THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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 Post subject: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:01 pm GMT 
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(( 2009 ))

The wail of the sirens was enough to make him shudder, almost convulse in fear. He felt sweat prickle his palms, the cold numb and rush of mindless, animal instincts to run and hide. He clutched the frayed, dirty rucksack closer as he huddled into the doorway, knees drawn up to his chin. The material was faded and tattered already, and his shirt clung to him... dirty, wet, grimy. He had no other; he had been forced to trade those for the passage here.

He came dangerously close to a sob, his breathing catching and choking. He gripped the bag so hard his knuckles turned white. He could not be found. They couldn't, because God knew what they would do... But he didn't have any other passport, any valid identification papers... If he was caught, they'd... Christ, they'd kill him. And he had been running since he had arrived here; dripping with salt water, shaking through fear-- The siren screamed louder.

They are coming to get you.

The porch was damp beneath him. A beggar had stolen his coat, and he had been too scared of being reported to attempt to get it back by force. Shivering in the dark, watching the shadows dance, hearing the mechanical sounds with the same terror that a fox experienced when the sound of baying hounds drifted upon the air, he wondered desperately where he could get the papers. If he had the papers, everything would be fine. He'd get a job... probably not a decent one, but at least there was a chance of getting somewhere in the world here. His degree wouldn't count here. Hah, thanks University... But graduating doesn't get you a passport-- The whine, the scream of it-- He pressed closer into the darkness, then fear gripped him and he started to sprint, long legs eating up the ground. Puddles parted in plumes of droplets to the side, his breathing disjointed and hollow in his ears.

They are coming to kill you.

...

Being an illegal immigrant was hard.

Every look given you was automatically translated into one of hatred and suspicion.
Police officers meant deportation and cells.
Money was so precious that you didn't eat.
Fear was so gracious as that it made eating sickening... no need to worry about wasting money on food... and sleeping rendered impossible, so no chance of a policeman finding him as he rested.

You need to get a passport as quickly as possible.

But where? From who? You can't just walk up and ask...

...

A week later, he was desperate enough to do so. Drug dealers, lounging about on a street corner. He ignored their offers, pressed his question with the sort of fever-eyes desperation of a criminal-- Oh, but I am one, aren't I?-- and, after much spitting and glares, received an answer.

And so here he is now.
Waiting outside his office.

Attempting to smarten himself up of course, but it's hard. He managed to bargain off something for a hoodie, so that covers the shirt. the trousers and thread-bare shoes will have to do. He only has enough money for the passport... if the American tourist had been telling the truth. He attempts to practice a smile... "Just smile, kid. People will do things for a face like yours. Or... well, let's just say that if things get too hard, there's the world's oldest profession to fall back on."
'Never.'

The smile fades.

The knock on the door in quiet, but urgent. Like a loud whisper.

(( dvorak! ))

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Last edited by Nerfiti on Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:00 pm GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom *alt*
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:29 pm GMT 
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For a moment, there was no answer. And then abruptly, the door was opened. The man inside was tall and striking, certainly over six feet, with a broad chest and shoulders. Muscles rippled visibly beneath the dark, well-cut suit he wore, though attention would be drawn almost instantly to his dark eyes and African features, the striking planes of his face. He seemed to size up Raphael with a single dismissive glance, and wedged the door shut a few degrees, blocking both the way in and the view of the room inside with his impressive frame.

When he spoke, his voice was deep in timbre, mostly American in accent, with the sort of tone that very strongly discouraged argument. "Someone on the street outside might be able to help you."

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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom *alt*
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:41 pm GMT 
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Somehow, extreme fear seemed to lend him wings. He didn't quite know what was controlling him when he leant forward a little, resting his elbow on the door frame and shifting a foot just so that if a door would be blocked if it were pushed to slam in his face. The criminal... now nameless because he did not exist, not here, smiled his most glimmering smile.

'I don't think so.' he replied in a tone of voice that managed to convey a deep friendliness and suave streak. His voice was light and melodic, accented with a rather heavy Spanish accent, but tinged here and there with Canadian and British vowels. 'Believe me, amigo, I've tried... Listen, I've got an appointment with Señor Dautzenburg. I spoke with him day before yesterday.' I hope to God that the man standing before me isn't Señor Dauztenburg, or I am fucked. 'He told me to come here this day, this time. So would you mind shifting? Gracias.'

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom *alt*
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:42 pm GMT 
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For a moment the man hesitated, looking skeptical. Raphael, however, was spared by a voice from within the room. A smooth, somewhat drawling voice, the vowels of which were sharpened by a light Chicago accent. "Show him in, let's see."

The man at the door pursed his lips and gave Raphael another hard look. Even so, he stepped aside, allowing Raphael a clear view of the room within.

