Date: May 1, 2010
Natsumi calls in a debt. Kind of.
Takahashi Office Building, NYC
It's a warm, sunny spring day in New York City. Generally, Saturdays are reserved from vacating the office, but for Natsumi, Saturday is just another day to conduct her business. The news broadcast about the shooting and the skulls found in the harbour has been eating away at her. Not because she's upset that it was broadcast; rather, she's displeased with her men. The Takahashis are good at what they do not only because they rule fearlessly with an iron fist but also because they do it quietly — behind the backs of the NYPD.
Dressed in her grey pant suit, she sits behind her desk while staring at the blank wall across from her. She drums her fingers on her clear acrylic desk while glancing around each of the swords hung on her walls. The office itself is legitimate as not all of her business dealings are illegal. Finally, as a frown edges her lips, she pushes a button that calls her assistant, "When our guest arrives, send him in." Her tone has a very slight edge as she turns in her chair to face the window.
There's a reply almost immediately over the intercom from the assistant. "He's…already here. I'll send him in now." Even if it is 10 minutes early, the assistant knows that Natsumi keeps very tight schedules, so she wasn't about to bother with that little piece of information. The doors to the office buzz as the lock is disengaged from the assistant's desk, then the handle turns and Natsumi's next client steps into the office.
Like her, he's wearing a suit, but it's all black from head to toe, no tie, with sunglasses tucked casually down the collar at the front. "Well, hello again…" Adam starts, casually enough. True, he doesn't know her mood today, so the meeting could go very well, or very poorly. Their last meeting wasn't exactly friendly. "How's business treating you?"
As Adam enters the office she stands to her feet and issues him a small bow. Everything is procedure, decorum, and class. She isn't running a two-bit gang operation here, Natsumi is Yakuza. "Sit," she says simply before tacking on, "please," and pointing to a chair opposite her own. After urging Adam, she smoothes her pants and sits back down.
Her chair is rolled closer towards her desk and her hands are placed on top of it as her well-manicured fingernails drum somewhat irritably on the clear surface. Her eyes narrow a little before she tilts her head skeptically, almost certain Adam already knows through his own contacts. "Do you watch the news, Adam?"
"Rarely. But I still seem to recall hearing about a slight black mark regarding Battery Park and some skinless body parts…" he starts, but then pauses. An eyebrow is raised as he thinks about the rhyming statement. "That was unintentional," he smirks, snorting a little and chuckling some. Leaning forward in the chair, he shifts his posture, straightens out his coat, and collects himself.
"I have to assume I've been called here to…help in some way, regarding recent events?" No sense in mincing words. "Clearly I'm not here to slow your business endeavors…"
Natsumi frowns. Openly frowns. This is unusual, and none of her lackeys would see such behaviour. "Things were going well," she says pointedly. "Very well." Tensely she inhales a deep breath of air. "I was pleased. We had wealth, power, and New York was so easy." Her lips purse. "We have rivals. Obvious rivals who are taking business from us," she hisses, although her facial expression remains completely neutral.
Pressing her lips together she tugs at the sleeves of her jacket to smooth it further. Wrinkles are an expression of weakness. "My men have proven insufficient. I need — " her lips purse and her nostrils flare, " — assistance." It's a word she's not used to uttering, but at least it's better than directly asking for help. "You promised me contacts." She blinks blankly, "It's time to deliver, Mister Monroe."
She frowns. His smirk grows wider into a full-on sneering smile. "Well now, I never thought I'd see the day when you'd come asking me for help in such obvious fashion. I always imagined you'd be much more subtle about it." You know, like holding his head at swordpoint and forcing him into cutting a deal. Help is always such a gray area! "Now, when you say contacts…" he starts, leaning forward over the desk. "Do you want strictly business contacts? Or something more? Say, individuals like me?"
"I'm growing," Natsumi says flatly with a snide smile, one normally reserved for legitimate contacts as she slides out from her desk. Her black hard-soled heels click against the floor as she steps towards the window to stare at the skyline. After several moments, she turns to face him. "I want both." Her jaw is tightly set. "Clearly my soldiers have proven less than skilled at dealing with our enemy. I've worked relentlessly to build our empire. Much like my grandfather before me and his father before him. No two-bit white man is going to steal my business," she virtually spits with each syllable before issuing Adam a half-apologetic smile, "No offence."
"Oh, none taken. You know I would never steal your business, though," Adam declares, holding his hands palm up towards her while flashing his best weasel smile. "But a collection of special individuals to help with your dealings, hm? Enforcers, I suppose…" Adam thoughtfully strokes his chin with one finger, wrapping a thumb around a cheek. "That request would take some time, you realize. Especially after what the government was doing. I'm sure there are some people out there looking to break some laws though. Hmmm, I wonder…."
"Ha! If you had the opportunity you would — perhaps not anymore, but in the past for certain," Sumi smirks as she paces the room with that all-too-familiar click click click. "And yes. Anyone you know who would profess loyalty to myself and money; further, disdain for the system, the government, and its executors are definite merits." She leans against her desk. "And your continued loyalty is appreciated. Believe me, Adam, you will be well rewarded for any efforts you put in. I can line pockets. Arrange business deals." Her eyes flit down his body before they return to make eye contact with him, "And, perhaps, more. But that, sir, is entirely up to you and how useful you are." Her lips edge into a sly smile.
Oh good lord, not this again! Last time, he was the instigator, and now it's her turn huh? Turnabout is fair play and all that nonsense. "You of all people should know that money is no issue for me. I've got more than I could ever hope of spending in a single life…" he says, but then winds up unable to finish over the chuckling. "Excuse me…but that line. It just never gets old," he tells her, his face back to being perfectly straight. "I think I can come up with a list of names you'd do well to recruit, though. I've got a handful in mind, and they're sure to lead us to more."
"Excellent," Natsumi replies while lacing her fingers together and leaning against her desk once again. "I expect to hear from you about them soon then." With that same click click click she returns to the other side of her desk and sits down. "You know we're contacts worth having, don't you, Adam? Rub my back and I'll rub yours, that's how the deal works." She manages another sly smile.