He Cleans Up Well


adam_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif

Scene Title He Cleans Up Well
Synopsis Adam calls up Cardinal, wishing to discuss a few matters.
Date Oct 26, 2009

Orchid Lounge

The Orchid Lounge, owned by the mother of Senator Nathan Petrelli, is an Asian-inspired martini bar lit by candlelight and the soft glow of wall sconces spaced evenly throughout the room. Although there aren't any employees at the door to check for identification, it's unusual to find anyone in the college-aged crowd at the Lounge, which caters to young professionals with plenty of extra money to burn. During the day, the plush burgundy drapes affixed to the windows are used to filter out the sounds of traffic and at night are drawn back to allow passersby a glimpse inside.

Seating is simple: clusters of rectangular tables fashioned from white marble, each with two leather benches parallel to the longest sides. Silk pillows in varying shades of red, brown, yellow and orange lend a splash of colour to the Lounge, vivid against the pale walls and black-painted cement floor. On one wall is a giant mirror with an intricately carved frame that reflects almost everything in the room and makes the space appear twice as large as it really is. Clearly, the proprietor of this establishment wanted to get her money's worth - real estate in this part of town isn't cheap!

It might be unusual that Adam chooses here for the meeting, but then, Adam rarely does thing to script. It's like he's baiting, it's like he's hoping for confrontation. But the truth is, the very few times he's been here, nothing of note has happened. Sometimes it's better to leave a ticking time bomb alone. And so it is that Adam is sitting at a regular table, sipping on what is either tea or coffee with a group of goons at another table, uncomfortably out of place and eating quietly. To his right, Michael, who's been a mysteriously busy and absent boy lately, sits quietly, patiently waiting. Some of Adam's stoic demeanor appears to have rubbed off.

It's certainly not a place that either of them would want to cause a scene— unless, of course, they were hoping to create a confrontation with the owner and those she represents. Cardinal's been in a few times, generally for pleasure rather than business, and it may be a surprise when he shows up in a rather nice suit; black silk, the sunglasses he wears designer, his hair actually combed a bit nicer than usual. Wouldn't do not to fit in with his surroundings, after all. A brief conference with the hostess at the door, and then he walks along over towards the table where Adam's seated, greeting easily as he finds himself a seat on the leather bench opposite him and Michael, "Fancy meeting you here."

Adam looks up at is silent as he studies the other man's dress up. He purses his lips a moment and says, "Well, you clean up rather nice, Richard." he pauses, "Would you like something, to eat? Drink?" he pauses and leans in as if to indicate a secret, "You'd think the food would be better what with this being all upscale and what not, but it seems that their culinary responsibilities were thrown in as an after thought." he leans back and takes a sip from whatever's in his warm cup, "Are you doing well?" he questions, "I hear you've been a busy, busy boy."

Cardinal lets a quiet chuckle tumble past his lips, admitting, "I do have to blend in sometimes, you know." An arm rests on the table's marble surface, his head shaking a little, "I'm good, but thank you— and you have no idea." A wry note to his voice, "So much to do, so little time. So what is it that I've been up to that concerns you, mm?"

Adam shakes his head a bit, "None of your current plans are currently at odds with mine." he says, "In fact, a few of them I support. But…you know, in a general rush in the breach before I do kind of way." he pauses a moment, "Actually.." he frowns a moment, "I was wondering how close you were to someone." there is a brief moment of discomfort, "To be honest, I'm not sure I want to bring it up, because though deception may be one of your strong suits, secrecy is not. But.." he pauses and shakes his head and then glances towards Cardinal. "Brian Winters, do you know him?"

Cardinal's lips twitch in a faint smile. "I'd hardly do a passing business selling information if it was, Monroe," he notes, before tilting his head thoughtfully, brow furrowing, "Brian… Winters? I know a few Brians, I don't think by that surname. Can you tell me anything else about him?"

Adam considers Cardinal for a few moments, his fingertips slipping across the table quietly. "I'll be up front, Richard. I don't believe your ignorance." Michael appears to be a little bit uncomfortable with the topic, but still doesn't offer anything to the conversation. Adam leans forward and folds his fingers together and lays it on the table. "But, I'll lay some cards on the table. And you can tell me if you'd like to pick any of them up." his lips purse a moment, "Victoria Pratt. You may or may not have heard of her, she was a Founder. She was…" he shrugs dismissively, "Well, we can discuss more if you'd like to pick the card up. I have her body, Richard. I didn't kill her, but I was given her body. It's..mildly disturbing, I'm not the type to keep trophies, you see. Do you know who gave me the body? Brian Winters along with the allusion that he was responsible for her death." he leans back, looking at Cardinal, "Care to pick anything up?"

