Encircled by low (20 ft.) extension of the main city walls, this open air gravel parking lot has two very important assets. One, it's outside the traditional area of enforcement of City... of ANY law. Two, the number of well-heeled mercs who man the those walls, watch the gate leading out to the badlands and keep a kind of truce enforced within the parking lot. Aside from gravel, walls and a lot of mechs and vehicles the only other thing of note is the merc exchange itself. a half of a warehouse jutting out from the fifty foot high wall of the city plus a couple of new outbuildings: The bunker of the new main office and the low brick building of the only 'lawless' gated community the Drake Hammer Apartments.
Xue Qian enters the area, heading for the bar, looking to be in need of unwinding, hence her destination -_-
Johnny sits ducked behind some vehicles watching the goings on.
Samantha nods to the rather dishevelled, grease-spattered mechanic currently inspecting one of the two powered armour suits brought back from the Badlands.. as he rambles on about some technical detail she neither knows nor, right now, cares about.
The suit is made to fit a person about seven foot tall, and painted with an intimidating shark motif.. one hand ends in a shorn-off stump and the other in a fierce claw thingy.
Xue Qian loks at the suit, then to Sam "Hope those things were worth it... they were almost more trouble than they seem to be worth..."
Johnny blinkblinks when his eyes finaly spot Samantha. Standing and stretching he walks very quietly up behind her... "HEY! I've been looking for you..."
Samantha tosses Xue a rather sleepy grin, "No kidding.. should be. I mean..." she looks back to the thing, sweeping her gaze over it, "They're obviously pretty powerful things, 'specially given ho-huh?" She blinks, her ears twitching, and looks back over her shoulder to Johnny as he begins to speak. She smiles softly, "Oh.. hey... how's it goin'?"
Xue Qian also turns as Johnny comes up behind, looking just as tired as Sam. However, she doesn't say anything, merely listens for the moment
Johnny grins, "Huh? Oh... I'm fine." His smile fades a bit, "I've been wondering if you where... um... if your... you know, the other night? Your ok, right?"
Samantha blinks a bit, looking slightly uncomfortable, "Yeah.. yeah, I'm fine..." she swallows and then musters a warm smile, "I'm just fine." She turns back around and waves to get the mechanic's attention, "Can ya send us the word when ya get it? Either drop by the bar, or just leave a message for the Bane of Oakali. 'K?" She nods and looks between Johnny and Xue, "Drinks?"
Johnny glances nervously towards the bar, "Um... I dunno..."
Xue Qian shrugs "Fine with me... although i never drink alcohol..."
Samantha waves back to the mechanic tending to the two rather imposing powered suits standing in the lot and then looks to Xue again, with a shrug, "Meh.. me neither, well..." she blushes, lifting a hand to her cheek, "Once, I guess.. but! That's fine.. point is, I don't. But I just need a drink.. kinda thirsty, not to mention tired." She blinks at Johnny, "What's wrong?"
Johnny sweatdrops, "Yeah... um... that guy said that they make you leave your weapons at the door, and um... uh..."
Xue Qian blinks, wavering a bit, but catching herself "On second thought, i better get some sleep... ill see you two later". She draws and stabs her sword into the ground, a large block of ice forming around her. Her body fades from within the block, and upon complete disappearence, said block shatters into harmless pieces of ice, which begin to melt immediatedly
From out towards the badlands comes the unmistakeable whine of a pair of jet engines. By the sounds of it, whatever it is, is headed towards the exchange
Samantha hiccups cutely, placing a hand to her mouth as Xue does that. "Oh! Okay.. later, Xue." She smiles and waves at the melting block of ice, then looks to Johnny. "So? It's no big deal, I leave my stuff there all the time..."
Johnny begins to shake a bit, "Yeah... um... but... ALL of 'em? I mean... even my daggers???"
Samantha fixes Johnny with a slow stare, then reaches down and draws her shortsword.. the shining length of mithril coming free with a metallic whisper. She spins it neatly around her hand and shrugs as it falls back into her palm, "Zel gave me this.. an' it means a lot to me. Even if it wasn't a gift from someone I love, I could sell it an' live comfortably fer a year." She smiles and sheathes the blade. "I don't mind leavin' it.. place may be a bit seedy, but they're honest an' that's what counts..."
