Fat Tony runs a really tacky adult shop, in the skeezy side of town. It's the kind of place where you walk fast with your head down until you get where you're going, even if you can put up a fight. It's just easier that way. But, Fat Tony's shop is clean and the guy at the counter is nice enough.
Fat Tony's office is actually pretty nice, though, if you can look past all the product that's usually stored in there. Fat Tony himself looks like he should be selling newspapers from a stand in New York City, from what I've seen in the movies anyway. The whole thing was a slew of mixed signals and confusion, but I'd gotten used to it.
"Natasha, darling. I've got wind of a job you might be interested in." Fat Tony had a way of knowing, well, everything. When I was free, when I wasn't, what I was going to be interested in, and more importantly, how much my services would cost. I never had to haggle with him.
He proceeded to tell me the details of this job. As far as I knew, he was plain old mortal human, but he was "in the know", of what I am, and of what else exists in the world with us.
"There's this relic of sorts. The Brits and the Scots have been stealing it back and forth from each other for hundreds of years. Nobody seems to believe there's anything special about it, besides that both countries say it's theirs. Regardless, someone is willing to pay good money to get it back from Phillipe."
I raised an eyebrow, waiting for him to tell me who Phillipe was, and where I could find him and said relic.
"Phillipe is on a cruise ship to America. The company is run by a vampire and has many provisions for safely transporting them across the pond. He knows he's not supposed to take the item with him to New York, but is doing it anyway. We need you to retrieve it and send it back to us. I've got an identity and a room on the ship for you, but you'll have to find your own way back."
I pondered for a bit while he told me all the details he had on the item, the vampire, and the provisions. It sounded like an interesting job, and I'd been looking for an excuse to hang out in the States for a while. There was something in my safebox in Omaha that I wanted to pick up, anyway.
"Alright, I'll do it."
I went home and listened to the rest of my messages while I packed my bags, humming to myself as I folded my clothes. I've got my swimsuit and my flippy-floppies..
Most of the messages weren't even for me, except for the one from Wei Fong, the guy in charge of my training at the dojo. Something about how I needed to go in and practice or I'd forget what I learned and my muscles would atrophy. If only he knew. I glanced at my fetish, a pair of beautiful nunchucks with a monkey spirit living in them, and grinned. Wei Fong then proceeded to mention something about his son, and I stopped listening. He had hopes and dreams of me marrying his artsy son, who happens to be terrified of me.
But I digress. I packed up enough stuff to sustain me in America for a while and made sure the flat was in good condition for my absence, and headed to my working holiday.
When I got on the boat, I was reminded of Las Vegas. I'm quite sure that if you picked up two blocks of Vegas, turned it into a boat and gave it to a German vampire, this is exactly what you'd get. I dropped my stuff off in my room, and went on a tour of the public areas of the ship.
Look at me, I'm on a boat, motherf'ker.