing for him, given that December is creeping inevitably closer. Christmastime is Silas's absolute least favorite time of the year, and sitting around on the last night of November with idle hands is all but guaranteed to end up with him maudlin, drunk, and probably alone. Far better to be out on the town and having something resembling a good time if you're going to be getting drunk… and if you're going to splurge, go big or go home.

Which is what has led Silas to this high end casino. He's never played mahjong - doesn't know how to play mahjong, come to that - and poker isn't really to his taste at the moment. Craps, though… winning at the craps tables mostly comes down to two things: luck at rolling and betting well. The first is hard to influence, but the second is just a matter of picking the right people to bet on, and Silas has been doing well at that; he's winning more than he's losing.

"The point is eight," the dealer calls as Silas gets ready to roll again. He rattles the dice - transparent red with white pips, with a weight that suggests glass rather than plastic - in his hand once, twice, a third time, then tosses. The dice hit the back wall, bounce back, roll to a stop…

…a five and a three. His grin widens. "Son of a bitch," a sour faced man with a flushed face hisses - he'd been betting against Silas.

Serves ya right, he thinks amusedly as the dealer shoves a pile of chips his way. Silas grins and gestures to his left as the stickman comes around with the dice. "Let someone else try their luck with the dice," he says, grinning affably as he takes a sip of his drink.

Geneva arches one brow down at Delia when water is requested instead of a proper libation, but she asks no questions as she disappears further into the establishment to honor the request. She returns some time later carrying drinks for them both, pausing to hover and observe the state of the game as she hands off the water, smiling at her crewmate's bout of luck.

Inexperienced as she largely is with the casino scene (being young as she is), she then withdraws to haunt those few games she is familiar with. Approaching the craps table, she indulges in a generous sip of her glass of tequila neat— with only the briefest moment of a wince— before seeing the open invitation from Silas, whom she passes close to and offers up a look of acknowledgement to.

Best to start easy. The blonde places the bare minimum bet down. The next shooter in turn procures his dice from the stickman, grunting in concentration as he rattles them in his palm a probably rather excessive amount of times before releasing them in a hearty throw across the table….. It's a 2. He'd promptly crapped out. The table howls, but Geneva only does a tiny, close-lipped smile, reaching down for her drink again. She'd known what she had been getting herself into.

Over in the peanut gallery, Valentine laughs, somehow both low and sultry as is expected of her position, but also loud enough to gain attention — which is also perhaps expected. She cups her hand around Miles’ ear to murmur something back.

Nick grins over at Delia. “Everyone’s lucky. Just depends what time you’ve got. Someone once said, ‘If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.’” To Asi, he nods — the game does allow for luck — and a bit of skill, manipulation, theatrics… much more so at the poker table than some of the others where the bets are against the House rather than one another.

He leans backward against Tania and tips his hand so she can see the cards all the better, while shielding them from the view of the rest of the table. “Are you wearing good luck or bad luck along with that intoxicating perfume, Tee?” he says teasingly.

Suddenly, there’s a whoosh of air that’s disconcerting, ruffling clothing and the cards in the poker players’ hands. The rest of the casino seems oblivious as those at the table glance about for the source. A couple of seconds later, the same commotion disrupts the craps table.

Silas and Asi, however, feel more than that rush and whistle of air as something or someone yanks off an item from each — for Silas, it’s his watch. For Asi, it’s her pearls. One loose pearl falls like a teardrop and bounces on the felt of the table, rolling to settle in front of Delia.

Nick’s up on his feet immediately, reaching for the radio he wears at his hip — but it too is gone.

Now there's a spot of luck.

Delia's not as quick as Nick to react, first she places a hand to her neck to check for her valuable… which is pretty valueless comparatively. Then she reaches down to pick up the pearl that's settled in front of her like the beginnings of winnings. For once, she doesn't try to pocket the piece. Too much attention, so she just flicks it across the table in Asi's direction.

"Maybe it's time a better time to fold 'em," she quips, trying to sound as easy breezy as possible. She's not in favor of losing her ante, especially with the cards she has on the table, but she's also not wanting to lose what little she has to thievery. As a precaution, she pulls her chain and medallion off and tucks it into her front pocket.

"Damned evos.." is all she can say.

