January 16th, 2007
It was fortunate for Underwood that the next evening fell on a Tuesday, for it meant that tonight, 'Silk Eddie' Treadwell was holding court at the Blackout. In truth, all that one needed to know about the place was contained in that name.
It was a dingy, miserable looking bar deep in the ruined slums of Tottenham. There was no sign but for some neon lettering in the window, the A and C dimmed. There were a dozen booths inside, as well as a bar, and the menu consisted of no impressive cocktails, no foreign liquors. There was beer, and there was whiskey, and there was gin, and that more or less exhausted the selection. But then again, no one went to the Blackout for the booze. They went here because it was dark, and that darkness could hide a multitude of sins.
'Silk Eddie' sat in the farthest booth from the main entrance, near a door that lead to the kitchens and the restrooms. He was a bronze-skinned man of indeterminate heritage in his late thirties or early forties, his hair extravagantly quiffed, dressed in a silk suit of some expensive cut. He rolled an unlit cigarette holder in his mouth, and every individual aspect of him screamed success and wealth. But it didn't work. 'Silk Eddie' was, and would always be, a bottom feeder. He was a drug dealer and a pimp, and no matter how he dressed it up, after every meeting with him even the lowliest of scum wanted to wash their hands. He was sleaze personified.
But before Underwood could get to 'Silk Eddie', he had to get into the Blackout to begin with. As a stranger, this was a little harder than it seemed at first glance.
"Hey buddy." A man sitting at the bar said when Underwood came in. He was a big man, with a prodigious gut and arms laden with more muscles than Underwood cared to count, clad in biker's leathers. He stood, six feet of muscle and fat, and gave the reporter an unfriendly look. "You sure you're in the right bar?"