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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Chapter 1: Old friends
    Scene 1

    It's about 4:30, an hour before closing Sheila's Fashionistas. The store is on the ground floor of an apartment complex, mostly rented out to Latinos in the area. Some Bolera music vibrates from the ceiling above. Mr. Vasquez is old and hard of hearing, and listens to his music loud, but he's a nice man, and the music can be good company on a hot and humid day like today. Even with the air conditioner running, you have had to dab your forehead with your aqua handkerchief every couple of minutes.

    The shop has been busy today. Sheila's boasts a good selection of casual and semi formal dresses in bright and exotic colors (mostly sold to the blacks and latinos), and even if the clothes are made by starving children in Thailand, they turn a good profit. It's a stone building with tinted windows in the front showing off a few scowling manikins in short skirts and breast hugging blouses.

    The store is empty, till in walks Manny the Giant. He's not a bad looking man, and a sharp dresser, though at just over 5 feet, he's hard to be impressed by. "How's it going Sheila. You are looking stunning as always. I've got a little something for you." He reaches into his jacket and pulls out a large manilla envelope. Manny delivers books for Sid, a booky over in South Queens. "So, when are you gonna let me take you out." He hands you the envelope and while you are distracted, grabs your free hand and kisses it, a big grin playing across his face.

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    Please give a brief description of how Sheila is dressed today, and how she is feeling, along with your interaction to Mr. Manny the Giant.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Lentrax's Avatar

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    Shiela cursed as the air conditioner began to wheeze again, for the fourth time today. Replacing her handkerchief in her pocket, she rebuttoned her dark blue jacket as the bell over the door rang, announcing a customer. With a casual gesture, Shiela rested her ahand on the 12 gauge behind the counter. When she saw it was a runner, she brought her hand back up and rested it on a hip, as he walked up to deliver the book.

    "Thank you, Manny." Shiela's accent is a bit thicker today than usual. It has been a little slow on the business side of things, and she hasn't yet gotten all of the books from her contacts yet. As she reaches for the envelope, Manny instead brings her hand up to plant a kiss on it.

    Shiela sighs. This isn't the first time he has done this, and she doubted it would be the last either.

    "Manny. I have told you before. This thing will not happen between us. Now wait a moment."

    Shiela takes the envelope to the back and opens a desk drawer. Pressing on it in three separate places, it clicks, popping open to reveal a hidden compartment. She removes another envelope, thick and heavy, as well as another, this one not as thick. She places Manny's envelope in the compartment, placed the panel back and placed the smaller envelope in her inner suit pocket before she walked back out with at easing smile on her face.

    She slid the first envelope across the counter to Manny. Knowing better than to check its contents, he slipped in a pocket. Shiela then unbuttoned the top button of her suit to pull the second envelope out of her pocket. As she pulled her suit jacket to the side, she gave him a nice teasing view. Slipping the envelope in his jacket pocket, she provided another teasing glimpse of what lay beneath her blouse.

    "Now, Manny. I want you to remember this. Perhaps someday, you may convince me to accept your offer, but not today. Today we have business."

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    "Sheila, you do yourself a disservice by waiting. I know this great Korean restaurant, best barbeque in the city. Anyways thanks for the business as always." He throws the envelopes into his coat and turns around to leave.

    The bell over the door rings again, and in walks Saddie, one of the girls from the pleasure house. She is in tears and her face is all bruised up, contrasting with her pale skin. She clutches a piece of paper in her hand.

    You can see Manny looks confused and uncomfortable. Glued in his shoes by the entrance of this distraught girl.

    "Miss Markov, Miss Markov, I'm so sorry"

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    "If I were to do as you ask, Manny, we could not play this game, could we?"

    Shiela watches the man start to leave, but before he reached the door, the bell rang and Saddie comes in, rushing to the counter. With four strides of her nylon clad legs, Shiela is around the corner, taking the poor girl by the shoulder. Seeing one of her girls like this causes her already tentative grasp on the English language to slip a bit further away.

    "Saddie, what is wrong? What has happened? Manny, could you please to be waiting outside?"

