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The man who carried the two sticks became something of an interest for Lukannon. His face and body language were very open, sending many different signals rapid fire; so fast in fact Lukannon had a hard time figuring out what he was feeling. Reading human's body language had piqued the man-cub's interest since that fateful meeting with Noa because of the difficulties in expressing himself using their language. He thought he was getting better at it, but this time he was just confused.
Lukannon began listening more intently to the start of the conversation as he had never heard of an Information Hunter. The whole idea of it seemed very odd. He thought that was the reason people used those electronic boxes (the big ones in the buildings and the small ones everyone carried around with them). Furthermore, the only Atlas he knew was a large silverback pumynx (note: imaginary puma and lynx hybrid) from back home. He didn't want to embarrassingly open his mouth and ask if this building, or company, whatever it was, knew they stole his friend's name; so he just continued to listen alertly, trying to pick out the important parts of what Dee-trick (whom he now sniffed for memory) was about to say.
Dietrich was almost over-joyed when, one-by-one, the Hunters sat down. He didn't even mind that one of them squatted in the middle of seating area. It wasn't that much of a surprise to him, if truth be told; Hunters are the strangest of breeds, and having been one himself for years, he knew to expect some eccentric behaviour.
The boy in the black coat leant against the wall behind the couches. Three of the others - the three who looked to be in their early twenties, took seats on the couch. The other kid remained standing a few feet away, but he was well within ear shot. Dietrich took a seat where everyone could see his face as he prepard to adress them all.
Before he could begin, one of the men sat down spoke first. 'So, Mr. Deitrich, what could possibly be going on, if the powerful Atlas Corporation needs so many Hunters?,' he said. 'You shouldn't be surprised I know about you by the way, I'm Scyre Lurk, Information Hunter.'
'Ah, I've heard of you,' replied Dietrich, remembering why the young man looked familiar. 'You're Maria Lurk's son, right?' Dietrich had met Maria several times and though he didn't know her well, he held in high regard.
Remembering that it would be a bad time to get bogged down in small talk (there'd be plenty of time for that on their journey), Dietrich hurried on.
'As Mr. Lurk has surmised, I'm on behalf of Atlas Corporation.' Dietrich, who assumed everyone had heard of the company, glanced at the man squatted on the floor doubtfully and quickly decided it better to explain what it was. 'It's a powerful business that handles a lot of different products - pharmaceuticals, cars, airships, even robotics. And it contributes to important charity work. Now, as some of you may have heard, its CEO, Spanner Farnaby, died a few days ago. The board of directors is currently looking for a new leader. They intend to vote on which of them takes control in three days time. The man who is currently the most likely to succeed is called Ian Chapman. You may have heard of him too - he is a Hunter as well.'
At this point in his story, Dietrich's eyes took on a more steely look. He looked each of the Hunters in the eye one by one as he spoke slowly and meaningfully. 'This man is a known arms dealer. He has frequent dealings with someone called Reno Marconi, who sells weapons and ammunitions to terrorists the world over. Chapman must not be allowed to take control of Atlas under any circumstances. If he had Altas' funds at his disposal then he could create enough military strength that, if sold on, would be enough for terrorists or revolutionaries to take over a country of their choice.'
Pausing, Dietrich looked them each again, hoping the message had sunk in. There were several reasons why they might choose to join him on his mission, and he didn't want to under-emphasise any of them. Clearing his throat, he continued. 'My colleagues and I, including Oliver Zaltzman, another member of the Atlas board of directors, decided to expose Chapman; we can't arrest him of course - his Hunter license protects him - but if proof of his misdeeds were to reach the public then his electoral hopes would be finished.
We decided to infiltrate Marconi's base of operations. He resides in Gobunlia, and the hope was that he carried proof of his dealings with Chapman. Twisp, the third member of my group, went in alone. He was to report in to me via radio every two hours. It's now been four since he last checked in and I'm worried; if all Marconi had for protection was armed guards then Twisp would be able to get in and out without a problem. But if there were any nen users working for Marconi... well, Twisp might be out numbered. Any questions so far?'
The young man with the hazel eyes raised his hand a little to indicate he had questions. 'Er, hey, my name's Thos,' he said awkwardly, apparently adressing everyone. 'I was wondering... why did you send him in alone? And why wait 'til now to form a back-up team?'
