2020-06-23 - Mercantile Transactions


Kennuichio brings in a contact for information on the Maggia

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jun 23 06:18:09 2020
Location: Kennuichio's Dojo

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Ken is going through forms in his dojo. It is evening and the only sound is the sweep of his socked foot on the mat. The blade he is holding is a live steel one. He moves it slowly through the air, with precise control over his position and thus also its position. Those who have seen him do this at full speed might wonder why he bothers with such basic practice but Ken knows as anyone does who has ever mastered a craft, that sometimes you just have to go back to basics.

His muscles can feel the strain of keeping the blade at extension for the period of time it takes to go through his motions but that is good for them. One must, if one wants to be a swordsman, keep the body as fit as the mind. Muscle memory and memory-memory go hand in glove for tasks like this. One cannot do with just one.

Entering the gym, Barbara Gordon leans on her cane and watches the asian man as he goes through his forms.

She doesn't say anything, just watches silently, admiring the physique and the discipline that this takes. She was supposed to be here an hour ago for her lesson but had rung to say she'd been detained.

There's no way she's going to disturb Kennuichio, though. It's like a watching a dance when he practices. A very lethal dance.

There's a gentle knock on the door behind Babs. Ken stops. He had noticed Babs come in but not felt the need to halt his practice. The newcomer though is a Japanese man. Older, greying with glasses in a button shirt and vest. "Kennuichio-San." He looks to Barbara. "I hope this is not a bad time."

"Oda-san. No it is not. Barbara, this is Oda-san. He has known me for… a long time."

That probably means he knew Ken in his criminal days. Oda has a small brief case with him, held in both hands in front of him.

"I asked Oda-san if he had any information on what the Maggia were doing. It is fortunate that you are here Barbara."

"You must be Barbara Gordon-San. I know of your business helping people with various problems. Most noble." Oda says with a bow.

Barbara blinks at the knock and turns slowly to look at the older gentlemen. "I am and thank you, Oda-san."

Oda-san can't know that Babs is Batgirl so he must be referring to her work as a Private Investigator. She's not sure it's noble but she inclines her head in thanks.

"I take it you have some information?"

"I do…" Oda comes in and gestures for the other two to follow. He kneels at the table and Ken starts making tea. Shortly there are cups for everyone.

Out of the briefcase Oda produces several papers and photographs. The photos are all of various Maggia dons speaking with city officials and other people of importance. A few of them are even villains that have shown up on Batgirls radar. The papers are a bit different. They're correspondence, much of it via e-mail. The names are redacted but the IP addresses are not and that means the names might as well be written. Babs and Oracle can find them given time.

"The Maggia has hit upon a new criminal enterprise. It intends to steal, and sell, as many super powers as it can. Naturally a great many people are interested in such a venture. They have started with known fellow criminals that are presently indisposed but my employers believe that they will soon attempt to steal the secrets or powers of active villains and heroes and then sell them at a secret auction."

Babs takes a seat and listens politely. Things are memorised perfectly as she sees the information.

His employers? That gets a slight quirk of her brow but the redhead knows better than to ask.

"Well, that's ingenious and devious. Do your employers know how they're going to steal the powers and transfer them?" That's the first of two that come to mind.

"Some of them will be a matter of literal theft, I should imagine." Ken says. He was considering that very question when Babs asked it.

"Indeed, Kennuichio-San. They have already acquired cryogenic research of a certain arkham inmate. They will seek or have already sought the fruits of similar minds. Inventions, armors, weapons, science, knowledge. These are things they can take. As for others with powers that are more based in… who they are? I do not know for certain, but I believe they plan to try to take samples of the person. Hair, skin and such. Things that will allow the clever to unlock and distil the secrets they hold."

That could work for a lot of people. Many heroes have powers that have affected their body genetically or otherwise, or else use tech and gadgets. The odd magician probably wouldn't be affected by those specific techniques but similar ones might work. Stealing spell books, scrolls and artifacts.

Ken frowns and looks at Babs. This could actually work and that is a very, very serious problem.

