Money Or Power


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Scene Title Money or Power
Synopsis After securing himself trust in Bao-Wei's eyes, Brian Winters comes to the grieving head of the Triad for a job…
Date August 24, 2009

Golden Luck Dragon Restaurant

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It's a quiet night in the Golden Luck Dragon restaurant, quiet on the second floor at least. Below the balcony floor, people ar bustling about like little worker ants and getting their food like little…eating ants. But up above on the balcony floor…

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Winters fork pokes the glass of wine idly. Trying to make a little bit of a rythym with the impromptu instrument as he waits for Liu B— Liu Ye. Though he appears non-chalant Brian is a bit nervous. First he killed Liu's brother and now he hears word the sister died. Hell. This is bad timing for a meeting. He instinctively touches the vest under his suit jacket and shirt. Still there.

Brian's heard about Liu's punctuality, about the manner in which he graciously conducts business in the name of the Triad. But after what happened at this very spot in the restaurant just a night ago, Liu's reactions seem to havce changed. A half an hour late and looking like he only just now rolled out of his bed, the disheveled and groggy leader of the Triad is running a hand through his hair as he comes up from the first floor, stopping at the top of the steps and staring out at the balcony floor.

There's a haunted expression on his face, eyes focused on the blonde man seated at the table. Beside Liu, a somewhat round-faced young man with feathery black hair stands with a worried look on his face. He reaches out, resting a hand on Liu's shoulder and squeezing gently, but Liu is quick to roll his shoulder and swat away Wen's offered hand, walking across the hardwood floor towards the table.

"What to you want." It's not even stated like a question, more something bitten off and psat out in Brian's direction as the normally eloquent Liu moves up to stand at the table, a hand on the back of one chair. His eyes flit around the balcony, unable to pick up the telltale traces of a gunfight up here just a night ago. Appearances have to be kept up, violence swept under the rug to keep police out of the Triad's affairs.

But serving food here where his sister died, it's obvious that it turns Liu's stomach into knots. "Doctor Cong said you— wanted business." That momentary hitch comes as Liu seems to have trouble swallowing, a hand working at his throat. He turns, looking back over his shoulder at the young man in the white suit who followed him up, then back to Brian.

"I thought you were Homeland Security?" His eyes narrow, "Pension not to your liking?"

"Mr.Ye." Brian greets amiably, going to stand once the man arrives. Even though Liu definitely isn't friendly, Brian can still pretend to be. "I'm very sorry for the loss of your sister." Says the murderer of his father— Oops. He purses his lips gently, going to place his hand on the chair. "I am a valuable asset to have, Mr.Ye."

"As my previous work no doubt indicates, the Flying Dragons are in posession of information that no one but those in the Pentagon have." He gives a little roll of his shoulders. "I'm offering my services to you." He frowns and tilts his head. "You're having trouble with other groups. I can be the

"I understand that you're upset, Mr.Ye. I've lost siblings of my own.." He stops as Ye talks about knives and throats. "Perhaps now is the time to think about how you can use this situation to your advantage. You could still use Linderman, rather than ending him right now." But the way Liu describes that last bit it sounds very final.

Clearing his throat he looks straight ahead. He stares for a long moment of silence. Closing his eyes, "Yes. I can."

Liu's neck muscles tense, eyes settled down on Brian with an uncertain wariness, like an animal that has been beaten too many times and now shies away from a raised hand. Glancing back where Wen stands, Liu's eyes stay fixed on the white-suited man for just a moment before looking back to Brian. "The only use I have for him is— " Liu fails to find a proper poetic analogy, he cuts himself off and tiredly rubs a hand over his forehead slowly.

"I need him gone, dead, suffering to his last breath." Liu's dark eyes rise back to Brian's lighter ones, and the expression briefly flashing across Liu's face is one of overwrought guilt and shame, one that is quickly tempered by anger and resentment. "I saw what you did to my father, how you handle situations. Whoever you are, whatever you are, you earned Cong's confidence enough to make it here alive, and that is enough for me."

Liu glances over at Wen one last time, before turning his focus back to Brian. "Name your price, whatever it is you want, I will make it a reality if you can do this for me— if you can put that old bastard in a shallow grave."

Brian considers Liu for a long moment. His shoulders rise and fall as he watches Liu Ye. "Any price." Brian repeats coolly. And then the man takes a step away from the table. His eyes run over the balcony, the very balcony where he spoke with that woman. Anything you have to, to reach the top. Walking the length of the table, Brian's hand raises to Liu Ye's shoulder. "I can kill him. I can get it on camera for you to enjoy for years to come, I can make it slow." His words are deliberate, pointed.

"But my price is heavy. Mr.Ye. One that you may not be willing to give." His hand drops from the other young man's shoulder. He walks back to the other side of the table, tapping it lightly.

