KOF 2017 - Act 3, Mission 25: Crime Syndication

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Description: The Harbor has been cordoned off like the land routes, to ensure ships do not escape the cities with refugees loaded within them. The Southtown Syndicate has eagerly offered support to secure the Cordon_ with one key exception within the ranks of the legitimate businessmen. Duke and Nagase, enraged at the Mishima Zaibatsu, have moved to seize power of the Syndicate members, and conduct the cordon as they see fit. Billy and his Syndicate allies will quickly find themselves in a sudden civil war... and heaven knows what will happen when Geese learns of this insubordination.

The harbor is a busy place these days. With the threat of possible total descuction it would be fair many locals would want to get the hell out of this place. The only problem with that is Southtown like many towns in Japan isn't making it easy to leave the country right now.

Several people are protesting to try and get on the few boats that are parked on the harbor right now, but a group of gangsters hired by Geese are keeping everyone held back and well away from the best escape option. Among those men? Well perhaps the best of Geese's henchmen.

Billy does not like the situation, but he is in the idea that the people in Southtown are in better shape being in town and not escaping. Afterall they have such wonderful protectors such as Geese, Kain, Grant, and Billy amont others. Even so he can feel the troubles of the people. That is why he is sitting down among a group of kids.....and he is playing patty cake. The world may be ending and Billy works for perhaps one of the worst people ever, but who is he to deny two young girls wanting to play a game?

One moment, the lightpole is empty.
The very next, a woman garbed in bright yellow is crouching upon it. Rested upon the bridge of her nose are two amber lenses, glowing faintly with technical readouts of the surrounding area.

Nagase exhales, curling herself into as small a ball as feasible for her perching posture. The chilly breeze has nothing to stop it at her altitude, and she's... on something of a mission.

A long moment passes.
And she finds herself staring at Billy.
Playing patty-cake.

Two fingers tap to her left sleeve.
She whispers into the air -- though, undoubtedly, her voice is carried through the transmitter as clear as can be.

"... Billy's here, Boss. With some meat shields and two kids. Waitin' on your order."

Duke was not a person you would think of in terms of 'low profile.'

If anything, Duke tended to level a block or two on his good days. This was not a good day. With the Syndicate working with the Japanese government- and specifically, the Mishima Zaibatsu- the crime boss was in a dangerous position between opportunity and exile. Duke had -no- intention to work with the Zaibatsu. He made that clear. And when the time for decision had to be made... Duke was told to stay in line. He was going to secure the harbor, and ensure nobody comes in, and out.

And Duke was not doing a good job.

In fact, with the protests going on, Duke was incognito... to the extent that he could be. No clownish disguises, no foolish attempts. He simply was in a Honda Civic, instead of an elegant car, and he was dressed in his... lesser outfit. A red and black suit jacket, no undershirt. A bit too casual, but he was not here to make himself stand out. He was waiting in the car, parked in a outdoor lot. He couldn't see anything but the henchmen, and the protesters. Billy was out of sight. The voice comes through the radio. He growls. Nagase was... the specialist he needed. Duke had a plan. A scheme. And Nagase only knew too well what kind of opportunity that was knocking.

"Do what I trust in you for, Nagase."

Duke's baritone growls into the speaker. "Blend in, and start a scene. Small, at first, and focus on the meat shields. Billy will come in late; he's only supposed to get involved when it looks like it is over their heads. By the time he realizes that there is no guard, he'll panic, and come after you hard. And once he has you in your sights? Stall. Cripple him if you can. I have to prepare something, but the timing must be right. I will intervene, and you make your escape." Duke pauses a moment.

"Be careful, Nagase. Billy is Geese's bodyguard. He's not to be underestimated." Another pause. "Makes sure the kids don't get caught in the crossfire." Duke adds with a growl. "Billy has family. If he brought them here, he will kill you if they get hurt. There is no psychological value in hurting them."

"Good luck, Nagase."

Billy and the men set to guard the harbor are none the wiser tot he plot that is going on. Billy himself is more just there to make sure nothing bad happens and that is why for the most part he is playing along with the kids while their parents are nowhere to be found. At least that is until two rather scowling adults start to drag their kids away. The father seems ready to say something to Billy, but he sees that gaze. A serious and deadly looking one that makes the man decide not speak and instead scurries off quickly with his family. "No fun."

