A Long Term Job


cat_icon.gif renard_icon.gif

Scene Title A Long Term Job
Synopsis At a meeting, Cat speaks of one long-term job and plants seeds as part of another.
Date August 17, 2010

The Rock Cellar

A comfortable place, located in the basement of 14 East 4th Street. The red brick walls are covered with memorabilia from various icons of rock and places in rock history, creating a feel similar to that of a Hard Rock Cafe.

The left wall has two bars separated by swinging doors which lead to and from the kitchen. Directly across from the entrance is a two foot high stage with all the equipment needed for acts to perform there. The right wall has three doors marked as restrooms: two for use by women and one by men.

Thirty square feet of open space for dancing and standing room is kept between the stage and the comfortable seating placed around tables which fill the remainder of the Cellar.

The lighting here is often kept dim for purposes of ambience, and when performers are onstage the place is loud enough to make conversation difficult. Just inside the door is a podium where location staff check IDs and stamp the hands of those under twenty-one with a substance visible under UV lights at the two bars and by devices the servers carry. On the podium's front is a sign with big black letters that just about explain it all: If You Don't Like Rock 'N' Roll, You're Too Late Now!

It was the fifth of June, when she encountered him at a party in an Upper East Side art gallery. Cat had gotten out one of her little black dresses and two inch black heels and gone there to do the society thing. It's a boring sort of endeavor in her view, but not an unfamiliar one. She was, after all, brought up in this sort of environment by Mason and Jennifer Chesterfield. The perfectly clear memory of it plays out in her head, the exact moment at fifteen minutes past eight.

She's standing alone, two feet away from a new work by some aspiring artist who conjured up a rendering of the Midtown Crater amid melting snow and ice in all its stark imagery using oils and canvas. There's a glass of Dom Perignon champagne in her right hand, being occasionally lifted to her lips and sipped from as she regards it in silence. It's a purposefully chosen place to be, she having seen the man named Renard Delacroix drifting in that direction, with her goal being to intersect his path without appearing to desire it. He makes her feel a bit wary, given what the Registry said of his SLC ability. People who interact with memories are to be viewed with caution, given her own and what she knows Rene is capable of.

Renard seemed harmless in his interview with Barbara Walters, and even his Registry entry seemed rather innocuous. Sharing and enhancing memories? Still… he is a powerful man regardless, with his family empire and many charities and connections. He drifts closer, chatting people up, shaking hands and looking folks right in the eye. Breaking away, he's by her side, greeting her! "Catherine! Darling, how are you?" He's certainly cheerful, his voice friendly, cultured, French. "I haven't seen you since…." He takes a moment to recall, his memory not as perfect as hers. "Ah, Othello, was it?"

As he speaks with a French accent, she replies in that language. "«In the theatre lobby before a performance of Othello, yes,»" Cat replies with a quiet smile settling onto her features as quiet classical music emerges from the gallery's sound system. "«It was during the campaign, before Lockhart defeated Mother and Mr. Donovan in the Mayor's race and Mother was assassinated . Before the tabloids accused her of having being tied to Pinehearst and me to Pariah.»" His face is regarded in a sort of subdued quiet. "«I survive. And yourself, Monsieur Delacroix?»"

Renard seems to perk a little, seemingly glad to converse in his native tongue with someone fluent! "«I continue to endure. I find succor where I can.»" He takes a sip from his champagne flute, and then a deep breath. "«This is a sub-par vintage, but I would not want to say anything. It is obvious they have put honest effort into this opening.»" He considers for a further minute. "«I will have to top it with my auction next month for my Evolved Outreach charity if I intend to draw any meaningful amounts of funds. Will you attend?»"

"«But of course,»" Cat replies. No commentary is made on the use of Evolved as a term rather than some other label, she accepting it as the popular reference despite personal tendencies. In going silent, she rests her eyes again on the painting of Midtown's crater with the snow and ice, thinking of just how much damage the Institute did when they were letting the Northeast sink deeper and deeper into Antarctic conditions until her friends put an end to it.

Her mind snaps back to the here and now, just past 13:00 on a Tuesday afternoon in New York City. Finding April Silver is an ongoing project, one she hopes to pull off before going to Russia. Assisting in Gillian's withdrawal is another, but those aren't the only things upon the panmnesiac's plate. Amid those concerns and the general oversight of her own holdings, she's made time to have lunch with Monsieur Delacroix. Cat is at her customary table in shadows where she can survey the entire place without calling much attention on herself, eyes settled on an instruction manual of some sort. Instructions have been left with the servers to bring the man over when he arrives.

