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(Setting) G&K CafeBar

| >Recently relocated to an ever smaller and easier-to-miss alley, five minutes away from the Central District main street, is a G&K CafeBar. Small, warm, quiet haven, with old-school, 1960-th themed wooden furniture and yellow gas lamps.
>Being known to a few chosen to begin with, it would take some luck to stumble upon it now.
>It is now one of only a few places in the city you can consistently meet Springfield family members, given the situation in Downtown.

| >Being a relatively small cafe, it only features a couple of tables and a counter. Sleepy mafioso guard sits sipping his coffee in the corner near the exit.
>Behind the counter stands the young woman in chocolate apron over black suit. Her waist long, chestnut color hair was put in a ponytail. Soft smile on her face made her deep, green eyes seem even deeper.
>Barely visible thin scar on her left temple is the only reminder of her debt to a certain lilim.

| >A charming addition to the cafe interior, a young girl in the waitress uniform sits at the counter, chatting with the young woman behind it. Her bright red eyes shine in the hall's twilight, and shoulder blade length, fluffy blond hair is tied into tail with a big green ribbon.

>"Some day you'll come along~ The man I love~..." sings the music box in the corner, going through the long forgotten songs of the old world.

| >A man dressed in a suit, minus a tie, walks in to the establishment, stopping at the entrance to scan for a seat, before moving to sit down at a quiet corner. As the man sits down, you can see a glint of a firearm in a holster. He raises his hand, trying to flag down a waitress.

| >>566407
>The bartender woman nods slightly towards the guest and the waitress takes off to his table.
"Welcome to G&K," — she says putting down a menu in front of the man. Impressively, the menu in question is made of natural paper and all the items in it are written by hand. The waitress girl makes one step back away from the table and her presence disappears completely, as if she wasn't there.

| >>566464
>The man picks up the menu to take a closer look,and rubs his fingers on the paper, giving an impressed look.
"Huh... Well I'll have a double espresso, please."
>He says to the waitress, turning his face towards the waitress.
"Oh, and would I be able to speak to 'management' as well?"

| >>566634
"One double espresso and 15 minutes of service from the owner."
>The waitress gives the man a short nod, confirming his order and flash steps to the counter — one second she's here and the next she is switching places with the bartender woman, taking her place at the corner of the counter with various kitchen utensils and a coffee machine. Amusingly, 'service from the owner' is, in fact, an item on the menu.

| >Meanwhile the chestnut-haired lady strolled across the cafe towards the corner the man seated himself in. She traces the edge of the table with her hand before graciously landing herself into a perfect Gendo pose, save for a lack of glasses and gloves.
"...So, mister Yet-To-Name-Themselves, what could you possibly want from the," — >she lets out a girlish giggle,
— "'management' of my little cafe?".

| >It is the woman's voice, not her looks, that is the main source of her charm, it seems. Soft, with just a slightest hint of raspiness — worthy of being put on the menu.

| "John Doe, we may have meet before. I need help with... Coercing some corps to let us use their airspace. We've had 90% of the airspace cleared for free use, but there's a few out there causing issues."
>He keeps studying her with his eyes, trying to figure out her deal.

| >>566925
"Pfft-" — >the woman lets out the moment she hears 'John Doe', before quickly hiding her mouth behind her hands,
— "khm, I'm sorry mister, pfft-".
>It takes her a solid minute to compose herself again. The mafiosi guard in the corner does not seem as amused, however. He lifts his fedora slightly, tensing in his chair — revealing a young man with a fiery-red hair and /very/ sharp green eyes.

| "My name is Mina. Mina Springfield, although I'd assume you already know who I am if you came here to talk business." — >There is not a trace of hostility in her voice, or posture, or eyes; In fact, nothing but a genuine hospitality, but the way she says 'business' would be enough to light every single alarm light even in the most ignorant of men,
— "But may I inquire you why you came to us to talk with corps? Frankly, it's not exactly our speciality."

| >>566932
"Relax, my gun doesn't have one in the chamber."
>John says to the guard, seeing him stiffen.

