Never Play(ed) Fair

Shops, street merchants, taverns, brothels and inns situated along the busy Main Street that runs through the middle of the city.
Aurelio
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Aurelio » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:02 pm

"Luca Abernathy is more useful alive than dead," Aurelio said to his paper as he continued taking notes, "and while he would make a useful patsy, the man is incompetent. Why would he try to kill those he depends upon for his lifestyle? If we're to frame someone, best be someone who could benefit from putting Morrington to the fire." He looked towards Haneul, not looking in Andras' direction even when the man had spoken. "If Morrington approaches Aureus for entertainment, then we shall gladly supply them. I'll not be approaching him unless this party is so big that every entertainment company in the city is licking Morrington's feet for a chance at the contract."

He looked to Shanuri. He was the picture of an obedient lapdog. Obedient something, at least, with his posture so prim and upright, and a careful smile affixed to his face.

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Shanuri Laleonalia
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Shanuri Laleonalia » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:02 pm

Shanuri frowned. "There's a good chance Morrington has seen us dance. And if Ivone can coax Madiana a bit, I'm sure we can get an invite. It has pretty much been the whole point of this dancing thing, to get them to want us to be there."

"It's true that no obvious culprit is better than an implausible one. The latter raises even more suspicions."

Truthfully, she hated these moments. So much was at stake. Once the plan was ready and put into action, everything felt better. Instinct and training took over, and the world came into focus. Only afterwards would there be the realisation that another life had been taken. Here and now, it was nothing but navigating between potentially fatal mistakes.

Of course she couldn't show that. No matter how unhappy or contentious the people around her were, she had no choice but to look like she knew what she was doing, and enjoyed it.

Andras
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Andras » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:28 pm

Adras was no schemer. He had no idea who these people they mentioned were. Neither Madiana nor Luca struck any cords with him. But he didn’t particularly care to look ignorant, so he sat stoically still and let the conspirators work their craft.

He answered what questions he could when they came to him, shrugging. In response to Hanuel, he simply claimed, “It’ll take just a couple days for me to find someone to whip up whatever we need from the heroin. There’s enough circulation that we don’t have a thing to worry about for tracing. Not from that angle.” He rose from his seat, placing his hands on the desk. He wasn’t trying to be forceful, but due to his build almost all of his actions came across as such. The little lump of heroin rattled on the table.

“So, how do we intend to get the drugs to the target? I could follow Ivi’s idea, if I had time to rally the whelps and shove some knives in some necks.” Andras remained blind to the incompetence of his own gang, who would likely cock it up somehow, but at least had the sense to announce “We could hide it as a run of the mill assault from a rival, or something.”

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Haneul
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Haneul » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:38 pm

While the others weren’t quite so receptive to the idea of throwing in Aureus Dance from the start, at least they knew that the option was a valuable one in case they needed a few more ways to get more possible suspects onto the scene.

And with those odds out on the table, there wasn’t really much for her to do. The drugs were Andras’ area of expertise and it seemed like he had all of it under control, though maybe his thugs weren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. Ivone mostly knew how to get it into the party, along with some more of Andras’ scheming and well... that was it really. From her point of view at least.

Her eyes were on the lump of heroine on the table and for some reason, she jumped when it jumped and she wasn't pleased about that. Andras probably hadn't done this to provoke a reaction but she wasn't usually this on edge either. She needed to get out. Soon.

“Personally,” she started, distracting herself yet again, “I think Ivone’s idea is the easiest way in. If one of your thugs can manage to be at the right place at the right time, it will be easy for her to drop a hint to Madiana or one of her friends to pick up a package for some extravagant fun.”

Or whatever really. Haneul was going to remain close by anyway, even if Aureus Dance wasn’t going to be hired, to make sure she could push the man over the edge into a panic attack or something similar in case the drugs didn’t take properly.

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Ivone
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Ivone » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:57 am

Ivone turned away from the desk, pulling away from Aurelio. She crossed her arms over her stomach and stared at the painting behind the desk until the mortification and hurt went away. Why had she even bothered? She knew she was just there to be bait for this and that. Shanuri drove the knife even further by continuing to point out the flaws.

Calm yourself, Ivone. You just need to get through with this and go do whatever it is that you are supposed to do. And, if Aurelio decides to spend time with Shanuri, then maybe Andras would be a good substitute after all. Nobody ever said she was supposed to be exclusive to Aurelio. That had been her choice, despite everything he'd ever done or said. More fool, her.

