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IC [Demon] Butterfiles and Hurricanes

Drezden

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It’s 2 AM on a Monday morning (or Sunday night depending on how one looks at things), that rare moment when the city pauses ever so briefly to catch its breath before careening into another week. All the bars have issued last call and the lost souls of another spent weekend are on their way to wherever they may rest their head.

In these dark hours, the June temperatures have dropped enough that the humid air no longer clings to skin. The moisture remains like a promise, however, and the cool breeze blowing in from Galveston and the gulf presage the coming summer rains. Of this, there is no doubt: a storm is coming.

Where are you? What are you doing?
 

chrespo

Voice Actor
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Out in the 5th Ward, also known as the Nickel, there was a junk yard you could go to after hours to get ink done. In a metal sheaf shed in the back, there was a little tattoo parlor. It was dingy, but not too dirty; not to the point where you'd be worried about getting your new tattoo infected. Outside, there was a beat up sign that said Halo Tattoos. Old 70s Heavy Metal at a low volume would mix with the high pitched buzz of the ink machine. The junk yard and Halo Tattoos were known haunting grounds of the Armageddon Saints, a bad-to-the-bone biker gang.

Mr. Red was the resident tattooist of Halo Tattoos. He was also the de facto leader and power behind the Armageddon Saints. He wore a black tee with cut off arms, black jeans and a Houston Astros baseball cap. Short, unwashed ginger hair and a tight cropped beard. Deep piercing eyes. He was wearing surgical gloves and sat hunched over one of his skin canvases, a meaty rough boy named Miguel who ran with the Saints. Iggy, the second-in-command of the Saints was posted by the doorway, arms folded across his chest.

"So," says Mr. Red. "What's new, Iggy? Anything of note happen tonight?"
 

Drezden

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Mr Red

It takes a moment for Iggy to respond. It's not that he's slow, but rather cautious. His eyes flick back and forth as if reading through the pages of his memory, looking for anything of note.

"Things are pretty calm..." He starts to say before being interrupted by the sound of a Tool song issuing from his pocket.

He frowns and pulls the cell phone out, barely putting it to his ear before the person on the other end starts talking.

"What?! When? No! you know the drill Burns, you don't do shit until we say so. Just plant your ass. We'll be there when we finish up here."

As he hangs up, Iggy blows out a long hiss of frustrated air. "Burn's shop just got hit."

Spoiler: Show
Eugene Burns is a low level member of the Saints who maintains a reputable front as a gunsmith/firing range owner. The Saint use his shop to bring in guns and ammo.
 

chrespo

Voice Actor
Validated User
Mr Red

The leader of the Saints frowns, and continues to work on Miguel's flaming batskull tattoo for another second or two, before he comes to pause in his work.

"Did Burns say if they took the marked bullets or not?" Red's voice is calm, and measured. "Regardless, I don't want you to retaliate. I want you to shadow them. If it's the Chains, we can strike at them at a later point. And if it's someone we don't know, we need to flip their pages, read them like an open book, before we know what we're dealing with."

Red wipes the blood and wet ink off of his skin canvas' arm, before he continues to speak.

"Now, I am going to continue to punch in the black on Miguel's tattoo here. He's paying good money for this, and he deserves solid art for it. I need you to go without me, Iggy. I can't be flushed. If shit turns sour, leave. Immediately. Burns is good, but he's not you. His shop is expendable. You're not."
 

Drezden

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Mr Red

Iggy is gone about 45 minutes before he calls with an update.

"Good news is the special stock is untouched. Looks like they took off with a couple dozen pistols and shotguns. Bullets and shells to go with them." He pauses a moment to let you process that information. "Burns wasn't even here when they hit, but we've got some video. Not great quality shit, but it'll do."

"I got five guys in fatigues, ,masks, the works. I don't think these guys are Chains. Whoever they are, they were on the ball. Smashed the back of an old beater through the front of the store, loaded the gear into a van and took off. Three minutes tops."

"I'm making a copy and I'll run it back to you in a bit. Gonna put some boys on lookout and see if we can figure out where that van headed."

"One last thing: all the pieces that were grabbed were registered stock. Burns is gonna have to report this if he wants to keep his license. We've got things clean, but if there's anything you need done before he makes the call, let me know."
 

chrespo

Voice Actor
Validated User
Mr Red

The call runs through a switchboard and into an ol plug-in-the-wall phone, the kind with a radial on it, the color of dirty bathroom floor tiles. Red rotates the numbers to the tattoo shop, and regularly changes the equipment out to make sure he doesn't get bugged.

"Did we catch the plates on the van?" Red knew a lot of illegal car trickers, and one of the services they would provide was changing your plates for you before a job. He might be able to lean on them with a promise of pain, unless they squeal.

