Description: As the world fights to right itself after Vega's rampant slaughter, Geese Howard visits Metro City to inspect plans to expand the Syndicate's longstanding operations in the city. More muscle is promised - and delivered - to help Duke secure his ambitions.
Il Paradiso Opera House. 10 PM.
The Opera House was full tonight, the turnout for Madame Butterfly providing a full house. As the airas of Puccini howl through the great house, the true action was held well below the floor of the grandoise opera house. In a hidden chamber deep underground the house was a gorgeous study. Decked in black marble and red carpeting, the interior is a grim, brooding atmosphere. At the mahogony desk, the dark-skinned man toiled over some papers, wishing he was upstairs, enjoying the opera.
But Duke was here for business.
Sitting at his desk, the Don of Metro City glowers at the papers before him. Donning a pair of fine reading glasses, he inspects the documents. Cammy was now looking into his activities. Delta Red may be causing trouble in his city soon. Brett was talking; he would need to be silenced soon. Damnd was unpredicable, but unpredictable was good. And El Fuerte... that insult of an SNF was a slap to the face for the Don. So many players in this chess game that was Metro City... with one missing piece.
Haggar would not be a problem, at least.
A light turns up on his desk, the communicator buzzing at him. Pressing the button, he speaks. "Mr. Brown, I told you no distractions." He states matter of factly to his assistant. The man mutters in a thick French accent. "Duke, there is someone here to see you." The man growls furiously. When he does not wish to be disturbed, he does not wish to be disturbed. "Then tell our guest that he can talk to me in the morning." A panicked response comes back. "You do not understand, sir, it is-"
And then, static.
It certainly was a comfortable operations center. Geese had to give Duke that. Opulent, overstated, decadently Dukelike. Howard was a man who could appreciate that; or at least, parts of that. He could be here for the show, in a suit tailored -in- Italy, while he stood on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. Dethroned, they say; but business has been thriving in Metro City for years. Behind the veil of Mad Gear's violence and insanity lurks a much more insidious web, one of the Syndicate's several global branches. Heads of the hydra, if one will. Kain's manipulations had severed one, cleaved Southtown asunder to carve out his own powerbase; but two more had sprung up. Perhaps more. It was fast becoming impossible to say, as the world descends ever deeper into its own chaos, vulnerable to the strange sort of order offered by Howard's criminal empire. Order, and control.
Geese had come to call on one of the most prominent players in this global conspiracy. He had come to discuss business, or perhaps enjoy fine wine, with his lieutenant. He had... requested.. to be let through. Simply. Howard did not ask to be announced, the Emperor-in-Exile did not come to deal with whatever formalities and functions Duke demands of his underlings and contacts. Hence, Mr. Brown is lucky to retain all use of his limbs as Geese calmly restrains him, parades him to the doorway to the side staircase... 'urges' him to unlock the way, and then dumps him off into the wall as Howard too gracefully slips through the opening portal, and down into the belly of the beast. Their beast. Two men snicker, in suits nearly as pristine as Howard's, and follow. They're rougher on Mr. Brown, but no one bruises him too badly. Both wear shades, one man shaved bald, the other a sharp, slicked back nest of brunette hair and widow's peak. To most men, they'd cut an imposing figure... but they don't even accompany Geese when he crosses the threshold into Duke's personal suite. They set up at the door, with professional precision and focus.
Duke did not appreciate surprises.
When Mr Brown cuts out, the don assumes the worst. Scooping up the papers, he stuffs them into a folder, before shoving the folder into the desk. Standing up, he lifts his desk up, placing it aside. It may be important to keep the fighting room clear. And just in time, as well. He hears the sound of the secret passage swinging open. Limbs roaring to life with red fire, he stomps down the room, past marble column. Glowering, he stares at the entrance to his inner sanctum.
And sees Geese Howard entering.
Duke lets his energy die down, rubbing the front of his neck warily. Vory V Zakone. The leader of the Syndicate. Lowering his head in respect, the brute of a man looks up. "Apologies, Mr. Howard. If I had warning, I would have had Mr. Brown show you in to the door. I assume my assistant is...." Duke leaves the word hanging, but looks into Geese's eyes. Duke may be the devil of Metro City. But he knew that Geese was his boss. And if he arrived unannounced.... This may be a surprise performance review.
