16292/SUICIDE SQUAD: Hey Buddy, Want to Buy Thor's Hat

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SUICIDE SQUAD: Hey Buddy, Want to Buy Thor's Hat
Date of Scene: 30 November 2023
Location: Jules Verne Museum - St. Martin's Island
Synopsis: The Team Comes Into Some Moneys.
Cast of Characters: Wade Wilson, Melissa Gold, Jennifer Stavros, Harley Quinn

Wade Wilson has posed:
    Back at the forward operating base in the old apartment building, Wade was bereft. Tied with duct tape into a chair that was in turn duct taped to a support strut in the middle of the room where the team has their surveillance gear, gagged and held back while Pistolero and Skullface play cards on a rickety folding table. In the dim light he shouts a running angry commentary about his teammates and their family, all the while a healthy amount of even more duct tape covers his mouth.
    "Shut up, 'Pool! If we let you out you'll fuck everything up!" Skullface growls, his red eyes glowing as he grabs an empty Subway rafter and throws it at Wade with a papery thwap.
    For as the rest of the team observes from afar, inside the Sprawling Red Dragon other matters are afoot. An elaborately decorated and elegant Chinese restaurant of some repute in the heart of Metropolis, it had a wonderful indoor water feature whose quiet murmur gave an air of refinement to the place. Mostly red and gold and black furniture, it also had several enclosed meeting rooms for private parties. Which is where the rest of the team found themselves. Waiting for the arrival of their prospective buyers for the recently acquired... artifact.
    For now, however, they were left to their own devices in the room which would have been suitable for a dozen people. A single table in an alcove embedded into the wall. Sliding doors that open upon the main room grant privacy for those within. The table is a U-shape, with a tea set already having been delivered for those wishing to indulge.

Melissa Gold has posed:
Sitting at the table was Miss Jones. Or at least that's the name she was using for now. She was dressed in an green turtleneck sweater over which was a professional blazer. The jacket was in a dark charcoal, matching the pencil skirt that fell to just below her knees. A pair of conservative pumps were on the feet with a kitten heel. Her admittedly recognizable hair color was hidden under a simple black wig, styled into a short bob. She'd even added glasses. Hopefully it would be enough no one would ever realize this was really Melissa Gold.

She looked to her companions. They'd already made sure there were no bugs or hidden cameras in the area. Outside their own, of course. For they were being monitored by the team members who had not joined them. They were there in case things went sideways. For anyone else, that would be highly unlikely. With this team? High probability of things just getting weird.

With them was a bag with the specific artifact in question hidden inside.

Melissa sipped her tea then made a face despite herself. More sugar started being added in liberal amounts.

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
Jennifer's manicured fingers drum on the red tablecloth, leaving indentations on the thick cloth. Her vivid blue eyes under the dorky heavy framed glasses eyes dart around the room as she straightens her shoulders uncomfortably and pulls at the collar of her shirt. Office clothes have the advantage of hiding the dark stains of perspiration under her arms. She is dressed in the mini-me version of Melissa's outfit, charcoal tweed jacket and skirt, conversative shoes. All of which she will dump in the nearest dumpster if they get out of here alive.

"Man," she whispers to Melissa, "think there is enough gilt on that thing?" She nods toward the dragon frieze flowing along the entire wall of the room, it's five clawed feet ready to grab imposters like herself.

"You'd think they would give us some fortune cookies with tea. Right?" She aligns a pen next to her notepad. No electronics allowed in the room. Little did they know what they had installed in the room in the last 24-hours.

Wade Wilson has posed:
    It wasn't too long before the sliding door opened again, the hostess demurely gesturing inside and showing the way in for two tall men dressed in respectable looking green suits, accompanied by a woman of some familiarity. One of the men was slightly taller than the other, and both had bowler hats on that they took off once they entered. Features pale and cheeks hollow, they did however have lovely smiles as the slightly taller one spoke.
    "Good day, Miss Jones, I presume." No movement to offer hands for shaking. The two sliiiide into the sideways seat opposite the other group. As one speaks the other begins the activity of acquiring tea cups and pouring themselves some tea.
    "I am Mr. Rank. This is Mr. Vive. And this is Miss North Pleased to make your acquaintance." He gestures at first to himself, then to the smaller man beside him, and finally the woman next. Once the cups are distributed they sip from the tea in turn.
    "Miss North is an expert whose insight might prove valuable to us." At that said he turns and gives a polite nod to the blond woman.

