Description: Formerly he'd scouted her out, and now tasked with the delivery of one of the most unbalanced and 'the scariest **** he's ever met in his life.' Cracker Jack sets out on one long inter-continental romp to deliver one serious Wild Child to her destination safe and sound.
Juarez, Mexico. Controlled by the cartels that Vega backs, Juarez is only technically a part of Mexico, more of a narco-citystate under the control of whichever drug kingpin has the most guns to use pushing his drugs from its production point in South America north into the United States, cocaine's primary consumer. Cracker Jack just happens to be in town, doing some gruntwork for Lord Vega.
An hour earlier...
"So, you see, Agent Dawkes, you're not going to be finding out anything about my boss..." Jack says to an sweaty man tied to a chair in a dark basement room with mattress lined walls. Jack is holding his baseball bat, and two Latin mercenaries in desert camoflague hold submachine guns, standing behind Dawkes.
"They'll find out everything if you kill me, Cracker Jack...You'll be through...Your belt, your endorsements, Interpol, your family...The state department won't be so forgiving of the cartels if they kill an FBI agent..." Dawkes wheezes, before he spits blood up at Cracker Jack.
"As far as the state department is concerned, you died five hours ago on the airplane we pulled you off of...You see, it just crashed..." Jack smiles, before he kicks the chair over and kneels on Dawkes' chest. He presses his bat across the FBI agent's neck, and slowly presses down across the lawman's windpipe, crushing it. Dawkes' eyes bug out and his face turns people, as Cracker Jack grins with sexual arousal and stares into Agent Dawkes' eyes.
Cracker Jack steps out of his hotel room's shower, dressed in boxer shorts. The blood is gone, and he has a new baseball bat. He goes about dressing himself, nonchalantly, as if nothing had happened today. Just another day at the office for Jack. He picks up a can of Tecate, cracking it open and taking a long sip. He grimaces at the taste of his first alcohol for the day, staring out the window at Juarez's bustling streets.
The rap against the exterior of the hotel door is courteous but has an edge to it with a tempo that makes it generally annoying to most anyone exposed to the noise. The fine cut Brook's Brothers white suit jacket and pants over three button tan vest, marigold with diagonal Royal-blue striping, tie and solid marigold kerchief make him look a real dandy, he liked the look in the mirror that morning, regretted the choice though just a little since it was a little on the warm side of the day to be wearing a suit jacket and vest. The sandy haired young man standing out on the doorstep ceases rapping to both straighten and loosen his tie while flashing a deceptively pleasant smile as the cleaning woman pushes her cart by, knowing not to look too long or hard at the guests for many viable and dangerous reasons.
Waiting for the woman to disappear from sight and then still futher and perceivably out of earshot, thankfully still pushing that cart with products rattling. Since leaving the air conditioned comfort of the car downstairs he was regretting the wardrobe choice but that wasn't why he was starting to sweat out where everyone could see him now, it was a time for action... with a flick of his wrist he twirls a cane up into his fist; and? ...proceeds to rap only equally as hard and loudly on the door with the tip of the cane, changing the timbre of the sound to a sharper rapping while not changing the tempo, not notably louder but somehow more insistant.
It wouldn't do for too many people to actually see the resident of the room in question, the less connections between events that were playing out here and the presence of a certain regional Champion. My word, I would be just like M. Bison all over again. Tap-tap-tap!
Cracker Jack hears the annoying rap at his door, and puts his beer down, grabbing his pants. He slides them on and affixes his belt, buckling it, before he strolls gruffly to the room's entry and peers through the peephole. That's unusual. Everyone that knows he's here would typically use his cellphone. Unless, of course, it's someone that's paranoid about being spotted by the Echelon system, or the other corrolaries in other world powers. Better open up. He reaches up to the door's deadbolt as the cane comes into play, and opens the door, his shaggy mane of hair obscuring his eyes. "C'mon in, stranger," Jack states flatly as he gestures languindly to enter with his right hand.
Turning around, Cracker Jack moves to his closet, trusting the guest to close the door behind him, and pulls a salmon colored leisure shirt off its hangar and slides it on over his head. "I trust you're not looking for an autograph?" he asks without any question behind it, indicating the statement is rhetorical at best. Picking up his Tecate again, he tips the can back for a long drink and feels the Mexican lager slide down his throat and into his belly, cooling it and cutting off the edge of killing a man with practically your bare hands. He stretches as he lets the can dangle from his fingertips, before he indicates a chair in the corner of his room, with the window at it's arm. "Have a seat, amigo."
"Ah yes, Mister Cracker! ..or perhaps Mr Jack. (pause) Would you mind if I called you CeeJay? Most exciting! A current title holder. Yes, it's something of a privilege to meet you. Don't get to meet many in our-My line of work."
Wandering in; fastidiously closing the door behind him and glancing at the locks while only minimally touching the door handle like he was afraid it was dirty or was minimizing the chances he'd leave useable fingerprints; the young man remains close to the door as though listening behind it to the hall for just a heartbeat. The air was humid and the room's occupant in state of dress and dampness suggested a recent shower. Good. That'd help. Sniffing around the hotel room with roving eyes that never linger on anything long he seems to be taking stock of the room. There's plenty of time to do so while the rooms occupant is busy imbibing his? -- drink. Before picking out a seat and gingerly takes one with some trepidation, only doing so when asked to be most polite and accommodating rather than assume a state where he was comfortable.
He grounds the tip of the cane and lays his hands around the collar and across the top of the handle as though they were propping his arms up, the posture ramrod straight and smile genial and pleasant. He appears to take some real interest in the suit and Cracker jack pulling it on, for the first time really taking stock of the person and their physique rather than the room itself.
"Mr Ceejay, we understand you must have many other pressing engagements, worthy of a champion like yourself.. but, were hoping you could spare some of your time to help us out with a small transportation problem. We're worried about one of associates not getting to their appointments on schedule, or developing cold feet. Always the way it is in -our- line of work."
He could have been talking about any normal kind of bodyguard work but for the way that pleasant smile had stretched to become a little more reptilian and unpleasant during the job offer, it was anything but pleasing to the eye or reassuring.
"You will of course be well compensated for delivery. Oh, let's say Forty thousand dollars should be enough,-- I meant to say forty-five, my memory these days. I always forget expenses and inflation. The flight of course is first class."
Cracker Jack sits down on the bed with his beer can, slouching forward with his elbows near his knees. He watches the man in the fine suit carefully, keeping his guard up with a grim poker face as he considers everything he hears. "Jack'll do, no formalities." He goes silent, sipping his beer now, just a little to get the taste in his mouth, the straight line of his mouth forming a frown. It's not much money, but that's pretty close to his fee for Shadaloo, per mission. Just five grand short. Another reason why he hates working for Shadaloo. No respect. But he has to pay the bills. He looks down at his left hand, regarding his thick nails, looking down at his palm, before his hand turns over and goes limp, hanging between his thighs.
"One condition. You bring me in as a contractor, I meet your employer upon payment." He wants to see this prick that's shorting him five grand and taking up his time that could be spent getting hammered in the bars here, his work in Juarez done for the moment. Normally, he'd be back in Vegas, but money is money. "Your employer pays me directly with the cash. Deal?" He raises his eyebrow as he lifts his beer can, tilting his head back as he takes a long drink, before he emits an uncouth belch. "When you pay me is up to you. I know schedules can be, uh, difficult, in our line of work." He doesn't mince formalities. He knows this is a Shadaloo contract. He just doesn't know which higherup is messing with him.
"Oh yes, those are admirable conditions; well thought through and all! But, I'm afraid the contract is being made with me personally and is just the result of us being a little shorthanded at the moment. So much to do!!"
The way that pleasant smile is up's in wattage is extraordinary, how it remains fixed as though he were the Cheshire Cat yet it never even remotely touches those eyes which are a harsh and steely grey.
"You know how it is."
The cane comes up with a snap like a finger raised to make an exclamation point and he swiftly begins to tangent away from such negotiation ending terms and back into the pitch, trying to wiggle out of the conditions.
"It's just a small job with a drop off since for the moment the client seems to still be on board, the travel is more than free and she IS even something of a looker. ...Oh, didn't I mention that part just yet? You just have to deliver a girl to one of our facilities in Southtown, Japan. "
The location of one of the primary labs for S.I.N where all of the best in R&D is done for and -to- Shadaloo personnel. If the girl was an outsider then that probably meant it would be the last stop for her like many more before her. Small chance she was on payroll if she had a chance of getting cold feet.
"Payment would of course be prompt, before you left and in full. So long as you can keep her from leaping out of an airplane over the Pacific Ocean or running off between transportation swaps at the absolute worst."
His sense of humour is completely off and in reality he frames it so just so he can talk about how easy the job should be while also taking a shot making a little light of CJ. He wasn't used to breaking out the pleasantries and corporate face for mundane works, but the carrot worked better than the stick in some situations.
Seth had neither the time nor interest in the meat that was packaging a precious parcel being sent his way, it could still go badly for him if CJ were to fuck this up, Career low level badly. Here and now he was betting modestly and having a proper enforcer that would draw attention away from the actual package was just too good to pass up negotiating for.
Jesus, it's a SIN job. This was the gristly side of Shadaloo, with freaks like Seth and Dr. Senoh. Cracker Jack visibly scowls and finishes off his beer with a tip back of his head, before standing and pressing his shoulderblades back to pop his sternum. "Fine. I'll do it." He tosses the beer can in the trash and moves over to his closet, pulling out his jacket and slipping it on, before he slides his fingerless glove onto his right hand, flexing his fingers in it and making a fist. "But be prepare to pay me a bonus if this is a hot potato you're sending me to carry." If it's for the Doll project, he has to deal with Interpol. If it's for something darker, he's going to have to deal with a potentially powerful test subject, and he's not exactly the top pick for this, being a sergeant. "Just be aware, I'm a drill instructor, not a miracle maker. Let's get to the plane, I'm done in Juarez." He swings his hand over to the room's desk and pulls his baseball bat out of a duffel bag atop the modest furniture, propping the sporting equipment on his shoulder. He doesn't like the sound of this - he's dealt with potential forced recruits before, it got him blasted with Psycho Power.
"Fantastic! The plane doesn't leave for.."
Glancing at a watch revealed as he tugs back on his sleeve he's not concealing how pleased he is with the good news and his own smiling face in the reflection staring back at him.
"Some time! Whenever we're ready. Approximately 2 hours to Mexico City and then you'll have about two to three hours downtime with the ..package. I have a car waiting downstairs to take us, We can have your luggage forwarded to the airport ...or I'm willing to wait if you want to pack it yourself."
