Yes, We're Open


devi_icon.gif rhett_icon.gif

Scene Title Yes, We're Open
Synopsis Rhet comes to make just a little deal with the Devi…
Date December 10, 2019

Anarchy Customs II

Located in the northern part of the Sheepshead Bay, the immortal sea offers a lapping, timid and yet relentless, resonance from somewhere nearby… until it's interrupted by the banging, crashing, or booming that usually emanates from the nearby garage. Set into the crumbling brick structure that looks like one of many in this barely rehabilitated region are two large, rolling bay doors. The corrugated metal entrances are framed by the copper-green patina of rust around the edges.

Just inside, the large garage is already home several vehicles with varying numbers of wheels; parts in different states of dismantling, repair, reconstruction, or destruction; and some things that are simply unidentifiable in their current state.

A small, unassuming, black-painted door with an obvious deadbolt is set off in the back corner.

The simpler wooden door to the left of the closed graffiti-covered bay entrances is left unlocked and even spares the kindness of a small plastic signage flipped to a friendly green “OPEN” status. Granted there is a fanged jolly roger sigil painted in stark white in the center of the sign’s ‘O’, but… still friendly, sure.

Metal wheels gouge long grooves in the muddy path next to the ripped up concrete, and then track it in long trails of dripping earth as the little cart is pulled along towards the edge of the Customs compound. It's covered in a simple little plastic clear tarp, protecting the pieces inside, though with the amount of rain, hard to say if the cargo is dry.

The skiff Flyfisher is docked not far away, bobbing in the water, a soft rain spattering the pristine mix of white and striped royal blue paint, dissolving a layer of dust in patterns along the sides.

The rain doesn't bother the tall man pulling his cart in the least: in fact, he's shed his jacket and left it on the skiff, spread open across the seat. He doesn't seem miserable: hardly, his posture is relaxed, comfortable and open to the sky's release, though it does cause his jaw-length hair to come forward in clumps in his vision. Rhett is dressed simply otherwise, utilitarian, in his thick military cargo pants, boots, a long-sleeved denim colored button-up. It would be open at the neck, except that he has a maroon paisley cloth that entirely covers his neck.

Rhett draws the cart up to the main doors, spotting the cheerful 'OPEN' sign, pulling the cart to a side to park it out of the rain. Rhett takes a moment to press a hand back through dark blonde hair to get it out of his face, and then pushes on the door, with a relaxed call of, "Hello?"

…- baby, don't fear the reaper

Baby take my hand, don't fear the reaper

We'll be able to fly, don't fear the reaper

The music takes a sharp drive towards the cracked door, exploding outward in a bellowing medley… though not quite loud enough to completely drown the slightly off-key female accompaniment somewhere deeper in the garage.

Rhett’s greeting call battles its way through the cacophonous art and, after a few long seconds’ delay, the music is lowered to a dull drone. A woman nearly as graffitied as the garage walls stands with a greasy wrench in one hand and the dial of her stereo at the other. She sets the wrench into a pocket of split and frayed skinny jeans before drawing slender fingers, black with oil and tattoos alike, up to adjust her rolled black sleeves on an old Metallica tour shirt.

Devi uses a jerky inclination of her chin to banish a few dark, onyx locks from her even darker eyes and pops a penciled brow. “Welcome to Anarchy, mister. What can I do you for?”
Rhett was looking around, and he can be found that way, surveying the place with fingers pushed just a few inches into his pockets on either side, wrists loose and cocked forward. He's made a little puddle on the floor where he's standing just inside the door now, just from the wet quality of the outdoors.

"Looking to get a second opinion on some equipment," Rhett calls back, adjusting his voice to still be clear over the dull drone of Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain in the background. Also, the sounds of the real, literal rain on the facility roof, giving displaced sound to the drips coming off Rhett in the front of the shop.

"Maybe trade for some replacement parts," adds the pale haired man, adjusting his weight to the other leg, thumb of left hand idly teasing a tear in the edge of his left pocket. There's no aggression to him at all: just an easy, relaxed manner: a man used to and comfortable with bartering.
"This the right place for somethin' like that?"

Fluorescent lighting catches the way Devi’s onyx gaze flits over the tradesman. She gives a curt nod and drags the back of a forearm drawn along her brow. “Yeah, suppose those feet of yours didn’ steer ya too far off the mark. Let me help ya. We’ll see what you got.” She crosses the garage on long-legged, sweeping steps.

