Backalley Deals

March 01, 2016:

A ninja visits a fence to offload some goods and ends up striking a deal with a witch.

The Bowery, Gotham

The Bowery is the sibling of Park Row. Both once rather upscale districts
that have fallen to squalor and destitution. Around the time the Sprang Act
came in to affect the Bowery was a first to be approached; this institute a
whole new architectural design for the area which turned the Bowery in to a
squat blocky looking area with buildings that could belong on a military
base.

The residential areas are terraced row house style complexes made of mostly
brownstone where as the commercial sections tend to focus more on their
display groundside than topside. This is no longer the case with the decline
in Bowery's growth many of the sector remains covered in unfinished
structures that stopped being constructed or condemned buildings housing the
homeless.

With the Sprang Act not allowing more lively tower level displays the Bowery
actually took the 09' cataclysm quite well as the buildings are all quite
structurally sound (those that had been completed) except for a long it's
streets.
Streetside opened up a whole new development, with the roads being broken,
fragmented, opened and destroyed businesses had to improvise and turn the
Bowery itself in to a street spanning marketplace that also delves in to the
underground, half constructed buildings may open up in to underground
caverns that have been gutted for raves, black markets, chop shops, fighting
pits, living quarters and so forth.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A cool, dreary rain beats down on the cracked pavement and dark, skeletal shells of the Bowery's many unfinished buildings. It's late at night, bleeding almost into the pre-dawn of the next day, and the thin rivulets of water blowing this way and that by crisp air between the city skyline is one more reason to stay off the streets. It's dreary weather that's almost certain to dog Gotham into the week, but some businesses go on rain or shine.

Slipping through the shadows of the densely-packed alleyways, a black-hooded figure steps through a large crack in a wall and into the collapsed basement of what was one day meant to be a shopping mall. Her black canvas jacket is soaked to the bone and her sandals leave wet footprints as they head down a make-shift staircase into a particular black market. The orange-eyed ninja is carrying a small sack that jingles seductively with wealth; today she has someting to sell.

A rainy day in Gotham, not exactly something extraordinary, but amoungs the 'normal' there was perhaps a stranger figure. Dressed in a gown that look like something out of a period piece, Witchdoctor was walking the streets. With an umbrella held to cover her from the downpour the Witch stepped through the mix that was the Bowery, her blue eyes searching the wreckage. She was searching for something…but so far there was no magical ping to guide her. A problem, but not one she couldn't work around. When you wanted to find something that was difficult to get? You went to people who traded in things others couldn't.

Odds are the blonde would draw a look or two, but here in Gotham? There were stranger people then some blonde with an odd taste in clothing.

Stranger perhaps, but not all of the looks in the Bowery are friendly and the dreary night-time gloom is enhanced by a covetous gaze and the faint glint of metal from passing alleyways. Gotham has earned its crime-riddled reputation from more than just its high-profile rogues and even on a rainy night, opportunists abound.

Concealed away in the underground marketplace, business begins.

"Well what have you got there, little ninja thing?… ooh, not bad…"

Business means keeping an ear out, both for trouble and opportunity. When her eyes fall on the figure garbed in black there's a curiousity for the witch, but not for the reasons one might think. She reminds her of someone she knew, a lifetime ago…

Umbrella still raised, Alyse walks though the few collected stalls and 'vendors' that might have what she's looking for, but there's no succes to be found by sight or by sense. Keenly aware of the gazes on her, especially those sizing her up, the woman muses to herself; She'll have to come up with a better approach. Talk of deals catches her ears, one more then the rest, and she turns to slink in the shadows nearby and drop eaves.

There's one small downside to wearing a hood: the ninja doesn't have any peripheral vision left to spot the blonde watching her. She's become something of a sight herself with her jacket weighted down with rain and the rest of her suit shimmering wet. At the moment though, the merchant before her is gazing upon something with a more valuable luster; arrayed on the table between them are a row of precious gems, the contents of her sack.

"This ice is so-so," he appraises critically, studying them through a loupe. "I'll give you a grande."

"Two thousand," the ninja counters sternly, betraying a surprisingly youthful voice as well as a thick Slavic accent.

"No way, 1,200."

Gems, that's certainly something, but it's still not something she's after. The 'Ninja' trying to fence them however? That might be more of interest to her. A few things were different in her time, before she was cast wayward back back from her bleak future that will never be. Blackmarkets? They were almost always the same. You want something? You better have something to offer for it! For now she remains silent, watching in the dark for the deal to be concluded. She knew better then to interfere, especially if she had to make a cold appoach.

"One thousand, five hundred," the ninja replies, refusing to budge lower.

"Look, these little rocks of yours aren't worth that much," the merchant presses, only willing to haggle so far. "I'll give you 1,300 to buy yourself a freaking umbrella, but no more - unless you've got something else to offer…"

The ninja chuckles softly and mutters something under her breath before tucking her hand down the front of her jacket and retrieving a large, pearlescent stone.