"So they stealing the tech, that makes sense. I believe, Kennuichio-san has seen something of the cryo weapon already." So had she, not that she can say that. "Stealing endemic powers, that's … interesting and will require facilities to do this. Are they only targetting heroes and villains local to New York or is this an internationl venture?"

It's horrifying,

"Also, you mentioned a secret auction. How secret is it, really?"

"That information I am not privy to." Oda says. "But I should point out that even if they only target local figures they have quite a number to choose from. New York seems to be a nexus for the activity of unusual individuals." He gives Ken a look.

Ken returns one that is practiced and inscrutable. What him? Surely not.

"Secret enough that many will know of it but few will find it unless they are very dedicated or their attendance is desired. Those with ample resources and limited scruples usually find their way to such invitations."

Ken grunts in agreement. He's seen similar happen in Japan. It happened to his family and he spent a long time cleaning it up, atoning for his part in it.

"The location, in any case, will be secret from those who would disrupt it. In fact with modern technology it may not be physically held at all. The correspondence I brought provides some clues but no hard answers. My apologies."

Even so that is pretty good to know.

Ken ruffles through the papers and frowns. "Whatever they are doing it sounds like they have 'processing' facilities somewhere in the city or near it. They speak of being able to analyze genetic samples and refine them into serums." Or narcotics. Frightening. Pills that give you superpowers. How many people would literally kill for that?

Barbara sees the looks pass between the men and snorts softly, covering the noise by taking a sip of her tea.

"Can we get an invitation? Or rather, how would one go about getting an invite?" She's thinking of creating a persona to be invited to the auction. At the very least, it will them a look at the operation from the inside.

"If there are facilities here, we might be able to find them. They'll require specialised equipment and environments. That sort of thing is traceable. I could do some investigation into where those facilities might be - but someone will have to do the physical investigation."

"You would have to find a way to be perceived as being the sort of person willing to lay out large sums of money for these kinds of wares and not inclined to ask questions about who is selling them or where they are coming from." It is possible, yes but Ken and Babs both know that criminals are a suspicious lot and so any suddenly flush new arrivals are likely to be suspected. They will need to craft an identity with some history OR if they're willing to risk their own identities find a way to create that perception. And not get arrested.

"I may know people who can help." Ken says to Babs. Of course he does. Silver Samurai and Batgirl, his sidekick.

He doesn't say that. She might hit him.

Barbara is too well known to be able to pass herself off and she'd never ask Ken to do that - not after he's spent so much time 'cleaning up' his reputation. "I can craft the identity with enough depth to stand the … scrutiny. If you … approve … of that approach, then I will"

Ken gets a ghost of a smile from the redhead "I thought you might. It will be dangerous, but somehow I doubt that will deter your … contacts."

Looking back to Oda-san, the PI considers the man. "Is there anything else, we should know?"

"Only that my employers have decided that this is bad business and are in no way involved. They wished my friend Kennuichio-san to be perfectly aware that they have nothing at all to do with this."

Sure they don't. Well, okay. Probably that's true. This is why they're informing on it. And they don't want Samurai coming after them. Which is sensible.

But then Ken knew this is the reaction they would have.

"Shall we give my contacts a call then, Barbara-san? After tea of course. Stay a while Oda-san." Hospitality is a must.

"I would like to but I must depart after this cup. Still, thank you for the tea. It is excellent as ever."

Well that informs Barbara about who Oda-sans employers likely are. "I'm glad to hear it, Oda-san." No doubt, he's aware of the campaign that was waged against Kens nemesis and the results of that. It's no wonder they're being clear about this. The direct question that rises to her lips isn't uttered. Instead, the redhead nods her acknowledgement of the words.

"If you like, Kennuichio-san. I will have work of my own to do on this but as you say, after tea."

"After tea and perhaps some practice, Barbara-san." After all she has a lesson and a good teacher never misses a chance to teach. Or at least that is the way he approaches it.

Oda finishes his tea, rises and bows and departs, leaving the papers and Ken and Babs pondering yet another nasty Staten Island mess.

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