Description: One of the highest Gears in the command structure is approached by Urien, offering an interesting deal of mutual benefit amidst the horrors of London's food options.
THIRTY MINUTES AGO
A pub in London:
Ramlethal Valentine, AKA New Fighter, Thrustdeath Truelove, AKA, Ramlethal in a biking catsuit with a hair-tie, a baseball cap, and a pair of large borrowed aviators sits at a long, wooden bar staring at a menu incredulously.
"Provide to me your 'fish and chips', and I will compensate you monetarily."
TWENTY MINUTES AGO
The windows, proudly laid with boxy gold lettering proclaiming how ancient and wonderful this pub is shatter outward, as Ramlethal storms out of the bar. "Disgusting. Worthless. Terrible. Beneath contempt." She mutters, before turning and walking down the street as if nothing happened.
NOW, at popular chain store DANNY MISSILES
Ramlethal Valentine, in the so-shitty-it-works disguise of Thrustdeath Truelove, sits at one of the plastic booths of the legendary burger chain, Danny Missiles, peeling apart the paper wrapping of a double patty burger and opening her sharktoothed mouth to take large, aggressive bites.
Police blare sirens past the establishment dimly as they pursue the shattered facade of the pub she had left. They are not here for her.
One perk of being president of the Illuminati is an expansive information network that can be easily milked through proxies; a false alert was given through a few nations about the 'rogue gear' known as Ramlethal, complete with a physical description. White hair and dark skin happens to be distinctive, although he had little idea that such would become a premonition as a store is reduced to rubble. It doesn't take long after for confirmation of someone with her appearance rampaging due to 'unknown causes'. Through the power of convenience, Urien had just happened to be in London himself; and the door of Danny Missiles bursts open to reveal a deeply tanned blonde who hopefully does not pay for his business suits by the square foot.
The cacophony of response units fades as the door thumps shut, fingers stroking through Urien's hair with the sort of lazy arrogance only someone fully aware they look good can manage. Genetics are genetics, no matter how optimized they might have been, and muscular aesthetics were one thing the well-suited warrior has in spades. The ground lightly resonates with his footsteps, yanking lazily at the knot of his tie as if it aggravates before sinking into a seat adjacent to Ramlethal.
"Thrustdeath Truelove. Well, well. I happen to be a fan of upcoming warriors." Urien proclaims, merrily. Given most footage of his own brawls involve him being much more bronze and white-haired, whether he might be known is another matter. Yet his aura is distinctly beyond human, a sleeping wellspring boiling inactive. "Mind if I get an autograph?"
A broad palm slaps a picture down beside the plate of food. It's a Bounty poster of her with both giant blades, reading 'DEAD OR ALIVE' with a hefty reward of $445,000. "Afraid I don't have one with your current outfit, though..." He then literally stabs a pen into the bar top, sinking a good inch.
There are many constants in this world. Three apply here.
One: Men look their best in fitted clothes.
Two: The walls within civilized society are the eyes and ears of a higher power.
Three: You basically cannot make someone who works in food services surprised, if they've worked there long enough.
These three laws combine to create a nexus of possibility into reality, as the chiselled Grecian adonis known as 'Urien' to burst into a burger joint, startling the (few) customers there enjoying burgers at sub-prime hours, recieving a completely dead-eyed glance from the wage slave behind the counter, and drawing a slow pan of the eyes from Ramlethal.
She does not need to approach him, and she does not need to wait. Urien - 'Tom Abel' - comes to her.
Between deliberate bites of her burger, Ramlethal tracks the giant of a man on his approach, the crinkle of her burger continuing as he explains that he wants... her autograph.
And slams the pen into the table, point down.
With a laconic pace, Ramlethal places down her burger, and reaches for the pen, drawing up the destroyed writing end now leaking ink all over her hands, and, looking at the wanted poster and...
Signing it. With the shards of ink-dripping pen. Like a knife, it jaggedly tears the paper, leaving ink blotched and spotty over it. "There you go."
She begins toweling off her hands with a paper napkin. "It has lost a number of zeroes since Hokkaido. That is pleasant. Who are you?"
There's no particular haste from Urien; he twists around, stool straining under his weight as either elbow impacts the counter behind. One leg crossing, the glitter of a five-digit Rolex below his shifting sleeve. Two fingers snatch up the ink smeared Bounty, looking it over before allowing it to drop to the ground in lazy wafts.
"Do you care?" he responds to Ramlethal's question. "Then again, confidence suits you. You're one of the commanding Gears from the war, after all...! Hahah, one glance at me and you can tell I'm well beneath." Which is true; he's an impressive specimen with a dense, hearty aura, but if he fought as he is now he has no prayer of winning. Yet he's obviously hiding his actual power, and there's little indication of its scope. His attitude, of course, is not of one concerned with things escalating physically. "I like that. Being able to recognize insects is a good trait."
