Description: Relaxing for the night on his Party Boat, Ken Masters spies a spy who has already spied him, and approaches her just as she knew he would! Cammy nonetheless has difficulty gathering meaningful intelligence on Ken; it's possible he doesn't have any.
Where does a man go after not-quite-winning the King of Fighters? Team USA frontman Ken Masters doesn't hit up Disneyland, but instead the quintessential lavish party boat. While a more private craft was most certainly an option for the billionaire mogul and street fighter, Masters turns the publicity tour accompanying his tournament efforts into another publicity tour-- this one promoting, enigmatically, an international television event with few details, but lots of compelling media bearing the tagline: 'Who can master the maestro?'.
The voyage has been filled with feasting, carousing, interviews with little more information than the ad campaign, and of course, several days of fighting events on the ship's main decks, including exhibitions by Ken himself. Tonight, however, Ken's alone on the open-air deck attached to his top level suite on the vessel's rear flying bridge, sipping champagne in a black-and-red silken robe and matching pajama bottoms; naturally, no shoes are necessary, his bare feet kicked up on the lounge where he reclines, dangerous for reasons totally unassociated with the average person's feet. The Blonde Battler's eyes are turned skyward, and alternately to the horizon, watching the stars leisurely slip by overhead as the gibbous moon casts silvery beams across the dark water, flickering amidst the myriad waves of the open sea.
Appropros of nothing, it's an interesting paradox that these gigantic, lavish vessels are so easily infiltrated by smaller craft, swifter and more agile, and difficult to see particularly in the dark-- that, and the guest list certainly has security issues that Ken Masters just doesn't give enough of a damn about.
Ahh, an exclusive party liner. Probably only the best street fighters have been summoned to compete, unless you're a rich and/or famous spectator, come for some entertainment. Cammy probably fits a little in one of the two categories above. Having watching the publicity events quietly in the background, she had herself entered the tournament, although she had yet to fight anyone.
Fortunately for those on board, it's more of an information gathering mission, rather than an assassination, for once. Not that she minded the latter, but they do get rather repetitive after a while. At least, it's nice to fight opponents who are more of a challenge. And the data she will collect will undoubtedly be invaluable to her boss.
But right now, there's a lull in the action. A lavish dinner and dance awaits within, but on the deck, the young blonde has a chance to walk around and size up her would-be opponents.
Of course, there is one in particular she's been searching for - the world famous Ken Masters. Aha, and there he is. She is herself, dressed in a frilly, dark blue cocktail dress, with a diagonal cut white frilly hemline, and cute satiny white shoes to match; The epitomy of innocence as she wanders towards the deck railing..
There's a touch of irony to the situation unfolding on the decks below: plenty of guests in that dinner party are hoping for a glimpse or photo opportunity with Ken Masters, who got sick of the scene a few hours ago after several nights of similar events. He was resolved to a night of seclusion-- barring the intrusion of unknown assassins or hobos-- but time and fate wait for no man! Ken knew most of the fighters on the ship by acquaintance or, at the least, reputation. Whatever name Cammy entered the festivities under, however, wasn't one of those fighters. There's something familiar about her, even from a distance, but Masters doesn't connect it to the picture Chun-Li showed him some time ago; or the name the Alpha Doll was using in her operations then. At least, not yet.
Instead, Ken takes down the last of his bubbly and vaults the railing of his private deck, landing at that precipice over the ocean where Cammy rests her weight, leaning his own into the same rail and turning his gaze out over the seas as the sharp breeze rushes over them both, and fills his lungs. "I could swear I know you from somewhere..." Ken confirms as he glances askance at the Shadaloo operative, ignorant of the threat but not some level of her ability, "You've obviously got some skill.." either he intuits it, or just assumes since she put her name in the hat to fight -him-. Rather than ask to confirm her name, he offers his, "Ken Masters." Along with a firm hand.
