Testing The Odds

July 17, 2015:

Domino meets the man behind whoever's sponsoring happy hour at the Bar With No Name and receives a job offer.

A bar with no name

The floor is filthy with spilled drinks and peanut shells. The other table still has a couple of half-empty beer mugs, and a pool table with an ugly gash across a corner of its surface still has balls set out on it. There's a jukebox in the corner with a hole through the record-protecting glass; it still works, but it's uglier and dimmer than it ought to be.

Characters

NPCs: Wesley

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's Happy Hour at the Bar With No Name, and that means big money for big dirt. There are, of course, some complications; there always are on the underside of society.

Perhaps the biggest one is that there's no name associated with the summons— at least, no singular name. The news spread quickly, embellished with all manner of superfluous and downright untrue details about who's responsible for it, what it might entail, and how much money is on the table. Neena has probably heard that everyone from Doctor Doom to Bruno Mannheim to Galactus to Dr. Light - eager to finally make the world see that he's someone to be taken seriously - is offering somewhere between a million dollars to a private island to do God knows what, by now— and all without a clear means of contact.

Until one day, out of the blue, she gets a message in an inbox that only a select group of people knows about:

'You have a reservation at the Bar With No Name in thirty minutes', followed by an address. Domino might actually know it: it's an absolute hole in Queens that does, in fact, lack a clear name due to some sign-stealing vandals and a cheap owner; perfect for meeting contacts and compatriots, or just gettingk blind-ass drunk with a minimum of judgment.

-

There's always plenty of craziness going around in the underbelly of the world. In NYC for a little downtime after a bit of work overseas, the rampant rumors about 'Happy Hour at the Bar With No Name' have Domino's interest piqued. Large sums of money tend to have that effect. And yet, no clear information on who or what, at least not that she's managed to track down just yet.

In the middle of cleaning one of her rifles, the 'ding' on the laptop she uses explicitly for work-connections gets her attention. Thirty minutes? "Son of a bitch!" Not that there's really much trouble making the time. Already dressed, Neena sticks a knife into a sheath in the cowboy boots she tugs on. Wearing jeans and a black t-shirt, she pulls on a light jacket, obscuring the handgun holstered under her arm, against her side.

The mutant parks a couple blocks away from the bar, which she is in fact a little familiar with. Throwing some coins into the parking meter as she gets out, the mercenary wanders down the street back to the hole in the wall of a bar, moving to pull the door open and step inside unless something stops her.
-

The bar takes up the bottom level of a multi-story building. There is a grid of windows along one wall that's blacked out, and also filthy. The door is shut and there are bars over it. There's also a sliding panel at— well, someone's face level, though Domino is a few inches short for it; the door is unlocked, however, and the panel never opens.

There's nobody guarding the door. In fact, there are only even two people inside: a bartender who looks to be pushing 70 or so, and a man in his 30s wearing thin-framed glasses and a dark, expensive suit seated at one of two still-standing tables and facing the entrance. The floor is filthy with spilled drinks and peanut shells. The other table still has a couple of half-empty beer mugs, and a pool table with an ugly gash across a corner of its surface still has balls set out on it. There's a jukebox in the corner with a hole through the record-protecting glass; it still works, but it's uglier and dimmer than it ought to be.

The man looks up when Domino arrives, establishing and maintaining eye contact until she joins him. Or gets creeped out and leaves.

Either reaction would be fairly understandable, given the givens.

-

Neena pauses a few steps into the room after closing the door behind her, bright blue eyes sweeping across the interior. And the fact that it's damn near empty. Hm. Odds of that being a good or bad thing are about even so far. After looking the bartender over and offering a nod, the chalk-white mutant meets the 30-somthing's gaze. The brow not obscured by her black spot arches up a bit and the merc blows out a little breath before approaching the man's table, cowboy boots padding across the dirty floor.

"I was expecting this place to be a little louder. This must be about something special," is the greeting she offers to the bespectacled man while studying him, her voice cool. She reaches out to snag a chair and settles into it. Her eyes occasionally flick away from the man to scan the room as she speaks again, "Apparently you know who I am, do I get to know who you are?"
-

"My name is Wesley," he offers along with a hand across the empty table. There's a cue leaning against a stool near the damaged pool table and another on the ground. The jukebox is pumping out Johnny Cash songs one after another.

