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Log Title: Big Trouble in Little Cardiff

Characters: Major Bludd, Tele-Viper 742

Location: Cardiff, Wales

Date: 19 December 2009

TP: Non-TP

Stuart Street, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff

This is a spacious luxury apartment with a spectacular view of Mermaid Quay. The front room is wide and open, furnished with a black leather sofa and a couple of matching chairs. The wide window looks out over the bay. Beyond the front room, a modern kitchen is visible, its decor following the general theme of black on wood tones.

Pennington is in the kitchen, checking the fridge and the pantries, and making a small grocery list. She knows there's wonderful places to eat around here, but sometimes, it's just not feasible to go out, especially when the winter weather is threatening.


Sebastian wanders in, his black oilskin journal in his hand. "Goin' shopping?" he asks.


"Yeah, hon. You're welcome to come along if you want, though...it's food shopping, so it's certainly not exciting, nor is it mandatory," Pennington grins. "If you'd rather stick around here to do some writing, I wouldn't blame you. It's really cold outside. I'll only be a short time, anyway. Can you think of anything we might need?"


He peers over her shoulder at the list she's writing. "Hmm, you got a killer dinner planned? I remember those folded Italian sandwiches y'made back at Colombia. I could go out with ya, unless y'd rather have some time t'yerself."


"Well, the food in the cafes around here is so freaking GOOD, it's no wonder we keep going out. I just like to keep a few things on hand, in the event we get snowed in or just want to cuddle up with a movie or something." She peers at Bludd's journal. "I'd love for you to come along, but I didn't want to cut in on your writing time."


He shrugs. "No worries," he drawls, "I was pretty well finished. 'S why I came out here, t'see what /you/ were up to, rummagin' in th' cabinets and all. Lemme put this back in th' bedroom an' I'll get ready t'join ya. Okay?" He pads off to the bedroom, returning in a few minutes in shoes and jacket.


"OK, we ready?" Pennington pulls on her coat, hat, and gloves, then steps out onto the landing to begin the climb down the stairs. "Tell me, after eating French food... did you ever set foot in a big-chain supermarket ever again? Or did it spoil you permanently to farmer's markets?"


Sebastian gives her an odd look, walking downstairs with her. "You presume I /cook/," he says, smiling. "I shop wherever it's convenient, love. American supermarkets, European street markets, whatever. The street markets are nice, though. The stall owners're usually great folks. Full o' character." He opens the downstairs front door for her. "Aprés tu," he grins.

Wales - United Kingdom

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is officially bilingual, with English and Welsh having equal status. Two-thirds of the Welsh population live in South Wales, with another concentration in eastern North Wales. Many tourists have been drawn to Wales's "wild... and picturesque" landscapes. The capital, Cardiff, is Wales' largest city and the largest media centre in the UK outside of London.

(courtesy Wikipedia)



The weather is very chilly and overcast. The fog coming off the water is thick, but there's no snowfall yet...it's still fairly clear, so they have a nice walk to the market. "Well, what helps with that is that the street market merchants also tend to cook up what they're selling, so that saves you the trouble. I think only butchers and fishmongers don't bother with that," Pennington chats cheerfully. "I'll admit it, I'm a food SNOB. You're just making it worse, spoiling me like this."


Bludd hunches a bit in his jacket as he first steps out into the street. "Heh, stick with me, kid," he quips, nudging her with his elbow. "In Europe people regard food differently than in the States, I think. Less about 'stop me bein' hungry' and more about enjoyment. But I'm /not/ a food snob, so I really dunno." He walks along with her, frowning a bit at the incoming fog.


"Oh, I think you're developing a little bit of food, um, snobbery," Pennington says with a smile. "It's not about dining on a watercress and rutabaga-stuffed croissant; it's about being fussy. You can eat things completely NOT good for you, and they can still be done the five-star way. It's all in the ingredients. And I think you're right; in the States, and I did notice this in the more urban parts of Australia, too... people just eat for convenience. That's a pretty bad habit."


"Yeah, I s'pose I have got a bit of European in me, food-wise," Bludd smiles. "An' Australia, even Britain in places, they're th' same. 'S why McDonalds an' places like that are so popular. People with too much t'do and not 'nough time t'eat right. Eh. So what're we plannin' t'have at the flat fer eats, eh? What kinda goodies y'gonna buy?"


