4325/Funtime Wartime Photography

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Funtime Wartime Photography
Date of Scene: 07 December 2020
Location: The Finger Convention Center
Synopsis: Parker gets the dirt on one of Falcones sons and some good pictures of a lovely display
Cast of Characters: Carmine Falcone, Peter Parker

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     It was the midst of the day the sun shone high overhead and a thick layer of snow blanketed the entirety of the ground in every direction. Cars were backed up bumper to bumper with the occasional yellow taxicab stuck in the mix.

     Off to the side the rare car made its move skipping into the bus lane to speed round traffic only to find itself quickly pulled over by the police having quite a few questions to answer for. Busy day with busy things in the works.

     Near the center of it all rests the Finger Convention center a simple building built in the 40's by a local investor with a thing for bats. Once upon a time it was the most extravagant convention center in town, but that time was a long age past and these days it mostly saw itself rented out for venues of a more private nature then its original ornithological intent.

     "Listen Pete." The voice was ragged and weary a thick country road laced with glass. He coughed on the other end. "I know it's last minute but I need a favor from you." A low sigh exhaled into the microphone.

     Horns honked in the background and the echoing out of the nights big game played through the speakers of an old television set mixing in the background of the call. "Client is paying good money for photos of this.. train set? Diorama? Whatever the hell it is." He tries to laugh and just manages to cough a bit further. "Point is there's good money on the table for photographs of the thing to entice donors, events for that Wounded Warriors project." He sniffles.

     The building was well guarded. Almost too well guarded. Armed security with assault rifles, cameras set up for the event private security in full force outside the building. The parking lot was mostly empty with a bare minimum of staff to get things prepared for the upcoming fundraiser.

     "I know money's tight so you're the first kid I came calling for when I realized I wasn't going to make it..." He pauses for a long moment. "Alright the fifth kid I went to but the sentiments there eh?" He lets out a friendly chuckle. Down bellow the guards are currently dealing with someone who appears to have been attempting to break in. They've got him down on the ground face first into the snow. A pair of guards standing by the cut open fence.

     "Job's over at the Finger Convention Center, just let em know you're subbing for Kolchak, Standard 60-40 split, nothing too crazy." He takes a long pause to blow his nose. "Shouldn't be a problem for you."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter didn't usually do puff pieces or vanity projects, but the fridge needed fixing. It was leaking water. Probably the compressor, or the filtering system.
In any case, it was the deciding factor. He reckoned the "40" was his end. He REALLY needed to set up contracts for this sort of thing.

Peter had stepped out of the alley a block away, his beat-up-looking backpack bouncing as he hustled. He was also testing out the Buddy Holly glasses he used to wear...just with different lenses.
The HUD picked out a few of the visible gunmen, and he was beginning to be concerned about exactly who he was taking pictures of. Well...he figured he would find out soon enough.
He stopped as one guard stepped in front of Peter. "Where's the real photographer?"
"Flu...I'm the alternate."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     The gunman leans his head to one side speaking without vocalizing. It's clear from the bobbing up and down of his throat that he's saying something but none of the words are coming out. Their armor is heavy duty stuff, military grade to say the least.

     There's a long pause before the guard nods his head. "Checks out." He motions his head over towards the other man by the door who pulls it open.

     The outside may have been cold and dreary but inside the convention center it was a lively and inviting place. More security to be certain but it still felt like stepping into a whole other world.

     The walls held memorabilia from various wars and conflicts across the world, tributes to fallen heroes. It's clear that the place was still in the midst of setup with some of the workers still climbing their way up and down ladders to set up more banners and display cases.

     The security here is tighter then most banks and at the center of it all stands the reason why: A majority of the walls of the center have been pulled down to allow for a massive display, the entirety of waterloo in perfect scale down to every branch and leaf.

     It spans the whole of the convention center with most of the dining and celebration area reserved to the overlooking walkways that span above the display. Automaton soldiers march in formation carrying out in real time the battle of watterloo in stunning detail small pufts of smoke rising up from the ends of their guns and blood splattering across their uniforms as they fall.

     Whoever made this had an attention to detail which moves a fair bit past attention to detail, and perhaps even past obsession. The soldiers appear so lifelike they could almost be real people.

