Very Cosmopolitan


catalina_icon.gif grace_icon.gif jake_icon.gif samantha_icon.gif zuleyka_icon.gif

Scene Title Very Cosmopolitan
Synopsis Several people drop by the Pelican on a night of Fighting Words(tm), knives, rock-salt shot, and various other staples of makeshift tavern operations frequented by thieves.
Date March 7, 2009

The Angry Pelican

A stone's throw away from the little makeshift harbor on the foreshore of the Arthur Kill river is this little even more makeshift bar. Little more than a shack, the interior barely fits more than its own stock of alcohol and kitchenware, and the seating spaces are outdoors under a rickety wooden cover decorated with fishing paraphernalia and nets. The chairs and tables are broken down cheap things that look like they've been scavenged from all over the place, mismatched but comfortable with some cushions or blankets thrown over them. The ground is sandy and dirty, as if the beach extends right under your feet, and despite being outdoors, the place is cluttered. Simple alcohol is provided - whiskeys, rums, and beers - without a chance of food, and you'll mostly find yourself in the company of thieves, considering the kinds of boats that dock here.

He's beginning to become something of a regular here. It's to the point that Jake's considering asking if they need a bouncer. Not that he needs the money, but bouncing can be fun work. Presently he's at the bar with three quarters of a bottle of beer in hand listening to this one old scraggly looking pirate who looks like he has a crack habit and a skin condition talking about a particularly awesome fight he watched at the fight club the other night.

Privately Jake considers that too. Might be fun to get in a few cage matches, just to keep the old knife sharpened. Then again, he's got some work coming up soon so amusement might have to wait.

It's about then that three Dominicans in a corner flip a table on two Puerto Ricans and have officially begun Fightin' Words. That's gotten all the attention it deserves, which is the bartender shouting at them to take their bullshit outside or he's gonna break out his shotgun.

It's very cosmopolitan here.

Zuleyka is…..way too young to be drinking. Here, anywhere. And she's not, though god knows there's no one on Staten to police the drinking age. Because, screaming irony aside, the rather sullen looking young woman with the knife at her belt serving drinks, bussing tables, and keeping things clean is a Muslim. A lapsed and inobservant one, but one nonetheless. She's wearing the carefully cultivated pokerface of someone trying to hide their general disdain, and keeping a wary eye out for groping hands. The fight about to happen has her attention, at the moment, even as she swiftly puts down their drinks and then scuttles back to the bar. Quite prepared to dive behind the bar should anything start flying.

Sam steps into the establishment, having stayed away since that first night she was here. She doesn't like to become too much of a regular at any one place. She takes risks just going out into public. But there are times when you just need to unwind. Drink a little. Drink a little more. Drink a lot more. Stagger home and go to bed. If you're lucky, some poor bastard will try to mug you and you can break his arm just for the hell of it. You know, one of those nice little 'Once Upon A Time.." stories. She's not packing tonight, though she does keep a knife of her own at her ankle tucked under her jeans. She walks up and considers something hard. Vodka maybe. Sure, why not. She wants the bottle and a glass. She tosses bills onto the counter as she takes her bottle and glass over to a table. She does notice Jake, and gives him a grin and a nod with a sly grin on her face as she slides her fanny onto the dusty chair at at the bar.

The dark-haired woman who walks in the door next, dressed in worn black jeans, an olive-green cardigan, and denim jacket with fraying cuffs, is also anything but a regular at the Pelican. Clear blue eyes flick to the cluster of arguing men, and Grace arches one dark brow before snorting softly. She puts herself on the opposite end of the bar, orders rum to drink in that distinctive, ruined raven's voice that clashes utterly with her features; keeps one eye on the budding confrontation just in case.

Jake raises his bottle to his lips and returns Sam's look with his own toss of the head and a grin. He isn't going to make a big thing out of seeing her again here just yet. Maybe later. After the show stops. A fight going down is always high amusement in his book. He offers a glance at Grace as she comes up next to him to order her rum and says nothing to her. Apparently he's not one of those guys that feels the need to hit on every piece of tail he sees. He'll just peacefully coexist.

