Logs:TSO-NOLA - Four(ty) Thieves Part 2
TSO-NOLA - Four(ty) Thieves Part 2
|Characters:||Prosper, Mingzhu as ST|
|Summary:||Prosper gets an unnusual job offer.|
It's yet another hot, humidity filled night in New Orleans. Friday nights are an explosion of activity in the usual hot spots around the various wards. Which has Prosper at a distance. He needs time to think on entirely too much as of late. So what does a career crook of advanced age go when he's not babysitting eternal apex predators? He's at 'The Angry Armadillo'. A small bar and restaurant nestled inside the desolate but healing Iberville. Off track betting is the big draw here, not the food and certainly not the overpriced drinks... yet here he is.
Having left his suit jacket in the car, Prosper sits at a small table in the corner. Watching the screens while nursing a cocktail. He'd kill to smoke indoors again but... he contents himself with gnawing on a spare cocktail straw. White button down, sleeves rolled back and tie yanked loose. He appears as any 9-5er trying to downshift after a long day.
It appears that Prosper's thinking is going to be interrupted. He's an attractive man, so perhaps it comes as no surprise when a woman takes a seat at his small table, though this one doesn't approach coyly and ask, nor flirt from halfway across the room beforehand. No; she enters the restaurant, looks around slowly, then makes a fairly casual but direct approach to the table he is at. She's young, probably in her late teens or early twenties, with dark brown hair and eyes, pale skin and a touch of makeup; blush on her cheeks, red on her lips. Her clothing is more demure than most wear these days - a cream blouse with a high neckline and an ankle-length black skirt, cinched in with a wide belt.
"Good evening," she greets quietly, her accent decidedly a local one, a hint of that Louisiana French in her words. "Mind if I join you?" She kind-of already has, sat across from him as she is, but her faint smile seems to suggest she doesn't expect to be refused. At least, not yet.
"I swear to every god that listens, if you don't run faster I'm going to-" Prosper is muttering to himself as he watches his pony lagging. A sneer of distaste on his face, he has half a mind to throw the glass and be done with it. No, no. Temper, temper, Henry. Settling back into his seat, a low backed round affair with enough padding to not hate it, Prosper rips his ticket in half and flicks the remains dismissively at the tabletop. Shaking his head in disbelief, he's generally pretty spot on when it comes to picking winners, he catches the approach of a stranger.
A brow arches high and curious, giving her the customary once over that's more nature than anything. Once she crossed the rhetorical Rubicon and he knew he was the aim? He does what any good man would do. He stands. "Depends on who you picked, doesn't it?" A crooked, half assed little smile. Prosper gestures to an open seat and takes a step to pull the chair out but she's already claimed it. A light, airy chuckle and he takes his own chair once more. "Not at all." He says with a wry smirk. "Henry. In case that was on your mind."
Resting her hands clasped loosely together on the tabletop, the young woman looks down at the torn ticket pieces, then back over to Prosper, her smile remaining. "I picked you, Henry," she replies quietly - apparently she's not much of a gambler, not that she had time between entering and sitting to place any bets in any case. "I'm looking for a few people with a few skills, and I understand you might be fortunate enough to be one of them. Could I interest you in a little walk, with some conversation that might turn out to be quite profitable?" Apparently whatever her business is, she doesn't want to discuss it in a bar, even if the table is tucked into the corner out of the way.
The way he looks at this woman, it's not so much intense as it is invasive. Dark, dark chocolate eyes linger on her eyes with an almost unblinking, serpentine calm. His head tilts aside ever so slightly as eyebrows knit ever so slightly lower. That smile, somewhat charming if a tad shady, remains. "I can see that." Taking a sip off his drink, a dark, rust red looking affair, he listens to her vague pitch. The first step in these things is always so... predictably close to the vest. "You had me at profitable." Finishing his drink, Prosper stands to shell out some bills onto the table top. "Something better be profitable after that shit show of a race. Lead the way, darlin'." He offers in a low, husky baritone.
The stare doesn't seem to bother this woman in the least; she looks back at him directly, blinking once or twice but otherwise silently waiting for his answer. Predictably close to the vest indeed; one doesn't discuss grand theft magical object just anywhere, with the ears of so many strangers - gamblers, at that - to hear it. Once he confirms, she rises to her feet and turns to head out of the bar, her moves having something of an efficiency to them, precise and neat.
Once outside she pauses so he can catch up, that small smile returning to her lips - she seems to be waiting for something more than just him to reach her position.
Little tests. Tiny pushes of barely visible buttons. It's a stare that waits for the other to break and when she doesn't? Respect is given in kind. As she walks away, Prosper takes a step, turns on heel and plucks up his tip before following after this newfound possible benefactor. What? It was shit service and the drinks were weak as an asthmatic toddler. Prosper feels little remorse on that front.
Once outside, he wastes little time in lighting up a cigarette. He prefers cigars but... eh, habits a habit. "I'm not going to play any games here. I would appreciate the same courtesy in return." He says, exhaling upward. "Contracted or pulling in the freelancers? I don't like working with amateurs."
