Like Sirens


allison_icon.gif kain_icon.gif rain_icon.gif

Scene Title Like Sirens
Synopsis Allison Richards and Rain O'Niel come to ask the Linderman Group about a precognitive, and find out about a different one.
Date April 28, 2010

Linderman Building

High over the skyline of Manhattan's southern tip, the Linderman Building views out across the wintry desolation of New York City the way lighthouses of old looked out over stormy waters. The juxtaposition of symbolism of bring a guiding light set against the backdrop of a man who is little more than an ascended mobster aside, the structure itself exists to impress. Black and white tiles floors, marble walls and columns, ferns potted in alcoves lit by artistically chosen sconce lighting. The entire building is palatial from the lobby up, and even the winter weather that threatens to strangle the life out of New York cannot diminish that.

Some sixty floors up lies the Public Relations office for the Linderman Group, both a front for the ill-rupte of illicit dealings going on behind closed doors and also where two agents of the Company — one of Daniel Linderman's most long-standing investments — have arrived. The glossy black reception desk rests at the end of a long corridor lined with elevators and unlabeled doors. Here a circular room of frosted glass walls leads into offices of 'reuptable' Linderman Group associates like Robert Caliban and John Logan. Today, however, agents Allison Richards and Rain O'Niel aren't here to see either of those men.

"Good morning and welcome to the Linderman Group's Public Relation's department," a young secretary chirps from behind the desk as she sets down her coffee, looking at the approaching agents with a painted smile, "do you have an appointment?" The agents do, and it's with one of Linderman's most colorful employees.

Kain Zarek.

Allison let Rain do the driving. It'd be disastrous if she tried. They likely never would have arrived. But now that they're here, she's dressed in black slacks and a white blouse, looking impecable. She smiles brightly at the secretary and nods. "We do. We're here to see Kain Zarek. I'm Allison Richards, and this is Rain O'Niel."

Rain is a… rather hesitant driver actually. He's not bad, just very grandma ish. Drives slower than need be and his eyes tend to dart towards Manhattan quite a bit as he drives along, or well, in the direction of Manhattan. He doesn't talk much either when he drives, nervous, a bit jittery as the vehicle moves through the streets of NYC. Once they are in the LInderman building, and walking out of the elevator he turns a bright smile on the secretary behind the desk. "We do indeed have an apointment ma'am." He winks at her, but lets Allison give thier names and the specifics. He just smiles and tries to put the woman at ease. Eyes glance over to Allison for a few seconds, then back to the secretary.

Offering a raised brow at Rain, the receptionist tilts her head to the side and offers a thoughtful look to the two, then checks something on the computer monitor. "You certainly do," she agrees in a chipper tone of voice, motioning to a glass door to the right. "Go on through in there, Mister Zarek will be with you in a moment."

It should be a simple assignment, squeezing information out of a potentially unsqueezable source, but the two agents brought here are remarkably well-equipped for that. On their way past the reception desk they find the glass door marked with Kain's name, and within is the very simplistic but well-appointed corner office belonging to the public relations representative. He's not in the office, but the glass topped desk and wall of windows overlooking the city of New York provides a simple enough distraction.

There's no snow falling outside, but the vista of the Financial District eventually giving way to the ruins of Midtown as viewed out the window is something picturesque, if not somber. Shattered skeletons of buildings crusted with ice and decked with snow, it almost seems pristine, and the snow's depth hides the crater where ground zero carves out the city's heart.

Alone in the office, Rain and Allison are afforded a moment of privacy to consider their method of approach.

Allison smiles and nods to the secretary before striding over to the door and stepping inside the office. No hesitation here. Not when people are involved. She takes a moment to simply look around the office, then out the window, and she smiles again at the view. A real smile, not one of the smiles that she's practiced often enough for it to almost feel natural.

"It's a lovely view, don't you think?" she asks, before glancing back at Rain, head tilting. "Would you prefer to do the talking? It did sound as though you were given the assignment, and me a simple addition." Not that she makes any sign of her preference.

