2020-03-26 - Training Begins Again


Training with Babs and Ken resumes. It's going to be awkward given Kens suspicions.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Mar 26 09:25:24 2020
Location: Staten Island

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Kenniuchio hasn't spoken to Barbara in a little bit but he would not necessarily have expected to. She has had a lot of things to get back in order no doubt. However tonight is the night of one of her lessons and she hadn't called to cancel. He just arrived a little bit ago, changed out of his business wear and into what is to him more comfortable martial arts wear. Now he is sweeping as he usually does both before and after lessons. It helps clear his mind and as a bonus, it also keeps the dojo clean.

And after all what better way to make an impression on prospective students than with a clean dojo.

Kennuichio is likely wondering if Babs will turn up. Particularly given their conversation the other night. She's certainly been wondering that herself. It's a risk and one that she has to weigh very carefully.

In the end she decides to turn up. Kennuichio isn't likely to press the issue and she'll have Oracle do extra monitoring to make sure he doesn't follow her.

That will work, right?

As Ken sweeps, Babs stands at the door and watches, removing her shoes and placing them quietly to the side. She doesn't say anything, just taking the tall, lean, Japanese man in. In some ways not wanting to disturb him and in others, just happy to watch.

Ken finishes before he looks up. He checks the time. Punctual as always. "Hello Barbara San. Please come in. I apologize that the dojo is not quite yet ready. Would you care for some tea before we begin?"

He has, indeed, already put the kettle on but that is in the other room and not visible from here. Tea has become something of a ritual for the both of them. Much, indeed, as these sessions are something of a ritual for the both of them.

Barbara smiles and shakes her head "There's no need to apologise, I was slightly early and I think the place looks wonderful, given everything." They hadn't been able to get here while the barrier was up. Barbara looks tired, then again she usually does.

"You're looking well, Kennuichio-san and … yes, tea would be lovely. Thank you." Ritual. It's important to Ken and to Barbara, it's what helped her recover from her injury. Slowly she makes her way through to the other room and takes a seat on the cushions.

"You … look … well. Have your been able to locate all your employees?"

"Yes although not all of them are entirely well…" Kennuichio says as he moves toward the back. He gets down the teacups, the wisk, the matcha. Everything needed for this. The iron teakettle is already starting to whistle a little bit.

"Several of them are hospitalized and two are in critical care." So it's not certain if they will make the night.

"And what of your family and your clients? Did you find your father?" Ken presumes the man is well but he hadn't actually seen him before the dome came down so he doesn't know for certain.

"I'm sorry to hear that they are not." Babs murmurs, watching as Ken goes through his ritual. The whistling of the teakettle is reassuring, actually. A little bit like coming … home. "It was to be expected, given how long the barrier was up. That is serious though - may I enquire what happened?"

They may have been injured, which is likely, however, it's also possible they are malnourished or something similar.

"My father returned, thank you. He said to pass on his thanks for what you did. He didn't remember you when he was in there but when the barrier came down, it all came flooding back." She doesn't mention Batgirl - though Master Gordon had also requested that thanks be extended to her as well.

"Most of my clients are getting back into the swing of things. Some of them … didn't make it, though."

"I understand that some of it was accidental. Thrown from a horse or hit by a plough, that kind of thing. And some of it is a result of monster attacks or mistreatment." There isn't much in the way of the justice system in action for this one. People can't really be held responsible when they definitively weren't in their right minds.

"I am sorry to hear that. But very glad that your father was alive and well at the end." It's a big thing for family to make it. Ken is all about family. Family, indeed, is why he is here.

Two cups are poured. Two perfect cups, as always.

"That sounds like the reports I've been getting from others as well. Is there anything I might to do help your people, Kennuichio-san? I'm visiting the police that I know in the hospital tomorrow and on Friday, there's some acquaintances that I'll be catching up with."

Barbara is sure that the psychologists will be busy for a long time after this.

"I'm glad Dad made it through. I want to thank you, personally, for looking for him. It put my mind at ease." That's not a lie either.

She's quiet as the tea cup is passed over, sipping from it and savouring the taste. "Perfect as always."

"What now for you, Kennuichio-san? Will you be able to get back to business as normal or is there more you feel needs to be done regarding all of this?"

"Many of the principal actors escaped. I know of at least one that did so, using a captured hero as cover. Likely they have escaped beyond my reach but it would do well to investigate and make sure no one is hiding in plain sight. After that, back to business yes. I promised to look after my family holdings and ensure that they are free of undue influence and I cannot do that while chasing white whales halfway across the world."

