Chapter 7:

Acquaintances and Enemies

The Forbidden and the Gifted

[10:38 a.m., August 8th 2048, Shanghai, China. The door to the shop-hideout which Aleksander, Nikita and Yaro were using is busted down, and standing at the entrance is Shin with the gun in his hand, and Electra just behind him, with his leg still extended from kicking down the door. From behind them, Karina and Yuki can be seen, as well as the outlines of the three others. Nikita looks toward Aleksander, who looks shocked]

Shin [To Electra]: You not skipping leg day has it’s benefits, eh?

Electra: I shit you not, I didn’t think I’d actually knock the damn door down, but well, here we are. All's well that ends will is the quote, right?

[Shin nods]

Aleskander [To Yaro, with an evident sense of fluster]: Don’t just stand there damnit, go find this bastard’s friends damnit! [He points to Martial]

Yaro: Yessir, yessir! [He takes off towards the corridor, but is stopped dead in his tracks as Karina moves swiftly to intercept him]

Karina [To Yaro]: Aww, where’d you think you were going? [Draws her knife from her purse] Don’t ya think we were just starting to have some fun? No?

Shin: Jeez, you’re more of a damn sadist than you guys make me out to be.

Karina [To Shin]: Am not!

Shin [Under his breath]: Of course you are.

Aleksander [Sighs, then, with frustration, looks towards Shin]: So, bud, whad’ya want? Clearly you aren’t here with our delivery eh?

Shin [Gestures behind him]: Oh no, she’s here, she’s here. [Ashe appears standing behind Drift]

Aleksander: Ah, so you’re the cops eh? Getting busted in China of all places? How much you guys want to let em off? I can bankroll you 500000 euros or so if you need, just pass the girl, would ya?

Nikita: 500000? Where’s this coming from?

Aleksander: Funds. [Glares at him] Now shut your damn mouth. [Turns to Shin] How about it eh? 500000 sounds like a good bit, no?

Shin [Curiously]: Where are ya getting this from, mister?

Aleksander: We’re part of a group, that’s all, aha. What do you say to it though? Or do you want some more, perhaps? I could arrange…

Shin: Oh, ho, ho, what are we talking? Enough for my comrades and myself?

Aleksander: Well sir, I don’t know if I have all that, but I could certainly afford 100000 for each of you, so 700000? How’s that sound?

Electra [To Shin]: Oi, Shin, what’re you thinking?

Shin [To Electra]: One sec, damnit.

Shin: That sounds pretty decent. You’re part of a group, eh? From around here?

Aleksander: Well, not necessarily.

Shin: Got enough funds to bankroll some countries I’d assume, if you can drop an exorbitant amount like this for a single bust, eh? I’m assuming you’re a higher-up then, no?

Aleksander: Well, I can’t specify all that, but this isn’t just a single bust sir. This one’s important.

[Drift and Naomi look at each other]

Shin: Oh, so she’s special? That’s why you can throw these ridiculous sums at me?

Aleksander: Yes.

Shin: Don’t worry, don’t worry, this is our little secret, right? [His eyebrows cock downwards and he smiles menacingly at Aleksander] You selling her into Europe? [Pauses] You really shouldn’t, I’d heard the prices from Arabia are much higher for people like her.

Aleksander: Well, actually…

Shin: Oh don’t tell me you’re actually selling into Arabia? Oh, you guys really are a smart lot.

Aleksander: I don’t need to explain the details, but yes, it’s an Arabian deal for a good bit. I’ll say that much at least.

Shin: You won’t tell me the price? [Pauses] Eh, it’s probably only because you guys are getting a way better haul than you’re giving me. I understand, I understand. Anyway, the transaction? You got it in cash?

Aleksander: Nah. I can write it on a cheque, but only the first 100000.

Shin: Oh? Why’s that? Don’t tell me you’re being cheap on me.

Aleksander: Oh no. You can keep both of these two subordinates as a token of my truthfulness, I assure you, I’ll pay in full. I just need to get it properly from back home.

