Highly Recommended


cardinal_icon.gif linderman_icon.gif

Scene Title Highly Recommended
Synopsis Linderman strikes a deal with Richard Cardinal by offering him the sort of incentive that only a handful of people can provide. No pun intended.
Date June 23, 2009

Financial District — Linderman's Office

The man sitting across the desk from Richard Cardinal might look more at home in a red woolen cap, surrounded by elves while wiping reindeer shit off the bottom of his boots with a handkerchief embroidered in a sprig of mistletoe. Instead, he wears a sooty gray business jacket and matching slacks, scrupulously polished leather loafers and a button down dress shirt that bears the Armani label. Daniel Linderman's hands are folded upon the surface of his desk, their meaty fingers interlaced, his exposed skin mottled with sunspots as the occasional fleck of scar tissue — he's in remarkably good shape for someone his age, but if the more superficial details of his appearance are any indication, then the gift that has made him infamous is not quite as encompassing as Abigail Beauchamp's.

"Is there something I can help you with, Mr. Cardinal?" he asks with a bushy-lipped smile. "My secretary seems to think so."

The last time that Richard was here, he was dressed rather nicely in a silk suit; in professional company, bearing meticulously-wrapped artwork. He seems to have fallen on bad times, as a black button down shirt and pleated pants are the best that he's managed to come up with for this meeting.

One of the chairs before the desk drawn back slightly, and the thief settles into it, his gauze-wrapped stump resting on his knee and his good hand upon its arm. "I do believe," he notes with a brow's slight raise, and the faintest of smiles, "That my… current employer, Doctor Ray, has already spoken with you, Mister Linderman?"

"That he has," Linderman agrees, watching Cardinal with blue eyes so cool they border on icy in spite of the warmth in his cheeks and the quiet laughter spreading through his tone. "Edward tells me you had the misfortunate to run afoul of an old business partner of mine. My condolences. You're lucky that all you lost was your hand." His ability, too, but either Cardinal's employer neglected to inform Linderman of this not-so-minor detail, or he simply deems it unimportant to the current clandestine conversation taking place in his office.

"I'm prepared to offer you a deal," he continues as he raises his right hand off his desk and gives a deliberate wriggle of his arthritic fingers. "Your limb in exchange for an indefinite term of service with my organization. There's an individual I need watched, and you come highly recommended."

At the… understatement of the situation, Richard actually honestly smiles, if a wry smile that only barely can be discerned upon his lips. "I don't believe in fortune, Mister Linderman. Although the way things are going, I might start to put some weight on fate," he admits, his good shoulder lifting in a slight shrug before he meets those blue eyes with his own. No longer struck with the reddened irritation that marked his eyes exposed to light, a hazel-green darkened with the hardships of recent days and tempered with determination.

"Indefinite? While I might be willing to do some work for your organization, Mister Linderman, I tend to prefer my contracts with limits on them." A pause, and he notes, "While the… service you offer is quite the impressive one, you aren't the only game in town, as it were. I'm a professional." A tight smile, "Not some street thug to be absorbed into the ranks."

"No." Linderman rests his hand back on the table, palm flat. "We wouldn't be having this conversation if you were. Should you agree to come work for me, I would place no such stipulation on what you can and cannot do with the rest of your time — or who you do it for. I only ask that you place my interests second, directly after your own."

The older man rolls the tension from his shoulders, joints grinding together in audible protest of movement. His body isn't as flexible or elastic as it once was. "My goddaughter has been keeping some questionable company as of late," he says. "You're familiar with Adam Monroe?"

"I suppose I can find that acceptable," Cardinal allows, a hint mollified by the statement— and he nods ever so slightly at the question, a chin that's been very recently shaved (a subtle cut on one edge showing it was hurried, though the bloodflow's long since ceased) dipping with the motion, "I'm familiar with Monroe. I've done some contract work for him in the past, although I've resisted full-time employment. Given his avowed plans to murder all of your old… fraternity… he seems like a man whose future is rather limited." Just a hint of a smirk, there.

"I am well-aware of Monroe's intentions regarding my fraternity. That isn't what concerns me." As Linderman exhales through his nostrils, he grows just a little stiffer in his seat. "I want you to find out what his plans are for Zoe Porter. Use whatever means you deem necessary. Whatever costs you incur during the investigation will be reimbursed upon its completion, along with your hand and a five figure monetary bonus. Should you decide that you wish to continue working for the Linderman Group at that time, I will be more than happy to extend your contract. If not— well. None of my people will stand between you and the door."

"Zoe Porter… she was here last time I was in this office, wasn't she?" Cardinal's gaze hoods slightly in consideration of this task, his head tilting a little, "I'll see what I can do. Things are a bit— chaotic at the moment, given Arthur's little power play, but I'm confident I can locate Monroe without too much difficulty."

Cardinal's question draws a short snort from Linderman, accompanied by a low croak of halting laughter. "No, no. The young woman you met before is Nicole Nichols. An excellent resource, by the by, should you desire any assistance completing your assignment." From under his desk, he produces an unmarked manila envelope. "This should get you started," he says. "I believe the bills have been divided in a manner appropriate to your needs, but if you'd like to make any adjustments, please don't hesitate to see Ms. Moore at the front desk. She'll provide you with Zoe's file."

"Ah, my mistake…" Names, always useful things. Cardinal leans forward, fingers sliding the envelope off the desk's edge even as he rises from his seat in the same motion. Not bothering to open the envelope and examine the funds, as there's no reason for him to be cheated at this point, he quirks a slight, bemused smile at the man behind the desk, "I suppose I'll come see you about the hand once I've looked into Monroe, then."

"You suppose correctly. It's nothing personal, Mr. Cardinal — try to look at it as insurance." Linderman raises both his white brows, still more creases appearing on the furrowed surface of his forehead. "Apart from your word, and Edward assures me it isn't as dubious as I've heard from my other sources, what is there to stop you from leaving New York City with what I've already given you?"

"As I mentioned before," Cardinal observes with just a hint of amusement in his voice— some private joke dancing behind those eyes as he tucks the envelope under one arm, "There's others who can replace limbs if it becomes necessary. You'll just owe me a hand, if I hunt one of them down." A faint smile quirks up at one corner of his lips, and he turns to step around the chair, "Have a nice day, Mister Linderman. I'll be in touch soon, assuming I'm still alive."

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