Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

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Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:58 pm

Han hammered on Ace's office door. He knew down the hall various new agents were around, and he would probably go seek them out at some point soon, but for now, there was only one person in the building he had any desire to converse with.

"Ace! Open up, I need a word with you!" He half shouted through the door.
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:09 pm

The sound of Han's voice and the hammering were enough to bring Ace out of his fugue for the moment. He hastily swept some data-pads into a draw before replying, his voice raised to be heard through the door and the pounding of the Agent outside.

"Han. It's not locked. Stop trying to knock the door down."
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:14 pm

Han's eyes opened slightly as he reached down and opened the door.

"Ah...sorry, I've gotten used to people locking their doors when I go to talk to them." He stepped inside and gave Ace a friendly nod.

"So...how've you been since...well, you know?"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:37 pm

Ace's expression was set, his usual friendly face gone. It didn't even light up as Han, quite probably the closest friend he had, came into the room. At the other Agent's words his eyes narrowed slightly.

"Han, I don't want to talk about what happened. I don't want to think about it. I want to get on with my life. I want to get on with planning missions, creating problems and stealing things that don't belong to us." He took a deep breath in and slowly let it out, in a vaguely meditative gesture. His head hung slightly as he suddenly looked very tired.

"Honestly, not so good. How about you?"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:51 pm

"I know the feeling. I keep walking around Phoenix expecting to...well, you know. I've been trying to meditate, to focus on the matters at hand, but it's not exactly great. Of course, having Phoenix dumped into my lap isn't exactly a lot of fun either." He paused. "Three days, running the company and someone has already resigned..."

His face was definitely one of someone who needed a break.
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:58 pm

Ace gestured to one of the chairs in the room.

"Sit down Han. You have come here hammering on the door and needing to speak to me, so you must have something important on your mind. Why don't you tell me about it?"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:41 pm

Han sat, slouching in a fashion that would be all but impossible for most people in tactical assault armour. "Mostly, I just wanted to see how you were and talk. I mean, you've not been back in Phoenix since the mission to rescue Jin, and well, I miss talking with you. With Xu gone, Darya off doing her thing, Ida off who knows where and all the mercs now treating me like their boss...you're pretty much the only friend I've got left in the world these days."

He placed a hand over his face, fingertips pressing gently into his forehead. "Doesn't help that I feel like I'm flailing in the dark sometimes, blindly reacting so much to everything that I have no chance to see the big picture..."
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:26 am

"Oh, well... I'm sorry. Han. I just.. couldn't go back. I've been avoiding.. it. You as well, I suppose."

Ace sat straight in his chair and looked at Han for a moment silently before speaking again. His features had softened slightly at Han's admission of friendship, but there was still something a little off about Ace and there was a hint of quiet rate burning behind his eyes.


"I was worried that you'd charge off after Aso and get yourself killed. I'm glad you didn't Han. But I still don't want to talk about.. those things." A moment’s pause. "How is Jin?"

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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:19 am

"Yeah, well, there was a reason I was sitting in the car away from the auction. You know as well as I do, I'd have charged that son of a bitch full force and got myself killed. As it was, chasing Aso was pretty much impossible from where I was, he could have left the Interchange from any of the exits or entrances." There was a note of bitterness undercutting everything Han said, suggesting a belief in everything he said, but a colossal dissatisfaction with it.

"Jin's okay...physically, at least, she's a bit shaken up over everything, but with everything that happens, we've not really had much of a chance to talk." He paused, and then sighed.

"Truth be told, I've been avoiding the conversation. I mean, things were awkward enough before...I'm her boss now. What am I supposed to do?"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:05 am

"Nothing, Han. You do nothing. The most important thing right now is to keep up morale, having a relationship with a superior does not help that. It breeds resentment towards both of you." There was a hint of regret in Ace's voice, as though his words were coming from experience. "There will be other people, Han, other times. You have a long life a head of you. Focus on your work."

Ace was looking at Han quite intently at this point, with a strange focus in his eyes.

"Forget about Aso, what he did was entirely legal and he is untouchable by us. And unless you can dig up anything on him there isn't a reason to try for him."
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:13 am

"You know, somehow, I feel doing nothing is probably not the best course of action, letting things like that hang without some kind of conclusion is generally a bad plan. But I take your meaning, you make a good point." He sighed.

