In Plain Sight

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Screech, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. It was difficult to admit that it was much different than she'd remembered. The city was a dank, poor place before with the economy crashing, but as the girl stood from the corner of the road, she took note of the deteriorated surroundings of the streets she used to consider home. Shops were boarded up and abandoned, the roads dimpled with potholes. It seemed the world had turned on it's backside while she wasn't looking, but even in a place as empty and rotting as this it was still dotted with layabouts and life was almost the same for every corner of town. She swiped a newspaper caught in the trappings of a stormdrain. The headline reads: "Economic downturn continues! Widespread looting and violence flood the Nation." As her eyes turned towards the sun setting over the cityscape in the west, she swore she could see billows of smoke in the distance. Without much wait she continued to roam, following the paths of the homeless and stragglers that strolled along the sidewalk. She was a short, little thing, covered from head to toe in a bucket hat and sunglasses- her dark brown hair tucked under a tattered dark green shemagh and a black hoodie which afforded both protection form the last of the summer sun and from the eyes of strangers. As she came along she gravitated towards a boarded up convinience mart and slipping her fingers around the edge of a plywood board she pulled it back just far enough for her to get a meager glance of the interior.

    Setting: Summer in an urban US city, one of many trapped in the grief of economic turmoil and societal madness. The police seem non existant and it's every man for themself against evil and violence which has blossomed in the dystopian filth, and all kinds of creatures worm about flitting beneath the surface.
    #1 Screech, Dec 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2013
  2. "Come on, boys! Goddamn, you're so slow", a man commanded two other men inside the convenience mart. "This is one shop we haven't looted yet. The prize awaits back at the camp", he said once more before firing few rounds from his Škorpion SMG to the ceiling of the mart. He was wearing a brown trench coat and stetson, looking like a stereotypical westerner, excluding his gun and accent. He was most likely brought up in the Balkans. "Svetrov, dis prize you talkin' about better be big dis time!" shouted one of his henchmen back at Svetrov, the pseudo-westerner. "Up to you!" Svetrov shouted back and then walked calmly at the boarded up window. On its other side there was a girl peeping in. Svetrov pointed his submachine gun at the girl and asked: "Anything in particular caught your eye here? Do not let the appearance of this shop fool you, we are still open. Bwa ha ha!" he laughed roughly at the girl without moving his submachine gun away from the girl's chest.
  3. The sound of gunfire sent a sharp ringing through her ears that obliterated her senses momentarily. When things came into clarity she caught wind of the last part of his sentence. "-shop fool you, we are still open." And the laughter that followed. She slipped her backpack off slowly which fell to the ground, and following that she raised her arms up in a calm gesture of submission. The barrel of a gun funneled straight to her chest, held by a hardy looking man on the other side- and beneath her sunglasses albeit no one could tell, she was looking at his face instead of diverting her attention to the gun. She parted her lips to speak, face tucked partway still under her scarf, her voice sounded hoarse and scratchy, unexpected of her stature. "Matches, lighters... and batteries. Oh and if you don't mind grabbing me some extra pens...I'd appreciate it."
  4. "HA HA HA! See this boys?" Svetrov bursted into sheer laughter. "This little kitten is lost in the woods, looking for matches and lighters, not to mention batteries and pens! She really gets the joke", he finished and his 'boys' just looked at him unamused. "Whatever Svetrov, we need to plunder the goods. Forget the girl", another one of them, not the same as last time, tried to say. Svetrov lifted his gun and shot at the ceiling again. The sound of gunfire startled both of his 'boys', and Svetrov said to them: "That is exactly what I'm doing. Grab the girl, but please. Do it ever so gently, like you weren't the ones doing it."

