Rave On, Mr. Chuckles, Rave On!

((JP with Lucian Nepreen & Blitzen))

“I got Cosmic Rains, and I got Red Devils,” Cyd told two ravers who flagged her down. She’d seen one of them before, Jareth? Jared? Something with a J - but couldn’t remember selling to them. But as long as they had cold, hard clicks? She didn’t so much care. “All outta Nitro.”

“Naw, we ain’t buyin’.” Jareth replied. DJ Digi Kitti readied one of her size six kicks in case either of these pricks thought they were gonna rip off Mathias! “We got for free from someone parked out the gates.”

“Comp Pharma?” Cyd asked, quirking an eyebrow.

“Yeah, said he wanted to get a message to you.” Cyd took a step back in anticipation. She’d been manhandled twice that day, and not in the way she liked, either, it wasn’t going to happen again. “Said he just wanted to talk.”

“I’m not all that chatty.” She started to tell him, looking over her shoulder. She’d lost site of Math and Axel in the crowd, but she did catch sight of the bracelet little Connor had made for her. Fuck. The last thing she wanted to do was involve the guys. Math had responsibilities, and Axel - he had a bad hand from jump, he didn’t need more shit piled on him. No, this was her mess, and she had to clean it up. Fuck. “Outside the gates? Whatever. Just don’t say nothin’ to Kandiman or Speed if you see ‘em.” Checking back one more time, she slipped out the back to go handle whatever it was coming her way.

She didn’t recognize the tattooed man by the car at the gates, but she approached cautiously, he looked high, twitchy even. “Look, if this is about the clicks, ten percent is too high.” She called to him.

Lawrence was caught off guard by this approach, he had already forgotten about his previous venture.
“Nothing of the sort madam. I am simply seeking a partnership. I understand my runner may have… misinterpreted my intentions. I apologize sincerely and if further aid is needed in mending such a debacle, I happen to have the man himself.”
Opening the car door, Hendrix all but tripped out of the vehicle, still shaky from the drugs and possible concussion.
“I do not entertain such violent methods, so he is yours. You can do whatever you like to him and if there is anything else I can do to smooth things over, please let me know.”
He took some frustration out on his lackey, kicking him forward so that he stumbled and fell close to Cyd’s feet. It soothed the tick beginning in his arm, to think he was acting so civil to this filth.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Cyd said, holding up her hands. For a guy who didn’t entertain violence, he was certainly entertaining it! “I handled it, I handled it. This is a rave, PLUR - you know? Peace, Love, Unity, Respect? Hendrix is a prick and he got a bit fighty, but me and Speed runned him off. We’re good.” She’d gotten to kick him in the bits and raked his face earlier, maybe she’d thought about Matty taking a bat to his knee caps, but she didn’t want him dead or anything, he was just a tweaked out punk! Not like they hadn’t gotten in scraps before. “What sort of partnership are you looking for? I thought there was a deal in play - we give you some of the take whenever we hold a rave this side of town, we don’t get no trouble?” She said, trying to diffuse the situation.

The uneasy look on her face told him that she didn’t do violence, her statement validating this.
Fine by him, they had to have dirty secrets somewhere.
“Then he can go, the point is he will not be under my employ any longer. To the business at hand, I would prefer to join our forces instead of creating a divide. You bring customers with your raves, I have chems that satisfy any itch and craving. Together we could create the biggest and best raves this city has ever seen.”
He knew he was exaggerating his chems, but he needed this to go through. It wasn’t that big of a stretch though, he had yet to hear bad reviews of his supplies.


“Join forces? I mean, you can come on in and sell!” Cyd chirped. “But it’s like I told Hendrix -- We don’t do exclusives, You have chems, so do other people. Smokes, Sevens, Rock Salt, Cosmic Rains, Red Devils, they come from different cooks, Raves got favs. I don’t know who you are or what you make, but you or your runners can sell whatever party favors you got. We ain’t gonna pat no one down to make sure they ain’t selling.” She dug her hands into the pockets of Mathias’ jacket and shrugged. “And I already do throw the best raves this city ever seen. So I guess thanks, but no thanks.”

