adam_icon.gif christina_icon.gif

Scene Title Rahab
Synopsis A chance meeting between Adam and Christina results in a discussion about alternative employment.
Date September 26, 2009

The Orchid Lounge

The Orchid Lounge, owned by the mother of Senator Nathan Petrelli, is an Asian-inspired martini bar lit by candlelight and the soft glow of wall sconces spaced evenly throughout the room. Although there aren't any employees at the door to check for identification, it's unusual to find anyone in the college-aged crowd at the Lounge, which caters to young professionals with plenty of extra money to burn. During the day, the plush burgundy drapes affixed to the windows are used to filter out the sounds of traffic and at night are drawn back to allow passersby a glimpse inside.

Seating is simple: clusters of rectangular tables fashioned from white marble, each with two leather benches parallel to the longest sides. Silk pillows in varying shades of red, brown, yellow and orange lend a splash of colour to the Lounge, vivid against the pale walls and black-painted cement floor. On one wall is a giant mirror with an intricately carved frame that reflects almost everything in the room and makes the space appear twice as large as it really is. Clearly, the proprietor of this establishment wanted to get her money's worth - real estate in this part of town isn't cheap!

There's a certain sense in which Adam Monroe shouldn't be here. He certainly shouldn't be standing at the bar drinking a scotch out in the open. Here he is, making a bit of a scene of himself in the bar of his rather open enemy. Still, here he is, waiting to see if something happens.

Well, it's not all that uncommon to see Linderman Group people here at the Orchid Lounge, and being Monday after work, there's often a lot of people blowing off the stress from work. However, those are usually lower functionaries. Minions. Cogs in the machine. It's not usually someone so close to the top.

Christina Hoffman makes her way into the bar…honestly, "storms" might be the better word. She's in a mood, and her scathing glare practically plows the path for her as she makes her way to the bar. She looks at the bartender, annoyed. "Bacardi 151. Double." Someone is in a mood.

Adam hasn't actually interacted with anyone yet. He recognizes a few people from his time watching Linderman…and the Company for that matter. But these are lessers, few of them recognize him and if they do, they don't appear to recognize the full import of his appearance. Instead, he takes a drink of Scotch as a dark haired woman walks up next to him after pushing some people aside and orders her rum. He pauses a moment and says, "Well, must be some good liquor to be in such a hurry for it."

Her head whips about, hair flaring from centrifugal motion, as she prepares to deliver a scathing condemnation to the person who gave the statement. Of course, you can't really pick out too much about people by looking at the back of their heads. The insult dies stillborn in her throat, as she gets a good look at the face of the person there, and her eyes spell it out in that first moment of surprise…she knows Who He Is. Which makes her far more than a lesser. She recovers after a moment. "I'd ask if you like living dangerously, but we already know you do.

Adam puts his scotch down on the bar and apparently has what he's been waiting for, someone to recognize him to start some trouble. But there's a pause, he considers that perhaps she's just really attracted to him. A brow arches for a moment and then he himself leans forward a moment, "I know you, yeah?" he slides through his internal rolodex, considering how he could know her and finally, he says, "Ah…you, you work for Danny boy, don't you." he's trying to place her name, "Crystal….no, Carrie…Christine…" he gets closer and closer.

Christina looks back, and takes another gulp of her rum before continuing. Liquid courage, maybe. "Christina. And at the moment, the answer is yes." She sounds pissed. "Whether that continues to be the case…well, I'll make up my mind on that after several more drinks, and a lot more brooding."

Adam mms, "Christina, yes. Christina Hoffman." he says as he picks up his scotch and lifts it in salute. "Now I recall." he pauses with an arched brow, how odd and serendiptous. Perhaps too much so, but he'll bite, one should be careful of jumping down a rabbit hole but it never hurts to look, "Well, that's unfortunate. You're one of his assistants, yes?" he questions, "Hard to do without those."

Her lips curl up in a smirk. "At the moment, again, yes. Right now Mr. Linderman and I are having a little dispute on the nature of my services, the amount of…effort required, and the compensation rendered for that amount of effort. Without getting into corporate secrets, of course. And I'm "one of" his assistants, yes." One of the very closest.

