Chapter 13:

Top Brass

The Forbidden and the Gifted

[12:47 p.m., August 8th 2048, Shanghai, China. The flashback ends as Shin suddenly awakens in the back of the car, with Yuki yelling at him to wake up. They appear outside of the international terminal at which Martial had tracked Aleksander down]

Yuki: Shin, wake the hell up!

Shin [Opens his eye and sees his door opened]: Huh?

Yuki: You knocked out for the ride, damnit! Come on, we’re here!

Shin: Huh? Where are we?

Yuki: The airport damnit!

Shin [Shakes his head, then realizes]: Oh shit, yeah, yeah, yeah, my bad.

Yuki: You in the right headspace?

Shin: Yeah, yeah, I am. Don’t worry.

Karina [Punches him lightly]: We can’t have ya giving out on us here, y’know?

Shin: I mean, we got the manpower, don’t we?

Karina: Yeah, we do. But still, this guy’s slippery as hell. Tracker or not, we don’t wanna let him get away, you hear?

Shin: Yes madam, yes. [Shakes his head] Eh, well, since when did you take commander from me?

Karina: Drifto assigned me it.

Shin [To Drift]: That so?

Drift [Confused]: Huh? The hell is she talking about?

Shin [To Karina]: So, I take it you’re full of shit.

Karina [Giggles]: Man, shut up, you were knocked out during a mission.

[All four chuckle, and Electra approaches them]

Drift [To Electra]: Anything?

Electra [To group]: Those four and Naomi got the far east wing of the terminal. We should be able to trap the fucker.

Drift: Okay, okay.

Karina [To Drift and Electra]: We should try and push him towards us though, right?

Drift: Why so? We got even numbers…

Karina: You really consider those two kids with Martial numbers? And that girl with us? Really?

Drift: Fair point.

Electra [To Drift]: He’s on the move.

Drift: Where to?

Electra: Towards us.

Karina [To all four]: Let’s get going then.

Shin: Bet.

[The five of them enter the airport from its west entrance, proceeding to move together through large groups of people]

Shin [To Karina]: Tak’s done his end, hasn’t he?

Karina: Of course, he did. Security should’ve got their payment before you took off from Korea, we’ll be good.

Shin: Perfect, perfect.

Yuki: They couldn’t help us?

Karina: We didn’t have any information on the guy we were going after, so they really couldn’t do anything. And now it’s too late to do anything to improve our chances.

Yuki: Yeah, I guess, but what’re we even paying them off for then? They can’t possibly turn a blind eye to a brawl, can they?

Karina: Well, no they can’t. But if one happens, they’ll step in and won’t fatally harm us. Probably just tasers… and then they’ll sweep the whole thing under a rug. Oh yeah, and they’ll delete all the security camera footage of us.

Yuki: Cool, cool. Weird that you can get whatever the hell you want here with a good amount of money, but hey, don’t color me too shocked.

[The five continue to walk past check-in counters until they reach Hall E]

Shin [To the other four]: 2:00.

[All three of them turn their heads to the right and notice the large silhouette of a man walking towards a private lounge]

Yuki: That was quick.

Electra: That should make our job easier, shouldn’t it?

Yuki: I mean, it’s a private lounge. There shouldn’t be many people to worry about.

Electra: Exactly. Less need for intervention.

Karina: Why the hell is there a private lounge before passport control and security?

Electra: I guess European airlines do things differently than what’s normal from around here.

Karina [To Electra]: Yeah, you’d know a lot about that eh half and half?

Electra: Well…

[Karina laughs, as Shin notices something]

Shin: 12:00. It’s the other five.

[They look up and see Naomi and Martial looking directly at them. Shin does a hand gesture, with his hand coming across his chest horizontally twice, before moving the same hand to the left and then pointing it towards them and motioning downwards twice]

Yuki: Eh? Why’re you using our gestures with them? You think they know?

Shin: Do you need glasses? Look who’s looking at us.

