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4 yrs ago
Back after an extended hiatus.
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5 yrs ago
Come on let's bunker down.

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Dorian LaValle


Location: Shogun Sushi (Team Sushi)


Finding a table relatively set apart from the other patrons, Dorian opted to have a specialty tea prepared for him in lieu of a meal as he did not feel like this upcoming meeting was going to last extremely long and the cocaine he snorted earlier had curtailed his appetite for food. Much like the preparation of food, even the simple act of brewing tea has been elevated into an experience at this establishment highlighting the grace and finesse it took to create such dishes. Dorian always enjoyed needless pageantry, but today his mind was preoccupied with the forthcoming encounter as there were a plethora of variables to take into consideration most of which lay outside of control and he absolutely loathed not being in control. The tea sommelier gingerly placed a small dish of emerald leaves on the table, Dorian noticed that the older man was intently studying him as if to get some sort of read on his character. Ultimately it was of no concern to Dorian as he knew that Gyokuro was considered a luxury even in Japan and it is not too often that someone is willing to pay for it here in the states; he came to the conclusion that the old codger was probably just afraid he was going to dine and dash. Dorian cleared his throat and the sommelier began the intricate series of motions involved in preparing the Gyokuro tea, the ritualized movements were overall aesthetically pleasing and managed to pull his attention away from his train of thought serving as a momentary distraction. Afterwards Dorian took a small sip and let the liquid rest on his tongue for a few tantalizing seconds in order to experience the full flavor of the tea, it had a sweet aftertaste that lingered in his mouth. Perhaps sensing his pleasure with the tea the sommelier took off, leaving Dorian to people watch as he waited for the scheduled meeting to commence. Using his good eye to scope out the establishment he noticed a few other customers milling about, but this place was far from being filled to capacity which was unfortunate as a packed house would make discussing illicit matters easier. The loudest customers were two aged frat boys who were having a heated discussion about a yacht race the pair had apparently been involved in; they seemed to blame each other for their team’s less than stellar placement; it was mindless prattle.

Dorian took a sip of his tea and after procuring a pen from one of the servers he began to mindlessly doodle on one of the napkins, he always had time to indulge in his passions even in such an undignified way. Oh, how he wished he was in his make-shift studio right now, he had such an urge to create. He debated on going out to his car and receiving his sketchpad, but decided against it as he need not attract any more undue attention. Before he could properly flesh out his impromptu drawing, he was rudely interrupted by a woman colliding into him. What was this platinum-blonde ditz’s problem, it was only through dumb-luck that his expensive tea was not spilled. Putting down the pen he took a sip of said tea before addressing the would-be-ruffian in a condescending tone of voice.

“Hmph, I am sure the maze on the placemat can certainly be considered ‘work’ for someone possessing such tact and grace as yourself. But I suppose I can accept your pardons little lady, I can’t expect everyone I come across to adhere to my lofty standards. Now how about you gather your special friend that is galivanting behind you and run along darling, I am sure the playground at the fast-food joint down the road is more suited to handle those of your ilk.” He makes a shooing motion with his free hand dismissively to punctate his point before taking another sip of tea.

At that moment two figures enter Shogun Sushi. The first figure is an older gentleman, who despite being in his early-sixties looked more haggard than his age suggested; he has dark circles under his eyes and his style could be described as haphazard at best. To others it would seem like he got dressed in a hurry as it is clear that he is wearing a tweed jacket and pants over his pajamas; unruly stubble also suggests that he hasn’t shaved today. His demeanor is one of dejection he shambles around like a man in daze, while his eyes dart around in desperation looking for someone or something; it is almost like watching a man being led to the gallows. The younger second figure is clad in a matching denim jacket and denim jeans; he is looking much less morose than his companion and walks with a certain pep in his step. He wears an expression akin to a dog that just performed a command and is looking for a treat. This giddy man sports a black rat-tail and a patchy beard that does not fill out his face well. When the duo-move the younger man follows closely behind the older one never letting him fall behind, at one point he gives a shove as the old man attempts to slow down to talk to the two aged frat-bros. The old man puts his hands in his pockets of his suit and shambles along.

A glimmer of hope crosses the old man’s eyes as he recognizes someone sitting amongst the patrons, a freelance photographer that he once employed to photograph his nephew’s bar mitzvah; the old man felt blessed that he still possessed a knack for remembering the names and faces of those he briefly interacted with. He approaches the photographer with a renewed vigor that took his companion by surprise and before he could be stopped he sat across from Sid.

