Description: After his success, Daniel Jack was rewarded by his Chief with the greatest of White Elephants: A new sidekick. More importantly, the Chief's own daughter was now Daniel's partner in fighting crime. Maybe it wouldn't be bad. Maybe it wouldn't be horrible. But for people who knew how Interpol worked? Daniel was facing a punishment worse than death: Promotion.
Daniel Jack was having an angry sandwich.
Sitting at a small, corner cafe in Lyon, France, the detective of Interpol was sitting on a small, metal wire chair outside. On the table was half a sandwich upon a plate. Beside that, an empty coffee cup. Daniel Jack himself was clad in his Interpol greys.
And dear god, he was nervous.
He was fresh off his success in Japan. Having broken up a chocolate smuggling ring, the Chief had praised him, and gave him a promotion. He would have an assistant now, and would be responsible for her. In most cases, in most other organizations, a promotion was a thing of celebration. But with Interpol? It was a condemnation. Like for example? His new assistant?
The Chief's daughter.
And she was running late. The detective taps his fingers nervously, glancing around. He was instructed to meet with her 30 minutes ago at this very cafe. The service was awful. The sandwich was terrible. ANd the coffee was cold. But she was not here. The detective managed to get some details about her. Details that gave a troubling picture of what was to come. Hopefully, there was just bad record keeping. Or maybe his assistant wasn't the Chief's daughter! Maybe he would have a sultry, long-legged femme fatalle for an assistant. In a red dress.
And maybe the waiter would COME AROUND WITH MORE COFFEE GOD DAMMIT!
The nervous tension lingering in the cool morning air is shattered by the sudden and very ominous screech of tires on asphalt. It is not the sound of someone taking a corner too sharply or that of some young punk with a fancy expensive car trying to show off as they peel out of an intersection at unadvisable speeds; it is the sound that precedes a horrible and grisly accident.
All heads snap up at once, like a herd of prairie dogs popping out of their burrows, every gaze within earshot scanning the horizon for the source of the noise and bracing for the inevitable crash that has to follow it. But it never comes. Instead, something far more troubling drifts out from the streets, now lousy with vehicles that have somehow managed to avoid smashing into each other in their frantic attempts to come to an unexpected stop.
"Oh dear! I'm sorry, I didn't see you coming! Excuse me~!"
A young woman rapidly hurries out from the small ring of bumpers that have created a sort of safe zone in the middle of the street where she stands. Impossibly, every car flying down the major thoroughfare managed to miss hitting her as she strolled into the street and she strides through the zig-zagging maze rolling death, apparently oblivious to the cacophony of blaring horns and searing insults the follow her every step.
Stepping onto the pavement where she belongs, the woman takes a moment readjust her uniform, as if noticing some small imperfection that requires attention. This gives everyone a good chance to take a long look at the person who may very well be one of the best detectives that Interpol has ever employed.
Daisy is a fairly tall woman with a slender yet athletic build that gives her uniform shape in all the right places to be very pleasing. Her pale straw-blonde hair is styled into a short bowl-like that manages to remain cute and trendy despite it's simplicity. Unlike Daniel's grey-tone duds, Daisy is covered in a bright blue lady's suit that makes her look more like a runway model than a detective. The pristine golden tressing and the clear Interpol insignia stitched into the sleeve indicate that this is supposed to be some kind of uniform. Perhaps it's some sort of local design.
Apparently happy with her clothes, Daisy turns and glances around until her eyes center on the small spread of tables laid out on the cafe's porch. Daniel's suit makes him stand out pretty easily amidst the small crowd of casually dressed civilians and she breaks into a bright smile, waving happily from across the park.
"Oh! Mister Jack! I finally found you!"
Daniel Jack could sense what was coming.
He slowly turns his head towards the sound of screeching tires, the blare of horns. And in a smooth gesture, his entire face twists into a horrified visage. His jaw drops, his eyes bulge, and his fingers curl. There she was, narrowly evading death. Every car that surged past her, was a moment when Daniel himself died at the hands of a furious Chief. By the time the semi comes howling past, Daniel Jack turns his head away, looking away from the carnage that was about to fall.
But there was no scream.