"I'd rather you didn't insult my name..."
>John coughs, as to stop himself, covering his mouth.
"But yes, I do know who you are, Miss. Springfield. The issue is that the corps are not willing to enter negotiation, or even communication. So I was hoping for some help, compensation provided, of course."

| >>566939
>A double espresso glass comes into existance on the table — apparently at some point the waitress went by the table. Completely unnoticed by everyone too, since even Mina blinks a couple of times once she noticed the glass.

>The mafioso in the corner doesn't seem to relax a single bit, but he does slide his fedora back in place — which is, covering his eyes.

| "Mmm, you see, mister... pff... Doe~," — >Mina begins once she finally accepts the existence of the double espresso on the table.
— "It's not that I don't want to help you, and it's honestly isn't even about the compensation." — >She says with a genuine concern.

| "It's just that we aren't exactly in contact with all that many corps, and even with those that we are in contact with it's not always partnership..." — >She says, tracing cirles on the table,
— "If you name the specific corps, I will tell you right now if we will be able to do anything about it for free. It's really not our speciality."

| "Just a bunch of the smaller ones looking to puff their chest."
>John reaches in to jacket, taking a look at the mafioso, before pulling out a data-stick.
"While these can be dealt with any method, the last one on the list needs to be bloodless, a personal request."
>The last one on the list is named "Cain's Gallery."

| >Mina sends a heavenly smile to the hothead in the corner, which makes him slump in his chair, and puts the data-stick in her phone. She does a quick swipe through the holo-display, marking a couple of places on the list with red.
"These ones are no go." — >She says, turning the hologramm John's way.
— "And I didn't hear from C for awhile now, but I suppose I can make it work. It will only cost you another espresso, in fact." — >Mina added with a wry smile.

| "This works. The rest of these won't be around for long. Howitzers tend to do that."
>The cup of espresso now empty.
"I'll have another double, and a green tea for the guard at the door, he's a bit twitchy."

| "Double espresso one and a green tea one, for Dale." — >Came the waitress voice from behind John and she reappeared behind the counter.

>Mina took a look at her watches, tracing the scar on her temple with another hand — a mindless, reflexive gesture, — before looking back at the man.
"Well, we still have about 10 minutes left of the order." — >She beams a smile, letting him decide the next topic.

| "So then how about some idle chit chat? Sometimes its good to take a break from work."
>John looked alarmed by the waitress, suddenly showing up, but something in his head clicks.

| >>567157
"Mmm, I never was particularly good at idle chit chatting, you see?" — >Mina says somewhat dreamily, landing her chin on her hands,
— "I guess it has something to do with this city. It rubs on me the wrong way, I guess, where else would you find a girl so bad at the most basic female skills?"
>She starts to trace circles on the table again, as a second glass of espresso lands on it.
"Are you native to this city, mister Doe?" — >She asked with a surprisingly sad expression.

| >>567451
"No, came here for a new life 2 years ago. Old life came back after me."
>John idly taps the table.
"So that's my abridged story, what's yours?"

| >>567464
>Mina lowered her eyes to the table, following the circles with her gaze.
"Me, I was born in this city. I was an orphan child, you see. Never knew my real parents." — >Her smile slowly crawled away from her face, but she quickly put it back.
"I'm sure you know how this city is. Being an orphan, you will be lucky at best if you don't end up a guinea pig for some disgusting experimentation. So I was lucky. When I was 5 the orphanage closed and I ended up on the streets."

| "Oh... I'm sorry I asked."
>John looked a mixture of embarrassed and ashamed for asking about her life, but regains his composure.
"Would we be able to go somewhere more... private? We may have some guests coming."

| "It's okay, I'm here after all and proud to call myself a Springfield. What didn't kill me, made me stronger." — >Mina waves his apology off,
— "But in terms of privacy? I'd say this is as much as you'd get. It's not exactly that type of establishment you know." — >She finishes with a guilty smile.
"We can get you some folding screens, but that's about it, I think?" — >She asks towards the waitress girl, who only shakes her head in response.

