Common Whore of Mankind

Cast: date: '24th September, 2012'
place: Hackney
participants: 'Huruma, Mattie, Jack'
synopsis: 'A discussion on how best to follow up on a potentially vampire infested bar.'
log: "\nHackney is a wonderful place. Mostly because Jack's business is there. JC Motors. It's not a high end place. It's more of a big block with an open end and two lifts for cars. There's a smattering of signs about certifications possessed, MOTs done and a small courtyard where there are vehicles awaiting work or pickup. It's got that patina of dirt that most non-chain mechanics have; there's never enough time to clean. Just move from one car to the next.\n\nThe man himself can be found beneath a vehicle, saving energy by not having lights down there. A subtle thing that most people might not even notice. The work is a lot easier when you don't have to wave a flashlight around though. \nUnsurprisingly, he's wearing dull grey overalls, spattered with oil and grime from the undersides of the cars being worked on.\n\nMattie's just coming off her own shift over at the cafe, still smelling a bit of fry-up and coffee, most likely. The conflicting schedules of the trio made assembling here the easiest solution to compare any notes (or lack thereof) on the vampire investigation. The American walks to where Jack's legs can be seen poking out from under the car and gives a nudge of his calf with the toe of her black Doc Martens. She then moves to lean against another car beside it, scowling down into the side-view mirror as she crosses her arms.\n\nMattie's turn to scowl, Huruma's turn to be the one that isn't. When she gets to the garage, it is shortly after the other woman; there is a moment spent hovering around the open doorway, one hand along the wall, before the sound of boots clicks up against the stone, and her frame appears between the vehicles. \n\n\"D'you do motorbikes too?\" The somewhat bushy-tailed question breaks any lingering quiet between the three, as Huruma slides in along the same car Mattie leans against, putting her own side up against it, eyes down to watch Jack's lower half.\n\"Can do.\" Mumbles Jack, tinkering away for a few moments longer before sliding out and tossing down some tools into a pile. He wipes a hand across his face, which mostly serves to make a new line of black, smearing from nose to ear. Flashing the duo a smile, he holds up a finger in the universal 'Just a moment' gesture.\n\nMoving to the back of the shop, he's pulled a tenner out from one of his pockets and back by the store room, calls out. \"Oi. Time for lunch, you little wanker. Even though you're bloody sleepin' on the clock.\" He makes an effort to sound irritated, but it's half hearted and there's a little smile fighting to be shown at the end of it. A scruffy looking kid bumbles out of the room, trying to act like he's wide awake and has been productive all this time. The mechanic slaps the money into his hand, and hitches his thumb at the door. \"Fuck off, is it?\"\n\nThe kid looks from Jack to the women, then to Jack again and gives him a nudge in the ribs and a wink. Then he obnoxiously pushes his tongue into his cheek in a provocative manner. This earns him a clip about the ear and he runs off laughing.\n\nThe redhead's brows lift at the boy's gesture but she only gives a shake of her head and a smirk rather than correct him or berate him. \"Hey,\" is offered to Huruma, then she looks back to Jack. \n\n\"So I don't have a lot of information. Finally got a hold of the landlord. Nothing useful. Buncha guys, probably in their 30s. No paper trail, so not a lot to go on, but that's how that kinda place operates.\" Her voice is flat as she glances back down at the mirror before giving it a push so that it angles in another direction. She glances up at Huruma to see if the other woman has any better leads.\n\nHow endearing. Huruma stares after the boy as if she were debating that whole 'time for lunch' thing. It passes, and when she turns her head back to Jack, she is wearing a wry little smile tightly on her mouth. She waits for Mattie to finish, and when the redhead looks up at her, she acknowledges it with a twitch of the corners of her mouth before she speaks again.\n\n\"Some of th'girls are missing in Brixton, but you know how that line of work… can be.\" Hopefully the point is made without needing too many specifics. \"One of them mentioned a bar. Something about a dark room. I could'ardly understand her. I think she was on drugs at th'time. A patrolman came around b'fore I got more.