Pin sat in his office on the Pixie Blue, going over a stack of smalltime contracts that had come his way. His helmet on the desk beside him, his face was twisted in frustration. Nothing in these contracts was worthy of even the weakest of his Hawks. He'd established the White List as a means of battling high-profile warriors, not chasing cowards who'd skipped out on loans, or killing relentless loan sharks. These contracts were useless.
He'd put out another call once he'd reached Vegeta, seeking more powerful warriors to join up with the List. He tried to remind himself to remain patient. The White List was still new, still getting on its feet. It would take time for the word to get out. In the meantime, he would need to make sure that his doors were open to any and all warriors of skill to join up. Having a long list of operatives would make the White List more enticing.
So he sat in his office, the Pixie's boarding ramp wide open and a sign out front that read "White List: Inquire Within". He was confident that he could handle any low-life trouble makers that might wander in as a result, and could hire anyone too strong for him to beat. He sat, he waited, and he looked over that disappointing stack of paperwork. __________________________________________________ Thread PL 73,060, Beast Lord PL 438,360 Thread takes place in Pin's 5k zeni Shop Zerori
The ship ride back to Vegeta was awkward, and even more so – relentlessly infuriating as she tried her best to keep her mind busy. The saiyans that she’d kidnapped had fought tooth and nail to not be confined to the brig in her ship and (graciously) Zerori allowed them to traverse The Descent for the duration of the trip.
What she wasn’t gracious about and didn’t bother to hide her disdain was the largest and foolhardy saiyaness bearing down on her in her own quarters with invasive questions about the fight. Sitting at her desk, Zerori had her cheek propped against her palm as Courgette stood over the desk with a foul expression on her face. Pelting the hybrid with constant demands, Zerori just sat there with her face schooled in an absent expression.
“You fought an opponent on that planet and based on the sensors-!”
“So you monitored the fight… with the ship sensors you weren’t authorized to use,” Zerori mumbled, interrupting the ranting woman. Courgette, however, paid her no mind.
“The one you were fighting WASN’T the Queen – whom I will add, makes no sense! Kidnapping her subjects with the intent to ransom us off for whatever plans you had in mind...” Zerori once again felt her ire raise and let out a soft ‘tch’.
“Trust me, it won’t happen again…”
“So I demand that you explain your actions to us. Did you, or did you not, assist our Queen on the surface of that planet and did you even succeed?”
And for a full minute Zerori would only stare at the woman, contemplating what kind of reaction she should grace the hot-head with as she, herself boiled inside. What happened after that…?
Walking down the ramp from her ship, Zerori noted some familiar angry faces and provided them a saccharinely sweet smile in response – being on her ‘best’ behavior. With her scouter on her face, once again to keep an ear out for any surprise feeds that could name drop her, the saiyaness paused in her walk when a feed caught her attention. An organization – if it could be called that quite yet – was recruiting actual mercenaries. How such a thing… functioned, she had no idea but there was one thing she enjoyed and that… was money.
And he was offering it.
Giving a shrug, Zerori turned around to find which ship matched the description given in the feed. When the name of ‘Pixie Blue’ caught her attention, she would raise an eyebrow at the name. I… I don’t even care. I just hope he’s strong… She didn’t know the extent of their abilities but if they thought they could keep a band of Mercs in line then it was likely they could hold their own.
Upon entering the ship and walking up it’s ramp Zerori called out, “Hey! Read the ‘Help Wanted’ sign!” She then muttered under her breath as he came into view, “This better be worth my time.”
Seeing the man behind the desk, the hybrid looked him over appreciatively. The helm off to the side was obviously what he wore in battle so she imagined it was rare for her to him this way. Crossing her arms, she would lean her hip against an adjacent wall before giving him a smirk and awaiting his response.
As Pin crumped up yet another written contract request and tossed it towards a wastepaper basket, he heard footsteps coming up the entry ramp of the Pixie. He straightened himself slightly in his chair, readying himself to look at least somewhat respectable. Meanwhile, he scanned the hallway with his scouter. Someone with an extremely impressive power level was heading his way. He sincerely hoped they wanted a job.
When Zerori entered his doorway, he was unsurprised to see that she looked Saiyan. Dark hair, a tail, the whole nine yards. He was on Vegeta, after all. However, on closer inspection he noticed something was off about her eyes. They were blue, with strange slit irises. Not a full-blooded Saiyan, if a Saiyan at all. That was a bit more surprising. No matter. Species didn't matter to Pin.
"Finally. Come in, have a seat. Let's have a chat."
Pin stood, gesturing to one of the chairs that was situated across from his desk. Some warriors scoffed at politeness, but Pin found it unprofessional not to be polite, and in this space he had vowed to always behave like a professional.
"I assume you heard my message. I'm Pin, Lammegeier of the White List. You looking for some mercenary work?"
Upon being offered a seat, Zerori tilted her head to the side curiously. He had good manners, she mused and gave a half-hearted nod before moving over to the chair to sit. Crossing her legs, she would fold her arms behind her head comfortably and settle in. Settled in, she responded to his question with a wave of her hand, “Yeah, the message. I don’t often play well with others but I have been looking for a few good payin’ jobs and since you’re the first on the air waves – figured I’d give you a shot.”