"Breakfast stuff, mostly," Pennington admits, checking her currency on hand before returning her wallet to her purse. "Healthy food. Also, not so healthy food, for the times when we're not wanting to leave the flat to find something to eat. As for lunch and dinner, those are easily had within walking distance, you know? This would be a nice place to settle down."


As they approach the market, there's a staticky noise that begins...it sounds like it's coming from Pennington's purse.


"Mmm," Bludd says approvingly, "good plan." He taps her on the nose with the tip of a gloved finger. "You have the best ideas." He doesn't divulge what he might think of her 'settling down' idea. He frowns suddenly. "Whassat noise?"


"Mm...odd. It's my radio receiver. Not the work one; something I put together on my off-time that picks up certain kinds of local chatter frequencies," Pennington admits. "Not sure what's setting it off... maybe someone's ham radio." She pulls it out, and it looks very much like an old-fashioned hand-held transistor radio. She might have even used a discarded transistor case to make it. She twists the knob carefully a few times, trying to hone in on the signal.


GAME: Tele-Viper 742 PASSES a TECHNICAL roll of Very High difficulty.


Bludd looms over her shoulder, watching her fuss with the little box. "You never cease to amaze me."


This comment gets a brief grin out of Pennington, who then blinks in surprise as a frequency suddenly tunes in, fairly clear.


"....You sure they met with him?" asks one male voice.


"Affirmative, last night. Departed on foot," says another male voice.


"We're pretty damned close, now. There's a lot at stake here --"


"I *know*," cuts in the other man in irritation. "We're getting closer."


Sebastian frowns, listening to the voices on Pennington's little radio. "Sounds like a bit o' cloak an' dagger," he comments. "Wonder how close they are."


"I don't know," Pennington says worriedly, "But this rig has a very limited range. 5, 10 miles at most. And 'most' being in clear weather." She bites her lip. "What do you think?" she asks, almost in a whisper.


Sebastian shrugs. "Listen an' see if they say anything else," he advises. "We can't know where they are, nor what they're up to. If nothin' else it's a bit o' entertainment." He smiles.


Pennington relaxes some. If Sebastian isn't worried, then neither is she. "Alright, well... I'm going to leave this in here for the time being..." She drops the now-silent radio into her purse, and heads into the market. Thankfully, this one is indoors. It wouldn't attract many customers if it wasn't, especially at this time of year. She begins heading down the aisles of fresh produce. "No bawdy jokes about squeezing melons, now," she quips.


Sebastian holds up his hands defensively. "Moi?" he grins. He follows along dutifully as she roams the aisles.


Pennington picks out a variety of breakfast foods, pancake mix, fresh fruits and such. While she's doing so, the radio begins to crackle a bit. She looks toward Sebastian briefly, then takes out the radio again.


GAME: Tele-Viper 742 FAILS a TECHNICAL roll of Very High difficulty.


The signal sputters briefly, then fades before Pennington can get a bead on it. "Crap," she grumbles.


Sebastian carries the grocery basket as Pennington shops. He lays a comforting hand on her shoulder as she fusses with the radio.


"I think what they're doing is changing signals every time they transmit, since they apparently don't have a way to encrypt their transmission," Pennington notes. "Not a problem. I'll just set this thingy to 'scan'." She does so, then picks up a lovely bunch of scones. "OK, I think we're set! Have any special requests?"


Sebastian eyes the scones. "Blackberry jam," he states seriously.


Pennington grins playfully, then picks up a lovely little jar of homemade jam made by some locals. "Blackberry jam it is!" she says cheerfully, then plops it into the basket. "Now, we're cooking. Or... no, wait. I think I'M cooking, and WE'RE eating. There, that's more like it."


Sebastian chuckles. "Can't wait to crack open that jam," he enthuses.


"Mm-hmmmm," Pennington says, breezing toward the checkout. "See, you are turning into a food snob. It's a slow process, but pretty soon, you'll be right there and there won't be a blessed thing you can do about it!" she chuckles. "You'll only want the best, and anything less will make you pout."


Sebastian snorts. "Poutin's /your/ department," he declares, taking a few quick paces away from her, his eye sparkling with mischief.


