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Board index » Roleplaying Forums » Independent Roleplaying Forums » Origin Industries
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It was a dark and stormy night. Thunder flashed accross the sky, and the wind blew furiously. And then somebody tackled Aerin and took control of Dawn's weather system again. And all was well.
OI MAIN OFFICE BUILDING
Cool, crisp Durandium was what this skyscraper was made out of. Its floors, ceilings, and even its windows out of a transparent variety of the metal. The armor grade material gave off a shining luster, but wasn't overbearing. Inside, it was Spartan in decoration, but not so that it was dull. No, instead, it all gave off a sense of intelligence. The Origin Industries logo could be found upon the surfaces, but didn't clutter and smother the place; the sweet green of the company contrasting against the steel like surface was in fact rather pleasing to the eye, and even lively in a professional manner so to speak. Of course, this all made the single, drab figure stand out even more from the sea of black and green suits as the young man entered.
The lobby receptionist politely looked at him from across the vast threshold between them; he'd have to make his way across that to reach her.
His commander had quite literally pulled him aside, shoved a datapad into his hands, and put him on the first shuttle to Dawn Station from Nepleslia. Now he found himself standing among a sea of Origin employees in full tactical gear and reeking of some of the worst stuff Nepleslia's streets had to offer. As he entered he found himself the subject the occasional glance or even a stare. For the most part though, they turned him up like a lump of plastic, and didn't pay him much attention despite how his garb differed. He didn't care either way, the air conditioning in the building made anything worth wild. When he finally reached the desk he waved the receptionist over, "Is there a meeting scheduled with a Paragon representative today?" he asked.
The brunette looked up from her volumetric console, and brushed the floating images aside so that there was nothing between them. Though she was not much older than him, her appearance made her look stern, with ebony rimmed glasses and hair tied up into a bun. But, that was as far as appearances went. "Hello Mr. Breckman, we've been expecting you." she spoke with a hint of glee. "Yes. You're due for a meeting in room 341-D." The Receptionist added on. "Is there anything else I can help you with?"
"Uh, where exactly is room 30-41 ma'am?" he asked dumbfounded, glancing down a hallway.
The brunette softly chuckled before reaching behind her desk. Her hand pulled out a volumetric image, which she unraveled like a piece of paper. "Room 341-D is located here." she pointed out. "Its the fourth sub-building over, forty-first room on level three hundred." The Receptionist explained. "Don't worry, you won't get lost. Just follow the signs." she added with a knowing smile.
Jonsey nodded, "Thank you ma'am, oh! One more thing." He said while tugging something off his shoulder, he set an assault rifle on the desk. "Stash this somewhere would ya, I don't think it'd look good for OriSec for a merc to wonder around with an IBR."
It was now that she laughed, the tones like delicate china clinking together. Still, she took the rifle and looked at it. "You're free to go through Dawn Station with a maximum of one weapon on your body, be it a knife or bazooka, so long as the weapon in question is registered with security." She paused and looked at one of her many screens. "Which just happens to be the case!" The Receptionist spoke with obvious delight. Still, she didn't give the weapon back to him quite yet, and suddenly removed the magazine before eyeballing the munitions. Genuine curiosity could be heard in her delicate voice. "Interesting. Eight or maybe even nine milometer rounds."
The Receptionist finally handed him the rifle back, but kept the magazine, still intent on the ammunition it held. A fine finger gently pushed out a single round from the metal lips of the box, turning it so she could see the lettering at the base. "Very...interesting Mr. Breckman." The Receptionist's words were drawn out as she spoke, but then rapidly replaced the loose bullet. "Here you are. You best be on your way. Have a nice day!" she spoke with cheer.
Jonsey took the magazine back but pocketed it instead of reloading the IBR, he merely nodded to the receptionist before continuing on his way. There were indeed signs something which was a slight relief to contractor as he made his way deeper into the Origin office building.
It wasn't until Jonsey left the Lobby that the sheer scale of the building, and to an extent, the station, suggested by the numbers of the room became apparent. The Atrium was easily two kilometers in height, with the space he was now in being a small park, complete with ducks and geese. Children, who were most likely of the employees who worked here, ran through the trees or played on one of the playgrounds. There were even automated concession bots going about selling icecream to popcorn to candy.
And yes, The Receptionist was right. There were signs, though, the need for them was debatable; the massive structure was divided into five smaller buildings inside, with the park acting as a central hub connecting them all at the base. Finding an elevator in Sub-Building D wasn't going to be hard at all.
He eyed a sign pointing toward the lift he needed to get on, as he moved toward it however it filled to capacity, the doors closing just as he reached them. Uttering a quiet curse he soon found himself in a mob of black and green uniforms presumably all wanting to go to the same building. For the moment all they could is stand there and talk among themselves as the lift went through it's cycle to the top. All Jonsey could do was stand there, looking up at it.
The Paragon Employee didn't have to wait for long though; as soon as the previous lift departed, another one arrived. This of course, lampshaded a mystery; just why did they all cram into a single elevator when waiting a few extra seconds to get into a perfectly empty one? Before he could think of any possible explanation though, something tugged at his pants. "Hey, mister gray, did you see an elevator crammed full of people?" A five or six year old child asked him. "We're supposed to have a challenge where we stuff lots and lots of people into one and see if we can beat the record..."
He knelt down to look the small child in the eye, "How about you do me a favor and skip a round for this lift?" he asked nicely. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a few credits, "I'll even throw this in for ya."
Right at that point, the kid went wide eyed as he stepped back from the Paragon Employee, eyes darting across the uniform, settling on the dirt and grime, the rifle, and finally, the money. If a rational person thought of it, the sight of such a person offering a little kid money wasn't exactly the most wholesome. Needless to say, the kid ran away screaming. While covering his butt. And thus, he was once again found himself alone.
Standing back up he pocketed the money, muttering something about Neko and Yamatain children. He was obviously unaware of the demographics of the station though. Ignoring the stares as he stepped on the lift and punched in his floor, he moved to the back, leaning into the corner.
As the massive elevator ascended, Jonsey could see down below the same kid that made the scene. He was fist-bumping another kid his age before breaking up into laughter. He'd been Punked. Soon enough though, the children, the people in the park all became as ants, and then even smaller. The empty elevator, large enough to fit several cars, or even a tank, seemed all the more vast since he was alone. And then it made a 'ding' as he arrived at floor 300 of Sub-Building D. Now all he had to do was find room 41.
He stepped off the lift and glanced to the right and then to the left, small groups of two or three Origin employees and the occasional circle were scattered at either end of a long hallway. Breckman just started following the numbers.
Jonsey walked by and was walked by other Origin Employees as he continued down the hall. The occasional doors were open, or cracked open, revealing brief glimpses into their contents. Presentations regarding new products, risk assessments concerning the Mishhu War, a going away party were all among some of the things he could spot before passing by a few vending machines nearby some restrooms. One employee was getting a breakfast bear breakfast bar and choco-stix from the snack machine, while another started downing a drink. Neither noticed him as he went by; it was almost like he was a ghost in the way he strolled down the metal halls, practically ignored, yet looking in.
Soon enough though, he found it. Room 41 on Level 300 of Sub-Building D.
He rapped the door three times waiting for a response.
To which there was none. Still, the door was unlocked, and just waiting to be opened.
Sighing slightly he opened the door and stepped in glancing around the room.
Inside was a large rectangular table made primarily of what seemed to be glass and the occasional bit of metal. The chairs were much the same, and matched the general theme. On the far wall though, was a volumetric projection of the Origin Industries Logo aside the Paragon Initiative Logo. Yes, this was the right room. It just happened to be empty. "I was starting to worry you weren't going to show up." A rich, womanly voice called out from behind Jonsey.
His hand practically shot to were his sidearm would have been as he turned around, two weeks in an NMX infested sector of Funky City had left him very very jumpy. He scowled slightly at the individual behind him, "Didn't anyone ever tell you its a bad idea to sneak up behind someone?" he quipped.
But, there was nobody there. Just empty space, the door that was behind him now closed. Still, the voice came at him again, seemingly from in front of him. "Sneaking up behind someone? A bad idea?" She teased him. The bedside voice turned into an amused laugh. "Sorry, its a habit of mine." The person, whoever she was, paused, "Hmm...I'd expected someone to be a bit more...neat, but I guess we all make due nowadays. My name is Yuno. Yuno Fumihiko. I've been handling the recent major transactions between our companies?" A hand appeared out of nowhere, as though slipping through an invisible threshold.
Jonsey reached out and grasped the floating phantom limb and tugged forward experimentally.
The woman's four fingered hand clutched his firmly, giving him a single shake. Her deep voice however, sounded a little confused however. "Is there something wrong? You're looking at me very strangely, and your eyes aren't focusing properly on me either." Yuno asked.
