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]Bookmark here

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

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?Bookmark here

[Shin nods]Bookmark here

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]Bookmark here

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

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?Bookmark here

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

Karina [To Shin]: Am not!Bookmark here

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

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

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

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?Bookmark here

Nikita: 500000? Where’s this coming from?Bookmark here

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

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

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…Bookmark here

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

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?Bookmark here

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

Shin [To Electra]: One sec, damnit.Bookmark here

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

Aleksander: Well, not necessarily.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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

[Drift and Naomi look at each other]Bookmark here

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

Aleksander: Yes.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Aleksander: Well, actually…Bookmark here

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

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. Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

Shin: Both of them, eh? Bookmark here

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

Aleksander: What? It’s business after all.Bookmark here

Nikita: Business? This is blackmail, goddamnit!Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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

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?Bookmark here

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

Electra: Shin mate, what’s going on?Bookmark here

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

Aleksander: Shut it, fodder.Bookmark here

Nikita: Are you really that obtuse, you dipshit?Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

[Aleksander pauses, and looks towards Shin]Bookmark here

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

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

Martial: Oh, even better than I expected.Bookmark here

Shin: Odds on them actually paying the 700?Bookmark here

Martial: Nil. Won’t happen.Bookmark here

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

Aleskander [To Shin]: You…Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

Aleksander: Russia? Plea…Bookmark here

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

Aleksander: And so, what now then? Huh?Bookmark here

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

Aleksander: And why’s that?Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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

Yaro: But sir, the other two!Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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]Bookmark here

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

[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]Bookmark here

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

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? Bookmark here

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

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

Drift: Yup, I’m Drift. Bookmark here

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

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. Bookmark here

Yuki: So you contracted him?Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

Karina [To Shin]: Uh, Shinzo!Bookmark here

Shin: Yo!Bookmark here

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

Shin: Oh, just let him down.Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

Drift: So, just let em go?Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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. Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

Naomi: The second guy didn’t though…Bookmark here

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

Naomi: That’s true.Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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

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?Bookmark here

Nikita: So, we’re free to go?Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Nikita: Fodder?Bookmark here

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

Nikita [Turns towards him]: You…Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Shin: Wait! I want information!Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

Martial: Not Russia? What?Bookmark here

Nikita: Shut your mouth, shitbag.Bookmark here

Shin: Go on.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Shin: Petersburg?Bookmark here

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

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. Bookmark here

Martial: Go cry to your boss or some shit.Bookmark here

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

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

[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]Bookmark here

Drift [To Shin]: Why?Bookmark here

Shin: Why what?Bookmark here

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

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

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?Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

Karina: I don’t buy it.Bookmark here

Shin: Awwwww.Bookmark here

Karina: Spill it you pest.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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

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

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

Ashe [Laughs]: Yeah, me neither. Bookmark here

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

Kohaku [From the other hallway]: Maki?Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Bookmark here

Ryouchi: Huh? What, Katarov?Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

Kohaku: Internet personality?Bookmark here

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

Kohaku: So he is an internet personality?Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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

Shin [To Martial]: Katarov?Bookmark here

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

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

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?Bookmark here

Martial: Bingo! 10 points!Bookmark here

Shin: Gifts?Bookmark here

Martial: Yeah, they’re phenom – Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

Yuki [Realizing]: Oh shit...Bookmark here

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

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

Martial: Not a clue.Bookmark here

Shin: Drift, you?Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

Karina: What’s the trashbag like, eh?Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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?Bookmark here

Karina: Fair point.Bookmark here

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

Kohaku: Huh?Bookmark here

Yuki: So, who exactly knows everyone here?Bookmark here

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

Martial: Martial.Bookmark here

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

Martial: But Martial sounds better!Bookmark here

Ryouchi: Who the hell thought Martial would be better?Bookmark here

Martial: I did.Bookmark here

Ryouchi: Ko, do you approve of this horseshit?Bookmark here

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

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

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

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…Bookmark here

Karina: Yup, yup, so far so good.Bookmark here

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]Bookmark here

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

Electra: Figured as much.Bookmark here

Naomi: Elec, don’t be mean!Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

Ryouchi: Did she just say bad guys?Bookmark here

Martial: She did.Bookmark here

Ryouchi: How old is she again?Bookmark here

Martial: Nineteen.Bookmark here

Ryouchi: You’re kidding.Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

Ryouchi: You? Beat me? Come on.Bookmark here

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

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

Ashe: This one! You wanna go?Bookmark here

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

Ryouchi: I guess you’re right.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

Yuki: Ah, so it wasn’t you then Shin?Bookmark here

Shin: Well, no.Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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

Shin: Shut up.Bookmark here

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

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

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

[Pauses, then pans back to Yuki]Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

Ryouchi [Looks downwards]: Shut up.Bookmark here

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

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

Yuki: A scout?Bookmark here

Martial: Information broker, how’s that?Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

Karina: Higuchi? Really?Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Yuki: What the hell does that mean?Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Karina [To Drift]: Drift?Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

Yuki: Shinzo? You good man?Bookmark here

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

You can resume reading from this paragraph.