Judge Martin Brown
Judge Martin Brown:
Martin brown is currently a Judge of the XXX government.
Eight years ago, he was approached by Hanzo Shotozumi, the current oyabun of the Seattle Yazuka, and his cousin Toju, with a hefty bribe to pronounce a not guilty verdict on one of their high-ranking members. At first he was going to refuse the offer but the thought of all that nuyen changed his mind eventually so he accepted to bribe and threw the case.
A year later, Toju came to him again with another credstick with an even larger sum of nuyen on it and simply tossed it onto his desk and turned to leave. When Martin asked what the credstick was for, he was politely informed that this was his payment to throw the case against Shiro Tanaka, that was scheduled to occur in two weeks. Martin immediately turned them down because he didn’t want to bring too much attention to himself and possibly lose his judicial license as a result. Toju looked at him calmly and said “You took our money once and you’ll take it again. You never know when an accident may happen. We’ll be back in three days for your answer.” Toju turned and walked out the door, leaving the credstick on Martin’s desk. After the allotted three days without a reply, Martin’s daughter Emily was killed in a fire when a gas line exploded in the local school, resulting in 30 children dead and another 120 wounded. Knowing immediately that the Yakuza was responsible, but with no way to prove it, Martin accepted the ‘offer’ and proceeded to throw the upcoming case. Over the next several years, Judge Martin threw many more cases and started to get a reputation as a Yakuza pawn, though it could not be proven. He would not spend the bribes he was given because he was afraid that people would question how he came to have such nice things so he simply stashed the money in his safe.
Martin has always been a regular patron of The Eager Beaver, as often as 5 days in a week and sometimes twice in a day if he’s had a particularly bad day. During one of his frequent visits to the establishment, he sees a young girl entering the private area in the back with an older patron. Martin’s heart skips a beat and he drops his drink to the floor with a shattering of glass because this young girl reminds him of his daughter Emily.
“Bar… Barkeep… Who’s that g-girl that just passed going to the back rooms?”, he inarticulately stutters out his question.
The bartender replied that she was known as Lady Astarte.
“We don’t know what she does, but she comes here often with men and women, stays in the back sometimes several hours and then leaves again. That lass doesn’t talk very much, but once you get to know her, she’s nice enough. She’s young, twelve I think, but I’ve seen her break the hand of a troll who had slapped her ass when she walked past. I reckon she can handle herself in a tough situation.”
From that moment on, Martin is always at The Eager Beaver whenever he isn’t presiding over court cases. He see’s the Lady Astarte more than two dozen times over the next few months, but he never got the courage to talk to her.
One day, however, when Martin was drinking pretty heavily, lost in his own sorrows, a delicate cough is heard behind him. As he turns to see who is behind him, he falls off of his chair when he sees that it is Lady Astarte.
“You’ve been watching me… why?”, she asks.
The blood rushes to his head and he stammers, “Um.. um… It’s just that you remind me of someone I knew once.” “Stupid, stupid… You’re babbling like a common school boy in front of her. She’ll think you’re an idiot”, he thought to himself.
Lady Astarte turns and starts to walk away when Martin practically cries out “Don’t go!”. He quickly regains his composure and asks, “Please miss, may I talk to you for a while.”
Nodding her assent, she leads him to one of the private rooms in the back where they wouldn’t be disturbed. Martin made a proposition that the young girl come with him to the Space Needle for dinner and then go shopping with him afterward. He would gladly pay her for her services, to which she accepted. Dinner went by with a little awkward conversation about being a Judge and putting away criminals and how he was a respected government official. She could see easily enough that he was trying to impress her, but there was something different about how he spoke to her and how tears came to his eyes when he looked at her.
Shopping with Martin was the strangest of all. Rather than shop for himself, he picked out outfits and other things for her. Now she’s received gifts from her other clients as tokens of their affection or appreciation, but never colorful dresses or pretty shoes. Weird old man!!
Judge Martin asked to see her again and since he was a client that paid money, she graciously accepted, regardless of how strange he was.
In the months ahead, he took her to movies, the fair, amusement parks, skating in the park. He often contracted her to sleep over at his home in his daughter’s room next door to his. Never once did he try to make a pass at her and when she asked if they were going to ‘seal the deal’, he just got an appalled look on his face and said he was tired and went to bed.
One day though, he had a package for her when she arrived in the park for one of their arranged meetings and several other children were there and the whole area was decorated with ribbons wishing her a happy birthday. She found it strange that he celebrate her birthday (it wasn’t even the right day), but she had grown fond of the creepy guy over the last several months so she played along. Inside the package was one of his daughter’s old stuffed animals, an emperor penguin. After the party and the other children left, he sat and talked with Lady Astarte.
The next week, She met him at The Eager Beaver. It was obvious he had had a lot to drink before she arrived because he was already loose of the tongue and slurring his words. He talked to her about how she reminded him of his real daughter Emily and how happy he was that Lady Astarte had the same innocent look and perfect complexion. He started telling her everything about the Yakuza and how he had turned into a corrupt Judge and his daughter’s death as a result. Afterwards, Martin did not remember telling her this story since he passed out after a while from all the alcohol.
A few weeks later, he went to work as usual and saw a note on his desk. Written on it was simply “I took care of your problem with the Yakuza. Lady Astarte.” He was very aghast and ashamed that he had told his ‘daughter’ in his drunken stupor and did not remember doing so. She had given no indication of how she had ‘taken care of it’, but he knew nothing good could come of it if the Yakuza could trace it back to him.