And from what she could tell of his mannerisms and ‘to-the-point’ attitude, she just might have picked a winner.
There was something that was off about him, however but… she just couldn’t catch what it was. Mentally shrugging off whatever it was, she blinked at the odd code name of the leader of this ‘White List’ – which didn’t fail to amuse her. “Llama… Lamer…Gear? Uh…” She grinned at him with a slight drop of sweat down her face at how she flubbed up his name and simply answered his question. “Yeah. Throw it at me – anything you got! You wanna bitch dead, you got it. Want secret plans to bring down the empire,” …Maybe she shouldn’t have said that part. “-Well, any other empire, I’m your mercenary.”
Remembering something important, however, she paused and spoke back up again. “But… and don’t worry, this is the only ‘but’,” She assured him. “Should a mission interfere with my personal life, I reserve the right to decline the mission and/or kill whomever you decide to throw it at after that. Seeing as, you know… it’s my goddamn business.”
Once Zerori sat, Pin followed suit. Whether or not his manners really made any impact, it was worth it to make the effort just in case. If, for some reason, this warrior took offense to the politeness, then odds are they were a loose cannon to begin with and probably a poor fit for the List. However, this woman seemed totally fine with it, so that was a good sign. He smiled, holding back a small laugh as she butchered his title. He'd expected that would happen. He'd probably gone a little too dramatic with his own title, but it was too fuckin' late now.
"You can just call me Pin, or boss, or whatever. It's mostly for the books," he said, dismissing the title altogether. He wanted to remain professional, but there was no reason to remain so rigidly formal. "The job I'm offering isn't a specific mission right this second. Rather, what I'm offering is more like a membership. The White List is a group of fighters and soldiers who are willing to fight for whoever will pay them - within reason, of course."
When Zerori detailed that she would decline anything that went against her personal life, and might actively engage another operative set against her personal life, Pin nodded. This was a conflict he'd anticipated, and he'd given it a fair amount of consideration.
"You're free to decline any assignment I offer you, without explanation. In turn, I'll try to learn what jobs would and would not interest you - for example, if a job comes in to spy on Commander Habana, I probably won't send it your way. At the same time, your conduct when not on a mission for the List is pretty much entirely your business. If you feel the need to engage another List operative in their line of duty, that's your prerogative. I only ask that you do your best not to kill another operative. If you have no other choice, I'll review the situation after the fact to determine if disciplinary action is truly necessary."
He slid a tablet computer across the desk to Zerori, along with a sleek little stylus. On that tablet computer was a contract, detailing the rankings, promotion system, and overall Standard Operating Procedure of the White List as detailed in their charter. The contract was straightforward and without any misleading language or fine print. At the end of the contract was detailed the only bit of "dress code" for the White List - operatives must wear a white cape, sash, or cloak when representing the White List, and are expected to don a similar garment in the colors of whatever client they represented while on the battlefield.
"The pricing structure on the contract is still open to change, based on market trends of course. If you're interested, go ahead and sign at the bottom. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask."
Hmmm, first time I’ve ever called anyone ‘Boss’ before so…why the hell not! She thought with amusement as he outlined that what he was offering wasn’t exactly a mission per-sei, but actual membership into the organization. And that… didn’t exactly sit well with the saiyaness. For most of her life, she’d handled everything on her own and it was only through a handful of very unfortunate missions that she worked with others. Apparently, however, he was a very smart cookie and her eye brows moved upwards to show how impressed she was at his suggestion.
Moving her foot in the motion of an unheard beat, she listened as he assured her that should an incident happen where she does have to take down another operative – he’d assess whether there would be disciplinary action. To which Zerori’s foot would stop moving and she grinned widely and crooned seductively, “Y’know… I like the sound of that ‘disciplinary action’,” Delivered with a wink, she knew that he was merely playing the part of the professional.
Who knows? Maybe in her eccentric lifestyle, she’d grown lazy…
As he slid a tablet across the table to her, no doubt the contract that she was expected to sign, she would pick it up and look over the conditions and terms of service. Surprisingly, she didn’t read any hidden meanings or tactile verbatim that she’d need to actually think about. It was… relatively simple. Looking up at him, she’d gesture with the tablet in hand toward him, “I like this. No hidden fees or annual payments.”
Giving a chuckle, she’d take up the stylus and quickly sketch out her signature upon the dotted line. As she did so, Zerori would make a mention of the clothing code. “Can’t say I can always produce a white scarf but,” She tugged at her black scarf, looking up at him briefly, “I’ll see what I can do.”
Signature finished, she dropped the pen on the table and spun the tablet around to slide it back over to him. “There. Now,” She smirked at him, placing both hands on the table, “When do I get hazed? Also, do I get an advance in payment or what?”