Fifteen minutes past the time to meet could be considered 'fashionably late' and Renard has a habit of being fashionable in most social engagements. When he arrives, he is not alone - he has a small entourage of men in black suits. His entourage splits between the two closest tables, effectively controlling access to their booth. "Catherine. How good to see you again!" He'll lean in for a traditional European air kiss and hand patting before joining her.

An entourage. Of course he brings one of those. Cat accepts his gestures of greeting, showing the man a mild smile as he does so. Her position is not a booth, it's a proper table with four places near a wall and set off by itself so as to allow a buffer zone for conversations here not to be overheard. The tables taken by his entourage are thus perhaps ten feet away to either side or the front. Servers approach and take orders for both drinks and food should they desire, doing the same at Cat's chosen table.

"Thank you for coming. Cat will do, Renard. The food here is excellent, I've seen to that myself," she asserts humbly, "not what one would perhaps expect in a rock music club." As she speaks, a tune from Eric Clapton comes through the sound system at moderate volume. Badge. "I move in social circles," she states with a spreading grin, "but I've got a rock and roll heart." In demonstration of this, she's elected not to clothe herself in a lawyer suit from Brooks Brothers but rather in a t-shirt featuring Pat Benatar and jeans over athletic shoes. Poise is on display, her back is straight and head up, hands placed flat on the table's surface.

The entourage seems satisfied by the arrangement that keeps Renard in a privacy and security bubble. They order water, but no food. They are apparently not here to eat. Aside from a nod to them, Renard pays them little mind as they take their seats. They seem to be a bit serious and on edge, for an entourage.

"Oh certainly, Cat. I suppose you would know." He has the slightest hint of amusement in his voice a her selection of their rendezvous location. For his part, he is dressed casual as he can - a turtleneck and sportscoat combination that he wears like a glossy pelt. "Rock and roll indeed. I will have to let you order for me, then."

Prime rib with baked potato and mushroom is provided for, along with whatever he might choose to drink, Cat waiting until the server has departed before speaking again. "I hadn't thought of this as a business encounter," she begins, "it's an opportunity to show you one of my own modest holdings and give you a glimpse of my fondest tastes. Life is, however, what it is and business often raises its head where unexpected and unintended. As does politics." She lifts her glass of water and drinks from it briefly, then replaces it.

"This registration error the Department of Evolved Affairs has embarked on is a recipe for more tragedy. Little good can come of it."

Renard had the good fortune to be raised in the proper kind of stuffy aristocracy that gives perfect table manner. Regardless of the number of utensils. He carries on with things until Cat drops that statement. He frowns, slightly. "Everything they have done has brought closer and closer an uncontrolled conflict. At times, I cannot help but feel that there are forces beside ignorance and human nature influencing their policy decisions."

He pauses thoughtfully for a moment. "Even as we speak, this forced Registration is going to do nothing but introduce more splintering of the population. Through exclusion comes friction, and that is going to make a lot of people feel as if their hand is being forced. I agree. It is a recipe for disaster."

She is silent after he speaks, fingers closing around the stem of that water glass and lifting it to drink from, then returning it to table surface. Cat too, despite her attire, is evidently trained in the ways of stuffy manners. She carries herself in the fashion of one groomed to become a Senator, or a Senator's wife if Mother had gotten her way. "Unfortunate," she replies with a quietly exhaled sigh. "Do you think anything can be done to sway things, to convince the Congress it would be in the national interest to repeal the Linderman Act?"

Once silent again, yielding him the floor, she engages in a measure of speculation as to whether his ability is what he registered it as or something more. He wouldn't be the first she knows to understate things for safety.

Renard toys with his utensils slightly, displaying his concern. "There can always be something to be done. Whether it is within our power is another issue - some things are outside the purview of mortals such as well." He takes a sip, and then continues. "It is certainly outside my ability to sway the decisions of Congress. I don't have the resources I would need for that. Instead, I'm pouring more resources into doing what I can to assist my fellow man under the yoke of tyrannical laws."

"It's a long term job," Cat agrees, "one which will probably take decades to reach satisfaction, but it is achievable. I'm interested in your activities, what you'll do to assist." Quiet again, her eyes are on him, attention his even as the mind speculates on whether or not it would be safe to share certain truths with this man. Memories of actions taken, travesties thwarted surface behind her eyes and are set aside.

This fish might in time come to be on the hook and trusted in that manner, but she will proceed slowly.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License