“Sid? Sid? Is that you? It is me Reuben. Reuben Hersh. You know the owner and founder of PriorArty Gallery. You see it is a play or priority...prior..art..y. Nevermind. You were the photographer at my nephew Issac’s bar mitzvah a few months back. Right? Remember? Anyways, it has come to my attention that I have never had the chance to properly tip you. Remember? So here you go.”

Reuben reaches into jacket pocket, produces his wallet, pulls out an assortment of bills of varying denominations and holds it out to Sid. It is not an exorbitant amount of money only adding up to a few hundred dollars at most, Reuben looks at Sid almost pleading with his eyes for the other man to lean in and take the money before his 'shadow' has the chance to swoop in.

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Dorian pulled his sleek 1967 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster into one of Delta City’s more secluded parking garages. Once parked he fiddled with the dial of the radio, after haphazardly flipping through the stations Dorian eventually settled on a song he recognized being played on what seemed to be one of the last remaining so-called new-wave stations that was still attempting to resist the onslaught of guitar-driven rock. He doubted that David Sylvian’s melancholic crooning would get much airplay elsewhere. Which was a shame because Japan’s cool detachment and sense of poise were always a welcome respite to the bloated sound of now that populated the airwaves. With the longevity of this particular station in question, he chided himself on never investing in a tape deck for his Jaguar; with the advent of portable mediums of music the commuter was no longer forced to suffer the fickle whims of the plebeians who demanded their radio DJ’s play the latest tripe.

Ensuring that he was completely alone Dorian produced a nondescript plastic bag from behind the dashboard. He assembled his best dashboard bump by using his American Express Platinum Card to configure the powder into a few manageable white lines. As he snorted the cocaine he felt a tinge of guilt as it did not take an acute amount of self-awareness to realize that his vices were on the verge of becoming unmanageable once again and he did not need to remind himself of the consequences as he carried an eternal reminder of the last time he let his passions overwhelm him. He could not help wincing as his gaze fell upon his eyepatch as he adjusted the rearview mirror to check his nostrils for any excess powder that remained. The sudden onset of guilt gave way to anger as he was livid that he was forced to take on the guise of an errand boy for this shadowy organization. Painting for them as that was a mutually beneficial low risk enterprise that played to his strengths. However, enforcing their will through threats of violence like a common hoodlum was frankly beneath him as he was not one of their goons that they could push around, to the contrary he was a gentleman artist of fame and renown. Despite his posturing Dorian knew better than to cross the Silverback Syndicate as that was a fast-track to end up in one of the plethora of unmarked mass graves that are rumored to be hidden amongst the dense foliage of the Florida Wilderness Reserve, many of the groups enemies or critics have been swallowed up by the city throughout the years never to be seen again. Dorian would just have to grit his teeth and do what they willed of him for the time being, exude false reverence until the time was right.

Returning the plastic bag to it’s hiding spot, Dorian exited his car and made his way out of the imposing structure. Once outside he was not exactly conspicuous as he sauntered across the sidewalk like he was untouchable, he certainly left an impression on those he passed and the majority of bystanders were left feeling as if the one-eyed man was familiar in the sense that he must be a person of some importance. Dorian had learned to tune out the hushed whispers when he passed and while normally he would bask in the attention given to him by others; he was preoccupied with getting this foolishness done as quickly as possible. Perhaps if he wrapped this nonsense up in a timely manner he could still be able to visit the local art museum downtown before it became overwhelmed by the mindless throngs of tourists, it had some of his favorite 19th century artists’ works on loan and he would rather view them without the added annoyance of tour groups and the idiots that comprised them.

