The stranger looked sideways at the man slumped in the chair across the room. Maybe he expected him to pull on him? Or possibly panic and run? He wasn't sure.
In either case, he'd be wrong. The bedraggled-looking man simply smiled and nodded. He looked up and said, "It's all about loose ends, isn't it?"
"Isn't it always?"
"But you didn't kill me. I assume there's a reason?"
The man at the door nodded and removed his sunglasses. He was tall, thin, dark complected -- similar to an Egyptian but not. Persian, maybe. A glossy sheen of sweat covered his bald head, which he blotted with the satiny scarf loosely twirled around his shoulders. He sighed and said, "Not that it matters, but I'm James."
"Sure it is."
The room was silent as James waited for the man in the chair to introduce himself. The man remained quiet for a time, but eventually rolled his eyes and muttered, "Call me Kurt. I think I'd like 'Kurt' on my headstone."
James crossed the near-empty room and sat in the chair opposite Kurt. He steepled his long, long fingers in front of his chin and sighed, "Kurt, trust me. If I were to kill you, there would be no headstone. I guarantee it."
Kurt leaned forward and placed his elbows on his knees. The chair's castors rolled him even closer than he had anticipated and, only ten inches away from his savior/captor, he said, "So let's get down to the point of the matter. Why ain't I dead, seeing as how you're the goddamn Terminator or some such?"
"I represent a... conglomerate of sorts."
James waved away Kurt's guess as if it had all the significance of the ramblings of a single-digit-I.Q. amphetamine junkie. Kurt figured similar interjections on his part would be likewise ignored, so he kept quiet.
"We got wind of your stunt very late in the game, I'm afraid. We lacked the time and preparations to stop it. Quite frankly, it was so poorly thought out that we just naturally assumed you would fail."
Kurt bristled, "Thanks."
"...And probably die."
"Okay, okay. I'm a dummy -- I get it. Jesus!"
James shook his head and blotted his shiny dome once more, making Kurt think this tall, rather ghoulish gentleman was unaccustomed to the heat of the Philippines. He thought, Who wears a friggin' scarf to the tropics anyways?
When finally James let go of the scarf he was smiling. He spread his arms wide and continued, "But despite yourself, somehow you managed to pull off the heist of the millennium!"
Maybe Kurt finally caught his breath, or maybe it was because he was sick of this dude's condescending tone. But for whatever reason, he chose that precise moment to make his escape. He pulled his hand cannon from inside his tattered jacket and fired off a couple shots with all the subtlety of a garbage truck.
James dove to the side in an evasive bullet dodge, but Kurt had not fired to kill, only to distract. His main plan of escape involved pushing hard against the floor and propelling the office chair on which he currently sat directly behind him, toward the window. He spun at the last moment and fired off two more rounds to break the glass, then jumped through.
Inside the room, James picked himself from the floor swore at himself for allowing that little peckerwood thief get the drop on him and bugger out the side of a three story building. He swore at the godawful humidity in this little corner of the world.
But most of all, he swore at Kurt. A LOT of swearing there.