And Duke did not appreciate surprises.
Geese Howard is a difficult man to read, on the best of days. It's how a brutal criminal mastermind retained a near stranglehold on international media conglomerates and fighting tournaments for well-on a decade; and remained the institution's very public president and superstar. It's how he killed his best friend, and left their master for dead. It's how he built an empire throughout a weak-willed world. It's also other things, that are either cut for time, or best not to mention in Geese's presence. The sternly stoic, yet somehow 1/3 smirking Mr. Howard paces smoothly down the expanse of marble towards the Don of Metro. Initially, Geese is wordless. One gloved hand is held behind his back, easily, but then - Geese is never entirely unthreatening. They call Terry Bogard the Legendary Wolf, but his nemesis is a beast just as feral, just as outside society; along a very differently veered course. From behind his back, as he paces towards Duke, his unreadable and gracefully menacing boss produces...
A bottle of scotch. It doesn't have a label, just a very thorough wax seal in silver-touched indigo. "Very much alive. If none the wiser." Howard doesn't really seem to care, though. There's no acknowledgement of the gift he offers Duke. It's how he does business. This isn't even the nicest place the Syndicate's council has met. ... still thoroughly afloat is after all, the Golden Geese superyacht. There are benefits to their lifestyle. Even if defenestration is a constant hazard. "Not the least bit melodramatic." Howard notes, drily, gesturing broadly to the Duke's digs. Then there's a crack of a wolfish smirk. "How are the locals?" It's been too long since Geese has been in Metro City. Duke would know where he's been.
From time to time there've been conferences. Some on private jets, some in exciting foreign lands, some over high speed internet; some, as mentioned, on very nice boats. For the most part? Geese Howard /trains/. He perfects his art. It happens every time he 'dies', with increasing fervor. Some say it's a side-effect of his unnatural immortality, amplifying his inhuman power. Some say he's obsessive compulsive and completely batshit insane. It's hard to say, he seems calm enough, now. If fit as (perhaps beyond?!?) humanly possible.
Duke restrained himself from growling at the leader of the Syndicate. Geese had his waxes and his wanes, it was true. And he was clearly on the wane right now. If it wasn't for hard working men like Duke.... well, those were dangerous thoughts that Duke kept to himself. "Thank you for sparing him. He was on strict orders to report everything to me. It is disappointing to kill a good man for following orders." Disappointing from Geese? Duke was not about open rebellion. But he was a powerful man. And powerful men had little interest in following. And yet, Geese was a powerful man to lick the boots of. The slight against his room, if it was a slight, is simply ignored. Motioning towards the chairs surrounding where the desk once was, the speaks formally, his tone all about business.
"Come, have a seat, and let us talk about my... our city, Geese."
Turning back on Geese, he still tilts his head slightly behind him, to keep an ear on the master. He was wary what Mr. Howard was up to. The scotch implied drinking; perhaps Geese was interested in rewarding him. Perhaps he wanted to keep up to date on Metro City. Perhaps he was softening him up. Moving towards the side of the room, near one of the bookshelves, he draws out some cups. Rumbling back, he takes both cups, before turning around. "Make yourself comfortable. There is a great deal I must tell you."
If only because he must tell him.
"Indeed it is." In the disappointing nature of meaningless bloodshed, Geese and Duke are in agreement. Assassination is an artform, slaughter is just... wasteful. No, aside from the brief emasculation, Duke's assistant is quite capably back at his post this very moment; if he's wise at /all/. After all, Duke's an awfully big boy. Sure, operations in Southtown were a large blow, to Howard's image and his empire. To think him idle or complacent in business regardless of his introversion would likely be a massive underestimation. Where others are a splatter on the pavement, Geese Howard remains one of the mightiest men on the planet - in more than one sense, at that.
