Description: Following his failure to subdue Maxima, Potemkin returns to Southtown to view the Librarium databases on the cyborg and other Bounties. Clio's arrival triggers a discussion of soldiers choices, recreation and art.
The Golden Angel Tournament has taken the majority of Clio St. Jeanne's time and attention lately. Training, planning, fighting, healing up; the toe-dip into the world of a professional fighter has been an interesting diversion in her life. However, she is still a Lieutenant for the Library and that isn't something she can forget. While a pseudo-vacation and shift in lifestyle can absorb a person, that person also needs to remember to keep an eye on the goings on of their actual job.
With the Imperator's announcement, word traveling through the ranks, the recent influx of new bounties which will surely encourage new vigilante hunters, and the rising political tides, there has been much that Clio has had to keep tabs on even while at water parks. The word of alliances with Zepp, another nascent power on the ascent, has gotten her back to the headquarters under Lord Kagura's command in order to dig up some information and see what she can see about these new allies. With the dark threads some of the Library weave with, Clio has to suss out this Zepp for herself. An ally with the NOL is not necessarily an ally to herself.
Her boot heels click on the floor, back in uniform since she isn't bouncing around at a waterpark. Wearing actual clothing that isn't made goop is a fresh and welcomed godsend. Her chain, wrapped around her arm, clinks in off-time with the bootheels. A steady rhythm that brings a bit of comfort to the lieutenant that's had to forgo the familiar coils of her chain in recent weeks.
Lt. St. Jeanne is on the look out. She's seeking out the name that's come up a few times in Lord Kagura's notes, Potemkin. Should be a big one, from what she's heard, but also should be the key liaison from the nation of Zepp. Can't be too hard to find, even inside of a building like NOL's Japanese Branch.
Word travels fast it seems. Potemkin didn't exactly announce his arrival but he is indeed on the premises. And, perhaps, just perhaps, the fact that he's an 8'6" monstrous battleship of a man who weighs more than some automobiles might have something to do with word traveling when he's nearby and someone has gained sight of him. Just maybe.
As a result, it is quite easy to track him down, yes. As the liaison from Zepp, already embroiled in some investigations of his own, he has some limited access to the information and resources here at the Librarium and as such he's currently in what passes for their information technology sectors, having data on the bounties pulled up by an NOL member assigned to assist him..possibly because the size of his fingers is such that manipulating keyboards and even the holo-touch screens is no easy feat. Also possibly because it's rumored he's so strong that his mere writing pressure is enough to exert more then four tons of force, self control or no. Better safe then sorry, NOL likely thinks, and thus someone else is handling the delicate work.
He's oblivious to Clio upon her arrival. His massive arms are folded and his back to the entrance of the data center. On the monitors infront of him, captured images of Maxima and additional information is scrolling by.
Once all of the data is up, the Librarium worker excuses themselves and leaves Potemkin to studying and examining the content.
A world of coincidences has brought today to happen. Clio isn't so much aware that Potemkin has just returned as he just happens to be around in general. She's still a little behind on her information. She just happened to have arrived after Potemkin himself returned from his duties.
And yes, a giant man is easy to find. And it gets a whistle of impressment as the Lieutenant passes by the NOL clerk assigned to Potemkin as a secretary. She watches him, for a moment, and then looks past him to the images and information on the monitors.
"Looks dangerous," she comments, fingers drumming on her chain. More to let the big man know that he isn't alone in his reading room. While she herself takes careful look over the information that scrolls by. Maxima. A hell of a name for someone. And a very high bounty. Looks like a sizeable payday for the vigilante that brings him in. Though it can't be that Zepp pays its liaison so little. Maybe the big guy just has expensive tastes.
"Our encounter would seem to suggest that this is so." Potemkin's deep voice rumbles out with a bass full rumble that vibrates straight to the pits of the stomachs of those who are near enough to listen. "He was able to fight me on even terms and several miscalculations on my part and missing information..enabled him to escape." Seems the two have clashed and for all the danger Maxima is implied to possess..Potemkin casually refers to the battle as an even termed one.
The big man pauses now to turn at the waist, moving almost like a massive tank turret, to look down at Clio. His expression..cannot be seen. It is hidden behind deep shadows cast by his Zepp-Soldier helmet but glowing eyes look over her form appraisingly before he turns and reaches up to move around some of the holographic images with a vast palm. Several recordings of Maxima in action popping up now.
