Singularity City; Kingmaker

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Hellis, Dec 16, 2014.

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  1. Singularity City, Upper Levels, Taulow Consolidated, July 22nd.

    Death is the darnest thing. It can be sudden and out of nowhere, or it can be spotted well ahead and be prepared for. But it's always final, it always arrives at one point or another. Hueng Taolow knew this all to well. He was the head of Taulow Consolidated, one of Thailands biggest companies. He had cut deals with bad people, he had greased the palms of Chinse and American officals to get where he was. He had so much blood on his hands. Yet, as he stood here, overlooking the city, he couldn't help but to feel that it wasn't fair. Why him, why did he have to die. He glanced down to the perfectly blank, white paper in his hand. The White slate had come for him. He had recieved it in the mail 22 hours ago, and been hauled up here ever since.

    He had called in every favor, hired talented, ruthless bodyguards. He had done everything he could imagine to save himself. And yet trough out of gunfire and his security systems had begun shutting all doors and entrences . But now it was just silent, and a eirie feeling was settling in the entire building. He took a deep breath, and then the lights died. Hueng went for his gun, stopped as a sharp pain shut up his spine. He tried to speak but only blood bubbled out from his mouth. AS the light suddenly flicked back on. He stared down at the blade potruding from his chest.

    It was funny, his company was behind that superthin edge. Monosteel, able to cut almost anything. Strength left him as he collapsed onto his knees. As darkness encroached on him, he cast a glance over his shoulder.

    ”But you.. are just a kid..” He spoke in disbelief, before the blade pierced trough his heart. And then, Hueng Taolow was no more. The following day, news would report that he had been found dead in his apartment along with his bodyguards. The responding officers described the crime scene as a blood bath, and forencics concluded that all injuries had been from a very sharp blade. The attackers identity was unknown, but the the crumpled up white card found in the former CEO's hand had some dire implications.

    Lower - Mid Levels, Jackson 33th Street, ”The Kings Quarters” July 23rd

    Shit is starting to go down boss.” The large man spoke with a voice of urgency. He was known as Big Marlow, one of the luitenants under King. But the woman infront of him, puffing a cigarr and checking on a crate of what appeared to be guns, looked rather unconcerned, and whne she rose Big Marlow felt like he was dwarfed by the woman somehow. Her Charisma and natural leadership, couples with the way she carried herself, made her seem a indomnitable unwavering presence.

    ”They are right fuckin here!” A man comes screaming trough the door, his white shirt is caked with wblood and guts. ”Jesus fucking christ. IT's the goddamn goon squad!” King seem to ponders omething. Keeping her cool as she stubbs her cigar on a crate. ”Who gives a fuck who they are. These are the Kings Quarters.” She scoffs and grabs one of the assault rifles from the open crate she had been surveying. The following firefight would go down in history as the Raid on Kings Quarters, and cost 50 civilian casulaties, 34 King Crew and not a single Goon Squad member.

    Lower Levels, Lower levels, ”The Pit”, July 23rd

    Spider was more then a little annoyed, this was the third person to seek him for consulation on the Taulow murder this day. Why anyone thought he was in anyway tied to the damn mess was beyond him. He was a powerbroker, a information trader, he had rarely involved himself with the violent aspects of his job for a reason. And Upper Level rich people getting murdered by White Slate assassins was so far above and beyond his paygrade it wasn't even funny. The highest up he dealt with was King, and King scared him. That woman was built like a brickhouse, could snap him in two and possesed more armed thugs then some smaller armies in Africa. In comparison, this detective of the SCPD didn't scare him much.

    Hellooo, I deal with gangs, syndicate thugs and bookers. I Don't have any intel on the blank fucking slate.” Akira spat the words at the man. Akira himself was dressed in a much more expensive set of clothes, the young japanese man was dressed in a suit that likely cost half the agents annual salary. The mans eyes were highend cybernetic ones, you could barely tell the difference from real ones, aside from how dead they were. But scanning someone like Akira would be useless becouse the suit akira wore was filled with different curcuits meant to throw off most type of spectrum and scanning equipment. He appeared as a black spot.

    You telling me you heard nothing on this?” The agent answered, voice unwavering and flat. He was part of the Organized Crime unit. He had kicked int the door and his buddy, a female agent from some other organization had wounded akiras bodyguard with two quick bullets to the shoulder and leg. They had been taken entirel unaware Akira mused, and he would have to hire better security.

    Nothing. And trust me, it annoys the fuck out of me. You'd think there would be ripples on the surface, rumors.”Akira growled. He hated being left in the dark. He hated not knowing what went down in his own city.

    ”Right. Akira, you know we tolerate your exsitence only becouse your willingness to provide the SCPD with information. But if I hear that you with held informantion from me, I will personally see to your incarceration” The agent rose and Akira leaned back into the comfy sofa that he more or less refused to leave.

    Noted.” He thought for a second and something picked on the back of his mind. ”Wait. Frank. I though of something that might be related to the murder.” He said and fetched his wrist computer. DNA locked to him, it would be no use if Frank tried to take it from him. Frank of course, being a part of the goverment, had means to bypass this. But pissing of the people Akira was tied to would lead him to a early death.