| "Haha. Very funny, but I'll trust you on your word."
>John looks at the waitress...
"There's no need for the screens, thank you."
>And turns back to Mina.
"So while my guests are yet to arrive, what's the story behind the waitress? I get that she's the actual bodyguard, rather than the guy you have out front."

| >>567499
>The last remark made Mina blink in surprise.
"Oh, but Dale IS the guard here." — >She said, with a wide, beaming smile,
— "Don't let his appearance fool you. I have less trust in armor vests than I have in him."
>Ears of the mafioso at the entrance reddened enough to blend with his hair.
"Svetlana is just working here part-time," — >Mina continues happily,
— "She is a cutie and a friend, but not a guard at all."

| "So you are telling me that Svetlana who moves around silently and swiftly, has nothing of note?"
>John leans back a little.
"Sorry if I'm being intrusive, I just can't help but notice her skills."

| >>567506
"It's true that she is no Damsel in distress. Neither am I." — >Mina's face goes serious for a second, but then relaxes again,
— "And she definitaly has a lot of qualities to note, any girl does. But the one who guards this place is Dale. Let's hope he will never have to show you why." — >Her intonation draws a clear line on this topic.

| "Ah. My bad."
>John looks a little glum, but just puts his finger in his esspresso, and watches the esspresso drain away.
"You think we can put some music on? There's a bit of a somber mood today."

| "The music is on, though?" — >Mina points towards the music machine by the counter. It is meowling one of Kate Bush'es songs, barely audible through her words.
— "We could make it just a tad bit louder, I guess. Not by much, our regular prefer it this way."

| "Must be the me..."
>John takes his finger out of his cup, wiping it on a tissue.
"I assume the music is your personal preferences?"

| "Mostly what fits the atmosphere." — >She nods, blowing a stray strand of hair off her face,
— "We are aiming for a specific style here, you see."

| >>567526
>John checks his watch, and looks back at Mina.
"Care to join for lunch?"

| >>567546
>Mine shaked her head softly, slowly getting up from the table.
"If I were to join you for a lunch, there wouldn't be anyone to cook it." — >She shrugged, and beamed another smile.

| >>567549
>John smiles and gives out a little chuckle.
"Chef's choice then?"

| >>567553
>She gave the man a nod, and went behind the counter. Barely audible humming of extractor hood overlapped with the music, soon having kitchen noises added to it as well.

| >>567561
>John mindlessly taps his left hand to the music, whilst messaging someone on his phone...


>"Purgatory is in the air and armed, emergency extraction ready. Greed, Lust, Pride are in the air, coasting at 30. The rest are leaving Lower Heaven now."

>"Re-arm Fraud for medical services and Arm Heresy for FRT and manufacturing, that is all."

>He keeps tapping away on his phone.

| >Suddenly Dale straightens up in his chair, as if zapped by electricity, and storms through the cafe. He does a couple of quick hand gestures to the waitress — leading to her narrowing her eyes and nodding — and grabs Mina by the hand. The Springfield's eminence grise lets out a yelp and a couple of weak protests as she is dragged out of the cafe through the back door behind the counter.
>With a poker face, Svetlana takes her place in the kitchen.

| >Not a minute later, a moderately tall blond teenager enters the bar. He sports a bright yellow business suit with fallen leaves pattern, and a long small tube he holds over his shoulder. Cold blue eyes scan the room, darting quickly to the waitress and then landing onto John.

| >>567884 >>567883

"Ah, King! You like the place I picked out? It's nice an' cozy, and the coffee is great."
>John smiles, beckoning King over to his table.

| >>567911
>Richard's cheek twitches, before giving into a slasher smile straight out of a horror movie. He strolls up to the table, and slams into the opposite chair.
"I am positively blissed." — >He snakes with enough venom in his voice to kill an elephant.

| "Man, are you that angry that I don't trust you? You really thought I just take anyone's word for granted?"
>John leaned in, annoyed.
"You might look young, and have more lives than a cat, but you've been around for a long time."
>John shifts his attention to the tube, and back to Richard.
"That better be either a contract or a missile launcher."

