Over Brunch


kain_icon.gif linderman_icon.gif lola_icon.gif mortimer_icon.gif

Scene Title Over Brunch
Synopsis Linderman puts Lola and Mortimer on a new assignment.
Date September 12, 2009

Linderman Building — Courtyard

As far as courtyards go, the one encircled by the Linderman Building is fairly standard in its appearance, much like the rest of the premises. It's certainly expansive, lending it an air of the impressive, but it's nothing out of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Healthy green foliage is speckled with dots of colour in the form of a variety of flowers in various stages of bloom, depending on the time of year. The centrepiece of the cobblestoned court is a large, ornate fountain of white stone, depicting two angels in their pristine robes, arms stretched upward toward the heavens as water flows up into the air in tandem before cascading down into the deep, wide basin. The edge of the fountain serves as seating, with only minimal spray reaching the inner lip of the stone. Along the cobblestone paths, dark cherry wood benches provide a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors.

Brunch in the Linderman Group's courtyard is never a momentous occasion. Underscored by the chattering of birds, the sound of silverware tinkling against porcelain and a faint breeze rustling through the trees and blossoming foliage, conversation thus far has been kept light and only skirts the reasons that have brought Lola Mayeux, Mortimer Jack, Kain Zarek and their employer under the same sun umbrella this afternoon.

"So tell me, Miss Mayeux," Linderman is saying as he deftly slices into a succulent piece of cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto and held in place with a slim wooden toothpick, "how are you enjoying New York City?"

Lola is not the most pleasant eater. She's not fully disgusting, but she'll take a big bite, chew twice and gulp it down with large sips of something alcoholic. At least she's not dressed like Miss Daisy Duke today, with her tight black pants and loose kerchif top, her hair up in a ponytail. NYC is too cold for all that 80 per cent nude that she used to do down in Nawlins.

"S'alright," she drawls in her thick accent. She talks with food ducked away in her cheek, too, like a squirrel just before winter. Gulp. Ah, there, now an empty mouth. "Been interestin' to say the least. Serial killers, explodin' body parts, foreign fellahs. Never seems ta be 'nuff hours in the day."

It's one of the first times since returning from New Orleans that Kain's been seen around the Linderman Building, and the first time that Dixon or Manny weren't hot on his heels. Kain's seat has been notably devoid of a plate of food, unless you can count a cigarette as food — which Kain seems to, given how he bites downo n the filter and sucks in a lungfull of ash, dark brows furrowed and eyes shifted askance towards Lola.

There's something in Kain's expression that speaks of uncertainty towards the fellow Cajun, and something else in his expression that wonders exactly why Daniel Linderman is entertaining her here at the building, rather than putting her on a short boat to Staten Island. Whenever Linderman has a plan, Kain's always unfortunately six or seven steps behind him.

Mortimer, wearing his dark-grey trenchcoat, neatly fitting blue jeans, and black boots with matching gloves, eats quite neatly for an insane person. "I'm enjoying the Southern Belle myself," he says with a light snicker, taking a short sip of his drink. "I think she's agreed to run the female division of the Locos, the Crazy Eights. But I need your help to get things back on track, Mister Linderman, and that involves the negotiation of my new contract."

Linderman's fork hovers above his piece of cantaloupe, poised to skewer it, but at the last possible moment he seems to think better of this and sets his fork down on the lip of his plate, reaching for one of the cucumber sandwiches at the center of the table instead. "The Crazy Eights," he repeats with a small, tight smile. "Interesting. I would prefer, to be perfectly candid with you, Mr. Jack, that my employees err on the side of legitimacy as often as possible. Would you be horribly opposed if I suggested you retire your intrepid little band of hooligans for the time being?"

Lola sits back from her food as she listens, giving Mortimer a sideways look as he snickers. "Need I remind ya, sugar, ya lost that game a darts?" Because he did, and she won a shiny new rifle. Listening to Linderman she nods her head softly as he speaks - she's willing to follow his direction a bit more dedicated than most people seem to believe her capable of being. After all, Linderman took her out of jail - her recent antics would make it very easy for him to put her back in. Lifting a hand, she lights her own cigarette, making a point for the lighten to glint towards Kain - he might recognize it. Silly man, keeping it in his pocket like that!

Rolling his tongue over his cheek when he looks at Mortimer, it's only the flick of flame and then the recognition of his pocket being empty that raises one of Kain's brows. "Ya' like a racooon, darlin." Kain holds out his hand across the table, a smile that's not quite honest cutting across his face as his fingers curl up towards his palm in a gimme motion.

