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Scene Title Thunderstruck
Synopsis Kain Zarek and John Logan travel to Las Vegas to retrieve Linderman's personal assistant. Little do they know that Nicole Nichols is about to make a very shocking discovery.
Date October 9, 2009

Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas…

There's something about the way a 1967 Chevy cruising down the Las Vegas strip with its top down is liberating. There's something more liberating about being away from the chaos of New York City, away from the terrorists and the propaganda and the violence. Somehow, in the paradigm shift of the last three years Las Vegas became one of the safer cities in the United States. That much is perhaps evidenced by the pair of dangerous men headed towards the Corinthian Hotel under the last few blooming rays of sunlight that sweep across the gaudy, neon-lit vomit of Vegas' skyline.

Blonde hair on two separate heads is tossed in the wind, and dark sunglasses reflect sun and neon light in equal contrasting portions. Leaning to the side in the passenger's seat, Kain Zarek arches one dark brow and tilts down his sunglasses, staring over the frames towards the British man in the driver's seat. "You ain't gonna' go all fruity on me 'cause you're drivin' on the wrong side'a the road, right ol John-boy?" Waggling his brows, Kain reclines against the white leather interior, blue eyes alight to the partly cloudy skies and the distant gray on the horizon. "Looks like's gonna rain Logo," those blue eyes dart back over to the driver, "'mind me t'put the top up after we pick up ol' sweetcheeks."

The Rookery had begun to resemble a tiny little Las Vegas in its prime. Gaudy neon outshining the flaws of the city is exactly what Logan is used to, although the criminal neighbourhood in its own little borrow could only dream of comparing to the sprawling desert metropolis that he's cruising down now, cigarette pinched between his teeth and hands planted on the steering wheel. Three fingers on his right hand are trapped in their splint, bandaging shielded with gleaming aluminum somehow studded with a row of rhinestone.

Sunglasses of a purple tint rest low on the bridge of his nose to better shine his attention out from over them, as well as cut Kain a look at that comment. The car nudges, swerves as if it would dip into the wrong lane, before he easily steadies it. "That's the least of your worries, Zarek." He transfers cigarette from mouth to hand, smoke easily dispersed in the whip of wind around them. He's wearing a frivolous scarf, and has been since New York. "How much longer are we expecting to stay up here, anyway? I rather like Vegas."

A slow and mirthful shake of Kain's head comes to Logan as their car pulls around into the horseshoe driveway of the Corinthian, rolling past well manicured gardens and shubbery to come to a stop beneath the covered awning. "You know, Ah'd always considered once Danny lets me off the hook fer what Ah' owe 'im, t'come back out here and set up shop for keeps. Ah' spent some time out here before th' ol' bomb, some rough times then… but times change an' all that."

Pushing open the door, Kain steps out and nods towards the valet as the man in the tux circles around the front of the car to open Logan's door for him and offer a hand out for the keys. "So Ah' dunno where this doll's supposed'ta meet us," Kain admits with a shrug of his shoulders, back to the glass doors of the hotel. "We might have t'— y'know— spend some time in th' casino lookin' for her." Dark brows waggle at the thought, and Kain tucks his hands into his pockets and starts backpedaling towards the doors, watching the car and Logan all the while.

"I don't think so, Zarek. This doll's right here." A woman in dark blue skinny jeans with a black sequinned, midriff-baring halter top strides purposefully up to the two men, crushing a menthol cigarette under silver heels on her way there. "No Manny?" She asks with a faint note of disappointment. She waits for Logan to approach before holding out her hand. "Nicole Nichols." A quick glance at his splint prompts her to retract that hand and offer the other instead.

The keys are flipped casually to the valet as Logan climbs out of the car, steering his attention towards the woman who approaches as he steps up onto the curb with a sharp halt. A quick glance to Kain, before he extends the appropriate hand out for her take, a smile cast over towards her as the splinted hand, rhinestones or no, slip hidden into the pocket of his tailored black suit jacket.

"John Logan," he introduces, words politely clipped and enunciated, removed from his usual Cockney drawl. "It's a pleasure to meet you, although you didn't have to go and make it so easy for us, Ms. Nichols."