Perhaps Duke had no need to follow. He had proven that to Geese Howard years before their meeting tonight - Duke would be dead otherwise, or fled, or have done the impossible; but never here. Never with Howard's own endorsement, and the Syndicate's backing. The ranks of commandos and shock troopers. The seemingly infinite discretionary funds at the elusive organization's fingertips. The illusive network of very tangibly profitable, legitimate corporations and franchises. No one but Geese knows every endeavour the Syndicate has its hands in, or so it's said.
Duke is a being of free will, of nigh-infinite will in fact. Howard recognizes it, sometimes at a glance. Never does he -have- to bend knee to the enigmatic overlord, but there are so, so many benefits to being with this particular outfit. Howard settles into the posh chair he's offered, almost relaxedly. Duke could make his move, this could be his moment! ... or Geese could remain as ready as he ever is, infamously. Even killing him doesn't seem to stick, not /really/. He's not even egomaniacal, like most of his competition. Mostly. Sometimes. At the moment, Howard simply listens, attentive, icy eyes even on the Maestro of Metro.
It would be easy, wouldn't it.
Duke could snuff him out here. Turn up the opera music, make sure he couldn't slip out the door. The fight would be well contained. Clean. Professional. His minions would soon fall under him. Alas, it would not work out. Duke had gotten too much power to throw it away on an attempt on Geese's life. The don rubs his own neck scar again, nervously.
He knew too well how hard it took to kill a man.
Clutching the two glasses with one hand, he moves back towards the center, noting that, while the chairs were in place, the desk was not. "Oh, I am sorry. I excepted a different sort of company. Let me fix that." Duke grabs the desk with one hand, and with a great heft, centers it between Howard and himself. Slamming it down with a heavy thump, he delicately places the two glasses on the table, and he opens up a drawer. Drawing out the folder, he opens it up, drawing out the contents. And to that, he speaks.
"Fear is siezing the heart of Metro City."
Duke continues, pushing the documents over to Geese, describing his adventures in Metro City so far. "People have grown compliant in Metro City; the streets were safe for too long. They have placid, lazy. So my intent is to breed an atmosphere of terror. When people are afraid of thugs, they turn to what can protect them. Guns. Police. Martial arts." Duke raises his eyebrow at Geese on the last one. "But if someone like us can control the chaos, to keep people safe for a price, it brings back the security again. I have been setting up an insurance business downtown. A protection racket." Duke pauses, thinking of how to tell his boss about the... hoodlums.
"But there has been some problems, as you can see in the papers."
The replaced table warrants a glance from Geese, the liquor, a more lingering gaze as it's passed over. He doesn't immediately drink, listening, studying. Breath even, features again difficult to penetrate. He considers Duke's monologue, beat for beat. No interruption comes, the overlord analyzing all the angles as thoroughly as he can for the duration. So it is by the time he sips, for the second time, looks Duke in the eye anew, and speaks.. he's given it some thought. He glances at the documents, but he's seen it a thousand times. They're taken, thumbed through, filed away for detailed dissection. "You threaten Metro, the backlash will be... entertaining."
Contrary to all perceptible sanity, this seems to entertain Geese Howard /even now/. The smile touches his ice-lit eyes, "You have your sacrificial lamb in Mad Gear. It's ripe for a purging pyre. In all likelihood we won't have to lift a finger to provide it." But as Duke notes, chaos can be profitable to the right people, in the right places. "All eyes on the warlines." Howard muses. "While we secure the wartorn territory anew." He may grasp the situation, either way he seems relatively pleased. "You give Mad Gear a suitcase of meth and a mandate..." He doesn't seem to be instructing Duke, so much as musing. Geese tips his glass back. He then sighs, deeply. "Ah, I love Metro City. What problems?"
What problems indeed.
The Devil's consort continues to dominate the room, a telling feat to be certain. Duke does not know if he is mocking him, or simply unhinged. Geese was impossible to read; it was part of the reason he could not tell what had happened to his sister. Was it Geese? Was it the cancer? Or perhaps she wasn't even dead. All mysteries to the Duke.
Mysteries that Duke would extract from Geese some day.
The first words out of Duke's mouth is telling. "Haggar seems to be shying away from direct intervention. There is no sign of Cody or Guy. Maki seems to be too busy with her tournaments to care about us." Duke doesn't even mention Carlos. "Despite our good fortunate, vigilantes seem to continue rearing their heads." Duke states with grim seriousness.