"If only wishing away feelings was as simple as realising it was better not to have them."

Another faint sight escaped his lips as he flexed his arms behind his head. "But enough about my personal drama, what have you been up to of late?"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:04 am

"I've been doing some.. robotics work. Do you remember the droid from.. the factory? Bounty Hunter's been interesting and I've been trying to help construct a new body. I've been finding things to do. I might have a lead on a mission, although most things I look at or try get quickly removed so I don't want to say too much, I'm sure you understand."

The best way to describe how Ace looked at that moment was weary. Whether that was simple tiredness or a world weariness over the course life had taken was difficult to tell, but not too hard to infer.
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:03 am

"Yeah...that robot was weird. Despite him being involved in...everything... but he was so... innocent, so lacking in any kind of malice that I find it hard to be angry at him. He's just out to collect bounties, thats all he seems to want. I don't know what to do with that."

Han let a faint smile cross his face briefly, before returning to his previous solemn expression.

"How are you handling the war? You must have a lot of friends fighting in it, right?"

"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:16 am

"Friends?" For some reason Ace looked a little confused by this. "I.. never really made any friends back home. They only took a few people in from my class at school, and I don't think any of them were sent to the Academy. And I didn't make friends very easily there either, I wasn't very good company for a while after my parents died. I focused on training. There is Sanchez, I suppose, but he is more of a money grubbing weasel than a friend, and he'll be as far away from the front as he can manage. Last I checked he was guarding a public office of some sort in Detroit."

His expression turned to a frown as he hands idly twitched something that was probably akin to mumbling to oneself in Sign.

"I'm finding it hard to care. I know there is a war, and I know that it is bad. I know people are in the middle and dying, but..."

"I was in Keelung. I saw the fighting first hand. I was part of the resistance. Yet now it is a battleground again.. I should care. But I jusst. don't."

Ace's eyes glassed over as he stopped talking with his gaze some 4 inches to the side of Han and very far away.
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:16 pm

"I think I get where you're coming from. This war...it just feels like...it feels like we're watching the opening band, and the main event is just round the corner. I just...I'm finding it hard to process that the Ai-Jinn and Western Federation are actually going at it. I mean, on, the one hand, I'm finding it really hard to be sympathetic to either of the factions, but mostly, I'm just horrified at how many people are gonna killed in this. And then you have people like that group of bounty hunters fanning the flames...something really big, bigger then a war is gonna happen if this doesn't let up, and it's going to ruin a lot of folks days."
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:07 pm

Ace's head lowered slightly, as if a little ashamed as Han talked about bounty hunting. "Yeah, I didn't really consider that bounty hunting like that would cause such a stir. I guess if you are looking for hostile attacks a heavily armed gunship could look like a WF assault." Then he met Han's gaze, a look set just shy of determination but also questioning. "Do you think there is anything we can do to help stop this war?"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:25 pm

"If we could find something, something big, something so embarrassing that we could give it to one side or the UIG to act as leverage and force a settlement for one side or the other, maybe. If I can get some progress on my current investigation I might get something, if our exposure so far to Legacy tech is any indication."

Han paused for a second as the gears in his mind turned. "Wait...how do you know so much about it? I couldn't find any information in the news on the specifics of how it happened. Who passed on that it was a Gunship?"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:42 pm

"I was there, Han. It was my Gunship that destroyed a large chunk of the highway." The hint of remorse returned to his voice as he recounted this information. "In hindsight I wish we hadn't caused so much collateral damage. Highways are expensive."
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:44 pm

There was a large crash as Han, who had been slouching in his chair, slipped and crashed to the floor. He scrambled back up.

"You...that was you? You killed two hundred people?!" Han shouted, his face a perfect mix of surprise and horror. "I...how? Why?"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:51 pm

Ace was somewhat surprised by Han literally falling off his chair in shock. Before he could ask anything or comment Han was shouting. It was Ace's turn to look confused and surprised by this outburst.

