Description: Daigo and the Empre-- No, Daigo and -Miko- reconvene their meeting at Genhanten to discuss combining their forces to keep an unnamed amalgamation of evil from taking over Southtown. Promises are made... but in the end, will both parties end up with something they want and ten things they don't? Only time will tell...
Trust was the cornerstone of every relationships. If Daigo could not trust The Empress, known as Miko to him, then no form of alliance between the two could ever work. It was the same with the men who were loyal to him, he only asked things and shared his thoughts with students he knew he could trust.
Daigo had the imposing frame of a behemoth and would probably have little to fear from someone with such a slender frame as Honoka but the young man was still wary. He had heard the tales of Edge's defeat and his year as the leader of Gedo High had taught him that more than size mattered. Who knows, this girl could be fairly agile and a master of some martial art, after all.
Genhaten was the perfect spot to meet to avoid unnecessary tensions. Far from Gedo High's reaches, meeting there alone in a public spot, making it so neither of them would be at advantage to try some dirty trick. A simple test of trust here.
Daigo had no desire of expansion beyond Gedo High, his only desire was the well being of his boys(and girls) and make sure they'd follow the right path in life, considering how many of them looked up to him.
With school over, Daigo wears something more casual. A worn-out pair of jeans as well as an old light brown leather jacket. He wears a simple stretched white t-shirt underneath this. He comes to Genhaten riding a motorcycle, his arrival more or less heard through the main street. His head is covered up by a dark helmet that has a decorative skull painted on it.
The tall man parks his motorcycle, takes up the keys and unstraddles it. He removes his helmet and puts it under his right arm and slowly strides into the restaurant. He leans foward a bit as he enters the restaurant as if he was afraid to actually bump his head against something. His eyes quickly scan the area, looking for Miko.
If he doesn't see her, he'll go take a seat at a table, but if she's there he'll approach her table.
The bells on the Genhanten door jangle as the Empress walks in. As for her last meeting with Daigo, her jet black hair is pulled into a high ponytail, and like yesterday she is wearing a contrasting array of black and white... but being that this is a public space in which she'd prefer -not- to draw attention, the flashy look of the "Empress" is considerably understated. Even the violet sunglasses have been stowed, as the young woman's icy blue irises are revealed to view. This is about trust, and if the Empress is going to perpetuate trust, she'll need to look the part.
Spotting the imposing Daigo from across the room, Miko offers a placid smile and strolls over to the table. Addressing him with her eyes, she reaches the table, taking one moment to bow in greeting. "Good afternoon, Mr Kazama," she states with clinical precision, before sliding into a seat.
Steepling her fingers upon the table, she offers a neutral expression. Well, almost-neutral -- there's the ever-so-faint hint of a pleasant smile, for the sake of presentation. "I feel I must apologize for my unease yesterday. Your fearsome reputation precedes you."
Then her smile increases, incrementally. "I told you it was Miko. The name is Miko Kobayashi."
It was impossible to miss Daigo in the restaurant. The tall man had taken a spot since Miko had not arrived yet. He took one of the ground table on the first floor, beside one of the wall. He did not want a private room but didn't want to be the center of attention either.
He sits on the ground and even so, he's still standing out quite a lot. His looks were definately more casual like this. Without the helmet and leather jacket he wore to ride his motorcycle, Daigo could pass for one of the workers in the industrial district who came here to relax after an hard day of work.
He glances up at Miko and smiles warmly at her. He takes a moment to stare at her and gestures with one of his big hand for her to take a seat. Despite his size and unnatural way to sit at the table (sitting down with one leg crossed and the other bent up, offering a place for him to rest his arm), Daigo seemed relatively at ease.
"Good afternoon, Miko," Daigo says. He blinks at Miko's words and laughs, "My fearsome reputation?" Daigo asks, arching a brow, amused. His lips curl into a wide smile and says, "I'm curious, what did you hear about me that frightened you so?"
He nods his head respectfully to Miko and says, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miko Kobayashi. I am afraid, unlike you, I know little about yourself,"
Miko smiles back as she adopts her seat. "... Well. Your students certainly seem to see you as a role model. 'The Boss', or even 'The Big Boss' seemed to be the words most often associated with you. The results of any fight... an instant classic amongst the student body."