Rain stares out at the grounds where the bomb went off. He looks down along the streets and avenues before he spots a very very familiar street. He points to it, his finger outstretched. "I was caught in the blast right there." He murmurs softly to his compatriot. "My shield's saved me from the concussive force, but not the fire, or the radiation. Mister Linderman did that. That's when I joined up…" he whispers it for some reason, then tucks his hand into htis pocket of his slacks and pulls in a heavy breath.

"I'm good at talking, putting people at ease. This guy? I don't know how much help I'll be, but yeah… I can do the talking." He offers her a soft smile, eyes going back out over the city, sitting on a particular building that he can just make out from here. His destination on that fateful day. The snow hiding the fact that it's nothing but rubble and steel struts now. He looks back to Allison, then turns his eyes on the door to wait.

"…well of course Ah' don' know how much the damned thing cost that's why Ah'm callin' you." The heavy, sandpapery drawl of a southern man born and raised west of the Florida panhandle comes thorugh the door when it opens behind the agents. Stuck on his cell phone, Kain Zarek looks little like the typical PR suit. While his style of dress seems appropriate, with the shark gray pinstripes suit, polished shoes, pressed slacks and color-coordinated tie, he's mostly unshaven with a rough beard of dark scruff across his chin, shoulder length blonde hair swept back from his face but still looking uncharacteristically long for a man holding a high-salaried desk job.

"You've had mah' car for three months wha'dya mean it still ain't fixed yet? Sal we've been over this a hundred times, I didn't know she was yer sister." Somehow the other end of that conversation is probably magical.

Lifting one hand with a coffee mug in it in greetings, a cigarette bobs up and down between Kain's lips as he makes his way behind his desk, setting the coffee down with a clunk on the desk without a coaster, leaving a little tan ring around the base on the glass surface. "Look, Sal, Ah'g otta' call you back later Ah've got a meetin'. Look, can we just forget what happened with me an' Lucy? It was four years ago, Sal, just fix m'damn car already you know Ah' don't trust her w'nobody else!"

Kain breathes out an exasperated sigh and brings one hand up to his forehead. "Yeah— alright that was mah' bad, Ah' know that's what you said 'bout Lucy. Look— " blue eyes flick to Allison and Rain, "Ah' really gotta' go. Ah'll call you back tomorrow alright? Yeah, you two buddy." Flipping his phone shut, Kain offers a flustered smile and the offer of his hand across his desk to Allison, as if none of that just happened.

"Miss Richards, Mister O'Niel, nice'a you two t'come on down."

Hearing the unfamiliar voice Allison turns, and her brows lift, while an amused look crosses her face. Then she's taking Kain's hand and smiling. "Thank you for having us, Mister Zarek." Still smiling she glances at his phone, then back to Kain. "Car troubles?" she asks, with that innocent/teasing tone people use when they know the answer to their question.

Rain lets only a faint bit of the amusement he feels at the conversation the other man has when he walks in show on his features. The young blonde moves forwards, but doesn't offer hsi hand out, he'll shake if it's offered, if not he'll leave his hands tucked into his pants pockets. Eyes go down to the phone that's been closed, and then over to Allison as she makes her comment. Rain's blue eyes roll a little and then offers Kain a friendly smile. "Nice to meet you Mister Zarek." he offers to him. If there's chairs for them to sit at he'll pull one out and settles into it carefully, then pull his eyes and let them rest upon Kain. "How's business with these weather problems?" He asks curiously, seemingly an honest question.

Flashing a crooked smile to Allison at the comment about his car, Kain's brows raise and head jerks to the side after the handshakes, settling down in his seat slowly with a creak of the leather. "Business is business, but a good businessman don't kiss an' tell," Kain comments with the flash of a toothy smile to Rain, crossing one leg over the other and folding his hands in his lap.