     Standing with his back to Parker is a man in a black suit embossed with little roses each one unique. He stands beneath a no smoking sign cigar stuck from the corner of his mouth a glass of white wine in his hand as he looks down over the display like the king of his own twisted castle.

Peter Parker has posed:
Okay...he had to admit, this was an impressive layout. The display is epic in scale and detail, right down to the formation of the "squares" the English formed for maximum effect against the French cavalry.

On another level, this was a glorification of war...and Peter felt he agreed with Sherman's assessment of war being Hell.
"Excuse me...?" Peter asked the man with the glass of wine. "I'm Peter Parker, the backup photographer?"

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     The man turns his head to the side giving a light toast. "Salut" He moves his hand back down. His hair is a pure white with hints of grey left behind three clawmark like slashes just barely having missed his eye some time ago.

     The man has eyes of a killer deep and hawklike pools of grey worn down with age. He gives a warm and friendly smile extended out a free hand in Parkers direction.

     "My name is Carmine Falcone" His voice is smooth like silk and welcoming a stark contrast to that depth behind his eyes. He gives a warm smile in the much younger mans direction. "It is truly a crying shame that my regular photographer couldn't make it" His accent has that clear Gotham note to it with a thick bout of Italian backing it.

     The Bugle had written a few hitpeaces on The Roman in the past. A mob-boss with a habit of nailing his enemies to crosses in the center of town to send a message, and the single longest surviving and ruling mob boss lest alive. The man who up till the 2000's single handedly ran almost the entirety of american crime on the coast.

     "You will forgive me if I do not recognize the name but if Kolchak recommends you?" The 70 something man lets out a warm and friendly belly laugh. "Then I am far from one to judge of his recommendations." He pauses a moment sizing up the younger man. "Come closer I promise not to bite."

Peter Parker has posed:
Yeah, he doesn't bite, but it's not his TEETH Peter is worrying about.
He had spent a lot of time doing work on the crime families of New York, and some of them were connected to Gotham City. And he had heard of Carmine Falcone. The man was sharp as a stiletto, and as about as kind to his enemies as one.
It's the really smart criminals that give him that unpleasant tingle of the Spider-Sense. Not an imminent threat, but as safe as slow thermite.

Focus. You can analyze his criminal dealing later. Right now, you're a Bugle shutterbug as long as he didn't do any deep-dive on the backup.
Peter steps forward, and his voice is polite and quiet. "Good afternoon, Mr. Falcone. Do you have any preference as for what kind of shots you are looking for and where? The Ni...uhm, Kolchak didn't mention any of that was worked out beforehand?"

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Another lower laugh as Carmine shakes his head retracting his hand after a moment. He pulls the cigar out of his mouth and taps it onto the side of the ashtray. "Sounds just like him." He pauses for a moment. "You know when I met him he was convinced one of my nephews was a werewolf" He trails off a bit before motioning down towards the display.

     "Mr.Parker, I'd like you to focus on the soldiers themselves." He pauses a long moment. "At the end of the day that's what this whole thing's about, glorifying the man not the conflict." He pauses for a long moment looking down at the flame of his cigar. Or rather through it. His eyes go off for ten thousand miles through the cigar, the display, the floor, the very earth itself, and into his own memories. "I gave Mr.Kolchak quite the bit of freedom to do his own thing with our little agreements, because we had something of an... understanding"

     "An understanding that this whole thing is one massive waste of time and money." A voice called out from behind. Belonging to a teen the same age as Parker. Dressed in a simple hoodie holding a picture of a banana with spider legs with hair down to his shoulders and ripped jeans with a pair of Reeboks. The young man just chews some gum as he walks on by eating an apple, and giving a bored look Parker's direction.

     Carmine closes his eyes for a moment and just grits his teeth on his cigar as the teenager starts to make his way past.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter glances over to the new arrival. He has been listening attentively, and it reinforces a few things he had suspected. But the charm...he's got it in spades. Ruthlessness is a solid asset when running a criminal empire, but charm works at least as well.
He doesn't acknowledge the guy in the hoodie, merely looking at Mr. Falcone. "Well, sir, I can start now, if you like. I think I know a few ways to frame all this."
He isn't too worried about the newcomer. If the guy wants to make a play for him, he can Charlie-Chaplin his way through it..

