Staying Dead

February 12, 2016:

Kwabena, Melody and Kathman have a necessary pow-wow.

Characters

NPCs: Samuel Kathman and the twins

Mentions: Black Adam

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

"Usually when we go to Lawyer's offices shouldn't we at least dress up?"

Melody wasn't the formal sort, informal at best, her hand clutching onto Shift's hand for dear.. well, not life, that was for certain. At least for once, she wasn't high as a kite, this past week she's been stressed to hell and back with nearly being killed to start and hacked there after. And no one left a trace.

"I wonder if I got on this guys nerves or not." She waits there, right in the room, glancing around the cheap decor, one of the twins lounging in the corner at a slight tired slump with greasy hair. She idly chewed her gum, her eyes nearly vacant as she suddenly perks up with a smile, then lowers back down. Whatever she was thinking, she had suddenly forgot. Either way when she perked she carried a look as if it were important.

"Kathman will see you now.." The second twin nearly slurs out, shaking just a little yet straightening, putting on a forced yet professional smile as she held the door open for the two. Melody didn't move first, Kwabena was going to do the honors, in fact.. she wasn't even sure that he knew.

"Wait a minute, did you call before you came?" Cause you know, the guy was getting up there in age. He may stroke out at the sight.

*

Yin and Yang. The difference between Melody and Kwabena couldn't be more apparent. Kwabena is the antithesis of nervous, his silver eyes paying more attention to Melody's nervous banter and twitching than they do the decor, or the twins. The office of U. Samuel Kathman III is all too familiar to him, after all.

"Not dis lawyah," he explains. "Used to seeing hoodlums and thugs walking through his door. We show up dressed nice, we might get mugged right here in de waiting room."

Leading the way, Kwabena reaches out to pat one of the twins on her shoulder. "Cocaine's dead, you know," he whispers to her. "Really. It's cheesy as fuck, too. Might want to look up 'Kratom ' online, kiddo." He's about to step in when Melody keeps him back. "Hm? Oh. Yeah, I called. Heard some Yiddish shit I ain't nevah heard befah."

Once inside, Sam Kathman can be heard yelling into his phone from the office. "Ass, balls, crotch, or the 'hole' neighborhood? Yes, I'm serious! *pause* The deep, canyon region, creeping up towards the man sack? Easy. Tinactin cream or spray to the nethers. You, my friend, have a bad case of athlete's ass. NO I'm not kidding! Hey, look, my client's here, I gotta go." Kathman hangs up the phone, then looks up eerily toward the duo as they enter. "So, you drug yourself out of the grave and only now drag your sorry ass in here to see me?"

*

"Mmn. Good point." Thankfully, Melody wasn't wearing much. Leather jacket sinched tight with a pair of jeans and a sneakers. There was a bookbag hitched upon her back, and as she smiles at the twin and raises her brow towards Shift, she shrugs her shoulders. "Only if you try it with me." She nudges him with her elbow as they step inside, her hand lifting to press against her lips as she tries her best not to giggle out a snorting laugh.

Which.. was too bad, cause there were a series of it; snorts and ow's in rapid succession which stop as soon as he hangs up the phone.

As Kathman asks the question, she disengages from .. whomever he was to her, with a wiggle and a bounce in her step, obviously happy, arms outstretched to wrap the lawyer up in a hug whether he wanted it or not.

"Maybe he missed you." And it was as simple as that.

*

"Maybe," Kwabena answers. He's a bit hesitant to do any 'recreational herbal supplements' with Melody, after witnessing what she did with Snowflame's prized possession. He stands back, looking on as she hugs the lawyer, smirking ruefully at the whole affair with arms folded over his chest.

"Uh," Kathman mutters, finding the hug all too awkward, "hey there, kiddo. You, uh, look nice, yeah?" Then he eyeballs Kwabena from across Melody with a dubious look. "I think he missed me as much as I miss grandma's yams."

"Hey, Sam. I did miss you, just… been busy," answers Odame.

"Yeah, like… getting killed, then coming back to life? Listen, pal, I know you're not the Messiah, so don't come in here and blaspheme in my office, okay?"

Kwabena closes the distance, coming up toward Melody's side. "Whatevah you say, boss. Mind if we sit?"

Kathman motions to the empty chairs opposite his oversized desk. "Please. Be my guest." The sarcasm is strong with this one.

