Among the Underground, at the Waystation in Berlin High.
Raphael and Lee are hanging out in the garage while Lee tinkers with Jack’s jeep. It’s needed a tune up for a while and only just recently has Lee received supplies to give the battered vehicle the love and attention it needs. While working, Lee is deaf to the world. Even the most outrageous things can’t drag her attention away from whatever project she’s occupied herself with. But among the spew of words Rav tosses at her while he lingers, one phrase catches her attention enough to make her pause work and listen.
Lee: Wait, you were involved in dog-fighting?
Lee: But that, that’s reprehensible! Those poor dogs!
Rav: Oh now hold up. I didn’t go and torture my animal.
Lee: Of course you did, that’s what dog fighting is.
Rav: Nah nah, that was what OTHER people did. Other people set up the bait dog, put up the drugs, invest all their time and energy in creatin’ a nasty ass bitch who would sooner chew your foot off as look at you.
Lee: Really? You didn’t do all that?
Rav: Well I thought I’d be real noble. This one jackass had some mean cur he was going to get rid of. Some bait dog that decided to grow itself a spine. Spindly but strong yellow dog with a dark face. I liked him, he had some spunk to him. Didn’t take shit from any dog of any size, whether bigger or smaller, and the idiot who got him didn’t have the stones to even try taking out the damn thing’s teeth.
Not that it would’ve matter. I saw that mongrel bitch-slap Stevie’s yappy little Bichon for sniffing his rocket too much. It was kinda funny. Even with its mouth taped up, it still got its licks in.
So I go “hey Stevie, give me that one!” and Stevie goes and gets him for me. He’s fucking useless as a training dog. They want something that rolls over and dies to get the fighters’ rocks nice and hard. Stevie sells him pretty cheap to me.
And so I brush that dog and feed it real good food and treat it sweet for something like months. And his fur grows in thicker and his teeth ain’t so mangly. I even saw him wag his tail once or twice out the corner of my eye.
Lee: He was your pet.
Rav: He was a business investment. He already proved he had the stones to fight. I just polished him a little is all. And anyway, I figured going in with a sure-fire loser would be a great way to turn the bets around. Make a huge stack. And all for so few dollars buying a bait dog who didn’t work out.
Lee: So what happened?
Rav: Oh his throat got ripped out like, first fight we had. Turns out buckets o’ love don’t compare to daily roid shots and a diet of sharks and small children. Bled out all over the pit floor. Real nasty, that.
Lee: That’s terrible! After all that effort!
Rav: Well what could I expect? They got a finger on the scales. You can’t play honest when everyone else is cheatin’. Try that and you watch your pride and joy get worried like an old bone in the mouth of some barely-canine monster.
Lee: Maybe if you’re playing with cheaters.
Rav: Everyone cheats.
Lee: I don’t.
Rav: Yeah, you keep repeatin’ that then.