Description: Skull Cross member Katsuko Gensai receives a visit from colleagues of Honoka Kawamoto for a business offer. Gensai, angry that her rivalry with Southtown Syndicate was used to make several of her members pawns in a scheme against Duke, accepts an offer from Kawamoto's representative for a tenuous alliance, without Stray's knowledge.
Kyong Su hasn't been to South Korea in quite some time. The tall half-Japanese man's wonder is only thinly disguised as he glances around the port city of Busan -- it's very different than what he remembers.
Possibly because the last time he was here, he wasn't part of a Yakuza splinter group, and wouldn't be caught dead in this part of town.
Accompanying the sharply-dressed businessman are a Japanese businessman with glasses and four other individuals -- three men, one woman -- who appear to be serving as bodyguards.
Daisuke leans over to Kyong Su as he walks. He's clearly the odd man out here -- anxiety colors the man's movements, as he looks to be a bit... cold? "Are you certain you know where we're supposed to be meeting these guys?" he asks with a perfunctory frown.
Katsuko Gensai, the latest scion of the Gensai Yakuza clan, has quite a reputation in the small ponds she's worked in. Hawaii, Koreatown in San Francisco, Metro City's Japanese quarter. They all regard her as an elegant killer, very intelligent and refined, but ultimately dangerous and unpredictable, becoming very frightening after she uses her beauty to seduce others into comfort and relaxation. A pure sociopath, raised by her parents to bring the Gensai back into prominance after their family was humiliated and chased out of Southtown when Katsuko was just a toddler.
In Busan, she presently operates out of a refined social club on the edge of the city's commercial district, just beside a ritzy series of private residences. The Korean Hangul for 'Skull Cross Club' is displayed above the entryway, the club looking very low key from the outside, as the classiest social clubs often are. Inside, various international criminals congregate and enjoy each other's company, this area apparently Skull Cross's hub of East Asian operations. In the back at a table surrounded by intellectuals from South Korea is Katsuko herself, a beautiful young Japanese woman with long black hair gently frosted with purple tips, wearing purple rimmed sunglasses with a nose that looks a bit too European to have been her birth nose, and obvious plastic surgery on her bust. She wears a black leather jacket in the chic punk style, a tube top that bares her midriff, and a pair of black leather pants with a purple serpent stitched up the right leg. The belt slung on her hip holds a Japanese tanto, her apparent weapon of choice.
As Daisuke sees Kyong Su incline his head in the direction of the Skull Cross Club sign, he holds his hands up defensively, "Hey, just remember, I can't read a word of it..."
Kyong Su offers a wry smile but ultimately naught else, as he steps up to the entry of the social club. A card is offered to the bouncers, along with a bill with a rather large denomination. "We're expected," he notes. Just being able to make a reference with the international personalities would be worth the price of admission, he feels -- but that's not -entirely- why he's here.
Scanning the crowd, Daisuke's eyes soon settle upon Katsuko Gensai. She is... rather hard to miss, and the bookkeeper slips up and lets his eyes wander for a moment.
Kyong Su rests his hand on Daisuke's shoulder before he can stare too long. "Drink first. Take your time. Relax." He moves for the bar -- and Daisuke and the guards follow.
While the female guard takes a wide view of the various personalities present, one of the male guards secures a yakju for Kyong Su. Daisuke and the others abstain, while Kyong Su swishes the colorless rice wine around in his glass, and takes a tenative sip. "Been a while."
The foreigners' delay is intentional -- they would stand out like sore thumbs, even with Kyong Su and the guards seemingly able to blend in. But... about two minutes before their presence would have turned into a grave offense, they approach the table Katsuko is seated at.
Kyong Su nods politely to those present, with Daisuke at his right and his guards at his wings. "Nice evening, nice company," he comments, pausing to take a sip of his drink. "I am Pong Kyong Su. It is a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance." His Korean is marred by his stay in Japan, but it's passable and formally polite. He doesn't say the name -- he shouldn't -have- to.
Katsuko's eyes, and the eyes of some of the other rougher denizens of the club, watch Kyong Su and his small entourage. Most of them, however, continue their quiet discussions, drinkings, and various forms of mild social play, such as chess or flower cards. Katsuko watches them quietly, idly lighting up an herbal cigarette, inhaling it through stiff hands that show off her sharp purple nails. She smiles with a faintly predatory expression as they approach her table, the intelligentsia sitting around her going silent to watch the halfbreed as he introduces himself. Katsuko takes a slow drag on her cigarette, watching him through her hidden eyes, before blowing a soft cloud of smoke into the air. One can tell from it's fragrant undertones, it's not standard tobacco, nor is it a clove. Apparently she's health conscious.
