Description: Sometime after SLAMFEST, a certain Mr. Cross scouts for the one and only 'Snakebite' not far from her home, and makes her an offer she may not be able to refuse.
Chloe lives, for a variety of reasons, in the poorer part of the West Side of Metro City. A lot of the city is honestly quite nice, but some places aren't, and this is one of those places; it's not quite the slums, but it's about one step up. It has the advantages of being fairly inexpensive and one of the few places she can live without getting bothered all the time. (The odds of a Mad Gear ganger banging on her door that she can't handle are pretty low.)
But sometimes she comes out of the worse parts, and that's what she's done today. Even fighters need to eat.
Chloe has stopped at a coffee shop. It isn't a super fancy one; it's a Starbucks, scourge of the nation. She doesn't normally waste her money like this, but once in a while, she just wants to act normal. And she's done pretty well in matches lately; she can afford it.
She is sitting inside, because it's cold. She actually has gotten a seat to herself, because nobody wants to sit across from her; there is only one other chair at the table. Chloe is wearing street clothes; a green short-sleeved shirt, jeans, a jacket. They don't hide her uncanny eyes, but the tail is harder to see when she's sitting, bundled under the long coat where it is. She has a large coffee. It smells like something sweet.
Even in the worst urban areas in the world, there seems to be a Starbucks. After all, even the poor and lowlifes need coffee at times, above your usual convenience store pots. Either way, it's no surprise that even on the West Side, this place is doing business, with almost every chair and table taken up and with a decent line for those waiting for a caffeine fix.
As Chloe sits down, a man in a jean jacket with a purple shirt underneath and thick looking cargo pants passes by her, coming from the bathroom. The large, puffed up beanie in green seems a bit loud, but hardly anything out of the ordinary around here.
What is out of the ordinary, however, is when the man passes by her, patting the back of her chair hard enough to get her attention, with a whisper, "IT's nice to pretend to be normal, isn't it?" he says, before taking up a place in line for coffee. And if she looks out of the corner of her eyes back toward the line?
She'd notice the same man looking at her from the corner of his own eyes, smirking.
Chloe at least picked a /sort/ of nicer Starbucks. She can walk to the slightly better areas. She has time. It's not like she has a job with set hours or anything.
Chloe seems pretty happy to just have her coffee for a few minutes. It's warm; she's noticed that she has more trouble staying alert when she's cold lately, which may explain why she has her fingers wrapped around the coffee cup.
She doesn't spend much attention crowdwatching until someone pushes the back of her chair. That gets her attention; her eyes flick up at the disturbance, and then widen slightly when the man actually speaks. Chloe's gaze follows the man to the line, watching him, unblinking for an uncomfortably long period of time. Between that and the shape and colour of her eyes, she's been called unsettling when watching people before.
Who the hell is he? she thinks to herself. Her tail shifts under her coat, just barely visible as a twitch of said long coat to people in the line. It's mostly curled around her, as usual, rather than hanging down. Chloe keeps watching, somewhat intent.
The man continues to look toward Chloe from the corner of his eyes, all the way up to the counter, to where he finally turns properly to the barista and orders up.
He disappears into the gathering waiting for his coffee with the rest. But after a few minutes, he emerges from the grouping around the side of the counter, making his way past Chloe's table again, with another tap to the back of her chair. "Meet me outside, 'Snakebite'. I have a feeling we should talk," he says, before making his way out of the door.
Chloe almost ignores it. That's how he knows her, then - as a wrestler, where she has some notoriety as a gimmick. No wonder he's being abrasive - maybe she took down someone he actually cares about. This is kind of her stomping ground, where the low-budget wrestling gig she started with actually takes place; having a fan for the other side would not be too unusual.
Chloe is often curious. She's missing big chunks of her memory, after all, and the only way she's found to trigger them is to dive in head-first and see if something swims back into focus. So far it hasn't worked well, but it's given her a curiosity in other things too. She kind of wants to know why he thinks they should talk.
Chloe waits about a minute. Then she too rises with her half-empty cup of coffee and heads for the door. Her free hand gets shoved in her pocket as she steps outside, greeted with the just-above-freezing air that makes her flinch momentarily when she steps out in it. It gives the other guy a clear view of her, if nothing else.