He shrugged slightly, "I'm fresh outta a NMX combat zone, last time I ran into an invisible Neko she gibbed a buddy and nearly took my head off, so I'm a little jumpy at the moment ma'am" he said as he released the hand.
"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear...OH!" The Neko exclaimed in surprise. As Jonsey blinked, a woman with long green hair tied into a French braid appeared as the station's volumetrics deactivated. And she was quite short. In fact, she was easily a little more than a full head shorter than the Paragon Contractor; her deep and luxurious voice was Very misleading as to her stature. The Neko swept a hand over her lap, getting rid of any wrinkles in the skirt of her uniform. "I'm sorry about that, I'm having trouble myself when it comes to relaxing." Yuno spoke, looking up at him. "What are we doing standing anyways? Please, take a seat."
He nodded, finding his way to the nearest chair and setting his rifle down on the table before finally settling into a seat, "Sorry about this getup, Paragon is stretched all over nowadays, when something like this pops up they usually just send one of us supply boys to take care of it." He said while settling back into the comfortable seat.
She offered him a seductive smile in reply. "Of course. We're all feeling the pressure these days." One of Yuno's arms reached out to grasp a pitcher of water from the smaller table nearby, next picking up a pair of paper cups from the accompanying stack. She filled his up and gave it to him first before giving herself any and taking a seat; he had taken a corner seat, and so Yuno ended up placing her sleek form at the head of the table. "So, what can I do for you?" She asked, reaching into her suit and pulling out a box of long, thin sticks dipped in chocolate.
He suddenly realized that she was one of the people at the vending machine as he passed by.
Shaking it off he set the cup off to the side, "We are interested in drawing up a general munitions, weapon, and equipment contract to cover any Origin ordinance we may need in the foreseeable future." He paused, taking a drink from the cup, "My bosses are also interested in obtaining a contract to acquire the Pawn type Destiny AI suite. A third interest is the acquisition of fifty Queen type Destiny AI suites. You see at the moment we are on a bit of a building spree." he finished.
"Oh? Only fifty?" she purred. The catlike grin on her lips was both enticing, and amused.
He merely quirked an eyebrow, "Has Origin heard of the D-1 Project?" he asked.
She slowly shook her head side to side. "I'm afraid not. Please, would you explain?" Yuno asked kindly.
He pulled out the datapad he'd been given before being shipped out of Funky City, syncing it up with the table's volumetric display he brought up an image of a very basic ship design. "This is the Dagger class guided missile destroyer, also know as the D-1 Project, Paragon intends to use the Queen suite on its own Daggers." Breckman finished.
Even though Yuno continued to give him a warm smile as he spoke, her green haired ears perked up slightly as she watched the information stream across the volumetric display. He had her attention. "And Paragon plans an initial run of fifty ships? I see." She paused and brought a fingertip to her lip in thought, eyes looking up at the ceiling. "I suppose that will be...five hundred thousand for the lot at ten thousand each." Yuno's eyes went back to settle on him. "Does this sound reasonable?" She asked him.
"Well its within the acceptable amount set by the brass, I suppose so." he responded, "And the munitions and Pawn systems?" he asked.
"Well, just what are you after when it comes to the PAWN suite?" Yuno questioned the young man. She leaned forward and rested her chin on steepled fingers, waiting for his response with an ever present smile.
He adjusted the display changing the image from a ship to a rather vicious looking flying machine, "We are looking to equip this gunship design with the PAWN along with a potential fighter and bomber design. These would be full blown production contracts." he said
"Ah. So you don't wish for a fixed number of them? I see." She drew back a little, and sipped from her cup of water. Yuno's eyes looked up from the cup at him however. The Neko spoke after taking it away from her lips. "How about production rights to the PAWN for a fixed amount of time?"
He reclined slightly, leaning back as far as the chair would allow. "What would be the price tag attached to such an arrangement?" he asked.
"Hmm..." she paused, humming to herself she continued to eye him.
"Off the top of my head, I believe fifteen million would be reasonable. Unlimited production rights for four years; I'm sure you can do plenty in that timespan, yes?"
"Indeed, and the munitions?" he asked, leaning forward in his chair.
Despite keeping a warm, pleasant expression, the Neko's ears suddenly perked up; something was exciting her. "Let me look at the list you've given me." Yuno smiled at him. She briefly closed her eyes, but peaked one open at him. "Don't do anything now." she spoke, before bringing her eyelid down again, pausing. "Lets see, lets see...I say twelve million for the munitions, weapons and parts." The neko flat out offered him.
Jonsey glanced back at the datapad, all the estimates were well below his spending ceiling something which he was relieved about, "It all looks good at my end, this should be everything we need, is there anything else Origin needs to know?" he asked.
When Yuno opened her eyes again, she didn't smile. In fact, she seemed a little angry. A little confused. Her luscious lips were now pressed thin into a slight frown. "What's up with you?" she bluntly asked him; her voice was still as full bodied as ever, but all allure was practically dropped.
He cocked his head slightly to the side, "What do you mean?" he asked.
"Really? That's all you're going to say?" Yuno snapped at him. She quickly stood up on her two feet and slammed both hands into the crystalline table; the entirety of it practically vibrated with the sheer force of the blow. Her small and lithe form belied the strength she had. She leaned forward, inadvertently allowing him to look down her front. "Most jerks I deal with are usually looking at my tits or ass, and I end up getting the same exact price I just got with you!" The green haired Neko exclaimed, pointing an accusatory finger at the man. "I can definitely tell you weren't doing either, so what gives?" Yuno fumed.
He was still calm at least on the outside, his hand had moved to his IBR's grip. He almost fell out of seat after she finished her outburst however, regaining a bit of composure he responded, "Because frankly ma'am anything with furry ears scares the shit out of me." He said matter of factly, "And its taking many of will power not to keep this here rifle leveled in your direction." he finished.
The young man's frankness caught her off guard; Yuno's jaw dropped as her ears twitched slightly. Even her tail was now perked up and out, looking confused itself, occasionally trembling left and right and even thoughtlessly lifting her skirt up. She eventually caught herself though, and took a hand to smooth her tail and skirt back down before taking a seat. Yuno wasn't even looking directly at him anymore, and instead settled for an invisible spot on the crystal table. Ears drooped, she gave him a one word reply. "Sorry."
He let go of his weapon and relaxed a bit, "Not your fault ma'am just tends to happen when the two biggest powers utilize your kin as combat troops and both want me dead" he laughed slightly. "Now you were saying you were overcharging for this?" he gestured toward the display.
She listened to him speak out in a rapid machinegun fire sentence and finally looked at him again with a grim smile. "Yeah...Look, you're a nice kid." She went on, "So I'll cut the price back. Ten-Mil for the PAWN rights for five years instead of four, and ten-mil again for the weapons and other bits and pieces." Yuno squirmed, settled into the seat a bit. It looked big, almost too big for her, giving her a small and vulnerable appearance. "I guess I'll also cut down the price for the QUEENs as well to around five hundred kay, alright?"
"So a grand total of twenty-million five-hundred thousand KS, that fits the bill perfectly, is there any information Origin requires?" he asked while pulling up credit account numbers on the data pad.
"Yeah. Pretty much." Yuno drawled in her deep tenor. She visibly eyeballed the rifle on the table though, and snorted. "Say, what were you going to do with that rifle without a magazine? One in the chamber's only enough if you're lucky you know." The Neko pointed out to him with a wry smile on her face.
Jonsey leaned forward and collected the rifle in his grip, he pulled the charging handle back and ejected the unfired casing, catching it with the same hand and putting it on the table. It had an orange tip.
"You're kidding." she spoke, puffing her lips out as she pouted. "That'd hurt like, a lot, but I think I might have still won out." She shook her head. "Forget it. So we're settled on the deal then?" Yuno asked him, recovering some of her composure.
"Now, now, I don't know about that, I'm no damn push over." Suddenly the deal didn't seem as important, the natural competitor in Breckman couldn't leave the Neko's line just sitting. "I've been in plenty of hand to hand and got the scars to prove it, I think it'd be closer then you think." he said laying down a challenge.
She chuckled fondly at the young man in front of her. "Whatever." Yuno spoke, waving it off with a tired smile. "That part of my life is supposed to be over anyways." She then adjusted the green jacket that went over her business dress and straightened up. "So, do we have a deal?" the Neko asked.
"Not until this is settled we don't!" he stated getting up from his seat, "It'll be fun, come on." He started to stand up and take off his web gear.