| "I imagined /my/ word, for once, can be taken for granted." — >Teenager grunted, leaning over the table to grab the menu,
— "it's a holomap. Shows people around you and supposedly even some anomalies. Thought it looked funny, so I bought it from a street vendor on the way here."

| >>567967
>John looks at it for a second.
"Well, /why/ should I? Give me a good reason, especially after I nearly fucked you over. How do I know you don't want to fuck me over?"

| >>567979
"You're not in a zinc coffin at the bottom of West Port, that's how." — >Richard mentioned, mostly offhand as his attention switched to the menu completely,
— "Damn, that's real paper."

| "The fuck does that mean?"

>A llama sized blip appears on the map, going across it, and disappears...

"Anyway you grabbing something to eat? If the paper, impressed you, I'm sure the food will aswell."

| "Rather than impressed, I find it rather barbaric," — >Teenager says, taking his time reading through the menu,
— "after all those hundreds of years of progress, with access to technology making paper obsolete, I find it unnecessary wasteful to cut a tree that could have stood for longer than this city will, for a goal so miniscule, so petty as to make a menu out of it."
>He turns the page over.
"The owner of this place is clearly of a different opinion though."

| >>567997
"A tree couldn't have survived in such smog of the city."
>John makes a counter point.



| (KiY, ya eldrich abomination, where are ye?)

| (creative break, will be back today.)

| >>568186
"Well, clearly the paper wasn't produced locally." — >Richard shrugged, closing the menu.
— "I'll go with a vanilla latte, I guess."

| >>569058
"I'd order, but I got some espresso in reserve."
>John sucks on his index finger, feeding him the espresso he absorbed earlier.

| "Vanilla latte, one." — >Comes deadpan voice behind the teenager, as the waitress girl leans in a little bit to deliver her surprise line. She straightens up immediately, and dematerializes into thin air before anyone can react, but you could catch a glimpse of light in her red eyes. Is she, perhaps, enjoying spooking people like that?

| "Oh hell!" — >Sudden female voice coming inches away from his ear made Richard jump in his chair, turning around frantically in search of the source. This sudden change in his act gives John a suprising new discovery — this is the first time he would see a genuine emotion on the face of the kid across the table.

| >>569350
"haha! She's really good at what she does. Svetlana, how soon will the food come?"
>John lets out a jovial laugh, surprised himself that Richard has emotions.

| "Just five more minutes." — >Comes the voice from the kitchen corner behind the counter.

| >Richard slowly straightens up, his usual mask of indifferent smugness taking its rightful place on his face. He reaches for his suit's chest pocket for a moment, before suddenly deciding against it, placing the hand on the table instead.
"So, may I ask for what reason exactly does half my data security personnel city-wide is trying to fight off an attack disturbingly similar to one that led to the unfortunate tungsten incident?"

| *(~~does~~ is) (~~is~~ trying)

| >John stiffens up, no longer leaning back.
"The only move I've made is a request to you and Merlin. I only got back in town a week ago. But I'm not stupid to take on you. Maybe the Org, but not you."
>John's face no longer smiling.

"I lost people in the tungsten incident, good people. So what makes you think I want another one?"

| >Richard slowly shaked his head, his expression not changing.
"I won't repeat this again, mister... Jhensen, isn't it now? I don't have a habit of blaming people indirectly. When I say something, you may take it at face value." — >Teenager took his hand off the table, pointing around him in a vague gesture,
— "as you can see, this lovely little place isn't filled with my security personnel. I don't *think* you want another tungsten incident. I just asked you a question."

| >>569406
>John relaxes, settling back in his chair.
"Sorry, I'm just used to having a finger pointed at me."
>He checks his watch...