Yuki [Looks towards them]: Oh, Naomi’s in the front. Alright, alright, my bad.

Electra: What’d you even signal?

Yuki: Huh? How the hell do you not know Elec?

Electra: Oh no, I probably know, I just wasn’t paying attention. I was keeping my eye on the rat.

Yuki: Oh. [Pauses] Well, he just signaled for them to wait one second and then follow us to the same location that we’re going to.

Electra: Ah, okay. [To Shin] Should we get going then?

Shin: Yeah. [Looks towards the lounge] Where the hell’d he go?

Electra: Don’t worry, don’t worry, he just went inside.

Shin: He got buzzed through that quickly?

Electra: Guess so.

Shin: Shit, we gotta get there quick.

[The group picks up their pace as they move towards the lounge]

Karina: Why the hurry?

Shin: You don’t know the shit that’s in this airport, do you?

Karina: Well…

Shin: None of us told Tak to get us blueprints of the damn place, so that’s on us. So, we don’t know what  staircases or whatnot are in this damn place.

Karina: You really think he knows he’s being tracked down though?

Shin: I doubt a guy of his caliber would be stupid enough to be at ease in a foreign country – that much I’ll say at least.

Karina: Shit, yeah.

[They approach the lounge, and Karina looks behind them to see Martial, Naomi and the others following behind, as were instructed]

Yuki [To Shin]: What do you wanna do?

Shin: We go in, obviously.

Yuki: No, no, what if this guy’s in on what he’s doing?

Shin: Did you forget? We paid off the whole security already. He could’ve paid em off too, but they aren’t in a position to reject us.

Yuki: Okay, go talk to him. [She motions to the Security guard posted in front of the lounge]

Shin: With pleasure, m’lady.

[He approaches the security guard, who stares at him intently]

Security: LOT Polish and British Airways first class passengers beyond this point sir. Do you have your boarding pass?

Shin: No, I don’t. Hell, I haven’t even checked in as yet. I thought I could do it here, couldn’t I?

Security [Scowls]: Sir, your gold passport is required for that.

Shin [Looks at him and cocks a smile]: I ain’t carrying a gold. What’re you gonna do about that?

Karina [Behind, to Yuki]: Why’d you send him?

Yuki: I didn’t think he was this much of an idiot!

Karina: Well, now you know, don’t ya?

Security: Sir, I will call my men to escort you out of this terminal, and we can take you to custody. This is private property and a private lounge on the airport premises. We have jurisdiction.

Shin: You’re security though, aren’t you?

Security [Glares at him]: Yes, I am. I have the right…

Shin: Takuya Kurou, eh?

Security [His glare becomes increasingly confused]: How do you…

Shin: Karina, what’s the figure?

Karina [From behind]: 188000 American Dollars. Am I wrong, mister security?

Security [Bewildered]: Who the hell are you?

Shin: We’re the guys that that money’s for, from Takuya in Japan, with love. Now, you can’t deny a buying customer access, can you? Gold or not?

Security: How many of you?

Karina: 10 total.

Security: Ten!

Shin [Smiles]: Is there a problem, my good sir?

Security [Looks at him]: No, there isn’t. Go right ahead.

[The other five trail Yuki, Shin, Electra, Drift and Karina by a minute, but they too are buzzed through by the security guard. The ten then meet up, and Shin looks at Martial]

Shin [To Martial]: Well, your two siblings…

Ryouchi: I’m his cousin, not his sibling damnit.

Shin: Yeah, yeah, whatever, you two and Yoshino, y’all should stay at the back. We don’t know where this bastard could be. And he’s dangerous as hell. We have enough manpower, but we don’t want casualties, got it?

Martial [Laughs]: Yeah, yeah, I think I can do that.

Yuki [Looks in front of them]: Uh…

Naomi: What is it Yukes?

Yuki [Points in front of them]: Ain’t that him?

Naomi: Who?

Yuki: The dude sitting on the couches, admiring the view.