"You know Ah' ain't so sure she's that easy at all," Kain notes with one brow raised, "now if we got ol Damaris down here now Ah' could surely tell ya with the money between you'n Ah' we could have— " Kain cuts himself off, grimacing and waving his hands in the air as if to say he's innocent, a shit-eating grin plastered pearl white from ear to ear. Behind Kain, the valet begins to lift up the soft top of the Chevrolet as the first distant rumble of thunder starts approaching.

"So, Nickles," Kain's brows rise quickly, "what're you all up in Manny's grill 'fore huh? He's out playin' the tables at Ceasar's palace with ol' flappybags," that can't be a good nickname for anyone. "Now th' orders Ah' got from Danny says that John-boy an' Ah' jus' come out here an' pick you up and bring you back to the city with us. But he ain't said a lick of a word's to why. An' why he wanted ol' Johnny Fish n' Chips here t'come out and get you."

Then, after a moment's pause, Kain just cocks his head to the side. "Ah'm here jus' because Ah' can't resist a good trip out t'Vegas."

"Daniel insisted," Nicole tells Logan. Heaven forbid Johnny Logan and Kain Zarek be left to their own devices in Vegas for very long. "He also said you'd be here an hour ago." She shoots Kain a look. "Did you detour?" She lets it go with what starts as a roll of her eyes, but it's replaced by sudden confusion.

"Take me back?" Someone's not happy. Nicole folds her arms loosely across her midsection. "Dammit, Daniel. He just told me to meet you two when you got here and that you'd give me more details. I guess this is all the detail he thought we needed." She glances to the convertible as the valet man drives on with it. "I have been busting my ass since I got here. This is the first time I've been out of a suit. If you think I'm just going to pack my bags and leave, you've got another thing coming." She fishes a pack of cigarettes out of the back pocket of her jeans, plucking out a Camel and placing it between her lips. "Got a light?"

Logan takes off his glasses with a flash of black-purple glass, closing them one handed and pocketing those as he only half-listens to the two, though his observation steadies square on Nicole rather than the other men. The growl of the car being driven away is only a subtle purr on contrast to the beginnings of thunder rolling in the cover of cloud up above.

"Well, you followed me all the way here, Zarek," Logan points out, as if the shiny attraction of Vegas didn't count. "Stands to reason that I should be able to lure Nicole back to the east coast as well. New York needs her more."

Aluminum and rhinestone glimmer in tandem in contrast to the plain white of the envelope he's extracted from his jacket pocket, gripped tentatively between metal and finger and unsealed - as opposed to the lighter she had requested. It's held out towards her. "I've details here," he states, only observing Kain in his periphery as he says so. He affords Nicole a half-smile. "We've the mayoral race to concern ourselves with - if you're the voting type. Linderman seems to think it'll be right up your alley."

"You holdin' out on me Johnny-boy?" Kain's dark brows rise as his blue eyes flick up and down and then across to Nicole. "Well after your last job, Ah' guess stuffin the ballot box for the mayor might not be such a hard one, yeah?" There's a crooked smile as Kain shifts his weight to one foot, and the sudden sound of a torrential downpour fills the air. A tired, groaning sigh slips out from Kain as he shakes his head from side to side, one hand coming up to slide off his sunglasses as the clouds darken what little sky there was left.

"You got anything that needs gettin' outta' that there hotel, missy? Otherwise we're gonna' take you down to the airport. Far's Ah've heard it's one'a them right now sorta' get yer ass on'na plane sort'a deals darlin'."

"An election," Nicole murmurs, pushing the pack of cigarettes back into her pocket while leaving the unlit one dangling between her red-painted lips. She takes the envelope. "That figures. No, after my last job, this should be a piece of cake." She frowns as the skies open up and the rain comes pouring down. "Damn it. And I was going to tan." The cigarette is tucked behind her ear as she turns on her heels to head toward the doors of the hotel. She pauses and throws a look over her shoulder, "I don't suppose I could convince you to spend the night partying with me instead? We could head back in the morning."

