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Blue Haze

Marseilles, France

a part of Blue Haze, by Gizibae.

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Gizibae holds sovereignty over Marseilles, France, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Marseilles, France is a part of Blue Haze.

Places in Marseilles, France:

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Character Portrait: Tai
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The airport teemed with activity and organized chaos. Planes landed, others took off, and some were delayed, much to the passengers' annoyance. Tai himself was quite irritable as he disembarked from the first class section of his flight. Despite having been treated like royalty for the past twelve hours, the fact remained that he'd been confined to a metal aircraft for twelve hours straight on top of a two hour delay.

In a nutshell, the man was not happy... not that it was unusual for him these days. Happiness was a fleeting emotion, experienced rarely and only briefly in time. He preferred other emotions, such as pride when his son Rong won in the ring, or lust during a particularly satisfying tumble in the sheets with some nameless wench, but happiness had officially become overrated.

Right now, though, Tai was feeling an entire spectrum of emotions: anger, frustration, and no small amount of killer intent for the imbecile that caused chaos on the runway that evening. Only the sight of the pretty little thing waiting for him at the arrival gate stopped him from snapping. He was a sucker for a pretty face these days.

"Please accept my most sincere apologies for the delay in your journey," the brunette bowed deeply, giving a very appreciative Tai a long look down her shirt, intentionally or not. Not bad.

"Nothing a good meal can't fix, sweetheart," Tai dismissed her apology and slung his bag over his shoulder. "My treat." The girl, a half French-Japanese representative of the France branch of the Yakuza, bowed deeply once more, and Tai smiled, eyes lingering lower than they should, before leading him to the black Cadillac waiting out front.

He was back in business.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Shaya Kim
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A life spent in the dark underbelly of society, where the worst of criminal minds and intentions alike swarmed and thrived, had chewed up Shaya and spat her out in distaste. No mercy was shown to those with cracks in their armours; those weaknesses were exploited, shattered by anvils of cruelty. Not many survived to improve their life, but Shaya had managed. She’d had enough practice, after all.

Now, in France, she was trying to forget it all. Forget, and move on… but that was easier said than done. She still suffered the scars earned from her significant history with the Triad and its leader, and it was all she could do to succumb to the gift her former lover had left her with.

A gift of poison.

It was difficult. Sometimes, Shaya would stand in the shower, under a heavy torrent of hot water, and stare at her razor blade...touch it to her wrist...and trace a thin line over the pulsing vein, imagining the river of red blood that would gush out. Only the fain echoes of her former self, a coward that was afraid of the pain she would feel while dying, stopped her from ending it right there. She would clench her fist and force herself to finish shaving her legs, acting as if everything was okay again, as if her heart wasn’t drowning in anguish.

Fighting this addiction had consumed her life for the better part of three years. It was an old story: she would establish some semblance of a life, live idealistically for a few weeks, and then start feeling the restlessness that precluded a torrent of familiar withdrawal symptoms. Before she knew it, Shaya would find herself in a damp and dark alley somewhere, eyes blurry in a haze of opium induced high, surrounded by strangers that encouraged her to keep going, everything was okay, she was safe... Cradled in the familiar taste and smell that had become a lullaby, Shaya would spend weeks without knowing where she was and what she was doing.

And then, one day, when her supply ran out and the strangers had exhausted both her body and money, reality would come crashing down and she would be horrified at what she’d done. In an effort to escape her reality, she would move once again to a new location, far away from temptation, a place where she knew no one and no one knew her, somewhere she could start over.

However, a river always returns to its original course no matter what, and for Shaya, history would repeat itself as well. If it wasn’t an alley then it was someone’s dark apartment, or under a bridge, or in a tunnel or abandoned warehouse. She’d moved from city to city, and then from country to country, and now, finally to a different continent altogether, desperate to escape the clutches of temptation, as if distance was her remedy. But not anymore.

In one of her periods of clarity and lucidity, Shaya had regained enough presence of mind to realize that something aside from merely her location had to change if she really wanted to be free. From Paris to Nice and now finally at Marseilles, she had checked herself into a world renowned rehab center the day she’d felt her withdrawal symptoms stirring again.

She had been here for about four months and completed the first stage of the program, and had two months before the second stage began. In these two months, Shaya was supposed to live a regular life in the city and apply the program's teachings to fight her addiction and see how well she could do in the real world. Then there would be another four months of rehab, followed by another two months of regular life, repeating the same cycle over and over until she was a fully functioning, sober person again.

Living somewhere for two months was not enough of a commitment to fully rent a place, so Shaya had decided to stay at a hotel for a few nights until she could find an apartment to sublet or even a motel, if need be. Due to necessity, she had only a few items in her luggage which consisted of only two suitcases and one bag; that was her entire life, packed up neatly and ready to be transported anywhere at a moments’ notice. Right now a porter was carrying her stuff upstairs to her room while she stayed in the hotel lobby, signing some paperwork and talking to the receptionist in soft, halting French. She’d learned the basics in America when she’d been a child, and it was slowly coming back to her.