Really Billy would just rather have all this be done so he could concentrate on other stuff. Like Duke he isn't too big of a fan working with Mishima Zaibatsu, but at the same time he isn't one to go against Geese. His protests were made and noted, but in the end it didn't seem he swayed the mind of his boss. "Everything still the same?" He asks one of the nearby underlings.

There is just a nod. "We got everyone in check. Mostly minor protests and general grumbling, but no one getting violent." Billy just nods along and listens, his hand gripping his staff and lightly giving it a twirl. "Figured as much. Keep me updated if anything changes." If things remain peaceful he will take it. No money in busting up civilians right now that decide to grow too big for their britches.

"Thanks, boss. Will do."
Nagase's response is quick, but devoid of both positive and negative emotion -- for she's learned not to get -too- friendly with the volcanic crime lord.

As she considers the best plan of attack, she narrows her eyes at the parents approaching Billy's position. Squinting, she aims her directional microphone at the two -- only to find her suspicions confirmed.
He may be a softie to the kids, but he's no pushover. Noted.

Unfortunately for her, his next course of action is to talk shop with the group nearest the boat -- the big lugs she was supposed to be hassling. Tch, more waiting...
But, fortunately, she takes the opportunity to flit down from her post, and reconsider her approach. -Blend in?- That means not inflicting the populace with her unique and bleeding-edge sense of style, which brings a distasteful frown to her face.

Several minutes later, once the coast is relatively clear, a young woman of Nagase's height with an oversized coat approaches, her arm looped around the arm of a man, aged about thirty-four, with a short-sleeved salaryman shirt. The bespectacled gentleman is also shivering somewhat -- giving rise to the assumption that perhaps the coat was actually his at some point. Chivalry ain't dead, folks.

"S-so that's my b-boat over there," starts the man, raising his finger to indicate one of the many boats in the harbor. "I... listen, gents, this is gonna sound really odd but.."

The young woman tugs insistently on the man's sleeve. She looks into his eyes, pleadingly. "Takeeeeeshiiiii..."

With that expression, it seems like the man suddenly grows a spine. He stiffens, raising up to his full 5'6" height, and grinds his heel into the pavement. "I'm not planning on leaving Southtown, but I -demand- access to my boat for the night. It's cold out here, and unless there's some law I haven't heard about, I have the right to access my own property."

The young woman upon his arm bites her lower lip, looking towards the nearest of the Syndicate guards. "I'm shivering out here. Are you cold? We... we can make you some coffee, if you want..."

The salaryman looks more than a little put out by that statement, but he nonetheless stammers, "Y-yeah..."

All the while, the young woman's hands have never left their respective coat pockets. Something is just a -bit- awry about that.

The mooks that are mostly on guard duty are well dressed, but also not the brains of the operation. There are plenty of smarter people around to handle most things and the extra bodies of the rough and tumble types to keep people in line. Even so the two that are nearest to the man demanding to get on his ship can tell something is up. Just his demeanor and the way the woman is clung onto raise some brows. The taller of the two mooks scratches his head. "Boss said no one gets on the boats. What do you think?"

The other mook just gives a bit of a grin. "I don't think he is going to listen to us, but I bet we can get someone he will listen to. Hey! Enzo!" the mook barks out and in turn a third man shows up. This one a hair shorter than the demanding to be let on his boat. "Go grab Billy. We got ourselves someone making demands."

Enzo looks to the pair and then back to the other mooks then back to the pair. "Wow, nice knowing you two. Should have seen the last guy that caused problems." He just makes a neck cutting motion with a goofy grin before turning to rush off while the other two remain where they are standing. "There we go. We'll get this matter settled up right quick."

"Oh, c'mon, don't be like that..."
The young woman peels away from Takeshi, withdrawing her hands from her pockets and clasping her hands together as she steps closer. "Just one of you. One at a -time- even. Your boss doesn't even have to know..."

It would seem, though, that the second mook has a bit more brains about him -- and a bit more resistance to feminine wiles. Eyebrows and chin lower in chagrin, with just the hint of a glower in those spiteful eyes.

