2019-07-10 - She's Just an Arm's Dealer


Constantine approaches Rose Wilson about the weapons used to mug him during the theft of the House of Mystery.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Jul 10 22:35:23 2019
Location: RP Room 3

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It's the giant hole in his coat (and his arm) that's John's first clue. Granted it sucks that he had to get /stabbed/ to pick the clue up, but it at least puts him on the track forward to the identity of the thieves of the House of Mystery, instead of a bunch of nothin' in his hands.

"Gossamer blade. Shoulda seen it," Constantine mutters, examining the destroyed sleeve of his trenchcoat and the runic patters broken beneath the clean, blood-stained cut.

He shrugs into his coat with a grimace, arm still badly maimed and the bandages not quite at the point of staying dry. What's he gonna do? Nip down to the House of Mystery and get a new coat from the closet?

A few calls are made and he shows up at Tangelo's. It's such a dive that it doesn't even bother calling itself a bar, and the illumination for it is acheap outdoor light angled offcenter on the sign in the dim city evening shadows.

John pushes in the door, heads to the bar. People stare at the blood stains on his jacket; he ignores them. "Scotch," he says. "Neat. Nothing that can't vote," he bids the fellow. The Liverpool accent's notable.

He counts out four fifties, lays them on the table. "Start a tab. Looking to buy a drink for a friend of mine. Rose Wilson. She here yet?" It's obviously a bribe. It's obviously not a bribe. Constantine gives the bartender an expectant look.

The bartender gives a very slight nod towards the back of the room where a young girl of indiscriminate age is sitting with three other much older men around her (30's or 40's), and she appears to be in some kind of drinking contest with them. Shotglasses abound around the table, and the men are looking a little sauced, Rose too. But, well - she's just acting. And acting damn good too.

The girl has a black leather jacket over a t-shirt that reads: 'My other shirt is at your mom's', and her platinum white hair is loose at her shoulders. The eyepatch though? Well. That's not something you see everyday.

John moves to the table. A chair's grabbed by the shoulder rest; dragged up with a scrape and bump of legs on uneven, worn old floors. Making no effort to conceal his approach or his intention, and making eye contact with the white-haired woman on the whole approach.

With a flick of his wrist the chair's spun around and John takes a seat without waiting for an invitation. Fingers interlace and rest on the tabletop. John looks at the other blokes, sideye left, then right, taking his tme to get a read on them, then looks at Rose again.

"Looks like you beat me here early, friend," John tells the woman. He digs in his sleeve, comes up with a crumpled back of cigaretts and extracts one into his lips. "Name's Constantine. I'm looking for some new kitchen knives. Rumor has it you sell some fine ones. You know." He cups fire in his palm, though no match is ejected, and stokes his cigarette to life with fast hollowings of his cheeks.

"Overpriced Cutco shite."

Rose snorts, a bit derasively, before downing another shot, then she shoves one of the guys off his chair and onto the floor, where he stays, apparently quite passed out. She takes the money on the table - one of the fellows protests and makes to grab at Rose's hand and she snatches it, twists it, hard. "I won. You lost. Go find another girl to screw, loser. I got business to attend to." And, she pushes him away too. There's something sobering, dangerous, in her eye that the man seems to understand, and he and his buddy shove off, leaving her and Constantine alone.

Rose starts counting her money, "That didn't take long. Little shits already squealing?"

"Will be once I get my hands on 'em," John says to Rose. Fingers flex in the air, forestalling any reaction. "No bad blood 'ere, luv," he assures her. Constantine sips his scotch, sets it back in place. "Not your fault what some dumb blokes did."

His cigarette bobbles, speaking around thee dancing cherry ember. "You just sold 'em the goods. All I want is to thank them for the fine display of their new toys, and get back something they nicked from me."

The coatsleeve is turned to show off the bloodstain and surgically sharp biscetion of the material. "I take it the blooomin' gits were dumb or fanatical enough to stand out in your mind a bit." He eyes the drinks in front of her. Then her shirt. He smirks and looks up at Rose. "What's your poison? Scotch? Bottle of MacAllan in it for a little friendly help," he tells her. "Old enough to be good for daddy issues."