Pennington giggles. "Silly!" she exclaims, making a funny face at him.


After checking out, there's a few groceries to be carried. "Again, most of this is just for having breakfast food on-hand... oh, look, it's starting to snow!" She peers out the window toward a gentle snowfall, making its way in from the water.


Sebastian lifts the grocery bags with ease, his gaze following hers. "So it is. Let's get us home, then," he advises.


As they head out and down the sidewalk, Pennington asks, "Listen, I know you do a lot of journaling... is it just for fun? Or do you want to someday publish memoirs?"


Sebastian laughs. "I write things down t'get 'em outta my system, sometimes," he says, "an' occasionally I re-read things, jus' t'see how far I've come." He gazes wistfully out toward the bay. "Always changin', always learnin'." He looks back to her. "The day I quit learnin' is the day I'll be in th' ground. You reckon anyone'd be interested in a book o' /my/ memoirs? Aside from you, o'course," He grins.


"You might be surprised, hon," Pennington remarks. "I think you've had a fascinating life, and you've only told me about parts of it. People love autobiographies filled with adventure. I think you should find an agent, and get a second opinion. Seriously!"


"Heh, mebbe I will, love," Sebastian says, beaming at her. He glances to her purse. "That radio of yours keepin' quiet now, eh?"


"It's been pretty quiet. Makes me wonder," she ponders worriedly. "Maybe it was nothing, but..." She smirks and shrugs.


"Eh, probably," Sebastian says, shifting the grocery bags to carry them more comfortably. He gazes up into the falling snow. "D'you think we'll get snowed in tonight?"


She turns up the walkway to the house, keys in hand. "It would be kind of nice if we *were* snowed in."


Sebastian chuckles. "I've been stuck in 'cos of snow before," he says, "an' it's not bad if yer prepared for it." He hefts the bags of groceries. "An' I guess we are."


The radio begins crackling again.


"Oh, poop. Not *here*," Pennington grumbles, as she fumbles for the door keys. "How are we supposed to listen in on these guys if they start talking when our hands are full?" She swings the door open.

Stuart Street, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff

Sebastian chuckles at her choice of epithets, heading into the kitchen to set the grocery bags down on the counter. "Quick, see what they're sayin'," he says, apparently nosy enough to want to know what the mysterious men on the radio are up to now.


GAME: Tele-Viper 742 FAILS a TECHNICAL roll of Very High difficulty.


Pennington is a bit too late to catch the entire conversation; however, the bit she *does* catch chills her to the core.


"*static* -- OK, what was that again, once more?"


The other male voice responds, briefly. "6th of August, 1983."


"Confirmed, thank you."


The radio falls silent.


Sebastian frowns. "A day which shall live in infamy?" he quips curiously. "Maybe they have a time machine they're gonna drive back to the 80s." He plunks down on the couch. "Where was I then? Hm. Probably in the States, or about t'go there, 'cos I joined up with Cobra in '83." He looks over to her and notes her expression. "What? What is it?"


"Sebastian, that's my birthday. Right down to the year," Pennington murmurs, sounding frightened.


He pops up again and goes over to her. "Love, lots o' people were born on that day. Don't mean it's /you/ they're interested in." He slips an arm around her shoulder and frowns at the radio. He sighs. "We'll keep listenin'," he decides. "Y'got me 'ere, remember. No way in 'ell anybody's gonna lay a finger on ya t'muss yer hair whilst I'm 'ere, alright?" He lifts her chin with his finger to better look into her eyes. "Alright?"


Pennington just can't resist that tender look. Her fear melts away, and she smiles once more. "Okay," she concedes.


"C'mere an' sit with me," Sebastian encourages, taking the radio. "Any way you can triangulate where these guys are?" he asks. "I'd like t'know, if it's possible. Just in case they're up t'something," he adds.


"I'm afraid I can't with this radio -- this one is just something I whipped up in Colombia in an effort to have something to pick up ham transmissions and other low-level signals -- since the Joes were practically right on top of us out there," Pennington admits as she joins Sebastian on the couch. "But what we CAN know is that whoever these people are, they're definitely nearby."


He nods, resting the radio in his lap. "You said within 10 miles, right?" He frowns. "Why in hell would anyone be lookin' fer /you/ in /Wales/?" He looks out the front window thoughtfully.


