Description: Charlie Nash and William Guile meet at a bar near their Air Force base to discuss the potential for extracurricular activities involving a recently-annoucned tournament...
The Landing Strip is a fitting name for a bar not too far from a United States Air Force base. Mind, it might have been an even worse wordplay if a strip club was allowed near base. But no, this is just a classic bar, one with as much history as the base it's stationed near, like their fates were intertwined. And maybe they are, considering how often airmen stopped by here on personal hours.
Mind, Charlie wasn't one to drink all that often. One or two beers at most. After all, it did terrible things to your fitness sometimes, and he needed to be in top shape. But tonight? Well, he's one of the few airmen here, at least judging by his tags. Dressed in casual for now, he leaned back, barely touched Corona sweating atop the table as he leaned back in his chair, serious look in his eyes behind those cosmetic glasses.
A serious look focused intently on the envelope currently flipping back and forth between his fingers.
That brush of blonde hair is familiar to the bartender as its owner ducks in through the swinging door, scanning the somewhat-dark bar. It's a favorite hangout of the Air Force types that live on the nearby base; Guile is here at least once a week, though, like Charlie, he doesn't drink much. Spotting the man he's here to see, he nods and stops by the bar first.
"Bud Light, Mac," he says, his voice deep, masculine. It's quiet; not too many people are around as the bartender serves up the beer in a frost-chilled mug, Guile tossing a couple of bills on the bartop and taking the beer to the table Charlie's at.
Guile slides into the seat next to him, glancing over at his friend, mentor, and superior officer. "See you got one, too."
Flipping the envelope over and turning the wax seal toward his friend and Subordinate, Charlie glances back up, a silent nod of his head to Guile before looking back down at the envelope. It's not rare for Charlie to go silent in thought. But usually, it's not quite this kind of...brooding silence, eyebrows still furrowed, like something simmering behind his eyes.
"You've heard about the whole thing, right?" he asks. "Lot of media hype around it once the word dropped, especially when the meathead Battler went public with his," he says, flipping the envelope again before slapping it face-up next to his sweating Corona.
Picking up the bottle, he lets it linger in his hand, eyes back up to his friend. "You tell brass about it yet?" he asks before taking a hard swig. "Not on the record, mind." Sure, it's mano a mano here, but Charlie still holds rank...so it's important to respect it...as well as respect when when he needs to make it irrelevant.
Guile takes a swig of his beer, then reaches back and withdraws his own envelope from his back pocket. "No," he says, shortly, answering Charlie's question, tossing his invitation to the table between them. He regards the mug of beer in front of him, then looks up at Charlie.
"Wanted to hear what you thought, first. We ought to be going after Shadaloo..." ...but they both know that Shadaloo isn't the only major threat out there, and the King of Fighters tournaments have long been whispered about, rumors of match-fixing, corruption--that the tournaments themselves are sponsored and run by criminal concerns.
Lowering his bottle back down, almost perfectly into the watery ring of condensation it left last time, Charlie can't help but scowl a little. Leaning back, he stares at the two envelopes, one arm draped over the back of his chair. Slowly pulling off his glasses with his other arm, his eyes focus back on Guile, teeth set a little.
"I'm going to be straight with you, Guile," he says in hushed tones, enough to keep this between the two Airmen and no one else. "I'm not sure I know who I trust on this. The SFMAP has been going strong, but I feel like we're getting dragged around by the nose too," he mutters, folding up his glasses with one hand. "If we try to get this sanctioned by higher-ups, I don't know what someone with rank might pull to take us off this, or lead us on a goose chase."
Leaning forward, his arm comes off the back of his chair, pointing down at the envelopes. "And regardless of whether anyone crooked is behind this, someone in Shadaloo is going to be watching, eyes peeled and taking notes. They're not going to miss a chance for scouting at the least. And at the worst..." He shakes his head a little. "A few of the other Program kids are already trying to make teams, but this...this we do ourselves."
His arm is finally extended, palm out, almost like an arm wrestler's challenge...and in a sense, it is a challenge. "You with me, man?"
Guile's lips curl in a slow smile. "I've got some leave accrued... I can ask for it soon enough." Levering himself up to a proper military posture, Guile reaches out and clasps Charlie's hand in his, a classic gesture of solidarity.
"I'm in. Hell, if we're lucky, this tournament'll draw in Shadaloo elements and we can make some progress there, too." With his other hand he picks up his beer and lifts it in salute, then drains half of it off in a single pull.
For the first time tonight, at least since Guile walked in, Charlie smiles, clasping his hand tight on Guile's in that sign of brotherhood. "Knew you wouldn't disappoint me." Releasing the grasp, he takes his bottle back up, returning Guile's salute before tilting the rest of the cerveza back.
Bottle clanking down empty, the Major picks up his envelope, analyzing it again. "We're gonna need a third. But I think I got an iea for that. We might need to go outside of the chain of command though."
Guile nods. "If you have an idea, I'll leave it to you. I've got new pilot training tomorrow anyways... gotta teach the newbies how to get around the sky," he says, finishing off his own beer.
Really, he'd suggest Chun-Li, but he's heard rumors of an Interpol-sponsored team and he's sure Chun-Li would be the anchor of something like that. She's the single strongest fighter Interpol has, after all.
"Keep me informed," he says, after a moment, looking down at the envelope on the table before picking it up again.
"Will do," Charlie says quickly, frowning again, mostly as he concerns himself with the envelope again. The seal was already broken, but he finds it necessary, for whatever reason, to go over it again, in case something got missed in his earlier perusals.
"Just remember, keep these secure. Possession is 10/10ths of the law with these things," he says, folding the letter back over and sliding it back in its envelope. "And after you get done putting the rooks through their paces tomorrow, we're sparring," he says, not quite in the tone of voice for pulling rank, but authoritative enough to leave little room for rebuttal.
"Roger that," says Guile, pushing his chair back and standing up, slipping the envelope into his back pocket. Pulling a comb out of the same pocket, he runs it through his hair twice, then returns the device to where it was.
"Should be done about 1400." A little smirk.
"We can have at out on the tarmac... if you're not scared."
A smile returns to Charlie's face...well...at least a smirk, as he takes his glasses from the table and slips them back on again. "I'll be scared when you get a win on me," he jokes, a small backhanded smack on Guile's shoulder before he stands up. "'Til then, I'm gonna work off some energy. Been getting too restless on base lately as is."
With that, the Major gives a friendly salute back to his friend before walking out. Just what he's going to blow his restless energy on, who knows, but an uneventful walk back to base probably isn't in the cards.
Log created on 19:10:46 05/26/2016 by Guile, and last modified on 23:31:22 05/26/2016.