There was clearly some measure of reticence on his part to just rush on over and 'pick up the package' despite the lack of comfort in these surroundings. Truth told he was looking forward at getting back to the car! Heavenly and welcome air conditioned perfection. But the girl... he was in no rush to get back to?
The car downstairs was a Cadillac hatchback SUV, polished to a mirror shine it creeps out of a park where it was idling and glides over to meet both men outside the Hotel with a minimum of engine noise. Ostentatious amounts of grillwork, the finish to the chrome and rims it hardly looks like it's even touched the streets before this moment. The driver has a real thing for constantly checking his mirrors while also making some rather bold and aggressive driving look routine and uneventful, outraged horn beeping follows in their wake as they take a route to the airport. The same driver follows them into the cramped confines of a small personal jet that barely seats all three of them and assumes the role of pilot.
Just two hours later they're landing in Mexico City and met by a vehchile that might well have been the twin sister of the one left nearly 1,810km behind them. Once the passengers are loaded up the driver drives into the central city with the same aggressive tactics and speed he showcased before.
"We're here already, Thomas you are one magnificent driver."
The grim and stoic man who'd has not said a word the whole time while turns his head and jerks his head in an upnod upon receiving the compliment. Something seems to pass between the two men like unspoken communication and the Dandy S.I.N. operative sighs and pops his own door open seeming resigned, the driver responds with a smirk.
"Shall we then? -Jack-. Our princess awaits.."
Outside the car he angles the cane up to point and angle the stick in hand higher, toward the top of the building. The St. Regis, one of the more expensive 5-star hotels in the city and the most convenient to getting their package to the airport with a minimum of fuss and stops.
"...at the top of the tower!"
Purposefully striding forth he wanders toward the front doors, cheerily nattering away in full businessman escort mode and happily on the job.
" In the last three years, for professional reasons, I have been visiting Mexico City. Last year and this I stayed at The St Regis, which I consider a haven. Each floor has a butler, ready to help you unpack your luggage or to press your suit to perfection. A TV inside the bathroom mirror lets you keep on listening to the news while shaving And the restaurants offer great food with good wine lists. Highly recommended!! Most Highly."
The staff at the reception seem quite welcoming as he strolls thorough and takes up his spot waiting at a private elevator already fishing out a key for the upper floors.
"Perhaps next time you're in town. Yes?"
Key inserted into panel the button he pushes is for the top floor, the 'Princess' was at the top of the tower after all.
Cracker Jack carries with him a duffel bag with extra clothing, mostly t-shirts and a couple pairs of khakis. Just in case he gets messy, like earlier today with the Fed. He's quiet during the car ride, but polite, his bat sitting across his lap without being gripped, to put the SIN operative at ease. He strolls into the hotel after stowing the bat in the duffel bag, since it's clearly nicer than downtown Juarez, and nods. "Thank you, friend. See you on the other side." He turns and steps into the elevator, slipping a pair of shades from his front pocket over his eyes. It helps for this kind of work, if the primary doesn't see your eyes. As the elevator rises, he pats the bat in his hand, waiting for it to get to the top floor. As the door opens, he walks inside, bat over his shoulder, looking left and right to see if his mark is in plain sight.
Absent and empty seeming at least at first glance, there's signs of habitation; The covers on the bed are thrown back and there's a pile of gauze and bloody cotton padding just dropped haphazardly on the floor, the blinds are still closed and there's just the one prescription looking pill bottle sitting close to the bed, unopened yet with just a couple of pill on it, there's no easy out that way. Clothes thrown over the back of a chair there's a leather jacket and a heap of black all lazily piled up there, some princess this might be. There's the sound of water swishing from the bathroom, indicating where she might be.
More bloody hand towels tossed aside and against the walls from the methodical gentle cleaning of her face and eye. Juri was settling in to soak, the socket where her artificial eye once was hurt like a bitch and the water she was soaking in was tinged the faintest of pink; towel in hand wiping carefully below her closed and sunken eyelid while she self-consciously tries not to touch it. If the fuckers had ruined her looks with this little surgery she was going to burn S.I.N to the ground and force feed Seth the ashes before he was allowed to die.
'If that's the smug little asshole with the cane... I'm making good on that promise to throw you off the fucking roof if you talk about the view one more time!"
The voice both drawls and has a sharp edge to it, echoing from the bathroom doesn't distort it much. The footsteps could have been his, maybe a little heavier and there was no click of the cane against the floor but he could have been carrying it. Could have been him, could be someone else. Either way they were interrupting some sorely needed 'me' time.
Cracker Jack's stomach sinks as he hears the voice. It's that crazy bitch he told Shadaloo about, with the Psycho Power. The one that he kicked in the lady place. His career in Shadaloo relies on being diplomatic with the scariest cunt he's ever met in his life, and he's fucked biker mamas. He sucks in a breath, cracks his neck, then steps inside. He doesn't say anything, ambling around the room to give it a once over. Pushing his lower lip upwards as his jaw juts forward, he spins around and takes a seat in a plush chair, sitting with his back to the skyline with his bat in his hand. He doesn't say anything, merely tipping his hat downwards and watching the bathroom door. He props his right leg up with a square cross and waits for Juri to come out, patting his upper pocket. Syringe of sedative, check. He decided to get that out too, when he heard he was babysitting. Just in case the subject does not want to cooperate. He's happy he brought it, now. Now he has to rely on only his skills as a human being, which are sorely lacking. He frowns, wishing he had refused the job and stayed in Juarez. Seth is a real prick, he hears. At least Lord Vega rewards his underlings. Seth just offers you some sort of Faustian bargain you regret after you take.
Cracker Jack, more than any time in his life, wishes Mike were around. That's a guy that really has your back. Jack pauses, for a moment, reflecting on how sad that statement is. If the only person on the planet Cracker Jack trusts is Mike Bison, how well is Jack doing in terms of overall satisfaction right now? Cracker Jack pulls out his special Shadaloo touch phone, and checks his stocks and the money he has in his low risk index fund brokered by a friendly accountant that does /not/ work for Shadaloo. Well, that just made life more satisfying. Smiling briefly, he slides the phone away, before his expression returns to a frown and he stares at the bathroom door, sunglasses hiding his soft but paranoid stare.
No reply but they were still not bothering her. Fine, let 'em wait! Just soaking for a time and letting the heat soak into her. She wasn't used to this kind of environment and the waiting was kind of taxing, she wasn't used to being cooped up; nor being at rest with nothing to do. In time it's how boring it is that gets to her and forces her out of the tub.
Towel scrubbing at her hair she's putting off daring to look in the mirror and what she can see makes her grimace and swallow bile. No artificial eye -- just a misshapen closed eyelid which she props open to take a morbid glance inside. There was a metal plug back in there somewhere but it was packed with or something anyway, she could feel the additional weight even if the pain weren't a glaring enough indicator.
She emerges wearing a bathrobe and little else, hair likewise hanging long and loose she looks different from their last meeting, the bathroom left a bloody disaster in her passing. Mood obviously foul it turns somewhat on her head when she recognizes-
"Ohhhu, I recall that ugly-ass suit. I thought I'd killed you. So this was that job offer you had for me? "
She kind of cut that offer off at the table by not holding back after he kicked her, she wasn't really looking for any kind of long term engagements or gigs at that stage though. Was he really a S.I.N. employee? He didn't really fit with the mean she'd seen of them so far; charming liars or professionals who weren't keen on saying anything seemed to be more the norm there. The presence of the bat there is something she's mindful of, slung across his knees and the way the hat was cocked, pulled down bothered her just a little, like she wasn't worth watching. Whatever, it wasn't chivalry, she knew that after that kick the last time they'd met.
Making her way to the chair with her jacket slung over the back she drops the robe and slips straight into the jacket, the rest of her clothes are right there so she takes a seat and starts struggling into the tights worn under her leggings.
"Yup, this is the job. Dirty work, but it pays well. Glad you decided to take us up on it. You're about the right profile, got the right skills, probably need something to do with your time." He politely tips his hat downwards as she gets dressed, not watching. He loves women, but he's not a pervert, just a misogynistic prick. "Plus, you've got that juice you nearly killed me with. I'm not directly affiliated with the group you've been recruited for, I mostly do combat evaluation, recruitment, drill training for the rank and file, that sort of thing."
Cracker Jack shrugs a shoulder, putting his arm backwards on the chair as he shifts to look out the window to the side, still avoiding being a peeping tom. "Make about fifty grand per assignment, minimum asking value. You're about five grand short, probably because I've been losing on SNF lately."
That was pretty forthcoming, 45k for what.. scouting her? If it was then it seemed a bargain especially when she was staking a large enough claim in metro city pretty much anyone worth a damn should have been able to find her.
"There are probably easier ways to make money than picking a fight with me and then /ensuring/ i want to kill you. he knows what he did. If you're just in it for the money -- a few thousand isn't very much to risk your life for.
Not that she was really interested in fighting for money. She kicks up leg as the tights are pulled on eventually hopping to her feet, maybe that's all he valued his life at scrapping for pocket change. He gave the impression he was working a dayjob of sorts if 'drill sergeant' qualified, already working for a criminal organization and yet he was pulling odd jobs for bigger rewards and maybe a pat on the head from the higher ups.
"Oh, so you're some kind of television personality? c tell me. Many of those fights are fixed or rigged?"
She was only vaguely interested in the answer, the way she throws herself down into the chair and then immediately regrets doing it as her head protests. The wince and grimace against the twist in her gut and swell of nausea. If he wanted to talk about being on television she'd humour that for now.
"For scouting you, I got fifty grand. For babysitting you, I get forty-five. You're a decent investment. And I pulled a job few hours ago, a track and kill gig." He smirks as he looks back at her, now that she has her clothing on. "The belt I have pays out. The fight was pretty real, even if Spangles or whatever her name was was raging drunk. I got my start as a bouncer, taking down drunks are kind of my thing. I like being on television, gets me endorsement deals, that's extra money. And I get paid for successfully defending my title, which hasn't come up yet. No challengers so far, but not many people want the risk and television exposure. Being famous is one thing, but getting the chance to network the sports endorsement world? Pretty lucrative. I'd be beating people up anyways, might as well get some change for it."
Cracker Jack looks at the closed eye socket. "That looks like it hurts." He leans forward, reaching into his sock and pulling out a rolled plastic bag with a number of joints inside. "You blaze? I picked it up in Juarez. Primo stuff, grown in Costa Rica. Cancer patients can't be wrong."
