Your Hubris Is Showing

Participants:

bao-wei_icon.gif brian2_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Scene Title Your Hubris Is Showing
Synopsis Secret agents make bad businessmen, and Triad phantoms make unamused targets; Winters and Veronica pay Doctor Cong more than just a visit. He gets what he wanted out of putting such a high bounty on Case's head, even if they do not realize.
Date March 13, 2009

Cong Clinic


Late afternoon, and Chinatown is in a slight bustle; heading home, heading out, people are moving just a bit more. One of the few clinics in the area is still open for regular clients, but in the evening and into the night, it will be open for other types of them.

The Cong Clinic, back down one of the less hidden streets, lights on and door jingling, lets exit an old man with a fresh sling around his left arm. He hobbles off down the street again after a glance around, quickly joined by a middle-aged woman that skirts out of a small store to join him on his way home. If there is one thing to say about it, the front door of Bao-Wei's clinic seems as calm as the rest of the block. It is only a matter of time until it turns into a mouth to hell, so to speak.

Inside, the doctor is tucked back in his office alone, the single nurse/secretary at the front room filing away some papers as that last old man leaves. One or so more clients until her day is done, and she is looking at least relieved that it will soon be.

"Here we go."

The voice is pained and ragged. The door opens and a young, white couple, enters the clinic. The young man's arm is draped over the woman as she seems to be supporting much of his weight. The young man walks with a heavy limp, and seems to be relying on the woman greatly just to stay upright. The couple make thier slow way to the front desk for an immediate appointment.

The young man is wearing a long dark blue sweatshirt, the hood of which is flung up over his head, seemingly weak and vulnerable, the couple is not without preparation. Winters has at least three replicates armed, and in the area, ready to move on any hint of Bao-Wei acting as his dark and infamous reputation would suggest.

Burrowing his head into Veronica's shoulder, Brian lets out a decidedly more pathetic voice than he had outside. "Are we there yet?" He whines.

The woman at his side has long, straight locks of a deep russet hue that flow down to her lower back. Her eyes are a bright blue. Dye and extensions. Contacts, of course. But Veronica Sawyer looks like a different woman than fits the descriptions that might the rumor mill would have spread, about the demon-sprouting white girl on Canal Street.

"Is the doctor in?" she asks in a New Jerseyan accent that sounds legimitate. "My boyfriend's been hurt, and we don't got insurance."

Her own clothing is nothing expensive, nothing designer-label, unless one might count Wal Mart and Target as designer labels, that is.

The nurse at the front desk immediately tries her best to listen, but as she answers her English is obviously not very good. "Yes, doctor. Hurt? He in back, you come in?" Sure, it sounds bad, but it gets the message across, and the short-haired Chinese woman beckons the two towards the first empty clinic room, pointing them in, waving at the door, and pointing a second time. "You wait here." And zip, she turns and skitters down the hall towards a heavy office door.

As the nurse retreats, Brian lets his head lay casually on Veronica's shoulder, his act dissapating just for the moment. His hand tightening on Veronica's shoulder slightly. "Ready?" He whispers softly into her ear, his eyes flicking to where the woman disappeared moments before. "I'm afraid this guy has like trapdoors that will drop us into alligator pits or some crazy shit like that."

Not straightening up, he continues to lean/lay on her while he speaks. "Nice accent, by the way." He says with a smirk, before looking down the hallway again. His pathetic facade reappears as soon as the woman comes back into sight.

Veronica's hands are in the pockets of the jacket she wears, her hand on the gun she holds like a talisman. "As much as I can be," she says with a shrug, giving a flip of those auburn locks as she rolls her eyes at his little snuggle.
5t
"You don't have to always be the clingiest boyfriend ever you know," she says with a smirk. "I mean, there are people who can go without touching each other constantly." So says the ice princess as she waits for the arrival of the doctor.

The nurse comes back, only to pass the two and make sure they are in the first examination room before moving on. The door will be closed on them- rules is rules- but only half a minute later comes some omnious, almost swaggering footsteps down the hall- then a knock on the door- bump, bump, bump. And then comes the doorknob, turning slowly before the wooden door creaks open again.

