Description: Respectfully submitted for your perusal - a General. Height: a little over seven feet. Weight: in the neighborhood of five hundred and fifty pounds. Origin: The United States of America. Motives? Therein hangs the tale, for in just a moment, we're going to ask you to shake hands, figuratively, with a Christopher Columbus from another country. Imagine a man. A man who is also a mountain. A man who sits a diner waiting. Waiting for the people he might need to save the world. One Goldlewis Dickinson is that man. The Secretary of Absolute Defense. Defense from what, you may ask? The things that one might find ... in the Goldlewis Zone.
It was getting late now.
Set back a little from the main street in the Chinatown portion of Southtown, the Genhanten is an old building with a tiled roof and traditional Chinese entrance. The big doors are flanked on either side by carved stone lions, and the name is inset on a wooden plaque. The Old Kingdom motif continues inside. The restaurant has an open central room, laid out such that diners on the second level can look down to the main floor. The finishings are mostly solid wood, including the stairs, balcony railings, and rafters overhead. The furniture is the same, dark and lacquered with a sort of old-fashioned minimalism. Most of the seating is located on the ground, but there are more private tables up in alcoves and private rooms on the second level. Lighting in the restaurant is subdued, with windows shuttered to cast patterns of light and dark...and carefully placed lanterns maintaining the effect at dusk. It was well past dusk now, with only two or three tables left with people on them, still lingering after the normal closing hours. Most of their dishes were long complete, and were mostly quietly enjoying late night tea while looking at one other occupied table at the resteraunt. Where the strange was.
The stranger has been here a long time now.
Sitting at a table is a large, round pale skinned middle aged man with a bushy blonde, almost white, beard. His immensely pudgy frame was wrapped in a black trench coat that barely covers his stomach. Underneath the opened coat, he wears a bright pink t-shirt that bears the stylized katakana symbols delicately arranged vertically to represent the word 'anime'. Black shorts with metallic flame decals are beneath it, exposing his hairy legs, and he wears a pair of Cruggs, Crocs done in the style of furry cowboy boots that were once popular in Akihabara years ago. He wasn't alone of course.
His partner was next to him, brought in on a chain.
Sitting next to him, at it's own place around the table, is what looks like a massive coffin. It only looks like a massive coffin, of course, where it clearly has a body pillow cover spread over it. Upon it is the image of a white-haired cartoon character lying on her back. She is dressed in what looks to be a stylized and certainly non-regulation maid uniform in the French style, with big eyes and a small mouth. She is barefoot, of course, and seems to have some strange alien antennas on top of her head. On the girl on the pillowcase of course.
The coffin itself has a pink kitty headband on top of it.
There were stacks of empty plates on the table. Stacks of them. They had stopped carrying them away about an hour or two ago, and fresh dishes had finally slowed down to the scant leftovers that the kitchen staff was willing to heat up. THe only food left were cold sesame noodles and a tray of baozi dumplings, served on both plates before the duo. Right now, the man was taking a break from his dining in order to quietly review the articles of the World Weekly News. The man does keep peeking up every once in a while, peering at the remaining tables. But otherwise, the only sound he has made so far, other than the gobbling noises of him eating and gently cooing to his partner, was the snort he made right now, as he reviews his paper. "Tch. Aliens?" He scoffs, shaking his head.
"They'd really publish anything these days."
Only a few tables. Most of them, occupied by regulars with cleared plates nursing tea and desserts. It becomes clear gradually perhaps, quietly that much of the restaurant's attention is directed towards Goldlewis and his "date"; if in very unintrusive ways that remain as polite as such attentions can be. Sidelong glances, whispers below the normal tableside conversations. It's a wonder, with the pitch perfect imitation of the metaphorical, largely theoretical anime fan at dinner before Prom, that anyone is sus at all.
No tour of Southtown's less prestigious, only locally marketed fight venues is complete without a test or spectacle among the staff at Genhanten, however-- and the locals have seen more than one particularly enigmatic or dangerous fighter linger til close for relative privacy or maximized tension.
There's running, heated debate in the neighborhood over exactly how short, tall, or powerful the little old man who's supposedly some kind of kung-fu genius might be; over which rumored spectacle or deadly moment is real, exaggeration, or perhaps pure myth. Over whether the proprieter is actually strong, or just a keen marketer; some say the mightiest fighter on the roster is actually the World's Strongest Woman-- others, that it's a pair of twin boys after they perform a very specific dance kata to power each other up.
