LeahofCherem

DXN - A Show of Goodwill (Intros)

Jun 16th, 2016
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  1. [00:00] <Cherem> =====
  2.  
  3. [06:51] <Cherem> The long walk home. Reiko, you leave Shirobayashi behind you, piled in the car with your allies, driving back to your apartment. With Ai going with her father and Doyle answering another appointment, you are heading back to your place alone, it seems. Honda doesn't talk much, still mulling over the situation with Akane and the UGN.
  4. [06:53] <Cherem> As you pull up to your apartment, you can hear the sound of a hammer against wood, echoing down the street. Honda frowns a little, "Hm. So, you're good dropped off here?" Honda asks cautiously. You're getting some "helicopter parent" vibes from how he asks it, like you can't cover the 15m walk from the car to the stairs to your apartment.
  5. [06:55] <Otomo_Reiko> "Yeah, I'll be fine." She doesn't sound terribly sure but how hard is a short walk after going out in public and being shot it? She'd faced worse recently. "I need to access the damage."
  6. [06:57] <Cherem> "Ah." Honda nods a little, "Well, let us know what happened. I set aside a little budget for... things like this, and if worse comes to worse, we'll ask Tindalos about it." He waves as you leave, waiting until you turn the corner to head up to your apartment.
  7. [06:57] <Cherem> It's as you turn the corner that you're greated with a sight. Two people at your front door, one of them kneeling and hammering something into place, the other hovering and giving directions. From a glance, that's your landlady, Ohara Naomi.
  8. [06:58] <Cherem> Speaking of "front door", you don't even see a "door", and it looks like the apartment beside yours just had a new one installed.
  9. [06:59] <Otomo_Reiko> After some hesitation she adjusts the way her backpack sits on her shoulder and approaches.
  10. [07:02] <Cherem> The stairs make a little whine as you put what weight you have on it, and Ohara turns. "Oh! Otomo, you're okay!" The stairs tremble as she hops down towards you, hand grabbing for your shoulder to check and make sure you're there. Her fingers are thick and wrapped in gauze, proding your shoulder and arm.
  11. [07:03] <Otomo_Reiko> "Y-yeah, I'm okay. What about you?" She could do without the touching but she could put up with it too. "Sorry about any mess there might be."
  12. [07:05] <Cherem> "Mm, I'm fine, but you disappeared! I figured you ran away when they broke in, but I was so worried..." Ohara does look concerned, turning to look up your old door, lying sideways against the wall in two pieces.
  13. [07:06] <Otomo_Reiko> "I guess I kinda did. Is there a big mess inside?"
  14. [07:07] <Cherem> "We didn't try going in, we know you prefer your privacy, but..." Ohara has a guilty look on her face as she goes up the stairs, leading you to your living room. The place has been... utterly violated, torn to pieces, no stone left unturned.
  15. [07:07] <Cherem> The man in the doorway gives you a half-glance as you pass by, more concerned with measuring and making sure a new door can fit.
  16. [07:08] <Otomo_Reiko> "Urg," she groans seeing the mess, suppressing the urge to vomit. Some stranger had torn her safe place to pieces. What now? "Sorry again, it was some weird misunderstanding."
  17. [07:09] <Cherem> "Mm... I see." Ohara nods a little. She doesn't look terribly convinced, and it manifests a moment later, "Do you know what it was about?"
  18. [07:11] <Otomo_Reiko> "...no, not really. I'm still a little confused about the whole thing."
  19. [07:12] <Cherem> Ohara is quiet, before clapping once, a loud, snapping sound. "Alright! I'm going to go and get Dinner started, I'll bring you some as well." She smiles a little, "And let me know if you need help cleaning." She turns, waving a little as she goes.
  20. [07:13] <Otomo_Reiko> "T-thanks." She waves a little as Ohara leaves, sighing heavily as she looks around at the living room again. She was turely dreading the trip into her bedroom.
  21. [07:15] <Cherem> Said room is... surprisingly intact. While the rest of your house has been ransacked, this room looks like nobody touched it.
  22. [07:16] <Otomo_Reiko> "This feels wrong."
  23. [07:17] <Cherem> However, nobody knows your machines better than you, and after about half an hour of checking externals, running quick power tests, and isolating signals, you find a bug, a tiny black thing the size of your pinkie's nail, slipped against one of your externals.
  24. [07:18] <Otomo_Reiko> "Well well," she mutters, holding it up carefully between two fingers. "What should I do with you?"
  25. [07:19] <Cherem> Where there's one, there's many, and you've got your next day laid out for you it looks like.
  26. [07:21] <Otomo_Reiko> "I'm an indoor type anyway," she says with a resigned sigh.
  27.  
  28. [00:00] <Cherem> =====
  29.  
  30. [07:23] <Cherem> The wind is blowing slightly as you start the walk home, Ai. Your father at your side, he neglected to pile into the sedan with Honda and the others, insisting "I'd like to stretch my feet a bit." He beckoned for you to join him, his briefcase swingingly mildly as he walks. "So, Ai, tell me about what happened." He looks at you with the expression of a parent wishing to hear of their child's daily exploits.
