What's Behind Door #2?
Roleplaying Log: What's Behind Door #2?
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Jessica Jones asks Trish about the Hellfire Club, hoping to uncover a lead. She gets a lot more than that.

Other Characters Referenced: T'Challa (never by name)
IC Date: September 09, 2019
IC Location: WNEX, Manhatten, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 10 Sep 2019 01:31
Rating & Warnings: R (Swearing)
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The first and only time Jess came all the way up to Trish's domain at WNEX was over two years ago, when trouble came to the station and she came falling with style more-or-less (way too late) to the rescue. Dorothy had ended up stabbed by a Gotham psycho (she got better) and it had been an all around bad scene, one of those times where it becomes impossible to forget that sometimes the shitheads really do get to win.

She comes in with her hands in the pockets of her leather jacket, messy hair blown about by a blustering early fall wind outside. Ripped jeans and combat boots and a grey tank top says she doesn't give a damn that she doesn't fit in to the polished, glamorous hallowed halls she's walking into. A few individuals in suits stop to stare at her.

But she has a way of walking around like she belongs anywhere she goes, and today is no exception. And while she knows better than to barge into the studio while Trish is on the air, she has no such qualms about simply barging in to Trish's office.

"Hey. Got a minute?"

* * *

Today has been a busy day at WNEX. At least it has been for some of its producers and show hosts. Trish is one of those. She's barely had a moment to herself, and only now has she had the time to just sit down and eat. She has a bowl of noodles in hand as she glances over some report on her computer.

She stands up, a bit surprised, when the door to her office opens without a knock. However, when the person who crosses the threshold makes her appearance, all surprise subsides. Of course, if anyone's going to make an unannounced visit, it's her sister. Bowl of noodles placed on her desk, she motions to the seat across from her at her desk.

"Yeah, about the first one I've had today. Good timing." She smooths out her salmon coloured dress and sits back down, taking up her bowl of noodles again and looking over at Jessica.

"So, what's up?"

* * *

"Yep. That's me. Queen of good timing."

Jessica pulls a chair around and straddles it, draping her arms over the back of it. She rolls it back and forth a few times before saying, "So there's this case I've been on for about three weeks, and I've gotten absolutely nowhere with it. If the client weren't who he was I'd think I was on some sort of goddamn snipe hunt. I am tossing a hail Mary pass here hoping you can help."

The rolling comes to a quick stop, and then she starts it all over again, as if she can't quite help herself from indulging in the motion.

* * *

With a tiny smirk and a roll of her eyes, Trish turns off her computer monitor. With another little slurp of noodles, she tilts her head. "Coming to me for help with a case?" She asks with a raised eyebrow. "This client of yours must be someone you trust quite a bit, otherwise you'd probably go tell him to shove it, by the sounds of it."

She raises a single eyebrow and shrugs. "Alright. If I can help you, I will. Shoot. What can I help you with?" She finds it curious that she'd be able to help with something that Jessica can't even find. But perhaps she'll find herself surprised.

* * *

"Yeah, I trust him. And this is the kind of thing that touches on circles you're a lot closer to than I am."

She runs her fingers through her hair and blows out her cheeks. This quick comb-method looks to be mostly what her hair is getting these days; it's kind of a mess and the windblown thing isn't helping.

The frustration carries in her voice as she drops the question bluntly down into the room as if she thinks it's no big deal at all. "You ever hear a rumor about something called the 'Hellfire Club?'"

* * *

Circles that she's closer to? Okay, that's not so far fetched to Trish. There are definitely some unique circles that each of them run in separate from each other. So far she can follow the logic. She leans back a little in her chair, continuing to eat her noodles as she awaits the circle she's useful for in this particular case.

When the bomb's dropped and the purpose of the visit revealed, it doesn't help that she's mid-noodles. She does a sharp intake in surprise at the mention of the Hellfire Club and starts to cough, her eyes slightly bulging. She pounds on her chest a little, placing the bowl down. A quick moment later, she's taking deep breaths in.

"Whew. Sorry." She says in between deep breaths. "Just, for a second there, I could have sworn you asked about the Hellfire Club."