“All I have to do is ask Madiana what I should wear to the party and act surprised if she doesn’t remember saying she would host one. She has already expressed a desire to host an after-party. She just needs a little nudge. She won’t even remember it was I who asked her if I do it in the group.” Her voice held none of the prior inflection. It was a statement, nothing more. All they had to do was tell her to do what she was supposed to do.

“It was just a thought, Andras. I wouldn’t put too much stock into the idea. As Aurelio noted there were flaws in the ideas. Ultimately, Shanuri must tell us what she wants to do. She knows our capabilities. Our job is to follow the plan.”
"Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything, but I'm still waiting."


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Aurelio
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Aurelio » Wed May 07, 2014 12:58 am

"If they do not think to hire Aureus Dance, then we have not yet completed that portion of the job. It is your decision, Shanuri -- " The others were talking. His eye twitched, and he waited as opinions were aired. His lips thinned as Ivone spoke, and he inclined his head. The jolt to the table seemed to have not perturbed him or his writing.

"It is your decision, Shanuri, but we must take care. All the guests to the party will be thoroughly investigated once the deed is done, and it will do no service to our goals if suspicion is cast upon us. Even if our names are cleared, the shadow will remain. Care is needed, and I would prefer it if we had someone prepared to take the fall. But -- " he glanced at Haneul, "perhaps if this Fargo were to encourage her to set things into motion, perhaps that would solve our problems."

This time he swung his gaze to Ivone. It was hard. Cruel. "If Fargo could be swayed to make such a suggestion -- that Maciana should have her party, and that she should hire entertainment -- and think it his own. . ." he shrugged eloquently. "Would that be possible. . . Ivi?"

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Shanuri Laleonalia
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Shanuri Laleonalia » Wed May 07, 2014 7:21 pm

She rubbed her chin with the back of her hand. "It's not going to be perfect," she said slowly. "No matter what we do. Some level of risk has to be expected and accepted." She turned to look Ivone in the eyes. The woman seemed to be more tense than usual, and that was not good. "How do you feel about using Fargo? A lot of this will rely on you, if we go with the suggestions that have been presented. I want to know how you feel, even if is me who must tell all of you what to do. Especially since you know him better than we do."

Truth to be told, what Ivone did was strange and incomprehensible to her. Shanuri knew how to charm people, how to use her own body to attract attention with her dance, but she had neither the self-control nor the patience to get inside other people's lives and heads like Ivone seemed to do. It was something she both admired and feared. Would I know if someone was leading me on like that?

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Ivone
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Ivone » Thu May 08, 2014 3:53 pm

When Shanuri turned to look at Ivone, Ivone was looking at Aurelio. The look Aurelio was giving Ivone said something along the lines of ‘do you think you’re good enough to make this happen’. Ivone’s, though, was smooth. Her brows were raised as if to say, ‘You know I can.’ Inside, though, Ivone was smiling. Aurelio had given a tell if ever there was one.

Not once in three years had he ever, ever called her by her nickname. To do so would put him on the level of the Synevives who had known Ivone when she was younger. And that was not Aurelio’s style at all.
When Ivone finally looked at Shanuri, her smile was sweet.

“Anything is possible and everything is a risk. What I know is that Fargo’s ego, his desire to be seen as a trendsetter, and even more so, his desire for attention outweighs his common sense.”

Ivone’s expression turned thoughtful. “Perhaps if he overheard two business owners discussing a need to advertise and increase sales, through a party or event perhaps, along with the names of few people who have approached to be patrons? Mostly men, but include Madiana and at least one or two other woman with whom Fargo already has had a run-in with and is keen to stay away. Perhaps if we mentioned a bonus for those performers who drive up the most sales…”

Ivone glanced at Aurelio again before looking back to Shanuri. She was still thinking.
“Aurelio could offer up you, Shanuri, as the best performer; whereas, I would argue that Fargo was the better one, citing his recent box office earnings.” Ivone moved from behind the desk to resume her original position, butt on the desktop, one leg hanging loosely. One hand smoothed over the long braid she wore, drawing it in front of her.

“Fargo would want to prove he was better. It wouldn’t surprise me if he came to me with a ‘brilliant idea’ that’s he’s arranged. Fargo’s not like Jaime. He likes women, so he would naturally approach Madiana.” Ivone paused in further thought.
“If you,” this was said to Shauri, “were to curry his favor and complain about lack of work, he would probably want to help you out in order for a reward of sleeping with you. You are beautiful after all.”

