15477/Noir Nights: A Celebration of Old Gotham Glam

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Noir Nights: A Celebration of Old Gotham Glam
Date of Scene: 14 August 2023
Location: The Fifty/Fifty Club
Synopsis: Sent to Gotham on a paid event by her modeling agency, Gwen is rather abruptly introduced to Scarface and the two sit and chat.
Cast of Characters: Ghost Spider, Ventriloquist (Wesker)

Ghost Spider has posed:
The invitations had gone out, of course, but those 'in the know' simply knew where to be and when to be there. The Fifty/Fifty Club was hosting a special event they called Noir Nights: A Celebration of Old Gotham Glam. What was it for.. a charity of some sort? Maybe benefiting the city's orphans instead of simply turning them all over to Bruce Wayne so he could make them sidekicks? Whatever the reason, there was no small number of Gotham's elite in attendance this evening.. some more notable (and notorious) than others, most keeping to their respective cliques around the room.

The Fifty/Fifty Club hums with the polished elegance of old Gotham, an opulent haven where the city's elite come to mingle, dance, and leave the outside world behind. As the tall, grand double doors swing open, Gwen Stacy steps in, her every step graceful and sure, her eyes capturing the glistening chandeliers that cast bright reflections on her black and white evening gown. The thigh slit of her dress reveals her toned legs, which stride confidently as she descends into the heart of the club.

She pulls at her elbow-length gloves, ensuring they're snug, as the sultry notes of the house band waft over, blending seamlessly with the murmur of conversations and the clinking of glasses. Gwen's blue eyes dance around, scanning the room. She's here on business, but this world of luxury and charm isn't entirely foreign to her.

As she walks past the bar, the golden legs of the white stools gleam under the ambient lighting, a testament to the opulence of the place. A bartender, his white shirt crisp against the stark contrasts of the club, nods at her. She reciprocates with a smile, appreciating the recognition, though she decides to explore a bit more before settling down with a drink.

The low hum of the piano lures her to one side of the stage, where a talented pianist, fingers dancing over the ivory keys, offers a gentle prelude to the evening's main performance. She can't help but tap her foot lightly, lost momentarily in the rhythm, before shaking off the reverie and moving on. Her attention occasionally drifts to the security detail, their black suits and discreet earpieces a constant reminder that even in such a luxurious setting, one could never be too cautious.
Ventriloquist (Wesker) has posed:
Arnold Wesker... did not want to be here. But that was unimportant. What was important is that his boss, Scarface, wanted to be here. See. Arnold Wesker has better things to do. Like the Ventriloquist Club's taxes and accounting. But Scarface. No, he lived for this kind of affair.

So Arnold, ever in his black suit and bowtie and white balding hair found his way into the club with his suitcase. The suitcase got checked. Got weird looks from the guards, but merely, a nod. Before he was allowed in and walked past the blonde, and there was a catcall from Arnold's direction as he passed, but otherwise the man found a seat and opened his suitcase and he placed his hand inside and---

Out came the dummy, dressed in a pinstripe suit, a fedora, and a large, decisive scar across its face, and this was how Scarface usually 'arrived' to events like this. Arnold Wesker looked his usual downtrodden demeanor as Scarface asks. "How does one get a martini around here, already!?" he called out. Like he was the center of attention.

Which he might be slightly becoming. Maybe some people think he's a hired act. At least he wasn't swinging a tommy gun around or anything like that.

Arnold adjusted his tie with his other other hand nervously.
Ghost Spider has posed:
Gwen Stacy hesitated in the midst of the Fifty/Fifty Club, feeling like a small fish in a very big pond full of sharks. The grandeur of the club, with its shimmering chandeliers and intoxicating big band sound, was a stark contrast to the underlying tension she felt. Every corner of the room held whispers of deals, threats, and seductions. Like Arnold, she might have preferred not to be the center of attention in that moment, but also like Arnold, it was hard for her to help it. Dressed as she was, she simply stood out even in a crowd of elegant opulence. It didn't help, of course, that she was unescorted.

It wasn't unusual for women of all walks of life to be at these events. Some were wives. Some were mistresses. Some were working girls. Some, like Gwen, were being paid to mingle and 'be pretty.' Not a hard job on the surface, but if you got pulled into the wrong crowd in Gotham, you might not ever make it out again.

However, the catcall she received from behind her momentarily distracted her. She was no stranger to such advances, but in this environment, she felt even more exposed. As she turned to glance in the obvious direction of the noise -- the man, who seemed largely apathetic about her presence -- a firm grip clutched her elbow. It barely gave her any time to wonder who had whistled.

"Come with me," the voice was forceful, and it wasn't hard to tell that the man, dressed in an impeccably tailored suit, held significant power within this crowd. His sharp, almost predatory gaze was fixed on her, but there was also a hint of opportunity gleaming in his eyes. Arnold was sure to recognize him. Some lackey that was always trying to win favor and make a name for himself with Scarface. Not necessarily 'on the payroll,' but he definitely wanted to be.

