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Rough and Tumble (IC)


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Thursday, February 7, 2013
Early evening

A couple of days ago, Lucy Harker had received a visit from a mother that was concerned about her young adult son being in some sort of trouble. Ms. Diaz was originally from Mexico, having moved to the United States more than twenty years ago before becoming a naturalized citizen. Her son, Benito, was a first generation Mexican-American, and his mother had worked hard to make sure he had plenty of opportunity and did not fall into the wrong crowd. One of the activities Benito had taken to was boxing, and he had even won a few junior competitions in the city.

Ms. Diaz had told Lucy that Benito had changed dramatically in the last couple of weeks, often staying out late at night and occasionally coming home with injuries which he gave shaky explanations for when she would question him about them. But Lucy had barely been able to start looking into things when she had received a call from Ms. Diaz this morning, informing her that Benito had been gone since Tuesday night.

After assuring Ms. Diaz that this was now a top priority for her, Lucy had called one of her clients, the Bloodhound detective agency, and invoked part of their "agreement" to enlist their aid in tracking down the young man. Then, she had gone with Fred Furlong and Harry Hound to Ms. Diaz's home to start trying to figure out what might be going on with her son. After searching his room, they had found a fair amount of cash hidden in a drawer, but nothing else that would suggest gang activity or drug dealing. They had spent the rest of the day asking around in the neighborhood, but could not turn up anything that would suggest Benito had joined a gang.

At this point, Harry and Fred brought up a rumor they had been hearing recently about some underground street fighting rings being run in parts of the Fens and Greenbank. Of course, the two private eyes knew little more than the possible existence of these operations, but they knew someone who likely knew more. Of course, given how their last visit to see Ricky Ferreti had gone, they decided to try to catch him before he reached his favorite watering hole.

So now Lucy, Fred and Harry were sitting in the Bloodhound agency's Cadillac outside the bar, watching for Ricky to arrive.

Edited by Thevshi
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As much as she loved Fred he could be hard work sometime, she manage to keep the smile on her face as she explained her plan again.

“Look I know you’ve got a bit of history with him, but introducing him to Lefty and Righty isn’t going to help us find were we need to go. Just let me try and convince him to help first, and then if that doesn’t work we can try your methods.â€

She understood where Fred was coming from; when she was a young tearaway she’d been a bit of a brawler herself. If she’d been a man or if the times were more “enlightened†she’d might have ended up doing a little Bare Knuckle fighting herself.

But as she’d grown up she’d realized that just brawn wasn’t always the best way of dealing with thing, and they had to stop this so the kid of today could hopefully learn the same lesson.

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“Look I know you’ve got a bit of history with him, but introducing him to Lefty and Righty isn’t going to help us find were we need to go. Just let me try and convince him to help first, and then if that doesn’t work we can try your methods.â€


Fred Grunted his disagreement and cracked the knuckled of his two best friends, the aforementioned Lefty and Righty. Harry groaned in response.

Fred bit into his double fried triple Steak Burger. A special monstrosity he had insisted the local fast food joint "Big Bob's Beef" had served him. Surprisingly, after Bloody Mess had endorsed the burger, the double fried triple steak burger ("That Bloody Burger") had become a local hit.

"Yeah Yeah" he mumbled, his mouth full of meat and fat. "You just do your jibber jabber high flying talk. That toad don't speak smooth words, ya know? He speaks fist. Even Harry had to shake the words out of him last time"

He took another mouthful before he had finished the last. Somehow, he still managed to burp.

"Shtill, Il lfthsh ysh dyoosh thyyyah talchhhshing schtff frschh..." he mumbled, his mouth stuffed to the brim.

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While listening to Fred and Lucy's back and forth, Harry was also busy keeping an eye out for Ricky. It was not long before the private investigator spotted the weasely man a couple of blocks down the street under the light of a streetlamp, making his way along the sidewalk towards the entrance to the bar. As was often the case, Ricky seemed jittery, glancing around quickly and occasionally checking over his shoulder. But between the distance and the dim lighting where the Caddy was parked, he did not appear to have spotted the three individuals sitting in the parked car.

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"Heads up gang" said Harry, nudging his Partner a little to hard and causing some burger to fall into Fred's lap.

