2019-10-04 - Alley Conversations


Shiranui waylays Ryoshi to ask questions about The Order and The Project

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Oct 4 05:11:34 2019
Location: Harlem

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Theme Song



Ranna's shift at the markets is not easy work. A lot of it is manual labor. And of course there's the dealing with people. After her shift she's got a walk home that probably isn't a short one. Might involve the subway. After all she's concerned about making rent these days, it's not like she has a car.

Her trip home comes with a scent that it normally doesn't have tonight. Chinese food. Fresh Chinese food. Sitting on a small bag in takeout cartons RIGHT in her path. Like it was just left there. It's hot. It smells really good.

There's no one in sight but come on? Who just leaves chinese takeout on the sidewalk?

It is hard work - the physical labour isn't so bad, it's repetitive and it keeps her fit. The people … she could often do without but they are valuable source of information, so she puts up with them - though she does keep them at arms length. Sometimes she has too - they stink, literally.

She's been moving around too, sometimes using the place that Kian showed her, sometimes rooms in places she's found. Tonight it's the place that Kian showed her, mostly because everywhere is full.

The chinese food makes her stomach growl as she stops to stare at. Free food? Can she pass it by?

"I'd be curious to know what your fortune is." The voice is modulated and familiar. Shiranui is in the alleyway nearby, leaning on the wall with arms folded across his chest. "I'll bet it's something having to do with knowing when to seize opportunity. They're always something like that. You'd almost think they're not 'real' fortunes."

The tech Ninja must not have been using his abilities since she would have felt that.

"You look like you could use a shower in addition to the meal."

"This is from you?" Ranna asks quietly, looking at the tech-ninja who's in costume. "You can have the cookie if you want, but I want the …" she sniffs "… beef and black bean. Are you following me? Or did you tag me with a tracker?"

He mustn't be using his abilities, for which Ranna is grateful - there's no sharp splitting pain through her head.

"I do need a shower. I was going to bath when I got back to where I'm staying. Did you want something?"

"This is from me. I figured you could use the meal." Kian says. She got that his name was Kian, even if he goes by Shiranui in this particular guise.

"No I just happen to know the market you work at so I took a look in on you to figure out your most likely routes. I figured you might try to head back to my safehouse at some point and if you didn't come tonight I had dinner so… you know."

The tech Ninja straightens up slightly. "So do you want to come back here where you're less likely to be seen randomly eating? Figured we'd talk."

Ranna feels greasy, her hair lank in the ponytail she wears it in and she looks drawn and tired. "If you figured I was heading to your safehouse, you could have waited there." She eyes the bag of food suspiciously "Did you drug it or something?"

It gets picked up anyway and she shrugs as she moves to the alley way.

"Why are you doing this?" Looking after her.

"Well I wanted to chat and I figured you might be a bit more personable if you weren't starving while you did it." Kian says as he moves further into the alleyway, keeping to the shadows. No need to give anyone who just glances down it an easy view of him.

"You said you weren't responsible for killing my friends. I want to know if that's true. And if not you, what you know about what happened to the Project."

"I'm always better on a full stomach." Ranna grumbles as she moves into the shadows and finds somewhere to perch as she pokes around the bag. There's two boxes of food in there, one's handed to Kian and the other she keeps for herself.

"I didn't kill your friends. At least … I don't think I did." Ranna glances down. Truth be told she's not sure what she did when her implants triggered as they did. "All I know is that about three years ago, we were given further augments to help us find you more easily. Those of who have the aptitude are augmented as you've seen … we're modified when we turn sixteen."

The Project was taken out two years ago.

"That would be about a year before they hit us." Kian says, half to her half to himself. "I'm guessing that's around when they made the breakthrough that makes tracking our use of the implants possible. What DO you remember of your missions from two years ago?"

Sixteen. There's probably a ritual significance to that but most likely there is also a physical one. They needed people at a certain minimum level of physical development or maybe it's just that was the optimum time for the conditioning to take.

Kian takes the one offered box of food and his mask sort of dissipates around his mouth so he can eat.

"Sorry." Ranna keeps her eyes down. "I didn't think about your mask …" She's so quiet. She has been since the Order turned on her.

"I remember … " Those brown eyes come up to look at the masked face. "… there was a lot of … not excitement but something like it amongst our command structure. Tense and then they sent us out. They knew where to find a lot of you. We were sent in, subdued the Project in the locations and then a team came in to retrieve you."

