2007-07-31: Anything, Anything

Starring:

Ramon_icon.gif

Guest Starring:

Costa

Summary: Rumour is, the Syndicate has a way to find anybody in the world — for a fee. Ramon has someone who desperately needs to be found.

Dark Future Date: July 31st, 2009

Anything, Anything


S*Y*N Club, New York City

Chaotic at first glance, the main level of this massive, ebony New York skyscraper is a full scale den of iniquity. A red carpet catwalk, in deep crimson, is the only way inside the inner sanctum: from there, everything spreads out. Club, bar, casino — it's all wide open on the same, massive level. Dancefloor, bar, gambling, places to sit and scheme and plenty of things to watch, it's all here. Dark reds, rich purples and black dominate the decor, giving it a boudoir feel.

In front of a silver-curtained wall is a prominent stage with three distinct catwalks, all illuminated from underneath by a glowing white light, all affixed with metal poles. S*Y*N does not skimp on the strippers. Rock music intermingled with heavy electronica from the club section resonates into every atom of the place.

No one checks the doors to monitor who goes in and out, but security slinks through the club — some obvious, some not so much. Violence erupts every now and then, but rarely does anyone blink an eye. It gets taken care of. Winding stairs of black metal lead to the second floor of the club where things presumably get a little hotter and a little more illegal. There's also an elevator up there, but it's manned by very imposing security and seems to require security check passes to enter, or at least the go-ahead from the intercom beside it.

Welcome to the Syndicate's headquarters.

Another day, another dollar. With the economy taking twists and turns and downfalls as it is this day and age, it's a wonder that S*Y*N is flourishing, people throwing money around left and right to New York's capital of crime - and bawdy entertainment, a reminder of times past. Its success is a sign of the times, and it's named aptly.

Evening wears on, not that it matters. The Syndicate and its colourful business never really closes. Currently, much of the crowd has conglomerated in the casino, where a group of men dressed in black Italian suits, quite possibly mafiosos, play blackjack. They're watched by several other men, in similarly respectable suits; common faces around here. They work here - doing what, God only knows. God and the boss, that is. One, a handsome middle-aged man with a Mediterranean look about him, separates and drifts toward the bar alone, clinking a glass full of ice only.

When he heard…

A way to locate anyone. /Anyone/. Ramon had to have it. He had to own it and control it, whatever it was, whatever it took. And anything is for sale with the Syndicate, isn't it?

He supposes if he can't own it he'll settle for buying access. So the CEO of Lancaster hands the keys to his Mercedes to the valet and strides inside. He's never been here in person, but that's alright. Right now he wants to attract attention, wants to radiate money, wants someone with enough power to make good use of both to come talk to him. He scans the area, noting the drinking Mediterranean man. That one is his guess, but he stalks to the bar to order a Scotch before he does anything. On the rocks.

The other man at the bar - one among many, but the one who Ramon gave a particular look to - prompts the bartender to get him another glass. His comfort level is high here, and it's obvious that it's his domain, the way he converses - albeit not with politeness - with the bartender, the way he slips onto one of the high, cushioned stools. He belongs here. The slight bulge at his hip makes it a little more obvious, not that weapons are uncommon around here. They're as common as dollar bills. Swiftly, before Ramon is served, the man is holding vodka. He glances sidelong at the CEO and says nothing, just tips his glass. Hey, man. Good times.

Ramon tips his glass back and then downs his Scotch. Good times. Quietly, he says, "I'm looking to get some business done. I've got money to spend. Who do I speak to?" Quick and to the point. He isn't trying to read the whole room in this kind of crowd, mind, and maybe he should have shown up with an entourage of some sort…but Ramon can handle himself.

"You've come to the right place, friend." The man tips his glass back, this time, to sip the hard liquor. He winces, but looks pleased by the burn. Maybe he's off-duty. Whatever his duty is. "I happen to be in the business of… Public Relations for the up-above. I am Costa," he introduces himself — Greek in appearance and name — and puts the glass down with a *clink* on its black, gleaming surface to offer his hand to Ramon. "It's business talk you want, we can go to a booth, and you could tell me what kind of business you have on your mind. Scotch? I'll have a second sent over." He makes a quick, swirling gesture for the bartender.

"Yes. Good," Ramon says. "Ramon." He's pretty sure the guy knows exactly who he is, so he doesn't bother with more than that. They go to the booth and he settles in comfortably. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Costa." Just because he's been ripping out people's minds and shooting them in the face doesn't mean he's gone and forgotten his manners. That said, he gets straight to the point. "I hear the Syndicate has a way to find anyone."