'I admit, it sounds like the work of fools. And I guess it was. Well, Zaltzman didn't want to hire any outside help - we wouldn't have had time to do background checks, and a mole working for Chapman could have infiltrated the group. So it was down to the three of us. But Zaltzman was worried that if the mission failed and he was found to be involved with it then it'll make him look bad, or maybe even like he's the one working with Marconi. So that left me and Twisp. Twisp was to go in alone and I was to be the back-up - if the plan failed then I'd go in after him. That way we'd have two shots at success.'
Dietrich sighed wearily. 'I'm gonna be straight with you. I should have spoken out against the plan... Zaltzman's over-cautious... paranoid, even... we should have formed a proper team and gone in together, not send one guy in on a possible suicide mission. In fact, he doesn't even know that I'm looking for assisstance. But to hell with the plan - if Twisp's been captured then he needs to be rescued. So I'm disobeying orders and here I am, asking anyone I can find for their help. I can offer you two million jennis each.'
'What exactly are you offering it us for?' asked Thos.
'To accompany me to Marconi's estate in Gobunlia. To infiltrate it, to rescue Twisp and, if possible, find the proof of his dealings with Chapman. Hell, if any of you want to take down Marconi himself then be my guest.' Dietrich ended in a devil-may-care way. No harm in throwing in one more possible reason someone might agree to join him.
Yes, that was exactly what Sora expected: something actually dangerous. It's certain they're going to confront powerful enemies. He could barely contain all the excitement, this was a no-brainer decision. He decided to play it cool for now, though.
"Isn't that too little for what we're doing?" Sora said. He didn't particularly care about the money now, but the amount seemed unfair, and money is always useful to have.
"So, now we're dealing with terrorists huh? also there may be about 50 dudes with nen..." Dennis thought and he chewed on his candybar, holding it between his teeth with his hands in his pockets. He wasn't too sure abou how well he could do in a fight outnumbered even with his abilities, also theres this Macaroni dude or whatever the boss's name was...Perfect time to practie my skills! He said letting out a devilish grin, even better he was getting paid for this! maybe the price could be pushed up a bit, which that black coated kid was handling, but all in all it was like ass kicking for chairty to him. He was completely silent, but if one stood near him they could fell his excitment for the job seeping through him.
Scyre was pissed
-I really need to change my last name, everybody knows me because of my mother- he thought angrily, but still waited until Deitrich finished his explanations.
"I agree with that kid" he said "Two million jennis is way too little for such a mission, I'm sure Atlas Corp is rich enough to pay us two billion each for this mission, considering last year's earnings, am I right?" he asked Deitrich. "Besides, if Reno Marconi is involved, capturing or killing him is going to be hard."
Scyre was puzzled about Zaltzman's move. He was supposed to be smart, but making a dumb move like that would only make this mission harder, now they'll be on their toes for anything suspicious.
Still, something bothered him. What was this guy's angle? Chapman or Marconi? Either of them would be a fine prey, but there was something even deeper going on than just a hostile takeover. For now, he's going to keep his suspicions to himself.
"Well" Scyre said eying for a second to the other Hunters "I'm up for some infiltration, I'm quite good at collecting information you know? And, of course, if I have the chance, I'll kill Marconi"
Lukannon didn't really recognize too many of the larger words this Dietrich used, but weapons and ammunition were some of the first words he had wanted to learn from Noa. Those were the things used to kill Mother's children. Those were the things he and his pack dealt with so many years ago protecting their home, before he had learned to use Mother's energy. He hated these weapons with an unmatched ferocity.
He did not understand much about this Deetrick, for he too was a bus-ness man that tore down his relatives' homes. But, it seemed there were levels of wrong, of evil that Lukannon had come to understand more and more lately. These monsters that abused weapons needed to be killed now. He had lost too many brothers and sisters to these weapons.
Also, while the concept of paper being worth more than actual things was still somewhat foreign to him, Lukannon was adjusting more to the fact that with it, more forests, more jungles, more of Mother could be protected. Sora said he wanted more jenni; the others seemed dissatisfied with the jenni as well. For Lukannon, it was more personal.
"I go if you do me help in future. You are man with lots of this jenni that humans want. You have your company give this jenni to help protect Mother. If yes then I leave now to kill those with weapons."