Once Kwabena has seated himself, he leans forward and folds his arms, fixing the lawyer with his strong stare. "I undahstand dere were… a total sum of $110,000 U.S. Dollah's donated to my Estate by the Monarchical King of the - now sovereign state of Khandaq?"

Kathman frowns. He sits back, looks at Melody, then back to Kwabena. "Yes, that's, uh, that's correct." He looks at Melody again, then down to his desk, scratches his head, and reaches for a pen. The pen is tapped three times on a calendar, then he points it at Melody. "I named her Executrix of that Estate," he explains, then sits back and stares at Melody, as if trying to telepathically instruct her that its her turn to talk.

"Come on, kiddo." Kathman then does his best (worst) impression of a Russian accent. "Talk, or ve takes your tongue."

*

Melody finally lets go of the hug. She was sure that she was put either on mute or speaker phone the nights she called him probably crying and ranting and raving while smoking but..

She turns and busies herself, moving to take a seat where indicated, the bookbag swung from her shoulders to rest within her lap, shuffled down just at the right angle so that she could peer inside without being awkward. She ignores them for the most part, shuffling through the papers.. fingers flipping one after the other until the silence draws down upon her which has her eyes nearly glowing briefly to look at them both. "Huh?"

"OH! Right."

"The $110k was put towards rebuilding a clinic that was condemned in Mutant Town that specifically helped those hooked on Smooth and.. a bit of their salaries.."

She retrieved the folders, carefully placing them upon Kathman's desk. "I uh.. also at least took the last 2k and added it to my personal account and flipped a few commercial buildings in the area and in Chicago. Mostly are renting those out though. Not too sure how that's going to play on his dividends but.. whatever, right?"

*

Kathman snatches up the papers and rifles through them in a haphazard but effective way; they're sorted all correctly by the time he gives them back to Melody. "Yep, everything's in order. $2k's nothing. The IRS won't soil their britches over it, so, you're good." He smiles in a winning way, then looks back to Kwabena. "So, what's this all about, Odame? You can't get at that money, because you're dead."

"I don't want dat money," answers Kwabena. "Frankly, I like being 'dead'. It's a lot more convenient for me. But, dat's not de problem." He retrieves a cell phone, unlocks it, and sets it down upon the desk. There, a Washington Post article has a big photo of Black Adam right under the headline, related to Khandaq being welcomed into the U.N.

"He's de problem." He taps the screen twice. "Dis man. Does he know I've risen on de third day?" He looks between Melody and Samuel, his intense silver gaze falling upon each of them in turn. "Here, let me spare you de troubah," he says, interrupting either before they might answer. "Doesn't mattah if he knows. I go long enough without becoming dead again, he will find out. Dis is a problem I don't need, you two. I don't know de first damn thing about dere customs, or his… his pahticulah approach to watered down tyranny, but something tells me he won't be too pleased with his money being spent on a dead man who isn't fucking dead."

*

Melody reaches forward to push the papers back towards him with a slight smile. "They're yours, I have tons of copies." Naturally, Kathman would get the originals. She looks back and forth, her face curling into a slight frown, sliding aside within the chair with a gaze leveled towards Kwabena. She.. was going to say it. Yes, yes she was.

"No one told you to go and die." There was a little hurt there, yes. She still didn't hear the whole story, there was a lot of things to do in that weekend and talking wasn't one of them.

She shakes her head, then reaches into that bookbag again, a flash drive produced and slid towards Kathman. "Listen. Don't worry about Mr. Adam. I'll handle him in regards to you." She gives another look towards Kwa, then towards Kathman. "In the meanwhile, I need you to keep that safe. Understand? You're my lawyer too, right?"

She purses her lips seriously.

Melody Kenway says, "dude…"

LOG EDIT: Take out those last two lines because what the fuck, I don't write like that.

*

Kathman pushes the papers right back to Melody. "I can subpoena them if I need them. It's much more fun, it makes the douchebags down at Probate believe that you aren't over-prepared, and I get to bill you for the work. What's not to lose?"

Kwabena opens his mouth yo quip at the lawyer, but Melody's look silences him. He frowns and waits for it, but when it comes, his eyebrows rise. "I didn't realize touching de Mantah of Elijah would actually kill me."

"Wait." Kathman lunges forward, staring at Kwabena in disbelief. "You touched the Mantle of Elijah?"

"Yes."

"Like, the actual holy artifact?"

"Apparently."

