The warehouse loomed against the limpid dawn light like a ribcage rotten and forgotten. It was like so many in old towns where the mining flattened mountains till nothing but dust and destroyed dreams remained. It was a great beast of a structure, surmounting the cracked concrete concourse it sat upon with dark fingers scratching at the sky like a seeksorrow tearing its own heart out. Yet this cathedral of pain held pelf in its putrid core, for the purveyor of truth was rumoured to nest within a wreath of wires and a tangle of lies. One Kyo, who now was sought out through the mandatory means of the daily seeker, trudging upon the broken cobbles through the abandoned district. Whiffs of rancid smoke issued out of the warehouse's carcass, and the seeker followed these, and the tell-tale leylines of linearly-cracked dirt that told of power lines, heading into the building to sustain its life-support. Occasionally, the building wheezed or crankled like a dying man, and the clanging wrought-iron under the seeker's hard heels echoed uncomfortably and soullessly with the other sounds of the building that was supposed to be dead. It had been condemned long ago, and yet it still remained to live in this indignity, perhaps through some twisted miracle, the miracle of the information broker.
"You are to go find him out," warned the shadowy man of power to the seeker. Kirito had threatened him, and so the man went deeper into the darkness. "You are not to speak of me. I am a secret, bookseller. Your plight with the sumiyoshi is to be your own despite my money which funds you. Above all else, I am not to be known." What tragedy! What deception! But poor Watanabe did not have enough himself to battle the iniquity, and when sent on this dangerous task, he had to rely on his own faith in that which was good and right to sustain him in the valley of death. Past wrecked-out columns he trod, past defiled bastions of industry and hope, and through doors of broken glass which crushed and threatened to rip his suit, the best he could muster to meet someone who could kill him with a thought. He followed the map the drug-dealer had given him. Through all these hidden corridors he crept, culminating at this door. He knocked thrice, and pulled the cord as instructed. And he waited.
A large room empty of all save his consultation area and a schizophrenic media center was where the road led to. Flickering eyes on flickering screens, a quiet squeak was the only echo of sound with the weight of a small body leaning to the left. Deft fingers inked in an incongruous tongue bashed off excess ash, eyelashes face forward. Pixelated moans and screams echoed through broken and unbroken ears alike and kyo pressed pause. Leisurely leaning back, he absently reached around to rub at the pinched pressure points in his neck. Seven hours and the sickly sheen of a faceless thirteen year old project on his face stared at the camera lens with full whites.
A quiet sigh and he glanced at the mounted digital overhead his piles of moniters, vcrs, dvd players flashed solid time. Shoving the cigarette back in his mouth, he stretched fingertips to his switchboard. New black and whites filled squares, the figure of an expected man followed in his approach by uncanny surveillance. A deep pull, release curling greyblue from flat nostrils and the headphones came off. Too many years had he staked this concrete monolith as his own, too much time on his hands once the powers that be realized he would never be able to handle a gun. As far as they knew.
Under foul armada, kyo rose from his chair. In the time it took his guest to approach and give the desired cat call, his workspace was cleared of pregnable materials, locked away in a safe box under his desk. Of course, these were only copies of originals. Security films left on for shits, his consultation area of a ratty couch and metal folding chairs was pristine. He slid a t-shirt on as he moved, pants grabbed up on the way to the giant sliding door that gave entry to this section of his jail. Jeans jerked up, zippered and unbuttoned, he hadn't bothered with socks.
Unlocking, he grabbed a handle as long as his body and yanked. The exposed slit was filled with his body, dark eyes dark lidded and brushing over his guest's face. A moment of quiet was left for observation and then he stepped back, jerked the door open a few more cracks for the other man's ease. "Come on in."
"Thank you fer this conference, sir." A garbled and nasal kansai voice came from a man who despite being dressed as best as he could, hhid behind not only his affected voice, but sunglasses and a pull-down hat as well. Perhaps afraid for someone to pick him out on his way to the warehouse? His form was hunched, afraid and timid, and he clutched close a briefcase whose contents were all too transparent. "You... you got mah message, right?" He stood just inside the doorway, almost clinging to his one means of escape.
kyo stayed near the door, a hand wandering from gripping the vertical handle to break rolled paper from skin. Streaming invisible in the florescents twined now in streaks of optimistic sunlight, his words took color between them. He gestured vaguely to the area where the couch crouched in wait. "Mm. Get in before I can shut the door."
"Arigh'..." The man scurried in, and seeing the ratty couch, paused a short while, mouth wrinkling before hastily sitting down. "Mr. uh... Kyo, I'm uh... I'm Watanabe. And uh... can... we... I suppose talk about... this?" The man spent a great deal of time fingering over the locks of the briefcase, eyes following Kyo as the strange carnage-dweller lurked around the room.
