Bit of Coin

March 09, 2014:

Loki and Mystique take a business trip to Hong Kong.

Office building, Hong Kong

Corner office of a young, professional financial trader.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Hong Kong.

A city that is both so very Westernized and becoming more and more withdrawn from the world, now that China has taken it over from the Colonial British. It is that beacon of business and capitalism; two things the closed China shuns for itself but showcases to the rest of the world to show how progressive and forward their own world is.

The streets are full of tourists, of families coming and going to the island from the mainland, of international businessmen seeking a foothold in the door that is the market of over a billion potential consumers. The sun is shining over the island, puffy clouds in the sky, dotting the landscape of glass skyscrapers.

There, in one of those shorter but no less impressive office building, a woman stares at a screen; this is the third day that her reports have shown the same thing.

850,000 bitcoins. Gone.

The man responsible for those has gone before a tribunal in Japan, a strange sight really, to see a European man bow, scrape, and ask forgiveness in what is usually a typical Japanese fashion. The only thing not offered as restitution, as reparations, is seppuku… the traditional suicide for being a disgrace. Then again, that was a noble way out.

For Celia Shapiro, her loss was just a little less, but it's still a loss. And she's the CEO of Bitcoin International. The company that is pushing, with the Chinese, to make the bitcoin the international currency for electronic transactions. All electronic transactions. Picking up her bottled water with a shaking hand, she checks her email for the 5th time in as many minutes, silently demanding better news of the day.

Striding down the thoroughfare, not bothering to dodge the other pedestrians upon the sidewalk, Loki is dressed in business attire. Suit, tie, green and gold scarf hanging upon his neck, and a cane in hand as an affectation. He's not bothering to hide.

His steps slow as he reaches the block of his quarry, of their quarry, and blue eyes scan the sides of the buildings for numbers, a ghost of a smile playing upon his features. This… this is exhilerating.

~

"..And I sponge and mop 'til three, yo ho ho it's a janitor's life for meee."

For the middle aged man who's scrubbing the floors inside of that fancy building, life's not all that bad! It's not exactly -good,- but he's still employed, and not in the hole several hundred thousand. He's got his cleaning supplies, he's got a fancy new floor scrubber that he gets to drive around in, he's even got a clean new uniform!

It might seem completely unreal that he'd be driving the scrubber right in front of where the stunned Ms. Shapiro is sitting, gawking at her screen in silence as he continues merrily singing a mix of pirate tunes with janitorial lyrics. The machine carries him almost gracefully past the woman's desk then down the hall, treating the situation like just another obstacle to buff around.

~

And there, the door is reached, and with a tug, Miss Celia Shapiro's fate is sealed.

Loki enters the building, breezes past the desk with a wave and curt, 'Meeting'. After all, look like one belongs, and to many weak-willed individuals that only receive minimum wage? It doesn't hurt that the wave also included a touch of magic; simple, really. Hypnotic suggestion. Child's play.

The elevators are looked at, and a scowl appears upon that angular face. Looking around, there is the door to the stairs, but really… and pressing a button brings the door open to his touch within five seconds.

Only moments later, the God of Chaos and Mischief is on the correct floor, and upon stepping out, looks one way, then the other, to get his bearings. It's that office, down there… and turning, he makes his way.

Celia Shapiro huffs in a sigh, followed by a tight-lipped grimace at the singing janitor. Her hand holds her chin as she pushes buttons through; one message, the next… before she windows over to a word processor. Checking a couple of files that are in hard copy on her desk, she rifles through one folder looking for data, for economic trends (Nikkei, Dow) before putting keys to electronic paper.

Pausing in her work, she takes up her water bottle again and empties it, setting it back on her desk rather than throwing it away. Too much effort, and she's really, really not up to it.

The clock is glanced at; 3:30. Still not time to go home, and no good reason to leave. There's the daily phonecall from the Board that is due, and these reports, as much as she'd like it, simply don't write themselves.

~

With the scrubber powered down for the moment the janitor's back on his feet, offering nothing more than a glance and a silent bow of greeting to the arriving Asgardian. There's absolute confidence that Loki will know the way to go. Heck, this guy even buffed the floor fresh and clean for Loki's arrival! 'If you can see your own reflection, you're on the right path.'

Still humming merrily to himself, he finds something else to keep busy with elsewhere in the building. If Celia's bothering to listen, she'll hear the humming as it becomes more and more distant.

Misdirection.

It's only a brief absense, the return trip made in silence as he keeps his location hidden from the businesswoman. If it's one thing this man can tell, it's when there's about to be another mess to clean up.

…Janitory sense tingling…

~

Loki's attention lingers upon the janitor for a long moment before the briefest of acknowledgment is given; ostensibly for the bow. A smile cracks upon his face, the only tell that what is going to happen here pleases him no end. And so, the now clean floor is a path to his destination.

It's only a few more strides for Loki to reach that desk in the office building, and immediately he clears his throat in order to gain the attention of the woman who is clearly 'in the zone' now with her document. Slamming his hand down on the desk, he slides around to the back of the desk with a low, predatory tone in his voice. "Hallo, there," is murmured. "How's business?"