Miko idly snags a menu, but she maintains eye contact with Daigo, not wanting to break their tenuous connection. "Not to mention... you're also much, -much- taller than I am. When you'd asked me... I assumed you had some intent to do harm to me." Smile intensifies for just a moment, as she states, "Trust issues, you called it."
Pausing a moment to take a breath, she states, "But... without the need to remain guarded, I suppose the need for my aura to match yours is ... lessened. This was an excellent idea, Mr Kazama."
Heaving a soft sigh, Daigo is the one to break the eye contact for a moment. He turns his gaze away, thoughtful, "If that is what you think, that you were mistaken. A common mistake, it would seem, when one thinks about Gedo High students," Daigo muses.
He returns his eyes back on Miko and adds, "I do not like to use violence and only use it when necessary. Unlike many of the persons I had to deal with, you seem much more reasonable," Daigo waves his hand up dismissingly, as if all of this was behind him, a part of the past and nothing to worry about.
"Those who decide to follow me or work have decided to do it. I'll never force someone to follow me or do something they do not want," The man slowly nods his head and adds, "Many see me as their leader and boss... It is a figure and model they've been desperately seeking and needing. A role I did not necessarly want, but that I have to assume," he adds with a nod. He leans in a bit closer, folding his arms in front of his chest, "I treat them like family... And I'd like to be able to do the same with you, if you want this to work,"
The tall man than lowers his eyes and glances at the menu, idly browsing it, "Also, you can call me Daigo," He says. "Tell me, Miko, what kind of information do you expect out of us, hum? We're not really the best sort of information network out there..."
Miko listens, thoughtful as well. She carefully considers Daigo's words... and responds accordingly. "Okay. I may have misjudged you then, Mr Kazama. You do not see yourself as a leader, if I understand you correctly. But you do seem to be leading by example, which is... " She smiles tightly, for just one moment, "An *interesting* side-effect."
Miko pauses, her expression neutral for a moment. "... Daigo, then," she grins. "I... want to share ideas on what is, and what isn't, a threat to Southtown. We are not that different, you and I. Violence is a last resort, understandably... but it is a tool. The -capability- of violence can also serve to deter wrong-doers from engaging in thoughtless acts."
Miko laces her fingers together upon the table, her icy, alert gaze still firmly attached to Daigo's eyes. "I simply expect to be able to help you overcome difficulties. I want to extend my help... to you, in keeping Southtown clear of any... problems which may arise. Gangsters. Criminal elements. Open warfare in the streets."
She raises one finger. "This does -not- extend to the schools, however. If fights get picked with Taiyo over who gets to stake out the Pao Pao Cafe, well, that's all you. But... if one of your students happens to inform you about a new underground fighting ring? Something that isn't really going to make it on the news -- doesn't affect you NOW, but could in the future? I'd like to know. So that I can help mitigate the effects."
A waitress comes over, and Miko smiles back at her. "One small Oolong-cha, please." Smile growing reserved, she nods back to Daigo.
"One chow mein please," Daigo says to the waitress, handing her his menu once he's done with it.
He had listened to Miko carefully while he chose his diner and he finally says, after a long moment of silence, "Then you have my ears," Daigo nods slowly, his single valid eye staring back at her, locking gaze with her, "We have similar interests," He concludes.
"The reputation of Gedo High students is rather tarnished : delinquents, junkie... Youth who's up to no good. The best way to ensure that they turn out bad is to think they already are and I want to give them something to hold on to, so they know they're much better off than what everyone think of them,"
Daigo tilts his head to one side and hums thoughtfully, "I believe being on the lookout for things like that, and prevent the streets of Southtown from getting infested with things like that would be a good step in this direction."
Daigo arches a brow and asks, "Is this what you want in exchange from us? Have the students of Gedo High become an unofficial enforcer to prevent crime and gangsterism?"
"Indeed. I... I've got a simple plan to keep Southtown strong, and it just involves vigilance. There are a lot of explosive personalities here, and ... to your credit, you're an unyielding monument of strength standing in the midst of one of the most volatile aspects of it. I wish only for that to continue unabated."
Miko's tea is brought out to her. She blows on it, but after holding the cup for a moment she realizes it's still much too hot, and leaves it upon the saucer.
