Title: Supply Run
Geoff_ - June 28, 2011 02:49 AM (GMT)
Evening fell along with a steady drizzle. The rain swept the smells of the city from the air and for a moment, you just might remember that once upon a time forests spread across the hills here.
But no longer. The city had long since enveloped them in it's steel and glass embrace. Even the bricks which once paved this portion of town had given way to the modern concretions of architecture. But below the façade the street knew it's true calling. and that was to be a den of inquity.
Behind the second door in the third alley on the left, and down a flight of twisted iron stairs, one could find the most notorious hive of scum and villany in the whole of London, right under the noses of the police and the high and mighty... just like they liked it.
And it was where Chrysa had to go to get the supplies she needed to restock after her last visit from the plods.
TheApothecary - June 28, 2011 02:56 AM (GMT)
Chrysalice was heading towards the door carefully down the street. A golden dragon had coiled around her throat looking like a piece of extravagent jewellery until you saw it move. Also accompanying her was a large timber wolf with oddly green tinted eyes. To most passersby they presumed it was a dog. She kept her fingers on the animals back as a comfort.
She hated this part. It meant dealing with actual thieves and murderers, people out to make their own lives better not anyone elses. There was a certain thrill to it yes but still it unnerved her.
Geoff_ - June 28, 2011 03:07 AM (GMT)
Chrysalice's mobile chirped. A text message had popped up on it, and she recognised the number. Edmund Fogolt, the man who fancied himself the 'doorman' for this outfit.
|I see you come a'nocking pon my door. Do you come to huff and puff and blow it down?|
TheApothecary - June 28, 2011 03:12 AM (GMT)
Hahah.... enough of the wolf jokes. Lemme in already.
Chrysa had really got sick of this happening eveytime she came here with Leiden. One time she'd walked passed Edmund in a blue dress when it was his day off and she'd gotten wonderland jokes for a month. She actually hated wearing a red coat when out with Leiden due to the amount of red riding hood jokes it would recieve.
Geoff_ - June 28, 2011 03:34 AM (GMT)
|But of course... we aim to please|
As she approached the alleyway door, it popped when the magnetic locks disengaged. Closing behind her, the slight hum of electricity resumed, and she was locked in.
Descending the stairs, the ambience went from back alley to posh opulence. Faintly in the distance, she was posiitve she heard a scream for help, but you never know; it could have been a recording to unnerve her... or it was truly someone in pain.
Fogolt leered at her from his booth. "Mister Scratch will see you now," he said, and gestured at the red door, which was opened by one of Scratch's scantily-clad razor-girls. She moved with an unnatural grace, and the chromed implants which adorned her body hinted at unmitigated violence.
Along the wall opposite the door, the one-way mirror pulsed with light, as it overlooked a laser-lit dance floor. A private club for the ultra-rich. The queue stretched into the hall above, and the glitterati talked their mindless trash, taking no notice of the urchin who deigned invade their space with that mongrel.
But beyond the door sat Scratch, as a king sits in his throne-room. Two more razor-girls lounged in the room, but didn't stand as Chrysa was beckoned to enter.
"Come, Come my darlink! Welcome back!"
TheApothecary - June 28, 2011 03:48 AM (GMT)
"Scratch... always a pleasure." Chrysalice drawled sarcastically. This was strictly business and he knew that but he also knew that when she first came here she was terrified of him. A lot changes.
Leiden nuzzled her hand to comfort her and she took her coat off. Whenever she came here she tried to dress nice but formal. A red blouse with a black tie, black trousers and a pair of nice enough boots with a bit of a heel. She didn't like heels she couldn't run in so they had to be thick and stable.
"Shall we get on with this?"
Geoff_ - June 28, 2011 03:52 AM (GMT)
"Alvays business with you. Never take time to enjoy the spoils, eh?" The large russian laughed coarsely. "Is Edmund, no? I can get rid of him for you, if you like?" The wink he gave her was one which on any good day would be very creepy.
"But enough of such matters. You come here for good stuff, and I provide for pretty gurls. I hear nasty rumour, the Knight has called out some American bloodhounds. He means business, I suppose. I do this for you, you do favour for me? No?"
