Riverus Anthem III was pretty positive the guy was looney. But then again, so was the content of the ad. He read it again, just to be sure and sighed, wondering if the person was serious. Deciding it didn't really matter at this point, Riverus grabbed his phone and dialed the number.
"Heeeeeeeeeello?" the other voice on the end chimed in.
"Hi, I'm responding to your... poorly dictioned ad," Riverus said.
"Oh yes!" the voice said excitedly but paused. "Wait... What do you mean 'poorly dictioned'?!"
"You spell partner P-A-R-T-N-E-R. And the sentence 'while torturing those who said they couldn't' is way too vague and undefined," he replied.
"WELL EXCUSE ME!! Why don't you just go off and became a freakin' english teacher!!?"
Riverus held the phone away from his ear for a moment and placed it back when he thought the yelling was done. "I'm much more interested in taking over the world..."
"Blah, blah, blah...."
Riverus sneered at the phone and sighed. "Look, I seriously doubt anyone else has responded to this ad, have they?"
Riverus gave a resolute nod. "That's what I thought. I'm willing to go into criminal business with you. Take it or leave it."
"You know what! I don't care, be my partner, or not!!"
Riverus one again pulled the phone away and gave a tormented sigh. "Well, no promises but we should meet. Name a time and a place."
"Why do I have to?! It already seems like I'm doing all the work here!"
"You're talking on the phone. It couldn't be that much of an effort," Riverus replied dryly, glaring at the want ad still in his lap.
"Then you do it!!"
"Fine. Hampton Library at midnight tomorrow night."
"Hampton Library? A library... what kind of weirdo are you?"
"... Isn't that my question? Besides, you sound like a book or two wouldn't hurt you..." Riverus leaned back with a sigh, wishing he'd shut up already.
"Fine," the person replied and Riverus heard a loud click of him slamming down the phone. Riverus did the same and picked up the newspaper, flipping to the next page and reading. "What a jackass..."
Riverus sat down in a corner of the library with a book, not really reading but instead looking out over the library to see if anyone of a suspicious nature walked into the door. He glanced up casually checking the time, then winced at he saw that it read fifteen after 12. He was late.
He waited a moment and suddenly saw a young man skip into the library, looking very bouncy about something. His clothes and hair said that this wasn't the type of person you usually saw in a library. He was fairly tall, looked in his late teens, his hair green on one half and then abruptly torqouise on the other. His skin was dark complected, showing off a deep permanent tan, and his attire was punk, unmatching and even more unusual.
"Couldn't be..." Riverus muttered.
The boy stopped and looked around, looking like he felt as out of place as Riverus knew he looked. His eyes glided over each table until they settled on Riverus. He quickly made his way over. "Hey! You're the guy that answered my ad, right?"
Taken aback that he was so quickly able to distinguish who had contacted him, Riverus didn't answer immediately. He took a moment to adjust his collar and stood up. "Yes..."
The boy's eyes looked him up and down and for a moment Riverus was stricken by them. They were a shocking shade of light gray. Not only that, their well guarded look completely betrayed his breezy and open appearance.
The boy was also gathering his impression. Riverus looked to be about twenty despite the fact that he was rather short. He had blue hair, parted to one side and feathering out a bit. For the most part it was brushed down neatly, and in front of two piercing golden eyes sat a loose pair of glasses, looking like they might fall off. His clothing was semi formal, as though he had just gotten off of work at a business.
"So this is what fate gives me to work with..." Riverus muttered, "Shall we leave the library then?" He quickly took up a jacket and put it on his shoulders, not waiting for the answer.
"Okay! I know an awesome arcade we could go to!" the boy said excitedly.
Riverus waited for him to start laughing, only assuming it was a joke. When it wasn't he sighed. "I was thinking some place a bit less of a distraction. Seeing as this is a business meeting."
The boy simply gave him a blank look, as if he was trying to figure out why an arcade would be a bad place to do anything.
"Follow me," Riverus said, shaking his head.
"Stop telling me what to do!" the boy stomped his foot, glaring.
"Then I suggest you do it right on your own..." Riverus suggested, walking away.
The boy hesitated then stormed after him, seething. Riverus was equally annoyed as he led the way out of the library, setting the pace with a brisk business-like stride.
The two did not speak as Riverus brought them into a late night cafe, one whose atmosphere was very similiar to the library, filled with books and magazines about science and literature.
"Oh god... what did I do to get stuck with a geek..." the boy sneered.
Doing his best to ignore how rude he was acting, Riverus sat down and offered the seat in front of him to the boy. The boy gave a quick, almost nervous, glance around the room, spinning the chair and straddling it, leaning forward to glare at Riverus.