[The shot pans to a large man sitting down, drinking a cup of coffee and watching aircraft landings on the far runway]

Naomi [To Martial]: Your tracker?

Martial [Looks at his phone]: Yup, that’s him alright. What a weirdo, haha.

Yuki [To Shin and Drift]: You think he’s looking for a fight?

Shin: You bet he is.

Yuki: I guess me and you two brutes [points to Electra and Drift] should be up front then eh?

Drift: I guess.

Martial: Hey, hey, what about me?

Shin [To Martial]: Those three are our best fighters. I know it makes sense to overwhelm him but putting all ten of us in would allow him to pick off the weaker ones one by one and would put those three into tougher positions. They’re the vanguard or fighters, me, you, and Karina are the main and your siblings, Naomi and Ashe are the rear.

Martial [Shrugs]: Alright. As long as it works out. [Pauses] I do want to punch him though.

Yuki [Looks to Shin, then nods at Drift and Electra]: Let’s go.

[The three of them walk forward with Yuki in the middle, and Aleksander takes a sip of his coffee before placing it back down on the table next to him]

Aleksander: Ah, my warmest welcomes to all of you. What a greeting. [Looks at Martial] I knew your bitch-ass had put something on me. [Laughs] Oh well.

Yuki [To Drift and Electra]: You two ready?

Drift: Yeah.

Electra: Yeah.

Aleksander: Ah, only sending three at me. That’s cute. Didn’t you see what happened last time? I got away, you shitters. Don’t underestimate me damnit!

[He grabs the half empty coffee cup from the table and shatters it on the ground]

Aleksander: Come at me then!

[Yuki holds her hand forward and motions once horizontally across her chest. Drift and Electra move from behind her – on opposite sides – towards Aleksander]

Drift: Elec!

Electra: Don’t need to remind me Wil!

[Drift ducks and kicks at Aleksander’s legs, which he dodges, kicking Drift in the chest – as he turns his head, he’s met with a punch squarely to his face from Electra’s right. It sends him backwards, but he maintains his footing]

Aleksander: Ah, you can hit, eh?

Drift [To Electra]: You saving your power for when you’re knocked out, dumbass? Fuckin’ go get ‘er damnit!

Electra [Thinking]: Well, I’m trying man!

[Aleksander closes towards Drift, who ducks under his heavy upward swing]

Drift [To Aleksander]: You’re slow, eh?

Aleksander: Ya think?

[Aleksander dodges the punch from Electra behind him, moving his head slightly to the right, before grabbing Electra’s arm and judo throwing him over himself into Drift. The two are sent flying into the wall]

Yuki [Yells]: Guys!

Drift [Getting up; to Electra]: Can you stand?

Electra [Nodding]: Yeah, yeah, I can.

Drift: You gotta hit him with more power man.

Electra: Dawg I’m trying, I really am.

Drift [Whispers]: Go right. I’ll handle it this time.

[The two stand up and Electra cracks his neck, as Drift runs towards Aleksander at full speed]

Electra: Eh????

Aleksander [To Drift]: Oh, so you’re coming at me head-on?

Drift: Bring it, damn it.

[Aleksander throws the first punch which Drift dodges to the left]

Drift: Move faster than that old geezer!

[Drift kicks at Aleksander’s right knee, connecting with a huge impact that forces Aleksander to stumble and grimace. Aleksander kicks the same leg that had just taken impact towards Drift’s head with incredible speed, but Drift blocks with his right, metallicized arm]

Aleksander [Laughs]: Oh, so you’ve got a prosthetic, eh? Poor chap.

Drift: Don’t look down on me!

[He rushes towards Aleksander, closing the gap again and dodging two separate punches from Aleksander. He upper cuts Aleksander with the same right arm, knocking out one of Aleksander’s teeth. Aleksander cracks his head back into position and cracks his knuckles before staring down Drift]

Aleksander: That hand packs a punch, eh? You’re not so weak after all…

Drift: Shut up, you piece of shit.

