[SR-ItB] Zan, Mirk: The J is Always Lying

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[SR-ItB] Zan, Mirk: The J is Always Lying

Postby Chance » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:00 pm

Alaizante (Zan) (Chance)
(1/23/2015 10:52:57 PM) (2010400)

Another day, another fistful of yen. In small bills, alas. But I got a line on something quick (tomorrow, actually) and it looks like a decent, solid job for someone, and more importantly, a not-bad cut for me for something reasonably small. Of course, Johnson-san was probably lying. They usually are, whether you call 'em Mr. J or Herr Schmidt or whatever. 

I'm nursing a cup of soykaf, with a carafe holding more of it on the table. I'm scanning the news on the commlink while I wait to see if the runner I wanted to speak to shows up tonight. Might've gotten work from another source, and if so, that's fine, I'll just need to scramble. 

This isn't a big money job, but it's not quite a kittycat run either... you know, someday, when I'm rolling in yen like I used to be? I'm gonna hire runners to rescue kittycats. Just because.

Man, the 'kaf is getting worse. I may need to start bring my own and hiding the thermos. 

Sports, meh. Scroll, scroll. 

Mirk (Eric the Bard)
(1/23/2015 11:01:33 PM) (2010405)

So I got word, and in I walk, and just from that, people can tell I don't quite belong here.

It's a sports bar. I'm not a bar sort of guy. I'm also not an idiot; to stand out too much is to invite someone to start a fight over it, so I keep my head down and meander my way to the table where the contact I was to meet gave me instructions to meet her. Pretty thing, and if I were at all interested in compromising my future, I might make a go at it, but at this point, it's best to keep things strictly business. I don't look like much; five-ten, a hair over two hundred, solidly muscled but leaning toward athletic rather than bulky. The clothes I wear would fit in nearly any decade and are in simple dark colors; they are covering and armor, nothing more. The light jacket hides the gun, but it isn't my primary weapon anyway.

Vivid green eyes scan the room before settling on Zan, and I mark exits and who is sitting near them. I stand too straight and I move too easy to be your typical Runner, but I'm the first to tell you I'm new to this, and I probably would sooner jump to a job in law enforcement if I thought I could get it. I don't. So here are my options. I don't mind.

Life's a game, laws are rules, and cheating is profitable so long as you don't get caught.

I take a seat across from Zan, run a hand through short-cut black hair, and give her a careful eying. Then I offer my hand, polite-like. "Mirk," I tell her. More confirmation than introduction. No, it isn't the name I was born with. I have no more use for that.

Alaizante (Zan) (Chance)
(1/23/2015 11:12:03 PM) (2010415)

I'm hard to miss. I'm not dressed to blind or hypnotize, but I don't really need to do so. Simple black boots, soft-faded overdyed aqua jeans, simple blue top that covers enough to be businesslike but is fitted enough to be attractive. The coat is slung over the seat of my side of the booth, and I surreptitiously slide a hand into its pocket to flick on the WNG. It's just a good habit.

He got mentioned to me by someone I trust, and since those sorts are rare indeed, I'll give him a trial, see how it goes.

Note about the Banshee: Everyone watches the exits, and everyone tries to sit with their backs to a wall. Makes it interesting, watching the jockeying for position. Beats watching paint dry or soy grow. I look up, and my eyes are a startling shade of sapphire the same color as my top. It's an elf thing. 

"Zan," I say, taking his hand. My grip is confident, firm without being a strength contest. Let's face it, I'd lose. I also don't ask him for another name. I don't want to know his other name, or names. Plausible deniability, and some information costs too much to be considered 'free,' in the long term.

"Got some kaf here," I note, and slide an empty mug toward him. He can tell it's not from here, because it's clean, sealed in plastic, and the little container of milk is from a Stuffer Shack up the way. It's an invitation, if wanted. "So. I heard about you, a little. Give me the five-yen summary, tell me what you think I should know. Without the advertorial. Pure facts work." My tone isn't the cold-flat-dead sound of a high-chromer; if anything, I seem like a pretty natural elf, all things considered. I'm also four inches taller than he is, not that he'll see that until I stand up. 

