From the inescapable darkness of the entrance to a fairly brightly lit room, your eyes most likely take a moment to adjust. Or not. Who the heck am I to tell you what your eyes are doing? I'm just a stupid narration. The paint scheme in here is a messy, splotchy mix of black and red. It looks as though the original paint was all black and perhaps someone decided to 'art' the place up a tad with some red highlights. It doesn't do much for the decor, to tell you the truth. A single pane of windows lie on either side of a very plain looking brown desk in the middle of the room. Yeah, nothing special about it. It's a desk. Cope. A non-descript black office chair lies just behind that desk. Nothing special about it either. There seems to be a theme here. - Off to one side is what appears to be a secretaries desk, which may or may not be manned. A single workstation with an LCD monitor and attached keyboard seems to be the only thing adorning the desk usually, although whomever is currently playing the role might very well spruce it up. - In the back of the room are a set of stairs that lead upward to another section of the building.
A darkened shadow spreads over the doors and windows of Dante's Devil May Cry establishment. For the briefest of moments it would seem that the world had plunged into the darkest of nights without even a street lamp to reveal the outside world. Of course just as soon as it catches the eye, the illusion is gone and a tall figure stands at the door. Having to kneel slightly, the tall figure raps his knuckles against the glass slowly and methodically and then once more stands straight again. One would assume this isn't a social call.
Dante is probably just hanging out on his chair. He likes his chair...and his desk...and pizza....ooh, AND breasts. He LOVES breasts. They're j-What are we doing again? Oh, someone's knocking! Gotcha. He pops open an eye, disturbed from his dream of boobies, and yells over. "Come on in! The water's fiiiiine."
The door opens up and for a moment the darkened silhouette of the devil is all that can be made out. Somehow, despite his blackened eyes, his gaze appears as bright as the sky behind him as though a large cutout was standing there instead. Illusions, as mentioned before, only seem to last a moment before he kneels again and makes his way into the office. Senior Diablo glances around the room looking taller than usual today. Everything seems to be beneath him at the moment, and the expression on his face matches that. Once his gaze falls on Dante a brow raises and the elder demon smiles. "Good afternoon, Dante of Sparda." He approaches the desk looking at it with morbid curiosity. "'OF Sparda' is such a terrible end of a name, but the old ways are still the more formal ways." Is he going somewhere with this?
Dante huhs. He grins, offering a thumbs up. "Well, if it isn't the big D himself. It's always more intimidating when you're the smaller D, I suppose. Ah well. Good ta see ya!" He sits up a bit more straight, however, because usually when THIS guy shows up...something big's going on indeed. He rests an elbow on his thigh and peers up at S_D. "So, what can I do for ya? Social visits never seemed like your cup o' tea."
Senior Diablo blinks at the statement. "No. No they're not." He folds his hands behind his back. "If this where social I would have shown up in one of my more childish ways. Bouncing around as a cheerleader is always amusing when the Maniac is around." He leans over the top of the desk and lowers his voice, "He's afraid of them, you know." Diablo stands straight once more. "But of course I do that here and you'd likely ignore the rest of what I had to say." Well. It's true.
Dante hmphs. "Oh yeah? You think showing up here as a hottie, bouncing around with a short skirt on, would distract me from th-... ... Yeah, you're right. I'm gettin' distracted just thinking about it." He blinks...leans over and whispers. "That's TOTALLY out of the question at this point, right?"
The devil sighs and shakes his head. "Not at this time." Letting his words hang in the air, Diablo starts to look around at the general state of the room, frowning at Dante's influence and clutter. "I warned you I'd be watching you, Dante. You've acquired quiet the collection of... employees." The word seems to roll off his tongue like a rotten piece of meat. "But I've not seen you take any cases. Nothing 'serious' at least. Wasn't that your goal? Patrol the streets or what not? Resume your 'detective' work? At this point it seems more like you're at the early stages of starting an army." He does his best to stand taller somehow so that he's looking down at Dante even more-so. "Is this your goal? A private army to enforce your ideas upon the masses? This has been tried before, you know. The old council had need of such a service..." He smiles wickedly, "That's why I disbanded it." He turns away, still smiling. "Do I need to disband this?" Is it getting darker outside?