    This better be good” Frank muttered and looked to Spider who now carefully unlocked some rather complicated cryptation on his wrist computer. As he finished, the light of a green hardlight projection lit up the room, flickering and unstable. But it was the blueprints of something, Frank could tell.

    ”That's..:” Frank leaned in. The green hologram was depicting some sort of armored exoskeleton or android body. Frank felt the eyes of his partner from the Anti-Sentience Task Force stare at it to. He leaned in closely, beedy eyes glaring at it. He recognized it.

    ”My source tell me it was developed by some small company in Scandinavia.” Akira stated flatly. He was no expert, but his source had identified the names tied to the file.

    ”Try Thailand, the Scandinavian company is a proxy.” The Anti-Sentience Agent spoke finally. ”Toulong Consolidated has been tied to illegal cybernetics development in our internal investigations for years. But there has never been concrete evidence.” The woman, named Joselyn, sat down, holstering her 9 milimeter gun and eyeing Akira suspiciusly.

    ”My seller snatched if off a corpse in the middle of a firefight. Apperently some really well armed men hit a lab a few days back? This was found on one of the dead attackers.” Akira stapled his fingers and slid over a small chip. ”Usual prize Detective Frank?” He asked, a impish grin on his lips.

    ”Yeah.” Frank fished out a small envelope. Akira took it, opened it, nodded and put it inside his jacket. ”Take care Detective. There are big things going down, and the streets are getting more rowdy every day.” The young man shot Frank a look that made the Detective shudder. He never did stand that guy.

    As soon as they were out the Door, Akira hit the Vnet hub by his seat. ”Get me fucking everyone. I have information on the Hueng Murder. Bidding starts at 100 grand.”


    July 25th

    It begins begins.

    It's a warm, humid morning. The Siege on Kings Quarters have rocked the City as one of the citys most feared women has gone missing and close to 50 civilian casulties have been reported. The gunfight has to share Headlines with the high profile assassination of Hueng, and the continued discussion regarding motives and reprecussions. Trought out the levels, unease is felt. Syndicates are treading carefully in light of the brutal attack on King. A power vacum having appeared that threaten to engulf the entire lower levels in a bloody war should King not return or someone equally powerfull manage to step in.

    The fact that Goon Squad is evidently in town has set every single agency and institution on high alert. CIA, INTERPOOL and every spook organization has their agents chasin leads, while trying to avoid one another. And as if it wasn't enough, Detective Frank of the SCPD and Agent Louisa Morrison of the Anti-Sentience Task Force have been making the rounds and found that Illegal progressive AI research and android development might be part of the reason for the murder. And somehow, this has leaked to the public. With anti-AI sentiments running high outside of Singularity city, many worry this will spark something local as well.

    So welcome to the Modern day babylon. Its 10:00, the Sun is shining and all you crooks, spooks and snoops have your work cut out for you.


    • Spiders Den; A club on Mid levels. Known meeting spot for middlemen in syndicates and gangs and considered neutral ground by most. High stakes gambling, expensive booze and state of the art V-Hooks attract the Upper middle Class

      Kings Quarters; The supposed be impossible to attack HQ of Kings Krew. Now a crime scene. It can be found in the Middle Levels, a giant apartment complex
    #1 Hellis, Dec 16, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  2. It didn't take long for the news to spread to the lower levels. It started out as hushed whispers. Fences and petty criminals in darkened corners of bars. Then it evolved into rumors. The women and storekeepers conversing about it to every person that passed their vicinity. Now, three days after the brutal murder of some white collar on the top level and apparently two days after the disappearance of the King, the streets were as restless as ever. Trouble was brewing. Men and women, gangs and the little law enforcement that reigned here, were scheming and plotting. All in an attempt to strengthen their own little kingdom they so dearly clung to.

    One man seemed to be unperturbed by all this development. Ilya had no urge to cut himself a larger piece of pie than he was able to eat. He was more than content with what he had. A little business, with a handful of trustworthy fences, which was something to say, and regular customers that didn't try to swindle him. He supposed he could see the appeal of expanding. Perhaps rising in the levels instead of staying in a ratty apartment all your life. But having things stay the same had a sort of comfort in itself.

    He locked the door to his apartment with an audible click and exited the building after traveling down the three flights of stairs. He had opted for lighter clothing this day, since the morning had proved to be warm already. Khaki slacks with dark brown shoes, a belt matching those, black suspenders that crisscrossed the back of a white shirt, the sleeves of which were rolled up to his elbows. Ilya wasn't entirely sure where he was going on this day. With everything that has happened, few of his contacts really had the time or resources to contact him.

    "Ten clicks," He muttered after looking at the watch on his left arm, the digital numbers glowing at him. "Too early for a drink." Nonetheless, a while later, he still found himself on the stool in his favorite bar, smoke puffing from his lips as his eyes looked up at the little monitor behind the bar.

