[2Dets] Less Sordid Performance Art (BC 02)

edited March 23 in two-detroits
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Bianca,
You head down to Core City, park a block and a half away and walk to 4731 Grand River Avenue. Outside and across the street are quickly arranged but fascinating giant sculptures of people in odd positions wearing bizarre expressions and makeup. There's some light foot traffic today and a few people stop to gawk while others stare while walking by. You spot Sasha, she's hanging out, vaping a cherry smoke and chatting with her cousin.

What's your favorite piece? Why isn't this "commercial", do you think?

What do you do?
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  • edited March 23
    I reach out and snag Sasha's fancy vaporizer, take a hit. "The Hillary statue is great, man. I like them all, but that look of surprise? Priceless." This isn't marketable, at all. The "statues" are waste food, artfully draped on armatures made from factory cast-offs. Classic 21st Century Detroit, really, but not reproducible elsewhere. I hand the vape back off to Sasha, give her cousin a look of respect.

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    Sasha's eyes widen when you snag her vaporizer, but she looks over to see you and grins. "Yeah, it's good. I like the one of Conan bench pressing Trump in a big man-kiss, it's hilarious." She tries to keep things casual when you're out in public, since you two are just friends with occasional benefits, but there's an obvious lift in her mood.

    Ambrose, who is a muscular, dark-skinned man who wears a wife beater and a beret most of the time, almost like an avant garde military. He listens to your praise and moves up to put hands on your shoulders, "This installation is my best work, but you must be in my next piece, Bianca." He looks you up and down, "Would you be averse to nudity?" Sasha snickers, but doesn't answer.
  • "I'm only averse to nudity if it's tasteful, Ambrose." I give him my most feral smile.
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    Sasha chuckles, and Ambrose eyes widen as he processes the response.
    He decides to play along, moving closer and looking past you at his sculptures, then bending down like he's telling a secret, "Have you seen my pieces? I've heard you've seen all of Sasha's ink. Nothing about my expressions... are tasteful." He stands back up, his smile nowhere near as feral, "You'll be in the most tasteless hands." He chuckles, but yeah, that look, he didn't know how to take it at first and only bought in on Sasha's laugh.

    After a moment, he asks, "How are you, Bianca? How is the training biz?"
  • I let my smile transform into something a little less disturbing. "It's pretty good right now. So glad I dumped that stupid gig at Planet Fitness..." I shake my head. "You got a pretty good crowd, Ambrose. Did you promise them free booze or something?"
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    "No, but damn, girl," Ambrose says with a sudden smile, "I think you ought be my business manager!" He elbows Sasha, "I tell Sash that she's my billboard, but I could use someone with keg-sized ideas! Shit, you got that one, right?" He laughs, then sees someone observing his Refuse-Refusal piece, "Excuse me, that guy bought one of my pieces a while back."

    After he's gone, Sasha takes a puff, then offers it to you, "You like that flavor? Real glad you came by." She offers a little smile.

  • I take the vape. "I do like the cherry thing... and I'm glad I made it, too. Sunshine, art, making Ambrose uncomfortable... it's a good combination." After a puff, I ask, "So how was your shift? Any problems with the big order?" I hand back the vaporizer.
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    Sasha offers a shrug about work, "Duncan was backed up, but we worked it out, no problem. I threw in a little brown sugar into the sauce this time. Something a bit sweeter, you know? Like me." She grins, then takes a long puff, holds it, then blows it out. You two chat for a bit longer, but then she peers across the street, "Uh oh, some of the real 4731 guys... I thought Ambrose had this worked out."
    You see four young guys and a girl with a rooster mohawk come up and start talking at Ambrose animatedly.

    What do you do?
  • "Then we let him work it out, right?" But I'm looking for the need to intervene. Some might say "hoping" for it, but that's BS, really. Really. Do any of those antagonists seem... unnatural?
  • edited March 24
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    Sasha's "a lover not a fighter". Seriously, she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She loves cooking and having fun. Which means Ambrose is on his own when the blonde artist comes up and shoves him hard. Ambrose falls back into a sculpture, then comes back to get in his face. It looks like a fight's going to happen here and now, in broad daylight.