Takeshi, for his part, starts tugging at his collar. Nervously, he begins to back away from the mooks, his hands raised in conciliatory gestures. "Look, man, I... I don't want any trouble here, this chick just wants--"

"Takeshi, you spineless little shit!"
The young woman whirls around, turning on Takeshi and glaring back at him. "You promised the world to me! And look at me, believing in you! And now you're just gonna turn tail and run!?" The fiery dynamo shoves back at Takeshi, slamming her sleeve-covered palms into his chest with such force that the man is forced to stagger backwards a step. "Just freakin' go! Hmph!"

Reflexively, she follows up on such a wanton display of emotion by whirling about to the second mook.
And she shoves -him- with all her might -- which is =considerably= more than the light push she'd given Takeshi. It'd be enough to blast the poor guy right off the edge of the concrete -- sending him rocketing clear into the harbor below.

The very next moment, she's pivoting around hard to the right. Her hands, no longer occupied with the task of shoving, touch down onto the concrete, as she brings her knees in close to her chest. Her hips -- remaining at roughly the same level -- are now inverted. And positioned thusly, she pistons her legs outward, ramming her thick-soled boots squarely into Mook #1, propelling him off the dock in similar fashion with limited means of recourse.

To her credit, she'd already calculated the proper trajectories to ensure that neither mook will hit the concrete -- presuming that they can both swim in whatever they're wearing, that is.

As she snaps back to her feet, the overcoat will be hanging wide open -- revealing the bright yellow dress beneath. And perched right between the first two fingers of her left hand is a pair of amber spectacles -- which are interposed between her eyes and those of the man identified as 'Enzo.'

"So hey, is that, like, a threat? 'Cause if it is, bring it =on=, buddy!"

Glasses are placed on the bridge of her nose.
A foot is swung in a high kick for the side of Enzo's neck -- and if that foot connects, her rotational momentum might even be enough to propel -him- from the blocks as well.

Needless to say, Takeshi is backpedaling the hell out of there. Sure, he might lose the coat, but he wants -none- of that crazy.

COMBATSYS: Nagase has started a fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|

The weird interaction between the two is enough to really distract the mooks. They aren't exactly thinking any real trouble is going to happen so their guard isn't exactly up right now. Everything is working out just for for Nagase who hits mook two and sends him flying into the waters of the harbor with his partner soon joining him in a few moments. Dazed and groggy they aren't out cold, but they are more flailing in the water for the moment before looking for a way back up and out of the water.

Eyes are drawn to Nagase and people are stepping away from her even as Enzo goes wide eyed. "GET BILLY NOW! WE GOT HURRRRRRRRRK!" That kick connected and soon a third mook hits the waters though he was loud enough to where a few other men along the docks could hear it. There are some already on the move. A few moving to check what all the commotion is while others run in another direction. Nagase wanted to create a stir and it seems like she got it.

"Bossssss! BOSS!" Billy cracks open an eye as it seems he was dozing off. The man getting his attention looking flustered. "Trouble at the docks. Don't know who or what, but-" he is cut off when Billy's staff is thrust within inches of his face. "Don't be so noisy. I'll go check it out." The Brit gets up and adjusts his jacket while draping his staff over both shoulders. Heh, trouble. He isn't sure who is dumb enough to cause it but he is at least interested in what may he going on as he starts to stalk off in the direction the mook that woke him up is motioning too.

It just might take a moment because he and the few men left guarding the place are getting caught up in a group of civvies in a panic that don't want to be caught up in the scuffle and are scurrying away. Others see it as a chance to maybe get to a boat and are trying to take advantage of it. A group of men are about to get to one when a load 'HEY HEY HEY!" is heard the group are caught up in a firey wave of released energy. Billy stands there with his staff in hand and smoke billowing off of one arm as he finds his way clear now and he steps forward. "Okay, who is the trouble maker here?"

COMBATSYS: Billy has joined the fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Billy

As Enzo goes flying off the docks, Nagase whirls back to her feet, adjusting the drape of the overcoat on her shoulders. Not her style, but it was offered to her freely -- she can put it to good use somehow, she's sure.

"Tch. Whatever happened to the frickin' Bro Code, anyway?" Nagase shrugs to the fleeing Takeshi -- who hasn't even tried to look back to the melee. "Bunch'a savages in this town, honestly..."

Her eyeglasses light up with sigils of activity as she glances towards the street level. Perhaps this all happened a bit too quickly for her boss's tastes, but Enzo's loud mouth kind of forced her hand on this. She sucks in her breath, scanning the area for signs of -- oh wait, -there- he is. And he's even greeting her, too! "Oh, hey, nice night, right? No... no trouble here! Some of these sphincter transplantees just wanted to go and make a scene though. Seriously, what the fuck, man, shouldn't people be able to take the fast boats out of town if they cough up the green for it?"