Lawrence put his hands up in surrender. These people had a lot of confidence.
“Please, I mean no offense. I have a tendency to be quite dramatic and to many it shows as arrogance. I have worked with others and they often demand my exclusive employ. If my runners can sell at your raves, that is all I need.”
Not the turn out he had hoped for, he was beginning to regret throwing Hendrix under the bus if this would be the result.
He suddenly remembered the vial, the odd substance of unknown make.
“I was told of a man going by Mathias that worked with you? I was actually hoping to speak to him as well about some business.”
As much as he detested the thought, the need to know what this stuff was provided a bigger itch.

“No offense taken.” Cyd replied with an uneasy grin until Mathias was mentioned and her smile faded. “Mathias?” She asked quickly - too quickly, shrugging her shoulders. “Ain’t never heard of ‘em. I can ask around. Who should I say is looking for him?”

It wasn’t hard to see she was stalling, most likely to defend those she knew. Lawrence was fine with this, any amount of stalling to avoid this hellish pigsty was enough for him.
“He most likely doesn’t know of me, but my friends have taken to calling me Mr.Chuckles. It’s an inside joke that rather stuck with me.”

“Yeah, I’ll be sure and do that Mr. Chuck --” What started out as sarcasm dripped away along with the color from Cyd’s face. Shit, fuck, FUCK! That was the guy, the one who killed all them kids.. .The fuck did this guy want with Matty? Keeping her hands in her pockets, she started backing away, keeping her eyes locked on the drug maker. “les. LIke I said, I don’t know ‘em, sorry.”

Hendrix was starting to come back to reality, having spent the time prior mumbling about bears? The man groggily stood and saw his position.
Before he could say anything, Lawrence had him by his shoulder and was more or less dragging the poor runner back to his car.
“I will be waiting here if he is here, if not, it has been a pleasure to smooth things over and I wish you the best!”

“Be waiting a long time on account of there’s no Mathias--” but the dealer was back on Hendrix. Damn and Double Damn. “here. If anyone knows ‘em, I’ll tell ‘em you’re looking.”

Bringing his attention to the sobering runner, Lawrence kept a quiet but firm tone.
“Shut it and listen, I succeeded where you failed and right now they need to believe I have fired you. Walk away from this car, shout at me, even use some curses. Whatever it takes so that you look mad.”
With that he threw the man back onto the sidewalk. Hendrix took a moment to get his bearings, then did his best to follow his orders.
“Fuck you man! Ain’t no one gonna work for a piece of shit like you once I start talkin! I was just following orders!”

Cyd had no love for Hendrix, fucker was the one who kicked Speed, but he’d already took licks for that, and if he showed again, he’d take worse! “I know you got a lot on your plate, I don’t want to take up any more of your time.” Cyd said, backtracking. “If I find a Mathias, I’ll tell ‘em you were by. What were you lookin’ for ‘em for?” She quickly glanced back towards the rave, but only for a second, not wanting to take her eyes off the twitching kid killer.

Giving another flashy grin, Lawrence did his best to hide the irritation growing inside.
“My runners have been telling me of a new drug on the streets, some powerful stuff that could take over the business. I was only wondering if he had heard of it.”

“What drug is that? I know pharma’s pretty good.” She boasted, keeping her distance still.

It was fortunate he had gained another vial, he tossed it to her.
“I have no idea what it is. People say its a Hive creation and I am of a mind to believe them.”
Now she had his attention, if she knew drugs then she might now how to crack its code.
“I have been trying to reverse engineer the damn thing, but it is well crafted and the high is like nothing I have felt.”

“A shooter? That’s -- hard core, We don’t do shooters. They bring too much attention. That’s why you only see this shit in the Hive, they can get away with it down there. You don’t want to be reversing this for topside. Waaaaay too much heat. This shit’s gotta stay outta the raves.” She tossed it back to him. “I don’t know Mathias, but if he sells at the parties, I can promise you he won’t know nothing on that.”

Catching the vial, Lawrence let a small scowl come to his face.
“Thank you, you have helped out more than you know. For now my hope is not to sell it, but to find who is making it so that our business remains. Can’t imagine anyone would want another drug when this stuff takes over.”
Seeing that he wouldn’t be seeing Mathias tonight, he opened his car and stepped in to leave.
“A pleasure madam, if you happen to find Mathias, please let me know.”
Not waiting for a response, he slammed the door and sped away.

Cyd finally exhaled as he drove off, with a sinking feeling that she may have dodged a bullet but swallowed a grenade. “I should have paid the fucking ten percent.” She muttered before dashing back to the safety of the rave.

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