Johnny swallows hard, "Um... but... ALL of them? I mean, what about the ones I keep hidden?"
The sounds of the jet draw nearer. Soon enough a familiar red and silver fighter comes into vew, not like it really matters
Samantha giggles and playfully swings the back of one hand at Johnny.. it's easily slow enough to dodge. "Baka! My jacket's full of hidden stuff.. I hand it over usually, but mainly it's about what they can see right? I mean... even without my blades an' my 'warmer I've got my needles.. just relax." She shrugs and then, ears twitching, glances up at the approaching jet. .actually starting to wrinkle her nose in annoyance at the sound, "Heeeey! Quit it!"
As the jet flies overhead, the engines on it swivel down, forming into legs as it decelerates. If you thught it was loud before it's even moreso now with the thrust being directed straight down, it's also kicking up a nice little wash
Johnny shrugs and glances up to watch the jet for a moment. "Weird... Yeah.. I guess so.. as long as I don't have to turn in all of them..."
Samantha drops to a half-crouch as the winds from the descending VF buffet her. At the noise her ears are now flattened back along her tied-back ebon hair, "QUIT IT!!" With an incoherent snarl of annoyance, she dashes forward and reaches into her body-warmer.. hand coming away with fingers curled around a round metal object, which she brings up towards her bared teeth, then starts to spring into the air when she gets a better look at the mecha... and blinks, dropping back into her half-crouch. "Hey! Oh.." she lets the round metal object fall from her fingers (where it rolls towards Johnny), and covers her ears, crouching down a little closer to the earth as she awaits the fighter's landing.
The pilot sets the jet down rather neatly within only 3 parking spaces. The moment the jet touches down the whine from the engines begins to subside as they spool down. The nose of the fighter tilts down sharply, putting the canopy low to the ground. Shortly after the cockpit opens and Alex hops out from the jet, casting a glance back at it briefly.
Johnny squints his eyes as the wind and noise roars around him. With his sences not as sharp as they should be just yet, this is all just mildly annoying to him. Feeling something hit his foot he glances down, picking the strange metal object up. As the roar fades he glances at Sammy, "So, um... what's this?"
Samantha gradually uncovers her ears and waves to Alex, "H-hey, ya... big noisy baka..." she sticks her tongue out, then glances at Johnny, "Ne..? Oh.. just a grenade. Better take that back..." she giggles nervously and walks back over to him, holding her hand out.
Alex was about to give Sam a wave and an apology when he hears her mention a grenade. His eyebrow twitches a bit as he mutters, "For once, can you not try to blow up my jet, Sam? I kinda like it...y'know intact" he stick his tounge out back at her, immaturity signaling no real harm done
Johnny takes a step back, grining, "Hey now... it's been awhile since I got to play with something like this..." Tossing it up into the air and catching it he glances at Alex and then back to Samantha, "He's got a good idea... Can I?"
Samantha just looks at Johnny for a couple of moments, then shrugs and turns back to Alex with a small grin, "Well.." she reaches up to scritch behind an ear, "It was so darn noisy.. had'ta do -somethin'-..."
Alex smirks at Samantha and playfully pokes the tip of her nose with a finger. "Face it you just want an excuse to make craters," he looks over at Johnny and chuckles, "Sorry, but I don't think it's a good idea. Reprocussions notwisthstanding, I'd rather not see our current tentative frnedship come across any undue duress," he grins
Samantha makes a face as her nose is poked, then lifts a slender hand to paw at it cutely. "Heeey!" She lowers her hand and pouts a bit, "An' of course I do.. haven't had a single chance to use those things yet.. apart from... yeah." She rubs at the back of her neck, then hops forward and pecks Alex on the cheek, spinning to latch onto his side when this is done, "So what's been up?" (You guys are friends? Since when?)
Johnny squints a moment at Alex's words, "Wait... friendship? Alright, just for that I oughta use this thing..." With a huge grin he tosses it in the air again and then calmly hands it over to Samantha. "Anyways, can we get this thing over with?"
