2020-08-10 - Grilled


Silver Samurai speaks a new age armour smith

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Aug 10 04:03:55 2020
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song



It's late and Barbara, or rather Batgirl, has asked the Samurai to meet her and Leo. Leo being her contact that helps with her suit creation.

It's not in the Clocktower, which makes sense given how … reclusive … Barbara is but one of her safe houses. A quiet apartment above an Indian restaurant in downtown Staten Island.

The aroma in the apartment is … fragrant as Batgirl and Leo talk quietly, looking at the screen of her tablet.

Ken arrives directly or rather the Silver Samurai arrives directly. He parks his motorcycle in a back alley and comes around the front, knocking on the door after having passed through the narrow and easily missed stairway that leads to the upper floors. He is masked which means his eyes are visible but his lower face is not. It also means his lips can't be read so he does have to ennunciate.

He is armed, as usually he is, with a pair of swords and nothing else. His bow is slung back on the bike but as it is rather obvious he left it behind. Not that he particularly feels the need to be any more heavily armed than he is.

"Its open, Samurai, and you're expected." Oracle says in the communicator he has. He might think, now that he knows who Bab is, that Oracle was enjoys trolling him. The door opens though and Batgirl is there "Come in, Samurai and meet my friend, Leo."

Leo looks up at Ken enters, giving the hero a long look. Leo is an older gentleman, dark skinned and dark haired - though his temples are greying and although he's dressed in shirt sleeves that are rolled up, there's a distinguished air about him.

"So, you're the Silver Samurai." He says quietly.

"Leo, play nice." Batgirl says.

Ken gives Leo an almost inscrutable look but says nothing while the exchange is going on. "Less silver now but yes, that is the name I have gone by. It has stuck with me even outside of the costume." His voice is slightly echo-y thanks to the menpo he is wearing. He adjusts his over-the-shoulder scabbards and comes closer. "I take it you do not mind if I sit?"

Typical. Rather polite but still asserting that he is not a junior party to this conversation.

Leo doesn't smile, though Ken can see the corner of his eyes crinkle just a little. "Stuck with you, hmmm?" beat "I'll play nice, Batgirl, when I've satisfied myself that he's all you say he is." Leo's voice is low and rumbly, in some situations it would be reassuring - now? Who knows how it seems to Ken.

Batgirl sighs audibly, the sound translating through her modulator. "Please, sit. I have tea if you would like it. Leo, I'm afraid, is a coffee person."

"Batgirl tells me she would like me to help with your armour. Tell me, Samurai, how much of the rumours about you are true?" Clearly, Leo has some intel but how much of it is correct?

"A forgiveable flaw." The Samurai says as he sits. Tea is of course the preferred beverage in all situations and at all times.

"Rumors? I suppose that depends on who is telling them. But you would not need to use rumors to know about me. I am told that you can google most of it." Indeed he has lead a high profile life and at one time being on Japan's premier hero team means that there is more information about him and what he can do and where he has been than most.

Batgirl goes to make tea as the two men talk, she's listening of course but she knows this needs to be done.

"The information about you on the Internet doesn't necessarily show you in the best light." Leo says as he takes a seat and leans back in the chair. "Sure, you spent several years with Big Hero 6 but according the reports that was part of a … sentence … for having worked with HYDRA and other undesirables."

The older man watches Kens responses, letting the silence draw for a bit. "I don't usually give my assistance to those who use their skills against the law. Apart from Batgirls recommendation, what would you say to that?"

"If you assist the Bats you are already doing that." Samurai points out in the most reasonable tone he can manage which is quite infuriatingly placid. "The Bats operate outside the law, regularly break and enter, commit assault and battery, illegally surveil their targets, commit nearly every kind of computer crime on the books, destroy property, injure police officers and I think that the Batmobile was once double parked in a fire line."

Ken pauses to let that sink in for a moment. "I would not be the only one to observe that and the fact that the police seem to benefit from the work of what could be argued to be a crime family can easily be argued to underscore how very corrupt this town is. In fact it has been in newspapers around the country. It would not put you in the best light to be helping such people."

