1963-08-06 - Nobody Expects the Blondey Inquisition
Summary: Trouble abounds late at night in Central Park.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
trish paladin 

"Look, Vincent. What did I tell you? You get what you pay for."

"Yeah, well what if I demand a refund. You think I can do anything with this shit?"

The voices are muted, coming from under the thoroughfare in Central Park in the middle of the night. Two men, trenchcoats, fedoras, a look that speaks entirely of 'up to no good', it's enough to make one stop and give a second gander. That is if there was any foot traffic. Perhaps that's the reason the two men chose it.

"Fuck, Vinny. You know as much as I do. No refunds." One of the figures steps to the side, barely silhouettes talking there under that bridge which is many a jogger's nightmare during the evening. In the future they'd be the places known as a mugger's haven, the perfect place for a crime. Tonight might be no different.

"Yeah but I can't use this. Like at all. You got a screw loose if you think I'm paying good money for…"

The sterner voice snaps quickly, one of the figures in the shadows gestures, "You wanted more, you shoulda paid more. The op cost what I quoted. A deeper op, different target woulda cost more."

That causes the two men to stop, and for a time there's a tension in the air.

"One day, you'll get yours, Denning." And a briefcase is handed over.

Central Park at night. A single female. Most wouldn't think this a wise. But Trish Walker is here anyway. It's the quickest way from point A to point B for her, and no amount of shadows and suspicious looking people are going to stop her. She just hopes that her confidence will scare them away. That, or she hopes that they're just not interested in her. A small clutch purse held tight by her side, she makes her way through the well known parts of the park, in order to get through.

A light clacking of her heels can be heard as Trish makes her way along. Soon, they grow louder and louder, approaching the lower part of the thoroughfare.

Vinny takes that moment to beat feet, his footsteps most likely heard by Trish as she starts to come closer. And then from the overpass, a man in a long coat emerges carrying a briefcase and walking along with a certain furtive step. He looks in the direction of Trish, espying her from afar as he steps onto the sidewalk that will lead in her direction as chance would have it.

But then there is a flash of red ember from off one side of the walkway. It's barely there for a moment, disappearing after a split second, but for a guy so deep in tradecraft for so long it's enough of a warning. The one-time spy frowns, takes a sniff of the air, turns his frown into a scowl and then gauges distances. Yet this doesn't look good.

Once he's within ten feet of Trish he lifts his voice, "Karen! Is that you? When did you get back into town?" Yup, some stranger is trying to start up a conversation with her in the middle of Central Park. That's not creepy at all.

But then once he gets closer he says quickly, quietly without his lips moving. "Sorry about this lady, but you got one chance to get outta this okay. Start walking with me. Got it? Good, let's go." And he reaches for her arm to bring her along with him as if she would at such a direct command.
Paladin pages: I keep trying to type your name as 'Trush'. But do you mind combat busting out? If not I can have the bad guys hold off being bad until off screen.
You last paged Paladin.
Long distance to Paladin: Trish doesn't mind fighting at all. And Trush…that'd be an interesting name!
Paladin pages: for some reason it's what my fingers keep trying to type.

Footsteps. That aren't her own. Trish's guard goes up even more, eyes darting to their location. Nope. She doesn't want to engage. Engaging, even in looking the person in the eyes, could end poorly. Her grip on her purse tightens as her pace begins to quicken. The quick flash of red barely registers with her. She glances in its direction, having caught it out of the corner of her eye, but it's not time to focus on that right now.

"Karen?" She looks at the man, confused. When he reaches for her arm, her first instinct is to pull it away, just ever so slightly. "Uh-huh. Right." She shakes her head and tries to keep moving, hoping that whatever is happening isn't going to affect her. Though she's probably not so lucky. She glances at the man once more, looking him over.
Paul is a man that blends into the sea of other men rather easily. He's got the chiseled jawline and sharp features of a news man or private investigator straight out of a pulp novel. His grey suit and white dress shirt over brown leather shoes doesn't do anything to dispel the similarity. Also the black fedora and black tie seems to just mix right in with the crowds of New York. Despite his brown hair he does have blue eyes, at the least breaking the mold slightly there.

