LLK Act I.War - War : Game Plans

Description: A familiar cyborg sombreros back into K''s life... just in time to discuss the strange activities brewing around Southtown.

Perhaps the thing K' appreciated most about the arrangement with the Ikari was the fact that he could leave at will. Certainly, he had to inform somebody before he departed, but K' had long since resigned himself not to resent the slight restraint. At least, not while he was literally seeking sanctuary at the base. He supposed it was no different than the common courtesy he asked of his own sister... a courtesy she continually refused to extend him. But that was another matter entirely.

At first, K' had felt terminally aimless and restless, with nowhere to go and nothing in particular left. But with time, that feeling faded, and he found himself feeling the same way he did when he first ran out on NESTS. Independent. Cold. Angry. Time in Southtown had lost him some of his direction, the young runaway almost starting to think a normal existence could be possible. But then Geese Howard harshly proved him wrong, and he was right back where he started. A kid with nothing but a sister and a grudge.

Well... and something else. Someone else. But he hadn't heard from him in a while. K' could only assume that business had run longer than expected.

Though K' didn't really have anywhere to go, that didn't stop him from traveling. An old, but everpresent goal in his life was starting to chew insistently at the back of his mind again, and tracking that old urge for vengeance had led him to traces heading straight for Southtown. K' circled around the periphery of the city, wondering what NESTS could be intending for the place, but in the end Howard's ban-- and its associated threat against his sister-- proved stronger than his curiosity. K' turned back.

He caught the bullet train out towards Tokyo, intending to take a flight from there back to South America and the Ikari base. Perhaps the Ikari would know more about this than he would... loath as he was to admit the fact. If not for his shock of white hair and his insistence on wearing shades even inside the train, it's unlikely he would even draw attention at all, except as some normal boy... maybe a university kid traveling back to school. K', with his battered leather jacket, scuffed black gloves, and dusty dark jeans, seems to have run as far from the futuristic and unusual look of NESTS as he possibly could.

The Shinkansen reaches one of it's many stops on the way to the airport and slows to a halt. Amongst the crush of people who crowd into the train, it is impossible not to notice the poncho-clad hulk of a man who has to stoop down just to pass through the train car's sliding doors. Of course, it doesn't help that he's wearing a ridiculously-oversized Mexican sombrero that completely obscures his face as well. K' might not have attracted any attention, but this stranger surely does; the rest of the passengers give him a wide birth, even if it means packing themselves in like sardines at each end of the train car, while casting amazed gazes at him.

The behemoth is still for a moment, then slowly takes two lumbering steps over towards where K' is sitting. That ridiculous sombrero pivots slightly, indicating the man is looking at the rather skittish-looking salaryman seated next to K'. "Is this seat taken." He rumbles, the tone of his voice making that question sound more like a warning.

Needless to say, the businessman is quick to clutch onto his briefcase for dear life and vacate the seat. The stranger sits down, seat groaning under the strain of his weight, uncomfortably close to K'. He asks another question, this time to the leather-clad young man next to him, "Do you have any cigarettes."

K' recognizes the owner of that step about five seconds in, having heard it often enough to know it by heart. However, he makes absolutely zero response to it, save for a vague tilt of the head that roughly equates, in meaning, to the curious earflick of a cat. He certainly doesn't do anything so human as show relief, though whether or not he's feeling it is an entirely different story.

The young man still doesn't make any response when his seatmate-- who already was displeased about having to sit next to such a surly punk in the first place-- gladly vacates his seat and skitters off into the wild. He doesn't look up, or shift uncomfortably, or move. His first motion doesn't come until he's asked if he's got any cigarettes; at which point he reaches wordlessly into his jacket, sifting into a pocket. A moment later, a half-empty pack gets flicked over at the newcomer with a careless familiarity.

"Took you long enough to show up again," K' finally greets his new neighbor, leisurely cranking his seat back to an angle distinctly uncomfortable for the man behind him. Lounging back and shifting to occupy his seat in a far more open and relaxed manner, the boy indolently inspects his knuckles a moment before his gaze finally cuts over to eye his companion. And his companion's lack of fashion sense. "Where the hell you been, Mexico?"

The stranger doesn't respond when the pack of cigarettes land on his poncho, in his lap, or when K' accuses him of being tardy in his arrival, but making fun of his outfit? Now that's low. The stranger reaches up and takes off his sombrero, dramatically tossing it aside whereupon it swallows up two whole Japanese citizens, revealing THE INCREDIBLE MAXIMA!

Too bad K' saw through it immediately, thus ruining everything. The big Canadian looks crestfallen, "Tch... you don't like my disguise?!" he asks, incredulously. Of course by this point most if not all the passengers on the train are staring the the pair. Fail. "Ahem... I thought I would need one, since I've been tracking a guy who managed to get himself blacklisted by... well, just about the biggest criminal organization in the world." He chides.