Oh, some talent for making money then if he was putting all this work in. He was enjoying his work though and 'track and kill' did sound like it might be stimulating if it was anything like the description entailed. Belt though? That was kind of a weird one to mention not that it felt important enough to dig into and everything after that is pretty much gibberish that near has her eye beginning to glaze over. Endorsement deals and all, sounds like he was having fun being famous in whatever circle of hell actually followed those SNF's. Mass marketed crap for the masses with people dressed like clowns.
"Lucky, no challengers so far. You should make sure to enjoy it then."
The fading interest is easy enough to detect as is the faint smirk, there were monsters in the world far worse and more powerful than she was. Claiming ownership of such a small and modest thing and getting some enjoyment out of it wasn't really something she sniffed at. If he was happy...
"Sports endorsement world, going to go Pro baseball nex-"
The comment about her eye shut's her up as while a hand reflexively raises to cover the wound in question. Red splashes across her cheeks and turns to anger as the comment makes her feel self-conscious about the lack of the eyepatch and how it might look. She hadn't even brought an eye patch with her.
"Yeah fucker it hurts, you want to try getting shot in the face and see how it works out for you!? And no I don't 'blaze'"
Livid /and/ embarrassed she picks herself up and starts pacing around in an agitated fashion, barefoot padding against the rug drowning out whatever she was muttering about under her breath.
"More for me, then," Jack says, as he fishes a lighter out of his pants and puts the bone in his mouth. He lights it up and puffs on it slowly, before exhaling a cloud of the perfumed smoke. He plucks it from his mouth with his left hand, holding it with his thumb and forefinger with his palm open, watching Juri pace. He lets her do it, letting her get it out of her system now before they're in public. Someone's definitely going to bring it up eventually. "Just hold tight until SIN gives you whatever weapons system they're planning to give you. I guarantee it'll be worth it, we aren't SouthSynd or Mad Gear here. We're professionals, same medical care you'd get in a first world country, just without all the..." He slowly spins his right hand around, feeling the weed hit. "Red tape."
"Call me Jack, by the way. Most people do. Cracker Jack is the full alias, but I go by Jack." He watches Juri pace from behind his sunglasses, taking another slow drag off the joint. He leans forward to slide the bag away in his sock, and then perches his leg on his knee again. "So, Miss Han, what exactly were you promised by good ol' Seth?" He doesn't make any assumptions. Science isn't his bag, actually, any real education isn't his bag, but he's become shrewd from a life on the streets. "Don't fancy it up. I'm a hustler, not a surgeon."
No waxing poetic or spouting bullshit - just straight talking? Not a chance. The more people knew about you then the more they could use against you or knew how to combat or foil you, how you thought and how you might interpret events made you predictable.
"A toy, only one of its kind though. Looked like it would be a lot of fun and that's what was promised. They kept making stupid promises that they'd give me anything I needed to keep me happy."
The tone started out terse but by the end it's taken on a wondering and wistful tone until the very end. If she asked for Jacks head on a silver platter? She certainly didn't need any of these trappings like being stuck at the top of yet another tall building. She'd seen shown some footage of the device, possibly enough to scare someone off; some of the video even cut off a little late as the test subjects had begun their wailing as the device ran its course flooding them with far more power than they could cope with, searing them from the inside out. It was a pretty grotesque thought that she might not survive the procedure but she was far and above better than the average stock they had been using in their tests.
That 'Feng Shui Engine' was hers by right. Shadaloo owed her any eye anyway so this would even them up somewhat.
"Maybe if you're particularly bad and need to go away for good, I'll show it to you."
She only half teasing with that statement. Resentful and threatening ever since he brought up the wound in her face she stalks over to the windows and makes no reciprocal gesture in telling him what to call her, she was honestly angry he knew her real name. There might be more than a few Han's in Korea but just a little digging would bring up a newsworthy family like hers.
"So, if you're the babysitter now right? Can we get the hell out of here and get something to eat."
She was thoroughly sick of 5-star meals and primped up art posing as food instead of real carbs and protein. The danger there though was whether she'd use that opportunity to run and it was all a bluff.
"As long as you play ball with the leadership, bud, you'll probably be ahead of me in the chain of command. Rank is decided mostly by combat skill. We're an organization of warriors, not soldiers." He continues smoking his joint, inhaling hard. He prefers weed for a boring mission like this. When Jack gets bored, he can get paranoid. And when he gets paranoid, he can get violent. Weed keeps him happy, as long as he doesn't get floridly high, something which rarely happens when he's doing something important. Not since highschool has he fucked up like that, and that got him a few months in juvenile hall.
He stands up, removes his sunglasses, and offers them to Juri. "Fine, we'll get some real food." He puts the joint out half done in the hotel's ash tray. "<You speak Spanish?>" he asks, in Spanish. He picked it up young, living in a poor community to close to the border. "Don't worry if you don't speak it, I'm fluent. And don't worry about Interpol, Mexico City is a danger zone for them right now. We pretty much control the cartels around here, and the cartels have the cops and politicians on the pay." That means don't run, bitch. Don't you dare run. "Let me know if you get lightheaded, don't be a hero." An additional warning. He tosses his bat on the bed, and sidles up to the elevator. "We have three hours before our flight."
Ohoho my god, no. Fat chance of that! Already had the discussion where she'd said she would only cooperate on her own terms, She doubted Seth truly had an inkling of just how rigidly she was going to adhere to that statement. If he was smart he could play to that and give her things to do that she'd enjoy. If he did that, she'd know to watch him even more carefully.
Her only recourse and answer to the prospect that Shadaloo was full of warrior's or even soldiers was to derisively snort. Convicts and mercenaries maybe would have agreed with, there were probably some people brainwashed enough to buy into the pitch that they'd gain wealth and power, maybe they'd even drink the cool-aid. Those were the biggest fools; there was going to be no power to share, everything in Shadaloo went to the top and that figure at the top did not share that accrued power, not with anyone.
Plucking the surprise offering out of extended hand mechanically and as if transfixed on them, Juri opens and slides the sunglasses on to cover the wound with some residual surprise still etched on her face and mirrored in the reflective sheen of the window she was standing near. She'd done nothing but threaten the guy openly and express only minimal interest in his little life and what he was interested in. What's with him all of a sudden? She's sceptical as to his motive but grateful for the glasses nonetheless.
"No, not really... never had any reason to learn it before. Whatever, there's only a couple of people who were on my trail I was trying to avoid. Interpol wasn't one of them!"
Seizing what initiative was left to her she takes that couple more minutes to finish getting dressed; literally wearing everything she brought with her to this room with the exception of the discarded bandages. If anything she does appear to pick up on the threat regarding where she was and how established the powerbase was here; and react accodringly by seeming to find it underwhelming yet amusing threat. Being told not to be a hero, she reacts by folding her hands back behind her head with an 'as if' expression while moseying for the door. If she suddenly developed an overpowering need for Bitch Mint's like the ones on that nightstand then she'd let him know; while sauntering out toward the elevator with her escort; when he's ready, she deigns to add just a little more to what she'd said Just as the doors were drawing closed and sealing them in the elevator.
"I was avoiding Shadaloo."
He should kind of see how that was working out for her. She didn't care to mention who the second 'people' was.
Cracker Jack doesn't dignify the snort with a response, merely offering a roll of his shoulders that resembles a helpless shrug, but more feline. Like he's pissed off, but not at her. "I grew up in a Vegas trailer park, I'm fluent in Spanish. Now, when we're out there, if you spot anyone looking aggressive, just play it off. We're gringos and we're on their turf, and they need to look tough for their home dogs." He looks sidelong at her as they walk towards the elevator. "Machismo is a Latin term." He steps into the elevator with her, and grins sidelong as he looks at his reflection on her sunglasses. "You can't avoid fate. I research my recruits pretty thoroughly, and you were always meant for better things than being a college girl with an Ivy League girlfriend that would've cheated on you while on business."
As the elevator goes down, he pauses, then raises a finger as he looks at her. "One more thing. Don't have anything that contains tap water. Only bottled beverages. The water here is full of bacteria, it gives outsiders stomach infections. You'll be on the toilet for weeks if you take even a sip." That said, he flexes his back as the elevator doors open, and gestures for her to lead the way.
Didn't seem to matter much anymore, keeping off the radar such that Shadaloo didn't ruin her fun, decide she was worth controlling or try and - retake her. It's was more bitterly amusing to think she was in a position where she would come to them of her own free will. He doesn't seem to find it as amusing as she does so it's a private joke.
Yadda yadda, he'd grown up in an environment where the language was used, was contentiously trying to avoid offending the locals and affording them some measure of respect because it was their 'turf.' None of this makes much of an impression on Juri as she's affording them NIL measureable amount of respect; Not give a crap about their turf or how their precious feelings or pride might be hurt.
Her palm slaps against the panel and forces the doors shut again when the elevator stops. Ever since he dared start talking about who and what 'fate' had in store for her she was reeling, he'd 'researched' her had he? Pushing off the wall she slowly recoils into a languid and relaxed upright stance with her head lolling back just a little and turned Jack's way. The fuck he said!?
Moving with sublime grace she starts rounding on him, lunging into her advance until she is WAY too close into personal space and getting right up in his face; factoring the seven inch difference in height.
"Did your research did you? Really? I was a fucking World-Class prodigy does that compute? Sink in?"
He'd pushed a button, one that made her volatile and she was starting to show signs of blowing up on him big time. Speculating on who she was or what she might've done was something she didn't even let herself do. That old life was gone, if he was trying to measure her potential by that though she was going to end that right here and now.
"Best. In. World. I beat everyone competing in my age range and was being driven even harder to fighting adults; when I was fifteen. I've been beating out people older and more established in -their- craft since I was a child."
The glasses slip down her nose and there's a definite sign of wide, crazy eye going on behind those glasses, she's angry at how condescending that comment about fate was, almost every person that got mixed into her life was some kind of exceptional or remarkable figure that inspired loyalty, fear or terror in the masses, to say she could or would be something so mundane and boring.
"I decide what my 'fate' is, and this shit..! (situation) I'm just co-operating because our interests align and it looks like fun."
That twist to her mouth is all teeth and very little in the way of smile, but she is willing to back off after that delivery. That's right! this was all her own choice.