Hands trembling, Agent Little finally looks towards the woman who had arrived. Detective Daisy Mallone. Based on her record, she was one of the top rising stars within Interpol. Incredibly competent in nearly every field required by the organization, in her five years she had brought so much justice to the world that even Kim would think it was a little much. She was lined up to be an administrative leader, just like her father... until something happened. Something that was not recorded. And now, she was with Daniel Jack. He pauses a moment.
Was this a demotion for HER!?
As Detective Mallone approaches, Agent Little rises up from his chair, waving at his new partner. "Detective Mallone." He responds formally, inspecting his partner carefully. She was wearing bright clothing. A feature of being the Chief's daughter. The detective considers that maybe, maybe this wouldn't be so bad. If Daniel could get her back to her old ways, the Chief might be proud. Why, he might even give him a special favor.
Daniel Jack idly imagines himself in his old Zoot Suits.
Daisy crosses the narrow sidewalk across the grassy lawn to the cafe without further incident and when she arrives beside his table she's all smiles. Up close it's easier to get a good measure of her appearance which only makes her stand out to a far greater degree than any other agent at Interpol.
By all accounts, Daisy had been a no-nonsense hardliner with little tolerance for crime and even less for slackers. She had earned a reputation for shunning things like make-up and jewelry or any other sort of personal accessories that didn't have a direct impact on her ability to perform her job. The person that stands before Daniel could be said to be the evil twin of that woman.
Large golden earrings in the shape of police stars dangle from each ear, seeming to always be in motion even in the rare instance that Daisy herself is sitting still. Though she isn't gussied up like a prom date, a noticable layer of make-up adorns her pretty face, framing her big hazel eyes with eye shadow and highlighting her lips with a sheen of pink gloss. The epaulets and sleeves of her uniform are likewise adorned with large golden buttons embossed in a laurel pattern common among law enforcement agencies though this one is fancier than most. Overall, she looks very presentable, if one were preparing for a parade.
Daisy snaps a sharp salute in response to the greeting, nearly knocking the small hat that accompanies her ensemble off the top of her head with her enthusiasm. "That's me, Detective Mallone, reporting for duty!"
By all accounts, this ought to be a prank.
But Daniel didn't see this as a prank. In the record, in the reports, he read between the lines. Just like when he busted open the cacao smuggling, the trick wasn't to follow what the local authorities were reporting, but what wasn't said. There is something powerful in what isn't said; what people don't look, who they avert their eyes from. By all accounts, Daisy had been the toughest top agent in all.
But then there was one case.
A case that marked the change on her sterling record. That was the case that made Daniel Jack convinced that this was Daisy Mallone. As the detective stoically shakes her hand, his expression is no-nonsense now. Dead serious. Her appearance had a purpose; he would not ignore that. What that purpose was still eluded Agent Little, but it was one, at least, he would treat with kindness and respect. "Excellent. I am Agent Little. You may call me Daniel Jack. Please, take a seat." He motions for the table, at the chair that sits across from him. "Once a waiter remembers us, I will gladly pay for you lunch. And then..."
"Well, I believe in proper introductions before business."
The sobriety with which she is greeted doesn't seem to faze Daisy's chipper attitude in the slightest. She holds her salute, smiling in such a way that her golden hair and pale skin seems to radiate a glow of pure cheer around her; a little piece of sunshine here on the planet Earth.
That, unfortunately, isn't the only part of her that comes from outer space, as he's bound to discover.
Daisy plops into the indicated chair and finally lowers her arm, resting both hands demurely in her lap. "Wow, it's been a long time since I had coffee at a cafe. I wonder if they have milkshakes? Vanilla is my favorite flavor but strawberry is nice too."
She stares directly across the table at him for several long seconds before something registers in her mind and she puts a finger to her lower lip thoughtfully. "Hmm, the waiter hasn't come? Well, that's strange, I'm sure he must be busy. Don't worry, I'll go get him!"
Without waiting for an answer, Daisy leaps up to her feet in a single swift motion. At the same time, she tries to turn as if to walk towards the cafe but this proves to be a little too much for her coordination while wearing heels. Letting loose a surprised squeak, the woman teeters sideways and with a loud crash both she and her chair go tumbling to the ground.
A few moments later one of the cafe's wait staff saunters over with a perturbed look on his face. When he spots Daisy sprawled out on the ground, he wrinkles his nose in disdain and glances at Daniel.
"Monsieur, please ask your associate to refrain from troubling the other customers."
