Logs:An Offer You Can't Refuse...?
An Offer You Can't Refuse...?
|Summary:||Prosper sells an ornery talking knife to Seth on the sly in some shotgun shanty house by the river.|
"What am I supposed to do with a talking knife?" He asked a local fence of the weird. One look at the knife and the man immediately shut down. Not just verbally, no. He kicked Prosper out and locked the doors. Some more questions turned up the truth. He just hit a damned wizards vacation house and now the initial contact? Ghosted. So he's left holding the bag. Or knife, so to speak.
What to do? You go through new names, that's what. A few calls, some words pass through third parties and let Seth know that he has a possible income down in West Riverside. Address checks out. Colorful shotgun house, lights off but for the kitchen. Talking knife. Definitely weird... and the name tied to it? Henry Jacob Prosper. Resurfacing after all these years.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the Bayou...
Shuffling through papers under the moonlight while stretched on a hammock strung between two large cypress trees, Seth's attention was distracted by the buzzing, glowing square of his smartphone. Getting that cell tower installed out here took long enough... "...Talking knife?" His eyebrows scrunched slightly as he stared at the screen, eyes adjusting from the utter darkness to the darkened glow of his night mode texting. "Huh," he further considers to himself with a soft hum, swinging off the hammock and beginning to walk towards the BMW parked along the paved driveway. "Yeah, alright. As long as the accent's not Russian," he considers, hopping into the BMW. "Or Transylvanian." There's an auction coming up, anyway.
Half an hour later, Seth has arrived in the city. The name Henry Jacob Prosper doesn't mean much to him, beyond a cursory check for outstanding problems through his database, because he's been spending his nights in Cairo for most of the last few decades. Dressed in a short-sleeved, deep blue dress shirt and jeans with comfortable boots, Seth approaches the shotgun home at a comfortable stride. He parked a block over and checked the place, but nothing seems to be wrong with it. Really, who'd try ambushing someone over a talking knife? They'd at least offer up jewels or something desirable.
He's striding through the evening, making no particular effort to hide himself as he strolls up to the back door near the lit kitchen and rapping his knuckles against it a few times. Hopefully this is the place... all of these look the same to him.
The lack of professionalism is what really irked him at first. It's just plain rude to vanish after contracting a job. Everybody knows that. Which told Prosper either he was being set up and waltzed right into it like a rookie orrrr... his contact is a dead man. Likely not the talkative sort he's used to dealing with either. So it becomes a matter of expedience. Make some noise, move the blade and lay low again. So he waits, chain smoking and foot tapping. A normally patient man is a little on edge this evening.
The rap on the door startled him from a particularly dark train of thoughts. Stabbing the menthol cigarette out in the ash tray, Prosper pushes up to cross the kitchen. The way he sees it, if he really did steal this from a sorcerer? He'd be hit by lightning or something upon opening the door. "Yeah, coming. Hold your thunder." Says the low, easy baritone with a faint South Georgian twang.
The door yanked open, Prosper upnods Seth after a second of pause. Leans out the door frame, looks both ways... then -up-. "Huh. So be it." Leaving the door open, Prosper sniffs once. Vampire. He could feel it. Smell it in the back of his brain. "Here about the knife, I hope. Otherwise this is going to be really awkward... Have a seat. Smoke?"
"Sure," Seth responds easily, in a vaguely French accent mixed with... something, to the offer of a cigarette as he walks in. His steps are quick and easy, and in a heartbeat (if he had one) he's moving to take a seat and make himself at home in this transitory place they find themselves in. "Yeah, the knife. Name's Seth." His meet being a Vampire doesn't surprise him much: if it weren't some flavor of woogie, he'd question the legitimacy a bit more. In the light of the kitchen, he's clean and cleanly dressed, though he does take a seat furthest away from any of the light fixtures as he makes himself comfortable.
He looks over Henry Prosper with a relaxed glance, not quite assessing threat, but the uncomfortable proximity of unfamiliar Beast, however subtle, does set him on edge. He's dealt with it enough times that he's outwardly only the slightest bit tense, though his posture betrays a calculated positioning with a mind towards escape routes and hidden angles in the shotgun house. "So, what's it sound like? Is it a Greek knife? German?" Seth is actually interested in this question, leaning forward slightly in the chair. "And is it an actual, physical talking or is it that spooky 'rattling your braincase' ghost business?"
It always amuses him, vampires smoking. It's literally never not tickled him in all these years. Of course, he knows the various reasons and excuses but at the end of the day? It's just plain soothing. Taking a seat at the metal frame, laminate top round table, Prosper sighs. A heavy, weary sigh as he leans over to take a scuffed old lock box up from the floor. Dropping it unceremoniously onto the table, there's a dull thud of something wrapped in layers of cloth. "Seth. Heard your name from a guy who does work outta Little Woods. He's an idiot but he's never given me a bad name. Henry Prosper. Most call me Prosper." A pause the , dark eyes narrow speculatively. "Thrall to Priestess Aurelie Fontenot. Good to know you."
Long fingered hands reach forward, his shoulders sag as he unlocks the box. Lifting the lid almost reluctantly. Carefully as if to not wake the damned blade. "I'm really happy you're not laughing right now. I did at first. Then it started calling me shit I haven't heard since the twenties." Lifting the towel bundle out, he sets it aside. "More like Chicago. Kinda nasal. Racist like you wouldn't believe."