Cracker Jack stares dead at Juri as she flips out and gets right up in his face, not the least bit impressed. He listens, taking it all in, but his mouth remains a tight line. And then, he puts his hands on his hips, arching his neck over her. "And you were never going to get any better without a real challenge. You can't tell me that out there, in Metro City, you felt more alive? That's because you were learning. And when you unleashed that clusterfuck at me that gave me a concussion? You can't deny that that felt /good/. That's what fighting's about, Juri. It's about being more than the average human. It's about regressing to your instincts, and competing at a level that most of the world can't understand, they can only watch it with awe. When you're doing it for fun, you screw around." He then lifts his finger, jabbing it in her shoulder. "But when you're doing it because of /emotion/, because of a challenge, or because of your instincts, then you're living. /That/, Juri Han, is what fighting is about. You're too young to understand it now, but if you learn to truly harness that gift that you've earned, it wasn't God or your teachers or your luck, you EARNED IT, then you will get what Shadaloo is all about." He backs off, to let that sink in, a grim frown on his face.
"Ah! Hah - ha ---Ahahahahahaha. You're even crazier than I am!!"
Instantly brightening up she sets her hands on hips and eyes Jack askance like she can't even believe he exists and is standing in front of her. She thought he'd done his homework on her so certain things were just going unsaid, but? ...far from things going unsaid they were completely alien and near incomprehensible to her.
"Oh! I fully endorse regression and instinct but your just have things backwards. Fighting you I was _entirely_ screwing around - right up until you kicked me. What you're calling a fight is just? ...me killing time out of boredom. You might as well throw me some candy-ass fighter from television or some even lesser asshole talking about National Pride and fighting for their country, Aha ha ha! Fighting for your country?! What kind of nonsense is that? Are they touched in the head? Worthless!! Until you made me angry, I wasn't feeling anything!"
And then she'd tried to kill him, it hadn't been easy and the little cockroach had gotten away alive during that one so he had some real potential; taking a beating without actually breaking. Poised and appearing collected once again she just seems to be making conversation and emphasizing her points.
"What -I- was doing there for fun was starting up the kind of fun I'm into. Nothing is as engrossing as watching life and death matches where everything's on the line and can all come to an end with their next and final heartbeats. They don't even have to be that strong or skilled for it to be entertaining."
She was salivating at the prospect of finally getting some real dinner, but she missed seeing any actual real blood sports and matches even more, a much deeper seated craving than just food. Food for her twisted soul.
"Fighting isn't a sport and it isn't worth shit on it's own, it's just trying to kill someone else. Hmm... Now that sounds like something I can sink my teeth into, No holds barred... It's just what every girl wants."
"Fighting is shit until you need it," Cracker Jack says, before flashing her a grin and stepping out of the elevator. "So I'm assuming you want to leave the tourist district for this meal?" he asks her, sliding his hands into his pockets with his thumbs out. He has an odd swagger to his step, having gotten Juri to align to his needs yet again, through careful prodding. He's a skilled player, and he knows the game. He's up against a teenager, so it's easier than he makes it look. Just a series of coordinated pokes and positive reinforcement. "C'mon, killer, let's get out of this place."
He motions at the doors out of the lobby, where the night time beckons. "What's your pleasure? Beef, pork, chicken, or cheese? Never get fish at a Mexican place, it's only for the truly adventurous." He idly adjusts his hat, before opening the door to the equatorial heat outside the air conditioned hotel, stepping out into the night. He looks left and right for any cops, intentionally ditching Juri for a few moments so he can scout to see if he has any tails. And not just Interpol, but any rival organizations, or even his own. Nope, coast is clear. He turns about on his heel and grins brightly, holding the door for her. "If you want to see Mexico as it is, we go to the rough neighborhood. Might even get some interesting action, huh?" he says, knowing that combined, the two of them can take just about any band of random punks in the city's barrios.
"Yeah, bitterly hungry."
Taking the lead for lack of anything better to do she starts walking toward the lobby at an at-her-own-pace saunter, interested and looking around like it's the first time she'd actually seen it. Left to her own devices she definitely walks at a much more sedate pace than CJ's saunter which can easily be outstripped, lingering at the door behind him eventually she shrugs when finally given the okay to leave like this.
S.I.N. must run this kind of shit so often when the meals had arrived they'd already been diced into cubes and there wasn't even a knife. Which was some grade-A bullshit when it happened, not to mention the pathetic and tiny little 'gourmet' portions. Getting out of there was a relief enough when she's finally ALLOWED to she steps out onto the pavement she lets the heat settle down on her, damp hair is a nice shield against the sun and she wiggles her bare toes and settles her feet. Warm, not unpleasant or overwhelming; she'd probably try to keep out of it so it didn't ruin her pale complexion. Having the door opened for her was kind of an oddity.
"I'm not here to sightsee, just get a decent enough meal so that I can sleep through the flight."
Magazines and television or movies didn't really hold much appeal as a way to kill time but at least she's co-operating and really hooked on the promise of food. He's the babysitter and logic dictated he was at least trying to keep her happy until the flight and if he was planning on drugging her that was going to be just a little counter-productive.
"Then you eat in style, my refined friend," Jack states with that grin on his face, letting the door close and strolling alongside her towards a restaurant meant for tourists, the kind that serves expensive margaritas and five star dishes. He, of course, is walking along the curve, an outdated custom but important nonetheless. "These places are usually made for tourists, so you'll find the waitstaff friendly, the cooks skilled, and the atmosphere somewhat resembling what rich people are used to. We'll blend right in with the schmucks." Another shot at the wealthy. Jaded, no? He checks his watch, before slipping his hand back into his pocket, and waltzes into the tourist restaurant. "Two please," he says, since everyone at these types of places speaks English, and looks to Juri as the hostess checks the seating chart. "Little taste of home, huh?"
"Somewhere out of the sun ...that one will do."
Leaving the still assenting waitress confused and working on her welcoming spiel behind her, Juri picks out a booth toward one of the walls rather than sitting somewhere she can enjoy the view. The restaurant had certainly splurged on the decoration and frills around here (perhaps some years ago) but it was the spitting image of a spiffy European style restaurant, you only noticed some small discrepancies if you looked at the spots that weren't polished out so well. That wasn't expensive silverware on the tables and the condiment holders on the table were a little scratched and chipped from use.
More room with these seats to spread out she slips into one side of the booth seating and draws her legs up to her chest, folded up neatly into a squat even while sitting on the seat and looking like the utmost in rabble that would usually not be able to afford eating in an establishment like this. The business clearly wasn't playing well enough at hiding what it was, why should she, proximity to a 5 star hotel that had its own kitchens. In this economy things had to be tough.
"You joke, Maybe if they spent a couple more million on the decorations."
She was relaxed but dead serious, in Hong Kong dining and attracting the Elite and most famous of personalities to eat at your establishment was a cut-throat flavour of the month industry. It was uncommon for her as a child to even eat at the same restaurant where there was a dish she knew or liked instead of going to the /Most/ fashionable where other influential people would be. This place didn't even remotely come close to that if it's what he was comparing it to.
Waiting on the menu doesn't take long at all, it's not like there were dozens of customers queued up in front of them, explains why the place might be finding the times rough. The prices were fairly high and thankfully also available in American dollars on the menu. The second it's handed to her she flips the menu and traces a finger down the menu's steak section and places her order with the waitress for a good seven main's.
"Just those for me, rare and if any of them have a sauce on it? eighty-six the sauce."
She could maybe fill just over half the table with her order or more, and that was seven dishes at more than forty dollars per. Juri pulls no punches when spending someone else's money and is all the more looking forward to the meal because of it. The waitress seems impressed with the selection of dishes but clearly a little worried about perhaps her ability to pay for it; Trying to get a read on whether these diners were a dine and dash risk or just incredibly eccentric while Juri is just plain done with the girls existence, her order has been placed.
Cracker Jack raises his eyebrow at the size of Juri's order, peering at her over his menu. As he sees the look from the waitress, he offers her a reassuring smile, reaching into his jacket and pulling out a wad of neat hundreds in a money clip, setting it on the table. "Chicken quesadilla, please, and a bottle of Coke." Cheapest thing on the menu, literally. The waitress, scribbling down the order, moves off to fill the order, as Jack watches Juri with a raised eyebrow. "Big eater?" he asks with a wry smile on his face, taking his clip of money and putting it away in his jacket. "Now I gotta leave a huge tip. Never abuse the people that serve your food, Juri. I've worked as a line cook in a place like this, back in highschool. It's a savage, savage world." He leaves it at that, since she's about to eat. "The best thing you can get at any Mexican restaurant is the chicken quesadilla. Easiest thing to make, best tasting, and of course, most filling. It's something I figured out years ago." As his drink is delivered, he pops the top off, and takes a long draw.
The questioning look and jab about her eating habits hardly seems to leave a dent her in her borderline lethargic composure, she has to suppose there's some measure of wisdom to what 'Jack' was saying. If he thought that was abuse however? How soft could he be.
" Yeah... at least until I've gotten my food I suppose but I don't think she has the guts to try anything."
A truthful if rough gauge of her assessment of the girl, not to her taste and not even remotely exceptional in any regard so she was about as interesting as the wallpaper. Lolling her head around just enough to watch the waitress leaving Juri still isn't that impressed, not even by the view nor does she seem to really be giving thought as to just how hard it might be to 'work here' like CJ was barely explaining. How rough could it really be? He thought she was abusive to a server just because she was ignoring them when she was done with the service. Exposing some small bias there since he'd done this kind of work or had fond memories of someone who did it.
"Smart to have worked out what dishes are best that they can't mess up, I'm playing the odds that I get something to my liking."
Juri wasn't so charitable and was going to judge the whole dinner by the quality food they actually brought her. When her first steak arrives she slices into it with a faint frown and after chewing a small portion she pushes the whole plate away without a word as to why and starts fishing around in her mouth before pulling a dangling piece of shredded steak out and dropping it onto the plate without even using a napkin. Gross.
Tough, not juicy at all despite being rare. Hot in the middle but cool to the touch on the outside she was so done with that plate.
Jack, meanwhile, is eating a slice of his quesadilla bare handed, since it's made to basically be a tortilla sandwich with cheese and meat inside. He chews and swallows hungrily, since he's more than a little stoned, watching Juri with amusement. "I'm taking all of it home, I'll eat it if you won't. I love me some Chicano food." He takes a larger bite of his quesadilla slice, before putting it down and picking up his soda, taking a deep drink. He certainly seems to love food, as opposed to Juri, who is rather finicky. He grabs the steak on the plate and slides it over to his side of the table, asking for and receiving a stryofoam box from the waitstaff and sliding the beef inside. "Waste not, want not."
Seemingly amused by the play, wanting to take that home Juri leans forward with elbows on table to and framing her face without saying a word she was just sits there appearing smug and amused but just being content to watch. She only starts actually eating the steaks when the fourth plate arrives; finally something different enough to be to her liking?