Ivone gave a sigh, “As you say, the risk is there. And, Aurelio noted we will all be investigated thoroughly through less than above board means. Fargo could point out that he got the idea from eavesdropping on Aurelio and me. But, if we have the conversation in hearing of more than just Fargo, we would have people to corroborate the strictly business nature of our conversation. And, frankly, if Fargo takes the fall, that’s fine. He’s a liability. I’ve already had to pay for more than one peccadillo.” Ivone frowned as she played with the tail of her braid, twirling it around a finger.

“That would at least get the party planned and Aureus dance involved. The downside is that we would have to depend on Madiana’s connection to Morrington for the drugs to come into play, but if we can get far enough upstream in the supply chain, then that might mitigate further risk on that side. The upside is that Fargo does like his indulgences and would insist that a party would be worthless without them.” Ivone pursed her lips.

“Fargo’s on the boards today and tomorrow practicing for the next show. If Aurelio approached me about having Aureus dance put on a performance while the actors are on one of their breaks, that would be the ideal time. So…”

Ivone looked around the room. “But, then, the plan is yours..." Why was it Ivone was coming up with the plans if Shanuri was the one who was leading? Just another irk to add to her growing list against the pretty elf. Ivone shrugged and waited.
"Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything, but I'm still waiting."


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Andras
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Andras » Thu May 08, 2014 7:53 pm

Andras’ face screwed up at all their fancy schemer-talk. He didn’t really understand the situation all that well, but it sounded to him like they still didn’t have a stable way of getting the drugs into the party. This Fargo character might well enjoy a good high, but they needed to be the ones to supply him. Andras didn’t keep the best records, but he was fairly certain the name was not one he recognized. He cleared his throat, drawing attention back to himself.

“At risk of doing Shanuri’s entire job for her,” he voiced, unintentionally mirroring Ivone’s thoughts, “I could suggest modifying the earlier plan for the heroin. Maybe rather than giving some red necklaces to whoever supplies Fargo, we just offer to sell the heroin to them for cheap.” He thought about it, and a villainous little plan started hatching in his head. He had filled Lavelle’s role quite nicely, his small and petty skull ideal for short but cruel plans. “Could feed them a lie about wanting in on this shit. There are enough big names with big bishani attending, any street rat with the resources would.” He shrugged, plainly stating his own lack of interest.

He thrust a thumb over his shoulder at Haneul, but did not face her. He didn’t much care about what she thought of the matter, she was merely the subject of his words. “Unless she’s a lot more clever than I think she is, she won’t be helping you all take this Fargo fucker to his untimely social demise. She might as well come with me in case things go sour.” He hadn’t addressed Shanuri as he said it, merely letting his words fall ambiguously throughout the room. There was a silent implication that he thought of their cooperation as an alliance, rather than working under her command.

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Haneul
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Haneul » Thu May 08, 2014 8:59 pm

Ah the planning and scheming part of this always took so dreadfully long and Haneul was beginning to lose patience. Not that she showed it. She didn’t move except to switch around the leg she had propped up on her knee. At least the interaction between Shanuri, Aurelio and Ivone were interesting to watch.

It was something she admired in Ivone though, the way the woman managed to slip into the gaps and just pretend she was part of someone else’s life. It was dangerous at the same time though. But not that it mattered to her. She didn’t trust many people either way and she had means to defend herself, means not everyone knew of either.

They could really get a move on however and decide on what they wanted to do already. Time was slipping away and she needed...

Her eyes narrowed suddenly under the hood as her gaze slipped to Andras when the man opened his mouth and obviously seemed to speak about her without actually addressing her or even bothering to look her way. Some day they really needed to have a talk. Just her and him. Maybe that would shut his big mouth.
Alas, the man did have a point. Not like she couldn’t do both since the heroine sale and the party were most likely not going to go down at the same time but she might be of more use covering his sorry ass.

“Andras makes a valid point.” Her face had already slipped back into her more neutral expression before she looked at the others, more specifically at Shanuri. “If you prefer me to be on guard-dog duty for our little drug dealer, then so be it.”

Aurelio
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Aurelio » Thu May 15, 2014 8:30 pm

"Good business is about minimizing risk from every possible angle," Aurelio said. His hand had tightened around his pen, but his words remained calm. They might even be counted as gentle, though the way his mouth was set spoke of firmness.