She nods slowly to him, clearly not caught by surprise as he joins her, nor as he vaults over his deck. Afterall, she's studied him for some time now, and watched from afar. What was it Shadaloo had warned her about his man? He's a threat, but he could be of potential use to Vega, if she could defeat him in this tournament.
As the girl turns to look at him straight on, perhaps immediately Ken might notice something not quite right about her; As if her chi were off, somehow. She seems so...So cold, distant, as if there were no life or emotion in her eyes. As if she were nothing more than a robot or a puppet. And yet she breathes like any living human. "Ken Masters. You have built yourself quite the reputation."
She responds coolly, and takes a step towards him, accepting the handshake, although it is not out of politeness or any social graces, but merely to test his strength; Aftearll, they say you can learn a lot from a handshake. And hers is surprisingly strong for such a young and sinewy looking girl; Her skin is shocking cold to the touch as well.
"Cammy White. Perhaps you have heard of me." it's not a question, moreso a statement. Although to be fair, most people may know her more as the deadly assassin Killerbee - those that are fortunate to survive her attacks that is - or simply run in the right circles of intel to know enough about her secret activities. As Cammy White however, she's not so well-known.
She nods again, "That's right. I'm one of the contestants who is to fight you tomorrow. I suppose, I should be...Honoured."
"Well deserved, I assure you." Ken cracks a wry grin with the (honest) bravado, likely trying to get a quirk of human emotion from Cammy more than anything else. Masters has a lifetime of experience with stoics, between Gouken and Ryu, but let's face it-- the Alpha Doll is something else entirely. To a man as empathic as the Blonde Battler, it's definitely straight up creepy; luckily, he's not particularly intimidated by a mystery. He's not shy about letting her get his measure from the handshake, or doing the same himself.
"Perhaps.." Perhaps he's heard of her. It's possible he should know more than he does, and he's forgotten some key briefing or piece of media; Ken knows it, but it doesn't get him any closer to the truth, just now. "I'd say it's an honor for anyone to step into the ring on this fine ship."
Ken offers his words with a degree of mirth but no shortage of sincerity, shifting his weight against the rail and peering over the edge into the water churned towards the ship's aft, "You don't share the enthusiasm?" It's partly rhetorical, granted-- but an opportunity to expound, nonetheless.
Indeed, it's proving quite difficult to get the girl to even smile. Most of the time as he speaks, her gaze is fixed straight ahead, locked upon something in the distance - the gently rolling waves of the ocean perhaps, or some distant ship over the horizon. Only occasionally does she glance at the blonde martial artist as he speaks. And when she does, it is as if to study him intently as if he were some curious science experiment that she was trying to figure out.
If he has his suspicions about her, she seems unconcerned; He certainly hides it well beneath his friendly and casual demeanor. "I cannot claim to be anywhere near as famous as you, Mr. Masters. Although I am curious, do you travel alone? I had heard that you have a sparring partner who is equally talented as yourself..I am sure it would be an honor to meet him as well." for the briefest of moments, Cammy actually seems curious, before switching topics briefly with a little shrug.
"I did not come here to 'have fun', or to bask in the 'glory of fame'. I came here merely as a pupil, to practice my technique, and to study the technique of others. I find such desires and emotions are nothing more than distractions and make you lose sight of what's really important."
"I've met more than a couple sparring partners who were my equal; or near enough to it." And a couple who righteously trounced his ass. Ken lifts a hand to rub a phantom kink out of his neck as he scans the horizon for whatever it is Cammy's looking at, though he comes up rather empty on items of interest. Neatly enough, Mr. Masters dodges both polite inquiries-- it's possible the Blonde Battler is smarter than he looks. "Maybe you'll be one of them."
There's a smirk that's somewhere between baiting and bemused, without a speck of fear in Ken for the possibility that this might be the next to hand him his ass. After all, the worst thrashing in recent memory came at the hands of Athena Asamiya, so a respectful waryness alongside Ken's eagerness to find out is simply wise. Or at least, as close to wise as Ken tends to veer.