    Seeing the paper in Saddie's hand, Shiela takes it and figuring it to be some kind of note, reads it to herself.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    The note is written in Russian. The handwriting is familiar, though you can not place whose it is. It reads "Betrayal never goes unpunished.".

    Closer to Saddie, you can see that someone broke her nose, the flattened cartilage flattened and distorted against one cheek bone. Both eyes have gone black and blue. It also looks like a clump of her hair has been ripped out, her blond hair dyed crimson in a near bald part of her head. Tears stream from her eyes, mixing with a small bit of blood from her nose. She sobs in your arms, repeating "I am so sorry. I am so sorry."

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    "Nyet, little songbird. This is not your fault. This borscht has been stewed by another hand."

    Shiela lets the girl cry in her arms. Her mind racing. So much time has gone by, she had hoped they would think her dead. Killed in the last turf war.

    She sees the words in her mind again. Betrayal never goes...

    "Shi-"

    Shiela throws the girl to the floor, diving on top of her, fully expecting bullets to come through the shop at any moment.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Good F*** guess... or I'm not very original!


    Even before you hear tires screeching, and Manny opens the door screaming Sheila get down, you've grabbed Saddie and thrown her on her belly. The roar of a machine gun and the shattering of glass fills your ears. The seconds drag on for what seems like minutes, but when it is over you lay there, your ears ringing afraid to get up.

    "Rrrrrrrrrr.... God Damn SOBs." Manny is growling. You look up to see him, lying up against a manikin clutching his arms. The room seems hazy with smoke. The front windows to the shop have both been shattered. Broken glass lies sparkling all over the inside of the shop. Saddie is moaning, but a quick scan of her body and you know she's unharmed.
    Last edited by Bennosuke; 2013-06-17 at 08:36 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    More likely, I've just seen too many gangster movies.


    Seeing that Saddie was relatively unharmed, Shiela rushes over to Manny. She begins examining his wounds, pulling clothing off of the racks and trying to bandage what she can.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    See OOC for dice roll

    Sheila's makeshift tourniquet and compression seems to slow the bleeding somewhat. "Don't worry about me. Your gonna need to clear out all your books. The police are probably gonna be here in the next half hour if not sooner. Who the hell was that? Who would be gunning for you?"
    Last edited by Bennosuke; 2013-06-17 at 09:41 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Sheila mutters something under her breath. Manny isn't entirely sure, but it sounds to him like she says, "The dam Russians."

    Knowing Manny is right, Shiela goes back to her office. Bullet holes litter the desk, the walls, and her chair. Noting that the gunmen managed to, with what seems to have been two hundred rounds through her store, they missed the vodka. Taking that as a good omen, Shiela takes a long pull from the bottle.

    Pulling her books from the desk, she shoves them unceremoniously into an attaché case. Yanking open another drawer, she pulls out a Glock in a shoulder holster. Stripping off her jacket, Shiela dons the weapon, then grabs the case, pausing just long enough to put her jacket back on before running out the back of the store.
    Last edited by Lentrax; 2013-06-17 at 12:29 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Just to the alley.

    Shiela stops dead as she runs toward the street.

    She remembers the number of times she hit pinched, and thrown in a cell because her absence was more suspicious than her presence would have been.

    She walks back into her shop, goes into her office, and opens the safe.

    An old-time mechanical thing, the huge green safe rests in a corner of her office quietly collecting dust. Today she opened it, shoving the case inside before going back out to check on Saddie and Manny.

    She pulls out her Glock though. It's registered, so at least they can't charge her with that.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    You come back to find Saddie and Manny sitting together against the clerk's counter, Saddie tucked under Manny's good arm like a scared chickadee. The store is really a mess. "Where'd you go in such a hurry?", Manny says with a laugh. "Thought you were just gonna leave us here."

    You go about cleaning up the store. "I'd better go, I'll take Saddie home. It's best we're not here when the cops come."

    No more than a five minutes after the two leave, you here the screeching of cop cars sirens. The police are all attitude in this part of the city. It's as if they would assume you are the suspect in your own drive by shooting. They ask a lot of questions, give few answers and even less help. You promise them you feel safe and that you have no idea who did it or why. They leave in a huff.

