1963-09-09 - Running Guns
Summary: By random chance Domino's discovered a piece of a lethal puzzle in Hell's Kitchen. A discovery like this requires discretion, and a few unorthodox measures added in just might help her odds.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1963-09-04-quick-fix
Theme Song: None
elizabeth domino 

Rain strikes a light tattoo on the window panes and the shaded, one way street outside. Greenwich Village is a knotted tangle of such narrow alleys barely wide enough for a horse and buggy, let alone cars. Drivers park on one side, when they have vehicles at all. Trees line the sidewalks along with the flags and pennants of a dozen different causes, protest signs and banners as common as building numbers in this corner of the city. By day, the place is cool; at night, it gains its sick, uncontrollably creative vibe.

Elizabeth Braddock, fashion model of no few covers and runways, sits at a desk making a series of notes on a typewriter, a pad of paper, and chewing her manicured nails into a less nice manicure. A handset for her phone is pressed to her ear. "Yes, I understand that, Billings. Our resources are currently engaged, and we… No, I do not think you heard clearly. Would you let me speak?"

Irritation colours her voice for a moment, the only time her refined OxCam accent turns acidic. "Billings, must I involve the office of the permanent secretary? I thought we were mature enough to manage this ourselves, but if— very well. Good. Run the report, and have the results sent over. Our usual? Excellent."


With rain in the air it should come as no surprise that those in possession of a vehicle will find a way to make it fit wherever they may happen to be heading. This is made slightly more complicated in that the driver of a black and blue '62 Polara doesn't know exactly where their destination happens to be lurking, and further complicated in trying to find a place to park upon already narrowed streets. Fortunately for them it isn't a full-sized car so much as a plain old 'huge' car.

Regardless of the effort invested in parking, the driver's still going to get wet. No thought is given toward having a coat or umbrella, braving the precipitation with no fear of melting along the way.

It's only a matter of time before there's a guest at the door. Blacked out clothes and hair might make them difficult to spot within the gloomy interior if not for the ghost white skin of her face and hands, unblemished with the exception of a large black spot fully surrounding her left eye. Rainwater steadily falls from her person onto the floor, carrying only herself and a black bag slung over one of her shoulders. Her expression is one of apprehension, and a little something more. A wild glint of someone who might be on the run from something. Or perhaps running after something.

She also has a slight edge of arrogance, as though she expects the other woman to know why she's here before she announces why she's here.


Finding parking is a blessing, which will speak long before and after of this particular guest's forte. When in doubt of getting there on time, one should ride with Domino. Red lights are a thing of the past. Handsome baskets full of flowers and ferns adorn a few of the buildings, but this particular office occupies a brownstone on four storeys, and all of them but one belong to Glory and King. The steps lead up past a variety of forgettable offices down a long hallway straight back to the age of dames and femme fatales—a scant decade ago, but still, it has the film noir feel to it. A frosted door, a woman dripping on the handsome carpet, are elements to which the model terminates her call.

She returns the handset onto its cradle, making a quick note with her left hand. Nothing stands out about Elizabeth's bearing. The smell of tea is in the air, an unusually heavy earthy fragrance only a good cuppa generates. The blend isn't British, that much is clear. She has a cup well out of arms reach, and a pen still in hand when she finally raises her gaze. The ice blue eyes that have captivated audiences from glossy spreads meet the newcomer, and she pushes back her seat a fraction. "Welcome to Glory and King. Dreadfully drizzly out there, isn't it?"

The Englishwoman nods to the proper coat rack. "You can leave your jacket to dry there if you like. Take a seat as you like, and would you like me to fetch you a cup of tea? Or.." A brief pause is full of judgment. "..coffee."


"It's a bit damp," the albino stoically replies while giving the room a lingering looking over. It's clear that she is out of her element, though most of the clientele around here probably all share the same experience on their first visit. Compared to those boring offices, and most any other business, there's a lot to absorb between the sights and scents.

A glance is passed to the coatrack in question though she doesn't move toward it, instead moving to an open seat. With no color to define any of of the articles Domino wears it's not the easiest to see that she's currently lacking in outer layers. Maybe she enjoys the cooler weather.

"Anything warm'll do."

Or maybe not so much.

"Let's try the House Special." Tea, it is. When in Rome… She sets the bag down next to her, thunking softly against the floor. Whatever the awkwardly shaped item contained within happens to be, it's apparently got some heft to it. "Word is that you've got a means of locating things through ..less conventional methods, with a degree of discretion. That true?" she pointedly asks, her pale blue stare now set upon the other woman. She's still an unknown value in this game.