"So," she says, a few seconds later. "What's up?" Apparently she's not in her persona today. Chloe regards the man, still barely blinking except when she looks into the wind, which always without fail makes her twitch slightly and shift her eyes.
As Chloe comes out of the coffee shop, she'd find the man to the right of the door, just between the plate windows and the door itself, idly sipping on his coffee. "I'm surprised you came out so fast. I expected you to waffle a bit," The man says, sipping on his coffee again before looking up. HIs eyes and gaunt face look familiar, or at least should, but it's not quite distinctive yet. "Follow me. Don't worry, if I was going to do anything to you, you think anyone around here would chalk it up to anything but the usual gang stuff?" he insists, a half-hearted way of assuring her he wouldn't start any business. Either way, he'd try to lead her to an alleyway....before the beanie came off.
And the purple and green mohawk sprang up. "Recognize me now?"
"It's not like I can't do anything out here I can't do in there, plus freeze," Chloe says. Apparently she can have a bit of an attitude anyway.
Chloe is not too worried for her personal health. She's powerful, and she knows it - there are better fighters around, even better fighters right here in Metro City, but the odds of one of them coming out of nowhere to bother her without even /challenging/ her are pretty low. Still, he's a little uncanny. His confidence is offputting. She stays right at the edge of the alleyway, because she's not /entirely/ stupid.
Without the hat, Chloe recognizes him. Immediately. "You're that wrestler!" He's also one of the people around here who /is/ a threat to her if he wants to be. Chloe takes half a step backwards on reflex, though she doesn't appear to be either going to attack or run away - she's just a little more tense.
"What do you want?" Chloe's stance is somewhat challenging, because she kind of feels like she's just been challenged. "We already had the match you just dropped in for."
Chuckling, Vyle...or rather, Vernon Cross, simply leans himself back against the wall of the alley, sipping on his coffee again. "Relax. Like I said, if I wanted to start something, I could've done it already and not many people around here would care. And that sucks as a wrestler, doesn't it? Don't you want people to care about your fights?" He adds, before tossing the empty cup away, not caring about using a garbage can.
"As for what I want?....I wanted to make a deal with you. You already know what I was up to that night, right?" He extends his hands outward to the side, head tilted back to look at the sky. "Promotion!" He chuckles to himself, looking back to Chloe. "You have to make a name for yourself and make a splash, right? I mean...I didn't expect the BWA to get involved too, but, you know, you get what you can."
Shrugging, he looks back to the Darkstalker, smiling. "And you...what would you do if I told you I could offer you somewhere where you can be....you. Mm? Without having to hide..." He reaches out, tapping at Chloe's jacket, around where he figures her tail would be, just like it was wrapped up during their match. "...what you really are? What if I could give you a place where you could find acceptance?"
"People care," Chloe says, defensively. It's true that she's starting to get fans; it's also true that she's not got as many as some other, better-established, more popular wrestlers. She'd probably get attention if it happened right here, but that's at least partially because they'd cheer any damn fight.
She is looking for promotion, though. She's been doing street fighting lately because it's more interesting, it's more fun - she just prefers it. She's signed up to SNF a couple times, done some Neo League battles (and is accidentally pretty highly placed in it right now). She can't actually deny that. "A deal," she says, instead. "You want me to wrestle for your Brute Force thing, after I pulled down its banner on camera?" She's not sure what she thinks about that. "Or against them some more?"
It's the last bit that makes her freeze up. Her tail isn't visible, directly, but something /does/ shift when he brings his hand too close to Chloe's side, where it's wrapped up. Chloe stills it almost immediately by sheer force of will. "I have no idea what you're talking about," she says, with a good deal more emotion in her voice.
Chuckling, Mr. Cross simply leans back against the wall again. "I'm saying...I can offer you a platform where you can wrestle without having to hide what you are. Not pretend that the thing around your waist is just a piece of really good costume work. I know costumes and I know tricks, and trust me...whatever you did to me in that ring wasn't some pvc rubber and paper mache hiding something," he insists.