    Thing is, Bianca, that mohawk girl? This is her:
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    She's got wicked eyes, and she looks over at you and Sasha and does this serpentine-like lick of her lips. Her outfit is scruffy, and she looks disheveled as all Hell. In fact, you get the feeling she is a member of the Calabim band of demons.


    "Shit, B!" Sasha hisses with worry. "They're going to fight Ambrose? Should I... call the cops? We aren't supposed to be here." She's pulled her phone out of her back pocket and is hesitating, hoping this works out. It doesn't look like it will.

    What do you do?
  • I shake my head. "Don't call yet, Sasha." Then I start towards the scuffle, hand reaching for the baton tucked under my jacket. "Let's all chill out, okay? Make art, not war, you know?"
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    The girl with the mohawk sneers, "Don't lecture us, you skinny bitch. This guy's bringing the whole place down with his trash art! You better lay off because we all worked hard to make this place work, and Ambrose here's trying to sponge off it!"

    Ambrose tries one more time to keep it casual, "Only thing I wanted was to get your eyes on my shit. Is this how you treat the up and comers? Well hell, man, that's sad. What? Are you afraid? Worried? Do I shake your tree..."
    That gets a punch from the wiry blonde guy, and then the shorter Korean guy grabs Ambrose and they both start to hit him. Mohawk girl just grins, like somehow she's soaking it in.
  • edited March 25

    "I work hard at being skinny. And..." I flick my wrist to extend the baton. "...at being a bitch." It's blessed, but it's been a few weeks since the Padre touched that up. Should be enough to let the Calabim know I'm serious, though.

    Since she's not throwing punches at the moment, I'll take a swing at whichever of Ambrose's two opponents is closest, going for a hard strike mid-thigh that will hurt like hell but not do permanent damage. For now.

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    The Calabim sees the baton and she's not going to step in for her friends, not yet. Let's see you Unleash on the blonde guy.
  • Unleashing: (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 3, 6. Total: 10)
  • The baton inflicts 2-harm, and since I'm assuming I was something of a surprise, I'm choosing to take the initiative away from blonde dude, giving him pause.
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    You take a swing at blonde right as he was pulling a fist back to punch Ambrose again. Your baton connects hard on his wrist and you swear you can feel the bone crack. He spins around like a broken rubber band and drops to his knees, holding his broken hand, shuddering with pain.

    The Korean guy lets go of Ambrose and steps back like this is way more than he expected. Ambrose turns and punches him right in the face, once, twice.
    "What's your name, or should I call you Skinny Bitch while I'm hitting you?" the Calabim asks as she rushes you and shoves you back off blonde. She pops her neck and advances, hands at her sides. But she moves quickly, Bianca.
    What do you do?
  • I don't waste my breath on banter. This is too public for me to break out The Preacher and carve this Calabim like a Thanksgiving turkey, so I'm just hoping to back her off. I can finish it another time. That said, though, I'm not pulling any punches. This strike with the baton is going for her head, with ample follow through.

    Unleashing: (Rolled: 2d6+1:. Rolls: 3, 6. Total: 10)
  • Terrible harm (3-harm).
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    Korean guy and his other friend who was more watching than fighting, they take off. You hear Sasha in the background somewhere, she's calling the police, you're sure.
    The demon sees the baton coming for her head and throws up a forearm to block it. It's quick, but sloppy, like she thinks she can absorb the blow without a problem. You hear a hiss like somebody just dropped bacon on the grill and her eyes widen in surprise. She backhands you with that same arm, which drags a groan of pain from her, but it connects against your cheek.
    Take 1-Harm here.

    Now, you can go toe-to-toe with this demon, but this is daylight, there are witnesses and probably phones, and the cops have been called. She looks like she's ready to break and run, but she's not going to turn her back on you.