The unamused food attendant starts to interject about paying for the damaged counter, but a finger hefts up to stall him. "Must be quite the headache, on the run. United Nations wishing your scalps to cover their crimes. Novus Orbis Librarium planting pictures and bounties for even a Gear the size of a mouse. Shadaloo, NESTS, all wanting to dissect and assimilate. Or does anarchy and chaos suit you... Ramlethal, right?"
He extends a pinky, picking at his teeth in a way completely unfitting his distinguished attire. "I'm not interested in bullshit. I represent a group content to shelter Gears. Offer independence and resources. In exchange, you keep your rampages in places that don't affect our affairs. You could gather up your wayward kin, launch another war for all I care. We'd end up winning either way again..." A dazzling, perfect-toothed grin. "Just like last time."
Does Ramlethal care?
Ramlethal sits back, her hands tensing and untensing, audibly crunching the paper of her burger as she moves from 'glancing' or 'observing' Tom Abel to Looking At Him. Once over, up and down, her amber eyes roam, and then, satisfied, close. "I can tell you are a fighter. That you have built yourself up. I can tell you are powerful. I could calculate the probability of your success based on that. Irrelevant."
Her eyes re-open slowly as her tone remains flat, factual, direct.
"Your power is 'enough'. I can tell you would not fall to one blow. Your aura crackles and hums. You are in control of your power, and that makes you mighty - and you could easily be holding back. We would clash, and I would lose."
She brings her burger-holding hand up to indicate the room, gesturing with a light dribbling of ketchup-mustard slurry. "You may, as well, lose, but it would not matter. The Ikari Warriors, INTERPOL, the G Corporation, the United Nations, the Mishimas, the Illyrians - someone would come. And they would not stop coming until I escaped or died."
They both come to the same conclusion in different ways, and Urien names more and more of the groups after her. "Headaches." She repeats, in flat assent. "Not impossible. There is an escalation of things. And a reason for the zeroes to fall off."
"You are not from Illyria. You would have announced your pedigree and intentions. Formal invitations. A threat, were I not to comply."
"The bullshit." She notes, with a tiny flash of her own shark-mouthed, toothy smile. "Like the bounty hunters."
It fades. "Make your pitch, then. The Gears cannot wage all-out war on humanity as either side is."
"Heh. That's the thing, isn't it? You're in a losing battle. Solo versus the world, big pain in the ass. Eyes drop to the pointy teeth, but seem more curious of such alien features than anything else. Eyes drop to the Bounty, before a foot lazily crunches it beneath a heel to grind. "Pick a location. I'll build a hidden facility through a number of intermediaries. Create a way to stay in contact. Offer information on where other Gears are, or people you might want to get rid of. In exchange...?"
Urien shifts close then, eyes nearly slitting intensely. "That's the question, isn't it? But I think your kind might be an investment. Down, but not defeated. The ability to create new Gears... what a coincidence, that my organization already does something very similar. I could even grant you a new army, with enough time."
With that, Urien pushes away from the counter to stand tall. "And all because there's no goddamn risk to me. If you take what I have and bite my hand, what do I care...?! I'll be extracting every bit of information I can, and every move, every investment I make is anticipating the day you no longer need it. The only thing that makes me a useful host? That nobody can buy me out. I'm the EMPEROR. I'm KING!!"
He slams a fist into his chest, for a moment pulsing out an intense energy that rivals Ramlethal's own. "And if you're keen to tear self-proclaimed Gods down from their thrones, then I'll gamble on beating your kind to the top, once the fire and anarchy settles!!"
A losing battle. It was a thought she had been dwelling on before, in her other interactions. Navel-gazing came easily to the Command Gear, a character 'skill'. It was written all over her 'fighting' accoutrements. Her clothes screamed navel-gazing randomness. It could be the musings or injokes of the secret blacksite that had first created her.
It could also be a simple fact of her existance.
"There is a more simple solution. Efficient."
"Facilities are an investment. Permanent. Attackable. Liabilities." She explains, before bringing her burger back in to finish in two large bites, before popping her greasy fingers in her mouth.
Pop. Pop. Pop.
"Your organization. The UN, or the Mishimas, or G Corporation. Only they can realistically. If you are entering the area, then this makes sense additionally."
She moves to napkin off her hands, because it is imprtant to be clean.
The power surge. The exclamation of intent. Of royalty.
"Tepid. All men desire glory. You are powerful, and of means. I am powerful, and of needs. I have no compunction against being used as a weapon - I am a weapon."
She raises a hand, fingers curled lightly, as if gripping something. "I do not need a base. You may furnish me with... a phone."
"And an unlimited line of assets, with the 'samsung pay'. I tire of killing bounty hunters for their pocket change. You may send me details on the phone."