Costa, as we now know him, settles in quite comfortably across from Ramon. However, despite his laidback pose, there's a definite watchfulness about him. Can't be too careful, in this business. He pays attention to who is nearest their booth, who might overhear even snippets, and deems it safe. The booth itself is upholstered in crimson fabric with a black table in the center. "You'd be right, friend. It's not without a price, but of course, that's not a problem for you, is it." A twitch of a smile. "The system requires a photograph," he says, "And money upfront."

"How much?" Ramon breathes, leaning forward. He doesn't care. He's not here to haggle. He doesn't bother asking how he knows it will work. One thing about something like the Syndicate—it doesn't make its reputation by selling junk. "How does it work?" How much irony would this be, that the very 'system' that sent Dezi to save Ramon from his own bad choices years ago might now save Dezi, not that Ramon ever knew how they found him that night.

"Even ten thou. Works like this." Costa leans over the table slightly, his hands folded. "The photograph gets… input. Out comes a location. Precise, right to the address anywhere in the big, wide, wonderful world. Simple, huh? As for cost, friend: what is this, you have an enemy you want tracked down? Someone who slipped under the radar? In hiding? Or you have a missing persons case?" The Syndicate may actually do some good, finding family members lost in the chaos for those who can pay… but it's a safe gamble, in this den of gambling, that the former reason, rather than the latter, is the reason people use their tracking resources.

He finds a bride's photo from their wedding day, running his fingers over it. Then Ramon takes out his wallet and counts out $10,000 in cash. He slides both over. "My wife," he says hoarsely, his scotch going ignored as he grips the table. "Find my wife." His mouth stretches into a thin, hard line which twists his facial scars into a horrible grimace.

The businessman (of sorts) calmly re-counts the bills. It's a routine. Not an uncommon sight in the shady booths of the S*Y*N club. That done, he tucks both the cash and the photo - which he barely glances at - into an inner pocket suit jacket. "Oh, and no refunds if she's dead. The boss isn't generous with refunds." Costa holds up a hand, palm facing Ramon, in a gesture to 'hold on a minute' lest he get up and leave right away. He procures a folded paper from another pocket, and a gold pen. Both are for Ramon. "So we know how to contact you with the results."

"I didn't expect one," Ramon says dryly. "It's not something I'd give either." He scrawls his private cell phone and his pager number. He passes both pen and paper back. "It's been a pleasure doing business with you, Costa. Much quicker and easier than I expected. Perhaps we'll gain a lasting business relationship out of this." Deal with someone with the Syndicate on a permanent basis? Why yes he will. Allies are good things to have, and he recognizes on some level that the more profitable he makes himself as a continuing client, the less likely things will go pear shape and he'll get sold out. Besides, he has a fantastic new product idea that only the Syndicate can properly handle, if he can find a way to get the science behind it.

Costa nods and smiles. He's fairly personable, for a businessman in the business of… this. That's why he deals with people. He rises from the table as he tucks the information away with the other important items. "An arrangement that would be good for the both of us — Mr. Gomez," he says. "My apologies, if there is a waiting list. As you can imagine, our system is … lucrative."

Ramon drains his scotch. "How much is it going to cost me to move to the top of the waiting list?" No angsting right now. Even if he can't buy his way to the top of the list, he's at least willing to try. And he's willing to speak the right language to do it—he's got cash.

That makes Costa smile. However, Ramon's inquiry prompts him to retrieve a phone from his jacket. He's not qualified to answer all questions, it seems, or close all deals. He murmurs curtly into the phone, saying things like 'waiting list… twenty?… check with— yes, of course… lend some sway…' until it's snapped shut. "I'm sure a meagre six thousand would settle everyone's needs, friend. I think that is exceptionally fair."

Not bad. Not bad at all. Ramon upgrades his opinion of their business practices a notch. They know he's desperate; they could have gouged the ever loving hell out of him and he'd have paid. He again counts out the bills in cash and gives them over, nodding in a fashion that shows this growing respect.

"I expect you to receive a call within a few days. You're at the top of the list." Unless someone else comes in and pays them more, but Costa's pleased smile is genuine at this moment in time. "Two, at most. A pleasure doing with you as well." Another handshake is offered.

Ramon takes the man's hand and shakes it firmly. If his name moves on the list he expects he'll be informed, at any rate. "And you, Costa," he says. He's never exactly warm, but he's sounding about as friendly as what he ever does to anyone outside of the family, which is to say he's professional and nobody's in danger of dying. He then turns to go.

As Ramon turns to leave, so does Costa, heading in another direction, closer to the casino zone where he nudges elbows with one of his fellow men under the Syndicate's payroll. He reaches for the items — items like $16,000 dollars — in his pocket and hands them all off covertly to the larger, sterner man. "Take this upstairs."

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