  31. [07:23] <Cherem> "Your friend Honda and our Guests at the House didn't feel like keeping me in the loop." He smiles a bit, but it's a thin one, a little lacking in mirth.
  32. [07:27] <Mr_Rage> "What happened?" Ai strolls along fearlessly, as she usually does, tails tracing three arcs through the air in tandem with her stride. "What d'you mean?"
  33. [07:28] <Cherem> "We were there for two days, but I didn't see you around. That boy, Takao, said you went out to help Watanabe, something about 'more Tindalos stuff'." He shrugs, "Was Honda putting you in a dangerous place again?"
  34. [07:34] <Mr_Rage> Ai giggles, tickled by the idea that Honda could put her in danger as always, but the moment passes with a sudden frown. "I--... saw someone else like me." Not a Chimera; Dr. Yuu knew full well Ai only meant one thing with 'like me.' "They were hurting." Her shoulders shake, tails curling anxiously.
  35. [07:35] <Cherem> "Someone like you..." Your father's brow furrows, "I see." His step almost stutters for a moment, but he regains his stride quickly. "Hurting. Did you find who made them hurt?"
  36. [07:37] <Mr_Rage> "That man! The one we--..." Ai bristles. She wasn't sure she could have brought herself to eat him, but she'd wanted to at least try. "There was two, but the other one died."
  37. [07:38] <Cherem> "Man... what did he look like?" Your father continues. Your house isn't too far as you walk and talk, and it's starting to come into vision.
  38. [07:43] <Mr_Rage> Ai does her best to describe both the coward they'd run into first, and the doctor the group had captured, fading off when she realizes where their legs have carried them.
  39. [07:45] <Cherem> "Mm..." your father's expression grows darker as you talk, and as you approach the door, he turns to you and sighs. "Ai, I want you to be careful. These people sound like no good, and if you find somebody like them again, I want you to excuse yourself. This isn't your responsibility." He sounds painfully serious. He reaches for the door... and it swings open, unlocked and left open.
  40. [07:45] <Cherem> Your ears pick up the sound of bubbling water inside, and your father's coffee machine whining.
  41. [07:46] <Mr_Rage> Ai's ears swivel. She hadn't completely comprehended why, but she nods obediently before darting in, landing on all fours and sniffing to figure out who the intruder is, stalking from room to room with a bizarre mixture of canine and feline hunting methods.
  42. [07:47] <Cherem> Your father makes a noise, moving to follow you.
  43. [07:50] <Cherem> The kitchen. There's a figure facing the door, and you can hear the rapid tinkling of a spoon against porceline. A man is standing, waiting for you as you enter, eyebrow raising. His hair is long, pulled into a ponytail that drapes around his shoulders and neck in a night-black scarf, resting on his leather jacket languidly and reaching down to his belt. HIs eyes meet yours, vivid yellow and snake-like in their appearance. He's wearing black jeans and textured leather boots, and his eyes flick over your form with interest.
  44. [07:51] <Cherem> "... Ai San, is it?" He's leaning against the counter, sipping his coffee quietly. His voice is quiet as he blows the top of his mug gently.
  45. [07:55] <Mr_Rage> Ai rumbles suspiciously, but she rises to her feet, nails grown into icy blue claws. Mongoose versus snake... "Who're you?"
  46. [07:57] <Cherem> "I guess you would be-" The man begins, setting down his mug. If there's an impression you get from his movements, it's calculated grace. No useless movements at all. "- A little young to remember." He looks over your shoulder, "Is that your father in the doorway? I need to speak with him."
  47. [08:01] <Mr_Rage> "Remember...?" A glance over her shoulder to see what Papa thinks of the matter. Though, he should take it as a compliment that her eyes swiveled in two directions just so she could keep one on him; not many people ranked high enough that Ai considered getting stabbed in the back more than 'now I know they're in range.'
  48. [08:02] <Cherem> Your father followed you in a moment after he heard the voice, glaring at the man drinking his coffee in the middle of your home. "Please don't listen to this man, dear. Go to your room." That's not even a request.
  49. [08:03] <Cherem> "Oh, come on Yuu. It's not that bad." The Man sits down at the table, "Besides, she might want to know what we're talking about."
  50. [08:03] <Cherem> "She doesn't." Your father snaps, and for a moment he legitimetly looks angry with your visitor.
  51. [08:05] <Mr_Rage> Anxiety curls Ai's tails, gaze darting between the two men. She makes to go down the hall to her room. She doesn't wait long before creeping back to listen in, of course.
  52. [08:07] <Cherem> "You know how long it took me to find you?" The man sighs a little. "Too soon, by my accounts. What're you here for, Viper? You never made a point of dropping by for coffee before." Your Father is insistant about learning this man's motives, it seems.
  53. [08:09] <Cherem> "Well, just, Enman is paying some people to look for you. Yamada got picked up apparantly, and Enman got the bug for his notes. Got a tipoff from a friend about it, figured I'd find you before they did. Take it I missed out on that though, huh?" Viper sits down, and your father starts brewing up another cup of coffee.