TheApothecary - June 28, 2011 03:57 AM (GMT)
Alice avoided shuddering at his smile.
"Don't I pay you enough? Or are favours part of the bargain now?" She asked bitterly then looked at him and groaned as she gave in. "What's the favour?"
Leiden stared at the russian carefully and Sunkist stayed perfectly still around her neck.
Geoff_ - June 28, 2011 04:09 AM (GMT)
"For this one? No charge. Is trade. I give you this shipment for free, if you want to take job. With luck, it might even get the Ice Queen off your case. She sets her dogs on my clients, you see. They pay me to fix problems."
"I can get you two passes into the Shard, where these bloodhounds are stayink. My people are too well known to go snooping around these places. The curse of playing to the well-heeled, I guess. Anyway, place this device in their rooms, and a day later, go and get it back. Simple as that."
"Do we have deal?"
TheApothecary - June 28, 2011 04:15 AM (GMT)
Chrysalice looked at the device. She was actually planning on leaving for america soon to do her own 'snooping' as he put it but the information the device would gather would most likely be left in his hands. Also doing something so dangerous when you're about to leave the country left her uneasy.
"....Listen I'd rather pay and move on with my life. I need the usual supplies." She told him. "Sorry, Scratch but you know I'm only running a bar. I don't do stealth and sneaking around. It's not my deal." She was of course lying.
Sunkistt had left her neck and was scratching at a tobacco case to try and open it.
Geoff_ - June 28, 2011 04:29 AM (GMT)
A tickle in the back of his throat became a full-bellied laugh as he found Chrysa's assertion to be every bit of the falsehood it was in truth. As the laugh died down, the russian bared his filed teeth in a predatory grin.
"You are good negotiator, little gurl. Tough competition for the mind, yes? I make it two crates, delivered staggered so you don't have too much at once. Martin's bodyguard tells me you have new friends, maybe they do the job for you?"
Opening the case on his desk, Scratch pulls out two of the cigarillos and hands one to the little dragon. With the aroma of brimstone, the end of the cigarillo he holds flares and settles down to a smoulder.
"But that is final offer. You are not only smart gurl in town. But I like you, this is why I make deal. I will happily take your money, and think nothink less."
TheApothecary - June 28, 2011 04:35 AM (GMT)
Chrysa whistled to Sunkist who returned to her shoulder. She closed her eyes and took a breath. This man could probably ruin her business in a second if he wanted but she wasn't about to be pushed around.
"My friends are nothing to do with you and your dealings." She told him steadily. "They will be left out of the matter understand? Now just accept me paying you the usual and leave it be. You can find someone else to do your dirty work."
Buying from a crook was one thing. Working for one was another.
Geoff_ - June 28, 2011 04:48 AM (GMT)
"Of course. Of course. I will have my man drop off your goods this morning. The usual drop point? And please, do not be stranger. Come by for fun visit. Drinks on me," he grinned again, and drew on his cigarillo. Standing up, he nodded to the razor-girls in succession, then turned back to Chrysa.
"However, more business must be attended to. Edmund will see you out."
With a girl on each arm, he strolled leisurely out of the room, the faint smell of brimstone leaving with him.
Her mobile beeped again.
|Your chariot awaits...|
TheApothecary - June 28, 2011 04:54 AM (GMT)
Chrysa made her way to the exit and saw Edmund. "I'm not entirely sure I like you having my number if all you do is make terrible jokes." She told him bluntly and rubbed the bridge of her nose.
"What did he mean by more business?" She thought out loud and was about to start walking back as usual.
Geoff_ - July 2, 2011 10:25 PM (GMT)
To her left, the queue hadn't moved, but as she entered the hall, two of the razorgirls were pacing the line, and pulling people forward. Those not chosen had looks of desperation and envy in their faces.
To her front, Edmund simply shrugged at Chrysa's comment.
"Mister Scratch wants you to know that he would be honoured if you accepted a lift home in his car. He really thinks you've got him all wrong. Besides, curfew is coming soon, and I certainly don't think that the plods will appreciating you and your companions out and about. Please do consider his offer."