"Our little weasel friend has turned up. Sliding his way into the bar"

Harry stubbed out his cigarette, and in his nerves immediately lit another one and slammed it into his lips.

"Right, lets see what the toerag has to say. And for God's sake Freddy, keep lefty and righty tucked away for now, eh? Well, perhaps let the toad see lefty and righty. But don't go round bashing him up. For starters its against the law, and for seconds...well, perhaps there isn't a seconds...but don't do it anyway? capiche?"

"Ah c'mon!" replied Freddy. "I wasn't going to hurt him. Maybe just tap his face a little..." he said with a wink at Revenant, without being serious.

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Sliding her sunglasses over her eye, she paused at the door to make sure everything went roughly to plan.

“Just keep out of sight for now and follow my lead, he’s going to be a lot more helpful if he has all his teeth.â€

She exited the car and made her may her way as nonchalantly as she could towards Ricky, trying not to spook him. As she drew closer she put on one of her most charming smiles.

“Hello there Ricky I was wondering if you mind if I bought you a drink? You and I have some business to discuss.â€

Whilst she was for now relying on her natural charm, she was also ready in case he decided to make a run for it.

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Lucy exited the car and started towards Ricky just as he was looking back over his shoulder for the umpteenth time. She made her greeting just as he was turning back around, which lead to him almost jumping back a foot in shock. His eyes darted nervously around to make sure there was not someone else before he focused back on Lucy. He appeared to become somewhat more relaxed as he realized she appeared to be alone.

"A drink? Yeah, sure, a drink would be great." He replied somewhat nervously. "And, um…what sort of business did you want to discuss?"

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Lucy always preferred the more direct approach to all that sneaking around that some heroes did. But that didn’t mean that she couldn’t show a little guile when need. It was a necessary evil sometimes in her other profession. She relaxed a little, he wasn’t going to flee, which had the added bonus of making her seemed less threatening.

“I always think it’s rude to discuss business before we have the drink. Besides all I’m after is some information, nothing more nothing less.†She gave him a charming smile “What have you go to lose?â€

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Ricky regarded Lucy for a moment, his expression still very nervous and jittery. "Umm, nothing really I guess." He then responded as he started back towards the door to the bar alongside Lucy. Despite his nervousness, he actually held the door open to allow Lucy in first before following after.

Inside the door, Lucy found the bar to be dimly lit, filled with smoke and noise from various conversations and an old, beat up jukebox located along one wall. The right hand side of the large room had a sunken floor, making it about four feet lower than the rest of the bar. There was a pool table down there, and an empty space where there looked to have been another pool table at one point.

The bar was located up on the main section of the room, straight ahead from the front door that Lucy and Ricky had just entered through.

A number of heads turned slightly to regard the newcomers, and many lingered a bit longer than they might, as Lucy was one of the few women in the bar that was not working there.

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Lucy had paused briefly at the door of the bar to wave the two detective’s to follow her in, whilst she might be able to convince him to give them the information they needed, the backup would be quite useful.

The bar itself didn’t bother her in the slightest back in the 20’s she’d been in several speakeasy’s much rougher than this, and that didn’t cover the Mafia run joints. She was probably the only person on the planet that missed Bathtub Gin.

She settled for the next best thing, a regular Gin and Tonic, plus a drink for poor nervous Ricky. She also bought drink’s for Fred and Harry, leaving the fact that she had backup on the way unsaid.

“So Ricky all I’m after is some information of how to find someone, his mom is worried about him. You’re name doesn’t even have to be bought up when we find him.â€

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Ricky had glanced around a couple of times as he and Lucy made their way over towards two empty seats at the bar. But apparently did not see anything that alarmed him, as he seemed to relax, ever so slightly as they sat down. The bartender came over to take the drink orders from Lucy and then made his way back down the bar to start preparing them.

"You're looking for someone?" Ricky repeated back as Lucy generally explained what information she was looking for. "I..I'm not sure I would know how to find someone, but I guess I'd be willing to try to help. What exactly to you think I might know?"

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"Hey Ricky, you little devil you! let me buy you a drink!" smiled Harry as he walked in, mocking up a friendly pistol shoot with his empty hand, thumb cocked and forefinger puffing out some imaginary smoke from the imaginary bullet.

