Log Title: The Summons
Summary: Nyda gets called to Acorn's office to help mete out some discipline.
IC Date: Wed Dec 05 19:16, 2380
OOC Date: Wed Dec 05 19:16, 2018
Related Logs: None



* OOC Time: Wed Dec 05 17:16:19 2018 *

  • * *

Dirty deeds are done in the dark hours, though on the Ground, most hours are dark ones. Nyda was summoned to an area (affectionately?) known as The Pit. Acorn's office is directly below the dance floor of Liquid Air above. It's likewise circular and neon lit. It has its own private bar and a sunken table in the middle of the room. The thumping bass from the club upstairs vibrates the floor.

Acorn stands on the edge of the sunken pit, wearing a blood red suit jacket with a faint black pattern, a gray t-shirt and what look like high-end jeans paired with gunmetal wingtips. There's a man tied to one of the chairs. He has a nest of curly hair and the sleeve looks to be in his mid-40s. He has a black eye. Two of the lieutenant's bodyguards flank the tied man.

"What are we going to do with you, Luis?" says Acorn as he sips from a glass of something dark and on the rocks.

  • * *

Nyda got the call. She had almost let it go without answering, but that would have failed her mission, missed the parameters of her job. She breathes out a slow exhale as she grabs for her hand terminal, and opens it to read the message. It had enough details to make her skin crawl, to let her know that tonight was not going to be a good night.

She showed up on time, dressed in casual attire that meant she hadn't put much thought into it. She steps into the office just after the question is posed, standing just momentarily within the door before she quietly shuts it behind her. A small smile barely curls at the corners of her lips — hiding the tighter emotion in her chest. "Hello, Boss."

  • * *

"Nyda. It seems we have a little bit of a problem. Luis here has had light takes for…" Acorn sucks air between his teeth, lifts his brows and looks to one of the thugs flanking the tied man.

"Six drops, boss," says the guy rather uncreatively named Fridge. Because, well, he's built like one.

"Six drops. He swears his accountant must be skimming, but guess what?" He extends his arms. "She was planted in his operation because I suspected he was skimming. He started while I was getting used to my new sleeve, you see," he gestures to Nyda. "How rude is that?" He steps forward, closer to her, chin lifting. "What is your counsel with this naughty man who refuses to admit his sins?"

  • * *

Nyda's expression tightens, and she glances to Luis with a half-tilt of her head. Blue-streaked green hair follows the motion, and she looks a bit thoughtful. "Six light takes sounds worse than one big one, Luis. Should have been more of a thinker."

Then she crosses her arms, settling into a stance on the open side of the man in the chair, opposite the two bodyguards. She considers him, words working through her head. What's your counsel, he's asked. What would Nyda do? Fuck if she knows. Is Nyda really the one who makes that call. When Acorn is close-in, she cannot help but look at him with those pale eyes. Her jaw flexes just once, perhaps in anger — or in nerves. "It's a dumb move," she repeats, drawing out her hesitation. "Maybe go tit for tat… where's the money, Luis?"

  • * *

"Tit for tat, tit for tat. You know, that is an idiom I've never quite understood. What is tit, and what is tat? Is it cooch and cock? Black and white? This and that? But the use of it suggests same for same. So why not tit for tit?" Acorn waves a bit with the hand that holds his glass.

Over in bondage, Luis has started sweating profusely.

The bossman looks Nyda in the eye. "It doesn't matter where is the money. What matters is, the money is not in my pocket. The money is not in Argus' pocket. You are light to me…" he turns to Luis now, "I am light to Argus. And then he is unhappy. And unlike you, I do not like to make my boss unhappy."

  • * *

"Tit for tit then," Nyda says without breaking a sweat.

Then she steps forward toward Luis. The little woman — only intimidating because of reputation. She looks down into the sweaty face, head tilted. "Too bad you don't have anything that would save you right now, Luis." Then she glances toward Acorn, and her shoulders lift.