"Why thank you," she murmurs with a demure purr, her head moving to a man in a suit sitting at the table, a little too rough to fit in with the others, and he stands from the chair, offering his chair to Pong with a stiff bow and motion of his arm that offers a brief glint of a pistol in a shoulder holster hidden by his black suit. He then moves to stand beside Katsuko, hands clasped in front of him with a stern frown on his mouth as he watches Pong's bodyguards. "Have a seat. I am always open to discussion with interesting people."
Chess. Flower cards. The guards from Japan look back at one another with amused looks -- these aren't the kind of games -they- play. But they don't get too hung up on the differences -- indeed, as they walk up to the table, their amused looks turn to crisp neutrality. These may be strangers, but the atmosphere is perfectly hospitable.
Kyong Su bows his head in response, moving to take the seat as it is offered to him. He nods appraisingly at Katsuko's bodyguard -- professional courtesy for the man just doing his job. His eyes flick back to Katsuko as his lips turn up into a pleasant smile. "I do hope that I can be as interesting as possible, then."
Daisuke remains standing, with the guards, folding his hands before him politely. He might not be able to understand the words, but he understands body language very well. Likewise, the guards keep their distance, maintaining polite situational awareness on those around the club.
Kyong Su folds his hands. "I understand that some... recent events have led to a fair degree of turmoil in the Southtown area. I was wondering if there was any interest in working out a... mutually beneficial agreement."
"Perhaps," Katsuko says, her lower lip pressing upwards as she lets her cigarette dangle from her slim hand. "Much like you, I am merely a representative of a larger interest, although I suspect our two groups operate rather differently." She idly removes her sunglasses, looking at Kyong with her clearly psychotically intense eyes. She sets her sunglasses down on the table, propping her elbow with the cigarette up on the table, adopting a more masculine posture. "Do you want to negotiate with merely my organization, or do you wish for me to pass this message up to my superiors?" she asks as her voice drops to the proper volume, the others around the table merely watching Katsuko as she speaks, and never shifting their eyes to Kyong, except for her bodyguard. It's a subtle power strategy that flows naturally with Katsuko's dark charisma being used by her subtle social signals among her loyal retinue.
Daisuke passively notes the eyelines of each person at the table. It's a subtle strategy, but it's clearly noticed by the bookkeeper with no knowledge of the Korean language.
"That depends entirely on how well you feel you've been -represented- by your ... larger interest." Kyong Su folds his hands before him, careful to avoid resting his elbows on the table, or presenting even the slightest sign of aggression towards someone so intent on presenting an image like Katsuko's.
"After all... it's not your employer's workers that were lost, after all, but your own. I mean no offense, of course, but rather express our solidarity. I can speak from personal experience that it can be... difficult for a foreign entity to really and truly -understand- what happens in this end of the world."
Daisuke's eyebrow twitches, and he looks back to the male guard nearest him, tilting his ear towards his mouth. He nods quietly, nostrils flaring, and turns back to the table.
Kyong Su continues, "That said. I am authorized to speak on behalf of our parent organization."
Likewise, he never really makes eye contact with any of the others at the table.
"Mm, you make an interesting point," Katsuko admits, her eyes flicking towards Daisuke as he shows discomfort, offering him a slim smile that threatens to show her teeth, before she returns her gaze to Kyong Su and her mouthline flatterns again. "We suspect our men were deliberately used as pawns, and I suspect I was manipulated. So, tell me, Kyong Su-san...What is your offer?" She moves her herbal cigarette to her purple-black lips as she waits for the offer, slowly taking a deep drag, before she moves the cigarette to an ash tray and delicately taps the ash into it with the very tip of her forefinger, showing the nimble dextrous grace of a praying mantis. And some of the personality of one is evident as well, when she looks back to the man, half-lidding her eyes as her mouth offers him a plastic smile.
If Kyong Su feels any satisfaction at hearing Katsuko admit her predicament, he doesn't express it at all -- simply nodding with the same reserved neutrality that he had since the start of discussing business. He would be quite terrifying in poker, or games of chance -- though he does not aim to play, here. He watches clouds of aromatic smoke waft out for a moment, gauging the most polite moment to begin speaking again -- he doesn't want to interrupt the experience for such a woman, after all.
"I regret that your men were used in such a callous fashion, and I can wholeheartedly assure you that we have the best of intentions. In our organization, everyone is, in a word, -family-. We trust one another with our lives, and we look out for our own."
He tilts his head back towards Daisuke. The bookkeeper clicks his heels together at attention, and draws open his coat. Nice and slow, so that everyone can see. He withdraws a slender black envelope from his coat, which he then hands to Kyong Su.