Eventually Dorian made it to Shogun Sushi, which was apparently where all the jetsetter types loved to congregate nowadays; Japanese cuisine seemed to be the latest fixation for the yuppie generation and everyone whom wanted to be in the in-crowd was just expected to expand their pallet accommodate raw seafood. Despite his upbringing consisting of traditional southern cuisine, Dorian had to admit that the idea of sushi had grown on him in the intervening years since he left the LaValle estate as it was a rather satisfying dish. He entered the establishment with a disposition that suggested that he expected to be waited on; letting his gaze drift to a clock on the wall he noted that he was a good thirty minutes ahead of the meetup outlined in the letter.
Time: Early Morning
Location: Latte Da Cafe (located a few blocks from Delta International Airport)

At this hour only a handful of weary businessmen and departing tourists were enjoying what constituted breakfast at the Latte Da Cafe, despite not belonging to either group Dorian LaValle was indeed amongst those seated in the outdoor portion of the eatery. Even among a diverse crowd of people this early in the morning, Dorian’s curly auburn hair, custom Ermenegildo Zegna ice blue two piece suit, and visible eyepatch manage to set him apart from the crowd. He has long accepted his days of being subtle and engaging in subterfuge were dashed around the same time he lost his right eye; if he was to be leered at regardless why not embrace it? He prides himself on becoming better acquainted with the plethora of elegant fashion choices that came with associating with those with ne’er-do-well reputations. He liked the feel of envious eyes upon him, rather than those of pity.

Between sips of a fresh, but not very well made cappuccino Dorian idly thumbed through the local dirt-sheet. He suspected that reading this tripe was a breakfast adjacent tradition that most practiced throughout the city whether they wanted to openly admit it or not; as it seemed that even the most vocal of moralists within the confines of the city found the juxtaposition of cheap gossip and an air of mystery surrounding authorship of the aforementioned rumors to be too tantalizing to dismiss outright. One the few occasions he bothered to peruse a copy Dorian often found the assorted content that populated the pages of the Gulf Gabs to be rather indulgent drivel at the best of times and the self-congratulatory nature of the entire venture always came off as an attempt by the never-beens to capture the proverbial spotlight reserved for truly deserving people like himself. He could not help scoffing as his eyes glazed over the brief addendum that the self-proclaimed "gabber-in-chief" added to the issue, which was nothing more than a thinly veiled jab at himself and his chosen profession. If that shameless provocateur knew how many of his forgeries currently sit undiscovered in prestigious collections across the country he would write about his alleged crimes with the appropriate amount of reverence; he was after all an artist of great renown and deserved to be treated as such. Though he was not going to sacrifice his current anonymity to correct this lackluster reporting.

Before the art forger could finish reading the gossip rag a brawny, barrel-chested uniformed police officer loudly made his presence known as he adjusted the position of the unoccupied chair across from Dorian in order to accommodate his massive frame. The sound of the metal chair made when it was being dragged across the concrete patio was grating to everyone who was unlucky enough to be within earshot, it was clear that this large cop could have lifted the chair in order to position it quietly he just chose not to. Lucas Dunn was just abrasive on purpose, he was what people would call a bit of an asshole. He prefaced his forthcoming remark by spitting a wad of tobacco-laden saliva on the ground narrowly missing Dorian’s expensive alligator leather shoes.

“Well, if it isn’t my old pal Rory. I see you got your debut issue so to speak, a right of passage in our little tight knit community. Eh. They’ll print anything nowadays, so I would not worry about it. Nobody takes a bunch of nutjob nerds like them seriously. I mean they suggested I, an upstanding officer of the DCPD for twelve years, might be on the take. Let me tell you somethin’ bruda, these dorks, whomever they may be, read shit written on bathroom stalls and think they're the next Walter Cronkite or somethin’. The nerve of those geeks, once I find them I…”

Without looking up from the paper Dorian cuts off Lucas before he continues his tirade, ”Oh, so you are close to uncovering the identities of those behind the Gab? Hmm? And here I thought the department was keeping you chained to your desk out of embarrassment. With the current circumstance being as they may, do you really find it wise to be paying me a social visit?”

“Nothing social about this,” Lucas says mirthlessly as he slides a manilla folder across the table. “You are not going to want to hear this, but our mutual friends in high places need a little favor. Not in your wheelhouse, but they insist. You wouldn’t want to seem ungrateful for the opportunities they set up for you here in Delta.”