Pin smiled as Zerori joked about the disciplinary action. He'd been concerned about that part - mercenaries didn't often take kindly to the idea of being punished for doing what they wanted to do. He knew he was toeing the line taking on a position of relative authority amongst a mostly lawless sort of group. When she winked, he realized that she was probably being suggestive, thought he doubted she was serious. He rolled his eyes slightly to show that he understood the joke, but not so hard as to be dismissive or condescending.
"Hidden fees aren't what we're about. I'm not looking to rob you or anyone else. I'm originally a bounty hunter by trade, I know how it can get out there with people trying to pull one over on you," he said, leaning back in his chair. "All the List takes is a small cut from each job, and the rest goes directly into your pocket. The List's cut is for shared facilities and group resources."
Zerori signed, and Pin smiled. He made no effort to hide it, he had no interest in deceiving this woman. Otherwise he'd have worn his helmet. He was glad to have someone with such power on the team. This would lend further legitimacy and credence to the White List, and allow them to accept more dangerous missions. She seemed a bit flippant, but that was hardly a concern.
"Do what you can for now, I'm working on a resource for capes like mine," he said, holding his own purple cape up. He charged his energy into it and it changed from purple, to white, to red, to black, and back to purple. "Once those are available I'll let you know. Makes the whole process easier."
He looked at her signature once she slid the tablet back to him, added his own signature and the date below hers, and after a few taps on the touch screen, set the tablet aside. He looked Zerori in the eye and chuckled when she mentioned hazings and advance payments.
"Well, Zerori," he said, taking her name from her signature, "I'm not much for hazing. It can be fun, but I find that in a group of individuals like us it just breeds resentment. But if I ever change my mind, I'll put you in charge of that. As far as advance payments go, I'm gonna have to disappoint you. Payments are on a by-contract basis, and at the moment we have exactly zero pending contracts. As soon as something comes in, I'll post it to the List. Sometimes I'll assign something directly, depending on the details."
With that, he stood up and held out his hand for her to shake.
"Either way, I look forward to doing business with you. If you'll be on Vegeta for a while, maybe we can terrorize some of the local bars, get to know each other better. We can bring some of our own 'disciplinary action' to the Radditsu District. No reason we can't have a good time."
’I’m not looking to rob you’, he says. Damn, if only this guy knew, Zerori thought with an amused smile as she was regaled by her boss’ tale from when he was a bounty hunter. She dabbled in the profession but sometimes organized crime just… paid. Taking a cut from her mission was a little disappointing, too but if the headache of actually FINDING the job was handled – why not give them the a piece of the pie for the credit?
Standing from the chair, having finished her part of the deal, she noticed his little exposition for his cape and widened her eyes at how the colors changed vibrantly. “That’s a damn good trick! But hey, if I log it in, I could probably do one just a good.” Unable to resist, Zerori raised her right hand to make a gesture over the circuit shaped like a manacle on her left bicep.
As she did so, a blue circle of light would flash twice before a green dot would then blink rapidly. In a flash of bits and bytes of data, her current outfit would begin to break down into a bits of fragmented data before disappearing and – in it’s place – would be a more casual outfit consisting of a red spandex crop top with a pair of ragged jeans. It was a more ‘down-to-earth’ style she liked to sport when she took the day off on Earth. Literally.
With a wink, she briefly explained, “I created this,” gesturing to the manacle of her arm, “-to assist in the manipulation of ‘Memory Matter’ – so if I can think it, make it and store it – I can access it with what magic I have. It’s… more of an accessory to my magic than anything. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could make anymore unless you, yourself, could manipulate magical energy.”
When she finished showing off, she would wave her hand back over the circuit and return to her normal ensemble of the not-so-practical armor. Reaching for his hand, she squeezed tightly as she shook and grinned at him. “Oh, gladly. I’ll see if I can’t find your other mercenaries and give them a warm welcome as a new member. Don’t want to be rude to my new ‘companions’. And yes,” She release his hand, taking a few steps back toward the door, “I WILL be checking back in on you to celebrate my new career change so, uh,” She winked, “-keep your ear to the ground.”
And with that, she’d toss him a two-fingered wave before making her way down the ramp. It was time for a little ‘R&R’ and she had a few ideas where she could them in private.
Pin was impressed by Zerori's manacle circuit. It allowed her to take the idea of color-changing clothes to a whole other level. He had no doubts that this woman would be able to represent the List properly, and he had no doubts that she was a certified badass. Her power was a bonus, but ultimately what Pin liked was her attitude and her eagerness to work. She wouldn't be likely to turn down work as long as it didn't conflict with her daily life.
"I look forward to it," he said, a wide grin across his face.
As she left the ship, Pin filed her away as an official Hawk for the White List. He was tempted to start her at a higher rank due to her impressive power, but if he was going to run this thing proper, he'd have to apply the rules to her evenly. She'd prove her worth quickly enough and raise in the ranks. That, or he'd change the rules for promotion. Whichever was most practical at the time.
Sitting back down, Pin went back to trashing that stack of garbage contracts. He had half a mind to go after Zerori and give them all to her, but no. She was better than that. She'd have the stack done in half an afternoon, and that would only serve to make the List look back to local hunters and mercenaries. No, better to leave the small prizes to the small dogs.