Umbrella Surveillance System
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Buck Rogers It was only a short while ago that Buck Rogers disembarked from one of the Eden Resort ferries that brings people to and from Maracaibo. He'd been in South America before, and Bolivar specifically, as they make some money from tourists to said resort-- but he hadn't traveled, hadn't explored, content to go from an airport to a ship, and continue on to his lovely vacation home.

Today is different. The orders have come down from the U.N., and while there's some time before they go into action and his life gets busy again, Buck's a man who becomes easily bored in idle moments.

He walked the streets. He soaked in the ambience and the architecture. He argued in childlike Spanish with a beggar; he snatched some weird-looking vegetable from a stall whose owner was passing it out cheaply. "Huh," he had marveled at one point, "It's just like any other city."

He expected South America to be more destitute. A little less Miami, a little more Cambodian-- never you mind the distance between those things.

He finds himself now in a little lakeside restaurant. The heat is miserable; the sun burns the ozone, he swears he can smell it, and the breeze off the water is wholly inadequate to break the sweat that ruddies his cheeks. He's stripped down to a wifebeater, a baseball cap, jeans, and attached to his belt hanging at his side is a god damn sword.

He draws eyes for his size, for the absurdity of the muscle on display. But, here in Bolivar, there is no celebrity attached to the name Buck Rogers.. and that's something pleasant. He's almost anonymous when he sits down in a chair.
Richard Stadler Anonymous to most people in the city, probably. It is true that the people in the city couldn't give a second glance to a news report coming from Paris, much less the people that had been big parts of it. But the country did seem to be attracting a number of people who were familiar with the case. Who were familiar with quite a few cases, a matter of fact. Esspecially one who pauses, looking at Buck as he walked into the restuarant. Glasses, a polo shirt, and cargo shorts in a rather unflattering look, but at least one that kept him moderately cool compared to what he could be wearing.

There seems to be a moments delibration, as he idly follows the large man walking through the restuarant, sitting down at the table. A bit of time removing his glasses, slowly cleaning them off, to allow a clearer view than a second before with humidity fogged lenses. And, after a moment, he stands up, picking up a English-language newspaper off the table, and moving to sit, without so much preamble, at Buck's table.

"Well. Didn't expect this."
Buck Rogers The wooden chair groans in protest of Buck's weight. He's too big for it-- the arms dig into his sides, the thickness of his thighs doesn't agree with the proportions, and the back of it, rather than supporting him, terminates well beneath his shoulders. But it's a chair, positioned with his back to a wall and having a view of both the water and the main entrance, and there's a drink on the table that looks alcoholic and forgotten by the previous occupant.

Free booze in a foreign city is a great omen.

He's reaching for it when Stadler sits down. There's a moment's pause as his hand stops, fingertips gracing the rim of the cup. "I take your table?" His voice is low, with a smoky rasp-- a booming thing that suits a booming man. What it isn't, however, is apologetic, even with that question.. because Buck has drawn the glass toward him and downed it in one gulp. He slams it down with a wide-toothed grin. "Ah, can't be yours. Tastes like shit. Who're you?"
Richard Stadler Richard Stadler leans back in his own chair, blocking Buck's view of the ocean (and probably the breeze that might take a bit of cool of air coming off the lake. For a moment, there's a bit of a twitch on his face. Perhaps this wasn't the best of ideas, given that Buck was exceedingly large, armed, and rich enough to buy the cops off, but aside from a book signing, when else was he going to get an oppurtunity like this? His eyes look down, lips turning in a grimace as the man takes an unknown drink and pays the price of something low shelf, before looking back up to the man. "Nope. My table's back over there. Besides, pleanty of tables avalible. I came here to... hell. I don't know. Vent at an approving target. Though, not suprised you don't know who I am. I suppose I should approve of that, but sometimes it really does piss me off.

He says, a trace of bitterness, just a trace, in his last words. "Big bad Buck Rogers. Hero of Raccoon City, decorated by the UN for his actions in Paris. See, I'd love to know if you planned that, but I think the answer's no, so the other question would be if you're just a lucky son of a bitch, or an oppurtunist who sees an angle and plays it? If I was some distant observer, I might respect the latter, but seeing what I've seen and doing what I've done, it'd just make me want to punch you in the face if I didn't think I'd break my hand."
Buck Rogers The voice is vaguely familiar. It makes Buck think back to the group beneath Paris, or maybe in the raid on the Siberian facility-- is this one of the soldiers who participated there? He raps his knuckles against the table top and purses his lips into a flat line of concentration, looking up and to the side in thought. With that heavy, furrowed brow, he must look like some sort of weird cross between The Thinker and a Cro-Magnon. "Well, glad it's not yours," he responds, watching as the other man adjusts himself to deliberately cut off sight of the water. He stretches out his legs and rests his feet near Stadler's chair.

