2007-12-04: Russia vs. Ireland


Felix_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Summary: Jack's luck runs out and he comes face to face with officialdom.

Date It Happened: December 4th, 2007

Russia vs. Ireland

FBI Interrogation Room - NYC

The Feds may have way more money than the NYPD these days, but most of it's routed into counter-terrorism. Which means that the interrogation room poor Felix of Organized Crime gets looks like it hasn't been redone since the days when Hoover was still in charge. Jack's showed in by the agents who picked him up, to a bare room with a scratched table and fluorescent lights buzzing overhead. What's obviously a two-way mirror gleams like a frozen pond on one wall. There's a pot of coffee and its accompaniments on the table, on a little tray, but that's the only nod to making this place less than grim and antiseptic. At the moment, there's a skinny man sitting there already, manila file folder at his elbow, idly polishing his glasses with a scrap of cloth.

No cuffs. And coffee. That's always a good sign. Jack rolls his shoulders inside his heavy wool coat, then shrugs out of it and draps it over an empty chair. With one booted toe, he hooks the chair by a leg and swivels it around. After tugging his sweater straight and sparing a moment to inspect the skinny man across from him, he drops down to straddle the seat comfortably. And then he waits. Silently, with one eyebrow barely raised in a politely curious expression.

Felix lets the silence hang for just a moment, before setting down his glasses and regarding Jack with a mild expression. "I'm Felix Ivanov," he says, quietly, though his voice is not unfriendly. "I understand a number of men want you dead. A good many of those men we long to put in jail. The old cliche goes 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'. I think we can work something out to our mutual advantage."

Jack never loses his contemplative expression. He pats down the pockets of his coat until he comes up with a stick match and a single unfiltered cigarette that's precariously bent, but unbroken. He sticks one end between his teeth and speaks around it as he strikes the match with his thumbnail. "I'm touched by your concern for my safety, Agent Ivanov. It is Agent?" With the flame a finger's breadth from it's target, he halts and looks up for confirmation. "But I'm sure I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Semyon Zaitsev, currently in the hospital for severe blunt trauma, names you as his assailant. Technically, this makes you a problem for the NYPD," Felix observes, inspecting the odd triple band on the third finger of his right hand - interwoven yellow, white, and rose gold. "However, Mr. Zaitsev is a known associate of our local branch of the Odessa mob. Not high ranking, but what the Sicilians call a made man. Which means that injuries of that sort demand revenge." He raises his gaze to Jack's face. "Honestly, you should've finished him off. If he can name names to the NYPD, he can definitely name names to his confederates. You have a bounty on you, to the tune of at least eight thousand dollars. Now, what -we're- looking for is leads to bring down Semyon and his cronies. I know another hit has been put out on a lady name of Trina. I'm prepared to offer you both Federal protection in exchange for useful information."

Jack glances up sharply and fixes his eyes on the agent's. A long, tense moment passes before he lights his cigarette with the burned-down match. The spent bit of wood is tossed onto the table carelessly. His next order of business is to pour a cup of coffee and situate it just so. There's an audible exhalation as he fishes around in his jacket again, this time for a flat silver flask. It's uncorked, swigged from, and a liberal dose added to the coffee before it's offered over to Felix.

"Is this something I can't handle myself?" Jack asks mildly. "No offense, but I've never found Europeans to be particularly intimidating."
Felix waves the flask away. "No, thank you," he says. His stare is opaque and apparently guileless, the habitual mask of someone who's been a cop of some sort or another for way too long. "I don't know. I don't know what you're capable of. Frankly, however, I'd really rather have you working with us than in the NYPD's custody. They'd have you in the general jail population while you awaited the formalities, and I know Semyon has associates there as well."

Jack doesn't bother trying to argue the point, he just grimaces and lets the flask fall to the table beside his coffee. A second cup is dragged forward, this one for use as an ash tray. "You make a compelling argument," he admits through an exhaled cloud of smoke. "Assuming that I had anything to do with Mr Zaitsev's accident, of course." He flicks his cigarette and picks up his coffee. For a few seconds, he studies Felix intently over the rim of the cup. "What exactly is it that you want from me, Agent?"

Felix spreads his hands. "He names you, specifically. If you have an alibi for the incident, best to let us know." Since there's smoking being done, he reaches into his suit to produced a battered pewter case, from which he plucks a black cigarette. God, not one of those noxious Russian things. "First of all, why, precisely, did you attack him?"

"You have absolutely no interest in me." It isn't a question. A wry smile twists Jack's lips. "I don't know if I should be flattered or offended, but I think we can work together." He pulls another stick match from his pocket and sends it bouncing and skittering across the table with a deft flick. "Zaitsev is a pusher. Mostly nickel and dime stuff, but I'd gotten word that he could get some specialized chems from his friends at the Organization. They'd been feeding me shit for weeks, but not what I really needed. Turns out his mouth signed a check that his ass couldn't cash. Pawned some street morphine off on me." He pauses for another drag from his cigarette and arches a thick brow in the agent's direction. "A girl stumbled into us while we were talking it out. He got handsy with her. I took care of it."