"Calm down Han, they were criminals. An Ai Jinn run biker gang that terrorised the highway and robbed convoys. They needed stopping. So I stopped them." The remorse in his voice was gone.
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:03 pm

"Ace...regardless of who they were or what they were doing...they were still people. I'll not try and bullshit here, I've killed people, I'll kill people again, and I won't lose anywhere near as much sleep over it as I should. We're both Agents, it comes with the job. But I've never set out to kill hundreds of people in a single action Ace. Leaving aside the fact that you picked the absolute worst time for it...did you even think as to why most of them were there?"

He stood up and turned around, breathing deeply for a few seconds, before turning to face Ace again. "Ace, of those 200 people there, did you stop to consider how many of them were just scared kids who signed up with a gang cause it was their only chance at escaping the slums and living past their 21st birthday?"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:19 pm

Ace’s eyes narrowed remorselessly as he looked at Han again, revaluating him.

“No, Han. I didn’t stop to consider how many of those depersonalised criminals might have chosen a life of crime over being a productive member of society. Frankly I don’t care. Every one of the 236 people that died had a bounty. The world is a better place without the White Dragons. I’m surprised you are so upset, Han. You hate the Ai Jinn more than anyone I know.”

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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:28 pm

"No, you didn't think." Han's face became furious. "You didn't think at all! What do you think, people turn to crime and join gangs like that because it's fun?! Because they're just evil, is that it?!"

He began pacing back and forth. "What would you know about anything? You grew up in a Spire. A Western Federation Spire at that! You had a warm bed, enough food to live on, an education. You had an environment where the available career paths extended past Criminal and DEAD!" Han practically spat the last word out.

"Most kids, especially Ai-Jinn kids? If we want anything more then surviving, living day to day, we have to join a gang, we have to break the law! BECAUSE THERES NOTHING ELSE LEFT FOR US!"

"I do hate the Ai-Jinn. I hate them with a passion you clearly don't understand. But that doesn't mean I hate the rank and file, the foot soldiers. They're no different to a group of Blackwater mercenaries, but with less pay and worse prospects. The people I hate are the ones putting people like them, people like me, in those situations!"
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  Ace Nizky on Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:57 pm

Ace slowly shook his head. It seemed as if Han’s words were affecting him, and that he was trying to not show it.

"Let me tell you what my education taught me about the Ai Jinn. I grew up with the belief that the Ai Jinn were criminals. That they couldn’t act any differently because they didn't know how and if we could just step in we could help them be better people. I was told that people couldn't live a good life without help, because not everyone were as good a people as Us. If you are telling me that these "kids" couldn't possibly do anything that wasn't a crime, that no honest jobs exist in Ai Jinn controlled territory then you are saying that the Lies I grew up with were right."
His voice had started quiet but was growing in volume and anger as he spoke.

"I've lived here. I've seen plenty of people working an honest day and I've seen people hurt because they want to do the right thing. If these "kids" are choosing a life of crime then they are taking a road that doesn't leave them any less dead than any other. How many people are murdered by the gangs, either in gang warfare on by their own gang? Maybe the Western Federation should win this war and put an end to the gangs once and for all."
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Re: Week 51: Ace gets a visit.

Post  HanJi on Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:18 pm

"You know what the average life entails for someone living in a place like Kowloon? If you didn't join a gang, or become a criminal somehow, you worked 70 hours a week in the factories, no safety, no health care, or anything like that. Remember when you were growing up, and you had people to teach you how to read and write. You say you've spent time here, but you've spent time in Seoul. In a relatively empty, affluent part of Seoul.

You've not been to the hovels where kids starve in the streets, where the closest thing to luxury is catching a rat that hasn't ROTTED YET!

It's got nothing to do with how good they are as people, you sanctimonious twat! You talk like you understand but you don't. DON'T YOU FUCKING DARE TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!

You grew up in the lap of fucking luxury while not a mile from you, I guarantee people were starving. And no, the Ai-Jinn don't have a monopoly on poverty and desperate civilians. But you never saw that, you never lived it. You've never been poor a day in your life, you grew up with everything fucking handed to you."

Han's face was contorted into rage. "I grew up in Kowloon. Alone, dumped in a fucking crate by some assholes who probably died a long time ago. You know what the difference between me and most of those men you set out to massacre like animals is? I got drafted by the Ai-Jinn. That's it. I would have been just another scared, hungry kid who took the offer of a warm meal in exchange for playing lookout and never looked back."
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