"Really?" Cardinal's brows lift a touch, leaning back slightly in bemusement, "I'd heard she was dead; chalked it up to you, actually, since she was one've the company's Founders. Didn't really care, since she'd weaponized Shanti…" He shrugs, "I know I didn't do it, and neither did my people; my employer has other things to deal with than the Company. As for you believing me - there anything else you can tell me about this Winters guy? Maybe I just don't know whatever alias he's using. Fuck, I've got a half-dozen names myself."

Adam considers Cardinal lightly in the question, he nods to Michael who finally makes his contribution as he reaches down in the seat next to him. He gets out a letter sized manilla envelope and rifles through the pictures quietly and finally pulls out a print out of a picture that was taken by a security camera in some bar. Among other things, what can be seen is a fairly good profile of Brian and Michael slides that across the table. "This is Brian Winters."

Cardinal reaches over to slide the picture to his side of the table, flipping it up to regard it— a brow arching. "Oh, him." The picture's slid back over, "Yeah, I know this guy. Mercenary I've used on occasion, not exactly what I'd call reliable for long-term missions— but skilled, at least, if you can keep him focused and supervised. Actually asked him to shake down the homeless slasher for me, never heard back on results, though."

Adam mms, "Yes, he's quite the…worker." he pauses a moment, "What I can't figure out is why he would kill Pratt. Clearly, I'm not disappointed she's dead other than perhaps it was by someone else…but, why would Winters want her dead? There was no bonus in it for him. He's no grudge against the Company. And he certainly doesn't like me enough to do it at my behest. To be honest…I can only come to the conclusion that he didn't do it. But his having the body indicates that he is in some way tied to whomever did do the killing." he drums his fingertips against the table in a quiet rythmic tone before he says, "It's quite the dilemma." he tilts his head to the side a moment, "Homeless slasher?"

"The one I mentioned to you over the phone?" Cardinal leans back, brows lifting a bit, "Evolved, killed a whole shelter full of homeless folks on Staten? I haven't had the time to deal with the asshole personally…" A hint of shadow behind his eyes, "Some guy named Diogenes, of all things."
Adam ahs in response, "That's right…" he says, "The homeless killer. To be honest, it feels like there's so many serial killers lately that it's hard to keep track." but at the name he pauses, "Diogenes, hm?" he mms, "Interesting." then back to the topic at hand, "So you don't know who Winters is working with that would want the Founders dead."

Cardinal gives his head a shake, "No idea. Honestly…" A glance at the photograph, brow furrowed, "I'd thought it was you. I can't think of any reason he'd want them dead— " A look back up, "Not that the Company doesn't have its share of enemies waiting to crawl out've the woodwork."

Adam lifts both his shoulders, "Well." he says, "I suppose that's true. But there's a certain lack of people who have decided to go old testament about it." whether he's referring to eye for an eye or caring about the old regime is unclear, "Well. That's unfortunate. I suppose I could ask you to keep this between us, but you will do what you do. But I suppose that'll tell me part of what I need to know as well." he considers Cardinal quietly, "Why send him to shake down Diogenes?" he questions, "What is the end game? To…make him stop killing homeless people?"

"I could tell everyone it was you, if you'd rather keep your reputation up," Cardinal replies with a wry twist of his tone, "I don't exactly have contacts crawling out of the woodwork concerned about who's killing Company Founders. Most of them are more likely to buy cake and little paper hats." A shrug, "Personally, I'd rather just kill him, but Brian didn't seem up to casual murder, and I couldn't spare any of my people to off the slimy bastard."

Adam arches a brow at that. His lips purse in concentration and he looks like he's doing some sort of mathematical proof in his head. "I see." is all he says and glances at Michael who just shrugs at him, then back towards Cardinal. He looks almost as if he's about to say something but shakes his head, "Well, best of luck with that. I have to say, I think you may have picked a poor candidate to the task. But it's not my place to tell you where to expend your resources." Adam takes a large gulp of whatever was in that cup "Are you sure you don't want anything to eat? Something to drink? It's my treat, not that you would have a problem paying for it."

"We aren't all blessed with a plethora of agents, I'm afraid," Cardinal admits in rather rueful tones, "One has to work with who they have. And thanks, I appreciate it, but I'm good— already ate." That said, he plants a hand on the table and rises, allowing, "In any case, if there's nothing else— good luck with your mystery vigilante."

Adam nods, "Of course." he says with a bit of a wave. Once Cardinal leaves, Michael turns to Adam and says, "Why do you even talk to that guy? He never says anything useful." Adam chuckles as he pushes his cup forward, "Oh, he says many useful things, they just aren't usually overt. Besides, dealing with Richard has its benefits. It's a nice relationship, we smile, we greet, we commend, but all with the knowledge that neither of us like each other and we're both lying. Then you push certain things in the conversation and see where they come out in the sewage or if they don't." he raises his arm for the check for his two tables, "You can think of Cardinal as a cross between an undercover hero and draino." he pauses, "He does clean up nice too."

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