Honoka - Omelettes

Description: Not long after Oboro joined the circus, Honoka decided to introduce him to the family. Not her family, though -- someone else's family. The family whose door they just kicked in, and whose dinner table they just pulled up chairs to, and whose dinner they just casually started eating like it was their own all along. Look, the scene is short just read it

The name of the town doesn't really matter. All that's important today is this one first contact. And if it's performed to the Empress' exact specifications, the specifics won't matter to the Empress or to her companion. And even if this operation =isn't= performed to the Empress' exact specifications, it still won't matter that much... to her, anyway.

The black sedan pulls into the run-down district, and stops not far from the center of three nondescript buildings. The two in the front seat -- fellow employees of the Twilight Star Circus by night, but sharply dressed in black suits now by day -- exit the car and open the door for the two occupants.

The Empress takes her sweet old time exiting the vehicle, too. Dressed in a black pantsuit, with her hair pulled back into a bun, she looks around at the abandoned lot next to the nondescript group of buildings. Glaring over her sunglasses at the driver who'd held her door, she soon understands -- this is, indeed the place.

"Come, now. And I'll show you what this is all about," she states cooly to her companion. Still no one here... and no -obvious- signs of any doors providing entry to the buildings.

The driver seems anxious to leave, to boot. Smart man, he is.

As befits the occasion, Jun-Hwe... no... Oboro... is sharply dressed as well. He learned, of course, the whole shtick behind gangster chic well before he joined up with the circus; his normally shaggy hair is slicked back, black-as-sin shades cover his eyes, and his suit is black, the shirt underneath just a few shades lighter in grey, with a thin, blood red tie underneath that. His knives are hidden upon his person, so he looks unarmed--but with these clothes, this attitude...

He probably exudes a more palpable air of outright menace than the Empress does. But then, that's partially why he's here, isn't it? To be that muscle, that warning. Of course, Honoka could take care of things herself, but it isn't the proper image to have. So, Oboro slides out of the car a moment later, adjusting his shades briefly. He lets the others close the sedan's doors behind him; he just shoots his cuffs, making sure everything is impeccable, then offers Honoka a slight smile.

"I'm... eager to find out." Is he? Is he really? The gesture is made, at least. Of course he's utterly familiar with the kind of run-down place this is--it brings back memories, a whole variety of them, and most of those he tamps down ruthlessly as he follows behind Honoka just a couple of steps.

The doors shut. The driver pulls off. They've been given directions, but not exactly within earshot of Oboro.

Truth be told, earshot isn't really necessary ANYWAY, but even though the young Jun-Hwe has been with the circus for a couple months at this point... Honoka still doesn't trust him to know the intricate details of the business she's planning yet. That changes today.

"Good. I need you to do as I ask. And do remember... your duty to your Empress." The Empress nudges her sunglasses up along the bridge of her nose. The two... are completely isolated from any additional support right now, in the middle of an abandoned lot. Well-dressed, but looking horribly out of place in the middle of a sunny, but slightly breezy, February day.

Correction: it -was- abandoned. Two dozen heads are now staring down at the pair, peeking from atop the nearest building.

"Such a =fine= day for a picnic!" calls out the Empress with a bemused smile dancing across her face, raising her voice to an obnoxiously loud volume. "Isn't it a =fine= day for a picnic?" she asks Oboro, well aware of the discomfiture she's invoking in the dozens of gentlemen watching from overhead.

Well aware, as one figure in particular walks out from behind one of the buildings. "Yeah, shut up! What the fuck are you doing here on our turf, bitch? Didn't you see the fucking sign?"

The Empress sends out a mental message to her companion: { Stand your ground. For now. } Slowly turning towards the speaker, with that broad smile, she shrugs her shoulders. "Sign? What sign? I passed one saying there were a bunch of losers here, who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag. But I figured it was a mistake."

The distinctive whistle of a knife speeds its way towards the back of Honoka's head -- she'd turned her -back- on her enemy? Well, of course.

Hard to catch a knife if they're too chicken. Casually, almost dismissively, she raises her right forearm -- and the knife glances off with the distinctive ring of metal-on-metal contact. "Mmm. You and your friend could stand to learn some manners..."

"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Exploding in rage at seeing the Empress knock his friend's attack aside, the speaker draws a knife of his own and charges at Honoka!

To which Honoka simply smiles. Silently, she signals to Oboro: { Whenever you're ready, why don't you introduce yourself? }

Oboro looks... almost bored at this point. It's not that danger isn't inherent in their position, though he suspects he knows the caliber of these men and already finds it wanting. It's that.. they're playing to script too well. These aren't -gang members-. They're just punks. Even without his... abilities... he would have predicted the knife, the charge. It's so obvious. Surely Honoka saw it as well.