Shin: Both of them, eh?

Nikita [To Aleksander]: Aye, Aleks, what the fuck man?

Aleksander: What? It’s business after all.

Nikita: Business? This is blackmail, goddamnit!

Aleksander: When did I say I was abandoning you? I just take the girl back and get the deal done, then the rest of the 600000 can be given to them, and you guys come back with me.

Shin: Sounds alright to me. You gonna hand me the cheque now though?

Aleksander: Yeah, let me just write it in. [He pulls out a blank chequebook, writes in the 100000 and tears it off to Shin] Now, should we trade my man for the chick?

Yuki [To Shin]: What are you doing man?

Electra: Shin mate, what’s going on?

Nikita [To Aleksander]: Man, wait. You’re just gonna do this? You don’t suspect shit?

Aleksander: Shut it, fodder.

Nikita: Are you really that obtuse, you dipshit?

Aleksander: Huh? Who are you to speak to me like that?

Nikita: Man shut up and think. Why would a damn Chinese cop know anything about the god-damn black market?

Aleksander: Don’t ya know? They’re all corrupt here eh. Just like back home. No one’s a clean card like those bastards in the States and all.

Nikita: Sure, they are. But why would he, just a regular-ass cop, know anything about selling shit into god-damn Arabia, eh?

[Aleksander pauses, and looks towards Shin]

Shin [Looks back towards Ashe, then forward to Aleksander, then speaks]: Yo, Martial, about as expected, no?

[Aleksander looks back to Martial, who hasn’t moved]

Martial: Oh, even better than I expected.

Shin: Odds on them actually paying the 700?

Martial: Nil. Won’t happen.

Shin: Ha, figures, figures, that’s why I wanted the cheque first y’know.

Aleskander [To Shin]: You…

Shin: Yup. You guys may have some muscle and all, but damn do you guys lack in the intelligence department. Sucks. I mean, what kind of shitty ass cop raid is this? To bring the damn victim to you? What type of fuckin’ cops do you idiots have back in the Baltics and Russia, eh? Do you guys just not have cops? And I would've though that your boss would've at least warned you that the guys from Eastern would show up to bust y'all. 

Aleksander: Russia? Plea…

Shin: Don’t play dumb, you oaf. You have the thickest damn accent in the world - anyone would be able to tell.

Aleksander: And so, what now then? Huh?

Shin: Oh, nothing. We’re just gonna want some more information, that’s all.

Aleksander: And why’s that?

Shin: Why should we tell you, eh? We’re the ones in this room holding all the power, not you. You don’t have a damn right to question us.

Aleksander: Oh really? Then, why should I stay here and get this? I’m taking the damn boy and going.

Yaro: But sir, the other two!

Aleksander: Leave the damn others. [Pause] Or do whatever the hell you like with ‘em, I don’t really care, I’m taking this one back and calling it a fail, I guess. [Grimaces] Shit man!

Electra [Loudly]: Hey, but who said you were leaving? More important, how are ya leaving eh?

Aleksander [Smirks and grips Martial]: Like this, eh.

[Martial extends his free arm and lunges it at Aleksander, who dodges the blow well, however, his arm gets scratched by Martial’s nails]

Martial: No fair man! You said you were gonna kill me and now you’re not! Hey, hey, tell me, which one is it, which one? Do you need me that badly? Hey, hey, tell me sir.

Aleksander [Furiously]: Oh, buzz off already! [He reaches for his gun, but he notices Drift and Yuki running towards him, so he scampers to put it away, and kicks Martial away]

Drift [Catches up to him before Yuki]: Oh, so you’re running, eh? Not to –

[Aleksander turns around, reaches his arms toward Drift, and twists Drift’s left arm, to which Drift screeches in pain. He then kicks him backwards into Yuki, throwing both of them backwards, before running off towards the back exit]

Shin [To Martial]: You got it; I’d hope?

Martial: Yeah, I did. Dumbass probably won’t even suspect that he’s being tracked by a da,m pen, aha! Why the hell would a kid who’s being confined to you be so touchy feely anyway? He think I got friggin Stockholm Syndrome or some shit?

