Shadaloo - A Subtle Plant

Description: Muggings are an all-too-common thing no matter where you are. But when a crummy thief is in the sights of a much better thief, is there really any victim? Well, aside from the poor guy that has to run home in his skivives. A most incredible trinket changes hands not once, but twice, which is a good thing for one man who's unable to resist its siren call for even an hour. Perhaps Reese will prove better able to resist its sweet whispers.

How would people react to find out that one of the city's largest jewelers--or at least, one particular branch--passes more 'found' foods in a day than most shops sell legitimately sell in a month? The building is huge and clean, with glass and crystal everywhere. It doesn't look like the sort of place that anyone without lots of money would go...and certainly not shady, misfigured criminals. It must certainly be on the up and up, there's just no way it would risk dabbling in shifted artifacts.

Some streets away, one of these very individuals is trying to fancy himself in the same line of work. "You gimme that necklace, yeah, and ain't gonna have t'get hurt fer it. Seems a real fair deal, yeah?" Oh. Is that not fencing? That's just plain robbery. The two fields are very closely intertwined, at any rate. The well-dressed man facing down the business end of a notched bowie knife is all too ready to hand over his goods: wallet, the pendant he'd been carrying, his gold watch. All of it!

"Fine, here! It's all yours! Just don't tell anyone about it!"

The wallet and watch are pocketed, but it's the pendant that the thug picks up and stares at for a few lingering seconds. In the meantime, the rich bitch starts backstepping; perhaps he can escape. "Ah! Wait a minnit." The knife is waved around in a short, beckoning motion. "Yer suit, too. I'ma need it real soon here."

And so, about thirty seconds later, a man comes running out of the alleyway in naught but his spinky man-panties and tie. Some time after that, the smartly-dressed thug, adjusting the clothes and their poor fit, emerges, fingering one of his new prizes in his pocket. He knows a certain someone who ought to pay a bit for this...

It's been a //real// pain to ditch the camera crew -- not that Reese generally would, mind you. The pay for having them follow her around is worth it, but when she's got a client that needs a certain item gotten rid of quickly and they're willing to pay //more//, well it suits her purposes to hide from the camera crews, and fly back to Southtown to take care of it.

As always, she's careful when approaching the jewelers. Not so much in the 'look both ways' manner that most people would be when crossing the street, but in the 'watching to ensure she's not being followed' manner. With a swanky cashmere cape with fox-fur trim wrapped over her regular clothing, she looks like anyone else that would enter the jewelers.

Except that she stops when she sees the near starkers man running from the alleyway, and a smartly-dressed thug following on his heels.

It leaves the Aussie with one of those //WTF// looks on her face before her brow is raised upward. It also leaves her with a choice -- going after the near-starkers man, or following the thug. Of course she chooses the latter, figuring that the man in his underoos will more than likely find somewhere safe to call the police and //that// could lead to problems for //her//.

Indeed, it's safer following the squat-nosed man. The near-naked wonder is drawing quite a lot of attention and already yelling for the police. Hearing that causes our little thief to pick up his pace a little bit. Well, our larger thief. Uglier one? Yes, the uglier one.

How fortuitous that he should be heading toward the very same jeweler's that his tail is visiting! The reason for the suit is clear as he licks his palm to smooth out his hair, curls his lip to suck against his teeth, and generally preen a bit before the reflective glass. A soft tone accompanies his opening the door, one that repeats when it pulls shut behind him. He knows where to go, it appears; he walks right past the first couple of attempts from salespeople to aid him...but he stops on the third.

Resting his elbows on the glass countertop, the thief looks furtively about the store toward the back. The "May I help you?" is answers with a curt nod and he doesn't even look toward the man as he speaks.

"Yeh, I'm lookin' fer Jans, he's gonna resize my weddin' ring."

The salesperson pauses for but a brief moment before standing upright. "I'll just go see if he's available." The associate starts walking toward the back of the showroom, the thug following closely behind, though on the customer's side of the display cases. HE has to stop at the wall of cases toward the back of the shop while the worker disappears into the back room. In the meantime, the "lawfully-aquired object" is pulled from his pocket and set on the glass. It really is...strange, actually. A silver pendant, difficult to examine from afar, it looks like a lot of wound silver strands all knotted up around a ruby centerpiece.

