Description: The dust isn't done settling in Metro City, most certainly not all debts have been paid. Juri Han closes in on the elusive and now infamous in Majigen circles "Aranha" by chance, a name in note that has been preying on her mind of late. When she finally meets the man there's no telling how it could go. The enemy of my enemy...
It has been a few days after the fateful fight against Jedah in Metro Square. He's had an opportunity to lick his wounds though his injuries weren't nearly as bad as they could've been since he was fighting such a strong enemy and in addition, he was facing the creatures that Dr. Tessitore created through genetic manipulation.
If the capoeirista had to be honest with himself, he'd find the whole thing disgusting and scary. But he didn't really have time to be scared. Especially since now he was attempting to find enough normalcy in Metro City for him to be okay with sending his sister back here. The first step was to find his sister's foster parents. He had been searching high and low and not finding them. He was beginning to wonder if they were caught up either in the mass killing in the opera house or the nearby skyscrapers or if they were part of the mass of people who disappeared when returning to Slam Masters. Both were horrible outcomes.
At the moment, he was asking around various locations where people had setup havens, and not having much success. Though he was good at controlling the appearance of his emotions when he needed to, he wasn't hiding it. Whether it was because he didn't care if the world could see or too tired to bother, the frustration was quite clear as day.
For a time Juri had been adapting well to this newer and more honest vision of dog eat dog world. Her enemies were everyone or thing that wasn't her, with no pretence any other way. There were more than enough supplies and places to raid for whatever she figured she wanted at the time. Cautiously she had avoided the other places like compounds where humans seemed to be gathering in numbers. That was also where the fiercest monsters and fighting were and that seemed like an unwelcome and tiresome hassle.
The disturbance in the sky over the square had eventually drawn her attention, quakes and shaking with monstrous groans at the time of the Amalgamations rising had just caused her to roll over and stuff a pillow over her head in her attempt to block it out, almost missing the sound of noisy helicopters in flight and firing as humans moved to retake the city. All the little Gradual /normal/ changes that reminded her of the world closer to how it ought to be; just a little disappointing now she was getting used to this.
Loathe to walk in amongst the refugees Juri hardly looked like she belonged with them in the first place, for once in recently memory she was actually watered, fed and had more than enough spare water to thoroughly rinse and scrub away all that blood and grime. Even her clothes looking brand new helped set her apart and earned more than a few skeptical and worried looks from soldiers and aid workers, she was being monitored from not too far off just in case she was some kind of human disguise or something? Or maybe in this mess of horrors she was just earning a few admiriers.
She certainly hadn't seen this many men in a while, just the one before this. He'd kind of stood out ever since he'd saved her life, preventing her becoming some kind of hive wall trophy or something even worse. And even now there he was, walking around looking endlessly for something, searching faces and asking occasional questions.
Juri finally pushes inwards circling in on him, arms combing hair back over she shoulder and then then setting hand to hip as she follows after him, relaxed and carefree despite soldiers looking on and hands close to weapons. Barefoot padding along quietly behind him until she is close enough to talk without expending a huge amount of effort.
"Looking for someone - is it me? love at first sight?"
It'd be too rich and more than a little improbable he had fallen for her grace and beauty given that there last meeting had been a rescue and a handful of directions. But the tease is there and she knows she looks better than these other poor SOB's around here. Recovery time and not leaping headfirst into a fight that wasn't hers did wonders for healing and the complexion.
He could just barely hear the light padding of feet behind him and considering the enemies he has made in this city let alone in general, he has every right to be paranoid. His hand reaches into a pocket and just before his finger tips brush the hand mirror that he was going to use to look behind him, Juri's voice tells him everything he needs to know. He visibly tenses up before turning towards the Korean.
His mind rolls the questions around in his head. He has two options to approach this. Evasive or Snarky. He slowly turns around and looks over the Taekwondo practitioner. Would she back off with the evasive route or get more curious? He can not afford for her to get curious because he's already asked too many people about the people he's looking for.
His voice practically oozes sarcasm when the words leave his mouth. "If I were to profess my love for you, would you find a place for me in your heart?"
He leaves it at that. Part of him hopes that Juri focuses on the sarcastic response rather than the fact that he hadn't touched that question she asked with a 10 ft. pole.
Now that wasn't a friendly look or posture at all.
