I'm Asking...


nalani_icon.gif sabra_icon.gif

with an appearance by


Scene Title I'm Asking…
Synopsis Nalani comes to the Company, figurative hat in hand, in order to get her power suppressed. Sabra attaches strings.
Date March 17, 2009

Primatech Research: Sabra's Office

It's quite rare for people not Company to come into the Bronx facility — not without some sort of force being involved, at any rate. But this is an unusual circumstance. A guide was afforded to Miss Hollingwood, one who offered nothing in the way of enlightening conversation and showed her as little of the facility as possible. Which is very little.

The corridors are austere, in the main, as is often true of institutions; Sabra's office, when Nalani is finally shown to its door, offers considerable contrast, with its warm-toned decor accentuated by late morning sunlight. The elderly woman who occupies it looks more like someone's favorite grandmother than a businesswoman, spring-floral-print blouse the only part of her current clothing visible over the desk."

Nalani's been quiet the trip in, and through the halls, a slightly unhappy look on her face that she's had to drop stuff to come. But that's it, that's what she did. The look on her face though, isn't because of her surroundings or the interruption in her schedule. It's because Sabra Dalton is wearing floral. It's a strange look, akin to 'why are you wearing that…' and for a moment, Nalani's hoping there's not granny shoes beneath the desk. A nice fitted skirt could salvage the blouse, paired with a tailored blazer and some decent heels. But that look is promptly wiped off as she descends fully into Sabra's domain. "Ms. Dalton," in that muddy English accent. She looks so much like her brother, it's not hard to tell that they're related. She herself is in head to toe Hermes, save for her shoes. some one shouldered pleated plaid dress, scarf artfully arranged, a lined leather trench over her arm. She's also devoid of her assistant. It's like being naked.

Sabra can understand the way Nalani feels about being without her assistant; her own aide appears through a side door shortly after their guest enters the room, tea service in hand. "Ms. Hollingwood," Sabra greets in kind, looking up from her work and setting the file folder that was the former recepient of her attention aside. Nalani is treated to a genial smile. "Please, be seated." She gestures at the chairs before the desk, then nods towards Ashton. "Would you care for some tea?"

Well, they're not leaping out with knives. The statusque Arabic woman nods, to both a seat and tea. "A wedge of lemon, nothing more please," as her hand smooths the underside of her skirt while Nalani eases down into the chair opposite the desk. "I assume Rami will not be present?"

No, no knives. Ashton prepares the tea as requested, placing cup and saucer on the desk before Nalani. He then fixes a cup for Sabra, having no need to ask how she takes hers. "Rami," the elderly woman replies, "has his own business to attend to. Do you need him to be present?" she asks in turn, taking her cup from Ashton and offering the aide a grateful smile.

"I'm a big girl. I stepped out of my brother's protective shadow a long time ago." A definitive no to needing her brother. "Is it safe to assume that he conversed with you in regards to my… questions?" Ashton is thanked, quietly, as she takes the tea, all manner of breeding showing as she holds the saucer in one palm, and her other hand maneuvers the cup to take a polite sip.

Sabra regards Nalani across the top of her teacup. "Given that this meeting would not occur otherwise, yes, you may safely assume so," the woman allows. "I expect we might as well cut directly to the chase," she continues after a moment's pause. "Why should I give you what you want, Miss Hollingwood?"

"You don't have to give it to me. There is no reason to give it to me. Whatever it is. But I have been walking around for the past few months at the behest of my brother, trying to cease using my ability and it has been a miserable two months. I am about ready to chop my head off." Nalani inhales deeply, regarding the older woman across from her. "Two years ago, the presence of those who were Evolved came out. For many years it was just assumed that I have a very commanding presence. What I wanted, I got." Nalani chin lifts slightly. "It wasn't long after that, that I questioned how exactly I came to get what it is that I wanted, that I asked for. It's like breathing, Ms. Dalton. And my brother has asked that I stop breathing. I can't afford to register. To do so, invites lawsuits of which, I'm sure, your and my imagination cannot begin to fathom. Personal and business. What I built will crumble. I can't afford, I will not see my small empire fall, because of some evolved criminal balthering off his mouth, after he gets caught breaking into my home. So I asked Rami for help, and he has brought me to you and I.. am not a very humble woman, quite the opposite. I'm an arrogant demanding bitch. But I am sitting here, asking someone who has no good reason to help me—" Oh it galls her. "To help me. No matter that cost."