The envelope is placed on the table, and slid across towards Katsuko. He taps the envelope -- within are a slim credit card and a list of phone numbers. "For one, we offer direct access. Consider it a hotline, and you'll never have to put up with a dirty foreigner.
Daisuke grimaces -- he knew -that- word.
Kyong Su only smirks, knowing his subordinates well. "Another, we have an extensive network of safehouses. Wherever your whims may take you, you can rest assured we will likely have you covered."
Kyong Su leans back and takes a sip of his drink. "And in the short term... we have extensive knowledge of your mysterious enemy's whereabouts. Vengeance, should you seek to pursue it, may take time. For now... we ask only for your discretion and cooperation. If you find that the arrangement works to your benefit, you may decide to transition into our family. If not..." Kyong Su turns his hands palms-up. "Then we may exist as simple business partners, with shared interests."
Katsuko reaches forward with slick, fluid elegance, pressing his fingers atop the envelope and pulling it back towards her. She places her cigarette in her mouth and opens the envelope, glancing inside and briefly removin the list of numbers, before sliding them back in and closing the envelope. She leaves it on the table before her, plucking her cigarette from her mouth and exhaling a brief puff of smoke.
"I will agree to cooperate. However. Do not believe that I am switching loyalties. Merely hedging my options. In return for your generous offer, I will not carry out any contracts against your organization on behalf of the Stray Cat and his master. I am not treacherous by nature, merely a pragmatist." Her brows move down slightly as she grins from ear to ear, showing off her pearly white chemically cleansed teeth. "I will not inform the Stray Cat of your presence, Pong, and in return, I expect you not to tell my enemies in Southtown of mine." She leaves it at this, merely stating their situation of business partners with a knife to each throat of the other.
Daisuke, for lack of any real comprehension of the Korean language, simply notes body language -- and he notes a whole lot of it. Katsuko is savvy and slick -- her reputation is entirely well-deserved.
"Your caution is well-founded and appreciated," notes Kyong Su with a respectfully inclined head. The name 'Stray Cat' is tacitly acknowledged -- more from the guards at his back than the man himself, naturally. "And we will extend the same courtesies to you as well. Pragmatism is a good quality to have in our line of work, I've found."
The metaphorical knives are sharp -- and yet, the control is absolute and unwavering. "I will caution you -- we understand that the yakuza loyalties across the sea are undergoing some upheaval these days. You may hear news from your contacts that is upsetting, but rest assured -- as a trusted partner, you may rely on us to keep you abreast of the truth of these reports. Trust, to continue the tired metaphor, is a two-way street, and we will do our best to ensure both of our interests profit handsomely in the exchange."
Kyong Su takes another sip of his drink, leaning back in his chair. "The night is young, and we needn't occupy -all- of your time, milady. If you have any questions...?"
Katsuko's eyes drift down to Pong's lips as he sips his drink, a faint purse of her lips visible as she watches. She inhales her cigarette gently with a turn of her face, before she looks around the table, the people there moving their eyes to Kyong Su nearly in unison. "Mmmm...No, I have no questions, beyond what intelligence you will provide us. I will not tell you who Stray Cat works for, and you do not tell me who you work for. There are more powerful things in this ocean than merely us sharks, after all." She looks momentarily superstitious, grinding her cigarette out in her ashtray well before it is finished, mostly to comfort stress.
The gaze of the female guard has wanderes across the interior of the Skull Cross Club, her eyes going glassy at some of the denizens within. There are three guards paying full attention -- they have the job well under control, so it would be understandable for one of them to occasionally look... well, 'bored' isn't quite the word. Preoccupied, perhaps. But as conversation seems to draw to a close, the guard focuses her mocha irises more intently upon Katsuko, drinking in every one of her features.
The artificially-augmented woman is adamant in not divulging the identity of Stray Cat's employer. Perhaps this will change, perhaps not, considers the guard while her stance stiffens back into one properly expected of her -- and raising her eyes to those of the guard immediately behind Katsuko.
Daisuke bows his head at what seems to be the conclusion of business -- the signs are clear.
Kyong Su sips the last of his drink as he listens, and when Katsuko concludes, he bows his head. "I agree. When it comes to terrors lurking beneath the waves, it's true that ignorance is bliss." Kyong Su smiles enigmatically as he rises, taking care not to breathe too deeply of the fragrant smoke as he steps back from the table. Superstition can go both ways, after all. "We will speak again in a few days, when we have more to discuss. But for now, I leave you in peace. Enjoy your evening, milady."
Daisuke bows, as do the guards. The group of six does wander off to watch a handful of the more open games, with some amusement -- but they are careful not to overstay their welcome.
Log created on 19:46:43 03/01/2016 by Stray, and last modified on 22:29:37 03/01/2016.