Lukannon spoke with as much confidence as he could in this still foreign language. Whenever he had to speak for a long time, he would unconsciously finger his Metal Tooth, his true namesake. Noa said that made people nervous, but it was his natural instinct. Surviving, fighting for what was yours, sharing with your pack, the knife symbolized that to him. It was the only thing that connected his birth pack to the family that raised him.
"Wow", Random thought. There's just too many details involved. This indeed is a big mission. But as that other guy said, the pay is not enough.
"Wait, I'm a Hunter, not a Mercenary. A Crime Hunter, even. This smells too much of crime. About money, the Association gave us access to wads of money I probably couldn't spend in my lifetime. So who gives a shi about money...?", all of this was said in Random's mind. But in reality some of the words made their way out of his mouth in tiny murmurs.
"Sorry to interrupt the other guys. Whatever the deal is, I'm in. The gig seems to have the potential to let us run into a lot of "orcs"", declared Random. The other Hunters did not get this term, as could be seen from their faces.
"Orc" was a term Random uses for people who gate-crash into concerts. That means they didn't buy a ticket, or pay the entrance fee. This is the case especially at gigs launched at wide venues. Orcs tend to destroy the whole gig if they are allowed to become too ferocious.
"Yeah, as I was saying, Orcs. I'm experienced at handling many foes at once. But don't expect me to be subtle", said Random, smiling and emphatically tapping his feet to a rhythm only he could hear. It was probably getting over some peoples' nerves, but Random allowed himself to be indifferent this time.
'Isn't that too little for what we're doing?,' asked one of the boys. Dietrich was aware that he wasn't offering much in comparison to the amounts Hunters could usually expect to earn for this kind of job. He had been hoping that the subject wouldn't come up - forking out 12 million was a big deal for him.
'I agree with that kid,' chimed in Scyre, 'Two million jennis is way too little for such a mission, I'm sure Atlas Corp is rich enough to pay us two billion each for this mission, considering last year's earnings, am I right?' he asked Deitrich. 'Besides, if Reno Marconi is involved, capturing or killing him is going to be hard.' Dietrich didn't like the guy's know-it-all attitude, and he wondered when it was that Hunters had got so greedy.
'I know it's not much,' he said, looking from Scyre to Sora. 'But this mission isn't being funded by Atlas ("as you should have surmised", Dietrich wished he could add). They don't even know about it - they wouldn't respond well if they heard one of their board of directors was trying to ruin the reputation of another. Hell, this money isn't coming from Zaltzman. It's coming straight out of my own pocket, and it's all I have.
The best I can say is that, if we pull this off, Mr. Zaltzman will be very grateful, and I'll do my best to persuade him to offer you more, but I can't promise anything.'
'Well,' Scyre said eying for a second to the other Hunters 'I'm up for some infiltration, I'm quite good at collecting information you know? And, of course, if I have the chance, I'll kill Marconi.'
Before Dietrich could reply, another of their number spoke - the one crouched on the floor. 'I go if you do me help in future. You are man with lots of this jenni that humans want. You have your company give this jenni to help protect Mother. If yes then I leave now to kill those with weapons.' Dietrich wondered how best to proceed with this strange man whose speech was broken. Everything about him screamd that he had been brought up in the wild, and with a great deal of perciption, Dietrich correctly guessd that "Mother" was nature or the environment.
'I can't guarantee that, I'm afraid.' He looked Lukannon in the eye as he spoke. 'But if we succeed in this mission, then Mr. Zaltzman will probably become boss of the company, and he intends to put of Atlas' money into helping the environment and nature.' In his desparation, Dietrich was beginning to tell lies; Zaltzman had no plans for any environmental or conservation work, but there was no way any of them would know that.
'Sorry to interrupt the other guys,' put in the long-haired man. 'Whatever the deal is, I'm in. The gig seems to have the potential to let us run into a lot of "orcs"', declared Random. The other Hunters did not get this term, as could be seen from their faces. 'Yeah, as I was saying, Orcs. I'm experienced at handling many foes at once. But don't expect me to be subtle', said Random, smiling and emphatically tapping his feet to a rhythm only he could hear.
'You can be the diversion then,' Dietrich joked with a slight smile. He silently gave thanks for not all Hunters being obssessed with money.
