2012 03 02 What Happens When Business Is Slow

Log Title:
What Happens When Business is Slow

Characters:
Misty Knight, Luke Cage

IC Date:
March 2 2012

Location:
Nightwing Restorations

Brief log summary::
Luke Cage brings some evidence he 'found' by Nightwing Restorations

Rating:
pg13

There is no TS in this log::
Yes

Post your log::
Nightwing Restorations isn't exactly close to Luke Cage's current job. But rather than taking the subway or a taxi he walks the entire way to the offices of his old friends Colleen Wing and Misty Knight. He's just another face in the crowd, but anyone who spent a few seconds looking at him would be able to tell that all is not right with the artist formerly known as Power Man.

He walks right into the foyer, but waits for the door to close all the way behind him before he looks around. For a second, he looks reluctant to be there, as if he's considering walking all the way back to wherever it is he came from. His moment of indecisiveness is brief, however, and he approaches the receptionist's desk, holding a plain paper bag in his right hand. "Get Misty for me."

Janine looks up from her desk, ready to give the thick-accented brush-off to whoever has the nerve to say 'get Misty for me' like that, but she glances up over her cat glasses before she opens her mouth. "Oh, okay," she says, and punches an intercom button. "It's Mr. Cage," she says. There's not even a two-second pause before she's hitting the button to buzz him in. "First door on your left."

A brief nod, and Luke heads in the indicated direction. Without knocking on the door he walks in, apparently not in the mood for unnecessary courtesy. He closes the door behind him, once again waiting with his hand on the doorknob before he turns around. "I would just like to say, before I get into the other stuff I'm gonna say, so that we're perfectly clear on the subject, that I do not usually dig around in the toilets at bars." It's only after he's made that clarification that he finally looks up.

Misty is at her desk, having pushed back with a foot as Luke comes in so she can turn and look at him. She is just coming to a stop as he speaks. And it is from a place of profound bewilderment that she says, "I'm sorry, sugar, say what?" with eyes narrowed in dubious uncertainty. Luke is generally direct, but… still.

Luke shuffles a bit uncomfortably as he walks over toward her desk. His steps are slow, and he fumbles self-consciously with the bag in his hand. As he sits in one of the chairs across from Misty's desk, his weight causes the chair to creak noticeably. That doesn't seem to concern him in the slightest, so pressing is the manner on his mind. Finally comfortable, he takes a deep breath, and slowly begins to recite his story.

"I haven't been back in town very long, so I haven't got a lot of business to choose from. I got an offer from this club owner to walk around the place, keep things quiet. A bouncer, basically, but he's paying me a lot more than a bouncer ought to make. Of course, I'm a bit skeptical, but he says he had a mutant make trouble a while back and he wants to make sure his business doesn't get disrupted again. I figure, it's something to keep the lights on while I wait for business to pick back up. So I go there the night before yesterday, everything's fine. Not so much as a fight to break up. I show up again last night, everything's fine again. Until a little after three this morning, somebody says the toilet's clogged up." Here he pauses again, and gives Misty a very serious look. "I want you to know, I did not go digging in that toilet."

They creak, but they're sturdy. Creaky makes them seem a bit more realistic. Misty and Colleen get all kinds in here. Misty twirls in her chair to keep her eyes on Luke as he settles in. Her eyes follow him as he speaks, and she nods, to show she's paying attention. "Bouncer, yes," she says, "Janitor, no. I got it." She laces her fingers in front of her and puts her elbows on her desk. There's the faintest tiny little quirk of amusement in the left corner of her mouth, but otherwise, she is the picture of polite interest.