But he didn't speak again. He inhaled a few times throughout Ivone's words, busied himself writing while Andras spoke, and his lips pressed together every so often; it was possible that he did want to speak, and often, but if that was the case he hid it well. Too, he had his own schedule to attend to, and a very real need to attend to it. They could not continue as they were if any of his businesses failed.

He looked to Shanuri, as all of them had at varying points. Despite the fact that he was his own manager in every other aspect of his life, he showed her no envy or dislike as he watched her. Playing with peoples' money was one thing. Their lives was something else altogether.

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Shanuri Laleonalia
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Shanuri Laleonalia » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:25 pm

When Aurelio spoke, Shanuri gave him a glance that was part pity, part sympathy. Sometimes it was easy to forget that the man came from a world that was rather different than the one they inhabited now. Not that he was the only one.

She listened to Ivone's words with a frown on her face, nodding occasionally. She had to admit it was an impressive little scheme, if perhaps a slightly more complicated than she would have hoped. And she liked the idea of playing with Fargo. If I die, she should take over.

She smiled dryly to herself after Haneul had finished. Or maybe I'll just retire. Leave them to it, they'll do fine. "I'd hoped you could do both, but maybe it's better if neither of you are seen at the party" she said to the human woman. I case all the rest of us go down. "Andras' both points are good. If we fail the drug delivery, we've done a whole lot of work for nothing. That is one risk we should minimise."

"So Ivone will coax Fargo get Madiana to organise the party, and Aurelio and myself will encourage the spirit of healthy competition in him. Andras' gang will make the heroin deal with the suppliers, and Haneul will make sure he doesn't do anything stupid." She gave a quick smile to the woman. "That's quite a few things that need to work, but it's nothing we haven't done before."

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Ivone
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Ivone » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:37 pm

Ivone slipped from the desk again.

"Then, it sounds like we have a plan. We've spent a lot of time here and I'm sure we all have other, more mundane things to which we should attend."

Moving toward the door, she reached for the handle. Ivone was the only one who had probably entered through the door and would probably be the only one leaving through it.
"Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything, but I'm still waiting."


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Andras
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Andras » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:37 pm

Andras stood, but did not move to follow Ivone from the door. As with Shanuri and Hanuel, he had entered through the tunnels. Now he expected to leave with them, but damned if he was going to be walking behind either woman. They did not control him, and they would have to deal with that.

Sadly, his grand gesture of defiance seemed lost on them, backwater and ignorant foreigners they were. He resigned himself to flipping up the trapdoor into the room. Normally, he assumed Aurelio kept it hidden under something, but he wasn’t certain which of the various objects or rugs it might be.

His steel toed boot rammed against the first rung of the stepladder leading down. It creaked and groaned in protest, fittingly ominous against the dank and dour tunnels which led out from under the building. Damned if Andras knew how such things were made. One would think the excavation rather conspicuous. He suspected Aurelio kept it so miserable just to flaunt his superior luxury over the rest of them.

When his torso was the only remaining visible part of his body, he turned back to the room. Ordinarily, he might have failed to look at her, but being half-underground compromised his authority through loss of height. Instead of simply disappearing into the depths, he turned to Hanuel and bade her, “Come along, guard dog. Heel.”

He smirked at his own cruel-minded jest before he disappeared beneath the floor.

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Haneul
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Re: Never Play(ed) Fair

Post by Haneul » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:58 pm

Haneul returned Shanuri’s smile with a slight quirk of her lips though she didn’t react further. This might prove to be more fun that she might have expected at first. Of course, it was still Andras she’d have to deal with but this was more up her alley than planning fancy parties and choosing who to invite.

When Andras opened the trapdoor, she slowly folded herself out of the chair she had occupied during their meeting and walked towards the man. It wasn’t as though she was looking forward to going anywhere with him but she needed to get out of this confinement, and most of all, she needed to get out of the city for a few moments. The anxious tickle of magic within her was starting to become an outright throbbing, a fierce demand to be released – if not willingly, then by force, which was something she could not afford to let happen.

The throbbing suddenly turned into a full-blown storm she could barely contain when Andras opened that annoying mouth of his and for just a moment, it looked as though the darkness of the tunnels turned a little darker before Haneul regained control over herself and just looked at him – revelling in the fact that she was towering above him. “Woof.”

Yes, she definitely needed to do something before she did something she might regret. Being detected by battlemages would flaunt their plans drastically; losing Andras probably not so much.

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