Miss Shapiro doesn't give the janitor much more thought as the song begins to fade off to the middle distance of the halls. Soon enough, the sound of the buffer is no longer heard either, which gives her the chance to actually concentrate on the matter at hand. Typing.. typing..

Loki's appearance, then, comes seemingly out of nowhere, and looking up, eyes widen at the sound of his voice. "What—"

~

It's in that momentary pause that Miss Shapiro's life is about to change forever. The janitor is back, only making his presence known by suddenly being -right there- behind her with the wooden stick of a mop brought around beneath her chin, dragging the woman firmly back into her seat along with upward pressure to keep her mouth shut, silencing a scream before it has a chance to register as a viable option to her.

The cameras have already been dealt with. Security is all in check. Mister Janitor, also known as Raven Darkholme, has thoroughly covered their bases. Child's play, really.

And now the metamorph is but a hair's width away from crushing Shapiro's throat and snapping her neck like a brittle twig caught underfoot.

"You have something we want, dear," he says in a cool, amused tone over her shoulder, one that splits from the singing cleaner's tenor until there's two distinct tones laced together in absolute harmony, both masculine and feminine.

"Now you will give it to us."

~

Immediately, Miss Shapiro is unable to form a response to Loki's presence, what with the mop at her throat other than a surprised 'whuuuu'. There's just enough pressure, too, that makes it quite difficult for her to find any balance, pulled back as she is. Hands scramble to find purchase on the arms of her chair, her feet tilted just enough off the ground for that to be absolutely no help.

Loki settles himself upon the corner of the table, blue eyes looking so very dark and serious now, his attention upon the CEOess. His tones begin as so very reasonable, conversational even. "You want the 'coin to survive, don't you? Have something from your blood and sweat outlive you?" The tenor of his voice darkens, however, now echoing the lack of anything resembling compassion in his eyes. "Like the child you'll never have."

~

Mystique might have been bored with something like this in any other situation. Normally she doesn't work with others. Normally she'd be doing both this -and- what Loki happens to be tasking himself with.

The difference here is that he makes it so..damned..entertaining.

The Janitor's nothing but grins as the Trickster's words start to fall into place, eating away at the inner resolve of their prey. The pressure will remain at the CEO's neck no longer than it must, once Loki's words captivate her then the mop will no longer be necessary, and words bruise much less visibly than cleaning equipment.

These two have come from extremely different worlds, the mutant and the Asgardian, and yet their work and play is so -very- familiar. She's rather finding it fun to have found someone worthy of her skills, capable of keeping pace with her.

Well, most of the time. The God still can't even -read- any of the modern languages here, heaven forbid he ever attempt to log onto the internet.

"Your legacy will save millions," the mutant adds in.

The part which she omits is that it will also destroy billions more.

~

Sliding off the desk, Loki makes it look like he's stalking his prey; graceful, elegant, and deadly. Blue eyes flicker towards the mutant, so deadly and lovely- as if he can see through the form to the creature that lurks below, and he inclines his head in a nod. Time to break into the system. This… this is what he's been searching for on this pathetic realm. Someone with intelligence, knowledge, and canniness.

Loki's attention slides back to poor Miss Shapiro, and as the pressure is lightened ever so slightly, the God of Deception sounds a reasonable note. "You want your dream of an international currency. Where everyone can find something for themselves, a little bit of light in an otherwise dark existance." His voice drops, "Your legacy. And you need help, Miss Shapiro. Our help." The tenor of his voice turns harsh, demeaning. It's time to break her down, and it's coming time to leave a warm corpse behind. "You are so far from your dream, so far from where you truly wish to be. Those little bits of data are your soul. Your children. Your life.. and we mean to make it so much better. So much more than your pathetic little life."

~

Little by little, everything becomes easier. Shapiro falls under the Trickster's spell, Mystique releases the physical hold on their victim, and before long at all that Janitor guy's leaning forward with fingers upon the keyboard. All it takes is a brush of contact and an instant of time for her to exactly copy the CEO's own fingerprint patterns, she may as well have been the one typing in the commands as far as Forensics will be concerned.

A splash of magic, a pinch of manipulation, a little hackery dackery for flavor… Loki can keep the CEO within the grasp of his honeyed words and hypnosis. If he fails, Shapiro will find herself in a much less forgiving grasp that will accept no less success and no additional failure.

Today, these two manipulators shall claim what is theirs to take.

~

In the press on Monday morning, a small article appears in the local, English-language newspaper:

HONG KONG (AP) - The American CEO of a virtual currency exchange was found dead in her office in Hong Kong. A police spokesman said Sunday that initial investigations indicated there was no suspicion of "foul play" in the death of 28-year-old Celia Shapiro, meaning officers do not suspect murder.

The spokesman said police found Shapiro lying motionless in the office tower where she worked.

Police have so far classified the death as "unnatural," which can mean an accident, misadventure, or suicide.

Shapiro's company, Bitcoin International, said it was "shocked and saddened by the tragic loss."

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