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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility


Sargun II
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With the recent news that Austria had progressed to become quite possibly the most powerful country in the world rivaled only by Rebel Army and Viniland (and quite possibly Selenarctos as a runner-up), Evan Hiley decided it was time to get even richer. Despite owning vast quantities of Russian oil and German gold that was only continuing to rise in value, he also ran the war machine of Carthage which continued to be destroyed and be rebuilt through various circumstances. He continued his humanitarian work through the nuclear cities of Gibraltar and Carthage but through the rest of the world he was fairly limited - his face still spawned hate in many countries or successors of countries he had scorned.

Hiley was past the age of thirty by now and his career as an amateur boxer was coming to an end. He was still fairly strong with a 32(17)-5 record but coming against other amateurs he wasn't particularly proud. The New Zealand and Palintinian boxing commissions were dissolved when the nations themselves were dissolved, so he had little of a hobby. He had no children that the public knew about and no wife. He had not been seen with Sarah Tintagyl in months.

Despite these personal failures to himself, he continued to press forward. He managed to convince an elderly man to sell the Carthage Tigers professional football team and created (and owns) the professional soccer and football leagues in Carthage. He owns a media conglomerate here that started in Sicily (he is in talks with the Italian government right now about relocating back to Sicily despite the Fascist government but it is not going so well) and controls essentially both major newspapers and the top television news station. However, few people globally know about how he has branched off from Artemis Global Services (which is now primarily humanitarian) into these other areas. He is still, after all, rich and apparently still a womanizer despite his months-long romance with the Lady Protector.

Now he was looking to invest in Austria. Or, he should call it, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. While only allowed 20% of any business, he decided he would invest in multiple businesses and hopefully be able to be an influential figure in Austrian economics. He found the most expensive and prosperous companies in the HRE and bought as many stocks as he could legally own. While his stock of cash significantly dropped, he could back it up with billions of assets. He found several promising companies in the HRE and managed to buy stocks in dozens of companies with significantly less money and giving them even more capital needed to succeed in the highly competitive HRE economy. He found several niche markets and invested as well.

In the days after, he would find his money increase substantially. Glowing with pride and achievement, Hiley felt that he needed one more step in his life to be resolved.

So, he did the rational thing and tracked down Anthony Harlem. Next step: paying him a surprise visit.

Edited by Sargun
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Anthony Harlem would be difficult to track down. While he almost exclusively remained in Promised Land, he often flitted from here to there within the nation. He had very recently been in Melbourne, but that was only a brief visit to some friends, and the only clue he left behind as to where he was going was a single forwarding address in Alice Springs.

And with the constant looming threat of terror attacks, Hiley would not be able to guarantee a safe journey for himself.

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Now he was looking to invest in Austria. Or, he should call it, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. While only allowed 20% of any business, he decided he would invest in multiple businesses and hopefully be able to be an influential figure in Austrian economics. He found the most expensive and prosperous companies in the HRE and bought as many stocks as he could legally own. While his stock of cash significantly dropped, he could back it up with billions of assets. He found several promising companies in the HRE and managed to buy stocks in dozens of companies with significantly less money and giving them even more capital needed to succeed in the highly competitive HRE economy. He found several niche markets and invested as well.

In the days after, he would find his money increase substantially. Glowing with pride and achievement, Hiley felt that he needed one more step in his life to be resolved.

However, as Hiley invested these substantial sums, some in Austria began looking for him and his origins, attempting to find out where this man had come from, mostly wanting for the state to confiscate and redistribute the wealth he had accumulated.

As always, it was only for profit.

Edited by Lynneth
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However, as Harlem invested these substantial sums, some in Austria began looking for him and his origins, attempting to find out where this man had come from, mostly wanting for the state to confiscate and redistribute the wealth he had accumulated.

As always, it was only for profit.

OOC: Err...it's not Anthony Harlem who's investying, but Evan Hiley.

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Melbourne, Australia.

"Jason Bourne" managed to enter the international zone without much of an incident. He was, of course, assisted by his half-machine, malevolent assistant Xenu, who was traveling under the guise of a soldier who had a burned face and preferred to hide it under a mask. After securing a real passport (sure it wasn't his but since he had all the rest of the credentials all he needed to do on his part was memorize the information) and taking up the name Jason Bourne, he and Xenu entered Melbourne and took a day to tour the city to get any prying eyes off of them.

Jason took his friend to a hospital for the last part of the "tour" and decided to go back on the hunt. After quite a bit of digging he ended up finding an address in Alice Springs. It would be his next destination.