"No need to get up, no need to get up!" he added, placing a friendly but firm hand on Ricky's shoulder.

The Mess placed down a much firmer and less friendly paw like hand on Rickys other shoulder.

"No need at all!" he added, grinning widely.

"I see you met our lawyer" said Harry, indicating Lucy.

"Drop dead gorgeous isn't she?" he smirked, giving Lucy a wink.

"Now I'm sure a man like you with his ear to the ground and his nose to the gutter has all sorts of interesting information and topics of discussion he could entertain and charm a woman like her with. So don't mind us. We'll just make take a back seat. And Freddy here will keep guard at the door, to make sure we don't have people using it inappropriately!" he explained, with a wide smile.

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Making their way into the bar, Harry and Freddy looked carefully around, making sure there were no apparent mobsters this time. Not seeing any, nor any of the bikers from the last visit either, they made their way over to where Lucy was sitting with Ricky.

Ricky nearly started out of his seat when Harry spoke up, though both Harry and Freddy's timely placed hands made sure he stayed put.

"Oh, hey Harry, Freddy." The weasely man said in greeting. "Yeah, I was just trying to find out what I could do to help." He added as Harry mentioned his ability to help. He relaxed ever so slightly as Freddy moved off to watch the door and Harry took a seat a little further down the bar.

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Lucy’s smile didn’t waver and she didn’t miss a beat when she spoke again. Compared to some of the weirdness she had seen over the last year Harry and Fred were relatively normal. It was almost refreshing to have them around. And also sometime terribly frustrating, but at least today they were on their best behavior.

“We’re looking for someone called Benito Diaz, seems he’s been involved with something like Bare-knuckle fighting. We just like to turn up and ask a few questions. That all we’re after, your name doesn’t even need to be bought up.â€

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"Well, I have never heard that name." Ricky replied as he rubbed his temple slightly. "But…I have heard about those underground fighting rings. A chance for some up-and-coming fighters to make some cash, particularly if they bet on themselves and win. But I also here that for those that really prove themselves, the various rings around town are a feeder for something bigger."

"I am afraid I don't know anything more about that." He stated, before he quickly added, "but, I do know that tonight one of those underground rings is taking place in a warehouse here in the Fens."

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Lucy sipped her Gin and Tonic as she thought for a moment, the drink tasting to her more like water. Then a thought popped into her head, causing her to give a little smile.

“Well then as much as it disturbs me it seems that we’re all going to see a fight tonight. All we need from you is the location and whatever invites that needs to be done. Especially if we plan to actually compete ourselves…â€

She looked over at Fred and gave him a broad smile.

“What do you say Fred you up for introducing this lot you two favourite friends?â€

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The Mess lumbered up to Lucy and Ricky.

"Underground fighting? Sounds good to me. Lefty and Righty here can handle that..." he said, bringing up his two favourite friends and clenching them hard.

"I did puh-lenty of that as a kid. Ain't nuthin' I cant handle in a fight. Well, ain't nuthin' yet" he corrected himself.

He looked a little puzzled for a moment.

"But, its a bit weird. These street fights, they can be mean and brutal. But they don't like any muties or supervillians in 'em, much. Bad form, even for the scum of the streets. They go elsewhere..."

He flexed his muscles and loosened his neck.

"No use worrying about that now. Lets get moving. Lets bring it on!"

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"Well.." Ricky began as he glanced nervously at Freddy as the thick brawler made his way back over to the bar. "The address I can give you, no problem. But as far as how you can try to enter a fighter...I just don’t know anything about that."

He looked back and forth between Freddy and Lucy. "It was just nothing that I thought I would need to know about, you know? I mean, I'm certainly no fighter, and I am not in the business of managing them or anything. So, I heard stuff about where this ring was set up, but never bothered to try to learn more."

"But as far as getting in, well, I understand it doesn't really take much more than being able to show some green, you know what I'm sayin'?"

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Lucy gave another of her easy smiles “I believe you, you’re smart enough not to lie to use, especially with Fred around.â€

She probably had an advantage over Fred and Harry whilst they might seem in some way to have stepped out of her own era, they hadn’t experienced all that the era had to offer. She remembered similar set ups existing when she was younger. The amount of money might have changed a little since that time.