"Huh, Geekboy said he was going to show up."

| "And I also like my questions answered, thank you very much." — >King continued in a much colder tone.

| >>569410
"I have no idea, that's why I have no answer for you."
>John replies, back to being relaxed.
"But Gee- CN, could possibly have a better answer for you."

| >Richard let out a deep sigh, reaching for his chest pocket again, taking out a small black pill and swallowing it in a single fluid gesture.
"You might think that I'm angry with you simply because you don't trust me on my word alone, which you should. But that is not exactly the case. Part of it, yes. The reason I'm angry right now, is that your actions, intentional or not, create a security breach, potentially putting *MY* people in danger."

| "We can sit down talking like this right now only because no actual harm came their way. *Yet*. It can change, and then I will be the person you would least like to have across the table from you." — >Richard cleared his throat,
— "I'm not threatening you right now. As you could have noticed, I place great value onto relationships I build with people. I just want to have you know, that I value my people *more*. And from now on act accordingly."

| "Alright I owe you that much. I get what it means to keep your people safe."

>John takes out a cigarette, and just before lighting it, he stops.

"Svetlana, is smoking allowed in here?"

>He puts the lighter down on the table, cigarette in mouth.

"So tell me Richard, what can I do to help?"

| >>569415
>And right on cue, the entrance to the cafe opens, in its entranceway is the geekboy himself, walking up to John
"Sorry I'm late, what did I miss?"

| >>569427
"Not much, just an issue me and Richard here have to solve, thought you could help."
>John waves him over.
"You said you wanted to speak about something aswell?"

| >>569426
"Normally we don't allow smoking, but as you're the only two guests right now — as long as other customers don't mind." — >Waitress says, approaching the table with a cup of coffee and a plate, placing coffee in front of the teenager and the plate in front of the man.
— "Vanilla Latte for the young gentleman, and Roast Beef Tomato Rigatoni almost from the Chief."
>She steps to the side, gesturing for CN to take seat, and vanishes in the air.

| >>569426
"Well, if we are talking about this particular case, I would like to know for what reason you suddenly needed a pass into Glitch City airspace. I don't particularly care about your business as long, as it doesn't affect my people-" — >Teenager nodded to the other man, welcoming CN to the table,
— "I may be curious at most. But you just had to go out of your way for it to actually affect them."

| >>569429
"Thank you Svetlana."
>John puts down his cigarette, and takes up a fork and knife, ready to eat.

"Simple really. Land cost is too high, and too... fixed?"
>John gestures with his fork.
"All of our personnel, manpower, and intelligence are in the airspace. Call it nomadic, but we basiclly have 8 or so planes in the air spread around the city, in perpetual flight, able to provide me and my people a FOB."

| >>569429
(Googled to see what that dish was, now I've got to go get something to eat.)

| >>569433
>Richard raised his brow, taking a sip of his latte.
"Wouldn't fuel costs eventually grow past the cost on land? I imagine it would be cheaper in the long run to get a decommissioned navy frigate with a shuttle to put in low orbit. Safer as well."

| >>569428
"Yes, mainly things about Cain, but I feel we touched on most of that in IRC already, unless you have more to add."
"Oh uh thank you."
>CN goes to take a seat and jumps in surprise when they see the person vanish.

| >>569437
"We run on nuclear. we send it back to a carrier that recycles it in to RU bullets, and reusable fuel."
>John explains it, with a glint in his eye.

| >>569469
"So about Cain..."
>John's face dulls, clearly a topic dear to him.
"We still don't have solid evidence on who's side she is. My heart says our side, my head says their side."
>He picks and prods the food, eating slower than he was.

| >>569587
"I dont think if Cain was on their side, at least willingly, she would just disappear like she did."

| >>569623
"What I can't figure out is why. I've got a lead to someone who claims to be a witness, but they've dropped contact like a fly in mustard gas."
>John eats slowly, thinking about the situation.
"I'll go pick him up, and drop him off at a hospital, if they need medical help."

| >>569708
"Well I guess that's a start I suppose... it would be weird for these guys to just a witness though..."

| >Richard puts down his latte, halfway done with it.
"By Cain, do you mean the arms dealer? I believe I've met her once" — >He finally takes out a black cigarette from the pack in his chest pocket and lights it up. Light scent of honey fills the air, mixing with others.
— "What about her?"

| >>569712
"He was actually on my tail, possibly hired by Cain. Which could lead me to something."
>John sighs deeply.
"...At this point, I'm really grasping at straws."