"Oh come on, that's absur - " Yuno suddenly flew through the air and landed on top of the man and toppled him to the ground; he was vulnerable from removing the harness, and both her legs were wrapped around his neck. He could feel her hands press against his, palm to palm, keeping them from reaching for anything to give him an edge; Jonsey couldn't even see a thing though. Her black skirt was over his head as well. "Fun for you, maybe. But what about me?" she asked him with a tempting voice. "Besides. Business? The deal?"
Jonsey's reply was somewhat muffled but the Neko would just be able to make out the word 'done' and possibly a few curses and something about black lace.
"Nyah-ah!~" She moaned. "Don't do that!" Yuno quickly scrabbled off the Paragon Mercenary and got to her feet. She stood back and brushed her skirt down, getting rid of wrinkles again. "Well, since the deal is good, go ahead and authorize it from your end, and I'll do the same here." she spoke in a business like tone. Despite that though, Yuno couldn't get rid of the embarrassed blush on her cheeks.
Keeping both eyes firmly locked on her he picked up the data pad and punched in the relevant information, a few seconds later everything came back as cleared. Keeping her in front of him he picked up his web gear and half stumbled out of the room saying something about a cold shower, completely forgetting his rifle and that single round on the table.
Yuno simply stood there embarrassed in her non-standard outfit, watching the man leave. When he was gone though, she exhaled. It was over. The Neko then noticed the rifle and stray round of ammunition. "Hey! You forgot your rifle!" She quickly picked it up and went after him, opening the door and running out.
He was long gone, having made a beeline for the nearest exit. With his present state of mind Jonsey wouldn't notice he was light his main weapon for some time, the only thing right now he was pursuing was a large bottle of hard liquor and a shower... a cold one at that.
She eyeballed the rifle in her hands. "Unless you're coming back...dibs.~"
When he arrived at his hotel room for the night he found a message, he'd be reassigned, liason to Origin Industries effective immediately. He was stuck on Dawn Station until further notice. It was after this that he realized he didn't have his rifle.
OI OFFICE BUILDING
YUNO FUMIHIKO'S OFFICE ROOM
2 DAYS LATER
Breckman's gear had been shipped in behind him, among it was one of the new 'working' uniforms. He'd spent the first night reviewing orders and cleaning six weeks worth of Funky City 'funk' off his body and his gear. When a 'deal' order had appeared on his screen two days later he found himself standing outside a familiar set of doors. This time however he wasn't fresh off the streets, a clean shave and a long shower or two had cured his combat fatigue. Walking into the Origin Office for the second time he managed to dodge his way through the crowd without the additional bulk of his gear. Once again he waved at the brunette sitting at the reception desk.
The receptionist at the desk looked up from her plethora of volumetric screens. "Hello, how may I - ah - welcome back Mr. Breckman. How may I help you today?" she asked, perking up upon realizing it was the same person as a few days ago.
He rested both his palms on the desk, "Another meeting, I guess the higher ups like your gear." He chuckled, "And you wouldn't happen to know were a lost assault rifle is would you?" despite the presence of his pistol under his coat he preferred the security the rifle gave him.
She politely laughed at his first statement and listened to the second with a happy intent. "I'm not aware of a 'lost rifle' of your design, but I am aware of something else however." The brunette pushed up her glasses with a tip of a finger. "Miss Fumihiko has given a notice out that she is in possession of an - " She paused, looking at her screen. "Infantry Battle Rifle of Paragon design." She shrugged. "Hm."
He nodded slightly, "And where would Miss Fumihiko be at this point in time?" Jonsey asked.
The receptionist smiled, as though expecting that question. "She's located at 242 23-B." She quickly answered. "That's room twenty three, on level two hundred and forty two, sub-building B." The brunette cleared her throat though, and continued on. "I have to admit, I most often don't remember faces that come through, considering the sheer volume. Though, you're an exception." She simply smiled at his expression before elaborating though. "You'll understand when you go up to see Miss Fumihiko."
NOT TOO FAR AWAY
In an age of information, where even the most trivial things were done over the net at times, Yuno Fumihiko was doing paperwork. Except, it wasn't digital. It was real, actual, made out of pulped plants, paper. Each one had to be filled in by hand, check marked, signed, then scanned and forwarded. And her entire office room was filled to the brim with it all. The worst part? It was of reasonable size to begin with, roughly comparable to the size of a small bedroom. And then her hand cramped. Correction; that was the worst part. "Stupid Nepleslian and his man-challenge..." the Neko muttered, massaging her sore hand.
He quirked his eyebrows, "Thanks.. I guess.. I'll be on my way then." He said while heading in the direction of the lifts, moving through the crowds and clumps of conversation with various apologies and nods. A few minutes later he found himself at a familiar set of doors near a patch of grass.
Fortunately, or not, depending on point of view, nothing particular happened to Jonsey. This could be either a mere coincidence, or perhaps in a more sinister thread of thought, the mere lull before the storm. People were going about their business, children were playing, and the vender-bots were on a campaign of delicious marketing as always. An elevator descended from up above, and a handful of people filed out of the large space. That time; it was almost that time.
Like his first time riding in it he found his way to the corner after pressing his floor, on the way up he couldn't help but to think about what he was missing. The news was practically covering every detail as Paragon built up in preparation for it's move on Funky City and here he was stuck as a representative gopher. Part of him however was thankful for the reprieve, he'd volunteered for practically every combat operation command would let him on for the last three months. His present stay on Dawn Station was the closest thing to a vacation he planned on getting.
NOT TOO FAR AWAY
Yuno finally finished! That is, with one three foot stack. The Neko awarded herself with a stretch though, and started on the next while cursing the moron who left his rifle behind.
Soon enough, the uneventful ride was over, and Jonsey could walk again. The hallways were of the same spartan design as previous, though, the layout was a bit different, as each doorway lead into someone's personal domain to do work. He could occasionally hear tidbits of talk though. Customers babbling on about fantastical customizations planned for pre-existing products, workers calling home to the wife to give a heads up regarding something going on discount, or even the munch of a Breakfast Bears Breakfast bar or the gulp of drink as someone gave themselves a breather. And then before he knew it, he was at her door.
Remembering their previous... 'meeting' he gulped slightly before knocking on the door frame three times and waiting for either a beckoning or a flying object. Either option didn't exactly thrill Breckman as he stood there in the hallway.
"Come in." went a familiar, yet annoyed voice.
He opened the door and stepped in, almost knocking over a stack of papers. The scene before him almost caused him to break out laughing, "Well at least your not playing the ghost this time." He said as he approached the neko from the doorway.
The wall consisting of large stacks of actual, bonafide paperwork spoke back at Jonsey. "Yes, well, this is your fault you know." Yuno replied tersely. The center most stack of papers shuddered, shifted, and then lifted off and away as the Neko moved them off to the side so she could see her charge. "And what can I do today Mr. Breckman? Hopefully not a lap-dance?" she went on with a hint of bitterness.
Moving a thankfully small stack to the floor Jonsey sat down in a chair near the door, "You do know there are easier ways of disabling an opponent besides sitting on his face right?" he countered. "Anyways, I believe you have a particular bullpup pattern rifle in your possession, I'd like to have it back." he finished.
Silence came from Yuno as she considered what he had to say, ignoring the request. "A more efficient way of dealing with someone you say?" she asked in a mischievously playful tone. "You mean, like shooting him with his own gun?" The stack of papers to Yuno's right was brushed aside, revealing the IBR laying on its side, the Neko's slender hand now firmly gripping it. "Yes, it is more efficient, isn't it?" The Origin Representative asked in an airy manner, pointing the muzzle of the weapon at him. Her expression then changed to a more serious one though. "But that would have meant no deal, yes? Can't have a deal with the dealer dead. No can do."
She cracked a grin at him, letting go of the rifle and shoving it over. "So, what will it be today Mr. Breckman?"
Breckman pulled out a small datapad and tossed it over to the neko, "We have another project that may interest Origin, a bomber. A bomber that requires a material only your company manufactures." He leaned forward bracing his arms on his knees then resting his chin on his hands.
"Oh?" she spoke, curious. The Neko's elegant yet nearly alien four fingered hand caught the little device. She didn't even bother looking at it though, and tapped its edge on the table's paper covered surface. "You want Boreanium Alloy from us? I see." Her eyes kept locked onto the Paragon Mercenary's as she licked her lips in thought. "You want...how many prototypes? It says two to four. Make up your mind please." Yuno smoothly spoke, nearly coming to a purr at the last word.
He pulled out a coin, "Heads or tails? Never mind, you'll probably go with tails." he flipped the coin up in the air grabbed it on it's way to the floor and slapped it on his arm, it was heads. "Four prototypes, possible initial production run of one-hundred and fifty hulls with on demand manufacture after that." he finished.