Daniel winces a bit at the 'yes sir.'
"Now, now, you don't have to call me sir." The senior agent explains. Senior agent. According to her record, she was technically the senior agent. As she stares quietly, she finally bursts out. And then, promptly, she collapses.
Daniel's stoic expression has not changed.
Daniel himself rises up out of his chair, moving towards the downed agent. It was an embarassing display... but then again, it was an embarrassing display. With the single act, she had managed to summon over the waiter, an act that Daniel himself had been unable to do. An act of genius, in fact. Daniel Jack nods firmly, as he pulls Daisy back to her feet.
This was the actions of a top-tier agent.
"Ah, oui oui, this won't happen again." The detective quickly states, moving to cut off the waiter before he can leave. "But while we have you here, I'd like a refill on my coffee, if you please, and my associate would like to place her order." Agent Little looks firmly at the man, eyes cold and dead serious. He had the waiter cornered. It would be up to his partner to move in for the kill.
Daniel had a feeling she would know just what to do.
By accident or design, Daisy had sprawled out on her back, taking the chair down in such a way that she fell into a sitting position atop it - just, sideways. The reinforced metal frame had taken the worst of the impact for her but nevertheless she was knocked a little dizzy from the ordeal if the hazy look in her eyes is any indicator.
It takes a few seconds for her to gather her wits again, such as they are, but she accepts the assistance with a surprised look and wobbles shakily back to her feet. Daisy takes a moment to smooth out her uniform as if her tumble was nothing out of the ordinary but her attention quickly shifts to the annoyed barista once Daniel has spoken.
"Huh? Oh! Yes, please!" Her hands clasp together infront of her as if she's praying or begging but she quickly turns the gesture into something cute-ish by tilting her head slightly to the side and giving him a warm smile. "I'd like a vanilla milkshake! Oh and cheeseburger! And... some French fries!"
She might as well have slapped the man in his face. He staggers backwards, nearly dropping the small tablet upon which he was scribbling something furiously. "Pfft! Bffh! Spht! We do not sell," he makes a face as he speaks, practically spitting the word out like a curse, "/French fries/! Or... cheeseburgers! This is a coffee shop, madame!"
Daisy looks crestfallen momentarily but she chips up again rather quickly, smirking as if she's cracked some kind of secret code. "That means you /do/ sell milkshakes, right?!"
It was becoming more and more clear to Daniel.
As she continues to list.
This -was- a genius.
"The girl has you there, sir." The detective states, eyes dead locked on the man. "What kind of honest cafe wouldn't serve a frappé? Or maybe you want to call her a liar." The detective's face grows colder, his features tightening. "After all, it sure would be a shame if it turned out that this cafe was looking to cause some problems for the wrong sort of crowd." Daniel Jack tilts his head, wiggling his beard. "Do you catch my drift?"
And then he step aside, letting the waiter fetch the milkshake and coffee.
Looking back towards Daisy, he nods his head firmly as he retakes his seat. "I can see why you are so well renowned in your records. Brilliant work there; not only getting his attention, but calling out that he did, in fact, have a milkshake. I am impressed by just how perceptive you are!" The detective exclaims, cracking a smirk.
"Tell me, how did you end up getting partnered with a guy like myself?"
Daisy looks a little taken aback at the sudden severe attitude that her partner is giving the barista. A hand goes to her mouth as she gasps a little, eyes shifting between the two men but it is the server who quickly turns away and scampers off to fill the order.
"Wow, that was a little harsh..."
Daisy takes her seat again, hands once more folding into her lap. The compliment makes her forget all about the situation with the waiter and she giggles, shrugging a little. "Oh, don't be silly! All I did was place my order! How would I know they don't serve French fries in France? You'd think they would, right?"
Yes. A genius.
Leaning back in her chair a little, Daisy offers a fresh smile in response to the question. "Well, my daddy is the one who put us together, so I guess that means you must be pretty good right?"
She crosses her arms, making a perplexed expression as she continues. "Everyone at the office was really mad at me for some reason. I mean, it's not like I knew that wall was weak and I did offer to clean it up but da- I mean the Chief, said he had just the assignment for me! So, I look forward to working with you, I guess!"
Daniel processes what Daisy says.
