15353/The Sexton or the Sociopath

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The Sexton or the Sociopath
Date of Scene: 16 July 2023
Location: Club Lux, Melville
Synopsis: The comediam of Gotham came calling with a proposition, albeit a vague one. A warm reception left the resounding final words of 'We won'. The world is doomed. Or at least part of it is.
Cast of Characters: Sinister, Lucifer, Joker

Sinister has posed:
Sunday. Traditionally, this tends to be a rather quiet day of the week, but your mileage may vary. Today, Club lux is closed for its monthly deep clean, which means there's a skeleton crew of janitors, some heavy machinery, the wonderful smell of cleaning products and ample time to look over books and contemplate Points of Interest.

One business card left at the adoption even is one such thing.

To say that intrigue was had at the charity event of Paws and Claws is not an understatement, but life and business and the nature of a neverending mission to continue one's work unabated, can get in the way of leaping on a hot cake. So it has been a fortnight and some change, before there was a message left at the 'office' -- or rather an invitation to discuss things further for mutual benefit, in exquisite cursive.

Now, Nathaniel Essex is reviewing his surroundings; privacy, financials, the latest reports from his further flung outposts and an extremely smooth cigarello with irish coffee. "I told him 8 o'clock. I don't know if punctuality is a watchword, but I am expecting an entrance. It is liable to be interesting regardless." He comments.
Lucifer has posed:
"Considering there was something about the air of him that seemed slightly...off. I'm sure there will be." Comes the reply from Lucifer who is currently behind the bar taking inventory. Which means there's a scattering of bottles all along the floor, some opened and some not, while he carries a tablet to make notes in. He doesn't count anything as trivial as all the ice cubes but making sure all of the bottles, glasses, and consumables are there is a good thing to do every once in a while. Not that he doesn't trust the people he employs.

All of which is soon replaced from where it was taken, but the Devil's in the details making sure that there isn't a drop of liquor or misplaced cherry unaccounted for. It also helps that he's cleaning as he goes - because he doesn't mind getting his elbows dirty for the sake of his club. It's his life - to some extent - not including the man sitting at the bar sipping a spiked coffee.

"They'll need to come behind here and clean the floors. Likely with a power washer... it's a bit of a mess..." An idle comment as he continues to re-stock the fridges and such with everything he's taken out so far.
Joker has posed:
"You know, Johnny, normally I'm not so dim as to give away my card when I'm being someone else." The Joker says, flipping through a greasy set of files marked "ESSEX". "Felt a few bubbles in my brain, too."

"Ain't that usual, boss?" Johnny Frost, walking right out of 1989 with his Miami look and teased blonde hair, Joker's wheel man, struggles to tug a body out of a too small car door. "Boffo why you always gotta find the fat ones."

Boffo the Berserker, a mild tempered giant in a plastic rigid clown mask and, since it's a fancy meeting, a bright pink leisure suit 'looks' at Johnny. "It hurts me when you make things personal like that, John."

"It is not." Joker's voice rises a little. "Usual. I'm used to the bubbles in my brain, Johnny, which is why I felt the need to mention it. Try to keep up with the rest of the class." Joker flips a few pages. "I used to work for a company like this, you know."

Both goons go rigid: they've been Joker Gang long enough to know what an implication of the boss having a past means.

"I hated it. The Kanes ran the thing, degenerate Gotham old money. Rotten. Decaying. Full of wasps." Joker says, softly, and gets inside of the car. "Let's go. I might as well meet these invincible future-men and see if they're any better. And if not."

"Well that's sort of funny, isn't it."

A car, a Lexus, expensive but not showy, for the right sort of six figure suburbanite who doesn't want to show off how rich they think they are, skids into the lot. Two men, frightened, step out, one holding the door. Boffo makes to the club door, knocking once before opening it, and the pallid figure in purple makes his way inside, guarded by Johnny Frost.

The Joker is here. "I believe someone gave you my card, gentlemen?" The ghoulish creature says, cherry red lips twisting into the sort of grin better suited for a skull.
Sinister has posed:
"You didn't get a look inside," that was a jovial psychopath and no mistake, even if the joke was thoroughly on the OTHER guy. "We shall see," -- looking up at the door about a minute before there'll be activity there, Sinister tidies whilst the knowledge of 'incoming' grows louder in his mind. "By the by, I found a delightful little distillery in Ireland that makes exquisitely potent potcheen, if you're interested in putting that into your reserve for special clientelle. They purportedly also make a variety with a certain psilocybin derrivate that allows for communication with fairies. Either that, or it gets you so high, you really don't know the difference between a Tommy knocker and a doorknock."

