2007-10-26: Pirate's Treasure


Jack_icon.gif Sal_icon.gif

Summary: Jack lures Sal into his employment with the promises of riches and gold. Kinda.

Date It Happened: October 26th, 2007

Pirate's Treasure

East Village - Ink By Numbers

Ink By Numbers is technically open, and Jessie is the one manning the front desk, mostly just reading a magazine at this late hour. Music is playing, but only from the backroom, and she nods her head absently to the beat of In Front Of Me by Infected Mushroom, black dreads swinging in time. Sal is where the music is, reclining in the tattoo chair - and appropriately so, as he is in fact drawing on himself, the tattoo machine adding a buzzing undercurrent to the music turned up loud. The entire room smells suspiciously of marijuana, but that's not really uncommon at this hour. He has a leg folded up over the other, left ankle balancing against his right knee as he winces, needle puncturing just over the former joint, the hem of leather pants pushed up enough for him to do so, barefooted. On occasion, he pauses his work, mops up blood and ink, takes a hit of weed, and resumes his task.

Jack pauses at the door to Sal's shop and takes a deep breath. He exhales. Another. After the third repetition, he reaches into his pocket and digs out a velvet bag that's closed tightly with a drawstring. He bounces it in his palm, weighing it, considering and pondering. He still wearing the same slightly mussed suit he had on during his encounter with Niki and her obnoxious husband, one that's such a dark red, it's almost black. Most of his cuts, bruises, and scrapes have healed to one degree or another, though the left side of his mouth has been gashed open an inch wider than it should be and subsequently stitched closed. With his hand on the doorknob and the bag jiggling his hand, Jack does something uncommon. He hesitates.

When the door swings open, Jack is smiling around his facial injury and both hands are empty as he waves lazily. "Hey pretty," he greets Jessie. "The Man Himself in the back?"

Jessie looks up from her magazine, a hand raising to push red-painted nails through her hair, shoving dark bangs aside as she observes the quasi-familiar Irishman. "You get anymore ink on you, I'ma staple you to the wall and turn you into a livin' catalogue," she says, and though she does notice the injuries, the general not-so-healthy appearance, she's not gonna comment on it. "When're you gonna let me put a needle through something, huh?" A brilliant smile, before she tilts head head towards the curtained off backroom. "Yeah. He's in."

"Psh. I'll let you put a needle through me the same day you come home with me and my girlfriend," Jack scoffs at the notion. Grinning lopsidedly, he salutes the girl with a touch of two fingers to his brow as he passes. He pauses outside the tattooing room and sniffs at the air briefly, then shoots another glance back at Jessie. With a snicker, he lifts his knuckles and raps briskly.

"I don't do threesomes, baby," Jessie says, grin only widening. "Not unless I'm outnumbered." She winks at him, a gesture only emphasised by ridiculously long fake eyelashes, and as Jack glances back at her, she just shakes her head. "He's havin' a quiet night in," she says, before returning to her magazine.

From within the room, there's a pause, then a slightly rough "Yeah? Come in, Jess." When the door opens, the scent of the marijuana is only stronger, and the music only louder, although Sal does reach to turn this down as the song changes over into another track by the same band. Upon seeing Jack, Sal gives him a dazed grin from his perch on the tattooist's chair, tattoo gun poised still over his ankle. "Hey man."

"Hey," Jack replies easily, as if they'd last seen each other a few hours ago instead of a few months. He pauses in the entryway to snort and shoot an amused smirk back at Jessie, then he walks straight in and holds his hand out. "Gimme," he grunts, frowning ponderously. "Daddy's had a bad day."

"Welcome home," Sal says, reaching for the pipe he was using. "Pull up a chair." He doesn't hand the pipe over - instead, a tin container is cracked open, and the tool is refilled. Despite his mildly addled state, his fingers work dexterously - a result of being able to draw on people with needles while in various altered states, one might guess. With a flicker of a lighter, Sal draws the smoke through, smoldering the drug, then finally passing it off to Jack. "Where've you been?" Then, finally, he actually looks at the man, hazy eyes narrowing a little. "And who'd you lose a fight to?"

Jack accepts the pipe and peers at it for a moment, then glances back at Sal. "I went back to Ireland. Not by choice. Had to deal with Deacon." There's a grimness about that statement that makes it clear he wasn't pleased with the resolution of this 'deal'. He reaches up to thumb at the freshly stitched cut on his mouth and asks, "Fight? You talking about this? Close encounter with my niece and a hypo of adrenaline. She was worried I'd bite my tongue out when I seized, so she stuck a table knife between my teeth."

He sags back into the reclining chair, ignoring his unfinished tattoo at his ankle for now, which is a little smeared with excess ink, the image too half-done and obscured to make out. "Adrenaline, hermano?" Sal repeats, raising one eyebrow at Jack as he lounges in his chair, one hand up to lazily scratch his jaw. "Interesting choice. What the hell did Deacon want? Haven't heard that name in a while."

