March 13, 2018 13:06 GMT+9<Hope> In the beginning, there was darkness. Pain, intense, shooting pain, was the only thing that cut through that darkness. Hope sat up suddenly, hissing at the pain as she rubbed her neck. Dried blood cracked off onto her fingers, causing her to stare at the rust colored dust in shock. What in the hell was going on?
<David> "Good morning, sunshine." David grunted a bit, forcing himself to his feet. He was collared, his hands cuffed to the steel bars of a giant cage. He had enough chain that he could get to the small toilet, stand up and sit down, and that was about it. He'd woken up before her and had been listening to the sounds of the voices ever since.
<Hope> She looked over at David, blinking a few times. "What the hell happened?"
<David> "I was jumped. Woke up here. I don't know much else, except I hear Japanese. So somewhere that speaks Japanese."
<Hope> "How the fuck do you know it's Japanese?"
<David> He just stared at her. "I'm fucking Asian. We know the way other Asians look and sound."
<Hope> She half rolled her eyes, pushing herself to her feet. "Okay... so... if we're here... where's Shinobi?"
<David> "You mean he didn't get away like the genius bragged about? Mister phase?"
<Hope> Hope shook her head no. "No... no he was with me. We were grabbed at the club. I broke somebody's nose, and then..." she felt her neck. "Did they... inject me?!" She hoped to God it was a clean needle.
<David> Shit. "Seems so. Do you have your powers?"
<Hope> "It's... really hazy. Like I can't focus on anything or anyone. It's a huge... blob."
<David> "That's good actually. Keep that to yourself. Don't mention it again. You might have a chance."
<Hope> "To do what?"
<David> He stared at her. "Think, engineer. Think."
<Hope> Think. She repeated the command to herself and took in their surroundings. It looked like a huge dog kennel almost, only it did have a toilet and a sink. She crossed over to it and turned on the faucet. Yep, running water. It looked clear enough, but there was no way to test the potability of it. She checked the toilet over next. It seemed to be functioning as well.
<Hope> That was a plus. She looked around the rest of the cell. There was absolutely zero furniture and the floor was littered with dirty straw. Something else had been kept here. Or someone. She shuddered.
<Oyama> A heavily accented voice, rusty with age, echoed down the hall. "Yes... think, think!" Oyama Kenji's cane tapped against the concrete floor and he looked around the room himself. Yusei chose such a filthy place for this... It was fitting. He laughed.
<Hope> Hope spun around, facing Oyama. The White King of Tokyo. She crossed her arms, sneering. She'd been right about Japan. She'd been right about the betrayal. Her stomach sank down into the pit of her stomach. She'd been right. "You."
<Oyama> "No!" His cackling laugh bounced off the walls and he made his slow way down the hall, flanked by three men, all masked. "You! This was an unexpected honor." Oyama halted outside the cell, carefully out of reach.
<Hope> "What do you mean, unexpected?" she questioned him, David trying to kick her to be quiet and not feed the animals.
<Oyama> "Hope Stark." He folded his gnarled hands atop his cane. "Sebastian Shaw should guard his treasures more diligently. Your father would pay much to see you returned unharmed..."
<Hope> "Indeed. Like a Jericho missile delivered right up your ass. Ow!" She glared as David did finally kick her.
<Oyama> "Yes... there is to consider that particular brand of American..." he chuckled, shifting his weight and sparing a glance for the Chinese bodyguard while he searched for the words. "Cowboy diplomacy!"
<Hope> Hope uncrossed her arms and moved a bit closer to him. "Why don't you come in here and I'll show you just how much of a cowboy I am."
<Oyama> "Oh, so much spirit. Do not worry... we will not take much of your time, Miss Stark, and you will be an asset to our work."
<Hope> She stepped up to the bars, cringing as she heard the scream. "Just... let him go."
<Oyama> "I'm afraid that we cannot do." He moved his head to listen to the sounds from down the hall. "It belongs to us, after all."
<Hope> "There must be something you want more. Sure you could name your price."
<Oyama> "Well we already have you," he laughed, spreading his hands.
<Hope> "Exactly. You have no need for him now. You have something better."
<Oyama> He leaned just a fraction closer to study her face. "You would trade yourself for that... shūtai?" His final word dripped disdain.
<Hope> Hope gave David a 'the fuck does that mean' face.
<David> He just shook his head at her. "No she damn well would not. Go piss on an anthill."
<Hope> She looked back at Oyama. "You already know I would."
<Oyama> "It's unfortunate for you that we already have you then." He nodded to his companions, and one came around him with a heavy set of keys. "You are familiar with the concept of genetic degradation, yes? It is a copy, and we cannot make a copy of a copy."
<Hope> "You have me only until my dad realizes I'm missing. How long do you think before he figures out who took me? He's a genius. I give it five minutes." She pointed out. "But let him go now, without further harm? I'll... cooperate."
<David> "Hope, stop talking."
<Oyama> Oyama laughed. "You should listen to your guard. He will further our work as well... with that infamous healing ability. As filthy as mutants are... some of you are very nearly blessed."
<Hope> "The only thing I have to bargain with is my cooperation. You should take the deal." She grinned at Oyama.
<Oyama> "I don't need that," he said, shaking his head. Before he could continue, he paused, raising a finger and tilting his head to listen to the cries intensify.
<Hope> Hope looked at David, pleading with him.
<David> David just shook his head. Name, rank, serial number. That was all you gave when captured. "Just stop."
<Oyama> "If you'll excuse me, Miss Stark, Agent Sum, it sounds like we are almost finished with our guest." He gave her a shallow, mocking bow and gestured to his guard to put away the keys, turning to start down the hall again. "We will speak again soon, yes?"
<Hope> "Don't count on it." No sooner were the words out of her mouth than the horrid screaming ceased. She felt cold and nauseous. What had she done?
<David> He scowled at her. "Name, rank, serial number!"
<Hope> Hope looked up at him, blinking a few times. "What?"
<David> "When captured by an enemy, that is the only things you speak. Your name, rank, and serial number."
<Hope> "I don't have a rank or serial number!"
<David> "Then you say First Lady of the United States of Fucking America."
<Hope> Now wasn't the time. She leaned against the bars of the cage, straining to hear what they were doing to him. She strained her mind, pushing that tiny, insignificant amount of powers she still had trying to reach Shinobi's mind.
<David> "I know you love him... but you have to do something. Cooperate until you get a chance. As soon as you have an opportunity to escape? You take it. You run and you don't look back. You get help. Do you understand me?"
<Hope> "I can't just leave him! Him or you." She turned her head enough to see David again.
<David> "You can and you will."
<Hope> She swallowed hard, watching him. "Okay. Okay but then I'm coming back with help to get you both."
<David> He nodded, sitting back down on the floor. "I expected no less."
<Hope> Hope sat down where she was, staring at the ceiling. "I don't see a way out of this... do you think... David are they going to kill us all?"
<David> "At least two of us," he told her softly. "You are worth more to them alive than dead right now. Keep it that way."
<Hope> She pulled her knees to her chest and tried to focus on her powers again. "Okay... okay." A silence fell over the cage as they both listened for signs of Shinobi in the other room.