Her response earns her trying to grab her arm and turn her around to walk with him, attempting to 'manhandle' her as he growls low. "Look, lady. You see those three blocky shapes over in the shadows to the right. Don't look straight at them, but you smell that? That's tobacco. I ain't smoking, you ain't smoking, but somebody is, and they're close enough that we can smell it. What's that tell you?"

But then he tries to get them walking again in a direction away from the place he mentioned to her. "Don't be a pain in my ass. I'm trying to save your life here. Alright? Alright. Christ." With that said he tries to get them going.

Of course he has no idea who Trish is, or what she's capable of.
Paladin pages: feel free to power pose as he most likely wouldn't be expecting her to resist.

"Let go of me." Trish murmurs to him through clenched teeth, wrenching her arm away with perhaps more strength than would be expected of her. She glances at the shadows, being sure not to keep the man next to her out of her sight for long. "Listen here, pal." She says quietly, giving him a look of disapproval. "I don't care if you're the king of France, you touch me again, those blocky smokers will be the least of your trouble. Understand?" She raises an eyebrow inquisitively, making sure he gets the picture.

"Now, walking beside me? Fine. Safety in numbers, or something." Her voice is still low, so hopefully only he can hear. "But I'm a big girl. I'm no little patsy." A statement which, for her, takes on multiple meanings.

"Losing your touch, Denning?" A voice comes from the shadows, the red ember nowhere to be seen, and of course a trio of men emerging from an entirely different copse of trees than the one he indicated. Maybe he is losing his touch.

A man in a red jumpsuit or running suit of some kind stands there with a pistol in hand and two tall men beside him. When he speaks it's with an accent of some kind. Not quite Russian, perhaps Eastern European? Romanian?

"Yeah, looks like. She doesn't know anything, Vladimir. Just some ditzy broad taking a walk in the park…" He turns to squint at her and says pointedly. "In the middle of the fucking night."

To which Vladimir chuckles a rather dark chuckle that comes from a person who really is not nice. "Have you ever known me to take risks, Denning? She is one. I shall not take it. Your pistol, please."

"Sounds like you're pretty chummy with these folk." Trish says to her would be saviour. "And it sounds like this has nothing to do with me." She clears her throat, seemingly not as strong willed as she was just a few seconds ago. "So, since this is obviously not a meeting involving me, I'll just got on my merry way, yes?"

She gives them all a smile. "I hope your little…meeting is fruitful." She starts turning away, hoping she's not stopped.

As she turns away, the two men at either side of Vladimir stomp forward, looking to intercept and bring Trish back before she can retreat. They glower at her should she look at them and each of them seem rather stern fellows. One has a scar all along the side of his face, while the other is bald with eyes that seem entirely pitiless.

Of course when those two step past him and reach to grab Trish's shoulder, that's when Paladin makes his 'move'.

Straight out of an action film, the former spy lashes out with an abrupt kick to Vladimir's gun wrist, cracking it sharply and sending the weapon _flying_ into the air. The weapon floats end over end and both Paladin and Vladimir /dive/ for it, trying to recover it each before the other, skittering across the ground as it slides down the side of the small hillock beside them, the two of them rolling after.

The two thugs, however, turn to look after their boss and for a moment are distracted.

"Oh…so this meeting does involve me? Oh, okay." Trish giggles nervously. "So, who likes candy? I do! I do! Haaaa." Nervous young woman act? Check! When the mystery man, who seems to be the good guy in all this, kicks the gun away from the Vladimir's hand, she takes the moment to use the other two's distraction to her advantage.

Quickly choosing the one on her right, punches him in his side and swipes one of her legs behind his, hoping to cause him to stumble and fall. She can only hope that she can twirl around and jab the other one on the nose with her palm, hoping to shock him enough to get in another few hits and get away.