"But I am dealing with them."
"Duke continues, standing up, pacing behind the desk. "I have the names of but a few. Brett Neuer, some hockey star on the Neo Development Project. El Fuerte, a crazed wrestler with a history with the Los Zetas. You know, south of the border. And some stranger by the name of The Great Bartitsu Mask." Duke finally cracks a smile, pointing a finger at each of the profiles. "Three young clown. Young and stupid. You know how kids can be."
"So I gave them a way out."
Duke leans over the table, smirking. "None of them took it, sadly. I asked Brett nicely to leave Metro City, and to never return. He refused, which was too bad. His family could have really used him when they had that accident. El Fuerte required... stupidity." Duke's smile fades. "I had to cause Lucha wrestling self destruct with a manufactured scandal. I would like some Los Zetas up here, if we can secure them. Maybe cut a deal..." Duke is asking something, or just idle musing? "And the masked one. A complete enigma. But these are the only hitches. Damnd has been quite active in breeding chaos in the streets." Duke knocks his knuckles on the desk top, tightening his lips for the ultimate description of his activities.
"But it isn't enough."
Vigilantes. Geese smirks. "Crusaders." The crimelord corrects, or appends, in softly amused tones. "Those people are why I didn't order Mad Gear stripped for parts years ago." Howard explains, evenly. "You have your tools, all you need is misdirection enough to focus their attention on whatever chaos those idiots can spread, with your direction... and a trail that leads somewhere -besides- yourself." And by proxy, the Syndicate itself. "If we can find the precise measure of these avengers in the process, well." Geese pauses, still poised and easy in his seat, sipping his drink a moment as he eyes the wound up underboss. "All the better."
As for Duke's own ideas? Well. "I expect other associates could be compelled to assist you here, whether from south of the border, or these idiots' own pasts. No one thinks they can... punch all the shit out of the world, until they die, without making enemies along the way." Enemies that help them to that grave. Sometimes even friends. Everyone has levers to pull, Howard makes it his business to know that.
Duke was strict in what he considered the riff-raff. "More troops would be acceptable, Geese. But I would prefer to make judgements of who arrive. I prefer to run my ship tight... and all decisions through me." The devil would defend his independence, and fight tooth and nail to keep it. "I have a... shortlist of potential interests. Is Raiden still active with us? He had a good record in Southtown; I may need him to round up these... fursuited gangsters." Duke can barely withhold the disgust in his voice. "We may need some of the bigger guns as well. Word just reached me..."
"-Cammy- is getting interested."
Duke pulls out the file, showing the ex-Shadaloo in full display. "Vigilantes, or as you call them, crusaders, are managable problems. Delta Red is a caliber of special forces that I am not going to deal with lightly. If Ikari sinks this teeth in this as well... I believe after the war in China, paramilitary organizations are getting the idea they can tromp around in any city they want. I can deal with the police, Mr. Howard."
"But I can't deal with an army."
"I've seen their like a thousand times." Geese assures Duke, the overlord calm but unflinching in the debate. "They are.. predictable. Make sure you do not let any near the truth, and they'll sink their teeth into the nearest perceived injustice." Katana, DamnD and his crew have always been good at being on the receiving end of -that-. "Ah, Cammy White." Howard seems aware, and -again- amused by this. Thus far, Duke's problems seem like hilarious fortune, it seems, to his benefactor and big boss. "I'll forward you the data we have on her, as far as taking her down, well."
Howard's smile grows more devious, and he leans forward to rest his hand on Duke's desk, "I suggest you study that data, because you're more than capable. In fact, I rather want to see that. Stop her from hunting by going after her, personally. See how stable Vega's renegade attack dog really is. See if she's useful to us, or break her." Geese considers, pausing a moment to finish off the glass of nigh-ancient single malt. "Repeatedly, if she persists." It's an elegantly simple solution. "Simply... make it personal." Delta Red is unlikely to intervene in force if Cammy can't get near what's going on due to the Syndicate hounding... or redirecting her. After all, if anyone could help her find what she's looking for....