"Right. I don't care what they're paying me, I'm not unclogging the toilet. I said as much. The owner didn't tell anybody who I was, so I guess they just figured 'Make the new guy do it' or something. I did not. But the guy we sent in to unclog it came out yelling and carrying on like you wouldn't believe. I'm thinking, 'It's just a turd, relax' you know? But he says there's a body in the toilet." Luke leans forward, placing the paper bag on Misty's desk. The bag doesn't seem to be damp, but close proximity to it definitely causes one to get a nose full of something unpleasant. "I didn't believe him, obviously. Partly because it was really unlikely, but also because you can't fit a whole human body into a toilet. It's a question of physics and all that. I never went to space camp, but I've packed a suitcase before, you know? It just won't fit. So I go in there, thinking he's just being stupid, and I look at what he's talking about. It's a bit hard to see, because of all the other stuff in the toilet, but then I saw this hand and I…" Luke trails off, clearly not wanting to relive that particular memory in any greater detail. "Maybe you should just look in the bag."

Misty leans back, taken aback, and then does not move forward again at the odor effluviating from the bag. There's a wrinkle of her nose and her lower lip. "I'll take your word for it," she says, waving mildly a him with a 'get that thing away from me' gesture of her right hand. "So somebody miniaturized somebody and tried to flush them down the toilet, is that what you tellin' me?"

Inside the bag is the body of a doll-sized man, covered in what can be best summarized as nastiness. An attempt at flushing him has resulted in the body being ground up a bit, making him a mess in more than one sense. "Crazy, right? I mean, yeah, people get shrunk. That's not the thing I'm having trouble coming to grips with. It's the fact that they shrunk somebody in a nightclub and then tried to flush him that boggles my mind." Luke leans back against the backrest of his chair, his face set in a semi-grimace. "So here's where I need to call in a favor. I figure before I call up the Fantastic Four or the Avengers and see if they're missing a shrink ray, I should find out who this guy is. And also find out if he's always been… short."

Misty takes a breath — through her mouth, mind, thanks, Luke — and looks from the victim to the man sitting across her desk from her. She glances back at the unfortunate murder victim, but he's too covered in unpleasantness for her to get a good read on what he must've looked like alive — and clean. "Yeah, crazy is the word," she says through her teeth. "We don't know if he got shrunk in a nightclub, or if he's some kinda natural born mini-mutant. So what are you askin' me to do here, Luke? I can't just fingerprint him and I could, they're too small to make a proper match to anything in a database."

Luke's grimace morphs into something a bit more thoughtful. "Can't you do a thing with the computer? Like, enlarge it? Just put him on the scanner or something." He looks away, fully aware of how dumb that sounds. "I don't know, like I said, I never went to space camp. But either way, the police aren't going to be able to solve this without help, and I'd kind of like to punch whoever did this in the face." He scoots his chair back a bit, as if to get further away from the bag. "Come on, Misty. You know you want to figure this out as much as I do."

Misty grimaces; at the moment there isn't a whole lot else on her plate, and she is, technically, still tied to the desk until the doctors give her the go ahead from her recent injuries. "We'd have to get somebody with a forensic background in here to clean up your vic and photograph him. Then maybe I could enlarge /those/, run 'em through a recognition program, see if anything matches up." The look she gives him implies that there is no way, no effing way, that she is touching the victim in its current state. "So yeah, solving the mystery'd be good, because if there's a shrinking fetish serial killer out there, that's something we kinda wanna put a stop to before another victim shows up in a pile of dog crap or something." She shakes her head in disgust at having to even give this subject so much thought.

"There you go. You've probably got the case half-solved already." Luke stands up, looking like a weight has been taken off of his shoulders. "I'll let you get to that then, I'll go… chase down a lead or something." He takes a sidestep around his chair, and then heads toward the door. He reaches out to grab the handle, but pauses before his fingers touch it. His head swivels back towards Misty, and with a very serious tone in his voice he says "You'll probably have to put him in the freezer."

"You bring a miniaturized dead body up in my office and don't even have the decency to pack him in dry ice first," Misty mock-laments. "Yeah, yeah, I'll take care of it. Get the hell outta here." He's lucky she isn't throwing things at him on his way out the door.

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