Cold Archer Calling (RP)

Gemini headed over to the phone booth a few blocks away from her favorite Hamburger Hippo. She had been able to pick up a few burgers and a large box of fries before they closed for the night. She had walked there with her car parked at the Hamburger Hippo she had just left.

 

She pulled out the business card she had been given by Jacob to fill the ‘projectile specialist’ position. It wasn't the first time Gemini came across a business card a vigilante had but she still found it amusing.

 

Picking up the phone with one hand she looked at the phone number on the card in her other hand. If there was anyone observing Gemini they may find it unusual she was using a payphone when the top of  cell phone was peeking out her jacket pocket.

 

As the phone was ringing she snagged a fry to munch on from the Hamburger Hippo bag.

    • Quiverwing Duck
      Quiverwing Duck

      The phone rang twice before it was answered. The voice sounded friendly, with just a bit of gravel to it. "Hello. This is private investigator Drake Mallard, how can I help you?"

      The fellow who had answered was not in his office, however. Technically, it was after his official office hours and so he was doing his evening job. In his case, that involved being on a rooftop with his green cape flowing in the breeze while he surveyed nearby alleys with some compact binoculars. Quiverwing Duck maintained three phone numbers, and this particular one was attached to his "day job".

      In order to minimize the sound of wind interference on the line, he took a break from his sentinel routine and stepped behind the rooftop's stair enclosure.

      • Agent Gemini
        Agent Gemini

        There was a slight pause as Gemini was a hit confused at a private investigator being mentioned since she was expecting something that had to do with projectiles. She then replied with the same friendliness, “Hi. Hello! Jacob gave me your card. I'm hiring for a job that pays well and its helping a good aligned organization. Ah… you were recommended because the team needs a projectile specialist.”

        • Quiverwing Duck
          Quiverwing Duck

          "Oh! I see. I work with Agent Mallard regularly," Drake explained cheerfully. "I'm a sharpshooter and facile with several weapons, although... 'projectile specialist', sounds like you aren't interested in guns. He probably gave you my card because of my archery skills. Or possibly for knife throwing. Or the atlatl."

          • Agent Gemini
            Agent Gemini

            “Yes! Exactly what I need. See.. oh boy how to make a long story short. In Venice I have to retrieve some intellectual property for a good aligned organization that lost it there. The area is abandoned so it is not trespassing technically. There is a weeks worth of pay and all expenses paid. And if we do get to the chamber the item is at there is treasure there we are allowed to take as a bonus. I have an ad on craneslist I can text you link to,” Gemini offered.

            At least by voice impression alone she seemed positive and energetic for this mission she was hiring for. While on the payphone she took her cell phone out. She was tempted to grab another fry but held back since she wanted to sound professional.

            • Quiverwing Duck
              Quiverwing Duck

              "Yes, please do send me a link, ah..." Drake paused, then said, "I'm sorry, how should I refer to you?" He was giving his phone screen a curious look, because the device was more specialized than an over the counter smartphone. His caller's location was a public landline, interesting.

              "In any case, if you've spoken with Agent Mallard and he recommended me, I trust his judgment about the mission. But I expect you'd want to meet me in person," he continued, still sunny and upbeat. "If you have a preference for particular weapons, please do let me know."

              • Agent Gemini
                Agent Gemini

                “Oh! Sorry I didn't introduce myself. Gemma Esposito,” she answered that question. As she did so she was pulling out her cell phone to text the link. While the public phone she was calling from could be tracked the cell phone could not.

                 

                “For this definitely archery would work best. The old temple I'm betting may require that for puzzles or undoing traps, based on one's built around the same time,” Gemini explained on the payphone as she scrolled through things on her cell, “and yes I would like to interview you in person. Not really an interview more like needing a demonstration.”

                • Quiverwing Duck
                  Quiverwing Duck

                  "Of course, Ms. Esposito. A demonstration would be no problem." Drake was thoughtfully quiet, ruminating over Gemini's description of the job. "I'm glad you brought this up, if the traps and so on might require era-appropriate weapons that's something I'd want to prepare for. But, I'm a bowyer as well, I can completely customize my equipment."

                  "For the demonstration, I'll bring along something a bit more generic, though. Let me know where and when is most convenient for you and I'll make that happen."