    What do you do?
  • I step backward into a guard position. "Vade ergo, Ofanim. Iterum autem videbo vos cito." Run now, Ofanim. I will see you again soon.
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    She moves over to blonde and pulls him to his feet. Blondie clumsily jogs across the street, nearly gets hit by a car that honks at him. The demon with a mohawk flips you off with her good hand and takes off running. She can move, Bianca. She jumps over the front of the car that stopped for blondie and heads into 4731.
    Breathing heavily, Ambrose says, "Thanks for the assist, Skinny Bitch." he huffs a laugh, then moves over to a sculpture. "I need to move. Cops coming. You should take Sash and go. No reason to get mixed up in this, especially since you used that baton."
    What do you do?
  • I nod. "Sasha, let's hit it!" I move toward my truck, pushing my baton into my thigh to retract it. Pretty sure there's phone video of what just went down, but it's just a brief street fight, nothing for the cops to really dig into. I feel the bruise start to swell on my cheek like an egg, but I've had worse. I'm most worried about how Sasha's going to react to me going Mortal Kombat there.
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    Sasha follows you, but she keeps looking back at her cousin, worry on her face. She almost says something, but the sound of sirens silence her. After a block and a half jog you both get into your car, she slides into the passenger side, then turns to look at you.
    "B, that was intense." Sasha says breathlessly. She notices your shiner, starts to reach up for it, but then she pulls back. "Thanks for helping Ambrose out, but... you really hurt those guys. I didn't know you even had a, you know, a baton. Or could fight like that...." She's to the point of babbling, so she stops.
  • I turn the ignition and start up the truck, then carefully pull out into traffic. "Yeah, well... sudden violence turns out to be one of my many talents." I half-shrug. "I'm sorry you had to see that, Sasha, but I had to step in."
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    Sasha is quiet for a block before she replies, "No, you did. It's just, you know, more than I expected. I think you broke that one guy's wrist. I..." she blanches for a moment, "It sounded... awful."

    You leave Core City and Sasha fiddles with the radio on the truck. What starts playing? "How did... how did you learn to fight like that?"
  • My usual station is Faction with Jason Ellis. Right now, Rise Against is on. "Prayer of the Refugee." This question Sasha asked... it's not easy to answer. I got thrown in the deep end, fighting demons on Devil's Night... just doesn't really cut it. "Let's just say my life hasn't always been roses and birthday cake. It's a long story."
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    Sasha senses the hesitation to get into your past and she lets the music play, saying nothing for a few blocks. "You can just take me back to Vamonos. I can maybe pick up a shift. If that doesn't work out, I'll catch the bus home."

  • This is why I can't have nice things. "I can take you home if you want, Sasha... and I'm... I'm sorry. I'm still up with the adrenaline. If you really want, I'll talk about it sometime."
  • edited March 26
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    "That would be great, if it's no trouble." Sasha says, her tone shifting to being a little more comfortable. "Sorry if I seem judgey, it was just, like I said intense." She thinks for a moment, then says, "If you want to hang out at my place for a little bit, I can wash the clothes you lent me." Which she's wearing right now.
    I'm going to say this drive, and you promising to open up, being quiet and open with Sasha, it triggers your Intimacy Move. Go ahead and mark that faction, and your Hunter move lets you ask her a question she must answer honestly. She can ask you a question in turn that you must answer honestly, or mark corruption.
  • "That's cool, Sash. Hey, you mind if I ask you a question? Ambrose... well, I've seen your ink, so I know he's got to have seen you naked. Is he really your cousin, or is that just one of those 'grew up together' things?"
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    She laughs lightly, "He's my legit cousin. His mother and my dad are step siblings. We did grow up together, his dad's in the pen, so he's spent the night at our apartment when I was growing up for months on end while his mom was trying to get things going. But other than playing doctor when we were younger, which only led to the touching above the waist, we're not involved. Yeah, he's seen me naked a bunch, and it's just not a thing." She smiles, the first time she's relaxed since she got in the truck, "Not like... when you see me naked, B."

    "What are you... looking for?" Sasha asks, turning in her seat to look at you. "What are you after? I... I know it's vague, so you fill in the blanks."
  • edited March 26
    There are so many ways I could answer that. Everything I could say is, as the old saw goes, "partly true, partly false, and partly meaningless." "Sasha, there's shit in my life... you don't need to know some of it, I promise. And I don't know if you're asking what I'm looking for in a partner, or in the world, but... I want to defeat my demons, and... they're not all metaphorical. I know that's not much of an answer. Follow-ups are fine." I turn my head, give her a weak smile. I do NOT want to ruin her world view.
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    She returns the smile, hers is an attempt to be reassuring, or maybe encouraging. She puts a hand on your thigh, asks, "What's... one demon that you want to defeat? If that's too one-sided, we could trade off demons."
  • Oh, the list of demons. I'll pick a metaphorical one instead of saying "That Calabim bitch I just whacked in the head." There's one thing that's true in all areas of my life though. "I'm addicted to independence. I... the idea of someone..." or something "...possessing me. It scares the shit out of me."
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    "That's... wow." Sasha says in a surprised tone. "That's how you see a relationship? Commitment? Possession? That's a scary term for, you know, caring about someone else."