Hands back into his pockets and shoulders at a comfortable slouch, Logan starts to trail after her, back turned to where the rain falls silver beyond the cover they stand beneath. At her glance back towards he and Kain, the Brit's eyes tick right back up with bright innocence, eyebrows lifting inquiringly. A reluctant pause stretches before he shakes his head. "We do have a plane to catch," he says, as close as he can get to apology in his tone. "I'm sure you'll be glad to know that the weather back home is just as shitty as right now, last I checked."

Convince and party aren't two words that really need much pressure to get John Logan and Kain Zarek to agree on. Though there is one particular caveat that Kain throws out rather quickly. "Johnny and Ah' gots a plane to catch in a few days. Ah' ain't said nothin' bout the two'a us goin' back yet." That shit-eating grin crosses his face again as he rests his hands on his hips. Yes, he re-booked their flight. "Ol' Johnny-boy an' Ah' are stayin' here a couple'a extra days to milk all we can outta' the expense money we were given t'play with. If y'don' come back broke from Vegas, you ain't doin' somethin' right." Dark brows waggle up and down, and Kain jerks his thumb to the car with a crooked smile. "Come on Nickles, get'cher butt in the car and we'll haul you out to th' airport lickity split."

"You dick, Zarek." Nicole rolls her eyes. "You two go make that poor valet run for your car, and I'll go pack up my things. I'll be down in… Seven minutes." With a heavy sigh, Nicole heads inside with the intent of heading up to her suite.

"Oh, brilliant," is said casually and with blithe insensitivity to the fact they're sending the poor woman packing while squeezing in an extra few days of downtime for themselves. "Easiest errand 've been sent on so far," Logan observes, attention steering back to Kain. Dog on a leash he may be, but dog on a leash with Vegas and money. His smile is quick and knife-like, before headed towards the nearest tux to summon the car back.

"You know, John," Kain notes as he folds his arms and stands under that car port awning out of the rain, "Ah' think Ah've given you an unfair cut this whole time. Back when you were runnin the Hookery," that was terrible Kain, "Ah' didn't think much a'you but a two-bit pimp. But really, you ain't so bad'a guy, s'far as the kinda' thugs and made-men Ah' tend t'work with."

Blue eyes peer over the top of his sunglasses towards Nicole's retreating form, waiting till she's out of earshot and through the hotel doors to add. "Hot damn you know some girls lose it when they start gettin' older, but Ah' dunno whatever they're feedin' her but up the servings." There's a crack of a smile as Kain looks back to Logan. "Ah' think when me'n you get back to the city, things're gonna' be different."

In the safety of the elevator, Nicole pulls out her BlackBerry and dashes off a text message to her dear friend Manny.

Manny Darling-
Make sure to slip Zarek some Ex-Lax. Bonus points if you nail his little friend, too.

There's a very satisfied smirk on the woman's lips when she returns with her bags.

Hookery~. How did Logan never arrive at that little nickname. Amusement manages to slither through the patient stoicism he otherwise wears as Kain lays down generosity of first impressions and backhanded compliments, assessment twinkling in the Brit's pale eyed gaze but no particular animosity. The guardedness drops after a second and he shrugs loosely. "Well, you're not particularly the puffed up hick I'd pinned you to be, cowboy. I wouldn't say no to different, either."

As Nicole emerges, Logan swivels a little to face her on his slightly lifted heel to greet with an unsuspecting smile in the face of her satisfied smirk. The car idles nearby, sparkling with rainfall. "Ready, my dear?"

"Ah' ain't never been called puffed up by a poof before," Kain notes with a quirk of his head to the side as the car is driven back around, top up, and this time Kain heads towards the driver's side door. "Nickles gets the passenger's seat this time, Johnny, you know what they say about Bro's and Ho's and an' all'a that." Apparently Kain doesn't, or he's intentionally inverting it. Or— he's calling Logan a Ho. Incidentially that turned out to be a layered joke.

With the driver's door open, Kain settles down inside and nods for logan to open the back door, looking up to Nicole with a crooked smile. "S'a short drive out to the airport, so don't get too comfortable. Or— do— but be quick about it." Kain flashes that smile as he settles down into the cr and slams the door with the satisfying metallic ping of a classic car, not the plasticly pop of modern vehicles.

