The Littlest Badguy


logan_icon.gif satoru_icon.gif

Scene Title The Littlest Badguy
Synopsis Out of prison, out of work, the tiniest villain visits the happiest dagger.
Date April 18, 2009

The Happy Dagger

This building used to be a dance club a decade or more ago, and was later outfitted into a strip bar up until the bomb hit New York City and Staten Island became a refuge of the panicked people of New York City. After this neighborhood fell to ruin, the strip bar went out of business and was sold easily to a young man from Britain with similar but less legitimate intentions for the place. And so it became The Happy Dagger, a brothel that makes no claim to be otherwise, and a bright spot on a street with similar venues, lit up with lights of pink, red and orange, with a neon sign in cursive print reading its name.

Two strapping bouncers allow people through after a quick identity check, down a dark corridor wherein people seem to move in and out continually. The front room is crowded, more nightclub than brothel. There's a bar in the corner, and stages of different shapes and heights create obstacles, along with a quieter lounge area separated only by saloon style doors. Women dance aloofly or mingle with the clientele, marked as employees of the Happy Dagger by their costuming. There is a Middle Eastern bent in style, with warm colours and lights, women with Cleopatra eyes, wearing more silks than sequins, decked in Hollywood-exotic stage jewelry. The insincerity of this place is palpable. There's spiral staircase at the other end of the large area, a structure swathed in red light and eye-catching.

Upstairs is a catacomb of dark hallways and bedrooms of various sizes. It seems less like a strip club and more like the brothel it boasts to be, with more elaborate interior design. Curtains of silk and chiffon, incense making the air hazy, the walls papered with golds and reds. Women linger in the hallways to catch the strays who come up here alone and guide them to appropriate rooms.

Breaking the illusion of decadence is the occasional security camera hidden in the corner. This place is not without it's safety measures, beyond the bouncers. You may also notice that the man enjoying a drink in the corner hasn't gotten up in a while, and another prowling around outside hasn't moved from this street. The security is kept discreet and unobtrusive, but it certainly is there.

The Happy Dagger could be best described as a hive, claustrophobic from either the garish decor, the press of people, or the walls themselves choking free movement from the mass of people inside. The lights, also, play tricks, blind, dazzle. The smell of incense and live bodies. It's an assault of the senses if you remain in there a long time, and god knows Logan has.

It's at an hour of night when the Rookery is not necessarily teeming with people, if it ever is, and so lends a certain ambience the pimp craves when he steps outside. Emptiness, cooler air, room to breathe. He cuts a slender silhouette in fitted black slacks, slim-waist velvet green jacket buttoned to conceal a silken shirt of some description, as opposed to the bulkier figures of the two bouncers he moves between. Red carpet underfoot turns to concrete, moving away from the door and off to the side, taking out a packet of cigarettes and a box of matches. He and his surroundings are painted with bright neons of pink, orange, red, the place selling itself as much as the women inside do.

At least it's dry tonight, although recent rain makes concrete glass-like and reflective, bouncing the lights right back up when they beam on down. Breathing out dragon-curls of acrid smoke, Logan watches those that come and go, get inevitably stopped by the bouncers, sometimes turned away.

It's always best when it isn't too terribly crowded; low crowds outside can either indicate a slow night in general, or that everyone is enjoying themselves in the local businesses, and while the former is preferred, the latter is still workable. Easier to get peoples' attention when there aren't too many people around, but also easier to keep on the down-low when there's a good amount of people around.

When Satoru approaches the Happy Dagger, he's dressed slightly nicer than his usual duds. The messenger bag isn't present at all, and he is in fact wearing shoes rather than his usual rollerblades. Pants that fit properly, and a blank hoodie, zipped most of the way up, over a blank shirt. No possibly offensive (or just plain stupid) pictures, and clothes are actually clean.

Once he actually arrives at the entrance to the Dagger, though, he notices the man standing off to the side, hilighted in neon, and, on a whim, he ambles over towards that fellow, hands in his pockets. Non-threatening posture, stiff gait, he stops a few feet off to the side of the man - standing against the wall himself, so that it doesn't look like he actually came over to TALK to the guy, he nonetheless offers a pseudo-disinterested, "Hey."

Pale green eyes dart on over towards Satoru almost as soon as the younger man ambles nearer, then over his head to see if his security duo over by the door are noticing. One cuts a glance their way, but it's gone a moment later. Call Logan paranoid, but— okay, maybe he's just paranoid. The Rookery has proven that not everyone that controls some small part of it is untouchable, the royal families switching and changing as quickly as the seasons.

He's not certain of anything any more, not even of this doofus-ish looking stranger approaching him now. Still, Logan goes back to his cigarette, pinched between the V of his fingers and letting a thicker breath of smoke expel as he's greeted. In the confusion of bright lights above their heads, it's hard to tell much about a person. Logan's eyes could be any colour, as could his jacket. Cigarette smoke coils pink in the air as it disperses. "Evening," he says, more cheerful than nonchalant. "Need a fag before going in, then?" As if to clarify that, he turns his hand to indicate the pack of cigarettes he's holding.