It was, in fact, a spacious modern office. Afternoon light filtered in through the slatted wooden blinds, and aside from a number of filing cabinets along the wall and a doorway which presumably led into another room, the main item of furniture was a broad desk of dark polished wood, the sort one might expect from the CEO of an important--legal--company. A laptop, almost brand new if the slim, compact nature of the technology was any indicator, lay closed at one side of the desk.

And behind it, a man in his late twenties in a well-cut black suit watched him with a faint smirk on his face.

Sascha Dautzenberg was tanned and sleek and sharp-featured, with short, almost messy black hair. The top of his collar was unbuttoned, and he wore no tie, though this was compensated by the fact that the rest of his clothes were obviously very nice and very expensive. Closer inspection would reveal a small mark on his left earlobe, of the sort which suggested that it had been pierced at one point. His dark gray eyes gave Raphael a long look, up and down, before turning back to the man who had opened the door.

"Frisk him," he instructed, his tone rich with casual authority.

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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom *alt*
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:56 pm GMT 
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For a moment, Raphael was a deer caught in the headlights. It was so... sleek. Capitalist, the propaganda screamed at him, with a sort of smugness. You've slept alongside the tramps of this city, on the cold ground and then there's this. Exploiting the poor to keep the rich richer. But the Communist ideals that had been his reality all his life faltered under the total luxury of it. And the man sitting behind the desk. His heart staggered along now, flighty and weak and powerless. He took a half step back, immediately putting up his hands a little to put on a that mask of confidence, that façade of breezy, masculine and languid amiability. But even his lithe, muscled, dancer's body was dwarfed completely by the man standing next to him.

A grin, pearly white and leisurely against the dark-tan complexion, under those smouldering gray-- silver eyes. A few day's worth of stubble, though not quite dark across his jaw. 'Search me? Señor, harming you's the last thing on my mind. Really.' He actually had no weapons. He couldn't afford, and didn't particularly want a gun, and the human-trafficker had taken the small flick-knife he had had. But he had grown to be very wary of others searching through his possessions.

And besides.
That first man looked like he could break his neck with a twist of a hand.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom *alt*
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:16 pm GMT 
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Sascha Dautzenberg watched impassively for a moment as the other man's hands began to pat across Raphael's sides with practiced movements. And then he shifted his gaze to the young Cuban's face, the corner of his mouth curving up into another faint smirk. "So what, did you come to los Estados Unidos to be a stand-up comedian or somethin'?" he asked dryly, leaning back a little farther in his chair and stretching his long legs out under the desk.

It was a moment before the first man stepped back, giving a brief nod to Sascha. At that point, the crime lord gave a leisurely wave to the chair in front of his desk, indicating that Raphael should sit.

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"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:35 pm GMT 
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Raphael's false smile faltered, and then he gave up the façade. His young face became grim and exhausted. He let the older, larger man test him for concealed weapons with a sort of tenseness that came with deep suspicion, but his eyes continued to rest on Sascha's face. When he was let in, his walked forwards with wary footsteps, as if ready to turn and flee if need be.

'My aspiration. I see I've found my mentor already.' he replied tersely.

Oh shit.

He tried to cover up that lapse in polite-- and life-insuring phrasing by adding swiftly; 'Listen, I have the money. I just need a passport. Apparently you're the man to ask.'

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:59 pm GMT 
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"You 'just need a passport.'" Sascha leaned forward in his chair, his eyes fixed on Raphael's face with an expression that was almost. . . speculative. He gestured to the chair in front of his desk, a simple-looking affair of polished wood, indicating that Raphael should sit. Even as he did so, he glanced past the Cuban to the man, apparently some sort of guard, who had first opened the door. "Ferreira, you mind steppin' out for a minute?"

Apparently, Ferreira did not mind. The door shut crisply behind him, and Sascha and his prospective client were left alone.

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:03 am GMT 
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Raphael didn't quite have the guts to sit down and expose the back of his neck to the man waiting behind, and so remained standing till he left. His silver eyes followed him out of the door warily. Then, shrugging off his bag and holding it in a hand, he sat, tense, eyes dancing across the desk, the computer, then drawn like a moth to a flame up the man's arm from his hand to his the face. The expression on it made him feel exquisitely vulnerable.

If I cross this man, I am dead.

'I understand that I need other documents...' he started, as if trying to prove that he wasn't quite as simple as all that, but his next words were forced. 'But... I have not got the... funds yet.' A silence. 'But after a few months, I would pay you back..' Already, he felt that he was making a great, great mistake. There was something in the man's steely gray gaze that gave him the impression that he was selling his soul to the devil.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:17 am GMT 
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"'After a few months,'" he repeated, arching a brow as he quoted Raphael's words back to him. "Assuming, of course, that you wouldn't get caught and deported before then. And what am I left with? A shitload of half-finished documents and no reimbursement. As for payment. . . that's assuming you can find a job, much less one that will let you spare the kind of money it's gonna take to get these papers paid for."

