2.11 - The junkyard tiger
Leona arrived in the general indicated area and took in the sprawling junkyard. The ‘small’ refinery nearby was actually quite huge. A number of small temporary buildings were set up in the area. She looked more carefully and didn’t see the minivan anywhere in the vicinity. The only people in the open were workers in the junkyard.
Aurora decided that it’d be a good idea to start by finding this “Chan” person, himself. She looked around for what looked like an office, and when she spotted it, she landed quietly by it and changed her appearance, creating a dress to cover her wings, because she realized when her powers covered where the wings sprouted out, it completely hid them. She thought about her hair and decided to make it red and shifted the dress to match in a deeper tone, making sure the bosom displayed enough to keep interest without being too suggestive.
She confidently walked towards the front door around the corner and entered. There were three people inside. They looked up at the sudden clatter of the door opening and they all smiled, seeing only a beautiful woman and no threat implicit.
After a moment, one of the three men sitting at a desk with strong Chinese features smiled. “It’s unusual to have someone so well-dressed visit my office.” He slicked his hair while he spoke. “Are you looking for parts of some kind or do you need something… hauled?” He chuckled.
Leona didn’t know if he meant anything by that, so ignored it with a smile. “You’re the proprietor? Ronnie Chan?” She continued to smile warmly.
“Yeah, that’s me. What can I help you with?” He smirked.
The other two men moved to either side in a flanking maneuver, their eyes watching Leona mostly with disdain, but a fraction of concern showed. Apparently they had a healthy dose of suspicion even where a lovely lady was concerned.
Leona continued to smile as she eyed the men with a complete lack of concern herself.
“Excellent!” Aurora winked. “I’d like to talk to you about an individual called ‘Blue Max’. Would you happy to be the leader of those goons who perform some blimp robberies? It’s not just, though. I’d also like to talk with you about a certain power suit which is said to be in the area. I’ve never seen one outside the movies before. So fascinating those are. I’d love to see it.”
Ronnie’s face turned sour and he spoke in Chinese. Leona had no idea at all what the meaning of his words were, but they couldn’t mean anything positive. He had kind of a ‘rub her out’ kind of look in his face.
Translation for anyone who is not a little girl superhero in masquerade: 「What are you idiots waiting for? Eject this rude girl!」
“You leave, rude girl,” Ronnie said, punting his fist into his hand. Perhaps the translation wasn’t necessary… that was pretty obvious.
“Rude girl? I think I’m being very frank and upfront.” She bounced and smiled. “So are you the leader, Blue Max? Or are you one of the lackeys? Maybe I should be even MORE upfront though.” Aurora smirked and let her disguise fade. To add to the effect, she let her wings sprout and spread. Light flashed and the men backed with shrill cries. “I’m really here for some information, Chan. If you aren’t the leader… if you’re not Blue Max, I’m sure you have some valuable information I could use. If you want me to prove how tough I am, just go ahead and let your bully boys attack me.” She grinned mockingly. “But whatever they do, they aren’t leaving this room.”
Chan rubbed his eyes and glared. “Ha, some little girl with flash bulbs wants to intimidate Ronnie Chan?” he said and gestured to his men to attack. “Get her, I said!”
Aurora instantly sheathed her body in her shield and as the man who approached first, he punched. The technique seemed deadly and he had brass knuckles to boot. Under normal circumstances, she wouldn’t have been able to counter the blows, except… she didn’t need to.
He wailed on her field. “Ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-haaaaa-hrrrrmph.” He cried as he pounded at Aurora’s barrier. She yawned and smiled at Ronnie while he tried to grapple her. When he tried that she changed the type to the capsule variety and the man went flying as though he’d bounced off something. Well, he did. He hit a filing cabinet and dented it, causing papers to fly out in every direction.
The other man pulled his pistol and aimed at her. Aurora nodded, expecting that. The capsule variety would flat stop bullets, and not just reflect them. She preferred it that someone didn’t get hit by a stray bullet.
Getting the idea that she was unassailable, Ronnie put up a hand. “Wait. All right, you’ve proven that you’re a real superhero. What makes you think I know anything about this ‘Blue Max’ person?”
Aurora smiled amiably. “The lead I have says that this place is an ideal base, or is something close to it. A certain distinctive van was junked here and the exo suit in question runs on a very particular type of fuel which can be attained at the nearby refinery. Even if you’re not Blue Max himself, your connections with the Triads are well known. I figured you might know something, or be involved yourself. It’s convenient, really. So what do you think? Do you know anything that would get me out of your hair?” She shook her head to punctuate the words, tossing her lovely tresses.
“Well…” Ronnie shrugged. “I don’t know what these ‘Triads’ things could be. Some old legend about descendants of Shou-Lin fighting against the oppressive Manchu regime and nothing else, I think. Regardless, if you can give me some more details on the ‘Blue Max’, maybe I know someone who knows him.” he grinned and waved to the seat before his desk. The only goon still conscious put his gun away.
Leona smiled and sat gracious. She told him about the type of fuel being produced next door, and how it was refined, as much as she had committed to her memory. She stuck to details that weren’t particularly risky to share. She went on to describe the minivan, its coloration, and the license plate number.
“Ah… you see, I’m afraid as a simple junkyard owner, I don’t know much about such scientific stuff, but your story about a minivan, that rings true. I had a most rude gentleman looking to buy it the other day. Even offered him a fair deal, but he was most insistent and I believe he might’ve stolen it from my lot.” He chuckled and nodded to agree with his story.
“If I were to help you find this individual, I assume he would be brought to justice. Is this correct?”
Aurora nodded. “Without a doubt.” She flashed him a grin. “He’s pulled some pretty major stuff. I imagine the sentence would be fairly steep.”
“Then let me look at my information,” he said, watching Aurora while carelessly flipping through a Rolodex, which was a very outdated way to keep tabs on client information, but it was dramatic nonetheless. “Ah… here it is,” he said as he closed the Rolodex and pulled a card. “I believe my employees maybe have spotted that van a few yards over, near that refinery. It’s a utility shed shared by the landowners, naturally I have a key, if you need one?” He opened his desk drawer and produced the key.
“And should you find this gentleman, please advise him that one does not make demands of the Junk Tiger.”
Aurora grinned, accepting the key. “I’ll tell him that.” She nodded. “Thanks for the information.” She exited the building and took to the air quickly, heading towards the refinery next. She didn’t want to get TOO close to it, if there was a chance that she could remove the exo armor from their possession, that would certainly be a better outcome than having to fight it.