    By the time they have left you realize you have several missed calls from Luca, but no voice mails. The store is still a mess, and you best get some of the dresses into a safe place since the building won't be secure overnight. Then it hits you, what will happen when the Russians realize they didn't kill you, or did they even intend on it? So much to do, so much to think about, but where should you begin?

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Well. That went better than expected.

    Damn cops in this district don't care about who you are. Especially if you have a record...

    Shiela calls across the street to some of the local boys who were playing in the street, pretending to be cops.

    Paying each of them 10 dollars, she soon had enough of the inventory in the back, out of sight. The business was only a cover, but still better to look like it matters.

    Rolling down the security grill, Shiela locked up the store, and pulled some clothes off one of the racks. After she had changed into a more presentable outfit, Shiela pulled her fedora down over her face as she walked out the back of the store. She walked down a block before hailing a cab, then headed for Mario's, an Italian bistro, frequented by the Martinelli family, bringing the books with her.
    Last edited by Lentrax; 2013-06-18 at 03:06 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Mario's is up in The Bronx, a fact to which the cab driver gave much protestation before finally agreeing to drive you, mumbling under his breath the whole time.

    The cab driver drops you off in front of the restaurant. You pay him, tipping however you feel appropriate. It looks packed tonight. You can see inside Connie, Luca's 17 year old daughter working the hostess' booth, from outside the glass double doors.

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    Shiela shoves a hundred dollar at the cab driver as he starts to complain, which sets the yellow cab in motion easily enough.

    Shiela is not foolish enough to look around to see if anyone is following, but she does sit lower in her seat than she may have otherwise.

    Arriving at Mario's, Shiela departs the cab, paying the exorbitantly high fee, as well as adding an extra fifty on for the driver.

    Going inside, Shiela sees Connie, a nice young woman, bright future.

    If the Russians don't kill her.

    Passing the entire crowd of people at the entrance, Shiela walks straight to the girl, her hand gripping her attaché case tighter as she goes.

    "Connie? Is he here?"

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    "Sheila!", Connie exclaims upon seeing you. "Mrs. Markov, we have a table waiting for you upstairs. Come with me" As she leads you towards the back of the restaurant to a flight of stairs, she squeezes your hand quickly. "Your table is just up this way.".

    You climb the stairs leading into a spacious office. It is well lit, with windows looking out over the street outside. Luca sits in a swiveling chair at a desk. He turns around as he hears you climbing the wooden steps. He has graying and thinning straight hair and a stippled alcoholic's nose. "Jeeeezus! Sheila Markov, you've had us worried sick. Why the hell didn't you return any of my calls?"

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Shiela climbs the stairs, not sure what kind of welcome she would receive when she gets to the top of the stairs. Walking into the office, she looks at the man she owed everything to. The man who had her life spared when a quick death would have solved more problems then her life possibly could.

    Calling would be... unwise. If they truly have found me, they would be monitoring my phone. Calling would have tipped them off that I am still alive.

    But so would a dirty cop...

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    "So tell me what happened. I've already got a guess the Russians are involved, but all I know is through the grape vine, if you know what I mean."

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    "All I have is this note, two hundred bullets, and two injured people."

    Shiela describes how things happened as best she can, and when she is finished, asks, "What about the other girls? Is the Pleasure House alright?"

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    "I haven't heard anything yet." Luca turns around and opens a window, before grabbing a cigaret from a bronze container in his pocket, and lighting it up. "****, I didn't think they'd want to start a war over this. Maybe they hoped you'da died in that shooting and we wouldn't retaliate since you ain't full blooded family. Who knows what those crazy Russians think."

    Luca takes another long drag from the cigaret, and combs his thinning hair back. "This **** is going to age me. I guess we gotta find you some place safe to hide, huh?"

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    I didn't realize it bleeped swear words. Oops. Hope you don't mind.
    Last edited by Bennosuke; 2013-06-19 at 11:27 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    I don't want to impose, Don. I can go on the sheep, and take care of myself."