I also look about eighteen, maybe, in breeder terms, but again, elf. An elf rarely looks his age.

Mirk (Eric the Bard)
(1/23/2015 11:21:19 PM) (2010421)

I take her hand and incline my head, squeezing lightly. I know elves aren't fragile, but people who develop a high degree of strength learn delicacy or end up with a lot of broken cups. And other things. Me, I have no problem putting my back to the room, if that's what it takes to have this meet; someone will either plug me or they won't, and to be perfectly honest, at the end of the day, some random jackass could snipe any of us on a whim at any point in the day. Why worry?

Instead, I take the kaf, look it over, and then take a sip. Poison occupies the same space as a may-or-may-not-exist shooter. It isn't worth worrying about. I'm not important enough to poison.

"Five yen?" I ask, mostly for space to think as I set the mug down and push it slightly back toward her with my fingertips. "I am fast, strong, and tough. I have a somewhat eclectic skillset. I'm smart enough to figure out most things; mostly I'm smart enough to know when to defer to people who know shit better than me. I'm trained to hit things, and I'm pretty good at it, but I try to cultivate flexibility. I have, so far as I know, no rep, no record, and no outstanding enemies....and, unfortunately, no friends."

Of course she's not a friend. Acquaintance at best.

"I'm willing to work and I won't fuss about the type of work, except that I don't do charity. What else do you need to know?" I turn up a hand, and shrug, and sit back. "I can shoot straight, stab clean, hit hard, and run fast, stand up, hear thunder, and see lightning."

That last being a very, very old joke.

Alaizante (Zan) (Chance)
(1/23/2015 11:32:49 PM) (2010426)

Poisoning random potential employees would be bad for business. He passes the first test -- balancing paranoia with pragmatism. 

I take a sip from my own mug, nodding slightly at the question-that-wasn't, and raise the carafe to refill the mug, one brow quirking the question of whether he wants it or not. He's straightforward, which also wins points from me. Anytime someone uses superlatives, it makes me suspicious at best. 

"Friends are rare, omae. Contacts are more likely in this world. Finding ones you can trust to hold their end of the bargain... that's money right there." I nod again. "I don't ask charity. Sometimes I might get tossed something in exchange for favors, though. Sometimes that's worth even more." 

The last part actually makes me laugh. "At least you didn't say you could shoot it out your hoop," I counter with amusement. "Some make those kinda claims." My accent and diction are odd, but hard to place. The accent is Seattle Sprawl laid over at least two conflicting other, more exotic forms. "Right. Well, at the moment, I'm in the lesser niche of runs, unfortunately. I'm building my own rep, as you are. I do have contacts, and they occasionally toss me some work. My finder's fee is ten percent straight up overall. First job is twenty percent. That's the cost of taking a risk, and it's standard." 

I pause, and look thoughtful. "If you need gear for runs, I can likely get my hands on a lot of it with enough notice. Things fall off the back of trucks unpredictably." A flash of teeth that's almost a smile follows that. "What I'm looking for is to build a stable of solid runners. You do wetwork if needed? I just like to know. Those kinds of jobs pay more, but some people get squeamish about knwoing they're walking in to do it." I shrug. "To me, knowing you're probably gonna kill people goin' in is the same thing, but everyone's got limits somewhere."

Because in a sense, it's a job interview on both sides.

Mirk (Eric the Bard)
(1/23/2015 11:43:23 PM) (2010429)

"Friends are earned," I reply, and it isn't really a disagreement. "Favors are currency too. I'm not real picky, though it can be hard to pay the rent in favors."

"Depends on where I ate last," I tell her, with a straight face. I nod at her fees. "Sounds fair." I don't really know, but I'm not in a position to haggle. Let's see where this goes -- if I get a better deal elsewhere, I can always jump ship. Somehow, I doubt I will; I think she's being on the level, and I can get behind that.