"Scarface would like a word," said the lackey, pulling her gently yet firmly toward a seated figure.

Gwen blinked. "What?"

The man's grip on Gwen tightened as they neared. "Scarface, this is the young lady who caught your attention. Thought you might want to meet her."

And that leaves Gwen, still holding her elbow at a slightly odd angle (and looking like she wanted to pull it away, but stopping short of making a scene), smiling at Arnold and..... oh boy. That's a puppet.

"Hi -- Good evening." Gwen manages, smiling gently if more than a little pleadingly, focusing her attention on Arnold instead of Scarface. She'd obviously prefer not being manhandled. "Mister... Scarface?"
Ventriloquist (Wesker) has posed:
Scarface had a little sway at the club. Not much but enough to have someone that he whistled at brought to him like she's the martini he just ordered. Maybe he thought she was a tall drink? Regardless, Scarface looks the girl up and down. (This looks really odd because this involves Wesker moving his arm up and down, rather than moving the puppet's head.). Arnold Wesker didn't want to be here. That much was clear. "My Apologies. My boss can be rather, uhm, persuasive." Wesker said, with genuine apologetic tone to it.

"Can it, dummy." says Scarface, who looks up at Wesker, with an angry tone. "You trying to ruin my chance with another broad!?" he mutters in almost an obvious stage whisper- as if this was a bit- before looking back to Gwen. "Yeah, the name's Scarface, and you tall, blonde and gorgeous, what's your name, eh?" he asks- speaking like an old time mobster, leaning forward just a bit as Wesker can only give Gwen the most apologetic of looks. At least the puppet is keeping it's hands to itself.
Ghost Spider has posed:
A slender, blonde eyebrow inches upwards as Gwen regards Arnold's initial response, but when the dummy speaks? That's when things get /really/ interesting.

Those blue eyes widen slightly when Scarface tells Arnold to can it, and then... genuine delight -- delight as if this was the greatest thing she'd seen all week, and while she probably should have been paying for tickets to it, this show was /free/. Better! She was getting paid!

/You trying to ruin my chance with another broad!?/

Soft laughter bubbles up past Gwen's lips, eyes delighted.

"Gwen." Even as she says it, she *jerks* her elbow free from the man that had led her over, and her smile tenses, amused. "Gwen Stacy. And believe it or not..."

Then she turns to face the man beside her, and something in her eyes darkens threateningly.

"...I won't float up to the ceiling if I'm not being actively tethered to the ground."

She's a little tall for a woman, especially in her heels, but no one would call her intimidating. Not in terms of sheer size, anyway. She did have a no-nonsense presence about her, though, and a fearless glint in her eye. Whatever it was, the man didn't try to grab her again.

Satisfied with her newfound freedom, she looks between Arnold and Scarface, clasping her hands in front of her. "It's nice to meet you. Is this seat... taken?" And with that she makes a little gesture towards one of the empty chairs while the man that brought her by still looms, apparently waiting for some kind of reward. Or praise. Or.. something.
Ventriloquist (Wesker) has posed:
Arnold Wesker clearly, once again and to be stressed again, did not want to be there, so he instead, passed a tiny toll of one hundreds to the man to make him go away after a look from Scarface, and moved the chair aside aside, as to offer the seat. "After y-you Miss Stacy." said Arnold as Scarface motioned alongside him and Arnold had himself a seat.

"Nah, and if it was, it isn't now." says Scarface, leaving Scarface to still hand off Wesker's arm as he sits. Wesker eyes the glass of water at the table and orders himself a glass of water. Scarface orders himself, and Gwen, a dry martini. The classic kind in the stemmed glass, with an olive. Stirred. Because really, who shakes a martini.

When this is all done, and the drinks served, Arnold Wesker gets to drinking his water.

Scarface continues like Wesker wasn't drinking water. "So tell me, what do ya do, a classy dame like yourself around here, all alone, has to do somethin impressive, right?" asks Scarface. "Me? I'm in. Well let's say waste management." he says. "Maybe acquisitions of a sorts every once in a while. That sort of gig." he says, flailing an arm off to the right as if to blow it off as nothing important but coming off more like a muppet with the movement.

Arnold Wesker finally puts his drink down and stays out of the conversation, as if he's nothing but the hired help he genuinely believes himself to be.
Ghost Spider has posed:
"Thank... you." Gwen's blue eyes move from Arnold, tracking that roll of hundreds until it's disappeared into the goon's pocket and he's off with a respectful bow.

Did that man just get paid a bounty to bring her over? That was at /least/ as much as she was being paid for attending this function for the entire evening. Maybe she should have been in the business of bringing girls to mobsters.

