Going Native


cat_icon.gif alec_icon.gif

Scene Title Going Native
Synopsis Cat meets an engineer and ponders his usefulness.
Date February 9, 2009

Greenwich Village

In a time that seems long ago, Greenwich Village was known for its bohemian vibe and culture, the supposed origin of the Beat movement, filled with apartment buildings, corner stores, pathways and even trees. There was a mix of upper class and lower, commercialism meeting a rich culture, and practically speaking, it was largely residential.

Now, it's a pale imitation of what it used to be. There is a sense of territory and foreboding, as if the streets aren't entirely safe to walk. It isn't taken care of, trash from past times and present littering the streets, cars that had been caught in the explosion lie like broken shells on the streets nearest the ground zero. Similarly, the buildings that took the brunt of the explosion are left in varying degrees of disarray. Some are entirely unusable, some have missing walls and partial roofs, and all of the abandoned complexes have been looted, home to squatters and poorer refugees.

As one walks through the Village, the damage becomes less and less obvious. There are stores and bars in service, and apartment buildings legitimately owned and run by landlords. People walk the streets a little freer, but like many places in this scarred city… anything can happen. Some of the damage done to buildings aren't all caused by the explosion from the past - bullet holes and bomb debris can be seen in some surfaces, and there is the distinct impression that Greenwich Village runs itself… whether people like it that way or not..

Alec sighs as he takes out the PDA and starts to check it's screen, tapping rapidly upon it with a fingertip while looking around. "Gotcha." he mutters, crossing the street to stand before an old brick building that could be anything from housing to offices to a deli with no sign. Welcome to New York. Alec sighs and pulls a folded mini blueprint from his pocket and opens it up, checking something while standing in the middle of the sidewalk.
She's on the way back from Little Italy, on foot, making her way across the Village toward whatever her destination might be. Cat, a brunette of five feet and eight inches in a winter coat over jeans and sturdy boots, has a guitar case over one shoulder and a backpack across the other. One gloved hand holds a bag with the logo of Piccoli's delicatessen, the other is hidden in a coat pocket.

As she comes across the man with the PDA and the blueprints her pace slows, and she considers approaching to talk with the man. Odds are, Cat thinks, something can be learned from him. She changes course to bring her to where he's standing and eyes the building when she gets there.

"Hey," she greets, nodding toward the structure, "what's it going to turn into?"

Alec shrugs and answers without looking up, "Maybe nothing. Depends on if the residual radiation, minor as it was, was enough to weaken the supports since the bomb went off. Radiation has that sort of deteriating effect on things, can't be to careful and all that jazz." he says all of this in the bored 'I've done this a million times and nothings been wrong yet' tone. He glances up from the prints, "But if all goes well? Prolly another place to house people who likely havn't got many other places to go. Or a Starbucks. My money's on the Starbucks."

"Starbucks? Interesting. But, this is supposed to be a musical area, the bohemian zone, man. Kind of a shame not to have more of that coming back, isn't it? But," Cat adds, "then again artists need to drink coffee too, as long as it's good coffee and Starbucks does have that reputation, even though they're so corporate and cookie cutter." Her eyes drift to the man's blueprints and scan them for a moment, committing what she can see of them into her flawless memory, then settle on his face. "You're an architect, sir?"

They're just prints of the building before him, nothing one couldn't pick up at the city hall… assuming the documents had of course, survived the bomb. Alec shakes his head, "Naw, architects are all 'make it pretty!' I'm an engineer, more the uh 'make sure it doesn't fall!' sort. They get all the chicks, being artsy, I just get the money for being smarter. It's a trade off." he grins.

She lets a sad tone slip into her voice then. It's not hard to do, considering it really does make Cat sad to a degree. Friend taken into Homeland Satan custody, imprisoned in God knows what kind of deep dark hole without any kind of due process… "I guess nothing is perfect though," she sighs slowly. "All that was ruined when that Sylar guy blew up half the city, and lately when all those things happened, out in Queens, the Verrazano Narrows bridge, even an electrical plant." A few extended beats of silence follow.

Then she speaks a soft lament. "I guess there just aren't enough of you guys around to get the city back together quickly, are there?"

Oh well that's just an ironic ass statement if ever there was one. Alec just grins slightly, "Nope! But then, I'm not from around here. Contractor from up North. I'm guessing they realized the same thing you just did and sent out for some help. Good for them too, heavens knows it's needed."

She nods once, slowly. "They should have all the construction crews and engineers in the country come here, until the city is restored," Cat opines in that same saddened tone. "I mean, people's tax money paid from what they work so hard to earn, and the unemployment insurance paid out, there's no reason for any of it. We've got enough work sorting all this out to employ everyone who needs or wants a job." She glances at the building again.

When her eyes fall on him a few seconds later, she asks "What's your name, sir?"

