Velvet Blue - Lost and Found

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Description: Brandon seeks out some Darkstalker help at the Gold Lounge in Southtown in his search of a magical ring.

The Gold Lounge is located in the back alleys just outside of Kabukicho in Japan. A sector that was meant to be devoted to traditional theater back in the 1940s that never came to be--the only remnant that being the name. Far from traditional theater however, the area had long since become famous as a red light district, which for dark ones and other non-human entities it became a bit easier to hide among the various casinos, massage parlors and clubs and bars. Where else to hide a club but in a huge mess of other clubs, after all. While the lounge was on the outskirts of this district, it still required a little extra camouflage--just to keep anyone who didn't need to notice it from doing so.

Thus, it's not necessarily 'advertised' but not impossible to find, especially if one had the right kind of eyes--that being magic and chi-sensitive types. Once through the non-descript door in the back-alley entrance, one would find themselves in what looked like a refurbished warehouse, dressed up to look like a classy speakeasy from the '20s, with a lot of red, black and the occasional gold in the decorating. There's drinking, smoking--as well as a stage, and the staff and clientele are definitely not human.

It started with a missing ring.

Brandon Malone was hired to find a ring that the owner had suspected was stolen. A gold ring with a ruby in it with diamonds set in circle around the ruby. It had been kept in a glass case in a vault. The client had mentioned that it was a bit of a good luck charm but the detective could feel remnants of the energy left behind. Good luck charm was an understatement. Brandon could feel traces of good fortune coming from the item and knew immediately there was more to that missing ring than met the eye. He had no idea whether or not the client had a clue about the ring or he knew but was reticient to share. Either way, the detective had a job to do.

Rumors and leads eventually got him to the point where he knew that the thief was a darkstalker but he didn't have a name, yet. Thanks to connections he had with the darkstalker crowd, he also heard rumors about a item being fenced at The Gold Lounge and if that was the case he'd eventually have to flush out the thief so he could chase them down and bring back the ring to the rightful owner.

He didn't find the club at first in spite of having the address but thanks to having a mystical sense, he makes his way into the bar, wearing his signature white fedora, white vest, white slacks black button down shirt white tie combination.

As Brandon enters, the various patrons do make note of him. The same kind of looks one gets in bars when first entering--the dumb look of accusational stare for a brief moment, before remembering not to stare. The waitress on call, the very tall (impossibly so due to her long lapine ears that rose a foot off her head) stepped by, long stiletto heels clicking as she paused to regard him a moment. The square tray slung around her shoulders was packed with cigarettes and cigars, and she held an additional round plastic tray with several drinks on it, long nails extending past the tips of her fingers. She might have wondered if he wanted to buy any, of course she was probably also somewhat concerned what a human they didn't know was doing here.

On the stage was a figure with long dark hair, clad entirely in what looked like a black, form-fitting spandex suit that zipped up the front with white feathered ruff high along the shoulders. Even from the vantage point of the tables one could see the pale yellow eyes thanks to their reflective nature, like a cat's--that and the gorgeous shiny violet of the long boots they were wearing. Behind them a long spaded tail like an imp's swayed as they sang slowly to the sound of a tinkling piano.

The private investigator glances back and forth over the already seated patrons and staff, noting those gazes that seemed to turn away a little too quickly or lingered a little too long for it to be natural curiosity. After the moment is taken to get a quick read of the room, he glances around for alternate exits in case things went pear shaped. He didn't anticipate anything going awry. It was just a good habit to have.

He then makes his way over to the bar, ideally in a location where he can get a view of the doors and the patrons without having to turn around too much. Entirely possible another patron is already occupying that seat.

He turns to the bartender and nods. When the bartender stops by he smiles and says, "May I have a whiskey on the rocks?"

He made up his mind to remain polite while here. He hasn't built up the reputation in Southtown among the darkstalker community the way he had in Metro City yet and so he's not going to rock the boat if he doesn't have to.

The bartender serves Brandon, apparently friendly, after all. The song ends on stage soon after, the sound of clicking boots again--however this time it's not the waitress/cigarette girl.

"Oh my, smooth criminal~ what brings you to this side of the tracks? you get lost...?" a soft but purring voice behind Brandon announces. It's the performer that was on stage--Velvet hauling themselves up onto a stool next to them as his cold vodka is served. The strange one straddles the stool beneath them, looking over at Brandon as they idly fuss over long pointed dark nails. Their appearance made them a bit ambiguous, but the noticable lack of rise in the chest read as male, though the eye makeup and lipstick probably didn't help.

"Smooth criminal, eh? First time I heard that one."

The slight smirk on his lips seems to say that no offense was taken as he looks at the androgynous performer that has taken a seat next to him. He glances at the patrons again.

"I'm not lost. I'm right where I intended to be. The question is whether or not' I'll find what I need here."

There's a subtle pale glow on the ice cubes in his drink. It's the type of thing that is easy to miss if someone wasn't looking directly at it, too far away, or didn't have the senses required to pick up on the movement of chi or mana. The ice cubes are slowly getting smaller. Is he intentionally diluting his drink?

"Well, you /do/ have the white suit and hat..." Velvet grinned a little, leaning their chin against an elbow, propped on the bar. "Really now? tell me more," Velvet signalled to the bartender and got a bottle of some kind of malt beverage from them that was opaque and white.