Unmoved by Nalani's expounded plea, Sabra lifts her cup to her lips, taking a sip of the tea within. "I see," the elderly lady remarks. The cup is replaced on its saucer, offset to one side; wrinkled hands fold on the edge of the desk before her. "What I have, Miss Hollingwood, does not officially exist. It is something we do not normally — indeed, I think ever — release to anyone else. In the long run, what you are asking of me could be as dangerous to me and mine — including your brother — as your unchecked power is to you." Sabra falls silent for a brief moment, regarding the woman. "You say you are prepared to pay any cost for this?"

"In truth, nearly anything, short of my life, and my business," Nalani replies. The cup still cradled in her palm on her lap, her plastered wrist hangs onto the arm of the cup. She almost replies with an offer for a new wardrobe even, but keeps her mouth shut in that regard.

Sabra may be elderly, but her sight is still fairly sharp; she can tell Nalani's biting something back. She doesn't, however, display any amusement at that fact. Sabra sits back in her chair, regarding Nalani for a long moment. It doesn't require as much thought as she makes it seem — this sort of string is one the Company just about always takes advantage of when opportunity arises. "Don't worry; I have no interest in your life. Or your business." Consider the shirt. "Your ability, on the other hand…" The very thing Nalani is here to excise, as it were.

"I only know how to Suppress it Ms. Dalton. Even that fails at times. I don't like suppressing it. It distracts me and causes me no end of head pain to do such" Her ability though. "What about it, interests you though?" Wariness and caution are there now. As if she just might not like this string.

Sabra smiles, the expression remarkably pleasant. One might almost think the other shoe is never going to drop. And then it does. "Well, Miss Hollingwood, your ability is a hindrance in your situation — but in my line of work, someone persuasive is… very useful." She picks the teacup up again, folding the fingers of both hands over the curve of its sides. "If I asked you to use your ability for me, Miss Hollingwood, would you do so?"

"I've come to you asking for a method to suppress it, and you're asking me if I would use it for you instead?" Well, Nalani had said she'd do nearly anything. "I don't rightly know what good what I can do with it for your sake. I can convince someone to buy more adspace, or make some philathropist part with more money than they would have, or keep a criminal sitting in a chair till the police come, but that latter creates a bloody nose and the dire need of a dark room."

"It's quite ironic, I know," Sabra remarks dryly, before taking another sip of her tea. Returning the cup to its saucer, she turns to Ashton; without any further prompting than the look, he hands the elderly woman a small pill bottle. Its contents rattle softly as it is transferred, suggesting the container is closer to empty than full.

Sabra sets it on the desktop within Nalani's reach, along with a business card. "You have one week's dosage, there. Take one each day; do not ever take two." She doesn't explain why. "That card is for a woman who also works with us. Set up an appointment with her, and she will arrange your continued supply."

The card is taken up first, a glance to the name on the surface, number. "How soon does it start working and if I take them, and you need my ability?" The pill bottle isn't taken up yet. Just Nalani's brown eyes looking to Sabra. She's heard Sabra's first words in regard to the contents of the pill bottle. It's not something they share outside the Company.

It isn't, but Nalani is almost Company… and desperate enough to disregard the strings that come with it. Sabra regards the younger woman levelly. "It will begin working within perhaps fifteen, twenty minutes. One pill should last twenty-four hours, but this varies between individuals; it may be a few hours less." Her lips curve in another smile. "Be sure we will… account for this if we have to call upon you."

Almost enough that she doesn't get tossed in level 5 never to see daylight again. Suppression, in exchange for her ability on call. Nalani's going to take a few moments to think it over, regard the older woman, even Ashton before there's a nod. The card slipped back down and the pill bottle taken in hand to be studied.

Sabra regards Nalani for a moment longer; then her face crinkles in a genial smile. "If you change your mind, of course, then just don't contact Dr. Stone. Is there anything else, Miss Hollingwood?"

"I assume, then, that I keep my mouth shut, don't speak of what it is that I am taking." Nalani'd have at least.. twenty four hours, give or take, notice, in case they needed her and her ability. "I think I'll be taking a few more Spa days in the future." That's spoken wryly.

It'd be reasonable to assume 24 hours' notice is a given, but maybe it'll just be 'horribly early hour of the morning' notice. One never knows. "Indeed," Sabra affirms. "If nothing else, Miss Hollingwood, admitting what it really is exposes the very thing you wish to hide."

"That, I do not want. Is there anything else Ms. Dalton? Or am I dismissed to return to my business?" It's spoken with the utmost submission to the woman. It galls Nalani, it really does, but at the moment, and in the future, it's Sabra Dalton and her Company that really has the leash on the woman since she was discovered.

"You may go, Nalani," the elderly woman allows, inclining her head with a small smile. She lets her guest get to her feet and head for the door, where her escort remains patiently waiting, before speaking up again: "Oh, and — next time, call me Sabra, please."

March 16th: Wandering Rocks
March 17th: I Know Why The Jailbird Sings
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