So he will not pursue them too far. But on the other hand.

"Besides there are sure to be other things to investigate. Groups like the Yakuza and the Mafia will no doubt attempt to take advantage of the chaos and some of that will include infiltrating legitimate companies."

"I'm sure there are people looking into that already. I know that I am cross referencing information to check transactions and such. Dad asked me to lend a hand as I could." Barbara smiles at the mention of Moby Dick. "I don't know, Kennuichio-san, do you not you would make an acceptable Captain Ahab?"

there's the faintest hitch in her breath as Ken mentions other things to investigate - one that she lets out in a slow controlled manner when he continues. "Yakuza, Mafia and Staten Islands own brand of such, yes. Not just infiltrating, I'm afraid, but setting up 'legitimate' shop for themselves."

"I do not think so. Captain Ahab does not have much in the way of honor, just obsession. I do not know if there is an equivalent eastern literary figure but I suspect not. The object lessons of eastern morality tales are usually very different."

Because the basics of eastern morality are… well not different. Largely the same but expressed very differently. VERY differently.

"Yes. That is always the way they operate. Use a veneer of legitimacy to mask their other activities and of course to launder money. Getting illegitimate money into the system without having it caught is always a somewhat tricky affair. But organized crime has grown very good at it." More is the pity, really.

"So will you be assisting your father? Or will you be assisting the police, then?"

Barbara looks sheepish as Ken responds. "My apologies, Kennuichio-san, I was making a joke. A poor one that I should have known better than to make. I confess I am interested in the ways Eastern morality tales are different. Perhaps you would share your insight sometime."

"Still, that veneer of legitimacy is what we can use to find them. Remember Elliot Ness got the mob for not paying their taxes." It's still a concern that she won't dismiss.

"Both, really. Given that Dad still works for the police and I have contracts with them. I would like to continue to help you as well, if you'd permit me. To ensure the Yakuza don't cause you more trouble."

"I would be happy to discuss it. Perhaps, if you care to stay for more tea after our lesson we can do so." Ken takes a sip of his drink. They're to be savored, drinks like this. They're to be savored. This is the reason they are not large. If you take great gulps there is no chance to appreciate the notes of flavor, the heat of the water, all the little things that well brewed tea brings to the table.

"If you are not too thinly stretched then your assistance would be welcome. It is true that many great criminals were caught on white collar charges. But it is equally true that you have to find them first and the fact that they are mostly legitimate makes that more difficult."

Barbara blinks at Ken, watching his face carefully. The man rarely gives anything away. Part of her wonders if the other shoe will drop or if Kennuichio will let sleeping dogs lie. "I think I would like that. If you aren't tired of me by then." She will be patrolling later tonight, like she always does but she can spend time with the man.

"I had offered my assistance before all of this and my offer still stands. You have been a great help to me, Kennuichio-san and brought me news of my father." There's no indication about her of the trauma she must have suffered when she was taken. Just that tired look, that she always seems to have.

"What you say is true, of course, but then having a friend like Oracle can sometimes be useful. They seem to be able to find patterns that others miss."

Barbara could bite her tongue, again, for mentioning Oracle. She really hadn't wanted to turn Kens' attention to Batgirl in anyway.

"Yes. The Oracle does seem to know a great many people." Ken says almost mildly before he takes another sip. Ooops. He turned his attention that way but at least he is not pressing the matter. It isn't really his way though he pressed it more than hard enough the other night.

"Are you in the same shape as when we left off? Or will you need some refreshers and exercises before we pick up where we had stopped?" Because if she hadn't been regularly exercising… well. That kind of back strength is the sort of thing that can get away from you. If she has though - and maybe she has - then all is well.

That isn't what Barbara had meant but she's not going to press it. Ken has proven to be a gentleman on the matter of Batgirl. The redhead feels … remorse … at having to keep the secret but until she can be sure of him, he can't know. It will give too much about the family away.

"I doubt I'm in the same shape, Kennuichio-san however, I have been keeping up with the exercise in all this time. Maybe you should assess my readiness to continue where we left off. I'm sure I'm going to hurt tomorrow, either way."

"Then we will start with an assessment. And if necessary some strengthening exercises." The Samurai rises. And a Samurai he is. Oh certainly he plays the part of a businessman by day, but the fact of the matter is he's a Samurai. Honor and all.

"Come. Let us get started."

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