Dead Or Alive


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Scene Title Dead or Alive
Synopsis The Triads up the bounty on Tyler Case's head, and change the rules of the game.
Date March 9, 2009

Chinatown, Shao-Hong Mahjong Parlor

It's even more of a mob than the last time…

Shouting fills the air, the noise of hundreds of voices in a cramped space ring off of old brick walls. What is usually a Mahjong parlour in the center of Chinatown has once again been converted into a makeshift meeting place for agents of the Chinese Mafia. Hundreds of members of the Flying Dragons, and their trusted associates have gathered under the cover of night to this old, brick warehouse, amidst rows of folding tables and metal chairs, they shout, hollar and swear in colorful blends of Cantonese and Mandarin.

At the back of the long room, her legs crossed, seated atop a stack of pallettes swathed in tarps, Song-Ye looks disinterested at the goings on at the sea of buzzcuts, tattoos and leather that sprawls out before her. Idly, the Triad Princess rolls a wet ball of ice the size of a softball in her palms, breathing a cold, billowing mist from her lips onto it, creating veins of frost over the glassy surface.

It has been nineteen days since Chang Ye ordered Tyler Case found, and the Triad nearly had him once. Two members, Lin Zhu-Shou and Ji Yao found Tyler in Brooklyn, attempting to buy passage out to Staten Island. He was apprehended and brought to Chinatown, but someone else was looking for Case.

Word on the street claims they were federal agents, ones who openly engaged in a firefight that killed Lin and Ji Yao, and allowed Tyler to escape somehow. Now it seems, stronger measures will need to be taken. Liu and Song Ye have not been the most active participants in this carnival of madness, due to their growing dislike for their father Chang; this entire fiasco is seen — to them — to be a perfect time to hilight Chang's failings to the rest of the Triads.

It puts Cong Bao-Wei in a precarious position, as one of Chang's most trusted, and the erstwhile guardians who Chang's two traitorous children. While neither Song nor Liu have acted out against their father… this would be the opportunity they are looking for.

"«Ten thousand was not enough, it seems.»" Liu mumbles, casting his dark eyes over the crowd from where he enters the warehouse, "«I most sincerely hope you have a plan, Uncle.»" His focus shifts to the man at his side, head tilting slightly before his focus moves back to the crowd of thugs gathered, and then to his sister far beyond them. "«It seems you at least have their undivided attention…»"

"«That is because I am the one with the means that they do not have.»" Imagine, any of these people with a lump sum that they could do something worthwhile with. Sure, ten is a lot, but seeing as it has failed to cause enough ripples, here they are once more.

Bao-Wei enters alongside of Liu, the steady plink of the metal tip of a slender black cane alongside his heels. There is little weight being put there, and it is obviously for show; the rest of the Doctor is draped in an expensive suit, and his hair and beard have been trimmed into order. The half-moon glasses on his face only seem to show up in the reflections of light as the man walks into the congregation without another word.

The usually uncouth and unruly fall silent all of a sudden, parting through the middle as if Moses had lifted his hands, and bade parting of the Red Sea. Soon, Song is joined nearby when Bao-Wei makes his path destined for a makeshift spotlight beside her. In a move to both catch the young woman's divided attention and the whole attention of the crowd before him, Bao-Wei lifts the metal tip of his cane to a nearby dolly stacked with another pile of pallettes. It sends out a sharp, almost screeching bang as it is dragged against the rusty metal.

"«You all know why you're here. If you do not, then pay attention.»" And hopefully, that is what he gets. "«As others may have realized, there is a common enemy that we have had trouble getting our hands on. He is slippery, and luck seems to have been on his side." Bao-Wei lifts one squared hand to subconsciously adjust the top of his thin tie, throat clearing. Hem-hem. "«No longer.»" A decisive pair of words in front of what is impending.

"«Two-hundred thousand to the first man or men to bring me Case alive. Dead, half of that.»" There is hopefully enough room for a pause. "«I want him for myself.»" And with that, Bao-Wei folds both hands over the top of the black cane in front of him.

Two-hundred thousand.

