Out Of Principle


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Scene Title Out of Principle
Synopsis On a rare evening out, Ling Chao has a strange conversation with a seemingly unassuming sushi chef.
Date June 9, 2010

Hai Sushi Resturant

A hot new sushi resturant in Brooklyn.

Hai is a hot new sushi restaurant in Brooklyn. It's grand opening was hampered by the recent snow storm, but now they've reopened with a white sushi chef. It didn't look right, but they couldn't really deny his talent, it's like he's been doing it for centuries. He also has a real way with a knife. One thing that can be said against it is that it's rather traditional, no real fusion going on here. On the other hand, it seems to be working and people have been eating the sushi.

It’s not often that Ling ventures out of her room in the Corinthian, usually only when she absolutely must get out – even her groceries were often delivered, with Linderman handling the bill in one way or another. But tonight, tonight she needed to get out. Between the snow storm and the fact that she’d holed herself up for so long, she just needed a night out. Sushi hadn’t been her first choice, but she was intrigued by the traditional restaurant she’d heard about. She was used to the fusion restaurants, and even Chinatown hadn’t afforded her quite the traditional cuisine she’d wanted.

She had a seat now, where she sat forward with her chin resting on the tips of her fingers. She was running out of ways to… entertain herself. All she could think about was how she had run out of ways to entertain herself, with little work to do. She would have to see what she could seek out to rectify the matter.

Adam seems to mostly going about his work, creating this roll and that roll. But at some point he looks up and notices Ling. His knife stops in mid chop and for a few seconds, all he does is stare. At this point, he looks back down on his work, though the grip on his knife seems to tighten. After a moment, he moves down the sushi bar in front of Ling, he's quiet for a moment and even smiles, "Hello, pretty lady." he says in a British accent, "What can I do for you tonight?"

Ling can’t help but wrinkle her nose in response – she never paid servers and cooks much heed when they bandied about compliments in the hopes of one in return or a better tip, and that’s really all it ever was. She eyes the menu for a moment, and after a moment places it down. A stoic expression is painted on her face as she looks to the cook. “Just an order of nigirizushi, please.” She makes a dismissive motion of her hand, and after a moment, makes an addition. “And some tea, please.”

Adam smiles, though if she had been paying closer attention, she might notice it doesn't reach his eyes. "Of course." he says. He pauses for a moment as he goes to some rice. He glances up and casually asks, "You're Chinese, aren't you?"

Ling had begun to drift off into a thought of just what she was going to do next, but the chef’s continued chatter draws her back, a bit of a scowl on her face. “I am, yes.” She replies, pushing her menu aside, looking up at the man. “And you’re English, from the sound of it?” If, you know, we’re asking pointless questions.

Adam appears to be cutting up something pale and replies, "Among other things." he pauses a moment and says in Mandarin, «I've recently picked up some Chinese.» his accent is thick, clearly not a native speaker to the tonal language, but his delivery is good. He pauses, «You look familiar. Do you suppose we may have met?"»

Eyes narrow in response, and through she tries to hide it, Ling tenses a bit. «Not that I’m aware of, I’m afraid.» She leans back, eyeing the chef carefully. «I can’t say I’d remember anyway. I met many people in my line of work.» As a businesswoman, at least. And formally as a drug pusher.

Adam nods a bit, «That's fair.» he says calmly. He finishes the dish and slides it across the counter towards the woman, «Me, I never really forget faces.» He considers the woman, «Did you know the squid you're about to eat is the only squid that can see colors? It gives it an advantage over its prey. Where as they only see in black and white, this squid sees a spectrum.» he leans forward with a smile, «It's about to draw in prey and surprise it.» he wipes his hand on a towel attached to his belt and returns to English, "The waiter over there will help you with your tea." he moves from the counter.

Ling’s gaze lingers on the chef as he steps away, before she turns and motions to the waiter, placing her order for a cup of warm tea. It was true, she’s been… a little paranoid in the months following the end of her tenure with the Triad, enough so that she’d more or self locked herself in a room for the majority of that time. It was because of this paranoia that something didn’t sit terribly well at her stomach in that moment. She watches the chef, considering his words, watching him. Remaining focused. Above all, she had to remain focused. «Tell me, where did you learn your Chinese? It’s better than most who have simply picked some up.»