Rolling down that hillock, each of the men trying to grab for the gun in the muck from the recent rain, Paladin is definitely not showing his best side to the young Ms. Walker. He lands on Vladimir with a whumpf and practically crawls over the man as he reaches for the pistol, only for the guy to start choking him with both hands on his throat.

Meanwhile, up on the sidewalk, Trish gets a clean shot on the guy on the right, smacking him hard in the side and causing him to wince, then she kicks him in the side of the leg and he stumbles, clutching at his knee and giving a loud howl of pain as he goes to one knee beside her.

The other turns and says, "Ce dracu?" Only for Trish to give him a palm heel strike to his nose that causes a short sharp crunch and sends him rocking back on his heels. She's got a chance to get away, that's for sure as both the big men are reeling.

So, her fighting lessons haven't been in vain! Trish starts off running, seeming unencumbered by her heels. She doesn't get very far before guilt starts to eat away at her, wondering if the man who actually tried to help her is okay. She sighs heavily, running back toward where she saw them rolling.

It isn't too difficult to find them. After all, she'd seen where they tumbled down. Digging her heel into the back of the man known as Vladimir, she calmly says, "Let…go…of…him. Slowly. And make sure you keep your hands where I can see them. No funny business."

Those two thugs about twenty feet away and up the gentle slope of the hillock are starting to recover. One still has blood trickling down his nose as he grimaces, snapping a few quick words in Romanian to his partner. The partner responds as he gets up, starting to limp in the direction of Trish and Paladin, cursing rather nastily at the young woman if she only understood his language.

As for the boss that is /squeezing/ on Paladin's throat, he'll feel the pressure of the young woman's foot in his back and then he'll almost make a dismissive sound as he growls, "You were…" He breathes hard as he squeezes the life from Paladin, "Going… to die easy. Girl. Now. You die hard." Whatever her threat may have been, he seems to not care that she has the drop on him with her shoe. Then again it could be just that he _really_ hates Paladin.

As for Paladin he reeeeaches forwards and almost has his hands on the pistol. He coughs as the man's fingers tighten but then he lashes back with an elbow that /cracks/ against the man's jaw. It causes him to break his grip for a moment, perhaps giving Trish an opening.

Shaking her head and clucking her tongue, Trish lets out a "Huh." As if giving his words some serious thought. "I don't fancy dying tonight. Sorry!" When Vladimir is elbowed by Paladin, Trish may have an opening, but she'd have to think quick about what she's going to do.

Without much thought, she comes down on his back with her knee, hopefully applying enough pressure to keep him down. As she does so, she moves to wrap an arm around his neck. If all goes as planned, she'll be able to stop him long enough for Paladin to get the gun and for both of them to get away.

Vladimir is already cursing as he wipes a forearm at his jaw and Paladin slips out of his grip. But then Trish is on his back, her knee slamming hard into his spine and then her arm slipping around his throat to try and bend him up and back like a bow without an arrow. For his part, Vlad is too busy choking and gagging to say anything even as Paladin grabs the gun and spins around with it, pointing it at the Romanian boss even as the two cronies are almost on them.

"Back the fuck up!" Paladin's voice cracks unflatteringly as he's still recovering, his throat rough and bruised. He pulls back the hammer on the gun, and then gestures towards the goons. "Eat dirt, don't move. We're getting out of here."

It's only after the thugs grudgingly lie flat on the ground with their arms spread that Paladin fully gets to his feet. He turns back to Vladimir who is still straining against Trish's chokehold. "Alright, get up dollface, we're beating feet. You can let him go now… or break his neck, not like I care."

He does, however, start to back up and back off, covering the three guys with the pistol and holding it at the ready.

"This an average night for you, pal?" Trish asks as she slowly stands, eyeing the three attackers. "Because if so, you should think about a new set of interests." She starts, cautiously, walking away from the men. This certainly won't be a night she forgets any time soon.