"And... yes. I agree. Gedo is unfairly treated as the scourge, the rats crawling underfoot. It makes my skin crawl thinking about these good, honest students of Gedo... and how they only want to make a difference in the world... and how they're treated with such casual indifference, Daigo. It makes me sick to my stomach." It may have seemed like Miko was expressing her emotions strongly the previous night, but it's even more evident now: she really does look -repulsed-, her hands clenched rigidly, knuckles practically white. "You've got the most potential in the whole city... but it's only because you're cloistered away in the worst part of it that nothing more is happening."
Miko glances down at her teacup. Slides a thumb into the handle, brings it up... blows delicately upon the rippling surface of the oolong-cha. "And it has a lot to do with business as usual, here. The powers that be... they -want- a downtrodden lower class. It makes them feel superior."
She takes a sip from her tea. Smiles, appraisingly, at the flavor. "... Is that what -you- want, Daigo? Is it better to prevent crimes that are happening, or to be a bit more proactive... and stop crimes from happening in the first place?"
Weird how Miko's intentions seem to match so perfectly Daigo's wishes and desires for Gedo. At the very least, every word she chose and sentence she said felt in synch with his views on Gedo High and what had to be done.
He had no reason to doubt that her intentions were just as noble as his were. His time spent in Gedo High had given him the special talent to be able to look past all the quirks and flaws in someone and see the better of them, and when Miko just presents her ideals like that, Daigo does not bother with the rest or the minor details that might make others wary.
The man seems to conceal his emotions a bit better when Miko describes the perception others have over Gedo. Though a few twitch and muscles tensing shows it just angers and repulses him just as much.
"Yes Miko," The tall man answers, "This is what I want. I want to offer the students of Gedo High a brighter future, to give them some pride and show them they're not as everyone depicts them," He nods his head slowly and adds, "And this seems like a good mean to this end. You can count on my support for this, Miko.."
It is... weird how Miko's desires line up so fully. The so-called Empress always does her research before engaging in a potential alliance -- especially one with an entourage as large as the Gedo student body. The fact remains, though, that the issue of empowering the lower class, the downtrodden... is -very- dear to her heart. No words can truly communicate how deeply she feels that particular sentiment -- and she's happy to have fully expressed her passion for empowering the criminally underrepresented. Daigo just happens to have the voice with which she needs to make this a reality in Southtown.
Miko Kobayashi sips her tea, nodding with approval. "Excellent. I'm glad we can agree on that, then. And... don't count on this being a one-way deal either. Just remember... anything Gedo needs, we will do what we can to obtain it. Training. Resources. Information. The interests of Gedo High are now our concern as well, so if there are any negative influences... if anything fishy comes up. Do not feel that you are in this alone, Daigo. Information is a two-way street."
She sips her tea once more. She had only ordered a small, but it's about half gone by now. "Well, unless there's anything else..." She reaches into her jacket pocket, retrieving a business card. Grasping it lightly with both hands, Miko extends it to Daigo for formal exchange with a slight, yet professional smile. "Any time, day or night -- if I'm not available, leave a voice mail and I'll call you back as soon as I can."
Daigo extends one of his massive hand to take out the offered card. He takes a moment to look at its content. The number and the name on it, taking good note of it. He slips it into one of his pocket and he nods at Miko, "I'm glad we were able to fix this misunderstanding then," He says, mostly about how tensed up things have grown between the two due to some incidents.
"I won't hesitate to contact you if we see or hear anything," Daigo adds. The amouth of rumors and things that could come to Daigo's ears was definately beyond one's imagination. Lots were just rumors and other things, but when most of your boys roam in the streets and darkest place of Southtown, you end up hearing all sort of things.
His eyes venture away from Miko for a moment when the waitress comes with his chow mein. He takes the chopsticks and takes a bit of noodles between them, bringing it up to his mouth for a bite. He waits until he's through chewing to ask, "Tell me, what is your organisation exactly? And what do you know about this Syndicate of Southtown?" He could probably find his own information amongst his boys, but he prefers to see what Miko's willing to tell on both of those subjects.
