Favour for an Old Man


linderman_icon.gif zoe_icon.gif

Scene Title Favour for an Old Man
Synopsis Zoe meets with Linderman to discuss the disappearance of the Brill paintings.
Date February 19, 2009

Linderman Building

The uproar about the paintings has been…well, suffice to say, Zoe hasn't heard much. She's kept positively mum about her encounter with Hiro Nakamura for some reason, but then again, she wants him to come back, so ratting him out isn't exactly a wise idea in that regard. But as she was in Russia at the time of the actual theft, she hasn't had any blame placed on her shoulders, and aside from the memo regarding the lock down of the security scans of the paintings themselves (to wit, no one sees the archive gallery scans without a warrant or other proof of authorization), she's heard neither hide nor hair. Until of course, today.

Even if Zoe had been in the country when the paintings were snatched right out from under her godfather's nose, chances are the blame wouldn't have been placed on her shoulders either — anyone with the gall to so much as suggest she played a role in the theft in Linderman's presence would most be dealt with through swift and silent means. The elevator doors open at the Linderman Building's ground floor, and out steps the man for which the organization is named, dressed in his usual business suit and tie — complete with a light dusting of flour on one of his coat sleeves. He's been in his kitchen this afternoon, though this probably doesn't come as a surprise to the young woman he's scheduled to meet in the lobby.

It's not that Zoe hides in the archive - well, alright, she does, but truth be told, she doesn't spend a lot of time in other parts of the building aside from there and the corporate cafeteria, which is pretty swank. So she looks less suited to the corporate setting of the lobby and more like she should be brushing stone tablets in a museum somewhere in a part of Manhattan that isn't radioactive. She pushes her glasses up her nose a faint bit nervously, tugging at her sweater sleeves and then promptly beaming when she sees her adopted uncle, though it's taken a few degrees down in light of the situation she's sure he wants to discuss.

"Zoe." Linderman's voice is warm, but it's also very somber. It isn't the first time he's suffered a lost, and the redhead will undoubtedly recognize the tone he adopts with her. On the bright side, it also means their conversation promises to be brief. Rather than open his arms and draw her into a hug like he normally might, he places one of his large, calloused hands on her elbow and guides her toward the seating area by the lobby's glass doors. "You're looking as beautiful as ever, my darling, but I was wondering if you'd be able to do an old man a favour."

"Of course." she says earnestly. "You've been so busy, and anything I can do to make things easier for you - " she flounders a bit, letting the pink die from her cheeks from him calling her beautiful. "What can I do?"

"I'm one of the best-connected public figures in New York," Linderman explains. "Unfortunately, as I'm sure you can understand, not everyone is excited to see my people when they come knocking after an incident like the one we're currently dealing with. For all his faults, Zarek is— efficient. But I need someone with a softer touch."

Zoe isn't unacquainted with what he's asking for. She's a younger face and she still occaisionally pops up in the society papers - both as the Porter heiress as well as a young face for the Linderman Group. It's when things get all personal with people that she tends to want to squeak and run. "What do you need me to do?" she asks, smiling and trying not to let him get a sense of how much the idea makes her a little queasy.

"I'd appreciate it if you could ask around, see if you can't personally investigate any suspicious purchasing behavior from art collectors that may have escaped my notice." Linderman offers Zoe a tight smile, pausing to let what he's just said sink in before he gently presses forward. "If going door-to-door bothers you," he adds, giving her elbow the smallest of squeezes, "then I can assign Dixon to be your personal assistant during the endeavor."

"I think that might be a good idea, in some cases." Zoe blinks owlishly. Perhaps not so much in others. Dixon is a big man. "I'll start making purchase inquiries right away." Official and unofficial, it goes without saying. Considering, "I'll catch up with Kain and see who he may have contacted so far in less than friendly circles in the art world."

"If anything turns up, I'd like you to call me either at the office or at home — either of the personal lines will do." Linderman's hand leaves Zoe's arm, and he brushes the backs of his knuckles along her jaw in a fleeting but affectionate gesture. "I don't have to tell you that this is a matter of great importance. Not just to me, but to our entire organization. Handle it delicately."

Zoe takes a deep breath. "You know I'm happy in the archive, right?" she asks him. "I mean…of course I'll do this for you. But I'm not one of those people…the ones on your board who are always scrambling and thinking they'll put themselves in some kind of favored son position someday. You don't have to give me anything more than I have." She flounders again. "I'm explaining this badly. Of course I'll do this for you." she repeats, looking faintly shamefaced.

The expression on Linderman's face melts into something more apologetic at Zoe's admission. "Zoe," he says, "I'm asking you to do this because you're an intelligent young woman who could do with some fresh air once and awhile. I trust your judgment above Zarek's, above those vultures on my board — I truthfully can't think of anyone better suited to this job."

Zoe gives him a smile, and completely squelches both the sudden pride and accompanying terror that comes with the man's admission. "I'll do my best." she promises, heartfelt. "I'll speak with Kain and begin compiling my contacts list." Unable to resist, she tugs her sweater up from her wrist, and uses it to wipe the flour off his shirt sleeve. "I'm sure you've got important things to get to. We'll have lunch on Saturday and I'll tell you how things are going."

One of the ways to Linderman's heart is through his stomach. He's taught her well. "I'll clear my schedule," he resolves, moving off on his way out the doors without his usual black-suited escort. Wherever he's off to, it seems as though he'd prefer to be alone. "When you speak with Zarek," he adds, by way of farewell, "remember to ask him how that Pacratium is doing. I'm //desperately curious." Without any further explanation, the door swings shut behind him and he's gone, retreating footsteps blending in with the rumble of mid-afternoon traffic outside.

Zoe blinks. "Pancratium." she repeats, cluelessly. "Right." With a resolved settling of her shoulders, she heads back to her beloved archive to begin compiling that list.

February 19th: The Hammer

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

February 19th: American Pimp Outfitters
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