Harley Quinn has posed:
The sound of sharp heels heralds the arrival of one Miss North. Slender. Elegant. Professional. The wardrobe scream sharpness. From the dark suit pants to the tailored-fit business coat with a dash of a necktie to compose the figure. Hair is up in a sharp ponytail and the ensemble is finished with a pair of rimless glasses that just push the bitch-factor a notch up. Specially in the way she looks over the two women that are here to sell a supposed artifact.

Nose turns up a touch when she is introduced, taking a step forward, "Yes, many often claim having the real deal to sell." impeccable British accent. Wait, when did Harley pick THAT up? "But most turn up to be swindlers. Sometimes we do get some real gems though. So which one are you?" accusing looks on her expression. Whose side is she on?!

But just in case they hadn't recognized her when she reaches up to adjust her glasses she WINKS at the duo.

Melissa Gold has posed:
This was fine. Everything was fine. Nothing to be concerned about. Harley had this. As long as she stayed in character. Though the same could be said for Jennifer and Melissa so who was she to point fingers.

She gave a bright smile to Mr. Rank and Mr. Vive. "I am indeed Miss Jones. This is my associate, Miss Jane Littleton." Since no hand was offered, she didn't offer hers either.

She took a test sip of her tea then started adding more sugar as she eyed Miss North after her question. "Typically when I am dealing with someone, they don't call me a swindler to my face at least," she murmured, a little bit of surrpise showing in her expression. Though she then shook her head a little as though to focus on the important part here.

"This is the real deal. Or so I have been told by other experts in the area." Which would be the museum they stole it from but they were NOT saying that outloud. They claimed it was legit, she could only presume it was. And thankfully, Harley was on their side.

She glanced over to Miss Littleton, giving a little nod so she could pull out the artifact in question.

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
Jane comes to attention and stops twitching the pen when the two strange looking men with the odd hats enter the room. She swallows when they smile and takes a surreptitious deep breath. To her credit, her eyes barely widen when Ms. North winks at them and she hides her surprise by pushing the heavy glasses back up her nose.

At Miss Jone's introduction, she nods slightly and primly corrects the alignement of the notepad in front of her. Nope. No swindlers here. See how neat and pulled together we are? She picks up the pen to keep herself from producing a luck token in plain sight. These goofuses give her the willies.

Wade Wilson has posed:
    Mister Rank and Mister Vive both look on as Melissa offers them her point of view. If they take any umbrage or discomfort at Miss North's subtle conversational aggression, they do not. Instead they simply smile between the others and then Mister Rank motions, "If you will be so kind as to present the article of interest so Miss North can pass judgement?"
    At that Mister Vive starts to clear off the table a little, moving the tea set to the side and then giving room for Miss North to have access to it should they grant if over. Mister Vive, however, stares for a time straight at Jennifer, as if she had caught his attention for some reason.
    Meanwhile, inside the forward operating base, Deadpool shouts something unintelligible behind his duct tape gag, shaking as he tries to jostle his chair away from the pole that he is bound to. But no luck. Another Subway wrapper is thrown at him.

Harley Quinn has posed:
"Oooh, combative, aren't we?" Harley's response to Melissa answering BACK at her. The gall of some of these swindlers! She even clicks her tongue disapprovingly at such, eyes squinting at the mention of 'other experts'. "Like Stanton? Or maybe Prescott?" she sneers, looking at the host, "I mean, last time they were trying to pass a svartaltrafalgar artifact as legitimate. And we all *know* how that ended up, don't we?" Yes, she butchered the dark elf name, of course. She will blame Thor for it later, and auto-correct.

But then the artifact is being produced and so it's time to get to work. She leans in towards the object, slender greedy fingers reaching to hold it up to her scrutinizing gaze. Her expression then goes through various stages. First suspicion. Then inspection. Followed by appraisal and a thoughtful frown. Deft hands turn it over, and again, focusing on the little wings, "Ah, yes..." she says, erudite, "From the Battle of Steven Anger." did she mean Stavanger? "Ooooh, this is the real deal, for sure. Bloody Hell, it could be worth millions!" don't overdo it, Harley!

Melissa Gold has posed:
Considering that Melissa has no idea what the Battle of Steven Anger is, she just gives a shrug. "Not sure what battle it was involved in. Just know that it was worn by the man himself. Or should I say god?"

She let that hang in the air a moment, waiting for the others to get their looks in at the pristine winged-helmet. It had been painsakingly restored instead of the state it had been in when found, by the crew at the museum. Very nice of them really. It made it seem all that much more impressive to those viewing it.

"Millions you say?" she said in a speculative tone, glancing to her partner to see her thoughts on that sentence.