Riverus felt his eyebrow involuntarily twitch. "So, let's start with names. I'm Riverus Anthem III. And yourself?"
The boy didn't answer, simply stared, then started snickering. Riverus felt his eyebrow give another tick. "Riverus... Anthem... III?" the boy said slowly. "... Great name..." He ducked as he began to laugh.
"Your intelligent observations are amusing," Riverus said in an indignant tone. "Do you have a name?"
"Oh... A name..." he looked up thoughtfully.
After a long pause, Riverus spoke up. "You don't exactly have to make one up. Most people are given one when they're born..."
"Yeah, I know," the boy shrugged.
"... Well?" Riverus asked.
"Do you have a name or has your tiny brain lost it amoung the dead brain cells?" Riverus asked, becoming annoyed.
"Minx," he shrugged.
"Hmm," Riverus said, expressing his distaste. "So what exactly is your proposition?"
"I want to do something on the global scale," Minx replied, suddenly looking bored.
Minx slouched. "Maybe something on the level of taking it over..." He yawned.
"How... anti-climatic," Riverus shoved his glasses up his nose. "Any ideas on how to do it?"
Minx suddenly seemed more focused. "Money tends to equal power, which can be used over people. What better way to get both then by going through the business sector of a country?"
"Interesting... And then?"
"Well, after we get high enough we start controlling politics and start slowly taking over other business till we've managed to get a major influence of this country under our control."
Riverus seemed disappointed. "You have to be kidding..."
Minx sneered. "Why would I?"
"You do realize every major corporation in the entire world has been trying to do that for years, right?" he asked.
"I do know that," Minx said, "That's why you take over businesses in other countries and mess with their politics. While during all this, we bring up a private army!"
"It's all been done..." Riverus sighed.
"Have a better idea?" Minx challenged and Riverus found himself intimidated by those guarded eyes.
"You have to think aggressively," Riverus replied. "When do you think a country is at it's weakest?"
"During war or economic crisis," Minx replied.
"Precisely," Riverus said, "One tends to lead to another. Right now, Balatia and Evronia are coming to the end of a long time alliance. Things are... tense. If someone were to provoke them to war, they could take control. Neither country has strong leaders. It wouldn't take much for an intelligent individual to rise up and become a hero. You gain their trust, gain their power, then go after the rest of the world."
"So which country do we go after?" Minx asked.
"Both," Riverus shrugged. "There's two of us."
"Fine. Who gets what country?" Minx asked.
"I can take Balatia..." Riverus said, referring to the larger country. "You can take Evronia..."
"Ha, funny," Minx muttered, "I can take Balatia."
"It's a country of scholars," Riverus replied, "What could you do?"
"Hey, that just means I'd stand out," Minx replied.
"They'd toss you out in seconds..."
"Would not!" Minx growled.
"Of course they would. If you want to be accepted you have to fit in some... So in that case explain to me Theron's Theories of Magick..." Riverus smirked.
Minx was silent. "What kind of country is the other one?"
"Slummy... poor. Full of ruffians," Riverus shrugged and thumbed his nose. "Sounds right up your alley to me."
"Actually no... It doesn't," Minx said, glaring.
"Funny, you strike me as slummy all the way around..." Riverus replied.
Temper gone, Minx stood up, nearly knocking over his chair. "Fuck you!"
Riverus simply gazed at him. "No thank you."
"I don't have to put up with your crap! I'll take over the world by myself," Minx growled.
"Laughable," Riverus replied.
"Whatever," Minx turned and walked towards the doors, leaving Riverus sitting alone at the cafe table.
Minx snatched open the door, not even looking back, just as someone else stepped inside. He was a bit taller than Minx but looked much older, long black feathery hair tied back into a ponytail at the base of his next and bright blue eyes. He was wearing an officer's uniform, an overly polished badge at his breast.
"Ah ha, Minx..." he grinned.
"Hi..." Minx said but did not sound happy.
"Keeping out of trouble...?" the officer asked, grinning mischeviously.
"Yeah," Minx muttered.
The officer's smile flickered to malicious. "So was it you I saw picking on an elderly man and taking his wallet...? Your father'd be disappointed if he knew..."
"You've gone senile," Minx looked angry but unsurprised. "I don't do petty crimes."
The officer smiled brightly. "But I distinctly remember it being you..."
"I. Didn't. Do. It."
"So you've said in the past, too," he said, shrugging, looking like he was enjoying himself. "Looks like I have to take you in."
"Touch me and die," Minx said, sounding quite serious.
"Sorry, the law is the law!" the officer grinned.
Riverus watched from his spot at the cafe table, observing. He glanced around and saw a substantial amount of people in the cafe despite it being after midnight. Most of them were looking at the display between the officer and Minx as well. Riverus sighed and stood up.