"I think you probably know what the best course is here, Boss. He's made you unhappy, so… what'd make you happy?"

  • * *

"What would make me happy…what would make me happy…" Acorn sets his glass down and taps his lower lip. "Hmm, I think…I know." And then, in one smooth motion, he draws a laser weapon from his coat, levels it at Luis, and fires. A beam of red light hits the man straight between the eyes, leaving a burnt hole right through his skull.

"Jesus, boss!" croaks Fridge. "You know you're not real good with that thing. Warn me next time, will ya?"

"Sorry, sorry big guy. You're right. I'm better with a pistol, I know. But there's something so satisfying about that hole…" he points.

From Nyda's position, she can smell seared flesh and the ozone of the laser blast.

  • * *

Nyda stumbles back in shock, clearing the laser without trouble but still making quite a show of surprise. She staggers several steps back, boots scuffing across the floor of Acorn's office. Her heart catches in her throat, and with it a sense of bile that rises up in her belly. She swallows it down, tasting the sour phlegm.

She pivots toward Acorn. "Fuck! Warn me next time!" It spills out of her lips almost on instinct. Then she's breathing hard, taking in a breath through her nose, filling her lungs, letting it out slowly. She turns toward Fridge, and then to Acorn. With one more breath, she manages, "Happy now?"

  • * *

Acorn shrugs indifferently. He lights a cigarette, then moves to a table. He flicks open a case, pinches the cigarette between his lips and removes a device from the case.

The device looks like a cross between a garlic press and a monkey wrench. It's massive and angry looking and has some electronic elements that prr to life when he hits a switch.

He steps up to Nyda, watching her, perhaps a little suspicious of her reaction. Then he presses the heavy device into her hand. "Pull out his stack for me. I still didn't get my answers. Yhe…" he snaps at the other guard. "Go get the virtual interface warmed up."

  • * *

She feels Acorn's eyes, almost feeling the suspicion. She straightens her shoulders, relaxes herself into it. She looks toward the Boss, but does not try to make excuses. Excuses are even more suspicious. She just steps forward, hearing the order. She takes the offered tool.

She kneels down, looking over the neck of the man. She takes a breath, and then takes out the chunk of spine connected to the stack. It's bloody and unpleasant, and leaves her stomach roiling. Then she has it in her hands, feeling the slick of blood. When she looks back to Acorn, something clicks into place. Shit, this guy's torment isn't done is it.

Nothing else to be done… this is the job in front of her. Complete the job in front of her.

  • * *

In his other sleeve, Acorn betrayed a little more of his inner life. That meant it was easier to tell when he was amused, displeased, or on the edge of a violent episode. But something about this sleeve keeps everything a bit more arm's length. Everyone around him has had to re-learn how to deal with him, and it's put pretty much everyone on-edge.

At least if your boss is prone to fits of violence, it's good to know the warning signs.

There's the smell of cigarette smoke just behind her. He reaches out to take the shining stack as it's slicked with blood, with bits of spine clinging to the metal. He gives it a slight wipe with his thumb, then tosses it to Fridge. "Call up Doctor Torment. Tell her she's got a patient."

Then he reaches into his pocket, pulls out a handkerchief the same blood red as his jacket and drops it into her hand. "You're dismissed." And then he walks over to the bar, to rinse his hands and refill his drink.

  • * *

Her eyes cut toward the dead sleeve of Luis, and then to the stack in Acorn's hands. She tightens her hands on her knees as she rises, ignoring the way her hands threaten to quiver. Then she nods slightly; dismissed. She isn't sure if that's a good thing or a bad.

Doctor Torment's name is carefully noted, stuffed down in her head for further thinking. She knows this name, she knows who this person is — or at least, the nightmares this person represents.

"Thanks, boss. Glad you're happy." She licks her lips as she heads for the door, hands rubbing the blood on the handkerchief that now turns pink with its new stains.