“And there you go, Miss,” the man said charmingly, sweeping away the paperwork and replacing it with a set of keys and breakfast vouchers. She would have to find lunch and dinner on her own.

“Merci, monsieur,” Shaya said politely, pocketing the item and turning away. She’d only been released this morning, armed with whatever the rehab program could teach her in sixteen short weeks. Could she survive eight weeks here, by herself?
She’d find out.

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Character Portrait: Xun Yu Zhong
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Swing swing, went the pendulum as it swayed towards the other side of destiny. Xun Yu Zhong was not above superstition as it cradled his brain these days. The murky waters where his thoughts ran in cold blood, sat stagnant with the idea that someone out there might be lurking and ready to officially end him. He knew the consequences of double crossing those who had served a higher purpose. They flew above and beneath the sun, while he slunk into the darkest reaches.Image

The mansion was immaculate. A perfect glass prison, furnished with the finest things money could by. His empire was growing, flourishing off of the scraps that the Sun Yee On left behind. They were mortal enemies by history and yet somehow managed to work in sequence with one another. No doubt, the idea was to corner a forbidden market. A white man's world. A red river had flooded the streets over a decade ago. A war between three. A triangle of Yakuza, Triads and the French mob. He hadn't been in Marseilles for more than a year, and yet the stories haunted his every waking moment. Bloodshed, violence, revenge... all these things comforted Xun in ways no one could seem to understand.

His memories of Rio felt distant, though the scent of Shaya Kim still obsessively lingered about his nostrils and pictures of her delicate frame still adorned the top of a fire place's mantle. The Dragon Head often caught himself, captivated by the woman's spirit. Deeply engrossed in what may have been and what had become of her.

Every time, rage overpowered the idea of love, or what he thought it should have been.

He stood in front of a bedroom mirror, A large crack up in the corner served as a reminder of when he had put his fist to it, weeks before. Fingers were firmly wrapped around the handle of a Glock 34. Thoughts of emptying the barrel out into an enemy's skull caressed his imagination with swift and concise strokes. Stoking the blaze that hungered for order in chaos.

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Character Portrait: Shaya Kim
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Image

Although Shaya had left her former self back in China, she had learned many life lessons that remained with her, even in France. A small token of those times lingered in the form of a .38 Smith & Wesson strapped to the inside of her thigh, concealed by the graceful white dress she wore. Despite all the bad habits she'd taken away from her time with the Triads, this paranoia had saved her many times when someone had tried to take advantage of her while she'd been intoxicated. Now, it gave her a sense of security when she left the hotel that night, all alone with not a soul to worry for her safety in the entire world.

For some reason, Shaya was anxious tonight. Maybe it was nervousness due to being out of the rehab center's safety, or maybe she just couldn't trust herself not to fall back on her old ways. Either way, she unfolded the swiss-knife keychain in her pocket and slipped the blade between her fingers, stroking the sharp edge with a finger. She crossed the street, ignoring the inviting whistles as she strode towards a nondescript brown entrance.

Her slim figure easily weaved through throngs of people waiting to get into the famous nightclub. It wasn’t the drinking scene that interested Shaya, though; rather, it was what occurred behind the crystal beaded hangings separating the dance floor from the business end of the establishment that she was concerned with. Money exchanged hands rapidly, fortunes were made and futures were broken within heartbeats—the rich got richer while the poor only fantasized about it.

The tables were already set up, lamps swinging enticingly from the ceiling to illuminate the shady activities below. Most of the women here were pressed against the backs of suit-clad men who were too busy with the cards in their hands to notice their feminine wiles. Glasses of alcohol were surreptitiously refilled by quiet waiters, and smoke slowly wafted to the ceiling from expensive Cuban cigars dangling from heavily jewelled fingers. Already there were fists swinging in denial as cards were laid down in defeat, while others celebrated in delirious satisfaction.

Shaya paused at the entrance, letting it all wash over her. She inhaled deeply, pupils dilating in anticipation as she surveyed the casino-like gambling environment.

Rehab was expensive, and Shaya needed some way to pay for the astronomical cost.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee Character Portrait: Tai
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Tai was a passionate man and he lived every day of his life reflecting that in his choices and his actions. When he loved, he did so fiercely; when he hated, he did so viciously. Seon had seen one side of the coin, but she'd slipped away before he could introduce her to the other. Three years had only put his anger on hold, locked away in a Pandora's box and preserved carefully until he was ready let it out again.

The box was now cracking, and red hot steam was starting to trickle out from under the lid.

Tai smiled, casually disengaging his arm from his dinner partner and leaning forward to pour some of the lavish Krug into an empty crystal glass. At a jerk of his head, the hovering waiter smoothly picked it up and deposited it in front of Seon.

Tai smiled indulgently, nodding at her. "Old habits die hard," he said by way of explanation. "You would know, wouldn't you Seon?" The thinly veiled reference to her brief affair with her old friend was a weak rebuttal, but he wasn't looking to engage her in a battle of wits. She was too sharp to cede victory, and Tai always preferred to chose a battleground where he had the prime advantage.

He settled back again, letting the brunette sip languidly at her own drink. His remained untouched.