As they finally start to get away, she asks of Paladin, "You like milkshakes? I could really go for a milkshake."

Walking away from the scene quickly, Paladin cracks open the pistol and smacks the cylinder against his palm, causing the bullets to fall into his hand. He throws them to the side into the bushes as they keep up their steady and quick pace. Then he proceeds to break down the weapon itself, leaving bits and pieces discarded to the side as he moves.

"Thanks for the assist there, girly-girl. But not like it makes us best buds. Alla that coulda been avoided if you'd done what I said in the first place." Sure it's harsh, but tough love, man.

"Still." He glances behind them and for now they don't see anyone following them. "I appreciate the help. Name's Paul." He looks at her for a moment as if not sure if she was crazy or not then he murmurs, "I know a place across town that has a mean milkshake. Gotta grab the A train, about twenty minutes. Would be good to get outta this neighborhood. Then again, might be good if we split up. But then how could I protect you?" He smirks at his own joke, since she did the saving that bout.

Watching the man at her side, Trish seems curious by his quick dismantling of the gun. She's never been much one for guns, but that doesn't make it any less fascinatinghow he just removes the bullets and takes it apart seemingly with as much easy as breathing. "You mean we're not best of friends now? Aww, shucks. Here and I was hoping we were going to be spending Sunday mornings getting and getting manicures and pedicures every Monday, Thursday, and alternating Saturdays." She snorts, rather unlady like. "But I'm glad I could help. Least I could do, I mean, you did warn me about them."

She flashes him a quick smile. "Paul. I'd say nice to meet you, but under the circumstances…" She chuckles. "I'm Trish." She doesn't give her last name either. If he doesn't recognize her by now, she's not going to give him reason to. "Well, I'm always looking for a new good place for getting shakes. And I could use someone to protect me. I'm practically useless on my own!" She says, playing off his joke, chuckling.

"Sure sure, but if we meet anyone I know just remember that I saved you. Capisce?" As he says this he stuffs his hands into his pockets and picks up the pace a bit, since Vladimir never did know when to quit. But then again perhaps he has their lack of pursuit thanks to their being humbled by the tiny blonde gal beside him.

"But see, we're pretty much incompatible. I know that for a fact now. I get my pedicures on fridays." A solemn nod is given and he's actually pretty good at the whole straight man thing where jokes are concerned. But he keeps on walking.

"So where'd you learn to bust up a guy like that? If I didn't know better I'd say you were in the military, but most military chicks I've met tend to be the sort that like short hair and sensible shoes, if ya get me."

"I'm just the defenceless young gal who needed the big, strong hero to save her. Got it!" Though Trish does roll her eyes. It's silly, but she's long learned that men need to be the tough ones. Though, she gets enough time in the spotlight without people knowing that she had a minor scuffle with a few men.

Clucking her tongue in disapproval, she shakes her head. "I've found Fridays to be the worst. Everybody likes Fridays, and I just never seem to be able to get the same quality service as I'd like. But," She shrugs lightly, "It it works for you, it works for you!"

She giggles softly. It's not surprising that he'd want to know where she learned to fight. "Well, I started taking self-defence classes because, well, you know." She waves back in the direction they came from. "The world isn't always a pretty place. I guess I just really took a shining to the whole…beating someone up." There's a pause, as if she's contemplating something. "And, well, I've taken gymnastics since I was young. It helps with the whole speedy, nimble movement thing." She shrugs again. "I'm just your average lady."

Once they reach the stairs leading down to the subway, Paladin falls into step beside her, even being so kind as to pay for her fare on the A train. He stuffs his hands back into his pockets as he walks up to the side of the loading deck, glancing sidelong at her. "Yeah, well maybe you should get more of that self defense training thing. You seem pretty good at it." He nods to himself as he waits there with her at his side. "Though you really shoulda broken his neck." A smirk springs to life at the corner of his mouth.

The two of them stand there for a time until the train rolls up. The get on… and with little more said between them… they're away.

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