Liu's brows lift up, it's more than ten times what Case owes the Triads, but at this point Tyler's precarious situation is more a matter of honor than it truly a matter of money — and it would seem that two-hundred thousand dollars is the starting price for Chang Ye's honor these days.

Shifting his focus to his sister, Liu finds the same surprised reaction on her usually placid face. Her dark brows slowly fall down from where they were hidden behind her low bangs, even as the noise of the crowd grows to a roar of confusion and shock, and elation at the idea that he can be brought in dead now. Case has been held responsible for the murders of three Triad members now, and rumors of Chang's injuries at Tyler's hands have begun spreading over the weeks since Chang's impromptu hospital visit.

"«That seems to have gotten their attention,»" Liu leans towards Bao-Wei as he makes that comment, watching as the men rise up off of their chairs, lean away from the walls, some even rallying together to make plans to split up and find Case, and divide the earnings amongst each other. Some more silently slip out of the warehouse to get a head start on the competition.

Very quickly, Chinatown is going insane.

"«The police are going to hear about this," Song finally chimes in, sliding off of the palettes as her platformboots click on the concrete. She rolls the ball of ice between her hands, looking up to Cong with her head tilted to one side like a stray kitten.

"Too many people have been here, asking about Case.»" She glances to Liu, then back to Cong, "«Brother says he heard from our informants in the NYPD, that they arrested someone who saw Case on the day two of our people… died.»" She looks down to the ball of ice, "«We have to play this safe, Uncle. Maybe… we should just let case go?»" Her eyes halfway lid as she peers through dark lashes at the old doctor, "«Chang — »" Not father, "«will lose face, and brother could… make his move? No one would think less of you, and then we could deal with this little boy all on our own time.»"

"«I want them to hear about this.»" The older man's browline deepens, the edge of his nose wrinkling under the pads of his spectacles. For now, his mismatched eyes are on the crowd ahead, slowly dispersing bit by bit.

His face turns down to Song as she glances aside to her brother and back again. "«To let him go would mean letting a mystery go unsolved and my position compromised.»" Whether or not Chang is still in charge at the end of it all. The siblings, by now, should also know that their Uncle's level of curiosity borders on the obsessive when it finds one thing to latch onto. There must be something about what he knows that has him so enveloped. "«I will give our men a week. If they do not have Case by then, I will make my own team to find him, entirely on a personal payroll.»"

He doesn't seem to want to answer the latter statements, choosing not to humor them for another pause of staring at Song in order to heavily scrutinize her for some reason only known to himself. "«We shall see.»"

Noncommittal, vague, but still an answer that coming from the doctor- still sounds ominous.

"«Frightening as ever, Uncle.»" Liu notes with a crooked smile as the room's population begins to thin, "«They're eager to find Case's blood… I take it you have a plan for if the law comes down on us?»" He tilts his head to the side, the gesture matching that of Song's earlier, "«Other than hide on Staten Island, I figure.»"

Song herself slips around behind her brother, making a few paces away from him, eyes focused down on the ball of ice in her hands. "«Uncle is resourceful,»" she glances sidelong at Liu, "«Of course he does.»" Her lips creep up into a smile, eyes fluttering shut as she lets the ball of ice roll forward off of her fingertips, "«But it does not mean he wishes to share it with you.»"

The ball falls, shattering on the concrete floor into thousands of ice shards.
There are some times when Song or Liu can guess him so wrongly that it ends up working against them- but every once in awhile one of the duo will crack the nail right on the head. Today, it is Song's turn.

Bao-Wei does not need to dignify either with a response; Liu asked a poorly managed question, and Song answered her brother so that the old man had no need. The only reaction that both get is a new clearing of his throat before Bao-Wei steps down from his limelight and starts to make his way across the floor again.

Doctor Cong has a plan. And he obviously does not want to share it. But in the end, Liu and Song have no reason to mistrust him.

Do they?

March 9th: A Little Poison With Your Bread

Previously in this storyline…
A Dick By Any Other Name

Next in this storyline…
Highly Trained Agents

March 9th: One Night In Pawn Shop
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