Dom does not like unknown values.


On the contrary, Elizabeth is probably the most known element in the building unless someone fell out of time. She puts her hands to the arms of the chair and hoists herself up, all grace and supple ease about the movements that convey her into walking. A long, smooth stride doesn't give off most sound and reveals why leather pants are only for the charmed few like her. A pot of hot water under a tea cozy she consults with her fingertips, gauging the temperature sufficient for the task. Two cups are put out, and water introduced to the midway point. Then perforated balls are gathered up from a dish, and scooped into a tin of loose leaf black tea. She places both into the cups to steep, preparing a tray of cream, sugar, and honey. "Do let me know if you would like a fan."

The niceties are to be observed before business, that is an inviolable rule for the English. She does, however, answer the question while carrying the tray over to a table and placing it down. Teacups and saucers will follow. "Yes, we use a number of conventional and unconventional methods to locate a subject. Naturally some of the trade craft is the business of Mr. King and his clients. Confidential, I am afraid, so the best I can do is speak in generalities of how we might proceed with a specific case or instance. I'm happy to outline the options, should you wish me to."

Her manner is formal and polite, even as she returns to the sideboard to collect up the teacups. "May I ask what brings you by?"


There's always one, isn't there? It may be more difficult to read from Domino's eyes but she honestly has no idea who it is she's dealing with. An argument could easily be made that she had spent her entire life living under a rock. It wouldn't even be that far off from the truth. For her, everything in this city is an unknown value. Many things outside of it, as well. In part this is why she's content to sit and remain quiet while preparations are made, learning everything that she can from wherever she can for as long as she's able to.

She's also, by comparison, quite rude. Her silence for the moment probably serves them both equally.

"I don't need to know the specifics of your operation," she replies in regards to confidentiality. "Just as I don't want word of this encounter going any further than the two of us."

The finer art that is tea preparation is also quite unfamiliar to her, but to her credit she does at least try not to fumble her way through it. Watch, learn, and imitate accordingly.

"I have something which belonged to a pal of mine. He didn't have much to say about it at the time and recently he's taken an oath of silence, leaving me completely in the dark. I need to know where it came from. Who gave it to him, and where I can find them. Is that something you would able to do?"


Not everyone she deals with is a friendly client. In fact, several of them are not. The worst, for their part, tend to go upon their way with a nice impression. Unforgiveable hospitality breaches are easily enough amended with an angry psychic on the premises.

Elizabeth sets down the cup of tea and takes her own back to her desk. It demands a spot on the corner for a few moments until she is seated comfortably, pen and paper at hand, to take notes as needed. Her posture is perfect to a pitch of a half degree, legs crossed at the ankles, every image an attentive partner in business.

"I assure you our conversations are treated with confidentiality and discretion observed to the highest standards. My employer would have no less," she assures the strange young woman, tone mild but words steel.

"To answer your question, yes, we can make an effort to locate the provenance and maker. If necessary, we can also make discreet inquiries from the individual or any known associates without violating his oath." Specifically how is not explained. It needn't be. "Assuming you are our client, we will follow any necessary restrictions you identify in your paperwork.. For example, if you do not want your name used, or if you allow us to at our discretion, and such."


Unlike with the tea, such phenomenal posture is not at all mimicked. Compared to the attentive professional seated across from her, Domino's posture and energy is one of 'let's get this show on the road, already.' She probably doesn't enjoy sitting still for extended periods of time and just might go a little ballistic during a long conference.

The thought of there being paperwork doesn't sit so well with her, and she doesn't make any effort to hide the fact. Paperwork becomes a trail. Trails can be followed. Anonymous or not, it's adding to the risk. Though, it isn't just the documentation which has her shifting slightly in her seat. It's just another uncomfortable footnote to the matter of making inquiries from the previous owner, or any associated people.

"I would be the client," she confirms while taking a bit more care in choosing her own words. "Though trying to get through to anyone else is going to be a bit of a challenge, unless raising the dead is another service which you happen to offer. Now, I already know where the item originated from. What I want to know is who brought it to this corner of the globe. It's a fair ways away from home, yet someone managed to secure it and bring it into this country. This means that there will be more—"

Trying to dance around the finer details just gets in the way before long. Domino gently sighs and rubs at the bridge of her nose as if all of this cloak and dagger talk is giving her a headache, ultimately offering "Can I just show you the thing so we can move forward on this?"


Elizabeth sips her tea, slender pinkie extended. She is British as they come on the surface, therefore it will follow she can make sipping a cuppa a fine art. And performance art, at that. She settles it down, saucer barely uttering a crime.