'Who cares about money?' added Thos simply, leaning forward in his seat. He gave most of his to charity anyway. His master had told him to try as many different types of Hunt as he could, and he agreed to any job that sounded exciting. 'I'm up for it. Are you gonna test us or anything?,' he asked Dietrich.
The other man shook his head. 'I've asked for your help with this. I have no right to question your abilities, nor am I in any position to do so. I will trust in the strength of all of you that choose to join me, as I hope you will trust in mine.'
Lukannon eyed the man wearily. He noted that what the man had said was fairly empty and had made no promise to support Mother in any way. However, from his desperation, it seemed as if the man he wanted to take down would cause even more problems for his friends and family. Lukannon decided that this man would most likely be the lesser of two tigers. If it didn't work out, if he was betrayed, he would take it as another lesson of how to deal with living in the human world. Of how to deal with their own selfish behavior.
"I am no stupid. You don't promise Mother anything. But I still decide go. Friends must trust friends. Friend taught me Hunters are friends. I am ready."
Last edited by Hunter2323; February 29, 2012 at 09:36 PM.
-That kind of attitude will only get you killed- Scyre though with a sigh. -Mmm...a reinforcement type? Maybe Emission?- he wondering for a second eyeing the wild boy.
-Hhmm....money's too little but on the other hand, getting rid of Marconi would certainly be interesting, fuck, decisions decisions.....-
Scyre was certainly getting annoyed by his own thoughts, but he tried to remain calm. He took a second to reevaluate his companions...the wild boy seemed simple enough, only caring about the environment. There was nothing personal for him to win or to lose. The headbanger came next. He said he could take down several guys at the same time, maybe something to do with his ability, which could be useful since his own ability can only affect one person and it also has a chance of backfiring, plus, he seemed smart enough, which made him an interesting ally.
Then he looked at Dennis. The kid seemed to have grown a lot since the last time he saw him. Yet, he had the impression he still needed a little more experience, but it wasn't a bad thing, the kid's only 16 or so. The other kid, whos name was still unknown to Scyre seemed to be pretty much the same as Dennis.
Thos didn't give much information about himself, and his appearance didn't reveal much. He was going to enter Hunter's Association's website and try to found a little about him.
"Well, Mr. Sollos, you seem desperate enough, and for what I know, if this situation is enough to make so many powerful people this nervous, then it's gonna be pretty big...I guess I'm in, despite the money" he said finally looking at Deitrich.
"Now...what's your plan Mr Sollos?"
"Not wanting to beat a dead horse, but I didn't say I wanted more money out of greed, if that's what everyone's thinking." Sora chimed in. "I thought the amount wasn't fair, and I don't like it when something's not fair, that's all. If you say that's as much as you can pay, then it's totally OK."
Sora paused for a second to look at everyone's faces. "If it isn't obvious enough, I accept too." Sora declared confidently with a simple smile. "Besides, now I got very curious what's the deal about all of this. Maybe it's pointless, but I'll still ask it..." he thought.
"Sorry for being so straight, but... are you positively not hiding anything from us?" Sora looked Dietrich in the eye, without blinking. He has a good instinct to tell whether people are trustworthy or not. Now, it would depend on how Dietrich answered.
After hearing Dietrich, Sora put his left hand behind his back and said "Anyway, I apologize if my attitude sounded arrogant. Name's Sora, I think it will be great working with everyone here!", doing a thumbs up at the end.
Last edited by MegamanX195; March 01, 2012 at 08:46 AM.
Dennis glanced at sora noting how he put Dietrich on a bit of a spotlight."I have no problems with the pay or task... " He said swolloing his candy bar. "but he's right. If we can't trust you, then that in turn means you can't trsut us, and if there is anything I've learned from being a hunter, its that things NEVER go completely to plan." Dennis then got comfortable in his chair resting his head on his arms and crossing his legs on a nearby coffe table. "Should any mishaps happen, we'll have no choice but to resort to our own instinct, and you'll have to both accept and go with it on a dime, if you can't do that you're as good as a dead man. so to cut any bullcrap on the job, I really think you should think well on your response to us will be and be willing to go through with it."
Well no matter what his response is, I'm prone to using my own instincts anyway...