Moment of awkward silence. It has been about a year since these two saw each other last. After the initial banter this sinks in for Maxima, and it takes a him another couple of moments to speak again, "So how are you doing, Kid?"

Dropping his face into his right hand-- which appears suspiciously free of its suppressing glove-- K' rubs absently at a temple as Maxima explains the disguise. "Just commenting," he eventually replies, though he can't entirely disguise the smirk threatening to pull at the corner of his mouth. "Think you draw more attention wearing it than you do not," he eventually deigns to clarify.

Letting his hand drift back to the armrest, K' falls distinctly silent at mention of the trouble he's managed to get in lately. His eyes slide closed. "You expect any less from me?" comes the sardonic first response: the prickly sharp retort that usually comes out of K' before anything serious does. It's a few moments, but eventually follow-through does happen in the form of a short, "I made a mistake." A very, very rare admission from K', and not one gladly given. It might surprise Maxima K' was willing to concede that at all... and it might make the cyborg wonder just what K''s mysterious sister did to him in the intervening months.

The resultant silence doesn't seem too awkward to K'... but then, the young man never was bothered by quiet. And he lets the silence go on even longer after Maxima asks that question. It's the sort of question that requires thought, after all. "...fine, I guess. All things considered." A shoulder lifts in a fluent shrug. "Other than the Geese Howard thing." Momentarily at a loss how to even encapsulate a full year into the span of his limited speaking tolerance, K' finally settles for gesturing absently, meaningfully, with his right hand. "Got rid of this."

Maxima watches his partner speak out of the corner of his eyes while lifting up those tree-trunk-sized arms of his and lacing his hands behind his head, reclining backwards while he takes everything K' says in. The cyborg's eyebrows do lift up occasionally, whenever he hears something seemingly out-of-character coming from the young man, but he doesn't act too surprised.

After all, a lot can happen to a person in a year.

"A mistake... Guess this proves once and for all that you need me, you little twerp." He says with a smirk. As per usual with Maxima, his levity is balanced by level-headed thinking, and his next comments are more serious: He exhales and up at the ceiling, "Yeah, well, you picked a hell of a time for this, Kid. There's something going down with NESTS. Something big. Usually I can pick up all sorts of their chatter when I tap into Southtown's fiber networks... but for the last couple weeks, nothing. Not a damn thing." Maxima's brow furrows slightly, for a man who prides himself on being well-informed the complete lack of information is distressing to him. "-I'm sure you've noticed it too."

Another pause, then Maxima motions to the hand where his partner's glove was once a permanent fixture, "I bet that hand stunk for a week after you finally got that thing off."

Odd and seemingly out of character as some of K''s behaviors might now seem, some things just never change. One of those becomes readily apparent when Maxima delivers that tease. K''s reaction is instantaneous, a scowl crossing his face and his gaze cutting aggressively out the window. "Hmph," is K''s eloquent opinion on Maxima's usefulness, the young man somehow managing to make his sudden slouch in his seat a distinctly violent movement.

He's still listening, though. And what Maxima says next sets his brows to furrowing, that scowl deepening from 'petulant' to something a lot more brooding. NESTS. He'd gotten off track with them as of late, and he's already punishing himself for forgetting what he'd promised the moment he escaped from their cages. "...I found traces of them scouting around Southtown. Looks like whatever it is centers around there." K' shrugs, the motion perhaps a tacit admission that this really IS a shitty time to be barred from Southtown.

"I planned to look into it. Carefully, so Howard never finds out I was back in his city. But first, I was gonna go see what the Ikari might know." A pause, before K' clarifies, surprisingly taciturn about Whip, "...my sister is an Ikari. So I'm staying there for now."

K' turns his right hand over, looking at it absently. It's clear that, even after all this time, he still finds such a simple thing as having his hand free a fascinating thing. "...was a relief to let it get air," he eventually replies absently. "...for more than a couple minutes at a time, anyway."

The Syndicate, NESTS, and now the Ikari. He can't say he's a big fan of ANY of those organizations; it's hard enough trying just to keep from being used as Igniz's puppet, let alone Geese Howard and Heidern as well. Maxima gives his partner a brief 'are you kidding me?' style glance, and exhales again, this time turning his gaze towards the scenery rushing past his window, "You sure do have an amazing talent for complicating things" he muses.

However! Maxima, like he always does, has a brilliant plan: "Well, look at it this way, if NESTS is really making their move, Geese Howard is about to have a lot bigger problem on his hands then worrying about where his least-favorite human torch is. Then we can smuggle you back in, and it'll our chance to finally get NESTS out in the open and maybe take out some of their top guys, while they're exposed." He makes a peace sign, "Two birds with one stone." Well, perhaps 'brilliant' wasn't the right word. He adds, "..if we live that long."