"So Danny tells me y'all came down here t'ask about the incident that happened over at the ol' Corinthian?" One of Kain's dark brows lifts as he looks back and forth from Allison to Rain. "Well, Ah' dunno how much more'n the police Ah' know. We found a cheater on site, Danny called in one'a your boys t'help out, an' then there was an altercation with some gunmen. Ain't never figured out who they were and ain't caught the ones that got away." Pursing his lips to the side, head quirking, Kain seems intent on brushing the meeting off quickly.

"Was there somethin' we didn't cover?" Kain asks after a moment of scrutiny to the two, leaning back in his chair.

Allison has a seat as well and smiles, but true to her word, she lets Rain begin the talking. No need to step on toes. Not yet anyway. But she does watch Kain intently.

Rain crosses his arms over his slim chest at Kain's little recount of everything that happened. "Come now Mister Zarek? You? Of all people? Don't know more than that? More than us? About stuff that happened in your boss' casino?" he looks at the man dubiously, as if he's not sure if he's full of it or if he's telling the truth, but there's a dissapointed look on his features. "With everything I've heard about you… I'd have expected you to know alot more than that." He leans forwards, his arms unfolding so his hands rest on his knees.

"How did you guys spot the cheater?" He asks in a soft voice, eyes focused on Kain, not on his face so much as on the man himself. He's looking for ticks, tells, watching the man's body language as he speaks and talks, studying him, reading him.

Kain's expression shifts rather mercurially from smarmy to stoic as he leans back in that chair, finally pinching his cigarette from between his lips with two fingers, lifting it away from his face as he exhales a breath of smoke. "Magic," Kain states with the flash of a smile, "ain't you kids ever been t'Vegas? They got all them slight'a hand tricks and flashy moves an' beautiful assistants. Trust me ol' Benny Ryans had a beautiful assistant that night. Our floor manager spotted him…" Kain notes as he leans forward, tipping the ash off of his cigarette into a glass dish.

"She's got an eye for those sorta' things, s'why we hired her. She was the woman yur agent probably mentioned, got herself a little bloody in all the coo-coo-ka-choo goin' on?" One dark brow lifted, Kain looks back and forth between Rain and Allison.

"You know, darlin', if this is a good-cop bad-cop routine, Blondie here ain't much of the strong an' silent type." Flashing a smile, Kain brings his cigarette back up to his lips, breathing in slowly, the ember at the tip glowing orange before he exhales a breath.

Allison laughs and shakes her head. "Sorry, but this isn't good-cop bad-cop. Why would we need to do that? You want us to figure out what happen, after all, so we're on the same side here, Mister Zarek. And all we need from you is some simple information. We're not asking for a pound of flesh here. So please, could you tell us precisely what tipped your floor manager off to the cheating? And what manner of cheating was it? Slight of hand? Card counting? Use of an ability?" Okay, so maybe she'll talk after all.

Rain is just about to speak again, his lips parting to do so, when Allison begins. He turns, looking over at her with a faintly amused smile, but he doesn't interupt her. Instead he sits there, quiet, but no, not the strong silent type. "Nah, no good cop bad cop. Not sure I could ever play bad cop… or good cop. Cops are jerks." He smirks lightly and straightens up from his chair, eyes going out the window.

"Look. I'm pretty sure your boss isn't too happy about having his casino cheated, and susequently shot up. I'm positive he wants to know who did it and why…" he turns around, settlign his hands on the abck of the chair he was sitting in. "Your assistance in this would make things /alot/ easier Mister Zarek. And after all, what reason do you really have for keeping us in the dark on any of it? Leverage? Not sure what good it would do you."

Rolling his tongue against the inside of his cheek, Kain shifts his weight in the seat and lifts his brows. He's clearly cagey for some reason. "Odds at the table. Alton was pullin' in a fat stack'a earnings two weeks straight here and at the Speakeasy in Red Hook. When a guy wins as fast and as much as Alton was getting, you check the books, you check the slots. Our floor manager's a sharp cookie. She noticed somethin' was wrong, so she called up about it. Now— what Ah' can't tell y'all is why Danny called in ol' Ben Ryans," there's a shake of Kain's head slowly, "just that he did. It ain't gon' affect your investigation none, let's just say that's between Danny the easel an' th wall."