"You dumbass!" Kathman sits back, scowling. "Of course he died, you don't just touch the cloak of the great prophet without-"

"Sam, shut yah ass up before I shut it up with something anti-Semetic."

"Hey, don't think I won't answer in kind, Mandela!"

Kwabena narrows his eyes. "Mandela?"

"Doesn't fucking matter!" Kathman sits back, tossing his pen aside. "Kenway here says she's got it handled."

*

"I get to lose. Because you're billing me for work that you didn't have to do in the first place and.. that stuff don't grow on trees, Kathy."

Yes. She called him Kathy. She was expecting a book to hit her in the face.

The banter in between the two was nearly amusing, the look that she held melded into something filled with amusement, her body turning at an angle in the chair so that she could watch them both, her head whipping back and forth as her smile grows wide to the point she's actually snorting and laughing quietly.

She clears her throat for the moment, waving her hands to gain both of their attention. "I'm leaving tomorrow for Khandaq. They're doing some ritual 'cue and a' type dealio and I figure that'll be the best way for me to meet him outright. Save for slaughtering a mass of …"

She stops cold there, then leans forward to tap upon the USB drive. "That's for you Kathman."

*

Not exactly a book, but Melody does find the lawyer's yamuka (sp) flung off his head and in the general direction of her face. "No, Melody. I'm billing you for strategy. Have you ever dealt with those clowns at Probate? No? Didn't think so. They pretend to know shit about their jobs, but they're craftier than a Jew hiding as a Gentile in occupied France. I'm playing them; you're paying me to outsmart them and keep your pretty little ass out of a Federal fraud case. My profit margin's just the icing on the goddamn cake."

Kwabena turns to Melody when she reveals her impending trip to Khandaq. "You said de money's been tied up in de clinic?" he asks, as if just to make sure. He's not about to get into that stack of paperwork. His silver eyes glance to the USB drive. "What is it?"

Kathman snatches the item, saying, "Let's find out." He opens his laptop, adding with a heavy load of sarcasm, "full disclosure never turned a pleasant meeting among friends into a Mongolian cluster fuck."

In goes the thumb drive, and the laptop begins loading it's memory.

*

*SPLAT*

The yamaka (yarmulke or kippa) smacks right into her face and rolls off into her lap, which was soon grasped and stared at. He just.. hit her with a yamaka. A frickin yamaka! A frown curls upon her face as she gives a shrugs of her shoulders. "Okay -fine-. I haven't.. done whatever it is you said you do and I trust you for doing it well but jesus don't throw stuff. You're going to make me cry." Her bottom lip does tremble. A little.

She does nod at Kwabena.. then smiles. "Yes. It's tied up but its turning into a profit, so your estate is going to see a little kick the more the people choose to seek help there. I didn't say it was a free clinic." Nope, they accepted all sorts of payment. Money orders, dollars, insurance of all kinds. Even federal funding for those who had no insurance and could file for help from the state. She dotted her I's and crossed her T's on that one.

As Kathman snatches the USB drive, Melody leaps up out of her chair, her hand snatching forward to slam the lid down shut before any of it is read.

"Kathman. I said in the event of my incarceration or my death you are to access. That's -me- in there. Actually me." She slowly lets go of the laptop then, drawing back into her chair with an air of calmness. "I don't think you want me rooting around in your files anyways."

*

"Oh." Kathman gestures flamboyantly from Melody to Shift. "See that, Kwabena? You brought a cryer into my office. Give me that." He gestures for his yamaka. "I'm sorry for throwing it at you."

Its almost sincere.

In an effort to settle things down, Kwabena turns from the lawyer to Melody. "You made de right call. But if it's exposed dat I'm not dead, de legitimacy of dose profits will be in dispute. Sam?"

"He's right," Kathman grumbles. "Probate would shit a brick over it. God help you if it gets into the news."

"We can't afford the mess it would make… if de three of us are responsible for dragging King Adam's name through de dirt," Kwabena nearly growls. "International-"

The conversation, however, is violently cut off by Melody. Kathman jerks his hands back, exclaiming, "Hey!" While Kwabena just stares at Melody with a subdued level of disbelief.

"What do you mean, actually you?" asks Kathman.

"Melody," Shift follows, "you didn't… did you?" He leans forward.

"Christ on a cracker!" Sam glares at her. "Is this some kind of virus??"

"You can't just copy and paste yahself into a fucking thumb drive," Shift continues.

Well, so much for settling things down.

