It certainly wasn't the tallest building in Pittsburgh. To be honest, it wasn't even the tallest building on the block, but Pinnacle's top floor penthouse did give its owner a fantastic view of the South Shore. The dark night air was surprisingly clear for once, but Carmen Victoria Carnifex had checked her weather app anyway.
Heavy showers expected...again.
One should always expect some level of culture shock when moving long distances, but this East Coast weather was what was really beginning to get to her. While it was hard for her to say that she really missed L.A., Carmen did miss SoCal's weather when compared to this cold and rainy bullshit.
"Por Una Cabeza" played softly through the penthouse's sound system in sharp contrast with the heavy industrial Drum & Bass that was playing two floors down. While she knew they were testing out the overall accoustics on her orders, it was impossible to hear it on this floor. Augustus had been very thorough with his work, after all.
Her phone's simple notification alarm went off mere seconds after she set it down. Her eyes rolled as she reached back down to snatch it back up. To her, it seemed as though the damnable thing owned her more than the other way around. It wasn't the first time she'd honestly debated activating the floor's specialized signal jammers to give herself the excuse that she was just out of reach. Why she didn't just activate the phone's Airplane-Mode was anyone's guess.
Point State Park Fountain. 30 minutes. You bring one, I'll bring one.
Carmen had been waiting for this text for the better part of the day. Intermediaries were painfully slow, and the dark nature of the parties on the ends of that single-thread of communication only seemed to slow things down more sometimes. The taller-than-average woman let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding before standing up and snapping her fingers crisply. A pair of large men in tailored black suits seemed to appear from other rooms.
Mikhail, get the car. Alexei, chaperone.
The two men nodded and quickly moved to execute their master's tasks while she slipped into the washroom. First impressions were always important.
Twenty minutes later, a single black BMW sedan slowed to a stop in front of the east side of Point State Park. Alexei stepped out first from the front passenger seat before opening the rear passenger door. Carmen looked around for a moment, smelling the air and finding it rather...distasteful. The odors rolling off of the river were not the most pleasant, and, to Carmen, the recent series of storms had seemed to dislodge some of the fouler materials upstream. Alexei closed the door behind her before Mikhail drove the car away to wait for the signal to depart. The large Russian man openly carried a large umbrella for his employer on the assumption that her little weather app was correct. A not-so-distant rumble confirmed that as well.
"Tsarina, I do not ss-ink Meester Dahvenport vood liek ahss beingk heere for loheng. Rain eez comingk."
Well, he'd probably like me meeting personally with unknown arms traders without him even less, but how about you just worry about keeping me safe and dry and I'll worry about dear Augustus, khorosho? Ladna.
Two minutes before the assigned time, the pair reached the fountain. There were few people around with the coming storm, but it wasn't particularly empty. Looking to her left at the beast of a man called Alexei, the corners of her mouth curled into a soft smile for a moment as she watched him try to scan for threats like Augustus had taught him. However, unlike dear Augustus, Alexei was wearing hidden plate armor beneath his suit and was concealed carrying four 9mm pistols that looked like toys in his hands.
As for Carmen herself? Her weapons were the heavy black woolen long coat over her black silk pants and matching blazer. The extremely low-cut white blouse under that almost made it seem like she wasn't wearing a shirt under it at all. These were her weapons tonight. Well...that and her razor-sharp eyeliner highlighting her masterfully done "natural" make-up. A lot of effort had been made for her to look vulnerable, approachable, trusting, and amiccable...whilst still showing that she'd chosen to look that way on purpose.
Layers upon layers. Lies atop lies. Shadows in shadows.
Obsidian was ten minutes early. He and Sulphur had arrived in the Range Rover, which Rhody had driven off to park somewhere. A one-on-one meeting, with one man for backup in case anything went sideways. Quite a bit different from the meeting he had had with Prometheus. Not that he minded, of course. He preferred to meet in public spaces when able. Usually on his own turf if he could swing it, at the Diamond or Warehouse 97.
The fountain was a compromise. Neither of them wanted to meet somewhere private, and neither wanted to meet on each other’s turf, but the fountain was quickly becoming barren. As the rain threatened to roll in, people began to leave, to flow out of the park. He saw her come in, saw her and her mountain of a man personal guard. She was tall, likely as tall as Obsidian himself in those heels, but not quite as tall as Sulphur. The mountain of a guard was more concerning than she was, because if he could get his hands on Obsidian before Obsidian could react, he’d likely snap him in half.
Of course, Sulphur would be able to paralyze the pair before anything untoward actually happened. That was the whole point of bringing him with his specialized kit.