Dante pffts. He shakes his head. "For the love of....can you STOP being paranoid for just 5 seconds? Look, I get that you've had folks gunnin' for ya a lot. Ok, great. That ain't me or what I'm about. NO I'm not amassin' some kind of army. Also, WHAT ideals? Pizza and booze for everyone?" He sighs, rubbing the back of his head. "Actually, what ended up happening was that your little townscape here is USED to running scared. They don't say a damn thing and I've only JUST now gotten the staff I need to even start patrols. Maybe if YOU guys had something resembling a decent police force, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. As it stands, I'm still working out a schedule. We're going to start in on patrols soon, though, so if ya keep your spankies from twisting up for a bit...
Senior Diablo turns and scoffs. "Patrols? What are you going to call them? Dante's Devils? Have them roam around in bikinis and solve mysteries?" He holds up a hand dismissively as he tilts his head to the side. "No, no. That could work. Put it on prime time with advertisements for Pizza Cats Pizza and Brain Freezies!" Once more he puts his hands behind his back. "If you really cared about this city and really wanted to see them not waste their time spending every moment afraid of demonic attack or invaders from other dimensions WHY DON'T YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? You live here too." The light outside seems to take on a reddish tint, like fires burning on the horizon. "I gave you the authority to step in and do what needed to be done, did I not? This building. Your freedoms? But you've done NOTHING. You can't even name your 'team'!" He stops his rant as he reaches the corner of the desk again, having paced around the room during his speech. "Well, Dante of Sparda. Might I make a suggestion for that? How about..." His eyes shine as he leans down once again. "....TASK?"
Dante lets SD go off on his rant. He doesn't look terribly impressed...but he DOES look a bit confused as he starts to tirade. After leans in, Dante narrows his eyes JUST a little...and then grins. Widely. He knows what's going on NOW. He's not ALL too clever, but he's smarter than he appears. He leans in a bit, "Ahhh. NOW I getcha, tall, dark and brooding. I wondered why the fuck you decided to just come barreling in here one day and start complaining." He leans back, regarding the self-proclaimed master of this little area. He rubs his chin thoughtfully. "I gotta say though, if you want me to become an official 'TASK' force, ya could of asked a LOT more nicely. I'm not easy to guilt trip." He ehs, rubbing the back of his head. "Ok, fine. I accept...but that means NO more paranoia with any future recrutin' I do, yeah?"
The devil chuckles as the light outside returns to normal once again. "Why would I bother to do anything the easy way? Where's the fun in that?" Relaxing and loosing at least a half foot in height, he plucks a wineglass out of the air and sips. "Oh, no. You'll be in charge of recruiting. You can have that responsibility. I do have to warn this comes with a few other responsibilities, but in exchange for agreeing you'll have direct access to Gegoshi and the TASK building we've been preparing. You are, I assume, familiar with the previous organization and its original duties?" He takes another sip. "It is important that you do, as you'll also have to deal with some of its aftermath..."
Dante huhs. He peers at the wine-glass...and grins. "That's a GOOD idea. I can see why you're the leader." He taps the table with a foot. "Darlin', get me a beer wouldja?" Inexplicably, one comes floating in from upstairs. He pops the cap on the table and chugs it real quick. He looks more content after that. "Uh, tell ya the truth...I might have to go over a few details." He doesn't say anything else for a second...and then grins a bit. "When you say...ACCESS to Gegoshi..."
Senior Diablo ignores the apparition and sighs at the question. "Don't get your hopes up. Since she was turned over to me she's become obsessed with this act of being a loyal and obedient wife no matter how many times I've told her I already have one." He shakes his head. "Anyways, the previous TASK was, as I've said, a private army for the previous Council. It was TASK'd, " Ugh, "with policing the portals leading to worlds deemed off-limits in fear of 'contamination'. No matter how many times I tried to explain, they would not accept the idea that worlds are connecting and nothing save for the lazy hand of God would be able to stop this from happening." He finishes off his drink and releases his glass, letting it fall into wherever it had come from. "Those found guilty of breaking those rules were hunted and captured like animals and forced to serve on TASK as its newest members." The devil frowns, "You can see where that would be a problem?
Dante grumbles. "Fuck yeah I can see this being a problem. You already HAVE a wife and the hot AI thing is now off limits even THOUGH t-....Oh, the TASK thing? Yeah, yeah. I get it." He folds his arms. "Apartheid by any other name is still just as shitty, huh? So, lemme guess...the locals don't trust the whole idea at all. We're going to have to earn their trust back by NOT being assholes. That about sum it up?"