*

"You know I was a cryer from the get go!" Melody retorts. She doesn't mean to cry all the time but goddamn it, it just happens! The yamaka was tossed back towards Kathman, the thoughts were flying almost immediately towards Khandaq, a thought gone off in her head as she.. shrugs her shoulders. She'll figure out everything once she gets there.

As they question her, her brows shoot up. Surely she wasn't the thinker of this operation but she had the best intentions in mind.

"Yeah.. I did.." She says slowly, looking from Kathman and then towards Kwabena, her hands thrown up as she nearly shrieks out. "It's not a virus! I'm not a virus! Yet. I mean.. okay this seems kind of rash but.. you guys. Someones trying to kill me, okay? I just want to make a back up plan just in case they actually try to shoot me again.. and hit the right spot."

She leans forward, carefully removing the flash drive from the laptop, stopping it's upload cold.

"I mean it's not like magic. It's.. sort of like what the Smooth did for me. It spread my mind out to all parts of the world and I was everywhere and no where at once.." She almost looks wistful, her hand shaking so much that she has to lean to the side to settle down. Once and addict, always an addict. "But, you gotta keep me safe, Kathman."

*

"Wait a minute," Kathman sputters. "You uploaded - you can't just -"

"Sam."

"- you're a smoothie??"

"Sam!" Kwabena finally looks away from the trembling of Melody's hand, glaring at the lawyer. He stands up, snatches the thumb drive, and approaches Kathman with a speed and intent that typically means bad news.

Sam leans back, grimacing in anticipation, only to find Kwabena shoving the thumb drive into his shirt pocket.

"Don't let anyone steal it, touch it, know it's dere. You get arrested, swallow it." With two hard swats, Kwabena pats the lawyer's chest. "Don't ask questions, and don't fuck dis up."

He turns back to reclaim his seat, having finally found just what it takes to silence U. Samuel Kathman III, Esq. "Dis isn't about money, Samuel. Undahstand?"

Kathman just nods his head, and looks down to peek into his shirt pocket.

*

"I.." She didn't know what to say. She gives a look of urgency towards Kwabena, then back towards Kathman as well. God..damn it. It was one of those few things that.. she eventually should have told him. Eventually. He was their lawyer after all. She finally lets out a breath, the palm of her hand rubbing back and forth against her forehead, trying her best not to cry or freak out or.. head to that secret stash of cocaine to blow her nose up and turn her nanites off for a week.

"It.. about Kwabena's estate. Is there anyway we can take the name off. Something. At least something that'll keep him earning even though he's declared legally dead." She shakes her head slightly. "I.. I don't think his death is something we need to keep from Black Adam. That dude is serious business."

*

There is a long silence before its broken by a Ghanaian voice, speaking with a quiet sobriety not often witnessed. "Adam will not be displeased with my current state of mortality," he claims. "He won't be upset about what you chose to do with de money." A long pause, during which he leans forward, reaches into his jacket, and produces a hip flask. The cap comes slowly unscrewed, tinking against its metal body with a signature sound. "De issue is what happens if dis becomes public."

"If this goes public," Kathman finally says, his own voice a similar tone. "The State will press felony charges. Against all of us. Conspiracy, estate fraud, the… the list will be longer than a naughty boy's spank bank at Christmas. Point being, the only way we defend ourselves is to prove that Odame really did die, and he really was resurrected." He turns from Melody to Shift. "You think your merry band of spandex-wearing superdicks will show up to testify, with any admissible evidence outside of mere testimony?"

"Not likely." Kwabena raises the flask. "I need to stay dead." He drinks heavily, then offers the flask to Sam, who takes it.

"He needs to stay dead." Kathman takes a pull, coughs, then offers it to Melody.

*

Melody groans slightly, shaking her head, her feet planted to the ground as she shifts forward within the chair so that her feet could reach. Her elbows rest upon her knees, her head hung low, shakey hand reaching behind her head to rub hard at her neck. She didn't say anything. They were the experts in this.. law type deal. She really didn't have much dealings with it where it was concerned. And she's seen too many times that.. not listening to your lawyer is something that'll royally fuck a person in the end.

Especially if your lawyer isn't Kathman.

She looks up at them both, her eyes closing, head twisting to lightly pop a bone within her spine as she reaches out to take the flask.

"Then he's dead."

And she takes a drink. Kwabena forgive her. She may not make it out of Khandaq alive.

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