  54. [08:09] <Cherem> "No. I haven't heard anything of Enman, or the others. More importantly, I don't want any of that talk under my roof." Your father hisses the last part.
  55. [08:11] <Cherem> "So, the chance of you coming in on your own terms, and dealing with him like that are..."
  56. [08:12] <Cherem> A mug is set down on the counter with a punctuating clap, "None. That's all the past. No UGN, no Guhuin, no Enman." Your father says it with some finality. "How did you find out where we were?"
  57. [08:14] <Cherem> "A man has ways." You can almost hear the tension from your Father, "UGN knows where you are. They know, Others found out there. You can't just disappear."
  58. [08:14] <Cherem> "I can try. We can try. Finish your coffee, we can have this talk another time. You know where I am now, at least." Your father sneers verbally, and you can hear the sounds of boots on the floor. Time to scurry back up the stairs.
  59. [08:15] <Mr_Rage> Huphuphuphup
  60. [08:16] <Cherem> Listening, you can hear Viper pause at the stairway, as if he's waiting for something. But a moment later he shrugs, and the door closes behind him as he leaves. There's silence in the house, only broken by your breathing and the distant sound of your father's spoon in his mug.
  61. [08:19] <Mr_Rage> In a private moment, Ai adds 'Enman' and 'Guhuin' to a diary, one secret from even her father. Ai appears in the kitchen not long after, changed and cleaned up. Without a word, she clambers up into Papa's lap and settles in, leeching as much comfort as she provides.
  62. [08:20] <Cherem> Your father doesn't protest, instead petting your head carefully, thoughtfully. "Be careful out there, Ai. Promise me that." He says it almost as if he's not speaking to you, just words in his head slipping out.
  63. [08:22] <Mr_Rage> No giggle this time. For the first in her life, 'danger' has a figment of reality to it. "I promise, Papa."
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  65. [00:00] <Cherem> =====
  66.  
  67. [08:26] <Cherem> "Oh, welcome back!" Your Producer looks up as you enter the Office, Miyu, reporting back to your actual, real job for the first time in days. "How was the private performance?" And immediately, he hits you with something you've never heard of. The Talent Agency's office has the air conditioning on, giving your skin just the faintest of goosebumps, a fan circulating the air in his office. Beside him, his assistant is going through paperwork, organizing dutifully.
  68. [08:29] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Thanks." Miyu mumbles. "It went without a problem. A little different from performing for a huge crowd but nothing I couldn't handle." Miyu rubs at an arm. "Have we got anything else on the menu for the near future?"
  69. [08:33] <Cherem> "Mm, we do have a sort of cross-thing going on, a handshake greeting. We aren't having you as one of the 'shakers', but we will need a performance. Although, that's in a few days. More importantly, have you heard from Serizawa Yuki recently?" Your producer sits up, a serious look on his face behind his reading glasses.
  70. [08:36] <Shinjou_Miyu> The topic of Yuki drops Miyu's expression from bland to sour. "It's been a while. Last I did she was in a pretty bad mood over breaking up with as..." Miyu stops herself, managing a fake cough before she finishes the word. "Yeah. She took that pretty hard. Haven't seen her since a little while after that."
  71. [08:37] <Cherem> "Mm. Well, we recieved word from a talent agency she was doing minor work with. She went missing, say about a week ago. We heard from the police that she was sighted in City N, and a friend of mine asked me to ask if you knew anything." He sighs a little, "Sorry, I didn't mean to bring up bad memories."
  72. [08:39] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Not yet, but I'll keep my eyes open and ask around. I know someone who'd probably be able to find her pretty quick unless she's all holed up in a cave. City N is such a mess of weird stuff it's grounds for worry."
  73. [08:42] <Cherem> "I didn't take you for that kind of personality, Shinjou-san." Your producer smiles a little, "Maybe we could work that angle for another show or album." He's probably teasing, "Alright, that's everything from me. Your father called as well, I should mention. Told him you were out working, but we'd let you know." He returns to his paperwork.
  74. [08:47] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Suppose so. Have to keep things fresh, right?" There's a lack of enthusiasm in Miyu's voice, probably brought on by the mention of her father. "Either way I'll get in touch as soon as I can find out anything on Serizawa. I probably should have done this a lot sooner."
  75. [08:49] <Cherem> "Of course. We have the police looking for her as well, so even if... Well, we'll find her." Your producer smiles a little, "Well, if you find her first, I'm sure that'll be a happy reunion."
  76. [08:50] <Cherem> As you talk, however, there's a ring. Your producer blinks, and you realize: that's your phone. The number that flashes across it is familiar enough to be in your contacts: your father. How... unexpected.
  77. [08:52] <Shinjou_Miyu> Miyu answers the phone. "Moshimoshi?" she says in a bland tone.
  78. [08:54] <Cherem> "Ah, Miyu!" Your father's voice comes across, a little more coarse than it used to be. "Miyu, it's your father. I've been trying to reach you for days, but the phone wasn't working." Sounds... excited.