    A news report. A deftly dressed man behind a polished white desk with a handheld computer. The sound was muted, but it was still evident, from the panel at the man's shoulder, what the news was about. The panel showed flashes of schematics. Robotics of some kind. It was amongst the top news the past few days. Along with the disappearance and murder. According to speculation it might have been the cause of the chaos. Ilya had seen reports and bulletins that stated it was some kind of AI development. It was of course possible, even if unlikely. Everyone knew AI was highly illegal and the ASTF made it nearly impossible to develop it. On the other hand, even Ilya traded in illegal wares, so it wasn't impossible to avoid the law.

    He crushed the cigarette he had into an ashtray that immediately disposed of the ash and butt. He lifted the brim of the glass to his lips and swallowed a mouthful of water.

    "Haven't heard anything new?" He asked the barman. A man with a bare head and dominating nose. Slightly larger in build than Ilya, mostly muscle instead of fat, the man was wearing an apron and sported a full mustache.
    "Not a word," he replied, nearing his patron. "Most are keeping their goin'-ons under wraps. 'Fraid of the other snatchin' the cake from in front of 'em." He shrugged.
    "Not surprising. With murderers and mercs running around."
    "Hah! They won't be botherin' us little fish. After all, what can you get from killin' an ant?"

    It was Ilya's turn to shrug. It was true. Lions didn't go after insects. He lit another cigarette and the barman retreated.
  3. Edwin Amsel was genuinely surprised by the sumptuous devil from the bar. His apartment bore all the trappings of a young and lusty bartender. Long, golden nudes by Klimt to the up-cycled wine bottles with tall wax candles, which left suggestive trails of opaque, white wax along each bottle -- it took a moment for Edwin to take in every visible treasure. The apartment had indeed had a loft and was, relatively, on the smaller side. Despite that, the aesthetic of the place appeared more elegant and tasteful than even Edwin had dared to imagine.

    One night of pleasure proved too short. The young devil, Alfons, extended his invitation to stay a while longer while running a finger across each of Edwin's ribs. In the green pools of those youthful eyes swirled a hint of wisdom and a maturity greater than the devil's years. When his finger ran across any of the elder's many scars, he gave a glance, but never pried. Were curiosity not natural the look might simply serve as a physical 'checking in'. Past mattered little when their desires lay splayed quite clearly before them. Sex, passion, and companionship were common enough. The only questions the two posed to one another, aside from those to do with sexual health, consisted of what the other felt hungry for.

    On the third day, Edwin followed Alfons on his way out to work. Both wore cotton summer suits in styles befitting their unique personalities. The older of them dressed in a dark, leathery brown, while the devil boasted with his stunning white three-piece outfit. Passers-by glanced at the handsome young man and his eye-catching apparel. This did not go unnoticed to Edwin.

    "I'm a bit afraid," Alfons exclaimed, tilting his head to Edwin with a forced smile.

    Edwin took in the crowd. People came and went from small shops, cafés, and the like. He scrunched his brow and replied, "I don't see a soul without a venti frapp and an obscenely expensively handbag. I take it you're afraid of diabetes?"

    "Rude!" Alfons laughed. The young man pushed Edwin weakly before taking on a stoic face. "Honestly. There was a murder at the bar that night. That happens, you know how drunken men can be I'm sure... But it doesn't make it any easier. I heard about some gang war or something too. And a corporate big wig. It just has me concerned, is all. Working the bar means you hear rumours. Not used to this many, I guess."

    "I hear you. I've seen violent, desperate people lose their inhibitions, and, well, your fears are valid. You might consider steering away from the drug smuggling and mafia work though," Edwin said, smirking at his attempt to turn the conversation. Empathy was fine, but too much information could be a danger.

    Alfons smiled and pointed to the base of a tall building. He turned to Edwin, running his finger down the near-black lapel of the man's coat, and sighed, "Oh, I'll do my best. Just don't turn out to be some mob killer lying low. I'll see you this evening, yeah? Café Vita down the way?"

    They parted with a casual embrace and a kiss on each cheek. Even as Edwin continued his way down the street he watched for Alfons until the young devil disappeared from view. A mob killer? The young man was closer than he thought. What struck him, however, was the talk of wars and assassinations. Rarely did the seasoned mercenary find himself out of know in such matters. He'd be damned if his ignorance, if this little vacation, wouldn't prove a pain in the ass should he not find some answers soon.

    In the past, Spider's Den came up as a hotspot for gangsters, criminals, and other generally unsavoury folk. For a man uninterested in giving a name or even asking a question, but quite interested in answers, he could think of no better place to start. Edwin drew an electronic joint from his inner pocket and took a long drag as he made his way toward the club. If memory served him, he had a little over a mile or so. Long enough to clear his mind. Long enough to see whatever his being in Singular City might be connected to.
  4. Chaos was a good word to describe the state of the city at the moment, with the disappearance of King and the death of a white collar, things were starting to get rough. It seemed as if a single wrong step could trigger a deathly war. Everybody was tense, agents of all kinds of organizations running up and down to try and make sense of things. And that's how Agent Terry's vacation came to an end.