It's right in line with her expectation after their last meetings. He had rebuffed her advances once before - then he'd saved her life but then continued onwards on another path rather than see to her safety, even when she was wounded. She had no real illusion that he actually liked her, probably just the opposite. Except for that second meeting, in that one it seemed it was either heroism, a conscience or been using her for something.
Her one good eye narrows a little at the jab before she throws her arms wide in an elaborate shrug, palms up and only half feigning this level of amusement at such a response and the smile.
"My bed maybe! My heart? You may need to work on that delivery."
Not that any such line would be much anything but a deterrent sounding like it was offered up by a weakling she wouldn't have the remotest interest in. She cranes her whole upper body over, stretching muscles taut as she manages to lounge even while leaning to the side and looking past her onetime saviour at the sea of featureless, uninteresting faces inhabiting the square.
"Humouring a lady, that's so chivalrous! Or were you just hoping to blow me off so you could continue wandering around like this looking at faces? It's kind of pathetic to watch, like a lost puppy."
He did stand out for some reason, but that just might be because he was just about the only person she recognized at all, it seemed alien to see someone wandering around through the crowds searching through all this human refuse and the mundane, boring cattle without any use or worth to offer.
She was making an effort to understand his behaviour and reach out, if barely.
That narrowed eye. Clearly the jab had landed but it would appear that Juri would roll with it. It didn't quite go how he expected. Not that he had any idea what expected. It just wasn't that.
He doesn't know whether to be amused or annoyed. He wants to break away from her so he can continue his search for his sister's foster parents. Plus he still can't ignore his instincts screaming at him with bright red flashing lights and sirens, 'Danger!' Either way, he just has to accept that he has her attention for now and he's going to have to dance carefully.
"And just think... I was about to use the line, 'What brings a girl like you to a place like this?'" While more flirtatious than previously, his voice still carried that undertone of sarcasm. "It would be a shame for that line to go to waste."
He shifts his stance so that one leg was back, an arm was draped across his abdomen, the elbow of the other arm was rested on the hand of that draped arm, and his chin was rested on the connected hand.
In this case, it was more like the place like this had brought the girl. If it weren't for the rifts that appeared in the sky? The piercing of Majigen by the outside world? Juri straightens and returns her gaze to him when he begins speaking. It had only really dawned on her at that time that this wasn't a complete unalterable changing of the entire globe, Hell come to earth and she had just rolled with the punches the new world delivered.
"Hmph! There's another strike. Relying on old pickup lines and not even adapting them?"
Her travels and scouting across the city had done a more than fair job of mapping it out in her head, in frightening levels of detail. Alleyways and fast routes of travel but most importantly, cardinal directions and their relevance to locations of some of the key features of this once hellish landscape (now receding.)
Like the location of the arena that was the site of that makeshift laboratory. That bitch had probably wanted Juri to know enough to be able to drag her prey back there if she even bothered keeping her end of their arrangement.
She had found the spot where she was captured, and could recall the direction her 'hero' had been travelling in, her sense of direction and memory inerrantly accurate even working the problem through in reverse. Reasoning through the inforation, his appearance and path of travel she wonders if the names scrawled in that note would they have any discernable effect?
"Doing better than before in the delivery though."
As he shifts she plainly looks down at the movement of the arm and elbow taking in the body and figure, appreciatively and speculatively lingering before returning to his face. Completely unapologetic.
"Aranha, was that a tease?"
That or she was zeroing in on and studying her maybe. She sets a hand once again on her bare hip, cocks her head which sets her bangs to swinging as she stares back curious and a little skeptical, like it was something of a shock for her to see.
She was curious as to how he'd react to the name drop, and the question really if she were feeling inclined to be honest with herself.
Knowing his nickname. That was a surprise but not much of one. After all, he did have one public(disasterous if one were to ask him) appearance in fight circuits. And then there was some publicity gained from Majigen series itself which apparently was televised after the fact. But other than that he was mostly an unknown. A big fish in a small pond.
A faux pout appears on his face as he responds, "So much for the whole mysterious thing going on. It seems as though you have me at a disadvantage. It's not fair that you know what name I go by and I don't know yours." Not that he expected her to give a real name.
His stance mostly stays the same though there's a subtle shift of weight towards the back leg. It doesn't look aggressive but there's tension there. "As for whether or not that was a tease, what do you think?"