* * *

Jessica is standing up to give Trish the Heimlich even as she recovers. She sits back down a lot slower, eyes narrowing.

"Yes. I asked about the Hellfire Club."

She lets that sit in the air for a long moment, her dark eyebrows lifting into her hairline. Waiting to see what Trish will say beyond that. Leaning forward in that way she gets that makes her look every bit as much as an interrogator as the police officers she holds in such disdain.

* * *

"The Hellfire Club? Seriously, Jess?" Rubbing her eyes and giving a little shake of her head, Trish sighs. "Yes, I am acquainted with the Hellfire Club." There's no point denying it. Her reaction, undoubtedly, gave it away. "They're an exclusive club. Quite exclusive." She says softly.

Gazing at Jessica for a good, hard minute, as trying to ascertain some hint of who knows what, she tilts her head. "Why are you looking into them?" She could say that it's not safe, that she's better off not looking into them, but she knows better than that. Instead, she figures it better to find out what the case is all about.

* * *

Jessica rolls back and forth, relaxing. Glad that Trish isn't going to try lying to her. She still looks a little suspicious, but not for the same reasons.

"Apparently there's something more to them than 'we're a secret rich people club that can get anybody access to any kind of vice ever.' My client described it as 'something beyond the pale.' Even he didn't know what he meant by that, because that's all the information he had. It concerned him enough that he's poured some impressive resources into finding out what that was before he came to me. So. I assume the secrecy is the public face, the hookers and blow are what's behind door #1, and I gotta find out what's behind door #2. Any thoughts?"

* * *

"Honestly? What I know of them is mostly that they are…hedonistic." Trish speaks in soft tones. "And yes, the cater to their members whims. If someone has a desire? Well, there's almost no desire to shocking that they won't attempt to assist the fulfillment of." She takes a deep breath in and lets it out slowly. "'Hookers and blow', as you put it, are just part of it."

She leans as far back as possible in her chair, considering what Jessica has asked her. "I can't say I know more than that. However, that doesn't mean I don't know people who have more…clout? More influence? More know how of the inner workings?"

* * *

"You're a member."

Jessica says it flatly, and maybe a little incredulously.

"Jesus, Trish, why? You're supposed to be off the drugs. You don't need to hire a boy toy or a girl toy either, so what the Hell? Why would you get wrapped up in some shady rich people club? For all you know they're the types of freaks who are performing human sacrifices in the basement so they can make sure their stock prices rise. It sounds like what you know is shady enough. Almost no desire too shocking? Christ. There are an awful lot of really awful desires that a lot of people don't find shocking."

The chair comes to a firm halt now, as she leans right up against the visitor side of the desk, her mouth twisted into a mixture between sour concern and genuine confusion.

* * *

"I'm…it's…it's not what you think, Jess! At least not any more." Trish basically pleads. Not that the temptations aren't still there. "I joined when I was 18." She explains. "It wasn't long before I was a regular member. I…" She frowns. "You remember me back then. I was a mess. I was recently done with It's Patsy. I was riding the wave of I Want Your Cray Cray." She almost scoffs. "Did you ever wonder where I was getting a majority of my fixes from?" She asks, both eyebrows raised. "They encouraged it all. The drinking too."

She takes a moment to compose herself again. "They really seemed like they wanted to be there for me. They were like a family to me." She lowers her gaze to her desk.

"I'm still a member. I still attend events." She says after a moment. "I drink less. I don't do drugs. But I do know the names of a couple of the more, shall we say, prestigious members of the Club?" She looks back up at Jessica. "But they're big names. Not the types anyone would want to mess with. At least not without plenty of forethought and the proper intel."

* * *

Jessica Jones takes out a pack of Marlboro Reds and hits it vigorously against the palm of her hand. Or rather, in a way that would be vigorous for anyone else. For her this is feather light. She unwraps the pack and pushes one out, lights it right in the office, and takes a deep inhale.

"No," she says, with a growl of self-condemnation. "I never wondered who was setting you up with the drugs. I thought guys like that asshole in the bathroom were the long and short of it."