Though tired, Doctor Cong is drawn to his full height, and even though average, he fills the already wide doorway with little effort. His eyes are behind those half-moon glasses, and his hair has been combed back over the collar of his white coat, which does have a suspicious smudge of red along the hem. "What can I do for you?"

"You like it." Brian insists with a smug smile to his 'girlfriend'. That is moments before the nurse comes back. Once shuffling into the examination room, Brian goes to take his seat on the table, or whatever passes for it here. His hand brushes against Veronica's where he attempts to give it a squeeze before they part. Once the doctor enters, Brian tilts his head with a frown. "I'm having a problem." He reports, sizing up the man descreetly from the table as he enters the room.

"I'm hurting pretty bad." The young man murmurs softly, glancing over to Veronica then back to Bao-Wei. "We don't have insurance, we can't afford much."

Veronica glances up at the doctor, her eyes widening a little at the large frame of the doctor filling the doorway. She steps away from Brian's examination table, to let Bao-Wei approach it. She gives a nod to the man as she backs up to the wall and out of his way. "Doctor," she says, her eyes lowering a moment. "We heard you were the guy to go to," she says, reaching up with one hand to tuck a strand of her auburn hair behind her ear. "He can barely walk on it," she says with a frown, nodding toward Winters.

Inside the room, it is much like any other doctor's clinic, just visibly an era or so behind furniture-wise. At least- for the public wing.

"I see." Bao-Wei steps inside, somehow an expert at maneuvering in the room even though there is one spot by the table where it seems he may have trouble. "So it is your leg? Ankle? Foot? Be specific, or I cannot help you." The large man seems to rumble, just a sliver if exasperation at bad patient skills. His eyes have since settled on the two in turn, lastly focusing on Brian; now, in close quarters, at least Winters will notice the mismatched hues of his eyes behind his glasses. One hand searches in a front labcoat pocket, idly feeling for something.

"Um. Actually." Brian glances at the door, his face becoming a little red. "Two things actually. And one is kinda.. private?" His eyes remain on the door for a moment to say something without actually saying it. He leans back on the table a little bit, glancing down at his lap, as if to suggest something else. "And yeah, my ankle is pretty banged up. I was.. Well, we were.." He glances at Veronica and blushes a little bit. "I got a little reckless I get. The two injuries are kind of related." It takes all of him to suppress a grin, Veronica would probably be pissed at him later, but it was worth it.

Veronica ducks her head, the auburn locks flowing forward to cover her face as if she were embarrassed. She glances up at the doctor to see his reaction, then down again at her feet, both hands going into her pockets as she leans against the wall, looking like she wishes it would just swallow her up live. She bites her lip and glances at Brian's lap. "Is it possibly to … sprain that?" she asks, glancing back at Bao-Wei. Yes, she will kill Winters later.

Of course, this is what he gets for not having the nurse flip the sign. The doctor pauses to listen to Brian, allowing Veronica's voice to come to his ears while he hesitantly closes the door, heaving a great, mental sigh at the same time. His throat clears, and the sound reverberates through the doorway. "Yes. However, if that were the case, sir, you would have gone to an Emergency Room, lack of health insurance or not. I do not know of any man that would choose to deliberately… put his manhood at risk to save a dollar. My assumption, is that it is merely trauma." Lucky Brian. Lucky Veronica.

Brian gives a nod as the door goes to close. "Right. Well I should probably show you." The young man leans down towards his ankle and pulls up his pant leg. There are several noticeable and surprising things about this move, none of which are an injured angle. Strapped to the man's ankle is a small revolver, and tucked right beside the small gun is a stack of benjamins, bound together by a rather professional looking band. His gaze flicks up to Bao-Wei, mock confusion spreading on his features. "Oh, that's weird." He says.

He makes no move to take the pistol or the stack of money, just yet, his hand just hovers there. His eyes go up to rest expectantly on the man, the doctor having his full undivided attention now.

