ArchivedLogs:The Things You See Underground

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The Things You See Underground
Dramatis Personae

Chokechain, Hive, Jim


Nobody down here but us rats...


<NYC> Deserted Hideout

For a concrete nest decorated with crates, it's kept surprisingly clean. There's a generator, computers, alcoves set up with cots, and three bars of reception. It's not a hotel, but you could be comfortable here.

Chokechain has a drum with a fire going in it that he's feeding paper in to slowly. The place stinks of bleach from where he's already wiped down, the containers of that discarded in a shambles. His automatic's lying on a crate, and his suit jacket is hang up on a peg that's been drilled into the concrete wall. He's bored of this, but there's more to go before he sleeps.

It's a considerable further distance from Chokechain, that two men walk slowly down a smaller service tunnel, feeding into the larger expanse where the scent of bleach and fire is stronger. Jim, for one, has a hand pushing open the flap of his jacket in a posture of a man prepared to reach for the small of his back. "Smell that?" Which is a departure from his last few spare comments along this course, which have entailed mostly "I don't know what the fuck I do this shit for" and "I'm too old for this."

Hive's responses have entailed mostly grunts. Sometimes, winces. He's a great conversational partner today, really. He is swilling down water like there is a drought approaching and has at some point popped several headache pills. Now he's just trudging, squinty-eyed, his hand that /isn't/ holding a water bottle shoved into the pocket of his tatty old coat. Hive sniffs, and his face contorts slightly, nose wrinkling at the smell. "Ffff," he says, and then frowns, actually stopping Jim with a hand lifted. Although maybe it's just lifting en route to his EYES, that is its next stop after the typical "wait" gesture. "Some dude," he grunts quietly, head tilting as though listening to something far away. "Who're you skulking after, again?"

Chokechain dumps a few more pages into the fire, picks up the cowering rat that's been guarding his automatic, and takes it to one of the computer desks. He sighs, gathers his strength, then serenades it with "We Are The Champions" in a passable baritone as he pulls one of the drives and smashes it into shards with a sledgehammer.

"Some cuss cop named Einwald Setwick." Jim murmurs; his old smoker's voice is good for low tones, "You believe that shit? What kind of parents sit down and think 'I know what we should call this kid. We'll call him Einwald mother-fucking-Setwick'. Kee-RIST, I'd shoot myself." He stops as well, leaning a shoulder up against the wall and frowning. " that /singing/?"

Chokechain is making noise enough to cover anything except a jet engine, Vulcan bashing on the anvil of hard drive after hard drive.

"Sadistic ones," Hive murmurs back. His hand drops to rest fingers against the wall, trailing absently against dirty concrete. "Could be why he's a cop now. Lifetime of childhood bullying. -- It's," he says, frowning, "Queen." He glances back to Jim. "You need him, or -- shit on his computer? He's doing some smash job." He mimes hammering.

Chokechain pats the terrified rat absent mindedly as he goes to break down the next computer. He switches to some obscure school song, the Latin words first off. He just wants this over, and is fighting the urge to skimp and jump straight to the big can of kerosene.

Jim gives Hive a /stare/, mouthing 'Smash job?'. Not like he can't also hear it, scratching at the side of his jaw and glancing them pensively back towards the edge of the service tunnel. He begins to slowly shake his head, "...I wasn't told jack shit about a computer."

"He's got one." Hive shrugs a shoulder, and leans back against the concrete. His fingers press at his eyes, rubbing tiredly. "You didn't tell me this job was gonna be so fucking /loud/." His hand drags down slowly, knuckles scraping against a cheek sprinkled in a desultory sort of fashion with stubble. If it grew in it wouldn't be a very /good/ beard. "Sounds like he's on a job for someone /else/?" Hive doesn't say this entirely /certainly/, frowning deeper. "Bored, itching to be through and leave. What're you after him for, again?"

Chokechain keeps true to form with the amount of noise he makes sweeping the first batch of shattered drives into a plastic bag. He shoulders it, and heads for where Jim and Hive are conversing. They have choices: stand their ground to be discovered, clear out fast, or get into the locked fuseroom somehow, fast.

"It wasn't supposed t'be loud," Jim's jaw is tightening, taking a cautious step back, "This is gettin' hinky. The /jobs/ just to see what Setwick's been up to. Can you see if it's even our guy? Short blond? Kinda squirrely-eyed?" He means cross-eyed. It's not a very PC description. "I don't like this." He's already beginning to back up down the tunnel, even before Chokechain begins his own approach.

Hive is swigging at his water again. His expression is contorted into deep displeasure at the banging, though he relaxes somewhat when it subsides. "Uh --" This takes a bit more thought. Most people do not spend a lot of time /looking/ at themselves in the course of their ordinary days. "No he seems big. Muscly." He's dragging himself away from the wall, and then frowns. "-- and coming this way. Right now," he adds in a quieter undertone, walking faster as he hurries to Jim's side. "With trash?" His voice has dropped lower again as Chokechain comes closer, his steps speeding down the hall. "Don't think it's your dude what is this place again?"

Chokechain comes towards them at a fair clip, in his own world and filling the corridor with the echoes of his latest song. If Hive can pick up this kind of thing, he's decided that another half hour will obscure the trail to the money enough. If they're retreating fast enough, he's oblivious.

Jim has buttoned up his lip and /hastened/ his retreat on shoes that, while sprung and shabby, are perfectly broken in for quiet padding. He grabs for Hive's arm to hasten his pace down a darkened arterial branch off, mentally /swearing/. Big muscular dude smashing things bodes poorly. If this guy's on bathsalts, Jim is sacrificing Hive to get his face eaten. He is mentally /informing/ him of this.

Hive is hastening right alongside, with a good deal of scowling to accompany. He is relieved when they are turning down the side branch, his face a little queasy-paler at the sudden hurrying. << Money, >> he remembers to say to Jim, half-turning back to peer out at the tunnel they just came from. << Something about money. Obscuring the money trail. >> His mental voice cuts in /harsh/ and heavy, a solid thud of pressure that is not /softened/ by his raging hangover. << And I'm pretty sure I can outrun you even hungover, dude. You smoke like a chimney. >>

Chokechain blows right past the side branch. He's turned carrying the bag into an impromptu work out. It's easy to catch a look at him: big, bald, surly looking for all he's belting out some operatic number now. There's the perfect chance to jump him as he goes past.

Jim, sadly, isn't really the jumping type. It would cut in on his lurking time. << /Money/? What money. >> His tatty tweed camouflages into the shadows easily enough, freezing when Chokechain brisks by and then peeking around the bend to watch the large man move past. << Shit, what I get us into. Dude's got a /voice/. >>

Hive is not a professional lurker, especially not when nursing a terrible hangover. He's mostly leaning up against the wall to press his palms against his eye, though he drops them as Chokechain nears, turning and peering out, too, to watch. << -- Not your guy, >> he surmises. << I don't know what money. Want I should find out? Ffff. There's fuckall for /people/ around here, why you gotta lurk somewhere /remote/. >> And, next, << You into opera? >> He's looking the other way down the hall, towards where Chokechain came from.

Chokechain has far enough to go that they can talk and snoop freely for a few minutes, and takes a cigarette break out there to seal the deal. Anyone looking at him could see he's doing maths in his head, and more than the simple sort.

<< No. >> Jim's jaw is tight, his eyes tracking a last time after Chokechain before he turns to sleep further down the tunnel. << Let's get the fuck outta here. >> And the two slip away into the dark.