Satoru tenses a bit at the offer of a cigarette, but before he can respond with righteous indignation… realizes the guy is foreign. Right. Okay. He clears his throat, sort of brushing aside the initial reaction with an over-show of 'calm'ness, and the offer is finally taken in the spirit it's intended. 'Finally' being relative, of course - all told, the reaction takes barely a few seconds.

"God, yeah," he replies, moving just a bit closer and holding a hand out for the offered cigarette. Once the assumed lighting ritual is complete, he takes a couple hits, hand shaking a bit as he does. It's been quite a while since he's had them regular-like. Standing there just smoking calmly for a minute or so, he finally remembers that he had actually come over to the fellow for a reason, and stands upright all a-sudden.

"Oh, uh, right, that's not what I wanted. I mean, thanks, but." A pause, and he scratches the back of his head awkwardly. "I was gonna ask, you know this place good?" Gesture to the Happy Dagger, naturally. "You're dressed fancy and all, I figured maybe you work here or something."

At the change of pace from a guy trying to calm his nerves before going off to buy a hooker, to someone with slightly more motive, Logan glances back at him with vague interest and a little confusion, arms folded save for one hand held up with the burning cigarette, a point of light in all the technicolour ambience. Eyebrows raise and a smile draws across his face, twisting his body to look up at the bordello, all brick and windows hinting at what's indoors. "Know it? Fairly."

His hand lowers to flick the cigarette, letting a small tumble of ash turn into so much street grime as it disappears into cold, wet pavement. "I do work here." If lounging about in his den for most of the evening counts as working. "You needn't be shy or anything. The girls are used to all sorts, from the veterans to the uninitiated to the," slight pause to cast a judgmental glance up and down the other man, "even newer still."

Satoru raises an eyebrow as Logan talks, frowning slightly. Something is amiss here! … But he's not sure what. Nonetheless, however, that last set of comments gets him to stand up a bit more rigidly, to make himself look larger in that animal-denfensive-instinct sort of way, and he gestures with his hand again - though this time with some more irritation. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?!" He asks, though he doesn't raise his voice too much. Enough to get his point across.

…But just as quickly as he gets annoyed, he calms himself down again. "Tch, nevermind. That's not what I meant. I heard they're hiring." Pause. "Not for that, before you make any jokes!" Hrmph. Cigarette in one hand, other hand in his pocket, he gesticulates a bit as he speaks. "Anyway, I hear the owner guy could use some toughs or whatever, figured I'd come by, figured I'd ask you before I waste my time and see the position's filled, dig?"

'Dig'. One day, he'll get used to living in America. One day. Logan rocks back on a heel as Satoru explains himself, taking a drag of cigarette smoke while still keeping the younger man in his sights, apparently listening with an expression of quasi-amused boredom. Which may or may not be as affected as his too-proper accent.

"I think I get the gist, yes," he says with a tight smile. "Now it's all clear to me. Apologies." He places his cigarette between his teeth and extends that hand out, all long fingers and cleanliness that might border on manicured. An expensive watch is half obscured by his velvet sleeve, and his fingers are relaxed.

"My name's Logan," he says, speaking around gritted teeth and a cigarette apparently without trouble. Some people have this talent. "I own the Happy Dagger, but I'll try not to waste your time or anything."

The longer this conversation goes on, the more Satoru is convinced that the guy he's talking to is kind of a dick … and this is rather confirmed when his identity is revealed. Wow, Logan, you're kind of a dick. "Oh," is his final reply. "Shit," he adds, a bit more hurried, and proceeds to brush at his hair quickly with his empty hand, straightening his clothes out a bit and dropping his cigarette, putting it out with one foot. Posture all set up, he puts his hands in his pockets and looks at Logan all serious-like.

Then he thinks better of that, and extends a hand for shaking. "Satoru," he adds, now that he's a bit more articulate. "Or Toru also works," is added as an aside. "I, er. Kind of looking for a job, y'know? Been out of town for a while.. couple guys said you can always use some muscle. I know I don't really look like much, but I wouldn't be here if I didn't figure I was good for it."

Logan is kind of a dick, but perhaps this notion is soothed with the slightest nudge of biological chemicals when his palm presses against Satoru's in a brisk and professional handshake. "Satoru, it's nice to meet you," he says, politely, just as he gently tugs the young man's mood up a little with a careful twist of serotonin. Like turning a dial, or conducting an orchestra, wherein he holds the conductor's wand and Satoru's biochemical system is at his command. Subtle, for once - sometimes, Logan has that in him.