Liu tenses, jaw setting tightly as his dark eyes shift over to Brian. "One assassin for another assassin," there's resentment in his voice, "I do not care what the price is, Brian. The one thing— the one thing in this piece of shit world that I truly wanted was taken away from me by him. Any other loss at this point— it is nothing."

Clenching his jaw, Liu considers the knee-jerk and reactionary words, but the venom in his mouth from being right where his sister was killed is exactly the leverage needed to keep him from making a careful and thoughtful decision. Instead, Liu merely angles his focus towards Brian, demandingly. "What is it you want?"

Drawing back the chair, Brian goes to slip into the seat once again. Leaning back, he folds one leg over the other. Templing his hands on his table he gives a little nod. "That makes sense Mr. Ye." His brows narrow slightly. "It's Winters." He corrects politely before allowing Liu to finish his spiel. His leg swings back down and Brian picks up his glass of wine.

In memory of the woman he met on this very balcony, he takes a sip. At any cost.

"The Flying Dragons."

One dark brow rises as Brian makes his offer, and were it any other day, Liu might have laughed and been unable to continue the conversation. Instead, there's just a sour downturning of his lips as all light and humor has been drained from him. "I do not appreciate your attempt at a joke mister Winters." Liu's eyes narrow a touch as he looks at the man patronizingly. "No offense, but you're a bit too white for the Triad."

Wringing his hands together, Liu closes his eyes and shakes his head. "If you've come here to fuck with me, mister Winters, I guarantee you chose an ill day to make light of me and my people." When the young Triad boss' eyes open again, there's a coldness and emptiness to his expression. "This time, no jokes. I've no sense of humor right now."

"I want on the leadership of the Flying Dragons." Winters repeats, firmly. He goes to stand, "While I sympathize for your loss, and wish there was something I could do to turn back time and.." He stops there, setting his wineglass down. "I have no loyalty to you. No obligation. What's to stop me from doing Linderman a favor right now? I'm sure he would take me on without much argument." He glances at the man in the white suit. "I assure you, it would be no problem."

"It's a good deal Liu. We take care of the competition and together we take the city." He gives a soft sigh. "No offense taken, but look at you Liu. You're not that type. Say fuck to tradition, embrace the new world, and I will help you take it over." He glances up at Liu, arching one brow.

There's a grimace spreading across Liu's face, one of uncertainty that paints an anxious portrait of a desperate man. "Even if I agreed to your terms, there are those who cling to the old ways," Brian hit a nerve, Liu's fast and loose adherance to tradition and his lax appreciation of cultural norms. "They would just as soon turn on me if I let in— " he censors himself from using a slur, "someone like you."

Eyes narrow, dark and uncertain. "They would go to the Ghost Shadows, and their leader would take the opportunity to come after me, and— and if I show weakness or allow others to leave, the Ghost Shadows would roll over me, with my inner circle or not. Unless you have a way of being born a different man, Brian, that simply is not feasible. Certainly— " he tenses up, "certainly there is another option."

Brian tilts his head in concession to this point. He remains calm, considering these different factoids. "Being born a different man is possible, if a bit annoying." He says softly, being a little more literal than Liu might think. "But just for funsies, let's hear your other option."

"The other option, mister Winters, is the only other thing people want aside from power." Liu's focus is torn away from Brian, looking to the rug on the floor beneath the table, one that covers up the discoloration of blood on the hardwood. "Money, because I think this is a bit beyond women, but I can offer you those as well if that's more to your taste." But from the sounds of things, this has certainly eclipsed something as frivolous as that.

"The Triad is a business, mister Winters, it— I could pay you well for what you are to do. I could keep you well paid for a very, very long time, especially that if Daniel Linderman dies, his empire will crumble beneath its own weight as the rats he hires pick the flesh clean of its bones." Liu looks up from the floor to Brian. "If you can change who you are, then… it's a choice. Money, or power?"

Going to stand from his chair, Brian smirks a little bit. "I choose both. I will kill Daniel Linderman. And you will get me paid. Well paid. I will have a very close associate of mine contact you. He is.. More acceptable to the Triad. Anything he wants is an extension of my will. He will serve as your highest captain, and will answer only to you. And me." Pushing back his chair, Brian goes to stand.

Stepping around the table, he offers his hand to the other man. "Do we have a deal?"

Hao-Tung would be strangling Liu with his own intestines at this very moment, had he any understanding of what was transpiring here. "When I see news of Daniel Linderman's death," Liu states with a flat tone that indicates he clearly isn't expecting much, "then you'll have what you ask for. I'm not handing you anything until I see results, mister Winters. Then— then you'll get your payment. I'm not giving you any authority until you've earned it."

Stepping past Liu, one hand reaches up and pats the man on the shoulder. "We have an agreement. Sleep well tonight, Liu. Again, I am very sorry for your loss." Winters steps past Ye, going over to the balcony. Gripping the railing he peers down, just looking down. Once again Ling's words ring through his head.

And with that, he makes his way out.

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