Yuno explosively sighed at that. "Again?" She shook her head, and went on with her brassy voice. "You make up your mind, but then go right back to square one with the next thing that comes up." The Neko reached down her suit and pulled out the orange tipped bullet before rolling it over to the young man. As a stark difference compared to their last meeting, she was wearing a regulation business dress this time around. "How about I make it easier for you and charge by the hull instead?" She asked, lofty yet annoyed. "Take a bit of the thinking out of the equation for you?"
Jonsey looked slightly surprised then realized his wording had probably left to much up for assumption, "Hulls are all we are after ma'am, your alloy is the one thing we can't do on our own and its all were asking from your company. Though there is a chance the higher ups may want to do final assembly on site." he said in a neutral tone.
"This week can't get any worse." She sighed, bringing a hand up to her face. Yuno continued speaking through her hand though. "I know you just need the outer hull with the armor. But next time, tell me if you've settled on a number of them or not? It makes my work a lot easier." The Neko then leaned back in thought. "You know what? Why don't you just lease a public industrial sector from us? You can build the entirety of your craft here, and there would be no hassle of moving incomplete hulls about." The Neko offered.
Intrigued he had but one worry, "Whats the average rate on leasing one of those sectors?" he asked.
"Well." The Neko simply stated. "Its eight KS per month for a single square foot, and that's one right next to a private dock. Good for if you need a decent level of secrecy." Yuno went on in her sultry voice, holding a hand out and examining her fingertips. "That's four hundred thousand per month at 50,000 square feet by the way. If you want something cheaper though..." The Neko sat up straight now, and straightened out her skirt. "I'd say five KS per month for a square foot of a place with a shared dock. It'll be private to the point of only your neighbors knowing what's up. All at a more affordable two hundred and fifty thousand per month. Again, its 50,000 square feet." She licked her lips, possibly at the anticipation of making a killing. "Any of these sound good to you, or would you go lower?"
She muttered to herself as she watched the back of her fingertips. "I sometimes wish I had fingernails..."
"Pass me the data pad would you?" he asked.
Yuno wordlessly slid it across the desk, chasing after the orange tipped round's course.
He turned it to face toward him and began composing a message, while his fingers danced around the holographic interface he glanced up at the Neko. "Your enjoying this aren't you?" he stated with a smirk.
"No." She said flatly.
The datapad emitted a slight tone as it transmitted, "Well, the offer is on the way, I guess we'll find out whether or not this deal is on in a few minutes." He said as he leaned back into the chair, grabbing the stray bullet on the way.
The Neko merely crossed her arms in a wordless reply. It was easy to tell that Yuno wasn't in a good mood, even though she had toyed around with the young man and put him on edge with the threat of shooting him with his own rifle. Regardless, silence shrouded them as she remained quiet.
Silence wasn't something the mercenary liked, it put him on edge, any lack of noise was never a good indicator. In the very least the present situation wouldn't involve and ambush or some horrifying predator.... well possibly a predator. He began thumping his fingers on the table in a repeating pattern.
"Stop that." Yuno snapped.
He merely sped up the pattern, changing a few beats for a more random tone.
"Don't make me make you stop it kid." She warned.
He didn't stop but instead threw a defiant smirk toward the Neko.
Yuno merely grabbed the edge of the table with her hands, the soft, gentle hands now sporting veins as the deathgrip tightened. The desk groaned from the pressure."I'm warning you, if you don't s - " Mid sentence, Yuno used her leverage to throw herself under the table and kick-slide right into Jonsey; her foot went right for his two most valuable things under the belt-line. It almost seemed that the surprise attack was her most favorite thing to do.
He'd been expecting something, but not something this violent. He rolled out of the chair attempting to dodge the kick. The Paragon Mercenary's reflexes were just fast enough to get him out of the way of the blurred Neko, sending him tumbling into a tall pile of papers which topped over him. The chair was sent flying in Yuno's stead, and literally bounced off the door and up into the air. A single four fingered hand caught it; Yuno was now standing on the desk.
The chair was slammed right back into where it was before the insanity began. "Sit." The short Neko's sultry voice echoed with the authority of a goddess, her finger pointing as though to direct divine punishment. And it was a fitting comparison; her head was haloed by the ceiling light fixture, the Neko's features shrouded in the shadow cast by the lighting. "Now."
At this point Breckman had two options, listen to the crazy neko or draw his sidearm and try and talk his way out of it, he opted for the latter. He drew it in the same motion he used to stand back up keeping the PIP trained on Yuno from the hip. "Ook... remind me not to try and flirt with you again," he said, slightly shaken.
The perfect feminine form that stood before Jonsey held still for a moment of silence. It wasn't long before her hand fell to her side limply. "F-flirting? You...called that flirting?" She let out a small sigh and clambered down into her seat again. "Forget it. Go ahead and sit in the little nest you made for yourself." she spoke bitterly. "Why'd they have to send someone so, so...I don't know, green?" Yuno went on, practically whining. She finally set her eyes on him again since taking her seat again. "So? What's taking them so long?"
"Well this sorta thing ain't really my strong suit," he said as his pistol found it's way back into his coat. "Who knows, maybe they did it just to piss you off." He added while leaning against the wall, ignoring the somehow undamaged seat.
She couldn't help but twitch her ears at that last comment. "Knock off the tough act kid." Yuno asked him, her voice sultry and uninterested. The Neko shifted her shoulders around a little though, and went on, her once proud voice now almost pleading him. "Please."
He seemed to laugh slightly at this, "Paperwork, now thats an interesting punishment." He said while gesturing around the room.
Yuno bit her lip at his crude remark, ears twitching in some sort of enigmatic emotion as she continued to watch him. "I. Don't. Care. About the paperwork." She spoke carefully in a dead serious tone. "Now, would you hurry up and tell me what your superiors are thinking?"
He held up the datapad which had an hour glass going, "I'm on hold apparently, so yea.... black lace? Is that standard issue for you guys?" While it was posed as an actual question, the tone in which Jonsey said it gave away yet another attempt to tick the Neko off.
"You...you jerk!" She cried out at Jonsey. "Why do you have to be an asshole? You're practically strutting around with all your guns and military shit saying 'fight me', and you won't leave well enough alone with me!" Yuno was now practically on her feet, shouting at the Paragon Mercenary. "I came here so I could stop fighting you utter moron! Out! Get out of my office now! Out!" The Neko shrieked at the young man, tears starting to run down her cheeks. He hadn't ticked her off. He had made her cry.
He just stood there, leaning against the wall, arms crossed staring at her, "You know you're cute looking when you're pissed off, that's about the entire reason why I'm being an ass." he said with a grin.
The Neko simply looked up at him with misery. Her eyes were starting to swell from the crying, and she was sniffing back a horrid mess. Yuno's ears were still droopy, even after what he said, but that didn't mean she didn't hear him at all. Her melancholy started to mix with rising ire as she continued to stare down Jonsey. "You're terrible." she simply stated. "You - you want me to fight, don't you? DON'T YOU?!" The Neko screamed, her soft misery turning into a shriek of pain. She rose to her feet and gave him a deathly stare. "I TOLD YOU! I DON'T WANT TO FIGHT ANYMORE!"
A tone was suddenly heard, appearing to Originate from the Ceiling. After a short bit of feedback, in which another woman's voice could be heard (it sounded like 'Ow'), the line went quiet for a moment, before the voice returned. "Yuno. What did I tell you last time about treating our customers?" the voice demanded, sounding reprimanding.
Jonsey spoke up, "No worries ma'am, I intentionally brought the situation on. If anything I'm requesting she stays on as the primary sales representative. If anything ignore what happens in here for the next twenty minutes." He was still leaning against the wall.
The voice responded, quickly. "I am well aware of the situation.
However, at the moment, whether or not you are able to handle it is irrelevant- For Miss Yuno to be an effective representative, she must learn how to handle every situation in a professional manner." the disembodied voice paused for a moment, before somehow appearing to focus on Yuno. "Once this meeting is over, Miss Yuno, I'd like to meet you in my office. We have some important matters to attend to.
"Yes Miss Merkur." Yuno replied through a series of sobs. The Neko had taken her seat again, and begun to wipe her eyes with small hands.
"And stop crying." 'Miss Merkur' added, sweetly, before the PA line went dead.
"So you don't want to fight do you? What the hell kind of Neko are you?" asked Breckman.
"Yes m-ma'am." Yuno replied, even though her superior was likley not listening anymore. Why? It wasn't entirely certain. Was it because she knew Miss Merkur was listening? Or was it habit when it came to being given orders? It didn't matter though. The sound of a small woman blowing her nose filled the room briefly. She then tossed it away, and took up another to dry her face; unlike other women, who would have their faces look like a mess at this point, Yuno didn't wear makeup. She simply didn't need any; her face was flawless in and of itself to the point it was almost, if not completely, unnatural.