Returning his hand, he now affords the man a serious look. "I could always use security," he agrees, with a slightly ambivalent hand gesture. "I also find that those that don't look like much sometimes are. Do you have much in the way of experience? I've not heard your name before."

If it was any less subtle, Satoru may notice something was amiss - as it stands, well, who's to say his mood wouldn't be shifting in such a way anyway? After all, he's made progress in his search. Life is good! For the moment, at least. Once the handshake is complete, he grins a bit doofily - nothing terrible strange for him - and rubs the back of his head again. "Naw. Like I said, I been outta town a while, and before that I was…" A gesture towards The City. "…a courier in New York. Brooklyn, mostly. I guess I just figured I should broaden my horizons a little, huh?"

That isn't a terribly detailed response, though, and he gives a moment's thought before expanding upon it any further. "I don't really have experience but… well, is there somewhere we could talk that's a little less outside where anyone can walk by and hear us?" He tilts his head a bit awkwardly. "I mean, I know dudes probably don't really care but it's still kinda. Y'know." Well, probably not. "I don't need to go airing out my laundry in the middle of the street."

Logan's mouth hooks into a cynical half-smile. Perhaps he's too used to this place, or overly confident, even now. Not so long ago, he did walk across the street, shoulder his way inside a building, beat a girl to death, and stroll back on out whistling a jaunty tune. Of course, he also paid for that, and other sins, in spades, but— details.

The Rookery, it does see some things. Nevertheless, discretion is something he can understand, theoretically. He flicks his cigarette away and into a nearby puddle, the orange embers promptly dying, and he returns slender hands into the depths of his jacket. "As you like," Logan says, taking a step around Satoru and moving towards the doorway of the brothel, nodding to the two security guards who, obviously, don't try to stop their boss, nor the young man now accompanying him. "Come with me."

And back into the hive, a place where cheapness and elegance clash like two warring titans. The women, at least, seem happy to be there, and the men happier still to look through the sheer quality of the harem outfits, hands reaching and money waving. Logan moves both he and Satoru through the main hall, and up the red-lit spiral staircase, neither of them gaining much attention. Everyone has places to be.

Upstairs, the air is perfumed, the hallways close and dark, with doorways leading off into private spaces for god knows what, or doesn't want to know. At least as they approach the pimp's office, they will receive a break from exciting decor and garish colours.

Or, you know. Not. "After you."

Showing uncommon restraint as they traverse through the club, Satoru follows Logan to the office as he's guided, eyes ahead, for the most part, save to notice how gaudily the place is decorated. Instead of the ladies. There's nothing to be assumed from that, naturally. It is when the office is actually reached that he resumes speaking, having been mentally composing his diatribe all the way up there. He steps inside as invited and waits for Logan to enter, though he begins speaking before the door is closed.

"So to get to the point, I figure, okay, you're on Staten Island, you're running a less than legit thing, right?" He holds up a hand. "Not that I give a shit about what's goin' on; if I did, I wouldn't be asking to be a thug, right? Anyway, I look at you I think, this is a guy who doesn't give a shit what's going on in your life, so odds are you probably aren't gonna kick me out just for having some lame shit happen to me, and you probably ain't gonna judge me on accounta my talents. Right?"

As Satoru talks, Logan finds himself a place to sit down, perching up one of the couches, bracing his hands against the seat and simply watching for now. As gaudy as this place is, at least the lighting is normal, if dim in the form of lamps rather than an overhead bright light. Long legs come to cross, simply nodding along when the rhetorical question of 'right?' crops up. Yes, the brothel is illegal. Yes, Satoru is asking to be a thug.

And— "Right," Logan confirms, neutrally. "I'm not a very judgmental person. Talk to me about your talents and— whatever lame things have happened. I don't necessarily kick people out for being in trouble. Not with the law, in any case."

Satoru, on the other hand, doesn't sit. He's got a good roll going on with his speech, and if he sits, he'll ruin the effect. Has to be grandiose, after all. "Okay, right, so I been outta town 'cause I just did a fucking retarded stint in prison for fucking two and a half months because I broke goddamn curfew, like I'm some kinda kid who has to be in bed, right?" He seems to be having a love affair with that particular word.

"And on accounta my talent I mentioned. I'm just gonna show you 'cause it's badass and nobody ever believes me anyway." Here, the grandiosity turns into a bit more of a show - he holds up his hands, pulling the left sleeve of his hoodie down to his elbow, and pulling the right sleeve over his hand a bit - enough to bite onto a good-sized fold of the fabric and clamp onto it with his teeth. He balls his left hand into a tight fist and bites down even harder on the sleeve, shaking a bit in obvious pain - and at some point one would likely notice his arm from the fist halfway down his forearm has turned a shade of yellowish-white. He stops, then, releasing the sleeve and taking in a few deep breaths, and scratches at the affected area - not that it does much good. "I can do it to other people too," he concludes.