One thing is certain: Goldlewis is more than he is TRYING to appear to be. So it is that some span after closing the sound of chop and sizzle abates in the kitchen, and it's not Mr. Dickinson's server who approaches his date night table, but a diminutive old man in anachronistic chef's whites.
Gen walks right past the others still present with nary but nods of acknowledgement, and zeroes in on Goldlewis. "Challenges for our promotion are during normal business hours /only/!" It has the air of triumph of an adversary declaring checkmate, right out of the gate.
"You!" a single. gnarled digit indicates Goldlewis, "are not so clever as you think!" Because everyone's agenda is free noodles. "It is lucky, really; for neither are you strong enough!" The old man chortles merrily, a mirth at once warm and icy, somehow possessed of good humor -and- malicious all at once.
"Your absconded, abominable crutch is more likely to win, even opposing the /slackers/!" Which could be any of the employees, depending on the day, their performance, and Gen's peculiar moodswings. Still, there's just that tidbit of knowledge, recognition, /awareness/ filtering through the show of banal indignation and instigation. Yet any aura the old man might project beyond his obstinate personality is distant, a whisper on the wind; a wind winding through a near endless, circuitous canyon, its whirling velocity untold despite its murmuring incantations.
Dark eyes narrow on Goldlewis, and Gen's voice similarly drops, a quiet, projected rumble. "And Heavens help any warrior here for something more than complimentary culinary delights from their fight."
Suddenly, It's Gen.
The newspaper suddenly drops as the round man suddenly faces a relentless verbal assault, the speed and precision being almost lethal. he man at the table stares at Gen, peering from behind his glasses; one lens covered with a patch with a kiss on it. As Gen comes at him, bringing the full air, the middle aged man glances around. -He- knew some of his cover was blown finally. But even as he is accused, there is a restraint. A gentleness, as the man lowers his head in respect. IN the whole assault, he was listening. It was clear, he was listening, especially on the mention of the two of them. "My apologies, sir." He states with a gentle drawl, with the utmost respect. "I can see how it seems I am abusing your hospitality for a real roadhouse fight." He reaches into his shorts pockets, and pulls out a checkbook. He quicky begins to scribble down. He quickly glances over at the glowering coffin, with the smirking, self-confident image the white-haired maid in bare feet. "I'll be paying for both of us. The..." He squints, trying hard to think of the proper word to use, as he tears off the check and passes it towards Gen. The the money was fine; but there was a small note on the bottom. "The -waifu- and I very much appreciated the food, though we will need to be staying here longer for the..." He tries to find the right words. He looks towards the other people still sitting.
"Well, the waifu and I would like a little privacy, if it's possible."
It may seem impulsive. Impetuous. Presumptive. There is, however, method woven into the old chef's madness. Goldlewis nature-- aside from quite odd-- is an unknown. Suddenly, much of it is delved in an instant; at only the gamble of Gen's elderly, decrepit bones. Goldlewis does not rise to the challenge and declare his intentions in pride. He does not anger at the diminutive elder's dressing down, revealing his malice. No, he apologizes. He offers money. He wants to talk; or something.
Gen's brows remain quite furrowed, his attention focused for seemingly drawn out moments longer. "Settle up!" Gen yells it, at once filling the room with the Mandarin declaration. "No show tonight!" The old man just shakes his head, only then breaking his intent gaze locked on Goldlewis.
"Sir. This is a restaurant. There is to be /zero/ fornication with the eldritch beneath this roof!" It has the air of longstanding policy, one which may in fact have had some interesting infractions. The locals are disappointed, but compliant, settling checks with the hostess, who casts mildly concerned glances over at Gen and the strange nerd here and there.
"/What/ do you want? /Who/ are you? /Why/ are you here?" There's a fierceness to the quiet inquiries. One might be reminded of what Gen said, without qualification, of fighters here with business beyond their bellies. No matter how ample those may be.
he man lowers his head a bit.
"Well, sir." He says with the utmost respect to his elder and meekness. "I'd like to talk a young lady, but I'm rather shy about who she is, especially in front of other people." He tips his fedora slightly, giving the best smile he can muster. His eye isn't sharing the same grin; it's showing a very delicate restraint. "As to who I am..."
