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 [Job] Maria's Cat #4

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Rajan Iberian
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Posts : 56

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Jenny: 2500

PostSubject: [Job] Maria's Cat #4   Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:16 pm

Rajan climb out of his box and looked around the alley he had decided to squat in for the night. He was immediately blinded by the morning sun but his eyes quickly adjusted.  It seemed most of the other homeless had already cleared out and gone to do whatever normal homeless people did. The lancer lazily stretched and spoke to himself “Damn for people without a place to be they always seem to always have a place to be.” He brushed some dirt off the dirty grey hoodie he wore over his combat gear. His current situation was not an ideal one but certainly was not terrible, he had found these really nice sweat pants that matched his hoodie and they only had a single small hole on the right knee and that was nice. Naturally he had to wear something over his typical gear to avoid drawing tons of attention  and so far that wasn’t being a problem. But despite the positives he wasn’t very happy about his current accommodations. He had spent the last of his cash getting to Yorknew once he had deduced the Hunter Exam was there. Now he had a solid week ahead of him before his information said the exam would start and he was flat broke. So with the intention of not starving to death he trudged out of the alley and joined the hordes of Yorknew residences on their way to their daily niches. Fortunately for Rajan he smelt a bit at this point and people gave him a nice bit of room became of that. Rajan muttered thankfully under his breath “B.O. the all natural super power.” He pulled a map out of his pocket he had acquired in his last job and followed it to the unemployment office.

He stared at the now familiar office and  hopped in line behind an older gentleman with a mangy beard and a very colorfully patched together coat. Rajan took advantage of the display of self-sewed art to pass the time. So waiting for his turn at the day-work assignment clerk he invented various little road-trip-esque games to play with the gentleman’s coat. It was maybe childish but it worked. Despite the length of the line he still couldn’t manage to finish identifying what material each patch came from. Rajan was more disappointed than he liked to admit when they got to the front of the line, the old man got his assignment and went away taking his coat of many colors with him. But still now he finally reached the desk where a bored looking middle aged women with a certain “That’s great hun,” vibe to her waited. But before Rajan could speak up she interrupted with a sharp condescending tone “Sorry hun that’s all we got for today. Should have come in sooner.” Everyone behind Rajan groaned and began shuffling out of the office while the ex-mercenary himself just stood there with a dumbfounded look on his face. He couldn’t believe it, it was bad enough he had to bum it but now this lady was trying to tell him he would just have to go hungry for the night. A couple guards appeared from an adjoining room, apparently anticipating Rajan to start trouble which was a smart move because he was probably going to make a mess. That was until a plump old lady dolled up in makeup and jewelry came barging in. Everyone in the room turned to look at the strange woman whose face could hardly be seen behind a giant fur scarf. She was huffing out of breath, having probably run more in the last minute then she had in her life. The room was mostly silent except for her as they waited for her to explain her haste. Finally she recovered enough to talk and dove right into an explanation “Now hold on! I have a request of the absolute greatest urgency!”

Rajan perked up “Now that sounds my type of scene. Spill it!” The lady’s beady eyes locked onto Rajan and she abruptly gasped. She covered her mouth with her hand revealing way too many jeweled rings decorating her wrinkled flesh “Oh my. I came here expecting a desperate thug, but here I’ve found a dashing knight to aid me.” Rajan had faced down the scum of humanity in the trenches of war, watched the madness of war from the perspective of a businessman, and had spread more blood and gore for his meal tab then most soldiers would for their wife and kids. But only now did he understand what people meant when they felt “disturbed.” But if this job got him dinner he’d cope. Rajan cleared his throat, “Uhm what is the request?”  The lady fanned herself “So forward! I don’t know if I can take this. But I suppose I must endure this crudity for the sake of my beloved.” The lancer cringed but again tried to hurry the lady along “Please madam do you think you can just tell me what you need? And how much you’ll pay me to do it? Because that’d be great.” The lady flipped her fur scarf over her shoulder “Dear me a man of money. What dark past has warped you to such a crude fiscally obsessed mindset? Such mystery how intriguing. Oh I suppose I should do what I can to ease your suffering in this world by being forthright. You see my dearly beloved Montague has been kidnapped by a group of vandal thugs and I simply need him rescued! Surely a tough dashing rogue like you would be up to such a task? I can pay you handsomely for Montague’s return.”