Silas offers a nod and a grin to Geneva as she settles in at the table. He'd initially been planning to skip the next bet, but when she places a bet down, he reconsiders for a moment before placing a chip of his own; right now he's far enough in the green that he can afford to take a few spur of the moment bets…

…aaand it's snake eyes. Ouch. He clucks his tongue and shakes his head, but his grin doesn't falter; right now he's still ahead of the game -

Then there's that sudden sharp tug at his arm, and it only takes a moment for him to notice the sudden lack of weight at his wrist. Startled, he glances downward, confirming what apparently just happened. "Son of a bitch… my watch!" he exclaims, sounding more shocked than angry… at least for now.

At the unnatural whoosh that sweeps past them, Asi's first instinct is to pat her necklace down to secure it to herself. Little does she know, it's already flown off. Understanding dawns on her as Delia flicks the loose pearl back in her direction, deciding for the moment that the redhead isn't at fault. She snatches the single bead up and pockets it, feet finding the floor again.

"You will fix this." she says to Nick without looking at him, her voice even though her eyes are narrowed in instant anger. It's a wonder she's that calm, still, given what the necklace means to her. If things weren't made right, she wasn't above sabotaging the entire cruiseliner.

“Only time will tell,” Tania says to Nick. But her crooked smile is cut off a moment later when things start getting snatched. Her radio is still on her, settled in a strap around her thigh. She has to flash a bit of it to get it out.

“Thief in the casino,” she says to the security team. There’s a pause during which she looks over at Asi. Unhappily. “And an we need someone escorted out.” Threats, even vague ones, she takes seriously. She hands her radio to Nick before anyone gets the impression that she works.

As Geneva has her drink lifted to her mouth, reflecting on the wisdom of placing further bets tonight, a very strange wind pushes against her dress and jacket. At the same time, Silas’ watch whizzes past the lip of her glass and away out of the corner of her vision.

Immediately she sets her tequila down with a start. One hand feels around her neck and wrists to discern whether anything had happened to her jewelry. Thankfully, it is all still there. She does not own much in the way of valuable possessions, that jewelry being no exception, but it is a relief nonetheless.

“What the hell…?” She narrows her eyes in the direction she had felt the draft from, attempting to trace its source, as well as where Silas’ watch might have flown off to.

Whatever Valentine has whispered back to Miles makes him let out a snort of laughter, and he replies, “Technicality.” He starts to say something else, too, but just then people’s things are flying off them and everything’s going to shit.

Okay, maybe not that last thing, but one could imagine that it might soon.

He reaches down to pat his own pockets as he looks around, but one can assume that he still has everything, because he doesn’t start looking angry or yelling or anything like that. In fact, he looks like he might be about to laugh. It doesn’t necessarily make him look good when people are in the midst of looking for a thief, but there you are.

“No one promised you safety. If anything, we promise the opposite,” Nick says, eyes placid as he gazes about for a clue as to who it might be. When the radio is set in his hand, his fingers begin to curl around it — when there’s another blur of motion and whoosh of air, and suddenly the radio’s gone.

“Bar the door!” he calls out, and the plain clothes security in the casino all surge toward that exit. One of them is a step or two ahead of them — metaphorically speaking — as the doors slam into place and the unused table Val and Miles are (were) sitting at goes flying that way, to create an additional barricade. If the thief is still within, that is.

Valentine looks amused, catching her drink as it tumbles off the table, though a good bit of it splashes onto the floor. “Well, this is at least entertaining,” she says, perking up a bit from that bored, blase expression of a few moments past. “It’s not you, is it? You usually sparkle a bit first,” she says to Miles with a grin.

"It's only yourselves you're making a fool of, here." Asi replies to Tania's direct stare, and the comments the both of them pass. Seeing the radio disappear between exchanging hands only brings forth a sardonic smirk, as if her point's proven itself already. She reaches with one hand for the rest of her drink, downing it before it's lost — either because security has a backdoor she's being thrown out of shortly, or because more tables are about to go flying. Letting the glass clatter back on the felt, she recollects her credits from the table and scans the room.

"Calm down, Princess," Delia interrupts with a frown toward Asi. "You're upset, yeah, but the way you're acting isn't going to get that necklace back any faster, it's probably going to make them want to help you less." Calmly, the redhead reaches toward her chips and places them in her other front pocket then digs both of her hands in to keep her valuables safe.