"Turns out she's either being used against her will, or she was working behind my back the entire time."

| >>569890
>Richard exhaled a ring of smoke, looking right through it as he spoke up.
"One thing that always intriguied me about this city, is howly poorly venues seem to manage their human resources. How they manage to conduct business while undermining their own employees completely eludes me." — >He said and took another sip of coffee,
— "Would you like my help on this? By 'my', I mean me personally. I could use a break from paperwork."

| "When I... "Went away" she was given contol of the company in my will, and from what I've seen, she made better work of the buisness than I have."

>John raises an eyebrow, suprised by Richard's offer.
"You want to hop in on one of the office raids?"

| "Wouldn't be exactly the first time." — >King shrugged, putting the cigarette back in his mouth.
— "Although, usually I am leading people on these, not the other way around."
>He smirked: "Or what, did you take me for one of that sorry lot running business here, who can't even wipe their asses without a bodyguard to do that for them?"

| >>569970
"I mean, you are letting me use the airspace, so why not let you take lead on a Strike team?"
>John suggests, ignoring the second question.

| >>569974
"Do you mean one of your teams?"
>Richard returned a question, with a hint of surprise.
— "I wouldn't normally expect people to be ready to take orders from a stranger, especially one of my... appearance."

| "My men know not to fuck around with orders... but they will mock you."
>John says with a smile.
"We'll also be providing armour and arms, unless you want to bring your own."

| >>569890
"Well let's see what he turns up then..."
"You waste no time..."

| >>570071
(Who is responding, CN or Richard? -John)

| >>570074

| (kk)
"Would you idly stand by if it was one of those underage cat-girls you seem to save so much?"
>John remarks with a smirk

| >>570095
"My 'underage cat girls' dont conduct strategic raids."

| >>570114
"The raids are a step in the plan, towards saving... or capturing Cain."

| >>570116
"If you say so."

| >>570129
"Considering we are all getting buddy buddy up in here..."
>John inhales his now lit left-handed ciggarete.
"Do you need any help with something, CN?"

| >>570131
"Well my team is fine for the moment now that we're safe in a new place, though given recent events I definitely need fresh Intel on both VitaLife and VeriaTech, considering everything with the coup."

| >>570033
"I doubt you have my size anyway" — >Richard took a final sip and stared down into his now empty cup, somewhat surprised. "That was quick" he mumbled, for some reason struck with the fact he finished his latte already.
— "One other thing that always surprised me is how incompetent most corporate security in this city is. From the reports I read on the security risks in the city, you don't even pretend to be hiding and they still fail to deal with you." — >He nods to CN

| >>570260
"Guess you can just call me lucky then."
>He shrugs
"I worry about VitaLife though, they arent the final boss they make themselves out to be but they're noticeably more aggressive than VT were in their pursuits."

| >>570268
"Lucky is the wrong word, more like untouchable."
>John finishes, his left-handed ciggarette.
"Alright, I'm going to go head off back to Command Center, I've got a team to coordinate, and sleep to get."
>He flags down Svetlana for the bill.

| >>570348
>Blonde waitress didn't take long to manifest with a small leather book with a bill inside, and a tray which she put Richard's empty cup on.

| "Another latte please and a cocktail of your choice." — >King said to Svetlana as his cup was being taken away, and turned back to John and Cn.
— "I think I'll stay here for a bit longer, it has been quite a long day."

| >John digs around his pockets, checking for a cred stick, before finding one in his back pocket.

>He puts it in the small leather book.

"Alright. I'll message you when it's time for the raid."

>John gets up, and leaves the cafe.