"It's not my fault," K' insists, in typical fashion, his scowl deepening as Maxima accuses him of having entirely too colorful a life. "Not like I went -looking- for this shit to happen." ...or expected it, for that matter. A dismissive gesture brushes aside both Igniz and Geese as past mistakes, and downplays Heidern as 'not really that bad.' After there, there are worse organizations to take up with than the Ikari. Way worse.

The cyborg does have a point with regard to Geese's attention likely being on bigger problems than errant experiments, however. K' looks momentarily pensive. "I don't know if Howard knows you know me," K' starts slowly, his eyes narrowing. "You could probably move a lot more openly than I could. Find out who's there and what's going on." K' shifts slightly in his seat, clearly restless about not being on the front lines of things, before he adds, "...Probably gonna keep a low profile at first." It's clear K' wants to be very certain Howard won't be able to retaliate.

Maxima frowns. It's almost unbelievable to see first-hand how Geese Howard put the fear of God into K'. Did he really just say he was going to keep a low profile? Flabbergasting. "You're right. You can do anything until we can get some of the heat off you." Maxima smirks a little, adding "I'm glad you're thinking so rationally about this." The tone of his voice makes it seem like he might as well have said 'This is the first time you've thought rationally about anything'.

Out the window he spies his stop rapidly approaching. He starts to stand up, only to remember, in irritation, that he has to stoop forwards slightly so his head doesn't go through the ceiling. That would muss up his precious sideburns, after all. "In the meantime I'm gonna see what I can do about battening the hatches over at the YFCC. Once this all goes down, who knows how it'll last..." He reaches into his jacket pocket and produces an odd-looking device. "This is a one-shot communications device, completely untraceable, it uses a long-range tachyon-transmission burst to..." He trails off, then rolls his eyes, "Nevermind, it's been awhile. I forgot who I was talking to." He flips the device around, revealing a piece of lined paper with some crudely-drawn crayon illustrations. "I got one of the artistic kids at the club to draw you a guide," he grins, "Told him to make sure even a 5-year-old would be able to figure it out." He flips it over to his partner, "It's a burner though," he taps a finger on the side of his head, "You can get in touch with me from anywhere, but only once."

The train slows to a halt, the passengers swarming out of the cars as soon as the doors slide upon. The cyber-canuck slowly starts to follow suit, "...anything you want me to check up on in the city for you, Kid?"

There were very few things that could have made K' actually obey Howard. Or behave in a rational, cautious way. Or, well, do anything but instantly run back into Southtown and try to throw Geese right back off his roof. But whether out of luck or craft, Geese hit upon one of those things: and it's making explicit threats against Whip's life. The long and short of it was, K' finally learned he could irreversibly lose things. And the idea of making a decision that could cost him his sister? That chilled his rash blood almost instantly.

Doesn't stop him being short and nasty about it as per usual, though. "I know how to cover my ass," he snaps, perhaps not realizing how utterly strange that sounds from a young man who somehow managed to get no less than three distinct criminal syndicates out for his blood. "Said he'd kill my sister if he caught me back in the city... not really something I want to fuck around with too much." Were it another time, hey, maybe. But not Whip.

Irritated by having to make the admission, K' sinks back in his seat and regards Maxima's proffered communicator with a sulky eye. The technological explanation-- as well as its sudden retraction-- draw the anticipated 'I really don't give a shit' huff: palming the object once it's handed over, the young man vanishes it into his jacket. It goes unsaid, but there's a clear implication: I'm not an idiot. I'll figure it out.

But some of K''s eye-rolling irritableness dissolves when the train comes to a stop and Maxima gets up to leave. The boy slants his gaze up as the cyborg preps to leave, visibly considering that question with a certain presence of mind he definitely didn't have a year ago. Time changes people, it seems. "...Just keep an eye on the YFCC," he eventually settles for saying. Anybody he might give half a shit about in that city is associated with that place, after all.

The cyborg has worked with K' long enough that the nastiness which can frequently be seen spewing from the white-haired fighter's mouth just rolls off of him like teflon. He simply nods his acknowledgment at the threat presented by Geese Howard's ultimatum on Whip's life, figuring he's riled up his young friend enough already. Privately, he thinks that K' might not be giving his older sister enough credit, but family's family. He would do the same thing if placed in the same situation.

Grabbing his precious sombrero off the floor of the cabin, he makes his way towards the exit, at the back of the pack of people departing. He pauses after he takes his first step out andrests a hand on the edge of the train car's doorway, looking over his shoulder to reply to the Beast of Prey's request, "I'll tell the kids that you send them all your love," He says, sardonically, "-Thanks for the cigs." The door slides shut, leaving Maxima on the station platform and K' speeding off to airport. The cyborg put the ridiculous hat back on and tips it towards the bullet train, now vanishing over the horizon, "Adios for now, amigo."

Log created on 21:15:54 02/14/2009 by K', and last modified on 16:56:03 02/27/2009.