"Da— Mister Linderman's right, kid." Kain tilts his head to the side, blue eyes flicked over towards Mortimer. "Bike gangs are all well an' fine if you're just some dumbass street punk, but if you wanna' get ahead in the world, you know that ol' sayin'— puttin' aside childish things. Runnin' something like that's a surefire way t'get yer ass locked up and— maybe in a way that makes it best in our interests not t'help you outta' the hooskow."

"I have territory to maintain, and without an ability I need my resources more than ever. Business men, college students bored with life, and stepford wives for my Southern Belle here, all to be twisted and molded into the perfect workers." Mortimer explains quite casually, continuing to eat after every few lines. "That game was for me to sleep with you, I still want you to be the leader of the Crazy Eights. Running my gang won't get in the way of my work for you, Mister Linderman, but I have an agenda too. Besides, I work for free aside from the resources I need for any plans I have."

He sits up, eyeing Kain for a moment, then Lola, and finally rests his gaze on Linderman again, but clearly his comment is meant for everyone. "I do what I do because I'm sure everyone, even you, Mister Linderman, likes a little of the old ultra-violence. As long as you continue to support what I do, I can promise I'll continue to provide quality and nearly free service. Don't let my lack of an ability fool you, I can still carve a corpse."

"I'm not particularly fond of gangs, or ultra-violence for that matter." Linderman pauses to take a bite of his cucumber sandwich, then washes it down with a sip of tea from a cup that's been steeping for the past ten minutes. He dabs at the corner of his mouth with his napkin. "There's a reason the Civella family no longer has the power it once did," he says, "just as there's a reason that Song Ye of the Flying Dragons is dead. That said, I may be willing to provide you with the resources you desire if you prove to me that you can act responsibly and with a level head in spite of your— ah… condition. How familiar are you with the name Adam Monroe?"

"I ain' yer anythin," she reminds Mortimer. Not yet. "Every feller I met in this city's callin' me his this an his that." She shakes her head, removing her cigarette from her lips and exhaling, smirking a smarmy smile over toward Kain. "Yer own fault, darlin, soon as ya saw me comin' ya oughta 'ave battened down the hatches er whatever," she murmers, flicking the lighter over the table with a high arc for him to catch.

Adam Monroe what? "Ohh ohh! Me, I know that one! S'the English fellah all up tight."

Leaning back in his chair, Kain catches the lighter with both hands, flipping it open and turning it aruond before carefully tucking it inside of his jacket pocket. There's a suggestion that Kain might have wanted to give Mortimer a piece of his mind, but the look on his face softens when Linderman explains Song Ye is dead, brows frrowed and eyes downcast to the tabelcloth. Lola's seen that look on Kain's face, the same look he had right after he shot that man in New Orleans in cold blood.

"This ain't no game," Kain spits out sharply to Lola, eyes not meeting hers, "This Monroe thing, it ain't just some jerk offa' th' streets who needs a shining. This— " his blue eyes alight to Linderman, lips pressing together in an unspoken and somewhat protective look of uncertainty for Zoe's memory, then back down tot he table, all silent and solemn as he realizes this is Daniel's show, and not his.

"Hey, I've been working fine for you so far, well, except that I lost my arm and can't fight or play guitar quite as well with this robot crap." Mortimer raises his left hand and removes his glove, revealing the wiggling advanced-looking robotic fingers. "Adam Monroe, rings a bell… oh, hey, so that's why I blew up Primatech, I completely forgot and thought I was just doing it for fun. You want him dead? I'll kill 'em." He briefly eyes Lola, laughing, "You'll be my something eventually, our courting deal is still on."

Kain's words quickly catch his gaze, and he seems incredibly amused by something, like the outraged man simply didn't understand. "See, that's why you're not happy right now, there's rules and regulations within the Linderman organization, I've gotta follow those or I lose my resources and protection, that sounds like a game to me. And when I'm on my own time, especially hunting some guy like this Adam you're al talking about? That's a game. What's the worst that can happen? We all die? Who cares! As long as we all have fun."

He sits back in his chair, just lounging and shaking his head, speaking in a completely condescending manner to Kain. "Why do you live or do anything? What, are you saving the world, trying to get rich, saving your own life? Those are all pretty pathetic reasons to do anything. I'm sure Mister Linderman here is taking over the world or something that sounds impossible. While I'd never do it, it's something worth doing. Me? My goal's always been to blow as much of this planet apart as possible, except of course the parts that Mister Linderman owns. Money, power, it's all fleeting, chaos is forever."

