Biker Philosophy

Summary:
August 21 2014: Bobby meets Sho and the two talk philosophy over coffee

M-Town Starbucks

Even in M-Town, the goddess of coffee has temples.


Characters

NPCs

  • Thugs

Mood Music:
[* None]


M-town is not exactly a bastion of safety, there’s still plenty of crime and all sorts of craziness afoot. Like tonight, "The fuck is wrong with you freak!"

That would be a pair of T-shirt clad shorts wearing, ugly power ranger helmeted sport bike riders accosting a punk kid who looks about twelve. "Yo bro, you gonna let that little shit get away with that?" Tad, the one in front flips up his face shield before sourcing a length of black drain pipe from the alleyway. "I'm gonna beat your fucking ass you little shit, my dad just bought me that bike!"

That would be about when Sho steps in, well sort've really. This isn't his town, these aren't -his- people and he's gotten the distinct impression he really should not go fucking around. The "bro" in back though, is leaned up against his Honda and this is not done. Men do not touch other men's bikes, and they certainly do not lean on them. "Excuse me, sir. Could you please move?"

Gesturing to that lovingly cared for CBR600RR, but the "bro" only responds with a "Fuck off bitch." Yes. Well.

"Yes, well. That will be the end of that, I believe." Comes Sho's only retort, which is sufficient to draw a raised eyebrow from both.

*

M-Town is not, indeed a bastion of safety. Nor really a bastion of good manners. Unless you're Bobby Drake, the coolest guy around. No, really. That's literal. In any case the commotion has definitely attracted the attention of a late night coffee getter. He's standing on the corner, watching and shaking his head. He'd have stepped in by now but really the stranger seems that he can handle himself. Unless it gets to be an unfair fight… or a fight at all.

*

Sho turns to his side as he digs his boot under a length of black drain pipe, before flipping it up into his hand. The "bro" sitting on Sho's Honda immediately rises, if only out of surprise at first. There is no swinging to be done here yet really, but Sho gets to work right then and there. Jabbing the man twice -HARD-, there’s the ring of broken bone and he crumbles to the ground in a yowl of pain.

"You mad bro, I just beat your buddy like the bitch he is. What're you gonna do about it, you worthless piece of shit? You need a fucking pipe to beat up a kid, really? How about you pick on someone your own size, and I won’t burn your bikes to the ground?"

Tad, well he doesn't really know what to do. This, this isn't how this is supposed to work at all! He curses, and swings that pipe down hard overhead. Sho simple sidesteps, releasing his own length of pipe and steps in. He grabs onto Tad's chin bar with one hand, as the other delivers a punch you can hear -echo- down the alley. Then a leg sweep, before he rolls that unbuckled helmet free of Tad and proceeds to bash him in the face a few times. With his own helmet. "Well, wasn't that a let down" Glancing up towards the kid, before waving him off. Two dudes, now unconscious in the alley. Just like that.

*

"Well…" Bobby sats from the corner, as he approaches. "You seem to know how to handle yourself. That was pretty decent of you." He pauses, looking the young Japanese man over. "Mind if I ask what brings you down here?"

*

Sho is, thankfully hidden behind that helmet of his so well he could go Ninja couldn't he? "Business, which concluded.

"Using a boot to gently kick that pipe away from Tad." I'm a biker, we all know how to handle punks."

Tearing his eyes away from Bobby for a moment, to place a boot on first that stretched Busa and then..-clang- he kicks it over. Followed shortly thereafter by the similarly ruined ZX-14R parked beside it.

"It's best that these two never own a motorcycle again, we don't want them giving the rest of us a bad name. No Biker, not even an outlaw would beat up a child. Such actions are unacceptable, and they should not be tolerated. Would you disagree?"

*

"I disapprove of beating up children on principle." Bobby shrugs. He'd clearly not been 'patrolling' or anything. Just getting coffee when he heard the ruckus. Unlike the well groomed Sho, this sandy haired young man seemeds to be perpetually ruffled. Not that he looks bad that way just… you know, not exactly neat and trimmed.

"Name's Bobby by the way. And you are…?"

*

Sho lifts a hand to his chin bar, and after a moment thought he peels it off. "I am Sho, It is a pleasure to meet you. I had heard this area, tended to take care of its own problems but I could not simply watch."

Stepping forward to offer a gloved hand to shake, if Bobby fancies. "Is this, your neighborhood?"