    She sits back, clears her throat, moving on, "I mean, I get the idea of not trusting people to make and uphold commitments to you. I've been cheated on, and it's super shitty. Possession? Hunh... nobody possesses me." She quirks a brow, "Or am I missing your point?"
    You're pulling into her neighborhood. Sasha lives in a cheap set of apartments a stone's throw from the projects she grew up in. She's barely crawled out of that life and always teeters close to falling back in. If Vamonos cuts her hours any more, she's likely to miss rent, which will start a spiral that will be very bad for her.

    What's the most endearing part of her little apartment high rise?
  • I park the truck and get out before I answer, setting the alarm. "No, you got the point. If... it made sense, it really wouldn't be a problem." I smile, as I always do, at the little garden the tenants of her building have managed to put together replacing the postage-stamp "lawn" that the developers left. Rows of corn and tomato and beans. Hot peppers. Some flowers. It's pretty and functional, and the philosophy is that anyone that needs something can take it.
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    The elevator's out, again, so you trudge up five floors. Sasha pulls out her keys and opens the door for you. Inside is her cramped two bedroom place that she shares with her roomie Tank.
    "Tank's working a shift, he won't be back till late. C'mon in and hang out while I wash the clothes you lent me." Sasha pulls her shirt (your shirt) over her head as she heads into the hallway to open the the door to the laundry closet (it's only big enough for an over-under, but she can actually wash clothes, so it's better than nothing. She slips out of the sweats, too, putting it in the wash and getting it going.
    Sasha's tiny living room is big enough for an L-shaped couch and a knock-off flat-screen TV. What classic video game console do they have?
  • They have an Atari 2600. Well, actually, a Sears Tele-Game Rev. B (Tank told me that). The only two games I've played are Adventure and Pitfall. I could play Pitfall for hours... "Who'd you bribe to get a washer/dryer in your apartment, anyway?"
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    Sasha looks over and grins impishly, "The super likes me. He gave me a line on one that was... abandoned. Tank fixed it up and wah lah." She notices you eyeing her TV and console and gestures, "Go on, fall in the pits. Just don't blame me if you lose track of time and end up hanging out till supper. I'm cooking something pretty yummy, so you should. You know, hang out till supper. "
  • I shake my head. "Can't... I have a side gig for one of my clients." That's what we call the people we train, and what I call the people I "help." Sometimes. When I'm not just hunting. F me, why did I get involved with Dustin's stuff in the first place? Right, money. "Helping move some stuff." Him. And then, of course, negotiating with a supernatural brothel madame. Negotiating. My strong suit.
  • edited March 27
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    Sasha comes out of the washer closet and pads barefoot in her skivvies over to the couch and plops down. Playfully pouts, "Well, you're missing out. I was thinking about shepherd's pie." She looks up at the ceiling like she's thinking "real hard", "What's your favorite meal, B? I want you to think about me eating it while you help a client move." She chuckles.
  • Well, that's an interesting question. Nine times out of ten, food is just... fuel to me. But on that tenth time? "Well... I kinda eat to live, instead of living to eat, but... if I'm going for favorite, I have to go spicy. It's either lamb vindaloo or larb gai from a Thai place that believes me when I say 'Thai hot'. But shepherd's pie sounds great... sorry I'll miss it."
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    Sasha listens close about your favorite food and takes mental notes. She hangs out for a moment, then hops up to get into the kitchen to get the pie started. She puts an apron on, of course.

