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[Like a Bad Penny] Prologue: Misha/Narinder

Gabe OOC

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The Asian Babylon bustles with packed streets, food sellers haggling with customers over fish and a musician nearby sitting on the sidewalk, playing for coins laid into his bowl by entertained passerby.

Honestly, the man was very good. But Agent Kapoor of the FBI and Mischa Rakov of Interpol had other business in Bangkok, the infamous prostitution capital of Asia.

A joint operation, combined with pressure from various international governments had weighed on the Thai government to approve this op. But really, a number of tourist teens being stolen from their families was provoking more than the usual attention.

Parker Grant, American female, age 15. Julian Booth, British male, age 16. Lucia Blake, American female, age 16. The responsibility to find them laid most heavily on your shoulders.

Feel free to interact and cover the investigation in how many or few posts as you wish. The end result will bring you to that a girl matching the description of Lucia was seen at a Go-Go bar called The Beautiful Karma.

Any other questions can be directed to me by PM, in OOC or chat as you please.

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Misha peered up and down the streets of Bangkok, thinking rapidly. Time bore down on his mind; every second spent looking for the three missing children were seconds they were being tortured. The two teams were working as fast as they could to find the dealer who had them. It wasn’t fast enough, not to Misha.

He and Narinder’s teams had worked their contacts ferociously to find the particular sex dealer evil enough to deal in unwilling human flesh. There were plenty of sex dealers who traded in unwilling flesh; their time was coming. Tonight, both men and their teams were desperate to find one in particular.

A woman approached him, a shawl over her dark hair. Her softly-featured Thai face was drawn tight with fear, and her caramel-kissed skin was sallow. But she was here. “Hello.” Misha always spoke to the natives, due to his fluency with their tongue. He added a smile; not a real one because only children saw those.

“I heard you pay money for information on three Americans.” She shifted nervously, her dark eyes darting under the edge of her shawl, trying to be invisible. Many of the dealers wouldn’t hesitate to kill a woman who had sold them out to the law.

Misha didn’t ask for a name and didn’t try English. “Yes. What kind of information do you have?” It was always good to clarify that before they talked money. He drew out a wad of baht, keeping it cradled in his hands but clear to her eyes.

Her eyes darted even faster. “A name.”

Just a name?” Misha pushed. A name would take time to track down. Locations were better. Names could be found later, for prosecution, if that even entered the picture. But the place where the children were would be the best. He casually unwound the roll and fanned the bills, letting her see the brown hues of a 1000 baht note. It was about $30 US, but he had several bills and that was a lot of money to the average Thai person.

She saw the notes and he could see the indecision, the desire for the money in his hand. “A district.”

Misha’s hand closed around the bills. “A neighborhood.” He stared at her, willing her to give him more, to grant him what he needed.

She paused, licking her lips with eagerness, her eyes locked on his closed fist. “Phra Suan, in Bang Na District.”

He offered her the money, then grabbed her wrist when her fingers closed around it. “Double if you tell me the address.”

Oh, how she wanted the money, but she shook her head. “I don’t know.”

Misha’s gray eyes closed with weariness. “Very well. Go.” He released and let her scamper away as he turned to his partner in his affair. “Narinder, did any of our teams mention a flesh dealer near Phra Suan?”

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  • 4 weeks later...

Narinder wasn't comfortable working this end of a case. He was used to working his cases from the American angle, where the witnesses spoke English and Narinder could ask what he wanted, and understand the answers. There was something about this that felt like flying blind, and it made him edgy.

But he'd been called in on this case as a personal favor. Parker Grant wasn't just any old American victim. She was a rich girl victim, and her uncle was a congressman who happened to know someone with the Bureau - someone who Narinder had impressed with his arrest statistics, someone who "trusted Agent Kapoor's instincts". And right now those instincts told him they were sniffing in the right direction.

"No. But that's the thing, I did a little research, and Phra Suan is a known red-light district, it's normally crawling with scum, according to the local authorities. But apparently things have been really quiet there lately, and none of our teams have heard anything from the locals. I think someone's got the locals spooked, and we might be asking the wrong people."

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“We are then. We need to go crack a few skulls.” He flashed Narinder a grin, and that shark-smile was why Misha didn’t have friends. He smiled like that and made violent statements with an unhealthy intensity. If you called him on it, he wasn’t serious—or he was, but who didn’t talk bigger than they walked in this business? He was just blowing off steam—and all said with that same smile that called him a prevaricator, if not an out and out liar. But at the end of the day, when all was said, when the bodies were stacked against the wall and the survivors were being tended to, no one could deny that Misha got shit done. More importantly, he walked into Hell, got shit done and walked out with children, usually alive. And that was why he was sent into these missions over and over again—because not only was he good at it, but because he was good at saving the child and putting the bad guys down in the name of the law, and what cop didn’t secretly get tiny boners whenever that happened, regardless of the borderline legalities?

Misha ‘s long legs carried him to the parked motorcycles. Narinder had been surprised on his first day when his Russian counterpart had directed him to the tiny, junky, motorbike. It had only taken one traffic jam for the FBI agent to understand why Misha had insisted. As Narinder got on his own bike, Misha started his, initiating a two-cyclindar assault on their ears. The motorbikes weren’t meant to be used outside the city, which was good, since they didn’t go much faster than forty miles per hour. You couldn’t beat them when the streets clogged with people, as they were now. Silently, the two men began their trek, zigging down the road without a helmet or traffic laws. Of course, no one used either safety feature, not in Bangkok.

The worst of the traffic was off the streets by the time they reached Phra Suan, and they were able to rev the lawnmower engines that powered their sad vehicles to ear-splitting volumes. The motorbikes were vibrating with exertion by the time that Misha left the busy main thoroughfares behind and entered the side streets. Men eyed them darkly from doorways, or eyed Misha, anyway. The big white man had earned a reputation among the flesh-traders; Misha had once joked that he started every day with kasha and an assassination attempt. Some of the men glaring at them may have been contributing to Misha’s morning rituals. If the thought had occurred to him, it didn’t show in his gray eyes or stoic expression.

The pair of hunters came to a stop in front of a building; Narinder saw nothing to distinguish it from any other, but Misha parked his bike and swing off the machine. Though in truth, it was made for the average Thai frame, so he practically stood up and stepped over it. Once Nari was at his side, Misha walked up to the door, where a man was staring at them with an unfriendly glare. The glare darkened as the men stopped in front of the door guard.

“What you want?” The guard’s English wasn’t bad, but Narinder and Misha were more focused on the hand resting in the small of his back. It was no doubt inches from a gun.

“Information.” Misha wasn’t nearly as casual as he put his hand on his holstered weapon, out in plain view. Both men had permits to carry and did so openly, unlike the thug in front of them.

“Nothing to tell you.” The guard waved with his other hand, the one hanging at his side. His balls-to-brains ratio was disappointingly small, and Misha spat on the ground in disgust. The guard scowled harder and drew himself up further, resembling a small dog about to take on a larger dog. Misha might get his chance to crack a skull.

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