Over the course of many nights of pounding the streets, stopping thugs in the midst of crimes and interrogating them for info, The Huntress (also known as just Diane) was able to distill the following information about the crimelord Iron Mike from all the rumors and confessions she collected:
- Iron Mike is the Kingpin of Crime in Waingroh, with just about 10% of every illegally earned dollar kicked back to him somewhow.
- Waingroh is Iron Mike’s “kingdom.” The other syndicates don’t have much presence there, and conversely he doesn’t have much of a presence throughout the rest of the city. BUT… Waingrow is a dreadzone of crime, and that means that Iron Mike can be considered the sole reason why Waingroh is such a crime-ridden mess. No other region of the city can have such a clear, concise CAUSE for all their crime so easily pointed out.
- His grip on Waingroh is so tight that, even though it’s such a small area compared to the whole city, it has earned him the respect of the other five syndicates and he’s definitely Top Dog among them.
- Iron Mike doesn’t seem to have the same sort of rumored subservient role to The Minotaur that the other five crime syndicates do. Some rumors even suggest that Iron Mike may really BE The Minotaur! Or maybe The Minotaur just doesn’t have much interest in Waingroh…
- There’s no pictures of Iron Mike, but people HAVE seen him and he’s a real person (unlike The Minotaur, who no-one’s ever even seen). The descriptive answers people give while terrified by your interrogations paint a picture that’s anywhere from 6 to 8 feet tall and somewhere between Michael Clark Duncan, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
- No-one knows his real name or his past, but there’s strong rumors that he might have been a Boxer and/or in the Military at some time. He showed up one day with a bunch of thugs and started carving out his kingdom in Waingroh. Those who work directly for him call themselves the “Ironworkers” and they are kind of organized like a union. It’s led to some rumors that he’s got a communist or socialist objective, but those seem like wild rumors at best – there’s nothing else you’ve gotten to support that.
- Iron Mike’s core organization has supervillains as his “lieutenants.” Here’s what Diane got in that regard:
- Amaya: Cold, detached, and uncaring seem to summarily describe this immortal Japanese assassin who is as beautiful as she is deadly.
- Blaspheme: A nun with demonic powers. She may be a few cards short of a full deck but don’t suggest that around her.
- Conflagration: Something about powers over smoke and fire, or he IS smoke and fire? Couldn’t pin this down in any more detail.
- Maximal: An intelligent ape – he’s superhumanly strong, tough, and ruthless. Mock him at your own peril.
- Momentum: Speed seems to be this guy’s thing. He’s the youngest of Iron Mike’s lieutenants and the newest.
- Overhaul: This guy’s an inventor with an imagination on overdrive.
- Shadowman: The boogyman psychopath of Century Station. Word is, if he comes for you you’ll never know it until you’re already dead. Definately the scariest of all Iron Mike’s lieutenants.
- Despite the supervillain talent surrounding him, Iron Mike isn’t afraid to get his hands “dirty” when he needs to. He’s definitely believed to be superhuman but his powers and abilities are unknown. The thugs you interrogate who tell you this are pretty sure he’ll gladly deal with you himself if you keep bothering his operations.
- Ever since the Project Daedalus days Iron Mike has had an interest in collecting high technology. He doesn’t generally go “out of his way” for it, nor does he centralize his empire around this goal, but if some technology that’s “interesting” to him should become known to him, he’ll usually try to acquire it. What his purpose is in acquiring this stuff is unknown.
- Word is the Tomorrow Legion is flaunting some high technology item now, but it seems like an obvious trap so everyone so far has just kind of ignored it.
It took Diane many nights of patrols and thug shakedowns to gather all this info. Over this time she made herself known as someone who’s here to oppose Iron Mike, and that’s garnered mixed reception. Some folks see her as a definite hero, while others believe she’s just a bored kid with a stick poking at a sleeping bear.
In the middle of the night, during her latest patrol and “shakedown” of criminals, a human (not a shadow-thing) stepped from out of hiding to interpose themselves calmly in-between Diane and the thugs she just chased off. Faster than a normal person can blink Diane notched and arrow and held it ready to loose, but the figure didn’t seem to even flinch. Instead the figure just stepped slowly forward just a couple of steps, so that the light from behind Diane illuminated her. What Diane saw was an Asian woman, about 5’3", dressed in some kind of loose karate or ninja clothing. Her face was completely expressionless. She looked at Diane with eyes that have seen the weight of years, and borne witness to innumerable tragedies. She looked her up and down.
“Another huntress,” She said in a very bored, cold voice somehow made more menacing due to its utter lack of emotion. “I have been sent here by My Master to either make you a generous offer, or to make you an example. The master doesn’t appreciate your curiosity. I am to offer you $150,000.00 to walk away and never return.” She indicated a briefcase sitting on the ground a few feet away. “Otherwise I am to ‘send your body back to your friends in as many pieces as I wish.’” She offered no emotion or body language clues whatsoever – it was unsettling. “Take your time to think about it. I am in no rush.”
Diane thought to herself, “Clothing, looks, emotionless… This must be Amaya. I can’t believe Iron Mike is offering me money to stay away.”
Diane said to Amaya “I’m not alone, if I accepted the money, what would you do about the others? They are a lot more scary than me! Mike will have to come up with a lot more money than this to buy them off. I don’t think the others are interested in money anyway.”
With a solid grip on her bow, Diane stepped forward carefully until she was only about five feet away. There, she activated the Words of Truth ability her bow possessed in order to prevent Amaya from lying to her.
“You don’t look like the type to work for such a thug,” Diane carefully said to Amaya. “Why do associate with such trash? He really must have something on you.”
With no hesitation Amaya responded in a flat, emotionless voice. “Why do I associate with Iron Mike? Because I must. My decisions in life set before me this path, upon which I must walk. Just as your decision now will lead you down a path of your own choosing.”
Diane looked down at the suitcase, then back to Amaya. “The money – I’ll think about it. Where can you be reached?”
Amaya simply responded, “Very well. I suppose this meets the requirements. You may reach me in three day’s time, at Pier 19A of the Archipelago. Midnight. Now return to your friends in one whole piece.” She walked over to the suitcase and picked it up, preparing to leave.
Diane says to her before she leaves, “Do not underestimate who you are dealing with, say hi for me to your friend Shadow.”
Without another word Amaya slowly walked away. She rounded a corner and disappeared as soundlessly as she had arrived.