GAME: Tele-Viper 742 FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.


Pennington shrugs, and smiles. "...I dunno," she admits. "That's probably very blonde of me, but it's the honest truth."


Sebastian can think of a couple of reasons, ranging from the very unlikely to the dangerous. He smiles at her and strokes her hair absently with one hand. "We probably oughta put the groceries away," he notes.


Returning to the present, Pennington nods and leans in to kiss him before standing up. "There's not that much," she says, heading into the kitchen.


Sebastian rises from the couch himself, bringing the radio with him. He follows her into the kitchen and lays the radio down on the table, then goes to help her put away the things they'd bought from the store.


Suddenly, just as they're finishing putting the groceries away, the radio chirps back to life.


"...OK, she's got an active warrant in the United States, but it's minor. Nothing like --"


"Right," the other voice breaks in. "We'll need them both. Can you confirm?"


"It's *them*; not sure what more confirmation you need, over."


"Bloody hell. Look, meet me at 10 past; we'll get this sorted out."


GAME: Major Bludd FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.


<OOC> Major Bludd says, "we r dunces today, yup. :)"


Sebastian frowns at the radio. He doesn't recall Pennington's active warrant, but his instincts have him suspicious. "I don't like this," he mutters.


Pennington puts a hand over her mouth in surprise. "They *are* talking about us, they have to be!" she exclaims. "I have an active misdemeanor warrant... I think they're talking about us!"


"You pack a sidearm?" he asks, glancing to the wall clock. "We got some time, if you're right."


"I brought a pistol," Pennington says. "Don't have a lot of ammo for it, but I brought it in case we went to a gun range."


"That'll do," he says, heading to the bedroom. "Y'oughta get it, an' load it." He digs out his gunbelt and two .45s. "Damn this crap," he mutters as he belts on his weapons.


"I know, it's bullshit," Pennington sighs. "But it's life in the big city, yes? Everyone wants a piece of the action." She gets out her pistol, and loads it. "We need to be ready. Just in case."


Sebastian glances to her. "I'd like t'know who they are, if they /are/ lookin' fer us." He scowls. "If they are lookin' fer us," he goes on, a wicked smile curving his lips, "they're gonna get more'n they bargained for." He pulls back the slide on his pistol and releases it with a 'clack'.


"Wish we knew *where* to look for these guys...or even what they look like," Pennington says in annoyance.


Sebastian goes back out into the living room and studies the layout carefully. He's lived here for days, but now he's looking the place over with a tactical eye. He moves to shut the curtains. "Keep that radio handy," he says.


Pennington nods, dutifully keeping an eye on the radio. "So far, nothing. They probably don't want to chance talking too much on the frequency."


Down the road, the black BMW emerges from a side street, and parks on the side of the road.


"Once they meet up they won't need the radio anymore," he observes. He keeps one pistol in his hand, moving over to the door. He looks across the room, down the hall toward the bedroom. "We'll leave the lights on," he says. "Otherwise they'll know we're onto 'em."


"Alright," Pennington says. "...Where did you want me to wait?" There seemed to be a number of suitable places in the flat.


"Couch isn't reliable as cover," he says, thinking aloud. "Probably the kitchen. You won't be visible when they come in and you can pop around the corner to support me with fire if it's necessary." He frowns. "I hope it won't be necessary."


"...Yeah, I know. Fingers crossed," Pennington says, as she crouches down behind the kitchen counter. "...Do you think they're going to come after us immediately?"


He looks at his watch. "They said '10 after', right? It's nearly that now. Could be we're overreacting," he says, but his body language denies he thinks that's the case. "We'll wait ... ten minutes past that. If nothing happens, mebbe I'll go out an' see what's what."


"Okay, sounds good," Pennington says, looking fairly calm. Something about Sebastian's confidence, in the fact that he has a definite plan, sets her at ease.


Sebastian stands near the front door, his pistol raised. He waits and listens for sounds outside.


Time passes...


Eventually, there's the sound of someone trying the downstairs door.


"Good thing I locked it," Pennington whispers.