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
"At the very least," Ms. Littleton replies, pushing her glasses back into place to punctuate the words. "It was a famous battle." Her blues eyes magnified by the lens that are giving her headache, return to the pale men but remain on Ms. North, pleading don't give us away by overdoing it.

She writes a figure on the pad and pushes it over to her colleague to see, then underlines it several times as if to say, 'Don't let them pull one over on us.'

Wade Wilson has posed:
    As Harley tends to her ever so elaborate examination of the winged helmet, Mr. Vive continues to stare at Jennifer and what she writes, not able to see it. While Mister Rank seems content to listen for the time. Once Miss North passes her first observation and gives it something of a positive review, he quirks an eyebrow then leans forward to look upon the artifact.
    For a time he turns his head one way, then the other, one hand lifting to his ear for a moment. There's a slight nod then he sits up. "It seems suitable. Legitimate. Though this would not happen to be the item that went missing so recently, is it?" The strange severe man looks between the others there, gaze drifting from one to the other.
    "For you see, my client is not inclined to take stolen goods. However, with your vouching that this is indeed not that item, we would be willing to tender you an offer of... 14 million dollars?"
    At that as the words on the monitor and over the speakers in that surveillance post, the rest of the team watching the events in the Chinese restaurant... Deadpool yells again as he strains against the bonds holding him in place.

Harley Quinn has posed:
Harley chokes on hearing those 14 MILLION DOLLARS offer. Dear me! She reaches for Jennifer's tea and drinks it in one go, "Sorry about that, was busy choking." she informs Mr. Vive, "Yes ..., 14 millions might be a fair price." she composes herself before gesturing, "As an added bonus it probably fits on your head too instead of that horrible bowl hat." see? She is being helpful in her assessments.

"If I am not mistaken, and I never am, the helmet at that exposition was from an entirely different battle." she informs them. "So you are in the clear." a sagely nod to get her point across.

Melissa Gold has posed:
Melissa nods at the assessment from Harley though she adds voice as well. "Precisely. Additionally, I am not a thief any more than I am a swindler. I would not be attempting to sell this item were this not legitimate." A tight smile. "I would wait on it for a few months before taking such steps, if I were the criminally minded type. Possibly even a year or two."

She considered the offer and looked to the note written by Jennifer, frowning a bit as though the 14 million didn't match what they were looking to gain. "I believe for such a rare item that was owned and used by a Norse god, that is a very low ball over. 50 million. And an invitation to your private auction so that we might be able to spend our well earned wealth on other rare items that might prove more appealing to us for display."

Apparently the Asgardian helmet didn't fit in with the feng shui at her house.

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
Helpfully, Jane pushes the teapot which is cooling rapidly toward Harls/North. Fair price, indeed. Once again, Jennifer is caught up short for not doing her homework, hoping they haven't stumbled on the name of a battle. Strange Vanger?

At Melissa's assertion, Jane squares her shoulders subtly to reinforce their upright avarice and looks the two men in the eyes. She pocks the pad with the pen then circles the figure to hide her shudder. After a sidelong glance at her employer, she straightens even more, having pride of place working for someone with the supreme Feng Shui of Ms. Jones.

Wade Wilson has posed:
    A quirked eyebrow is the only response that Harley gets from Mister Rank, though it does serve to break off that death stare from Mister Vive as he also shoots a look her way. But with her giving it suitable provenance he tells her, "Good, I trust you understand you are attaching your reputation to these statements, Miss North?"
    That said he turns and gives a look toward the helmet, eyebrows rising at Melissa's offer. Then the severe man spares a glance toward Jennifer after a moment and says, "Would you be willing to sell it outright for... 20 million and an invitation to bid on other items at the auction?"
    Which then suddenly on the comms screams a voice over the radio waves from none other than their favorite mercenary. << OH MY GOD TAKE THE MONEY! >>

Harley Quinn has posed:
There is a sudden wince out of Harley at that loud voice on comms, finger sticking in her ear, "Sorry, allergies." she mutters, death threats spoken under her breath before she composes herself. Right to have her EXPERTISE questioned by Vive. Or Rank. She doesn't even know anymore. "I trust you understand you are dealing with Ms. North." her best British accent in display, baby blue eyed stare upon those who dare question her.

She learned with the best after all. Like Mistah J!

Melissa Gold has posed:
She managed not to wince at the voice over the comms. It didn't help the stupid little bit of tech was in her ear canal so it wasn't visible except to the very observant and even then, it looked like a hearing aid. Of course, the bob haircut hid that from view so hopefully that precaution was unnecessary.