"Excuse me," he said to the officer.
"Yes, sir?" the officer asked, giving him a cool smile.
"Yes, well, Officer..." Riverus squinted at his nametag, "Rombardi... You have the wrong man..."
Minx blinked, shocked, but said nothing.
"Do tell," Rombardi replied, looking less amused.
Riverus cleared his throat and spoke clearly so that everyone in the cafe could hear him. "Your approach to this boy is very unprofessional. You're dealing with him like you're playing a prank, not making an arrest. A serious officer would be more cautious if he really expected a person of a crime. Also, according to the duty list of the police station, no Rombardi is on duty tonight. Which means you have no authority to make an arrest."
"How could you know something like that?" Rombardi asked, smile gone.
"I make it my business to know," Riverus replied, "But really, even disregarding all that..." He reached forward and pulled a wallet from Rombardi's chest pocket before the man could react. "Unless you are Karmit Venton, age 62..." He glaced at him here, letting the emphasis fall on age. Rombardi looked no older than 27. "... I think you must have already rediscovered the stolen wallet. Which means Minx here does not have it, nor can you prove he ever did."
Rombardi took the wallet back, glaring. "I see. I suppose you are right," he took a moment to glare at Minx. "Keep your noses keep... both of you." With that, he left.
"Such impolite protection we have these days..." Riverus sighed, "Suppose I shouldn't complain." He too began to walk out.
Minx stared after him in surprise. "Wait!" he called.
"Actually, I'm rather tired and annoyed at the moment," Riverus replied, "I will not need further bantering at... By you or the so-called 'good of the city.'"
"That guy was about as good as burnt food," Minx explained, "He's always like that."
"Whatever. He was annoying. I can't stand someone who lies so blatantly. With no craft, no cleverness... You should at least earn your power before you abuse it..."
"People in power put people like that in charge so their authority isn't questioned," Minx shrugged, "And I don't see what the big deal is, he was just some idiot that won't get anywhere in life and isn't worth much concern."
"An artist is always disgusted at those who make a mockery of their art," Riverus shurgged cryptically back at him.
"Riiiiiiight, so you're just being huffy and pissy," Minx replied with a smile.
"... Why are you following me again?" Riverus asked.
"I have a reason..." Minx muttered.
"Oh good. May I hear it?"
Riverus shot him a nervous glance. "... You're not gonna start stalking me are you?"
"No," Minx said flatly, "You're not worth stalking, I was just going to say..."
A pause. "Do you actually need glasses, or do you wear them just for looks?"
Riverus growled, annoyed. "I actually need them... That was what you were gonna say?"
"Why? Was there something else I was suppose to say?"
"You're weird. Go away," Riverus snapped.
Riverus sighed and said nothing, just continued to walk. Minx said nothing either, just continued to follow, making faces behind Riverus's back.
Riverus stopped in front of what easily one of the poorest apartment buildings in the city, glaring at Minx. "Well this is my..." he paused. "I don't want you to see where I live, so this is where we part ways.
"Why?" Minx asked.
"Because I don't trust you," Riverus said nervously, adjusting his collar.
Riverus felt his eyebrow twitch. "Because you're creepy. Beat it."
Minx stared at him then shrugged, heading up to the apartment building. Riverus grimaced and chased after him.
"What're you doing?!"
"Beating it," Minx grinned.
"Well beat the other direction!" Riverus shouted, following him upstairs.
"I can go wherever I want!" Minx replied with malicious smugness.
"Sure, but there's no need to bother these people is there?" Riverus asked, eyes darting around.
Minx shrugged nonchalantly, looking around at the different apartments, nose scrunching at the odd dalapidated odor. The apartment's carpets were badly in need of cleaning and the walls were rotting slightly. Everything somehow smelled damp.
Riverus watched, looking away, scowling to himself. "What are you hoping to find?"
"Why do you want to know so badly?" Minx asked with a grin.
"I don't trust you, I already said," Riverus growled.
"And that has what to do with me going into random buildings?" Minx asked. Before Riverus could answer he walked over to a random door and knocked.
Riverus blushed and looked to the ground, shoving his glasses up his nose. "No one will answer..."
"Why?" Minx asked, then glanced over to the name plate next to the door. It read "Riverus Anthem III". After reading it, Minx grinned at Riverus and poked him. "So why? No one at home?"
Riverus laughed dryly. "Uh... Goodnight," he said and stepped to the door, unlocked it and walked inside, shutting it before Minx could force his way through.
Not to be gotten rid of easily, Minx stepped over and knocked, not stopping until someone answered the door. On the other side, Riverus had picked up a book and was trying to ignore him. He twitched as the knocking grew louder but made no move to answer the door.
