Date: July 23, 2010
Shinji is resting the day after rescuing Lady Ryoko from bandits. His sometimes-employer, the leader of the Tao Shih, locates him and speaks to him… Sort of.
"A New Look"
A Small Town - Land of Grass
The day is slowly coming to an end, the sky is slowly becoming cloudy. The small village that Shinji and Kanami had managed to arrive at with Lady Ryoko and her people, is slowly winding down. The vendors are starting to close up shop for the day, a few men walk the town, they aren't much to look at and if a real threat happens here, the best they could do is light damage and be overran. Shinji finds himself walking along the street, his hands in his pockets. A sigh escapes him, he didn't know why he was sticking around, but it was already to late to start travelling again and besides that Lady Ryoko was supposed to reward him.
Shinji walks to a medium sized building that was the inn, walking in the wanderer finds a table and sits down. The table he finds is near a window which gives him a good view outside the town. A woman walks over to the table and he orders some ramen and a drink. She leaves to place his order, leaning back in his seat, Shinji lets out a yawn. "Man today was boring." he says more ot himself then to anyone else.
An unfamiliar woman's voice speaks from right nearby Shinji, suddenly. "Perhaps compared to your tussle the other day today is boring. But after you've lived a bit longer, you'll realize that any day that isn't the same as a previous one is to be cherished." It would not be hard for Shinji to find this mysterious speaker. She is sitting in a chair at his table, right across from him. How she got there is unclear. She was not there a moment ago. Was it…?
To Shinji's trained awareness, he can likely think back to the moment he yawned, and recall there was the gentlest air current. Nothing unusual. They happen all the time, indoors and out. So it is possible this stranger got here some other way. But if not, then that one brief moment of distraction was enough for this person to otherwise silently place herself directly across from him at his table. Meaning she must be very fast, if nothing else…
She has medium-length violet hair that doesn't quite reach her shoulders. It's kind of shaggy and spiky, and half of hair seems hang down over the right side of her face like a thick curtain, concealing it via a sort of 'sweep' of purple strands. Her left eye, the only one of her two eyes that is visible, is also squinted to the point it might as well be closed. Thus, the coloration is not presently discernible. Her skin is very light — almost pale-white. Her clothing is a simple, sleeveless, black muscle-shirt, and from Shinji's vantage point it appears she is likely wearing some dark-red leather pants, though not all the details can be seen, due to the edge of the table blocking that out. Her hands are folded in her lap.
"It is fortunate that you were in the vicinity, Shinji-san. What a bother it would be if 'Lady Ryoko' were to have suffered the complete loss of her troupe and resources… And even worse had she been captured." This woman obviously knows Shinji, or at least knows >of< him well-enough. But who is she? She is absolutely, positively >no one< that Shinji has ever met. Even if he racks his memories, nothing would pop up. At all.
Having no clue of how this woman appeared, he was now a bit on guard. Appearantly she is pretty fast, especially if she just happend her as he was yawning. A few white strands of hair fall right above his eyes as he takes this pale woman in. As she speaks, he narrows his eyes for only the briefest of periods then shrugs. He was on guard more so now as she spoke of the details of how he came across Lady Ryoko. "Well it seems your very imformed." he states in a casual tone. He looks from side to side for a moment, then back to the exotic looking woman sitting across from him. Yea, very well informed indeed. He didn't like this and plus he let his guard drop enough for her to be able to get the drop on him.
Looking at her face, he couldn't remember ever seeing her anywhere, not even at the caravan. "So who are you and how do you know of me." he cuts to the chase. Shinji could be a good guy, but when people he don't know, know him, thats another story. The maid who had taken his order looks over towards the two, but Shinji ignores her. "Hell, at least let me know your name." he says to her. His hand having already slipped down under the table, she is attractive, but still he know thoughts like that, right now could get him killed and he hasn't lived this long to die like this.
The woman just keeps smiling and squinting throughout Shinji's responses. Then she answers, "Come now, Shinji-san. Who else would know not only who you are, but also where to find you? Who else could gain such an advantage over you?" Her left eye opens half-way, revealing that the eye iris and pupil are a vivid purple color, and that the eye reacts as though it were being exposed to a great deal of light, even though the room is only moderately lit.
"I am aware that you were not informed of my new capability, so I suppose it is somewhat expected you not make the leap of logic required to identify me. However, I will state right now that your sometimes-employer and I… Are functionally the same person." Translation: She is basically claiming that she is Amuro. Though she didn't say that she >is< Amuro so much as she is the same person as him. For some reason that wording seems to be significant.