[Drift attempts to kick Aleksander’s right knee again, but Aleksander dodges and gains a small distance between them. He then rushes back towards Drift with incredible speed, and the two trade hard blows, with Aleksander connecting a few more times, and dodging most of Drift’s right punches. After a short while, Aleksander knees Drift in the gut, sending Drift crashing into the wall coughing up blood]

Karina [Runs towards Drift]: Drift!

Shin [Tries to grab her]: Karina, wait!

Aleksander [Mutters to himself]: I’ll finish him later. I lost track of the other bas –

[Electra appears from behind him with his leg raised to Aleksander’s shoulder height, and he kicks him with a loud impact that sends Aleksander off his feet, pushing him backwards and into a table which is destroyed upon impact]

Shin [To Electra]: That got him?

Electra: That was all my strength, so I think it did?

Shin: Aye, okay!

Naomi [Looks behind Electra]: Elec!

Electra: What, Mi?

Naomi: Behind you!

Electra [Turns his head slowly, fearfully]: Ain’t no way…

Aleksander [Towering behind him]: Good kick bastard… I felt that one for sure.

[Aleksander punches him in the back, causing Electra to gag]

Aleksander: You’re strong-willed… I like ya! Maybe not as strong as the other guy though, but you’re a toughie!

Electra: Shut up you goddamn bastard.

[Aleksander tries to punch Electra again, but Electra moves himself and dodges the first punch]

Aleksander: Ooo, good reaction time too, I like it.

[He fakes a right before upper-cutting with his left and connecting with Electra’s jaw, but Electra continues to stand upright]

Electra: Fuck off mate.

Aleksander [Cackles]: Or what?

[Electra lowers his head and bull-rushes toward Aleksander]

Aleksander [Laughs]: Eh?? What’s this? Ha!

[Aleksander tries to dodge the oncoming Electra, but Electra’s left hand grabs onto Aleksander by his waist and continues running, essentially football tackling him]

Aleksander: Eh? What’s this man? You all out of ide –

[Electra’s free right hand punches Aleksander in the side and Aleksander visibly grimaces and his expression turns to anger]

Aleksander: You bitch! What kind of horseshit is this?

Electra [Unhands him]: Nothing’s fair in a street fair, you shithead. This is what a football player can do to someone, y’hear?

[As soon as he unhands him, he lets out a flying right kick to Aleksander’s abdomen, which connects and winds Aleksander, leaving him gasping for breath]

Electra: You ready to call it quits, you shithead?

Aleksander: Ha, like hell I am.

[Electra dashes towards him and punches him in the stomach, with Aleksander unable to dodge]

Electra: I could keep doing this, ya shithead. Screw off.

Aleksander [Moves backwards]: Keep on going, won’t ya?

Electra: I will, thank you very much.

[He punches the grimacing Aleksander in the stomach again, who continues to take a defensive stance and move backwards]

Aleksander [Thinking]: Come on mate, come on.

Electra: Give in, you damn asshole.

Aleksander [Thinking]: You really are an idiot.

Aleksander [To Electra]: What? You’re telling me that’s all you got?

Electra: You’re the one who’s in pain! You’re really trying to shit-talk me in this position? Guess I gotta punch even harder then…

Aleksander: Bingo.

[He reaches into his left pant pocket with his left hand and pulls out a small rock, which he throws upwards above Electra, who looks up and sees a dangling chandelier above him]

Electra [Thinking]: Oh shit. Am I going to die? That’s a lot of glass that’s gonna hit me. Oh shit. He got me, didn’t he. Those punches probably don’t even hurt. Oh shit. I’m gonna die. I’m really gonna die eh?

Naomi [Yells]: Elec!

[The chandelier shatters before, and Electra screams as it lands. The glass litters the floor and Aleksander stands up as dust begins to clear]

Aleksander: So that’s those two dead or soon to be dead. Now to deal with the girl that was in the middle of them. She looked pretty tough, but probably wasn’t like them. And then the rest – I’ll kill that stupid brat and his friends first, and then the rest.