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Carmine lets out a bit of a chuckle and a lighthearted smile. "Ah kids, you can not live with em, and it is unfortunately too hard to hide the body." His smile grows a bit wider for a moment as he walks away from the edge a slight bit placing his thumb down into the pocket of his pants.

     "That would be an absolute dream Mr.Parker, I confer my trust normally reserved for Mr.Kolchak unto yourself, I have faith that you will do a fantastic job." He pats Parker on the shoulder taking that moment to stuff a hundred dollar bill right between the strap of his backpack and his shoulder with a bit of slight of hand.

     "My son Luigi gets in the way you let me know and I will make sure to have a chat with him." He he pats down once more before going back for the cigar he'd left behind. From this close it's clear to see that Falcone is well armed. At least 4 pistols in hidden holsters about his person a knife up his sleeve and one non-concealed holster.

     The teenager rolls his eyes overhearing the conversation and hops over the railing using it as a quicker way to get down to the ground floor and look around.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter nods, shifting his backpack off his shoulder to get his camera. As he does, the hundred drops from his shoulder onto the carpet.
He kneels down, picks it up, then holds it up for Carmine Falcone to see. "Mr. Falcone, I believe you dropped this." He puts it on the table, then pulls the camera from the backpack. "I'll start on the left side over there."
He steps away from the table, leaving the folded C-note laying on the tablecloth. He starts at the corner, checking the angles, then begins shooting, picking a section of the display, or the decorations on the walls, framing then before taking 5-6 pictures of each, at slightly different angles.

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "Unfortunate. So it seems that I did." Carmine takes the crisp bill and places it back into his wallet which is already loaded to the brim with cash. The man is easily carrying 3 grand just in petty cash on his person. Though then again for someone like him that may not be too out of the ordinary.

     He walks back over to his cigar and starts puffing away as he enjoys a bit of his wine. Standing before a display dedicated to the veterans of the Invasion.

     As Parker moves from one display to the next it would be clear that a lot of these displays had been donated by members of the public by little plaques that had been set up beneath them. Wars dating back for a long, long time on loan from museums or from private citizens.

     "Then send more." A voice speaks up in a quiet whisper followed by the crunch of an apple. "I don't care how many it takes, the old coot's not going know a damn thing."

     At the diorahma one of the little french soldiers sets at a desk penning out a note back home to his family. He's got a patch over one eye and seems to have been injured in the fighting. A make shift operating theater is being set up by the soldiers to tend to the wounded, and more soldiers are brought back to the overworked doctor.

     "We're going to make a killing off this thing." The voice adds from nearby.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter tilts his head, and he quietly says, "Record."
The glasses don't visibly do anything, but a tiny red LED light goes on in the right arm of the glasses.
Peter doesn't make any outward sign of having heard anything, but he ponders for a few seconds, then moves along the display again, heading back towards the voice. Maybe he can put a face to the voice...

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     It's the teenager, currently stood with his back against one of the pillars speaking on the phone, Luigi. "We replace this shit then we'll have the money to put him down." He tosses the apple into the air with his free hand speaking still quiet just above a whisper.

     "Yeah well if he stepped down I wouldn't have to do it now would I?" He gives a smile. "Thinks he can just stay on top forever." He spits down onto the ground a chunk of apple and shakes his head leaning that head of black hair back against the pillar hard as he talks on his brand new StarkPhone2020.

     The voice on the other line just barely audible asks. "How many people you planning on killing here Luigi?" To which garners the response. "As many as we need to put things right. This whole damn city is mine." The other voice is a bit nervous. "Listen I don't know man this is getting out of hand." To which comes the response. "You get cold feet and I'll make sure the lakebed gets the rest of you cold capiche?"

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter sighed mentally. Okay...the son apparently wants to follow in his father's footsteps. The question is...is the son planning to run over his own father?

Something to add to the database.
He futzes with the camera, as if there is an issue with the memory card.

He doesn't have enough info. He may not be able to stop whatever is going on.

He glanced over to where Carmine is.

...or he could set his father on him.
So keep listening, keep recording, and then see what can be done.