She's a pretty voracious eater and not displaying much in the way of manners as she sets to cleaning her plate. Between mouthfuls she even works in some dinner time conversation.
"It'd probably be cheaper if you reheated your own steaks in the microwave."
The waitress who was placing another plate and relieved to finally find Juri eating blanches and fumbles the last setting just a little. The thing about a rare steak is it's really easy to tell when it's been reheated or the meat is old. The last few dishes were coming out fresh, no complaints there but the others might be left-overs from yesterday's dinner service.
Juri didn't feel she was a picky eater, she eaten in some real dive bars and sketchy places but there was always that irritating niggle when food didn't taste like it was meant to or as advertised. The daughter of one of South Korea's most prominent prosecutors there was some real emphasis on making sure they got the best and freshest sent to their table. At home they didn't even own a microwave so it was a pretty distinct taste and texture at first.
"Isn't that right?"
The waitress scampers away to the kitchen without reply while Juri enjoys a forkful of pasta, the mouth sealing tight around the mouthful is definitely smiling and she seems to be enjoying the waitress at least a little now she'd clearly managed to cause some upset.
"I know what rare steak is /supposed/ to taste like Jack. These ones are fine."
If she wanted to eat dry jerky she'd have ordered a drink as well.
Jack frowns faintly as he observes the rude treatment of the waitstaff, as he chews on his quesadilla. "Consider this, Juri," he says thoughtfully, putting forth a theory. "Without the poor, the rich wouldn't have anyone to cook, clean, serve food, mix their drinks, pay taxes to support the military, et cetera. But without the rich, the poor would be just fine. So here's the question." He looks at her slyly, one of his eyes visible from beneath his hat as he points at her with a triangular slice of food.
"Why do the poor keep the rich around? I mean, money isn't anything. So why do we have wage slaves supporting a small elite of people who have never scrubbed a dish or washed windows?" He gives her a 'food for thought' look, his jaw jutting forward as his lower lip tucks in, before he takes a slow draw of his Coke and grins playfully.
"That's why professionals exist; because they spent time and money investing in their skills and with that knowledge and success gain a reputation. Nobody gets punished more for failing than those 'Elite' who exist under a microscope, ...Rather than these 'powerful' nobodies you're talking about. Downing their swill, just dreaming of striking it big or procrastinating while producing NOTHING of value to anyone."
Survival of the fittest at its finest where every movement was inspected for flaw and every action was a test or trial and the weak or foolish should fail and fall. It was harder to stay at the top then it was to vegetate at the bottom of the heap. Her own reply to that sly look was to resume eating; tiny white teeth shredding meat while her lips purse and stretch with the chewing. That doesn't even stop her talking while still eating.
"Jealousy, telling yourself you'd be better off without the people who work harder and smarter above you. Producing all the things you want and dream about to motivate you."
What else are you going to spend all this money you're so hungry for on? The works of other people and the trappings of success though probably tackier than she could want if the suit was any guide. Maybe the pretty girls who weren't going to be flocking his way until he had money, but those same girls would be falling all over themselves for a man with a reputation they could cling to, status.
"You were right on just one count; I've never scrubbed a dish in my life."
Taunting with the last bite of her second steak she was certainly cleaning plates, but leaving all the greenery she wasn't interested in, vacuuming up the carbs and protein but leaving the salads near untouched.
"Well an entire society can't be professionals with educations, Juri," Jack replies with a flourish of his right hand, elbow beneath it propped up on the table. Letting his left hand hang limp off the edge of the table behind the plate, he picks up the last of his quesadilla. "You don't need financial reward to prove you're successful, Juri, it just makes things easier. My father was a Christian man, and you know what he said about money?" He bites into the cheese and chicken mix, chewing and sliding the wad of dairy and protein into the corner of his mouth.
"If you serve Caesar, you die like all tyrants die. Of course, my father was a proud Johnny Rebel. Texan Protestant, had a boner a mile wide for the Alamo, and hated Yankees. Decent boxer in his day, but he refused to take a fall for the mob, and got pretty beat up. Never fought again. And he thought just like you, even though he was on the losing end. Kicked me out of the house when I was eighteen because I dropped out of highschool."
"And then you decided to work for Shadaloo!"
That tickled her fancy, at least he'd picked from the top shelf in class of tyrant he was willing to work for. An organization that trampled over and slaughtered or used millions of the very 'poor' he might have a boner for while courting the rich and influential. They tried numerous ways to silence her father before they got around to the method which actually worked, executed live on television when the South Korean government wouldn't meet Shadaloo's demands. That paltry broken man they executed hardly even looked like him at the time.
"You're right -- there needs to be a higher class of people devoted to learning more and using their time better. Whatever could we call them?"
Knife grating on plate as she digs into the last steak she doesn't seem to be tiring of prodding him with barbs. It's the best sport and entertainment around.
"I could manoeuvre for advantage with my looks, or my talents; because we aren't made equal. Some people have advantages in the genes."
His father was a hard ass with his own morality and principle, join the club. Her mother was a real beauty but whom he probably married for her looks and her social status. Giving birth to a prodigious child was just icing on the cake for them and they could milk it for all it was worth. In a way CJ was lucky; his family break up didn't cost him an eye.
"Shadaloo isn't Caesar. Shadaloo is the barbarians at the gate. Rome is getting smashed, one way or the other. You join with the Huns, the Goths, the Vandals, whatever your tribe, and you take what's left of this diseased society." He's aware of what happened to Juri, but doesn't particularly care. If she wants the Feng Shui engine, she'll have to play ball. And he's well aware that Vega could annihilate even a martial arts prodigy. He's beyond any level of fighter Jack's ever encountered. With brains to match.
"Everyone's got a talent, Juri." He says, as he pushes his plate away and finishes off his Coke. He orders the cheque, and begins placing hundreds inside the faux leather fold it the bill comes in. He's very generous, to make up for his rude friend. Jack is many things, but stingy isn't one of them. And he's quiet about it, merely closing the case and sliding it to the edge of the table. "I may not be professionally schooled, but I read on occasion. Do you know what Nietzsche says about every deficit? Every deficit has an equal and opposite advantage, adapted to offset each deficit. You may have fighting talent, and you may be good looking, but I'd be curious to see how well you'd do in prison, where manners count. Or maybe testifying in court, wear you need self-control. Or in a military unit, where the guy beside you counts more for your survival than you do, and vice versa. The key is, recognizing your deficits and adapting the advantage when you need to." He waits for her to finish eating, placing his right hand on his head and lowering his hat with a faint tip.
Now she's sure he's just delusional or fucking with her. Would explain maybe why he was babysitting her if he was loyal and a cheap hire but the impression of who and what Shadaloo was? It was nearly baseless.
"Oh, you think I'm good looking. Nice to know... but I'll tackle the rest of those just for the hell of it. Of course I'm talented, and I've been fighting now for about ohhhhh -- three and a bit year's total. I've had worse than prison, the daughter of a world renowned prosecutor and have watched him work and heard what frustrated him, The only person I fight for is myself and! -- My manners are impeccable, if I ever choose to use them."
Ticking them off on her finger she feels she's pretty comprehensively done with his list. Most of that time learning to fight had been building up the condition and reflexes necessary to compete, Taekwondo itself was so much a joke sport of a martial art that it was probably meant to be a lesson in humility and to teach her sportsmanship before she was allowed to learn anything really deadly. Her father was a legendary martial artist as well as a lawyer so he probably had some interest or plan involved. She learned much more when he was already dead and gone. Demolishing that last steak she's almost done with dinner.
"Why would I act with self-control where I don't need to.. Where's the payoff for me? I'm not selling an image or product with my likeness! Do you think I want to impress someone? Who?? For all that talk of letting lose and acting instinctually when you fight you don't seem interested in really exploring that. Discipline this, status quo that -- all while playing middle manager and training up s'more cannon fodder for the suits. I do what I do because it's FUN- how about you?"
"I'm a nihilist," Jack responds simply, with a wave of his hand. "I fail to see the logic and order of the universe as it is, so I do my own thing. Vega wants to rule the world, more power to him. Although according to the intelligence I'm given - and this stuff is limited - we're not the only ones trying that. Most of what I have to work with is just the standard propaganda spiel, save with some actual faces and names and abilities. You know, helps with preparing the rank and file for actual engagements. It's pretty boring, but it pays the bills. Want to see something cool?"
He digs into his jacket, pulling out a small picture. He slides it across the table to her, revealing a fire engine 1968 Ford Mustang shell, built up into a hot rod. "Just got her, she's in Vegas. Found an old Mustang in decent condition, had it built into this." It's got a huge engine sticking out of the hood, visible in the picture. It's parked somewhere in the Mojave Desert just off the road. "It's a perk of paying the bills. Everyone needs a hobby. Mine is cars. Picked her up and drove her to my place right before I came to Juarez on business this morning."
Giving the picture some measure of her attention as it's being provided she consumes the last bite of her steak with some relish and then sprawls out, relaxing as she lets her body focus on digesting with elbows jammed back across the seat at shoulder height; The meal was good enough eventually and she was plenty stuffed.
She wasn't quite so charitable and willing to roll over and let Vega just rule over wherever she happened to be on this world. The grandeur and scale of the goal however was worth some admiration. So he was holding back on something cool? Juri even lifts the glasses for a split second look at the photo to get a sense for the colour and what it actually was, so that's what motivated him and gave him joy? It's a small thing really but chasing what you actually wanted and how much enjoyment it gave you never really followed any equations or logic.
He might be happier with his crap than she'd ever been in her life, she had no idea. She tries to get a read on the emotion in his face for if it really is that enjoyable.
"The last thing I bought was a Hotel."
A real shithole it was too, the decor probably hadn't been updated since the 1970's but it was the last thing she had bought, though escrow and a few rather new and VERY fictional companies going in together on the business venture, even though they were all eventually tied back to a certain S. Korean law firm. It was a piece of shit and she took no pride or joy from owning it, the lack of interest in her own purchase plays across her face. Beneath it though... that whole area was full of promise.
"I envy your being so delighted by your purchase."
A venomous barb but she might very well be jealous that he was -actually- happy with it. Fuck him, an impulse buy he's happy with versus an investment that would take time to deliver what she wanted.
Jack smirks and grabs the picture back, sliding it into his jacket. "No point to hoarding your cash. Just save enough to retire on, and splurge a little here and there. That's how the economy works, Juri - money comes back to you eventually, if you're willing to keep an ear open." He checks his watch. "Two hours until the flight. Got any other wishes I can grant?" he says with a duck face on his mouth briefly, before it disappears and is replaced by a toothy grin. "Little fact about Mexico I picked up in highschool. Did you know it was once conquered by France? They installed a French king of Mexico, back in the 19th century. People killed him, of course."