Lips drawing back into the smile creeping across her face that never quite materializes, frozen in state at the level of a satisfied smirk, framed by those pointed bangs. Juri had teased out exactly what she had wanted to know all along and little more besides; confirmation that this was in fact the man she'd be 'sent' to find and now she was even more intrigued.
How had he scared an entire army? The spider bitch and what even was Nightwolf?
Her interest ratchets up and multiplies as she considers all the implications of the informative note she was fed, along with the place where she had found him. The site that this world had broken down and troops from outside had begun filtering through, was it all coincidence?
"You can just think of me as interested."
She wasn't lying, if anything that sudden escalation in intensity when he's replied to his name should have been ringing alarm bells. But Juri wasn't one to just stop there.
"Is that who you're looking for then, 'her'?"
Juri plays just one of her cards, her own deflection instead of her name... that name carried way too much baggage and a public history attached to it, she didn't care to spread it around. She was having fun playing with a toy she found amusing and didn't know how it worked just yet. Her voice drops in volume as she another to increase the pressure.
"That handy bitch was looking for you, Mister~Mason! Were you looking to repay her for something?"
The joyful twist in her voice as she dropped another name, all the while continuing to arrange the puzzle pieces in her head. If he was? that made perfect sense. She could think of a least few indignities she would have liked to inflict on that spider woman as punishments for crossing her, fixatedly watching Aranha she was seemingly open to attack form near any angle hardly a threat or even ready to defend herself.
She WAS watching, weaving his responses and new information she had accrued together and trying to take a measure of Keith Mason's worth relative to Tessitore's apparent worry about him.
As much information as that woman avoids giving, there's a wealth of information gained. The fact that she doesn't give a name went right along with expectations so that was pushed aside. At first there's 'her.' That could be the foster mother, his sister, or someone he wished he didn't know. One of those cards wasn't enough to fully fill in the blanks but as he mulls it over in his head, the Taekwondo practitioner helpfully provides another.
First of all, she dropped his legal last name. Only two 'hers' could have conceivably used his last name. His sister, and Tessitore if only because his sister used his name when she ran across her. Only one of those two would he want to 'repay.'
That rear leg tenses slightly more. It's clear that Juri is poking and prodding him for information and he makes it clear that he knows who she's talking about. He has one question and based on how she answers it will determine how this encounter will go down.
"What's your game, Miss 'Interested?'"
It also means that his investigation as to the whereabouts of his sister's foster parents will have to go by the wayside at least temporarily. The fact that Tessitore was looking for him means that perhaps Metro City was too hot.
Hmmn? Yes, that was a really accurate assessment of how this was playing out. It was a game with high stakes with grevious bodily harm or life itself on the line which just ensured it -- was worth playing and didn't bore her at all. She paces slightly to the side, hands rising to cup behind her head with finger interlacing and elbows up as she considers her position in this game.
She was invested, She couldn't deny that but what she wanted out of all this? While turned away her tongue darts across her lips before she bothers to reply.
"What is my game.. ?"
Bloody, cruel and ruthless affairs that would most likely prove fatal or at least cause lasting harm those were the kind that excited her, the kinds that mattered and had consequences.
"The plot kind of dragged me in with all these little hooks."
She makes a show of unrolling one of the guard around her wrist exposing shallow scratches still a little red encircling her bare wrist. Lifting her forearm she exhibits the wounds for a time showcasing them where they can be seen from behind her, and then proceeds to settle the gauntlet back in place.
It irritated her to have been captured yet AGAIN. But that was all a part of a tab left unpaid by the good doctor that would probably have to come out of her hide. Hooks indeed.
"Now I just have a real interest is seeing how it all plays out. I haven't really picked a team if that's what you're asking."
There was venom there, she didn't want any part in what Tessitore had been offering, well.. Not the mad science stuffs. But at the same time she wanted to see what she was so afraid of, she wanted the confrontation and a climactic final battle.
As for the role she was supposed to play?
"She even tried sending me after you to bring you to her, captured. Like I hunt at anyone's request?! I think it'd be more fun if you were in prime condition."
She turns back, settling on her hip again she wasn't even bothering to negotiate or even threaten, she wanted to see the look on 'her' face when Aranha just got dropped in her lap, maybe even see what he was capable of or what Nightwolf was.
She is positively all aquiver at the thought.