Rubbing one hand over his scruffy chin and looking down disappointedly at his cigarette, Kain considers the situation. "From there on you all should know the story as it is. Your boy showed up, power got cut off to the casino from the inside and ain't nobody on any of the security cameras spotted them gunmen. Felt like an inside job but we run a tight ship, Danny figures you all got some insight on that, right?"

That insight being Veronica and Rain's blown up trip to try and suqeeze information about Rebel out of Hana Gitelman. Unfortunately for them it didn't quite work out the way it was planned. "We already tol' you all'a this before, but you wanted t'come down here an' talk, so we're talkin."

"Surely it can't be that much of a hardship to talk to us, Mister Zarek," Allison says, smiling winningly. "You said the power got cut off from the inside, though. Not any of your people are admitting to it, I'm guessing?" And oh the temptation is there to just drag it all out of him at once. But she can be good…For now.

Rain looks at Kain as the man speaks, letting a little more loose, but not really everything he knows. Rain's eyes look a bit confused at something, and he gives voice to it once he is done and Allison has spoken. "Actually, Mister Linderman's reason for calling Mister Ryans is quite important. As far as you guys knew you had a cheater. What we need to know is how that conclusion jumped to power usage. Unless of course you guys investigated and failed to figure it all out…" he arches a curious brow, then approaches the desk again, settling onto the edge of his seat once more.

"How did the men that attacked get inside of the building? And yes, we have some… ideas. But nothing concrete enough to go spouting off about. And yes, you've told us most of this before, though not all of it…" he winks at the man, a little smirk crawling across his lips as he tries to let the man think he's revealed something more than was previously known to them. Whether he buys it or not well… they'll just have to see.

"If we knew all'a that you all'd be out've a job now wouldn'tcha?" Kain spits out in response to Rain's commentary. "Ain't no clue how them bastards got inside. Ain't no security camera footage of 'em comin' or goin', no sign of them at all 'cept for the ones that died and your boy's explanation on how many there were. Security recordings, tapes, everything got screwed with in a short enough period'a time that it'd have t'be every single staffer in the hotel in on it." Kain's sarcastic tone of voice implies that isn't the answer.

"Generators got turned off, ain't no idea how. Best guess is somebody with a fancy power, but we ain't supposed to be guessin', you're supposed t'be figurin' it out. Far as how we knew he was an Evo? We didn't, it was a guess an' one Danny made. Plain an' simple." Kain's still skirting around something, and whatever it is it's worth more kept close to the chest than offered to help an investigation he wants solved.

"So if yer done tryin' t'ask me questions about some shit Ah' ain't got anwers for…" Kain begins to say, one black brow raised slowly.

Allison smiles and her head tilts downward slightly, her eyes on her fingers as they begin lightly drumming on the arm of the chair. "Mister Zarek…Kain…There are a few reasons why someone becomes this biligerant when being asked questions. Either they are just simply unpleasant by nature, or they're holding something back, and they're afraid of it getting out."

The hazel of her irises bleeds out, leaving them a bright, shining silver, and still she continues to smile and look downward. "What are you worried about us learning about this incident? You could just go ahead and tell us, and we can all go about our day." Without lifting her head she glances up, but eye contact isn't needed. Her voice is enough. It alone has the weight needed to pry this information out. "Tell me," she murmurs.

Rain tilts his head forwards slowly to Kain's words, his eyes showing understanding. When he's done though Rain pulls in a slow breath. "Well, see… normally someone wouldn't get angry about people investigating something like this. Especially not so quickly into the discussion. So you're hiding something. I've a pretty good idea what it is, but making assumptions is bad business….." And then he trails off. Cause Allison is doing what Allison does. So much for the talking approach. He looks upa tthe cieling, leaning back in his chair, tilting it up onto it's rear legs and balancing as he listens to Allison speak to the Lindermonkey.