  79. [08:55] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Yeah... I got in a place where the service blew goats for a while and choked on the resulting goatgoo. Wasn't cool. What's up with you?"
  80. [08:56] <Cherem> "Ahahaha... haaa.." Maybe that doesn't go over so well, "Uh, I was going to ask if you were free in, say, five days. Papa is going to be having an event, and... do you remember Yuki-chan?" He sounds nervous, "She was supposed to be attending as part of the event, but, we can't seem to contact her. We were wondering if, perhaps, your agency, or you! would be interested in attending..."
  81. [08:58] <Shinjou_Miyu> "I've got a performance scheduled in a couple of days. As long as it doesn't fall on the same day I'll be there. We're looking for Yuki, too. The agency hasn't been able to get in touch with her for a while either."
  82. [09:01] <Cherem> "Oh, I see..." Your father hesitates, "Well, I hope we find her. This is about a building renovation, we're partnering with two American firms to try and clean up part of the city, so if you could come..." he starts talking about how much he'd appreciate it, how much it'd mean to him, et cetera et cetera.
  83. [09:02] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Yeah, sounds good, dad. See you later and be wary of goats."
  84.  
  85. [00:00] <Cherem> =====
  86.  
  87. [09:04] <Cherem> When you got home, you slept like a log, Goemon. Your sister had locked the door, but you got in with your own key. And as soon as you closed your eyes.... WHAM. The lights flick on, the sheet is thrown off your body, and you're rolled over to look at the ceiling.
  88. [09:05] <Cherem> And your sister is standing above you, hand on forehead, checking your temperature, before going to check your pulse.
  89. [09:06] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Good morning?" with a smile. "Sorry i came back late."
  90. [09:08] <Cherem> "Morning?! Late?!" She looks at the clock: 2a, looks like you slept for hours at least, "You were gone for days! Where were you?! Are you okay?!" She's checking your arms and body for injuries now.
  91. [09:09] <Goemon_Hozuki> "I'm fine, my phone didn't have a connection so i couldnt let you know i had to go on a bit of a trip." trying to calm her down.
  92. [09:10] <Cherem> She doesn't look very pleased, "Was it a work thing, at least?" She finally lets go of you, letting you sit up and fix your shirt.
  93. [09:12] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Yes, it was for work. It went well just didnt have a connection." trying to assure her it was ok.
  94. [09:14] <Cherem> "Alright..." Inuchiyo frowns, "Well... You're back now. And I have good news!" She flashes you an envelope, "They paid me a little extra at work this week! In fact, I got a raise!" She grins proudly, "Let's go out to eat tonight, there's a resturaunt nearby that isn't too expensive."
  95. [09:16] <Goemon_Hozuki> "That's great, if you want to that would be great." smiling a bit at her raise.
  96. [09:16] <Cherem> "Of course!" She grins, "Now you get some sleep, we'll go later tonight." And with that she steps out of the room and hits the light."
  97. [09:18] <Cherem> Half a day later, you feel rested: sleeping in your room for the first time in days, and no creepy cult wandering around outside your door. You wake up when the sun is starting to come down again, pretty late, but after a shower you're ready to go out. Your sister is waiting for you, dressed conservativly in jeans and a pull-over jacket. "It's a short walk from here, a family type place." She starts talking to you about work on the walk there, complaining about her boss sometimes, customers and coworkers.
  98. [09:19] <Cherem> It seems like, despite everything, she's living a life very different from yours, where the most stressful event is a customer complaint. But, she's happy, at least.
  99. [09:22] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Work sounds like its going well."
  100. [09:24] <Cherem> "Mhm mhm." She smiles, "I hope yours is too. Just, let me know next time you... go." She hesitates as you come into view of the resturaunt. Outside, you can see what appears to be a very heated argument, between a man dressed like a manager, and a military-looking man with a cropped haircut. He's got three smaller versions of himself as well, other thuggish-looking guys, and from the argument, seems like they didn't pay.
  101. [09:26] <Cherem> Something about them is painfully familiar: you recognize the uniforms, maybe without the vests- they look the guys who attacked you at Reiko's place.
  102. [09:28] <Goemon_Hozuki> "I don't know if we should go tonight sister." looking a bit hesistant at the arguement.
  103. [09:28] <Cherem> "Mm... Yeah..." She looks between you and the group, "I don't like the look of them. Maybe... another time?" And as she says that, your phone starts ringing.
  104. [09:29] <Cherem> Honda. Is one day off really that much to ask for?
  105. [09:30] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Shoot." goes to look at who is calling, answering it. "Hello?"
  106. [09:32] <Cherem> "Hey Goemon, Honda here. I got called to have dinner with Middleman and figure out what we're doing before we call everybody else, wanna come with? I think Doyle'd get mad at me if she heard I was doing this."
  107. [09:34] <Goemon_Hozuki> "I was going to have dinner with my sister." looking back towards the arguement outside of the restaurant.