Masters nods at the familiar philosophy, seeming to more or less agree with it, perhaps surprisingly. "It's easy to get lost in one's own greatness if you listen to the cheering long enough." An introspective beat brings a furrow to Ken's brow, knitting dark eyebrows, "But at the same time, that emotion can inspire a lot more people than listen to wandering hobos who are good at punching stuff."
Her gaze remains upon the horizon, apparently deep in thought about something. However, not a word escapes her ears as Ken speaks; A mild frown mars her face, as her inquiries are left unanswered. Was he..Hiding something? Does he know about Killerbee? Or was he just so self-centered that he didnt care to mention Ryu's name? Well, if he IS here, she'll find him too. All in good time.
He attempts flattering, and a small smirk jerks her lips, turning around to face him now. "Of course, I wouldn't be on this ship if I weren't enough of a challenge for the 'Great Ken Masters'." her eyes twinkle, though she barely smiles beyond that cold, calculating smirk. "I suppose we shall see tomorrow. But you're smart; You don't judge a book by it's cover. Too many people make that mistake.."
She folds her arms, leaning against the railing as she ponders his words. "I suppose inspiration can spur a person on..And feeling like you're the most important person in the world can make you fight all the harder. So, is that why you're here then? For fame? I wonder, if you have been defeated before?" There is a sparkle of challenge in her eyes, and perhaps amusement. A cat likes to play with its food before it eats it, afterall.
If Ken's hiding things, he's doing it in plain sight-- but then, that wouldn't be unheard of for celebrity, would it? He's certainly not immediately forthcoming with the details Cammy asks for-- but best friends and personal security are both rather sensitive subjects, aren't they? "Everyone thinks that." Ken quips back, with a bit of a wry smirk. That they can take him on, stand toe to toe. Confidence has its place, and while he doesn't dismiss the threat she represents, he's also rather acquainted with the threat -he- represents.
"Inspiration spurs just about everybody on-- it's just a question of what inspires them. Lots of people seek fame for the wrong reasons, me? It's just handy on the road to seeing all the world's fighters have to offer to be rich and famous. Always been that way, really." Though Ken has -certainly- built on his family's previously business-focused brand. "Anyone who claims to be world-class and hasn't had their ass kicked is fooling themselves or has a manager coddling them. Even the best fighters get their clocks cleaned some of the time. Hell, even a rank amateur can get lucky."
"Well, can you blame them? Everyone wants to be the best. No one wants to believe that there is someone out there who is totally unbeatable." Cammy rests her chin on one hand, the other arm folded across her stomach as she speaks. She seems to be trying to size him up before the match, perhaps trying to figure out his technique rather than be caught by surprise. Of course she's studied some files on him, watched some of his matches from afar - mostly on tv..But meeting the real thing, and trying to get some real answers out of him is proving difficult.
"Of course, even the best fighters will get their asses kicked, occasionally. But I assure you..." Her eyes darken a touch at his last comment, even as an almost playful smile touches her lips now, "I am certainly no amateur. But I'm sure you're smart enough to guess that much already." why, she almost sounds offended at the mere thought.
Now that she's turned around of course, Cammy cant help but notice the party and the music going on behind them in the cabin not too far away. Some of the windows are open afterall, although no one has really stepped outside. Yet. Perhaps a drink or two will loosen his lips..?
"Hmm, I am surprised that a rich and famous socialite like you is out here, being so antisocial? Wouldn't you rather join me for a drink..And a dance? Tomorrow, you may wish you had a chance to relax.."
"They're in luck, then-- no one out there is totally unbeatable." Ken notes with a chuckle. Maybe he realizes he's being probed, felt out-- maybe he's just weary of strangers, particularly attractive ones, seeking his company for various purposes, nefarious and less so, that keeps him from being totally forthcoming. There's nothing insincere in what Masters offers her, however, the answers and philosophies he does share.