"I took the liberty of requesting a little privacy for us," he continues regardless of whether or not handshakes are exchanged. He gestures towards the bartender before folding his hands atop the table. "Cliven excepted, of course; it would be rude, kicking a man out of his own business. Now:" The well-coiffed man's posture is impeccable, but he manages to straighten his shoulders just a little bit more.

"I'd like to discuss a business opportunity with you, Ms. Thurman. My employer is in need of hard workers with highly specialized skillsets who are willing to go the extra mile to do the best job possible."

He pulls the briefcase positioned next to his chair into his lap, pops it open, and sets a dossier on the table. It's a bit thin, mostly consisting of police reports from various countries in Central America and gruesome crime scene photos. The reports cover everything from drugs to weapon smuggling to human trafficking to police and government corruption, all tied in some way to the activities of a man named Aurelio Martinez

"There's a new face in town," he continues. "This would be a sample of his work; quite ambitious, really. My employer is not one to begrudge another man for making a dollar, provided that he does it correctly— but this newcomer has refused. He's chosen to blaze his own trail here and burn whatever he can touch as kindling. My employer will not abide by this; thus, he has authorized me to find operatives capable of aiding him in communicating his displeasure."

-

The offered hand is taken, shaken, then released before Neena leans forward to press her lower forearms against the table. Dom remains silent for a bit, through the suit-clad man's introduction and explanation about the privacy and bartender. One side of her mouth curls into a lop-sided smile at the mention of business opportunity, "Then he's certainly sent you to the right girl." It's not exactly unusual to get stuck dealing with go-betweens, so that realization earns little reaction besides a mental note.

As the briefcase comes up and gets opened, Domino reaches for the thin dossier, opening it to begin looking through. The graphic pictures earn as little reaction as the reports about drugs. "Huh, got a name already," the woman remarks, glancing back to Wesley's face briefly, "So, the new kid on the block isn't behaving."

Black lips purse briefly as the mercenary looks back down at the reports. Tapping a pair of fingers against the table, Dom takes a moment to consider before speaking again, blue eyes lifting to the man's face, "Does the problem need removed, or are we just trying to get a message across?"
-

"Yes," is Wesley's initial answer. It is closely followed by, "But it will require a careful touch. This man is new to our country, but he's deeply entrenched in his part of the world; his name carries a lot of weight there and beyond." Domino may have even heard of him - in passing - or his deeds, depending on how much time she spends overseas, or hanging around those who are more international. "My employer would like for Martinez' operations to be pruned back to a more manageable level, as a lesson; more importantly, however, he wishes to meet the man in person. This is unlikely to happen without the proper leverage."

Another dossier, even thinner than the first. It's just a picture of a faintly smiling Hispanic woman in her 30s or 40s wearing a white coat. It looks like it was pulled from an ID badge.

"Bonita Horatio," Wesley states. "Aurelio Martinez' only sister. Last known to be on a Doctors Without Borders mission in Syria nearly a year ago. My employer believes that, given a credible threat to her, Martinez could be compelled to be more cooperative."

-

"Ah," is accompanied by a nod as Dom puts the picture together easily enough with the man's explanation. "Delicate touches are doable. Usually a little more difficult, for the workers and honestly, for your boss. In my experience anyways." She rolls a lean shoulder in a shrug, not her business. "Guess that's why rumor says the pay is so good." A quick, lopsided smirk follows that comment.

Reaching for the second foldier, Dom thumbs through it slowly while the man opposite her offers his comments. "Syria? Hell. Well, in some ways that's a lot better than her being here. Then again, maybe not if she's in the middle of one of the zones where everybody older than 12 has an AK-47." That idea earns an amused grin from the white-skinned merc. "Is the idea to secure her and bring her back here, or secure her and wait there?"
-

Wesley doesn't chuckle at the joke, but he does crack a small smile.

"Once you've uncovered her whereabouts, you and your fellow operatives will secure her and await further instructions. My employer has no particular feelings on where she is secured, so long as she held safely until she's needed. As for compensation…"

He goes into the briefcase one more time, retrieving one last slip of paper. There's nothing on it but a figure: '$10,000,000'

"This is the bounty," he says while sliding it towards Neena. "Any operative who completes the tasks my employer sets for them successfully will receive an equal portion of it." He shuts the briefcase, sets it aside, and folds his hands in front of himself.

"So. Do we have a deal, Ms. Thurman?"

-

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