//this is the part where you RP any sort of border security stopping them from leaving.. or attempting to

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In a city of millions, and of mixed citizenship to boot, it was often difficult to determine who was real and who was an imposter. The excuse that Xenu was a soldier preferring to hide his burnt face was unusual, but not implausible, considering the circumstances.

Their tour of the city would prove uneventful--no terror attacks today.

On the edges of the city boundaries, one of the border guards would ask to see his identification. It looked legitimate enough. The guard didn't bother checking for weapons, as this was apparently a Promised Land citizen, and thus permitted to take weapons across the border.

"Everything appears to be in order. What happened to your friend?" he asked in a friendly manner, handing back the ID.

OOC: Hah hah, Bourne...I love those movies, have yet to read the books.

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//God be damned, I posted last night. >:| //

"He doesn't like to talk about it," Bourne said quietly, leaning to the guard and shaking his head sadly. He smiled wearily and looked back at the scarred soldier, who continued to stare into Promised Land. "Thank you," Bourne said to the guard. The pair proceeded into Promised Land in Bourne's personal favorite car - his 1968 Camaro.

~~~~~

The Camaro pulled up into Alice Springs. It had been quite a bit of a drive (especially with Bourne stopping to take pictures with some of the wildlife) and Xenu was a tad bit impatient, but he did what he was told and hid in the trunk. Jason smiled as he walked up to the address that he had taken down, and carried a briefcase full of assorted papers. He knocked on the door of the address.

//Not sure what the address is, so :P //

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OOC: Well, nuts, I was going to do something interesting on the way, but this works too. :) Oh, and I was vague on purpose... ;)

IC: It wasn't large as homes went, but it was all one property, clearly not an apartment complex, duplex or other form of housing more than one household in a single building. The painting was faded, the porch was full of splinters, and the door had no bell, which was probably why 'Bourne' had knocked.

But no one answered. Apparently no one was currently home.

There was, however, another person approaching the house, a young redheaded woman in her early twenties, whose dark eyes stared at him curiously. She was currently doing something on her phone, probably text messaging someone.

"I'm afraid he isn't home right now, but he'll be back soon. Do you want me to let you in, or would you prefer to wait out here?"

She hit one more button on the phone, then pocketed it, the message sent, as she stepped onto the narrow porch.

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Jason turned around and looked at the redhead, who looked to him a bit like Little Orphan Annie (though perhaps a decade older). He chewed a piece of gum in his mouth for a few seconds as he looked her over, his eyes taking in everything he needed to see. "Think you could let me in, please?" He asked, stepping aside and smiling as nicely as he could.

Didn't expect a redhead..

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She hardly batted an eye at the thorough study...she wasn't ugly, or so she had surmised by the way men reacted to her, though she did allow a hint of a smile as she withdrew a set of keys from the same pocket her phone had gone into. She in turn was not afraid to admit she was studying this man--he was handsome in his way, she thought, as she unlocked the door and opened it.

Walking in, she left it open. "Come on in," she called from inside. "As I said, he'll be back soon, Mr...come to think of it, what is your name?"

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The inside was a little more...comfortable than the outside, though it still wasn't decorated to excess. The walls were painted a mild yellow, and copies of a few, random pictures dating from the Renaissance were hung upon them. A cusioned sofa was off to the left of the door, a single armchair to the right, and a small television against the outside wall below the single window (the curtains were currently open) immediately to the left of the door.

The floor was covered by a thick, red carpet.

"Melissa," she answered from the next room beyond, the kitchen. She popped her head into the living room once more to ask another question. "Can I get you a drink?"

Outside, the man Jason Bourne was searching for just turned onto the street. He was on foot, preferring not to use a car for the time being.

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Melissa? Hm, Jason thought as he reached down to his personal flask at his hip. "No thanks, I've got me own drink," he answered, twisting the top off and taking a swig. The alcohol soothed his throat. "I hope I'm not going to be interrupting anything," he said rather unnecessarily as deep down he almost wished he was. "I haven't seen him in a long time, it would be a shame.."

He took in his surroundings and put the capped flask back on his hip.

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Anthony strolled slowly, almost leisurely down the street, apparently unaware that anyone else was in his home. At least until he saw the car in his driveway.

He still appeared unconcerned, but he did stare at the car curiously as he walked onto the gravel.

--------

"No, you're not interrupting anything. He wasn't expecting me either," she stated, stepping back into the kitchen to grab something from the fridge.

'How would they know each other? He never mentioned any Bourne. Meh, whatever.'

She returned with a can of soda, absently popping off the top and taking a swallow. "I'm sure you'd be more comfortable sitting," she said, obliquely giving him permission to sit on the sofa if he wished. She simply folded her legs under her self and leaned back against the wall.