"Ha. I get you now." The Neko spoke, her sultry voice now back at its normal tone. "You're that green, aren't you? Or, well, young." She sat back down and straightened out her skirt for what seemed like the umpteenth time; it was clearly a habit for some reason. "Listen, I might as well be frank with you; I'm old. In years, I'm definitely younger than you if you're not a clone. But for us? I'm old." Yuno wasn't looking at him anymore at this point, and was now busily putting her papers back into some semblance of order.
"I've been through so many - I can't even call them fights. They were complete wars. And, I'm just...tired kid. That's it. I'm old and tired. I just want to do an honest job, get paid, go home and watch a broadcast or read a book. An actual, paper, book. I don't even want to fuck anymore these days, believe it or not." The Neko explained. "But forget about me. This isn't about me. It's about the deal." She cleared her throat and spoke with some semblance of authority. "Well?"
He held up the pad for her to see, "Clear about sixty seconds after I put it through, they opted for the semi-private facility with the open dock, everything is good to go, payments should already be in their respective accounts." He responded, pocketing the device a moment later.
In front of Jonsey, sat a young woman. She had long, green hair tied into a French Braid. Her skin was light in tone, and was absolutely flawless. There weren't any wrinkles, or so much as a blemish, save for a single beauty mark down and to the left of her left eye. She was small, petite, with a bust that was just perfectly sized. And her figure; a math nut would have shot himself over her ratio. This woman simply sat there. "Treating an old hag like this...you're terrible Mr. Breckman." Yuno's sensuous voice sounded tired and resigned.
Still, there was more to do. "So it'll be Fifty Thousand square feet then, connected to a shared dock space for five KS per month for each square foot - " She paused. "That'll be twenty five hundred thousand KS per month, in total. And you'll be providing the materials necessary to construct your ships and alloy the Boreanium then?" The Neko asked in a properly businesslike tone.
He pulled the pad back out and glanced over it for a moment, "That sounds dead on, your bank accounts have received the proper transfers for six months of use yes?" Breckman asked.
"Yes. Payment for six months of use. That's one million, five hundred-thousand KS in total. " She replied, not needing to actually 'look' at anything. "Now, are we're done here?"
"That we are, at least for this particular deal." Breckman said as he stood up straight, "but there is one more thing." He walked over to where the neko was sitting and grabbed the front of her business suit, pulling her to her feet and bringing her face to his.
At the very most, Jonsey could feel the Neko's knee brush up against his groin before she stopped. Her hands pushed at his chest as she tried to get free of his grip. For all her superhuman strength, she didn't do anything more though, as she didn't even make eye contact with him. "Let go of me."
"Your not a hag," was all he said before bringing his lips to hers.
And at that moment, Yuno threw up a little in Jonsey's mouth.
Practically on reflex he swallowed it, and it was none to pleasant either. He let go of the Neko's business suit and backed away.
It was a miracle that the Paragon Mercenary didn't throw up, but Yuno wasn't so lucky. The first thing she did after he let her go was find a wastebasket. The petite woman retched once, twice before coughing violently. "Just...go." she spoke. The Neko spat out whatever was left in her mouth, only to vomit again.
For once, he listened, quietly walking out into the hallway and toward the lift. His rifle slung over his shoulder.
OI MAIN OFFICE BUILDING
Yet another day on Dawn Station. Yet another day that Paragon wished to purchase something. And, of course, yet another day that Yuno Fumihiko would suffer. Once again, Jonsey found himself in the cool, clean lobby of the main administration building of Origin Industries.
Like the previous two times the Paragon representative made his way to the desk and waved the receptionist over, "And hello again, I believe I had appointment for today." he stated.
The pretty brunette, like always, was busily at work with a myriad of volumetric displays about her. When he spoke up, she started to greet him in her usual kind manner. "Why hello there, how can I - " The receptionist suddenly cut off mid sentence and stared at him before pushing her glasses up. "Oh, its you again." she simply spoke, suddenly annoyed for some reason.
He quirked his eyebrows at this, wondering if it had something to do with the 'incident' from the previous meeting. "Yea, me.. again. Heh" he said while putting on a slight smirk. "Same office as last time?" he asked.
She eyeballed him briefly with a stern expression. "You don't seem very...sorry." The receptionist flatly stated, not answering his question.
"Over?" he asked, for him playing dumb was usually the best option when trying to figure out how the aftermath had played, at least in most situations.
The brunette's eyes widened in surprise at his remark before she collected herself, briefly cocking her head and narrowing her eyes as she sized him up. Finally, she asked him, "Now, just who do you think I am?" The Receptionist sat up straight and crossed her legs as she watched him from her slightly higher position. "You may be what some people call a 'jarhead' or something along those lines, but please, don't play dumb with me." she smiled.
He seemed to sigh at this, "Lets just say that the usual stereotype didn't apply to the situation and I didn't realize it. Well at least not until furniture started flying." he finished, glancing around the desk for a second. Unlike the previous two times he was unarmed, the Contractor feeling slightly naked as a result.
Her laughter was like crystal as she wiped a single tear from her eye. "Yes, well, we aren't exactly living in an action movie and it tends to show." she reminded him. "Still, please try to be nice to her, alright? She was up all night that time, and last night, I couldn't get her to come to bed. The thought of having to talk to you again wasn't exactly the most peaceful thing on her mind." The woman smiled. She leaned forward and cradled her chin in her hands. "Now, can you answer my question? Who am I?"
"Presently? I think of you as the 'receptionist' because everyone here seems to lack those handy name tags." he responded, leaning forward unto the desk.
"Hm? What's this? No heads up display? Not even an office model?" She sat back a bit and placed a finger upon her lip in thought. "Hm...what's the best way of...ah." The receptionist sat back in her chair and brushed her front down and briefly checking her hair to make sure everything was alright. "My name is Zofia. Just Zofia. You see, I don't have a last name at all, and just that. In fact, at one point, I didn't even have a name. But, more importantly - "
"I AM SECTOR TEN!" sounded the halls.
"Hey! Knock it off Zofia!" Someone yelled back.
"Sorry!" She quickly replied, blushing from the embarrassment.
"Yes...theatrics and stereotypes don't work to well in real life, but even an AI like myself enjoy them from time to time." Zofia looked off to the side, where a volumetric clock popped up into view. "Hm. Well, I suppose you have some time left to spare. Still, I'll make this quick." Sector Ten's AI leaned in close to speak with him. "Be nice to her, and try actually listening to what she has to say. I'd appreciate it very, very much if you don't make her cry while you're inside me!" Zofia spoke with cheer. "And yes, you'll find Yuno up there, right where you last left her. Vomiting." The brunette looked up into the air with a finger upon her chin in thought. "Yes, she's practically ready for you now. Go on ahead."
He merely nodded and walked off, his mind sifting through the various innuendos that the AI had dropped on him moments earlier. As he did so, Zofia waved once, and vanished.
The office building's once maze like construction was now nothing more then a common feature to him, he quickly found himself at the lift and once again games were afoot.
"Well, how can I help you this time, Mr. Breckman?" The Neko asked in a professional manner. It looked as though she was still sorting through papers by hand since he last saw her, and it wouldn't have been surprising if the paperwork had, for a time, spilled into the hallway with its sheer volume.
He stepped around the piles, attempting and failing to avoid disturbing the neatly stacked piles of paperwork setting off a chain reaction of paper avalanches. "Uh... sorry.. um.." he said while trying to get the mess back into some kind of order, he fumbled, sending more stacks falling. "Crap" was all he could manage to say.
Yuno's expression remained impassive as the Paragon man bumbled about, though, anyone with a good eye would spot them. The faint twitch of a lip's corner or an eye that wished to flinch. The signs were all there; the Neko wanted to grimace at the man's clumsiness, and scream and rail at him for it as well. But she bit her tongue. Instead, she said one thing; "Shit." In a plain statement. There wasn't feeling behind it, it was just a mere fact. "It's like that's the universal swear or something." she added with a dour note.
"Usually covers most situations where something is happening that is less then desirable." Said Breckman as he picked up one form to inspect it's contents out of curiosity, his face went bright red and he shoved it into a stack. "So about what happened the other day..." he started finding his way to her still amazingly intact chair.
"I know what it means." she hissed at him, flashing sharp teeth his way. Yuno shifted in her seat and flattened her skirt out with her hands. "Just, forget about it." She spoke in a weary voice. "So. What can I do for you today?" The Neko asked him.
"How about a 228,580,000 KS purchase deal?" he asked flat out. "Though I have a few other questions I'd like to find answers to."
Despite keeping a straight face, Yuno's ears perked up at that. "Oh? Well, shoot." she simply spoke, asking him to explain.
"Why don't you like fighting?" he asked, generally curious about his representative's past.