Thugging (if that's even a word -- mugging done by a thug perhaps?) in the area near the jewelers is enough to cause Reese to pull a face. It's not exactly the most //brilliant// idea in the world, and dangerous for those who are on the more up-and-up (though really, is a thief //ever// on the up-and-up?) like the Aussie. This is why she's careful not to follow //too// closely to the man.

Entering the shop a minute later -- after stopping outside to adjust the cape, and primp her hair, and otherwise check her makeup -- she stops and chit-chats with the first salesperson for a moment, though she's hardly paying attention to them. Her attention is on the thug, while the sales pitch about the new diamond rings is going in one ear and out the other (except for the word diamond, that makes Reese think that it would be a really fun idea to play a ruse and wind up walking out with one without paying for it, but perhaps another time...).

"Excuse me," she murmurs to the clerk when she sees the pendant. She's //fairly// certain that's a nice sized ruby, but she needs to get closer to see it. Slipping quietly up behind the thug, she glances down at the silver strands but doesn't reach out to touch it just yet. "What a lovely piece. Not broken, I hope?"

Attentive, this man is not. His fingers drum idly on the glass case as he wants for 'Jans' to come out. Reese should know who that is; there's only one guy in this place that will actually buy goods off of people in unscrupulous fields, and that's the resident gemologist. Who better to know how much something is /really/ worth?

The woman's words startle the man considerably! He jumps and stops just shy of letting out a yelp, but he's visibly shaken. Half-turned, he looks the snoopy newcomer over a bit. No badge, at least none visible. A cape? Well, that's not TOO strange, not around here. "Uh. N-no, no, it ain't, it--it ISN'T." He stresses the proper pronunciation, there. His hand feels about while he's looking at her, soon covering the pendant and drawing it securely into his grasp, hiding it from view. She doesn't get much time to look at it, but in that short time, she should be able to glean two things: one, that the ruby IS in fact quite large. Two inches across and cut in an octogon only slightly taller than it is wide. Secondly, the thing is like a silver oval hoop, within which someone has paintakingly threaded dozens and dozens of silver threads into braided bands, and in turn twisted those into an infinity knot, making it appear as though the ruby had grown some sort of lavish roots and is holding onto the outer ring for dear life. In that manner, it looks almost pagan. Or Mesopotamian. Who knows?

"I was jes--just thinking of having it appraised for my wife, that's all."

The size of the ruby //would// have her eyes popping wide, but she's had enough training from Marius to know when to show surprise and when to hide it. This is one of those times when she needs to hide it. "How very thoughtful of you." Reese's mind, however, is screaming 'liar liar pants on fire'. He's not even a good one at that. "It's always a //good// thing to get family heirlooms approved. It's fairly old, isn't it?"

She's working hard to keep her accent hidden -- something she does frequently here -- in order to further mask who she is.

Pulling a bundle out from beneath the cloak, she smiles at the man. "I'm here to have something appraised myself." Getting rid of it more like. Unrolling the parcel, she reveals two items -- a long necklace comprised of gold and lapis lazuli, with a sapphire scarab pendant at the center, and a matching bracelet made of scarab-shaped cabachons attached via gold beads.

"I dunno...maybe forty, fifty years?" His hand is clutching the thing tightly; he's obvious afraid of it being taken away from him. Even Jans would be able to see through the lie, but honestly...would he really care? What does it matter how it was aquired?

Just before he's about to grow something of a spine and tell this nosey wench where her business lies, she comes out and does a little showing off of her own. His eyes widen as he looks over the gleaming smorgasbord, his nostrils flaring and lips tightening. The things are gorgeous, and he knows it. Wheels start to turn in his head.

"So,'re out with your heirlooms too, I take it?" It's difficult for him to pull his eyes away from the things--the necklace specifically. His pendant finds itself rolled about in his palm, flashing little glimpses of red now and then, but only briefly. Never before has he wanted to just...up and run away with something in his life!

"Really? Well it's quite beautiful, and your //wife// is a very lucky woman." The wheels in Reese's head start turning. She //could// try to snag the necklace from the thug, or she can let him sell it to Jans for considerably less than what it's worth and barter with the man -- her items for it. Which will not only give her a tidy profit from her client, but acquire her a piece of jewelry for her //own// collection.

Then she smirks.