*

Bobby does. Heck, Sho might not even feel the chill of his hand through it. "Ish. I'm not, you know, one of those masked vigilantes like in Gotham, but I do live here at the moment and I don't like it when folks beat up kids. I guess that makes it my neighborhood."

He looks around. It's dark of course and rather quiet tonight even for M-Town. The news of the massacre in Syria had kind of put a pall over things. "What brings you by?"

*

"Legal affairs, I'm a lawyer. For privacy reasons, it's best not to discuss the details obviously. I provide my services free of charge, when I have the time that is. There are many trial lawyers willing to devote time to the, less privileged but few contract lawyers. There is very little overlap unfortunately."

Sho shakes firmly, before stepping back. "It's something of a biker thing, so I apologize if that seems strange to you."

*

"Hrm? The lawyering or the rescuing of kids? I can't say that I really mind either way." Bobby looks around and then hitches his head toward the coffee shop.

"C'mon Sho. Let me get you a coffee. Least I can do. Where'd you learn to fight like that if you don't mind my asking?"

*

"Japan, very good work out." He pauses, snagging his bike and righting it off its stand before simply walking it across the street to park it there. Best not to leave it in the alley with those assholes, right?

"The Lawyer thing, and the fighting thing. They are both related to motorcycling in many ways, they come from the same place. Also, I thank you sincerely for your very kind offer."

*

"Probably a good idea yeah." Bobby pushes the door open and walks over to the otherwise unoccupied stand. "Whatever you like. Like I said, least I can do. Are you from Japan or did you just end up living there for a while?" With a name like Sho he can see it either way.

*

Sho orders things simple, plain black coffee. "I was born in Japan, lived there most of my life. Originally I learned English because that was where my two favorite racers came from, this was helpful in the end as it gave me something of a unique career path. Very few speak English And Japanese, and understand both legal environments as it pertains to contracts."

*

"I suppose learning English Legalese almost qualifies as a third language. Lord knows I don't understand it most of the time." Bobby laughs as he finds a seat and leans back in it. "Mmmm, well that seems nice. What brings you out to the states? Pretty long way from Japan."

*

Sho takes a seat, before gently setting his helmet and gloves aside. Unzipping to expose that brilliant red and white "HRC" T-shirt beneath. "It was felt that it was important to come here, by my family amongst others. I do miss Japan, but I am doing good work here and so this is the way it must be."

Carefully producing a card from his jacket, and offering the multicolored thing over to Bobby. "If I am not the sort of Lawyer necessary, it would be my pleasure to find one for you who is. Please keep this in mind."

*

"Mmmmm." Bobby pockets the card. It's always nice to have these kinds of phone numbers. "Family business mmm?" He wouldn't know about that. He hasn't spoken to any of his family in three and a half years. Some wounds run kind of deep.

"Well that's nice. Long way from home but still. Are you living in M-Town?" He could understand it. Rent's cheap and if you can handle yourself it's not a seriously scary place.

*

Sho shakes his head softly "Oh no, My family operate a motorcycle shop. As did my grandparents, it was thought I would become a racer until my calling found me. There are days I do long for the purity of that path never the less, things would be much clearer." As to the bit about M-town, he simply shakes his head softly. "No I live in Gotham, my services are required there and I found a place to live where I can store my things. Motorcycles and so forth, require a great deal of space."

"Aaaah. Yes, fair enough. I don't know if I could do Gotham myself. M-Town's rough enough without knowing that there's a decent chance that the police you're calling and the guy mugging you share a poker game or something." Bobby shakes his head. Gotham has a reputation and a fairly well earned one at that. "But I guess if you can handle yourself it wouldn't be too bad."

*

"Gotham is rough, because everyone operates under the belief that everything is someone else’s problem. Good enough, is good enough. The result, is for all to see. This too, is a biker thing."Sho pauses to accept his coffee with a pleasant smile and a soft thank-you, before he continues.

"When you are at home, you exist within an artificial environment. You leave, get into your car and carry another artificial environment with you. You arrive, and you enter yet another environment which is not true. When you ride a bike, you travel through the real world. You see, you smell, you hear and you feel the world and these things you experience are truth. Not the noise of your stereo, or the chill of your air conditioner. You arrive at your destination, having traveled there. Not merely passed from one false reality to another, you have in doing so lived within the true world."

*

The ice nerd chuckles a bit and sips at his own coffee. "Are all bikers this philosophical?" He wouldn't begrudge them it, certainly, but it is rather curious. Certainly doesn't play to the stereotype of the American biker.

"So your biking experience leaves you more aware of the world around you. I guess I can buy that."