>If Richard still has/had his map out, he'd see John walk to the back alley of the street... and disappear.

| >>570348
"Like you're one to talk..."
>CN mumbles as he watches John leave

| >Blond teenager whips out his phone as it gives a short ring of received notification, and scrolls through something, his eyes darting left to right. A couple moments later he puts the phone away, and leans on the table towards CN:
"Say, mister... What would you like me to call you? Simply 'CN' sounds a little informal, and I prefer to only call in informal way people who I have informal relationships with."

| >>570393
"That's usually what I just go by but if you want something is I suppose Geekboy will do."

| >>570397
"Not that it is less informal in any way." — >Richard responds with a sigh, putting his cigarette bud into the tray on the table.
— "Regardless. I've just received a shortened version of your most recent manifesto, quite an amusing piece I might add. But in short it appears to be corp 'X' bad, please deal with it. Therefore it doesn't appear, to me at least, to be a good call for arms."

| >He assumed the Gendo pose and continued:
"Essentially, when a group X starts to grow past their normal sphere of influence, endangering their surroundings and neighboring groups, said neighboring groups wouldn't be exactly happy. But just because group X now has made their neighbors enemies doesn't mean their new enemies are going to make a move." — >He paused,
— "As you have mentioned, said corp X likely doesn't have enough resources to defend themselves in an all-out conflict."

| >Richard tilted his head:
"That is likely to be true. However, it doesn't necessarily mean all the competitors are gonna immediately jump the gun and charge straight into ensuing, and I assure it that's exactly what would ensue, bloodbath. Even as stupid with their human resources management as corporations in this city are, I don't find any of them stupid enough to just throw their valuable employees and resources into a full-frontal meatgrinder."

| >He shrugged:
"Of course, this is especially true in my case. Just because said corp X doesn't have emough resources to keep /all/ their assets under their control, doesn't mean they don't have /all/ their assets protected, with a certain number of them protected well enough. Naturally, that means that charging into their defences blindly would be simply a waste of money, and I believe, precious lives. Money is way easier to come by than competent and loyal people."

| >He spread his hands:
"So, what does that mean? Most likely, that no one is really gonna act right now. Definitely not me, as my side has the least possible gains within this conflict, along with the least possible risks should we choose not to act." — >He leaned back, relaxing in his chair,
— "If you want corps to act, CN, you will have to give them targets to strike, that would offer them a better alternative to a slugfest. That would be my friendly advice to you."

| >>570412
>CN leans on his arm as he thinks
"Well I was fully prepared for that possibility, I'm not foolish enough to think even my influence can sway corporations, but at the very least no action is better than doing something like doing business relationships. Something I learned a few years ago in the VeriaTech summit is you give a good reason for the corporations to not trust another, it can seriously cripple them by limiting them to resources they have, or ones they can get under names who wont notice its them."

| >>570476 >>570412
>That's when a cocktail glass and a cup of latte land on the table in front of Richard:
"Vanilla Latte and a Melon Ball for the young gentleman." — >Svetlana announced and reached for a menu on the table for a second, before pulling back and turning to CN.
— "Will you be ordering something, sir? Should I take the menu?"

| >>570970
"Coffee with 3 sugars?"

| >>571006
>Svetlana gave him a short nod and erased her presence.

| >>570476
>Richard puts his finger on top of the cocktail glass, tracing the edge in a slow motion:
"And your reason to believe other companies are gonna stop doing business with them is?"

| >>571236
"As far as I know no has done business with them, at least on equal footing. They've hired PMC before but they dont tell them anything."

| >>571254
"Well," — >the teenager finally lifts the glass and takes a sip,
— "mmm, damn, that's some good stuff. I should come here more often... What was I on about?"
>He snaps his fingers, setting himself back on track:
"Ah, right. Well, if they aren't doing business on equal footing, then some mere distrust is not really gonna cripple them, don't you think?"

| >>571265
"So what then? Should I just do nothing then?"

| >>571627
>A cup of black coffee lands on the table in front of CN as Svetlana passes by the table, only to vanish again.

| >>572021
"Thank you."

| >>571627
"Sometimes not doing anything is better than doing something. But that depends on your goals, what you're trying to achieve." — >Richard took a peek at his phone's screen to check time, then put a credstick from his chest pocket on the table by his still full coffee cup.
"What you would have to do to achieve the goal of crippling the corporation you are trying to undermine, I just told you. Will your current efforts be enough?.."