He watches as the last of the locals leaves, and suddenly he exhales, fanning himself with the fedora.
He slumps in his chair, as he reaches over to pull off the pillow cover over his coffin. "I'm Lieutenant General Goldlewis Dickinson, Secretary of Defense for the United States of America. I'm here because I'm looking to apologize to Xiang Chun-Li on behalf of both the United States and Interpol, and our intelligence has turned up the owner of the Genhanten has knowledge about her whereabouts and well-being. Based on certain secondary details on what that owner was, and why he would know the wear abouts of her, well, it seemed best to come here as a customer, and speak frankly after hours." Having removed the cover, he begins to fold up the pillowcase neatly, before placing the hat down. "And I consider it a matter of showing respect if I am going to wait at a resteraunt, I should patron that place of business to the best of my ability." He gives a sturdy pat on his stomach, before he lays an eye on the baozi. "As god as my witness, I have never tasted so much good food in so little time."
There is no answer about his disguise, as none was asked.
Stern consideration turns swiftly and smoothly to irritated consternation as Goldlewis speaks, like a dial controlling approval level being gradually, smoothly reduced click by click. "Lieutenant-General Goldlewis Dickinson." Gen reiterates. "I am Gen."
It's respectful to use the formal title, of course. But in most circumstances, in polite and traditional Chinese society, calling one by their full name is quite the opposite. There's that dour balance to Gen's measured response, as appropriate.
"Your government and its ilk stymied that woman's progress and potential for years with your dogmatic righteousness and insidious corrupt complicity; the very pursuits you claim to quash integral to your ascent and employment." Did-- did Gen just give a stern, hearty 'Fuck the Police?'.
"Unless you have clear and pressing intelligence on the imminent ending of the world--" Does Gen know more there, as well? Perhaps he is simply being facetious, but there have certainly been specific portents.
"-- anything you want from Chun-Li will only further delay her mastery of the sort of kung-fu she requires." The woman has ambitions of facing living gods, after all. Gen's conditional, improbably 'out' may be more relevant than any but a fool would think. "And you would not want to try to oppose me on that, with or without your ominous crate of power beyond your ken, ohohohohoho!" At that, the old chef's initial impulse seems to be to simply turn back to the kitchen.
THIRTY SECONDS PRIOR TO GEN X GOLDLEWIS
Chun-Li slowly tilts her eyes back to the magazine she's been thumbing through for the past ten minutes. Most days, she makes an /attempt/ at helping run the restaurant when she's here; unlike Yun and Yang, however, Chun-Li has an actual job fighting actual criminals that demands significant amounts of time an energy.
"Like, obviously he isn't an ACTUAL neckbeard," she casually observes, turning into a double page spread of the Ayutthaya Ruins that provokes an instinctual frown, "but I still can't help feeling like if /I/ do it, he's gonna do an uncomfortable amount of staring."
Today - like any other day - Chun-Li declared herself officially 'on break' after a few hours of making dumplings and roughly five minutes of being nice to a table of miraculously polite Syndicate soldiers, having expended her reserves of restaurant employee energy for the day.
"He's got a POWERFUL aura," she adds in her spookiest sarcastic murmur.
"Bad Uncle, Good Niece?"
"What Uncle Gen MEANS to say," warmly emanates from behind Goldlewis, "is that if there's anything we can do to make your visit the very best experience it can be, please: don't hesitate to ask. Even though we're about to close... we're here to serve YOU."
A broad, friendly smile pairs with the inviting delivery. Chun-Li keeps her spine reed-straight and her hands clasped gently behind her back, looking squarely at the stranger-- waiting for him to acknowledge her.
"ANYTHING to help you impress your date tonight, sir," she adds with a wink and a pointed widening of her smile.
BACK THEN, BUT LIKE A SPLIT-SECOND AFTER THE FIRST THING
"... Good-ish Niece," Chun-Li self-corrects. "Because LOOK at this guy--"
"You make an adorable couple~."