"Ruin my life, same as always. Let's just say that it's a long goddamn story, and I didn't leave by choice." Jack lifts the pipe to his lips, lights up, and inhales deeply. It's apparent from the immediate reddening of his face that if he's ever done this before, it's been a while. He exhales, coughs heartily, and passes both pipe and lighter back to Sal.

The Mexican puts on a smirk at Jack's reaction to the weed, letting out a chuckle as he takes the items back. There's a little bit of silence as he partakes as well, though he's clearly had enough for the night, letting out a slow stream of smoke into the air before relaxing back again. "Sorry to hear that, man," Sal says, passing back the pipe and gesturing for Jack to keep the rest for himself. The tattoo gun is picked up again. "He leaving you alone now, though? What's the deal?"

With an open hand, Jack motions that one is more than enough for him. "Yeah," he replies. "We buried the blade, as it were." He steeples both hands into a triangle and holds them up with his fingertips touching his lips thoughtfully. "I think I managed to make it back to town without anyone tailing me. Now as much as I love ogling your desk girl and telling you of my comings and goings, that's not why I'm here." Absently, he drops his hands to caress the outside of one suit pocket. "It's business that's got me darkening your doorstep."

Beneath the industrial rock still coming from the speakers, the tattoo gun starts up again at a calm buzz - but Sal does spare Jack a glance, despite going back to work. A tissue mops up the ink, revealing what appears to be a curling olive branch design that arcs upwards. Despite his bleary, red-eyed vision, he seems to be doing fine, hands steady. "No shit," he says, with a slight head toss to get his hair out of his eyes, although that only works for half a second. "What do you need, man? I don't got anything exciting and explosive downstairs right now but you know me, I can with time."

"I have a bunch of crap I need to talk to you about. First…" Jack digs a folded piece of paper torn from a legal pad and uncrinkles it, revealing a list. It's expansive, to say the least. A dozen pistols, all identical. Six submachine guns. Four assault rifles. A sniper rifle with an infrared scope. Two canisters of a mild nerve gas that he's particularly fond of. Eight ballistic armored vests (and one cup, if you can find it.)

He slides the list over to Sal and quirks an eyebrow curiously. "Think that's something you can help me with?" he queries. "I have time. Not a lot, but some. And I can pay whatever it costs." To prove his point, Jack pulls the velvet bag he'd been toying with earlier from his pocket and shakes three sizable, egg-shaped rubies into his palm. "I know it's not exactly pesos, but that much cash is hard to carry."

The needle is switched off again in favour of looking at the list, and Sal curses in Spanish. "You stocking up for winter or something?" he says, shaking his head, then looking towards Jack - and at the stones being offered out. "You— " He hesitates, then reaches out a hand for the rubies to inspect, a flash of black-painted nails and spiderweb tattoo. "That's not the kind of currency I handle, amigo," he says, but it's not quite a rejection. "I don't wanna know where you got this, do I."

"There's no papers for them, if that's what you're asking." Jack bounces the bag up and down in his palm, producing a muffled rattling sound. "But the previous owner isn't in a position to come looking for them, either. Think of it as something to put in your retirement fund." He gives the bag another rustling, clattering shake.

"Give," Sal says, with a wry smile. "I know a guy who can take a look at 'em and tell me what they're worth. But I'm guessing it's gonna about cover what you want, so the answer's yes. And you know this," he shakes the list, "will take time."

"Not so fast," Jack replies. He sweeps a clear spot on the table, then turns the sack over and shakes it. Though it's modestly sized, the contents were tightly packed. There are several more stones identical to the ones Jack already gave Sal, along with a half-dozen square cut emerals and four small, flawless diamonds.

Using his hand like a pharmacist's scraper, he seperates the rest of the rubies and pushes them into a seperate pile. "Those are for you, with a generous tip to try and speed along the delivery. These…" He cups his hands over the larger emeralds the button diamonds. "Are a seperate matter altogether."

Sal leans forward, picking up the rubies separated for himself and basically just— ogles the gems as only a goddamn pirate can, really. The other precious stones that Jack now hides get a slightly slack-jawed look. Jack has always been generous but this is a little ridiculous. "A seperate matter?" he repeats, dragging his bleary gaze from where the gems are hidden to Jack's eyes. "What, you mean on top of the arsenal you're ordering?"

"Uh-huh. It's what I plan to do with the arsenal that these are all about." Jack lays one fingertips on each of the more expensive stones and scoots them to and fro across the tabletop. "I want you to come work for me. Rook is back in town, and I'm in contact with two more of my old friends, so you wouldn't be alone. I already have the first job lined up. And I'd want you to stay on retainer and only sell to me, of course."

That's just mean. Somewhat like a cat, Sal tracks the movement of the shiny things, clutching the rubies in his hands. However, that last statement is enough to draw his attention away, once more, from the jewels, blinking owlishly. "Dude," is his first response, eloquent as it may be. "Are— you sure? I mean. I." He sets down to the rubies so he can rub his face. "Why you gotta throw this at me when I'm stoned out of my mind."