    How long do you hang out before you go?
  • Since the point of this interlude is supposedly to regain my sweats and t-shirt after they've been washed and dried, I hang out long enough for that to happen. 45 minutes, since they're the only things in the machine? "Hey, I can help if you want, Sasha. Even if I'm not staying for dinner. I'm good at chopping." That might be a little unfortunate, saying that.
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    "You want to come in here, you have to wear an apron." She grins and opens the tiny pantry to pull a frilly pink apron off a hook. She holds it up to put it over your neck if you submit to wearing it. "I could use a chopper."
  • I growl, but accept the pink apron. "Peel and chop ze carrOTTS, madame?" Fake French accent. It always kills.
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    Sasha snickers and happily puts the apron over your head, then reaches around your waist to tie it at the back. Of course, it's an excuse to hug you, which gives you access to her, too. She ties it slowly, then steps back, letting her hands rest on your hips and looks up into your eyes. "Hey. What we've got, B. It's good. Casual. Fun. But, I don't want you to feel trapped. Do you... feel trapped?"
  • Thing is... talking about it? Kinda does. But not enough to upset Sasha. She's good people. "Nah. I don't feel trapped, Sash. Like you said, casual." I give her a kiss, not a searing one, but a decent one. Like a five-and-a-half on a 1-to-10 scale. "And fun." Shit. Can I do... this, these kind of questions? I'm bad at lying, it's a miracle I'm not institutionalized, but I have this tendency to tell the truth. "It's cool." I break away, move on to the carrots. She's got a y-peeler, and I make fast work, then take the dull chef's knife and dice them in a way that's got to seem like I was a sous-chef for some ninja-California celebrity chef. In other words, fast. Too fast, really. "This knife... it's a little dull. You want me to bring my sharpening stone over?"
  • edited March 27
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    "Yeah, that'd be great, B." Sasha answers with a knowing look, like she gets that it's a promise for future, a more solid answer to her question, a calm to her worry. She doesn't push further.
    She grabs her phone and plays some music while you cook together. It's as intimate as you've been together. You find a rhythm, she gives direction and you quickly knock out the tasks. She's used to working in this place and incorporates you without missing a beat. Your work is interrupted by the beep of the dryer finishing, and she asks you to put the dish in the oven while she grabs your clothes.
  • She's not looking, so I sneak a peek in the fridge, find some old powdered "parmesan" to sprinkle over top of the mashed potatoes that overlay the casserole dish. Actually wish I could stick around to eat, but it's time for me to move D-bag Dustin to his new (he'll hate it) digs. Once I put the Pyrex baking dish in, I wash my hands and then walk out to the main room."Shepherd's pie, peppered with actual shepherds on top..." that's a Sweeney Todd reference, whatever, I like Johnny Depp "...in the oven. And I should probably head out. Ummm... sorry. I think it will be delish."
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    Sasha has folded up your sweats and shirt and put them into a plastic grocery bag. "Here are your clothes." Still in her underwear and apron, she sidles up to put her arms around your waist, leans up to give you a 7 out of 10 kiss and pulls back, "Tell you what, I'll save a portion and bring it to work tomorrow, put it in the freezer. No commitments, but whenever you want it, you come down and its yours." She grins up at you, "Like the garden. Cool?" She leans into you a little, her weight is feather light against you, but warm and inviting, a bit of a reminder of what you're leaving.
  • I return the kiss. I'd really rather hang out here with shepherd's pie than deal with Dustin and Madame L'Infer, but them's the breaks. "Is cool. Thanks, Sash." I disengage and head to the door. "Tell Tank hey for me. Catch you tomorrow."
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    You leave Sasha behind and head back down to your truck. The drive downtown is a half hour, so you beat work traffic. Parking isn't a problem since you just need to pick Dustin up.
    He comes out with two expensive suitcases full of clothes, puts them both into the back and climbs into your truck. "Hey, not bad. Very butch. You're into girls, right?" He reaches for the radio and starts messing with the radio. "Not judging. I'd prefer girls myself even if I was one."
  • "Dustin. Just... don't talk, alright?" I smile, pleased with the reaction I anticipate when I show him his new temporary digs. The Viking Motel doesn't charge by the hour, but it's not far off... "When we get there, stay in the car and I'll get you registered. Once you're in your room, I'll grab some food to tide you over."
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    His eyes widen when you pull in, and he gapes for a moment when you make it clear this is his new home, "Are you fucking serious? Bianca, why can't I crash with you? This is a literal roach motel. Literal roaches. Literal as in not figurative."
  • I shake my head. "I take you to my apartment, then go see Madame L'Infer and it doesn't go well. Where's the first place she's gonna look for you, Dustin? You stay here and keep your head down."
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    Dustin sulks in the truck, but cannot argue with your logic. You get a room, no problem, and can get him and his luggage in there, too. Any last words of wisdom for him before you go as he sits there on the lumpy bed?
  • I check to make sure the mini-fridge is operational. "I'll bring back enough food for a day or two. Once I leave, stay in the room until you hear from me. Unless I haven't checked in by tomorrow afternoon. In that case, assume the worst."
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    No objections, he's learned not to bother. You head out to get food. I assume you don't think he'll cook, so what do you get?
  • A bodega banquet. Power bars, Gatorade and bottled water. Some lunch meat and bread for sandwiches, along with little jars of mayo and mustard. Some snacks. On consideration, I pick up a six-pack of Heineken and a bottle of... that's a question. Dustin probably only drinks "good" liquor, and I'm not springing for a 100-dollar bottle of Scotch. I settle for a fifth of Benchmark 8 bourbon, my go-to cheap brand. He probably won't have heard of it, and I'll take the price tag off.