"I'll tell you what," I say, thoughtfully eying her. "Let's make a deal. You get me what you think I will need. We can work out the cost of it, and I'll be happy to do what needs doing. I'm not against wetwork. People die. Some people need to die. Some of those people need help. I like to think of myself as a helpful guy." The grin I give her is a wolf's smile, a shark's smile, a hungry animal sighting meat. No. Killing does not worry me. I shrug at her last comment. "I got mine. Don't see as they're likely to come up, and as far as I look at it, I don't need to figure out what I'll do till it does."

I cock my head at her, lacing fingers over my stomach. "Sound like a deal?"

Alaizante (Zan) (Chance)
(1/23/2015 11:51:39 PM) (2010434)

"Chiptruth. But once the needs are handled, the favors are good to have. Can save you, in the end." I nod again, pleased. I don't smile, but the approval is there in my face as a slight relaxation. I need good generalists who'll primarily work for me. 

I snort. Sounds like something D would have said, not that he has any idea who D is. Not that he can read my thoughts, either. 

He didn't haggle. Huh. I shoulda upped it five percent.

"I'll need to know what's in your kit, then. You do any lightfoot work? Intrusion, shadowing, that? You'll probably eventually want a kit for that, but for right now, I wouldn't sweat it. You a Barrens boy? Got a SIN? Sometimes you need one to pass into the places work takes you. You got your own transportation that doesn't stick out like a cyberleg-mounted dildo?"

I'm not even trying to be funny. Too many years with Damien's twisted sense of humor. 

"It works for me, but we need to work out terms. If you're looking to work steady for me, more or less exclusively, I can work out a deal for some of the kit you're gonna need. Half of the take of each run you do goes back to me until you're paid off. That's after the finder's fee for finding runs. I don't have infinite fluid cash to buy things, so if it's out of my budget for kitting up my people, it's not gonna fly. So ka?"

Mirk (Eric the Bard)
(1/24/2015 12:04:50 AM) (2010441)

What's in my kit?

"Not a whole lot," I tell her sourly. "I can learn lightfoot -- I can be sneaky, but I won't claim it's a primary skill -- and as for the rest....SINless." I don't bother going into why. It doesn't really matter, does it? "Transpo, I got my own two feet, at least for now. And yeah, I'll be your dogrobber, if you can help me get geared where I need to be." I'm not opposed. Having a fixer for a sponsor might turn out all right. I will, of course, have to keep up on her payments if I don't want to get tossed out a window...but that's the price of doing business, isn't it? There isn't much I take personally.

"If it's out of budget, it's out of budget," I say, spreading my hands. Then I clasp them together and lean forward. "Listen. I know how this sounds. I'm either desperate or deranged. But I've known people who missed out on opportunities, because their pride wouldn't let them start at the bottom. That won't be me. I deal straight, and I only claim what I know. Everything you offered sounds fine to me, and I'm willing to work with it. Best bargains profit both sides."

I don't say the rest. I don't think I need to. I find out she's screwing me, well, that'll get dealt with when and if it comes up. I doubt it. Rep is all-important to a face or fixer. Cheap tactics like that will burn your rep and badly. A fixer without rep is a car without wheels -- it don't go nowhere. I find a better deal, well, I'd like to leave on good terms -- two contacts is better than one, and I'll do what I can -- but I gotta make a living here. That's what counts.

Alaizante (Zan) (Chance)
(1/24/2015 12:23:30 AM) (2010463)

I don't ask for details. I just nod. "Then it works. I can put you together a SIN that'll be good enough for a quick pass within... say, four, five days, but getting an actual identity that'll stand up to scrutiny will be work for a decker, which means mo' money. I don't have one steady in the stable right now."

I pause. "So you know, this ain't my first rodeo. I know what I'm doing. It's just the venue that's changed."

I motion around us. I don't explain further, but I think he'll get the point. Damnit, I've been a fixer for a decade and a half, I know my shit. I just need to start over from the ground up. Luckily, I've hit the first step without tripping, thanks in part to T.