    Irene frowned at the image of herself on the mirror in front of her, the scar on her stomach as ugly as ever. No matter what people said, she would never get used to the feeling of skin being ripped in a hole, nor would she forget. Of course, she knew the dangers of her job, but to face them was a totally different matter. The scar was big and deformed, its color contrasting notably against the pale skin. Deciding she had enough of staring at her own nude body, Irene put on her dress. It was red and short, sensually clinging to her body. With a little bit of trouble, the agent managed to hide a few small blades, along with a taser. She put on a sunglass, which hid a small high tech camera. To complete the look, she slid above her shoulders a big white furred scarf. She smiled and the magic happened, to those who did not know her, Grace could be a rich Upper Level lady, or a fancy hooker. It depended.

    Instead of using her own car, Irene decided to take a cab to the nearby bar, making sure that the alcohol and tobacco smell clung to her clothes and herself. Sometimes, the spy couldn't help but wonder how well trained she was, and then she would remember that she spent her whole teen years being subconsciously prepared for this, and the wonder would leave just to be replaced by bitterness. Now is not the time for this, she thought. The woman ordered a drink, drying the glass in just one gulp. She tasted her own tongue, satisfied to find only the taste of alcohol. Leaving the money on the counter, she exited the bar, preparing herself for what was about to come.

    While waiting for a cab, Irene felt unusually anxious, that was bad. An anxious spy was a bad spy. She forced herself to take deep calming breaths, trying to keep her thoughts as far away from - bullets, pain, hole, blood - as possible. Fortunately, a cab arrived not after too long, interrupting her thoughts and letting the mask come back.

    "Spider Den, Mid Level. Please." Her voice was purposely sensual, as if she just had sex and was now talking lazily in pleasure. Obviously, the effect was instantaneous. The driver's breath quickened and he didn't even nod, the car was already moving. The woman let herself relax at the back of the cab, a relaxed expression on her face as her brain worked out countless plans for the upcoming mission. A mission that could go wrong, or well.
  5. July 23rd
    Jackson awoke at his desk, his forearm and yesterday’s newspaper serving as a pillow. How late had he stayed up? He couldn’t remember. It was difficult to maintain one’s circadian rhythm when the sky was obscured by another layer of the city; the streets outside painted in a perpetual gloom, forever dark and damp.
    His flat was lit only by the small reading light on his office desk. Jackson rose slowly -- as if to avoid disturbing the quiet -- and made his way over to the wall, turning on the light. He yawns, collecting himself, and sets about his morning routine. As a substitute for coffee, he rouses himself with a cold shower. However unpleasant, it did the job; he emerged from the small shower shivering and invigorated (though he doubted the feeling would last for long as he warmed up; coffee was certainly still on the day’s agenda). He dressed in his usual; polished leather shoes, charcoal slacks, braces over a white button-up, a grey overcoat, and a weathered felt fedora. Adhering to the stereotype of old-world detectives, Jackson found that people were more trusting of the familiar appearance. The iconic look of old film heroes, avenging widows and breaking up crime rings.
    Jackson exits his flat, locking it behind him, and heads down a flight or two of stairs to the ground floor. He exits into the building’s modest parking garage (simply an indoor parking lot taking up most of the first floor), walking briskly to his car and slipping inside. It takes him a few tries to get the engine to turn over, but soon he is well on his way. The radio reports the day’s news as he drives; the head of Taolow had been assassinated, and judging by a calling card present the Blank Slate was responsible. Jackson ponders this as he moves through traffic. How could they be sure that it was the Blank Slate? Could the killer be a copycat? Could the calling card have been planted after the murder? His mind was abuzz with speculation as he arrives at the bank.

    July 24th
    And now the Goon Squad had made themselves known. That explained all the sirens he had seen yesterday. Jackson sighed, taking a drink of the weak coffee he had been served. The city was well on its way into an uproar. There was no doubt that work would be coming to him soon. But he was also, to a degree, afraid. He hadn’t realised it but he had gotten a bit comfortable with his sedentary life; the prospect of true danger returning was a little daunting. Jackson decided he’d walk it off. You’ve seen worse, he told himself. Shaking his head, he lays a few bills down on the café countertop and marches away from the padded stool; returning to the dark streets he goes over his battle plan. Bars were always the best place to pick up rumours, especially the Spider’s Den. But he didn’t want to go into the Den without a good reason. The place made him feel uncomfortable, and he stuck out like a sore thumb. So as long as he had no client, he would stick to the homely dive-bars he stuck to regularly – though in this case he might venture up or down a few levels. And, as always, he would have to keep an ear open for people discussing their problems. A mention of “Jackson Cromwell, Private Eye” might pique the interest of a distressed soul and earn him a case and a bit of cash. Or a smack to the face. Only time would tell.