No... no, she shouldn't. Aside from it being demeaning, ridiculous, and dangerous, her father, NYPD Captain George Stacy, would put her behind bars himself.

Regardless, she claims that seat smoothly, sliding one leg over another even as the dress falls away from the thigh-high slid, and the order of a martini for both of them brings a little smile to the blonde's lips. Of course, it's all fun and games until the ventriloquist starts actively drinking water and the dummy's still talking. /That/ gets her attention.

"Something tells me you're being modest, Mister Scarface," Gwen muses, allowing her gaze to settle on the dummy with a playful smile. "I've never been /fetched/ for a garbage man before." There's no resentment about it, though. By all accounts, she seems quite pleased to be right where she was, rather than lingering alone in the middle of the room -- though there is clearly more than a little interest about how the whole 'drinking and talking' trick is being performed.

"I'm a research assistant at Alchemax in New York," she answers smoothly, "working on my doctorate in Molecular Biology."
Ventriloquist (Wesker) has posed:
Arnold Wesker doesn't seem to make a big deal about the trick. All he did was. Drink water? Now, the dummy, picking up the martini, and taking a sip, that's a little trickier from a mechanical perspective, but the dummy does it. It picks up the glass, and has a sip.

The dummy, Scarface, meanwhile, listens with interest.

"Oh, so you one of 'dem dere gookworms?" he asks. Hard to pronounce that b. You see. "I didn't take you for one of dose, see?" yes it was on account of her looks, but he doesn't say that.

"I took youse for one of those kinda broads, you know, the kind hunting a trophy husband, ya see." he says, leaning an arm against the table that, we're he not about three feet tall would be debonair and expressive and instead, probably comes off as a mild amusement.

Arnold Wesker, the man with the puppet, looks like his usual bored self. Sometimes, he still takes a sip from his glass, but it isn't as impressive to look at when he isn't making the puppet talk.

"Hey Dummy. Another drink." says Scarface.

"Yes sir, Mister Scarface!" says Arnold as he flags down one of the waiters. Perhaps just happy he was acknowledged once during the whole affair.
Ghost Spider has posed:
"I assure you, when I go hunting, it has nothing to do with trophy husbands. It's a bit like the superhero thing. By day, I wear a lab coat and develop gene therapies that help thousands. By night I'm just mild-mannered Gwen, out for an evening on the town with no one the wiser."

Gwen's smile quirks at one corner of her lips, her eyes seemingly constantly alight with humor, as if there was /always/ a joke lingering just below the surface that she was only barely restraining herself from making.

"And, I'm sure much like you Mister Scarface, that's only a fraction of what I actually get up to."

Gwen's hand raises from her lap to take the stem of her martini glass, raising it to her lips for a delicate sip -- and try as she might, she can't quite contain the little wince from the burn. She blinks a couple of times, covering her mouth politely with her fingers as she coughs and clears her throat.

"Smooth," she jokes, her voice sounding a little hoarse. She's been watching Scarface the entire time.. the 'sip' that was taken from the martini. The order of another.

"So who's your friend?" Gwen's eyes cut from Scarface to Arnold, lifting quizzically. "Have you two known each other long?"
Ventriloquist (Wesker) has posed:
Scarface looks at Gwen with a cock brow on it's face, oh like one of them superheroes but for uhm, for gene therapies. Scarface is a working class villain, so he asks, aloud. "What do pants have anything to do with therapy? I been to therapy, didn't help nobody." he says bluntly. Arnold Wesker pipes in. "Better to not get started on that Mister Scarface, remember your blood pressure!" he says with concern.

"Yeah yeah." goes Scarface. When the topic of Arnold is brought up. Scarface seems confused. "Dummy, here? Don't bother with 'im. He's the hired help." Arnold Wesker seems put off by this, but doesn't speak up beyond a light 'bu--but...' before falling silent.

Arnold merely shrugs helplessly at the whole affair.
Ghost Spider has posed:
Gwen laughs softly. "Not jeans. Genetics," she corrects, but the way she leans lightly forward on the edge of the table, she seems entirely enthralled by the conversation, her eyes occasionally flitting back and forth between the two of them.

At the mention of the puppet's blood pressure, though, the next words out of her mouth seem almost to be on reflex... as if she couldn't stop them if she wanted to. "Aw. Don't go getting all sappy." Because... sap. Tree blood. It's a Spider thing. They can't help it. Most people wouldn't understand why she is the way she is.

"Don't you find the hired help interesting, though?"

Sharp, almost predatorially intense eyes shift back to Scarface, watching the dummy.

"Who you hire.. why you hire them.. how you treat them.. it all says so much about a person. You can learn a lot about someone through their help. Strengths. Weaknesses."

There's a lift of her eyebrow and then she's taking another sip of her martini.