    Both looked at each other and then one opened the door while the another one grabbed the girl and held her in place. Svetrov walked outside, saying to the henchman holding the door open: "Finish the job here, if you would, Hutch." Then he holstered his gun and faced the girl. "I have lots of matches and lighters back at my place. How about we check them out to see which ones fit your preferences the best?" he asked and noticed an engine starting to run behind the convenience store. Apparently the other henchman, Hutch, had already 'finished the job' and was now driving a Dodge pickup truck. Svetrov pointed at the bed of the truck. "Backseat for you and Pearce", he said, nodding at the black man holding the girl still.
  5. She was corralled into the back of the truck with the other henchman, Pearce, and she crawled in compliently. A tad miffed about her bag being left behind, it was mostly empty so nothing of honest value was lost. She tried to relax in the truck bed and was no stranger to chatter, speaking out. "Ah, well Pearce, it's nice to meet you. I'm Aven. I figure we should get to know each other while we're on this trip." She extended her boney hand to the henchman for a shake. Her fingers were rough and calloused, skin white like cream cheese and the stench of rust seemed to seep through her clothing.
  6. Pearce looked at the girl with suspicion in his eyes, but eventually let it go and said: "Lester Pearce..." He squeezed the hand offered to him briefly before pulling back and laying down. "You a scavenger or what?" he asked without looking at Aven and streched as much as he could in the moving truck. The pickup was heading towards a large mansion, which on this era could only belong to someone as powerful and wealthy as a crime boss, with a voluptuous courtyard one could get lost in and where numerous garden plants flourish. Svetrov was holding a briefcase on his lap while sitting on the passenger seat and Hutch shifted a bit uneasy while driving.
  7. Aven held one hand onto her hat as the wind threatened to take it away, relaxing by the back of the truck and resting an arm over the side. She spoke watching Pearce resting in the truck bed while occasionally glancing at the darkening sky. "I don't believe I am. I was just in town in need of a little odds and ends. I haven't been in town for a while. Didn't need to." There was a brief pause before she spoke again. "Life being a crony must not be so bad huh?"
  8. Pearce turned around swiftly with a surprised look in his face. "You got any idea where we're driving you to--" he tried to say when Hutch stopped the truck. "We've arrived!" shouted Svetrov in delight. They were outside a giant gate leading to the mansion. On the right side of the truck was a post with a horizontal hole. Svetrov opened his bag, pulled out a key card and inserted it to the hole. A short layer of stone swiveled 180 degrees, revealing a keypad on the other side. After Svetrov had typed in the code, the stone swiveled back and returned the key card. The gate to the mansion opened with a creak and Hutch drove inside. After a little driving and scenery flowing past the truck, he drove the pickup truck inside an open garage, stopped the truck and pressed a button. Lights switched on and the garage door closed. Pearce grabbed Aven by elbow and dropped off the truck. Hutch did the same and both waited for Svetrov. He took out his submachine gun from his bag, closed his bag and stepped outside. "Now then, my dear visitor", he said to Aven, "shall we?" he asked while pointing at a double door leading to the inside of the mansion. He grabbed Aven himself a bit roughly than Pearce had done while both Pearce and Hutch opened the doors. "Welcome to my crib", he said coldly with a grin in his face.
  9. "Ah, well this is excessive... I guess some people prefer to live cozier than others." She thought to herself. She couldn't help but be a little impressed by the size of the house, as well as being impressed by the forces keeping it intact from any looters or barbarians seeking to steal the castle. Somehow this seemed nostalgic in an awful way, except this time the invitation was more agressive and straight to the point than it had been once in the past. She imagined her little "pal" Deepwick had no trouble keeping his home free of vermin of course in these trying times, all without the help of anyone but himself. The sunglasses did their job well by not allowing the sudden lights sear the skin of her eyeballs as they went from the dark outside to the insides of the bright building, and she had worked up a sweat from the layers of clothing she'd been wearing on this warm summer night, making her natural rust smelling odor far more persistant. "What a beautiful little villa this is! Charming, absolutely charming! I call dibs on the basement." Aven chortled while being wrenched by the arm by Svetrov.
  10. Pearce and Hutch just stood there utterly dumbfounded at Avens reaction to her abduction, but Svetrov was quick to drag them back to Earth, as he screamed suddenly: "THE HELL ARE YOU TWO STILL STANDING THERE FOR?! Move your legs or I'll move them myself!" Needless to say, Pearce and Hutch quickly caught up to Svetrov and Aven with quick and sorry "Yes Sirs" on both accounts. Svetrov dragged Aven all the way to another double door leading to yet another room. "Open the doors now", he said to his henchmen and they hurry-scurried to the doors and opened them. Svetrov dragged Aven inside the room. "My pride and joy", he said to Aven with maybe even a little tear in the corner of his cold eye.