Squinting that eye again, she says, "At any rate, I just came to check up on you three. Lady Ryoko is on an errand for me, as is the other woman who helped fight the bandits off. The latter I was here to meet and provide some information to. The former needs to be cautioned regarding her tendency to indulge in exhorbitant spending…"
"Ah. I see." he says. "You only seem to call me when you need something." But then again, this new ability of his… Sighing to himself, he should have known better, but now that he knows this woman is actually Amuro freaks him out a bit, he was actually trying to get a better look at her from where he was. Luckily for him, he is able to do things like this and still be focused. Hearing that Lady Ryoko is on a errand and the other woman was also working for Amuro, "Well whats going on?" he asks. "Maybe I can be of assistance." he says. "Also it has been getting about close for you to call upon me anyways. How about you just get me in the loop so I can be of more use. I'm tired of only being called upon if you need something." he states. His voice is low, and as he sits there he looks over to the barmaid who is coming wiht his food, "Also could you get the lady something, it's on me." he smiles and winks at the female sitting across from him. "Go ahead tell her what you want." he chuckles.
Playing the part of wowing the woman at his table Shinji's attitude is that of the cocky gentleman. Taking his drink he sips at it and then sitting the cup on the table. Shinji picks up his chopsticks and split them. He then begins eating, and once told of Shinji's female friend wants, the barmaid will leave to place her order too. Shinji glances back across at Amuro-san, and waits her answer.
The purple-haired woman just 'hm's. "'The loop'. Might you be more specific concerning what precisely you wish to know about? Does our current agreement not work for you for some reason? Are you attempting to haggle over pricing for your services?" When the waitress comes over, and is indicated to get the purple-haired woman something, she just shakes her head. "Nothing for me. I already had lunch here…" She then turns her attention back on Shinji.
"While you have been reliable as an agent, that does not necessarily make you trustworthy. I would need to have a very good reason to include you in any more sensitive work that I may or may not have. Aside from your fighting skills, what do you have to offer that would make you valuable?"
Watching as the waitress leaves, Shinji turns and looks back at the purple-haired woman, he sighs. "The loop. You know what I mean. I can care less about the agreement we have. It works, and gives me the chance to travel. But there is more then that I want to do. Elusive you may be, but you've already shown me that your a more capable person then what I originally thought." Shinji says. Taking a few bites of his ramen and drinking some of his drink. Sitting up and looking to the woman Shinji thinks for a moment, "I am a skilled fighter, and still trying to improve my skills, but first this." he says. "I know you probably have done some background work on me already. I don't care if you know or not. I take what I do seriously, all information I have or come across, I relay it back to those who hire me out. Honestly I'm tired of working for other people and will delegate majority of all my work your way. I can be counted on, a chance is all I need." he states. "As for my skills, fighting is pretty much all I know. Yes I've been trained in other ways." And by other ways it is implied as a Shinobi, "I've taken up to doing recon. I like it, allows for me to zip in and out areas as I need to. I'm quick to learn new things if there is a need for me to learn something outside of my normal skills."
Shinji didn't know if he was doing a good job at selling himself, but he wasn't lying, fighting, recon and a bit of infiltrating as been pretty much all he was taught. "If you have people you need kept protected, I can do that. Now if you still don't think you need me, fine. Whatever, we continue as we've always have. But if you do feel that you need me in a different compacity. I'm here." There was no begging in his voice, nor whinning. Shinji saw no need to cry, or beg, he didn't have time for it nor did his employers and sure as hell Amuro didn't have time for it. With his offer out there, Shinji goes back to eating his ramen, and occasionally looking back at the woman sitting at his table. "That is a hot look." he chuckles.
The Onna-Amuro or whatever one wants to refer to her as listens without interrupting to all that Shinji says. After awhile, she leans with her elbows on the table, and hands folded under her chin. Her left eye opens again, revealing that weird purple-hued iris and pupil, and the strange way they react to even the slightest light source. "I see. Those who compose the core membership of the group that receive my most >delicate< and >important< jobs are those who have some sort of personal reason for working with me. And I do not just mean money. Generally, there is something to be gained by this close association, whether it be freedom, knowledge, or a chance to make use of skills that would otherwise go to waste. At least one even works with me out of love and a desire to protect me. I will consider your offer, but I will need to know what motivates you, and what 'makes you tick' before I decide. I need to know your hopes, your goals… What it is precisely that you hope to gain from working closely with me and others. If you are unwilling to display the level of trust needed to give that information, then I suppose this matter has already been decided. Otherwise…"
She removes her elbows from the table and rises as she pushes back her chair a bit. "We can discuss this here or privately. It is up to you. But I do have other business to attend to while I am here. I will see you shortly." Then her body seems to warp and distort, sort of like if a funhouse mirror had turned into liquid and was running down a drain. She spirals into herself, and then is gone. And yet >this< time, Shinji may notice that there is the sound of footsteps when there should be none. Whoever that woman was, it seems she can turn invisible somehow. Possibly why she wasn't noticed originally. She was probably already sitting at the table when Shinji sat down.
Listening closely to what was now being told to him, he didn't know the answers to those questions. But right now Amuro's group was all that was there. Lowering his head for a moment, he nods, "I see." he says to the woman. "Well I would like to discuss this privately." he tells her. "No tricks, just honest." he tells her. He then finishes the rest of his food. What he had to say he didn't want to be around others and if he was to be one of Amuros trustworthy, he needed to tell him or this woman what was needed. "I have a room here. When your ready, I will be there." he says. Bowing his head to Onna-Amuro, "See you later." he says simply.