She turns her gaze toward Geneva and gives her a bit of an uptick nod and calls out, "You okay over there?" She's leaves her water on the table, abandoning it in favor of personal safety because right now the refreshment isn’t as important as their situation. Her frown only deepens as the security measures are put in place, effectively locking them in with an invisible thief. So, she finds the nearest wall and presses her back flat against it.

“Whoops!” Miles jumps back as the table goes flying pretty much right out from under him. He’s surprised enough that it’s probably proof he didn’t have anything to do with it — though he does confirm that for Valentine with a little laugh. “Nope,” he says, shaking his head. “If only. That’d be kind of fun.”

He turns back to look around at those assembled, Asi’s reaction catching his eye for the moment. “You can’t take it with you,” he says, super helpfully, before he stands up in a languid motion, perhaps to look around for the culprit. He’s not in any particular hurry, though, so he may not be very helpful.

“Yeah, I’m good. You alright?” Geneva calls back down to Delia even as she adjusts her own wary stance, noting that the exit to the gambling den has now been thoroughly barred. This is something she had certainly not expected to happen in an upscale establishment (such as this Flooded World has, anyway) like this.

“Is this something that happens here often?” she comments dryly aloud to Tania, the person whom she had witnessed instigating the security team’s response. Consciously, she ensures a second time that what credits she is carrying and all her semi-valuables are all still in place. Sometimes it is good not to be too rich, to stand out too much.

Silas's expression grows long as the casino is locked down. Well, that's just fabulous, he thinks to himself. With a sigh, he picks up his glass, examines it ruefully, then empties it one long gulp - better to drink it all now, rather than give the Phantom Menace opportunity to add insult to injury by swiping that, too. He closes his eyes, taking a moment to savor the feeling of decent alcohol pouring down his throat, letting out a sigh as it hits his stomach.

First order of business done, he starts the second - gathering up his chips while he surveys the casino. Asi's here, and has apparently either also had something valuable swiped or someone's taken her boots yet again; Miles is also here, looking like he's enjoying the show. Not that I can blame him; if it'd happened to someone else, I probably would be, too. But I liked that watch, dammit.

"I certainly hope not," Silas says to Geneva, eying Tania and Nick. "The whole point of coming to a casino is that you know up front what you're gambling. I wasn't exactly planning to ante up for… whatever this was." He pauses. "Though, then again… if nothing else, this might make for an interesting game," he says, giving an unsettlingly toothy grin.

Guards come to Nick and Tania’s table, standing on either side of Asi while the doors are barred. Her kicking out will have to wait until the greater threat is managed.

There’s a ruckus toward the front entrance, as a force seems to bowl a group of people over. The tangle forces a figure to come into view, someone covered from head to toe despite being too fast to see in any case. Perhaps for moments like these. Guards move in on the speedster, but before they can reach their target, one falls to the ground gripping his neck. A long, thin knife sticks out of his throat, made from bone rather than metal.

Not too far away, a man stands up from a blackjack table, pulling another patron with him. The woman is placed between him and the guards. His wrist bends and a bone dagger slides out from his skin— bloody already. That fact seems to make it worse for the woman he’s grabbed; she starts to whimper as he presses the knife to her throat.

“Don’t touch her,” he demands.

Tania lets out a sigh and settles back into a vacated stool. She brings her drink to her lips as if watching a show instead of being robbed. Violently now.

Miles looks like he would really like to be having some popcorn right now. It’s probably not the most healthy attitude, but it’s easy to gawk when you don’t have anything of any sort of value on you, sentimental or otherwise.

The guard’s demise, however, does have him raising his eyebrows, and he takes in a little breath. “That escalated quickly,” he murmurs, possibly to Valentine, and while he still has that flippant tone he generally does, it sounds like he might be working a little bit harder now to hold it. It’s hard to tell, but if one listens closely one could probably pick it out. Of course, there’s other things to focus on right at the moment.