There is little to no reaction from the young woman as Prosper reclaims his tip, and once he's done lighting up, she begins to walk along the street, assuming he'll keep pace. "Freelancers, but I am confident of their skill level," she replies, setting a casual pace, two people just out for a nice walk in the sticky and humid evening.
"I haven't yet settled on who will make the cut, but assuming you remain interested, I intend to bring a small group together. You can decide amongst yourselves which of you - and how many - will undertake the job," she continues, looking around at the various displays and store fronts, as if she really is just browsing, enjoying company.
Thick, humid air you could almost punch your way through. Some folks can handle it. Some can't. This Georgia boy has spent the last century in the Big Easy. He's acclimated nicely. Comfortably keeping pace with the woman, Prosper nods in acceptance of her words thus far. "Good." Is all he says on the matter. For now.
A long drag, Prosper relishes the burn in his lungs. It's the little pains and pleasures that make all these years so very worth while. "Hrmmm. Interesting angle. Assuming I remain interested, what's to stop the ones who don't make the cut from coming in after the fact and sweeping up? I'd rather not have to settle this with tequila and knife fights but... you know the business. Feast or famine. Go on." He urges lightly, tapping ash to the breeze. The man walks positively whisper quiet. Soft soled leather loafers. Not just for comfort and style.
"I can tell you what sort of things will need to be dealt with, without telling you where the prize is; enough to decide who is needed," the woman points out easily enough, a hint of potential amusement in her expression, a vague sort of open gesture made with her hands as she speaks. "If you can't stop those who weren't included from following you once you know where you're going, then perhaps you're not as good as you think." There is an element of lazy amusement in her voice. She's clearly not too concerned that people will just flake, confident in their collective greed perhaps.
"Stick and carrot. I'm still following what you're putting down." Prosper says with a smokey, barely audible chuckle. They walk along for a long, lingering while. He's mulling it over and simply drinking in the company and their surroundings. One final drag and he flicks the cigarette away into the street. "Oh, I am, sweetheart. I just don't know if -they- are yet. I suppose I'll figure that out if the deal holds my attention. Feed me, I'm your baby bird. What else is there?"
As before, it seems the woman is quietly patient when it comes to people thinking things through, seeing no need to hurry the decision. After all, a smart thief is one who considers all the angles before committing, and that's just what she is looking for. "Payment, of course."
She doesn't specify how much - it's amazing how many people develop sharp ears when talk turns to money, and so she simply confirms, "You would be well compensated for what should be just a few hours of work." Of course, her idea of 'well compensated' and his may not line up, but that's a conversation for the future unless he's choosing to press it now.
It's -all- about the angles. This business has no straight shot and when one appears, it's the foolish thief that jumps at the easy path not seeing the dangers waiting just off the path. "Payment. My second favorite part."
Pausing to tap the worn, chrome button for the cross walk, Prosper stands at the corner with this unnamed benefactor offering a mysterious job and unspoken pay. He's got a full plate as of late, jumping back into the night life has earned him more and more work than he'd have thought. He clears his throat, the little white light person urging them on. "I'm assuming the pay will be enough to satisfy me. The fact that you even found me in the first place tells me that you know enough to appease my greed."
"If payment is second, what is first? The challenge?" the woman wonders thoughtfully, waiting beside Prosper while the lights change, then heading across the road once they do. "You may assume that, yes. I am not looking to hire skilled professionals without the appropriate level of pay," she responds, sounding unconcerned about how much this might cost, if all of the people she is bringing together intend to go on the heist. Either money is no object, or the object in question is that important to her.
"So. Can I count you as an interested party, enough to meet and hear the rest?" she then prompts, stepping into a recessed doorway so they can stand still and make this agreement without disturbing the flow of traffic.
"You can count me as an interested party. I'll hear you out in full and we'll go from there." Prosper says with a slow nod of acceptance after sidestepping into the doorway of a closed dry cleaner. He can't help but look at their rates through the window. "If you tapped me for this, it's gotta be worth it or you want it pretty damned. bad. Count me in."
There's a slow nod from the brunette, and from a pocket in her skirt she takes out a smartphone, unlocking it and navigating to a new contact. She offers it to the thief, so he can put his details in. "So I don't need to search for you again," she murmurs, a hint of amusement there. As to how bad she wants it? "It's a family heirloom. Without value to anyone else, but important to me." That's all she'll say, and assuming he does input his details, she then takes her phone back and pockets it. "Good evening to you, Henry. I'll be in touch soon."
Back thumping to the brick face of the shallow alcove, Prosper takes the phone in hand and punches in one of his numbers. These people and their little layers of comfort and protection. "I can only imagine how fun that must have been. Let's call your search for me a vetting of my own." Offering the phone back on a long fingered, nimble hand, Prosper offers that crooked little smile of his once more. "Then it's high time we got it back in the proper hands." Stepping out onto the sidewalk, Prosper slips both hands into his pockets. "I certainly hope you will be. Have a pleasant evening, Ma'am." He says while starting a path back toward 'The Angry Armadillo'.