Only to stop short and suddenly as she stands beside Rhett in the doorway.

Devi makes a gesture just in front of Rhet’s sternum - a single index finger raised with other tattoo digits half-curled in absent consideration. She tips her head towards him in a gesture that’s one part thoughtful and two parts hush-hush, keeping her eyes on the cart outside the doorway. “No Giant Death Spiders in there you know of, right?”

Rhett sat back just a little on his heels as the woman suddenly stops so abruptly in front of him, brows twitching up questioningly at the shift in behavior. But he chuckles instead, and lifts one palm towards her, in a clear calm gesture.

“I’ll open it, so that they can bite me first, if so,” Rhett says kindly, his tone clearly conveying that there are, in fact, no spiders, all is fine, but he’s also taking the ‘hint’ to show that the items aren’t dangerous. He steps sideways around her to go back outside, partially into the rain as the little wagon is occupying a lot of the shielded area outside of the shop. He pulls back the tarp in a few sections, folding it: there’s no attempt to do a grand magician’s reveal.

There are two objects in the cart. One is a powerful water pump, the other a small generator. From a glance to a normal person they don’t seem to have any obvious problems (they don’t have giant spider bites out of them), so the problems must be internal. There are no spiders in the cart, though there are a number of hoses associated with the pump in two coils zip-tied to one side. Everything is very wet.

A quick once over is given the two devices. “Yeah, we can make that work.” Devi slaps a button on the wall nearby and one of the bay doors begins to roll up. “Bring it ‘round. I’ll get some shit.”

With the wagon is wheeled inside, the bay doors groan on their electric motor back into place - hiding the slush, and the rain, and the chill. Devi steps out from the little black door in the back corner, tossing a brown end-frayed towel at Rhett with on hand and holding up a pair of beers in the other. “Name’s Devi, by the by.” She doesn’t bother to ask his name. Instead, popping the metal tops of the glass bottles, offering one out as she slings her attention back to the wagon load. “So, whatchoo got on the bargaining table, Rainman?”

Asking for his name isn’t necessary, he’ll give it anyway. There isn’t an air of needing to be secretive to him: it isn’t like he’s doing something illegal here. “’Devi’, got it. Rainman’s just by night; Rhett generally,” Rhett answers. “Or the Plumber, if you prefer.” Rhett shrugs a little; he’s aware that designation is probably the easiest, though she may or may not know it. The Plumber (and his teams) fixes electrical systems and wetworks for buildings in the Safe Zone: residential, industrial, and commercial. Being the guy to call when you’re up to your shins in literal shit is not the greatest title ever, but there are worse things: like being up to shins in shit.

Rhett brought the cart in, though he paused where he is when the towel was flung, catching it out of the air. He’s weirdly efficient with it but it won’t appear unnatural. The towel’s just absorbent compared to his clothes, maybe.

“Got a variety to offer; depends on what your flavor is. I’ve got a list of parts I’ve got on hand to barter out on m’boat, separate list of luxury goodies if that’s more your thing.” By the way he says ‘luxury’, it doesn’t sound like he’s talking about illegal items. There’s no side-eye along with it. “Or service trade for service, if your grid’s not handlin’ the power load you need, or whatever,” Rhett looks up and around at the massive door that shut recently, but there’s no judgment there.

The polite clarification and additional nomenclature earn a dark-hued side-eye. The wrench monkey runs her tongue along her teeth, the expression surmised with an upturn at the sharp corners of her matte-black lips. “I got a man.” Her mouth works side to side as if testing the taste of her words. “For the power shit. But, luxury items. My garage can always use an extra touch of elegance.” Her long fingers make and elegant, wide-armed sweep out to either side. She sips her beer, leans her rump back on the edge of a busy workbench, and waits.

“Alright,” Rhett answers evenly as she says she has somebody. He does not take that as anything other than that he needs to focus on the luxury trade angle. He fishes inside his jacket, drawing out two sets of papers. They are a little moist, but he brushes them off really efficiently. They’re written in dark pencil, so they’re easy to still read, no ink bled. He skims over it visually to check which of the two lists to give her, selects it, and offers it over.