\" Her eyes on Jack. \n\nWhen it comes to police, Huruma has a sketchy opinion as it is. Without them ruining her finally being able to pin something down.\n\n\"Yeah. I'd never be a hooer in Brixon, that's for bloody certain. Even if I do have the tits for it.\" Jack opines, commenting on the safety of sex workers. \"But yeah.\" A nod to Huruma, \"Bird said there were some geezers what were right creepers in The Dark Room. I ain't never been there. Figure it's a place to start though. Could use a night out on the town.\"\n\nA grin follows as Jack ambles nearer to the exit. Curiously, there's a space at the back where the concrete floor is cleaner. The lack of dirty delineates it from the rest of the space, and when he reaches it, he steps around it, rather than walk across it. Finding a pillar to lean against, he gets out a cigarette. \"Figure it should be careful watchin'. Given what happened to Jill's lot. Maybe go there durin' the day an' check with people first?\"\n\nMattie gives a short nod, fingers idly rubbing at a scratch on the car door. \"I can check it out at night, too, without being seen. Should be safe enough for me. I'll look into it after we get these other assignments off the docket.\" She's got at least two with her name on them besides this one, and dead kids come before dead whores in her book, apparently. \n\n\"Maybe someone can pose as a prostitute,\" she suggests, her eyes drifting to Huruma.\n\nHuruma's drugged up version was not so far off. She seems content with that much, watching Jack before examining the room- and yes, the clean portion of the floor he avoids. It's hard not to notice the blotch. Perhaps bleach? She muses in silence. \"I am certain th'bartenders see things. Days would be th'time t'ask.\" \n\n\"Something you want to ask me?\" Huruma's eyes lid closes for a moment, blinking back open slowly to her left, meeting the glance from Mattie. A wrinkle of the nose, a pull of upper lip.\n\nJack doesn't mention it, despite the scrutiny. Watching the people passing by on the streets, a group of youths give him a nod. Almost respectful. They're flashed a grin in turn. \"Check it out day first, an' then go night. But yeah, scarlet polternel here is likely the best bet for cursory examination. Can always come with too.\" Sometimes it's nice to indulge the sneaky side; the Shadow always wants to be let loose.\n\nTurning back to Huruma at the question he smirks, \"See, there's a lot of immigrants around here, what turn to a life as prossies when they can't get no other work and for whatever reason the government won't give them their bleedin free houses and handouts.\" No resentment there from the working class. None at all. \"So we fit you up with some prossie clothes an' you'd be a dead ringer.\" Unfortunate choice of words, perhaps.\n\nPolternel? Jack earns a cocked brow, and then Mattie looks back to Huruma. \"Relax, will you? I'm not saying you're a whore or you look like a whore or that you're right for the part.\" Okay, apparently Jack is saying that, but she didn't. \"It was just an idea, and if it's one we want to try, it doesn't have to be you. But if whoever tried it got into a bit of a bind, you could probably hold your own better than most without showing all our cards.\" Whether or not she's willing, she doesn't say.\n\nThe first half wasn't so bad- she understands the plight of immigrants in cities like London and Paris, and has been doing her best to not fall into that stereotype. It is when he gets to 'ringer' that Huruma's eyes flash, and she growls low at him from her spot against the car, one hand practically kneading fingers into the door. Luckily, the claws haven't come out, or else he might have some unexplained damage to someone's ride. Her spine is as rigid as her gaze. \n\n\"I am well aware of my status, but you will not speak t'me in that manner.\" Well, that escalated quickly. Understandable, even so. \n\n\"I will do it.\" Huruma turns her eyes down to Mattie, glancing up at Jack during, seething behind her eyes. \"Not because I am a poor immigrant. I will do it because I am a proud woman, a warrior of the Karaba, and supposedly I am your colleague.\" In other words, Jack needs some work on his manners, and Huruma needs some work on her prideful drama. It will work itself out in time, surely.