In this instance, it's even an intriguing offer, with just one problem. "I -was- relaxing." Ken gestures to his rather less-than-formal attire, grinning widely. "I'm a bit underdressed compared to you... and not particularly interested in getting myself out of there -again- tonight."
Hey, night after night and day after day of publicity and partying wears on a guy even if he's Slurms McKenzie; which Ken's not. Thank god. He's certainly tipped back a few before and after that egress, however-- it's evident in his motions, the slight tilt to his grace. "You'll have to let me cash in a rain check after we square off, though." The Blonde Battler appends, half that grin remaining with a lopsided ease.
Well, dammit. Guess she wont get any secrets out of him through a glass of alcohol. Oh well, tomorrow should be interesting. "Really? That's too bad.." she smirks, that playful - almost dangerous - twinkle returning to her blue-green eyes. "I'm sure you're an excellent dancer. But if you survive with all your limbs intact tomorrow, I'm sure you wont disappoint."
With a sigh, Cammy turns towards the view of the ocean again, peering over the railing. "I can't say I'm a very social person myself, but I wouldn't mind a drink or two, perhaps in a bit. Maybe later you can introduce me to that friend of yours too. I'm sure you and Ryu make a great team, hmm? That is, if he was brave enough to come out on this ship too. Or perhaps your friend is more shy than you?"
Ahh, but they would make the perfect slaves for Lord Vega too - if she could win their trust and lure them to his side, somehow. But for now, she must acquire more information...Siiigh. She could really do with a good old stabbing however. It's been too quiet a night, as information gathering missions often are.
The problem with perfect slavery, despite their -obvious- merits, are the wills of individuals like Ken and Ryu-- it tends to turn against tyrants rather dramatically. Some of the Dolls may even know something about this... and it's a sure bet Ken will have his own opinions when he meets Cammy's 'friends'.
"Oh, Ryu's plenty brave enough, but he does the globetrotting thing without the private jet. Tends to leave him out of touch now and then." Ken tries to act nonchalant about Ryu's extended absence, but he's only so great an actor, and to a trained operative like Ms. White it would be apparent-- the Blonde Battler is quietly worried about the Ansatsuken Nomad.
"I'm plenty social, myself-- but every now and then a guy needs a night to himself, you know? Or near enough." He tosses Cammy a wink with that, grin returning partially, "Don't let me keep you from the party, though." He's keenly familiar with the temptations of this particular lavish party boat; after all, his people chartered it.
Free will...Such a concept is utterly alien to Cammy. As far as she knows, she is acting totally on free will, utterly unaware of the intensive brainwashing that she was subject too. Nor does she remember the gruesome experiments performed upon herself. There are many secrets hidden to her own mind.
But right now, she acts as if this is the only life she has ever known. At least she seems care free, although there is a strange emptiness that remains in her eyes, even when she smiles playfully every now and then. A strange girl to be sure, and a potentially dangerous one at that.
She does pick up a bit of Ken's concern for his friend..And her blonde brows furrow ever so slightly. "I...See. Then, I hope your friend is well, and I look forward to meeting him..Some other time."
With a soft, almost tired sigh, Cammy looks towards the ocean. No, she'd rather stay out here, under a dark, starry night and watch the sea. Somehow it felt so calming, and it reminded her of...Something. A strange dream she had been having lately. However, there were other individuals within that she must gather information on, and duty must always come first.
After another moment's thought, she pushes away from the railing, nodding briefly to Ken once more. "Ken Masters. It's been a pleasure talking to you. I wish you luck in tomorrow's tournament." Another playful smirk and blue-green twinkle of the eye is given before she sweeps into the party, ready to swoop upon her next prey..
Log created on 20:17:28 08/02/2016 by Ken Masters, and last modified on 23:40:38 08/05/2016.