He'll never truly know if this is a natural thing--if this really is this gang's turf, or if this is all planted. Truth be told... he doesn't really care. Seeing these guys, it reminds him of what his life could have been--ekeing out an existence, scrabbling like dogs over little patches of run-down urban sprawl.

It isn't something he -ever- wants. The man comes in with the knife and... well, actually, Oboro ends up just taking the knife, though he twists a little to make the cut a shallow one. There's almost more damage done to the suit than to him, though his expression is one of extreme distaste for the man.

Honoka had taken a step back as the loud one charged her, raising her hands defensively -- clearly, she had -something- up her sleeve, in both a literal and figurative sense. But, wisely, she allowed Oboro to take the charge, smiling cheerfully even as his misstep causes the punk's knife to shred through expensive fabric rather than her pretty little face. { It's the thought that counts, } she chuckles, shaking her head.

The punk, momentarily stunned by the sudden aggression from the Empress' bodyguard, doesn't even know what to think. Why wouldn't he expect the BODYGUARD to take the hit?

"Face it, you weren't thinking," is the Empress' answer to the punk's unspoken question." She silently reaches out to the punk, facepalms him by the head, wrenches him over and into the ground.

And then, even though it's the middle of a bright, sunny, day, the area directly around the trio goes pitch black...

As an intensely bright lightning bolt crackles down from the heavens, guided through Honoka's palm, and into the punk's chest. His body convulses with pain, eyes wide open from the intense surge of energy...

And lies there... for a good few moments.

"Stay down, if you know what's best for you, hmm?" While still knelt down beside the punk, she reaches over and retrieves the knife that was thrown earlier. "Now then. Which one of them would you say threw this, hmm?" She hands the knife to her bodyguard, handle-first. "Would you do the honors? It was rather rude of him."

The guilty party really looks no different than any of the others atop the roof -- safety in numbers, maybe?! But those with as keen eye for knives would certainly have an advantage in spotting the correct one.

Rising back to her feet, the Empress grinds her heel into the palm of the fallen loudmouth. "I hope someone worth a damn decides to show up today. This is exceedingly boring."

Oboro takes the knife in hand, testing its weight for a moment. Cheap, badly made. It's a wonder it has an edge at all. His cursory inspection of the weapon takes but a moment, and then he's done with it. "Indeed," is his reply--either affirmation that Honoka was right, that he -was- rather rude, or an affirmation that he'll do it. He gestures for Honoka to stand--no need to get blood all over her pantsuit, after all.

It's a casual step forward for him, and, without any hesitation at all, he reverses the weapon in his hand, gripping it by the blade. The motion is almost too fast to follow, his right hand flicking outward, and the knife--no matter how badly made it is, off-balance and unsuitable for anything but really, scooping dog food out of tin cans--is sent whistling through the air.

It's end goal--the rude man's throat, where Oboro intends for it to stay. It won't be a pleasant death--he'll be choking on his own blood and unable to breathe--but, as Honoka said...

... he was rude.

The Empress rises at his suggestion. The idea that royalty -- false or otherwise -- should obey the subject is just a matter she'll deal with later.

Once she realizes that Oboro has not only identified her assailant, but quickly dispatched him, she folds her arms before her. Killing? On a first strike? The Empress definitely seems impressed at the man's talents now -- no longer constrained by the need to look safe and confident for a crowd of circus-goers. { Nicely done, } she comments without moving her lips.

Because a new challenger has entered the ring. "Ah, I recognize you. Inamura-san... if I'm not mistaken." The Empress folds her arms before her, taking a step back. "I would demand an apology from the red stain who deigned to attack me, but it doesn't seem like that's a possibility right now. So I'd instead demand one from you."

"You step into my turf, rough up my men, and you want an apology. From =me?=" The "leader" of this group isn't dressed too differently from the rest, aside from a more substantial studded jacket. He's not going to be winning any fashion shows, though.

The Empress continues. "Inamura-san... perhaps you're aware of the arrangements I've made with the Sharks and the Reds. I'll make this simple. You can accept, and we'll be in touch. Or you can try to renegotiate your terms. Which will just complicate the matter, I assure you."

"Lady, I... I can see we're going to have to agree to disagree." The gang leader reaches into his back pocket, as if he's about to withdraw his wallet.

It's a pretty obvious feint for the length of chain he's got dangling there, though. And this one's playing it smart -- he's aiming to take Oboro out. "I don't take kindly to strangers!!!!"

Oboro is not the largest of men. Indeed, he doesn't cut an impressive physical figure. But maybe that makes it all the more impressive when he puts his arm in the way of the chain--and lets it wrap around his arm. He didn't move anything but his arm--save to lean his head just out of the way of the whipping chain. He doesn't even flinch, not for a moment, his gaze flicking over towards Honoka for the briefest of moments. { Kill? } A simple question, but one that may become pertinent shortly.