*

Sho nods softly. "Bikers yes, but owning a motorcycle does not produce a biker. To many it is an attractive aesthetic, so they wish to purchase a lifestyle without investing any effort."

Pausing to sip after his coffee. "A biker regards their respective machine as a sacred device, as a temple. Prolonged riding produces deltawave brain patterns, like conventional Buddhist meditation or dreaming whilst asleep. If we were to take these machines back two hundred years they would be regarded by many religions as sacred devices of communion, not just technological wonders. As such a biker attends to the workings of his machine, when he does not know how to do something he asks his brothers humbly and he is shown. When he sees a brother broken down, he has a responsibility to stop beside him and see to his well being. This is a life of hardship, and inconvenience. It requires training, study, respect and patience. Even the appropriate 1 percent gangs, not the ones playing at it? They understand this, there is a brotherhood even with these rough men. If I am broke down, they will stop and help. If someone treats my bike poorly in my absence, they will protect it. We are brothers, because we have decided that hardship fosters spiritual enlightenment."

*

Okay. Bobby's pretty sure that most bikers are in fact not this philosophical, but it's certainly interesting to hear. It's a lot like the talk of brotherhood (not The Brotherhood) among mutants. We're all in this together. Of course, right now that's exactly the problem. It causes people to bond, but also to pull away from others and society at large sees you as a threat that's of very dubious value. All in all, Bobby's not real sure how he feels about that.

But at least this bit about bikers isn't likely to get anyone killed. "I see. Is that why you came down so hard on those guys out there?"

*

Sho nods softly. "May I presume, that you are gifted in some way? I know many mutants do not mind the word "Mutant", but it seems to me that this has a negative and unnecessary connotation which is negative. I also do not mean to pry by asking this, merely to secure a footing to explain in English something which is a granted where I was born."

*

"Gifted is one way to put it yes." Bobby doesn't advertise what he is, but neither does he hide it. "Most mutants could be considered gifted from a certain perspective. Mine actually has several applications and is… mmm, more powerful than the usual. So yes." He doesn't mind the asking though, especially not when it's as polite as that.

*

Sho sips his coffee quietly for a moment. "If individuals of low intelligence, low moral standing and exceedingly wealthy upbringing appropriated an identity you had no choice in because they felt it was fashionable would you not be offended? How would you feel if they used this appropriated identity to produce a harmful image, or for simple social gain because it was fashionable? Looking and pretending, whilst harming the true way of your identity. Would this not anger you, and drive you to act in it's defense? I like many, was born to this. My mother rode when she was pregnant with me, when I was a baby we had no car. So she rode with me, when as a child I cried she rode to put me to sleep. I have never been asked, I am simply this way. Certainly with training and a motorcycle, anyone can become my brother but this requires the right mind. Every man is born a biker or not, long before they ever touch a motorcycle. We are wired differently, we were made to be this way for a reason."Setting his mug delicately on the table for a moment. "It is the arrogance of man to think we can understand the will of gods and spirits, and by extension it is arrogance to presume to know their plans for us. Our burden, is choice. We can either accept that we exist the way we exist for a reason, and strive to perfect the arts which the gods have presented us with. Alternatively we can buy a life style, do whatever is fashionable and live as hollow incomplete beings who will never know any semblance of truth. This is our choice, Bobby. We may take the correct way in life, or we may take the easy way. Through suffering and hard work, we may become better people or we may fail and live a worthless existence."

*

Coffee, apparently, makes Sho wax eloquent. But Bobby smiles. It's an interesting philosophy. The more so because he claims to not have chosen it. Perhaps he did not. Certainly Bobby did not choose to be as he is. But he is and he would not now trade that away for anything. "Mmmm. So they were, for lack of a better word, imposters."

*

Sho nods softly. "They did not follow the true way, the true way is difficult but honest. I have hopefully helped them, I have harmed them greatly so that they may reflect on the error of their ways. If I see them again, and things have not changed then I shall repeat the lesson more severely. I will continue to do so, until they are unable to do so again or they have through pain learned the way of things. It is wrong, to pretend to be something or somebody you are not. Not to say men who wear a mask and fight crime are incorrect in doing so, there is a certain kind of honesty in a mask."

*

"There's a certain kind of self preservation too. If you're gonna defy the sardines - excuse me, the SRD - then keeping your identity quiet has a practical application. I guess I understand that even if it's not the way I'm going to go about it. But then, I'm not wanted for anything." Besides, to Bobby the key part is being known. It does Mutants no good to hide the best among them and let the world see the worst. Or the ones who harm them.