Sebastian crouches, leaning his back against the wall. People don't expect trouble to come from below or above, and lowering his profile will help protect him if these guys come in shooting. His suspicions are all but confirmed: either the men they heard on the radio /are/ coming after them, or someone is very coincidentally trying to break into the flat. Either way, Bludd's ready.


The radio suddenly crackles to life.


"Door's locked."


"Take care of it. Quickly."


There's a long moment of radio silence, and an uneasy amount of quiet from the ground floor.


Sebastian nods to himself, glances over to see that Pennington's in position.


Pennington is concealed, crouched behind the kitchen counter.


From the ground floor, there's the sound of the stairwell door opening. Someone begins coming up the stairs.


Sebastian stays in place, his breath slow and even. He waits patiently for the door to open.


Shortly, there comes a knock on the door. It's a loud, insistant knock.


Crouched right beside the door, the sound of the knock goes right through Sebastian's head. He waits, unmoving, for whoever's out there to force his way in. If they want in that badly, the fact no one's answering isn't going to stop them.


"Please open the door," calls an authoritative British voice. "You have nowhere to run at this point, so you may as well surrender quietly."


The sound of a second pair of footsteps can be heard coming up the stairs. "They're definitely inside," the knocking man says to the second man in a hushed tone.


Sebastian grins at the man's words. He stays in his crouch, awaiting the intruders.


Pennington licks her upper lip, and her gaze remains trained on the door.


After a moment, the doorknob gets jiggled a bit; then there's a sudden loud *POP* as whomever's on the other side shoots the doorknob, blowing it out.


At that point, two rather large men kick in the door, and barge into the place, guns in hand. "It's over, give up!" one shouts.


Sebastian stands up quickly, seizing the nearest man by the shoulder and placing the nose of his .45 against the back of his neck. "You give up," he says evenly. "Unless y'want yer mate's brain splattered all over me flat. An' mate, I don't want that."


Pennington pops up from her place in the kitchen, her pistol aimed at the other intruder.


The two men don't seem to be from around here. On the other hand, they don't seem to be law enforcement officers, either, unless they're in plain clothes.


Man #1 is being held by Sebastian. Man #2 quickly assesses the situation, then looks over toward Pennington. "So young... Miss Pennington, don't throw away your life... help us and you can have a fresh start."


Pennington wrinkles her nose. "...Help you?! With WHAT, exactly??"


"...Surely, you know about the bounty on your... friend."


"So, yer bounty hunters," Bludd grunts, not moving an inch. "Who sent ya?" he asks conversationally.


Man #2 answers. "We tracked you down ourselves," he says with a smirk. "An' we've got enough cheek to do it, too. We make a good living off this." Is he telling the truth?


"Clearly," Bludd drawls, "Y'got 'nough cheek t'go around. Who put y'onta me? Didja just get lucky? Recognised me from somebody's Most Wanted List? An' who're y'plannin' t'deliver me to, eh? C'mon, I need t'fill in another square on my Bounty Hunter bingo card."


Man #1 suddenly speaks up. "You've been on lists for /years/. When we found out you was on holiday in Cardiff with a young chippy, we couldn't pass it up!"


Pennington makes a face, silently mouthing 'Young chippy?' as she continues to train the gun on Man #2's head.


Man #2 says, "We were tipped off. Word spreads quick in this town."


Bludd snorts. "Of course I've been on lists for years. D'you know why? Fer one thing, 'cos I eat chumps like /you/ fer breakfast!" He shifts the nose of the .45 ever-so-slightly on the thug's neck, just to make sure the guy still knows it's there. "Who tipped y'off?"


Man #1 is beginning to look scared, so Man #2 says: "We're not tellin' unless you let us off the hook. You gotta give us your WORD you'll let us go."


Man #1 nods eagerly. "Yeah! We ain't the ones you want, anyhow, even though we was gonna get a cut. If we tell you, y'can't shoot us!"


Bludd smiles slowly. "Toss yer weapons on th' couch," he says, "an' I'll consider it."


Both men look at each other, and realize that this is the best chance they have, so they very reluctantly comply. The guns land with a soft 'thunk' on the couch.


"Nice," Bludd drawls. He nods to Pennington. "Search 'em," he commands.


Pennington nods, and complies. She locates their walkie-talkie radiosets, and some utility knives and ammunition. She also grabs their wallets. The men stand there unhappily. Well, Man #2 seems to enjoy the sight of Pennington, but other than that, he's about as glum as Man #1 at this point.