Well, there were some parts of genius that a man like Daniel wouldn't be able to understand. Daniel Jack was far from a genius. Perhaps the French Fries in France thing was an obscure reference to one of her past exploits. Or maybe, more likely, a test on the detective himself. Agent Little wouldn't be surprised at this point that the Chief had assigned her to him as a means of training him further. As she continues on with her story, Daniel Jack nods along, very much into her story. But one of the last details makes him lean back into his chair in shock.
The wall was weak?!
Daniel Jack raises an eyebrow. Was she as martially powerful as she was brilliant? The thought crosses his mind on the dossier of her background. She did show the ability of being able to drag in some of the most infamous criminals in the world. The detective decides to pursue the topic, picking at it. "I am also glad to work with someone of your vast experience and expertise. I only have experience in the private sector, for the most part, so working with such a seasoned veteran is quite the opportunity. If you don't mind me asking, just so I know what kind of missions I can expect from you..." The detective makes his move, eyeing her carefully.
"Do you have any martial training?"
Daniel's reaction goes unnoticed by the young woman as the barista returns in something of a hurry, sporting a small tray with two cups on it. A smaller ceramic mug is placed before him while Daisy gets a taller glass topped with whipped cream out of which protrudes a long straw. She bounces in her seat like a little kid and accepts the sugary drink with an enthusiastic nod, taking a long exaggerated sip.
When her attention finally returns to Daniel's words, she just smiles brightly and nods at him, sporting a tiny puff on whipped cream on the tip of her nose.
"Uh huh! Daddy wanted to make sure I could look after myself, so he sent me to train with a really strong guy in Japan when I was little! He was really strict and made me do all sorts of difficult things but I also had lots of fun and learned all sorts of stuff!"
She sets her milkshake on the table and tilts her head at him, asking in a voice as sweet as her beverage.
"Have you ever heard of Kyokugenryu Karate?"
It was as if Daisy had spat poison at the detective.
Daniel's eyes open wide, a fire overtaking them, as she says those two accursed words. His fingers curl up into claws, gripping the table. He purses his lips, as sputtering rage boils up. He swallows hard, forcing the anger back down his throat. Shutting his eyes tight, he barely notices the coffee placed in front of him. He just silent.
And slowly, he begins to respond.
"Yes." Daniel slowly opens his eyes. The fires were still burning. "Yes I have. I have heard of Kyokugen. Ryu. Karate." How could he have not heard of the arch rivals of his own dojo? With which the son of the founder, Takuma, had attacked his own dojo, and had driven out its master, Todoh, into shameful exile? Daniel Jack only knew so much. "I studied a. Similar art. In Japan." He sighs, before picking up his coffee. "I assume you've heard of Todoh-Ryuu Kobojutsu, right?"
Daniel Jack begins to take a sip.
Daniel's sudden outrage draws her attention this time and Daisy tilts her head to one side, peering at him curiously, not quite comprehending what's wrong with him.
"Mister Jack, is something wrong?"
His acknowledgement towards her question is met with another smile and she just takes another sip of her milkshake. Clearly, she isn't aware of the fierce rivalry between the two schools. It seems like something that shouldn't be possible but her lack of reaction is pretty unusual.
Daisy taps a finger on her chin as she repeats the name out loud a few times in succession, lack of recognition on her face. However, after a few moments, she lights up.
"Oh! Now I remember! Master Takuma used to say that word all the time! But only when he was practicing with the targets... I think that must have been their names! Kind of strange to name his training dummies like that, don't you think?"
A flare of energy surges over Daniel's arms. R
Puts his coffee cup down. "No. Nothing. Is. Wrong." Agent Little responds, as Daisy carefuly describes how, exactly, she had heard of Todoh-Ryuu. He takes in a long, deep breath. So this was the Chief's game. Of all the things, of all the martial arts. She had to be Kyokugen. The true rival to Todoh-Ryuu. The sheer odds of that happening was... he couldn't even muster the math. This wasn't to train Daniel Jack. This was the humiliate him.
Or to dare him to lay a hand on her.
"Well that's very interesting! So you have a mission, right?" The detective changes the subject. Fast. He changes the subject with which it would involve talking to her about how she was of the rival school to the detective. "How very interesting! As your new supervisor, The Chief told me that I would be responsible for your missions! What kind of mission do you have anyways?" The detective's hands were still boiling off plumes of orange energy.
Maybe she wouldn't notice.