"There is much that is not known or stated here regarding his abilities and the nature of his augmentation so it was difficult to be properly prepared. It would seem he was a bounty of significant value. There are not many capable of withstanding my fists but he proved to be one of them. He certainly was polite though. What does The Librarium know of NESTS Cartel?"
"The B level bounty suggests it, too," Clio points out. She hums and nods, listening, clinking her chain and comparing images of the augmented Canadian and the living battleship in front of her. Capable of taking each other on on equal footing? That's a good deal of information to know.
She looks back to the big man. "Did you go in alone?" she asks. "I'm all for honor and fairness, but when it comes to bounties like this, even someone as big as two people could use a partner. Polite or not, we're looking to take people in alive, our bounties aren't always so kind."
Clio frowns and shakes her head. Her of all people telling someone like Potemkin not to charge in. Though, she at least tells herself she knows she has friends at her back. Some of them, at least. The lieutenant looks back to the images. "If you're in our systems like this, you know as much as I do," she says, leaving it quite open and clear that there may be more people that know a great deal more. "Lieutenant St. Jeanne, I work for Lord Kagura here. Keep things off the streets. Though I've been assigned to the Golden Angel Tournament recently. Good to meet a walking art installation. Who did your armor? I like it."
Potemkin has many questions, about the bounties, how NOL is making these determinations..who has even given them the authority to do so..if there are competing bounties for the same individuals from other areas...there's much going through his head to say the least - but it becomes clear that Clio is not the one to voice these questions to as she states her rank and connection to Kagura.
"Hmm.." he rumbles and then answers her matter of factly, "Usually I am sufficient. This was a situation where my deployment did not take additional factors in place. It will not happen again but there are other bounties I must take into consideration in the interests of continuing to build mutual cooperation between Zepp and The Librarium.."
He turns, muscles moving like continental plates, visibly pressed out against his uniform which strains to restrain him, as if he could burst to even more epic sizes should it give way.
"My armor?" he questions, not really thinking of what he wears as armor as it does nothing to protect him. He then gets it and rumbles, "Ah, my pressure suit. It is Zeppian Chi-Tek as are these battle gauntlets." He lifts an immense arm up to let Clio get a good look at his armaments. The red and gun metal grey portions hiss and then open up discharging a gout of steam and then revealing their high tech internal workings and the loaded cartridges and cooling systems.
"You seem to appreciate art, hm? Sadly I'd prefer more traditional art methods but I cannot find indestructible pencils to work with."
Clio could answer many questions. But ultimately it would just be a matter of opinions and not the official answers that the top brass would probably prefer to give. The NOL as an agency exists for because of the same reasons many others do; because they have the authority to hold themselves up against anyone that might take them down. The nature of power and authority is not one that's different by virtue of the NOL not deciding to be a sovereign state.
"Mistakes happen. I'm not about to slap you on the wrist over this. It's not my department. What other bounties are you looking into? There's a world of dangerous people out there, but in my opinion, it pays to know the worth of what your stopping. Can beat the hell out of a million thugs but the world just births more of them every day."
She jostles her chains and looks in at the offered arm. "Damn," she mutters, looking up and down the lines of the gauntlet, the systems that steam and hiss and strain at simply being moved. "Chi-tek," she says. A look back to the screen. "Similar to what he's got, just, with a lot more aesthetic in mind." She lets her spiked plumb dangle, swaying it back and forth like a dowse.
And yeah, I do like art. Whatever it takes to express, yaknow? Say to the world that you are you and here's a mark on things by adding, not just taking away." She laughs, smiling up at the giant man in armor. "Have you considered sculpture?"
The massive man bursts into a laugh at that. His deep voice vibrates through the room, shaking the walls as his glowing eyes squint with some mirth, "Ah I suppose I could manag sculpture if I had the right material to work with .. but I do like drawing and painting. The tools just never seem to last."
His gauntlet seals shut and Potemkin lifts his massive hand up, clenching a fist and reaching his other hand over to adjust the gauntlet slightly. "Unfortunately my time is limited these days. There is much going on."
Potemkin's eyes rove over Clio chain now, looking curious as he turns the questioning back to her, "And yourself? You said you were 'assigned' to the Angel Tournament? I have heard about it but have not watched any of it. Is it not strange to be assigned to something lhat is mostly intended to promote a product for beach goers? What is NOL's interest in that?"
Friendly, open to discussion, and uses it to prod for questions. Clio can respect the way Potemkin handles things. It's a refreshing change from demand and bluster. She swings the spike plumb up to her free hand and rolls it along her fingers. "Could outfit your gloves with an airbrush. Could do a whole side of a van in one swing of your mighty arm," she jokes.