Random was really getting impatient at his point but this is all because his supposed band mates still haven't shown up. He kept both legs bouncing up and down, as if he were stomping on bass drums. This really didn't make any noise but the visual distraction factor is high.
"For young guys they seem pretty distrustful. But being used sucks. Corporate guys seem to thrive on things like this. So I think this is understandable. I'd like the gig to start pretty soon though. Should I say something more rousing to expedite the negotiation here? What to do...?", said Random to himself again. Somehow he visualized himself looking bored but he can actually feel some tension here. The greatest source of this tension though seems to be Dietrich. Did he lie or something? Random really wanted to say something but...
"I guess... I'd have to shut up and let Dietrich say something first", Random decided.
Lukannon eyed Dietrich wearily. 'I am no stupid,' he said. You don't promise Mother anything. But I still decide go. Friends must trust friends. Friend taught me Hunters are friends. I am ready.'
Dietrich, resisting the urge to say 'I never claimed that I was promising anything,' and replied with a smile, 'Glad to have you aboard.'
'Well, Mr. Sollos, you seem desperate enough,' Scyre was now saying, 'And for what I know, if this situation is enough to make so many powerful people this nervous, then it's gonna be pretty big...I guess I'm in, despite the money' he said finally looking at Deitrich. 'Now...what's your plan Mr Sollos?'
'Not wanting to beat a dead horse,' but I didn't say I wanted more money out of greed, if that's what everyone's thinking.' the boy in the black coat chimed in, before Dietrich could explain his plan. 'I thought the amount wasn't fair, and I don't like it when something's not fair, that's all. If you say that's as much as you can pay, then it's totally OK.' Sora paused for a second to look at everyone's faces. 'If it isn't obvious enough, I accept too.' Sora declared confidently with a simple smile. 'Sorry for being so straight, but... are you positively not hiding anything from us?' Sora looked Dietrich in the eye, without blinking.
'I have no problems with the pay or task...,' added Dennis. 'But he's right. If we can't trust you, then that in turn means you can't trust us, and if there is anything I've learned from being a hunter, its that things NEVER go completely to plan.' Dennis then got comfortable in his chair resting his head on his arms and crossing his legs on a nearby coffe table. 'Should any mishaps happen, we'll have no choice but to resort to our own instinct, and you'll have to both accept and go with it on a dime, if you can't do that you're as good as a dead man. So to cut any bullcrap on the job, I really think you should think well on your response to us will be and be willing to go through with it.'
Thos couldn't help snickering at the sight of two kids talking down to a man in his thirties. His eyes, which had previously looked a little blank, now held a bright spark within them and he was smiling ever so slightly, making him looking like a little like a happy cat. He was excited at the prospect of this expedition, and he was warming to his new comrades.
Dietrich looked back at Sora and Dennis. When he spoke, his tone was equally calm and reassuring. 'I promise, I've told you everything. I know you think you can't trust a corporate stooge like me, but I assure you, my only concern is my friend's safety.'
Sora appeared to be satisfied; he put his left hand behind his back and said,' Anyway, I apologize if my attitude sounded arrogant. Name's Sora, I think it will be great working with everyone here!', doing a thumbs up at the end. Dietrich smiled very genuinely at this. On the whole, he was extremely impressed with those gathered before him. There all seemed to have their heads screwed on straight, they had good instincts and, perhaps most importantly, they were all very genuine. He intended to prove them right to trust him.
From his back pocket he produced a world map. Quickly unfolding it, he laid it out on the coffee table. 'Here's where we are now,' in Le Sac, Dietrich said, pointing at it, as they all leanded in to look. Marconi's base is here, in Gobunlia. We're going to travel by airship to Brahm, here, which borders Gobunlia. Now I know what you're thinking - why not travel straight to Gobunlia? Well, Marconi has a lot of influence there. I don't want to run even the slightest risk of him catching wind of seven Hunters flying into his backyard.
So we fly to Brahm. The journey will take us about six hours. I've already chartered an airship - it's ready and waiting for us at the airport. Then we sneak across the Gobunlia border and then travel cross country 'til we reach somewhere we can buy a van without having to answer too many questions. Then we drive to Deriva. It's a small, poor, one-horse town. Just outside of it, on top of a big hill is Marconi's mansion, where he lives in the lap of luxury. It's also where he conducts his business, so it should be full of papers connecting him to Chapman. Since he has the Gobunlia police in his pocket he can do all this in his home without fear of retribution. That's why we under-estimated his security - we expected him to be complacent.'