"They're beautiful, aren't they?" The Aussie waits until the thug is looking right at them, and then leans in a little closer. She can //almost// reach the pendant. "Quite a bit older than your trinket though." Beat. "Possibly //ancient// even..."

The ugly man lifts his eyes at the words, though he wasn't even really listening. She should have been able to tell that; surely she's used to men going glossy-eyed in front of her. How simple could he be? He would be a fool to turn down down the insinuated situation. The rolling of his own ill-gotten good stops; he's got a good, firm grip on it now, with his fingers spread. It would be difficult to wrench it from his grasp easily...but why did he do that? Did his crook's instinct let him know that something might be up?

"Uh, yeah, yeah. Look, uh..." With his free hand, he gestures toward the necklace. "You mind if I take a look at that? I might be able to, I dunno. Make some kinda...arrangement for it?"

And where on earth is Jans? He must be with another 'client' already, to leave not one, but two people waiting for him! So what if he only knows about one of them?

Where on earth is Jans is a //very// good question, but Reese hasn't asked for him as of yet. She's plenty of time to kill, especially since she's away from the cameras and can relax a little. The Aussie grins at the thug, flipping her hair just a little so that it's off her shoulder.

"Tell you what," she says, looking down at her somewhat ill-gotten gains, "I'll let you take a closer look at it, if you don't mind letting me look at your wife's beautiful necklace." Beat. "Just to ensure that the arrangement is fair..."

Oddly, she doesn't seem too concerned about gripping onto her items. At least not so much as he does.

The man is torn. His brow furrows and one corner of his mouth tucks inward as he looks at the offered items. His hand lifts and he takes a good, long, open look at his own item. He's lost, gazing into the ruby. Now that it's out, it looks...well, cloudy, but not in any natural way. As soon as one is convinced that there's something wrong with it, it clears up.

Most importantly, the pendant is just BEGGING to be snatched. Not just for the man who's holding it, of course; there's this...unnatural pull, a desire to own it.
It's wonderful, though, how great minds think alike, don't they? It would seem that each of the thieves are quite taken by what the other one has... The difference is, Reese is actually willing to give something up for it.

With a sudden burst of motion, the thug reaches for whichever of Reese's items he can grab, and then he bolts for the door! Does he not care about the cameras, the witnesses? He just bolts out the front door at full bore. What's worse is that he even goes so far as to grab some other trinkets on display on his way out, whatever's close enough to grab in his mad dash!

Now, the Aussie doesn't care that her artifacts have been taken so much -- she's been paid for disposing of them and if the thug is caught with them, well he'll need to deal with whatever museum her client happened to snag them from in the first place. What //does// bother her is that he's bold enough to snatch them, the //ruby//, //and// other items from one of the most trusted fencers in the damned area.

"Oi!" Without bothering to open the cape, she's got one hand on her whip, the other on one of the guns. At the moment, she's bloody well cursing them for //not// having actual bullets in them which would make this //so// much easier.

"Tell Jans I'll be right back, yeah?" Then she's chasing after the man at her own top speed, trying to overtake him.

Oh, he's not so fast that Reese can't catch up to him, that's for sure. This guy is a man used to running from people, so instead of going straight, he turns. Oh, does he turn. Dashing into the first alleyway, there's a cacophony of tipped cans and the like immediately. Just when she's caught sight of him, he's around another corner. And another. Every time, it's like he KNOWS which way she's going to turn behind him and he manages to stay one step again.

That changes when he's caught by something that he didn't expect: a parked van. Tucked into the alleyway, just barely fitting under a fire escape and an air conditioning unit, it would take a bit to get past it. Should he climb? Should he open the door and go THROUGH it? Should he--

His panicked train of thought is interrupted by a most unusual sensation. He doesn't hear Reese coming. He FEELS it. Hurriedly looking back over his shoulder, he doesn't see the woman, not yet, but he knows he's got to get the hell out of THIS SPOT. Scraping shoes find traction on the dirty ground as he backtracks across the path he'd entered from. His persuer might--MIGHT be able to grab him as he goes past the opening and down another path, if she's especially quick...or if she can figure out how to wield that whip in such narrow spaces.