Miko takes a few minutes to savor the aroma of the oolong tea as she listens to Daigo. She'd been mostly business, today, only smiling occasionally. Too much smiling makes people think they're being played, after all. But now... she smiles a bit more openly. "Oh, I'm glad you asked. My organization... well, we're still trying to think of a good name, you see. It's a loose organization of... business leaders, in various parts of Japan, who are all similarly interested in bettering society. I suppose if you had to lump us into a classification we'd be a 'not-for-profit advocacy agency,' or possibly even a 'political action committee.'" Miko rolls her eyes and punctuates her words with air quotes, regretting that she even has to use such big words. But she affixes her direct gaze back at Daigo, allowing a faint smirk as she summarizes: "But in a nutshell, we help organize communities together and help keep the wheels greased and rolling. Police departments aren't always able, governments aren't always willing... you know, sometimes it's easier to just go ahead and -fix- the problem than let good ideas die in committee."
Setting her tea on the table, she leans forward. Her voice drops low, scarcely above a whisper. "As for this other organization... I probably should not even be talking about them in a public forum like this. Eyes and ears -are- everywhere. But suffice to say, the reason Gedo's where it is... is because of them. They -want- to keep you all in one place. It's a control issue, Daigo. And Gedo poses the largest threat."
Miko returns to an upright position, daintily sipping the rest of her tea.
Sounds like a mysterious organisation that's trying to pull the strings from afar. Daigo hums softly, contemplating the information Miko was giving him. In the big schemes of things, he was just a single young man of a reknown school of delinquent. What was his role in all of this? Achieve a reform? Make sure Gedo High doesn't go out of control?
Using the chopsticks, Daigo takes another pinch of noodles and brings it to his mouth, chewing slowly his food and listening to Miko. The man seems surprised by Miko's revelations though and he arches a brow, "Gedo poses a threat?" He asks, skeptical.
"Gedo High is just an highschool, one that tries to discipline the youth and educate proper adults. How could it pose a threat to anything or anyone? Why would they think that?" He asks.
"The biggest threat, and the easiest to wipe out. That's why I came to you first -- you're probably going to be the number one target." Miko sets down her empty cup on the table. "You see... Gedo possesses a lot of students who have grudges against society. People who... -traditionally- oppose order. This makes them wild. Difficult to control. Rebellious." Sliding the teacup away from her, Honoka re-steeples her fingers, looking across the table to Daigo. "Gedo students likely consider these to be among their greatest strengths. Most in power would consider these... bad. Unknown elements, unable to harness. And yet... here we are. With you, leader by example. Proving that you can accomplish what school itself... what government, what society... cannot."
Miko reaches over for the bottle of soy sauce on the table. Sliding it over to the center, she continues. "Right now, Daigo... I proved that I alone -- one person -- could take out your loudest proponent. If you, Daigo, the lone element of control, the last bastion of decency and goodwill in Gedo... stood against them..."
Miko tips over the soy sauce. It lands with a clink, dribbling the sticky, viscous soy sauce into a rapidly-growing puddle over the table. She lets that sink in for a moment before righting the soy sauce.
"This is what happens to Gedo, Daigo. You're the lynchpin for your school."
A young server comes by to fill up her teacup... and spots the mess. She reaches for a few napkins -- and Miko takes them, waving her off. "Thank you, I'll take care of it."
As the server jogs off, Miko slowly begins mopping up the spilled soy sauce, the syrupy stains resembling blackened blood on the napkins. "You see Daigo... if it only takes one person to be taken out of the equation... Revolution can be avoided with minimal bloodshed."
As he eats his chow mein noddles, Daigo watches Miko's demonostration and explanations of a potential future to come. While Daigo likes to remain above the melee to have a good overview of everything, he did not think beyond his school or the other highschools in Southtown. This was a new insight he was getting, something that just made everything look more complicated...
The tall man arches a brow and asks, after another bite of his meal, "You believe they will try to take me down?" All of a sudden, it seemed surrealistic. Could it really be?
"Just so Gedo High could prove it has failed its purpose, to prove that society has failed? This is madness..." Daigo says, his voice soft and low.
"Indeed. And with Gedo chaotic and disorganized, do you honestly think Taiyo would stand a chance? Idealistic and naive... they may have energy, but focus in the face of such a threat? Hardly. Gorin? Maybe if the oppressors challenged them to a sports match. Justice and Seijyun certainly have nothing interesting to offer in the way of challenges, and Pacific would just pull their students back to their sovereign nation. No... when it comes to standing up for ones' beliefs, fighting against all odds... " Miko closes her eyes, balling up the soy-soaked napkins and drawing in a deep breath.
