Qrow needed a drink, and his flask was empty. Why would Ozpin do this to him? That is, aside from the reasons he explained to him before tasking him to this manhunt. But why now, and why like this? Why the new guy?
"Is there a specific booze we're looking for, or do you just need a buzz?" Asked the Augustus from behind the -possible- alcoholic.
"What I'm looking for is a place to get a refill." He shook his flask, but negated to break from his scan of the street they were walking down. "What we're looking for, is a girl."
The Militiaman simply raised a brow, but otherwise remained neutral. "Yeah, that's what your boss said." The Huntsman gave the Colonel a sideways glance, before shooting him an amused smirk. "You mean our boss."
"No..." The Colonel gave the tone of scolding teacher. "Ozpin is your boss. I am doing him a favor by helping you look for a... girl."
Qrow, now invested in the dispute, turned to face his verbal opponent. "Yeah, which makes him your temporary boss."
"Nah ah, ah. No, no, it makes him my contractor."
Qrow narrowed his eyes at the man. He huffed, and smirked. "Hehe. You're alright for a military guy."
Augustus merely smiled and shrugged. "Well, unlike Tin-Man Jimbo, I'm a human being before I'm a soldier, so I have a sense of humor. And social skills. And a soul." As Qrow broke out into a short burst of laughter, Augustus pulled off his rucksack. "Speaking of souls," he said as he pulled out a canteen marked with a blue ribbon, "I got some spirit for you if you want a shot."
Qrow took the offered container and sniffed the contents with abundant curiosity. "What is this?"
"Basic black rum with a little something extra thrown in." The Huntsman gave a grunt of acknowledgment. "What do you usually drink?"
"Whisky." He took a small sip, and gave a grunt in satisfaction, and handed the canteen back. "Not to bad."
"Thanks." He screwed the cap back on and put it back in his rucksack. "Old family recipe."
The pair continued to walk down the bustling sidewalk. While Qrow strolled along in his hunched over lazy gait, Augustus was marched along with a controlled foot patrol place. Despite the casual conversing, the Militiaman was unable to stop his instincts from telling to be on alert. The last time he had been in a city this size was quite some time ago, and the local population had been not particularly hospitable. Speaking of local populations, the inhabitants of Vale seemed to be somewhat suspicious. Maybe he was just being paranoid, but he swore that a fair number of the people he had passed had given odd sideways glances.
In all fairness to the people of Vale, he must have been an abnormal sight. IMC cargo pants, OD green jacket, and his gray and orange cap. Slung across his back and chest was probably what was drawing most of the attention. Pultruding from his kaki rucksack, which contained an MRE and a half dozen magazines, was his CAR, it's barrel poking out just past the forward sight. Strapped to the side of the pack, was an L-STAR. A weapon he loved and a weapon he feared, respectively. Hooked on securely to his chest was his Mk.6 Smart Pistol. This was the one weapon he had seriously considered not bringing. While it had saved his life on more than a few occasions, it was incredibly arduous to repair, and it was significantly less reliable than everything else in his arsenal. On top of that, the ammunition was going to be a total pain to make, if he could remake it at all. His Hammond hadn't needed to be mended in months, were as his Mk.6 had been to the shop twice in as many weeks.
Qrow, on the other hand, seemed to be a completely unassuming stranger to the crowd. No one spared the caped swordsman a second glance.
When he voiced these thoughts to Qrow, he responded simply with "It's the camouflage."
A pause filled the conversation. "...Really?"
"And the guns." Qrow added. "You're dressed like some kind of unholy hybrid of Listís Raider and Atlas Infantryman, neither of which is entirely welcome here."
"And they see me with you and they get thrown for a loop."
Qrow nodded. "Exactly."
"So," the Colonel said after a moment, "where exactly are we going? And why did I have to bring this much fire power?"
"We're going to a motel near the Monorail Maintenance terminal to meet with an informant of mine, guy by the name of Raymond, or something. Supposedly he's got information on the girl."
Augustus gave the huntsman a sideways brow-raised look. "Or something? How reliable of an informant is he if you don't even know his name?"
"He's an up and coming scene in the underworld community. Hasn't made a name for himself yet."
Augustus simply hummed in response. As the two men continued towards their destination, the sun's crawl across the sky approached it's end. With the blazing orange sky above them, the terminal came into view as it's iconic zig-zagging roof invaded the horizon and loomed over the other buildings on the block. Further down the block to the south, 'Blue Chair Inn' was plastered in neon lights on the front of the six story building.
Qrow smiled and nudged his companion's arm. "Classy place wouldn't you say?"
The multiple broken windows, graffiti, and burned car in side ally suggested that the Huntsman was, in fact, being sarcastic. "I know." The militiaman was motivated to do the same. "The graffiti brings out that Art Deco vibe, while the scorch marks on the side walls gives it a nice homey feel."
Qrow's smile morphed into a contorted face of confusion. "Huh?"
"What? I'm a dieselpunk kind of guy, but without all that postmodern gunk."
Qrow simply shook his head and walked on. "I'm not even going to ask."
The militiaman gave the street a glance in both directions, checked his six o' clock for potential tails, and followed his compatriot to the seedy inn. Aside from the pale blue light of the sign, a number of the windows on the front of the building were bleeding dirty yellow through the opaque glass. At this hour, that suggested that this establishment was currently hosting several late night rendezvous, and was about to start one more.