Drift [Interjects, to Martial]: So, you’re the kid eh? Martial, was it?

Martial [Looks up at him, pleasantly surprised]: Yup. Drift’s who you are right?

Drift: Yup, I’m Drift.

Yuki [Looks up from where she was, dazed]: Wait, wait. How the hell? Who are you?

Drift: Remember how I was talking about those rumors and all? This guy’s a good source for all that on those underground posting sites and all.

Yuki: So you contracted him?

Drift: Contracted? Please, I couldn’t. In fact, he was the one who lead me to this gem mine. That’s why we were able to intercept this thing back in Korea.

Naomi: So the real mastermind behind this is… this kid?

Shin [To Naomi]: Woah, woah, woah, who are we calling a mastermind? Don’t use that so lightly, I’m the real brains behind the operation.

Naomi: Yeah, I’ve heard that one before.

Karina [To Shin]: Uh, Shinzo!

Shin: Yo!

Karina [Points at Yaro]: Whad’ya want me to do with this one?

Shin: Oh, just let him down.

Drift [To Shin]: Really? You know these guys aren’t like those two in Korea. That guy packed a damn hit, holy shit.

Martial: Relax, relax. That guys the main brain behind all the shit here. These two are just his lackeys. Of course, the main guy would be strong. He’s from the top brass, so naturally.

Drift: Still, what do we do with these two though? Any ideas?

Karina: I’m fine with letting them do whatever they want. I don’t want them on my side though.

Drift: So, just let em go?

Karina: Well, yeah. They saw what their boss said about them and how willing he was to just trade em to save some Euros.

Shin: That’s fair. I mean, we have the tracker on that guy too. [Pauses] Still, I’d like to get some more information out of both of you. You seem closer to the boss than those idiots in Seoul, so I’d assume you’re more in on this than them. Wanna spill? It’s the least you can do for us letting you go.

Nikita: Why the hell are you guys letting us go?

Shin: Aw, no good. [Slaps him] Who do you think you are? Answer me first, damnit.

Nikita: I’m not answering shit unless you answer. I don’t care if that bastard Prokhov’s just another shitbox like everyone else there. I want an answer... why the hell wouldn’t you just kill us both? You think we’re leverage? He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about us. It’s like this demon kid said [Looks at Martial], he’d never fess up the 700000.

Electra: You want an answer? What do we get out of killing ya? You think we do it for fun?

Naomi: You’re one to talk, considering what happened in Korea.

Electra: Listen, listen, I had to. I didn’t know if that guy was armed or not, and they were desperate lackeys, they would’ve shot back.

Naomi: The second guy didn’t though…

Electra: Yeah, because we scared him with our own strength. He was willing to shoot, he just couldn’t.

Naomi: That’s true.

Electra [To Nikita]: Anyway, we’re pretty shitty people. We kill, we steal, we do a bunch of messed-up shit. But we like to keep to our own moral code, if you know what I mean. Sure, we’re probably going to hell, and sure, most of the feds around the world would love to shove bullets in our heads, but we do what we think is right.

Naomi: And human trafficking is a big no-no!

Electra: Yeah, it’s a bunch of bullshit, what y’all are tryna do. But the guys in Korea told us the gist of the situation back there for y’all. The top dogs eat and no one else does. We aren’t here to resent you, we’re here to go there and try and change shit. Isn’t that what you want?

Nikita: So, we’re free to go?

Electra: Well, we know who y’all are and all, but do we look like the cops? We have two choices, to kill y’all or to let y’all go. If it was the top guy, we’d probably want him dead. Y’all are just fodder.

Nikita: Fodder?

Martial [From behind]: Yeah, you heard him, you’re basically worthless, you useless lackey.

Nikita [Turns towards him]: You…

Martial [Sadistically]: I wouldn’t do that now if I were ya. You’re outnumbered to hell now, it ain’t a 3 on 1 like before, aha.