Yuki [Looks at him]: When you’re talking about the girl in the middle of them, you’re talking about me, aren’t ya?

[The dust clears, and she’s seen standing in front of him]

Aleksander: Eh? How’d you get here so fast?

[He looks behind her, and sees Electra, who’s right leg was pelted with glass shards, but otherwise escaped unscathed from the chandelier impact]

Aleksander: Oh… I see how it is. You’re quick, aren’t you? You could’ve been seriously injured from that right? You don’t want that.

Yuki: I mean you’re the one who made that happen. Shouldn’t it be your fault?

Aleksander: Oh shit, you caught me, didn’t you?

Yuki: I did.

Aleksander: But I don’t wanna beat up a girl… that’s rude as hell, y’know. You should’ve just let me have your friend, then you could’ve run off and left me with that bastard kid.

[He glares across the room at Martial]

Martial: Yahoo!

Aleksander: I’ll kill you, stupid brat.

Martial [Laughs condescendingly]: Yup, yup, I’m so scared man!

Aleksander [To Yuki]: So where were we?

Yuki: Oh, you don’t want to fight me cause I’m a girl and you’d rather not hurt me.

Aleksander: Yeah. You all call me a shithead, but I think I’ve got redeeming qualities.

Shin [Yells]: Weren’t you in this country to do some human trafficking? The fucking girl’s right here, y’know? Don’t lie on your own grave, it’s not a good omen.

Aleksander [To Shin]: My grave? Ha! Those two were your toughest fighters, and while they put up a fight, they’re in no position to fight.

[The scene pans to Karina tending to Drift who looks to be grimacing in pain, and Electra, who can’t move his right leg and is trying to collect himself]

Shin: Oh, really eh?

Aleksander: What are you gonna do? Are you gonna come fight me?

Shin [Laughs]: No.

Aleksander: Eh? Then –

[Yuki roundhouse kicks Aleksander in the stomach, and he coughs out blood immediately as he’s pushed backwards by the impact]

Aleksander [Thinking]: Was that the girl? No w –

[Before he can collect his thoughts, Yuki quickly closes the gap on Aleksander, punching him in the head twice before kneeing him in the stomach, causing him to cough up even more blood]

Aleksander [Thinking]: What’s going on? Those two couldn’t have damaged me this much! Sure I’m tired but –

Yuki [Looks at him straight in the eyes]: Huh? You talked a lot? You’re not gonna put up a fight man? Awww, that’s a shame!

Aleksander [Thinking]: No, no. Focus. Focus. You can beat the shit out of her. She got the jump because you were talking that to the other bastard.

[He regains his stance, and focuses on Yuki, and throws a hard right punch towards her head. The punch appears to connect, but no impact is heard]

Yuki [From below him]: You really are slow, eh?

[She ducked the punch, and then punches Aleksander in the gut twice again, causing him to fall backwards and try to create distance between them, which Yuki doesn’t allow, as she hops towards him gracefully]

Yuki: Where you going man? You scared? You tired? But you were talking so much before! Don’t worry, I’m not sadistic like Shinzo, I’ll only beat the brakes off you, that’s all!

Aleksander [Thinking]: This girl’s fucking crazy! What the he –

[Yuki punches him in the gut, then jumps up and elbows him in the head, causing him to drop downwards. As he falls, he punches Yuki twice quickly in the abdomen, with her wincing at the second impact, but she quickly recovers and kicks him again]

Shin [Thinking]: You moron. You underestimated her from the start and thought you needed to deal with the two engages only. They wore you out, and she’s no damn slouch. There’s a reason she’s the last person you’re facing – she’s the toughest out of all of us.

Aleksander [Gasping for breath]: I’ve gotta do it.

Yuki: Eh? Do what?

[Aleksander clenches his fist tightly as he’s on his knees, and with incredible speed – that Yuki can’t even dodge – he lands his hardest punch to her chest, knocking her backwards and causing her to cough violently]

Shin: Eh? Yuki? Eh???