The bartender's pissed. Those five guys did anything but listen. They all pulled out knives except one of the Dominicans who pulled out a collapsible baton and flung it open before two of them tackle one of the Puero Ricans and proceed to wrestle. Somebody's getting knifed. Anybody who knows anything about fighting knows when a knife comes out in a real fight somebody's getting cut, there's just no avoiding it. It's usually really messy too.

Odd man out for the Dominicans is the one with the baton who starts swinging it at the second Puerto Rican. This guy from PR decides he wants no part of that so he's headed for the door, abandoning his friend! That's what buddyfucking's all about.

A party of about seven guys near the entrance start shouting in protest at the guy running away, noticing this. Hey man! How're you gonna leave your boy hangin' like that?

Then the bartender's shotgun comes out. People are already scooting out of the way of that. Shotgun = Authority.

Man. I am gonna have to get out the rubber gloves. Zuleyka dives for the shelter of the bar with the ease of a rabbit finding its burrow, only prairie dogging up to start snatching bottles back with her. When the shotgun comes out, she peeks around the end, still under the level of the bartop. Completely unashamed of her cowardice — she's not a big fighter, it's not her pissing contest.

Luckily, Sam took a seat away from the fighters, having the sense to not get involved. Not that she had anything to gain from it. She doesn't seem to worried about the shotgun either as she unscrews the cap and pours herself some drink. She puts the cap back on afterwards, just in case they come tumbling in her direction. Wouldn't be fun to go home smelling like the inside of a vodka bottle. She finds her gaze on Grace for a moment, then Zuleyka, then other remainder of those in the place. Any of them could be evolved, but she's seen no evidence as of yet, so she just continues to monitor the place, her trained eyes peeled.

Jake's sidelong glance is met in kind, as Grace half-steps back with her glass of rum and turns to watch the fracas. She remains standing, leaning the elbow that goes with the glass she's holding on the bar; making sure she's well away from the shotgun's line of fire and probably not likely to get swept up in the brawl. "Lively crowd tonight," the woman observes, gravelly voice dry.

"Ya." agrees Jake to Grace's comment. He asides to her, since she's speaking and all, "When they get this way it's always a real shitstorm. Cops sure ain't showin up." And he sure doesn't seem worried. He taps his bottle on the bar to try to get Zuleyka's attention and points at his bottle of beer. There's a questioning look along with it. Can you get me a new one?

It's warm beer, see. And nobody who doesn't have to actually chooses to drink warm beer.

Dominican with the baton goes chasing the one Puerto Rican guy out of the Pelican all together, so the bartender's not worried about him. Although that rapid departure is jeered universally by the patrons as they yell seriously unflattering things after them.

It's the two Dominicans proceeding to murder the one hapless Puerto Rican who didn't get away that Bartender is most concerned about, and he proceeds to save the Puerto Rican man's life as he unloaded first one and then two shots from his shotgun into the Dominicans armed with knives.

Rock-salt loaded in the shotgun. Nobody'll die from it, but they'll sure wish they had.

It's hard enough to keep up a conversation over two dull BOOMS in this place, but on the bright side it's really an open-air place and the reports don't just echo off of walls like they would in a proper building. So that's good. Through the ringing ears the bartender can be heard finishing a diatribe he was already well into, "…you motherfuckers I'd fuckin shoot you! Not get the fuck outta my fuckin bar!"

Apparently this place doesn't really need a bouncer.

Satisfied that altercation is now defused, Zu pops up like a jack in the box. Her insouciance is admirable, as she heads over to bring Jake another beer, and take Sam and Grace's orders. "You'll need more salt," she says to the bartender. "You give me the money, I'll get it at the market." Apparently that's another way she makes her living — running errands for the others.

Passing on ordering anything else, Sam is quite content with her bottle and glass. She grins to Zu. She takes a drink from her glass, though she eyes the place over the top. She hasn't approached Jake, only made that single eye contact, but she has kept an eye on him. Pity that the barkeep shot the hoodlums out. She could have used a throw down right about now. She'd been feeling a little edgy now for a couple days and that need for a thrill of some sort. She needs that adrenaline rush, similar to the one from the other day. She was hoping when she chose to come back here, that the booze would calm her nerves some. Epic fail.