Rajan grinned ear to ear and dollar signs appeared in his eyes. All he had to do was beat up some thugs and he got the payoff of a lifetime. He could forget the hunter exam if he took this job. The woman was obviously stupidly wealthy and he was being asked to save her apparently equally wealthy husband , the client was rich enough and the stakes high enough. His pay check would be gargantuan. Not even Rajan’s horrible spending habits, the reason he was broke now, could burn that kind of money easy. He clenched his fist together “That’s right up my alley lady. Trust me you’ve found the perfect man for this job. Just tell me where to go and I’ll make a mess of those thugs!” She clapped her hands together happily “Fantastic fantastic! Oh my I haven’t been this excited in so long! Heavens dear me! Please come with me. I already have a plan for how to deal with them.” Rajan put his hands on his hips to make a point of him not following, “Hold on. I’ll do this job but I won’t be told how to.” The wealthy women waved her hand in a dismissive gesture “Oh don’t you fret. I’ll leave the worst of it to you. But I just want to save you the trouble of finding them. No sense in having you go on a wild goose chase when I can just tell you where they are.” Rajan relaxed “Oh well if thats all. Lay it on me.” The lady again waved him off but this time turned and started walking out of the office “All in good time. Come along.” Something seemed off about all this and Rajan was a bit lacking in trust since his left job from a mysterious client had left him unconscious on a park bench with some nasty bruises. But food money was food money and so he followed her out of the employment office.

Stepping outside Rajan had to bite his tongue to stop himself from saying anything. Parked in front of the office was the most gaudy, eccentric, excessively absurd, limousine he had ever seen. It was so absurd in its appearance that Rajan’s brain would later blur it from his memory for his own safety. Next he could remember Rajan was in the limousine which was surprisingly generic on the inside. Sitting on the couch like seat next to the wealthy lady Rajan again pushed the question “Alright I’m in your fancy car, probably already on our way to whereever these guys are, so do you think you could share your plan now lady?” Chuckling like a villain from a saturday morning cartoon the lady pulled a silver brief case from under her seat, Rajan was surprised she could bend over at all considering her physique, and then she tossed it to over to him. On impulse he caught it in his arms noting it was obscenely heavy. Little did he know how accurate that was. “Please call me Maria. This here case contains the “ransom money,” or so you will lead them to believe.” It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see where this was going so Rajan finished “So I just go to the spot they told you to leave the money, show them this so they will reveal the hostage, at which point I beat them senseless and save Montague.” Maria clapped her hands together excitedly “Yes indeed! As a man of such a fit figure I am sure you will have no problem bringing down these hooligans and returning my dearest beloved safely.” Rajan set the case by his feet and kicked back “No problem. This is what I used to do for a living.”

His host apparently intrigued decided to ask some questions of her own “But now I’ve shown my hand I believe you yourself owe me some information. I am entrusting the life of that which I hold my dear in this world to you so I think that it can be agreed that this is a task that cannot be given to an incompetent. Who are you? I know its a bit late to be asking this really, but I just got so excited back there and let my emotions carry me away. But now is the time for reason.” Rajan groaned “Shoulda figured. Whadda you wanna know?” Maria rubbed a ring on her right index finger “Oh just the basics. You say this is “just your kind of job,” which implies you are a man of peculiar talents. Explaining a little on that would be a nice start.” As much as he wanted to dodge the subject it was now apparent if he wanted his check signed he’d have to fess up a little or he’d probably be kicked right out of the crazymobile, “Alright I’ll keep it brief. I was mercenary for a while. I was pretty good at it too. That explain it enough?” He phrased it as a question but it was apparent that it was a statement. Maria seemed disappointed with the lack luster story but was world wise enough to know she had one question left at best if even that so she spent her third wish on the real question, “If you were so good. Why are you now a bum living on the streets of Yorknew counting on daywork to feed you each day?” It was a natural question and one that Rajan was anticipating so he quickly spat out a prepared answer, “I got bored. Made money, spent money, went back into the fray. It just became a cycle, that could only end with me dead. So one day as my nest egg was dwindling and it looked like I would have to return to the battlefield to restock I decided I didn’t want to go back. So I made a hail mary throw.” Rajan shrugged and paused. He had gone into an unintentional amount of detail without noticing. He wasn’t sure if he would have gone on if she hadn’t interrupted but Maria did saying, “And it didn’t work? So now you’re broke, without even the means to return to your old work to get back on your feet?”