Tidying away sensitive materials, Sin rises from the bar and leans over it to press a kiss to the Devil's cheek in passing, as his feet take him toward the door.

"He's coming," is informed, as he steps down into the sunken area of the main floor and across, from light to shadow, to light to shadow again.

He ends up leaning against one of the gilded pillars close to the entrance as the sound of the motor vehicle can just about be made out, including the shutting of doors.

"Shall we head to the VIP section, I think they're finished up there..." is called back just as the door opens. So it is with a wry and crooked smile, and storm-grey eyes fixed on the arrival, that Joker comes face to face with Doctor Essex once again. "And now, everything makes a whole lot more sense. Greetings, won't you come on in? We have..." he eyes the face masks and the pink suit of the walking square critically. "...a cloak room, but I dare say we can make exceptions."
Lucifer has posed:
"Can't be any worse than inside my own head.." Lucifer quips with a grin and finishes all of his work behind the bar in quick motion since he can just feel by way of Sinister that their expected guest approaches. He looks to one of the cleaners, accepts the kiss-cheek from Sinister, and then moves from behind the bar to talk to the other man for a moment. It's a whispered conversation but since Lucifer is pointing towards the bar, he's likely just passing along the idea that he wants the floors behind the bar powerwashed and all the mats cleaned as well.

Then his eyes move to the VIP section and he gives a nod. "The VIP section is free for a meeting if you wish to use it." Saying this much before turning to face the entrance a bit more pointedly. The big man in pink is looked over and then the man in purple. Lucifer smirks. Just the presence of them brings waves of unabashed sins into the air and the Devil takes a deep breath in order to drink them all in.

"What shall I prepare for you all to drink? Surely I have just about anything to tempt and tease a pallette with."
Joker has posed:
"How droll." Joker says, tipping his hat to Essex and the man insisting on calling himself the devil. Joker has no way of knowing he's being fed on. Right?

"Johnny, Boffo, make yourselves comfortable at the bar." Joker orders, gesturing with a pale hand. "We're going to be talking a little business."

The two goons look at each other, but head towards the bar. Joker himself moves towards the VIP lounge, "And I'll take a Grasshopper, please. I need something refreshing. This heat, am I right?"

Joker makes his way into the lounge, letting Essex lead the conversation for a second: clearly this man knows more than he's letting on, and for the moment silence is the best way to get an estimate as to what.
Sinister has posed:
It would be quite surprising if Sinister -was- caught completely flat footed. Such events are usually marked in a calendar within his own thoughts and metaphorically circled with red marker pen copious times, as a reminder.

Perhaps in a show of trust, or perhaps in pure ignorance, the doctor leads the way up the staircases, past the main bar where the henchmen can get in the way of the clenaers and spawn their own off-camera vignette in the collective imagination.

He winks to Lucifer as he passes on up, for reasons which likely involve knowing he'll be up here in the blink of an eye. "I'll have my usual, my dearest," is informed as he crests the stairwell and steps aside to allow passage by.

Like a small slice of vegas this is, but with considerably more style and an old world feel in the VIP that can honestly -not- be found in the Luxor. He takes a seat at one of the larger semi-circular booths.

"Your attendance incognito sparked some conversation, mister Joker. But your reputation precedes you," settling, Sinister manages to lounge without actually slouching, giving the impression of owning his own skin and the space around himself with the kind of finesse that only comes with years of practice. "Something about your presence seemed as if it was... how shall I say... holding up a social litmus paper in our general direction. I trust your time since we last met, has been productive?"
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer is quite happy to play host for the moment, watching as goons sit at the bar while Sinister leads Joker to the VIP lounge. He makes a grasshopper for the Joker, it's a mint green drink that tastes almost like an Andes chocolate. He also serves up the usual cognac for Sinister and for himself, the usual whiskey.

He holds two drinks in hand and floats the third one beside him as he makes his way to the lounge, placing them in front of the ones who ordered them and then he manages to settle in the booth next to Sinister - but not too close as to crowd. Comfortable. In so many ways.

He also remains silent, for the time being, letting the other two have their discussion while he just remains the vigilant supporter.
Joker has posed:
Joker's yellow rimed eyes take in the tribute to How Vegas Should Have Been. The Clown isn't quite sure how to take the effort; it's certainly comfortable, but as a genuine member of gangland seeing the old digs gentrified by a corrupt pharmaceutical CEO dating a man who says he's the devil, well. Old Boss Grissom wouldn't have approved.