His head jerks toward the woman who’s now being held hostage, and his eyes narrow just slightly then. “Fuck me,” he adds, so quiet that is almost sounds like just a sigh. It’s barely out before there’s a little shimmer in the air and he winks out of existence, only to reappear right behind and to the side of the man holding the knife to her throat. He reaches to wrench the man’s arm forward and away from the hostage’s neck before he jerks her quickly away, and they both vanish an instant later, to reappear right about where he had been before, except with a passenger who at least looks not too much the worse for wear. She hasn’t been shanked, anyway, so that’s nice.

Nick snorts at the various comments from those nearest, but the next thing he gets out he keeps a firm grip on, should any speedster come running for it this time, and that’s his gun. His eyes track where the speedster flees to, like he might shoot … her, based on Bone Spurs’ comment.

Once the hostage is heroically saved by the teleporting anti-hero Miles, though, Nick’s weapon’s point whirls back to point at the bony menace, firing without any warning.

Just in case anyone thought he wasn’t taking it seriously.

It’s the blurred figure who it hits though, as the speedster tries to intervene. For once — in this dimension, anyway — too slow.

The items she’d taken fall first, that pearl necklace spilling its beads across the fading crimson carpet, and a moment later, the now-still form of the speedster. A small, brown-eyed brunette, with freckles sprinkled across her nose. Her throat is a bloody mess, thanks to the bullet meant for her would-be protector.

Asi watches the drama unfold passively, as there's very little use to much else … until she sees that precious belonging of hers spill from the thief's hand. Eyes widening, she lurches forward to grab it, only for the guards by her side to grab her and yank her back. "放して!" she growls. Between the two of them, though, there's not exactly anything she can do. Non-violently, anyway, and she's attempting to be on her best behavior.

She looks for someone, anyone familiar, finding none nearby she could trust with this delicate matter. Of course not. One didn't come to the Palisades Sill to make friends. Asi could have sworn she'd heard Silas at one point, though. "Snickers, don't leave my necklace, you hear?"

She has doubts she'll be allowed to collect it, at least.

The youngest person present had also been watching the melodrama play out with a surprising lack of concern beneath her coolly lidded eyes, which dart only once in the direction of Delia to make sure that her shipmate, too, isn’t being affected by this. Having nothing particularly worth stealing herself, to Geneva this exhibition of blood, aggression, and Evolved abilities serves as raw entertainment more than anything else. 100 credits (and a lost bet) well spent tonight.

Circumstance causes the beads of Asi’s necklace to drop in a shower of pearls not far from her new position, with her back towards one of the tables. More by reflex than anything else, Geneva calmly lifts a single palm in a well-practiced gesture from her side: a gentle but persistent, directed wash of heat flows out of it, shepherding the jouncing, wayward pearls so they are all encouraged to roll in a newly directed pattern towards her feet. She is making no effort to hide this movement: though she bends to gather the pearls into her hands, it does not look like she is intent on squirrelling them away but rather simply holding onto them for the moment.

Asi, if the technopath happens to catch her eyes, will receive merely a tranquil nod.

"Jesus," Silas breathes as one of the casino security falls. The Phantom Menace had a co-conspirator, but they didn't plan a decent escape route… idiots! he thinks to himself, feeling a mix of shock, a splash of growing horror, and a dash of irritation at how… unprofessional this job is. Idiots! he thinks again, his emotions starting to crystallize into something a little more… grim.

He eyes Bone Knife appraisingly where he stands. Dumb. Unprofessional. And now desperate. Shit.

He focuses on Bone Knife. I'm not here, he thinks at Bone Knife, pushing at him mentally, wrapping his will around parts of his brain like smog blanketing a cityscape. Nothing important here. He starts to edge towards him, shifting his grip on his glass; it's not the best weapon, but it'll do for slamming into someone's skull. Hopefully, at least.

But someone else has a faster idea, it seems; Miles, of all people, steps up, grabs the girl, and pops out, Nick takes a shot at Bone Knife -

- but it's the Phantom Menace that hits the ground, a body precipitating out of thin air. It's a girl. Small, brunette. Freckles. Blood spurting from her throat, life draining out of her. FUCK, blasts through his mind, virulently enough that it takes an actual effort not to blurt it aloud. The watch wasn't worth this!

He's jarred from his thoughts when Asi calls to him, though… and that nickname makes his lips twitch into something that's almost a smile despite himself. He makes a note to grab the pearls before all is said and done; he might have to talk to casino security later, once this shitshow is all the way over, but so it goes.