Nagase tilts her head to the side slightly, a sly smile creeping its way across her face. "But hey, that's a nice trick with the stick and the fire and shit. You know the circus pays big bucks for that -- and we just took care of their last two stars, so they might just have an opening for you!"

Her eyes glitter behind those amber spectacles, as she rests her hands on her hips. The tiny smartass exudes the confidence of someone four times her size -- but she's under orders to stall, not to engage the Syndicate lieutenant directly. If he were to make a vengeful strike against her though, that'd be another story...

COMBATSYS: Nagase calculates her next move.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Billy

There is just a bit of a smirk on the Brit. His stance relaxed and he doesn't seem all too bothered by the woman or her words. "I actually use it to do laundry. That and a few other things." He eyes Nagase up and down as he studies her then he finds a crate to hop up on and takes a seat. The crowd is starting to get unde control as the thugs that haven't gone for a swim are managing to take care of the ones that tried to escape. Overall the crowd has thinned quite a bit due to the violence breaking out. Even more so when the fire started to get flung about.

"Not acting alone I gather. someone with interest in messing with my boss. Not the first, won't be the last. So then." he gives his staff a twirl in one hand then catches it to point towards a crate not sitting too far from him. "So tell me why you care about these people and if they leave. Tell me why you created a commotion that could have gotten children trampled and such." The guys that got caught in his path? Well they deserved it. They knew better. That and there were no women and children among them so Billy could let loose. He may have questionable motives at times, but he isn't a monster like Yamazaki.

"You see at least here they are safe. They got me and the boys to protect them. And you see if they leave well they might not come back. Seems like bad business to lose people that spend money in this town among other things."

COMBATSYS: Billy takes the mickey.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Billy

Nagase =isn't= acting alone? She flattens her palm against her bosom in pantomimed shock at the accusation. "How -rude!- I'm just a concerned citizen here, trying to make a difference in the world!" Still, she holds her tongue long enough for Billy to dispense some level-headed discourse in her direction -- which she can't =really= disagree with. Not fully, anyway.

"I care about these people because there's a freakin' nuclear weapon flying around here in the shape of a human being, that we know nothin' about -- aside from the UN dropping pamphlets sayin' this city's next."

Nagase shrugs her shoulders, extending palms out to either side in a gesture of desperation. "Don't take this as nothin' personal, man. But you're on the wrong side of this stampede!"

The hands are brought together, crossing in a diagonal line, palm sliding by palm.

And suddenly, the smartaleck ninja is no longer there.
She reappears an instant later, with her right foot wreathed in brilliant golden flame. She pistons her thick-soled boots down at Billy's shoulder, aiming to take a bite out of the man's formidable fighting capabilities -- before tumbling forward, with the intention of grabbing hold of his cane staff and using it as a firm hold by which to leverage him over her whirling self -- slinging him into the nearest lightpole!

COMBATSYS: Billy blocks Nagase's Combo Grapple.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Billy

Billy gives a roll of the eyes as he listens to the explanation. "Yeah, of course you are. If you are so concerned about the flying nuke why haven't you left? You obviously got skills." He seems to be handling her attitude well enough. They all can't grow up and be good girls like his sister afterall. "This place is probably the safest town in all of Japan right now. Weaponized whatever or not." He doesn't like who Geese is working with, but there is no denying their combined power along with whatever fighters are lurking around town can probably handle anything that comes their Way.

Before he can say much more it seems Nagase is on the move with some violent intentions. As relaxed as Billy looks he seems more than prepared for the ninja when she comes in. And he isn't a big guy, but he is stout and that boot plants firmly into the shoulder with Billy only eliciting a small grunt as he twists his pole at the right moment for Nagase to miss grabbing it. "Now look here, kiddo."

The staff is gripped firmly as there is a crackle and firey chi begins to run along Billy's hand and along the length of the entire staff. "I don't really like fighting ladies. There are civvies here that could get hurt too. So if you really want to see these people unharmed and free how about you stop making mistakes and instead give me a good reason to let everyone on the boats."