  108. [09:36] <Cherem> "Aah... Hm. How about we go get something, bring her too, and we meet up with Middleman afterwards. He's a rational guy, I think." Honda sounds a little cavalier about it.
  109. [09:38] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Sounds like a plan. Where?"
  110. [09:40] <Cherem> "There's a place close to my office, little ramen joint. We'll meet there, my treat." Honda smiles, "Everybody wins. You spend time with your sister, then we go and meet with Middleman."
  111. [09:41] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Alright," closing his phone and looking to his sister "I got us a place to eat on my boss."
  112. [09:42] <Cherem> "Ah, your boss?" Your sister looks a little surprised, until a devious look crosses her face. "Good! I have some words for him."
  113.  
  114. [00:00] <Cherem> =====
  115.  
  116. [09:44] <Cherem> Almost as soon as you left the compound, you got a call from your dummy phone. Waving Honda away and managing to seperate yourself, you take it quickly. "Renovated apartments, two blocks south of you, one to the left. Third story, ninth room. It's urgent." And a dead line. You recognize the voice: Rewind.
  117. [09:45] <Cerys_Doyle> She gives a sigh after hanging up the phone and makes her way off. Now was not a good time, but she couldn't really say no.
  118. [09:47] <Cherem> The apartment is... recently overhauled, at least, looks nice. Maybe a place for a safehouse, if it wasn't a meeting room. The third floor, nineth room has one entrance, and one exit, unless you would consider jumping out of a third story window. It's an easy path this time, and you find yourself at the door in no time at all as it swings open. Sitting inside, Rewind is smoking a long cigarette. There's a gun on the table, her fingers splayed across it as you enter, but she recognizes you before her body even registers the door opening. "Evening."
  119. [09:48] <Cerys_Doyle> "Evening." She replies stepping in and closing the door.
  120. [09:50] <Cherem> "Sorry about the short notice, but this was serious." She holds up a picture, one you recognize as the Overed who you met storming Yamada's building, "His name's Middleman. I need to know, did you meet him?"
  121. [09:51] <Cerys_Doyle> "Unfortunately." Her face sours. "He made an appearance, forced hismelf into a situation."
  122. [09:53] <Cherem> "Mm..." Rewind nods a little, "He has a tendency to do that." She sighs a little, looking at the picture. "Did he tell you what he was doing in City N? What he was up to?"
  123. [09:54] <Cerys_Doyle> "Nothing specific other than being a nuisance. I imagine that we wil likely find out soon however."
  124. [09:56] <Cerys_Doyle> "He mentioned calling in a favor to Honda." She addds after a moment.
  125. [09:57] <Cherem> "Mm." A wry smile crosses her face. "A favor, huh?" She frowns a little, slipping the picture into her jacket. A very "plainclothes" look today, less "secret agent" and more "private investigator". "Keep me informed on this." She stands, slipping her gun into her jacket as well. "I have a question." She hesitates for a moment, picking her words. "What do you know about the Guhuin Group?"
  126. [10:00] * Cerys_Doyle raises an eyebrow at the question.
  127. [10:01] <Cerys_Doyle> "Guhuin Group?" She says the name back semi-questioningly.
  128. [10:03] <Cherem> "You seem like a good person. Or, you aren't a total tool." Rewind nods a little, "There's a business card under the table. Let me know when meet Middleman again, and slip him the card. And..." She stops, opening the door. "Don't believe Kuromizo."
  129. [10:04] <Cherem> There's a solid noise, like your ears popping, so subtle that it almost wasn't there before and you notice it by it's absence. Your phone(s) both start going off like mad, both of them displaying "Caller ID Not Found".
  130. [10:05] <Cerys_Doyle> She swears a little and answers the other phone first, all the while kneeling down to get that business card.
  131. [10:06] <Cherem> The door closes and Rewind is gone, and you can hear the man she mentioned, Kuromizo, over the line. "Doyle! We've been trying to get to you for weeks, what's going on? Where are you?
  132. [10:07] <Cherem> Underneath, there's a pair of white cards with off-cream coloring and simple black text. A number, identical, on each of them.
  133. [10:08] <Cerys_Doyle> She takes both the cards. "I just got off a long job with no cell reception, long story. Something wrong?"
  134. [10:09] <Cherem> "Yes: we have reason to believe two dangerous wild cards are in play. One Ian "Middleman" Goodwill, and Jamie "Playback" Knapp. A source inside the UGN said they were making contact with Tindalos. You are to report anything regarding them to us."
  135. [10:10] <Cerys_Doyle> "Of course, I'll put together an information drop." She starts making her way out of the building.
  136. [10:11] <Cherem> Rewind is nowhere to be seen, but that's almost to be expected. According to Honda, you have at least a day or two to get work done until he calls you in. Plenty of time.
  137. [10:12] <Cerys_Doyle> Time to go home and get drunk.
  138.  
  139. [00:00] <Cherem> =====
  140.  