Grace hasn't even touched her drink yet; also passes on Zuleyka's offer to get her something else. The girl's demeanor elicits a brief flicker of a grin from the woman, before she looks back over to Jake. "Not out here," she replies, tone dust-dry. "Think they'll all run away now?" Grace asks, inclining her head towards the irate bartender presently menacing those who chose to disturb the relative peace.

"I'd be real surprised if they didn't run away. They just got shown up bringing knives to a gunfight." remarks Jake. It's almost like he and Grace are Statler and Waldorf in the Muppet Show. Then he grins at Zuleyka when she brings his new cold one and says, "Thanks, kid. Hey, what's your name?"

Bartender looks to Zu and says, "Cover the bar." He racks another shell into the chamber of the shotgun and lets himself out of the bar area to go see to the Puerto Rican on the floor who got knifed. And he did get knifed, with an ugly flap of skin hanging from his cheek and several nasty cuts on his arms where he was defending himself once on his back. But he seems alive enough, just in some kind of shock as he sits up. Probably saw his life flash before his eyes.

The Dominicans find themselves being fallen upon by two other patrons who take it upon themselves to act as temporary bouncers and haul the men out. Their knives are on the floor, safe from attacking hands, and one of the offenders still has some fight in him as he lashes out and smacks a man in the back of the head on the way out the door. The smackee was sitting right next to Samantha. That man jumps to the side and jostles Sam in turn, grunting, "Watch it, Bitch." as if it was her fault.

Zuleyka nods to the bartender grimly. "Zuzu," she says, quietly. Her accent is pure Queens, despite the exoticism of the name. She glances to Jake, keeps her eyes on those waiting. The ones drinking seem peaceful enough.

Sam gets jostled as she gets bumped into. Her glass wavers on the table spilling some of her vodka onto her hand. Of course, all this could be forgiven. She's a kind hearted assassin. She only kills out of necessity for her country.. well, that and the thrill. Tsk. Tsk. But then he called her a bitch. She's on her feet and she spins to face him, smile on her face. "Sure. Sorry I got in your way."

Of course, it wouldn't be over as the female reaches over and digs her fingernails into the bastard's eyes and as his hands move to pull her fingers away, she swings her foot up between his legs and goes for the ruptured nuts. As he falls to his knees in front of her she glances around. She could break his neck right here, but.. she doesn't need to be asked any questions. "You should be more polite to ladies." she warns. Her hair feels like it's standing on edge, as she waits for someone to come to his defense.

'Peaceful' only until Sam is disturbed, at any rate. Grace looks down the bar as the assassin instructs the man on the value of good manners, then downs the remainder of her drink. Bills follow the glass to the countertop, blue eyes flicking to Jake. Since they more or less had a conversation going, Grace offers him a subtle, crooked smile. "Little more lively than I want to face tonight, I think," she observes, rasping voice dry. "Enjoy your drink and watch your back." Well-wishing rather than warning, as the woman takes her leave.

"See ya," Jake offers to Grace as she goes. Then peers over the bar at Zuzu. "So, since you're in charge now, aren't you a little young to work in a place like this?" That's a joke. It has to be. Isn't everyone a little illegal here in various ways? He manages a sympathetic wince for the man that Sam just schooled.

Although part of Jake has to admit that's a turn-on.

"I give her an eight-point-five for ball-handling technique." he remarks, taking a swig of his cold beer.

The man with the handled balls makes a comical squeaking noise and goes to his knees, rocking and unsure whether to hold his clawed face or his mashed nuts. There's a wave of laughter about his predicament and general applause for Sam in the aftermath. She's not gonna have to pay for any of her drinks tonight.

"Lady, for that, you get one on the house," Zu rasps, grinning. It takes years off her face. "I don't drink it," she says to Jake, giving him a sidelong glance. "And I'm of age. I'm just a midget."

The man is still on his knees as Sam stands in front of him. "Now, I don't suppose some nice soul would be willing to take out my trash, now really?" she smiles sweetly, and bats her eyelashes playfully. She leans over and whispers into the man's ear, just so no one else can hear. "Unless you'd like to crawl out on your hands and knees, so I don't feel the need to hunt you down and butcher you like the bastard you are. And if I see you again, I'll gut you like a pig." As she rises back up, she's all smiles again as she pushes the man away from her and retakes her seat. She smiles at Zu. "Aw. Thank you, sweetie." she gives the girl a wink and pours herself some more drink. She's almost sad no one came to help the poor guy, she was just getting started. Ah well, better not attract too much attention. She overhears the 'midget' comment and chuckles. "A little tall for a midget, aren't you?" she grins.

