Well, THAT didn’t go as planned…
The Bear can feel every last spring in the rusty old cot they provided her as she tosses and turns, trying to figure out what to do next. She goes over the events of the night in her mind to pinpoint where, exactly, it all went wrong. She HAD to do it she tells herself, there was no choice! But even she doesn’t believe that. If she had just done what she was told, she wouldn’t be in this mess.
The floorboards creak on the other side of the locked door as her captors pace back and forth.
They’re trying to figure out what to do with me, Bear thinks to herself.
She hears the key jingle as someone fumbles with the lock. They’re coming to question her again! And in that moment, the Bear knows what she has to do. She’s going to have to make a deal with the enemy.
The mission was simple: Go to the Elk’s garage, steal computer files, and get out. They wouldn’t even know she was there. To the Bear’s credit, things ALMOST went as planned.
The Bear found and decrypted the files relatively quickly. The Financiers- a shadow operation financing the syndicate that submitted “job requests” and demanded discretion - had been leaning on The Green Lizard. They wanted info that they knew The Elk had and The Green Lizard had sent her to get it. She knew not to ask too many questions beyond that.
As she was waiting for the data to finish uploading onto her key, she glanced at some of the data she was copying. Just a peek. Later, while she sat captive on a rusty-springed cot, she’d pinpoint THIS moment as the moment where it all went wrong…
A folder had caught her eye, the one named “BEAR”. Was she really NOT supposed to look at it? She opened the file and her rage took over. How dare the Elk have info on her, images from a past she thought she had destroyed long ago except for the few memories that still rattle in her head. She saw her tentative grasp on control slipping. This was supposed to be a fun job–see Rabbit, Fox and Elk squirm. But now… Were the Financiers coming for her? The Elk? Was The Green Lizard trading her secrets?
Before she knew it, she was drenching the garage in gasoline. She picked up a handful of cigars she had noticed on the Elk’s desk earlier. As she walked out of the garage she lit a cigar, took a couple of puffs and dropped it in the trail of gas. She stood outside watching it all go up in flames, including the key with the copied files.
She stood outside watching the garage burn and for the first time, in a long time, a smile crept over her face. She hopped in her car and drove to meet Green Lizard at their predetermined meeting spot to hand him the data she collected. Of course now, she would have nothing to give him… well, that wasn’t entirely true, she thought, as she drove off with the Elk cursing her out from the trunk.
A NEW PLAN
The incessant drip of a leaky pipe echoed through the nearly empty parking garage. Only the smell of fresh gasoline and cigar smoke would alert you to the imposing figure patiently waiting against her car in the night.
The Bear took a large puff from her cigar, and began to feel her temper cool as she watched the smoke rise. She didn’t normally smoke cigars, but it was sitting on The Elk’s desk while she was copying the files. A Queen of Finland, customized luxury brand. She had been around enough pompous wealth now to recognize it and decided to take it. Why not? It was going to burn either way… Now, it was the only thing helping to remove the stench of burnt gasoline and plastic that still lingered in her nostrils. She looked down and noticed the ruin this night had made of her favorite sneakers. Limited edition…she cursed under her breath at the sight of them. She hadn’t dressed for arson. The Bear wonders if the Green Lizard had heard about the fire yet, or if she would have to tell him.
“YOU IDIOT!!” A shrill cry broke the silence, as a short figure erupted onto the parking floor, “YOU ABSOLUTE BUFFOON! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???” shrieked the Green Lizard.
That answers that question, she thought with a smile - the second of the night.
“Are you smiling?!” The Green Lizard was shocked, “Is there something about this that you find amusing? Or are you just too stupid to realize what you’ve done?”
She’s sick of how he saw her, just this dumb bear. But she tried to keep her temper to a minimum.
“At least,” he wheezed on, “At least tell me you got the data.”
Bear took another puff of the cigar before she dropped it to the ground. She stared the Green Lizard dead in the eye and said, “Nope. But there is something in the trunk for you.”