Yuno's expression soured quickly as her ears fell flat. She briefly opened her mouth to yell at the idiot, but stopped short, and sat back into her seat. The Neko carefully straightened her skirt out again and took a deep breath. "You're that obsessed with combat like that? Well, fine." She submitted, voice rising slightly at the last. "I'll give you an answer; something happened, and since then, I'd rather not fight anymore. Ok? Now. About that purchase..." Yuno trailed off, waiting for a response.
Breckman pulled out the same datapad from the previous day and tossed it toward the Neko, "That Abhwehran CEO's little operation left us lacking in various areas and the higher ups are making purchases to ensure it never happens again, namely a shortage of Impulse type PAs and transports." he paused for a moment almost trying to drum up some courage, "What do you read?" he asked meekly.
"40,000 Impulse units, 40 Starliners, 16 Koukens, 500 General Purpose ORV's, 800 Heavy Duty ORV's, 200 Versa LV's, 40 Courier 2A's, 120 Scimitar Starfighters..." She paused. "That's a total of 228,580,000 KS. I'm not going to bother saying what it is in DA." The Neko flatly spoke. "The final total will come to 182,864,000 KS, due to the twenty percent discount for buying in bulk." She went over the manifest again though, visibly looking at it with her eyes rather than mentally doing so. Once, twice. "No armored combat vehicles for close fire support?" The Neko asked. "We got some light frames that can handle that if you're interested."
"We have a tank design and a medium AFV design that role, if you want there is a general write up on that pad under 'Havoc'. I can vouch from first hand experience on their effectiveness." he said, guessing she opted to ignore his second question.
Which was precisely what she did. "I see. Boys and their toys I suppose." The Neko stiffly paused. "Will that be all?" she asked.
"I suppose it is, nice doing business with you." He said while extending his hand to within reach.
Yuno merely looked at his hand, and then up at him, and then his hand again. It felt like an eternity, the unspoken tension hanging in the air. Just as he was about to pull his hand back though, the Neko did offer her own hand up, though, somewhat hesitantly. They shook. "You're not going to try pulling me up to do something to me, are you?" She asked him.
Releasing her hand he smirked, "I'm afraid if you want that you're going to have stand up yourself this time." he responded jokingly.
And, after the cold meeting, he finally managed to get something out of her. "Hell no!" She spat, quickly pushing herself back into her seat. An awkward silence drifted by before the Neko spoke again though. "That...you were actually joking?" She asked him.
"I'll admit to having a small hope but for the most part yes, that was a joke." Breckman said with a large goofy smile.
The Neko merely stared at him for a moment, lips pressed thin. She finally moved though, brushing her skirt down again. "Well, if that's all, I do have - " She gestured at the tall stacks of paper, including the shorter ones due to Jonsey's clumsiness. " - Work to do." The door automatically opened as she finished speaking.
"I guess I'll see you the next time we need another machination of doom, have a good one." Said Breckman before he turned and made his way toward the door, amazingly avoiding the towers of paper.
"Thanks." She replied plainly, tinted by curiosity and surprise.
OI MAIN OFFICE BUILDING
"Alright. So you're purchasing another 250,000 square meters with each square meter accompanied by 5 cubic meters of vertical space. We'll be charging 45 KS per square meter, per month." The Neko spoke, detailing some of the terms. "For how long do you want the space?" She asked him in her usual business tone.
Breckman seemed preoccupied with looking around the office, amazingly free of paperwork, "Oh! Right, twelve months, and a slight modification on that, we need a 50,000 square meter area with a height of 15 meters, the remaining 100,000 square meters would only need to be five meters in height." His eyes fell back on the neko, "So when did you guys drop the imperial system?" he asked with a curious tone.
Yuno's hands froze on the volumetric keyboard at the mention. "As soon as we realized some goofball messed up and mixed up both Imperial and Metric." she hissed, green haired ears twitching in agitation. The Neko gave him a toothy smile, though, it wasn't kind. "The loss in profits will be coming out of that person's paycheck. I most certainly don't envy him." She explained, savoring the last. "Anyways, we'll make sure to add in that modification. And about that last 100,000 square meters; you mind if we just have them on decks above each other all stacked up? It'll cost extra to just loan out entire decks since it'll cut into how easily we can divvy it up for other customers."
"With what we are planning that shouldn't be to big of an issue, " he glanced around again, "So there is an office under all that dead wood." He commented.
She merely wrinkled her nose a little at that last comment. The office was now mostly clear of the forms, with only a single tall stack on her desk, the survivors of her genocidal campaign against paperwork. Yuno briefly eyeballed it with loathing as Jonsey mentioned it. Her eyes practically spoke of hate for the wood pulp turned into flat white sheets. Still, it was brief, and she shifted her eyes back onto the man. "That will come to 11,250,000 KS for a month, and 135,000,000 KS a year, not counting what it'll be with the discount." She briefly glanced away, pursing her lips before looking back. "108,000,000 KS in total, for 12 months. Renting out 250,000 square meters. Including your modification. Is that all?" She asked him, crunching and then regurgitating the numbers at the young man.
He had his datapad out, doing the same calculations his eyes widened slightly at the discount, "That much? If I didn't know any better I'd say you where trying to get on my good side." Jonsey was making another attempt at flirting, though his nerve was fragile at best his cheeks reddening as his mind caught up with his mouth.
Yuno simply snorted at his attempt. "Yeah, that much. So? Is it a deal or not? Its already Twenty One Hundred Hours, and I'm hungry." The Neko brusquely replied.
"Yea, its a deal." He paused for a moment, then he got an idea, "That makes two of us, if you let me tag along I'll buy." It had a chance of succeeding, who turns down a free meal?
The Neko looked over the display, making sure the transaction went through; she didn't even so much as look at Jonsey when he made the offer though. On the other hand, her ears did twitch ever so slightly. "We're always a sucker for food." Yuno commented flatly. "I suppose it can't be helped. Alright, lets go get something to eat then."
He smiled at this, maybe this wasn't such a lost cause after all, "Well any ideas then?" Jonsey asked as he stood up from the chair.
"Something." She pleasantly smiled at him.
The two sat in a small two person booth in the middle of a busy diner. Of course, busy may have been an understatement; the place was packed and filled with the hustle and bustle of people eating their food, children screaming, or otherwise having a good time. It didn't seem like the hour and darkness of the night even made a dent in the crowd either. Gamma's Diner had a bit of a retro feel to it, so both Yuno and Jonsey found themselves sitting and reading off of laminated menus. "Hmm." Was all the Neko said, and whether or not it was heard over the cacophony of noise was unknown.
Jonsey glanced around, "I guess this is a popular place." he commented on the chaos around them before turning his attention back to the menu.
"Obviously." she pointed out. "Some people divide into two groups, one for each location; whichever one has the shorter wait time, has the other group flocking to rendezvous." The Neko commented. Soon enough, a waiter came along and greeted the two with a chipper attitude.
"Hello! What can I get for you?" The man asked. Yuno merely pointed out her selection on the menu in silence. "Mmmhmm. Ok. Got that. Good!" the waiter cheerily replied, his pen scribbling across the little order pad. "And how about you sir?" he asked, turning towards Jonsey.
"Uhh.." the Contractor glanced back at the menu. "Double cheese burger with a side of onion rings."
"Alright, let me run that up for you two, I'll be right back." The waiter replied, leaving the two to deliver the order. At that though, Yuno turned her attention back on the the Contractor, Jonsey.
"So." she spoke.
"So." Jonsey copied before going on, "Your in a non-professional setting and your still wound up as tight as a tripwire. What happened to that Neko I ran into in the first meeting?" He was teasing her.
Yuno's hand casually moved to brush her green braid of hair back as she leaned forward, lips locking over a straw as she sipped cola and smacking her lips when she finished. "She decided you weren't her type and left. So you're stranded with me." the Neko replied coolly.
He leaned on his hand looking directly at Yuno, "and who is this 'me' exactly?" Jonsey was looking for a trigger of some kind, something to get an emotion or two out of the stoic figure seated across from him.
"Me." she simply smiled at him. "I am me, and I'll always be myself." she went on. Before anything more could be said though, the waiter came back, a pair of trays in his hands.
"Weeeeell, here we are!" the young man spoke up. "I got a 16 oz steak and lobster tail platter for the lady, a large serving of our nachos, a deep fried flowered onion aaaaand, a side serving of two skewers of lemon garlic grilled shrimp." The waiter then quickly set down the servings of food in front of the relatively small Neko.
"Why, thank you so much sir." she spoke, thanking him in her sultry voice.