Dorian reluctantly puts the paper down and takes an extended look at the instructions inside the folder. He grimaces as he meticulously scans the document for a few minutes before wordlessly pushing the folder back towards Lucas. He knows he has to follow through on what was outlined in the folder as nobody crosses the Silverback Syndicate and lives.
If this is still accepting I believe it is time to have Lupe (and possibly the rest of Perfect Posse) return to Sol City. I just require a recap of key events since chapter one.
Sasha


One or perhaps two hours passed and Sasha felt himself overtaken by a seemingly impenetrable feeling of claustrophobia as he was swept up in the mass of people making their way into City Hall, the euphoria initially brought on by his cocaine binge almost entirely exhausted. Though he was on a certain level amused by all the thin-skinned morons making their way inside; it was not even that cold. He attempted to mentally hearken back to his actions prior to this moment, but it was just a blur of utter banality. Ugh. The petite Russian internally chided himself for the company he undoubtedly shared during the unaccounted time as to put it mildly his drug addled self was truly a glutton for social interaction. Things could have honestly been worse as he could have woken up with some piece of gutter trash. Before any further self-reflection Sasha realized he could really use an alcoholic beverage on the rocks right about now preferably one in a decent glass with whiskey rocks instead of ice, but in situations like these one should not have too high expectations lest they wish to be underwhelmed. Circumventing his way around a few clusters of meandering simpletons Sasha eventually found the bar and ordered a bottle of Balvenie 21 Port Wood for himself. While not often falling into the whiskey praising crowd, his fond enjoyment of the memorable aftertaste of this particular Scottish blend was no secret. Once the whiskey was prepared to his satisfaction, Sasha took a whiff of the liquid before taking a small sip; rolling the potent liquid around in his mouth, he picked up on the plethora of earthy flavors and needless to say they were simply divine. Sasha eyes scanned the slowly dispersing crowd his eyes darting from social group to social group. For a brief, second his heart fluttered, as he believed he locked eyes with the mysterious stranger he had been crushing on. But, that probably was a statistical impossibility as it was probably just some residual hallucinations from the cocaine. He made a mental note to confront his personal drug pusher on the issue as he suspected that the suppliers were cutting the product with some inferior junk again. Ridiculous. It was hard to find an honest supplier of illegal narcotics nowadays.

He pulled out his Ulysse Nardin crafted cellular device and leisurely perused his various social media outlets. Sasha quickly shot a text message to his two cohorts and was embarrassed that he failed to do so earlier. It was time to regroup.

Khorshid, and Lupe


Lupe felt overtaken by the plethora of different emotions washing over him as he reflected on the many different situations that the pair had been through. It was no joke that without Paige he would have expired well before his time; it was almost like she was a moderating presence in his life and once she left he became involved progressively worse fiascoes that he was unequipped to handle. The Cuban American felt he could have handled things like his father’s failed Presidential campaign, Cabo San Lucas, and the Bob incident better had she been around. However, though he could not articulate why he strangely held no resentment towards her for these personal failings and was ultimately glad Paige was excelling at her chosen carrier.

“Damn, working right now Batgirl. Ha, only you would be working during a party. Hell yes, Gulfstream are awesome. They make first class on other airlines look like a joke and not the funny kind either.” He let out a chuckle as she addressed the older man.

“The folks are alright, I guess. You know how the Judg…Senator is. Always riding my ass about something. We totally should catch up though, it has really been too long. Haven’t played a good game of golf in a while, it is almost like some goofballs up here don’t get the game. As usual It would be tight if you could help me out again as my lawyer...um well...hasn’t been doing so good easing things over with the prosecutor’s office.”

Lupe bids his Farwell to Paige as she cavalcaded off to dangle crooks off of buildings, save cats from trees, or whatever other badass stuff she did for a living. Despite his large size even he was starting to feel cold and he impatiently waited for Khorshid to finish his call. However, by the look on the Indian’s face the call was not going so well; Lupe was not the sharpest crayon in the box, but even he knew that the outlaw bikers probably had no intention of being part of his cohort’s crazy scheme especially since Khorshid was dumb enough to give them their money upfront.
Sasha

@SgtEasy, @Robo27, & @Rabidporcupine

Sasha licked his gums, closed his eyes, and let his rapid heartbeat overtake all noise, the rhythmic sounds emanating from his body were a testament to his continued perseverance in face of his enemies. He quelled the rising wave of paranoia before it overtook him completely. There was a certainly a logical reason this Jimmy character looked familiar or perhaps it was just his drug addled mind attempting to manufacture an outlet for his more primal desires. Dr. Huxley was always extoling the values of dark chocolate and perhaps the guru had a point in a metaphorical sort of way. It seemed to Sasha that Fortuna herself was rewarding him with a plethora of desirable men in his life…the mysterious stranger, that Thor-esque biker, and this handsome specimen before him. Opening his eyes Sasha blatantly moved them slowly down Jimmy’s body, he was certainly a hunk of a man and his suit seemed to be well fitting in all the right places. Rawr. Sasha nibbled on his bottom lip as he internally fawned over this well-endowed individual. It was clear that this gentleman truly knew the meaning of strenuous living.