Once the doctor shuts the door and Bao-Wei is looking at her partner, Veronica slips her revolver from her coat pocket and holds it loosely at her side. "We're here to chat, really. Don't call for help, don't alert your nurse in any way that something's wrong. We have the place covered, so if any of your Triad pals come out of the woodwork to help you, it won't go down well. We're not here to harm you in anyway. We do want this to be a friendly chat, by all means, but you'll understand that we had to cover our bases, right?" Veronica's accent is gone.

"So then," she continues, as if she'd gotten Bao-Wei's assurance he was going to cooperate, "We want to know what the Triads want Tyler Case for. Why the big bounty on his head?"

Though the doctor turns around in time to see Brian pull up his pantleg, the result is probably not the most desirable one that they might have wanted. Bao-Wei simply lets his gaze follow the young man's hand, traveling upward again to his face, and in turn to Veronica's movements. Both eyes leer across the room from overtop the rims of his glasses, eyebrows still as unmoved as they were when the man revealed a possibly fake phallic injury. Guess who is not laughing?

"If you have nothing medically wrong with you, I am going to have to ask you to leave."

"We could be friends." The way he says it suggests that they could also /not/ be friends, and that that would be bad. He ignores that Bao-Wei just asked them to leave. "We work for very powerful people. We have a considerable amount to offer for information on Case. We could also work in tandem with you. You get what you want, if we get what we want." Brian says, letting the pant leg drop. "This could benefit all of us, Doctor Cong. You would be wise to listen to us." Winters murmurs, going to lean back casually.

"We don't want problems," Veronica agrees, her faux-blue gaze steady on Bao-Wei's two-toned eyes. "If it's simply money? How much does he owe? But the bounty suggests to me it's not just what he owes, unless he owes that much. Still, paying that much to get a hold on him doesn't make good business sense. Gotta be more to it," she says. "We can offer more than that. We can offer help. What is it you want from him? It's possible we can all work together, and you can get whatever it is… and then we'll take him on from there."

At first, it seems like Bao-Wei may not answer, his nostrils flaring subtly in the light. Congratulations, Agents, you have shut yourself in a room with a fuming beast.

"You two have absolutely no idea what I, or my people, desire, so do not assume that you do." A voice like steel on a whetsone, startlingly clear and sharp, grinding into the ears. "You seem to forget, my boy, that I am 'powerful people'." The words spill from his lips like a mocking little flame, face rigid, seething. "You have no understanding of the word 'wise', to have used it so… regardlessly. Choose your words much more carefully, or a cordial meeting is certainly not what you will be getting from me."

Do not make such veiled threats to the Doctor. No information on Case, the money, or why. They have deserved no polite explanation thusfar.

"You claim to not want problems? Where is your sensibility? Drawing me into my personal business under false pretences, brandishing loaded weapons and demanding that I explain myself to you? If you do not want problems, madam, then this is not the way to go about it. If you wish to speak with me about business outside of my clinic, then I suggest that you both make an appointment far in advance. I am a busy man, and I do not appreciate my time being wasted on matters that should be discussed behind proper closed doors."

Kids today have no class.

"You most certainly are, powerful people." Brian concedes, bringing up his hands in a 'surrender' form as if to fully let him have this point. "Forgive us for our arrogance, and our ignorance, Doctor Cong." Brian asks, going to slide to his feet from the examanation table. If he's afraid of the man, he certainly doesn't show it. Making his way over to the door, he goes to casually lean his shoulder against it. "But we are not in the dark ages, my friend. The world is changing, and so is business." He flicks his gaze up to the man, turning to rest his back against the door fully. His arms fold over his chest.

"You don't have to respect us, Doctor Cong, but you do have to respect the people we work for. You are a big fish in a small pond, but to our employer you're just another rock in the ocean. When you're done, reprimanding us, you might consider that we can help you." He tilts his head back. Then lowers his gaze to the man. "Are you in a talkative mood yet?" His teeth are bared in a friendly smile.