It's the woman who'd given him the nod over at the craps table who acts first, though; somehow she calls Asi's spilled pearls over to herself with a raise of her hand - a neat trick, and one he'll have to ask her about before all is said and done.

They're not out of the woods yet, though. Only one of the two idiots is down, and it's the one who's proved to be the less violent of the two. Silas keeps his ability focused on Bone Knife - he has no intention of being the next to get a free knife in the throat if he can help it.

“Stupid…” Delia growls and hurls herself from the wall into the fray. She’s not a fan of piracy or theft, especially in the world they life in now. So when she stands over the girl and looks down on her, there’s no love lost, no sympathy. The redhead has no weapons on her though, it’s not smart to enter into the Sill packing.

She kneels next to the girl and puts her first aid to use. “You’re going to die,” she tells the girl calmly, “you got shot through the neck and unless there’s a generous healer around… which I don’t think you’ll find in this place… you’re a goner.” What the dreamwalker does is rip her sleeve off and bind the wound as best she can without choking the girl.

“They’re probably going to kill your friend too,” she add matter of factly. “Next life, pick on littler fish.”

When the shot rights out, the man flinches. When he sees that his partner took the bullet, he lets out an anguished cry. His first steps take hims toward her, but his eyes are fixed on Nick.

That is, until he hears Delia's words.

His forward momentum stops and he looks down at her. A second blade forms out of his other arm and both blades slam toward Delia's chest. "And you're a goner, too," he says, voice shaking. He drops to the woman's side, fingers moving to hold that makeshift bandage against her neck. Like him doing it might make the difference.

The woman who’d been briefly taken hostage looks plenty shaken up, rubbing almost frantically at her throat where a little trickle of blood has formed — though her neck is still attaching things like it’s supposed to. The same cannot be said for some of the people in the room, so really, she’s come out a head ahem. Ahead.

Miles is no longer treating this as his own private floor show, though, especially when Delia gets a blade to the chest. “Fuck,” he murmurs as he pushes the woman down behind the table, looking quickly around for something that can be used as a weapon. He may not have anything of value, but that may not matter in a moment.

Delia blinks at first when the pain hits, She managed to twist just enough that one of the lades missed its mark and hit her in the shoulder. The other, she was even more lucky with. Because of the force of the blade, she feels the medallion push into her chest before it slides to the side and flips, allowing the knife to finally pierce into her. As she falls to the floor, she can feel her heart skip a beat, then two, before it starts again.

She chokes, then a mouth full of blood spills from her lips.

Her breath comes in gurgles and her worst nightmare is coming true. She's drowning. Her last thought before blacking out is regret, for even bothering to help the wounded girl.

No longer needing to block the door from the escape of the thief, the guards make their way toward where her companion is now trying to administer first aid. It’s clear to everyone else that the speedster thief is all but a last heartbeat or two away from death.

Valentine has looped her arms with the woman who Miles saved. The haze of drugs that usually clouds the prostitute’s mind and affect by day, along with familiarity with the way of life of those who live in the Palisades, have made her a bit blase. But even she looks a little worried. Just a little. “It’ll be all right, sweetheart,” she murmurs in that low voice to the once-hostage. “Miracle Miles there won’t let anything happen to you,” she says.

“Take him,” says Nick to the guards, apparently deciding he doesn’t need to be shot a second time, since the thief’s partner took that punishment for him. They approach the desperate man, aiming guns at him — it’s too many against one.
Nick stoops to pluck up his radio from the items that tumbled, along with his watch, then moves to crouch beside Delia, rolling her to her side so she won’t choke on her own blood. The bloodstained medal grazes his knuckles, leaving her blood on his hands. He tucks her hair behind her ear so it’s not sticking to the blood at her mouth, then brings the radio to his lips.

“Sasha, need your magic at the casino, bit of a fray. Bystander,” he says, voice matter-of-fact, almost bored, as he watches the guards and their stand-off. A moment later the radio squawks, Sasha’s voice replying, “On my way.”

“The pearls are the lady’s,” he gestures to Asi, “And the watch the gentleman’s, I believe,” he glances to Silas. “No looting please,” is told to the rest of the casino customers, some of them looking like they might grab an item if they can. “Possessions go back to their rightful owners or there will be consequences.” Like a bullet to the throat.