%tFor the barest of moments it looks like Kain might try and put his cigarette out on Rain's forehead for the sour expression he makes. But Allison's voice, that lilting and lyrical tone captivates him like a siren's song. Instead of leading him to crash his ship on rocks, the siren of the modern age is instead luring him to divulge secrets that could get his head ona chopping block. "Danny doesn't want anybody t'know 'bout the painter, s'what." Kain offers very nonchallantly, leaning back in his seat and recrossing his legs, cigarette coming up to his lips as he draws in a steady breath.

"Little Englsh guy, Roderick, he paints shit that happens. Painted himself up a picture of our floor manager deader than a doornail with your thug-life people y'all're lookin' for givin' her a what-for." Kain lifts both of his brows and flashes a toothy smile. "Danny got spooked, called your boy Ben Ryans down to handle it on the down-low. Shit went sideways and here we are…"

Well that's interesting.

At that Allison glances to Rain, brows lifting. That look only lasts a moment though, before she's again looking at Kain through a light curtain of blonde hair. Can't let him get too good a look at the mercurial eyes. They're a sure give away. "So the cheating was made up? Just a way to protect your floor manager from being killed?" A pause, another glance to her partner in this exchange. "You should answer Mister O'Niel's questions too, by the way."

Rain listens to the man spill his guts to Allison, his eyes on him, then upon his partner in this endeavor, then back to Kain. When he's done he nod shis head a little bit, but he doesn't speak on the subject of the painter, not sure if that might break the spell Allison has cast or not. So isntead he just listens, then looks to Allison before he flashes her a smile. "I think we've taken up enough of the good man's time don't you?" he looks back to Kain and offers him a broad smile. "Thank you for being so helpful Mister Zarek." He rises to his feet before he looks to Allison, seeing if she maybe has anything else to ask or anything like that.

Looking a bit puzzled, Kain sits up straight and looks at Rain crookedly, then Allison. "Wha? Hu— no. No Alton really was cheatin', the Paintin had him in it too. Them goons were wresslin' him away from our floor manager. The picture got painted months before ol' Jimmy even walked into our casino. When Danny heard Alton was going to get kicked out of the casino for what he was doin', the painting came t'mind an… Ah' guess everythin' just came t'gether."

Rolling his tongue over the inside of his cheek, Kain looks a bit dazed and puzzled, one hand coming up to the side of his head as he looks from Allison to Rain, then to the door. "Was…" Kain's blue eyes go down to the half-burned cigarette he hasn't taken a drag from in a while. "That all you kids wanted?"

Dazed and confused, and one revelation later, Kain leans forward and settles his cigarette in the ash tray entirely.

Allison blinks a few times, letting her hold on Kain fade and her eyes refill with color. Then she looks up and smiles as she rises to her feet. "Yes, I believe that was all. Thank you for your time, Mister Zarek. We appreciate it."

Rain leans forwards in concern, real concern actualy, not fake. "Are you okay Mister Zarek?" He asks, his eyes narrowed with worry for the man. he knows who he is, but Rain can't help but care. He glances to Allison, his head turning a bit so he can. "Take it easy sir. You look like you're not feeling all that well. Maybe some rest?" He pulls away from the desk, glancing to Allison with a curious look in his eyes, then back to Kain. "We'll be in contact Mister Zarek."

"Uh— yeah maybe that coffee…" Kain's blue eyes flick down to the dribble of tain circling his untouched mug, then up to Allison and Rain, one black brow lifted slowly. "Glad— Glad Ah' could be've service t'you all." Kain offers back to the blonde agents as he rises up from his desk, smoothing down his tie and the front of his suit jacket before looking down at the cigarette burning in the ash tray. Puzzled, Kain may not realize at all exactly what it was Allison did to him, but eventually he'll become wiser to the fact.

And to save his own skin, he's going to pretend like nothing ever happened.

For now.

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