The Old Game


logan_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title The Old Game
Synopsis Logan checks in on a Staten Island contact at the behest of an associate, but wants to know why.
Date September 3, 2010

Southern Brooklyn: Under the shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Though the sun has set, curfew is still a good two hours away when Wes Smedley makes it back to What Jenny Thought. The small yacht has been moored in the ruins of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It's not an uncommon spot for people of Smedley's ilk to tie up their crafts when making runs in and out of the city, when conventional road travel is ill-advised. Tonight, Smedley's business is entirely personal.

He's come back to the twenty-foot yacht for a few things, intent on making it back to Redbird before any plucky law enforcement official asks to see his card. Lifting away the canvas meant to secure the boat from prying eyes, the transplanted smuggler gathers up what few things he has to take to the new apartment, securing the camouflage once more when he departs. As he picks his way back toward Fort Hamilton park, he looks like any number of the city's indigent population, even if he is a bit cleaner. A leather rucksack is slung over one shoulder, and he carries a battered guitar case in the other.

For those that know how people like Wes Smedley operate, or better yet, those who occasionally operate with people like Smedley or even the man himself, finding him isn't that difficult. What Jenny Thought may be a relatively new acquisition, but the fact that there aren't many cowboys-turned-criminals on Staten Island working the arms and substances runs doesn't leave Smedley much room to hide amongst his colleagues. That, and money loosens many a tongue that would otherwise remain behind tight lips.

Someone's already been picking around this area, which is not immediately obvious unless one were looking for it. Logan, after all, did not take anything — what sort of man would he be if he did a thing like that? But prodding invesigation, certainly, before slinking back into the shadows like the stray tom who's had his fill of the garbage cans in the alleyway.

But that was a little while ago. Now, there's the snapping, sharp sound of a car door being shoved to a close, nestled up near the curb of a river-facing street, dark enough that its windows had seemed blank and empty, obscured from where a streetlamp nearby spills its rays. Orange illumination now paints up Logan's back as he crosses the street, a heavy, almost rough looking coat draped over the finery of suit and tie that's only seen if one were to do a double take. There's a volume-heavy kind of implication that there could be concealed weaponry involved, but deliberately made not immediately obvious.

He doesn't walk into things, alone, with the intention to make trouble anyway. Smoke trails off from his half-finished, lit cigarette pinched up near his scarred knuckles. "Thought I might find you," comes the South London tainted accent upon approach, "on the other side've the river. But I suspect business is drying up."

With the curfew pushing most of the activities that happen in parks after dark in metropolitan areas to Staten Island, the sound of the car door closing rings out like a gong. Smedley doesn't stop, but he certainly slows when he sees none other than John Logan forging his intercept course. The other man is regarded with a skeptical stare before Smedley swings the guitar case to rest the wider end on the ground in front of him, his hands gripping the narrower head stock.

"Who says?" he asks, the side of his mouth flickering with the beginnings of his characteristic one-sided grin. "Supply and demand, Logan." And in a few months, when the enforcement lets up just a little, the traffic of goods in and out of Staten Island will get a little easier, and the price for such commodities will go down again.

Smedley drums his fingers on the top of the hard case, lifting his chin as he looks Logan straight in the eye. "So t'what do I owe this slightly unsettlin' pleasure?" It isn't every day he's tracked down by someone of this caliber, after all. "You gettin' back int'your old game? 'Cause bodies are about the hardest damn thing to move these days."

Logan comes to a halt with the kind of stance that he might well own the pavement they share, letting some good distance remain between them as is only socially acceptable in a sort of stand off situation. Eyes glass-like as ever, coolly dull, and the brightest thing about them might be the glance off of street lamps from golder highlights and the fairy light of his embering cigarette. "Absolutely not," he says, with a knife edge smile, all thin and swiftness. "I'm a very legitimate character around these parts, I'll have you know.

"You and I don't have business, so I won't waste your time. I was wondering how well you know the name Kain Zarek. And who'e works for." He ashes off cigarette tip between them, sparks flinging out as he moves off lift to rest his shoulder against lamp post which makes its halo on the grey pavement.

There are other people who deal in information. People who aren't Smedley. So the question puts him on edge, and he lowers his chin and narrows his eyes just slightly. "I've heard it," he confesses with a nod, "But I ain't ever met the man. Heard he works for ol' man Linderman." Not that that's saying much - the Linderman Group signs a lot of checks and passes cash under the table to many a soul clinging to the seedy underbelly of society.