"And nothing personal, but if you frag off for a month and I get no payback, we'll have a... little issue." I'm not trying to intimidate him, just setting terms. Pleasantly, even. It's amazing how pleasant one can be when discussing a beatdown in oblique terms. "Pretty sure you won't. I tend to be a good judge of this. Otherwise I'd be in the wrong business."

I chuckle darkly. "Everyone's desperate some time, chummer. Everyone. Long's you're willing to walk the walk without any drek cropping up, I won't have problems but I will have work. I don't deal with ego trippers or head cases. Bad for business, and Mister J, whoever he is that time around, wants to know things will get done without him needing details." I pause and consider him, and then say, with surprising charity, "You haven't done this before. But you seem to've gotten the concepts down. Do things like a pro, don't get entangled here," and I motion to my forehead, "Or here," and I point to my breastbone, "And never play games. Keep your cool, count your cred before you walk away. I think you get all that already, which is good. But if you want advice about work-related things, come to me. I'd rather teach you right than have to unteach you the wrong drek. Scan?"

I don't intend to screw him. A good potential runner falling into my lap, not staring at my tits, and understanding he ain't getting hundred-kay jobs up front is rare. If this one pans out, I'll bring him up right with me.

"As an aside? If this was your first negotiation, you're not half bad at it. From here on, though... don't answer any personal questions or volunteer any info toother runners, or fixers, unless it's crucial and relevant. Me, you can talk to. You're gonna be into me for money, I have a vested interest in keeping you alive and working."

A pause. "You got a fake name you want on that SIN or should I just play Name Roulette?"

Mirk (Eric the Bard)
(1/24/2015 12:32:16 AM) (2010471)

"Well, let's get what we can to start, and work our way up the board, so to speak."

I watch her as she talks, nodding along. All sounds like good info, and I have no arguments. Even if I did, I'd keep them to myself. A toothy grin spreads across my face. "Seen plenty, first time riding," I admit, since it's already fucking obvious at this point. I shake my head. "Nothing personal. Nobody likes someone who frags off on a debt. If I miss a payment, omae, then I'll owe you what you can take out of my hide. " Not that I won't fight back, but I expect that's also part of the deal. Gotta make those bullyboys earn their keep, after all.

"Thank you," I incline my head to the compliment. I'm pretty sure she meant it that way, and even if she didn't, I'll take it as I like it. "Everything I told you, I believed to be crucial and relevant," I shrug. "What did you think I didn't need to say?" It's a question not many would ask. I'm taking her criticism, and drawing her out. Only way to learn. This is a different culture I'm headed into.

"Mirk will do," I say, shrugging. "Unless I need yet another name. It's simple, stark, and easy to say."

Alaizante (Zan) (Chance)
(1/24/2015 12:41:12 AM) (2010473)

"Works for me. Once I have a steady decker in the stable, it'll be easier." Because I figure, someone who wants regular work will do it for me cheaper if I'm the one who gets him most of his work. 

"Yeah. Sounds about right." He doesn't get offended, which adds another point. This guy can't be this perfect. He's got to have a skeleton in the closet that would be a problem. Like he eats his kills or something. Eh, sometimes things are what they are. I'll keep an optimistic view on it for now. I nod simply to his acknowledgement about the debt, and press a finger to my lips as I ponder things. I kinda almost pity whoever I send to do it, if he does welsh on the debt.

I did, in fact, mean it that way. I'm not the sort to withhold praise, though I'm not lavish about giving it, either. "Nothing you said to me was irrelevant. It was more a note for the future, not a correction. You don't strike me as the chatty kind though. One thing -- I wouldn't let on to anyone else how much you need the work. They'll try and sell you a bill of cut-rate goods and wind up putting you in a position you don't wanna be in. I'm playing straight with you here because you seem to be one of those rare ducks who didn't get his idea of the Shadows from the trid, and like I said, that's money on both sides."

I shake my head. "Never, never use your shadow name on anything connected to paper, data,or a SIN. You don't want to give any connections at all between the two if it can be avoided. The SIN is just so you can pass for a citizen. Out here in the Barrens, we don't need 'em much. Downtown, that's another story." 