Karina [To Nikita]: He’s right, y’know. Now scutter, scutter, leave us be. Go back to your boss or something, I don’t know.

Shin: Wait! I want information!

Karina: What damn information are you gonna extract that you don’t already know?

Shin: I don’t know, only they do! [Looks towards them] Now, tell me, tell me.

Nikita: What the hell do you wanna know? We only know we came to extract the girl, that’s it.

Shin: Oh, I don’t care about the mission. Tell me about your home, y’know. Gimme a little something.

Nikita: Huh? We have control of the Baltics but not Russia.

Martial: Not Russia? What?

Nikita: Shut your mouth, shitbag.

Shin: Go on.

Nikita: What more is there to say?, I’m from the Baltics… I just learned that Russia isn’t under much control except Petersburg… the big boss apparently got their main base there, partnered with the Russians.

Shin: Petersburg?

Nikita: That’s what I’ve heard, and that’s all I’ve heard.

Shin: Really? That’s kinda shit, but alright, it’s something we didn’t know. Now go on, take your quiet ass buddy and leave.

Martial: Go cry to your boss or some shit.

Nikita [Taps Yaro, then turns around]: I’ll see you sometime around, you friggin shitbag.

Martial: Hmph. I don’t have time in my schedule for lackeys like ya.

[The two grimace, then walk out the back door (not the hallway leading to the room). A few seconds later, a car engine can be heard and then it disappears]

Drift [To Shin]: Why?

Shin: Why what?

Drift: You know, why the hell didn’t we kill em right here?

Shin: Aw, whad’ya mean? They’re puppies, they can’t do shit.

Karina [To Shin]: Still, that isn’t all like you. I went along with it, but I’m with Drift. What’s your deal, sadist?

Shin: Aw, I just thought it’d be a bit unfair of a fight, that’s all. I mean, look at us and they’re just two lackeys, what are they gonna do? Seems a bit unfair.

Karina: I don’t buy it.

Shin: Awwwww.

Karina: Spill it you pest.

Shin: Well, their boss just abandoned them, right? But, we know the situation back home, that’s the reason we killed that other guy, if we kill em, it’s probably more likely they just let their family live. See now, they could betray him and try and do some shit, but what’s a revolution of two lowly scrubs? Ha! And even if they did form some shit against him, and even if they did win, everyone back home just dies. So now they just have to go back to serving that regime, whether they like it or not, whether their leaders are willing to sell them to save some bank on their already illustrious fortunes, or they’d have to abandon their families and everyone back home. They would have rather died here, y’know?

Karina: And there’s the sadists explanation, as expected.

Ashe [To Naomi]: Wow, he really is as advertised, isn’t he?

Naomi: I don’t know if coming as advertised is good for him though.

Ashe [Laughs]: Yeah, me neither.

[A brief pause, then a figure appears from the hallway]

Kohaku [From the other hallway]: Maki?

Martial [Turns towards her]: Huh? I thought I told y’all to stay put.

Ryouchi: It’s been nearly twenty minutes and there’s basically a party going on here. Screw off with your stay put business.

Martial [Pulls at Ryouchi jokingly]: Oh, so you’re the disobedient one, are you? I knew Kohaku wouldn’t do anything like this.

Ryouchi: You’re such an ass, you know.

Martial: Well, you’re stuck with me for now at least.

Kohaku [To Martial]: Uh, Maki, who are these guys?

Martial: Oh them! They’re, well, reinforcements? I guess that’s what you’d call them?

Electra: Reinforcements? What the hell? We saved your ass!

Martial: Also fair, but I was counting on it.

Electra: I know, I know, but we aren’t just reinforcements.

Martial: Yeah, yeah, fair, fair. [To Kohaku, points to Drift] Drifto here is the guy I’ve been talking a bunch about to you two.

Ryouchi: Huh? What, Katarov?

Martial: No dipshit, why would Katarov come in here and try to beat the shit out of his men? More importantly, why would Katarov suddenly be called Drift?

Kohaku: Internet personality?