"As I'll ever be, I suppose." Nicole glances out at the rain once more with a frown. How fitting. "Kain," she says gently, "would you be a dear and make sure to spend some time with Manny tonight? I promised I'd come join him, and I'd be very pleased if you could explain to him in person why I had to stand him up. He owes me a drink, so feel free to accept that on my behalf, hm?" She climbs into the passenger seat after allowing the valet to load her bags into the trunk.

Kain's turned back gets a look of daggers from Logan, although considering all his finery and bedazzlement, perhaps it's about as unfair as the other man's comeback. With haughty dismissal, he moves for the car, lithely climbing into the back and settling comfortable in the center, arms spread along the back of expensive leather seats. With the other two out front, Logan doesn't immediately contribute to the conversation of people being stood up and accepting drinks and the rest of it, boredly casting a look out towards where rain works to make Vegas seem miserable.

Putting the car in gear, Kain cracks a smile as he pulls out into the rain, windshield wipers squeaking over glass at each swipe. "Manny knows Ah' love 'em like an adopted kid knows they ain't loved." That's something of a confusing statement, and Kain changes the focus away from it by turning on the old radio, getting mostly static as he tries to tune it in. "You know, New York's more've a shithole now than it was when you left, darlin'. It ain't gonna' be easy goin' back to it…"

Pulling out of the parking lot for the Corinthian, Kain turns left onto the strip and pulls out into traffic. "Ah' mean, we got more terrorists in New York City than in all'a them desert countries combined Ah' think." One dark brow quirks up at that. "An' if you ask me, Ah'd take a crazy bomb-vest wearin' Rag— "


The sound of something like a gunshot causes Kain to jump out of his skin, the car jerking from side to side. In the back seat, Logan can feel a whump whump whump of the right rear tire. "What the fuck was that!? Son of a //bitch!" Kain shouts, ducking his head down and peering out through the little space between steering wheel and dashboard.

He's a little paranoid. It's a flat tire.

"You've got a flat," Nicole responds humourlessly, after nearly smacking her ribs on the dashboard from the jolt of the car. "And I can tell you now that I'm not the one who's going to go out there and change it." Unless she's the only one who knows how. And she's really hoping that isn't the case right now.

They couldn't really fly guns and daggers all the way to Vegas, and so there is similar paranoia in the surprised flash of pale eyes from the strip club manager in the back of the car before the definite shudder rhythm just under him tells him what's gone wrong. Small favours, thank heavens, etcetera. It doesn't make him any more pleasant than a cat that's just been dunked into water.

"Jesus fucking Christ, Zarek," Logan snaps across at them, his good hand slamming into the back of a seat in front of him so that he doesn't get shoved about by the swerving car's momentum. "She's right. And you were worried about me driving, were you?"

A glance to Nicole, and he's quick to add; "Don't know the first thing about cars, myself." He's already sliding out a cellphone from his pocket, trying to think of what numbers to input so that this inconvenience gets vanished away.

Pulling over to the side of the road, Kain waves his hand in the air and then slams them down on the steering wheel. "God fucking damnit," his eyes flick around the car, "Ah' don't s'pose either've you got Triple-Goddamned-A?" There's a hiss of breath at the rhetoric and his hand flips into the air again. "Alright, everybody outta' the goddamned car," the door handle is pushed after checking for oncoming traffic. "There's a fuckin' spare in the trunk and ol Nickles here is gonan help me jack this shit up while Ah' change the tire."

Pausing as he's halfway out of the car in the pouring rain, Kain looks back at Logan. "An' yer comin' out just so Ah' ain't the only one gettin mah nice usit wet." THen, out into the rain, Kain lets out a strangled groan and throst his hands into the air. "Thank you jackass!" He protests at the sky, because clearly this is somebody's idea of a joke.

"What? Why do I have to help you—" Nicole gives up her protest and simply climbs out of the car, pushing her dark hair back once it's slick with the rain. "Let's be quick about this, huh?"

Logan raises his eyebrows at both of them, cherry red cellphone poised before he just snaps it shut and puts it back where it came from. He levers open the passenger door closest to the curb, and though his shoes in all their tortois shell patterned glory rest against the pavement, he doesn't lift himself out into the rain, staying seated and peering up disapprovingly at all the—

The water. His nose wrinkles as if perhaps it really did have staining qualities. "Surely there is someone we can pay money to do this for us. Or we could leave it here and get a taxi," he suggests, before he leans and takes a look at the lock up of traffic, shoulders slumping dejected. Well, fuck.