TheApothecary - July 2, 2011 10:53 PM (GMT)
"Ugh fine yeah I'm too tired to argue let alone walk home." She started to follow him to the car and got in carefully. The wolf sat across her legs and the dragon rested on her shoulder.
Geoff_ - July 2, 2011 11:22 PM (GMT)
The door closed silently, and the car slipped into motion gently. Sitting on the centre console atop a silk napkin, a tumbler filled with a lemon-scented concoction awaited her. Beside it sat a folded card, which smelled faintly of brimstone.
Inside, the card read:
Admit the bearer and two of her friends to the head of the queue, upon the authority of myself
It was signed Alexi Stiachkov
TheApothecary - July 2, 2011 11:39 PM (GMT)
Alice looked at the drink and took a quick sniff then sipped it enough to taste it and wet her lips. Lemonade and vodka. Damn they were good. She took an actual drink of it then sat back
"I really need to stop dealing with that man..." She sighed to herself.
Geoff_ - July 5, 2011 12:20 AM (GMT)
The driver said nothing, if there even was one; he never talked or even moved, as far as she could tell. The Maybach glided through Kensington and Mayfair, and skirted between Soho and the West End. The roads were clear, there was no traffic and the glitzy lights slid across the the car's glass.
Isolated from the world, ensconced in luxury, this was far from the most uncomfortable place she's been. Sleep beckoned her, but the car's provenance forced it from her grasp.
The car pulled to a stop in front of her hastily-repaired storefront and the door popped open.
TheApothecary - July 5, 2011 12:40 AM (GMT)
Chrysa slid out of the vehicle with animals in tow and headed towards the door. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up and smelt brimstone. Opening the door she stared at the intruder then walked behind her bar. It felt safer behind there and it was almost a position of power. In a palace the one on the throne was ruler, in a pub the one behind the bar was the ruler.
".....You have no idea when to quit do you?" She was annoyed and it was obvious.
Geoff_ - July 5, 2011 02:08 AM (GMT)
Scratch regarded her from upon the stool he sat, opposite her at the bar. He was sipping from a glass he had already poured himself, and as he talked, a man with a handcart carried a clinking and sloshing stack of boxes into the pub and wheeled them to the back of the room. Waiting for her was another vodka lemonade.
"In the animal kingdom, they call it tenacious. I see an opportunity, I pursue it. Your friends did not make new friends of their own last night. People are askink for names; Mean people. I do not tell them. For we are friends, no?"
"We ARE friends, yes?"
TheApothecary - July 5, 2011 02:20 AM (GMT)
Alice looked at the drink as she listened. Drinking it meant he was in power, not drinking it could also mean that too, it could mean she was scared to drink it. Either way she couldn't win.
When he insisted on the 'friends' comment the second time she blinked and looked at him dead in the eyes. Dangerous move with animals. Might be seen as a threat.
"....I wouldn't say friends. We do business together. Never a good idea to be friends with someone you do business with. Personal feelings and all that." She replied icily.
Geoff_ - July 7, 2011 06:05 AM (GMT)
"Yes. Always Business." Scratch catches and holds that stare.
"Business is built on trust. You know what job I am pulling, but you are not workink for me. I trust that this is our business, and our business only. Not anyone else's." Without breaking his gaze, he finishes his drink.
"If I hear you tell anyone? Perhaps Ice Queen learn she not check close enough in closet of third room last time. Perhaps Ice Queen learn who it is make a scene at Pig Inn last night. Perhaps your friends meet my gurls in dark passgeway." Scratch's eyes hold no malice, but the edge in his voice betrays that he cares little what happens to anyone but himself. If anyone gets in his way (even the Toy Soldiers), he has no compunction in trampling over them to get to where he is going.
"This is our deal... yes?" Scratch nods before breaking the gaze and walking out the door. "Good night smart gurl, see you in a few weeks. To do business, that is."
TheApothecary - July 7, 2011 08:11 AM (GMT)
Alice let out a breath when he turned away to leave. "....I..." She started, but her throat closed enough to stop her and she had to hesitate.
"Do you really think I like telling people I do business with you Scratch? I won't tell anyone.... I'm already trying to convince myself its not happened." She told him quietly but steadily and downed the drink he'd left out for her.