"'Ave a look," Bludd advises, seeing the wallets. "Who are these jokers?" He doesn't move, nor does he move the gun pointed at the thug's neck.


"This one's Cliff Adams," Pennington reads the driver's license, pointing toward Man #1. "And this one..." she gives a frowning look to Man #2, then reads the driver's license. "Thomas Chattersley." They're not famous bounty hunters. Just fellows who got tempted by the possible payoff.


Bludd clucks his tongue. "Such unlucky fellows," he says, smiling to Pennington. He stares at Chattersley intensely for a moment, then slowly takes the .45 away from Adams' neck. "Whaddyou reckon, love?" he says brightly. "What should we do with these... fellows?"


"I think...they ought to tell us who sent them, as soon as possible" Pennington answers firmly. "Because it's in their best interest." Her tone is soft, though she still has her own gun trained on them.


"I agree completely," Sebastian responds. "Right." He pokes Adams in the ribs with his pistol. "Spill."


Adams isn't very brave, and probably not very smart, either. He whimpers. Chattersley gulps, and decides he would very much like to be alive at the end of the day. "It was Rory McClanahan," he admits. "He said he'd met with you in the pub the other night."


Though Sebastian generally has a firm control on his emotions in a situation like this, Bludd's face reveals his surprise, followed immediately by his anger. "F'kin Rory," he mutters, getting his expression under control quickly.


"Can we go?" Adams asks nervously. "We help up our end of the bargain..."


"Yeah, we told you the truth. This was never personal," Chattersley adds earnestly, glancing at Pennington's unwavering glare every so often.


Bludd moves back toward the front door, keeping himself between it and the thugs. "Lessee," he says, pacing slowly back and forth in front of the door, "you break into my flat, /shoot/ my front doorknob off, and threaten me and my friend here with guns, and you want me to let you /go/?" He glances to Pennington. "That seems a rather unreasonable request. Don't you think so, m'dear?"


Now, both men look REALLY nervous. "C'mon, you promised!" Adams whines.


"This is a small-town area," Chattersley talks nervously. "People are gonna know we're gone. Also, you can't get away with it. You'll get caught."


<OOC> Major Bludd says, "OMG LOL. :)"


<OOC> Tele-Viper 742 says, "They got nothing. 8)"


<OOC> Major Bludd says, "You got that right. :) They got no clue, either. :)"


<OOC> Tele-Viper 742 says, "Well, actually, they know what they're saying is BS, but they're kinda at his mercy now!"


<OOC> Major Bludd says, "I particularly love the 'You'll get caught.' line. Precious! XD"


<OOC> Tele-Viper 742 says, "They're scaaaared, blooblooblooohoooo!"


Bludd laughs out loud, his eyebrows going up in surprise. "Lads, did you /look/ at that rap sheet o' mine before you came round t' catch me?" His eye sparkles with glee. "Who is it knows where you are just now, eh? Who'd y'tell, 'Oh, hey, we're gonna go grab some internationally-wanted felon an' get all rich an' stuff, so keep dinner warm for us!'"


<OOC> Major Bludd says, "God, I love his banter. XD"


"He has a point. You guys are really, really dumb," Pennington points out with a smirk.


"We didn't think you'd be ready for us!" Adams admits.


"Well, thanks to a little radio banter, we were," Pennington answers with a cheerful smile.


Bludd beams at Pennington, his dear wizardess. "I've been evading better-prepared hunters than you for years. I think a troop of Boy Scouts could evade you two." He puts a hand on his hip, looking the two failed bounty hunters over. "Well, I don't want blood all over my nice hardwood floor," he reasons. "I don't wanna clean it up, either. Last flunkies I popped were in somebody else's place, so it wasn't my problem." He clucks his tongue again. "What a conundrum."


"It's too much trouble, just let us go!" Adams blubbers. "PLEASE!"


"Bollocks," Chattersley grumbles.


Pennington has never had to deal with disposing of dead people who aren't dead yet, so she seems to be at a loss as well.


"What about my door?" Bludd asks, pouting slightly.


Adams chimes in. "I'll fix it! IF you let me go!"


