insinuation #3 [attn: niko]
#1
Sunday, May 18th

What a normal day. Does Amber already feel like the important things happen at night? That her world's not centered until nightfall? There's a coffee shop she's found which hits the spot every time not too too far from a house that she has turned or is turning into a home. There a barista who's come to know her by name looks distinctly nervous as soon as she comes in but has her drink or her muffin in order. The barista, an olive complexioned young woman with nappy hair short and dredded into medusa twists, gives her the wrong change, which never happens, but what of it? Doesn't chat as usual, seems unsettled and unfocused. Swallows.

There's a flier on Amber's sweet piece of red car-flesh next time she sees it. The edges are lifted by a wind, seems to be for a Korean nail and spa joint. Photocopied with the cop-out of a design scrawled over the words in black sharpie, a certain agonizing and vivid-angry artfulness to it - makes everything but the address and a time for free consultations [late at night] difficult to read.

You've been chosen! One of few! Crumple it and throw it away or don't.

[ooc: feel free to roll Intelligence + Streetwise for the flier and/or if Amber is so inclined Perc + Empathy for catching the barista vibe.]


Tuesday, May 20th

A dead sparrow on her doorstep, its neck neatly broken. Poor little thing, didn't have a chance, just a bit of empty fluff, a husk.

But it's missing a wing.
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#2
There are plenty of places close to Amber's small house where she can get a decent cup of coffee. The house is in the Baker Historic district, somewhere between Santa Fe and Broadway. Bohemians and hipsters and everything in between and beyond abound in this neighborhood. Amber likes this coffee shop because like a lot of the independent stores along Broadway it doubles as a gallery of sorts. She likes seeing what other people in the city are getting up to around here, and the coffees not bad, and the music is acceptable.

When one has become accustomed to unwanted attention - wary glances, lustful interest, wide-eyed admiration - one learns to tune it out, but this is a familiar place. The girl behind the counter is a familiar face, has Amber's small black coffee and oversized fresh baked brownie ready for her almost before she hits the counter.

Gives Amber the wrong change, which makes her frown, green eyes narrowing with something like suspicion and a certain Amber-brand look of concern (which is to say she looks at the poor girl like she's lost her damn mind). Amber orders the same thing every time she comes here, which granted isn't every single day or anything, but is enough that when she hands over a ten - well you get the idea.

"What's up with you?" she asks, her voice a low and smoky like someone worked sandpaper over her vocal cords. Does she get an answer?

------
Later: There's a flyer on her car, tucked under her windshield wiper. That sort of thing used to make her furious. Now she just rolls her eyes and breathes out an exasperated breath. She's about to crumple up the paper and toss it onto the passenger seat of her car when she pauses to study and consider it.

-----
Tuesday, May 20th. Amber's schedule is an odd one if one doesn't know the company she keeps. Anyone observing and making note of it might think she has an irregular sleep cycle. The mornings she comes to the little blue house are frequent - frequent enough to peg the place as lived in, at any rate, often enough that any nosy neighbors will assume she stays over at a lover's from time to time but that this is still home. Anyway, she gets there in the early hours of the dawn and she sleeps into the early afternoon.

When she steps out, heading off for a trip to the gym, she almost misses the bird. Thinks it's the product of a neighborhood stray, a cat or a coyote or something. She notices it, and she stops and she looks at it and she groans. She'd leave it, but the HOA has already given her shit for not keeping nice flowers in the large and otherwise empty clay planters in front of her house. She'll have to clean it up.

Disgusted and annoyed, she heads back inside to see if she has a dustpan and broom.

=====
niko @ 10:38AM
Amber: percept+emp: dat barista
Roll: 4 d10 TN6 (1, 4, 8, 10) ( success x 2 )

niko @ 10:38AM
[Amber: int+street: dat flyer
Roll: 5 d10 TN6 (1, 4, 8, 8, 8) ( success x 3 )

Samael @ 10:38AM
Witnessed!

niko @ 10:39AM
Thanks!