"I'm married," Felix observes, mildly, from between gritted teeth, as he pops the match alight with his own nail, and applies the flame to the end of the cigarette. Was that a joke? "What is it you're after, in terms of chemicals?" The unspoken coda being - Jack doesn't really -look- like a junkie of any particular stripe. "What girl?"

Jack stubs his cigarette out and tosses the butt into the ash cup. The very model of a well-mannered interrogation subject, he pushes the cup over to Felix. When he takes his first long-anticipated sip of coffee, he grimaces distastefully and quickly sets the rest aside. "That tastes like my balls smell," he offers apologetically. "Look, I'll tell you exactly what I was getting, how much, and who I was getting it from. I'll feed you individual sellers and gang affiliates, and I'll work with you as best as I can. You're going to have to work with me, though. For example, the girl. You can't bother her. She's got enough on her plate. And Trina? You leave her alone. I smell one whiff of Fed near either of those ladies, you and I are done."

There's a thin smile at that. "In all likelihood, that coffee was probably harvested when Eisenhower was in the White House. The Bureau can pinch pennies in the most bizarre ways," he concedes. And notably takes nothing of the coffee himself. HE exhales through the nostrils, blowing smoke out like an amiable dragon. "That's an excellent start. I understand, though you'll have to give me their names so I can keep both the Bureau and the boys in blue off of them. Let me add a caveat , drugs, general weapons ….that's all good. You get a whiff of explosives or terrorist-style stuff, let me know as soon as possible, or the guys upstairs in Counter-terrorism will come through like a herd of buffalo and blow everything here to shit."

Jack juts his lower jaw forward thoughtfully. Having to give up those two names isn't something he's happy with. Clearly. Still, sometimes you have to give a little to get a little. He picks his flask back up and takes a second swig, this one much longer than the first. He grits his teeth as he screws the cap back on and then nods. "Anything big goes down, I'll let you know. You have my word." There's a final pause before he gives the information he's been holding back. "Trina is my girlfriend. Katrina Mah. The girl that got attacked is Niki Sanders. Don't burn me on this, Ivanov. Just don't. They're both good women. In fact, I want your people to put a note in Niki's file with Child Services and put in a good word for her husband, D.L. Hawkins. He's in the system. Don't know what for."

Fel's face has gone a little slack in concentration. Something about that name. "Where does Niki live?" he wonders, delicately tapping ash into that impromptu ashtray. He sounds oddly uncertain, head canted to one side. "I'll do what I can, though if the cops already have their hands on Mr. Hawkins, we're not likely to get him out. Niki's cooperation might buy me a little latitude with you and possibly with CPS. I -might- be able to get Hawkins moved to a better facility, depending on his priors and what he's in for."

Very slowly and deliberately, Jack leans forward and lays his palms on the table. "I'm not a DJ," he states blandly. "And I don't take requests. I'll ask Niki if she wants to talk to you, but if you or your people approach her, our business arrangement will come to a quick and incredibly unpleasant halt." His message delivered, he smiles pleasantly and leans back again. "I'm not asking for a miracle. Only for your best. In return, I'll give you mine. Agreed?"

"While I am not a DJ either, I do try to be accomodating. We have more flexibility on many levels than does local law enforcement," Felix says, with imperial condescension. "But agreed," He sets the cigarette gently against the rim of the ashtray-cup, leaving it to smolder, and extends his other hand.

Jack takes the offered hand in his own thin, wiry one and gives a firm squeeze. "Thanks," he says to a cop for the first time in his life. "I /will/ talk to Niki for you. I think she'll come in. She doesn't have anything to hide." He releases Felix and smiles crookedly, looking truly relaxed for the first time since he sat down. All his air of menace and mystery is gone, leaving a tired-looking man in his late twenties with too many wrinkles and scars to his name. "Why don't you give me one of those nasty-smelling things you Ruskies call cigarettes and I'll walk you through it from the beginning? I'd like nothing more than to help you take these bastards down."

There's a sardonic smirk on the Russian's thin lips at that. "Wonderful," he says, before grinning. The pewter case is taken out again, and pushed across to Jack. The giver had it engraved…..with an image of a coffin and crossed nails, like some sort of bizarre heraldic device. And there's a legend in elaborate script beneath - 'Coffin Nails'. The back has three symbols, none of them English, which are presumably Fel's actual initials.

Jack runs his fingertips over the case and his smile widens appreciatively. He aknowledges the witty engraving with a chuckle and a bob of his head. When he's withdrawn his slim, black prize, he pushes it halfway back to Felix and goes digging for more matches. He comes up with nine and a bit of lint, all of which are dumped out in easy reach except for one. "I'd really rather not tell you why I needed the chems," he begins tentatively. "It's just personal. They were for me, though. Nothing nefarious. It was mostly adrenaline, but I needed pretty hefty quantities of atropine, raw opium, morphine…" he coughs and lowers his voice. "Heroin. It was the adrenaline that caused me problems. I started with a guy named Nikolai Kirilov. Nikolai was small potatoes, so when my demand outstripped his supply, he connected me with Zaitsev. Got paper and a pen? I'll write down the dates, locations, and quantities for you."