"Not picky," Rose agrees, well enough. She eyeballs the wound, makes a face, "Looks nasty. You should be more careful." But then she leans back, shoving the stack of money into her pocket, "But, sure. Sold one of the little fuckers a few knives I came across in another venture. Needed a way to track them. Didn't figure they'd blow it this quick, though." She shrugs.

"You should really get that checked out. So, you know my name. Or at least, who I am. Who the hell are you?"

Rose Wilson, not exactly Miss Manners.

"Constantine." The sallow faced Brit drags on his cigarette again, blows smoke out through his nose in twin plumes. "John Constantine. Don't mind if you've never heard of me. Means you're living a safe life."

He says, to the arms dealer. Bitter, amused irony is present in his tone.

"Arm won't fall off, at least not this week. Need to get back what they nicked from me, though," he tells her. John leans forward again, face hardening just a little. "Don't mind telling you, it wasn't a pack of fags and a few bills they snaked off me. I've been rolled in the gutter once or twice, staggerin' out of a bar. They took something old. Old and dangerous. If I don't get it back, the results could be more than bad. Like… 'nuclear cloud' being a step /up/ from what they'll do to the cities."

He grins against, a flashing, irrepressible expression. "Do a bloke a favor eh, luv? Cost you nothin' and there's a fine bottle in it for ya."

"I was going to take care of the shits anyways," Rose says, mildly. She looks speculatively at Constantine, "But, real question is, can you handle yourself in a fight?" There's something about the man, the way he carries himself that suggests to Rose he's no ordinary miscreant off the street. She's just not sure of what.

She gives him a death's head grin back, "Because I don't slow down for anyone. Not even a 'bloke' who tries to butter me up."

She pours a shot, and slides it over to him, nonchalantly. "When?"

"Luv, you look like you can handle yourself just fine, and I'm sure I'd just get in the way of your style." The drink's taken on fingertips and Con hoists it in a toast for the woman, then throws it back with a gulp.

"Sooner would be better, but I've got a rule about leggy birds and good scotch. I never rush either," he explains. The woman's given a flashing wink. "Looked you up a bit before I came by. Yellow pages, fingers doing the walking," he clarifies. Fingers tap over the hardwood illustratively. "You've got quite a reputation. Pleased to find the lass lives up to the legend," he tells her. "Which is saying something, Gerry Giles at Market Pawn almost shite himself when I asked for your name. From the way he acted I might as well have asked him to whistle up an evil eye on himself."

"Gerry tried to cheat me once," Rose explains, casually. "When I was a bit more reckless than I am now." There's a dangerous smile, that suggests she's still as dangerous as Constatine thinks she is. "I was cashing in a few spoils of victory. He underestimated my knowledge of said items." She doesn't go into detail, but merely states, "I just made sure he wouldn't ever cheat me again."

She leans forward towards John, then, "But I'm not playing the mercenary game anymore. Not. Really. Though, I have to wonder where you got my name from. Or who, in the first place."

"Bill Three-Fingers," Constantine says, casually. He's not remotely intimidated by Rose, or if he is, he's got a world-class poker face. Smoke halos around his features; the light overhead casts his eyes into shadow, making the bright blues glimmer in constrast against the heavy crags that cast them into darkness.

"Asked him where I'd get a good blade. Something from the spooky side of the house. It'd have to be rare. Gossamer steel. Faerie moonblades. Bloody adamantium edged carving knife."

Shoulders move in a shrug. "It took some convicing, I admit. Sounds like he's picky about the business he sends your way. GOod friend to have. Wish I needed a diamond pocketknife or the like. Once I get my … item back, I might dial you up and we could talk about some fresh cutlery. I'll even buy the drinks," he offers, with another cagey, sly grin.

Rose considers, then, her mouth twisting some she reaches behind herself, beneath the jacket and pulls out a wicked looking knife. Gossamer. She remarks, "He knew I had one. Another spoil of victory. If you're going to draw a weapon on me, you'd better know how to use it. The fellow that had this knife didn't know how to use it as well as I did. They're rare. Some God or whatever has to bless the knife, I guess. Magic shit." Rose, apparently, doesn't have an affection for magic.

"Found that bullets work against magic users pretty well. So do swords."

"I'll help you get your item back, Constantine. Didn't I already say that?" She thought she did, apparently. "You know why they wanted it? And, more importantly, where they took it?"