    The room was filled with -- gold? No... silver? Not even that. Diamonds? Not even close. It was filled with display cabinets with each one containing... a lighter. But not just any lighter, every last of them was a real Zippo lighter. Some of them had gang insignias of some sort on their sides. "I'm a collector", explained Svetrov, "and have been one ever since I moved to America. Every single lighter you see here is that of a dealer or a crime boss finished off by my hand", he said and took out another zippo from his pocket. It had capital letters V, V and Z on its side bordered by and made out of solid gold on otherwise black metal. "This has always been mine", he said and showed the bottom of the lighter, which had his signature in cursive: Peter Vasilyevich Svetrov. "Back there... you said you need a lighter. Go ahead and pick one of these, maybe one of your idolized dealer, capo or boss? Bwa ha ha!" he laughed again with the same cold and rough tone as usual.
  11. "It's stunning." Aven assured with certain fascination, her eyes fixed on the prize in his hand before he put it away. "Of course now I can't imagine a person like myself holding onto possessions like these. An awful case of butterfingers. But if you insist." She ambled around the room in admiration of the display cases featuring rows of the metal trinkets. "You know, I didn't think you were actually serious. I just needed something for my camp." She remarked, glancing at him momentarily before returning her attention to the cabinets. Finally one of them caught her attention. A dull silver, there was the tiniest hint of rust on the surface. Engraved across the front was an intricate face with white skull face paint, dressed in a pair of glasses with the left lens popped out and a fancy hat. Below the face, two little bottles of booze crossed in the shape of an X. It was like a skull and crossbones.

    "This one here. I know this one- It's the Baron Samedi. Where did you get it?" She questioned with solemnity. "Oh man, if I could show Rilind this... Maybe if I could give him something... I wonder if he would forgive me?" She mused in her head.
  12. Svetrov approached calmly the display cabinet containing the Baron Samedi. "Baron Samedi, also known as Ghede, voodoo god of death. You have good taste, young girl", he complimented Aven while reaching out to his own lighter and lighting a smoke. "That metallic piece of artwork is actually a gift", said Svetrov. "a gift from a good friend. Very good friend. Works as an underboss now, or so I hear. Didn't see the need to snuff him... yet", he finished, emphasizing the word 'yet' a lot. "Step aside", he told Aven, stepped in front of the vitrine and pulled out his key card. Once again, he inserted it into a horizontal slot. Every vitrine seemed to have one. Unlike at the gate, however, the slot returned the key card instantaneously and the glass withdrew itself inside the base of the display case. Svetrov picked up the zippo and handed it over to Aven, then grabbed her from the shoulder and whispered in her ear: "It's on the house. Grra ha ha ha!" Laughing as coldly as always. "The 'Baron Samedi' is yours", he finished and took a look at his wristwatch: "It's getting quite late. Why not have some dinner with me and Sasha and stay the night?" he said with a grin from ear to ear.
  13. "A friend I used to know... Oh it just reminded me of him. Nothing huge. And you mentioned this being from your very good friend- I used to live in New Orleans. Fantastic cuisine." Aven held the zippo inquisitively in her hand, flipping it open and closing it with a clack. She rubbed a calloused thumb over the engraving before putting it in the back pocket of her jeans. The man, Svetrov, seemed to be quite jolly and amiable she thought, beneath his savage and brutish exterior. And with that, She burst into laughter at his invitation, covering her mouth with one hand. "Ah! Ha ha! You know there's no refusing, being kidnapped and all!" She continued to be seized with laughter until she sputtered and coughed, making her hoarse voice even scratchier. "Ah, well in any case, there's no possible way I could decline your offer. But I need to add" Aven cleared her throat and took a breath while adjusting her sunglasses."It's best that I don't overstay my welcome. I tend to get a little too comfortable in places like these."
  14. "Oh no, I insist", Svetrov hurried on to say. "but by all means, you are free to go." He walked to the next door on the side and opened it invitingly. It led to a luxurious dining room. "However", he said with an even bigger grin on his face, "I wonder how would you make it through the front gate without a key card, let alone the code to exit?" He then grabbed Aven by her shoulder and led her to the dining room, saying: "I really do not mind having a guest, even if it would be years since I had my last one, but..." he paused as he whispered to her ear with a murderous intent, "...IF YOU DARE STEAL A THING FROM ME, AND TRUST ME, I WILL REALIZE IMMEDIATELY, THE ONLY WAY YOU EXIT THIS MANSION IS FEET FIRST."