"Two thousand, five hundred," she offers, dropping it with playful carelessness onto the table.

The merchant moves quickly to swipe it and hold it up to his lens. His grizzled jaw-line contorts into a smile. "Deal. You were holding out on me."

Sweeping the gems to one side of the table, he unfolds a wad of bills and counts them out with brisk speed before sliding his take out of sight and somewhere safer.

Left to collect her earnings, the ninja recounts them briefly, then tucks the bills down her jacket. "Spasibo."

Only when the deal is finally done does the Witch step forwards, out of the dark and towards the counting criminal. "You're good at finding things I see?" No introductions to speak of, but people don't always give knowledge like names out on first meeting in a place like this. "At least things that shine…Are you exclusively in the stone trade or are you capable of locating something 'else' if properly motivated?"

The Witch's hand absently turns her umbrella, the open canopy twirling behind her while she cants her head the other way. "If you were capable, I promise it would be worth more then that meager paper.

The ninja's head turns to the witch as her hood falls over one eye. Her remaining orange cat-eye scans down and up before coming to rest on Alyse's face with a skeptically raised eyebrow.

Her eye narrows slightly, coldly but boredly watching. "A ty govorish' po russki?"

That cat eye earns a raise of an eyebrow for about half a second, but the fae-blooded Witch is hardly one to judge. The question in the exotic tongue makes Alyse smile and shake her head, but her fingers trace over her own lips for a moment before she speaks again. She's speaking english, hearing it too, but to the 'Ninja' and the rest of the world? It's perfect Russian…although her accent might be a little off. "After a fashion," her spell translates, "If you have a preference for speaking such a way."

The ninja's eyebrow wobbles in a hint of surprise. With so much of her appearance covered, that lone eye is the only real clue to her expression, and it's not very telling.

"(You have an offer for me?)" She asks simply.

A nod of her head and the Witch smiles, still holding the umbrella even if the downpour can't reach her where they currently stand. "<I do,>" she speaks casually, <Someone has hidden something I need to locate and my usual means aren't quite up to scratch. I am looking for a book…not one you'd find in your local library. I believe someone has taken it for themselve, kept it in their personal collections…perhaps for history. I don't know or care…>

A pause now and she shrugs, her hand lazily adjusting the long blonde hair she's wearing down today. "<I care about getting it back. It is recognizable enough, old and leather bound. A diary marked with several Japanese symbols. Do you think you can locate it for me?>"

The ninja digests that for a few seconds in silence and crosses her arms under her chest. "<What's so special about this book?>"

The Witch shrugs her shoulders lightly at that question, looking at the woman. "A good question…perhaps it has sentimental value for me? That much is true. The book itself is not dangerous, mearly pages and paper. It's what is written down on those pages that is important to me…and clearly, whomever decided to steal it too."

The Ninja turns and begins to walk out of the market, her business concluded. Her sandals pause on the first steps as she glances back at the Witch, perhaps an offer to follow.
"<How much?>"

"<Eight thousand, three for locating and five for recovery.>" Straight to the point, but the Witchdoctor follows with her Umbrella held up for shelter, a tilt of her head. "<It goes without saying that the book is useless to almost anyone else, as are its pages…so selling it on to another party would not be advised.>" Call it paranoid, but Witchdoctor has dealt with fixers and theieves plenty in her old life. Sometimes thoughts and profit motivate all their actions, even the foolish ones.

"Hmm…" the Ninja hums pensively as she ascends to the ground floor and steps back out into the rain. The token drying her clothes had been doing is instantly undone.
"<I'm not normally for hire… do you have any leads?>"

"<Only slight leads or I might follow them up myself better. Whoever took it is here in this town and has the clout to remove it from a safe in a motel without leaving a trace. They're also likely someone who has a fondness for…old things. Obscure books and such. Beyond that? I cannot track them. That is why I'm forced to look for outside help…>"

"<Alright,>" the Ninja nods pensively. "<And how do I contact you if I find it?>"

"<If you find it?" The Witch says, smiling a little. "<Bring it here. I'll know. I can certainly keep an eye out for one as distinct as you.>" Still no names exchanged. Just a Ninja with cat-eyes and a blonde with an umbrella. Business in the shadows at its finest.

"<Okay,>" the Ninja agrees, "<but for ten; four to find it, six to retrieve it. You don't have much of a lead.>"

"<Deal>" The Witch smiles, that wide and bright expression suggesting that she's probably expected that the other woman was going to negotiate on the payment. That she'd accepted the raise to 10,000 probably suggests she'd probably been low-balling the Ninja on purpose. "<Make haste, I hope you can find something soon.>

"<No promises, but if I find it, I'll bring it here,>" the Ninja assures over the sound of falling rain.

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