Suddenly, the tension on the chain drops, and Oboro? He isn't there anymore. Vanished into mist, it seems, he 'reforms' just above Inamura, and despite the fact that he shouldn't have any sort of momentum, he -does-.

The diving kick is aimed exquisitely--it shouldn't cave his skull in, but a ringing sensation might be the least of Inamura's worries if this hits him square in the brainpan, as it's intended.

( Not unless necessary. ) The Empress exhales irritably. It -always- comes down to this, she understands -- without the propensity for wanton violence, these people just wouldn't be worth it. Every time she's been able to -avoid- confrontation, she's ended up having to kill the spineless leader anyway. No, she prefers the ones with gusto, the ones with the wherewithal to try to stand up to the Empress. And fail, naturally.

To Oboro's credit, the Empress =is= surprised when her companion suddenly vanishes from view, and Inamura is able to find him hovering overhead for the briefest of instants. She knew he was fast -- and in fact, she'd maintained tabs on his location through her own innate awareness... but still finds it somewhat incredulous that he's able to move so fast. The Empress even claps her hands together, quite enjoying the carnival of violence that's being put on for her majesty's honor.

"What the--" stammers Inamura, at the realization that his supposed chain hold has been foiled. He looks up -- and to his own credit, he's pretty quick to form a rational counterattack -- a headbutt!

It just seems that physics are NOT on his side in such an exchange, as Oboro -- and gravity -- manage to doubleteam him. Staggering backward, he tries to gather his senses.

"Tch. Listen, Inamura-san... you've seen what my bodyguard here can do. He's killed one of your treasured men up there, I'm sure you'd noticed," taunts the Empress, taking full advantage of the leader's disorientation as she circles about. But she's not looking at him, she's looking at each and every one of the men encircling her. Challenging each one to follow in the footsteps of their fallen brethren, even as she implores Inamura to speak. "And I'm... not exactly a defenseless kitten myself. Won't you accept our offer? It's more than fair."

"Slavery?! That's what I heard you did to them all! They're just... they're just PUPPETS for you!"

"Oh... I'm sure someone's got their wires crossed. I don't make it out this way very often, you see..."

"ENOUGH! The... the answer's no, and..."

Inamura staggers backwards, finally teetering to the ground, his equilibrium no longer holding. "I... I"

"Now, I'm sure you're a man of honor. And I'm a woman of my word. But the longer this goes on... the less you'll have to place on the table."

The Empress glances over to Oboro. { He only needs one leg, really. }

Oboro nods, acknowledging Honoka's implicit command. He only -needs- one leg... this is true. But, in the end, he'll be much more useful with both of them. Unless, of course, he makes himself into an example. That's useful, too, in its own way. Many things to consider--will these men fold under seeing their boss taken down so? Or will they find a resolve within them hat was dormant before? If there's one thing Kage taught him, other than the art of the blade, it was to always look for the most profitable outcome in any situation.

Casually, he wraps an arm around one of Inamura's, using it as a lever, bringing the man up to his feet but maintaining a grip and pressure that indicates that Inamura will move on his--and Honoka's--sayso. "Listen, friend," begins Oboro, with a little sort of bonhomie that he probably doesn't really feel, "The Empress over there. She wants me to take one of your legs. As an example." With a flick of the wrist of his free hand, he is suddenly wielding one of his knives--and not one of the circus knives he uses, but a real, serious knife, the kind with an edge that looks like it splits atoms with just a thought. He isn't ostentatious in its display, but it's definitely there.

"I think you'll be more useful--and more compliant--with two legs. So... here's what I'll do." Casually, he flicks the knife away--and in the same motion, stomp-kicks outwards, forcing one of Inamura's knees to go a direction it was never meant to go. The cracking and splintering sounds might even seem to echo a little bit in the urban canyon that the buildins create. It'll fulfill Honoka's request--after a fashion.

Inamura doesn't really have much to offer in the way of a bargaining position. Not any more. He looks back at Oboro, fear beginning to creep into his expression, effectively immobilized as he is. He dare not move, not with this trained assassin a mere breath away. He nods slowly at Oboro's suggestions, casually going along with his words...

The Empress would be more than happy to steer this 'negotiation' into its inevitable end. She could easily have crippled the man herself ... but as Oboro has weighed and deliberated on his own... she doesn't need to.

She is glad to see Oboro's drive taking over. This wasn't a test of his loyalty. This was a test of his initiative, his independent judgement. Casually circling around the pair, she gives the crew overhead an equally casual look. One knife's already been flung her way... and the first to take a swing at her is still motionless on the ground. And the leader... his will is all but nonexistent.