Shaking his head at the comments about Gegoshi, Diablo's smile returns when Dante mentions 'the locals'. "Well..." He crosses his arms once more before continuing. "You're familiar with the phrase, 'History is written by the victors?' Winston Churchill, I believe. There is a reason I've kept TASK at bay this past year or so. Give people a story and with no evidence to the contrary, they have no reason not to believe it. People will accept a new TASK so long as it takes the place of the old one. It's motives can be different, but as long as it looks the same to them they won't think twice about showing them the same respect." He reaches out suddenly, plucking a random sheet of paper from Dante's desk with the tips of his nails and gazes over it. "They don't disrespect it because no one remembers that they had reason to." With another shake of his head he places it back where he found it. "That said you may also have newcomers arrive who were employed by the previous organization. You'll have to decide what to do with them."
Dante huhs. Shrugging, he offers a thumbs up. "Gotcha. Well, I'm not a HUGE fan of dirty laundry, but...it sounds like it'll work out just about as well as we can expect." He cracks his shoulder and peers out the only window set in the office. "You can be sure that anyone who wants to work the program are NOT going to be another fucking terror squad. Terrorism has just become a serious crime 'round these parts." He looks back at SD and smiles. "I think we've got an understandin' here, though."
Senior Diablo smiles again as well, "Excellent. But there is one last matter that must be discussed so that there's no misunderstandings later. This one is a little selfish, I must admit. I am a being of balance and at times I must step over both sides of the line." Is he actually sulking a little to admit that? "I need from you, more than anything, is obedience and an air of discretion. There will be times when I ask you to do something that may seem contradictory or wrong. I need you to trust there is a reason and not question it." He straightens again and with a sigh he bellows, "I swear by all that is holy or unholy that my goals are to the betterment of Twisted, even if I have to mask them behind actions which seem shady at best." Once more his hands are folded behind his back. "I may need you to carry out some of those instructions or defend my actions even when the situation is hopeless. If you can do this for me I will grant you the authorization to release anyone," somehow his voice echoes around the room as he repeats the word again, "ANYONE, whom I've imprisoned for any reason. A full pardon, at your discretion." Diablo unfolds his arms and offers his hand to be shaken. "...so do we still have a deal?
Dante stares at SD for just a bit there. His smile has long faded. He says nothing for just a few moments. ... He speaks after just a moment of thought. Without the smell of acrid smoke in the air, it's hard to tell that the hamster was flying about its wheel...but..."Ya know, Tabi always seemed to trust you too. I like that kid." ... "Alright. You have a deal. I'll stick myself right in that big ole' chain of command you got goin', in return for bein' able to release or pardon anyone I think you're fucking with for no reason." ... "...I find out that this is one big old screwjob, despite my little pea-brain telling me OTHERWISE...well, short skirt ain't gonna save ya at THAT point. Knowing THAT..." He grins a bit, doing a DECENT imitation of SD himself. "Do we still have a deal?" ...Well, it IS Dante.
Diablo smiles as his form melts into a red-tinted woman with fiery hair in a dark red tight fitting business suit, short skirt and all. She walks around his desk, sitting on the edge of it and making sure Dante can see the buttons on the blouse straining, "I would expect no less, hotstuff." She offers a well-manicured hand to shake (red nails of course). "But ya still gotta shake on it." With a laugh her voice and appearance switch back to a now badly posed devil who pushes himself off the desk and offers his hand again. "Contracts have to be finalized. You know how it goes. No tricks. No traps. I've laid my hand on the table before you. If you discover otherwise you may break our contract - but remember that without me, you'll lose control of TASK. Other than that, what happens is entirely up to you."
Dante huhs. He quirks an eyebrow. He reaches over and shakes the proffered hand. "Fair enough. I think we understand each other. ..." After the handshake is over, he grins widely. "On the other hand, I make NO promises about ANY correlations between that last form o' yours and anything resembling spank material. If that makes ya feel dirty? Well...then my work here is done." All business, as usual.
With his eyes flashing silver, as they do every time he shakes someone's hand, Senior Diablo pulls his hand away leaving a fancy looking keycard in Dante's palm. "I have enough to deal with without worrying about someone's fantasies." He twirls suddenly, turning back into the young woman as she walks backwards towards the door. "That'll get you inside. Let Gegoshi know if ya need somethin' else." She actually blows him a kiss and laughs once again. "Do a good job, D, and maybe I'll come back ta see ya like this later." With a wink she simply dissolves into her own shadow, vanishing without a trace. Sometimes it seems like Diablo enjoys his job way too much, doesn't it?