Depending on what she gets off that Streetwise roll, Jess, she might lean on her Street influence or check in with her ally.
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#3
What's up with you? coupled with that suspicious have you lost your mind look. As the barista replies, one thing seems certain to Amber and is that it's definitely her own presence which is making (partly making, the impetus, the excuse) the girl act strange. Leads to that unsettled and unfocused glazed look. The barista smacks her lips like her mouth's too dry and answers nervously tense as a wire hanger.

"You know," oh but you do know Amber don't you you do know this is a conspiracy you know all about, "Just didn't get a lot of sleep. Uh so I guess I'll see you around?" Lift at the end of the question like it's hope.

A specific place sorta hope.

--

You hear about them sometimes if you've got an ear to the street or now how to look out for what gang has territory where and which even though they're a whole different ballgame. Fight clubs that'll never hope to be legal and that's what Amber recognizes she has in her hands.

An invitation to a fight club she's heard mentioned all of twice in the last year, stays moving but it's not just the fighting that's not what you're invited for you're invited to bet you're invited if they think they've got something on you you're invited to a very exclusive opportunity. If this is the thing she's heard about... well, she hasn't heard a whole lot more.

--

And when she gets rid of the sparrow, it stays got rid of. Rots in a dumpster somewhere or maybe a cat does find it and is pleased by its unexpected luck.

Or maybe a cat finds it sniffs the sparrow and moves on.
Don't eat poisoned meat.
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#4
Amber isn't the sort of person one wants in charge of another little life. It's not because she's surly or she's quick to anger or because of what she does or does not do for a living. It's not because of her lifestyle.

It's because she doesn't want to fucking look after anyone, okay?

And yet. Days pass and there is still a little dog in her little blue house. That first day after the tussle in the alley she went out and she got some food for it, and she got some food for its hunger. Small bag of Purina from Safeway. Still-bloody cuts of meat from the butcher down the street.

For most of that first day the animal stays in the bathroom, scratching at the door, whining, growling, barking at her through it I know you're there I know you're there LET ME OUT pleeeeeeeze let me out? One at a time she fills up bowls - a serving bowl full of water and a cereal bowl full of kibble - and manages to shove them past the door. Amber slams the door shut, turns to lean against the wall, and slides down to the floor where she sits until things get quiet, running her fingers through her bi-colored hair. How can something so small be so fucking horrible?

Eventually she's going to need her bathroom. Later that evening she leaves the house, goes to get whatever the fuck it looks like a little dog would need. The kennel she gets is for something much bigger. She gets a collar and a leash and a stake to drive into the ground of her small backyard. A salesperson asks if she needs anything but makes a hasty and immediate retreat when Amber whips around to glare at her. It doesn't help her mood any that the people who could offer her assistance all back away, but fuck them. And fuck that dog. And fuck everything.

When she gets home she is almost disappointed to find the place intact. No signs of forced entry no signs the dog miraculously dug itself a hole through the tiled floor or burst through the door to freedom. God damn it. Amber goes to let the little monster out and maybe grab it and wrestle it into a collar and hook a leash onto that collar before dragging the little thing out to the backyard.

Where she leaves it staked so it can do it's fucking business and get some fucking sunshine or whatever the fuck it is little dogs she could easily drop kick two blocks away need. She takes the time to set up the crate - metal wiring with a double-door to get the dog in and out to reduce the chances a particularly smart animal will work itself free to terrorize the trash.

Amber isn't worried about the dog terrorizing her trash, she's worried about waking up with it gnawing on her leg while she's trying to fucking sleep. For the duration of the monster's stay in her care she won't be returning to home base.

She goes out to get it and bring it inside and finds its managed to catch itself a bird. There are feathers and blood everywhere this is going to be fucking fantastic.

"C'mon, you little asshole," she says, and prepares to drag the dachshund back inside.

Amber is not the sort of person wants in charge of another little life. Unless, maybe, that little life is a hardy little vitae-addict like herself.
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