Another pause and Ken smiles beneath his mask. "And were I the sort of person to judge people at their worst, I might decline to either help or be helped by such people. But I am not. As for you? Judge me as you will. I have presented to you the truth. The truth is often quite messy. But I prefer it to lying."

"Ha." Leo snorts, his posture relaxing a little. "She said you'd say that. The Batmobile was double parked in a fire lane, huh? Crime Family - did you tell her that's what she works for? I wish I was there when you did." At least he seems amused about all this.

With his fingers drumming on the table, Leo considers the Samurai. "The difference, as I see it, is that the Bat Family tries to help the common joe, not harm them. When you worked for HYDRA, or with them, I imagine a lot of the things that were done weren't in others interest. If I help you, I want some assurance that my work won't deliberately harm innocents."

He shrugs and meets Kens eyes "Call it an old man's folly. I also appreciate that you are giving me the unvarnished truth."

"I may have mentioned this. She may have not been amused." The not quite Silver Samurai says glancing back over to where the tea is being made. Then he looks back at Leo.

"If the Bat Family were interested in that, one would think the criminals they deal with would not return so regularly." Another argument he had with Batgirl ealry on and one that he still thinks is quite a valid point against their particular method. "But to answer your question, my only concern is the pursuit of those who would use my family's holdings as criminal fronts, and those who have done so in the past. I have no interest in harming your citizens here. Indeed, I would like them to buy the wares my family produces."

Leo snorts. "I can imagine she wasn't. She can be … prickly … when pressed." He's amused and Ken can detect a small amount of fondness. "She really believes in what she's doing, you know."

The answer Ken takes Leo a moment to think about. "But you work the girl, to help her, don't you? That's more than just protecting your family's holdings isn't it?" Leo's still relaxed as he sits there, his lips quirking a little. "Ah yes, she mentioned you might bring that up. It's not a great solution, I agree but murdering anyone really makes them the Crime Family you name them."

"I'm not sure the distinction between a crime family and an ineffective crime family is one that I would necessarily stop at. Seems unreasoned to me." Samuari says, folding both hands in front of him. He thinks about the question he has been asked for a moment.

"I work with her to help her yes. We have common enemies and broadly common goals and she is, at this point, a friend. Friends may disagree about means and methods while still agreeing upon the overall goal."

That doesn't get a chuckle from Leo but a serious look. "I guess your saying that the Bat Family is ineffective. I'm not so sure about that but as you say, friends may disagree and still have a common goal. That she works with you, is a big endorsement. She doesn't do things lightly, as I'm sure you're aware. I'm not sure I like that you think she's a mobster though."

Leo turns the tablet that he was working at around and shows Ken. "This is the design she gave me. I can provide the materials and help with the fabrication. Even without a commercial markup, it won't be cheap. Are you willing to pay and are you willing to accept that you won't ever know my sources?"

Batgirl can be heard in the kitchen, making the tea and coffee. It won't be long and she'll be back with them.

"They keep fighting the same criminals. Who keep killing, robbing, burning and destroying. Ask their victims how effective the Bats are. Ask the dead whether they prefer to be that way for the sake of someone's arbitrary line in the sand. Or would they prefer someone willing to do what it takes to protect them? Speak of their effectiveness when you have asked and answered these questions."

The Samurai shakes his head and glances toward the kitchen briefly, then looks back at Leo. "I do not think that the Bats are necessarily mobsters. Criminals, yes, in a most literal sense of the world. Very organized ones, in a very literal sense of the word. I think that to pretend this is not the case is to blind oneself. But more than that, I think they are idealists in a line of work that is not kind to idealists. And I think that there are bigger considerations than idealism. When one picks up the blade to defend oneself, the swordsman is afforded the luxury of chosing what he will not do. But, if one picks up the blade on behalf of another, then to fail to do anything but your utmost is to fail entirely. Staten Island is not a cesspit because it has criminals. It is a cesspit because those defending it both officially and unofficially are unwilling to sacrifice idealism to confront reality. And so long as that remains true, Staten Island will always be a cesspit. And the people will die while their self proclaimed defenders wring their hands and fret."