As the two men walked through the front door, a motion sensitive light came on in the small lobby. A hazy yellow, almost orange, glow illuminated the bare room with it's two small grey painted wood benches, a concrete front desk, and a single wall covered in cork board with numerus notices, adds, and flyers covering it. The rest of the room was painted in a splotchy brown-yellow pattern, as if someone had just thrown muddy sponges at the wall. The floor was a greenish-grey tile for the most part, with a few red faded purple tiles randomly scattered around. Probably replacements.
The one important thing the room was missing was a person at the front desk. The lobby formed the bottom of a 'T' intersection with the hallway, and dead ahead was the front desk, with an empty chair, and a locked steel door behind the cement slab.
"Assume you know were Mr. Raymond-or-something is?"
"Fifth floor, room 22B."
When the pair reached the fifth floor, a small problem occurred. "What pendejo designed this hallway set up?"
The rooms were arranged and numbered in a double 'H' loop back with an 'L' in between for a small commissary lounge. The numbering only seemed to follow as far as one wall before changing at the beginning of another hallway. Complicating matters even further was the stairs came up in a far corner, so the two ended up wandering down a few corridors before they noticed what was most likely their destination.
A man of rather intimidating posture was leaning against a door with a rather dull expression on his face. He donned a pair of black cargo pants and a brown leather jacket over a red shirt. Between the jacket and shirt was a formfitting metal breastplate, well concealed in the ensemble like the pistol and two knives on his belt. Siting atop his head of silver hair, with streaks of white, reveling the slight age the man had acquired.
"You Bowman?" His voice was gruff and scratchy, possibly do to years of smoking cigarettes similar to the one currently between his lips.
A huff was the only indication that a mispronunciation of his name bothered him, before addressing the pique. "It's Branwen. Who the hell are you?"
The shift in the man's arms did not go unnoticed by either of the two envoys from the Professor, and they unknowingly shared a thought. He just put his right hand closer to his sidearm. This motivated the Colonel to lazily grip the top of his vest with both hands, putting his own pistol within quick draw distance. It was also a deliberately obvious action, and the way the man cocked his head back seemed to indicate he got the message.
"I thought you were supposed to come alone." It was more a statement than a question. "Who's the spook?"
Qrow wanted to consider the man's words while also concocting a response, but was cut off by a response from his cohort. "That's sicario to you cabrón."
Before the verbal spar could continue, Qrow held up a hand to bring silence to the feuding gunmen. "Alright, hold on. The last thing anyone needs is you two trigger happy psychos having a shoot out, right?"
A shared silence between the soldier-assassin pair. A second passed before Qrow took the quiet as a response. "Okay." He turned to the man. "Now, I'm here to talk to the guy who, I assume, hired you. So are we good or not?"
The man, still holding true to the strong silent type, simply cocked his head towards the door and took a step back. "Nice."
Qrow stepped past the guard and opened the door, with Augustus following behind him. Just as the militiaman passed his rival, he shared a mutual glare before entering the threshold of the room. Before he could enter past the small mudroom of the hotel room, his companion turned around and grabbed the holstered pistol strapped to the Colonel's chest. Reacting instinctually, the Colonel grabbed the Huntsman's offending wrist and cocked his own arm back in preparation for a quick right jab at the man's face. He was stopped when the sword wielders other hand held up in a pacifying gesture.
"Hold up," he said, taking his other hand slowly off the pistol holster.
"Pinche madre!" Augustus ran a hand across his hair. "Qué mierda, pendejo?"
Although not aware of the exact translation, Qrow had a good guess as to what he meant. "You're not gonna shot anybody, are you?"
Augustus gave a sigh and rolled his eyes. "Seriously, man?" Qrow gave him an exasperated look. "Pinche… only if I have to."
"And what do you mean-"
"When someone shoots at me, I'll shoot back, okay?"
The two made their way into the rest of the main area of the room. A small one bed room, a window with access to the exterior fire escape, and a bathroom. A small holoprojector stand, with accompanying holoprojector, sat opposite the bed. Finally, in the far corner, hidden from the window and sitting behind a desk, sat a man in the shadows.
A pair of rather unassuming shoes on his feet, dark in color. The black button down shirt and unbuttoned gray vest was a odd formal contrast to the black cargo pants, and black leather gloves. leaning forward, both hands rested on a rather suspicious cane, given the youthful age of the man. Topping off the man's appearance was a bowler hat, with a dark red band around it. Peaking out beneath said hat, was a mop of ginger hair, sprawled out over his forehead, neck, and ears.
"Qrow Branwen, as I live and breath," the informant said as he stood up. He spoke with the town of a man that had all the confidence in the world, and a fair bit of charisma to put it to use. "And you brought a guest."
Has it been a while since I updated? Yes. Do I wish y'all a Happy Halloween? Also yes.
Sorry for the long pause, but I had some shit go down, and I've put up two other stories. Any of you Titanfall fans out there are welcome to go shoot out over there.
I'm pretty sure most of you can figure out who the mystery informant is. Bonus points if you know who the hired gun was. Anyone got guesses on the lady to be found?