"Watch my beer for me, Sam?" offers Jake, getting up to take out the trash for her. He sets it next to her, not caring if she touches it so long as she doesn't put disgusting things in it. Then with a businesslike demeanor he grabs the shamed fool on the floor by the hair and proceeds to drag him out of the door struggling. There is struggling, but it's accompanied by whining as much as cussing, and Jake pretty well brooks no resistance. He doesn't come back until he quite literally throws the man outside into the dark and far outside the circle of where the bar ends and 'outside' begins.

"I was a pygmy in the Amazon rainforest, but I got too tall and my people cast me out, so here I am," Zuleyka says, with a completely straight face. "ANd you took out the trash, mister, so you get a free refill." The bartender eyes her, and shrugs, and she looks back at him, and grins, as if daring him to deny her generosity.
ORDER: It is now your pose.

Sam chooses to watch Jake's beer from where she sits, giving a little chuckle as he tosses the guy out on his ear. She offers him a clap. "My hero." she teases as she turns her attention back to Zu, then chuckles. "For free booze, I'll believe any story you want to tell me, girl." She crosses one of her legs over the other and leans back in her chair.

"Thanks." replies Jake with a big ol grin when he returns and claims the barstool right next to Sam. Because that seat used to belong to the idiot he just got through dumping outside. He takes his watched beer back from Sam and says to the girl on the other side of the bar, "That story has to be the best line of bullshit I've ever heard come out of a girl. And I've heard some good ones. Good on you, Zuzu." He toasts her with his beer before having a little. Then his attention's back to the woman next to him. "So how's it goin, Sam?"

Zuleyka's smile is dazzling, and a little too broad for her face. "Come back next week, I'll find another one. It'll be like the Thousand and One Nights," she says, quietly.

Sam chuckles at Zu, "If each of your shows include me beating up an obnoxious asshole, then I'll be here." She lets her mouth curl up into a smirk as she looks at Jake. "Oh, work. Nothing all that exciting I'm afraid." Of course, all that will change here shortly, though not that she could offer up that as a story. Pity. Some things are meant to be bragged about. "What about yourself? Besides the obvious, I mean." she arches her brow, as she pulls her glass towards her lips and nurses from it.

"I think I'll do that, kid." Jake says to Zuzu with a grin. "Good to know you've read at least one book. I mean that." He punctuates it by pointing with emphasis at the girl. He's got a shrug for Sam. "I gotta job comin' up. Some jackoff euro dude's hiring the company I work for to do a transport job. It'll be boring. Again." Just one belt-fed crew-served weapon involved. That really is kind of boring for him.

Zuleyka is listening, but offering no further opinion, beyond a murmured explanation, "My mother read the Alf Layla wa Layla to me many times when I was a little girl,"

Sam didn't get the literature reference. Surprise. She is not the most read girl you might know. In fact, most books make her head hurt. She prefers to study things like militant history, or that sort of thing. She huhs to Jake, "Boring work still pays, so you won't hear any complains from me. Would be nice to have an exciting paying gig, but you take what you can get, I suppose." she grins. "So, I take it that this is a good place to come get rowdy when you want to."

It takes Jake a moment when Zu names the work to him in a non-English language. That's not Arabic either. So he looks at her hard and guesses, "…Farsi?" He doesn't speak Farsi but knows some Arabic, a smattering of Hindi, and those would be the only other languages one is likely to refer to One Thousand and One Nights under.

Proving he can carry on two totally different conversations at once, he tells Sam, "Yeah I'm only here to fuck around and cut up. And watch the fights. Hey I was gonna head down the street to the Rookery and see what the buzz is about those fights they have going on down there. I heard they make Evolved people fight. Sounds like that'd be fun to watch."

This place is a scummy bar which is mostly open with not much in the way of enclosed spaces. Tonight the bartender is just now coming back around to the bar to help Zuleyka deal with patrons. And he's putting the shotgun away he just used to break up a fight. Things are settling down a little now, but minutes ago there were two shots fired out of that gun. The fact that not many people seem bothered speaks volumes about the clientele.