Good, Joker thinks, and forgets if he imagined Boss Grissom or not. Joker sips his drink, half watching the boys toy with beers, not wanting to be too drunk in a place full of potential super-powers. "Well, that's excellent." Joker observes, and leans back, making himself comfortable in this temple of comfort.

"Well I'd already read up on you of course." Joker says, toasting the pair. "I was planning on robbing you blind, after all. Well, not blind per say, but I did need to pick up a few things and there are some genuinely fascinating implications in your work, Doctor Essex." Joker pauses. "Hah. X. That on purpose?"
Sinister has posed:
"Yes," a simple and blunt answer to the inquiry, but Sinister's eyes have lit up. There's a far greater focus in them, like that of the surgeon's scalpel he used to wield. And in the quieter times, in private places, still does in the name of research. "You have rather excellent research skills then. Most that know my company, don't get far enough through the layers to reach the source, let alone take the time to trace that source even further. I find myself a little impressed..." and by the tone of it, someone, somewhere, is probably having the worst headache of their lives and is rapidly hiring 'ethical hackers'.

He looks a little sidelong to Lucifer and back, taking up his cognac and setting a lighter on the tabletop beside a pack of cigarellos that opens /by itself/ and swivels toward the Joker invitingly.

He eases back afterwards. "Given that I've cured cancer, have managed to engineer a perfect pathogen vector a million times over and cracked the human genome a century and a half before anyone even knew what it was, I'm certain that you're going to elaborate how my work is interesting in its application -to you- Mister Joker."
Lucifer has posed:
Even though the cigarette packet is opened towards Joker so invitingly, one cigarette does wiggle itself free and then floats over to Lucifer, himself. With a snap of fingers which produces a flame, the devil lights the tip and takes a deep first inhale. "I'm curious as to what you might have been interested in robbing us of. Money? Secrets? Clientele? Nothing that couldn't be bought back or gained again in little time..." He offers this much with a smile to follow as he lifts his whiskey to take a sip. Perhaps, in some ways, there's even a challenge to his voice, as if tempting the Joker to try and rob them anyway.

He wouldn't get very far if Lucifer had his way with it.

More questions are asked by Sinister and so the devil goes quiet again. Though he does give a glance to the bar, to the goons sitting there, and makes sure someone is watching them and the bar while he tends to the business in front of him.
Joker has posed:
"I'm a bit of a chemist myself, Doctor." Joker explains, "So it was a genuine delight to see what kind of awful stuff you've been cooking up. Mind expanding." The parlor tricks don't bother Joker, who seems to have the confidence of the genuinely insane. He takes another sip.

"Well that's a funny story, Lucifer." Joker says, "Because a very frightening man came to me with a proposition, and after doing some reading I came to the conclusion that some of the data I need to make him happy would be best found from you."

"You see, gentlemen, a little girl in Genoshia is slowly dying, being smothered by her own mutant powers, and I might be the man to save her." Joker pauses, "Or at least, the most deniable asset possible, hahaha."
Sinister has posed:
Sinister blinks, just once. He takes his own cigarello, leans toward Lucifer's lit smoke and puffs the end to life, easing back again afterwards. He shrugs, letting all pretext of humanity melt away, leaving him the more infamously familiar porcelain white monster he is to mutants of the world and those that have crossed his path in less fortunate circumstances. The intensity in his regard only magnifies with the swallowing of any differentiating focae in the eye, by the pervasive, overarching glow of a dying star. Shrugging his shoulders and shaking them out a bit as if he'd been contained in a suit that was far too small for him, he says not one single word.

Instead, he spreads a black-nailed deathwhite hand, palm up, toward the Joker in the universal signal of 'elaborate, please'.
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer raises a brow, looks over to Nathaniel, and then back to his own drink. He's not sure what to say here because there is a bit more information they coul use that may determine just how helpful they could actually be. It's Nathaniel who asks the Joker to elaborate and it seems the Joker is going to be facing quiet yet patiently waiting for more company. As he just inhales from his cigarette and takes another sip of whiskey.
Joker has posed:
Now that's a floor show.

"Huh." Joker says, taking his black kid glove off and revealing a chalk white hand. "We match. It's going around. How unfortunate! I'm going to need a new eerie calling card."

The strange men get serious. Joker has to struggle a little, his urge is clear. But on the other hand.

the look on batman's face.

Joker's all smiles again. "I need a mutagenic stabilizer. My contact, another scientist, believes the young woman's condition can be stabilized through the use of a dangerous street drug, but wants the dangerous parts squeezed out. I can do the job, but I need better equipment and chemicals than I have available in the broken down circus I work out of."