Aleksander [Stands slowly, still gasping for breath, and starts laughing]: Did I really do it? Did I really?

[A shadow appears in front of him, which walks towards him, clenching it’s stomach]

Aleksander [His laughter turns to horror]: No way. That’s everything I’ve got. No. [He falls down] No. What the hell is wrong with you?

Yuki [Looks at him and smiles lightly]: That did hurt, I’ll tell you that. Thankfully the other two wore you down so you could only throw that one, and one isn’t gonna beat me.

Aleksander [Looks terrified]: No, no, no. Youmonster! Stay away Goddamnit! That should’ve ruptured your kidneys and intestines! What the hell!?

Shin [Walks toward her and smiles, then walks in front of her and towers over Aleksander]: There’s a reason she’s the stronger out of us, don’t you think, you god-damn bastard?

Martial: Hahahaha! You ain’t shit Aleks! Ha!

Aleksander: Shut the fuck up, brat. [He coughs violently]

Shin [To Aleksander]: Woah, woah, that ain’t any way to speak to someone who’s superior to you, now, is it?

Aleksander: Screw off. Just kill me.

Shin: Hell no. We need information, you damn lackey. We know you’re up the food chain. Give us the damn information.

Aleksander: Hell no. Kill me. I ain’t gonna talk kid.

Shin: Fine then. Guess I got no choice. [He looks behind him] Yukes?

Yuki: You want me to?

Shin: He’s scared of you, it seems.

Aleksander: Hold on, what the hell are you gonna…

[Yuki springs behind him and knees him in the back, causing him to cough and fall to the floor]

Aleksander: What? Torture? You aren’t going to get shit from –

[Karina and Martial walk over and step on his wrists, pinning him down with Yuki on his back. As they step and press down, he yells out]

Shin: You wanna give? We’ll kill ya quicker if you talk, y’know.

Aleksander: Hell nah. You’re not getting – [He screeches in agony]

[Yuki twists his left arm, the one that Martial’s stepping on, and twists it over one full rotation before stopping and looking him in the eye and smiling]

Aleksander: You wicked bit –

[She continues to twist the same arm and a bone can be heard popping, while muscles can be heard tearing. Aleksander continues to scream in agony]

Shin [To Yuki]: Wow. I didn’t know you could do that.

Yuki: Your sadistic ass seems to be enjoying this, eh?

Shin: Can’t lie, it’s plenty pleasurable.

Yuki: You’re sick. I’m only doing this because you want me to.

Shin: But would I really be me if I didn’t enjoy another bastard's suffering?

Yuki [Laughs]: You really wouldn’t.

[Yuki continues to twist his arm and goes for a third revolution, and more ripping can be heard. Aleksander continues to scream in pain, as Yuki goes for a fourth revolution and gets about halfway before Aleksander finally taps out and she lets go of the arm, which limply falls to the side, and Martial steps on it once again]

Shin: Aw man! Tough guy really tapped out! Would ya look at that!

Yuki: I’d rather that! This’s probably really painful.

Shin [Looks at Aleksander maniacally]: So, you’re tapping out aren’t ya? That’s tough. Thought you’d really be dumb enough to ride or die for a bunch of human-trafficking shits. You’d be a dumbass, cause you’re dead either way.

Aleksander: Shut up. You don’t know anything about Dreadknight eh?

Shin: Ah, so it is you morons. [Grabs him by the scruff of his collar and looks him dead in the eyes] So, you know Katarov then eh?

Aleksander: You know Katarov? My good buddy Katarov? The Katarov that I started this shit with way back and then brought in a bunch of people and tossed me to the side? That Katarov? Yeah man. I know him.

Shin: So you started this shit eh? What luck. So, you probably know about Ichigo, the Japanese guy that Katarov killed with his bare hands.

Aleksander: Oh, the moron on the train! Him? Ha!

Shin [Looks at him intently]: You met him?