He scratches at his beard, combing his fingers through the thick black starting to salt. "Guess I do have a fan here in Bolivar," he muses, the thoughtful look becoming more irreverent. "So what are you-- some pissed off soldier jealous he didn't get the recognition he deserves? Ain't my fault if you didn't make an impression, bud. I don't make these decisions." A roll of the shoulders, a crack of the neck, and in the pit of his stomach, facilitated by the heat, hostility brews, reacting to Stadler's. "Look, I'm sure you worked hard. And you probably got a bum deal, especially if you're F.B.C." He's decided that's the likeliest explanation. "You want I should snap my fingers and change the minds of the E.U.? Psht. Now move the hell over, you're blocking my view."
Richard Stadler "I'm touched by your concern for my potential drinks." Rick says, sarcasm a light dust to the statement. He waits, for just a moment, as Buck tries to put things together. He's got some patience here. After all, he wasn't liekly to get this chance again. And he doesn't flinch when those feet move next to his chair. Could have been a power play, could have just been streching, but it didn't matter. He's get the chair back again in just a little bit more time. "I'm slightly pissed off, sure. And, hey, let's be honest. I'd like a medal every once in a while. But that's not what drives me here."

He pauses for a moment, looking down at a table. "I can take that. I can take the hard decisions. That was something I was uncertain of, when I was in that church, watching my people dissapear to survive or get their guts torn out by those things. Something I gathered when I was down in those catacombs and gave the order to engage civilians that wouldn't stop. A little annoying the press decided to go the way they did, but it need to be done. And I can't be miffed at you getting recognition for it. Someone should get something out of it, I suppose. No, no, no."

He leans forward. "I read that book of yours, if you did write it. Saw your reactions. Caught you for a split second with that chainsaw when things went down right before that poor girl died to save my life. What /I'm/ pissed off about is you treat it like one big damn adventure. Something to milk. TO get rich off of, to buy beach houses and fill the tabloid with vapid exploits. Thousands, hundreds of thousands of good people died and the person /they/ choice to exalt is some airheaded meatbag of a playboy who couldn't care less if he got famous from this or a fucking sex tape."

He pauses once more, then looks up from the table, eyes through those glasses to Buck's. "Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm venting. So, defend yourself. Or don't. I said what I needed to say."
Buck Rogers Buck is silent for the entirety of Rick's monologue. Oh, he could interrupt, and there's motivation to, here and there-- a desire to respond to that dislike with words or violence. But he doesn't; perhaps it's a low-key respect for someone else who has dealt with the monstrosities he has. Maybe that unknown drink was stronger than either of them knew and he was mellowed out by a mild intoxication. Whatever the cause, he's a quiet listener, face an impassive mask, eyes never drifting from the other man's. He leans in, his great bulk barreling over the table, elbows resting on it, one hand tucked half-fisted into the palm of the other.

He just stares, and listens, and listens, and stares.

The speech ends. "You're a fearful man," he finally says. "Clinging to some weak fantasy of honor and duty to convince yourself to stay in the fight. You don't have anything else going for you, huh?" A humorless chuckle tears itself free. "Gravitas might fit the soldier boy life, but the movies have big explosions and gun fights and joyful Nazi killin' for a reason. The people don't want hard choices and complicated ideas. When something scares them, they wanna be treated like kids, and told everything's figured out. They rally to guys like me who are decisive and have the answers. It's brute strength and will that calm us when the end times are nippin' at our heels."

A shake of his great head. "It is an adventure. The world's more exciting than it's ever been; I get to wade out into battle against things fucking legends are told about. You kill enough monsters, they start making statues of you. It's what a man's meant for." He waves his hand. "You're weak. And weakness doesn't make people feel better. They don't want soldiers, they want Heroes. They want someone who embodies a life they'll never have-- someone to envy, to look up to, to be inspired by. Ain't one fuckin' soul in this world that wants to sit down and ponder the terrible fuckin' philosophy of killing some to save many. They want to ignore it, and cheer the monster-slayers. That's me." He thumbs his chest. "I'll laugh and yell and run into any fight. I'll kill the biggest motherfucker around, saw off his head, and carry it around to show people. I'll get cars, and money, supermodel blowjobs and TV deals. Jerk yourself off over making hard decisions and respecting the job. I'll be the one making everyone else stop worrying."
Richard Stadler Stadler holds where he is as Buck speaks, mouth a thin line as Buck gives his opinion of the situation. Part of him wants to interrupt, another to stand up and storm out, but he had been heard, and it was only the polite thing to do to hear Buck out. Yeah, right. Truth be told, he wanted to shoot back, and when Buck finishes, he's just about to spit some invective. But he keeps his mouth shut for a moment longer. Opens his mouth, takes a deep breath, and nods, moving to stand up. "I really wish I could disprove that. That I'm not a fearful man. I can do it, on the surface. But I can thank you for letting me take a look. I am scared of some things. Not the small stuff. Not getting a few people killed, or myself. But seeing the world die. I suppose that might be the difference between us, in what we want. What we're in this for."

He moves to press in his chair. He really was liking the shirmp here, but he'd have to come back another time. "You talk about what people want. Giving them that. I think it's pretty fucking convenient that you get to live your dream of a 16 year old in a Stag magazine, but... that's simply not far. I'd like to belive... want to beleive you think you're doing a service for people, being what the people want to rally around. And that means we're not going to see eye to eye here. I can accept that. Becuase people like you give people what that want, and people like me do what needs to be done. To make sure that the world still has food and government, law and order. Living fucking people to lose themselves in the fantasy you project. So, yeah. GOing to jerk off to making those hard decisions, because at the end of the day, you sure as fuck aren't going to make them."

And with that, he nods. "Nice meeting you again, Mr. Rogers. I'd pay for your drink, but I'm sure you've got that covered." And with that, he moves toward the exit, that houseboat, and the more relaxing, calming, soothing problem of what the fuck he was going to do with two keys and change of someone elses coke.