She was nothing near being any kind of investigator at 18, someone with instincts but no training and no experience. It hadn't occurred to her at all. And of course she'd been busting up ATMs to prove she didn't need Trish's money. So there was that.

And if she scowls darkly at 'they were like a family,' she decides not to address that at all. She has done plenty of things trying to fill that 'family' void inside her, already knows that she can't lay claim to the idea that their sometimes tumultuous adopted sister relationship is always enough.

She also sighs. "I don't know if we'd even be messing with them. This is a prospective member who wants to vet them. Someone who is unimpressed by door #1 and wary of #2 but still sees some use in it. So…if you've got an inroad into the inner circle, you may be the only one who can find out what's behind that door. If it's some sort of crazy shadow government or human sacrifice bullshit he'll honestly be better equipped to handle it than either one of us. I doubt it's something real benign. They didn't name themselves the League of Extraordinary Angels."

* * *

"Well, now you know. And you know it wasn't just guys like that asshole." It's a part of her past that she's not particularly proud of, but it's still a part of her. "Look," Trish rubs her eyes. "We were both younger and more ignorant back then. Am I proud of everything I did back then?" She shakes her head. "Of course not."

She closes her eyes for a moment. "At 18, we were both trying to prove that we could make it on our own. Me without my mother…and in part without your protection, and you without me." She opens her eyes again. "I'm glad that we broke out of that phase." She makes an attempt at a smile.

"Regarding whether there's anything more going on in the club?" She shrugs. "Well, I can see. I do believe I caught the eye of one of the more senior members of the club, along with meeting another member who has, well, made a name for herself." She leans forward this time. "If I can make inroads with them, there's a chance I can work my way into door number 2."

* * *

Jessica takes a long inhale on the cigarette. "Any members of that club ever disappear?" she asks quietly. "Because that's my only hesitation. I know you're not a delicate violet, but I also don't want to put you in a position where you're alone, in a secret location, with no help, surrounded by people who are about to put a bullet in your brain because they decided you got too curious. You area reporter. They might be more suspicious of you as a result."

Sure, Jessica is unlikely to get this information literally any other way, but she can't let this go forward without the disclaimer either. "It might be better if you just gave me the names and let me spy on them."

* * *

"As far as I'm aware? Nobody has ever disappeared from the Club." Trish offers. "And a public figure like myself? It would be noticeable if I just suddenly went missing." Cautiously she lifts up her bowl of noodles and starts eating again. "Yes, I'm a reporter now. But I have been with them for a while. Granted, I've never quite opted to make myself more known. I've generally been happy to sit in the background. But hey, maybe I'm just a rich woman trying to get richer. Maybe I think making a name for myself at the Club will help with making more money."

She tilts her head. "I could give you names, sure. Do you really think, though, that if there is a secret to the Hellfire Club, a door number 2, as you say, that they'd be stupid enough to go have meetings where they could be followed?" She gives Jessica an 'Are you serious?' look.

"Not too long ago I was invited onto a boat party held by one of the members. That, for example, would have been a perfect place to hold a meeting anyone involved in…door number 2." She pauses and thinks for a moment. "Almost too perfect, once the boat left dock." She's definitely thinking of something.

* * *

Jessica exhales in a long puff of smoke that makes her look a bit like a grumpy dragon trying to decide whether to spit fire. "No, you're right," she sighs, rubbing at her head. "If I had a chance in Hell of doing that I'd have found something through my normal methods. I couldn't even find confirmation this thing existed until I hit on the idea of asking you. I never dreamed how good an ask it would be, but…"

She rubs the back of her neck. "And the days when I could just find my way into a staff uniform on that boat to back you up have passed. I don't love it but…you're an insider, not someone who suddenly shows up trying to get in. Just…take it slow. It will be enough for me to tell my client that I've found a thread to tug on. He's given me several cases and has realistic expectations. He wants it done right, not fast, so. Take your opportunities, see what you can learn, but don't be too eager or change anything you're doing. If they were already drawing you towards the inside track you can just let them keep drawing."