"We all have work, but if you don't enjoy yourself you can forget just why you're doing the hard work that you're doing. Take some time to work on your art, that way, when all is said and done, there's more to you than punching bad people."
A laugh, and Clio rubs the back of her neck. "I shouldn't be telling you this. Just, this tournament has me thinking a lot about what I fight for, and maybe what happens when you lose yourself to the job." Especially one, as she's seen, that carries with it associations with people that do terrible things. She's now, more than ever, focusing on understanding the why of what she is.
"The NOL is stepping up in a big way," she tells Potemkin, considering giving half information rather than whole, but nevertheless spilling some details on her purpose with the Golden Angel Tournament. "We're cops. New cops with a lot of dangerous weaponry. It can be scary. Participating in the tournament, being friendly. It's all about PR. We're not bad guys. We're just here to help." Clio closes her eyes and sighs. "I also can't really stand bright and sunny places and being awake in the daytime. So, I'm sure that was considered in sending me to a damn water park. I've never been so tired in my life."
Indeed..despite the fact that he may very well be the biggest man in the world..Potemkin is not a mindless brute. Intelligence and sophistication and a strong moral grounding root him as much as his monstrous ton and a half physique and he gives Clio his full attention without pretense, looking down on her or a sense of simply indulging her but rather seems to have sincere interest in her words. But he's also a soldier first and a liaison second and indeed his questions are worded carefully to glean what he can from her about recent events.
But there's also much he already knows. An alliance isn't much of one if information isn't shared after all. "It is a good idea. The NOL has emerged from obscurity into public light While the people may be quick to embrace any sign of authority given the recent chaos, there is still an unknown factor and, perhaps, some fear. Also others in authority who are likewise a policing force or have agendas that require military intervention are carefully watching as well. The Sacred Order, for example? They are a joint venture between Interpol and The Vatican. I can see some jostling for space and relevancy..."
He chuckles deeply but then adds, "..You are right though. All work and no play, as they say. I've just been distracted. I must become stronger and prove my worth."
It's appreciable to have a conversation that's business, not going too deep, and has a focus not entirely on her. Though, if Clio were telling the truth, what she really wants to know is if she could sit on the giant's shoulders. It looks like a good vantage point for someone that's just on the shy side of average in height. She can regard the big man not so much at eye level, but at least looking at his general helmeted direction. And, for a change, she's not entirely exhausted despite not being up. Might be the hope she holds out for crashing Kagura's office to get Hibiki's coffee again.
"We are the azure flame. A light in the darkness. The people need to see that light and know to follow it. And to know that it won't burn them. Hopefully." She adds the bit off hand, it's her hope at least, that the NOL isn't going to burn the people it ostensibly protects.
"But you're right, there's a lot of people out there wanting to fill the gap left by the UN. Sacred Order is just one of them. Used to have closer ties to us. Almost was recruited by them at one point. But I'm glad I made the decision I did. But what about you, or, Zepp? Choosing the NOL couldn't have been easy."
"Hmmm.." Potemkin's deep rumble isn't guarded but it's clear something Clio said regarding the NOL triggered a thought which he has filed away for later consideration and contemplation. Whatever it was, he opts to not dwell on it and instead inclines his head to consider her follow up question.
"Our alliance is one of shared purpose. Zepp agrees with the NOL perspective regarding people of extraordinary power and powerful weaponry of supernatural, magical and advanced origin wandering around and in the wrong hands. Our nation is one with a strong background in technological development but for many years Zepp was an aggressive destabilizing force in eastern Europe. Now that a coup has happened and we're taking the world stage as well..."
Potemkin ponders for a moment and then shrugs his vast shoulders and says with some humor, "Well..your comment's about good PR are applicable. It's important that we extend a helping hand but bear in mind we did not simply 'choose' the NOL over all other options." He nods his head again. " We reserve the right to work with whom we please and exhibit no favoritism if the goals are mutual. This is something I expressed to Col Mutsuki. We're not interested in getting dragged into any conflict between the various world factions save for where it threatens the peace."
Clio jostles her chain while she thinks. A steady habit to aid consideration. A formerly aggressive force that's looking to do better in the world. Perhaps some guilt, or maybe a need to simply channel that aggression in a way that the world society at large finds more acceptable. Both of those are things she understands deeply.
"Even nation states have to grow up sometime."