    July 25th
    Jackson was struck by an unusual warmth as he exited his flat and walked down the street, aiming for the nearest bar. It was unusual to drop into one this early but Jackson was feeling excited. All this buzz about the street war and the assassination and various other conspiracies were filling his head with impatient thoughts. He unbuttons his overcoat to avoid an uncomfortable heat and enters the humble bar, approaching the counter with determination.
    Morning, barkeep,” Jackson begins, leaning forward against the counter. “Heard any good news?
    Funny,” the rugged man replies from beneath his generous lip hair. “You’re the second man to ask me that this morning. Like I told the last guy, I ain’t heard a thing. Most folks are keeping to themselves, what with all this hubbub goin’ on.
    The scare from the past two days?
    Sure thing; I figure it won’t be a problem to us, though.
    Jackson nods in polite understanding, having become disinterested the instant that the news of no news had been delivered. He takes off his coat and hat and hangs them, then returns to the bar to seat himself.
    Can I get ya’ anything?” inquires the barkeep.
    Pear cider, if you have it,” answers Jackson. It was too early to get tipsy.
    The barkeep nods and turns about to prepare the simple drink. Jackson glances up at the only source of noticeable sound; a television, quietly screaming as it displays some kind of speculative talk between two news anchors about some kind of illegal-robot scandal. There was no noise from it save the whining of its innards, but there were no subtitles save the word ‘MUTE’ in the lower-right of the screen. Lovely.
    Here you go,” grunts the barkeep, setting down a modest glass of pale amber liquid, a light layer of foam over the top. Jackson thanks him quietly and takes a sip. Warm like piss. He grimaces; things just were not going his way this morning. The warmth amplified the sweetness of the beverage making Jackson feel slightly ill from drinking it; he was accustomed to hard cider being cold and more bitter than this. This was like apple juice, or something else you would give your kid. Jackson sets down the glass and stares blankly at the television, trying to glean some meaning from it as he recollects his thoughts and considers new options for getting a lead, seeing as he had hit more than a dead end here.
  6. Spiders Den; Irene and Edwin.
    Npc Present; Akira, Jacklyn

    Minor NPC's (controllable); Triads, Goons, Columbian Netpeddlers.

    They say that the beat of the music is pulse of the club, that you can tell exactly what is facing you inside if you know that pulse. If such was the case, then the Spiders Dens pulse was frantic and erratic, like that of someone going into a cardiac arrest. And its clientele was the unsavory but illegally made men of singularity city, mingling with the upper class kids who had decided that slumming was the new black. The club istself was situated inside a hangar sized building by the Water front. The inside harbored a set of three massive dance floors with cages suspended from the roof, where women and men danced in varius styles of clothing, usually in styles where less was more. Akira himself was known to pay top dollar for young talents.

    Raised in the middle of the three dance floors, each with their own theme, was closed in area with the words VIP inscribed into a mirror door. The walls that separated the VIP area from the rest of the club was made of the same reflective kind of surface. Raised high up over the dance floor, furthest in the back was the office of Akira.

    As it was only morning, there was no line in front of the club as it would be every night. And the dance floors were desolate. A Dj was going trough his set for the night. There was a few triads hanging about in a corner, nursing hangovers and trying to figure out just how badly last nights Mahjong bout had cost them. Akira knew, they had been down 2000 a head by the end. The lucky winner having bounced the second the chance presented itself. At a table near the back, two colombians were plugged into a V-net hub, setting up a meeting with their sponsors, looking for new opportunities to launch yet another V-net pleasure center or ”digital rush” theme park.

    Outside, the two bouncers outside looked about them, their bodies torsos dressed in fine kevlar, thinner and more stylish then the normal bulky vest. But it was obvious Akira had shaped up his security in light of recent events. The young man himself sat cross legged in the Vip area, fiddling with one of the V-HUBs and occasionally stopping to take a drag of the hooka next to him, breathing out multicolored smoke. It poured from his painted lips into tiny clouds of vapor that drifted off and was sucked up by the air conditioning.

    Akira was small in stature, 5'4 at most, dressed in very effimate cut of a suit, the kind you saw on hostesses sometimes. Nothing unusual for a person known to occasionally wear corsets and dresses. It was the 2040's after all, nobody would bat a eye if some eccentric lowlife like Akira dressed up. You'd be more afraid of what he may hide in the ruffles. He did't look up at his new arrivals.

    ”Ahhh. Edwin. How unpleasant. I do hope you are not here to shoot me.” He said and waved for the new arrival to come closer.”

    A man similar to the two outside, came up to frisk Edwin before letting him pass after whatever sharp or otherwise hostile object Edwin carried had been put into a deposit box. He'd get them back when he left, Akira wasn't a thief. Another goon had stopped Irene and Akiras voice carried over to her, sweet and polite with not a tone of mockery in it.
    ”Be with you in a bit gorgeous. I believe I am about to engage in a business transaction.”

    And the moment Edwin was past the door, it shut and all sound in our out of the VIP area was cut off. Akira rose to his not so impressive height, but might as well have been 6'5 with the confidence he exuded. Another goon, this one female with a crew cut and no kevlar sat behind him on a table, leaning forward. People knew her all to well, Jacklyn Rose, right had of Akira the Spider, and the spiders very nasty fangs when need be.