The splintering of bone is enough to bring tears to the gang leader's eyes. He whimpers -- that's the most solemn facade he can manage from the pain coursing though him right now. "Wh... what... what are... your terms, milady?" He could easily just retain his honor. But there's no harm in deciding to live another day.

"You know the terms. If I want you to start a fight, you start a fight. If I ask you to lay low, or go to another town, you do it. If I ask you to jump..."

She looks down at the pool of crimson staining the man's pant leg. Then she slips over, her face so close to Inamura's as to eclipse the rest of the dreary, neglected cityscape. "... You simply tell me of your difficulty, and we'll come to a friendly compromise."

She steps back, withdrawing a small cellphone from her pocket, and as she picks up Inamura's hand, she tosses the chain out of his reach. And places her phone into it. "I realize it's a lot to take in. So think it over. Call me in a day. And don't even think of turning on me. That... could turn out poorly."

Tucking one hand into her jacket pocket, she points at each of the gentlemen watching over head, one after the other. Raising her voice to carry to the rooftops, she states, "The Empress expects... /each/ of you... to know your role, is that understood? You listen to this man, as you always have. This is the order of things..."

And while she is turned away, one of the willing henchmen has boldly decided that he's had enough of this outsider coming in and taking charge. No longer content to stay hunched on the rooftop, exploiting its two-story height and angle to keep him safe from harm, he rises up, balances one knife in his hand, and takes aim for the Empress.

And then, just as suddenly, the Empress turns to face him. She may have had her back turned, but like any good mother, teacher... or Empress, she has eyes in the back of her head. And the eyes in the front of her head glisten, boring straight into those of the would-be assassin. Her finger points accusingly at him. "Really? Were you asleep the last time? Need we go over this again?"

Defiantly, the criminal rears his hand back and readies the knife. "I'd rather leap to my death than take orders from you!"

The Empress... breaks into peals of laughter, but never breaks eye contact. Her accusing finger turns into an open palm. "So be it, then."

The would-be assassin seems dumbstruck for a moment, tilting his head to one side. His neighbors on the rooftop look up as him, equally incredulous, as the knife-wielder rises up over the ridge of the roof, walking down the side. The assassin breaks his gaze from Honoka's piercing gaze... only to look down and see his feet moving of their own will, and realization slowly seeps in.

But not fast enough to stop him from stepping right over the edge, a voiceless scream prying his mouth open. Realization doesn't stop one from plummeting two stories to what could be certain death. In this case... the hospital will be able to repair his shattered legs and cracked ribs, but they won't stop the nightmares that come as he realizes that... he did this to himself, somehow. And he could do it again...

"Inamura-san." The Empress' voice is crystal-clear in the ensuing silence, as she turns back to the gang's leader. The black sedan returns, pulling up in the spot vacated just a few minutes prior. "Get to a hospital. The Empress looks after her subjects." She flashes the man a deadly grin as punctuation for the next statement: "So long as they remain loyal."

Oboro might be the more overt menace, but Honoka is the real threat. To be able to command people like that--Oboro is a student of those techniques of the mind but that is beyond his ken. But he keeps that thought from his face. With Inamura's leg broken--and, more importantly, his spirit broken--Oboro disentangles his arm, and just release Inamura. The man will likely collapse but that is hardly -his- problem. The knife-wielder makes a show of straightening his jacket, noting with mild displeasure the ragged cut in the fabric. Have to get a new one, now. Well... it's something to steal.

Oboro resumes his station, slightly behind Honoka, hands clasped behind him; he won't move 'til she does, but that'll be towards the black sedan. He isn't worried about any of the other gang members. They're... disposable, anyways. So it'll be interesting to see what Honoka has in store for them. Once they're out of earshot, Oboro turns his head fractionally towards Honoka.

"I hope we've accomplished your goals here today," he says, his tone neutral but deferential. He... doesn't really want to come back. Too many reminders. That life is past him now--or he's past it, rather. He's... higher class, now. Or so he likes to tell himself.

The Empress's day has gone swimmingly. Sure, one man died -- but he deserved it. And three more are getting hospital treatment, purportedly on her dime -- also worth it. Because not one of the two dozen men will have no illusions about their chances of success against the woman.

"I'd say so," comments a more cheerful Empress to Oboro, as the doors to the sedan are opened.

"There's that saying about omelettes and eggs," she notes. The Empress would give more compliments... but yes. From the smile on her face -- not one of scorn, or mockery, but just out-and-out -glee-... yes. This went well. "I rather enjoy omelettes."

Log created on 21:00:54 11/03/2014 by Honoka, and last modified on 00:23:42 11/05/2014.