Martial: No damnit! [Pauses] Well actually, yes, but no at the same time.

Kohaku: So he is an internet personality?

Martial: He’s one of the guys I’ve been in touch with on those sites. [Stands proud] I’m basically the reason they’re here right now.

Ryouchi: So, this guy ain’t Katarov then eh?

Martial: No dummy, Katarov’s the main guy we wanna get, he’s not here.

Shin [To Martial]: Katarov?

Martial: Yeah, he’s the guy at the end of this tunnel that we’re gonna get.

Shin: Drift, this your first time hearing that name?

Drift: I’ve heard rumors of the guy, but I’ve never had a name to match the identity. I’m assuming you’re talking the gifted fellow?

Martial: Bingo! 10 points!

Shin: Gifts?

Martial: Yeah, they’re phenom –

Shin: No, no, I’ve heard of gifts. I know what they are, damnit. You said this guy was Katarov, right? And he’s the leader of this?

Yuki [Realizing]: Oh shit...

Martial: Well, yeah, that’s what I’ve read, heard, and seen so far.

Shin: You got a clue about what his gift is?

Martial: Not a clue.

Shin: Drift, you?

Drift: Nada, I just know that he’s probably one of them. I’m not as much of a deep diver as Martial.

Martial [To Shin]: Why so excited about it all of a sudden?

Shin [Stutters]: Oh, nothing. Just good to have a name to put behind this identity, like Drift said.

Yuki [Thinking]: I guess he's finally found him...

Karina: What’s the trashbag like, eh?

Martial: Well, he’s supposed to be the top dog in the Empire, and probably for the right reason. There isn’t much actual information on him, there’s just a bunch of propaganda on how he helped restructure the fallen Baltic states because of all of the Corruption that took place after the Great Baltic War.

Karina: They’re still doing propaganda in this day?

Martial: Of course. Especially in trashy places like that when morale’s low. People are so easy to manipulate, and when you have power, who’s gonna stop you, right?

Karina: Fair point.

Yuki [Interjects]: Hold it, hold it, hold it.

Kohaku: Huh?

Yuki: So, who exactly knows everyone here?

Karina: Shin and Drift I think know everyone, this guy… what’s your name again?

Martial: Martial.

Ryouchi: Quit your shit Maki, just go by Maki.

Martial: But Martial sounds better!

Ryouchi: Who the hell thought Martial would be better?

Martial: I did.

Ryouchi: Ko, do you approve of this horseshit?

Kohaku: Well, I think Maki’s better… but whatever you want Maki! [Smiles]

Yuki: Maki, Martial, whatever, so he knows about this…

Karina: I’d say I kinda get what’s going on. Elec, you with me?

Electra: I don’t know everyone’s names, but it makes some sense – Drift knew about Martial, planned this little escapade, Shin was in on most of it and is now in on all of it, these two others next to Martial are just his friends…

Karina: Yup, yup, so far so good.

Electra: Karina basically understands what’s going on, I’m sorta on board, Naomi, you getting all this? [He taps Naomi, who’s standing next to him]

Naomi [Talking with Ashe]: Huh? Naomi wasn’t listening!

Electra: Figured as much.

Naomi: Elec, don’t be mean!

Electra: I’m not, I’m not. And Ashe, I assume you don’t know what’s happening either?

Ashe: Well, we’re here because I was supposed to be delivered here, but we met some either guy who you guys know, and you all drove the actual bad guys away.

Ryouchi: Did she just say bad guys?

Martial: She did.

Ryouchi: How old is she again?

Martial: Nineteen.

Ryouchi: You’re kidding.

Ashe [To Ryouchi and Martial]: I can hear you two, you know! Just because my dialect isn’t great doesn’t mean I won’t beat you guys up!

Ryouchi: You? Beat me? Come on.

Electra [To Ryouchi]: Don’t underestimate her. She’s a black belt for a reason.

Ryouchi: HER? A black belt? In which world?

Ashe: This one! You wanna go?