\n\n\"I'll speak to you however I like, darlin'. If you're going to take offense at someone saying that if you dressed up like a prossie you'd look like a prossie then you should probably fuck off back to Africa, because that's the least insulting thing someone might say to you around here. Need to get yourself a thicker skin, or you're going to become a bitter cunt constantly lamenting your bloody status from back home. You ain't back home. So suck it up.\" Jack glances toward her hand on the car, \"An' if you scratch that ride I'll have your fuckin' guts for garters.\"\n\nNot so intimidated, the last honest man in London shrugs as he expells smoke upwards and flicks away the butt, moving back into the shadows of the shop away from the view of the street and the sunlight. Just in case. \"Dressin' up like a whore seems unrelated to being a proud woman. Either do it, or don't. But get off your fuckin' high horse already. I've done plenty worse things without whining about it.\" Shockingly, Jack is not apologetic at all. It should be quite plain by now that confronting him in this kind of way doesn't end well. Teresa knows. He leans against the inside wall, watching Huruma carefully as though expecting her to fly at him. There's a wrench nearby, just by his hand. In his mind, he hasn't said anything that's not obvious. If he dressed like a whore, he'd probably look like a whore too. Although he'd probably have to find some niche market in Soho before anyone would actually make a rent boy of him.\n\nMattie was about to speak when Jack goes off on his tirade, and the American doesn't interrupt, though she does does give him a bit of a look for some of his word choices. \"He's right in that anyone dressed up like a hooker looks like a hooker. And he speaks to everyone like this, so he's an equal opportunity bastard. Nothing to take personally. And there are plenty of poor immigrants who are much too proud to be hookers, so being compared to one isn't an insult. We all have plenty of enemies without making them out of one another.\" \n\nMattie's eyes dart to Jack at that, her lips crooking into the smallest of rueful smiles.\n\n\"You'e no idea of th'thickness of my skin. I worked too hard t'be told I could pass… I am sure you've worked just as hard…\" She can't exactly pick up her bags and go home. For many reasons, the least of which being a goodwill trip. Alas. \n\n\"I find that I am already bitter. And still able to put on airs, I see.\" Huruma laughs, suddenly, rolling on one hip to turn off of the car. Air escapes in a flare from her nostrils, and she lies her palms along her waist. Mattie is given a short wink, and her lips, are in a smug way as she moves off of the car's support. \n\n\"So how was that? …think I could- ah- do Brixton?\" One hand moves down her hip, and the other lifts up, slipping behind her neck and down over her collarbone; Huruma's posture shifts onto one leg, curve of thigh prominent under her jacket. \n\nShe's not that icy, you know.\n\nTilting his head, Jack clearly has no idea what to make of Huruma's change of pace. Laughing suddenly, he's not sure whether to join in or reach for that wrench after all. Maybe both.\n\nThe sudden display of flexibility has him raising a brow. \"Probably do all of Brixton with moves like that, darlin'.\" he remarks, giving up on the makeshift weapon idea and sidling back to the door to light up again. People are confusing. \n\nIt's about then that the scamp returns. \"Forgot my fags, din' I?\" he mutters, planning to hop in, grab them and leave. But then there's Huruma, posturing which draws the youth's attention and makes him gawp. \"Come on, mate. Figured you'd be on it by now. If you don't I will.\" The kid, who can't be much older than 16 gives Huruma a rather lewd grin. Jack punches him lightly in the back of the head, \"Fuck off.\" There's a laugh, but there's also a serious tone to back it up. An implication that he should not return for a while.\n\nHuruma's antics make Mattie chuckle and look away — the nervousness revealed likely the reason she didn't think she was up for the job herself. \"Better than I could for sure,\" she says, and despite having shoved the mirror on the car away, she tilts it back to study it a moment. \n\nLooking up at the teen's reappearance, she stifles a laugh. Once he's gone, she tries to reassert the quiet confidence she has when it comes to the job — as long as the job isn't about pretending to be a 'prossie,' apparently. \n\n\"So here's the plan. We'll check it out by night without them knowing we're there first, scope it out, see what we see, reconnaissance before sending in Huruma on another night. We can act as back up just in case things go hairy,\" Mattie says. \"The more I think about it, asking questions by day might raise some suspicions about any newcomers, you think? Might not want to tip our hand.