Catalina walks into the bar, taking a look around at the dump just after she enters, with a gaze that speaks more to 'curious' then 'alarmed by a recent gunshot.' She grabs an unused chair, wipes the seat off, and pulls it up next to the bar. She waits for the bartender to put his shotgun away and then calls out, "You have any light beer?"

"Wait? Fights?" That seems to catch Sam's interest. She reaches for her drink. "I haven't heard about any fights. What's this all about?" she asks, as she takes a healthy swallow. Her eyes catch Catalina come into the bar and she starts to chuckle at the women's order. She raises her voice. "Dear.. don't think this is the 'light beer' kind of bar." She motions a chair at her and Jake's table. "You might want to come over here. I'll share my bottle." Vodka, the label reads in big black block print.

"Yeah no shit, fights," begins Jake. He points across the bar toward the old scabby teeth-optional pirate he was talking to before, who is currently telling a bullshit story to someone else. "That old fart over there told me about them. Said they go down in the Rookery and people put money down on em. You wanna come check one out with me?" Which is Jake's idea of a date with Sam. That's actually kind of funny in a vaguely paramilitary way. Catalina gets a grin from him. "I got some warm beer you can have." he offers, holding up his old stale bottle that's half gone.

Catalina glances from Jake's warm beer to Samantha's drink. "I'll take a shot, sure." she replies to Samantha, noting the Vodka. She heads over to the chair and sits down. "Thanks. And yeah, I figured as much, but you never know. I'm just stopping in to see about finding someone who might need some specialized assistance. This looks like the right sort of bar for that, at least."

Sam is still baffled that there are fights on this island. Seemingly underground fights. "Sure. I'm in." Why not? Gives her something to do on a free night. "Any particular night I should be looking at here for this?" She slides her bottle over towards Catalina and grins. "Help yourself." A glass is placed in front of the thief as Sam gives her a glancing over, either sizing her up, or checking her out. Could be either, really. "This is Jake. I'm Sam." she introduces. "He's not too bad in the sack if you want to try him out."

Jake shrugs while sucking on his cold beer. That's the one he just started on, not the warm one he offered to Catalina. "Hell I don't care. Tomorrow? Next day? Whenever you want. I was gonna go alone but I saw you here and you seem like the kinda girl who'd go for that." He cranes his neck forward to look past Sam at Catalina and says, "Yeah. Jake. How you doin?" No arguments on the introduction. He figures Sam got it all correct.

"Catalina." the woman replies after a moment, her cheeks the very slightest shade of red. "And no thanks. Not my style. Besides, I'm only here on business." Glancing between the two, Catalina ask curiously. "What sort of fights?"

"The way I hear it," explains Jake, "it's like cage fighting. You go in, place bets on a match between two saps they put in a ring, see who wins. I dunno but it might be kinda fun to watch." He gives Catalina a brief look over and adds, "Might not be your speed." And yes, he did just judge her by her looks. Take that and chew on it.

Wasn't there a joke once..? A thief, a mercenary and an assassin enter a bar..? Okay, maybe not. Sam listens to the explanation and hmms. "Could be a way to make a nice chunk of change if you bet it right." she glances at Catalina again and shrugs. "I dunno. She might have to dress down a little for it, but she might enjoy a little bloodsport." She could be teasing, could be not. There's a hint of both there.

Catalina pauses. "No, I probably wouldn't enjoy it." she admits freely. "But I don't mind gambling. Used to be a professional gambler out in Vegas. I tend to stick to safer things now; safecracking, lockpicking, planting the occasional bug."

Jake shares a look with Sam. "Toldja." he says simply, like he could spot the type a mile away. "I was thinking of seeing what it takes to actually get in the ring. THAT might be fun." More beer.

Sam refills her glass and sets the bottle back down. "I don't suggest using the bulletin board to post a flyer with tear away phone numbers, but probably the better place to get your name out for that sort of thing. You might also hit the Salvation army for some less outstanding threads. You do stand out in this particular crowd." she turns to Jake. "You're an idiot. You want to get killed? If it's as underground as it sounds, they won't appreciate fresh blood coming in and defeating one of their regulars. But hey, not like it matters to me. I ain't dragging your body off to the morgue." she grins at him.