He had to be very careful. Taking money from a man like Carmine Falcone and then act against his best interests is a good way to find yourself in the trunk of a car at the long-term parking lot at JFK, five days dead, with a silver coin in your rotting mouth...

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Carmine stands by the balcony looking over that fine creation. He takes a moments pause as another figure dressed in a fine suit and tie walks over with a chair and offers it to him. He gives a fond smile and a shake of the mans hand before setting down to get more comfortable.

     For all the blister and bluster of a man still in his prime Carmine is starting to show signs of being just a fair bit past it. He sets himself down onto the chair and just looks up through the skylight as the clouds overhead closing his eyes for a moment as he drinks from his wineglass.

     Luigi stands against that pillar still talking quietly into his phone just above a whisper as he looks at the uniform on display, a genuine revolutionary war uniform in near mint condition battle worn. He tosses that apple once then twice in the air. "If you can't manage it, wait for nightfall, I got The German planting his little toy on security should give a clear shot." He pauses for a moment. "Listen if it were that easy I'd just grab a pillow and smother the old coot, I'm in charge here and I do the thinking, after he's dead we go for the royal flush, been waiting to put a round between Kingpins eyes." A smile cracks on the young mans face as he looks overly pleased with himself.

Peter Parker has posed:
Hoo, boy. Yeah, this was something he needed to act on. He had to keep listening...

He paused, then placed one of the microdisc "Spider-Tracers" on the nearby table, slaving them to his rig, then stepped away, moving to take pictures elsewhere so as not to be TOO suspiciously immobile.

He didn't like gangsters. At all. But right now, a young man was plotting fratricide, and that superseded his concerns about Falcone's nature. He was a crook, a mastermind...but he was still a person.

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Luigi looks over just in time to see Parker walking off finally managing to take his eyes off his own reflection which had looked, to him at least, to be wearing that revolutionary war generals uniform.

     "Just thinking man level twelve isn't going to be easy." he says a bit louder out of nowhere. "Might not be able to take it on without some good raid gear."

     As Parker walks along the display one of the little automatons is being carried back to the medical area. He holds his hand up towards the sky reaching out to something far off in the distance before lowering his arm back down to the side. One of the other toy soldiers closes his little plastic eyes.

     As the battle reaches its end something a little strange happens. Unicorns with little construction hats move out from their storage boxes at each end of the display. They walk along flattening back down the cratered ground from cannon fire, and putting back together the wounded soldiers into place. The construction unicorns and nut crackers do their part to set the entire battlefield back to the very beginning of the battle at the earliest hours, all so that the conflict can start again.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter continues onward. Yeah, he got spotted, but he also got enough. He had the recording saved as a sound file, observing the small unicorns handling cleanup and setup. Clever. Fancy. All that was needed was John "Jurassic Park" Hammond saying, "Spare no expense."

He approaches Carmine as he completes his circuit of the room. "Mr. Falcone? I have the pictures, and I was wondering if you wanted to listen to the music they gave me for the presentation?"
As far as he knew, the website for the DAILY BUGLE had no music set. But it might be the right amount of wrong to cause the man to listen...

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "Wonderful" Carmine offers with a bit of a smile adjusting in his chair, to look towards parker. He doesn't even skip a beat at the mention of music, if he knows something's off he's not exactly showing it.

     "If you would do me the honor of having a seat I would be honored to give it a listen" A slight nod is all that it takes for one of the men dressed in formal suit and bowtie to set down a comfortable chair by that overlook over the battlefield display. "I am always interested in an opportunity to hear new and interesting things."

     Down bellow once Parker is out of range Luigi goes right back to talking with the man on the other end. He finishes his apple tossing the core into a nearby recycling bin.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter nods, takes out a set of old-style headphones. "Okay," he said, plugging it into the MP3 player he had with him, one connected to the network. "Now, let me see...I think it's this one..."

Push PLAY.

"..."If you can't manage it, wait for nightfall, I got The German planting his little toy on security should give a clear shot."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Carmine nods his head as if listening in time with some music, and looks down towards the ground he closes his eyes for a brief instance, looking calm. However to the observant eye for just a moment his hand tenses, from open palm into a fist.