Aleksander: Met? I talked to his rose-colored ass. Friggin moron. Thought the world was peach colored and lovely. He put up a fight sure, but Katarov beat the brakes off him. Who’s he any –

[Shin punches Aleksander squarely in the face, dislocating his nose]

Shin: Don’t disrespect my brother like that. Asshat.

Aleksander: Oh, he was your brother? Oh, oh! I see the resemblance, both in terms of looks and being a useless piece of shit! I see!

[Shin punches him again, and Naomi restrains him]

Naomi [To Shin]: Keep your cool, we need the information Shinzo. Please, Shinzo.

Shin [Looks at Naomi and breathes in deeply]: You’re right. [He looks at Yuki] Twist his other arm once Yuki.

Yuki [Looks at Aleksander]: This one’s deserved for talking shit about Ichigo.

[She twists the arm hard, and he screams again in pain and then stops]

Aleksander: Okay, okay, screw off. I’ll stop being pissing you off. Shit. What do you wanna know about that guy Katarov?

Shin: What do I wanna know? What do I not wanna know, you piece of shit? Gimme everything, you loathsome rat.

Aleksander [Laughs]: Quite the vocabulary you got there, eh? Jesus.

Shin: Shut up.

[The door which they entered opens, and Ryouchi/Ashe turn around]

Ryouchi: Who’s there?

Security: We got an issue. [He looks up and sees Yuki, Martial and Karina on top of Aleksander, and the room in a mess] Oh. There’re issues here too, but I heard everything died down, so I guess it’s alright. Well, we need to turn this place around pronto.

Ashe: Why?

Security: Chinese finance minister and his entourage are arriving in 20 minutes.

Ashe: Huh?

Ryouchi: Aren’t there any other lounges in this damn airport?

Security: I was just notified about this – they requested this when they began, and we can’t turn against government officials, even if we’re on your payroll. That’s why I’m tellin y’all now. Get your shit done – killing, integration, whatever y’all are doing – and get out in the next five minutes so we can turn this place around for them. Ya hear?

Ryouchi [To Shin]: You hear that?

Shin: Tsk. [Pauses] Fine. I’ll get this done.

[The door closes]

Aleksander: You only got five minutes? So, I don’t gotta say shit then eh –

[Yuki twists his other arm twice over, leading to him screaming in pain]

Shin: If you can hold off, go ahead mate.

Aleksander [Trying to catch his breath]: Fine, fine, I’ll talk.

Martial: That’s more like it, eh kiddo?

Aleksander: Shut it.

Shin [Interjects]: So… why the hell did Katarov want her eh? [He points to Ashe]

Aleksander: Who? [He turns his head and sees Ashe] Oh, the girl, right, right. We were gonna sell her off.

Shin: To who?

Aleksander: Confidential –

Shin [Slaps him]: Shut up. Tell me.

Aleksander: That’s all I know mate! I told my lackeys the same shit, except that I actually had information, but I didn’t. I just know that we’re selling her off somewhere.

Shin: Katarov’s idea?

Aleksander: Him and someone else.

Shin: Who?

Aleksander: Beats me. Sounded like a Japanese name when I heard it though, but Kat hasn’t told me.

Shin: Hell, then what exactly do you know?

Aleksander: Not much about the shit that’s been going on recently. Y’know, I’d be a lot more willing to eat your punches and shit for the next five minutes if I had more of a reason to, eh? I’m dead either way, so I’d rather go out without having my limbs twisted inside out.

Shin: But you started this shit with Kat, didn’t ya?

Aleksander: You could say that. Me, Kat and a couple others started this shit. After me and him – well, mostly him – killed your brother, we gained even more repertoire in an already perilous group of states who were looking for a savior. That’s what Kat looked like, and for the first bit, he was their savior – hell, he was our savior too.

Shin: And yet he left you in the dirt I presume? That’s why you’re willing to talk eh?

Aleksander: It’s what your brother said – as stupid as he was, he said one thing: holding that much power can change someone in unthinkable ways.