Karina [Steps between them]: I don’t really think that’s an effective use of resources you two.

Ryouchi: I guess you’re right.

Electra [To Yuki]: Anyway, back to what we were saying, it seems that even Ashe has a clue about what’s going on. Are you just clueless?

Yuki: Shut up man! This is confusing, you know!

Electra: You really think there’s that many variables here?

Yuki: Yeah. Break it down again for me, would you?

Electra: Okay, okay. Drift knows this Martial guy from online. Drift told Shin about Ashe because he got the information from Martial, as well as from Takuya, so that’s how we got the intellect on her.

Yuki: Ah, so it wasn’t you then Shin?

Shin: Well, no.

Yuki: Ha, figures. [Shin sighs as Yuki pauses] Anyway, go on Elec.

Electra: So then, we flew out to Korea, got her, and flew into China, all while these three here were trying to help and infiltrate this place to scope it out.

Yuki: Okay, still mainly following… wait. Why’d they have to scope out? Aren’t we basically a good enough team? Why risk getting hurt?

Drift [Interjects]: You’ll have to ask idiot one over here [points to Martial]. I told him to stay back until we got here.

Yuki [To Martial]: Huh? Then why’d you come?

Martial: It’d be more fun after all. Besides, I would have been the only one to be able to track him down with my impressive skills.

Ryouchi [Chops his back]: Definitely worth it, considering you could’ve got killed in the process.

Martial: Aw, but that’s the thrill of it!

Karina [To Shin]: Your weird offspring or long-lost brother, perhaps?

Shin: Shut up.

Karina: What, he’s just like you, except in the opposite manner. He’s the definition of a masochist.

Shin: More crazy than masochistic, I’d say.

Karina: Ah right, how could I forget, the sadist can tell a good masochist when he sees one. A truly remarkable talent.

[Pauses, then pans back to Yuki]

Yuki [To Electra]: Anyway, back to it Elec.

Electra: Alright, so then we were supposed to come in and bust these guys, probably take some money along the way like Shin did – although I have no clue if that was part of the plan or not, just saying – and then get information out of the bossman.

Yuki: The bossman’s the guy who ran away first right?

Electra: Yeah, he's a higher-up for sure. Martial, you got a name on him?

Martial: Heard one of the lackeys call him Aleks, but I’m not too sure. Aleksander maybe? Aleksov? I don’t really know. I can check my information, but I'm pretty sure he just went by Aleks from what I gathered.

Yuki: But we didn’t even get information out of the bossman, did we? His lackeys told us next to nothing other than that we probably gotta reroute Daisuke and Natsumi to Petersburg now.

Electra: That’s pretty vital information. We could’ve sent them to Moscow like we were planning to and wasted time with that shit.

Yuki: How do we know they aren’t lying though?

Electra: We don’t. That’s where the bossman comes in.

Yuki: How the hell are we supposed to find him though?

Martial: Didn’t you hear? I sacrificed my life for the tracking chip!

Yuki: Oh, so that’s what you were talking about.

Martial: Yup, so now we’ll know exactly where he is and what he’s doing.

Yuki: Ah, I see. You’re a wild one. Why’d you drag your friends into this though?

Martial: They wanted to see some action and what I’ve been talking about for all this time.

Ryouchi: No, we came to keep you from dying, you damn moron.

Martial: Aw, as much as I appreciate the sentiment, weren’t you the one who begged me to bring you from Beijing? Me and Ko had to make a stop there just for you to bring you here.

Ryouchi [Looks downwards]: Shut up.

Yuki [To Martial]: So, this is basically your job then?

Martial: Not exactly, I’m more of a scout, I don’t often do stuff like this, cause I’m not very strong.

Yuki: A scout?

Martial: Information broker, how’s that?

Yuki: You’re an information broker? How the hell haven’t we heard of you? We’re Eastern, if you didn’t already know.

Martial: You think I don’t know? [Laughs] Everyone all around knows about you lot, you guys are great. I heard tons of good shit happened in Japan ever since you started to mediate the scene there. Lots of thrill-rides for y'all I'd presume.