"I don't want you to kill him," Linderman corrects Mortimer gently, his tone full of mild reproach. Lola needs no such reprimand; Kain already has that well in hand. "I want you and Ms. Mayeux to work together with my personal assistant, Ms. Hoffman, to infiltrate his group and relate to me his plans for the immediate future." He reaches into his suit pocket and produces a business card belonging to the aforementioned Ms. Hoffman, and slides it across the tablecloth toward Mortimer and Lola, careful to negotiate their glasses of ice water along the way.

Chilly blue eyes lift to Mortimer's face and, steeled, hold his gaze. "There will be absolutely no blowing things apart unless I give my explicit consent, understand?"

Lola lifts the card between her fingers, running her index around the stiff corner. "Courtin' ain' no deal, sugar, ya wanna be abstinate until ya find out if I like ya, that's one thing. Be honest, it wouldn' hurt fer ya ta tone down the crazy a 'lil bit." But then her mind goes back to the task at hand. After a moment, she lowers the card.

"Shouldn' be too hard, way I figure. Monroe's already asked me ta betray you an work fer him. I kin just, ya know." She shrugs a single shoulder. "Say yes." She tilts her eyes thoughtfully, upward toward Kain a moment, as if waiting to hear what his part will be in all of this.

"Christina?" There's an arch of Kain's brows as he looks away from Mortimer and over to Linderman, eyes narrowing into a squint before he huffs out a breath and shakes his head slowly, focusing back on Lola and Mortimer again. He's said enough of his souther-fried peace to matter, but remarkably — for Kain — he isn't taking the bait to an argument this time. Either it's the cigarette pinched betwen his fingers, or it's simply him getting older that's taken away the vitriolic edge he once had.

Bringing that cigarette back up to his lips, there's a slow drag on it that brings a lungful of ash and smoke in, exhaled in two thin jets out his nostrils as he regards Mortimer with a side-long stare, eyes drifting back and forth between he and Lola as they talk. "Don't say it too enthusiastically," Kain notes with a furrow of his brows as he takes a tone with Lola.

"Well he already knows I exist, he'll expect me to have a gang and resources. Guess that solves that part of the contract negotiation." Mortimer gleefully says with a bright smile, holding his cup of tea, pinky out. "Well, this mission is all fine and dandy to me, I just have one more request, other than possibly a list of workers who are on the chopping block and I could put to better use. Do you happen to have the address of a healer? I mean, a man as powerful as you. I'm sick of relying on an arm I can't even upgrade anymore."

Linderman's half-eaten cucumber sandwich finds a home beside his fork on the same plate with the prosciutto and cantaloupe. With every exchange, he's losing more and more of his appetite. "Whatever healing you need," he tells Mortimer, "I will personally attend to after you succeed in placing yourself in Monroe's good graces. Do not make the mistake of assuming what he might anticipate — he's been at this much longer than either you or I."

Lola does what she usually does when people rub her the wrong way - she sticks out her tongue, right across the table at Kain. "Ya ever got somethin' ya don' bitch about, mista big shot I'm a yankee boy?" She asks, though there's always that tone of playfullnes in her voice. It's not so much that she's making light of him, but her threats and her insults are never really fully serious. As for her eyes? They say one thing: I'm so stealing your lighter again.

"So I just watch the fellah an tell ya what he's got me doin, that sorta thing?" Lola asks, turning her attentions once more to Linderman, holding the cigarette just over the table, dainty between two fingers.

One of Kain's brows rise slowly, a half-smile crossing his face as he regards Linderman's sandwitch with curiosity, blue eyes lifting up to the old man for a moment before focusing back on Lola. "Look," is how Kain puts it plainly, "Ah' think ya'll get along jus' fine with Adam. Might even invite ya' back to his house for cheese n' crackers or whatever it is murderous psychopaths do in their spare time."

Watching Mortimer's prosthetic hand out of the corner of his eyes, Kain's brows tense and his eyes flick back to Linderman when there's not even the slightest mention of his ability. Kain's blue eyes linger in the way silent conversation can imply things, and only when drifting back towards Lola do words find him again. "Just be careful 'round Christina, Ah' hear she's a handful."

Mortimer pulls his glove back on after sitting his cup down, nodding in agreement with Linderman as he stands, then politely bows, offering a hand to Lola like a good gentleman! "Before I take my leave, under what conditions are we allowed to kill Adam? And on that note, is this guy over there," nodding his head in Kain's direction. "A valued employee?"

"Self-defense," Linderman answers Mortimer easily. Then, without so much as missing a beat, "And yes. He is."