    ”You know King was a personal friend of mine, right? So the only reason my guys out there didn't feed you your own damn testicles is because I believe her to be alive. And because you have connections to those who did this. But coming here, I figured this hit was never relayed to you. And that means you're worried. And you fucking well should be Edwin, becouse my sources are telling me there is a massive shit storm heading our way if King doesn't resurface.”
    #6 Hellis, Jan 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  7. The pubs ”Don't ask” atmosphere was disturbed by the door being nearly kicked of its hinges. Several men in black leather dusters quickly entered. Some of the Patrons, still groggy from the night before, looked up and squinted at the men and women who entered. One of the more fidgetty types who generally stayed in the corners of the pub went for something inside his jacket. His gun was a modified and nasty piece of hardware that was pretty much a taser on steroids with the bite of a vengefull thunder god. But all that juice would do you no good at all if it wasn't allowed to fire. One of the duster wearing visitors, a woman in digital camo pants and a shirt with MARSHAL across her chest in yellow block letters, moved like a blur. She put her boot so hard against edge of the table that the taser guy toppled over it as he stood up, the table having crashed into his hip. A second later his face was smashed into that very table, his own weapon pressed against his neck.

    ”A ZT-23, illegally modified to hold... Oh I'd say two or three times the allowed voltage. And with barbs instead of regulated needles. Very illegal. And here you were about to aim it at especially appointed SCPD Liason and US Marshall. Not very smart are you?” The woman spoke as she twisted the mans arm. One of the others who just entered let his eyes sweep the bar.

    ”Cuff and haul him to the car.” The mans voice sounded tired, resigned. It was pretty obvious that lowlife the wasn't their intended target. His eyes fell upon the detective and he brightened up considerably.

    ”Detective” He said with a voice that held both respect and recognition. ”Just the man I wanted to see.” He sat down next to the other man and offered him his brightest, most genuine smile. The man, Elliot Halbur Einhoffen, was a senior officer within the SCPD and one of the seemingly integral force that kept the entire apartment from collapsing under the weight of multi-billion influences and the ever present Maffioso bribing in the lower ranks.

    ”Don't mind Vita and her entourage. The King incident have some hotshots spooked, can't trust us police men to do our job without supervision. They're hardasses and real sticklers for rules. But atleast I don't have to worry about them taking out extra payments Renmibi. I just hope their gung-ho attitude won't get me riddled with holes over something as stupid as jaywalking..” Elliot motioned for a beer and got a tall glass of something that he eyed suspiciesly. His German side was showing, and it was telling him no amount of time in America would ever get him used to the standard American brands.

    ”You Americans and your piss water...” He muttered as he drank some of it none the less. ”I have a commission for you.” He said finally, his eyes suddenly holding Jacksons in a steady gaze.

    While the two talked. The woman who had hauled out the lowlife before returned inside and sat down next to Iiya. She eyed him while motioning for a bear as well.

    ”Ilya?” Another woman asked, she was dressed the same way as the violent one. Only her hair was blonde pulled back in a tight bun, her eyes were a steely blue and would likely make a rabid dog whimper in fear. She carried a sizable gun holstered underneath her duster. ”I need you to do us a favor.” She reached to a inner pocket, fishing for something before producing a scuffed old photo. ”Find this person. Or your operation in this city is over.” She slid over a old photo of a man with a ragged beard holding onto a robotic arm. Parts of various android variants where in the background. "His name is Dimitr Rovlaski, a fellow expat of yours. He arrived here around the same time as you did. Find him."
  8. Ilya was busy lighting his third cigarette when the door was suddenly flung open. It banged against the wall, the silhouettes of a bunch of people momentarily blocking the sudden flare of light from outside. Not the screech of table legs nor the thud of a body even so much as stirred him. His lighter tapped lightly on the bar-top as he set it down next to the half empty carton of smokes. The reason he was unaffected by the commotion was that it was such a regular occurrence. A week didn't go by without some kind of outburst. Whether some drunkard, unlikely so early in the morning, or a police raid of some kind, it usually ended as a form of extortion depending on the lawman, or one of the myriads of gang members, usually just to cause havoc, it didn't really matter. Flipping about like a fish out of water, pulling eyes to you, was last on the list of wise things to do.

    So Ilya remained seated, his back to the door, alternating between the refilled glass of water and cigarette. He noticed out of his peripheral vision a man joining the fellow that came in just a while after himself. He didn't pay much attention to the man when he entered, but the new arrival was of note. If Ilya wasn't mistaken, he had a run in or two with officer Einhoffen. He was one of the men in the police Ilya had been unable to bribe.

    Whilst the brown haired man was busy looking at the officer, two women flanked him. They weren't ugly, in fact if it weren't for the fact that they were in law he might've even tried his hand. Well that and the terrible disposition one had. He blew smoke at the little photograph placed in front of him, having been silent as the blonde spoke.

    "Not really a favor if it's followed by a threat," he stated, switching his cigarette to his left hand and fingering the picture with his index. "I don't deal in people, or information, you Marshals should know that." He tried his best to avoid the woman's eyes, keeping his head bowed, feigning examination of the man in the photo. "Not like I'll remember someone from back then. I was a mal-chik. Barely hip high."