She listened in silence as the Lizard laid into her. Of course Bear knew not to tell the Lizard the real reason she set the garage on fire, the rage she felt when she found those files on herself. Not until she finds out WHY the Elk had the data on her and IF the Financiers knew about it. Instead, she decides to play dumb, a role that is all too easy for her especially when it comes to the Green Lizard.
“What’s your problem?” she growled at him, “The data is destroyed. Now no one has it, isn’t that what we wantedl?”
“I wanted you to STEAL the data!” He spat back. “And burning it doesn’t mean it’s gone! They probably have copies!”
Copies...She literally did a face palm. Which means more files on HER out there…
“I have to go get the other copies!” She snarled.
“Ya think?” he responded mockingly. “And you need to do it fast, before the financiers realize that we don’t have anything to give them.”
Now she was off to hit The Blue Rabbit’s territory before The Elk’s people could warn him. So much for simple jobs.
“I’ll deal with The Elk if YOU can actually get the job done. WITHOUT more fire.”
Bear arrived at the Blue Rabbit’s in record time. The garage was dark and quiet. Looks like they haven’t heard about the Elk… yet. Bear snuck in and turned on the Rabbit’s computer and ran a decryption script to gain access to the files. She put the data key in her pocket, but didn’t leave just yet. She needed to know if the Rabbit had any files on her so she kept digging.... When she couldn’t find anything, she knew it was time to shake down a bunny.
The Blue Rabbit sat tied to a chair, the hulking figure of the Bear over him.
“It’s all there,” the Rabbit pleaded, “The list of potentials, locations, hideouts, It’s everything I got! I don’t understand what else you’re looking for.”
Ug, Bear hated his squeaky voice, big talk until he’s under the gun, “I know Elk had more files…”
“I’m not The Elk’s boss. They do their thing, I do mine. Control is death! If you’ve got questions for the Elk, go to The Elk...”
I should’ve grilled Elk while they were in my trunk, Bear thought rubbing her face. But now…There was NO WAY Bear could let Lizard know that she was on a rogue mission or the real reason she rage-burned Elk’s garage.
“We have the Elk! And if you want to see them again, you’re going to show me where the other files are!”
“Can't give you what I don't have, Bear. You think I'm afraid? I eat chaos for breakfast!"
The Bear gagged him, happy for the quiet. So now she was heading to Osaka to get to The Red Fox. She should've known it would come to this.
"Don't worry," the Bear called over her shoulder, "Someone will come for you sooner or later.
Osaka was a mess, her crew in trouble, and The Bear had cursed this whole mission, right before everything had gone black…
She woke up in this “prison cell”. Technically, it was just a battered room in an old, run-down apartment block somewhere in Osaka. One of the last standing safe houses left for the Elk’s crew after all that had gone down.
The Bear stretched her sore back and arms and she laid on the cheap cot, her mind trying to spin a plan to get herself out of this mess.
She knew that she needed to get out of there and back to the Green Lizard BEFORE he realized that she was captured. If he finds out that she’s been compromised, there’s no telling what he’d do. She needed to rescue her crew and she needed to have a talk with The Elk. So she’d have to make an offer that the Red Fox couldn’t refuse.
She heard the keys unlock the door from the other side, and slowly lifted herself in the sitting position. This is it, she thinks.
“Hey, Red.” the Bear greeted the Red Fox as she entered the room.
“Hello Bear.” replied the Red Fox in a much drier tone.
“Guess you’re not here to sweet talk me, huh?”
“Not today, I’m afraid.” The Red Fox was clearly not in a mood for games, but was always the polite one and impossible to read.
“Then let me cut to the chase. But first,” the Bear paused while holding up her cigar, “You got a light. I heard these are the Elk’s favorite.?”
The Red Fox took a step forward in rage.
“How dare you.”