Jack grins, flashing white, even teeth. "Because you're succeptable right now." Scraaaaaaape. The gems dance across the tabletop again. Using a deft touch and finely honed reflexes, he flicks each half in opposite directions and lays his fingers back down on them before any can slide astray. "You're malleable. Plus, you love money. Honestly, can you tell me you're not interested in making a buttload of money?"

Sal twitches as the stones go dancing, as if expecting them to skitter off the edge - but Jack, naturally, knows what he's doing, and Sal slumps back into his chair. "I love money," he agrees, a little weakly, then gives a nervous chuckle. "I'm interested, more than interested. I do sell to a lot of people though, hermano. You sure you can cover what I'd be losing if I sold to just you?" Though, his gaze dances back to the shiny things, as if they're already proving Jack's point.

"If I'm going to do this, the less competition I have, the better off we'll all be." Jack peers down at his treasure trove pensively, then reorders the gems into green and white piles. "It won't be forever. It's not like I want to marry you, though you're probably the prettiest man I've ever seen." With a short laugh, he gestures down at the stones. "How long could I reserve you for with this?"

Sal lets loose a laugh, almost a cackle. "Flattery'll get you everywhere," he says, restlessly leaning forward in his seat. He just shakes his head, hands coming up to brush his hair back. "I figure that'll get you for as long as you need me," he says, with a little more seriousness. "Count me in. What're friends for? Now stop playin' with 'em, sugar daddy," he says, a hand reaching for the emeralds and diamonds.

Jack covers the gems with his hands one last time and meets Sal's eyes squarely. "One last thing. When I said I had a job lined up, I meant a job. Until Troy ships back in, I'm shorthanded. I plan to take a scientist into… protective custody. I'll need you to drive, and then to help me set him up with whatever equipment and supplies he needs at his new location. I know it's a little outside your scope, but this is vital." That said, he finally leans back and removes his hands, giving Sal access to his prize.

Despite the pretty pebbles now accessible, Sal hesitates, giving Jack a look, before scraping the diamonds and emeralds into his hand. Collecting the rubies as well, he moves off, padding barefoot across the room, to tuck them away somewhere in the room, unlocking a metal cabinet for this purpose. "That doesn't sound so usual," he comments. "Not for me, nor you, amigo. What's the deal with that?"

"I need him to do some research," Jack answers. "There's something wrong with me, and I need him to fix me. It's complicated. Us poor bastards who didn't graduate from public school can't really fathom it." He shrugs his broad shoulders uncomfortably. He's obviously skimming something over, but he doesn't elaborate, he only says, "The why is less important than the what. All you have to do is drive a van and find me some lab equipment."

Sal has never been in the business of prying into the personal lives of others, although a pause passes where he's seriously considering doing so. But then, he just shrugs bare shoulders, and moves back towards his seat, flopping down into it and making the furniture creak in protest. "I've done weirder things," he says, with a slightly shrugging gesture. "I can drive a van, not even that that much of a stranger to sciencey crap. Chemistry was pretty cool during my short stay in public education." A bright, if still lazy smile.

"Hah! I knew I could count on you." Fully relaxed for the first time since he walked in, Jack leans back causually in his chair. "So if this guy needs a fiddlebitch phlobotomizer, you'll know what the hell he's talking about. Good. While you're out shopping for me, pick up anything you think he might need. Microscopes and test tubes, crap like that. Run me a tab, and I'll pay cash next time I see you."

"Super rad, I like me some money I don't have to jump through hoops to get," Sal says, applying lighter to pipe, taking in a long drag. "Not that I'm complaining," he adds, letting out the smoke gradually, before sighing it all out. "You can divvy out stolen gemstones anytime you like. I'll see what I can do about the lab equipment, shouldn't be too far outta my scope. You got a place in mind for this, right?"

Jack bobs a nod and slides a single, heavy key from his pocket. "Pier Three lockup on the waterfront closest to the Den. Freakin' big semi, it's the only thing in the unit. Should be hard to miss. Toss everything in the back. The guns, too." He pitches the key to Sal with an underhanded toss.

The key is ultimately caught one-handedly, although with a slight fumble, a clink as it connects with the lighter also in hand. "Got it," Sal says, with a slight hairtoss, tossing the key onto the table. "I'll let you know when I got everything ready for you. Then you can get your scientist friend to see what's wrong with you, a question we've all been asking," he teases with a smirk.

Jack pushes his chair back from the table and stands up with a crooked smile on his face. "Me? I've got more issues than Reader's Digest. Guy's got his work cut out for him." He turns to leave, but pauses in the doorway. "Hey Sally. Thanks."

Sal snickers at that, then picks up his tattoo gun once more. At the pause, then thanks, he glances back at Jack, and shrugs his shoulder. "No problem, man," he says. "Thank me again and I'll start thinkin' you owe me something." A wink is then followed by the buzz of the needle starting up again, and he resumes his work on the tattooed olive branch that curves somewhat like a helix.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License