The Smooth: A Drug Deal of Sorts

Summary:
August 11, 2014: Shift tracks down (with a bit of help) an old acquaintance (of sorts), and asks Bruce Banner for help learning more about The Smooth

New York City

The scene takes us from a Starbucks in Midtown to an abandoned office complex near Central Park East.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Darcy completely forgot about Kwa's phone… until, skating leisurely in her very loud derby-girl workout attire of multiplayered and torn tights under a ruffled flounsy mini skirt, and a torn up but tied on tshirt that shows off her bright red with white polka dotted bra, she has her phone to her ear and there's a ring tone from… her cleavage.

She snowplows herself to a stop, looking around as if trying to figure out what's going on. That's…. HER ring tone. Like, the one she has programmed for new numbers. What the hell?

And Darcy stands there, in roller skates, and kneepads and elbow pads, sweaty, with a gym bag over her shoulder.

*

Kwabena is getting close. He's found himself in a Starbucks, a place he absolutely deplores to go into, but it's inconspicuous enough, the wifi is strong, and most importantly, it's crammed full of many different streams featuring a variety of content. He's got a small laptop up and running, and the web search has narrowed down on a name.

Dr. Bruce Banner

"Dat's him." The Ghanaian breathes the words under his breath, and drills down on the search to try and find a way to locate Banner. An address, a lab, a place of employment, upcoming speaking engagements… anything.

That's when his second cell phone rings, with a ring tone he didn't quite expect. Unfamiliar number from his paired, burner phone. With a frown and a very subtle, paranoid scan of the coffee shop, he retrieves the phone and opens it. "Hello?"

*

Oookay. This is weird.

"….Hello?" Darcy asks, confusion in her voice as much as her face. The ringing stops. This is …not quite as bizarre as dudes appearing out of a rainbow-tornado, but… it at least makes the list. She starts moving herself again, her strides slow, ponderous.

*

A wince forms on Kwabena's face when he realizes what just happened. He gave Darcy his cell phone. You know, his personal cell phone, the one he doesn't use for 'work', but it's chained to his burner any time the two reach a certain distance from each other. That means… that she must have called her phone from his phone, which reversed the call back to his burner. One of those things designed to screw with (and locate) his phone, should it ever be stolen.

"… Dahcy?" Kwabena pulls the phone away, mutes it. "-Fuck!-" He un mutes the phone and puts on a forced smile. "What… hey. How ah you?" How the hell is he going to explain this?

Well, he's good at double tasking, at least. Crooking the phone in his neck, he resumes tapping at the keyboard. Time to pull out the big guns. He's got an informant, an informant who guarantees results. Unless the informant is about to blow his reputation, he ought to be able to produce some results. Some way of locating Banner. He types in the message, initiating contact, and at the same time, he pulls up eBay in another window and cues a search.

*

"Yeah," Darcy says, already brushing the weirdness of hearing her own ring tone when she placed the call. Someone must have been using one like it, she thinks without jumping to the conclusion that she's got another phone tucked into her bra. She might find it when she digs in to find her apartment key. Maybe. But definitely when she takes it off to shower.

"I'm good. I'm good. You?"

*

The informant's response pings back with an address. A new fire appears in Kwabena's silver eyes, and he answers Darcy while clicking over to the eBay link. "Yeah, I'm good." Pause. He's speaking in a manner that seems hurried. "At, uh, at work. You know, but dats okay. Sorry about your skates again, when do you want to…"

He blinks at the screen. This particular eBay seller is a fence for his informant, a way to send money without triggering USA PATRIOT flags. And… the page just went down.

"What da f… Er! I mean!" Wincing, he slams the laptop shut and starts to gather his things. "Shopping. You and I. When?"

*

"Well, I smell like a gym locker…" here, Darcy pauses to sniff at herself. Yes, in public. Yes, under an arm. Yes, while rolling down a sidewalk and not completely watching where she's going.

"…or hard work, whichever way you want to go with it. Damn. I need some R-E-D. These pads stink to High Heaven.

"Anyway, If you don't mind me smelling like the derby little girl I am, we can go now. Or, I can roll home, take a shower, maybe eat, and then call you?" WHOA! Gotta dodge the nana there. Sorry for spooking you Nana! Darcy waves at the eldery woman, while skating backwards.

*

"Oh! Hey! Look, um, grab a showah, you know? And call me when you ah free." Again, Kwabena winces. The timing of his life at times can be horrible at best! "I'm getting off work soon." He pauses long enough to check the GPS ping on his phone; turns out, if his informant (or information source) is correct, Bruce isn't too far away. Still on Manhattan, thirteen blocks away. "Call me in a bit, huh? I gotta run!"

Disconnecting the phone, Kwabena stows his stuff and rushes outside, heading for his motorcycle parked not far away. He hops aboard and takes off, sans helmet, headed in Banner's direction. Only, the thing is, his phone-fu isn't exactly Kung fu, and now, his burner phone is feeding HIS GPS location to his OTHER phone, which is in DARCY's possession. And… it would seem he's headed in her direction.

