2011 07 10: The Next Big Thing

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Mission Name: The Next Big Thing
Date of Mission: July 10, 2011
Locale: Washington Square Park — Greenwich Village

Who says pot isn't a gateway drug?


Cole Thomas

The heavy police presence can make it a challenge to have any real fun in the park, but then, the challenge sometimes only adds to the fun. That may explain why Cole has decided to choose the park as a great spot to blaze a fat doob. The late hour means the playground isn't being used by any tykes, leaving it free for the ne'er-do-wells to take over. Cole is currently perched on a swing, swaying only slightly with her arms wrapped around the chains, one hand gripping the chain while the other holds the joint. Letting out a slow plume of smoke, she looks down at the ground, absently kicking her combat boot in the dirt.

The park's a popular destination for lots of troublemakers tonight. A few couples are hiding out amongst the taller trees and, ahem, field-researching human anatomy. Over on the sidewalk, there's a guitarist shilling for donations for a bum leg that actually walks just fine, next to a guy selling stolen goods spread out on a blanket, next to a three-card monte dealer with his shills and marks. And then there's Thomas, apparently just detouring through the area for the scenic view. "Oughtta be careful with that," he muses, "I could smell it from a hundred feet off. Pigs could do the same, if they ever bothered to show up."

Cole looks up blearily, not heavily, heavily stoned, but baked enough that it's obvious. "It wasn't me," she replies in a level tone, making no effort to hide the joint or otherwise actually convince him of that line. Still, his words of warning are enough to get her to glance around the immediate area to make sure there aren't even of those pigs lurking anywhere nearby. When she can't find any, her eyes return again to Thomas, blinking at him a few times. "Hey, I know you," she realizes. She takes another draw from the joint and then, holding it in, offers the butt-end towards him, holding it out with a questioning look.

"The mechanic, right?" Has to be; skin that pale is easy enough to recognize, even with the poorer lighting. Thomas politely waves the joint away, wandering over to half-sit, half-lean against a dome climber. "Kind of an expensive habit you got there, huh? Especially with not having a steady gig worked out yet."

Cole nods to his guess, slowly letting out the smoke again in a steady, narrow plume as she watches him. When he turns down the joint, she just shrugs, not too upset about not having to share. "This? Man, this is one of the cheaper habits I've got," she notes with a stoned sort of humour, looking down to the joint and then back to him. "But, you know, life is hard and shit, I don't know." She shrugs listlessly, glancing back out over the darkened park.

"Well, yeah, there's expensive and then there's expensive. Coke? Tuner cars?" Thomas isn't sure which one's worse, just that they're higher up on the scale. He continues to glance around from time to time, equally interested in keeping the conversation nice and private. "Works better if you're the one selling it, if you can pull it off."

"I've done a lot of shit in my time," Cole replies with a shrug. "Big on the tranqs these days. E's good too, when I can get it. But really, I'm not picky. Beggars not being choosers and all that." She takes another drag from her joint, considering his point about selling while she does so. "Big if. Gotta have the right connections. Lotta risk. Not that I mind some risk, but… gotta be worth it, y'know?" So says the girl sitting in a public park to smoke a joint simply because it's something to do.

It's music to Thomas's ears. Pushing away from the metal framework, he takes a couple steps closer, and lowers his voice some more for good measure. "I do like people who can handle some risk. Now as far as being worth it… how'd you like to get in on the ground floor on something new? Gonna be the next big thing, the way I hear it."

Cole looks up at him from her seat, still swaying slightly, causing the chains to creak quietly against the frame. She considers him in silence for a long moment, having the patience of a pothead right now and so in no rush to get from points A to B. Still, it isn't all that hard to read the interest in her expression, that little bit of greed born of desperation. "I'm listening…" she finally replies, sparing another glance to scan the area and make sure they're still along.

"Well, see," Thomas explains, "we've got the product, but we need some people with enough free time to do the footwork, get it to the people who'd be interested. Now you, if you're going to be moving around a lot from one garage to another…" Simple, right? He seems to think so. Or he just assumes that she can work out the risks for herself. "And if the thing with the garage doesn't work out… well, then this could help your life not be so hard and shit."

The joint is nearly burning Cole's fingers by this time, and in lieu of a roach clip, she just holds it in her fingernails to take one last draw before extinguishing it. Dropping it to the ground, she crushes it under her boot and then looks back at him, expelling the smoke as she breathes out in a deep sigh. "Fuck, I'm all for life being less hard." She wraps her other hand around the chain now, swinging a few inches as she considers the offer. "All right. I'm interested. You get me the shit and I'll move it. I know lots of people."

Thomas's smile is that of a predator looking at— not its prey, not quite a packmate either. A lion and a jackal, more like. "Meet me back here in two days, same time," he says, offering a hand, "we'll work out the details then. Glad we could help each other out this way."

"Two days," Cole repeats a bit more slowly, trying to make sure she really gets that into her addled brain and doesn't space out on it. "Right here. You got it." With a little nod, she slows her swinging and unwraps her right hand from the chain so that she can shake the one being offered to her. "Nice doing business with ya."


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