To Lola he offers a slight tip of his head, so subtle as to be almost imperceptible if it weren't for the white bristle of his beard whispering against his shirt collar. "That's exactly right, my dear. I trust you and Mr. Jack to get in touch with Ms. Hoffman over the next few days and formulate a plan together. You needn't worry about strategy. That's her strong suit."

Lola nods, holding up a finger to hold Mortimer there. She looks right across the table to Kain. "Who ain' said he hadn' already? Actually I wasn' so much invited as I broke in, but that ain' the point." She looks to Linderman then, sitting back in her chair a moment as she snuffs out the cigarette in an ash tray. "Just one last thing, Mistah Daniel…do ya own a puppy?"

Sometimes it's good to hear about job security from the moth of your employer, because right there that affirmed months of difficult work for Kain. It's one thing to assume Daniel Linderman isn't going to feed you to a tank of sharks for his own amusement, it's another thing to know for sure that he's not going to. But then, that just means that times is running short of Alonso in accounting. Kain can't help but smirk at the thought, the smirk is wiped entirely off of his face when Lola asks that question.

If Daniel says yes, he'd best not look immediately at Kain. In his heart of hearts, that's his biggest fear at the moment.

Mortimer doesn't move, he stays there hunched down as instructed by Lola's finger. Her question causes him to raise an eyebrow, then suddenly his eyes widen in inspiration. "Animals, of course." but he doesn't quite elaborate on what that means.

There's a momentary pause as creases appear on Linderman's already furrowed brow, his skin wrinkling, face adopting a slightly more perplexed expression that does not linger any longer than it takes him to say, "No." He lifts his teacup to his mouth, but does not drink. Not immediately. There's an old saying about cats and curiosity; fortunately, Linderman neither resembles a feline nor puts much stock in that particular adage. His upper lip against the rim as he speaks. "Why?"

Lola can hold a particularly straight face when needed, and right now it's much needed. Especially after she speaks. "Ya just seemed like the sort, is all. Seemed like a…puppy lovin' sort." She pushes to her feet, her napkin never having been touched her entire time there, but luckily she didn't spill anything on herself. She leans over the table toward Kain, tapping the cloth a bit. "Gimme a call tomorrow, alright?" Because she needs to pick his brain about something. Also? She's staring right into his eyes. If he doesn't laugh of the mental images in his head? She's hoping he will when he sees her, and knows that she knows what mental images are going through his head.

Retraining a smile from what is clearly amusement, Kain watches Mortimer and then Lola with a crooked smile that breaks out of his stoicness, observing Lola as she leans over the table and taps near him. There's a grin, swallowing tightly, and then glances over to Daniel with a lopsided smile. He's earned this, he's been a good boy lately:

"Ah' could go down to the shelters," he notes with a hesitant grin, "maybe ol' Lola here's got a point…" then, just to make sure he doesn't get shot on sight, "sir."

"That won't be necessary," Linderman assures Kain in tone that, while unamused, has more to do with their previous topic of conversation than it does the current one. Discussing Adam Monroe is a sure way to keep his smile from reaching his eyes, and he does smile — if only to express his gratitude. "But I appreciate the offer."

"Ah' think that means we're done," Kain tacks on, trying ot quickly recover himself and get back into a business mindset. "Manny Calvera will be outside an' he'll give you a folder with Christine's contact information for y'Lola." There's a nod of Kain's head affirming wordlessly their arrangement for a meeting tomorrow. "Jack," he adds with a quick of his head to the side, shaking it afterwards in a what am I going to do with you motion.

"Try not t'break anythin' on your way out."

Lola manages to hold a sturdy face the entire time, even though she glances at Linderman long enough to fan the fires, just a tad. "Shame, sir, seemed like ya might be the sort ta enjoy a nice, young lil cocker spaniel." Get it? Cocker? Cock? Kain will.

Lola looks at him again with that smarmy smirk, knowing he'll get the joke. At least, until Mortimer takes her hand. "Boundries, sugar, we talked about this." She takes her hand back. "What is it with fellahs in New York anyhow? Monroe's always touchin, yer always touchin,"

But now it's time to depart. Lola nods her head to Kain. "Awww, Manny? Aw don' worry, he won' let me break nothin. Can' guarentee he'll have all his stuff when I leave, but what're ya gonna do." She winks playfully to the two men left behind and turns to walk out with Mortimer.

"Don't worry, Mister Linderman already saved your life today!" Mortimer shoots back to Kain with a smile, then heads out with Lola. "So what are all these personal space rules, and not being crazy? A guy's gotta know this if he's gonna court a young belle."

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