Of Common Enemies


cardinal_icon.gif gideon_icon.gif

Scene Title Of Common Enemies
Synopsis Richard comes to tip off the man in charge; whether he takes it well or not can be told with time.
Date December 21, 2010

d'Sarthe Townhouse, Upper East Side

There is a lot of fancy shit up in here.

When one usually pictures the home belonging to a 'boss', it is not often an expensive townhouse on the Upper East Side. There is a good reason for this, one can argue- Gideon d'Sarthe has estates elsewhere, dotted along other cities, other mansions, sprawled at the limits of others. Penthouses seem more the type to belong to those just under him. Perhaps it is the townhouse that offers him an escape, even though the limestone mansion itself is twice as large as other homes. It is certainly not that he needs such a space. Incidentally, he also has been using it as his operational hub since he moved to the city itself; there are sometimes men and women coming and going, though never staying long. That may be Marie's doing, in a valiant effort to keep undesirables out of her nest. As the lady of the house, she has certain duties that require a firm hand and an immobile will.

As the man of the house, Gideon has his duty in being a relatively undesirable creature himself; nothing in the most untoward of senses, but for a fine-tuned Frenchman, his home life is deceptively vague and dare I say, normal. This requires a certain number of times that he will prowl the building, a certain number of times that he will make a nuisance out of himself. His daughter is very understanding, even when it comes to sporadic insomnia and a certain number of times that her father will wander downstairs with a sloppily fastened night-robe.

Today, however, there have been very little meetings, very little problems that come whirling around corners- until Richard Cardinal came to call, and murmured in that oh-so-boldness, that there was something important that Gideon ought to know. Richard was simply told to come early in the evening, as the French are dutifully never in much of a hurry for anything, and frankly, mister d'Sarthe needed a moment to pry his mood into a more curious headspace, and more willing to actually hear what mister Cardinal has to say for himself.

There are guards always watching the front door, the back grounds, the street, the rooftop- it can drive a young woman mad, if it were not so nescessary. Or perhaps it has. While Gideon has taken up wait in a lounge, the fireplace crackling, his daughter is mysteriously elsewhere, preferring whatever a mafia daughter does to waiting for some man that may or may not be showing up to press a note of importance into Gideon's hand.

The lounge is wide, the limestone fireplace cradled in cream colored walls, the windows shrouded in heavy curtains to stifle any winter chill; the decor is as expected- opulent to a point, just before it becomes impractical for daily use. Of course, the high-backed chair to one side of the fire is of little practicality either. Even the boss-man needs to feel like one, sometimes. Even if he is dressed down, his suit jacket simple, his slacks dark, his shirt unbuttoned at the top. The arm of the chair is occupied by a small cockatoo, sweep of yellow tucked close to his skull, eyes half-closed and one foot curled carefully up into his downy white feathers.

It's been a month or so since Cardinal crammed himself into his suit, but the occasion seemed to call for it, so suit it is. A black pinstripe suit, fedora and all. The classics never go out of style. As he's shown into the lounge, he sweeps off his hat politely, leaving the shades that he's known for in place.

"Mister D'Sarthe," he greets casually, "Thanks for seeing me on such short notice."

The first to notice the man being led in is the bird, which opens its eyes and balances there on one leg, watching the single guard that escorts Richard Cardinal inside, then watching the man in the suit. Pierre lets out a small crackle of noise, almost reproachful. When Cardinal is being led in, Gideon takes a moment before rising to his feet, much to the dismay of the bird nearby. There is nothing that the creature can do aside from fluff himself indignantly.

"Richard Cardinal." d'Sarthe sounds out the name with a slight pause, lifting his hand out in an offer of a greeting. Though it looks quite halfhearted, the grip, should he choose to take it up, is like shaking hands with an incidental vice. "Pas de problème. You said that it was important that you see me, and, I tend to take such… mysteriousness- at face value." Richard had implied the need to pass something on, and by the tone with which he is being addressed, it had best be something worthwhile.

One does not refuse such a man's handshake! Cardinal reaches out to grip the offered hand firmly — managing not to grimace at the crushing grasp of the other hand — and then he recovers it, gloved fingers flexing at his side. "It's quite important, actually," he admits as he drops back a step, "Some… information has passed my way that I thought you wanted to know immediately. It's about your upcoming gala."