"Why no problem miss!" He then turned to Jonsey. "And here's your double cheeseburger and side of onion rings, enjoy you two!" As the waiter left though, he briefly locked eyes with the Contractor. The young man's eyes simply spoke to Jonsey; 'I know you're pain man.' He then left the two alone. Yuno however, gave Jonsey her first, true, honest smile.
"Well, go ahead and help yourself if you fee like it!" she spoke up, gesturing towards the nachos and blooming onion.
He smirked, 'Worth it.', Jonsey thought before tearing into his burger.
"Well, see you later Jonsey!~" Yuno called out to him with her luxurious voice. The cab door closed as it sped away, leaving him with himself and a lighter account.
As he walked up to his quarters his face had a rather large smile, 'Progress'.
OI MAIN OFFICE BUILDING
ABOUT THE SAME TIME
The lobby was now a lot more empty than it usually was. One thing that remained consistent however, was the brown haired receptionist sitting at her usual location, typing away at her volumetric displays. "Hm. I suppose I should feel a little bad for Jonsey now." Zophia offhandedly remarked. "And if he does ever get further into this, I"ll probably cry for the poor man."
As the workday finally came to an end, the woman simply vanished in the blink of an eye.
OI OFFICE BUILDING
YUNO FUMIHIKO'S OFFICE ROOM
"Hello. We meet again Mr. Breckman." a full and womanly voice came from behind the office chair. It rotated to reveal a small, petite Nekovalkyrja with green hair done up in a bun this time around, rather than her usual French braid. "So." Yuno started. "How may I be of service to you today?" she asked, leaning forward to rest her chin upon interlocked fingers. As always, the Neko gave him a demure smile to start with.
The Nepleslian found his way to his usual spot, the chair opposite of the desk. Sitting down he turned to look at the Neko, "Don't suppose you've been keeping track of the news lately have you?" he asked, oddly he wasn't wearing anything to mark him as his PMC's member, just a random T-shirt and a pair of jeans.
"No, I'm afraid not." The Neko stated simply. "I am a busy woman after all." Despite her seemingly uncaring reply though, Yuno sat back into her chair, back straight. He got her attention. "So, fill me in Jonsey. What's happened that I should be worried about? Another NMX attack? Food shortages getting worse? Really, that's all I hear from the news regarding the rest of Kikyo to be honest."
Breckman snickered slightly at the bit of sarcasm before speaking, "Well, as of..." he looked at his watch, "0220 Paragon ceased to exist as a corporation and I'm out of a job. From what I can tell most of the guys at our facility here have more or less walked off with whatever they could carry and as a bit of professional courtesy I'm here to inform you we will not be extending the lease." The last bit was said in an almost humorous tone, as if the man thought the total financial implosion of his employer was a humorous event. He leaned back in the chair, watching the Neko carefully for a response.
Yuno simply stared at him for a moment, her nearly smug expression partly frozen as she tried to figure out just what to think of it. She finally settled on something dead serious. "Does...this mean I won't be getting my PIMP
?" the Neko asked him in even toned words.
Breckman smirked, "Well there should be plenty of them lying around, from what I've been hearing its turned into one hell of an arms bazaar down there." He said referring to what had been the PMC's only facility on Dawn Station.
"W-what?" She asked incredulously. "I've always preferred energy weapons over kinetics for a long time...and now that I decide to get myself something that shoots bullets with dirty gunpowder, this happens?" Yuno spoke, her voice raising towards the end. She stood up onto her own too feet and slammed a fist into the table. "Damn that Mr. Smith! He was always saying bullet guns were better 'Just Because'! That bastard!" she raged. "Now, I have to rummage around for my PIMP!"
Outside, a child and his mother walking by stopped as the kid paused to listen to the last bit; the mother promptly pushed her son into walking away again. Inside the office, Yuno sat down again and rubbed her temple. "So, what are we going to do about this exactly?" she asked Jonsey.
The man quirked an eyebrow, "We? What do you mean 'we'?"
"Well, aren't you the Paragon Representative or something? You've had to have come here to either buy or sell." Yuno pointed out. She smelled an opportunity and leaned forward a bit. "I'm a businesswoman after all." the Neko mischievously smiled. "So, would you like to do business with me?" she asked coyly.
"Representative? I did just tell you I'm unemployed didn't I?" Breckman said flatly, dodging the loaded questions.
"So you're not buying or selling anything to Origin then." Yuno replied, equally flat in tone. She wasn't looking very pleased and wasn't letting him dodge.
"Buying or selling? No, but I do have a bit of a proposition." Said Breckman, a little life returning to his voice, his hand pulled something out of his pocket, a small data stick and tossed it onto Yuno's desk. "Take a look."
The Neko glanced that the man suspiciously before taking and plugging in the storage device into a slot in her chair's arm. Yuno raised an eyebrow. "So. What am I looking at?" she asked him curiously.
He smiled slightly at the expression, "Your looking at technical specification data and design permits for former Paragon hardware."
"Mmm." she started, reading over the list slowly. "Paragon's Armored Personnel Carrier. Ok. That's not bad." Yuno spoke cautiously. "An infantry fighting vehicle? Alright, alright. And a Mobile Gun System." Her eyes continued to scan the information in front of her before popping wide. "An Anti-Aircraft vehicle, a tank AND a gunship?!" Sh turned towards Jonsey with a more hostile look. "What's your angle here? You said you weren't employed by Paragon anymore, and yet you're sticking these right in front of me." the Neko asked him, a hint of harshness slipping into her usually caressing voice.
Breckman almost laughed before explaining, "Well here's the thing, when a company self destructs on that scale most of it's patents effectively fly up in the air. I just happened to be where they landed, as far as details go you probably don't want to know. What matters is that you have this sitting in front of you, the question is are you going to act on it?" He was looking directly at her now.
Yuno stared at him for a long moment. "You're either the luckiest bastard alive, or a complete idiot." she finally spoke up. "What's the legality of this? They're not going to strangle you in your sleep for selling this to Origin before gassing Dawn or something, are they?" the Neko asked very seriously. "Hell. Is this even legal?" she further asked, bringing a pair of fingers to rub at her temple.
Breckman raised his hands defensively, "Its all one hundred percent legal, you effectively have the patents in your hand right now." He said before bringing his hands to rest again, "As far as 'them' no one cares anymore, the company is gone and everyone is either selling whatever they can to get enough money to hold them over or they're going to Funky City to follow Lang. I guess you can tell which side I fall on." He finished on a slightly quiet tone.
She gave him an incredulous look before replying. "Fine, fine. So where do we start with this?" Yuno asked him.
The man relaxed into the chair, 'One hurdle down.' he thought before responding in a cheerful voice, "Well.. what are you offering me?"
The Neko couldn't help but give an unwomanly snort. "Wrong. It's more like, what are you - " she spoke, pointing a finger at Jonsey " - offering me?" Yuno corrected him, her hand now on her chest. "Why don't you pick out one of these, give me a price, and we'll take it from there? After all, you're a seller, right? You're supposed to have a price tag or something.~" She replied with an almost playful question.
Jonsey merely shrugged, "I'm more of a defector really, as far as price how does one put a number on information like that? The question is what would you be willing to offer as compensation for such valuable items?" He finished. 'No wonder Paragon just went tits up - especially considering they sent Jonsey to be their Rep.'
she thought to herself. "Alright." Yuno answered him firmly. "Let's start with the small fry then. The APC. 6,000,000 Kikyou Satsu." she offered Jonsey.
"Si- Six million?!" He looked surprised and for good reason, he had expected far less at this point. Contrary to what he'd said earlier, there were quite a few who still cared to a point and unloading this as quickly as possible was key to his survival. "Hell I'll take it."
"Did you say Six Million? No, I thought I heard three million.~" the Neko smiled with glee.
Now that.. wasn't funny, "I heard Zen Arms recently acquired all the data for Paragon's small arms, I wonder if they'd be interested in that little bit of data as well." He said, dropping a slight threat.
"Hehe." Her giggle was a light and bubbly sound filled with glee. "Now you're using that brain of yours." Yuno's voice spoke seductively. "But you forget that Zen primarily only has a stake in small arms and some certain dusty power armors. Not ground vehicles. I'll give you an A for effort though. 4.5 Million." the Neko counter-offered.
Jonsey leaned forward, "Did I forget to mention that Paragon's fighter and bomber systems were part of that acquisition?" he added, watching her as it sunk in. "I'm beginning to think eight million sounds a little better, don't you?"
Yuno confidently waved a hand through the air, a volumetric image coming up at her whim. "Yes, but looking here, Paragon is the Only reason they now have a stake in the market. Besides, do you like the idea of haggling with some big, sweaty ID-SOL, or little old me? Six Million." The Neko beamed at the Nepleslian.
