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Crashing
#1
[[OOC: Continued from Going Deeper]]

It was the next day before Jay was released from the Facility. He didn’t mind the poking and prodding, especially since it came with a shower and a clean kit. The doctors were pretty concerned with the scars from Placaso’s electrocutions, but once they figured out they had nothing to do with the undercity’s vermin, nobody cared. He debriefed the events of the mission factually. His weapons were confiscated for video-recorded verification, but Jay had little to turn over in that regard. The weapon he’d used the most was himself, and he was exhausted.

The car rolled to a stop and the driver raised his voice.
“Oy, mate we’re here,” he said loudly. With a start, Jay jerked awake, rubbing his eyes and practically climbed out of the car. He recognized the entrance to the skyscraper where he’d stayed before the mission began. The building was in downtown Moscow, a much more modern scene than the old world around the Kremlin. He didn’t so much as have a bag to carry so as soon as he was deposited onto the sidewalk, the car rolled away. The only thing on him was a wallet - still powered off as he hadn’t had the energy to bother checking messages yet.

He stood out as he crossed the hotel lobby. He wasn’t in uniform, which  would have been the more preferable reason to draw attention. Instead, he wore plain slacks, a plain button down shirt tucked haphazardly in at the waist, and a plain black belt. It was like a prisoner being released to the streets with nothing but donated clothes. Not that he cared. He’d walk the lobby buck naked if it wouldn’t get him arrested, but he didn’t have the energy to put up with the barrage of questions.

He was stopped before he was half way to the elevator. You’d think an American in a hotel wouldn’t be an anomaly, but the Russians probably assumed he was a terrorist or some bullshit. They didn’t believe he was one of the Ascendancy’s Rods of Dominion, nor that he was came from the Kremlin itself. He was about to resort to powering on the Wallet and proving his identity when he thought to name-drop the guy he was supposedly here to train.

One mention of Adrian Kane and he was not only allowed entrance to his own suite, but an apologetic tray of food and drink was delivered shortly after. Normally, he’d jump head first into the giant serving of Osso Bucco, but instead, he passed out on the bed and didn’t intend to wake up for at least a week.
Only darkness shows you the light.


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#2
Seven found himself busier in Moscow than he anticipated although the pace was a pleasant surprise. He’d already made dozens of new contacts and no less than a few friends. Seven shone at his best when business mixed with pleasure, but from time to time, he buckled down and focused on the details of his profession.

He tipped his head as he passed the doorman. The hotel lobby was busy as he paused to orient himself toward the bar. A quick question saw him redirected, and a few moments later, he was being offered the last remaining table. It was a round booth in the corner, cast in a shimmer of diamond-like reflections from the overhead lamps.

He normally agreed to meet potential clients wherever they preferred. Sometimes they were in professional offices. Regularly he made house-calls. A dinner wasn’t uncalled for either. But of all the options, when given the choice, Seven enjoyed the pulse of a glamorous bar. The noise of music and conversation was an intersection of human life. Not knowing who was going to be there, who you would meet, and what would happen was a special kind of thrill.

Meanwhile, Seven waited for the client he arranged to meet. He was dressed stylishly, but professionally. The suit he wore was a charcoal color and paired with a plum shirt waistcoat. A slim square accented the breast pocket impeccably. He was admittedly a few minutes early as he wanted to gauge the tone of the bar.
Seven ✧ Freyr
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#3
A roll to the side found the time later than he expected. Although it wasn’t that bad. He figured he’d lose more time than an afternoon to passing out. Being dead to the world wasn’t so bad, he thought with a stretch. The sheets were the only thing left on the bed. He’d always been one to sleep hot and kicking off blankets wasn’t a new thing. His head was light, and he assumed it was just thirst as he wandered to the bathroom. The sink was good enough for him as he cupped water to his mouth and drank greedily. It was hunger, not hangover, that drove him to shower off. Just before ducking into the steam, he caught a glance of himself in the mirror. His facial hair was thicker than he expected. Not expecting to need to shave so much after a nap, he frowned in confusion. That was when he checked his Wallet.

It’d been three days.

Three fucking days since he’d crashed in the room. That explained the abandoned trays of food, which came into focus. There was a musk to the air that spoke to depravity and depression. He rubbed his eyes and ducked quickly into the shower. An hour later, Jay wandered into the hotel’s main bar. He had to get out of the coffin of a suite - no matter how big it was - and see someone besides ghosts in the mirror. Anyone.

It was evening. The bar was nearly full. Jay noticed that this time nobody stopped him like they had when he entered the lobby the first time. A bullshit game, but a game he knew enough of the rules to play his main ace in the hand.
“Do you have a reservation?” The host asked.
Jay waited for the man to look up from the pads occupying his station. Then he flashed a smile. “Come on, I’m sure there’s a spot for me somewhere,” he said.

The host looked over his shoulder to study the room once more. All the seats at the bar were taken. The tables were full. Except one corner. A round booth occupied by a single person. His drink was nearly expired. No food occupied the table. Jay’s stomach rumbled. He might have explored the street for an alternative meal, but wandering Moscow wasn’t appealing at the moment.

He clapped the host on the shoulder just as he was about to pass by. “No worry. I see a friend. I’ll join him.” If there was protest, Jay ignored it as he strolled onward.

He slipped into the booth and hailed a waiter.

“Hey,” he said with a grin. The man was clearly surprised by the interruption. Jay would have been himself had their places been exchanged. A weird foreigner just stuffing themselves into his table should be intriguing at best and jarring at worst. Still, he hoped that the guy didn’t mind too much. He was dressed well and had a sort of air about him that led Jay to guess that if he minded it would be a flimsy protest. At least, as Jay studied his face, he hoped it wouldn’t be too bad.
Only darkness shows you the light.


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#4
Seven patiently waited for the client to join him. He was nursing the ice in the bottom of his drink when he started to wonder if the client was even going to arrive. It wouldn’t be the first time he rescheduled last minute with a client. He was only slightly disappointed, but it was nothing that would ruin his night. He never expected to stay so long in Moscow anyway. A connection delayed was better than no contact at all.

He was toying with the idea of transferring his seat to the bar for better company when someone sauntered his direction. The man that slid into the booth promptly ordered a drink and made his welcome. He was of an average height, if taller than the usual European, and well-built. He had light-colored hair and lively blue eyes that seemed to dance around the room. He was handsome in a way that made others look him up and down as he passed by. Seven smiled quizzically. This man certainly did not match the description of the client he was here to meet. Was this a representative? An invitation to follow off-site? The notion was intriguing.

“Greetings,” Seven said in return.

“You are not Adrian Kane?” He asked with a smile that said he knew the answer to that question.

“I mean, I’m not offended,” he added, watching the stranger’s eyes as he went about placing his order.

A waitress stopped at their table. The technology was not so behind as to require it. All it would take is a message from any of the table’s integrated functions. But there was a personal flavor of a face asking what they wanted. She spoke with the stranger for a few moments, and Seven’s previous plan of abandoning his booth was forgotten. He added some food and a second drink for himself to the order.
Seven ✧ Freyr
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