An assumption that stung Rajan right in the pride. Stung enough that he felt the need to finish his explanation to defend himself, “Not quite. I’m actually still on track. My way out is still ahead of me. You see I’m looking to take a certain test, if I can pass I have it made. Thing is my hail mary throw got me to the testing ground, but it doesn’t start just yet so I have to wait. The only holdup is waiting costs money, I’ve gotta get a roof over my head, eat, and by the time I made it to Yorknew I hadn’t a dollar to my name and the test was still a week out. I’m almost there but it's just too long to wait on an empty stomach, additionally I don’t want to face this test when I’m at anything short of top performance.” Maria giggled and started clapping again “Oh my what a story! I really have found an exceptional person. With all that is on the line I am sure Montague is in good hands. That being said, I do believe this is your stop.” As if on cue the limousine rolled to a stop and Maria quickly shoo’d Rajan out with the briefcase in hand. With the fake money in hand Rajan stared down a really sinister looking alley as Maria’s car drove off without so little as a “good luck.” The lancer rolled his shoulders and entered the alley, “Here we go.” While the entrance had made it seemed cramped it quickly opened up into a surprisingly large lot. Fenced in by buildings with the only entrance being the small alley the square of pavement was pretty much cut off from the rest of the world. Which seemed to be just what the four thugs who occupied it wanted. Apart from the hoodlums, dressed in clothes somehow in worse shape then Rajan’s, the lot was completely empty. There was no sign of the hostage. It was hard to say what the intended purpose of it was when it wasn’t being used for illicit deals but what was for sure was it was ideal for such deals. The thugs themselves were about what you’d expect, dressed in grey and black, torn up clothes, bandanas and hoods concealed their identities from the look of them Rajan he doubted they’d put up much of a fight.

The apparent ring leader, the biggest of them but that was a victory won by default really he was most remarkable by purple hair sticking out of his hood, spoke up “You the old hags bag man? She’s resorted to employing the local homeless huh?” Rajan grinned and slung the briefcase over his shoulder and put on his best colloquial voice, “Heya no need to get mean. I’m just doin’ dis for a glance in her purse. Let's just make the trade and geddit done.” One of the thugs on the side burst out “Oh man this is really happening! One million dollars! We’re on our way out of here!” One of his cohorts knocked him over the head to calm him down which he did. But looking at them Rajan couldn’t help but sympathize they just looked so excited, they really thought they were about to make their big break, move out of whatever slums they lived in. He couldn’t blame them, they were just trying to make their way in the world the only way they knew how. But that wasn’t going to stop him beating the tar out of them. The leader pointed an accusing finger at Rajan, “First show us the cash then we’ll bring him out.” The lancer swung the case back in front of him and held it in both arms primed to pop the lid. A bit late he realized he had no idea what was in the case, had Maria accounted for the need to show the money and filled it with fake bills or if she had simply given him a briefcase with some weights was unknown to him. It seemed so basic to him that it didn’t occur to him that a civilian like Maria wouldn’t have thought it through. Opening the case was a huge gamble one he wasn’t going to take before he knew where Montague was. With his fingers on the latch he paused and said “Now holdan. If I show you alls the money you can just mug me and keep the hostage for a bigger ransom. Maria wants me to see Mont’ before I show the dough.” The leader scoffed “No such luck bozo. You show what we want then we show what you want. We call the shots here.”

As if on signal all the other goons revealed switchblades they had hidden up their sleeves. Rajan realized this wasn’t going to work and just had to take his chances. He hit the switch and the case sprung open. The contents exploded all over the alley and just as much to Rajan’s surprise as that of the ransomers said content was a large quantity of obscene magazines. The various thugs cried in surprise, and despite being shell shocked himself Rajan had a bit more experience dealing with surprises. Realizing negotiations were over he charged the goons ditching the now useless case behind him. In just a few steps he closed the distance, trampling various adult material, before driving his knee into the gut of the leader. The guy cried out in pain as he was knocked into the wall of the alley, hitting his head and falling to the ground. In a panic the others surrounded Rajan and all at once took jabs at him with their knives. The ex-merc ducked under all their high-aiming strikes and led with his shoulder into a body check against the nearest goon. His abnormal strength knocked thug #2 off his feet, Rajan doubted he was down for the count but now for the moment  he was safe to turn his back to him and face the other two. Recovering from their first miss they again attempted to lunge at Rajan with their switchblades. Capitalizing on his extreme speed he side stepped to the left and grabbed the extended arm of one twisting it behind his back into a painful angle. Thug #3 dropped his knife from the pain and with the blade out of the picture Rajan threw his whole weight into shoving him into the wall of one of the buildings that bordered the lot. Crushed between a brick wall and nen-enabled human the poor hoodlum got to feel his twisted arm break just before getting slammed into the wall robbed him of his consciousness.

