06.28.3013: Tapping the Vein
Summary: On his way to Detrius, Nitrim stops by for an update with his underworld hacker contact, Rook. He shows her footage of the fighting. She shows him the Red Eye he's been supplying her with.
Date: 28 June 2013
Related: Log of the footage reviewed is at Battle Niveus, but all is from Nitrim's perspective.
Ithaca Nitrim 

Rook's Apartment
Rook's apartment is described in the log.
27, June 3013 (Very late hour)

Rook seems to have decided that Nitrim is trustworthy in some form or other. She sends him a message to meet her at an apartment. It's not the nicest of neighborhoods on the Ring, but it's decently close to where LucCorp's headquarters are and where she works. Not that he knows that. The apartment is the only basement one in the building, and at the end of a very plain hallway with uncarpeted floor. B1 is the number.

With an early idea to the neighborhood, Nitrim makes a quick stop at his hotel room to change. Dressing in dark cowls, an old and faded black cloak, and his longsword hidden beneath the long hem of his garments, he descends deeper into the bowels of the Ring towards the address. Stepping over a knocked-over garbage can, he makes his way down the steps towards the apartment door. Glancing up and down the hallway to make sure he's alone, he reaches up to knock twice.

The door opens just a sliver, and one dark, black-lined eye peeks through the crack above one of the several chains across the span. Then the door shuts again and the sound of multiple locks, electronic and mundane, can be heard being disengaged. The door finally swings open and Rook is there in a skull and crossbones t-shirt missing its lower half, and a pair of leather pants. She's barefoot, a cigarette dangling from her lips, and her hair spiked up on top like a false Mohawk. She doesn't greet him, just heads inside.

The apartment is a study in opposites. Rather than the rumpled, jumbled woman who lives in it, it's almost empty, Spartan to an extreme. There's just one room and a small bathroom, a mattress on the floor in one corner, the kitchenette consisting of a microwave, small fridge, hot plate, and electric pot. There's a tattered sofa and one coffee table. The rest of the space is taken up by computer equipment, resting on scratched up Plexiglas resting across rusted old filing cabinets, stools, chairs, anything that could be used to support the flat surfaces. The walls are plastered with page upon page of code and mathematical calculations. Rook grabs a beer from the fridge and hands it to him. She has an open one already on her coffee table, which looks to be an old trunk of some sort.

"So this is one of the lairs." Nitrim says mutedly as he steps through. He turns back towards the door with beer in hand and goes about relatching the many locks on the door. At least that what seems to be the polite thing to do. Once he's done, he turns back to the main of the room and slips a cigarette between his lips. Once again, he's moving stiffly, a sign that he's been recently wounded. "So…you'll like this." He starts, lighting the cigarette with a flame over his fingertips. A few puffs later and he's offering her a datachip. "I don't know if it's wide knowledge yet but I was able to get one of the Hostile to speak to me during the fight. That's my monocle feed on that chip."

Rook stares at him for a while, as she processes that he was face-to-face with "the enemy". She then looks down at the parts of him he's favoring as she takes the chip and turns it over in her fingertips. "They hit you?" she asks, even as she's moving to pop it into a system. A huge monitor on the wall begins to compile the video feed to play it.

"About five minutes into the fight, maybe less. Yeah. I took a pretty massive mace to the chest." Nitrim replies, carefully shrugging the coat off of his shoulders and pulling back the cowl. The sleeveless, gray tunic he wears underneath has just enough of a cut to reveal the side of his body and the white bandages wrapped around his chest. Unbuckling his scabbard from its swordbelt, he lays it across the coffee table and lowers himself to the beat up sofa. "So if you don't mind, after that walk, I'm going to put my feet up. How have you been?"

"Did it hurt?" she asks, as if it's an everyday occurrence. She reclaims her beer and settles down beside him on the couch, putting her own bare feet up, and sticks a finger into the bandage as if to test it. Yeah, she's not good at the socializing with other humans thing. The feed starts up and she turns to watch it, barely blinking in that disturbing manner she has.