Dietrich pulled back one of his long sleeves and checked his watch. 'It's eleven am now. Half an hour to the airport, six hour flight, and then two to three hours 'til we reach Deriva. We should arrive at about midnight.'
He folded up the map and got to his feet. 'Of course, there's a lot more to discuss, but I don't want to waste any more time if possible. We'll talk out the details of the mission, including our strategy, on the air ship. I rang for a cab on the way here. It should be waiting outside by now. Half of you can take that to the airport. The rest of you can come in my car. If you've got any equipment to collect from your rooms, please do it now - I'd like to leave in ten minutes if possible.'
Thos was the first to rise. 'I'll be back in a minute!' he said, hurrying quickly up the stairs. In a couple of minutes he was back, wearing a thick, dark green army jacket that was very fashinable amongst young men. He spoke to the receptionist, leaving with her everything valuable he had with him except for his cell phone - a Hunter Association building was as safe a place to stash treasure as any bank. He then walked over to Dietrich, already prepared, who stood by the door. 'Ready!'
In a darkened basment many miles away, a body, beaten, bruised and bloody, was slumped against the wall. Chains were wrapped around his body, chains which snaked along the floor and up to a man's hands. However, the man wasn't holding the chains; instead, it looked liket the chains were coming out of his hands themselves. He was one of three ominous-looking individuals stood round, looking down at the prisoner. 'He isn't talking,' said the man with the chains in a deep, calm voice.
'Has Scroobius had a go at him?' asked another man, equally calmly. What little light there was in the room glinted off his spectacles, concealing his eyes.
'Are you kidding? Scroobius would kill him,' came the sound of a woman's voice, incredulously. They heard the sound of steps descending the stairs behind them, but none of them took their eyes off the beaten man at their feet. The girl that joined them had an irritatingly chirpy, slightly shrill voice that resonated around the room dissonantly.
'The boss just called! He says he'll be here with Alice at about midnight!'
'Good,' replied the bespectacled man. 'Get back to guarding that idiot Marconi, Fi.'
'Got it, Steiny!' the girl replied, turning and skipping back up the stairs.
'Well Alice'll get everything we need out of him anyway,' "Steiny" finished solemnly.
"I'll be back in a second" Scyre said standing up, giving one last glance to Deitrich. Something was off, but he couldn't put his finger into it just yet. -Well...I can always change my own plans- he thought while pushing the elevator button.
He got inside his room and logged into his computer. In a second he entereed the URL for the Hunter's Association Website and used his license number (and the License itself) to get access.
"Now let's see....Thos Thos Thos....ah, here he is.....uhm...interesting" he said to himself.
Name: Thos Hrodrolf
Passed the Hunter exam three years ago.
A student of Guillaume Brider, the one star Music Hunter.
Is rumoured to have a medical-based ability.
Not known to specialise in any one kind of Hunting.
Gives moderate amounts of money to several charities.
Putting his stuff on his backpack, he took out his phone -I really don't want to do this but....- He search through his contacts until he found the one he wanted.
"Uhm...hey mom....before you yell at me for hanging up on you listen, I might need your help for a job" Scyre said while grabbing his gun, a little gift he got from his mother when he turned 15. "Here's the deal, I'm about to infiltrate Reno Marconi's state and find some incriminating evidence, things might take a turn for the worse, as they usually do, so I need you to be on your guard, in case he flees or something happens, plus, in case of extreme emergncy, it would be glad to have someone like you as backup" he finished.
/Marconi huh? Maria Lurk said on the phone, Well, it wouldn't be fair if I helped you now, would it? So you're on your own for now Scy, but let me tell you this, if you kill him, I'll play a game with you, sounds good?/
-Now, this is interesting, I could have my mother finally off my back, or whatever I want- Scyre thought with a grin "You're so gonna regret those words Mom" he thought as he hung up. He went throught his room to make sure he hadn't forgotten anything, retrieving his portable console charger.
After he left the room, he dashed down the stairs to the lobby -Faster this way-
"So, should we leave now?"
Last edited by Zvane; March 04, 2012 at 06:47 PM.