    The butt swished away and he rubbed his short whiskered chin. These women weren't the type to follow procedure likely. Anyone found in the lower levels could be considered willing to do what needs to be done. That is why Ilya didn't just shrug off the threat. He could get jail time on a false accusation or something worse. The way the woman on his left had dispatched the one man, showed the efficiency she worked with.

    "He is important I take it," He said, straightening up in his seat and finally returning the woman's blue gaze. "Favors are expensive in hard times. In dangerous times," he nodded to the television screen. "I forgive the threat. Just because you're lady. Now you bargain for my expertise."
  9. Jackson started, nearly spilling his drink, at the great noise that burst out behind him. He sets the drink down rather haphazardly and spins, a hand darting inside his coat to grip his revolver. Was it a holdup? Outlaws in need of hostages to bargain with? Problems and his solutions race through his head as the world revolves around him, the adrenal gland injecting its contents into his bloodstream. His panic subsides, however, upon first glance of his mistaken adversary; the SCPD, his former employer, conducting another raid. Business as usual. Jackson relaxes and leans back to observe the proceedings, relinquishing his grip on the worn handle of the gun and dropping the arm to his side.

    As the police force made an arrest, Jackson began to notice some things were awry. For one, the arrest seemed arbitrary. A full squad, including both the marshal and an SCPD executive, for such a small arrest as an illegal sidearm? Jackson suspected that they were here perhaps to find evidence for something; perhaps the bar was part of a crime ring, or one of the others here was a mole? Perhaps just a long boring night shift, and they'd thought of some way to spice up a morning drink...


    The voice brought Jackson out of his speculation. He looks up to find the SPCD officer, Elliot Einhoffen, beaming at him. Perhaps his brief period of unemployment was soon to conclude. Or, perhaps, Jackson was a loose end.

    “Detective? It’s been a while since somebody called me that,” he replies. “Most call me ‘Private Eye’ now. Can I help you?”

    Jackson and Elliot had never really been friends, but the man spoke as if they’d been well acquainted all this time. It was a pleasant change from how he was usually spoken to by officers. Jackson listened with interest as his doubts about the arrest were cleared up; he thought nothing of the marshal heading off to speak with another customer, distracted instead by the mention of employment. Elliot’s friendly tone had dropped, and now he was all business. Jackson rubs his chin and leans forward.

    “A case?” he speculates, semi-rhetorically. “It involves the chaos that’s been breaking out in the past couple of days, I’ll assume.”

    For it to be anything but chaos was slim; regardless of the task, everyone on the city would be on-edge by now, fearing for their own safety. Any investigation, no matter how petty, would turn into chaos. And ones that weren’t petty…

    They could be opening Pandora’s Box, for all he knew.
  10. Intelligence and Security are worthwhile jobs. An average person weighs a job on the salary and benefits like a generous 401k or medical with a small co-pay. Fair enough too, great indicators for good job if you sit at a desk all day mulling through paperwork and selling re-branded, cheaply manufactured garbage. Good enough to know that after a few decades of toil you'd have a nice nest egg to fall back onto for your twilight years. Enough does not protect you, though. That retirement plan does shite if your company funds a band of international killers who just kidnapped a high-power individual and you, retired old you, just walked into the wrong bar. Intelligence and Security jobs? Now protection is the only benefit you have.

    ”You know King was a personal friend of mine, right? So the only reason my guys out there didn't feed you your own damn testicles is because I believe her to be alive," Akira greeted. A posh man indeed, but as obsessed with pomp as he was full of shit. Powerful as the spider might be, Edwin had friends too. Maybe he would not make it out of the club with much time to live, but he'd see the little man's blood at least.

    Edwin listened as the spider spun his web. The line between sharing information and securing a pawn is rather thin. Already Akira established the power structure. A seasoned mercenary might kill a few thugs, perhaps that Jacklyn Rose, but unarmed, surrounded, and expected, that mercenary would surely die. Edwin accepted the risks of his job long ago, but he didn't much care to die either. Power structure laid out, facts plain and simple -- you try for me and you die -- what was left? The allegiance, of course.

    "And because you have connections to those who did this. But coming here, I figured this hit was never relayed to you. And that means you're worried. And you fucking well should be Edwin, because my sources are telling me there is a massive shit storm heading our way if King doesn't resurface.”

    Bingo. The men smiled at one another as the words rested in the air. Edwin glanced at Jacklyn, pursed his lips, and nodded toward Akira. This spider was smart and delicate and ever so intentional. He played a long game, and while Edwin could see his attempts now to pry more than he might actually know, what came next remained a mystery. Connections meant the notorious, blood-gluttons he'd cleaned up after for years. If the spider blamed them then chances were it was true. He'd heard it twice now, anyway. So what was the long game?