That is quite a bombshell right there. The wounds. The admitting that she was sent to capture him. The ex(?)-cat burglar's eyebrow rises slightly. Plans roll around in his head. But the venomous undertone was impossible to ignore. The fact that she hadn't picked a team hadn't also escaped his notice either. He knows that one thing he has going in his favor besides rescuing her was the fact that he hasn't tried to strong arm her into anything. He has read her as the type of person that the harder you push them the harder it is to get them to do what you want. Maybe he's just projecting himself on to her. He's quiet for awhile before he finally speaks.
"So you're saying, you want a front row seat and some popcorn when hack shop and I finally throwdown, eh?"
His lips curl into a grin. The stance releases just a tiny bit of tension and he rubs his chin.
"How about an exchange of favors?"
The quiet was starting to get to her but she had nothing more to add. If he was going to puzzle through all of the nuances or possibilit-!!
Did he just -get- her? Lips finally part into a joyous if slightly sinister appearing smile, something of a rarity that she had occasion to smile but this was just one of those moments. Now things were moving in the best of directions.
Juri combs one of the bangs out of her face and folds her other arm across her abdomen resting her elbow against it as she supports the arm, still toying with her hair and continuing to smile.
"Now theres a fun image, and plenty appealing!"
He'd hit the nail on the head, his stock just kept on rising as he continued to giving her interesting new developments and hint at a similarly vindictive appetite for revenge against 'Hack Shop.' The description didn't really capture the the Dr's charms or take them into account so there was something of a reach to hope they were talking about the same person. It wasn't much of a leap of faith.
She was. Juri's intent near a plan if it had all come together as she was hoping, was to simply drop Aranha right in 'her' lap, as requested. Just- without tying his hands or taking his toys, that smoke he had cobbled together at some stage not that long ago maybe might have saved both their lives, but certainly hers.
Maybe he had something even better up his sleeve?
Perhaps it was best if he began with his mental profile of her made from piecing together his interactions with her and what was evident based on Juri's apparent feelings for her. It's what would lead into the direction he was going.
"The doctor, as loathe as I am to admit it, is intelligent, brilliant even. She had to be in order to cobble together those monstrosities. And she knows it too. She also thinks of herself as attractive. Both of those factors have made her arrogant. One of her problems is that she doesn't really get people. She'll do things that isn't in her best interest because she's failed to consider her approach from a people perspective."
He pauses for a moment as he considers with a little bit of amusement that Juri has almost mirrored his stance with significantly less tension than his own. But he has to finish that mental profile.
"She usually doesn't care that she fucked up the interpersonal stuff because she usually can rely on her brilliance to clean everything up. That combination leaves a blind spot we can exploit. We let her think that she's won. She probably doesn't even realize she fucked up how she handled you. I want you to march me in wearing handcuffs. While you're carrying one of my drawstring backpacks. It'll look like you've taken all of my tools and she won't even realize it's a set up until you pull your bag of popcorn or whateven snacks you like and start munching and I'm dangling the handcuffs on my finger."
The grin on his face looks absolutely, positively evil.
The illustration of the Dr's personality that Keith was so kindly painting for her fit together nicely, with her own experience dealing with them, and the 'carrot or the stick' approach to her negotiations with Juri. She agreed on most every point, excepting about the Dr's attractiveness. The science nerd gear was a cute look but it was backed by a dynamite figure. Maybe she just wasn't his type? What was his type?
A guffaw, chased by a shrill bark of laughter as the last of the plan comes together and Juri halfway doubles over as she cracks-up, that was the best plan! What 'her' face would look like when that happened would be the absolute best!!
Both arms dropping and falling over her midsection she holds herself tightly as she tries to stifle the shriek of laughter that was bubbling up inside; It takes a moment.
A long drawn in breath as she rides out the waves of amusement, she draws her hands up her body while blooming into a luxurious overhead stretch. She was definitely feeling this plan, it tingled all over.
"Partners in this then I guess. Our first date and I'm breaking out the handcuffs and taking you to meet another girl. I can't wait to see how it all goes."
The coy tease sounds delighted, she was delighted!! There it was ...dinner and a show all planned out in advance.
She Positively beams in response to that ever so evil looking grin as well as the promise involved in the plan, it assured a good time.
Log created on 23:31:13 05/11/2015 by Juri, and last modified on 08:50:21 05/15/2015.