COMBATSYS: Billy gathers his will.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|=====--\-------\0            Billy

Unable to effect any change on Billy's considerably lethargic state, Nagase springs free, whirling around in midair so that she can keep her eye on the Syndicate higher-up. "Yeah, and Nagasaki and Hiroshima were pretty safe too! But no, you wanna keep goose-stepping along to the march of the beat while Mishima rubs one out over the Japanese flag! Don't you have any fuckin' pride, man?"

Boots slam down onto concrete a fair distance away, as the flame-haired woman shakes her head in frustration. She raises her hands in a ninjutsu defense stance, warily pacing sideways as she gets a better look at the crackling, fiery chi. "Look, you wanna protect citizens, I get that. But you wanna -protect- citizens by locking them up in some cordon just because Heihachi decides he wants to get in a prick-waving contest with the UN? That's making all of Japan into a bunch o' hostages, it ain't servin' any real good. You wanna protect civvies, why don't you get -your- boss to set Mishima down at the grown up table with the UN instead of rolling tanks through all of high hell. Unless Mishima's sliding you paychecks under the table too, eh?"

Nagase doesn't mince words any further -- she simply launches herself forward sharply -- and bursting into a missile of fiery orange chi.

And right before the moment of impact, the kunoichi disappears!

An instant later, she appears directly behind Billy, ramming her flaming shoulder at the small of his back. Mindful to stay clear of that spinning stick, she aims to lock her arm around his. With her forward momentum and her prodigious talent with chi, she hopes to haul Billy right off his feet -- and she won't be upset if she happens to wrench his shoulder out of socket in the process!

COMBATSYS: Billy counters Power Throw from Nagase with Water Dragon Pursuit Cane.

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Nagase           0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0            Billy

Billy has for the most part been trying to give Nagase a chance. He is actually a bit curious on the woman's motives, but she seems like she is just going to try to anger him. The problem is she is preaching to the choir for the most part. There is no loyalty to the Mishima in the hooligan. "You kind of forget something. I am not Japanese for one so really I could care less what happens to the country as a whole." he replies as he carefully watches the movements of Nagase. She is quick, but he has plenty of experience fighting ninja over the years. It is going to take more than quickness.

"Two...." he turns about quickly and her shoulder is jarred when it hits a length of Billy's staff and he adjusts to let it break into three pieces as he jabs one end right in the ribs. "You aren't even listening! I said give me a reason to let them go." He grunts and then whirls a section of the staff right across the face of the ninja.

Billy steps back and lets the staff snap back into place once more and he idly leans on it. "You give me one and I will tell the boys to back off. Or you can keep this up which doesn't seem like a very good idea on your end. So do you want to talk or just make more bad decisions?"

Nagase lets out a groan as her shoulder is slammed into the staff instead of a significantly more workable surface. She grunts again, as the staff slams into her ribs, and actually lets forth a plaintive... squeak as the weapon slams into her face -- more insult than injury on that last one.

Staggering backward, she raises a hand to rub her face. "Look, do I have to unpack -everything- for you? I'm listening to everything you've said, and everything you've said says to me, 'Hey, crazy lady, I like protecting women and children, but Japan can bugger off!'"

She raises her leading hand in a wary stance -- but it's become clear to her that -- in lieu of another distraction -- she won't be able to make any inroads on breaking the steadfast harbor defender. "So hey, real talk solution for you -- let women and children get on those boats, and -maybe-, just =maybe= they won't have to get burned to a crisp when a gigantic nuclear laser goes off and irradiates half of Southtown!"

She draws in her breath, focusing on the rhythm so that she can think of something -other- than the pain lancing through her ribcage. "So, y'know, maybe Japan gets blown to hell and you're fine with that, but at least innocent lives get spared, right?"

All the while, she grumbles to herself. All this heroism bullshit is taking a toll on the selfish kunoichi.

COMBATSYS: Nagase calculates her next move.

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Nagase           0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0            Billy

Nagase at least bought herself some time if anything. Billy doesn't seem too hard pressed to keep up the attack. He is fine with giving her a little tap here and there to know he means business. At the same time he seems to be mulling over her words which is hopefully a good thing?

"Don't think I have considered that option." he finally admits after some thought. "It is more if those boats get attacked who is going to protect them? I won't be going out on any of them and I have a feeling you won't be doing it either." This whole damn world has gotten too crazy for Billy. Where are the old days where he is chasing off Joe for going after his sister or getting to crack skulls for fun and profit?