Alec nods his head, "You're likely right, still, what the heck do I know about politics and economics? I just make sure the big things don't go splat." he blinks and sheepishly offers a hand, "Sorry, Alec. Didn't think you NYC types were the meet and greet sort. Bad reps for being closed off and all that."

Her right hand, gloved, comes out of the pocket to shake his once and release with a grip that's neither weak nor masculine. "Alec…?" Cat says the name as if she were seeking a surname to go with it. "A lot of us are closed off, but some are more outgoing," she comments. "City's got all kinds, really."

Alec nods his head, "Yup, Alec." he states with the same grin, misunderstanding her unspoken question, "Not Alex. Common mistake. Well, bomb or no bomb, I still like the city, great food." he pokes a finger at her bag, "That place has killer hotdogs, almost as good as back home. Eat there all the time. What about you? Musician?" he asks, nodding at her guitar case.

"I'm a guitarist and a singer, yeah," Cat replies with a spreading smile. "I'm just your basic rocker chick, y'know? Soooo, what's the rest of your name, dude? I mean, if a friend of mine were looking for an engineer to consult with, or to hire, I'd have to be able to tell him who he should look for, and I can't do that with just Alec, after all."

Alec barks a laugh at that, "Oh! Well legally I can't do work on my own time, part of my contract with my company, it's a whole exclusivity thing. But, here," he plucks a card from his pocket and hands it over, "there's my extention at my firm. If nothing else I can offer estimates and counter bids to whatever any other firm in the city might need. We're a full service reconstruction firm too. Architecture, engineering, design, demolitions, you name it. Fourth largest in the nation, best of the best and all that." he hands the card over to her, on it is in fact, his name. Alec Bonder. The address is Chicago, "The card's not yet been updated for my new digs, but the number on the back is all new and happy and very New York."

She takes the card and looks at it briefly, then turns it over to look at that side too. "Ooh. Thanks, Alec," Cat replies. Then the card is slipped into a pocket, she never needs to look at it again. The name of his firm, if it were on there, is run through in her mind a few times. "There's great music in Chicago," she remarks. "But it's better here. And oh, how are you going to handle swearing off the Sox, Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls for the Yanks, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, Islanders, and Knicks, Alec?"

Alec smirks a bit, "Well for starters by not being a fan of any of those teams. Not from Cha-town originally, my home town teams hail from elsewhere." he glances at his blue prints and then at the building, "We'll have to chat about that another time though, sad truth is this is only the second building on my trip today, got four more to go. Still, it was a pleasure meeting you Ms. … uh … Wow. I'm sorry, I totally didn't get your name. Now I feel a bit rude."

"Awwww, c'mon, dude," Cat replies with her face taking on a bit of a disappointed look. "You're a New Yorker now, do the whole New York thing, embrace your new home and what it has to offer." Then the smile returns. "Oh. I'm Ann. Ann Benatar Wilson. Good meeting you, Alec. Don't work too hard at this engineering gig!" Then she resumes heading to wherever she was going, letting the man get back to his work.

Alec opens up his jacket to show that he's wearing an I <3 NY shirt. "I'm going native, but not /that/ native." he adds with a wink. He beams, "Nice to meet you Ann!" he calls after her before turning back to the blueprints and the building before him. He taps his PDA again and shakes his head. "Kids." he says with a little mischevious smile before heading for the building's entrance. He does after all have work to do…

She walks away, her eyes rolling a bit once her back is turned. Cat is a bit disappointed he actually seemed to buy that fake name she gave, that he didn't spot it as a combo of two excellent rocking women. And a short time later, when she gets home, the man's name and firm are promptly Googled.

Alec's firm is in fact, exactly what it appears to be, a famous, wealthy, powerhouse of a construction firm. Specializing in reconstruction they've been on everyone's call list, from the Katrina disaster to the wildfires of California to simple demo projects of the skyscraper variety in Chicago. They are known for charitable works and keeping things as smooth as possible. Because they don't act like a giant soulless corporation, they aren't as big as they could be, but they draw the best talent. Alec Bonder is an example. A hard worker of exceptional skill, he was a top graduate of his glass from Michigan University, both pre and post graduate school. Since his graduation he's made an almost meteoric rise through the ranks and is now his firms go-to guy for planning big jobs and anything that might require attention to detail. By all accounts he's well liked and is something of a work-aholic if his school record and work reputation are to be believed.

Reading through all of that, she's impressed. "This one's good, maybe too good. And firm tied, but one never knows when she might need an engineer of quality. Now, how to go about getting him to explain the mechanics of digging escape routes from her building to the sewers or somesuch in keeping with Teo's recommendation… A matter to ponder another time."

February 9th: The Offer Still Stands
February 9th: Evacuation Protocol
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