Jonsey merely put on an edgy smile before responding, "Deal"
"Alright then. How about...7.5 million for the Infantry Fighting Vehicle?" She asked. "Its mostly the same thing, but with a few new toys, isn't it?" The Origin Representative offered. "I hope it comes along with the toys, otherwise, it'll be quite a bore..." Yuno went on, seemingly a little bored at the idea that the vehicle may not come with the attached weapons.
He responded with a simple "Done."
She let out an exasperated sigh. "Hello? Yamatai to Jonsey? Does the thing come with production rights and blueprints to the weapons you guys originally mounted on it too?" She paused, considering something. "Or did one of your buddies already pawn those off to someone?"
"Unfortunately, the missile systems where among the things that went to Zen, the cannon systems however should be on that list." He said sheepishly.
"Mmm...I'll ding you a bit for that, but go easy on you since you're practically a noob." Yuno explained. "7.3 Million." she offered again.
"Ok. ok. We're doing good so far." Despite wearing a skirt, Yuno reclined in her seat and kicked both her feet up onto the table. "It's nearly the same as the last, but with different weapons, this Mobile Gun System-Platform thingy. I say 7.5 Million again. And, again, does it come as advertised?" she asked him curiously.
"Do you see any missile systems on it?" Jonsey quipped.
"Do you see any cannons?" she snapped back.
"Did you forget to scroll down?" He shot back, referring to the information on the data stick.
The Neko brought a hand to her face with a 'smack', showcasing how her hand only had four digits in comparison to a normal human's five. "The coilguns. Has anyone else bought those out from under you?" Yuno asked again, annoyed at having to take a more direct approach.
He smirked again, "Not as far as I know, so you may want to act quickly." He put his hands behind his head and leaned back.
"Then the offer still stands. 7.5 Million Kikyou Satsu." Yuno simply replied.
"Deal" He was up on two legs now as well, using the small table as leverage.
The two were nearly mirrors of each other now in regards to how they were sitting. "Sounds good. Now, the Anti-Aircraft version. 7.5 Million like the last offer. Now, this time, I hope you're paying attention enough to know if I'm interested if all the weapons are going to be on it. Are they?" She asked lazily. "I don't feel like looking again." she added on.
"Again, no AT-1s, that's about it." He was looking at the ceiling now, his balance precarious.
Yuno frowned and took her legs off the table. "Why are you denying me my fun?" She asked him, annoyed again. "I was hoping you'd do something silly like leap off the chair and onto the table or something." the Neko explained. "What gives?"
Still staring at the ceiling he responded in an annoyed voice, "Because I'm not greedy and its entertaining watching you pout."
"Hmph!" Yuno pouted. "I bought the other designs a little higher than I should have even though they're technically the same vehicle with different toys and widgets on them...all just to set up for this moment where I would suddenly buy low, just to send you off balance!" she exclaimed. "And you accept it without flinching. Not because you saw right through my ruse, but because you're a baka! A big baka!" the small Neko shouted, now on her feet. She flopped back into her chair. "Just hand that thing over, would you? It's practically the same Christmas Tree but with different lights." Yuno asked, exasperated.
Jonsey looked back toward her and started laughing, "Fine fine, now what about the tank and gunship?" He asked.
This time, Yuno wasn't feeling lazy enough to not look at the screen in front of her. When she finally got around to looking at it though, she let out a low whistle. "Tanks. I remember those were a real bitch to fight against when they were far out, but up close, they never gave me any problem." the Neko recalled, eyes slightly hazed over in memory. She then looked at Jonsey however. "Enough of the fresh girls would bite the dust though, so I'll say it deserves around...8.5 Million."
"Your cousins on the other side did the something along the lines of stupid, charging blindly. Amazing what canister shot does to large groups. Deal." Jonsey said, bringing the chair back to the floor.
Her ears flattened. "The NMX girls? I wouldn't know squat about those poor bitches; it wasn't my war." she countered. As she looked at the gunship though, Yuno pursed her lips. This 'old' Neko simply didn't have all much experience against those, but she heard an albino Neko say it was a real pain in the alabaster ass if deployed properly. "I'll go with the same offer again. 8.5 Million."
A somewhat bored voice responded, "Done"
"Huh. Bored of all this already huh? Fine then." Yuno spoke up. "I'll be paying you 6,000,000 KS for the APC
, 7,300,000 KS for the IFV
, 7,500,000 KS for the Mobile Gun
, The Anti-Aircraft Gun Thingy
is for free, 8,500,000 KS for the Tank
and finally, another 8,500,000 KS for the Gunship
. And, furthermore, this deal also includes all weapons systems aboard the above vehicles, minus the missile systems which have already been sold to Zen Arms
." She listed out the terms. "That means I'll be paying you 37,800,000 Kikyou Satsu for all this." The Neko furrowed her brow. "Wait, why the hell am I doing the math when you're the seller?! Double check the numbers you lazy dolt!"
His response was... simple and practical, "You're the one with a computer for a brain, so I doubt those numbers are off. This is kinda a change isn't it? You paying me." He said humorously.
The Neko simply turned in her chair to look out the volumetric windows the room sported. "Yeah. Change." she spoke wistfully. After a brief moment passed, she turned to look at Jonsey again, her voice a little tired yet serious. "Jonsey. Are these the last documents of their kind? If they aren't and Origin finds out after we make the deal, Aerin will probably sue your ass and then make it hers. That is, after she whips mine." the Neko explained deadpan serious. "So. Are these the only blueprints and schematics of these vehicles and their attached weapons left?"
"The only ones with legal papers and detailed manufacturing specs yes." He responded, pondering what to do now. "So what now?" He asked, standing up.
"Whatever you want." Yuno honestly answered, solemn. A single perfect finger came down and confirmed the transaction. "Sir." At that very moment, Jonsey Breckman became a multimillionaire through luck and skill on the battlefield...and A LOT more luck outside of it. "If you're at a loss at what to do however, I do have advice." she offered to him,
Still standing he cocked his head to the side, "And that would be?"
"There's a Yui Seven class vessel from the Star Army of Yamatai docked right now at this location on Dawn." Yuno pointed out, giving him the dock number. "Anyone who knows their ships can tell straight away that this ship is...fresh. Brand new, right off the production lines. And I'm guessing the girls are too.~" She gave him a small, mischievous smile. "When we first met, you said that you were actually scared of me. The fact that I"m a Nekovalkyrja in specific. This is a grand opportunity for you to get over your fear with a night out with some starry eyed young girls." Yuno pointed out. She went on,
"I mean, I'm sure you're man enough to handle...eight? Maybe nine girls? That's the whole crew of that little boat you know. You're set for life now Mr. Breckman. Might as well start out this new life with a bang." Yuno explained further. "Plus, I'm sure they'd love someone like yourself to show them around town sir."
He just stared at her for a moment, a look of total surprise on his face. To say this was out of character for what he expected from her was an understatement, "Whaaa?" was about all his brain could manage.
Yuno couldn't help but mash together a snort and giggle. "Oh, that's funny. I guess you're still just a kid after all." she sighed. She then turned serious again. "Look. Grab a limo, a spiffy suit or tux, maybe one or two of your closest friends, call a popular club ahead of time so they know you're coming, and stop by that Yui." The Neko instructed the young man. "This next part is important, so listen carefully; walk up with a lot of confidence and cue the Captainette, saying 'Hey, you girls looking for a good time?' or something along those lines. If they ask who you are, just say you're 'Multimillionaire Jonsey Breckman'. Easy, see? And then bring them to that club, have a blast drinking and dancing, then go on from there."
"Happy ending." Yuno explained again. "Well? Get going! Those girls aren't going to wait forever you know!"
Partially stunned, his face a nice shade of red, he turned and started walking out of the room without a word, similar in manner to their first meeting.
Through sheer dumb luck, Jonsey had earned that much from her, she had to admit. On the other hand, Yuno also believed he was quite likely going to blow it all if he was anything like Paragon, so it was only common courtesy he have something quite memorable.
FLOOR 300, ROOM 1
Much, much later, Jonsey Breckman, newly made multimillionaire, found himself in what could only be described as the most luxurious hotel suite he'd been in before, filled with nine equally luxurious and passed out Nekovalkyrja. As well as two out of three of his friends of course...which weren't really worth as much interest in comparison to the women. Jonsey himself was horribly hung over, but one friend had the name 'Hinata' newly emblazoned upon his bicep over a heart. The other had a very sore rear end. As for the third friend, he was simply missing.
When the eleven of them awakened and got dressed they found the place an absolute wreak. Confused, the group stumbled around and eventually found the body of a dead Mishhuvurthyar inside the bathroom. A few clues in regards to the third former-mercenary's whereabouts were found as well, and together, the eleven of them made their way to the lobby and called up their vehicle. A Main Battle Tank.THE END(?)
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