Characters: Renji, InannaDate: ...a couple of weeks ago? Or sometime last week? A little while after Kirihara returns to Rikkai, at any rate.Summary: Inanna gives Renji a good talking to.Inanna had spent some time arranging for the right doors to be open to her, so she would have access to the section where the Ambassador of Rikkai's aide had his quarters. She had urgent business with Yanagi Renji, and was not at all interested in spending days getting through various secretaries and assistants and crap. Just because the Ambassador himself favoured her did not mean his staff would be at all helpful to a Fudoumine courtesan while he was away. So, Inanna went the unofficial route and was currently stepping up to Yanagi's door, where she activated the buzzer.It was not absolutely surprising that he should receive a visit from Madame Inanna, Yanagi thought, checking the identity of his visitor before opening the door to her, expression politely neutral. He did not care for the woman - her involvement with both Yukimura and Kirihara was unwelcome and regrettable - but if she had gone to the effort of getting here she certainly had something important to say to him and he had no reason to refuse to hear her out.“Good evening,” he told her mildly. “To what do I owe this... pleasure?”Inanna bit back a snippy comment that the pleasure was certainly all his, and smiled politely instead. "Good evening, Yanagi-san. My name is Inanna Teng, as I am sure you know, and you owe this pleasure to what I believe to be a concern of common interest to you and me. May I impose upon your time for a few moments?""Certainly," Yanagi told her, stepping aside to allow her in and keeping the hostility out of his tone. This was likely to be about Kirihara, and while it was improbable that Inanna would have anything to say of value on this point he might as well let her say her piece. She was intelligent if misguided and would not have gone to the effort of coming up here if she did not believe there was something to be gained."Thank you kindly, Yanagi-san." Inanna sailed into his quarters with the calm and dignity of one who was queen bee of her space station, and knew it. She made herself comfortable standing just off-centre in the room, not seeming to expect an offer to sit. "We both have busy schedules and as I do not wish to impose upon your free time more than absolutely necessary, I hope you will allow me to keep the frills of polite conversation to a minimum and get straight to the point." Inanna tilted her head just a fraction, and waited for his answer before continuing.Yanagi inclined his head politely. "Most considerate of you, I'm sure," he commented, utterly neutral. "If you would care to tell me what the point of this visit is, then." "Kirihara Akaya." Inanna's voice was calm and matter-of-fact, just like the rest of her. "His father has taken him back to Rikkai Prime, and all the intelligence I have on the General and his organisation makes it quite clear that the boy will be broken completely. General Kirihara does not approve of much cerebral activity in his men. What do you intend to do about it?"While Yanagi was well aware of the sort of conditioning Kirihara would be going through at present he had been avoiding contemplating the matter too deeply. His initial analysis had shown that acting by himself in this matter would put too much at risk with very little chance of success."Is it my business to take action against my own people?" he enquired. The reality - which Inanna did not need to know - was that he would do it if he believed he could get away with it, but as things stood right now it was probably out of the question."Personally, I have a hard time imagining anyone better fit and justified in taking action than one of the people," Inanna answered pointedly, trusting he would catch every single layer of meaning she had stacked up in that one sentence, from micro to macro. This man was reported to be extremely intelligent, after all. "In the months you have been here, you have invested a substantial amount of time and effort in the boy. I know he greatly enjoyed the challenges you gave him to the point of overreaching himself critically. I also know that he imprinted quite strongly on you." More than that, he also crushed hard, but Inanna had no real desire to get into that part. "You do not strike me as the type who will play around with a kid just for fun, and then carelessly toss him aside when he is broken or you find something new to catch your fancy. This boy has a magnificent potential. Are you satisfied with allowing a mere General destroy it?"That thought stung. Not just a mere General, but General Kirihara, one of the more obnoxious products of Rikkai society."It is true that he has a great deal of potential," Yanagi conceded, "but there is more to the situation than my belief in his abilities." He had no wish to end up in the same position as Yukimura, for a start."Really?" Inanna gave Yanagi a long, searching look as if trying to stare into his very soul. Which, as it happened, wasn't all that far from the truth. She was in fact trying to get a sense of what he was feeling, which was difficult both because of her very limited talent and her lack of focused training. But her intuition whispered of one or two things none the less. Inanna spoke again, slowly. "What it seems to me, is that your belief in your own abilities is the main obstacle. Might you be selling yourself somewhat short, Yanagi-san?" She folded her hands demurely, a small smile tugging at her lips. "I have spent considerable efforts researching you, and come up with nothing more than what anyone can find on Komputer. That in itself speaks volumes, when you have the kind of resources I do.""Perhaps there is simply not much more to know. But even if it is true that I am skilled in certain areas, what makes you believe that I am capable of everything required to mount a rescue operation?" Yanagi smiled very faintly, and not in an entirely pleasant way. "Quite apart from that, you are talking to the representative of