He's off and running like a man who thinks that running from a damned croc in a zigzag is going to be effective. Reese would honestly palm her face at the attempt, but she's got to keep up. Seems he's //very// used to being followed, and she's sorely tempted to climb up a fire escape and chase him from above, but there's not telling how far they'll extend, or if she'll be able to crash safely down upon him if she makes the attempt.

//She// doesn't know these alleyways as well as he seems to.

Noting the narrow space, she has the whip out in a flash and twists her wrist quickly to lash it at his ankles and trip him up. Thanks to a recent cage-match SNF fight, she's good enough with narrow spaces. Not perfect by any means, but she's got a bit of practice with it.

"Listen, mate, give up that pretty little ruby and what you took from the shop, and you can have the other items free and clear."

How fortunate for her, then, that she's able to snag him! As the tendril coils about his ankle, his momentum and weight send him crashing to the ground. His grip on a number of his trinkets was loose enough for them to all go spilling forth, but the pendant, he holds onto with peerless jealousy. He's in the process of trying to pick himself up, but he's rather winded by the sound of him, his chest swelling with labored breaths.

"Who...who the hell are yeh, anyhow?" He has to lean against a wall for support, as suddenly trying to get up has made him dizzy. "I saw how yeh were lookin' at it, but it ain't fer you to have! I got it, an' I ain't never gonna let it go!" That seems true for everything, it seems, as all of a sudden, his only efforts return to picking up every little shiny thing he'd dropped...and even a not-so-shiny quarter that had grimed its way to the ground ages ago. Finders keepers!

"Doesn't rightly matter who I am, now does it? I don't see you offering up //your// name." Each word carries her a step closer to the man, until she's got the gun out. It may not be loaded with ammo, but //he// doesn't know that. So while he's busying himself picking up anything shiny, she's pressing the gun to the back of his head.

"That's where I think you're wrong. You may have it, but you'll be letting it go now." Beat. "In fact, I think I've been very generous in my offer, considering what you took from me is worth at least ten times that ruby." A sly grin touches her lips and she adds, "I also think you're going to return that suit. Only fitting to have you running out of an alley near starkers too, hmm?"

Oh, he's in a tight spot now, isn't he? Even as he's being beset upon, all he wants to do is collect his shinies, to stuff them into his pockets. for the pendant. That, he does not let go of, not once. "Go fuck yerself," he spits out, pressing back against the wall that he's been forced up to. He's caught some of his breath, but he's not running. He's just hunching up, apparently putting the safety of his goods above all else.

"What, yeh gonna shoot me for 'em? Piss off, it ain't even loaded."


No sooner do the words come out of his mouth than he looks utterly confused. He shouldn't know that! As seconds pass, his free hand comes up against his forehead. He's not even looking at her now, he's more...looking off and slightly groundward. Ah, but soon, he does look right up at Reese! "Hey, I know you! Yer that...yer famous! Yeh, I...I seen ya on TV now an' then!"

Really, this is just creepy.

It //is// creepy.

Reese stares at the man for a moment, and then chuckles. "You're right. You've got me. It's not loaded." Beat. "But if you've seen me on the tele, then you know quite well that even though it's not got bullets in it, it's still going to //hurt// if I pull the trigger." Then she seems to get deadly serious. Her expression goes from being charismatic and somewhat friendly to being hard and cold.

"Then again, I can't really risk you ruining things for me, now can I? You go off, blabbing that mouth of yours and that's going to make me //really// irritable." Though apparently not loaded, the gun hasn't been lowered yet. Worst case scenario, she can always coldclock him with it if necessary.

"So question is, mate, are you willing to take the chance?"

She'll focus on the creep factor when she's not busy focusing on the fact that he's figured out who she is.

"I know..." His free hand rubs all over his face, spreading out the thin sheen of sweat he'd worked up from running and just, generally, the whole stress of the situation. Held horizontally, that hand remains over his mouth, tucked just under his nose. Is she bluffing? There's a big difference between seeing someone once or twice and knowing anything about them. Does she use a gun? Does she use the whip? What is she even famous FOR? The guy knows none of this. But...

"But heh, are yeh gonna risk me goin' out an' tellin' people yeh get yer kicks shaking guys down fer their loot?" He stands up straighter, the good suit becoming terribly marred as it rubs against the bare bricks. "So what! I don't care, I ain't givin' any of it up. It's mine, yeh hear me! ALL OF IT!"