"Of course, I could make more than one sample with the right amount of equipment. Let me pose a question to you gentlemen." Joker finishes his drink. "If a single sample were to enhance a young mutant with a damaged x-gene's powers enough to bring her back to full health, what could it do to someone with a healthy x-gene? Or a latent one, even?"
Sinister has posed:
Sinister sips his cognac, looking at the joker over the rim of the glass. They match, imagine that -- experimentation or accident, sometimes looking the part is purposeful enough that it doesn't matter how it came to pass. He taps his pinky nail on the glass a couple of times in a ringing sound of crystal and lowers it slowly, the contents drained. He licks his lips and gives a prim smile of approval. "New label. I rather like that one," he informs, likely for his partner. If the man really is the devil, that makes things so much worse for the world. Or better, depending on the skew of your perspective. Either way, it's rather fitting for the Devil and Sin to go claw in glove.

"Mister Joker," he begins, leaning forward, only so he can adjust his seating and ease himself back, straight and poised. "I do like to make a deal or two, depending on a few variables. I would, for instance, frown on a pharmaceutical product that destroyed -healthy- and strong X genes. That would be counterproductive to the evolution of the human race, wouldn't it? It would in fact, be introducing a cancer, when I've been quite thorough and meticulous about eliminating those as often as I can. However..." he smiles again "...I am still listening. And although I do not doubt your capabilities as being an extremely gifted pharmacist and biochemical expert... you know who I am. You know what I am. You know what I can do. Are you the measure of myself? If the answer, in all honesty, is yes? Well, I would be delighted to help you perfect your product. If in your genuine estimation the opposite is true? Do be a dear and don't fuck things up royally by not letting the best in the world do the damn job right."
Lucifer has posed:
Lucifer blinks, looks over to Nathaniel and then blinks again. "I was hoping you would. Bartered that off a kind fellow who owed a bit of a gambling debt." He offers this much before leaning back, crossing a leg over the other and his free arm moves to slide around the back of Sinister's seat. So he's not touching the man's shoulder, but there is a dinstinct air of 'mine' and 'protection' from the move and the man who made it. Though, Sinister can hold his own, and Lucifer knows this. It's still a gesture he knows his Raven will appreciate in the long run. Silence, still, from the Devil because - as he said - he's here for the entertaintment.

And goddess bless did this just get very entertaining indeed.
Joker has posed:
Joker listens as the strange man with the sharp teeth big dogs him.

"Gracious, what a thought." Joker says, leaning forward. "Why would I want to make people less interesting? I thought your scientific curiosity would be what leads you into collaboration, but if you're not interested I certainly understand."

"Let me make a different offer. I still have to get a sample of the base product I want to use. Before we get our hackles up and storm off in a tizzy, why don't you let me do that, and take a look at what I'm planning to do. You can decide for yourself if the work is worth your time or not."
Sinister has posed:
"Oh, don't mistake me, my dear. I wasn't getting anything in a tizzy, no hackles were raised. Believe me," there's a jovial laugh, but TEETH. OMG, teeth. "I'm a perfectionist. I prefer to get things done right the first time, than the chaos that can follow when one person forgot to carry the one or, as is more common these days, forgot to account for the external cell markers and inadvertantly snipped multiple portions of the DNA with their product and made a monster /by accident/. There's a difference when it's purposeful." Sinister smiles again and eases into the arm behind his back with a casualness.

"But I like your proposal. And if it works out? I might make you a very happy clown at the grand and cosmic joke, by showing you the shinies. There are a lot of them. So. Keep in contact, won't you? I'll have my eye on you."

Oh, lovely jubbly.
Lucifer has posed:
"Indeed. An open invitation to you, Mister Joker, any time you are in New York an wish to whet your whistle." Lucifer extends and then flicks his wrist to turn his finished cigarette into naught but ash. Though he has a question on the tip of his tongue, he may wait and ask it to Sin later.

"All sorts come here, from local, Gotham, Sunnydale, even Metropolis. So you might find yourself in better or worse company should you stop by. For now, I suppose we ought bid you farewell. I've got to get the cleaners paid and on their way after all."
Joker has posed:
"Well, then! Adieu!" Joker tips his hat again at the warm wishes.

It's a quick move to the bar and the (stolen) car outside, as Joker collapses into his seat.

"How'd it go, boss?" Boffo asks, starting the car.

"I think." Joker starts. "We won."