Thunder rumbles loud, a sharp crack of it making Kain duck his head and reconsider this particular plan of action. Sighing, he shakes his head and scowls. "Ah' ain't leavin' this baby on the sidewalk in Vegas. Ah' won this at the tables fair'n square an Ah'm gettin' this baby shipped out to New York soon's we leave." Kain gurmbles from the rain, taking a step back towards the trunk, keys jingling in his hands as he unlocks it and lifts it up. "Ah swear t'god if there ain't a spare in here…" As the trunk is lifted the full way, Kain stares down at the tire inside with a thankful sigh and a slacking of his shoulders. "Hallalujiah," he says with a crooked smile, picking up the tire iron and brandishing it towards Nicole to hold on to.

Once she's taken it, Kain grabs the jack out of the back of the car and looks up towards the neon glow in the distance. "You know, the one thing Ah'm happy 'bout is how the strip ain't got no hangin' power lines. Everythin' is done underground. When Ah' was a little kid," he slams the trunk shut, "mah daddy took me out fishin durin' a thunder storm. Well when the weather got real bad, we done went on to get shelter, but lightnin' hit the transformer on a power line 'cross the street?"

The jack is hoisted out, Kain's blonde hair matted down to his head from the pouring rain as he slams the jack on the ground and motions for Nicole to hand him back the tire iron. "Loudest fuckin' thing Ah' ever did hear…" thunder rumbles again and Kain shrugs his shoulders with a crooked smile. "Sure as hell beats— "

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice.

What isn't said on that, is that when lightning does strike, it's sort've like a bomb. It sends a shockwave through the ground coursing with electricity that knocks anything even remotely nearby off of its feet. Lighting burns hot enough to set fires, hot enough to boil water in a tree and blow its bark off.

A single lightning bolt striking down on the sunset strip is all it takes to send Kain Zarek flying off of his feet, tumbling over the back of his car and down onto the sidewalk with a wet slap of his back meeting concrete. Somehow, thanks to the insulation of still being in the car, Logan just feels that ionization in the air go around him, even if he is momentarually blinded by the brilliant flash of light and the deafening KRACKA-BOOM of thunder just feet away vibrating his whole body.

Nicole Nichols, however, is ground zero.

It's the oddest thing. Nicole hears the thunder, and feels it rumble beneath her. She feels herself tumble to the ground from the shockwave of it, leaving her with her face down on the pavement. But she also feels this heat in her skin, cooled some by the pouring rain. Stunned, the woman gropes about the pavement. A spark of electricity jumps between her fingertips and the tire iron that lays five feet away, causing the woman to recoil quickly, though she seems unharmed.

In fact, little crackles of electricity - mini lightning bolts - seem to jump and pop all over her body. When Nicole lifts her head finally to ask her male companions what the fuck just happened, her normally cobalt eyes are a bright electric blue, glowing in tandem with the whites of her eyes in a very eerie effect.

Logan doesn't shriek, and if he did, it would have been drowned out by the thunderous breaking sound of lightning snapping through wet air anyway. For a moment, the Brit is all but disappeared into the shielded interior of the car as quick as a rabbit might dash for cover, rain innocently pattering down on the soft top and bouncing off the shining metal.

Then, after untangling himself from the cover of his own arms thrown over his head, Logan is climbing outside, regardless of the rain coming down and making quick work of soaking into his black suit and silken ascot. There's a small crowd of people keeping their distance but still ogling on over towards the display, but Logan ignores them as he looks over towards where Kain was thrown, squinting through the rain.

And then down towards Nicole, Logan backing up a step when a blue spark crackles around her crumpled form. His own eyes do not glow, though they could be - he doesn't even think to, so Nicole is met with eyes like ice chips. The air smells like a storm, ozone-like and electric. "Blimey."