The Bear raised an eyebrow in surprise. It was a rare show of emotion cutting through the Fox’s strategic and calculating facade. Fox’s voice was raw and full of protectiveness and passion. It made The Bear like her more.
“Whoa,” the Bear replied with a calm but defiant smile, “I’ve got a proposition for you.”
Fox laughed, “This’ll be good,”
“The way I see it,” the Bear began her pitch, “Is that we both have things the other wants. You want the Elk and Rabbit home safe and sound, I need to deliver that data drive to my contact. Our mutual friends, the Financiers. Give me the data, and the Elk will be safe.”
“Look,” The Fox responded, “I don’t know why you, the Green Lizard, or the financiers want this info - or what’s so special about it, but I’m sure as hell NOT giving it to you. If for no other reason than because of how much you want it.”
“What about the ELK?!” The Bear was beginning to lose control here.
“The Elk would tell me to do the same thing.”
Bear couldn’t tell if she was bluffing. Fortunately, she has something else to offer.
“What if I can offer you something more eye opening. A little peek inside the financiers? Would that be worth something?”
“And how would you propose we do that?” Fox looks at her sceptically
“I can create a virus within the data we hand over to the Financiers,” Bear couldn’t help but revel in the look of surprise on the Fox’s face as she continues, “Sure, they get some info on you, but you get to into their files and get even more info on them. Would THAT be worth something to you?”
Fox always thought of the Bear as the muscle, the Green Lizard’s dimwitted sidekick but it looks like there’s more to her than that. Her plan was risky and possibly devised by an insane woman but it was also truly ingenious. It was a literal Trojan Horse. The virus would finally give her crew a back door into this mysterious organization to glean information…for profit and for leverage. But what would The Bear gain?
“You want to work together? Now? After leaving a trail of mayhem and fire? What’s in it for you?” Fox questioned.
“I want two things,” the Bear tells her, “One, the Elk has some information that I need.”
“What kind of information?”
“THIS IS BETWEEN ME AND THE ELK!” Bear growls, “I need to arrange a meeting.”
The Fox ponders the Bear’s odd request. “I’ll tell him about the deal, Keep your end of the bargain and I’ll appeal to The Elk’s honor. That’s all I can promise.”
“Fine. Second, I need my crew’s safety guaranteed. Don’t come after us for the little… mishap at the Elk’s garage.”
“Mishap?! You mean when you burnt it all TO THE GROUND?”
“Hey! I’m giving you a chance to spy on the financiers. I think you can forget about a couple of burnt cars.
Fox stood there, it would be tough to convince her crew not to retaliate, but for what the Bear was willing to give her, it would be worth it.
“And the Lizard?”
The Bear shrugged, “You got me before I got your data to him. I’ll have to deal with him. But maybe it’s time he paid a price for his attitude problem.”
Fox considered if Bear had been pushed hard enough to want to turn on The Green Lizard. “Fine.” Fox she finally said through her teeth, “You’ve got yourself a deal”
“Great, now, hand me the data so I can put the virus on it. Once I’m done with that I’ll be ready to go. Give me a bit of a head start before calling the cops.”
“Why involve the cops?”
“You’ve been holding me for long enough for the Green Lizard to know something is off. This will at least give me a convincing alibi.”
“This better not be a trick,” The Fox says as she reaches into her pocket and hands the data key to the Bear,
“Relax,” said the Bear smiling. “Only an idiot would do that.” She parted ways from The Red Fox, and tucked her cigar into a cigar case that had The Elk’s mark on it.
© 2018 Gameloft. All Rights Reserved. Gameloft, the Gameloft logo and Asphalt are trademarks of Gameloft in the U.S. and/or other countries. All manufacturers, cars, names, brands and associated imagery featured in the Asphalt 9: Legends mobile game are trademarks and/or copyrighted materials of their respective owners.
Nintendo trademarks and copyrights are properties of Nintendo.