"I do," Fel says, handing over a notebook and a pen. He grins down at the case for a moment, fondly. "I….I understand being reluctant to spill your guts. But the more we know, the more we can help you. What were you trying to refine out of that? Not trying to compete, not a user yourself…." There's no judgement in his voice, only curiosity. "Are you trying to selfmedicate some sort of bizarre endocrine disorder?"

The guess hits suprisingly close to home. Jack is momentarily shocked. The pen skips under his suddenly numb fingers and rolls away. Slowly, he reaches out and picks it up again. "You're a lot smarter than you look," he concedes. "But yeah, there was something wrong with me. It took a real doctor to figure out what it was and cure it, though. Lucky for you, my dealer friends don't know that yet." With quick, sharp strokes of his pen, he divides a sheet of paper into columns. One for dates, one for locations, and one for the products he purchased. By the time he's finished there's enough information on the pad to but both Jack and Nikolai away for a very long time. He hesitates for a moment, then pushes it back over to Felix.

Something kindles at the back of that guileless blue gaze - another flavor of curiosity entirely. Not the dispassionate interest of before, but something far more personal. "Really?" he wonders, voice very low, almost a purr. And then he chuckles. "That's not saying much. I know what I look like. You're not in need of further medical care?" He stretches out a finger to draw the list closer, looking it over. A slow smile appears, as he runs an eye down the paper. "Very good. This alone lets me guarantee I won't have my superiors coming in and trying to fuck the both of us."

Jack's sudden tenseness is gone in a flash. He lets out a rich chuckle and drapes his arms comfortably across the back of his inverted chair. "That's good. I'd say that Mr. Derex only likes getting fucked by Mrs. Derex, but I haven't asked her yet. She gives me all the care I need, though." He moistens his lips with the tip of his tongue and sucks in a deep, steadying breath before he continues. "I never wanted to work with guys like Niko and Zaitsev. You and I both know they're pieces of shit. I needed them, and I'm not proud of that. I don't anymore, though. I want 'em gone just as bad as you do." There's an implication in his tone. He shifts in his seat and elaborates. "I could go back in. See if I can hook you someone bigger than these snot-nosed punks."

It's hard, at times, to balance the real job and the clandestine one. But in the case, curiosity fades enough to let the Bureau's interests win out over those of the Company. "That we would be definitely interested in," he says, grinding out his last cigarette and not lighting another. There's beginning to be a layer of smoke hovering up near the cracked ceiling tiles. "How high are you thinking?"

"We start at the bottom and work our way to the top," Jack replies. "See how long our luck holds out. Go big or go home, I figure. The only way for me to get the hit on me lifted is to pay reparations for the damage I did. I'll send you the bill if I make it back alive." In defiance of his gloomy words, the Irishman is grinning fiercely. "I was a good earner for them, though. I think they'll accept my apology."

Felix leans back in the cheap-ass plastic chair which creaks in protest, despite Fel's relative insubstantiality, and steeples his fingers. "Would you be willing to wear a wire when you did, if it was a face to face meeting?"

Jack immediately shakes his head. "I like you, agent. Just not enough to let one of your guys tape stuff to my nuts." His grin fades a little and he shrugs with one shoulder. "I don't think I could do it," he admits. "I'd get too nervous and screw it up. I could plant bugs for you, maybe?"

Felix lowers his head a little, regarding Jack from under his brows. "You think you could?" He taps the list with a fingertip. "You've already given us probable cause for any number of wiretaps."

"It'd be easier than wearing a wire. I'm good at getting in and out of places without being spotted." Jack rubs a hand against his stubbly jaw, producing an audible scratching noise. "If you supply the hardware, I'll do what I can to plant it. I should have opportunities while I'm building a fresh rapport with these fuckers."

There's a smirk granted at that. "Good," he says. "In a way, that'll be more useful than a wired meeting. Be very careful they don't suspect we've turned you."

Jack grins again and plucks his forgotten Russian cigarette off of the table. Rather than light it, he spins and weaves it in and out between his nimble fingers. "You're underestimating my devious nature. I can do this, Felix. I'll call 'em up and make my grand apology right away. How fast can you organize the bugs?"

"Likely within twenty four hours," Felix says, lightly, even as he proffers a battered Zippo. How many pockets does he have in that suit, anyhow?

"Nah," Jack waves the lighter away politely. "This one's for the road. The sooner I get started, the sooner we'll have something." He picks the pen up one more time and jots a few digits down on the pad. "There's my number. Call me when you've got everything ready." Unlimbering his large body from the uncomfortable chair is a groan-worthy chore. When he's on his feet, he tosses his coat around his shoulders and offers his hand again.

Felix rises as well, with surprising ease. "I will. You have my direct number, and my email address. Either can reach me instantly," he says, crisply, picking up lighter and cigarette case and vanishing them, before taking that offered hand.

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