There are some really weird things on that list. There’s some movie posters. There’s a motorcycle engine. Something titled ‘various makeup (??)’. A crate of candy-apple red automotive spraypaint. Two boxes of Blue-ray DVDs. There’s a lawnmower. A key-cutting machine. A set of ceramic kitchen knives. A high powered rechargeable flashlight. A box of colorful contact lenses. An electric toothbrush. A few laptops. A projector with unknown movies. A selection of jewelry marked ‘various gemstones; 4 earrings, 2 bracelets, 1 necklace’. There’s a few kinds of oil and gasoline. It’s a lot of random things that aren’t weapons, necessities, or drugs.

“Well, well, well.” The sing-song husky tone suggests that really weird things are right up Devi’s alley. “You got a few things here that pique my interest.” She runs a painted fingernail down the list and snaps her attention sharply back to Rhett. With a nudge of her head at the wagonload, she turns on a cheshire grin. “So, you want ‘em to purr or growl? Hell, for some of what you got on this list, I can make ‘em do a jig or fuck you sideways.”

“My needs include them being functional, and energy and fuel-efficient, since they’re being run out in the middle of nowhere. I’m repairing pumps out in the dead zones that don’t have water,” Rhett says, to give her a scope of what the items are being used for.

“The generator needs to run a batch of these pumps; this is just the pump that’s refusing to play nice, my other ones are running great,” Rhett complains. He taps a toe against a wheel of the cart, “They’re my favorite type of pump, hate to lose it, so here I am,” smirks the blonde man. He hooks his thumbs into his pockets.

“I need that open secondary channel there,” he says, pointing two fingers down towards the pump: there’s an open access area where the water kicks out the back tubes that probably isn’t part of the original design. “The other ones run fine with it, so I don’t think that’s why it’s dragging on doing it’s job.”

“Functional.” Disappointment rings clear. A big breath rushes over onyx-painted lips, let out as nothing less than a long, tired, embellished sigh. “Well, yeah, I can do that.” The tall, dark woman ticks her head to the side in an avian fashion, eyeing the generator first. “I can probably even make-…” She raises a hand to stop herself, revealing the interior of her palm to be equally as tattooed as the rest of her. “Give me 24 hours. I’ll have ‘em better than new.”

With that, she snags up a carpenter’s pencil and ticks off several things from the list, including: the makeup, the contact lenses, the lawnmower, and the toothbrush. The smile she gives the paper as she eyes her sharp little checkmarks would be enough to worry anyone who knew her better. As it is, for Rainman’s sake she simply looks pleased as punch, handing the slip back. “Trust me. It’s a good trade.”

Business settled, she pushes one of the beers towards her visitor and hooks her thumb in a belt loop as she sips her own. “Haven’t seen ya ‘round before. New to town, or just been lurking?”

“‘Better than new’?” Rhett repeats, as he accepts the list back, and skims over the items she checked off with his own pale blue gaze. His eyes seem a little too light sometimes, just due to his outdoor-tanned face. He has the look of a dock worker, or a sailor, and the coarseness to his hands echoes that. His fingers, anyway: he has fingerless warm dark gloves on otherwise, slightly saturated with the rain.

“I’ve been here years, though I had another guy I was using for any repairs I couldn’t do myself. Which wasn’t very often, I’ve been fortunate about fixing things,” Rhett explains. There’s no ego in his description of fixing items, its more matter-of-fact: he can fix it or he can’t. “My other guy hasn’t been around at his normal spot at the Sheepshead dock, though, so he may not be doing so well. Or he’s doing really well someplace other than here: guess it depends on how you look at it,” Rhett admits, shrugging both shoulders.

“Tell you what; trade of everything you checked except the lawnmower if they’re repaired, but if they’re better, lawnmower’s yours too. It’s a nice one, new,” Rhett grins slyly. “And, obviously, we can do more in the future. I pull a lot of things up out of deep salvage I don’t have a use for, often mechanical. Hell, there’s helicopter parts down there. If that’s your thing.”

Snort! Devi raises a hand to her face, lest a spray of beer come spewing from her nose. She coughs as her pencil-etched brows inch up. There’s the pause that gives the sense of: ‘Oh, wait, you’re serious.’ With an easy bob of a shoulder, a tattooed hand comes jutting out. “Deal.”

Matte black lips coil into a smile that is very ‘cat-that-caught-the-canary’… or perhaps more ‘raven-that-nabbed-the-carrion’ as the case may be.

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