What a clusterfuck.

*

Bruce Banner sits in an empty office building, up on the second floor, totally emptied out except for a desk and a chair, currently occupied by the fugitive scientist himself. He looks casually at his iPad, watching as the two cellphones move closer to his location. Beep Beep Beep. Now he just had to wait to see who it was that wanted to track down Bruce Banner…and for what purpose.

*

"Sure thing," Darcy says, righting her direction as she looks at the display of the phone to hang it.. wait a minute! This isn't her phone. What-the-eff, dude? Frowning, she looks at the notifications, spotting that little GPS indicator. How, odd. Her head tilts, and she clicks into it. Her eyes widen as she spots her location, and another one heading her way, fast and hard. Her eyes widen.

*

After a few minutes, the GPS locator for Kwabena's locator, turns, travels a block, and parks. Outside the building where Bruce is holed up, Kwabena parks his motorcycle and takes a steadying breath. After all, his last encounter with Banner had gone… ahem… not exactly swimmingly.

Still, it's unnervingly close to Darcy's location, but Kwabena doesn't know that. His burner phone is feeding GPS to his primary phone, which is on Darcy. BOTH phones are feeding to Bruce, his hacking skills far greater than Odame's.

Finding the front door unlocked, Kwabena enters and looks about. Clean, but empty. It doesn't appear as if this commercial mid rise has been occupied for years, probably since the recession hit. Steadying his nerves, he locates an elevator and enters, selecting the second floor. He'll go floor by floor if he has to, but he's not sure in what state he'll find Dr. Banner.

*

Bruce Banner has places a couple of small surveillance cameras in the stairwells to give him full notice of when his company arrives. He idly plays another round of Ninja Fishing while he waits, a Marlboro half-burned in the ashtray as he picks it up and takes another drag.

*

Seeing the dot stop, Darcy headtilts, looking at it… and then curiosity gets to her and she rolls toward it, and looks up at the building. Great. Stairs. Darcy huffs a sigh and steps in, looking around, and doing the movie mistake of calling out, "Hello..?"

*

The elevator opens on the second floor, and Kwabena steps out. He's dressed fashionably, in a pair of skinny jeans and high typ, PF Flyers without laces (fashion trend, people), and a black button up shirt to help him blend in with the Madison Ave. types. When he steps out, he looks across the distance to see Bruce, and an expression of relief shows on his face. "Doctah Bannah." Footsteps as he approaches, but there's a certain hesitance to his motions. "I'm glad I found you."

He has no idea that Darcy has followed him here.

*

Bruce Banner exhales his smoke, speaking into a small mic so Darcy can hear him through an attached speaker, "The young lady can join us as well. I'm afraid I didn't catch this fellow's name last we met, but, then, there are some parts of that encounter that are…foggy," he says. He takes another drag on his cigarette, "People who look for me usually want help, want a fight or want to lock me up. And you don't strike me as dumb enough for either of the last two."

*

OH! An elevator.. and a voice. from the PA system? Darcy looks up, and then spots the camera.

"Fuck. May, if this is your idea of a sick training session, I'm …. going… to … take all the staples out of your stapler," Darcy threatens no one in particular as she pressed the UP button and hitches a ride on the elevator to Whereversville. Stupid SHIELD!

*

There is clearly a look of confusion on Kwabena's face when Bruce speaks into the microphone. Was he tracked? Admittedly, he was feeling anxious, and that makes him reckless. "No," he abruptly answers, "I'm not heah for a fight. I came for help." He smiles reassuringly, but it's a distracted smile. Who on Earth was Bruce talking to?

He begins to piece it together when the elevator dings, and he glances over his shoulder to see… "Dahcy?" Oh great. This looks awesome. Two grown men, dressed like professionals, meeting in an abandoned office building. Not suspicious at all.

*

Darcy steps from the elevator, wheeling herself toward…

"Kwa? What the hell?" she blurts out, mind thankfully NOT name dropping who she works for, but only just barely. Her gym bag still over a shoulder, she looks between the guy she knows (well, met once. Counts?) and the guy she doesn't. Because Darcy never kept up with Eccentric Erik's Buddy List. She brings one foot behind herself, scraping the wheels against the ground to bring herself to a controlled stop.

"Work, huh?" she sasses at Kwa, hand on her hip, brow quirking as she calls BS.

*

Bruce Banner raises an eyebrow at the pretty girl joining them, "Interesting company you keep, sir. Definitely a step above the kind of people we jointly encountered when last we met. And a long way from a physics conference," he says. "I'm listening. I'll give you five minutes. After that, I'm leaving. And if you have any back up or strike teams watching or planning to hit me on my way out, you'd best warn them to back down. I don't feel like hurting anyone today."

*

"Darcy!" Really, Kwabena shouldn't be scolding her. He quickly looks apologetic, though her sass does help to temper the situation. Somewhat. "Yeah… work." It's a bit matter-of-fact, because really, this -is- his job. "Don't worry," he says, looking back toward Banner. "No strike teams. And Dahcy is hahmless. I hope." He shoots the pretty girl a conspiratorial look that is mostly mock, before he closes the distance between himself and Banner. "What do you know about chemistry? Specifically, nahcotics?"