Straightening his denim jacket, he pushes off the wall again. "I know the CWA has issues with keeping things under wraps. How about you have platform where you can just let it all hang out? And let people decide for themselves after that whether it's just someone playing it up, or if you're the real deal, mmm? Let that plausible deniability work for YOU?"
Stepping forward, he claps his hand on Chloe's shoulder, grinning from ear to ear. "Why don't you step out of the shadows...and into the spotlight, hrm?"
Chloe says nothing for about five seconds. Her mind is working furiously. She doesn't know what to think; nobody has ever made her an offer like that before. People don't usually comment about her... tail, if only because she tends to hide it when she's not fighting and then let people assume it's a prop she knows how to use as a weapon when she is.
Of course, she can't hide her eyes. It's a little weird to be walking around right now with eyes that colour and shape. Or her fangs, barely visible when she speaks...
"I'm not admitting anything," Chloe says, which is of course pretty much an admission in its own way. If she didn't have to, she'd just say that. "But... I'll think about it. So is that what you came here to ask me? Whether I wanted to work for you?"
Because it's probably not a /worse/ job than she has already. How could it be?
Smirking, Mr. Cross lowers his arms down, releasing Chloe's shoulder. "Essentially. We're a growing group, but we can use all the talent we can get. And good or bad, a talent like you, someone open and proud about their...attributes..." He reaches to tap the tail underneath her jacket again, making it clear what he's talking about. "...will definitely be publicity. And hell, I already know first hand how good you are in the ring."
Backing up, he digs into his pocket for something, flipping it in his hands and extending it out to Chloe. That something being his BFW business card. "You have my number, you know where I work. Just...think it over."
"Could you maybe not touch my butt," Chloe says, rather suddenly.
No, she's still not admitting there's a tail there.
She does accept the card, though; she looks at it momentarily and then tucks it into a pocket inside her jacket, where it's a lot less likely to fall out. "Like I said," she says, "I'll think about it." She isn't going to say yes out of a single meeting in an alleyway after a single fight (which wasn't even a scheduled fight). "How big is your organization, anyway? I'm not really familiar with it."
Walking away, Vyle a.k.a. Vernon Cross, a.k.a. CEO of Brute Force Wrestling, pulls on that green beanie he had been wearing, his mohawk compressing underneath it again and quickly anonymizing him once more. As he starts down the far end of the alleyway, he stops, hearing Chloe's question to him. A silent chuckle to himself comes before he looks over his shoulder toward the hidden Darkstalker.
"Bigger than you think. We're gonna take on the world. And when CWA goes, I intend to be the one stepping up to replace it completely." Turning away again, he silently tosses his hand into the air, a silent farewell to his prospective as he heads down the alley, then around the corner.
Big words, Chloe thinks. She's not exactly convinced that's going to happen anytime soon.
But it's certainly a step up from the low-grade, low-cost wrestling ring she's been working in. All her actual good appearances have been through other events. One-off battles. SLAMFEST. The Neo League. The actual /wrestling/ league has been nothing but trouble.
She thoughtfully nods, letting Vyle walk off to his own business without speaking to him again. She comes out of the alley a few moments later, walking exactly the opposite direction from him, hands in her pockets and head down.
She has a bit to think about.
Once he's around the corner, Vyle finds a black car waiting for him. Looking both ways, he quickly jumps himself into the back seat and closes the door. "Drive," he quickly orders before tossing his hat aside and letting his mohawk spring free again.
"Sir, did you make contact?" the driver asks through the plexiglass gate separating the back seat from the front. "Yeah, I made her the offer. Now we wait and see if she bites," he says, quickly pulling out a folio from a case waiting for him. Flipping it open, he flips open to a profile of Chloe, showing both her SLAMFEST appearances as well as some surveillance from her Neo League fights. Pulling the profile out, he tucks it into a different folder. "One down...." The current folio is left with three profiles...with a certain lavender-haired assassin who made a show of things at SLAMFEST at the top. Closing it up, he tucks the folder underneath the other folder he had in folio. "3 to go...."
The folder tagged: "SUBJECTS: DARKSTALKERS".
Log created on 20:02:14 12/11/2014 by Vyle, and last modified on 12:29:03 12/13/2014.