"Watcha looking for, then? private performances from me don't come cheap," Velvet grinned, after taking a drink themselves, the ice clinking off the side of the glass. "You're pretty brave if that's what you came all the way here for... but I must say I do like that," Velvet said in a voice just above a whisper, a tad conspiratorily. "Tell me what's on your mind," they leaned closer with a bit of a grin.

Private performance? One of his eyebrows rises just slightly. A performance was definitely not what the private investigator had in mind. He then takes a sip of that slightly diluted drink before focusing his energy on the ice cubes and once again accelerating the melting of the ice in his drink.

"Something was taken from a client of mine. One of my leads led me to here."

He opts for subtle. Just a little bit of information to see where the performer stands and to see whether or not the possibility of investigation shakes the tree a bit and to see if patrons start reacting.

"Oh? What kinda thing, penny for your thoughts? Quarter for your secrets~" Velvet blinked a little, brows furrowed for a moment before relaxing again into amusedness. "If it's a person I might be able to help, but I can be busy, so you might need to get me more information, hon," they crossed their booted legs lightly against the stool as they leaned against the counter, idly taking another pull from their glass.

"Generally I don't like getting into trouble, but I can be persuaded, potentially..."

"A trinket. But one of value."

He leaves that remark in the air for a bit in order to try to gauge the darkstalker's reaction. He doesn't go for another sip but he eases up on moving the energy through the ice cubes. He was at the point where if he accelerated the melting any more, it would be obvious to anyone paying close attention to him.

"A ring. I was told that the individual may attempt to fence the item here or make arrangements to meet at another location to perform the transaction. I'm not even sure the thief knows what they have in their possession."

He lightly taps his finger tips on the glass but still doesn't make a move to drink.

"Is that so?" Velvet seemed a little more emboldened now that they knew they weren't being asked to locate a some/one/, rather than a some/thing/, they weren't the kind to sell people out, it seemed. The fizz and soft pops of the ice then gathered his attention, the bat-eared performer blinking as he noticed the rapid melting of the ice cubes.

"Ohhh, someone's a wizard, I hope this ring of yours doesn't need to be tossed into a volcano, I didn't bring my running shoes with me today," he smiled, eyes flicking between the man and the glass again. "Is that supposed to try and hypnotize me?" he grinned, flirting again.

"A wizard I may be, but I'm not in need companions of the hobbit variety or someone to get into trouble on my behalf."

He lowers his head and shakes it from side to side with an amused smile on his face. He then glances at the drink once again.

"Information is all I'm here for right now. And the ring so I can return it to rightful owner."

He glances at the patrons and at the bartender in case he decides to start giving out signals to tip people off. He's not looking away to avoid the flirting from Velvet. That just happens to be one of the fringe benefits.

"Nah. Just a trick I picked up in college to keep people from trying to drink me under the table."

"Fair enough," Velvet replied, sitting up a bit straighter and sliding their drink a bit away. "I might know someone who deals in stolen things, or rings, or things of magical portent. Are we talking something cursed... or? I'd like to know what I'm getting myself into," the darkstalker blinked a little.

"Drink? You're not accusing me of trying to spike your drink, are you? Flattered if so, but no--and I'm just having a malt beverage, not quite the heavy drinker here," the performer shook their head.

"I can't exactly be sure since the client didn't mention it nor was I able to give a full examination to it before it was stolen. Based on what I felt from the residual energy of the ring, let's just say, if I were a clued-in owner of a casino, I would not let anyone wearing that ring anywhere near any of the gambling tables."

He takes a sip of his somewhat watered down whiskey before glancing at his current darkstalker drinking companion. And then at the drink.

"I'm on the job so I can't really cut lose as it were."

He does note that this companion might have a connection on someone who has stolen things which means it was a good idea to maintain decent relations in case another job brought him to Southtown.

"Well, if there's a little money in it, I could be impressed to lean on some of my contacts and help you find it, if you want--if it's magical, then it's not just any kind of ring, so no doubt people would have wanted it," Velvet leaned back and sipped again from their drink. "Was wondering, most guys who are into whiskey ask for stones with it, if possible, not ice," Velvet shrugged. "Not that those would be easy to get at a bar, but, I had to wonder when you melted the ice on purpose," his tail flicked up behind him, like one's brow might at that.

"Whaddya say then, partner?~" the performer grinned.

"If I weren't on the job, I would've asked for the stones. Or even ice balls because of the additional surface area. Since I am."

He gestures to the glass as if that was explanation that was needed. The ice melting cantrip was something he utilized when he didn't want to get too drunk and it was more subtle than any of his drunkeness prevention cantrips like removing the alcoholic content from a drink or increasing his metabolic rate. That last one wasn't fun to endure either.

"If your information is good and leads to the job being completed I'll be more than happy to give you a cut of the fee from the job."

"I knoew a few people who deal in such things, we can always go check out what they have for sale, could have been sold there--I take it you showed up here thinking it might be here?" Velvet tilted his head. He didn't know of a lot of goods being fenced at the Darkstalker's backalley speakeasy, to be fair.

"I think it's a deal then, if you are looking to cut me in, or don't, if I have fun I doubt I'll mind," the performer seemed to be pleased with that.

"I'd give you my card, we don't usually deal with the like--how about just my cellphone number? If you give me yours," he winked. Uh oh.

Log created on 20:25:55 08/18/2019 by Velvet Blue, and last modified on 13:24:04 08/22/2019.