The mechanic has been ignoring the jet and the grenade-flicking, too busy looking over those two nigh-on eight foot tall powered suits, done up with vibrant - and imposing - shark motifs.
Alex chuckles softly, about to say something, but any wouldbe smartass remark is cut off by Sam as she pecks him on the cheek, his face redenning a bit. Shaking it off after a moment he raises a brow and asks curiously, "Get what voer with?"
Johnny guestures over to the bar, "Um.... the impending lack of weaponry..."
A small kid comes running from towards the apartments. At best he's probably only about 13. Constantly looking over his shoulder he doesn't see Sammy and bumps into her, falling back onto his rear.
Samantha blinks and frees up a hand to take the grenade.. tucking it back into her body-warmer, then curls the hand around Alex's arm again and nods to Johnny, giggling, "Sure thing.. if y'don't-uh. Hey.." she looks back over her shoulder as she says the last, and then smiles apologetically at Alex, untangling herself and going over to the boy, squatting down and offering a gloved hand to help him up. "You okay?"
Alex blinks in surprise as Sammy suddenly lets go and turns around. Following her he looks down at the kid, eyebrow raised curiosuly. (What the?)
Samantha shifts her hand a little closer, tilting her head to one side, "Ne..?"
The kid looks up at Samm, wide eyed like a deer caught in headlights. In a flash he's up on his feet an dbolting once again with speed that'd make any ninja proud, disappearing into the badlands shortly after.
Johnny blinkblinks, "Um... what was that about?"
"H-hey!" The nekogirl's eyes widen and she makes a grab for the boy, staggering a little as she misses.. and promptly shoves herself to her feet, taking off after - fast, but no way near what she is capable of. And consequently being outrun...
Alex frowns as he sees the kid take off into the badlands. He's quick to follow after Sammy and the kid. Well this sure has a nasty feeling written all ove rit, now doesn't it?
Johnny glances around and shrugs his shoulders, breaking off into a run he yells out, "Hey, wait up!"
Samantha glances at Alex and curses, "Dammit... just a sec.." she turns back to face the Badlands, throwing her hands up in front of her face and locking the fingers together. She goes totally still, breath evening out.. chest rising and falling smoothly.. then slowly lowers her hands and opens her eyes. "Right. Alex.. listen out fer me, I'll call ya... 'k?" She nods curtly and with that takes off, form blurring this time as she takes off after the kid. Unless the child happens to be Son Goku or Hyuuga Neji, she should have a fair chance at catching him before anything can happen.
Alex promptly stumbles a bit as Sammy takes off in a flash of light, "You gotta be kidding me!" he mutters as he resumes running, trying to catch up, and obviosuly failing miserably.
Johnny catches up to Alex just as he takes off again. Out of breath he stops for a second. "Damnit... this is stupid..." Digging out his goggles he puts them on and sighs before he takes off to try to catch up to them again.
Sighting the young boy some way on, the blurred nekogirl smirks and drops to a crouch, feet digging into the ground and throwing up a stream of dust as she skids about in a U-turn, fading into full visibility as she turns to face the errant child with her hands thrown out to either side. "Nuh uh, kiddo.. not on my watch." She winks, remaining otherwise totally still, but tense and ready to shift position at the briefest notice.
Just as Sammy passes by the kid he seems to simply vanish from sight, not even leaving any furhter footprints, as if he simply ceased to exist in that moment. (goddamn I hate doing crap like this)
Samantha blinks slowly and springs forward, another thunderous wave of dust scattering out around her as she spins around to search for the vanished kid. "Kiddin' me... what's with this place and teleporting!" She sighs angrily and straightens up, reaching back to untie her hair. (Well, he got away.. just have'ta pray he doesn't end up dying I guess...)
Johnny goans as he finaly runs out of steam. Stumbling to a stop he plops down on the ground and cusses. "Damnit..."
Samantha stands looking out across the rubble-strewn landscape for a few moments, then starts to walk back towards the guarded lot of the Exchange. Spotting Johnny on the ground nearby she heads across, "Hey.... sorry, lost him anyway."