| >King stood up, taking the metal tube that have been sitting by his chair the entire time with him:
"I somewhat doubt it. Even with this city so full of surprises, that would be something else. Now, I'm afraid I have places to be. I pray the next time we meet again will be just as friendly." — >And with a short nod to CN, the bloond teenager exited the cafe.

| >About five minutes after the teenager left, the cafe backdoor behind the counter opens, with a young redhead man peeking into the cafe. He has to hold his hat with one of his hands to prevent it from falling, which adds a slightly comedic feeling to the view, if it wasn't for his very sharp, fierce eyes. Dale nods to himself, then to someone beyond the door, and strolls casually to his previous spot in the cafe corner.

| >Following her guardian, the chestnut haired cafe owner steps back in as well. Mina greets the waitress, laughing awkwardly, and takes her usual position by the counter, while Svetlana moves to now CN's table to take King's credstick and put empty cups away.

| >>572365
>CN sighs, just watching him go as he drinks his coffee

| > The front door opens. A lilim steps in, yet his footsteps sound far too quiet for a typical unit of his size. His clothing looks streamlined, with the exception of a patchwork jacket covering him. A courier's bag hangs at his side, yet it seems to be empty. He walks over to the counter and scans around, looking as though he feels out of place.

"Excuse me, can I get some coffee please?"

| >>572630
>Bartender woman, who has been silently humming 'Cats on Mars' to herself and didn't hear the lilim walk up to the counter, raised her eyes from the counter to greet him. The moment their eyes connected, the gracious, grown up woman jumped on the spot and let out a squeak with all the elegance of a 12-years old girl at the sight of Keanu Reeves.

| "Mister Ayanami!" — >She squealed happily, darting from behind the counter and bumping into the lilim full speed, locking him into a warm hug.

| >>572640
> Fox hugged back, doing his best not to apply too much pressure
"Yeah, it's me! I've been away to let all the heat die down and to help out in Motor District as much as i can. But now I'm here again!"

| >>572641
"I haven't seen you in ages! Glad to see you are alright, with so many horrible things happening recently." — >Mina says with a somewhat sad smile, still in the hug and making no attempt to back out.
— "Sometimes this city just chews people up and spews them out, and you never get to see them again."
>She finally lets go of the lilim, slowly stepping back behind the counter and shining a brighter smile:
"What kind of coffee do you want? Are you here for long?"

| >>572645
"Thanks, I really appreciate your concern! I'm glad to see this place is still around and that you're still here too. I'll be sticking around and doing more legit work instead of... running around in the dark like I did."
> Fox puts down his credstick and flashes a big smile
"Just get me whatever coffee you like most. I want to get into drinking coffee more."

| >>572647
"Ahh, but that's always the most difficult order." — >Mina sighs, conflicted, and turns on the coffee machine.

| >>572649
“Gomen! Something simple works also unless you’re not too busy”
> Fox looks sheepishly and blushes slightly, embarrassed.

| >>572652
>Mina puts a finger to her lips as the coffee machine starts humming, thinking about something, then turns to Fox:
"Say, do you mind iced coffee? Or do you want a hot one after all?"

| >>572655
“I think that something cold will be better for my internal system so iced coffee would be nice. Thank you so much!”

| >>572664
>Mina simply smiles to him and gets to work, starting to humm 'Cats on Mars' again. Her left hand occasionaly grazes the scar on her left temple as she works, reflexive, thoughtless gesture.
>The musicbox in the corner clicks and switches the song, now playing "Don't Fear The Reaper".

| >>572667
> Fox looked on, interested at what she was doing. His eyes scanned the scar tissue, noting that he wasn't sure if it was there before or not. Guess his backup was somewhat incomplete.
"This song playing brings me back to America. Such a strange place"

| >(temporary bump)


| >>572811
"You mean, here? Or America?" — >Mina asks curiously, still working on Fox's order.


Total number of posts: 145, last modified on: Sun Jan 1 00:00:00 1561588767

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