Tossing Seth a near empty pack of Newports, Prosper starts to unwrap the item in question. Thick, fluffy towel. Antique switchblade in the middle. Black lacquer and stainless steel. "Blood activates it."
Catching the Newports with his left hand, the Mekhet's rapt attention is on the knife. Then he's retrieved one of the thin tubes and placed it to his lips, followed by a block-ish silver lighter. There is a faint wince as he ignites the flame, a quick movement practiced down along the decades that lights up the cherry, and then the hateful necessity is snapped shut. It's an act of defiance against his baser nature, his blood's hatred of flames... a petty defiance, but nonetheless.
"Chicago..." Seth is taking a drag on the cigarette he's gotten as he examines the knife, eyebrows rising slightly as he considers the weapon presented before him. "I've seen weirder shit than this," is Seth's off-hand response at the comment that he's not laughing about it, leaning forward instead to examine the object. "Good, I could sell it as the soul of a Mob-era gangster trapped in an instrument of violnece," he agrees with Prosper's assessment. "Some poor, lonely bastard will take it to share his cutting with." He doesn't quite touch the weapon, instead placing the cigarette to his lips again as he considers. He's turning over the other Vampire's words in his head, responding to them now that the immediate topic of the knife is... well, on the table. "Seth Lancaster. I work in acquisitions. Currently sourcing things for an auction... Priestess Fontenot? Alright. Well, we're about to cut the ribbon and smash the wine on the maiden voyage of the Regas Strabuloj, a steamboat on the Mississippi. You and your domina are welcome to attend the festivities, of course. I can put you on the list, if you like. Always happy to have new friends in the business." A beat. "As long as they behave, of course." He's more musing to himself, not talking to Prosper: their shared line of business is notoriously misbehaved, after all.
Over a century and change in this long, drawn out life of his and he will never find interaction with Kindred to be a bore. The danger is always there. Right under the surface. He watches Seth light up with a touch of intrigue and trepidation. The second you start thinking it's all business as usual? You end up bleeding out on a grimy tile floor in some schmucks vacation home.
"Chicago." He confirms with a simple nod.
"I'm talking to a dead man who deals in the obscure and the obscene. Yeah. We've all seen weirder shit." Prosper says with a wry chuckle under his breath. Leaning back in his seat, the career thief watches the Carthian across the table as he examines the knife. "Sell it however you want, Seth. I don't even want a cut. I just want this thing out of my life. It said some things that... let's just say it cuts deep."
Dark eyebrow lifting high, Prosper takes a half smoked cig from the tray and relights. A drag and a beat. Suddenly a slim, easy going smile creeps to the surface. "I'd be delighted. Add us to the list. I'll let Aurelie know she's welcome. She's been asleep for so long, this is just what she needs." Licking his lips, smiling all the wider, Prosper chuckles smokily. "Always behaved. You don't knock over banks for a century by being loud. Speaking of loud? That thing is. Careful."
"Thanks for the warning," Seth remarks, reaching across to wrap up the knife with deft movements in the towel again. "If it gets mouthy with me, I'll just throw it in the swamp to rust away forever. Even if it can't drown, it can feel fear, probably." Will he test the weapon out? Sure... but not here. If it inflicts a moment of weakness or drains his blood, he's here without backup, after all. No point risking it. He hasn't lived to be this old by taking unnecessary risks. Well, besides the smoking.
"I can't take it for nothing. You prefer cash or prepaid plastic?" He tilts his head as he looks across the table at Prosper, exhaling smoke from his nostrils thoughtfully. He flicks ashes off the cherry onto the table, since a quick glance from him doesn't detect an ashtray. "Banks, huh? How delightfully old-fashioned. These days, the banks do all the robbing. Poor sportsmanship, that. Someone ought to rob them back, if they could manage it. Properly, I mean."
Seth leans back in his chair, looping one tattooed forearm over the back of the furniture piece. "And if you come across any more items like this... I'll be happy to come through and evaluate them." The first time's free, after all. The authenticity determines how they move forward from this, or if. But he doesn't seem outwardly distrustful of Henry Prosper, taking this interaction at face value so far.
"Don't mention it. You're doing me a favor moving it visibly. Well, visibly as our lines of work go." One more drag and Prosper forcibly stubs the cigarette out again. Standing up from the table, the long lived Ghoul straightens the collar of his beat up leather jacket. "Ehhhhhh. How about open a line of credit for Aurelie? Nothing huge. I'd appreciate it." Thralls. Always so generous, right?
The talk of banks doing more of the robbing these days gets a laugh from the now less visibly tense Prosper. "They ain't changed all that much over the years. Still the most profitable scam around." That ever expressive eyebrow arches sharply upward again. A tell, one he should be more careful with. "Somebody should. Somebody still needs to get a crew he can trust... and it's been two decades. So his list is short as fuck."
Backing up to the door, Prosper seems intent to put some distance between him and that roast master of a switchblade. It hurt his feelings. "If I come across anything else like this, I'm giving up the game for good. Anything else of interest? I'll be in touch."That said, Prosper humps the door open with his hip and backs out. "I'll see you at the opening."