Johnny sits gasping for breath. "Shit just isn't fair. I feel so damn weak..."
Samantha blinkblinks, and moves to sit down beside Johnny, leaning back on a fallen slab of concrete, "How d'ya mean?" She asks quietly, tipping her head to one side with a small frown.
Johnny leans back and sighs, "Ever since I got back I've been so messed up. My eyes won't focus right, my hearings been off. Now I'm all outta breath. What the hell is wrong with me?"
Samantha raises an eyebrow, "Um... you died?" Okay, so it sounds vaguely heartless, even from the caring nekogirl.. but it's true. "Might have somethin' to do with it..."
Johnny nods, "Yeah.. your probably right.... but I can't shake the feeling that somethings diffrent... something feels wrong..."
Samantha rubs at the back of her neck, "In yer head or in yer heart?"
Johnny stares confused about the comment for a moment. "Well... it's quiet. I don't know how else to describe it... Like something is suddenly missing..."
Samantha lets her one hand hang loosely at the nape of her neck, the other brushing across her left breast, "Like.. like part of you's missing... like someone's.. taken part of you away?"
Johnny blinks, "Um... You know, I don't know." Standing he brushes himself off, with a very emotionless voice he then says, "I'm gonna have to think about that... I should... I should probably get going..."
Samantha scrambles quickly to her feet, "No.. wait..." she blinks at Johnny, then steps forward, rises up on her toes and puts her arms around him. "I.. don't mind talking. Not after whatcha did for me..."
Johnny shakes his head and slowly pulls away from her. "I just... I dunno... Somethings not right. When I was dead, did anyone mention hearing or seeing anything unusual?"
Samantha steps back and blinks, shaking her head, "Well.. no... except me an' Cale I think.. I think nobody noticed ya." She gives a wry grin, and reaches back to shake out her hair, "I reckon a few thought I was plain mad for insistin' you weren't quite gone..."
Johnny looks away and absentmindedly mumbles, "...that wasn't what I ment..." Looking back at Sam he forces a smile, "Well... hey, it's probably nothing. I really do gotta head home. I got some wrighting to do..."
Samantha tilts her head with a concerned frown.. staying silent for a moment before she straightens up and nods, offering a smile. "No prob.. mind if I ask what kinda stuff ya write?"
Johnny blinks, "Um... nothing important. I've just been writing in my journal again..."
Samantha giggles softly, looking down, "Oh. Guess I.. won't ask'ta read it then. Thoughtcha might write poetry or somethin'..." She shrugs. looks up and lifts her hand, waving a bit. "Guess I'll see ya soon, then.. oh! Did I getcha my number?"
Johnny starts to chuckle at the thought of poetry, before he can comment though he hears her continue and stares confused, "Number? For what, like a phone or something? Won't do me any good, I ain't got a phone..."
Samantha blushes faintly, "Oh! G-gomen nasai.. thought ya might. Ne'mind. So.. seeya soon anyway, I mean.. not like ya don't know where to find me right?" She waves again, smiling.
Johnny can't help but smile seeing someone else smile so happily, "Alright, yeah... yeah I do. Um... your really ok, right? I've been kinda thinking I went a bit too far the other night..."
Samantha shakes her head quickly, "Don't -ever- think that.. what you did then... I know it sounds so stupid, but.. I needed that. My whole life, all I've ever had was praise, my surrogate mom, my tutors, an' now Jack an' Raven, Sun-chan... it's like I'm some kinda perfect person." She shrugs happily, "You taught me I wasn't, but that.. mebbe I can be. If I try hard enough. You did me a real favour..." she giggles, touching the gem on her collarbone, "Even if it took stabbin' me in the back to do it."
Johnny chuckles, "Yeah... but I hate being a backstabber. So, I'll catch you later then?"
Samantha grins, winking, "'Course ya will. I'm not goin' anywhere..."
Johnny nods and gives a half wave, "Alright, till next time then..."
Samantha waves again before she turns around and hops onto the concrete slab behind her, squatting down and taking up a half-lotus, hands held in her lap and eyes close.. smiling still as she slips into a meditative trance.
Johnny watches Samantha for a moment with a grin before walking off towards home...