Logan's fine, Nicole is somehow implausibly fine. Kain however isn't making any noises, at least none that sound like they should come out of a human being. Being struck by even a small fraction of the electricity in a lightning bolt is enough to give most people a heart attack, especially those that haven't abused their bodies with drugs, alcohol and cigarettes their whole lives.

It should come as no surprise then that when Kain Zarek does finally go both limp and silent on the sidewalk, that is exactly what he is having — a heart attack.

I think I was just struck by lightning.

"Did I just get-" Nicole doesn't finish her question of Logan, instead noticing the conspicuous lack of any cussing from the direction of Kain Zarek. The lack of a steady stream of heavily accented curses can only mean bad things for the man. Nicole is quick to crawl over to him, but she doesn't know what to do just yet. "Oh, shit. Oh, shit." The panicked woman looks from Kain to Logan and back again. "Oh my God. We need a defib-" She looks down to her hands, which arc electricity between her outstretched fingertips. "I think I am a defibrillator." She turns her gaze skyward and mutters, "I really hope Pastor Sumter's been putting in a good word for me." There are serious doubts in her mind that anyone's been praying for Zarek's soul.

Nicole reaches out and lays her hands on Kain's rain-soaked chest. Clear!

Cellphone out, Logan has two-thirds of 911 entered into it, but because these people like to do everything on their own— "Nicole." It snaps shut again, Logan quick to move after her. Brighter, sharper than the hazy light of Vegas all around them, the blue that dances off her body, off her hands, lights him up even from the distance he keeps, making green eyes seem grey as his foot falls make brisk pat-pat-pats against the concrete as he paces around them.

"No no no, I don't think that's— oh Jesus, don't touch— " His voice is drowned out by traffic, pouring rain, and at least Kain is too unconscious to care about the fact Logan could be more insistent.

By rights, he should be yanking the woman back, but like hell is Logan going to lay his hands on her right now in favour of Kain, despite any friendship bracelet exchanges from several moments ago. Kain himself being too big to pull away from her with any kind of efficiency, and so as Nicole lays her hands down on the Cajun's chest, Logan crouches on on his other side and winces visibly at the crack of electricity that snaps through the air.

"Hhhaaaa— " The sound comes like an animal's howl from the back of Kain Zarek's throat as his back arches and a pulse of electricity snaps out from Nicole's hands. Limbs tensed and rain serving as a conductor, there is a loop of electrical charge that snaps and crackles around the dark-haired woman's body. Kain convulses as a few small jolts track down thorugh his limbs and into the water beneath him, but his eyes are open, his chest is heaving with sharp, pained breaths, and he's squinting against the rain at a woman who's eyes are still glowing softly.

Thorugh the ragged wheezing, huffing breaths and blurred double-vision, Kain lets out a hissed, "They— they jus— " he groans, eyes wrenching shut, "handin' that shit out like candy these days?" Powers, that is. Because if there's a line to sign up and get one, Kain Zarek would be at the head of it.

And with that thoughtful remark, no thanks at all, Kain simply slumps down against the rainy sidewalk, unconscious but breathing.

Nicole's shoulders sag with relief. For a moment, she thought she may have killed him. She stares down at her faintly crackling hands for a moment before wrapping her arms tight around her body, shivering from anxiety, rather than the chill of the rain. "I want to go home."

Collapsed out of his crouch and sitting dazed upon the wet pavement instead, Logan stares down at Kain's still breathing body, then slowly looks back up at Nicole, blonde hair plastered to his forehead and the nape of his neck from the continual downpour. Gently, his eyes light up like two twin points of green Christmas neon, and whatever residual electricity dancing on her slick skin was left, ceases immediately.

His expression somewhat chilly around his lambent stare, Logan finally lifts his phone to his ear, miserably asks yes, for an ambulance, and rattles off the address and location after a brief glance around, before it clicks closed. Still seated, he unties and peels off his ascot, wringing it of rain water before shoving it into his pocket. A formerly hidden and minor, healing razor-thin slice makes a smile across his throat.

Getting to his knees, he offers his hand over Kain's comatose form to help get her to her feet. The twinkle of his bright green eyes doesn't dare dim, as rivulets of rainwater make trails over his pale, unbroken hand.

"Then lets get you to the airport, shall we?"

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