     "Not a fan of the lyrics but the beat is one that I'm familiar with." He offers a friendly smile as he opens his eyes. "Mr.Parker," He turns to the teenager. "Some day, and that day may never come, you may call upon me to do a service for you. And it does not matter how big, nor small that service may well be. But until that day, I will consider this recording a gift." He pauses for a brief moment. "However, I am far from a communist Mr.Parker." He pauses for a moment simply nodding his head and one of his men moves off towards a back room. "As a payment forward I will send you off with compensation in the moment."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter takes another breath.
"There is another way you can compensate me. Personally, I don't care if you dress him up in pink frills and pigtails and march him through Harlem...but whatever you do, I think it would be a bad idea to use some method that will...you know, remove any chance for him to learn and improve. It would...not be a very good idea. You ever get tempted, you should verify that most of the content I provide for the BUGLE is taking pictures of Spider-Man in action. And although he's not an A-lister like Superman, Or Batman...well, you know what they say. Number Two tries harder."
A brief pause. "I've also saved it to the cloud storage, as well. I don't do blackmail...or coercion. But I will say that if you do exercise proper judgment on your son, I would delete the recording out of respect for your wise choices."

And Falcone would realize that the way he said it would make it a favor given instead of any kind of threat.
Peter Parker is smarter than he looks...

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "Mr.Parker." Carmine looks over at Peter for a moment in silence. "I do not expect someone who is outside of my business to understand how I run my operation, but we have a personal code to which I hold each and every member." He pauses for a moment turning himself just right so that the camera can't quite see his lips.

     "When that code of ethics is violated there are prescribed punishments to realign those who may wander astray." He gains a more warm expression as if speaking to one of his own children. "Many would call my methods old fashioned, and even when they were new they were still as such, but I am far from a monster, no matter what my pr agent may say."

     He offers a light hearted chuckle still facing just that right angle as he speaks with Peter. "I believe that each man should be able to handle his own affairs in a manner that is proportional to the offense." He pats Parker on the shoulder again. "I may be a criminal in the eyes of the world son, but if I am a criminal? I am a criminal who understands the value of lifes harshest lessons, as I know too well you are as well."

     "Rest assured, I want the boy to grow past this little... error, as I want all my family members to grow and learn, because more then a business." He places his hands locked together. "I run a family."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter took a deep breath. Family can have the strongest bonds.

On the other hand, Reginald Kray would have been more of a success without his brother Ronnie, a paranoid schizophrenic who loved being a gangster more than he loved Reggie.

"Yeah, well...as you say, I am outside." He opens the camera, handing Mr. Falcone the memory card. "Each picture has a number. Pick out the 40 best by tomorrow 6 PM, and email me the numbers associated with the pictures." He hands Falcone a small business card on cheap paper, with his name and e-mail address. "I'll make sure they get posted."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Carmine takes the memory stick and places it into his pocket and pulls out a business card of his own holding it out to Parker. As he does so one of the suit clad men comes back over holding a backpack.

     The thing is ragged and ratty looking like it was grabbed from a thrift store but there it is all the same. He unzips the bag to show Parker a quick look at the bills held within before sealing it back shut and stepping back from the table.

     "Pleasure working with you kid, give Kolchak my regards." He gives a firm nod as he pats Parker on the other shoulder coming up to a stand.

     "I happen to have some business to attend to in the little soldiers room, but I will trust you to see yourself out at your leasure."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter waits until Falcone leaves. He stands up slowly, then opened the bag again.
One packet of fifties. The paper band says $2,000.

As Peter leaves, the bag is still there, but light by about $850, the agreed-upon price. Peter will get $250, of course, because Kolchak will give him a sob story about being sick.
However, it is heavier by one small sheet of notepad paper with writing on it.

I'm not looking to be on the payroll, Mr. Falcone - P.P.

By the time it is discovered, Peter is already heading back to Kolchak's place, with a heavy wallet and a clean conscience.

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     As Parker makes his way out the door there's one thing that might catch his interest from that little sound bug. It's short but it is there.

     Luigi has switched phonecalls and has been speaking with an individual this time in a language not English. It's all fairly mundane things surface level discussion about killing his father but it ends with two words of a less mundane nature.

     "Hail HYDRA."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter Parker says, "And he probably won't check it until he gets home ;)"