Rather than immediately leap into the unknown, is it very much like mister d'Sarthe to do what he does-

"Would you like a drink? I was about to go fetch one myself…" As he finishes the sentence, in fact, Cardinal is offered a comfortable and even welcoming gesture from Gideon, the hand he had shook lifting up further to crook calloused fingers. Beckoning him to follow. Perhaps he is truly this hospitable, or possibly, it is to show Richard who is in charge here. In truth, a touch of both. The bird on the chair seems to watch Cardinal wherever he moves, even when Gideon turns to leave the lounge, and the guard stoops helpfully over to pick up the cockatoo and relocate it elsewhere.

"I do hope that it is nothing that I will be unable to influence? Sûrement?"

As his ever-so-gracious host walks along down the hallway, Cardinal drops into step after him. "That sounds great, thank you," he replies, absently rubbing at his hand with the other to shake off the lingering ache from that crushing grip. He's never seen much of a need for shows of power - but he can be patient with them when others need them.

He's dealt with Linderman before, after all.

"I certainly hope so," he adds, "Do you know of a man that goes by 'The Irishman'?"

Power comes in a multitude of forms, it only so happens that he possesses the physical kind. He carries himself less like this, and more like a rangy lion, his gait almost a rolling pace, with some sort of an awkward grace all to himself. Whatever it is, it works for him. The kitchen is, as expected, modern. One part of it seems to be more of a bar, saddled with various spirits inside of a diamond-patterned shelf. "I know many Irish men." Gideon answers, unhelpfully, eyes trailing over Cardinal as one hand finds a drawer handle.

"But none, that tend to go by it." The drawer is a long one, lined with what seems to be glasses for the bottles on the wall, for quick and personal use. For himself, he pulls free a short glass, gesturing vaguely as he slips a bottle of scotch from its place. "What is the expression- choose your poison?"

"Scotch is fine," Cardinal admits with a tip of his head in the direction of the same bottle the other man'd just lifted up. When in doubt, drink what your host is. It's less likely to be poisoned.

"He's an arms dealer," he explains, "The little… incident at Aphrodesia's the other week was his people. As it so happens, he's got another affiliation - Humanis First."

No scotch was poisoned in the course of filming.

A second glass is put out for Richard, and offered deceptively gently by his host. "Little? That poor woman lost her entire livelihood. I cannot imagine that as 'little'." Do not undermine the effectiveness of something like that, seems to be Gideon's beef. What is really bothering him is how an arms dealer with such an apparently notorious title has escaped his purview. Something about his missing that branch is going to become quite bothersome. Gideon growls something out, before the glass moves to his mouth. "Go on, s'il vous plaît."

The glass is taken in hand, and Richard lifts a brow ever so slightly over the rim of his shades. "Little," he adds, "Compared to their next operation, Mister d'Sarthe." He takes a sip of the liquor, gaze on the way it shines lightly in the light as he murmurs, "Which is to blow up your restaurant during the gala."

The first order of anything of this nature is to discern its truthfulness. "How did you come by this information?" Gideon's frame tenses as if strung with inner wire, his posture somehow metallic- rigid- and his gaze thorny, with something of an accusatory note behind them. "And how do you know that it is true? I have many enemies, I am sure you realize- none of them have seemed as bold as to attack me directly, so allow me to reserve my judgment."

His voice, previously somber and calm, is as taut as his spine, and as sharp as the knives in the wooden block across the kitchen island.

"I've had it confirmed," Cardinal says with a slight shake of his head, taking another swallow of scotch before turning a serious gaze on the man, "My precognitives warned me of a Humanis attack on the gala, but I didn't want to come to you with something — unsubstantiated, so I went to the bombers that carried out the operation at Miss Aphrodesia's. She confirmed that you were their next target. As a 'show of strength' they've been told, but I suspect that it's mostly a Humanis operation."

"Miss Burton was one of the targets. She won't be attending the gala, I'm afraid, she's been warned to spend the night elsewhere."

"I have no way of cancelling an event such as the gala now, Richard. Not on such short notice… it would not be good business." First name basis, so long as Gideon knows his name, or presumes to. "Provided that your sources are true to word, and something is going to happen during the event, it seems I am in quite a position." The calloused hand on the scotch glass threatens to cave it in completely, judging by the tension in all of d'Sarthe's knuckles.