She looks to the images of Maxima on the screen, and she wonders about his actions, the notions of choice once again coming up. "Don't knock choices," she says. "There's nothing simple about them. You're here. You swung for that guy chasing a bounty. You aren't exactly a low profile person. And I wouldn't doubt that suit isn't mass market." She runs her thumb along the markings and sigils etched into her chain. "The world doesn't much care about your interests. If they see you doing things along with us, you will be lumped in with it. The question is whether or not you'll choose to make the best of it and make sure those things you're lumped into stay on the right path. That a flame doesn't turn into a bonfire, or a revolution doesn't turn to a Reign of Terror."
"Those decisions are not mine to make but those of our leader, President Gabriel. He will work with whom he will as the interests of Zepp and its citizenry come first. As part of that, how Zepp is perceived on the global platform is necessary but at that same stroke if it is deemed necessary to turn our efforts inward with a protectionist point of view, he will do that as well. Zepp will not be locked into allegiances that may hamstring it's ability to...well..to make choices." Potemkin's response is firm and matter of fact but holds no anger in it. It's clear he is simply steadfast in his point of view.
As to the rest. "This suit is a necessity. I did not always have to use it. My size and strength are perpetually increasing. I have to wear the suit to help me control it and restrict the force of my blows and the pressure I place on the world around me. It is a unique genetic trait but one I've learned to live with. Plus it is our military garb. The suits coolant systems and microfiber implants do their job but.." he pauses and then attempts a joke, "We are also still called upon to look impressive and occasionally salute and pose for the benefit of the citizenry confidence and appreciation. So it helps with that."
Loyalty. Clio knows, and appreciates it. Though she's learning there's a great many types of loyalty beyond what she thought she knew. "My country right or wrong. . ." she says, smiling if not a bit enigmatically. She's been thinking on the latter half of that phrase and if the tin man knew of it at all. Or moreover, if the man in the pressure suit wasn't more than a particularly erudite strongman for a one person regime.
"So what you're saying is that you're not wearing armor. The world is wearing armor against you. Just so happens to be localized around your body." Clio laughs and taps the tip of the spike plumb with her free thumb. "It's impressive. I'd like to see it in action sometime. So, maybe next time you try to charge at an unknown subject for fame and fortune, you realize that the alliance part of allies is a thing. You're not alone. Even if it is for the duty of your motherland."
The huge man bristles slightly at first at that but then seems to reign it in as of considering her words. "He was not unknown per se." He corrects, "But yes - it turns out that the information present in the Librarium databases is no more informative then the information we already had on hand in Zepp. Maxima's capabilities were kept shrouded in secrecy by his own effort. Until now." As he's seen them in action.
"Sometimes judgement calls are made on when to involve others or when things can be handled alone. I was not lacking backup. The Librarium just wasn't there. But I concede your point. Another capable fighter there and we'd have caught him. Of that I'm certain."
He loosens up and rumbles, "I would be glad to demonstrate my capabilities at an appropriate time and location. I have already sparred once with your Colonel Mutsuki. I'm afraid I underestimated him to my undoing. It seems that's been a pattern lately. Even so, one can learn much from a loss and he's a unique warrior with few peers."
"Thank you for your sacrifice for the knowledge we now have," Clio tells Potemkin with genuine appreciation. She looks at the man stuck in his suit and clinks her chain. "Knowing what we do now thanks to you, I'm sure the next time it's good to move on him, it'll be more successful."
She turns and looks to the exit of the room, taking a few clicking steps. "I'm not really going to say anything against making judgment calls like that. I've gotten reamed for it myself. You know how it is. I do it myself, so I can see it happening when others do it."
"And I'm sure time will come that I'll see it. And I look forward to it. But I have to get back to the arena to find out where I'm going to be lined up in the next round." She sighs and rubs at her chain, drawing her fingers along them. The little sigils and etchings start to flow with a faint violet light. "Colonel Mutsuki's a good man. I respect him," an off hand comment. "I'll be on my way. Don't need to hang you up any longer. I'm looking forward to finding out what ridiculous place they'll have me throw down next."
"Goodbye. Perhaps I will come and watch some of the tournament matches." rumbles Potemkin, turning in place to watch as Clio moves to make her departure.
He watches as she takes her leave and then turns his attention back to the database to begin swiping along the listed bounties in search of other names and future opportunities.
Log created on 12:39:21 02/11/2018 by Potemkin, and last modified on 17:08:17 02/11/2018.