    While I'm here, I pick myself up two empanadas that look home-made, and a Diet Cherry Coke. Also a bag of spicy Mexican pork rinds, and... a Snickers.

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    Purchases made, you head out of the bodega with arms full of paper bags and put them in your truck, then head back to the Viking.
    When you put down the bags on the dresser, Dustin hovers over them, picks through one bag, makes curious noises, then says, "This is a okay. Just a day of hiding out, no trouble... right?"
  • "Right. I'm counting on your love for yourself to keep you from doing anything dumb, so please... be a selfish bastard, at least until I get back."
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    Dustin laughs at your "joke" (he assumes it's a joke even if it isn't) and he gets to work on the Heineken and lets you go.

    Where are you headed?
  • I'm headed to the outskirts of town, to where Madame L'Infer's cat house is. Part of me wants to head to the Padre, get loaded up for bear, but... part of me realizes I don't know what sort of bear she is, and, well, going in looking for a fight is probably not the best opening ploy.
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    You have no trouble driving the long stretch of road to Madame L'Infer's. The old mansion sits up on a hill overlooking the blight of this forgotten section of old Detroit. A few neighboring houses were demolished (totally by accident) so now there is plenty of parking. It's mid-week, but the brothel is still busy. You past through the open wrought iron gates and down the cobblestone walk to the steps up to the entrance. Inside is a sumptuous delight of smells and colors, and of course an array of handsome and pretty young people who are for sale.

    How well do you know Madame L'Infer, Bianca?

    What have you done for her lately?

    What's a scary story you've heard about someone who crossed her before?
  • Madame L'Infer has been around for longer than I've been aware of the half-world of shadows. We're not close by any means, but our paths have crossed from time to time. She even offered me a job once, on the theory that some of her more "exotic" clients might find a human that was a challenge... sexy.

    A couple months ago, one of her girls went missing. I wasn't much inclined to help, on the theory that the girl had probably run away, but Madame L'Infer seemed (uncharacteristically) really worried. Turned out the girl had been taken back by her family, a particular nasty and insular clan of Fae. The family she'd run away from in the first place. I found her, and she begged me to take her back to the mansion. So I did.

    I'm sure most of the stories you hear aren't true, but one particularly nasty one haunts me: Harold Schoenmann, a prominent Detroit businessman, crossed her somehow. The story varies as to what he did, but the end result was that she or someone that owed her a favor transformed him into a particularly attractive, young-seeming woman, and then she offered all the people he'd screwed over - associates, rivals, clients, friends - the chance to, well, return the favor. For $25,000 a night. Story goes on to say that he killed himself within the week. For sure, Schoenmann did disappear. I hope the rest of it is just urban legend. But...

    I walk up to the young man at the desk near the entrance. "Can you let Madame L'Infer know that Bianca Claremont would like a word, when she has a minute?

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    The handsome fellow puts on a winning smile, "Of course, Bianca Claremont, I'm happy to summon her for you...." He smiles at the implied joke, hidden among all the mortals here. "Please wait in the lounge there. Have a drink at the bar if you wish, on the house."