"If this is managed properly, and Mad Gear is fully utilized, we won't have to deal with an army." not that the possibility hasn't occurred to Geese. He draws a sleek smartphone from his suitjacket and dials a practiced, preprogrammed number. "We need the Ursine." He informs the assistant on the other end. There's a momentary pause. "Send him to Paradise, yes. Tell him to wear something nice. Mmhmm." The phone is hung up, and stashed away just as smoothly. "I'll have a full team of commandos standing buy if things do get... tense." Howard appends, just between himself and Duke. It's possible he -could- deal with an army.
Duke looks at Geese, a smile forming at the corner of his mouth. "Now, Mr. Howard, the reptuation of me taking a... personal hand in intimidation might be a little overstated." You know, ignoring the fact that Duke had a personal meeting with both Brett and El Fuerte. "I do not know how stable she is. But I will not turn down that additional information. Small fish is healthy for my work. Nothing breeds fear more than those small hopes... which are easily crushed. I will make it clear to her that if she decides to make a serious push into my city, it will have personal consequences. But, if my show of force doesn't suffice... I have... a backup plan."
Duke taps a file labeled 'Juri Han.'
The mention of Big Bear, however, gains a malevolent grin from the yellow-eyed demon. "You are a man after my heart, Mr. Howard. Raiden is just the man I need. Damnd is... well, he is Mad Gear. But with the former wrestlers in the gang, Big Bear is just the man for the job." Walking back over to the bookshelf, he frisks out another cup... before returning back to the desk, pressing the communicator on the desk. "Mr. Brown. Mr. Howard was kind enough to invite over another guest. Raiden, or Big Bear. A giant of a man. Make sure to see him in..."
"I wouldn't want to see my best man in another accident."
"Heh." Geese chuckles lightly. Something Duke said. How often has that hunger for that 'personal touch' in his dealings cost Geese? He doesn't bother warning his underboss, however; it would do absolutely no good. "Don't underestimate her. If you antagonize her and fail, well.. regaining leverage will be interesting." While Geese Howard is a man who can appreciate interesting, some aspects of the business are best when not subjected to well-trained chaos. He's seen what rogue agents can do with their knowledge.
Geese shifts to pour himself another glass of scotch, before settling back into his chair. "It's the kind of work the man requests." Howard intimates of the enforcer. "I suspect he'll take a sizeable chunk out of your... problems." Geese smiles. Talk of business leaves the bottle of scotch descending gradually, time-lapse fashion. The evening may be late and the show winding down, but Geese's associates are quite resourceful themselves; and there's still plenty of the fine, one of a kind liquor.
It sounds like heads need some cracking. That can be the only reason why Raiden has gotten a call requesting to be somewhere. He is a simple man afterall. Not so much dumb, but easy to please. Good food, good drink and a good fight is usually all it takes to satisfy the large Aussie. It was good that he even got the call when he was driving around Metro getting ready for a bit of a pub crawl to satisfy at least a few of his urges this day. Perhaps all three by the time he hits the latter bars and pubs.
The two don't even have to wait long until they get a message that their guest has arrived. Of course being asked to dress nice on such short notice isn't something easy to do. And the fact who he is meeting leave him in a quandary. Raiden always wears a mask when it is Syndicate business and yet he is being asked to wear a suit as well. Trying to find a suit for a man over six and a half feet tall and weighs almost five hundred pounds on short notice isn't exactly simple. Somehow it has happened and he tries to make everything a happy medium.
"Tailors are a pain to deal with." is all he says at first when stepping in. The mask is there as are the big fingerless gloves he usually wears. Combined with that is a coal colored suit with a blue dress shirt and tie. Surprisingly it fits the large man well. Who knew he even knew how to wear a suit? This is probably the fanciest he has ever dressed in his life because frankly it isn't exactly comfortable. "Who do you need crushed this week?
Duke leans over the desk, the scotch still untouched by him. "Don't underestimate me, Geese. Juri is a wild animal.But I do not submit as easily as you assume I do, Mr. Howard." Leaning back though, he keeps the pressure off of Geese. Small shows of force simply meant he was serious. "Big Bear should enjoy the work I will have for him. Will he be well paid?" Those who were enemies to Duke often regretted it. But those were were friends.... well speak of the devil. Big Bear himself, dressed to the nines, comes down the stairs.