Minx paused a moment and Riverus gave a relieved sigh, only to hear Minx screaming outside the door. "HOW COULD YOU, RIVERUS?!" he began to yell at the top of his lungs, "I THOUGHT WE HAD SOMETHING SPECIAL?!"
Riverus winced and jumped up, throwing open the door and snatching Minx inside. He continued to glare at him as Minx grinned, looking around at the fairly clean but old and musty smelling apartment.
"See?" he grinned, "Someone did answer."
"Don't you have a home to go to?!" Riverus asked, ramming his glasses up his nose.
"... Define 'home'," Minx said.
"Anywhere not here!" Riverus snapped, exasperated.
Minx shrugged. "I don't feel like it..."
"Get out of here or I'll call your little cop friend..." Riverus pointed towards the door.
Minx flopped down in an armchair near the window. "Go ahead," he yawned.
Riverus growled and slipped Rombardi's wallet out of his pocket. Minx stared at it, only slightly surprised to see it in Riverus's posession. Riverus dug through it until he found a number and proceeded to dial on the phone. Minx grinned and waited for him to start talking.
"Hi," Riverus said, when he heard someone answer, "You may remember me from earlier..."
"Ah yes," the voice on the other line weedled. "You..."
Suddenly, Minx started screaming at the top of his lungs, carrying on about kidnapping and repeating the phrase "He raped me!" at the top of his voice. Riverus blushed and covered the reciever.
"Well your little victim's in my house and won't get out!" Riverus shouted into the phone, "I'm giving you a good oppurtunity to come get him here!"
Rombardi snorted and started to reply haughtily but paused, thinking better of it. "Sure... Some officers will be by shortly."
Riverus quickly gave him his address and hung up, whirling his fury onto Minx. "The cops are coming! Now will you leave?!" he all but shouted, grasping the phone white-knuckled.
Minx grinned and shook his head. "No."
"So you want to go to jail?!" Riverus growled
Minx waved a hand dismissively. "I won't go to jail..." He hopped up and started digging through a drawer.
"Get out of there!" Riverus snapped.
"Make me," Minx sing songed back.
Riverus growled and walked over, trying to keep him out of his things. Minx simply laughed and moved to another area, digging around there. Riverus flopped into the chair and rubbed his temples, waiting.
After a few minutes a knock came at the door. Minx seemed unbothered and kept digging through things.
Riverus rose immediately and opened the door. "Thank God you're..."
He trailed off as a gun was thrust to his face. "Hands up!" a loud authorative voice growled at him. Slowly, stunned, his hands were brought unto the air.
"Is there a problem...?" he asked, confused. He looked passed the gun barrel and saw several other police officers, their guns held ready.
"We know you two robbed the bank this morning! Hands up! Get down on the ground!"
"Why would I rob a bank?!" Riverus cried.
Riverus immediately dropped and glared at Minx. "I hate you," he growled, closing his eyes.
The cop thrust his gun at Minx, who stared.
"Down on the ground!"
"No," Minx said, his cool gray eyes never wavering.
"I WILL shoot!" the officer shouted, but seemed unnerved.
Minx rolled his eyes and smiled like he had a secret. "I'll laugh when you're fired," he said and got on the ground.
The cops filed in and began cuffing both he and Riverus. Riverus glared over at Minx who didn't seem worried at all, just bored.
"This is your fault!"
"Actually," Minx said, smiling, "It's yours for ticking Rombardi off in the first place and not just humouring me for the night."
Riverus was at a loss for words. "This is my apartment!!" he screamed suddenly.
"And?" Minx asked.
"Quiet!" one of the gunmen shouted. Riverus whimpered as he heard the gun cock.
"Oh yes, we're doing something horrible by opening our mouth and speaking," Minx grinned, "The horror!"
The officers made no reply, simply grabbed both boys and dragged them out of the apartment into a police car, throwing them both in the back. Minx simply looked out the window, seeing if he could see something interesting while Riverus glared at the floor, tears pricking the corners of his eyes.
"I can't believe we're going to jail..."
"Jail?" Minx asked. "Tch. I'll be out as soon as I get my phone call."
"Maybe you, but what about me?!" Riverus shouted.
Minx thought. "Oh... What about you?"
"I'm never gonna get out," Riverus gibbered, "I can't pay some fancy lawyer and now they'll convict me. I'm too delicate for jail..." He held in a small sob.
"If you let me take Balatia, I'll get ya out," Minx grinned.
"Are you still on that?!" Riverus shouted at him. "Besides, I'm not making any deals with you! Dealing with you for less than a few hours has me in jail!"
Minx scowled. "Fine but don't blame me when you become someone's bitch."
Riverus suddenly let out a wail, which was quickly quieted by the officers in the front.