*

Sho mmms sipping quietly. "There was a Hero in Tokyo whilst I was in college, he was known as the "Tokyo Nightmare" by his fans. They sought to honor him, and so they created websites with photographs and fan works. They attributed to him many deeds, very few of which seem to have been his work. There are many photographs, and many video clips of course because this was Tokyo. He carried a sword, he cut bullets out of the air and he fought some men who were very powerful. Never once was he seen to kill any of these men, even those who had done horrific things. Yet his fans, attributed nearly forty murders to him. They are now very upset, because this hero has not been seen in some time. Can you imagine, if this hero fought with his face exposed?"

*

"He'd have been, I imagine, very arrested." Tokyo police don't mess around with that kind of thing, Bobby knows, and the Japanese in particular are… very inventive in their anti-meta capture methods. Inventive and perhaps a touch cruel but there you go. "Someone you were familiar with perhaps?"

*

Sho sips his coffee "You could say that yes, but he was very popular. Costumers adopted his outfit en-masse, and sold replicas online. I would think, it is no surprise that he felt his only option was to quit. Now in his wake, evil men act without bounds. In the old ways, he would have been respected at least for attempting to do something for the benefit of others."

*

"I suppose even in Japan tradition erodes eventually." Odd place, Japan, Bobby thinks, home at once to the ultra traditional and the ultra innovative, sometimes side by side. "Well, if he's a clever man perhaps he simply moved. Or perhaps he well and truly retired. Everyone has to eventually, I guess. Except maybe Superman."

*

Sho shrugs, and doesn't really answer comment on the moving bit. "A retirement for a hero, would imply… well. There is an American saying I believe applies, leave it all out on the field. To me, if they are to do it seriously then there would be no holding back. No margin for error, no fear. Their end would come, and so they would fall knowing they had nothing left to give."

*

"Glad that I've lived, and gladly die, and I lay me down with a will." Bobby quotes another Robert (Robert Louis Stevenson). "There's something to be said, though, for honor in a job well done and moving on when your limits force you out of the game. If you give it all out there, that's one thing, but to keep going back knowing that you can't keep it up forever…" He shakes his head. "Sometimes there's no shame in admitting you're not who you used to be."

*

Sho sips his coffee "So the lives left unsaved, so that a Hero may settle down and do whatever they feel they've earned? Doing such things earn no man anything, you are either born for that work or you are not. You gain nothing by not acting according to your nature, it's the denial of your essential inner self. That is as good as nonliving."

*

"The flip side of that coin is the live lost because a champion who shouldn't be in the field desires to go out in a blaze of glory. One final 'meaningful' sacrifice." The mutant community has had such 'heroes' before. It hasn't done them any favors, Bobby is well aware. "That isn't service. That's vainglory."

*

Sho shrugs. "If they are born to be such, and can no longer be then what is there in life? They may mentor others, and this would be well and good but beyond that potential it is a life empty of any real value beyond emotional attachment. It is better to die doing what you believe in, than hooked up to breathing machines in a hospital waiting for an end."

*

"I think I'd agree with you there… but it's not like those are the only option." Philosophy Biker is philosophical. "I do not myself believe that everyone has a single path walk or a single calling to answer. People have a unique ability to define themselves. When life closes you out of one path, is it not the part of a man to find himself another? To forge himself into what he will be rather than languishing because of chance or age?" Bobby chuckles. Goodness. He's not been in a conversation like this since junior year ethics class.

*

Sho smiles faintly "Remind me why you do not own a motorcycle yet, Bobby? Perhaps what you need, is time to think in an appropriate environment. I have a bike you could have, if you learn well what I have to teach. It does not run at this time, but this would offer you the opportunity to learn how it works. When you understand a machine, you can repair it. When you understand a machine, you understand yourself. When you understand yourself, you can repair yourself."

Sipping gently his coffee. "No trail is ever fully impassable, it just becomes more or less difficult depending upon many things."

*

"It hasn't been practical for me thus far, but if your business takes you back this way, or perhaps to wherever else I end up living in the near future, I would not mind learning," Bobby smiles and drains the last of his coffee. "Mmmm. It's been a pleasure meeting you Sho. I do wish you luck wherever you go here in the States. It sounds like you've got a lot to offer people."

*

Sho nods politely, before rising to offer his hand again. "My offer is most serious, you seem a man in need of guidance. Call me any time, and we can discuss delicate matters more frankly." Yaknow, like being a ninja and shit.


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