Perhaps he doesn't know where to look, because for a moment, Logan just looks confused. He's mostly blonde, alright. Then, light green eyes swivel down towards the exposed arm, and the sheen of a different texture altogether is noticed even before the strange colouring. He leans forward, and raises a hand to beckon Satoru closer for inspection, interest written all over his angular features.

"Bloody hell, what'd you do to that exactly?" he asks, gaze fixed on it, save for one quick glance up to Satoru's eyes. "You must be able to reverse it too. That must hurt, it looked like it hurt… Can I touch it?" Despite being twenty-seven, there's an adolescent-like fascination for the moment.

Toru moves closer as beckoned - after all, he did do that to show off - and holds his arm out. Now that he isn't actually using the power, it doesn't hurt… it just doesn't really feel at all. Like having a missing limb, maybe. "It's bone, pretty much," he explains, and adds, "And yeah I can change it back, I wouldn't friggin' do that if I couldn't. It hurts like… it really fucking hurts, yeah." Tone rises and falls in a small crescendo of irritation into calmness.

"I mean if you wanna get technical there's probably technical shit. Took me a while to figure out how to fix it," he adds with some minor amusement, and then nods to the question of whether Logan can touch it or not, holding his hand out a bit more. Touch my bone. "I can't fix it if I do it to other people, though. There's.. the list saying how it works is kind of long."

"I'm not a very technical person," Logan dismisses. Ironically, if he was, he'd be infinitely better at his own power, but that's neither here nor there. He reaches a hand and doesn't so much as touch as he does tap a fingernail against the rigid surface, head tilting. Huh. It's not exactly the typical job hire. Men who can crumble doors, project thoughts, possess superstrength, hypnotic voices - these things are immediately useful, in one way or another. Turning flesh into bone was never high on his list.

But the important thing is it really fucking hurts. And it's permanent. A slightly wolfish smile spreads across the pimp's face, canines showing, before sitting back once more. "Well then. Thanks for the demonstration. Going to jail for curfew isn't so inspiring but presumably you can hold your own without— " Vague hand gesture. "That." The boney thingy.

"Boning," Satoru clarifies, as if it's the proper term. "I usually can, but I don't usually gotta, y'know?" He finally decides to sit, at this point - as he does, he restores his arm back to its proper form, which also hurts, though not nearly as badly as boning it in the first place. But it itches, and he sits there scratching at it for a few minute as he talks.

"Actually I've got this trick where I hold a baseball bat and bone my hand up so I can't lose my grip, y'know? I ain't never actually been in a fight with a bat but when I figured it out I figured it'd come in handy. But anyway, way it works with other people is I just gotta touch you and it does that where I touch. I mean, you could probably rip it off if you didn't mind having a big weird scar, but if I can get a good grip it goes deep. If it's short.." and he smacks himself lightly, to illustrate, "'s just like the top layer of skin. Good grip and I could probably go all the way through but they're usually screaming and pulling away by then."

Logan reclines a little against the raised end of the couch, hands linking together and listening carefully. Good to know for any inevitable betrayals, and all, now that he hopes it would matter. Whether due to the fact the young man's loyalty can be bought, through to whether he can react in time with his own power. Either way, really. "Resourceful," he notes, at the mental image of a baseball bat sealed shut in a solid fist. Then, a brisk chin up. "Where're you staying?" A silver cigarette case is lying on the table, and this he picks up, pulling out a thin cigarette. "The Rookery?"

He gestures towards a wall, though the direction he's gesturing in doesn't actually correspond to what he says. "I live in Chinatown," is Satoru's reply. How stereotypical. "I've just been coming over every couple days since I got outta the joint." Trying so hard to sound like a hardened criminal, too. It's almost cute. "Got some savings from when I still had a job, and all that. Ma helpin' with rent until I get back on my feet, it's all v. sentimental and shit. I guess I figured if I'm gonna spend time in prison then I'm gonna do something that's worth it. I mean, y'know, after the fact." He pauses there, going still for a minute, looking off into the distance. He comes to his senses soon enough, though, and shakes his head. "I ain't goin' back."

Yes, vee sentimental, and Logan shrugs a little as he sticks the slim cigarette between his teeth and lights up. Making the air hazy with smoke not a moment later, it smells just as acrid as a normal cigarette, but there's a sweeter quality to it as well, aromatic spices that no doubt make it smoother to inhale. A gesture at Satoru, orange glow of his cigarette making a temporary streak of light in the air, a flourish. "Alright. Hired." The kid is sort of a baby criminal, but then again, Logan hadn't ever had high standards for thugs. Desperate drug addicts all the way through to experienced hitmen.

You take what you get and they get what you give. "You'll want to consider thinking about camping in this corner of New York," he says, once he blows a cloud of smoke to his general left. "That's advice, not a requirement. For free, too."

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