Everyone is just making friends all over the place here. "Or perhaps we should simply put it up for auction instead," Melissa fired back. It was a gamble. But it was what one would do in this situation her her mind.

"I am quite sure we will be able to get more than 20 million. Though I do appreciate a good haggle at times, I simply must insist on getting the proper amount if you wish to buy it directly."

She leaned over toward Jennifer, making a show of whispering to her and shielding her mouth so no lip readers might be picking up their consideration of how much to counter offer this time.

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
The executive assistant huffs with surprise at the blast in her ear and clears her throat to cover the slip. Damn Wade to every hell in existence. Jane fervently hopes the bowler hats don't have sharp ears.

An expectant glance is thrown at Ms. Jones who wins through with a counteroffer. She exhales through her nose, hiding a smile then leans into to the pantomime by writing another figure on the pad which she taps several times.

Wade Wilson has posed:
    "The way I see it, Miss Jones. Miss Littleton. Is you can either take the offer, and then enjoy the auction. Or you can have nothing and no access to the auction... and try your hand elsewhere. Although, of course, I will make my displeasure known to the community. And it is... a small community." That said Mr. Vive smiles thinly even as he rests his elbows on the table and interlaces his fingers oh so casually.
    But then he lifts his voice, "Perhaps an offer of 24 million, will push you toward reason. Although I warn you, that is my final offer."
    Mr. Rank nods slowly alongside Mr. Vive, as if this was truly a good offer and so accomodating that clearly they should accept it. Then he turns to stare at Miss Littleton once again.
    << I SWEAR ON BUDDHA'S FAT BELLY YOU HAD BETTER TAKE THIS... >> Then there's the sound of scuffling, thumping, crashing, glass-shattering. Then another voice belonging to Pistolero. << Get his hands! Get his hands! Watch out he's biting! >>

Harley Quinn has posed:
Now that the bowler boys have been put in their place by Miss North she can finally be at rest, knowing that her work has been done. In fact, there is even a pleased little smile on her features. She's so professional...

... even if in truth what she is doing is smiling at the sounds coming from the communication device. Oh yes, she can picture it perfectly in her mind now. In fact she can picture it so well that she shouts, "FUCK HIM UP!" Oh no, this was going so well so far.

She can still salvage this because she then speaks up apologetically. "Tourettes." smile showing those impeccable pearly whites. What an odd duckling this Miss North is. But doesn't brilliance always invite a little dash of crazy?

Melissa Gold has posed:
Between the sounds in her earpiece and the sudden outburst from Miss North, Melissa's eyes go a little wide as she looks at the woman for a moment. Then she sort of nods, taking the excuse as though it was the gospel. And that is her sign that it is time to get out of here.

"Twenty-four and two invitations to the auction. After all, we can't have just one seat." She looked pointedly at her partner/assistant then back to the men. She reached for the helmet, putting it back in the bag it was brought in before continuing. "Once the money is in my account, we will transfer ownership. Not a moment before. I'm sure you will need to make arrangements for the funds since there were doubts as to our honesty." A pointed look at the expert on Asgardian artifacts.

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
Jane's nerdish attention goes vague at the rumpus playing out in her ear. She grinds her teeth against the stream of bad words rolling across her mental screen, one hand rising to pluck the com from her ear. Survival instincts stop the gesture as her Ms. North'es words threaten them with imminent death. Swallowing, she sits back in her chair, eyes fixed on the dragon dancing on the wall behind them, unable to look at the man staring at her or at the crazy Asgardian expert.

Prompted by those same instincts, she raises her chin and returns his gaze, trying to breath normally. "Meds might help that," she offers. Leaning towards, Ms. Jones, she whispers, "It's a good offer."

Wade Wilson has posed:
    The abrupt injection of expletive does gain the attention of the two men in their bowler hats. They turn to give Miss North a _look_ as if rather entirely surprised at her outburst. Though when she offers her single word explanation they still look upon her with incredulity... before they slowly turn away to focus on their current task at hand.
    "Very well." Mister Rank clears his throat, then nods. "We shall be in touch with you by close of business today." That said the pair of them start to sidle out of their seats, moving toward the door and through. Just in time for the waitress to make her approach as she smiles to the departing men and then looks expectantly to the others in that booth.
    Though curiously there is silence on the ear piece for a time as the comms go silent, though only after a loud /WHAM!/. Until quietly... after a long pregnant pause, Wade's voice is heard as he says softly, << Mel. Can you get me the Szechuan Crispy Chicken? Thanks. >>