Rajan spun now to face Thug 4 but not surprisingly he had been rejoined by thug 2 who had gotten off the ground. 4, the one who had blurted out earlier, was now shaking all over “Oh man this guy is insane. What do we do Ryan?” Thug 2, or apparently Ryan was equally shaken up “I don’t know this has gone to hell. But Big Sis will hurt us worse than this guy can if we mess up our big break! Come on R.J!” R.J and Ryan made one more desperate advance on Rajan. But it was ill fated, the lancer rushed behind them both bolstering his speed with nen briefly so that to them he appeared a blur. They didn’t have time to process what was happening before Rajan neck chopped them both sending them both to the ground. Rajan laughed “Eat your heart out Bruce Lee. I make that look easy.” It was then he noticed a shadow over head as someone jumped from a window just a story above into the alley. They flew over Rajan landing between him and the exit of the alley. Rajan readied himself detecting this person was a notch above the thugs he had just faced. They turned facing him and despite being dressed much like the others there were two glaring differences that set them apart, a long golden braid that hung from their hood, and to be blunt; a rack. It didn’t take a biologist to realize Rajan’s new opponent was female, a fact Rajan put together with a comment from one of the thugs earlier leading to the deduction, “So you’re “Big Sis,” as these goons call you. I take it you’re the real ring leader here?” The girl raised her fists into a boxing-like stance and said “You know it and you also know you just messed up my little brothers pretty bad. So now I’ve gotta teach you a lesson.” Rajan grinned “Bring it. I welcome the challenge, assuming you are made of tougher stuff than these jokers. But first tell me where is Montague, or I’m going to have to resort to unhonorable methods to make you tell me.” It wasn’t visible but Big Sis grit her teeth, it was apparent Rajan meant he would attack her down comrades so she reluctantly said “He’s up in the room I just jumped down from. But you won’t get the chance to save him, because I am going to beat you down here and now!”

That was all Rajan needed, “Bring it girly!” She certainly did. The punch was so fast Rajan hardly had time to throw his forearm in front to deflect it. While he thought he had blocked it well the blow hurt his arm like hell, enough to distract him from a punch from her free arm that connected with his gut. “Gah! Tough little-” Big Sis cut him off slugging him in the head and sending him reeling. Rajan was caught totally off guard “How can a street thug be strong enough to go toe to toe with me?” She laughed “Go toe to toe? I’m kicking your ass!” She charged him and then Rajan noticed. While it was low level and clearly not developed by training this girl was a nen user. Rajan quickly figured she must have been the “genius type,” who discovered nen naturally. Which explained its lack of refinement but in no way diminished the threat she presented. But now he had another incoming punch to deal with, the residual nen in her fist made it potent enough an attack to handle with care. Reinforcing his right arm to protect it he caught the inside of her arm with the outside of hers to deflect the blow. But he wasn’t done, he spun towards her, rolling off the deflection now bringing him inside her guard and threw his right elbow into her jaw which connected with a satisfying thud. Big Sis cried in pain as her head snapped back , staggering her, just enough for Rajan to launch a heavily nen enforced kick to her midsection. The gang leader was launched rolling across the pavement of the alley. She was good but her nen was undeveloped and Rajan had hit her with his full strength in those last two attacks. It was far from fair to expect her to walk that off. But she tried anyway, she struggled up onto her elbows before abruptly coughing up a little blood and collapsing back to the ground.

Rajan felt a little bad for dealing so much damage, especially since he understood where the gang was coming from. But he was a man of business and his employer wanted them busted up. Victorious he jumped up through the open window from which Big Sis had came and found himself in a tiny apartment room. The space was packed with dirty laundry, a single bed, a ton of sleeping bags and a pet carrier. The room was far too small to hide anyone so Rajan was heavily confused when he didn’t see Montague anywhere. There were no closets, the only door leading out into the hall. Rajan thought maybe the girl had lied to him, but something told him she wasn’t. Then he heard a meowing from the pet carrier, “Oh great these guys have a cat. Probably why it smells so bad in here. Poor thing probably isn’t going to get fed very soon with its owners outside like that. Now I get to feel bad about beating them up more. Fantastic. I swear years killing for money and a few kids can still pull my heart strings.” Rajan’s ranting monologue was abruptly halted when he saw the name on the carrier “Montague.”

Rajan settled back into his box just as the sun set with his stomach full. A good days work done and now he had the funds to get him through the rest of the week. His payment from rescuing the cat safely tucked away in his clothing. As he was saving a cat instead of a person the payout had been much less than he had been expecting but it was sufficient. “At least I don’t have to deal with the crazy lady Mary ever again. Where’d she even get those magazines anyway? Why did she think that was a good idea?” All questions that would persist with him as he slipped off to sleep.

Meanwhile Big Sis had eventually came round back in the alley and dragged her still unconscious adopted brothers back into their shared apartment. Angry as hell she silently fumed over the lost opportunity. She was so worked up she almost didn’t notice the envelope on the bed where the carrier had been. Almost. Instantly curious she picked it up and tore it open revealing it was stuffed with Jenny. She was stunned speechless. It wasn’t a fat million to be sure, but it was more than her and her adopted family had held at any one time and she would make good use of it.

Rajan wasn’t sure it was a great idea to give them almost all of the money he was payed for the job, but he had what he needed and it let him sleep with a clear conscious.

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