                  • Agent Gemini
                    Agent Gemini

                    “Oh wow! That's great that you can make your own. If you did join the team I'd give you full details of what is going on so you can custom whatever you need,” Gemini offered as she pulled up her schedule on her phone, “So I'm kinda new to the area. I mean. I've been here when I was a kid. The only place I know that has archery targets also has go-karts and golf. That kids place at the east side pier?”

                    • Quiverwing Duck
                      Quiverwing Duck

                      "There aren't many bowyers or fletchers around. Most hobbyists and bow hunters are satisfied with equipment off the shelf," Drake explained, and then hurriedly added, "There's nothing wrong with that, of course. Anyway, I believe I know the place you're speaking of. When shall I meet you, there?"

                      • Agent Gemini
                        Agent Gemini

                        “Yeah, I knew an archer back in they day that would buy stuff but tweak it kinda? I don't think he could make things from scratch though,” Gemini explained, not offended by Drake's comment, “any time after five p.m. is fine any day. Whatever works best for you.”

                        • Quiverwing Duck
                          Quiverwing Duck

                          "Ah, that's ideal. I usually close up the office at five. Let's see..." Quiverwing was looking at his phone, this time to figure out when he had a block of free time. Not Friday, because he had a gig that evening and was still building his reputation as a reliable musician. Not date night, either, obviously. "Oh... Wednesday, would that be all right?"

                          • Agent Gemini
                            Agent Gemini

                            “Yes! Wednesday will be great. Meet right at the archery area? I’ll be the duck with short black hair and a purple shirt. I’m nowhere near a good archer but I’ll be bringing my set which i haven’t used since I was like thirteen. Its bedazzled with yellow stones on the bow so i should stand out,” Gemini chuckled.

                            • Quiverwing Duck
                              Quiverwing Duck

                              "I'll be coming from my office, so I'll be in a suit and tie. I don't know what colors I'll be wearing that day but I suspect the range tends towards casual, so I won't be too difficult to recognize," Drake said, affably. "I'm on the short side of average with white feathers, blue eyes, and a big beak with a strong chin. Trust me, it's hard to miss. I'll see you there, then, Ms. Esposito."

                              • Agent Gemini
                                Agent Gemini

                                “Thank you! I’ll answer any more questions you have after the archery test goes well. I have a feeling it will though. If there is any change in time just text me. I can always get texts from the number I gave you the link,” Gemini gave a pause as she heard an odd noise a block over. She squinted and could see a street light going out. Her voice did not let on anything was distressing. If anything the rustle of her reaching into bag could be heard, “See you then Mr. Mallard!”

                                • Quiverwing Duck
                                  Quiverwing Duck

                                  When Wednesday evening arrived, a vaguely sinister black late-Midcentury sedan rolled into the parking lot by the go-karts fun zone. Far less sinister was the drake that emerged from it, looking bright-eyed and chipper. He grabbed a long, dark grey bow case and slung it over his shoulder, heading into the target range.

                                  As he had described over the phone, Drake was wearing a suit and tie, the former being a muted sage green and the latter a burnt orange with thin diagonal pewter stripes. His shirt was pale grey, his pocket square charcoal and pale orange paisley, and while all of it was well tailored it had a subtly rumpled look, contributing to the cheerfully dissolute air there was about him.

                                  • Agent Gemini
                                    Agent Gemini

                                    Gemini was getting out of her green mini cooper. It looked like your average car, but it was already visible from the off roading  tires on it that it was modified for some rougher situations. She was focused on getting her duffle bag out of the back seat and really wasn’t paying attention to anything else in the parking lot. She was expecting to meet Drake for the interview in the archery area anyways.

                                     

                                    When she got the bag over her shoulder and shut the car door she then checked her phone to see she only had five minutes. She wanted to get there way early but the traffic from her office job at SHUSH was horrible.

                                     

                                    Gemini was in a purple collared shirt with a gold colored ascot loosely tied around her neck. She was about to leave her car but then came back to it. She kicked off her black heeled shoes and picked them up to put them in the back seat of her car and pulled out a pair of purple flats which she awkwardly wiggled into while still standing beside her car.

                                    • Quiverwing Duck
                                      Quiverwing Duck

                                      By the time Gemini would make it to the target area, Drake was waiting, his attitude patient and unhurried. He was leaning with one shoulder against the wall, hands in pockets, a recurve bow of polished natural wood near at hand.