She pulls a bottle cap out of her pocket so she has a place to put some ashes without getting them on Trish's floor. "Maybe they feel like having a celebrity actress turned celebrity media personality in their pocket would be useful to them somehow."

* * *

"You're a damned good detective, Jess. You really are. One of, if not the, best." Trish offers with a little smile. "The Hellfire Club is just…they're that good at being exclusive. They don't like their presence being known, but for their members and those they hire." She rubs the back of her neck.

"I'll do my best to get the information I can." She agrees. "I won't be too pushy. If I see an opportunity to get you in, I will. If you want me to."

She laughs a little. "If you asked me, a year or two into being a member of the Club, if I ever thought I'd end up spying on them? I would have told you 'No way, Jose!' How times change."

* * *

"Yeah, don't try to get me in," Jessica says, shaking her head vigorously. "No club like that wants a frickin' detective poking around, no matter who she rubs elbows with."

The woman gives a crooked grin, though, at being named the best. "Thanks. You're biased, but I'll take it. As for the other, priorities change, I guess. I think if you'd heard about anything untoward on your own you weren't like to just smile and nod at that. Not anymore, if you ever were. Thank you though."

She pauses and says, "I'm sorry. I'm doing the thing again where I mostly push people into doing things, for my investigations or for the greater good, depending on how charitable you're feeling. I didn't even ask how you're doing. I know I've been scarce. I just…haven't felt like doing much."

* * *

"Biased? Me? Never." Trish puts the bowl down and shakes her head. "I've got my journalistic integrity to keep, you know. I could lose it by being biased." She stands and walks to the other side of the desk, leaning on it while standing next to Jessica.

"You know what, Jess?" She places a hand on her shoulder. "You've had a tough time of it lately. I'm just glad you're getting out there again." A short pause. "And that you feel like you can include me. I don't care what we're doing, as long as we're doing it together. The Eurythmics were right when they said 'sisters are doing it for themselves'." She grins.

* * *

"You're such a dork," Jessica says, in the way that siblings say things that sound offensive but are really affectionate. She reaches up to squeeze Trish's hand and then stands to draw her into a hug. Far more seriously: "Be careful. Call me if you need an unsubtle rescue. I can't exactly be with-you with-you while you do this but it is definitely a 'together' thing. And if you scent something an external person needs to go look at, let me know and I'll start digging. Hell. If you need help with a story cause you're doing this shit from me, send me to dig at it."

Digging, she can do.

She lets Trish go, a worried look crossing over her face.

* * *

"As dorky as they come." Trish smiles. It's nice to know that Jessica is getting back to herself. It may not be easy, and it may take a while, but she's getting there. She embraces Jessica in the hug, giving her an extra little squeeze to let her know that she's here for her, one way or another.

"I'm always careful. You know me." There's a bit of an amused tone to her voice. Oh yes, Jessica knows her all right. All too well. "I'll call you." She says. "With whatever I have."

As they let go, Trish furrows her brow. "Come now, Jess. Don't look so worried. I'm sure things will go swimmingly." She sounds confident enough, except for using the word 'swimmingly', which is a bit out of character. "Between the two of us? This is a piece of cake."

* * *

Jessica puts out her cigarette in the bottle cap and throws the whole array into Trish's trash.

"Swimmingly," she says, flat and unconvinced. She may already be regretting having this conversation. But they're committed now.

"Cake," she adds, sounding even flatter. Then she blows out her cheeks and shakes her head.

"I should let you get back to work. Thanks, Trish."

She's going to either leave now or backtrack on everything she just said and asked for, only to have Trish do it anyway without telling her and get herself into even worse trouble.

Yes. Jess knows Trish, alright.

She slips out then, intending to power-walk on out of there.

* * *

"Yes. Swimmingly and cake. So sue me. I work in radio. Words are sort of my bread and butter, you know?" Trish can't help but feel slightly amused. "Take care of yourself, Jess."

She watches her sister slip out. Staring at the door for a few seconds, she finally shakes her head and gets back to her seat. "Well, this day got a whole heck of a lot more interesting." She murmurs to herself, turning her computer screen back on and getting back to work.

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