"Don't know where they took it. Trying to work backwards on a few angles; figured the help was a good one to start with," John tells Rose. He examines the knife, nods once approvingly at it. "Elves love 'em. Tuatha de Danaan. Rare, too. Don't let any of them pointy-eared bastards see you with it. They're sacred. Fragile as glass if you're careless with 'em, but there's little they won't cut through."

"Where … no idea. Why?" He puffs on his cigarette. "It's a key for a warehouse. I've got a collection of old odd ends that I've picked up over the years, around the world. Like that pigsticker," he says, nodding at it. "Some of it's valuable. Most of it's terrifyingly dangerous. One dumb motherlover could get his hands on the wrong box, crack it open in Midtown, jumpstart the apocalypse. Eastern seaboard slipping into the ocean," he warns her. "Right now I'm so far behind the curve I don't know if they're just out for a buck or if they're preparing to unleash a bloody Pandora's Box on New York. What can you tell me about them?" he asks. "Crazy/sane types? Hoodlums, thugs, professional crooks? They took a shot at me but didn't finish the job; knew the gossamer blades would help 'em, but didn't shoot me in the head. Anachronistic? Or just idiots?"

"Organized chaos," Rose says, with a measure of certainty. "They're the bottom of a much larger food chain. They're the shock troops, more or less. The ears and eyes on the street. And, the distraction." She fills up the shot glasses again, takes another shot, casually.

"Most of them don't even know it. They think they're top dogs, and do whatever they want. Someone on the inside, though, is directing them. That's the first puppet. Seen it before. Someone big, clever, and paranoid is up at the top. You could've been a targeted hit. Or, just a random mugging. Hard to say. That's why I sold the blades. Wanted to see where they wound up. Figured one of them, once it was figured out what they were, would trickle upwards."

"Fuck," John remarks, without rancor. "Now I /am/ a bit chuffed at you," he grins. "Wasn't a mugging, luv, trust me. Hit me hard and fast. Knew right where the key was. Didn't go for my wallet or my watch or my cigarette case. I've been rolled. These guys tried to kill me. Just did a fuckall piss-poor job of it."

Fingers curl around the shotglass and John tosses it back with a flip of his head. "The storage unit, it's always on the move," he explains. "It's complicated. But the shite inside it is worthless to anyone who isn't up on their occultism."

He inhales smoke. Exhales. "Sorry to hear you're not doing the mercenary thing anymore. I could use a sword arm. Gunhand. Whatever. Can't pay much until I get my bloody key back, but I could compensate you pretty well once the dust settles."

Rose pulls out her cellphone, types on it a few times, and flashes the number on the screen at Constantine. "Call me when you're ready to go storming the castle." She drops the screen after a few seconds, adding, "Didn't say I wasn't doing it. Just not advertising it. Gotta keep up appearances, nowadays. I'm a," and she makes finger quotes, "Hero." Pause. "Or, whatever. Doesn't mean I can't sneak in some side-work."

John digs a pen and notepad from his pocket. Writes it down. It's an old school ink pen with a steel quill, but weirdly he doesn't do anything but uncap it to start writing. The needletip scratches against the paper and the kit's replaced in his coat pocket.

"Love a bird who gives a bloke her digits. Very progressive," John says with a sly grin. "But don't worry. Secret's safe with me." He reaches for the last shot, but the motion's a bit clumsy. Seems six or eight(?) shots of high-end scotch is enough to blunt even his metabolism a bit. "Where to first, then?"

"I know where a few of them hang out," Rose answers, "Half-ass biker bar a few blocks down. McGurty's. If you want to go bust the place up, I'm game. I've had my fun here. You got a ride?"

Rose takes her knife back, and sheathes it as indifferently as she brought it out - apparently nobody here has the cajones to try and take it from her, or make a comment about it either - at least as long as she's not targetting them.

"Cab's out front," John says, and kicks away from the table to stand up. "Not exactly a Bentley but it gets me around. My mate Chaz is drivin' it. Solid bloke. He'll take care of us."

"No time like the present, though. Let's go 'ave a word with these bastards, huh? I'm looking forward to… seein' you in action." He smirks at Rose enigmatically and starts towards the door.

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