Catalina nods. "Yeah, you have a point there." she admits to Sam. "Clothes could be better for the crowd, but I figure if I get my name out, if someone needs me, they'll come looking." She glances towards Jake. "Wouldn't catch me dead in one of those rings. I'm a lucky girl, but I don't go sticking my neck out quite like that."

The face Jake makes is one of those Oh I'm So Scared looks that he accompanies with a simple, "I wouldn't get killed." Which in itself could be strict cockiness. Or it could be cryptic. Hmm. "What is it you do, Catalina?" he asks, since homegirl's getting her name out there and all.

Sam should have known Jake would say something like that. She turns her attention to Catalina, then shakes her head at Jake. "Are you not paying attention? Safecracking, lockpicking and bug planting." she teases him. She does turn back to Catalina. "Unless there's something more."

"No." insists Jake. "I'm a self-absorbed man. I have to be told three times."

Catalina shakes her head. "No, just that. I prefer high-security areas. You know, a lot of people think that getting into those places is about being sneaky; but thats actually a hiderance. You don't sneak into a high-class facility at night, or try and find some window to go through. You walk in - in the open. Make it seem as if you belong, use their own security system against them by fitting into their preconceptions. The best sort of job you don't even crack a lock for."

The explanation just makes Jake look smug again. He puts on that voice that men use to mimic nagging women and tells Sam, "I guess it wasn't such a stupid question." Then switches to his normal voice and grins, "Drink your damned booze." He has another question for the thief though. "How good's your Spanish?" Because people in these crazy lines of work have to speak other languages.

Sam listens and pretty much agrees with everything Catalina says. She hmphs at Jake and drinks her booze as directed. Someone's not getting any tonight. She sits back and listens as Jake is asking all the questions now.

Catalina replies in Spanish, "I grew up in Miami." Seriously, you can't even wait a table or work at Wallmart in Miami without speaking spanish. "That's it though. Why?"

"Huh." replies Jake, giving Catalina kind of a look. Like he's thinking of something. Then he shakes his head. "Nothin. I know of a job opening, could use a smooth talker with Spanish fluency. Other than that I know nothing that'd be a good fit for you. Sorry." He bumps Sam in the shoulder with his own and asks her, "How about you? You didn't ask for work but I might as well check."

Considering the question, Sam drinks from her glass. She hadn't thought about taking on extra jobs with so much on her plate. "Well, I already have the delivery gig, but I suppose it depends on what the job is and what it pays. I'm fairly busy with my steady job. Got any details?" she asks, trying not to act too interested, which isn't too hard for her actually.

Catalina tilts her head. "Well, its your business." she says in response to the 'Nothing', adding after a moment "I'd rather have a good fit then a quick job. I'm good enough that I can afford to be a bit picky. Let me know if you change your mind about saying or hear of something that would be a good fit."

"Spanish fluency. Smooth talker. Her skillset. Or philosophy, anyway." Jake explains to Sam, using his beer bottle to indicate he's talking about Catalina's skills. And while he's looking Cat's way, "You gotta card or somethin?"

Sam shakes her head. "If you need information, I can probably get it. I'm pretty damn good at getting someone to talk. But as far as theivery or any of that stuff, I'm no good at it." What she is good at is killing, and that doesn't seem to be a necessity for what he's looking for and she's not up for offering it as a service. She doesn't kill for money, but for her country.

Catalina shakes her head. "I don't need cards with my name on them wandering around. If the people who are hiring need references, tell them to ask around Vegas about me. If they can't contact me on their own, they probably can't afford me anyways."

"Okay!" says Jake easily, going back to his beer. He's done playing black market headhunter. "Well. I think I'm gonna bounce, ladies."

Samantha stands as well, having finished off her bottle. Surprisingly, she can stand on two feet, but it's been a hell of a night. She might have to walk back to her pad and leave her bike here. "Catalina, been a pleasure meeting you. Watch your back out here." she grins.

Catalina chuckles. "I will. Thanks." She stands up, brushing her dress off afterwards. "Good night you two."

On his way out Jake smirks at Sam and asks her, "If you follow me home again do I get to keep you?"

"If I follow you home, I'm probably drunk and lost." Samantha teases as she follows him out the door.

March 6th: Entreaty
March 7th: She Had It Coming
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