"Let's push the paper and keep this one tidy. We don't want to repeat that fuckup from last fall. I wan't everyone to stay put. Lets find out who we're dealing with before we make a move. We will stay on schedule for our plans. We can go bloody some noses when we're ready to send a message to whomever it is who busted Burns. Lets meet for a breakfast beer at noon tomorrow, and we can hash it out."

Red hangs up.

Mr. Red had an appointment scheduled prior to that. He had been working on grooming Stigmatics lately, but another project that was a priority was crafting a new Cover. He needed access into the ritzier parts of Huston. Somewhere were his biker persona wouldn't be welcome. Tomorrow at 10AM he had scheduled an appointment with Gabriella Arnold, the daughter of oil tycoon Theodore Arnold. Turns out Gabi had a rebellious streak. Wants to cultivate and edge with some slumming. So she comes down to the biker's to buy some street cred with a mean tattoo and associating with thugs from the wrong side of the tracks.

Red smiles.

Sometimes it was just too easy being a demon.
 

Insertname

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There's a place you've probably never heard of. Almost no one has, certainly not outside Houston. It's a small, cozy venue with dim lighting, quiet tables with a nice distance between them, drinks just overpriced enough to keep the riffraff out while cheap enough to keep out the snobs, a stage from which poetry is read, and a barrel of burning poetry for those the audience votes as too terrible to ever again be heard.

Shade has always found the place somewhat amusing, and Mr. Hush seems to have a similar opinion of the place. The current arrangement is to meet there at irregular (Hell, sporadic) intervals based on an extremely complicated mechanical cypher in case they were being watched.

This, however, is one of the nights.

Shade is somewhere just over tipsy, but you wouldn't know it from looking at her. Calm, collected, perfect, as a demon always is, in perfect control. She listens to the current poem being read and decides to yell "Burn!" when it ends. It's not even that it's bad, really, so much as trite and sickeningly overdone.

"Fuck," she says quietly to Hush, not using any name or alias if she can help it, "Wish they could write about something other than love for once." She didn't mean 'poets' by 'them'. She meant 'humans'.

She poured Mr. Hush another glass.

"So, what've things been like on your end?" She watches the fire as she says it, "Things have been unnerving quiet for me."
 

Drezden

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Shade

Hush raises one eyebrow and gives a little half-smirk, a gesture perfectly calculated to show his amusement. "Unnerving quiet is an apt description, though not, perhaps, for the same reason. I'd asked a friend to look into a matter of interest, but he hasn't called back in a few days."

He lets the words linger in the silence between them as he takes a drink, eyes reflecting the fire as the latest offering crumbles to ash.

"In fact, if you're amenable, I thought you might put an eye on things. I'd consider it sufficient repayment for the assistance back in February."

A faint vibration hums from Mr. Hush's breast pocket. He draws a sleek smartphone and inspects the incoming number, standing smoothly as he does. "Please excuse me for a moment, my dear. Give it some thought while I take this call."
 
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Insertname

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Shade frowns.

A vague thought about Mr. Willingham passes through its mind, but it dismisses it. Yes, Maria should be worried about her cat, but right now that Cover was safely asleep in bed. Nothing to worry about when you knew how to use your tricks.

It looks back to the performance, listens calmly, the haze of alcohol already fading now that she isn't simply going along with it. She listens closely, out of instinctive habit, to the phone conversation even as Mr. Hush turns away.

Mr. Hush has hit a nerve. Shade doesn't like being in debt, and she can't afford not to pay Hush back. That always looks bad, always comes back to bite you.

When he returns, she simply says, quietly, without turning to face him, "What kind of friend?"

She says it in Turkish, too. Just in case.

Spoiler: Show
Well, I rolled for Alibi for this scene.
And failed.
So, I'm going to take my Beat and make that a dramatic failure, feel free to have the Cover wondering around somewhere dangerous, or at the very least suspicious.
(page 139 has the details of the Embed)

And, I get 1 on a roll to eavesdrop on the phone conversation, assuming no penalties.
 

Drezden

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Shade

The phone call is suspiciously mundane, apparently a conversation with a lover about plans for the coming day. There seems to be a bit of concern about a delivery. Of course, given your experience with Hush, it could very well be an elaborate code, though not one you recognize.

Hush returns with a placating smile on his face. "Nothing is ever simple," he says by way of apology for the interruption before switching to Mandarin. "My friend of course, is the very best kind. Our kind of friend. Not of your caliber, mind, but he has his uses."

He pauses to take another drink, then continues in Portuguese, "There seems to have been a significant decrease in the local homeless population of late. My friend was looking into the matter, seeing if the Old Firm was involved. It's been 3 day since he last checked in."

"If you're willing, I'd like you to find out what's become of him and finish his task as necessary. Any information you might need from me to aid your research into the matter is gratis, within reason of course."
 
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