"Bloody hell, Adams," Chattersley remarks, shaking his head.


Bludd knows he's not going to get his door repaired by these lunkheads, and the game is wearing thin. "We'll keep yer stuff," he says, the .45 still in his hand. "An' you c'n keep yer lives. Howzat?" He's still standing between them and the door.


"Yeah! Keep the shit, it ain't worth it -- keep it all if you want!" Adams cries desperately.


Pennington watches him grovel, and she rolls her eyes in disbelief.


"Deal," Chattersley says evenly, clearly the more stoic of the two.


"Alright," Bludd sighs. "Look, lads, bit o' advice: get outta the bounty hunting thing. Or at least do some bloody research first." He pauses, looking over both men intently. "Don't s'pose either o' ya has any military experience, eh?"


"I will," Adams blubbers, biting his lip. "I swear it, I will!"


Chattersley seems much calmer than his counterpart. "I don't, and neither does he. But I'll tell you honest... I was a security guard for a while, and then after that I was a private investigator. I took up this line of work after I lost both jobs in the bloody recession. Couldn't find any work, lost a house... down on my luck for a bit, but Rory got me into this gig. And it paid quite well. That's why I told you, it was nothing personal. Gotta feed my family."


Pennington blinks a few times, looking somewhat remorseful... she certainly couldn't have shot this man if she knew all of that about him.


Bludd nods slowly as Chattersley speaks. He steps away from the door, turning his gaze to Adams. "Get outta here," he says menacingly. He holsters his .45 and reaches into his back pocket for his wallet, withdrawing a business card, which he offers to Chattersley. "If y'need work, and yer not afraid o' a bit of danger and some rough trainin'," he says, "look these guys up. They're a military organisation, jus' gettin' started. Could be y'won't qualify: they're tough. But if y'do, it's a decent outfit." The card bears an embossed image of a gold shield with a three-headed dog in black and the name "Cerberus," plus a Welsh phone number.


Adams can't run fast enough, his cowardly legs propel him doubletime down the stairs and out to God knows where. He's long gone by the time Chattersley accepts the business card from Sebastian. He seems quite surprised that his 'mark' has quite the streak of decency. "Thank you, sir. I'm terribly sorry for all this. This... could be the very break I've been seeking."


Bludd nods. "Be sure ta tell 'em who sent ya," he smiles.


"...Thank you again," Chattersley says with a tenative smile. He looks from Pennington to Bludd, and then to the broken door. It's a very awkward moment, but it ends with Chattersley departing. "Good day to you both," he says politely, then off he goes.


"...That was... really... strange," Pennington admits, staring at the broken door. Then, she frowns. "Rory ratted you out."


"Yeah," he agrees quietly, his gaze also on the door. "Yeah, Rory." He shakes his head. "Gonna haveta take care o' that." He looks over to her. "Y'alright?"


"I'm fine, hon. I'm just amazed that the only casuality turned out to be the doorknob." Pennington steps over to Sebastian, and hugs him tightly.


He squeezes her back. "Yeah, I wanted t'finish 'em off," he says conversationally. "Bloody bounty hunters, thinkin' they c'n bring me in. /Me/!" He snorts. "But I don't want this place all bloodied up," he continues, "and besides, the one fellow turned out to be a half-decent-seeming bloke. Could be Stark can use 'im."


"Yeah, they were 'cheeky', alright," Pennington mentions. "But I suppose they had to be, because the bounty money was a good draw. I think we know who the *real* bad guy is, here, and it wasn't those pawns."


"Yeh," he replies. "I'll see t'him. I got his number." He looks back at the door with its shot-off doorknob. "That's not very secure," he says. "I wonder what they did to the downstairs door. Probably picked it. Didn't hear any shots when they were down there. Eh." He strokes her hair. "Ma chere sorciere," he murmurs. "Your little radio tipped us off. Otherwise we mighta been caught by surprise."


Pennington smiles up at him with warm affection, nothing but love reflected in her eyes. Then, she gazes with concern at the door. "...What do you think, should we just replace the doorknob? Or get something sturdier in there?" She certainly doesn't want to move to another flat!


"I'll have someone come round t'fix it," he says, moving over to the coffee table and pulling out a phone book from underneath it. "We'll get a better one," he smiles.

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