“So exactly how much capital would we need? Maybe you could see to give us a loan or even a gift? “

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Ricky seemed to squirm uncomfortably for a moment, as if he was struggling to try to move something very heavy. "Well… I normally wouldn', but seeing as your such a looker, I can help a little." With that, the weasely informant reached into his pocket of his jacket and took out a small roll of twenty dollar bills. "It's only a hundred, but it's all I got extra on me. I think that should be enough to get you in the door, though they might want to see a couple hundred more to be sure you have the funds to place some bets. It's not exactly a scene for the high rollers."

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"Damnit!" cursed the Hound as Ricky spilled the beans on the cost.

"I...err....you see....I seem to have misplaced my wallet...." he said, patting the sides of his mac. As he did so, the jingle of coins could be dimly heard.

"Oh hell. A couple of hundred you say? well I suppose we can stretch to that from the petty cash. Although afterwards it will be more like the no cash at all cash.." he sighed, pulling out his wallet and stuffing some bills next to Ricky's.

"With a bit of luck we can win it back, right, Freddy?"

Freddy replied with a grunt.

"I don't do that fighting no more, Harry. Not like that, anyways...."

"Huph...well, as long as we get that money back..."

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Lucy took the roll of notes from both Ricky and Harry and put the two roll’s into her jacket.

“We’ll have to swing by my place if we need some more cash, I still don’t trust those machines and those little plastic cards you meant to use.â€

She finished her Gin and Tonic and got up from the table.

“I’m sure I don’t have to say it but if somehow they waiting for our arrival, and not in a good way, I’m a forgiving person I understand how it all works. Fred here on the other hand he’s not quite so forgiving…â€

She knew she’d never let Fred lay a hand on Ricky whatever happened, but she was hoping that Ricky didn’t know that.

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Ricky blanched slightly at Lucy's comment about what might happen if he betrayed them. "No, no, I would never do anything like that!" The weasely man quickly replied, putting up his hands in front of him in protest of the thought that he might try to betray Lucy and the others.

He glanced over towards Harry with a slight look of desperation. "Didn't I help you Two out with that arson investigation last month Harry? I pointed you towards what I thought might be the guy's next target. I was right wasn't I? You know I play straight with you."

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The Hound shrugged. Part of him quite liked Ricky.

"He's got a point, honey" he said to Lucy. "Ricky may act like a toad. Hell, he probably is a toad. If he can squirm, he'll squirm. If he can run, he'll run. But when it gets right down to it, he's always been straight with me. No, he may be slippery as an eel to get hold of, and need a bit of encouragement to talk, but he's helped out before, and he came good. I s'pose what I'm saying is that when Ricky does talk, I guess I trust him..."

He sniffed, and stuffed his hands in his mac.

"There you go Ricky, just don't go all soppy on me, eh?" he said, giving Lucy a wink and turning back to her.

"If you still stuffing dollars in your mattress, you need an upgrade. But right now, that might come in handy for some quick cash. I say we let Ricky walk, and get going underground. See what we can sniff out, eh?"

He called over the barman.

"Double whiskey for my man Ricky over here! seeing as he has been so good to us!"

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With the address in hand and what seemed like enough money to likely be taken seriously as spectators there to bet, the trio made their way back outside and into the Caddy. They did not have too far to go, as the address was in the Fens. It turned out to be an old industrial building down along the waterfront about six blocks East of State Route 6.

After parking the Caddy, the three set off on foot towards the old abandon building. The structure was dark against the night sky, but down along the East side of the building a faint trace of light could be seen coming from inside the building. Several figures could been seen in the shadows around the empty lot next door, making their way towards that side of the building.

On the rooftop of old warehouse half a block down from the old industrial building crouched Crimson Tiger. The teenager had been busting up a gang down in one of the worse parts of Southside when she had learned the gang had intended to put some of their better fighters into some underground fighting league. Of course, those fighters turned out to not have been anything special, but Crimson Tiger thought it might at least be worthwhile to check out this underground league seeing as she had managed to learn the location of tonight’s event.

She had been in place for close to an hour now, and in the last thirty minutes, more than a hundred people had been making their way into the old building. While most likely most of those were spectators, there to watch and bet on the fights, at least a few of them were likely fighters, hoping to make a late entry. Edited by Thevshi
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