"No no- I-"
As the general is suddenly doubled teamed, he seems to be losing his composure a moment. The verbal tongue lashing from Gen was one thing. But the teasing from Chun Li, as friendly as it must be, was a blend of sweet and sour he wasn't expecting at the resteraunt. Turning bright red, he manages to sputter a response. "This is just my friend. I mean. I am not really here on a date. See, I have gotten word from my intelligence experts that nothing is better than avoiding any attention in a public resteraunt than sitting with an anime pillow. I was recommended this model in a well-connected shoppe in Akihabara by a member of our team. Her name is apparently Princess Pride, and despite her appearances, not only is she a maid, but also 1000 years old." Goldlewis frowns at it. "This is not actually my waifu, as the terminology is. I'm hoping I can return it for a refund." % R
Goldlewis would not be getting a refund for the body pillow cover.
The general was still blushing as he lifts up a single baozi. "But enough about the disguise. I have reviewed your case file on the outcome of your last official mission, with the situation in Mexico, and Shadaloo. Your uncle is correct. Your potential has been squandered, and maliciously wasted. I mean my god. You not only had to break yourself out, but also rescued countless children? Children that we have reason to believe were being set up to be used for a suicide mission across the border!" Goldlewis raises his voice, a sort of outrage coming over him as he continues. "And with all this intelligence, and why haven't you been broken out by a crack team of operatives? The same reason Charlie Nash was betrayed. The same reason you were sent to train station after train station, instead of meaningful venues that best served your skills and talents." He adjusts his glasses. "I assume you are familiar with Major Charlie Nash." He asks.
Before gulping down a baozi in one bite.
Damnit Chun-Li. Grandpa's got this handled. His frown, not a profound shift from his previous expression, does little to deter her approach. Stern patriarchy is constantly undermined by impetuous youth, however, and in comes such from a decidedly differently incisive angle. "//Great// work." Surreptitiously avoiding notice.
"Your military intelligence continues to earn its proud legacy." Gen didn't manage much more than a turn, in the end. A turn to face the approaching Chun-Li, then the old man's course halts, and he rotates another singular, gracefully efficient rotation to face Goldlewis anew. One bony brow arches dubiously.
"So you are aware your institutional failures blossom like thousands of Cherry trees in picturesque Springtime. It is a start." There's a trace of sincerity in the derision, though it comes with a touch of the kind of ominous glee an angry old man can't avoid watching an officer or a gentleman dig his own grave. "But this is a restaurant." It's been established, but it bears repeating.
"We already have butter; and it suits us best when it is not //rancid//." Tell us how you really feel, Gen. Gnarled hands clasped taut behind his back, the short old master glances aside at Chun-Li and reverses his brow-arch to the opposite side, "Does his pet soldier's name mean enough to you to dull your desire to exercise your kung-fu on this coffin-dragging peddler?"
There's an acerbic venom to the entire idea of serving this general, towards yokes and authority, that one can only get with the kind of warlords and institutions Gen has seen over his long life; with the sort that endure into the tumultuous storm of today's world around them.
Caveat: This is a description that may be an understatement.
She DID warn Gen.
"You /really/ oughtta think about dumping the Incel Squad."
Gen wears the storm proudly but keeps his commentary refined in its way.
Chun-Li holds lightning in her belly and lets thunder roll beneath her annoyance.
"I haven't seen Charlie since I was dumped in Sunshine City," follows. The smile's still there, warm and inviting. Her voice is taut, lower than before like the sun in the back-end of the afternoon. "Since Rose and I were left to die in a Shadaloo lab-- like Charlie was, right?"
The way her eyes narrow, ever so briefly-- it's like a twitch; it could be taken as accidental, incidental. The smile's still there; her voice keeps edging towards sunset.
"It only took you four years to remember-- but I guess you're a busy guy, right...?"
The question hangs long enough to cross the gap. Long enough for delicate fingers to catch fuzzy pink ears between them. The smile's still there; her voice slips towards a boiling whisper:
"You've gotta make sure your not-waifu looks her best when it's time to come dragging the time my friends and I almost got turned into fascist super-soldiers back into my life, four years later."
After the headband's flicked aside so Chun-Li can rest her hand atop the coffin, the smile slips too.
Her voice has settled comfortably into seething.
"What do you ACTUALLY want with me, and what made you - a grown man - think that this was the way to do it?"
The coffin opens up briefly, as the headband is flicked away.
A wave of energy, the height of the aura of something beyond the boundary of even this realm, for a moment, flickers. It almost seems like a hand comes out, hands, something slips out. And in that instance, the coffin shuts. There were now papers on the table. There were no longer baozi.
The headband, however, has also been replaced back upon the coffin.