He leaned a little farther forward in his chair, eying Raphael with an undeniably speculative expression, not that he made any attempt to mask his appraisal. "So what I'm asking is. . . what do you have to offer me, besides some measly tattered bills that will mean you go hungry for a month or so? I can have the job done, and done well, but I need to know that you're worth the risk it will mean to take you on."

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"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:11 am GMT 
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At that moment, all Raphael could seem to think was maybe he had been an idiot. Maybe chasing this dream was too far-fetched... he should have just stayed, lived, and died in Cuba. That was where he belonged, after all. Amid the crumbling buildings, the naked wiring, the stony beaches, the grafiti-- Viva Fidel! This was a world he had thought himself prepared for. And this man... sitting across him was terrifying. No other word for it. He felt like a schoolboy who had wandered from the playground into this office. But... wait, was that his voice...? He hadn't meant to speak.
A thin smile.
'Yes, you'd be takin' a risk. But then again, a man like you can afford to do that. I'm young, tough, and I've got stamina. I can get work doing hard labour, at the docks. They're always looking for a work-force. I can survive meagerly, and you'll get paid. As for a promise that I won't be deported, I can't guaruntee that. But you know that.'

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Last edited by Nerfiti on Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:53 am GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:05 am GMT 
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Sascha studied Raphael with a long, hard look, as though trying to dissect a very complicated puzzle using only his eyes, dark and steely gray. On his face was a faint smirk of appraisal. "Well," he said after a long moment, maybe you can't guarantee it." Leaning far back in his chair, Sascha crossed his legs so that his left ankle rested over his right knee. He paused for a moment, and his smirk widened. "But I can. Work for me. I'll see you're fed and housed, and no one--no one," he repeated carefully, though his voice stayed level and cool, "deports my men. In the meantime, the value of your labor will go towards funding the documents you need if you're gonna stay here."

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:33 am GMT 
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The silence that followed was not the ideal chirrup of a frantically happy immigrant pleading loyalty and obedience for the rest of their lives. It was almost-- dare it be said, almost as if the younger man were actually evaluating his options (as if he had any) and considering whether to say yes or no.

The answer came as quite a shock.

'Gracias, señor. But I'm here to get an honest living. I don't work for gangsters.' He didn't look directly at him... his gaze lingered at Dautzenburg's throat, or the white collar that framed it. But there was a certain element of hardness to his eyes. Because he was scared, obviously, but there was also that element of stubborn pride that even being a fugitive couldn't hide.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:37 am GMT 
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"I see." He paused for a moment, arched a brow, and remarked as casually as though he was commenting on the weather, "You came to this country illegally, and you sought me out to provide you with forged documents. . . but you can't take a job filing my papers because you want to make an honest living. Doing what? The sort of hard labor that will make you stick out like a sore thumb in American society?"

Sascha paused for a moment, opening a drawer in his desk and pulling out an ashtray and a pack of cigarettes. With a casual gesture, he leaned forward just far enough to offer the pack to Raphael. ". . . You know that's where la Migra hits first? The dockyards, the factories, the sorts of places that will hire you day-for-day without looking too close at what sort of papers you got, where you come from. I can almost guarantee that you'll be out of the country in two months, tops."

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Freedom { Alt. 2009 }
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:55 am GMT 
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Raphael's eyes glanced up to his gaze, the hands that were hidden beneath the tattered ruck-sack clenching. This was all painfully, bluntly, bleakly true. He almost wanted to hit the other man, make him suffer for being so correct.
I know that's how it fucking works, but I'm trying the honest way... You're a criminal. The American government thinks you are a criminal. I know, I know...

His hand went up to briefly run a hand through his hair, combing the dark locks back with his fingers. As the heel of his palm brushed his jaw, he felt the prickle of stubble.
You look illegal, feel illegal, jump whenever the police sound and keep to the shadows. You'll get caught in a week at this rate.

The young man looking at Sascha at that moment looked totally helpless. He didn't even exist here. If he was killed, no one would even know or care. He wasn't even a man at this moment, only a shadow or an echo. No papers.

'I won't work for you,' His voice was now drained. But he knew enough about organized crime. The suffering it caused. It was the Christian values he hadn't really acknowledged since he had been a young adult kicking in. Love thy neighbour, right? Even if they do want to sniff you out and break a few bones before flinging you back. 'Not in any part of this business.'

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