  141. [10:14] <Cherem> And all of you, a day later, around eight in the morning recieve a phone call or a message. "It's Honda. I'm meeting Middleman at Noon today at an Apartment near the City N river. We're going to be chasing more of Yamada's friends, I think, so, I'd appreciate all the support you can give. I'm letting Ginyomi know as well. I'll see you there."
  142. [10:14] <Cherem> There's also the offer for him to swing by and pick you up as well.
  143. [10:15] <Cherem> The apartment is a small affair, two stories, but the "complex" is a little... complex, with several turns and spots where a street view can't see in, and plenty of the doors can't even be seen from a bird's eye view. Good place to hide out for a week or three.
  144. [10:17] <Cherem> As the car trundles down, Honda looks out of the window from the back seat, leaving the front and passenger's seats to Doyle and Goemon. "Huh. Looks... claustrophobic.
  145. [10:19] <Cerys_Doyle> "I'd like to again just voice my disapproval on this idea."
  146. [10:19] <Cherem> "What's wrong with it?" Honda squirms a little in his seat. "I mean, the guy's famous, in a sort, right?"
  147. [10:20] <Otomo_Reiko> "I should move here when my lease is up." She has her goggles pushed up onto her forehead as she peers out. Looks like she shaved her head since getting home, tangles mop replaced with black stubble. Only a hood that no doubt made her look suspicious could hide the electronics sticking out the back of her head.
  148. [10:20] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Hey, Reiko.... you mind doing me a favor?" Miyu asks, seeming to be aboard for the idea.
  149. [10:20] <Otomo_Reiko> "Whats up?
  150. [10:20] <Otomo_Reiko> " She pulls her gaze away from the aparments, past Ai to zero in on the idol.
  151. [10:22] <Cerys_Doyle> "Just a gut feeling." She tells him.
  152. [10:22] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Over the next few days it'd be great if you could keep an ear to the ground for someone who might be in town. Serizawa Yuki. Used to sing with me before I went solo."
  153. [10:23] <Cherem> "Mm... I should trust that, I guess." Honda steps out of the car, stretching a bit. "My own gut feelings are always somewhat off anyways."
  154. [10:23] <Otomo_Reiko> "Yeah...sure. I can do that."
  155. [10:23] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Will try if i can."
  156. [10:24] <Cerys_Doyle> "Just be careful dealing with him. Everyone should be. He interfered with our opperation in order to get a favor, and who knows what else."
  157. [10:24] <Otomo_Reiko> Reiko climbs out next, stands on tip toes as she stretches too. "I'll be staying behind Cerys."
  158. [10:24] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Thanks. I'll get you an autograph or a custom voice recording or something when we've got the time."
  159. [10:26] <Cherem> "Fair enough." Honda nods, double-checking to make sure his gun is indeed in it's holster. "We'll be cautious." And then he takes point walking.
  160. [10:26] <Cerys_Doyle> Cerys gets out of teh car too, maving over to Reiko, Miyu and Ai. "I'll keep the girls covered, Goemon you cover Honda."
  161. [10:26] <Mr_Rage> Ai follows towards the front of the group, radiating something rare for her. She's thinking about something.
  162. [10:27] <Otomo_Reiko> "Who can I cover?" She looks up at Cerys, patting the arm that only days ago had turned into a gun.
  163. [10:27] <Cerys_Doyle> "Keep my backside covered." That almost sounded dirty, but hard to tell her facial expressions with those sunglasses.
  164. [10:28] <Cherem> "You okay there Ai?" Honda frowns, The apartment in question is up a flight of stairs.
  165. [10:28] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Alright but make sure our backs are covered."
  166. [10:29] <Mr_Rage> "Ahuh," the Chimera answers absentmindedly.
  167. [10:30] <Cherem> Honda frowns a bit and shrugs, "Eager to find more of Yamada's friends?" he grins a little, less "cheerful optimism" and more "foolhardy driven".
  168. [10:30] <Otomo_Reiko> "I wouldn't be so eager. They're the real monsters."
  169. [10:31] <Otomo_Reiko> She touches the back of her head at the thought of seeing Yamada's associates, approaching one of the apartment doors. "Think these doors are sturdy? Mine broke in half apparently."
  170. [10:31] <Cherem> "Well, if we can stop them from making monsters, that'd make us heroes, right?" That's a dangerous fire building in his eyes.
  171. [10:32] <Cherem> As you approach it, the door swings open slowly: looks like it has been reinforced. A man in a black suit is waiting, far too nice a suit to be answering the door. He's got somewhat chinese/japanese features, his black hair cut short and sprinkled with salt. His face is clean shaven save for a goatee, also salt-and-pepper. His eyes are hidden by sunglasses, but this is the face of a man who's seen some shit.
  172. [10:32] <Cherem> "Tindalos Agent and company." He sounds pretty gruff and serious.
  173. [10:34] <Shinjou_Miyu> "That's us." Miyu says, putting on a (probably fake) smile.
  174. [10:35] <Otomo_Reiko> Reiko tilts her head, looking their greeter up and down.
  175. [10:35] <Cerys_Doyle> Not so much of a smile from Cerys, just dead pan staring.