    Svetrov had grabbed his submachine gun again and pushed it to the back of Avens head without either of them even realizing. She was seated to a table for six people. As he himself sat down he said: "Tonight Sasha will be serving us something as American as apple pie, like you Americans would say. Not apple pie, though", he finished. Pearce and Hutch sat down as well. "This table is our family table, for big meetings we have bigger tables but I think this is enough for a good old family dinner", said Svetrov with longing in his eyes. Pearce rolled his eyes, since it was obvious none of the attendants to this dinner had his blood on their veins except Svetrov himself.
  15. Aven adjusted her scarf over her face in a swift motion, obscuring a rude smile that spread from ear to ear. "Rest easy chap! Your posessions are all yours." She pulled out her seat and sat herself by the table comfortably. "Hello Pearce." Aven greeted Pearce with a little hand wave from across the table. The dining room had a soothing golden glow of light, as a gorgeous chandelier hung at just the right distance and in perfect splendor and everything on the table was fixed in uniformity. She crossed her legs and, with an elbow resting on the table she motioned to remove her hat but instead stopped only to adjust the brim once more. "It's been a long time since i've sat down for a nice dinner like this!" She chortled. "My aquantaince was all too keen about treating me. A brilliant chef I must add, but with strange tastes."
  16. "Interesting", said Svetrov dishonestly, crossed his legs and lit another smoke. Suddenly his phone rung and he answered it: "Peter Svetrov...I told you not to call exception...on VVZ turf?...Send Boris and Fedya all want to see me?" Suddenly his smile grew into a wider smile. "But of course! Head on in, head on in...oh, we were just about to have dinner...yes,, my sweet wife, my brutes...oh", he paused for a moment as he glanced over to Aven and his smile grew even wider. It was a wonder Svetrov had enough land area on his face for that smile to fit on it. "There is also her...yes, her...who am I talking about again, you say?...The spy...yes", he finished and ended the call, grinning widely with his eyes examining Aven from every angle possible from his point of view.