Martial: Oh, boo hoo, you should’ve been the second in command, not whoever else he appointed, oh boo hoo! Why should we care man? [Laughs] You’re just a lackey for him.

Shin [To Martial]: Wait. [He turns back to Aleksander] So, are you a lackey then?

Aleksander: Me? A lackey? Hell no. I’m still considered top brass – hell, you think a lackey could’ve taken out two of your guys by themselves? We aren’t Gods, you realize?

Shin: Yeah, yeah, I get that, whatever. But then why do you hate Katarov?

Aleksander: When did I say I hate him? I don’t hate the guy. We go back way longer than anyone else he knows – he always was a friend. But he found people that he trusted more in more prominent roles at Dreadknight – nothing personal, but it’s a business and he’s the savior. Nothing I could do. I always aligned with his ideas and all that, don’t get me wrong, but we drifted apart. You could say he turned his back on me, or maybe that’s just me being a petty piece of shit. Either way, I don’t hate the guy – far from it – but I know my own worth, and I ain’t getting tortured like that just to save face.

Shin: What about now? Where’s Katarov? Where’s the head of this?

Aleksander: Petersburg. If you wanna go find him and fight him, you’ll find him there.

Shin [Looks at Karina]: That’s where we sent them, eh?

Karina: I don’t know when they’ll get out of London, but yeah, we sent them there for sure.

Shin: Good, good. [Looks at Aleksander again] So, you got no clue why y’all had to pick this one girl for your trafficking eh?

Aleksander: I didn’t say that.

Shin: So then talk… why’d you go for her?

Aleksander: Whoever the buyer is, they’re gonna be paying a ransom for her, so that’s always nice. But the even bigger thing was that Kat wanted something to do with her folks. I don’t know the details, but there was something lurking there for him besides just her.

Shin: Interesting. [Turns around] Ashe, you hear that?

Ashe: Yeah.

Shin: Got anything to say?

Ashe: No, not really. I know my dad’s a tough guy and he’d come to help me, but I don’t know what he has to do with them… maybe because he lived in Europe before? I don’t know.

Aleksander [Thinking]: I guess she herself doesn’t know who Oskar, her own father, is. Ha. Whatever, I told them that much, I can spare Kat those details at least.

Shin: Well shit. Well, I mean, I don’t think you’ll have to worry too much about your folks since you’re with us and not them, so they can’t use ya as a bargaining chip. So that idea should be dead.

Aleksander: I think so, I think so.

Security [Opens the door]: You got one minute left guys before we need y’all out.

Martial [To the guard]: Yeah, yeah don’t worry boss, just leave, we’ll be out of here.

Shin [To Aleksander]: You heard him then eh? You got off pretty lightly. Let me ask you one more thing though.

Aleksander: Shoot.

Shin: Why’d you and Katarov create Dreadknight? You say you’re a founder – then why?

Aleksander: You really wanna get personal, eh?

Shin: Your friend killed my brother, bitch. I don’t think anything’s more personal than that mate.

Aleksander [Sighs]: Fair, fair. [Pauses] If you want the long answer – we wanted to do things right in those war-torn, corrupted states. And so far, we’ve changed things around for the better. Boosted economies, given people livelihoods, axed a ton of those old farts in charge and changed regimes entirely. Sure, Katarov may be a bastard, but he’s done a lot of right on that side of things.

Shin: Then what’s the short answer?

Aleksander [Smirks]: We wanted to change our world, just like you guys – but we wanted to have fun mate. You can’t have fun being idle, you know that?

Shin: You’re a twisted mother fucker, all the way to the end, eh? [Martial hands him the gun that Drift had been carrying – Karina brought it over to him]

Aleksander: Don’t worry mate, you’re in the business on a revenge tour. You aren’t far behind me.

Shin: Damn piece of shit. [He loads the gun in Aleksander’s mouth] We’ll kill your buddy next man. You can count on that. [The sound of the gun firing can be heard]