    Edwin glanced at an empty chair behind him sat across from Akira. Nodding toward the seat, he glanced at Jacklyn, then Akira, neither of whom responded much. As he rested himself on the chic bit of metal and leather plush, he crossed his legs and began to stroke his beard. Tufts of grey intermixed with the deep brown hair, but he was thankful for any natural colour passed fifty. Running his fingers through the salt and pepper hair served as a proper reminder. Age changed a man. Sleep with all the budding twenty-somethings you like, age was a reality, and you felt it despite your ego. Age brought experience and wisdom from years of finding what worked and what scarred and what put those who started with you in the ground rather than the chair at your side. Edwin was no god. He couldn't say whether Akira would be around in year, let alone thirty, but he recognized the game. Akira had information he knew a visiting merc would not. That gave him power, especially important with the Goon Squad bursting through walls, reminding the whole of the city just how little 'friends' means when faced off against a machine-gun. Right now whoever had the King had power. If the Goon Squad had the King, they had the power, and if Edwin had a connection, who's to say he couldn't wield a little bit too?

    "You're right, I do have connections. I'm sure they wouldn't want to see my name in the obituaries either," Edwin replied. He paused a moment, pulling his electronic vaporizer from his coat slowly and taking a drag. "I'm not here for a pissing match. Neither of us want to see Singularity City fall into ruin. This business with the King -- it was messy and right disrespectful. Go figure, the ones who did it are known for their heavy serious artillery, not their intellect. I'm no boss or VIP to those who took the King, but I can reach them. Imagine that. You, Akira the Spider, Master of Information, Saviour of the King. I can help you with that last part, but I need to be brought up to speed. I need access to a couple weapons the police won't easily spot too. That or you could tell me to fuck off with a bit of lead between the eyes. Wouldn't exactly help the King, or make you too friendly with my connections either -- your choice though."

    Edwin watched Akira carefully as he exhaled a thin cloud of smoke. May the games begin.
  11. Akira and Edwin

    Akira actually laughed at the way he was being anwered with bite and resolve, it was clearly nothing he saw to often from anyone not seriusly in power. He stared at Edwin with a face as unreadable as a blank computer screen, and then a smile spread across his lips.

    ”Its funny isn't it. People spend so much time building networks, making a name of themselves.” The effimate asian waved at the club as to indicate he to belong to this catagory. ”And you shake all the rights hand, you have a little muscle thrown about.. And all for naught. Becouse someone always have bigger balls then you, someone is always playing a game that much longer then your own.” Akira shrugged, a careless and cold gesture that illustrated just how typical the Spider found the entire thing. The silver colored, mechanical eyes he possesed suddenly seemed to change. They flickered and swirled, switching to appear almost crimson as the lenses adapted another mode. What it saw only he knew, but as he hunched over to rest his chin in his palm he spoke. The young man looked visibly more relaxed, smiling even.

    ”You are either the best liar in the world, or you aren't bullshitting. So lets set the tables for this event shall we? Someones playing dirtier then even me. That takes massive stones.” He pushed his hand into the inside of his expensive suit jacket at pulled out a pack of smokes. Setting one of them to his lips and lighting it with his golden zippo he took a deep drag from it before letting the smoke poour out his nostrils. He seemed deep in thought for a second, borderline meditative. Whatever was in those smokes, it wasn't normal tobacco. As he eyed the man infront of him he began to smile. He offered one of them to Edwin.

    ”Lower levels. Down in the scrap heaps infact, you'll find a russian gentleman by the name of Vladimir Ouchev. He is a tweaker, and a goddamn mess. But he is also tied to the Kremlin Gangs. All my trails end at the Kremlin Owned docks, and while ol' Vladdy is a loon, he is extremely good at picking up information. Especially when the lovely Ak wielding ”Commandant” is involved.” He snapped his fingers and Jaqueline stepped forward to give him a little hard drive, the size of a thumbnail. He took it and the two exchanged a few words in Japanese. Jacklyn then hurried out the Vip area.

    ”Now. Here is the deal. I have given you a name. And I am about to give you a face to place to the name. I am also giving you a hard drive with a one way, one time, get out of jail card. You find yourself getting less then comfterble, you slip this sucker into a link up, and you'll have the entire block and possibly many of the connections to it cut off, blacked out.” He leaned in. ”This is a one time only thing for obvius reasons. The moment it's used Z.E.U.S are gonna wonder who the fuck just bypassed their entire grid security system, and make sure to plug the hole before you can say 'smite me'.”

    ”As for guns. GO speak to Jackelyn, she is in the back. And... Don't try anything with her. She is a very... sensitive soul. Like a claymore mine is sensitive.” He got up and walked past Edwin but stopped to look back.

    ”You are right by the way. Neither of use want this city to fall into anarchy. This city may be a den of broken promises, but where else can I find a sentient machine, speaking broken Chinese while serving kebab made from lab grown lamb. I rather not see it all go to hell”

    And with that, Akira headed down to Irene. He opened his arms wide in a welcoming display of well meaning affection.

    ”Why, are you here to check on my Staff Miss? I can assure you they are flesh and bone.” He winked at her and motioned to the bar. ”Can I get you a drink Officer?”

    #11 Hellis, Jan 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
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