"Heh." Urien states, thick arms crossing before his chest. Seeming to be rather amused by Ramlethal's response, and not in any snide manner. "I can satisfy all your needs, trust me." There's no lack of innuendo there, even if he might question whether such a mechanical mind could gauge hidden intent. "An expensive first date, but money matters little to me. Smarter than I thought; gathering yourself up in a cage only I know about...?" He just leaves such hanging in the air. She had already described only the start of the flaws to his double-edged offer.
"Here." He pulls out a checkbook and a rather more fanciful pen. Scribbling at it, he then rips it free to drop towards Ramlethal. "My own signature." It's a check; only, blank. Stating it's from a holding trust. "I'll test your greed. If it bounces, then you're out of luck. And..."
He procures a flip-phone. Archaic, blocky, Nokia. Sturdy as any brawler in this room. "Burner phone. The only contact in it will reach me." This is dangled between two fingers, as the large man offers it in such a manner that reaching up to snatch it couldn't entirely allow Ramlethal to maintain quiet dignity. Of course, it has a tracking chip integrated stealthily into the circuit board that only transmits upon receiving a signal, but expecting anything else would be a mutual insult.
"A shame, though. We never got to face off in World Warrior. If you want to better establish our pecking order, then you know how to contact me."
Ramlethal doesn't smile, largely because doing so would be wildly out of character when not talking about random murder. Her tells are few, but those that do exist are much more pronounced because of it. The whole song-and-dance is stimulating in other ways, and much like a well-executed mission, it does bring her some contentedness.
"Less expensive than a hidden base." She reminds. "And it would be known by your builders. You do not seem to be a construction-worker, though the power to lift an edifice by your will alone..."
"That would be power, too."
She accepts the check, and after a moments glance, green fire erupts around it, banishing the (blank) cheque to elsewhyre. "Understood. I do not expect problems with your bank." She replies airily, at the implication that it could bounce.
The Nokia is dangled just out of reach. Ramlethal quirks a brow questioningly, but understands the concept. The mild powerplay is broken as a black sphere with bat-wings floats out from under the table, defying aerodynamics and good taste both as it floats up, stopping under Urien's hand and...
Well, if he won't drop it in the 'deposit' of Lucifero's mouth, the familiar will start nipping at the phone with the oddly human teeth and tonguing the thing. It's...
"If you wish to test yourself, send the intent to the phone. A less public location would be ideal."
"Power to me is the ability to exert your will on lessers. On the world. Bend it to your desires, by whatever means necessary. If we've any hope of getting along, you had best agree...!!" Still, Urien is definitely surprised by Ramlethal's own display. Despite all that he offered, the Illuminati President is the one who came to *her*; and she is the one who gained everything as a result. In the long term, that will not do. Urien does not have 'peers'. He has tools. Ramlethal is a weapon; all that is required is making her acknowledge that Urien is worthy to wield.
All in good time.
The phone is released, if grudgingly, to the odd mini-Gear. "Soon." he promises, digging into his pocket and pulling out a fist full of hundred dollar bills. This is just flung into the face of the still vacant-eyed attendant. "Payment. And tip." The only thing able to increase his glacial pace is the idea of pocketing a couple of those for himself. "But if it's proper food you want...? You're a long, LONG ways away."
With that, the behemoth turns to stride towards the door once more, leaving a number of baffled customers trying to remember the NOL public hotline for 'witnessed supernatural events'. Might be a good idea to move along. If there's one thing even a brief, non-violent meeting with Urien is not, it's subtle.
"Power is actualization. Of will, of needs, of whim." Ramlethal speaks, adjacent to Urien's demand for assent. It is factual, though it does mirror his words in the abstract.
"It is not important that we get along. You do not want to get along with me. It holds no value with me to get along with you." She leans forward to shove Lucifero's freaky body out of the way, palming the side of it like a basketball before tossing him over her shoulder with an utter dismissal.
Lucifero squeaks off the wall like a stress toy.
"A relationship without 'the bullshit' remains the most optimal one. It is free for both of us to engage in. You wished to have contact, connection. Now you have it. The rest is a..." She trails off, losing her words. She searches through her phrases. Ah, yes. Crime procedural.
She does not move to scrabble up bills, sliding out of her plastic booth seat and busing her wrapper to the trash, as is expected of the noble customers of Danny Missiles.
"Yes. British food is worthless. On this, we are in total agreement."
He walks out, leaving Ramlethal to her own devices. "The World Warrior... Mmn. She raises her palm to look at it, clenching and unclenching her hand. "A lifetime ago. Forboding."
With the hotlines called, it was time to leave, and following in the wake of the giant's egress, she pushes the door open with the soft ding-a-ling of the bell.
Log created on 19:15:51 10/21/2018 by Urien, and last modified on 12:28:57 10/22/2018.