                                      He had been idly watching the entry for someone who fit Gemma's self-description. Just as he was worried he might get kicked out for loitering, he spotted a figure that could be her. Drake stood up properly and dusted himself off, so he could issue a greeting while presentable. "Ms. Esposito?"

                                      • Agent Gemini
                                        Agent Gemini

                                        “Yes! Hello! Nice to meet you in person,” Gemini held out her hand to shake Drake’s, “You can pick out which target area you want. From how I remember this place it's like picking a lane at a bowling alley. Sorry I’m a little late. Traffic was horrible on the highway. If you want to grab a snack before we start  that’s fine too. Hopefully the churros here are still amazing.”

                                        • Quiverwing Duck
                                          Quiverwing Duck

                                          Drake gave Gemini a sunny smile as he shook her offered hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you. And it's perfectly fine, I know how it can be with regards to traffic. A downside to driving a car, I'll admit that, even though I have no intention of ever giving mine up."

                                          He glanced around, and there seemed no rush for the targets so he said, "If you'd like refreshments first, I will never object to having some coffee. As you said, you had to fight traffic to get here, I'm certain you could use a moment to decompress. Then we can discuss what you'd like to see, I don't know if you're interested only in my accuracy or how well I can do difficult trick shots." Drake held up his index finger and cheerfully clarified, "I'm capable of all of that, but I don't want to bore you with needless showboating."

                                          • Agent Gemini
                                            Agent Gemini

                                            “Yeah, it’s still better than taking the bus for sure.  Coffee sounds great!” Gemini said as she started to walk over to one of the food stands. She expected Drake to follow, “I am looking for both those skills for what's needed but there is a little more to it than just that.”

                                             

                                            She didn't explain details yet but instead changed the subject, “So… I know Mallard is a common last name but are you by chance related to the guy that recommended you to me?”

                                            • Quiverwing Duck
                                              Quiverwing Duck

                                              Drake strolled along with Gemini, nodding as she gave a brief overview of what she was looking for. Her question was not unexpected; sooner or later, he knew someone was going to ask him about that.

                                              "Yes, I am," he inclined his head, although he did not elaborate on how they were related. "Did our names give it away?" He flashed her a boyish grin. "But please let me assure you that it's not a case of nepotism. I have a lot of mission experience. Although I've never been assigned to a mission specifically due to my archery skills, so this is novel."

                                              • Agent Gemini
                                                Agent Gemini

                                                “I'm surprised you've never been called on for your archery skills before. I guess it's more commonly needed in adventurer’s circles. And there's no problem that you got recommended by a relative. As long as you two work together well,” Gemini stated before she ordered an iced coffee from the stand they were in line at. She fiddled with opening a side pocket on her duffle bag to pull out a wallet, “What would you like? I'll pay since I dragged you out here for this interview.”

                                                • Quiverwing Duck
                                                  Quiverwing Duck

                                                  "Oh, gosh, you don't have to do that," said Drake, when Gemini offered to buy his order. However, he was gracious enough to not argue the matter. "Thank you, though. A hot coffee, black, is fine." He still put a couple of dollars in the tip jar for the counter person, regardless.

                                                  While they waited for their orders to be served, Drake quietly explained, "Typically, if I'm going to see combat during a mission, I'm using pistols or fighting unarmed. Artifact recovery in ruins, though... I have done that before but I don't think more than, hm, twice?"

                                                  • Agent Gemini
                                                    Agent Gemini

                                                    Even though Drake had left a tip for their order, Gemini still put in some change in the tip jar as well.

                                                    “Oh, so you have adventured a little before? That's great! I'm more of a gun user myself. Technically. However the area the mission at is… weird. There are spots where electricity and gun powder doesn't work,” Gemini started to explain. She was interrupted when she noticed her iced coffee was already done and on the counter for her. She gave the server a nod, “Thank you!”

                                                    • Quiverwing Duck
                                                      Quiverwing Duck

                                                      "How odd. I wonder why that is. Is there some sort of magical interference?" Drake was intrigued, although he took the time to flash a bright smile at the server when his coffee came up. "Thank you."

                                                      His attention returned to Gemini. "I've had experience with supernatural situations, although I'm not a practitioner of magic. Not any sort of expert with it either, I'm just familiar with that stuff." Drake gave a vague wave of his hand. "It's surprising how often that kinda thing comes up."