"A position of where I have not had the pleasure of being. What do you suggest?" An abrupt and surprising inquiry, if there ever was one.

"I'm not sure." It's a sour admission indeed, Richard's head shaking ever so slightly. "I've been trying to get more information about the Irishman, but all my most promising leads have dried up… he's an elusive bastard, and that's high praise coming from me." He grimaces, glancing across the room and then back, "I suppose the only thing to do is focus on security. Foul them in the act."

"Do you think that he will show himself? Or is he a coward, preferring to watch from afar?" The glass is set onto the nearest space of counter, lest it explode in a burst of crystalline. "You run a security firm, do you not?" Is he getting at what he is- "You know these people much more than I do, I digress. Perhaps you should assist me." -implying. Yes, he is.

At that, the slightest of smiles tugs up a little at the corner of his lips. "I'll see what I can do," he allows, "If you'll give my people access to the restaurant, we can try and identify all the weak points. I doubt that he'll show himself— he'll send others to do his dirty work."

"I can allow you access, though only if you permit yourselves to work alongside my personal security." Cardinal is more than familiar with Linderman's system of securities, and he can rightfully assume that it might run in a similar manner. There are a few things that are enacted differently on this side of the pond, however, not limited to d'Sarthe's security being less about muscle and more in tune with cleverness than intimidation.

"My head of security can help to brief you more personally on how I run things," Gideon scans the room past Cardinal's shoulder, looking back to the much younger man, a mote of interest in his gaze. "Between the two of us, and if your tales are true, I think that we may be able to deter all, or God forbid it, most of an event, should something happen."

Common enemies have made allies of more uncertain men, that is a fact.

"I'll have my people get in touch with your security people, then," Cardinal replies with a raise of his glass in return, a smile crooking to his lips, "And God willing, we can keep those… racists from getting another win. Afterwards, though, either way things turn out— that's when things are going to get really interesting."

"It is best that this be supervised closely, if that is a fact." Gideon's hands link at the small of his back, broad shoulders under the suit jacket pulling the fabric tight. "Use discretion, as readily as you can. This could be an opportunity for advancement as much as it is a potential-" Pointedly, as nothing has occurred yet. "-disaster."

A nod, Richard understands that fully. A smile, as he brings his glass up. "Well, then. To carrying out all our plans… perfectly."

d'Sarthe Townhouse, Upper East Side

It did not take long for Marie d'Sarthe to know that something was going on under her nose; women's intuition, at its best and at its worst. At its best, it told her that a cockatoo in his cage and a bodyguard gently putting him there only means the reasonably worst, which is that there is business that may not be her favorite kind is happening in one of the many adjacent rooms. Feet as light as a kitten's, a presence as unobtrusive as air, Marie has long since made her way down the spiral of stairs.

Long since made her way down, and crept quietly to the hall outside of the kitchen, where as she stands, her ears pick up the gravelly baritone of her father, and the intoned husk of Richard Cardinal. The voice is familiar, the name just as well, though his face remains a black space in her memory, whipped in with the mist of others she has met during her living in New York. All that she knows, while eavesdropping in the way only a girl can- is that he has placed himself in the position of an obstacle.

An obstacle meant to either be surpassed or assimilated.

He sounds like a smart man. But, Marie has known many smart men to fall in line with her father. It hardly ever ends well. The ones that are truly smart, never involve themselves directly in the first place. The lucky ones manage to get away. The really lucky ones manage to become more than a memory, as stories are such wondrous- and pondrous- things. Her mother told her just once, that Daniel was one of the lucky ones. That maybe it was because he and Marie's father were too similar. Young men with big ideas and pockets to fill, pockets to bleed, people to change.

He never talks about her anymore.

One of his many mistakes, of course. A father is never perfect. She does not need to hear more, when the clink of glass on countertop postmarks a growl from him in the room nearby. Marie turns away, feet swift to take her back up the stairwell and to the sitting room. The ornate birdcage is open, its single occupant sitting on the flat roof, feet curled around a dark branch screwed to the metal. Pierre lifts his head, crest rising into the air when his girl returns. A tentative noise from his beak, and she is taking him up with slender hands and a calm, bemused voice into feathery ear.

"Pierre, il semble que nous sont contournées."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License