"Or … that's what we were told."

"It's alright. The Project spent a lot of time and effort researching this. We figured out how to eat with a highly advanced technopathically controlled mask." That's delivered deadpan as Kian continues to eat.

"Retrieve. That's possible I guess but I haven't heard anything from any of my former compatriots. So if they did capture anyone they haven't popped up anywhere."

He sighs. He was hoping she might have some kind of lead but it makes sense that she doesn't. Still, she knows more than most would about the Order so…

"What do you think? Would they have taken people alive? Or purged them?"

Kian can see Ranna frown, brown eyes wondering if he's teasing her with that comment. The woman doesn't seem to have a sense of humour, at all. "Technopathically. You're augmented like me, aren't you?" No, he's not really. Similar but not the same.

At least his augments don't turn him into a psychopath.

"It doesn't make sense, Shiranui, for us to have purged all of them. I …. " Ranna blows out a breath "… think they took some alive. It's how we knew where to hit some of you. And why I was sent here to find you."

"We've got access to the Orders computers and I know the code name we used for the missions. We … could look and see what we can find."

"I'd appreciate any information we could get on that." Kian says quietly. It seems for a moment he might not say anything more, taking the opportunity to fill his mouth with Chinese food.

"I'm augmented similar to you, yes. Mine appear to be slightly more wide ranging in effect though." She does mostly the telekinesis thing. He does a lot more than that as she has seen.

"If they took prisoners, they may still be dead…" In some ways that would be easier. Easier than the possibility that some might have broken or collaborated." … but I still need to find out."

"We have my access code." Ranna nods, poking at the food in the box but not eating. She's been like this since she discovered just what they did to her. "It will be a trap, I'm sure of it, but we should work out how to use to our advantage." He hadn't asked, the other day, who would have reactivated the clearance.

"Mine are very specific, yours… you control machines among things, don't you? The purple puffs as move… "

"Did you … did you loose family when it happened?"

"Machines and telekinesis, yes. Body augmentation, TK fields and so on." Kian says distractedly. He's still thinking. Thinking of being so very, very alone. Which he was, well has been, for a long long time.

"Yes. Mother and father. Both died in suspicious 'accidents'. That had to have been the Order." It's possible it wasn't but Ranna knows as well as he that the odds of it having not been them are incredibly low.

"You have to have lost some too, effectively, when the Order gave the kill command."

"I'd noticed." She's seen his backbone light up on at least one occassion. "Did it take long to learn how to use it?"

There's lots of training required to even get to the level of mastery either of them are that. To use their augments is another level.

"Do you … do you …. mind discussing it? How did you get away?" Putting the half empty container down and nudging it towards him, Ranna is off her food from this discussion. "I'm … sorry…"

"I don't when I lost them, Shiranui. Possibly years ago and I just didn't know. My Mother was so proud when I was chosen."

"I wasn't there at the time. I'd been sent on a mission overseas." Kian clearly doesn't mind discussing it, at least on the surface level. "When the purge started happening I was far enough away to get clear of anywhere I might be expected to be. From there I worked out how bad the damage was and started running."

And then at some point Kian started hunting back. She knows that much. He's killed a number of Order, Hand and Snakeroot operatives and the operative she replaced was 'retired' after Kian snapped his spine in a fight.

"The training? For my implants? That was… a couple of years. Like you I got it young though not QUITE that young."

"Eat what's left, I'm not hungry now…" Ranna nudges the container towards to Kian. She's quiet, looking up at Kian from beneath her lashes. "I'm … sorry…" she says again. "I … have no excuse. I was so proud when they chose me. I … believed everything…"

The Order ninja just shakes her head and looks past the Project Ninja.

"Young? Sixteen? I'd been training since I could walk. The implants were just a natural extension, something aspired to. They kept the exact nature of them a secret though."

"There's another Order office, in downtown New York. If you want, we can get in there and see what we can find."

"Eighteen, but some of the preliminary surgeries were earlier." Kian says as he straightens up and gathers up the food.

"I know you did. They were your family. I'll take you up on that offer but… right now you need a shower. Get home. Maybe get some sleep. We can hit the office soon."

Not too much later but it doesn't have to be right now. And anyway, she just worked a full shift.

With a wave Kian vaults over a low wall - with the leftovers - and vanishes from sight, leaving Ranna to make her way home.

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