And Duke looks at Raiden with a glowering smirk.
"Right to business, Big Bear. Just how I like it." Rumbles the great man. Walking to the plush chairs, he pulls one aside, inviting the man to sit. "You wear the suit well though. Come, come. We have a bottle of scotch waiting for you, and just your kind of work. We are having trouble with putting the screws on local business."
"Trouble from another wrestler."
Geese paces himself, slowly sipping the fine alcohol. If he's feeling it, it doesn't even show. Though he has been in remarkable spirits all evening, despite Duke's demanding to take the situation with such dire dramatic flair. Not that the crimelord can't appreciate it; and the impact on their enemies. "I'd assume..." Howard notes simply, "You'd not submit at all."
When Raiden does arrive, Geese is already pouring him a glass, setting it aside for Raiden to retrieve himself, on the corner of Duke's desk. Ripper and Hopper each nod to the wrestler, the 'bodyguards' otherwise remaining back at the staircase up, keeping their vigil. Geese, meanwhile, peruses the portfolios presented to him earlier, plucking one up and dropping it next to Big Bear's scotch. "And look, a /hockey fighter/." Geese just shakes his head. "Single-minded idiots. You should have fun."
The large Aussie looks between the other two before he steps over. "Hockey fool and a wrestler?" he asks and he doesn't really take a seat. Most seats don't do well when he settles down on them. He does take the glass of scotch and surprisingly doesn't just down the whole thing. He swirls the contents about as he looks at the portfolios set down near it and he takes a sip. "Seems simple enough. Makes me wonder why you need me to solve the problem." He hehs and takes another drink. "Guess you just want it down right."
The glass is put down as he picks things up and starts flipping through to look over the items and getting a good look. "I think I know one of them at least. Kinda making a name for himself lately, hasn't he?" he asks while looking up. He just gives a bit of a grin as he drops both portfolios back on the desk and then cracks his knuckles. "Not that it matters. I can go rough them up. I know a few guys that might give some help just so we can make sure they get the message loud and clear."
Single-minded dangerous idiots.
Duke steps back towards his desk, keeping up the executive aura. "It is good you see it that way, Mr. Howard. Let me explain in detail, Raiden." Shaking his head a bit, moving behind the desk. "It is a little more complex than that. I have been relying on Damnd for most of the ground work. He isn't bad, but very unprofessional. I need you to organize some of the gangs on the ground as well. We are trying to make a protection racket, Big Bear. It will be like Southtown all over again. Crack skulls, collect payments, frighten locals, get paid."
"What you do well."
Duke finally sits down behind his desk, holding out another document. "Now, there is ANOTHER one, but she has been... difficult to track down. The Great Baritsu Mask, she calls herself. A masked fighter, petite frame, enormous chest. perhaps a wrestler. We have found out nothing about her, and no one has seen her in Metro City for a while. Still... there may be a lot more trouble on the horizon. I need someone reliable on the ground."
"Someone like you Big Bear."
"Just remember..." Geese appends only one simple thing to Duke's very ample assessment of the situation. He's familiar with Raiden's abilities, after all. "When the backlash comes, it should lead to Mad Gear's own violent ambition. Not to the Syndicate's new network of secure business partners. We'll neutralize Metro's protectors, use the operation itself to spread terror through the city in a resounding wave, and then calmly scoop up the real estate while our own people move on, and those who remember the spreading violence... welcome another arm of the Syndicate." Howard smiles darkly, folding his hands behind his back as he turns to face the other men.
"I suspect the Luchadore is the biggest threat of the bunch. He should also be quite easy to distract, however." The others? Well, Howard didn't call Raiden because he doubts the enforcer can handle it. "We have good business laid down here in Metro, no reason not to expand while Duke has a vision." Besides, if it works out the way the Don of Metro perceives? It means those nigh-endless coffers get refilled, and redoubled, one more time. Geese ever has use for more contacts, projects, and money. They remain at war, after all.