Daisy remains gloriously oblivious to the upsetting tension of the entire situation as she turns her attention once more to the sweet creamy goodness of her milkshake. Whether or not she's actually aware of the rivalry between the two schools and is simply covering it up is something of a mystery. No one could really be that out of touch, right? Is this just another facet of her 'genius'?
"Oh! My mission?"
The detective puts a finger on her chin in what is apparently her favorite 'I'm thinking' pose. She stares off into the sky for several seconds, muttering to herself with things like 'Hmm' and 'What was it?'. Eventually, she hits the 'aha' moment and her fist punches lightly into the palm of the other hand from above.
"Oh, right! There have been a lot of strange things going on at the schools in Southtown lately! People getting attacked, nurses going on rampages, principals exchanging clothes!" What? "It's a real zoo down there or so they told me. I guess, it's my job to go find out who's flinging things at the fan, ahaha!"
Of course she was covering it up.
A genius of her caliber would have total knowledge of the rivalry. The more Daniel thought about it, the more embarassed he becomes. Of course she knew about the rivalry. That is why she was -testing- him on the rivalry! She was seeing if Daniel himself would allow the rivalry act as a barrier between their working relationship. A cunning test, one that even slipped past Daniel's own sharp perceptions.
That was the case when dealing with geniuses.
Thankfully, she did not just stand up and leave. Changing the topic, for now, seemed to keep the cool and collected Daisy satistified. Agent Little just lets the orange energy die down, as she seems lost in the inner workings of her minds. She explains about her most recent mission... and the detective suddenly leans forward.
Daniel jack rubs his chin, staring out in the distance as he eases back. Reaching out for his coffee, he takes another sip, mulling over her words. "I read some things on that. Parallel to that tournament, right? That sounds pretty suspicious. Normally I wouldn't think that school business would be our business, but if you are involved..." The detective is quiet for a moment.
"... Would you mind if I help you out on this mission, Daisy?"
"Well, sure!" Daisy smiles sweetly at him once more, the little mound of whipped cream on her nose growing more pronounced with every sip. She finally seems to take notice of this fact and goes crossed-eyed for a moment. "Oh! Goodness me." She giggles and wipes her face off with one finger, lapping up the white cream in a fashion that would be simmering hot if not for the innocent look she has.
When she's done, Daisy giggles again and tilts her head at Daniel, scruntching her shoulders up cutely. "I mean, we're partners now, right? Partners help each other out!"
For some reason, that word filled the detective's heart with joy. For Daniel Jack to be paired with a clear genius like this was a moment of greatness. Of course, as she picks off the white cream, Daniel averts his eyes for a moment. Naturally, she would be testing him at every step. Should he make one slip up, she would be on him... or worse.
Her father would be on him.
Agent Little quickly gets his composure, clearing his throat. Her mind games were too good. The woman might have looked eccentric at first, but her record and her actions made it clear: She really was the greatest agent that Daniel had the honor of being present to. "Yes, Agent Mallone. We are partners. And trust me." He leans over the table, a smile on his face as reaching his hand out to shake hers. "I'll watch your back..."
"If you'll watch mine."
Daisy giggles yet again, covering her mouth out of modesty. "You don't even have to ask! I'll be right there beside you! You won't be able to get rid of me no matter what! I'll be like white on rice! Like bees on honey! Like...!"
She reaches out to shake his hand with a sudden enthusiastic sweep of her arm. Time slows down for just a moment and in that brief instant Daniel may be able to see what is about to happen. The dainty little hand smashes square into the still mostly full milkshake like a tiny wrecking ball. The glass careens sideways, flipping end over end in a dizzying cartwheel, spraying frigid cream and vanilla like an artillery shell that has exploded in midair.
Like icecream on his freshly cleaned suit.
And Daniel Jack just sits there, as the ice cream sprays all over him.
His eyes shut, he pauses wordlessly, the remains of the milkshake dripping off his face and ear. In his lap, the coffee he had somehow spilled into his lap, filling it with scalding coffee. Drenched in a cocktail of hot and cold, he just freezes there, hand still extended. He would not be able to get rid of her, no matter what. He steadily retracts his hand, opening his eyes. And there, he continues Daisy's list.
"On my life."
Log created on 18:23:06 01/05/2015 by Daniel, and last modified on 21:00:06 01/08/2015.