“The name is Sasha darlings and it is certainly a pleasure to make your acquaintances. Though I am sure we’ve all met before at some point. Think I ran into Kei twice before…well now makes thrice and Jimmy you also look awfully familiar. Cannot seem to put my finger on where I know you from, though I’d never forget a handsome face. Have we had the pleasure of dinning together before? Barcadia? Pastels? Crayons? No, wait do not tell me. I have this mental image of dinning with you at this quaint little Native American joint that recently opened I swear you had the barbecued foie gras with the cactus pear salad and I had roasted quail with polenta and green beans… or was it vice versa. Shit…”, Sasha trails off as he fails to suppress some cocaine related sniffles.

Disposing of the hot chocolate mug in a nearby garbage can, he pulls out some liquid sanitizer from his clutch and cleans his hands before picking up the conversation again. “…Sorry about that. One of the downsides of snow I suppose. Where were we. Oh, yes I remember…how rude of me. It is a Slavic custom to great one’s fellow male acquaintances with a kiss. Remember it is only weird if you make it weird darlings.”

Before anyone could object Sasha moves in and plants a quick kiss on Kei’s lips and does the same to Jimmy’s, though he lingers slightly longer than what would be considered socially acceptable. No surprise, but Jim’s lips tasted like orange sherbet…that mixture of vanilla and orange juice was quite alluring. It took all of his inner resolve not to completely shatter the boundaries between a gesture and an inappropriate advance.

Sasha raised an eyebrow at Joseph’s cardboard get up and let out a chuckle, but it was far from the worst outfit he’d ever seen in and it was at least a unique display. At the mention of Lupe Sasha momentarily wondered where the fat bastard was and endeavored to eventually track him down. “You sir are quite maggered, but I appreciate the sentiment nonetheless and harbor no ill will towards you. With all this talk of a lone wander with a noble inheritance are you sure your name is not Strider or spoilers Aragon, but I digress.” Sasha shrugs and kisses Joe on the lips. Might as well sample the wildlife per say.

After unlocking lips the petite Russian whispers in the wander’s ear. “As Elrond says in the movie and perhaps even in the book. ‘Put aside the Ranger, become who you were born to be.’”

Sasha felt like he needed some more cocaine as some clever devil hid the prior stash in his bloodstream.

Khorshid, and Lupe

@Pilatus

Lupe was not particularly fond of unneeded physical activities despite what the tracksuit might suggest, and he was unsurprisingly quite winded by the time he reached Paige. A more self-conscious man might attempt to hide their apparent shortcomings, but Lupe valued the realness between himself and Paige too much to put on some sort of front. Lupe was glad to see that her new law enforcement position was at least slightly more stimulating than protecting his old man and it was clear that she was getting the respect that she deserved. It would be pointless to mention that she only grew even more beautiful in her absence as that was to be expected. A rare genuine smile crosses his visage complimenting his rosy cheeks as he approaches his crush and friend. He embraces her in a big bear hug.
“Paige? Wow! Bless up! Longtime no see. So, stoked to have caught you before you were dragged off on another mission to save the world. Hopefully things are going well for you. I am let’s just say an honored guest of the Sol City for the time being.”

Lupe lets out a hearty laugh as he roles up a pant leg to reveal an ankle monitoring device.

“I was warned that leaving the city proper entails some sort of additional punishment, so I decided I could take in some of the local entertainment while I wait for the charges to be dropped. What about yourself? I can’t see you as some clueless tourist? So, what's the sitch? No need to go into specifics. Someone going to you know go after the mayor or something? Is it Aliens? Is it finally Aliens? Are we going to go full on X-files?”

Khorshid was about to butt in, but the ringing of his cellular device caused him to excuse himself and found a seclude area to take that call. Seemed Bubba had the nerve to call him after all. He felt like laying into the bikers, but while he was not the sharpest crayon in the box he was not that stupid. He would let them do the talking.
Will have a post up tonight.
Merry Christmas.
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