Obsidian rose from his seat and brushed off imaginary debris from his wool duster. He tugged on his leather gloves, making sure they were snug and secure. Beneath the coat, he had gone for all black with a scarlet red tie for dramatic effect. His shirt, vest, and pants were all clearly well pressed, with crisp lines, and his black dress shoes were matte and unscuffed. He was dressed subtly but dressed to impress. While his clothing was plain, it was clearly of good quality. Sulphur was dressed likewise, but in a grey blazer, pants, and a black turtleneck. He had an umbrella in his hands, but wore no overcoat himself. Something about the weather never bothering him.
The two of them moved forward to join the woman and her bodyguard at the fountain. As much as Obsidian would have preferred to have obscured his identity for this meeting, having it set in public meant that his gold eyes and red curls were on display. He’d had his undercut trimmed up, so the fade was more clean, and his hair was combed neatly to the side.
Hopefully, being as sharply dressed as she was would earn him some points. He wasn’t affiliated with any official organizations the way Carmen was. All he had was Slate and Painite, Inc. But between the two, he could get you anything you wanted, legal or not, especially now that the legal business was branching out. Hopefully, this meeting with Carmen would provide for both sides of his business.
As they got closer to the pair by the fountain, Obsidian took in her appearance. She was dressed to impress, just like he was, however, she had fucked up in one regard. While she might have been appealing to most men, her charms would have no effect on him. He chuckled as they approached, and then, with a polite smile, he stepped up to her, leaving roughly three feet of space between them.
“Carmen, I presume. Lovely to meet you face to face.”
I do humbly thank you for meeting with me on such short notice.
Waiving at Alexei to politely fuck off, Carmen wrapped her coat around herself a bit tighter. Two reasons. First was that her first analysis of this man was that he wasn't one to be baffled by a flash of skin and a wink. Second was that the cold front ahead of the coming rain had hit and, as Augustus would have said ten years ago, shit be cold as fuck.
My sources say you're not associated with any of the...huh-emm... families around here. That plus your sense of fashion tell me that you're just the sort of man I'm in need of.
Moving deliberately slowly, Carmen gently pulled out her phone and unlocked it. Turning it towards the man, the side-view-protected display briefly showed the image of some assault rifles before they flipped to images of blocks of explosives...then finally some long cylindrical tubes... Swedish-made AT4 anti-tank weapons. Carmen was very careful to angle the device so that only Obsidian would be able to view it directly. Using the phone's display as a medium instead of just stating her requests limited criminal liability for both parties. No prosecutor wanted to explain to a jury that sort of situation in a court room.
I find myself in need of sizeable quantities of those products as well as the various supporting materials. I have a few rather large projects coming up, and I find myself needing the work of an outside contractor. Is that the sort of thing you might be capable of, sir?
To put things simply, Carmen Victoria Carnifex, Brigadier of the NovoMiro Bratva, needed weaponry and she needed to get them from outside her Russian contacts.
Obsidian nodded as Carmen implied he wasn’t associated with any of the “families” in the area. In fact, he preferred to stay away from them as much as possible. It gave him more opportunities to work with unique individuals, people like Prometheus, and now, like Carmen. Working with a family would cut his profits, and they’d probably bypass him entirely in the future and simply demand his suppliers.
Not that he had any to give. His chain of operations was as clean and straight as you could possibly imagine.
He tilted his head as he looked at the phone, then held up a finger to pause her before she could thumb through the photos. He reached into an inner pocket on his coat and pulled out a pair of rectangular glasses, sliding them into place on his face. Then, he gestured with his hand for her to continue, a polite smile on his face. He watched the images slide over the screen… and raised an eyebrow at the end.
“Hmm.” He scratched the back of his neck. She was looking for some serious firepower. He nodded his head after a moment. “I can provide everything you’re looking for, though the deliveries will have to be separated out. Some of those things will take a bit longer to acquire, but I have most of them on hand. They’re going to cost you. The import fee is… not cheap.”
He gave her a sharp smile, white teeth flashing. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the AT4s he needed to have shipped to him– it was the explosive packs. He hadn’t brought any of them when he had come from Philly. He hadn’t assumed anyone would need that level of firepower. He had only brought smaller charges, the kind you’d use to break open vaults or lockboxes that you didn’t want to damage the contents of. That was normally what these small-time people wanted. But Carmen wasn’t a small-time crook or gangster. With that in mind…
“Given my name may end up floating around for this, as I’m the only independent… businessman in the area, to my knowledge, would you care to tell me who we’re going to war with? Or are you going for a merger?”