    Meanwhile, Sasha marched into the dining room with a luxurious tray with a rather ordinary American cuisine: fish and chips. Sasha was a rather well-endowed woman even considering her to be still young. Among women of her age (that being around mid-twenties), Sasha was certainly eye-catching if not in her extravagant dress then in her well-developed body. She was constantly smiling as he lowered the tray on the table and said: "Oh my, Peter, you didn't tell me anything about a visitor. Certainly not anything about a visitor that cute!" Svetrovs, as well as Hutchs and Pearces faces went red from embarrassment. "Sasha, my dear... meet... meet... Come to think of it, I never heard you mention your name", he said a bit flustered at Sashas words. Hutch and Pearce shifted uneasy on their chairs.
  17. Her curiosity was snatched when the phone rang. Aven was no stranger to eavesdropping on calls and it was thrilling to catch people in such unawares. The fish and chips were placed mid table, sitting untouched momentarily as the two exchanged words. Her eyes were drawn to Sasha as she let the dinner sit on the table, a centerfold with curves that made even Aven a bit jealous. She sppeared to be quite sweet and very alluring, but Aven was already plenty aware of the imposition such dressed up kindness could bring, whether it be genuine or ungenuine. In any case, as long as it would be true that they were not there, she had no troubles- and despite the fact that it seemed obvious that none of them could possibly know anything about her, she remained on alert as their group was full of barbaric individuals such as these and they could be closely tied.

    "Ha ha, oh, of course I only introduced myself to Mr. Pearce! Is that right... Well you must be Sasha, and Peter- Hutch and Pearce, I'm Aven. So pleased to meet you." She was easily flattered, fingers crossed and elbows now resting on the table. The corner of a palpable smile peeked from beneath her scarf. Everyone took a serving of fish and chips, including Aven who seemed to be enjoying her meal with utmost slowness, covering her mouth as she ate. To add to that, she didn't seem to be chewing any of it.
  18. A little time after that, doors were opened and a band of three people entered the room, one of them being in their sixties and the other two approximately the same age as Svetrov himself. Unlike him, all three wore suits as Svetrov wore more of a trenchcoat-stetson-boot combination of apparel thrown together. "Ded! Good to see you again", Svetrov said and stood up. Everyone else did the same. Ded, as Svetrov called the much older man, wore a dark brown suit and sunglasses. "Aven, you may or may not know this man, but he is one of the most powerful men currently in several states. His name is Vasili Svertov and he is my father", Peter introduced the older man to Aven. "And these", he added, "are Fedya and Boris, my brothers." As there was only room for one left to sit, Pearce and Hutch were dismissed to surveillance duty, and Vasili, Boris and Fedya filled the remaining empty seats.

    After the dish was finished, everyone sat there stuffed and Sasha carried the plates away. Peter was quite the heavy smoker as he placed another fag between his lips and sucked the foul smelling smoke deep into his lungs after lighting it with his VVZ Zippo. Vasili made his own fags, wrapping the paper around the tobacco fitting as much in as possible. "How rude of me", said Peter suddenly, "to not ask if you smoke or not, Aven." Vasili made a rather loud "Tch!" and gave a hateful look towards Aven. His eyes filled with contempt, his eyes seemed to pierce through her as if they were examining her soul.
  19. Aven turned, standing at the table and observed as the three men entered noisily. Their presence seemed to crowd the dining room, overshadowing herself. "I am unaware, believe it or not. Pleasently met. My name is Aven, as i've mentioned to my captors already." When they sat down, she returned to her seat."It's no bother, I don't smoke. Bir-" She stopped mid sentence, catching herself in her words. "What I mean to say is my poor, pathetic weak lungs can't handle smoking. But do carry on. It's been a pleasent evening, smoke or no smoke." Behind the screen of her shades, she traded glares with Vasili. However despite not being able to see his eyes, she could feel the wave of scalding antagonism radiating from him, almost the same kind of hate she once felt when she once met a Bokor, a voodoo priest. But this kind of contempt wasn't particularly a wary kind of contempt the way she felt with the Bokor she met. It was a disdainful curiosity she felt, and she continued to ponder who they felt she was. Perhaps he was smart enough to suspect Aven for being so warmly dressed for the summer- or, perhaps it was simply a natural disdain for new people.

    "Isn't it so interesting where we find ourselves in life, gentlemen? One day i'm living in a hole, and the next thing I know the world is on fire and I've been kidnapped by a roving gang of marauders." She clasped her hands together in a fist jovially, and with a touch of sarcasm. Following that, she continued to laugh to herself, as though everything were simply a big joke.