Mirk (Eric the Bard)
(1/24/2015 12:52:44 AM) (2010475)

I think about that, still watching her with those vivid eyes of mine. People of weaker will tend to find that steady stare unnerving. I doubt she's of that stripe, and besides, she's the nicest thing to look at in this hole. I listen as she elaborates, and mark the distinction she makes with a slow nod. She's got several good points. I could tell her why I know to duck my head and pull my forelock, so to speak, but I don't really think she cares.

No one ever cares about the why.

I open my mouth, making a silent "Ah!" as she explains about the names. Dummy mistake. Rookie mistake, and I'm glad I didn't try to negotiate one of these things on my own. I had misunderstood the purpose of a fake SIN. It was a cover identity, not a new one.

"Markus," I say, more or less at random. "Markus Chadwell." Sounds like a pansy rich boy, and that works well enough for me, "I appreciate your directness and willingness to deal. I'd worried someone would try and pick a fight, just to see what I could do, and random bodies left behind are....inconvenient."

Alaizante (Zan) (Chance)
(1/24/2015 1:03:02 AM) (2010477)

It's not that I don't care... well, okay, it is that I don't care, but that's got more to do with the fact that I don't know him yet than anything else. Time comes, I might give a damn. 

I just smile at that. "Like I said... s'why I'd rather teach you right than have you learn wrong." My hand finds the mug again, and I raise it to my lips. Profitable evening all 'round, so far. Now to see what comes out of tomor-- OH! I almost slap my forehead.

I nod. "Got it." I shake my head at that. "Best way to test you out is in the field. Speaking of which, I got a simple job on hand -- simple, but crucial. It's just a courier run, but be forewarned, you're not carying groceries. I don't know specifically what it is, but it's a package small enough to fit in a compact knapsack and under 2 kilos. Shouldn't be more than a one-man job, but on foot, it's gonna take a while. That's not bad in and of itself. Couriers almost never go on foot, so it'll make you less conspicuous." 

I pause and give him an locale, one that's set in a reasonably secure part of the outskirts of the city where industrial interests are often found. "Specific address will come to me at nine tomorrow morning. I'll buzz you with it. You need to pick up the package and get it to another address downtown by one PM. What you're carrying is valuable. There might be some... interest in it. Deal with any nosy people as you see fit, but keep the casual looky-loos separate from the real threats. Pretty sure you'll be able to tell which is which."

I pull out my comm and say, "LTG? So I can call?" 

Mirk (Eric the Bard)
(1/24/2015 1:13:10 AM) (2010478)

I think about it for a moment. "You know, people still jog?" I ask, raising an eyebrow and smiling faintly. Best way to not be taken for one thing? Look like something else. There's no reason anyone has to think I'm carrying anything, unless the package is tracked. I might not go jogging -- but the idea is there. I shrug. "I don't have to be anywhere tomorrow." I'm indifferent to how long it might take....and I might make it faster than she might be aware. I'm pretty fleet on my feet, as it goes.

I absorb the details without a flicker of expression, nodding to show I understand. Telling which is which...I only give a smile to that. Someday, it might get me stabbed or shot, but I refuse to engage someone who isn't a threat to me. It just seems...rude. I give her the information she asks for, and then, I just sit,and wait. Standing and leaving might be taken as rude. I might be broke, but....

What the hell.

"Anything is this piss-stand you actually want to drink?" I ask, cocking an eyebrow and waving a hand in a general sort of way to indicate the bar.

Alaizante (Zan) (Chance)
(1/24/2015 1:22:32 AM) (2010485)

I chuckle at that. I follow, of course. He's quick, this one. "Well, yeah, now you do," I correct. He's got work, which likely is the highlight of his night. And I have money coming in, huzzah! 

His question makes me laugh. "Oh hell no, I've seen the kitchen here. Why do you  think I bring my own?" I motion to the carafe and the mugs. "I pay them to rent the table space, but I'll be damned if I'll drink here. I'm not sure there are enough vaccinations in the world to protect me." 

I grin back toothily. 
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