Yuki: Yeah, yeah, things started to settle down once we took the reigns. We have a lot of presence, y’know. So, how haven’t we heard of you?

Karina: I mean, there are a ton of brokers in these parts.

Yuki: But he’s the one who got the scoop on this thing. He’s gotta be someone big then?

Karina: Fair. [To Martial] Kid, how big are ya?

Martial: Oh boy, I didn’t think anyone would ask my virg…

Kohaku [Slaps him]: Not that way! In terms of popularity.

Martial: Oh, of course, of course, haha. [Pauses] I’m pretty big in the scene, I’d say. I know a lot of brokers, but a lot of them go through me. Hell, even your boy Higuchi goes through me.

Karina: Higuchi? Really?

Martial: Yeah, I was surprised. I didn’t think that he’d break off from you guys, but he told me it wasn’t any fighting or the lot. Just for the better?

Karina: Yeah, he had his own business to deal with.

Yuki [Interjects]: Wait, then, if Higuchi knows about you, why the hell don’t we know about you? [Pauses] Well, we do now, but you know what I mean.

Martial: Well, since I’m pretty big, I like to keep a low profile as much as possible. [Pauses] That sounds oxymoronic if I do say so myself, but yeah, people find out about me because they want to find out about me.

Yuki: What the hell does that mean?

Martial: Well, people, like these other brokers, will find me because I’m the top of the food chain. I consider you guys my level, so I wasn’t about to bow my head to you guys and beg to help. Don’t worry, I’m only as big as you in information, I can’t compete on any of the other levels.

Yuki: Again, what are you talking about? You’re our level, sure, but why wouldn’t we know about you in that case? We keep tabs on everyone.

Martial: Lots of the others who y’all know either got caught or wanted to impress you guys and get on your good side. I’m neither, I’m just here for the fun of it, I don’t wanna get on your good side necessarily, but I also ain’t stupid enough to make noise and lead you guys onto me. Unlike the other idiots, I deal in information exclusively, not anything else, because that’s what makes this world spin. I don’t need to be a mobster or a gang guy or some other bullshit to have a mantra, y’know?

Karina [Nods in agreement, then looks at him]: So then, why help us now? Or not even help us, why’d you even just work with us at the very least?

Martial: Pure coincidence that Drifto found me on those sites, although I can say that I was very happy to talk with him. I may not have wanted to get on your good books, but like I said, I really do admire what you guys do and all, so giving him some information was worth it.

Karina [To Drift]: Drift?

Drift: Yeah, it was just luck of the draw. I was doing some research and saw some rumors and stuff, so I looked deeper and found that this was gonna go down. I guess Martial was in on this stuff, and we found a common goal in screwing these Baltic dumbasses over.

Karina: Ah okay. [Looks at Yuki] You understand everything now?

Yuki: Don’t look at me like you knew all of that before as well!

Karina: You’re right, I didn’t. [Both laugh, and the shot pans to Kohaku]

Kohaku [To Martial and Drift]: So, what do we do now?

Drift: I’d assume the rat’s trying to get out of here, eh?

Martial [Checks his phone]: He’s stopped somewhere, but his trajectory looks like he’s going towards the airport, yeah.

Karina: So, we gotta get going then. We can’t let him on a flight now if we want information.

Drift: Yup. Martial, you and your friends coming?

Martial: Yeah, we are, we’ll let these two see what you guys are capable of and then we’ll go from there with whatever information we get.

Drift: Perfect. [Pauses] Wait, what about the car? We don’t have the damn space.

Ryouchi: Ko got an eight-seater, we’re okay. You two [points at Ashe and Naomi], you want a ride?

Naomi [Looks up]: Oh us? Yeah, we’ll come!

Martial: Perfect, let’s get going. [Everyone leaves the building, as the next shot pans to Shin in the car, looking at his hand]

Yuki: Shinzo? You good man?

Shin [Looks up, dazed and falling asleep]: Oh yeah. Yeah, I’m good.