For a moment, it looked as if the roles had switched; with the mean uncle becoming just a little more soft, if no less sharp. In turn, Chun-Li unleashes just a flicker of her wrath. Goldlewis looks directly into the righteous anger of Chun-Li, his features humbled. "Because if any man deserves to be humilated, it is me." He states firmly. "And if any man deserves to be humbled for the failures of this country, it deserves to be me. When I accepted my position as Secretary of Defense, I made it a promise to ensure the Absolute Defense of not just my country but the world. And I mean that. There are good people in the world who want to work together to make things right, who make these systems, these power structures to truly ensure the welfare of the people. And there are people who take that structure, and abuse it." There was anger in his voice; not at these two people. He lowers his head, a hand coming to grip the hat.
"And they tried to make me part of it."
He touches on the papers, pushing the top ones towards Chun Li. "I found Major Nash in a hotel in Marrakesh. When I had investigated him, what was given to me was a warrant for his arrest, a schedule for his court martial, and a litany of crimes to justify both. I asked more questions. I got fewer answers. So I investigated directly. I found lies. I found corruption. And I found good people doing bad things, for self-righteous causes. Shadaloo sympathizers, either by choice or by influence. I reached out with Interpol, sharing evidence of intermediaries in their department collaborating with our corruption. Look at the names, tell me if you recognize those people who stalled your rescue, who fed your location, who arranged your mission to Sunshine City." Goldlewis brings a fist to the table, rattling some of the plates. "We are currently going through the process of eliminating the corruption, reorganizing. And every layer we pull back, we find another jealous rival, another arrogant malfactor, another old friend of a criminal organization. And good men, obsessed with their bugaboos. Four to come to this point. And it may takes decades to fully undo the damage." He inhales, and then exhales, looking at Chun-Li.
"And that is why I am here, instead of an underling."
He gestures to his outfit. "I am the one dressed like a manchild, with an imaginary girlfriend who claims she's 1000 years old. No power plays. No pushing around the victims of my organizations mistakes. This is why I'm here to be humbled before both of you. You need to return to Interpol. Something is happening here in Japan again." He looks to Gen. "I think you have an idea what it is. We reached out to an expert in the area, and word travels fast." He reaches out to the empty platter. He squints.
"Something's happening in the mountains."
If anything, with Goldlewis and that coffin, it is possible that the Lieutenant-General is the waifu. Gen's eyes narrow anew, both as Chun-Li exercises her patience, that entity devours his cuisine, and Dickinson explains things that Gen both already knew; and knew little about.
"... And you've realized just how powerless /you/ are to protect much of anything." It's not any warmer, but for just a moment there's a crack in the master assassin's expert guise. A measure of intrigue. "Now, accept how transitory and inherently flawed your efforts to scrub clean corruption are as well. You cling to titles and failed institutions, Lieutenant-General. Your path is well-trodden and already broken rocks before you."
Nonetheless, there is ample truth in Goldlewis' ominous warnings; and more read into the sincerity of a fallen man who refuses defeat. "You seek to recruit and serve the very forces that so dismay the mountains; that spill sour tendrils into the sea. Ancient wards and expert guardians were sundered by the foolish exercise of a fool's weapon, and you don't need INTERPOL-- you need the transitory brilliance of a miracle." This brings a sharp chuckle from Gen.
"Do not let old loyalties divert your Cultivation, Chun-Li." Gen instructs, as much as asks; but there's functionally very little difference in dealing with someone like //her//. "He serves a worthy cause from a broken throne smeared top to bottom with primate feces."
Electric blue chi shivers along Chun-Li's limbs when a taste of the beyond flashes across her perception. After releasing a sharp breath, she flicks her eyes to the headband, the empty plate, and the stack of papers.
"Unless your process is kicking every single person involved in all this corruption right in the head, then replacing them... what's the fucking point?"
And indeed: when Chun-Li turns her attention back to the papers -- actually reaches and pages through for highlighted names -- the way her eyes narrow screams that there are four more heads out there that just earned themselves a kicking.
"What's happening in the mountain, that I'd do four years ago to myself all over again?" she hisses, setting her eyes back on Goldlewis. "What's so bad that you'd INTENTIONALLY make yourself look like an asshole, just to drag me BACK to your..." Paper crumbles beneath curling fingers. The normally soft, ever-elegant line of her jaw's firmly set towards violence; she shakes her head, switching her gaze from Goldlewis in sheer disgust.