All of Geneva’s impassive composure immediately vanishes the moment she sees Delia suddenly sliced through by the speedster’s partner, and she shows the beginnings of a cold, indefinable rage. The pearls from Asi’s necklace are all dropped back onto the floor from her open hand; back down all over the carpet they go, springing and rolling into forgotten stillness.

A heartbeat later her mouth in a grim slit, from her position where she stands, she causes a blaze of white-hot heat to carve across the room directly towards the man whom the guns are all pointed at now. It is a temperature well high enough to melt through human bone and flesh, if it connects; others not in its path but nearby will feel a blast as though a furnace chamber had opened.

How. Utterly. Dare he.

Miles squats down next to the hostage as Valentine reassures her, shooting a smile in Formerly Peyton’s direction, though it’s not anywhere near as easy as his usual smiles. Even he, apparently, is not going to laugh off what just happened. “I’m going to take her out of here,” he says. Considering she doesn’t need immediate medical attention, it’s probably for the best.

He starts to turn back to the hostage, perhaps to figure out precisely where he can take her that he knows how to get to, but before he does, that blast hits him. …Well, okay, it doesn’t hit him, but there’s no way that he doesn’t feel the residual heat. It’s more than enough to confirm that he will be getting the hell out of here. A few murmured words later, and he and the former hostage have disappeared.

Silas's expression goes from shock to murder when Bone Knife stabs the woman trying to offer first aid to his partner; fuck hitting this guy with a glass, at this point he's looking for a nice chair - preferably steel - to put some dents in with this guy's head.

The upside is that Bone Knife seems focused on doing what the woman he knifed was doing a moment ago, and trying to keep pressure on his partner's bandages - while the absurdity of it is enough to make Silas mentally string together another few rounds of invective, it at least means that he's probably not going to be knifing anyone else. Apparently the big man in the house is satisfied that things are winding down, too, if he's talking about possessions going back to their rightful owners (and calling for goons to take care of Bone Knife instead of putting bullets in his skull). Silas lets out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding, starting to relax a bit. He nods agreement to Nick's statement, starts to speak up and confirm that the watch is his.

Then he hears the pearls hit the floor, and glances over to the woman who'd been holding them. The look he sees there is enough to make him lean back right then - if looks could kill, Bone Knife would be a soot stain on the far wall by now. And hey, as if this wretched failure of a robbery hadn't been enough of a clue, apparently it's Bone Knife's unlucky day… because judging by the wash of heat that Silas feels, in this particular case it seems possible that looks can kill. Silas takes a half step back, grimacing at the sudden wash of heat he'd felt.

“See ya, Miles,” says Valentine, scuttling away from the heat, backing up and out of the way until she’s near the exit, herself.

The two guards grabbing the thief yell as the swath of heat rolls past them; they jerk away as the blast hits, though this works in the thief’s behalf — sort of. It’s only a second at most that the high levels of heat sear his skin, enough that he cries out and covers his face and will suffer from severe burns that he’ll wish he’d die from sooner rather than later All three tumble away, some of their garments catch on fire, before another guard grabs an extinguisher to put them out — it’s long expired though and sputters rather than foams. Luckily another has the presence of mind to tear down curtains to throw over the smoldering trio. The thief, screaming, stops suddenly, passed out from pain. It’s a blessing his face is covered.

Nick too, holding Delia still, feels the heat of that wave, and is up on his feet.

“Escort them out!” he says, not loudly, but firmly, blue eyes blazing. “Whoever’s problem this is,” he nods to the redhead now at his feet, “you can pick her up — and your pearls — when she’s healed. Might take a day or two. Now get the fuck off my boat.” Freedom of the Seas isn’t his precisely, but he’ll claim ownership now. “Consider yourselves blacklisted. Good luck finding lodging. One of the back harbor boats might take you, if you aren’t in port.”

Those being escorted out find themselves with guns pointed at them, wagging for them to head to the door. The discussion is over, their faces and Nick’s say. The table that was blocking the exit flies away and the doors burst open, with the wave of the telekinetic guard’s hand.

There’s a saying the house always wins, but today there were no winners.

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