"Yeah that'd really hit the spot. Killing a French King."
They seemed to be fresh out however and the comment flusters the waitress on arrival even further now, she was coming back to check to see how they'd found the meal. Playfully Juri had even flipped the bird at him when he makes that ridiculous kissy face at her but seems pretty largely at a loss for what to do, she was a tourist here but she had absolutely no interest in exploring the place, the sooner they were on a flight... the better. So this was just time to kill.
"I got nothing, we might as well go back to the hotel since we've got an hour to kill."
And adding another layer of awkward embarrassment to that heaped upon the waitress already she's turning a delightful shade of red while waiting for the bill to be settled and trying really hard not to look either customer in the eyes; Easy in both cases with sunglasses and the low tilted brim of Cracker Jack's hat.
Jack slides out of the booth. "<Sorry about my friend,>" he says to the waitress in Spanish, with an easy grin. "<She's special needs.>" The waitress blinks and nods, smiling, before hurrying off. "C'mon, let's check out the pool." He moves out of the restaurant, leaving the waitress with a forty-five percent tip in a country where fifteen percent is generous, and assumes Juri is following him. Unless she wants to make a run through the kitchen, which he doubts. He opens the door to the restaurant and steps outside, sliding his hands back into his pockets and doing another quick spot check. Just a Mexican cop. He gives him a grin and a friendly, knowing nod. The cop grunts, then moves off without asking for a bribe. All it takes is a little professional courtesy in this country, after all, to avoid disrespect.
She's playing along, being a good little muppet and not causing any waves or creating any problems, Which in of itself should be suspicious since she clearly wasn't too happy when he switched into Spanish on her there at the last minute. At the poolside Juri doffs the leather jacket and picks out a spot well out of the direct sunlight. Jacket strung across the back of the chair and -- she's representing S. Korea with a wealth of previously unseen, unblemished and pale Asian skin showing, wearing the black and red spider webbed bikini top underneath that Jacket she had succeeded in making some waves and attracting attention all around the pool area, mostly unwanted attention too as if it were a punishment game for giving her the opportunity to try making a scene.
She's wearing the same style of casualwear look all the other girls are wearing, various designer swimsuit and sunglasses but the differences are all in the figure filling them out and there aren't that many girls here in the same league.
The belt and pants cling to the hips but leaves them half exposed; leggings and bare feet kicked up on the reclining chair she crosses her well concealed legs indelicately and makes a show of folding her hands behind her head.
"Go play in the water if you want, I'll be fine right here. No pool for me ...on Doctors orders."
A finger curls around form behind her head to waggle the sunglasses up and down, on the same side it gestures where applicable to her still raw injury. She would shudder at what diving into and swimming around in even a 'private' swimming pool would do to the wound and the inside of her head in terms of pain and then the probable infection with who knows what.
Cracker Jack is all smiles as he strolls along to the poll alongside Juri, nodding at her as she indicates she can't swim. "Yeah, figured." He doesn't comment on her choice of bikini top, as she's a little young for that, moving along to the shallow end. He slips out of his loafers and pulls his black socks off, leaving them in his shoes, before he sits on the pool's steps, his feet soaking in the water. He notices a woman more around is age smiling at him, offering her a grin and a wave, before he peers into the water and frowns. What a boring assignment. Oh well, it's money, and it doesn't involve him getting beaten out of his mind. He looks over at Juri, attempting to make light conversation. "You into music? What do teenagers listen to these days?" he asks, well aware their tastes are likely to be leagues apart.
Juri is just content to lounge and soak up the heat if not the sun. The tiresome question put to her annoys her on a much deeper level, more than it should when she draws a blank, nothing leaps to mind and it bothers her she doesn't have a snappy answer for something as simple as that.
"I dunno, Tchaikovsky? The hell should I know?"
Uh, that was probably no good as an answer but whatever it's the kind of music she was exposed to... maybe, she never really paid much attention to the music anywhere nowadays. What she listened to as a kid, she couldn't recall.
Either something that wasn't present or another hole in her memory. Fuck it; it was almost all background noise that just helped tune other people out. The music in clubs and nightclubs was immediately forgettable white noise no matter how much base was being dropped.
"Looks like you have an admirer"
She was also smirking and noting the girl who had smiled watching Jack and rolling onto her side to get a better look at the byplay.
"Gonna go make your move or are you a man on the job?"
Who had his shoes and socks off and was lounging at poolside.
Good to know that Juri is not a normal teenager by any rate. Jack shrugs at her, grinning at her response, before he gets called on having an interested woman. "Real helpful, Juri," he remarks, before he stands up and steps out of the pool with wet feet, slowly moving over to the woman in the bikini, who lounges poolside. "Hi. Name's Jack. I apologize for my friend over there..." He jerks his thumb over his shoulder at Juri, turning to look at her with quirked lips, before he turns back to the woman. "She's not very subtle, huh?" The woman laughs, responding with a Spanish accent, "Women who know what they want rarely are, Mr. Jack." Jack smirks, calling out to Juri, "Looks like she likes you, too!"
On calling out to the teen responds by rolling back the other way and raising a hand in an animated showing of 'whatever' levels of disinterest. She has her own unwelcome company now that a couple of guys are making their way over, eyeing each other on approach and tossing some pleasantries her way, loud touristy shirts, baseball caps with sunburnt necks and baggy shorts, one even has a couple of untouched drinks in hand headed her way.
Ignoring them doesn't seem to be working too well for her right now as they're used to persistence having some form of payoff or least getting the girl to talk to them. In this particular situation Miss Han is much more likely to want to physically hurt them, they're abrasive when she's trying to just relax.
She doesn't want the free drink, she isn't especially receptive to the questions or flirtations or whatever was going on so shes clearly paying a price for seperating from her escort and appearing to be 'all on her lonesome.'
Jack looks over his shoulder at the two tourists harassing Juri, frowning. He reaches into his jacket and pulls out a small business card with a private cellphone number on it, handing it to the woman. "Sorry, honey, business before pleasure. Call me sometime, I travel around here a lot." He turns about and slowly meanders back to Juri, taking his time as the two men get pushy.
Jack's hand suddenly darts out from behind one of them, the one with the drinks, and slips his arm around the man's neck from behind, choking him. With a sudden grunt of strength, he lifts the man off his feet, lifts him over his head, and turns to throw him in the pool, the plastic drink cups flying to the ground. Jack turns to the other man. "Want the police to note you two are trying to give a teenager booze, or do you want to fuck off?" Jack offers a sarcastic smile, hands on his hips.
The fellow in the pool comically flails and splashes around while his cap, now cast adrift sails away across surface of the pool. Amusing all the guests and onlookers it takes him full -seconds- for him to find his feet but when he does it seems to be because part of the arm flailing and struggling was pulling the revolver out of the waistband of his baggy shorts and levelling it at Jack.
The series of misfiring clicks as the doused handgun does nothing echo loudly in the descending quiet and now absence of people enjoying themselves and laughing at his expense. The other guy hasn't made his move yet, sweat starting to leak out from beneath the brim of that baseball cap but is weighing his options versus Jack wondering just how fast he can draw versus how close and more muscular Jack might be to have picked up and thrown the other guy.
Juri uncoiling and picking herself up off the recliner while arranging herself such that it was pretty clear was no damsel in distress, she was angling for this guy and was planning on hurt him real bad. What was even in that drink that they were trying to give her? Fuck it, she didn't need any answers.
Jack smirks at all the laughter, before he looks over his shoulder at the clicks of a handgun. Then, he frowns, before looking back at the second man, Jack keeping his hands on his hips. "Well. It's like that, huh?" He keeps frowning, staring the man down, watching his hands, his own hands not threatening to rise up to go for a grab. That would result in a shot going somewhere off into the crowd - he doesn't need all the attention, given his cargo. He'll deal with the wet one in a moment. First, he needs to take care of this second probable gun, the one that's not wet.
Moving like a cobra, Jack suddenly surges forward with his hands down, his skull flying at the dry thug. He smashes into his jaw with a headbutt, before he breaks into a stride and grabs him with his left hand, using the surprise, his right hand moving to punch him repeatedly in the face while baring down on him to get him off his feet. Juri can do what she wants, but Jack knows he's on point for this one, since it's technically his job right now.
At a loss for what to do with Jack sitting atop her prey and repeating whaling away on him Juri spits out an exasperated hiss and crawls down close enough to start clawing and grabbing around this guy's waistline, eventually dragging out an even larger pistol he'd had been pinned to the ground with it stabbing into his back in a couple of jerks. Bigger than the first guy had so maybe this one was compensating for something.
The guy in the pool is screaming and failing eventually throwing his useless gun in her direction and into the pool that it just splashes her rather than making contact. The plastic cups floating there formerly full of whatever they were trying to get her to drink, she can't understand a word that's being said but for the tone, red face indignant screaming at her until she raises the pistol in his direction. Then it changes to fear as he rolls trying to turn his back and swim away.
Pop-pop-pop-pop, the recoil didn't feel like much and the gun hardly had the noise or power she expected it might being the one firing it. Completely dispassionately she's watching the man bob up and down in the water, struggling to bounce back to the surface as it kept swallowing him and his tone completely changed much like the water filling with wafting clouds of red. Psh, this was way too easy and she didn't get to experience a thing... gun's suck.
"What else was I gonna do, I can't get in the water!"
She lifts the gun to inspect it but isn't sure whether she needs to get rid of it yet. It might be a murder weapon in a few minutes but for now it definitely had her fingerprints on it, she still had two rounds left if Jack was done playing with the other but the way she lets that arm fall and hang at her side she isn't keen on the thing.
She'd rather kill him with her bare hands or feet.
Jack looks up as she fucking kills someone. "Jesus fucking Christ!" Jack says, dropping the man he's punched into a pulp. "Alright, alright," Jack says as people scream and begin running, hotel security calling the cops. "Drop the gun, fuck everything, we're leaving," he says, grabbing her upper arm and pulling her along with him. "The fucking cops in Mexico use fucking torture to get confessions, Juri, what the fuck," he growls, dragging her along if she doesn't come willingly. "We're going to go to the street, get into a taxi, and go to the airport. Don't look at anyone, don't look away, head straight forward, don't make a scene."