She was still studying him curiously when Anthony stepped in the door.

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"Two surprise guests?" Jason smiled and took another swig of his flask. "I'm more of a standing guy, thank you," he replied, leaning back against the wall opposite of her. He gazed at her curiously, especially at her hair, which he seemed to look at in utter fascination.

When will this guy--

Anthony Harlem stepped through the door and into his (?) house, and Jason broke away from her to look at the man. He did not give a verbal greeting.

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'Well well, is this the so-called 'merchant of death?' This is an interesting situation. And Melissa too...'

Very little expression showed on his face, though he did raise his eyebrows. He briefly studied Jason, but his first words were to Melissa, who was combing a hand through her hair to try and make a few stubborn strands behave. "What did I tell you about letting people you don't know inside?" he asked, a hint of a smile now exposed on his lips.

Her only response was a rolling of her eyes as she took another sip of her drink, and he turned back to Jason. "Can I help you?"

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"Yes, you can. You drink? I'd like the strongest of whatever you have, I need to stock up for a long journey," he said in a tone that displayed that this was not the real reason he was here. Jason took a good swig out of his flask, emptying the rest, and capped it at his hips one last time.

"Very good. I hope you can forgive me for this intrusion on your property. You are Anthony Harlem, yes?"

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"I've got some whiskey, and a few bottles of wine in a cooler," he replied, walking through the kitchen into the hallway beyond. He beckoned for Jason to follow. "Yes, I am Anthony Harlem. What am I supposed to call you?" he asked in return, hinting that he knew who the man really was, but was unsure if he really wanted to use his real name here. Though his back was turned to his guest, every sense was attuned to detecting any movements--especially any that might be considered hostile.

Melissa stared after them, not ignorant of the unspoken byplay, but she knowing better than to interfere in such matters.

The hallway was short and dark, and led to another room, about half the size of the living room, where there was a desk and two chairs. No other objects adorned this room, which was apainted in the same shade as the living room. Nothing was on the desk.

Anthony sat in the chair opposite the door, indicating 'Jason' should take the other.

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He walked into the kitchen and looked at Melissa one more time before following Anthony. "Just call me Jason for now, I like to keep things simple." Bourne walked into the short and dark hallway, a little cramped for his build, and into the second room. He closed the door behind them and sat down on the chair facing Harlem, his eyes taking in the bland room around him. His body tensed.

"You are a very confusing man, Anthony. Who's the girl?"

Edited by Sargun
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Taken by themselves, his next words would probably seem a little confusing. "You got a good look at her face, right? Take a good look at mine..."

However, if Jason studied him carefully, he would see similarities between Anthony's and Melissa's facial features. Before he could reply, either to express more confusion or agree that he finally saw thr connection, Anthony explained it outright. "She is my daughter."

He shifted in his seat. "And now that we're out of her earshot...to what do I owe the honor of a visit from the so-called Merchant of Death?'" His tone indicated only mild curiosity, not condemnation, anger, or even admiration. Simply mild, neutral curiosity.

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"You have a beautiful daughter," he said absently as he concentrated on other thoughts. "You also lead a beautiful life - if a man lives a lie he can see through another," Jason said. "Tell me, Anthony, how do you do it? Lead your life like this?"

Several scenarios were running through Jason's head at the moment, all of them including some sort of question from Anthony. Jason slumped forward in his seat and closed his eyes as he waited for the man to speak.

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Like any good father, Anthony couldn't resist a bit of protectiveness where his daughter was concerned. But he resisted the impulse to say anything--she was of age, and as long as she chose what happened to her, he wouldn't be doing one thing to stop her.

"How? I live like this because I know what I do means something, something that benefits my nation and the people around me, however small that benefit may be." An honest enough answerr, though it gave no hint at what he did other than serve in the diplomatic corps. Only confirmed, if you were of a suspicious enough bent of mind, that there was something else. "Why? Are you seeking absolution for something you have done?"

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"If I needed absolution, there would be a trail of bodies leading straight to me. No priest can absolve my sins, no God can overlook what I have done. If you knew what I had done we wouldn't be having this conversation. I would be outside on threat of death, Anthony."

He called Anthony by his first name, and it felt wooden. It was his style of speaking, though. "I am a monster, and in every great tale the monster can see the hero for what he truly is. Are you a hero? Are you the man I have come to seek?" Jason's voice lowered abruptly. "Anthony.. what happened to Melissa's mother?"

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