\"\n\n\"You could try…\" Which is said in such a purring way that one cannot be sure, now, if Huruma would mean to eat him instead — if her words were true in the first place. The kid has zero chance, thank goodness for that much. She may be a panther, but it won't make her a cougar. She lounges back against the car again, nestling her lower back there and watching between the others, only continuing after the 'guest' is gone, and Mattie has said her piece. \n\n\"If neither of us get anything at night, someone can go in after I've been there. I would not be free of suspicion, but it would b'less of it, at least.\" \n \nThe kid is plucky enough to try, but heedful enough of Jack to turn tail and make a break for the street while his ears are still unboxed. \"Reackon that'd work out. You might be right. Unless they're in league, they ain't going to know much of use. An' if they are in league then askin' questions is going to give the game away. Smart thinkin', Red.\"\n\n\"If we can see them there, anyhow. Might be able to follow them. Or if Huruma gets picked up, we can have a unit ready to follow along. Or somethin'.\" Mattie seems generally better at planning things, which is why she's the Senior Operative.\n\nMattie's eyebrows come up again at the purr Huruma makes to the boy. \"You know you don't have to stay in character 'til we're ready to move on it, right?\" she says dryly, pushing off of the car. \n\n\"All right. Sounds like a plan. Enough time's passed they might not be suspicious, which is our advantage and we should try to keep it that way.\" Her cell phone is pulled from her pocket and the time checked before she glances up through a shock of red hair to each of them, a tacit query in her eyes — is there anything else to discuss?\n\nCharacter? Huruma looks passively to Mattie, light and quick, playful behind the lenses of her eyes. \"Who says I am? There is the hazard of the baada-ya-\" Huruma pauses and turns her head to look at both of them, trying to find the term. \"-th'mirror image. I think all we can do, though, is hope that it does not matter to them who they get.\" It would make getting chosen easier, though there is nothing they can do about it besides stay watchful for if it hits a wrong note.\n\n\"Right you are then. Sorted.\" Jack lifts a shoulder in response to the question unspoken, apparently he has nothing further to discuss. \"Get someone to have a poke around online, maybe check out the layout of the place too.\" Someone /else/ since Jack doesn't do computers. But it sounds like a smart thing to offer. Even if it's not really necessary since Mattie can look. He's just contributing for the sake of it.\n\n\"Peachy.\" Moseying toward the back once more, again he steps around that spot on the floor and grabs a box from the shelf, setting it down near where he was working previously. A bright an' shiny sort of smile is offered, \"Lovely to see you ladies, as always. Should probably get back to the grind though, yeah?\" A boot nudges the nearest tire on the car, \"Shit ain't going to fix itself.\" Mattie gets a further tip of the head, \"See you at school in the mornin', Red.\"\n\n\"Who needs blueprints?\" Mattie says with a smirk, since locked doors mean little to her, but she nods. \"I'll see if I can find them and if not, I'll sketch out what I find before we go in.\" The mention of school gets a grimace. \n\n\"Wish she'd drop out already,\" she mutters as she gives the two of them a wave of her cell phone before fading from view entirely.\n\nThe only thing to linger on Huruma's mind is something that gets to her curiosity. See her at school in the morning? Wish who would drop out? The dark woman gives Jack a puzzled little look, eyebrow raising when Mattie disappears and presumably goes off again. Not her business, no- but Huruma does not put stock in the old adage about curiosity and cats. Still, another time. \n\nShe might have to get that bike eventually after all. \n\n\"Be seeing you, Peter Pan…\" With this murmured to Jack, the older woman is off again, hands in back pockets and boots taking her south once she leaves the garage."
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