Not remotely concerned with the people fleeing the scene the smirk Juri was sporting is more for how much a problem she was creating for S.I.N. or Shadaloo trying to cover this up or downplay it. Someone, somewhere! Was going to be working overtime trying to keep this out of the news. She's initially surprised by Jacks lack of composure given he was beating that man to a bloody pulp and only -NOW- had things gone too far. Gun's were rather hard to get ahold of in Hong Kong so she'd never really ahd the opportunity to play with one let alone try and kill with one before. The gun in her hand was rather heavy and a little unpleasantly moist with someone elses bodyheat and sweat; for how pathetic and weak she felt it was it was she had little interest in keeping or possessing one. On 'command' to discard it she narrows her eyes but unwinds her fingers from the handle until she is just holding it by index finger and thumb as though it were an object of disgust, poised over the badly beaten man she drops the weapon close to him. His fingerprint's were on the weapon as well as her own so it might help in misleading whatever passed for an investigation. She remains close and starts shifting her weight to one foot, one little stamp and she'd leave this part of the story a dead end as well.
The hand taking hold of her upper arm and pulling her away before she can finish him, she reacts poorly and childishly with protests like 'what do you think you're doing?' and 'Let go of me.' While still glaring back at the prey she was being dragged off of. By the time CJ has wrangled her to the street she's glaring at him scornfully but quiet and clearly pretty unimpressed with the plan. Big mirror sheen sunglasses, bikini top and pants she was at least in part disguised and a relative unknown but that'd change real fast once they got far enough away from the pool.
She doesn't jerk her arm free while they're standing still but she's giving the impression she's staring him down while waiting to be released. The inevitable taxi pulling up to pick up this obviously arguing couple is grounds for her to jerk or pull free and climb into the vehicle of her own free will. Her style was being cramped enough already without being thrown into a car already.
She's pretty calm and unperturbed by the fact some guy was probably dying of the injuries she just inflicted in front of a small crowd.
Cracker Jack steps out into the street, shouting in Spanish and waving with a wad of money in his hand, before a taxi pulls over. He hustles Juri inside, clearly in crisis mode, and slams the door behind him as he slides into the cab beside her. He pulls out five hundreds and hands them to the cabbie. "<Quick, airport, we're missing our flight!>" The cabbie takes the money and flashes the both of them a toothy grin, before the taxi bolts into the street and the cabbie begins driving like a wildman through Mexican traffic to the airport.
Jack pulls out his iPhone and pulls out a small device with an antenna and plugs it in to encrypt it. He taps rapidly, before getting on the phone. "Jack here, on live transport in Mexico City. Picked up two tails, one is dead, principle sighted by unknown element. One tail dead, require political cover." He listens for several more moments, before he turns the phone off and swivels to look out the rearview mirror at the distance flashing lights arriving at the hotel, a cop car going flying past them before they take a turn onto a sidestreet. He pauses to catch his breath, staring at the phone dumbly. He looks sidelong at Juri, gritting his teeth, before he pulls the antenna device off the phone and slides both away. He smooths his wet palms on his pants, staring ahead at the traffic, incredibly angry but keeping his cool.
Equal parts irritated and frustrated Juri was making her discontent with the whole situation show in typical teen fashion, all slumped back in her seat with a deep sigh and just alternating between starting up at the cab's ceiling and Jack 'hard at work' on his cell-phone. For some reason that was pissing her off more than anything else him yammering away on a cell in front of her.
She doesn't much care for the money having been exchanged though is rather surprised they're headed for the airport already. Poor little handlers were probably trying to find some way to ship her out of country before she had any actual fun around here.
"You're looking awfully upset for someone whose probably getting paid more now."
No concern for his reputation or how she was involving him in her mess, she didn't feel the slightest bit of remorse for what she had done. The things that displeased the most was having her prey taken from her and being forced to use a handgun where she'd rather have ended things more personally. Fuck... she'd even lost her jacket in that fast exit but it wasn't a disaster since there was absolutely nothing in it or anything that identified her. She shares some interest for the sirens and lights but as the Taxi makes good on their escape her mood seems to be flagging alongside such a silent travelling companion even while being a little thrown around by the driver really doing his best.
"Tch, Nothing to say!? ... how boring. You didn't give your little friend at the pool your name or anything?"
What'd he do then if she was? Ahaha. Wait ... Shit? Was she? That'd be a hell of a twist!
Cracker Jack's jaw juts forward as he thinks, then he lowers his head, rubbing his face slowly. Very slowly. He looks at Juri, then looks out the window, scratching the back of his head. He exhales a slow sigh as the cabbie rocks him into the door, before he rights himself. "Well, Juri, your father was a prosecutor. So you know how this is going to go for the both of us, if we don't get out of this. So let's try to work together, okay?" As they are driven to the airport, he folds his lips inwards, trying to calm down and retrace his steps to his own personal involvement, if he can't get Juri out and has to dump her in Mexican prison for a while.
"Yeah, I figure i can guess pretty well. If that guy dies there'll probably be a newsbyte on television for a while that a murder took place, make a couple of detail leak out from the witnesses but the cops usually keep details under wraps 'to help with the investigation.' If I'm unlucky there's a -mysterious- beauty of a woman with no real discernible or recognisable features or markings; who was staying in a nearby hotel room that wasn't booked under her own name."
So utterly relaxed she's not even vaguely concerned. The fact she kept her name out of everything, kept a low profile and had a penchant for ending her relationships before they became detrimental to her. She was a unknown in this. Unless they nailed her to a wall, extracted her name and a signed confessionc she was Teflon. Especially with Shadaloo already behind her and willing to do a little clean-up work.
"Best case scenario? they suppress some of the witness testimony, tell the public that offender was apprehended or killed and just make sure both guys disappear. Mine weren't the only fingerprints on the weapon and I don't have my fingerprints in any database. Maybe they pin it on pulpy guy and he gets lost in the shuffle and buried in the desert somewhere! That'd be a fun image."
Cocky bitch! That evidence could cause her a headache in future but for now, the whole situation was nearly meaningless to her and she had little at stake in the outcome, she wouldn't be in the country shortly and there was very little evidence to work with.
As for Jack?
Yeah, that might be more of a sticking point since he seemed to fancy himself famous, there was THAT suit to consider. His only real saving grace was that he wasn't the one firing a gun and shooting a guy in public, unless pulpy back there didn't survive those injuries Jack was merely an accessory who had dragged her away from the scene.
"Heh, yeah. You might need to work on a good story for that one. Sure! Sure! working together now. Sorry about that!"
The barely suppressed guffaw and sniggering laughter on her part takes part as she realizes just how much she may have screwed him over escalating things that much. But that's why he earned the big bucks right? For all she knew he might make a bonus for being a fall guy.
"You're in deeper than I am, Juri," Jack says, glaring at her. As the taxi swerves and arrives at the airport, he motions Juri to follow him. "C'mon." He gets out of the taxi and re-inserts the encryption antenna into his iPhone and taps the redial key. "Jack again. We're at the airport. Okay? Good." He hangs up. "They've got a friendly detective investigating, we're fine until Interpol gets involved," Jack states to Juri, sounding calmer. But he's still on edge. He pauses outside the airport, looking at her, taking a deep breath, then forcing a smile. "Real slow, alright?" He tips his hat, and begins nonchalantly walking through the airport, looking for the Shadaloo contact that was waiting for them to get them on the flight. It's early, but if SIN is competent, they had their contact come here in advance. Otherwise, Jack is ditching and complaining directly to his commanding officer about Seth's incompetence.
Not buying it for a second, just smirking right back at him. Even if they dug everything up about her and knew exactly who she was, that family name was impeccable, completely beyond reproach. Most anything levelled at her would be regarded as slandering the good name of one of the few men who ever had the courage to challenge Shadaloo or likely swept under the rug.
"Sure sure, we're in this together. Lead on."
She didn't really buy it but it was worth playing along, they had a long flight ahead and if he was her babysitter STILL through that. That was a long time to be stuck sitting beside someone in this kind of atmosphere. Sauntering behind him with one hand on her hip and the other free swinging or toying with the tongue of her belt she allows Jack set the pace while occasionally meeting the eyes of people who were looking at her wandering through a terminal dressed so. She has to fight the urge to reciprocate with a glare or gesture.
"You seem to have made it in record time! ...finally, I'm impressed."
There he was again, that sandy haired rascal and charmer makes his presence known with a backhanded compliment and faux smile. This was both Ceejay's and Juris first opportunity to see him a little ruffled or upset. This mess was landing square in his lap no matter how it came down or how 'hot' it wound up becoming. Aside from how much less friendly he was being and the wardrobe change into a short sleeved black silk shirt he was handling the additional stress rather well. His attention is mostly focused on Jack, where things went wrong and this all started.
"You let her out. -That's such a shame! Lovely view from up there and it's so much easier to order in."
The first few words are almost venom and belied the general appearance and image of his character. The rest is a touch jovial with maybe a hint of exasperation; a disappointment when he'd arranged such fine quarters. Juri might be rearing to tear a new hole in him for mentioning it again but he's digressed far enough and there's much to get done!
"We've made other arrangements, you're flying out privately and leaving? ...oh, about three hours ago! A medical emergency with your client."
A slight wringing of his hands since he was missing having his cane he interlaces his fingers and starts tapping the thumbs together in a distracting manner.
"I'll have to get your luggage onto the next convenient flight we have headed in that direction..."
What luggage had been found in the hotel room was already in hand as well as the steam cleaning of the bathroom and destruction of all those bloody bandages and marks. By the time this flight took off there'd be no evidence but memories these two were even here in the first place.
"A word before you go though? -Jack- It'll just take a moment."
There's already a uniformed stewardess vying for Juri's attention and successfully starting to lead her away from the two of them, Juri seeming pleasantly surprised to see her and receptive to whatever she was hearing.
Cracker Jack's lips twist into a soundless growl, Cracker Jack lowering the hat so the suited man can't see his eyes. "You never mentioned hostiles," is all he says, looking sidelong at Juri. As Juri is beckoned away from him, he crosses his arms to express his displeasure, and resist the urge to punch his benefactor. He doesn't argue price, but he damn well knows he should've gotten the full fifty grand if she's being chased by someone. "I'm all ears," he says, a deep frown on his face as he stands there, breathing slowly, as calm as ice. He doesn't argue with the man - they're in two different fields of work. But he knows that SIN is being run by a bunch of idiots from the dressing down he just got for saving a bad situation and keeping Juri, who is impossible to deal with, happy. Juri would bitch about it for hours and hours. Jack will just hire a royalty hooker in a few days and get the aggression out of his system. Preferably drunk.
"Ohhh, don't make a face. This was a candy run."