A sweep of her hand gestures to Domino and yields the floor, as it were, "By all means. Whatever is easiest for you. For particularly difficult cases, we request fifty percent of the cost up front plus any additional expenses covered on an ad hoc basis. Like if I had to secure a license or verify that something is, say, a real Matisse painting. If we find nothing useful, we return your fee minus a flat fifteen percent, which covers our time and transportation, and such."

A pause follows. "Raising the dead is a rather pricy proposition, though we can often find records, photographs, and accounts that makes it feel like we've done so. Or we locate the missing persons. No, Amelia Earhart is not among them." There comes a smile, a quirky little tease.


Oh hey, there's a name which Domino actually recognizes. The thin smirk she opts to respond with proves that there's more to her than just dark, brooding anger, as well. "Guess I'll have to look elsewhere for that case, then," she idly jokes back. The matter of cost is, for the moment, not commented on.

She sets her own cup aside then scoots forward in her seat, once more lifting the mysterious black bag with very little filling the inside of it. She gives it a few quick shakes to get the worst of the lingering rain clear before standing and reaching out to place the whole item onto the other woman's desk. Wherever happens to have the most free space, or the least amount of paperwork.

"The upside is that we won't be chasing any paintings on this run," she says while returning to her seat with another smirk, this one a bit lacking in good humor. Her cup is reclaimed, kept within her left hand as though making a point of keeping her right hand free for another purpose. Once again she's content to sit back and watch, trying to read the other woman every step of the way.

The bag's only holding one item, a nine millimeter submachine gun which had already been unloaded. An Uzi. They've been in service on the other side of the planet for about ten years now, though for one to have made it into the United States is quite unusual.

"I'd really like to know who's bringing the fancy toys to the playground."


Safe to say by the looks of it, Elizabeth would like an answer to this question as well. Her eyebrows lift maybe a quarter inch. For her, and for her country, that might as well be blown off her face.

"I see." Indeed she does, and her desk works fine if not the larger one. She moves a few objects clear, and then brings out a small hand towel to wipe away any excess moisture in case. Precautions never hurt even as she considers the weapon in play.

"Would you like to tell me how you came by this? I think you've set forth an interesting challenge," she observes, withholding simply putting her hand out and reading what she can off the gun, even if the impulse is there.

Graduating from the world of spycraft and murder for governments has its advantages.


Why stop at just a little risk when she can go all out with incriminating evidence? Once again Domino is content to sit, watch, and listen. It's a real credit to Elizabeth that she hasn't already begun feeling things out psychically, though if she had done so she might have discovered the reason why the albino's right hand is free. It isn't the only firearm she brought in with her today, and she really does appreciate her privacy in all manner of things.

"Drug bust," she says as if such a basic answer is all that would ever need to be told. "The previous owner nearly cut me in half with it. Tends to make me a little grumpy. You aren't likely to get many answers out of that crew, though. I may have taken that whole 'trial by fire' thing a bit too literally."

There was something in the news not even a week ago about a warehouse fire and a hidden drug stash. Right in Hell's Kitchen, too.

"I also have a car that was taken from the scene, though I couldn't tell you who the previous owner was." Fortunately for her, getting a new window and having all of the locks re-keyed is something no one asks questions about in the Kitchen.

"What do you say. Interesting enough of a challenge to take the case?"


"I think we shall, if only for a chance to see what on earth caused you such dissatisfaction." Elizabeth nods curtly at this. "Are you comfortable with allowing me to examine this to see about any details on it? I doubt they would have been foolish enough to stamp it and leave any marks, but you never know. A good many people are foolish enough, and samples of paint or the like can help narrow down a few features."

Or let a gifted telepath peer into the resonances, and read the psychometric impressions, but that is neither here nor there. If a jotun shows up, won't that be terribly amusing! She bumps her hip against the desk. Too much to hope for fingerprints, surely.

The car is something she makes note of with a non-committal mm. "I understand. Whatever business brought you here, I do not judge upon and Mr. King certainly doesn't either. We perform a service. We have a good deal of work ahead of us on this beauty, I no doubt imagine. As for you, it's quite simple on how you want me to handle this. Do you wish to have regular updates or only the results? Either way, how would you prefer that I contact you?"


When asked if the psychic can handle the weapon Domino simply motions forward in a 'go ahead' gesture. Right now it's no more of a threat to anyone than an over-built paperweight, and with it being their only lead she would be cutting this investigation off at the knees if she didn't let the resident expert get a closer look.