The door slid shut with a grunt, locks back in place with the imperceptible speed of a relationship grown deep with time. It was then he turned around, observed the new figure to help him inadequately fill the space. "That's what you're here for. What exactly can I do for you, Watanabe?" The cigarette was abandonded, dropped to the cement and pressed out with the ball of his foot. kyo joined him, sliding into a folding chair dragged a few inches closer to the couch.
"I need... I need information on the..." Watanabe gulped, putting on a face like he really did not wish to be there nor did he wish to say this out loud. "The Sumiyoshi-kai. They destroyed mah life, and I want 'em to pay. I gots the money."
For a moment, he didn't know whether to be amused or irritated.
So he opted for a blank face, right hand flitting to casually rub at his nose before dropping lifeless to his thigh. "Your request needs to be more specific. I don't orchestrate the fulfillment of vendettas. What exactly are the sorts of things you want found?" Direct, blunt, but it was his house. He knew the wiring systems the same as the veins pulsing through his hands. Midnight eyes bore into the taller man seated and sweating, waiting with limited patience.
Watanabe nodded, opening the briefcase a crack, and pulling out a folder. "Ah've compile da list of mah needs right here, the peoples all ordered in list of impurtance. You'll git 8 mil' as a down payment righ' now, and I has it here." He handed over the folder forcefully, hands shaking at the end of the arc. From behind his glasses, thin eyes observed and calculated the short man before him, swooping to the sides to take in the room as well.
Calm, cold hands accepted the various papers shoved at him, the right corner of his generous mouth twitching skywards. He took a moment to scan, the money left centered in his lap and uncounted in favor of black font. "Hm." Twice scanned and the folder flipped closed, dropped by his feet for a cursory flip through the money.
It was for show. With something like this, he'd have been tempted even if it were comp. Those thoughts stayed between himself and the money, replaced in it's packaging and in quiet hands as he looked back over at the other. Their eyes met and he held them for as long as he could stand it. Then they dropped focus, zeroed in on a nose broken with glasses. "I assume then you want to negotiate depending on what I find?"
The locked gaze from Kyo's deep black eyes was met with a bit of fire leaking through the glasses. "Indeedly. You have mah contact information in thar, and I assure you you'll be paid well fer what ya give. Base rate one mil, work up from it. That sound awright?" Parted from his money though not a fool, Watanabe sat stiff, scrutinizing the movements of his host in this cluttered environment.
Too long, it have been entirely too long. Crossing the right over left, kyo fingered the package in his lap thoughtfully. Clouded by not absent, he blinked gradually. Rammifications, consequences, new frontiers, fuckability. The fresh throbbing if teeth sunk and slowly peeling back through unseen flesh began and kyo's faint smile grew more lopsided.
He nodded, irises briefly bobbing back up to meet the man's eyes. "Works fine for me. Is there a time frame other than as soon as possible?"
"Ya have it." The leaner man nodded to the ASAP timeframe, hat bobbing and glasses falling down slightly to expose almond eyes that stared up in startled shame at their nakedness before Watanabe replaced his glasses. "Anythin' else you need?"
A timely tilt to the left, the movement of his head somewhat unusual. kyo considered this, taking the time to let his eyes curiously wander over his guest again, staving off the voices crawling under his skin. He made berch once more with those eyes, then predictably dropped back down to more comfortable contact with the man's blind nose. "Not yet. I'll contact you immediately if I do."
"Good, then we have a settlement." Watanabe stood off the couch eagerly and bowed to his host, waiting to be let out. "I look forward to yer informasheeun."
kyo returned the bow once back on his own feet, within the boundaries of polite. Flesh shuffled against concrete and kyo's fingers butterflied the locks visible and otherwise back open. His body opened back up towards his guest, waiting with a ready hand curled around the handle. It was only then he spoke again, thin and cracking tenor. "I'll get you what you want."
"I expect that." The voice was icy, surprisingly devoid of insecurity. The seeker exited the door in a march, retracing his steps up the way he had come down without ever looking back towards hades. Every step away from that corpse of a building and its disgusting interior both calmed and inflamed him. As the morning shone through the clenched fingers of iron, he headed towards the sun at a smart pace, only pausing when he had left the concrete monstrosity behind, cocooning himself in the comforting dark of an alleyway with no one around. Hands reached to his shoulders, tight and insistent.
"You have done well, now it is time to devest those filthy garments from that pit of squalor." Kirito smiled, crushing Watanabe and shuttling them both back to base. This trip would prove to be useful beyond all of his reckonings, just like the cameras implanted in the glasses and the recorder under the hat.Every bit of information about the place would be extraced, gleaned from Watanabe's recollections, processed and stored. Kyo would be doing some watching, indeed, but the Kumicho of the sixth Yamaguchi never gave up wanting to know ALL that he could, and that included analyzing from whence his information broker came. But what to do with Watanabe afterwards? After all, the man knew too much. Well, thought Murata, just like anyone else who knows too much, Watanabe will have to be exterminated, although using the man was entertaining while it lasted.