"Fuck. Yes it hurt, it still hurts. Careful." Nitrim winces, twisting at the hip to lean his torso a little ways from her fingertip. When she turns to watch the feet, he plants his booted foot up on the trunk-table and tilts his beer to his lips. He laughs softly to himself as he tilts his eyes to the feed. "I got hit in the arm pretty bad, but you're about to watch me throw a lot of fire around the place."

She watches it and, amusingly, she laughs at things happening as if this is a great comedy movie. She sips her beer as she does, and leans against Nitrim lightly, as if this is nothing but normal. Mind you, it's probably because it's a small sofa and the end she's on has a rather unpleasant spring poking up through the fabric. She actually smiles when Hostiles get destroyed. But she also does when people do. It's weird.

Trading sips of his beer for drags of his cigarette, Nitrim pays no mind to the way Rook's shoulder leans against his. Like two friends sitting on a sofa, watching a movie, he points with his cigarette as if calling out what is about to be a good part. Just then, the neck of the Hostile on the screen that hit Nitrim hard explodes outward with telekinetic force, showering nearby Lords, Ladies, and knights with blood. Nitrim's gloved hand can be seen curling and pulling back towards the camera, and the remaining arteries and windpipe are ripped back out the front. "Needless to say…that killed it."

"Damned helmets!" She shouts at the screen. "I wanted to see their faces when they got hit with the guts!" She pouts a little at it, and reaches down to grab a bottle of Red Eye from under the couch. She offers it to him first, as he's her guest. So she has some manners, just in the least normal situations.

Nitrim's teeth bare in a silent laugh as Rook gore-hounds at the screen. "I was there for it, I'm pretty sure they didn't balk, aside from needing to wipe at the facepl—" His words cut off as she offers him the bottle of Red Eye. A nervous air shuffles over him as he pulls the cigarette to his lips. His eyelid twitches. He stares at it. "I…I probably shouldn't." He says with a great deal of hesitation, wanting the Red Eye somewhere deep inside of his gut. He coughs softly and leans out to stub the cigarette. "I have to travel to Detrius tomorrow to see nobles. But…thank you."

Rook is shrugging even before he comes up with an excuse, administering the drops to herself as her eyes go that bloody red. Looking at the walls, it's not hard to see why she uses it. It's like her mind is overloaded with countless numbers and formulas. She bounces between quieting the clutter with the Red Eye, and focusing it with the AMP. There are a few hyposprays lying around. The bottle goes back under the sofa where she won't accidentally kick it over. "Replay it. Want to see it again."

He doesn't let her see him do it, but he can't watch her dose her eyes. Instead, he busies himself with the label on the bottle of beer. Carbs. Calories. Addition. As the hypospray kicks off, he closes his eyes and takes in a long, slow, deep breath and releases it. Having talked himself down, he slips off of the sofa to the video screen and presses the replay button, locking the replay into place. "One of them talked to me when I insulted its gods." He slumps gently into the over half of the couch beside her. "It said our six are obsolete. This could be a holy war."

"Gods?" Rook asks, closing her eyes to feel the Red-Eye slowly begin calming the tangle of thoughts inside her head. "This is over stupid fucking gods?" She snorts. "Fairy stories they tell little kids to keep them in line. Such bullshit. No gods ever did shit for me." Looking around at her place, that's pretty damned evident.

Fighting against the twitch in his eyelid and the knowledge that there is Red Eye available to him so closely nearby, Nitrim lights another cigarette as if chain smoking will kill the urges. "It might be over gods, that or they developed their own while they were out there." He leans back, eyes to the ceiling as he blows a trio of smoke rings. Once again, his heavy boot comes up to the trunk-table and he settles in comfortably. "I'm not preachy, but…" He shrugs quietly. "…if they are around, they got me this far."