Smedley shifts his weight to one foot and cocks his head slightly sideways then, his light-hearted facade nearly entirely gone now. "You takin' a poll or somethin', Logan?" It's odd really. Logan and Zarek, despite their geographically differences that were only resolved recently, are in the same circles of the crime world. They're management. Smedley is simply a contractor. And when management is seeking information from the hired hands, well, something is off.

He nods along with Smedley's assessment, breathing out smoke by the time its his turn to talk, a sigh that's thick and white. "Maybe. I'm supposed to be finding you for him," Logan explains, with a drifting gesture towards the dark shape of the yacht huddled beneath the shadow of the ruined bridge, his own bright stare thoughtfully trailing after it from his casual lean against the post, all angles. "I'm sure the pair've you would get along obnoxiously, come to that."

It might the yip of a police siren from some distance that motivates him to stop talking in his time wasting cadence, although like a wolf howl across black forest, it could be deceptively far, far away. "He heard about the gun running you did, shit island-side, and was interested. Still got your digits in that pie, then?"

While sirens are as common in the city as a coyote's cry on the prairie, it's still enough to raise the hairs on the back of Smedley's neck. "You tell me you ain't here 'cause you've got work t'be done, but you're askin' all the kind'uh questions like that' just what Zarek's after." He pauses, the grin returning to his features at the thought of Logan becoming Zarek's errand boy. How the mighty have fallen.

"I do my part," he says in answer to the question, swinging the guitar case back up off the ground. Peyton warned him to play nice, so he'll play nice. So long as the others involved do the same. "He wants t'see me, that's fine. Tell me when 'n where."

"He'll approach you if I say he should," Logan says, a little sharper, a tap of ash flicking off the end of his cigarette. "I don't exactly carry his BlackBerry, now do I?" There's a beat of consideration, the angle of his posture indicating that he might leave it there, flake away, but instead roams his eyes up and down Smedley in thought, a glare narrowing at shit-eating grin, although he remains more or less neutral. That he's packing heat doesn't necessarily mean he's here to be antagonistic.

That he's not pulling anything doesn't mean he's here to play nice either. "Zarek's making plans," he says, after a moment. "Getting a little big for his britches. And I haven't decided if his plans align with mine. Now, I don't know what paychecks you have coming in for you, but I can add to it if you come to me with anything particularly unusual that he proposes. Does that register with you?"

It's amazing how Logan, while a good two inches shorter than Smedley, can make the other man feel small. The smuggler squares his shoulders and sets his jaw as he looks the other man over in turn. "You want me on both sides'uh the fence," he says flatly to communicate his understanding. "You don't know why Zarek wants me, but you plan'tuh use me to find out what he's really up to." The possibility that their only slightly similar backgrounds, with Kain Zarek hailing from the deep south and Smedley from the far west, may prove them more inclined to trust one another is amusing, but Smedley keeps this smirking expression to a minimum.

"S'all business," he says with a shrug and slight closing of his eyes, letting the implication of distrust between the two other man simply roll of his back. "And that's what we are, Mister Logan. Businessmen."

"Correct." Abruptly as daylight, Logan smiles across at the other man, and then pushes his weight off the black painted lamp post, the sickly light making longer shadows of his already thin features. "And that's the sort've transaction I'm interested in. Might be nothing. Might be that he has intention to double tap away the arms competition." He's teasing, or so the slithery tone in his voice implies, but it's not a particularly funny joke if so.

Both hands go out, palms upturned to night sky in a bow that doesn't actually change his posture, as Logan backs up a few steps to make his imminent departure clear. "If you want to find me this side of things, I've a strip club in Brooklyn. Burlesque. I'll waive the entry free if you drop by with gossip."

The fact that Logan doesn't share his verdict with Smedley, even if a positive review is implied, is a little off-putting, but the joke is moreso. Zarek isn't a man to be messed with, and Logan's ability to find the smuggler, while not surprising, is just icing on an already uncomfortable cake.

But Smedley knew the job was dangerous when he took it.

"Be seein' you," Smedley offers with a slight incline of his head as he starts to walk again. He'll have to move a little faster than normal to get back to the apartment before nine and will probably end up paying a cabbie extra to make sure of it.

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