The pendant's ruby is horribly dark now, but it's hidden by virtue of being pressed against his palm. Despite the odds, despite ALL common sense, the larger thief is standing straight up in a show of empty bravado. "Come on, then! Ain't no way I'm about ta let YOU take alla MY things!" It's his turn to step forward now. It's his turn to retaliate! His empty hand balls up into a fist, pulls back, and swings out in a righteous hook! Yet, as a complete amateur, he may as well be wearing a big sign that says "HITTING HERE ->". Also, moving like molasses.

Chances //are// that she's bluffing. Reese prefers to tackle situations like this with talking people to death rather than shooting them -- if only because doing so takes up a good deal of energy on her part, and she's not //that// good with it as of yet. Shoulders lift up, and she keeps a dark look in her eyes as he makes his threat.

"Think anyone would //actually// believe you, mate?" Beat. "The jewelers saw you run out with not only //my// item, but whatever else you could grab as well."

Before she's able to finish her thought completely, he's balling his fist up. As he comes in with the fat-fisted hook punch she weaves just a little and twists her wrist to the side again. Oh, it's not the whip she's using this time, but she's got the gun flipped in her hand so she can coldclock him with the butt of it.

"//Really//?" Shaking her head, she allows herself to look distracted in case the bean on the head isn't enough to knock him out. "To everyone back at the jewelers, I've run off to save their items."

Thankfully, that one hit is more than enough. The man is no fighter. In fact, he has never had the sort of backbone that he'd portrayed just now. That one skillful knock on his head is enough for his vision to go white, then black. Like a ragdoll, he slumps to the ground at Reese's feet, defeated.

If only all fights were over with that simply.

She'll have to wait until later to find out just what on earth made him so senseless, if she even cares. But really, why would she? A bit of digging through his jacket will find the necklace that he'd stolen from her, as well as a few pairs of earrings and bracelets that he'd managed to snatch on his way out. The real prize, however, is that ruby-mounted pendant. It's still trapped in his clutches, fingers stiff with its death grip, but not impossible to part. And once she's got it free, simply /begs/ to be picked up! Despite the rough treatment, there's not a single scratch, not a solitary blemish. Now, the ruby in the center of it all is clear as the sky, refecting enough light to give the silver threads about it a faint pink glow immediately around the gem.

Both whip and gun are returned to their holster, and she stares down at the man. Very carefully, she collects each piece of jewelry. A small pouch is retrieved from inside the cape, and she places each item within it. Except the ruby necklace. That she picks up and runs her fingers over, marveling at the craftsmanship, peering into the ruby to determine clarity.

"I've no clue where you've come from, but I know where you're going."

After setting the pouch back into the cloak, she settles the ruby necklace around her neck and secures the clasp.

Then she can't help but //kick// the poor downed man. "I'd //really// love to take that stolen suit too, but I'd rather not have to deal with whatever you've got on or //not// under it."

Tapping the cloak, she grins. "Besides, I've got to go play the part of hero, and get paid doubly for the nice little trinkets you were just trying to pilfer from //me//." Another nudge to his leg to ensure he's down and out, and she's turning to head back to the jewelers.

Funny, that... The pendant, once warm, feels amazingly cool. Given that it had just been in another guy's flushed palm, it should at least be a little warm, but no. Then again, is it really important when the ruby gleams so brilliantly? Surely it's not at all important.

The poor thug lets out a small groan as he's kicked again. At least he gets to keep some of his dignity in that he doesn't have to run around naked. Maybe she'll be kind enough to leave the stolen credit cards behind! At least let the guy rent a hotel room and grab a shower or something. God.

But indeed, the jewelry shop will be -pleased- to find their things returned, and without having to resort to the authorities! Jans had told those workers not in the know that he'd called them and that they were on their way, which is of course a bald-faced lie. There's no way he'd ever chance someone coming in and, somehow, stumbling on the side business due to a clueless "customer". doubly REALLY enough? Insidious temptation is weak right now, but the more that Reese surrounds herself with expensive trinkets, the more tantalizing she may find them. Has that man that she's never seen before, has his watch /always/ looked so good? And that woman, why...her earrings would look /far/ better on the Aussie than they would on her. It's an itch, for the moment; nothing more.

Log created on 17:23:08 11/20/2011 by Vega, and last modified on 21:10:17 11/20/2011.