"Your 'PROCESS', of eliminating the corruption, and reorganizing the rotten, half-assed-- you know-- at least BEFORE, once upon a time -- when I was still NEW -- I could be confident that my bosses, my friends-- the people I spoke to every goddamned DAY weren't trying to kill me. At least then, I got to be IGNORANT about it-- but by all means, Lieutenant-General: maybe if you just WANT it bad enough, maybe if you PLAN hard enough, MAYBE in a FEW DECADES--"
It's only when the paper starts to tear that Chun-Li realizes she's destroying valuable intelligence, prompting a brief widening of her eyes before they snap back to Goldlewis-- and then to Gen, a moment later.
"Whatever I'm loyal to isn't THERE anymore-- it never WAS to begin with," she hisses at the old man. "But /his/ fuck-ups--" She jabs her finger towards the round man and his partner, sparing the files for now, "and the fuck-ups all the people AROUND him made-- letting MORE people suffer for their arrogance is unacceptable, Gen."
"The point is that we have to keep trying. We have to keep working to do the right thing."
Goldlewis gingerly raises a hand, not eager to interrupt Chun-Li from wrecking the intel, but also not eager to stop her from being righteously angry. Goldlewis has been enduring the relentless barrage from both, taking each rhetorical blow and insult without letting his composure crack... at least at this point. "I'm not asking you to return to Interpol. I'm asking you to join a worldwide, independent organization dedicated to stopping evil in the world. Stopping Shadaloo, without having to answer to the UN, having to answer to the United States. I want a team of specialists to use the resources of the world to solve problems, dammit. To help people, to stop the bad guys, and save the day. This group needs good people, sir." He looks to Gen. "Chun Li is more than good. She's the best."
"And I need her to help save the world."
He brings up some declassified files; the Gears Wars, with the map of Japan. "When Justice nuked Mt. Fuji, it caused a wide-scale disruption of every seal and leyline on the island. We've been trying our best to understand just how deep the damage is, but between infrastructure issues, reasonable skepticism from the Japanese government, and ninjas, we've been blind to the actual depth of the damage for years. We have evidence now that not only the seals are weakening around the Hida Mountains, but something has been accelerating that break. A group of individuals. Cryptid sightings. And some real bad mother is wanting to break out. We've contacted the Yata family, but it seems that the ninja clans are in a tizzy right now. We have an expert in the area investigating, Ryu Hayabusa. You may have heard of him. There aren't a lot of good people in the world. Chun-Li is one of the best. It is clear to me now, that you want her to grow to and past her potential as a martial artist." He draws in a deep breath, and exhales.
"There may be an opportunity for that."
He pulls out a folder from the bottom of the stack. "I am making a mistake right now. I have assumed responsibility for this mistake." He pulls out the papers from within the folder. It shows village. A series of satellite images. There is a a blur. A radiating blur. In each photograph, it shows the village becoming destroyed further, and further. There are waves, distortions, making it difficult to see the details. But there are at least a series of circles. "That's Akuma." Goldlewis explains, slowly, as he taps one of the circles. "He is the most powerful martial artist in the world. Whenever he makes an appearance, he leaves shortly after. He is a very dangerous, unpredictable man. And you see that circle around the smear there." He points a finger to the smear. "That is Richard Hensley. Former lead guitarist for punk group 'Bad Sack'. Goes by the name Crock. Nasty little anarchist, he's built up a rap sheet." He taps him a few times. "We have reason to believe he's connected with the seal breaches in the Hida Mountains, and he's been recruiting people to accelerate that breach." He looks up at Gen, then Chun-Li.
"We are worried he may have convinced Akuma of something."
Chun-Li's ire draws the first true softening to Gen's facade, an affirming nod coming as he gazes upwards, evenly meeting her eyes. "Just so." Gen confirms. Beautiful lies have diverted the purpose and potential of many; perhaps the master assassin most of them all. Truth can be painful, but there is also hope in that rabid discomfort. "You are a warrior, not a soldier. Heed the portents; but pick your /own/ battles."
Goldlewis' reasoned assertions still trigger a huff from the elder chef at one, specific point. "She //could be// the best." Chun-Li's kung-fu is strong. However, her eyes are on Vega; a being who in several meaningful ways worries Gen more than Akuma might.