  176. [10:35] <Cherem> He gives you a look, Miyu, almost one of recognition. "Right. The Big Guy's inside." He steps aside, and you catch a glimpse of a gun on his hip. "Come on in. Wipe your feet, no need for the shoes to go." And inside he walks.
  177. [10:36] <Shinjou_Miyu> In she goes, doing a thorough wiping beforehand.
  178. [10:36] <Cherem> Inside, the place is... a little cramped, at least entering. You can hear several people inside, talking about various things. In the living room, there's Middleman, standing and smoking a cigarette and facing the wall.
  179. [10:37] <Otomo_Reiko> "Very western. Why do you call him that?
  180. [10:37] <Otomo_Reiko> 'The Big Guy' I mean."
  181. [10:38] <Cherem> The man looks over his shoulder, "Well, calling him 'boss' doesn't sound right. 'sides, that's my title these days. At least until you showed back up here, Guy." He looks at Middleman.
  182. [10:38] <Cherem> Tacked to the wall is a large map you can recognize as City N. The thing is going through an acupuncture of sorts, with all sorts of spots poked in with needles and tied with strings. Looks like somebody's been busy. As you walk in, Middleman glances over his shoulder.
  183. [10:39] <Otomo_Reiko> "Sounds complicated." She seems to chew on the info, looking over her group.
  184. [10:40] <Cherem> "Tindalos." He turns, "You should get your suspension checked, by the way," he tosses out to Honda. "Welcome, welcome to my bolthole. Time to talk about the favor."
  185. [10:43] * Cerys_Doyle crosses her arms and starts to scope out the place, making a mental map of the place.
  186. [10:43] <Cherem> He beckons to the man who let you in, who in turn makes a few signs to some of the other men. They quickly hop to getting a table set up in the center of the room, moving the map and the board it's on to the table. "So, Yamada. He's one part of a chain of pains in my ass, and from what I see he's of interest to you too."
  187. [10:45] <Otomo_Reiko> "As are his associates." The hikki pulls her goggles down before scanning the map.
  188. [10:45] <Cherem> "Now, the stuff they're doing, Overed treatment and experimentation, takes seriously specialized equipment. And there's two ways to get it. One-" Middleman taps the University, the UGN's stronghold, "Order it from the UGN. Or steal it from them. Either way, on the UGN's books."
  189. [10:46] <Cherem> "Yes, them. And the second way," he taps the river. "Sneak it in. 'Lose' it in China and ship it by sea. There's two groups that have enough pull to do it. That's where I come in."
  190. [10:47] <Mr_Rage> Ai bristles, but it passes before it can register as a threat.
  191. [10:49] <Cherem> Middleman pauses for effect before continuing, "Now, I don't like dealing with this kind of stuff. Equipment like that getting snuck in is just asking for trouble. However, we think they've managed to infiltrate one of our rings, and start shipping stuff in with our other stuff. It's on our books as mechanical parts for cars, steel, but it's actually specialized equipment."
  192. [10:50] <Cherem> "Now, this ring should be delivering equipment tonight. They're going to be coming up the City N river, giving us aaaaall the signs that they're not fucking thieves and shysters stealing MY name and using MY reputation, and then get the equipment to their people." Middleman grits his teeth, taking a deep pull from his cigarette.
  193. [10:51] <Otomo_Reiko> "How was this not noticed sooner?"
  194. [10:51] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Whats the plan then."
  195. [10:53] <Cherem> Middleman looks at Sunglasses Guy, who rubs his neck, "We believe they have Overed working with them. They're False Hearts, using their abilities to dupe our men. We got a tip about this two months ago, but the shipment got stuck in some encounter in the South Sea. It's only coming up now."
  196. [10:54] <Cherem> "The plan is, you're going to help Hua's men, my men, take over the boat as it comes into the city. I'm going to run interference and keep their alarms from getting out. You'll take over the boat, and take it to wherever they tell you. Give us the destination, and we'll hit them while they're unloading the boat. We get their final delivery point, which should be another lab like Yamada's."
  197. [10:55] <Cherem> Middleman takes a drag and blows, "It's a bit of a rapid-beat plan. I only came back into Japan five days ago, and I heard about this when we picked up Yamada."
  198. [10:56] <Otomo_Reiko> "There are a lot of things that could go wrong between here and there."
  199. [10:59] <Cherem> "Plenty. But the boat comes into the river..." he glances at his watch, "In seven hours. And these people, Yamada's people, are slippery. UGN cleared the building you guys caught him in. Rigged to blow at the first sign of a raid. Thankfully, we took him out before he could destroy all the evidence.
  200. [11:00] <Otomo_Reiko> The hikki frowns as she stares at the map, arms folded over her chest.
  201. [11:01] <Cerys_Doyle> "I don't like your plan."
  202. [11:01] <Cherem> "This keeps the equipment out of their hands as well." Middleman shrugs. "Alright. Let's hear yours."
  203. [11:02] <Cerys_Doyle> "Well, you don't know where the shipment is going. You're planning on attacking them, interrupting the shipment, then attempting to find out where it was going. Why not just follow it?"