"I know a fair bit about ordnance but this guy… Not so much beyond what it shoots and how to shoot it. That caliber is primarily used by those on the other side of the Atlantic, too."

There are fingerprints, though! Just looking at the oil and soot coating the exterior reveals some partial prints, though many of those could very well be her own prints. Some of the stamped markings are in Hebrew. There's also no importation marks to be found.

Should Elizabeth try a surface read she might find that this device was indeed in a fire only a few days ago. It's also the last time it had been shot. There's feelings of panic and surprise imprinted upon it, the man whom had possessed it before barely had any time to make it ready between when the fire was discovered and when he had been killed. His death had been quite sudden as well, struck hard in the chest with a sledgehammer-like blow from a large rifle.

"How about I stop by once a week for an update?" she suggests. "You'll have enough leads to chase down without me being one of them." Plus it keeps some of the control in her hands! "Though while we're still doing our initial fact-finding and all, just who is this Mister King?"


"That sounds excellent," agrees Elizabeth, taking note of the details. She has a camera around her and she can take photographs if it is absolutely necessary. But when she picks it up, it's clear she has an idea about a gun. Disassembly might take her a bit of work, but removing the magazine and figuring out the action of the telescoping bolt and other components does not require a degree. Only patience and consideration, giving each component a rather tight inspection. Notes will be taken, and the overall details sketched out. Nothing beats hand on, though.

"Twenty two, if I had to make a guess? Nine millimeter P, possibly. I've seen something like this, though much further east. Service if you were in Malaya and Hong Kong, more likely." Or, the nice way of saying 'Hi, the Empire of Japan gave me an awesome design!' to a gun nut, or a soldier, neither of whom is likely happy to consider the ramifications. She will produce a bit of dust and a brush to capture the prints, lifting what she can, though she will do that /before/ the disassembly; she knows standard trade craft. Nothing like a ninja marring her own investigation.

"I wonder if I still have a friend around the deli who works for— worth a shot." A note is made for herself, even as she holds up the stock, rapping on it to get a sense of the weight and size, any impurities thereof. The story a thing like this wants to tell her demands a deep dive, staring and peering deeply into the grain. Death knows death, though.

"Mr. King owns the agency. I'm his secretary, he is the primary investigator." One who can reassemble a gun like she has some kind of idle service. "Elizabeth Braddock, ma'am. And you are?" Names are a funny thing, aren't they?


And here Domino had been concerned that the case would get thrown out the door before it gathered any traction. This five foot Brit is taking to a military automatic like a fish to water. It's more than simple understanding of modern firearms or being gifted with manual dexterity. It's proof that there's a lot more to this psychic than the albino knows, and there's a lot more reason for her to be keeping a very close eye on this other woman.

On the other hand, it also means that she came to the right office for getting more details on the weapon in question.

"Somewhere in that range," she agrees. "I don't have enough rounds lying around to top it off." The real surprise is that Elizabeth has seen something like it before. It's among the last things Dom would have expected to hear! "Sounds like you do a fair bit of traveling." And gathering some peculiar allies… Someone working at a deli knows about foreign automatics? There's something else for her to keep an eye and ear out for.

Then, finally, introductions. She's still a bit uncertain when it comes to personal titles. Some of her hesitance bleeds through to the surface of her expression, too. The slightest of shrugs results. "Let's go with 'Domino.' Bit of a nickname, I suppose." As if she needs to excuse its oddity.

Her tea, largely forgotten since the item of interest had been presented, is quickly finished then the cup lightly set aside. "I'll be in touch soon," she announces while looking ready to step back out into the rain. Maybe she has another appointment scheduled. Perhaps another warehouse to incinerate.


"Americans, they come in all shapes and sizes," Elizabeth replies lightly enough. "Sometimes people find their way here, and you know the famous name brings out the most unexpected things in people. I am lucky to have a broad range of acquaintances." She hasn't explained why she knows how to pull apart a gun but a good many countries in Europe do require compulsory service and some of them require a little less, but welcome more if you show up hat in hand with a willingness to ask what you can do for your nation.

"I would probably need to extract a few from the magazine to be absolutely sure, or drop a few in, but I know the general size. That gives a starting point. Interesting choice of stock." She looks up and smiles. "I did a little travel after school and modeling is not all glamour, you know. They sometimes like us to hold other things, and after a twelve hour shoot, you ask the poor gentleman forced to guard things what all his kit is about."

She nods. "Domino, then. Come back here if you have any questions, breakthroughs, or more. You will always be welcome for a cuppa." And that, as they say, is that.

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