Veronica's blue eyes flash as she's reprimanded. She still holds the gun loosely at her side, but doesn't put it away. "Look. We're both after the same thing. I don't assume to know why you want Case. That's why I'm asking, Doctor. And it really might behoove you to help us out. There's a lot of people interested in this, and I'd say washing your hands of Case might be better for you and your operation. We can help you do that in a way that leaves no blood on your hands and gets the police and feds off your back. And you can make a decent profit while we do it. You scratch our back, we scratch yours — and hey, you make a buck while getting scratched. How bad is that?" She shakes her head. "This might not be the most polite of meetings in the way it came about, but really, if I called and tried to make an appointment, would you really have set something up, behind proper closed doors? We can try to do that, but it would involve a lot more people on both sides, and it might be best to keep this chat amongst ourselves."

A lifted chin, an upturned lip at Brian. "You can very likely help me, but this is the wrong way to offer it. If you were told that I am 'just another rock in the ocean', your employer has not done their homework. Do you know why you were sent to me, and not to those two …children?" Because in the doctor's mind, the two would take the offer without hesitation, and thus, make a dire mistake. "Surely you did not expect me to hold out my hands in welcome?" Go back to secret agent school.

Bao-Wei turns to half-face Veronica, keeping Brian in his vision. "I would have. I am not beyond private meetings, free of the muck of my peers. But, instead, you chose to disregard that mode of meeting, which has only granted you both my ire, rather than the assistance you are seeking from me." Who would like to try this over again? Perhaps… it is not too late to find a proper meeting place, instead of inside a clinic exam room.

"We already conceded that you may not like the way we do things, Doctor Cong. Point taken. You can drop a note in the suggestion box, next time you're in our lobby. Brian lets out a little sigh, "So, Doctor, are you telling me that you are going to let a potentially very lucrative offer slip away, because we tricked you? Come now, Doctor Cong. We're all adults here." The Agent murmurs, shoving off of the door to make his way back over to the examanation table. "We can go to the children, if that's what you want. Or we can go higher in the foodchain, or we can go to your rivals. Perhaps you should stop arguing about how we do business, and do business."

He gives a little smirk at his last statement. "We're not here to be friends, Doctor Cong. We're here to make money. So should we consider you an associate, or an obstacle?" Brian asks with a tilt of his head.

Veronica nods to Brian's words, her eyes narrowing as she meets Bao-We's angry face. "I apologize for offending you. But I'm sure you've dealt enough with rude and irritating people in your time that you can get past that and see that we might have similar interests, if for very different reasons, in finding Case. So. We'll take the etiquette lesson into account for next time, I promise."
Bao-Wei leers silently at Brian a moment further. No, I am an adult. you two are children. There is much more at stake here than money, or shadow groups and the well being of such. A breath leaves his nose, faintly outlined by the grit of his jaw. Veronica, in all her ailing judgment, is correct for once, as much as it pains.

"You are right. I can forgive a mistake, provided it is honest enough. You seem to be, but him-" The old man's eyes dart sharply to Brian, in a still silent burning. "-he needs to take his self-confidence down a notch, because his hubris is showing."

"If you go to the children, or my 'rivals', you will get nothing useful, I can tell you that in honesty." It is not that he has little faith, it is that they really know very little that is prudent to these agents, or simply- the wrong things to know. "If you go any higher in the food chain, then you are liable to be eaten." That itself elicits a moment of humor from the large man, a fluttering smile moving like a wraith over his face.

"What I want from Tyler Case- his money is of little regard, and his life itself likewise. Of course there is more to the offered amount than simply his crossing us in terms of his gambling debts." Bao-Wei lifts a hand to his face, running his fingers along the edge of his jaw, eyes on the two agents before him. "It was about the money at first, but now it is the face of my people at stake. What I want from Case- is blood. Simply put, I wish to have him under my thumb- so that his transgressions will haunt him for the rest of his days." A second's pause. "That is, if he happens to last long enough to see them."