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    i know I got the expression wrong. It's going to be one of her quirks.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    "I've got some friends who can help take care of you. There's no point of you leaving this city if we can help it." He snubs out the already spent cigaret filter. "I've got a few friends who can help keep you hidden. But first things first. There's a man I want you to meet with. I'm not sure if you've heard of Vince Maccali. He.. takes care of business, if you know what I mean. I think it's late enough. I want you to go to this address," Luca quickly scribbles down the location on a piece of paper, "and talk to my man Vince. Then you come right back here. And tell Vince that I'll take care of his payment".

    You look down at the paper. The location is Manhattan, in the 60's, right off of Central Park West. "Any questions?"

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Shiela nods as Luca talks. She knows what 'taking care of' means. She knows she'll be'taken care of' if she doesn't go.

    No, Don. No questions.

    Heading back downstairs, Shila goes to the bar and has a car called to take her to this... Troubleshooter.

    While she waits, Shiela has another drink, then heads outside to the car.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    The cab takes you into the city. By now it is close to 9pm. The moon is dome shaped and hangs high in the sky. It is slightly foggy going into the bridge, but the city seems to welcome you with open arms of streetlights and glowing buildings. The cab takes you through the forest of Central Park, over to the West Side, dropping you off in front of a monolithic building made of giant cut stone.

    The Bell Hop waiting outside ushers you into the lobby, before asking you the apartment you are going to. "13 G" you tell him, and he rings up to this mystery man. You can hear muffled mumbles from the other end. "Go on up ahead."

    The elevator takes you up to the thirteenth floor, and apartment G is at the far end of the hall. The floor of the hall is black and white checked marble and the door is wood painted red, and gilded with brass.

    You reach to knock on the door, but the door cracks open before you can. It catches on it's chain, and you can see a dark brown eye and pale skin through the crack. "Did you bring my payment?" The voice is resonant like when someone runs their finger over the rim of a half filled cup, but a little high pitched for a man's voice.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    The cab ride was long enough, and the vodka strong enough that Shiela was able to settle down somewhat and collect her thoughts. Today had been stressful enough, and, taking stock of her frayed nerves, decided she really couldn't take much more.

    Shielas eyes widen slightly at the opulence displayed by the old building as she walks down the hall of the thirteenth floor. As she reaches up to knock, her surprise at the door opening makes her realize she was expected.

    Someone called him. The bellhop downstairs, probably.

    "Mr. Vince, I presume. Luca Martinelli sends his regards, and wishes me to inform you that he will be seeing to your payment."

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    "So you don't have anything for me tonight? Good for nothing son of a...". The door slams shut, silencing the man's rantings.

    It is suddenly very quiet and lonely in the hallway, and the checked floor (and maybe the vodka) is starting to make you feel unstable. You start to head for the door, when the door opens all the way. "Where do you think you are going? Come in. What do you need help with?"

    The apartment is cozy, but lavishly furnished. Red velvet cushioned chairs and big leather couches adorne the living room, which has a fine short wooden coffee table as a center piece. He invites you to sit down across from him. "Can I offer you something to drink?"

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Shiela enters the apartment. Looking over the furnishings, she decides this man must be very good at taking care of... Whatever he does.

    "I was told you may be able to help me with a problems ou see, several years ago, I was a prostitute. With the Russians. But through a carefully selected relationship, I... Altered my state of living. The Martinelli family took me in, helped me better my lot. Now though. The Russians have found me. I need to pull a Hoover."

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    Probably not too much of a stretch for him to figure or she meant Houdini.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    SamuraiGuy

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    The man steeples his hands as he listens. "Pull a Hoover? What sort of problems are the Russians causing?"

    You explain this to him "So the question is, who exactly is gunning for you. Is it just one person in particular or the entire Bravta? I can find these things out for you, but I suppose I will need the names of the Reds you knew or know."

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    "If it were entire Bratva, I would never have made here alive."

    Shiela sits back and thinks for a moment. Taking herself back to those dark years, when she was a plaything for some of the most sick and depraved men in New York.

    "Yosef. Yosef Gregorovich. If any would have survived the street war, he would have been one of them."

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    SamuraiGuy

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    "Yosef? Hmmmm. I can look into this guy for you. Suppose he's the one? You want me to take care of business for you?"

    A very twisted smile spreads across his lips.
    Last edited by Bennosuke; 2013-06-23 at 09:23 AM.

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