"You know what? I think I got better things to do. Boys, we are going to pull out." All the mooks that are left are all looking at Billy as if he is crazy. One even looks like he is about to protest until the staff is pointed their way. "Don't say what I think you are going to say. Me and the boss are going to have a long talk is all. And you!" His staff is pointed towards Nagase. "I don't forget a face. If any of these people come to harm after being let go I might be going to hell, but I will be sure to drag you down with me."

Is a beating in his future? More than likely. Geese isn't going to like what has happened here, but it is time Billy maybe knocks some sense into Geese as well and realize this Mishima stuff is bullshit. "Come on." Billy keeps a close eye on Nagase and he gets his men moving. "Remember what I said, kiddo." Of course nevermind the fact he is probably going to mention this uppity ninja to Geese hopefully before getting possibly thrown off of a tower. He doesn't have to tell Nagase that though.

COMBATSYS: Billy takes the mickey.

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Nagase           0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0            Billy

It comes with the stench of cigar smoke.

Heavy, thick, acrid. The smell cuts through the harbor air like a knife. It was a stinking presence, choking and coughing through the duo. It was no ordinary cigar, this was a cigar that was carefully selected for it's purpose. Not for flavor, but for character. "The only talk you are going to have with the boss, Billy." Comes the rumble, as heavy footstep come. "Is how you let a legitimate organization go soft... that is, if you can still talk through an iron lung." There is a puff on that cigar.

From the maw of Duke himself.

He was out of the car. The fight had not gone like he had hoped. The plans had fallen away, melting away into the sea. But in it, came a new opportunity. There was two ways to get ripped out of power. The first was being too powerful for your own good. The other? Showing just what Billy was showing. Weakness. Empathy. A care for the common good. Duke had one good to be concerned about: his own. And there was a market right now for other people's concerns.

A market that Billy was failing to make his mark in.

Duke pulls the cigar from his mouth, the smoke rising from him. He transfixes his yellow eyes on Billy, a cruel smirk on his lips. "I've heard everything, Billy. Is this what you care about? -Children?-" Duke chuckles a bit, taking a puff, and blowing the smoke from his nostrils. Clamping down on the cigar, he continues, taking his plodding approach between the pair. "Maybe you misunderstood what your boss was interested in. Maybe you want people to be safe, and secure. Just like those Akatsuki types." Duke frowns. "You're in a unique position for business, Billy. And this is how you spend it? Playing with children, and slapping people on the back and smiling?"

"It's clear to me that there's a reason why your day job is chauffeuring and picking up laundry."

Duke steps in front of Nagase, turning to face Billy. "Change of plan. I'm taking over this operation, Billy. You're no longer working in the right interests. Oh. But how rude of me." He reaches into the jacket, and draws out a small box of cigars. Popping it open, he extends it to Billy. "Before you run crawling back to your boss, sobbing on how you couldn't handle the real deal..." He gives a hearty puff.

"Perhaps you'd like a cigar?"

COMBATSYS: Duke has joined the fight here.

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Duke             0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0           Nagase
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Billy            0/-------/----===|

"Yeah, they... maybe they -will- get attacked, but it's their--" Resistance is strong in this one.

Normally, the way things go is, Nagase talks a big game, people don't change their mind, and she has to slice a throat or two.
Alternately, when she faces off against someone bigger and stronger than her she talks a big game, people don't change their mind, and she's thrown off, sullen and bruised.

So when she encounters someone bigger and stronger than her, and she talks a big game, and she's been thrown off, she's on script as far as the sullen and bruised aspects go.
But Billy Kane just changed his mind.
Her big game talk... worked?

Slack-jawed with slumped shoulders, she stares back at the big Brit as he gathers up his men and starts to walk away. Words are said, but they don't make any sense. Did... he actually -agree- with her?

"S-shit, Kane, that's a chance I'm gonna have to take then...!"
Even in a daze, she can't help but recognize her victory -- even if it takes her a moment to realize it. Rubbing the back of her head, it seems like all there is for her to do is turn on her heel and tell the b--

... is that cigar smoke?