Adam is turned away from Ling now, which may seem odd now that he's finally got her attention. He appears to be making the most of his time by cleaning his knives. He replies, «Oh, I suppose you could say I have a way with languages, I've picked up quite a few in my life.» he pauses, «I've worked with a few men who knew Chinese, some who had learned it otherwise, some from China itself. It would take an unreasonable amount of time to sound like a native, but learning the language itself isn't that difficult.»

“Hmph.” Arms cross against her chest, Ling leaning back in her seat. «Is that so? I’ve seen many struggle with it.» Fingers drum on the counter in front of her, the Chinese woman trying her best not to look like she’s staring, even though she plainly is. «Quite cultured for a chef, I must say.»

Adam arches a brow, still with his back to Ling, «Really? Chef never struck you as a cultured profession?» he shrugs a shoulder with a bit of amusement as he appears to be getting his knives really clean, «Besides, you might say I just sort of fell into this job. I don't know if chef is really the best way to describe me, just what I am right now.»

Ling offers a shrug, taking hold of her cup of tea as it’s laid down in front of her. «I cannot say it did.» She leans forward a bit, and just the thinnest strand of smoke seems to rise to the air from nowhere – perhaps a result of just how focused she is. «And what was it you did before chef, then?»

Adam considers the question casually, «I tried my hand at carpentry.» he responds, «I wasn't very good. Didn't quite have the patience.» he pauses, «After all your questions, it seems only polite to ask what it is you do.»

Ling isn’t typically one to believe in fair is fair, particularly given her own paranoia, but given the odd circumstances of the conversation she felt she should produce some answer. «I am just a business woman. I work in… acquisitions and finance.» Well, that wasn’t entirely a lie, depending on how you look at it.

Adam ahs a bit, «Well, that sounds important.» it is not immediately clear if that is sincere or not. He goes quiet then, finishing cleaning his utensils, he begins to wipe excess rice from the counter and other things that need to be done around a sushi counter.

Another “hmph” sound comes from Ling, the woman shaking her head. Her expression is one of amusement, even as she places both of hands down in front of her. «It’s certainly not what I envisioned.» That much is the truth, at least. She imagines if either of her parents knew how she’d lived the last year of her life, she’d be shamed out of the family. «Do you make much of a habit of questioning diners?»

Adam shrugs a bit in response, «It passes the time, some people like this sort of thing.» he tilts his head a moment as he closes a drawer that held seaweed and says, «And I wouldn't worry about things not going as you envisioned. You know what they say.» he glances up, «It will all be over soon.»

She quirks an eyebrow. In her more recent line of work, lines like that tended to have a certain degree of subtext – or maybe she was just being paranoid again. «Wise words.» A hand tightens its grip on the counter, another stray line of smoke raising seemingly from nowhere. A moment of silence passes before Ling pulls a purse up, and begins digging through it. «Would you mind if I asked your name? No worries, I’m not going to speak ill of you to your boss.»

Adam snorts a bit, amused at the prospect. There are multiple reasons for this, of course. He could buy this place. He could kill his boss. He could, with some planning, kill everyone here. And most of all, he had already planned on quitting. He's gone through more jobs in the last week than at least one of lifetimes. Nothing's working. Nothing quite has the thrill of murder and mayhem. But after all this is considered, he has to think of a name. He hasn't decided what to do about Ling, yet, so perhaps giving her too much information wouldn't work. On the other hand, it's not like he doesn't have many to choose from. "Jeremy." he replies, "Jeremy Stewart." how many lifetimes ago was that? Seems like a lot. he wipes his hand on his towel and offers it to the woman, "And you?"

«Chao Ling.» Even now, she’s not one for fake names, and unlike Jeremy, she sees no need to switch back to English if her conversation can be understood otherwise. «It was… pleasant speaking with you, Jeremy.» Her gaze lingers on the man for a few moments before she finally pulls out a change purse, and offers a bow before turning away and making her way to pay for her meal.

Adam nods, "Good to talk to you, Ling." he's quiet as he watches her go. There's a part of him that screams to kill her. While her back is turned to just stab her with a knife in the same way she killed his business associate. And there's something that another part of his mind just says doesn't make sense. He wasn't a Triad, not really. He lost his income from the drugs, but really, he's already richer than God. What's the point of killing someone out of principle? He picks up a knife, sharpening it against a metal rod sharpener, "What's the point, indeed." he says to himself as he still hasn't quite found that niche that he's been looking for. Good on Ling, for now.

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