This… really doesn't sound good. He tries very hard not to look back at Darcy to determine whether or not he's completely screwed himself out of a date. Instead, he feels something akin to red beams burning into the back of his skull.

*

"Riiiiiiight… narcotics. I… really shouldn't be here right now, cause.. this is likely… yeah. I'm just going to," Darcy is babbling and rolling backwards away from things. She thumbs over her shoulder, phone in hand.

"Go now," she says, reversing until she hits the wall… with her back. She stumbles, nearly falls, but arm and leg flails to expose the shortshorts under her flounsy mini skirt. She rights herself, turns, jams at the button until the doors open. She squeezes in, like a jammer trying to break a three wall, and jams the 1 button until she's out of sight.

And she forgot to return the phone. AGAIN!

*

Bruce Banner purses his lips, "It's not my area of specialty, but I had my share of courses and keep up with some of the basics of the field. And I've had to become particularly more adept at pharmacology since my…condition. Although the only narcotics I generally deal in are the ones from whom I get a decent supply of cannabis. Medical purposes, don't you know? Helps me with…anxiety. Stress."

*

Kwabena looks back at Darcy, blinking owlishly at her reaction. He sighs deeply, and reaches up to scratch at the back of his head. "Dat is…" going to take a lot to explain. Also, irrelevant. He only has five minutes.

As soon as the elevator doors have closed, he turns and walks back toward Bruce. In another situation, he might have smirked. He has a nice supply of cannabis back at home… non-medicinal, of course. But, that is also irrelevant. Meeting Banner's gaze, he steadily retrieves a small plastic bag from within his pocket, and sets it down upon the table. Inside is a brownish gray powder, with flecks of scaly, luminescent blue.

"It's called 'de smooth'. Took it from a friend of mine who's hooked on it. Affects mutants, supposedly, but I haven't tested dat theory. It is highly addictive, from what I've seen." He pauses for a moment. "I need to know -what- it is. Who made it, and how."

*

Bruce Banner picks up the bag carefully, knowing that some substances aren't particularly discriminate in how they get into the system. He holds it up to the light, seeing a few sparkles in it from the overhead luminiscents. "'The Smooth', eh? Why do all drug names seem to come from the 1970s? Affects mutants in what way? A conventional high, or something more unique?" he asks.

*

"Rumah has it?" answers Kwabena, "it helps. Takes away powahs, or makes dem less apparent. Smoothes it all out. Lot of mutants dat would rathah not have dere powahs." He takes a step closer to the table, frowning. "Injection. But, I wouldn't test it, not on yahself. I've seen what it's doing to peopah. Worse dan any nahcotic I've evah seen." He draws a deep breath, letting it out with a cool sigh. "Googah it. You'll see. Can you think of anyone, anyone you can -trust-, who could take a look at it? Discretely?"

*

Bruce Banner considers for a moment, "I'm not particularly big on friends, as a rule, these days, Mr…I'm sorry, I'm afraid I don't think we were properly introduced. At any rate, most of my colleagues run for the hills if they see me…but…I might have a contact here or there who can help. If it's out there, I have to presume the cops and DEA are on it. Have you seen their findings?"

*

"Odame," answers Kwabena, before letting slip a grin. "Kwabena Odame. You can hit pretty hahd, but when it comes to dat sort of thing, you'd find me…" What's the word? "Evasive." Brief moment of humor set aside, he shakes his head. "I'm not much for cops. Haven't had de best track record with dem, and I don't intend to take it to dem. I've been in prison before, it's incredibly boring to break free from, but now, we've got SRD to deal with. Who knows what tricks dey have. And honestly?" He frowns. "I don't trust 'de system'." He reaches over to tap the end of the baggie. "It's yours, if you want to have a go."

*

Bruce Banner nods, "I'll give it a shot." At the very least, hacking the PD and DEA databases should be a cakewalk. Less of a job for the Hulk and more a job for his hacker alter ego: The Maestro. If that didn't pan out, he could probably track somebody down who'd be willing to take a cut. He'd rather not have to go to Partisan. HE and that bitch ended up on bad terms their last couple of meetings. Stark…Stark's complicated, but an acceptable last option."

*

Kwabena removes his hand from the baggie, nodding his head earnestly. "I'd leave you my numbah, but something tells me you already have it." Now, there's still a young lady out there who's undoubtedly freaking out about what she stumbled in on, which is why he points to the elevator. "Bettah go settah hah down before she runs off and makes mattahs worse."

He's almost to the elevator when he turns back around, eyeing Bruce from afar. "Don't use it, Doctah Bannah. Believe me, it's ugly shit."

*

Bruce Banner shakes his head, "Wouldn't dream of it," he says. Much as the thought of losing his powers has its promises, until he knows its effects, he's not about to take the risk. A drug addled Hulk…the regular type is bad enough. "And yes, I'll be in touch when I learn something."


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