"It's not a scenario I like to envision, Daigo. But it's only one of many. Consider also the peculiar intruders hinted at by the news... an ages-old mummy. Rumors of beastmen and catpeople. Things completely beyond those we'd encounter day-to-day. Things beyond comprehension. Your students... they have to be taught to fight for themselves -- but beyond that, they need to be shown that they can -think- for themselves.
Balling the napkins up into her empty teacup, she slides it aside. "This is where I can help you. Introduce me to your students as the Empress, if you like. I needn't invoke the same terrible stories I trust with you. We needn't alarm them. But together, I think we can instruct your students... how to resist the oppression that I'm sure will befall us in the near future."
Miko flashes a more optimistic smile at Daigo. "And once we show the Southtown leaders that we are capable of solving not only our own problems... but those of the city as well? Then Gedo's reputation is elevated to new highs. No longer will Gedo be the underdogs... but the top dogs. The leaders of tomorrow."
Miko has clearly given this some thought.
A part of Miko's speech seems to anger the man somewhat inside. His features hardly show it, but his stern gaze shows the boiling anger inside. It was beyond him that someone would try something like that, and Daigo still had a hard time believing it.
He controls his anger though by focusing on his meal. Alas, he was almost done and he would have to find something else to channel it.
Daigo arches a brow at Miko's last part, a thin smirk growing on his lips, "I am afraid that if you present yourself as 'The Empress', they will shaun you immediately," Daigo says, amused. He would have thought she would have understood that, "The students in Gedo High recognizes no authority, in fact, they hate it in general, seeing it like a cage that restrains their freedom. If you want me to introduce you to them, it will be as Miko... And if you truly wish to 'lead' them, then you will have to earn their respect and trust, and perhaps, like they did with me, they will see you as their leader,"
What's patently obvious to those inside a group can be difficult -- maybe even impossible for an outsider to grasp without help.
On the plus side, Miko got Daigo to smirk; his expression actually brought a dismayed frown to her own face, though. "... I see. That's a good point." She looks down at the table for one, two... three seconds, before looking up again. "Miko it is, then. I shall earn their respect. But... I do want to stress that... like you? I am less interested in leadership than I am in strengthening their minds and wills. Hardening their defenses against aggressors. And through that route... I hope to gain their trust."
The 'Empress' moniker had worked so well on the others in Miko's curious and heretofore unnamed organization... but this group of Gedo students is very, very different. She once more steeples her fingers, looking back at Daigo with some measure of curiosity. "I knew I was right to seek out your advice. You really do know your students well."
"Very well," Daigo answers with a slow nod. At least she's reasonable on that point. "I have no objection in what you wish to accomplish, though I have to admit I am curious as to 'how' you plan on strengthening their minds and wills," Daigo answers.
His lips curl into a smile and he leans foward a bit, "Do not expect me to speak in your favor or try to use my influence to make things smoother from you in Gedo High and with the students. They will make a mind of their own, and if you manage to convince them to get your training, then so be it... Though I do believe you might be able to earn their respect like I did, but in a different manner,"
After all, Miko seemed like she had a silver tongue and knew just how to choose her words. "Just come in and say you're a new student, see if what you can do," Daigo offers her. After all, he could not help her with what she wanted to do with his boys, it was a test she had to perform on her own.
Daigo squirms a bit and reaches for an old wallet and takes out a few yens from it, resting them on the table, "For the time being, I will remain alert and on the lookout for any signs of external turmoils, and if any come to my ears, I will contact you,"
"To be honest... I'm curious as well." Miko flashes a self-conscious grin back at Daigo, rising from the table. "I've never reached out personally to... as many free spirits. I tend to leave these sorts of training to individuals such as yourself. But, it may be as you say... that I need to be engaging them on a personal, one-to-one basis in order for teachings to have any real... weight." On the down side, this means balancing an already-full day with... more. But on the plus side, she's got plenty of help available.
"Understood." Slipping her hand into her jacket pocket, she spends all of about three seconds finding the right coins she needs, and places them on the table. More of her forward planning at work.
"Likewise. If I come across any alarming developments, you will be the first to know. I'm definitely more optimistic about our chances now, Daigo. I'm glad we have the opportunity to work together now." Miko Kobayashi steps back from the table, offering Daigo a most formal bow.
Concealing a most predatory grin for the instant in which her face is hidden from view.
Log created on 08:28:52 11/15/2014 by Honoka, and last modified on 18:19:28 11/15/2014.