    As you wait, Siobhan, the girl you rescued, comes over to sit on your lap, "Bianca, my most wonderful savior. How are you, darling?" She touches your hair, "I love this look on you."
  • I can't help but smile. "Siobhan, it's good to see you. And thanks. I think the shiner really helps bring the whole look together, yeah?"
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    Her fingers trace from your hair down your cheek around the bruise, "Bianca... it only makes you look more sexy." She leans into your ear, "Are you here for some company? You know it's always on the house where I'm concerned. Always." She nips your ear, then blows on it before sitting back to look down at you.
  • I shake my head, a little regret in my eyes. "Sadly... I'm here on business. My kind, not yours." I blow out a breath. "I'll try to get back for a visit soon, though? Or maybe take you out for Thai?"
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    Your offer for taking her out for Thai gets a thrill out of her. "You want to take me out?" She grins while tracing her fingers over your collarbone, "That sounds lovely. The house is dead most weekdays until out-of-work time. A late lunch would be divine." She leans back in to whisper in your ear, "Don't take too long, Bianca. I promise it will be fun."
    You hear a subtle clearing of someone's throat and see that the madame has arrived.
  • I straighten up, probably displacing Siobhan in the process. Once I know she's not sprawled on the floor, I stand. "Madame L'Infer... thank you for meeting me." I give Siobhan a glance, half-apology and half-promise. "Do you have a few minutes to converse... privately?"
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    Siobahn recovers and doesn't seem offended. She's more than a bit nervous around the madame herself.
    Madame L'Infer smiles in that way she does where it never touches her eyes but doesn't approach rude, and gestures for you to follow, "Of course, Miss Claremont. Follow me, if you please." She leaves the lounge and guides you to a conference room that could work as an executive boardroom, complete with a giant flatscreen and built-in data ports and plug-ins on the table. She gestures for you to take a seat and sits at the head of the table. "What did you wish to discuss, Miss Claremont?"
    One of the young men who often attend her brings you both glasses of water.
  • I bow my head slightly, take up the offered glass of water, but don't drink. "Sadly, as you know and have benefited from... I from time to time take... commissions, based solely on the remuneration. It's expensive, what I do..." I look at the glass, still don't drink. "Dustin Roy. He's offended you, and I get that. What's your pound of flesh?"
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    "Oh Miss Claremont," Madame L'Infer purrs while sitting back, steepling her fingers. "A literal pound of flesh will do nicely. Enough that he won't survive. A life... for a life." She arches a brow and waits for your counter-offer.
  • "I have to wonder, Madame... did you make sure he knew the rules for that Vila before you let him play? It almost seems you were entrapping him." I hate this. Dustin was a thoughtless dick, and Madame is always looking for an advantage. "What would you profit, killing him?" I sigh. "Is there... something... you would have me do on your behalf? I'm sorry, but I need both the money he's offering and an intact reputation. You know I won't give him up."
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    Madame L'Infer's eyes narrow dangerously when you suggest she was entrapping Dustin, but you wisely sidestep that conversation by moving to discussion of a blood price. She breaks her steeple and crosses her arms, "I do not want his money. Miss Claremont. I want him to replace my girl." An evil grin slips onto her face and she arches a brow, awaiting your response.
  • I narrow my eyes. "You understand, saying you want him to replace your girl means me replacing your girl?" I take a sip of the water. "I will do my best to find someone who is willing, even eager, to enter your employ, but I won't work to compel or coerce. Any thoughts?"
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    A light chuckle from Madame L'Infer as she uncrosses her arms, "No no no, Miss Claremont. I don't want you to find a replacement for him. I want him to be the replacement. I want Mr. Roy. To work here. As one of my whores. Until I tire of him." She sits back again, enjoying this tete-a-tete.
  • At least one of us is having fun. "Not going to work, Madame. He wouldn't last long enough to get your money's worth." Trying not to think about Schoenmann.
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    Alright, let's see you try and Persuade Madame L'Infer here to a different outcome.
  • Miss Persuasion USA, that's me. (Rolled: 2d6+0. Rolls: 3, 6. Total: 9)
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    "My business isn't all about money. I'm sure I would recoup my losses." She answers before straightening, her smile fading as she gets down to business. "Since you are working on his behalf, Miss Claremont. I am willing to hear what you offer for his forgiveness. You should consider this a favor."