Samurai are many things. Warriors, yes, but also philosophers. A real Samurai is as versed in the pen and the argument as he is in the blade and the bow. And the Silver Samurai is nothing if not the quintessential Samurai.

"I am willing to not know things. And while I am not so wealthy that money is no object I am confident that my resources are equal to what you will ask."

"And yet the only other option is to be Judge, Jury and Executioner." Leo answers. "Which leads to anarchy far worse than what we see now. Ideals aren't so bad, you know." The old mans eyes move to Batgirl for a moment, watching her move through the kitchen. How much does he know about her and her path to getting back on the streets?

"I can see though, you follow the teachings of the Samurai and that it is … good to know."

"Then I think I can help you … In fact, I think I want to help you. If it keeps her safer and makes her more effective." Again, there's a touch of fondness in his voice as he speaks on Batgirl. "Batgirl has been through the design you created. I particular like the flourishes you added but before I look at fabricating it, were there any changes you wanted to make? And would you like some of the … features … I've given her?"

"When your defenders fail you, that is all that is left. If the justice system here can truly deliver no justice then what you are describing is inevitable and the sooner it is resolved in favor of the citizenry the better. If the justice system here CAN deliver justice then someone had better figure out how to make it do so and soon. It is fundamentally not right to ask people to wait and be killed for sport by insane predators while people sort something out. In these cases, those who rise to defend themselves and their neighbors are in the right. It is not idealistic but it is the only truly just thing left, even if that means ending the life of a serial murderer… are you really going to lose sleep over that?"

The warrior-poet glances down at the design again and thinks. "It would perhaps be best if it were not bright silver. Operating during the daylight a flashy entrance is an asset. Operating at night, this is much less the case, especially when one wishes to avoid the attention of the law such as it is. Some communication features would be nice. Beyond that…" He'll work with whatever he has.

"I could fence words with you for most of the evening, Silver Samurai." Leo chuckles. "And I can see this is something you feel … strongly … about it. I don't disagree that your assessment of the situation is correct however. We disagree on the treatment though I do fear your analysis on the end result is true."

"Communications are given. A grapple gun of course. And a fabric that is dark like hers. The silver of your armour was very eye catching, without a doubt but that's something you want to avoid here." Leo makes notes on the tablet as they talk.

"Batgirl mentioned you need to be able to move quickly - I can trade that off by giving you the lighter material like her suit. It will be resistant to small arms fire and blunt force trauma - you'll still bruise of course - but you'll have more flexibility. Or, I can make it heavier and give you more resistance built in. Which would you prefer?"

"The Samurai were never armored knights. Not in the same way that Europeans were. My fighting style relies on the ability to move quickly and switch between weapons and stances. But I will take as much protection as I can get around that." It's instructive that Samurai armor never achieved the 'full harness' that Europeans did despite parallel developments in weapons and fighting methods. There's something about the eastern way of war that just requires the ability to go hell-for-leather at a moment's notice.

"I would require a certain level of… retraining to use a grapple gun. It is not ever something I have required."

"Lighter it is then." Leo notes, glancing up at the Samurai as Batgirl arrives with the drinks.

"I hope you two have been playing nicely together." She says. Ken might imagine the dryness of her tone. "And if you want retraining, Samurai, I think I could arrange that. That is, if you don't mind me as an instructor."

Leo chuckles again as he takes the coffee from Batgirl. After taking a sip he looks up at her. "We've been talking civilly. I'm satisfied enough to agree to your request. He's an interesting take on the problems we face. Now, Samurai … would you like the filtration on your mask?"

"Filtration would be nice. Tear gas is inconvenient to say nothing of the other kinds of things that the criminals of this island tend to use." The Samurai blows out a sigh. Smoke and gas. Not honorable. So inconvenient.

"We are indeed talking civilly. But tea is always a welcome enhancer to civility." He takes a sip of his and watches Batgirl. "You will find the result of this conversation most satisfactory, I believe. And I am confident I will as well."

"Exactly." Leo answers. "The lighter suits don't have the same environmentals as the heavier ones I've created but they're good enough to protect you to get you out. I think you will find the results of this conversation … satisfactory, Samurai." Leo starts to close up his tablet "Is there anything else before I leave?"