Wrinkling her nose at the acrid smoke, Nagase comes face-to-face with the boss himself. She bows to her employer, because that's a thing you do when you're Japanese. She listens attentively, as his husky, sexy voice rumbles out words that threaten to counteract all the nice heroic and humanitarian talk she -thought- she'd talked Billy into. Is... is this a mission success or a mission failure? That's the trouble with being a free agent like herself -- she's on the side of whoever pays the bills. And Duke here is the one who pays the bills.

... And apparently talks smack, too. She can't help but snort once the Akatsuki-gumi are called out.

As Duke turns to face Billy, Nagase mimics the gesture, turning quietly on her heels -- which soon snap together, at perfect and prim attention. For a moment, she isn't sure whether to flash a smug grin at Billy or a look of apology.
But then she remembers Duke is standing there judging every motion she makes. And swallows both, her face a mask of utter neutrality as she awaits the answer from Geese Howard's closest confidante.

COMBATSYS: Nagase assists Duke.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Duke             0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0           Nagase
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Billy            0/-------/----===|

Smoke. There are many things Billy dislikes, but really as far as hatred goes smoke might be the one thing he really hates. Not like smoke from a fire, but cigarette smoke....or in this case a cigar.

Billy turns about and doesn't look too pleased. Even more so when Duke is the one smoking. He is also talking shit right now.

"Ahh, dookie. What brings you here?" He asks in a dry tone. Though his eyes drift from Duke to Nagase for a moment then he gets a bit of a smirk. Billy may come off as a thug and a hooligan, but he hasn't stayed in his position on just his skills alone. He has the street smarts to back it up and he knows when someone is trying to make him look like a fool.

"Yeaaaaah? Taking over huh?" That smirk gets a bit bigger. "Well that is right nice of you to do, mate." He looks to the gang that was leaving with him which has since had the three waterlogged mooks from earlier rejoining them. "You hear that boys? Dookie here and his girlfriend are being fine upstanding Syndicate members and taking over so we can go do more important things to help the city. What do you say? Want to stick around and help or want to go do what we do best?"

The gang looks right confused. None of them move to join Duke and Nagase, but they also seem to be giving Billy plenty of space too. "Right!" he taps the end of his staff on the ground a few times. "Well then. I guess me and the boys will going then. You two be sure to do a good job so I can tell the boss to give you gold stars and such." He must know he is being baited and today he just isn't going to bite. He turns about and starts to walk again. The gang hesitating a moment before finally following.

"Hey! By the way. I would say smoking will kill you, but I am sure you grand plans will get you first." He calls over his shoulder. That is all he has left to say to Duke. If anything this could be a blessing in disguise. He is more use to Geese being able to roam the streets anyways rather be stuck at the harbor.

Duke's presence was legendary.

While his face as a fighter was relatively uncommon, the impact was staggering. He was a walking apocalypse; his most recent public match against both Honoka and Zach Glenn was not only considered an unfavorite upset, but the terrifying aftermath of what was described as a living nuclear explosion. Amongst the criminal underworld? It was generally considered a mercy that Duke often preferred minions; the crime boss himself was rumored to even be strong enough to take on an entire Yazuka gang by himself. A mere rumor, of course. And then you see the likes of the crime boss with his lungs on the -outside-, and you take the rumors with the grain of salt.

Duke's insulting presence seemed to have been enough this time.

Billy doesn't take the bait. It was unfortunate for Duke; having a broken Billy would be different than having a standing one. If Geese heard... it didn't matter. As the gang retreats, Duke snaps the box of cigars shut. Duke's yellow eyes burn with contempt. Nagase might be confused on her own success. But if Billy is retreating, without a fight... and with a gang with him? Well, her work isn't done yet. But as Billy leaves, Duke shakes his cigar at Geese's bodyguard.

"Never doubt a man's Wild Ambition, Billy, or else you won't survive the Maximum Impact."

Duke strides forward, motioning for Nagase to follow. "It's time to move, Nagase. This is our operation now." Our. Perhaps it was the slip of the tongue. Or was Duke implying Nagase a portion of the prize? "You can organize a... technology... way... to manage people? I want a database, I want to start tracking, I want bank numbers. If people want to get out of Southtown? Then we can let them. We owe nothing to the Japanese government or to the Zaibatsu. But the people of Southtown, if they want to get out?"

And Duke turns, to glowers at Nagase.

"We'll find out how much it is worth to them."

Log created on 19:31:32 11/21/2017 by Nagase, and last modified on 20:14:53 11/29/2017.