    OOC: She's demanding a Debt, and will let you set the price for his forgiveness.
  • I give a nod like a metaphor of a bow. "Thank you, Madame L'Infer. Of course I will be in your debt." I take a moment to think about what price would suit Dustin. Seems to me there should be some poetic justice in whatever it is. I give her a slightly wicked smile. "I believe you have... resources of a mystical sort? Perhaps a... curse. That makes it impossible for Mr. Roy to, ah, finish his enjoyment of sex, until his partner has done so?"
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    Madame L'Infer considers this solution, "I will concoct a potion he will need to imbibe. I also need remuneration, Miss Claremont. One half million dollars to recoup my financial losses, for lost opportunity as well as backfilling for, ah, attrition. She was a very expensive asset." She sips at her water, "Is this acceptable?"
  • I nod. "Do you have an account where you want the money wired?"
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    "Julian here will provide you with the details of an account Mr. Roy can use for the transfer." Madame L'Infer answers smoothly. She peers at you for a moment. "Once you're done with this ugly mess, I'd appreciate it if you didn't leave Detroit for a week. I may have need of your services. Oh, and speaking of services, did you need any my house offers?"
  • I smile. "Not as such. I would like a chance to catch up with Siobhan someday soon, though. Maybe take her out for a late lunch..."
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    "Siobhan is a sweet girl. I know she's safe with you." Madame L'Infer says like she's sharing a secret. "What she does on her own time is her own choice. I think she would appreciate the chance to go outside like... a normal person."
  • Normal... "Thank you. I'll get the account details from Julian and get going, then. We should have this over with soon." I pause. "And I guess I'll cancel that vacation to Aruba, so I can be around for the next week or so." Not looking forward to having this favor called in.
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    Julian ushers you out of the meeting room back into the lounge. Siobhan isn't there. Once you've exchanged details, a young girl comes up to hand you a small vial filled with purple liquid and you're free to go.
  • "Free" to go. And yet, what follows is going to pretty much suck. I walk to the truck, tucking that vial in my jacket pocket. Once I get in and start it up, I take circuitous route back to the motel. Habit. Unless I'm chasing something, always looking for a tail.
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    You get back to the Viking Hotel so damn fast that Dustin hasn't had time to get into mischief. Sure, he's finished the six pack and started on the bottle, eaten a sandwich and is watching the Home Shopping Network and heckling it, but he's not disobeying your instructions when you arrive.
    "How did it go, Bianca?" he asks as soon as he opens the door for you. He walks over to sit on the bed, which squeaks. "Please tell me the nightmare's over. I can't live like this."
  • I decide to tell the truth. It's actually a momentary impulse. "So, I've got good news and bad news. You don't get to choose the order. 500 K transferred to this account, now. That's the first of two requirements." I show him my phone. "The second thing... well, I think it's gonna be a real sacrifice for you."
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    He rubs the bidge of his nose, "Half a million?" He grunts. "That's going to take some shuffling of funds to hide that big of a withdrawal." He lays back on the bed. It squeaks some more. "What is the second thing? Leave the country?"
  • I give him a feral grin. "Not quite. To be clear... she wanted to make you her bitch, Dustin. Like literally have you servicing clients, if you get that?" I give him a look. "I said that was no-go, and she gave in." I pull out the vial. "So... when you drink this, and you will drink this, you won't be able to have an orgasm until you've given your partner one. That's the price. And trust me... you still owe me everything you've promised."
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    He looks up from the bed, and his mouth drops. "You.... you're shitting me." He sees you aren't and sits up. "I've got to make the girl cum before I get off? What if she's... you know, frigid? Or what if I'm seriously blue balls horny? How long does it last? A year?"
  • I shake my head. "You might need to get used to using your tongue, Dustin. This was the option that didn't end up with you spreading your cheeks for Madame's clients. Or dead." I hold out the vial, but keep it in a closed fist. "Want me to mix it with some bourbon?"
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    A bit of anger crosses his face, "This was the best you could do? Shit." He stands up, paces a bit. "So, I just make the girl get off, and I get what I want.... fuck me. How do I even know when they really hit it?" He looks at you, "Will I get like... magical permission? Will I know? Or is it blue balls until I hit the right spot?" He reaches for the vial.
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