Clearly he's not staying.

"I was wondering if the fencing of words would become real fencing. Do you even know how to fence, Samurai?" Batgirl teases.

"You mean the dancing with pointed sticks that europeans call swordplay?" Samurai smirks a little bit. "I prefer kendo." Because of course he does. Batgirl knows very well WHY he might prefer such a thing. And it has something to do with what he does in his downtime. Such as it is.

"No, Leo. I do not think there will be anything else. I am going to sit here and enjoy my tea."

"I'll take that as a yes then. And I'd prefer you didn't try Kendo on Leo." Batgirl answers, the smirk not showing under her hood. "Drink your tea, I could use your guidance … Let me see Leo off, first."

Leo chuckles and looks between the two. "Batgirl, my favourite mobster. I'll be in touch with the details on the suit and cost. You can let me know if you wish to continue. I would expect it to take a week or so to fabricate once you say yes." With that, Leo heads to door, giving Batgirl a quick hug as he leaves.

When the door closes, Batgirl approaches Ken and sits next to him. "Mobster hmmm. Is that how you see me? Should I speak with a Jersey accent?" She's not taken her hood off yet, but it wouldn't take much to get her too.

"I could use some perspective, Samurai. You remember my protegee, Zeal? I'm going to sponsor her education through College. She's going to need somewhere to live - the dorms at the College we chose may have accomodation but … I can't help but wonder if I should open the Clocktower to her."

Once Leo is gone Ken removes his mask. The thing gets a bit warm with his breath circulating in there and while it is vented there is a certain amount of breathing your own air going on that he just isn't a fan of.

"I would not. Part of the quintessential American college experience is having friends over, sneaking out with dates, getting drunk in the dorm and so on. If you set her up at the Clocktower you will either have to forbid guests or else worry that they will stumble onto something that makes them suspicious. It is already slightly worrisome that you live in the same space as you do your vigilante business. I do not think that calling additional attention to it is wise. And in any case it may 'cramp her style' as they say."

Ken may have a somewhat media influenced opinion of what goes on in American colleges but he is not in the broad strokes wrong, which probably has to do with some of the students he has. He knows what they get up to. They post it all over social media.

"That is part of my concern as well." Batgirl answers, pulling the hood from her head as Ken removes his. She settles and takes up her tea. "It wasn't my experience at College but then, I was well and truly Batgirl by that point and I lived with Dad. I think Zeal will benefit from the exposure to people her own age and learning to engage with them. Her childhood was far from normal."

Ken's said a number of other things with that advice that has Babs wondering. She's not in a mind to discuss them just yet, but she'll think on them.

"I want Zeal to feel like she has a place of her own, though. She might be my protegee but she only knows me as Batgirl, not Barbara." The split is part of Bab's life.

"I hope Leo didn't grill too hard."

"Then there is the added wrinkle that having her live at the Clocktower would involve revealing that part of your life to her. And with her rather… unique view of the world there may be things that are just slightly problematic with that. In any case I believe your are correct in thinking that exposure to people her own age would be helpful. It will help her blend in if nothing else."

Zeal does have some trouble doing that, at least as far as Ken has observed.

"Leo was interested in my past and my opinion on the present state of things as it involves helping the innocent and other such ideals. I gave him honest answers and he appears to have taken them well enough. Very American of him really." Americans seem to - in general - prefer the truth, where as the Japanese will prefer polite, face saving lies. They don't even really think of it as 'lying'. Merely helping someone else avoid embarrassment. And avoiding embarrassment is very important to the Japanese.

"Well that's good then. When you finish your tea, I'll lock this place up and go on patrol." Batgirl follows up. "When I hear from Leo, I'll pass the details on." With a sigh, Babs goes to tidy up in preparation for leaving.

"And there's nothing wrong with being American, you know."

"No of course. There is nothing wrong at all with being American." Ken says as he sips his tea and pats his swords. Patrol will be interesting tonight. Sometimes it's busy and sometimes its slow. Tonight he has a feeling that it will be on the busy side. Full moon. It's real. Don't ask him why.

"It's just not as good as being Japanese. Shall we?"

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