"You want him dead, or you just want to torture him?" Brian asks for clarification, tilting his head at the other man. "Understandable Doctor Cong. And all we need from Case, is information. So, as we have been saying this whole time, why don't we work together? Give us all you know about the man, and we will bring him to you. We only need him for a maximum of fifteen minutes before we drop him off. And then he's your problem." A pause as he brings up one hand to his chin. "Of course you will be worried we take your information and fuck it all away." He waves a dismissive hand. "We can give you collateral, if that puts your mind at ease."

His gaze skips to Veronica for a heartbeat before returning to Bao-Wei. He pauses before giving a deep, humble nod. "I apologize Doctor Cong, for intruding on your business in such a manner. It shall not happen again." It seems sincere, or sincere enough. "So, what do you think?"

"We're not trying to step on your toes or your reputation, Doctor," Veronica adds, with a nod of respect for the older man. "But you can see our interest in the situation. If neither your people nor ours get our hands on Case, who knows what damage he will do? He is a dangerous man, and it's not in anyone's best interest for him to remain out in the public. We simply offer cooperation. If your people share your information - where he might be, who he knows, anything that might help us find him - and we find them, we'll help you out by delivering him to you after we get what we need. And we will pay you for your assistance." She raises a hand. "I know the money isn't the greater issue, but it would at least help pay for his financial debt. And you can take the blood you seek once we're through with him."

Fifteen minutes? The time frame for them dealing with Tyler Case raises the edge of his brow.

"Collateral is what I want, in exchange for giving you fifteen minutes of Infamy with mister Case, should you catch him." Should you catch him first. "I will tell you what I am permitted to tell, barring complications." His gambling, his family, his friends, his reason for getting into this mess in the first place, his altercations with the triad thereafter- Bao-Wei has some certain tips that even the NYPD have not stumbled upon; some of which he will not even tell to the agents here. A man has a right to keep a few extra secrets. The old man lifts his chin, and a hand flexes at his side.

"So, then, younglings, I know you are above the Police Department, who are bound to be visiting me- may their little hearts be blessed-" Bao-Wei looks down at them with a knowing, yet almost perpetually scolding gaze; it would not be out of place on a Headmaster. "-and you ask for my assisstance in finding a dangerous Evolved man, so that you may keep him for only fifteen minutes." He has his own theories on who Winters and Veronica are, but perhaps it is best if he can try and rip it out of the horse's mouth and hope that the two do not keep yanking his chain. Guessing will get him only so far.

It is a very brittle chain, by the way. "Now then- on whose behalf are you here? Do not trifle with my questions, I am getting older by the minute, and thus my time is very precious." Bao-Wei has a sense of humor- however, not everyone is going to find it hil-larious.

"We work for a private employer, Doctor Cong. Very rich and very powerful. You'll excuse us on our discretion. Sometimes I'm not even sure who I'm working for. We are prepared to give you one million dollars in collateral in addition to four hundred thousand dollars as payment for your help." Winters explains with a light, polite smile. "Even if we gave you the name of our employer, you would not know it. You may call him Mister Black, if it so pleases you."

Scratching at his chin, he tilts his head. "We are very good at finding people, Doctor Cong. Give us your information and we will have him to you very soon." He assures.

Veronica nods. "The police will no doubt be visiting you, but they have neither the resources or freedom to assist you as we can," she says. "And unlike the police, we couldn't care less about gambling debts or less than up-and-up methods of reclaiming loans. We're not worried in the least about anything that might possibly get any of your people behind bars. We simply want to find Case. Anyone he might go to for help, anyone who might be in contact with him. We need something from him that shouldn't in the least interfere with your needs," she says.

"Good." The curt reply is a smile, though reptilian in its fleetingness. "However, if your employer ever decides that he may need me a second time, I suggest less smoke and mirrors, and more respect when dealing."

The large man moves a deliberate hand onto the doorknob, casting his stare over the two agents for another time. "If we wish to discuss the finer points of this, then I suggest you both follow me to my office." Never has he done all of a business transaction in a clinic room- and though close- he is not about to begin. "I refuse to speak here when it comes to raw detail."


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March 13th: Clear Cut
Previously in this storyline…
Clear Cut

Next in this storyline…
A Real Sweetheart

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March 13th: Vaguely Nutty
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