The smiling and tone of voice is rather soft and at least commiserate rather than upset as he takes a moment to review. Scratching his head the young man isn't feeling his usual mojo since he was caught out and had to be rushed here.
"...Cartel most likely -- there was no buzz on the street she was an actual target and more likely a target of opportunity. We wanted her; therefore they wanted to get rid of her. I don't expect you'll have any further trouble from the same source once you 'git gone.'"
A fun term that. Nicely framing his narrative, the same he was going to be feeding his superiors. Cracker Jack let her out and in doing so she THEN became endangered. He wasn't even sure whether he should be paying more or docking pay at the moment. The way CJ had scowled, frowned and was standing he really felt like minimizing any potential points of conflict for his own health and wellbeing.
"We've done what we can to minimize your involvement and will have rough body doubles for both of you leaving the plane in Japan when it arrives. That will muddy the waters and make some of eyewitness testimony a little less reliable but then we've done our part covering your tracks. I might suggest keeping a firmer hold on your charge and giving her less chance's to make your trip... interesting."
Lord knew he'd pulled off a master stroke trapping her at the top of that tower and almost perfectly executed, just a few hours short of a clean operation. Reaching out he claps CJ twice on the side of the arm and jovially tells him.
"Good Luck Mister Jack. I'm grateful to you for taking this job on else it may have been me. Vivienne there will be with you as far as Japan. She works wonders pacifying the little monster but it's quite stressful for her as you might imagine. Relax, and enjoy while you can ...and stay vigilant the remainder of the journey."
The last was a friendly warning to lift his game and get the package dropped off in good condition.
Rival cartels, that's a load off his shoulders. Other cartels, he can handle, they control the border and therefore a lion's share of the money, they have superior muscle. For a while back there, Jack swore it was a CIA hit. "Good luck with that story," is all he says. "I'd say we have a leak somewhere. Probably not someone that works directly for us. That would be my assessment." He's going straight to Korea after this mission is complete, to report personally to his commanding officer on just what kind of job SIN is doing. He follows Juri into the plane brusquely, not saying anything more to the man in the suit. The cops can pry the living assailant's employer out of him. That ought to more than clear him. Thank God it wasn't someone with diplomatic immunity.
The interior of the private jet is pretty spacious, all this space for just nine seats with two laid out for dining facing one another and a three seater couch. Juri already occupies one of the seats insofar as she's sitting on the armrest with her feet in the aisle and her head turning to Jack upon entry.
"Looks like we get to travel in style at least."
An uncharacteristically optimistic stance to be taking after the day they'd both experienced so far Juri doesn't even ask. She'd had more than enough of that other guy for a lifetime and it wasn't of any relevance to her how or what played out back there. The stewardess walking back through and down the aisle steps over Juri's feet and makes her way past into the cockpit, a real beauty with dark skin and long black hair she smiles and nods now that Jack is on board and pushes past into the cockpit to get them moving.
"Oh, you noticed my present? Isn't she a real cutie... reminds me of someone I know."
Hustling to take care of something moments later she attempts the same thing again only this time Juri very obviously trips her sending her sprawling; obviously not someone Juri liked very much. The woman picks herself up, dusts herself off and continues her work. Juri lifts her feet and swings herself around into the chair properly leaving the woman alone to resume her work. She held no animosity toward the woman at all, but the likeness just made doing that too much fun.
"Buckle up Jack, it's gonna be a trip"
A long flight at that.
Cracker Jack looks about the plane, having rarely had the opportunity to fly corporate. He usually flies business class, or in a cargo plane. Sometimes a helicopter with a military pilot, typically one of Vega's, or maybe a mercenary with less skill and more wild in him. This is nice. He smiles and nods to the stewardess, more politely than sexually, then sits down across from Juri. He blinks at the trip, then watches how the stewardess takes it, and looks across the way to Juri, smiling oddly.
"So, Juri, anyone ever tell you you're a real bitch?" It's in a saccharine manner, just like the sarcasm she's been using this entire time. "Just curious," he adds innocently, slouching into his seat and putting his hands behind his head, tilting his hat forward.
"Veiled jabs in polite conversation, whispers spoken whenever people thought I was out of earshot or was busy doing something else, nearly everyone I've ever met or competed against. Occasionally more direct screams. Why?"
It doesn't seem to get under her skin that people don't like her; she accepts that people have and will never like her as just facts of life and her station above them, the price for surpassing them and making them look bad.
"She looks like someone who crossed me and I have a rich and flavourful imagination. I appreciate her for her beauty more than most and I'd be loath to damage her resemblance or hurt her."
She didn't really want to hurt the woman at all, but the resemblance to the good 'Doctor' had her aquiver and she enjoyed those shamed, frustrated or hateful eyes turning in her direction so anything that trigger that but didn't hurt her so much was fair game.
"If the procedure doesn't kill me we should do this again sometime."
Still pushing buttons; Strange as it was this was perhaps the only time she'd actually still had the same party members at the end of the day as the beginning of it. Unless he was willing to leap out of the plane over the ocean they'd be stuck together in this cabin long enough for this to qualify. An odd sensation -- as the plane begins accelerating down the runway and eventually lifting off.
Cracker Jack shakes his head, looking out the window. "You know, Juri, I'm starting to ponder my sexual identity after our lovely time together. And I understand why rich people with kids use so much cocaine. And you know what else, Juri?" He nods at this, still looking at the window. "I think I understand Dilbert. Every job on the planet, no matter how interesting, is just a fucking Scott Adams cartoon. You are Dogbert, I'm Dilbert, Mike Bison is Wally, Crimson Viper is Alice, and Vega is the Pointy Haired Boss."
He stands up and moves over to the airplane's small bar, pulling out a bottle of grenadine and a can of Coke. "Want a drink? Non-alcoholic, of course, we're on the clock here." He pulls out a glass and some ice, before he pours the can of Coke into it, topping it off with the grenadine. "This one's called a Roy Rogers. Shirley Temple, made with the same stuff, with ginger ale as the soda."
Why the fuck are they making this woman more powerful than she already is. Jack's not paid to make decisions, but still.
If he's trying to insult or goad her she wishes he'd be a bit more direct about it. All she can really insinuate from this was that she wasn't his type and that maybe she wasn't even the right gender to be. Fair enough point, he had been eager enough to go chasing some woman earlier but he hadn't looked at her. It was probably related to that, he didn't like girls. The rest just rolls off her back until - she's just forced to quirk her head to the side as he abruptly wanders off into incomprehensible ramblings. She doesn't even understand the words that he's using! What the hell did he want from her?
She watches him get up and walk for the bar as far as the seating comfortably allows then turns her head back to watching the view out the window from a few paces out. Reciting the recipe alongside the clink of ice being dropped into the glass, the pressurised crack and hiss of the soda being opened and then poured out in glugs, she was stuck listening to this! A captive audience while he walked through making a drink.
The stewardess brushes her way past CJ with a large Velcro wallet she passes over the back of the chair to Juri before making a good on her chance for a quick escape while the client is distracted; It's juggled curiously before being unzipped and contents investigated. Juri walking her fingers through it before drawing the sunglasses off her face to expose that one sunken eyelid with a faint crusting of drying blood. A disinfectant swab wipe lifted out and pressed to the wound while she also fumbles out a thick fold of purple leather adorned with cording on either end; cantering it on the wipe pressed into her eye socket she stretches the cord back behind her head and knots it in a practiced manner. Mouth pinching at the corners as disinfectant seeps into the wound she's in some pain but resists the urge to do more than ensure it's held in place and wipe fingertips across her cheek to make sure it wasn't leaking.
It hurt like a bitch. Heh
The last item to come out of the wallet and now sitting in her lap was a little plastic baggie with a handful of pills in it. She had no idea what they were or how strong they were but she'd planned on sleeping though a flight already and the chances it was a dose meant to kill her werec... slim. Shaken out into her palm she pops the whole lot into her mouth and flicks her head back in a sharp motion as she swallows them plain. Maybe she was just a -little- cranky since she'd been in pain the whole time but anything that cut the whole trip short of dulled the searing pain boring into her skull through her eye socket was a relief.
The sunglasses he'd so gallantly allowed her to borrow are flicked across and over into the seat next to where he was sitting since she no longer had any need for them.
Cracker Jack is finished talking, and moves back over to his seat with his Roy Rogers, picking the sunglasses up off the seat and slipping them in his pocket. He looks out the window as he reclines and props his ankle up on his knee, sipping his drink and frowning. He picks up a remote off the table in front of him, swiveling to where the cabin's television is mounted and turning it on. A Shadaloo propaganda video immediately comes on, narrated by Dr. Senoh and displaying images of Shadaloo soldiers training, Mike Bison flexing, Balrog jumping off walls, Sagat throwing Tiger Flames, Vega speaking before a podium, that sort of thing. Jack raspberries the television after about a minute and a half of it, scrolling through the material stored there. Cartoons, boxing fights, Bruce Lee movies...He finally stops at 'The Campaign' starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis, nodding and putting the remote down. This has some replay value. Juri's a kid, but a weird one, so he doubts she'll enjoy this. But he's ignoring her now, just here with his syringe in case she tries to cause an incident. He's had about enough of her, and sorely hopes he won't have to work with her often once she's fully vetted as a field operative. It'd be like the time he had lunch with Birdie. That man is a savage eater.
For a while there Juri expresses her discontent, achingly dull and humourless entertainment for her since it tickled none of her fancies or enjoys. Seated there watching this dross with a faint scowl that slowly fades away over and about same time period her eyelids start drifting closed for seconds at a time where normally she would blink. If she'd been feeling better she might've even indulged in a smirk or a grin when he blew a raspberry at the screen and changed channels. The pain feels like it's receding as it just leaves her fatigued and all too drowsy; complacent and resigned about this crap on the television. If she complained it was getting to her or she didn't like it then he'd probably just crank the volume or something.
She really didn't feel like starting anything... Juri curls around and buries her shoulder in the back of the chair, legs drawn up on the seat and a single arm supporting the weight of her head while she watches both the television, the wall behind and below it and occasionally lets her attention drift wherever it wills while the dreamless sleep of being heavily sedated slowly creeps up on her. Scant minutes later she's gone quiet, her breathing is barely audible and she's no longer moving of concious of what's going on around her. It's the best way to travel, hours of flight time disappearing in the blink of eye. Though hopefully she wasn't skipping over some of the last remaining hours of her life here doing that; That would suck.
Log created on 16:49:13 11/03/2015 by Juri, and last modified on 03:15:04 11/15/2015.