Each time he hears himself called Big Bear he casts a glance to Duke, there is a bit of a look of irritation that is hard to see due to the mask. "Hey, mate. Don't call me Big Bear when I got the mask on." he finally says. He rather keep himself as Raiden seperate from the Big Bear that is known to still occasionally work independent shows and such. Odd how the more intimidating name is the one he doesn't prefer to go by when he is looking to bust heads and threaten people. He looks at his glass and ponders for a few moments before finally upping it and finishing off the last of the contents. "Right, so three people."
He cricks his neck and his movements almost cause bits of his suit jacket to rip at the seams. It fits him, but it is snug and he has to watch from making any too sudden ones. "I think I got it, boss. Just let me handle the simple parts and as always I let you guys handle the boring stuff." he says with a mirthful smile. "I will let some of the boys know who to keep an eye out for and if I get my hands on them I will be sure they will think twice about messing with us all."
The devilish man leans back in his chair. "When the backlash comes, it should be concentrated against the street thugs. At the worst? They will head after me. The whole of the Syndicate... should be safe." That was the problem with being responsible, for being in power over his own men. When the chips fell, he would be the one on the chopping block, not Geese. Perhaps that's why he was given so much freedom. "The Lucha is insane, as a warning. Unhinged Big-" Raiden then requests that Duke use his 'villain name.' Interrupting him, even, an insult that might have met a strong punch in the jaw.
But Duke is instead swift to apologize.
"I am sorry, Raiden. I tend to... treat titles as clothing, a new one for every occassion. It was disrespective of you, and I apologize." Duke bows a bit, to show his sincerity. Duke was a demon in the ring, to whoever stands against him. But with associates? He was a man of wealth and taste. Recovering, he adjusts his suit. "I am very gracious for your assistance, Raiden. I know you will not disappoint me."
"Break some arms, Raiden."
If Geese even notices the tension between Duke and Raiden, he doesn't mention or show it. He simply considers them each for the duration of the exchange, and then calmly and amicably offers up, "Should Duke come up with more interesting problems while you're here, Raiden, I'm sure he'll let you know." The Syndicate overlord smirks briefly and nods to the underboss, then the enforcer. "I'll be in touch." With that, Howard moves to adjourn the meeting, moving back towards his own associates, and the opera house proper.
Probably a good thing a punch to the mouth happened. The last thing the Syndicate needs is the boys getting into a tussle over a name. Makes them look real professional in front of the boss. Raiden seems pleased about the apology and he just nods as he grins. "That's better. Thanks alot." he tells Duke before looking back to Geese. "Welp, if that is all you need I will get back to my plans and starting making some new ones for my new friends." he says while thumbing towards the door.
If he isn't stopped he sets the glass down and takes the El Fuerte and Brett files in hand to carry off with him. The bodyguards get a bit of a gut check as the big Aussie passes by and as well as a chuckle. Before long he is out the place where he can let out a long breath as buttons pop from the suit jacket and shirt he was wearing. So maybe they weren't exactly tailored to fit him perfectly. Thus is the life of a big man like that.
Duke was a professional.
Naturally, large men with large egos always butted heads. But Duke knew that allies served better when you showed them respect. When Raiden accepts the apology, the large Don stifles a smirk. And respect right back. This was how the Syndicate was supposed to be. Not a bunch of coked-up freaks like with the Mad Gear. They had class.
They had standards.
"Oh, there will always be interesting problems. If you have any problems, Raiden, be sure to keep me up to date. Delta Red might be causing you some issues." As the Wrestler leaves... Duke turns to Geese. "And Mr. Howard, thank you for this meeting. You are always welcome at my Opera House. And I will... update Mr. Brown on the standards for which you will be treated next time." With the meeting over, the Duke returns back to the bookshelf... and begins to adjust a small stereo box. The speakers around his room begin to surge to life, bringing in the sounds of the opera above them. The Duke had survived the meeting, with a new ally. Returning to the desk, he finally takes the bottle of scotch, and the cup. Reclining his chair again, he turns to the fireplace, pouring himself a glass as the aira reaches its peak. The time for business was over.
Now was the time for pleasure.
Log created on 00:28:19 05/10/2012 by Geese, and last modified on 18:36:04 05/10/2012.