"You are sitting in a basement apartment in the belly of the Ring, smoking and drinking cheap ass beer. The gods are not doing you any favors either." Leave it to Rook to point out the obvious. "How long you been off the drops?" she asks. More perceptive than she lets on maybe.

"Fifteen days." The reply comes after a moment's hesitation. His elbow bends as he reaches for the cigarette from his lip, blowing a new series of smoke rings toward the ceiling. "Fifteen days and counting after almost three years. The stash I give you is the supply I have to keep paying for, at least for a little while. It's good shit."

"Noticed that," Rook replies, about it being the good stuff. "Ok, no more meeting here then." Because she has no intention of going on the wagon. "Want food?" She gestures at the fridge which has almost nothing in it. There's frozen meals in the freezer though.

"That's fine. Keep your supply, do what you want. I'd be an asshole to judge, because the stuff is fucking amazing and calms me. Instead…I venture out back into the storm." Nitrim pats her knee and uses it for leverage as he pushes up off of the sofa. With turnabout being fair play, now it's his chance to rummage through her fridge. Stepping over to it, he cracks open the door and reaches for one of the frozen meals. He turns it over to read the direction, his back to her. "Did you link up with Zakk Pryde at all?"

"No," she replies, with a slight frown creasing her brow. "Not sure how." She doesn't leave the Ring much, usually just when LucCorp sends her somewhere for a specific task. The meals are mostly microwave pizza or ramen noodles. Ick. How is she so thin on food that bad?

"Well, seeing as how we're partners in this I don't mind throwing a little extra money his way to travel out to the Ring. The Ways are still up. It's like a short walk for the guy." Nitrim replies, waving the package in his hand like a paddle, tapping it against his fingers. One by one, counters in the kitchen rattle until he finds one with a fork in it. He stabs the package three times and throws it into the microwave. Microwave pizza supreme it is. He turns to watch her from his lean on the counter while the meal cools slowly. "It shouldn't be too much of a problem."

"Ok." And a nod is the response. She moves to the computer station to make a copy of the data so she can watch it more later, and pops out the original chip. She hands it to him and opens a drawer. Out of it she pulls a picture, which looks to have been ripped from an old magazine, of a lack bird with a pale white beak. A rook. "He can do this?" she asks.

Nitrim slips the original chip into his pocket and takes the picture from her. Holding it up before him, he looks it over and then sets it down on the counter. He slips his tablet out of a thigh pocket of his pants and takes a scan of it. The microwave lets out a shrill DINNNNNggggg… "Yeah…I don't think it should be a problem. I don't know if he's the best but he did my work, and that's good enough for me." He hands the picture back.

Rook pulls down one side of her leather pants to show a bare, bony hip. "Here?" she asks, though this time she seems to be seeking his opinion rather than an estimation of the artist's ability to put it there.

Ignoring the microwave pizza for the moment, Nitrim glances down to her bared hip. His eyes flit back to hers, staring at the red he sees before him. A rather familiar chill runs up his spine, and again his eyelid twitches. "Yeah…" He replies, nodding quietly. "…that would look good. When I'm not all bandaged up I'll have to show you the work he did on me. I'm pretty sure he could get the bird down just the way you want it."

Rook nods sharply. "Good." Then she goes back to her beer and couch, and waits for him to bring the pizza. She puts on a horror movie to watch. How romantic. She falls asleep partway through though, from the calming effect of the Red Eye, leaving one to wonder if that's the only way she can actually sleep.

Long after the movie has finished and the pizza has been eaten, Nitrim sits there beside the sleeping hacker. His eyes occasionally slip down to the bottom of the couch, where the Red Eye stays. After sitting in silence for an hour, he peels himself carefully from his upright position and considers heading for the door. It's locked…and he'd never be able to secure the locks from the outside without waking her. So instead, he leans against the arm of the sofa and closes his eyes.

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