Someone on Akuma's level distorted by the power of demons and conduits to sealed worlds? Well, that could quickly become a different story. "But apparently right now--" Gen fiddles with papers and points to Akuma's trail of destruction, "This fellow is the best." Gen seems almost uplifted by this ominous, destructive news.
Gen chuckles with visible enthusiasm, tapping each step in the plotted path. "That will be most interesting to see; if true." Gen has his doubts. Gen also leaves the implications of his attitude hanging heavily in the air. Is the old man that evil? That crazy? That /good/? Appropriately vigorous exercise keeps young and old alike sharper and stronger!
"And you, young lady..." Gen arches brows as he turns to consider Chun-Li once more. "Perhaps it is a good moment to learn more of the Clans in those mountains; and their methodologies." Martial arts, but more than that-- killing monsters. It's sounding like That Time again.
Chun-Li breathes in, slow and deep; her eyes just about shut.
They slit just enough to lash the Lieutenant General with a lick of flame. "If I'm going to have ANYTHING to do with ANY 'independent effort' to 'stop evil in the world'... it's gonna include my foot and a whole lotta corrupt asses," simmers in the wake of Goldlewis' revelations about Mt. Fuji. There's Akuma; there's the village Akuma destroyed because he's potentially on the trail of ancient, terrible power; there is the expert Hayabusa, investigating strange happenings in the wake of unthinkable carnage.
And here is Chun-Li, less interested in what ifs and might bes than the unassailable facts that Shadaloo IS, and Shadaloo has rendered whole swaths of credible opposition to its activities worthless at best and dangerous at worst.
"You get that, don't you?" she presses, lowly. "That that's non-negotiable? That I can find my way to Mt. Fuji with or without you -- look for people to kick out of Interpol, /with or without you/-- showing up to kiss my ass and beg just reminds me of all the time you and yours have wasted when you could've been trying - for REAL - to clean things up before they got this bad...?"
It was a dangerous bribe to the old man.
His advisors explained the risks of revealing the demon to Gen. His advisors also explained the risks of Gen not fully supporting his niece's ventures. It was a gambit. Because it's one thing if Chun-Li refused to help save the world. It's another if her own uncle goes on a chase to seek the strongest... or worse. But he took it. As Gen takes the bait, Chun-Li spits it out in his face. He lets the uncle advise his niece, and he lets the argument find its roots. For now, he keeps on Chun-Li. Goldlewis nods solemnly. "That's true. I'm not going to twist any arms here. That's why I'm showing you all this. Because if I have a choice between having you join up, or do the right thing, I'd rather you do the right thing. We're still catching up; when I spoke with Potemkin, the representive from Zepp, he was almost bemused at how little we understood the supernatural. But we are catching up. I don't have a right to tell you what you need to do. That's your choice. And when Shadaloo starts hunting down this source of power, to abuse and control, you might be there. ANd if you are in trouble." Goldlewis begins to move the papers back together. "We'll help you, whether or not you want to help us. That's a promise." The coffin opens once more, and the papers are gone.
"It's up to you if you want come along with us, or go alone."
He starts to rise up, and fails. Placing a hand on his bbelly, he shakes the finger in his other hand. "Oh, one more thing. When I spoke with Major Nash, I talked to him about something else I noticed. How the people in his way to stop Shadaloo? They were in his way because he was in their way for their real, tangible threats. Intervening on the artifact and arms dealing R. Rooting out corruption in the UNited Nations from a mysterious group. Tracking renegade cyborg clones released by NESTS. A rogue radical-Catholic theocratic state with bio-nuclear weapons. And I can't tell you how many Black Dragon groups I've heard about. Dozens of these groups, real and dangerous, and if only anybody could see how dangerous they were, they would drop everything and stop them. Like crabs in a bucket, Chun-Li." He begins to put on his fedora, before looking at it with disgust. He places it on the table, as he lurches into a stand. "Charlie made that choice to help other people with their buggaboos, so they can help him with his." He folds the pillowcase over his thick arm, and tucks the hat under his arm. All that was left on the table, other than his plates, was a hefty tip beside a card with a number on it.
"Thank you for your time."
Log created on 09:51:26 03/28/2022 by Goldlewis, and last modified on 15:10:54 03/29/2022.