a government capable of making even your life difficult. Are you extremely sure of yourself, or simply desperate?"Finally! It was about time he started pushing back, Inanna thought to herself. Her eyes sparked up with hints of the fire that friends and foes both admired and dreaded. "To answer your last question first; I am both of those. I would not normally do something as outrageous as this, but I care about Akaya. To me he is worth taking this risk." She let the last sentence hang there for a moment, so her message and challenge would settle in Yanagi's mind. Then she continued. "As for your other concern -- do I really need to give you a lecture about administrative versus executive tasks?" There were several people on board TP5 at any given day, who could be hired for special operations. A wide range of skills were available, for a wide range of prices. The very best dealt not only in credits, but options, services and favours. Some of these were even, to the best of Inanna's knowledge, Rikkaidians.It was true that Yanagi had the skill and funds to hire the people necessary for such an operation, but a substantial part of him was unwilling to involve outsiders. Not out of a concern for their well-being, but rather for his own - paranoia was a way of life on Rikkai and a habit he saw no reason to attempt to shake. He would be going against the people he had supported and advised for a great many years and every extra person involved added to the chance of betrayal."You do not," he told Inanna. "I will not insult your intelligence by suggesting that you do not understand the situation, but I will remind you that I have a great deal more at stake here than you do yourself.""Possibly. But even you only live once." Inanna failed to be impressed, being an intimate associate with professional paranoia herself. Sometimes you just had to say bugger all and act. The truly difficult thing was to detect the right moment, and Inanna was trying hard to get a better sense of the current situation to decide just that. She was prepared to help, being in a position to easily get ahold of untraceable resources for projects like this, but Yanagi was, as he had pointed out, a high-ranking Rikkai official. "I would have fished him out myself, except I don't have the connections necessary. The other concern is that even if I could, there would still be the problem of what to do with him. I can give him schooling challenging enough to keep him interested and doing his best, but training in skills is a whole other kettle of fish. Akaya isn't fit for my profession, and his level of adrenaline addiction demands a very skilled teacher indeed. With the right guidance, Akaya can become a formidable man. He has no place in the infantry.""On your last point at least I can agree with you. He will be entirely wasted where he is," Yanagi murmured, perhaps mildly surprised that Inanna's view of where Kirihara belonged overlapped with his own even this much. "If you are offering to actively support a rescue attempt then this does, of course, significantly alter the picture.""Mm. It is not a completely unthinkable situation. I am a businesswoman, and I trade in many things." And that was as much as Inanna would go on record saying. Any more bargaining or planning, if Yanagi decided that he would not accept defeat regarding Akaya just yet, would happen in a more secure location where Inanna had complete control over who and what would be listening in or not."Then I suppose I will have to reconsider my position regarding Kirihara." Of course such help as Inanna had to offer would come with strings attached, but Yanagi considered that it was certainly worth hearing her terms rather than outright dismissing the possibility. "Provided what you have to offer is of use to me.""My offers are never useless, Yanagi-san," Inanna said mildly. "Might I suggest another informal get-together at a suitable restaurant; a late dinner, perhaps? I know a couple of very good, discreet places in Green.""The idea seems agreeable," Yanagi said, inclining his head, "I trust you will take care of the arrangements." While he would prefer to negotiate on his own terms, compromises would evidently have to be made.Inanna smiled up at him, all sweetness and joy-and therefore probably lethal. "I will do my best to ensure that all of the arrangements are up to par, never fear. Any preferences with regards to meats or fish?""Fish, I think," Yanagi decided blandly. "Well, then. Do not let me detain you, I am sure you have a great many things to be taking care of.""Indeed. It has been a pleasure making your acquaintance, Yanagi-san. I shall let you know where dinner is within the hour. Until then," Inanna made a polite little bow and headed for the door.Following on from this log... well, we're skipping over quite a bit, to be honest, because we're being too slow getting logs out to cover everything! After some further negotiation and possibly a freak accident with the laws of causality, Renji is convinced to mount a rescue, and Inanna is convinced that it's worth her while to give assistance, mostly behind the scenes. There's a clause somewhere in the contract which leaves both of them with influence over Kirihara's education and so on, but neither of them likes the other. Still. This is unlikely to change.The most capable person on TP5 for his purposes that Yanagi is aware of is one Niou Masaharu. Yanagi is good at tactics and good at dealing with computers, and less good at actually barging into a military facility and hauling one of their detainees out. For this he needs someone a) skilled, b) crazy, and for an added bonus, c) with a grudge against the government of Rikkai. Niou... accepts because he is indeed a crazy danger-addict. *headdesks*Yagyuu is also along for the ride, supposedly as the getaway pilot, on Niou's suggestion. I presume he's mostly checking up on contacts on Rikkai Prime and inciting revolution keeping an eye on his pet boyfriend.Next up: rescue mission!...did I miss anything?
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