  204. [11:04] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Good question."
  205. [11:05] <Cherem> "That passed my mind. Issue is, this place is making multiple stops. It's not just the medical equipment, but deliveries. Some more legitimate. For security's sake, our less-than-legitimate items are packaged nearly identical, and we're not sure which shipment the medical equipment is part of. If we have a trustworthy presence on the boat, we can react quickly to the correct delivery. As it is now, tracking all of the deliveries would be too much to respond to."
  206. [11:07] <Cerys_Doyle> "It'd also likely alert whomever was going to receive the package, giving them time to split, burn evidence."
  207. [11:10] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Well what was our time window for this?"
  208. [11:10] <Cherem> "Which is why I'm running interference. We're going to keep what happens on the boat quiet. I have a contact who will be monitoring radio traffic, and I personally will be taking care of any disturbances. As for time window, from the time the boat enters the boundaries of City N and the first delivery... half an hour."
  209. [11:12] <Cerys_Doyle> She shakes her head. "Your radio interference isn't going to stop the fact that the shipments don't show. They're still going to know."
  210. [11:12] <Otomo_Reiko> "I wonder how much of City N you fuck up with illegal activities," she mutters as she rubs her chin. "Aside from the terrorists and monsters."
  211. [11:14] <Cherem> Middleman frowns, "What do you mean? We're still delivering it. We're going to replace the boat crew and perform the same stops. When we find the people who are taking the equipment, we'll take them down and find out where the goods are going. Unless we're delivering right to their doorstep, which I doubt, they'll have some method of transporting the equipment."
  212. [11:14] <Cherem> Hua frowns, "Where do you think your people get guns?"
  213. [11:15] <Cerys_Doyle> "I make my own guns, I son't import them illegally."
  214. [11:16] <Otomo_Reiko> "Do they make it to the False Hearts too? Can you promise they don't? I mean we can debate this later."
  215. [11:17] <Cherem> Middleman shrugs, "We don't question our buyers." He steps away, "You people should know better than any that the world isn't black and white. But you're right, this isn't the time for this."
  216. [11:17] <Cerys_Doyle> She stalks towards Middleman. "If you think you can take down the whole boat crew," a finger comes out and pokes him, "find their shipment," and another poke, "and deliver in on time, then fine. Mostly because you're too stuck up your own ass to obviously change your plan." Another poke, almost shoving him back.
  217. [11:17] <Otomo_Reiko> Reiko looks back, giving Hondo a look.
  218. [11:18] <Shinjou_Miyu> Miyu watches Cerys and Middleman, eyes widening a touch.
  219. [11:20] <Cherem> "I'm not taking them down," he responds flatly, "You are." He doesn't move as she pokes him, "I saw what you people are capable of, and I think that with my help, it's possible. As of now, this is your lead to find Yamada's friends. Since he's in the UGN custody, I don't know if another chance like this will come up."
  220. [11:20] <Cherem> Honda... doesn't look happy. In fact, his face is like a kid who saw the mall santa step around the corner for a cigarette.
  221. [11:22] * Cerys_Doyle keeps eye contact a moment longer then shakes her head again and almost stomps back to stand beside Reiko.
  222. [11:23] <Cherem> "You don't have to like it, but that's how it is." Middleman sighs, "Jesus, I sound like Her." He steps back, "I'm asking for a favor, and I'm asking for your help. That's how it is. I trust my men, but we can't do this without help. I can't go to the UGN, and The Guild is False Hearts."
  223. [11:24] <Cerys_Doyle> She doesn't protest anymore, but crosses her arms instead.
  224. [11:26] <Cherem> Honda looks around at everybody else. "I don't like this. And my team doesn't like it either. We do this, and I don't want to hear anything about it." Honda grits his teeth.
  225. [11:27] <Shinjou_Miyu> "Here's hoping it doesn't come back to bite anyone." Miyu mutters.
  226. [11:28] <Cherem> Middleman rubs his forehead a little and nods, "Of course. We do this, we are done." he taps the map, where a little boat pin has been placed. "Be here at 6:15 pm. My men will be there to brief you and start the operation."
  227. [11:29] <Goemon_Hozuki> "Alright." taking out his phone to tell his sister he might be back late tonight.
  228. [11:30] <Otomo_Reiko> "Any idea what kind of boat? Make or model?"
  229. [11:35] <Cherem> "Theirs?" Hua, Sunglasses Guy, sounds up. "It's a River barge, older model with some interior upgrades. Subtle armoring, a pair of machine guns shrouded and concealed. Don't worry about that, we're going to have you approach from behind the ship, and they wouldn't dare open fire with those this close to the City. Blow their cover."
  230. [11:36] <Cherem> "Ours are Navy Seal Zodiac, with modifications for low-sound motors. My men can get you in close enough to be uncomfortable. It's a pretty standard ship coming in, so entry is easy. We'll have gunners positioned just in case it gets too hairy on the ship."
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  232. [00:00] <Cherem> =====
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