Adam tsks a moment. He studies the young woman, though in fairness, she could be fifty and be a young woman to him. He puts the scotch down on the bar as he considers her a moment, "How unfortunate. So, it's all about money in the end? Seems hard to believe."

She shakes her head, turning now at the bar to face him, rather than the bar. "No, not entirely about money." She pauses, as if deciding how much to tell him, then says "Some of Mr. Linderman's assignments involve a certain amount of risk. The one we're arguing over has too much, in my opinion."

Adam chuckles knowlingly about that. Though, it is possible she may take his knowing for something that it's not. He just thinks about how often he has had similar conversations with Sabrina. But he arches a brow at Christina after his laugh, "I don't mean to be rude, but how dangerous could an assignment for a personal assistant be?" he questions.

Well, now it comes time to lay some cards on the table. Or not. A little more liquid courage. "Mr. Monroe, I think we both know that Mr. Linderman's business dealings are wide and varied. And much like your own, they are not always…risk-free endeavors."
Adam nods, "Oh, indeed." he says in response, "I wouldn't suggest that Daniel's business dealings are..risk-free at all." he watches her for a few moments, "But the nuanced question isn't what could Daniel Linderman be doing that's risky…but what could Daniel Linderman's assistant be doing that's risky."

The question gets another smirk, and the "tsk-tsk-tsk" finger, raised and wagging side to side a few times. "Now, now, Mr. Monroe." She's not in her full ice bitch business persona, but moreso than her usual downtime one. "You don't expect me to give out company secrets to a…competitor, do you? If I were to decide not to stay on at the Linderman Group, that would be another story. But until or unless I decide that…well, it would be unwise for me."

"Such a subtle hint." his eyes spark a bit mischievously, "Well, you have to know offering me a chance to take away from Daniel is a chance I'll take. I'll talk money and jobs and positions." he considers her a moment, "Though, you must realize this is all a tad convienant. There's no way I can /trust/ you, even if I'm willing to take a chance at taking away one of Daniel's people."

She laughs. "Oh, I don't know that I'd be willing to work for /you/ in any case, Mr. Monroe. You're likely to be as…difficult an employer to work for as Mr. Linderman. Believe it or not, it's the "reward" portion of my job that I enjoy. Not the risk part."

Adam spreads his hands, "Well." he says, "It's possible that's true. It might be possible that it's not. You're being too vague for any details. So, I couldn't comment on the possible risks for working with me versus working for Daniel. I can assure you that there are quite many rewards that come for working for me, though."

She smirks a bit at the comment, and finishes her drink. "Well, by all means, enlighten me, Mr. Monroe. I think by now it should be obvious that I'm all about risk vs. reward. So why don't we discuss the reward part of this? But likely not here. Too many ears in a place like this." She looks thoughtful. "Your place?" If she knows who he is, and she's still willing to step into the cat's den, then the mouse is either cocky, stupid…or has hidden secrets of her own.

Adam chuckles, "No. Not my place, but perhaps somewhere a bit more quiet would certainly be called for." he motions for a moment and then pays for the drinks to the bartender before he says, "But we could go for a ride, if you like."

She nods, and pushes her now-empty glass away, standing. "Much to be said for a quiet car ride. Lead on." She indicates with a hand the path to the exit.

Outside is a dark SUV with a driver who's just sitting there going through a magazine. When he sees Adam arrive, with a woman no less, he starts up the car. Adam, meanwhile, opens up the door to the backseat and motions for Christina to get inside. Assuming she does so, he gets in and they make their way about.

Inside the SUV

The woman takes the rear, apparently feeling more secure without Adam Monroe behind her. It isn't till they get to the SUV that she'll move to get in first. And even then, she's cautious about it. "So…now we can drop pretenses. Mr. Linderman isn't too much a fan of you."

Adam leans back in his seat, "Oh, indeed. That's because I know too much and he doesn't care very much for that. But then, I don't know that I'm so much known for my fans." he glances over, "But you wanted to drop pretenses, so…what is it you mean to tell me then?"

Christina chuckles. "Daniel knows you're up to something. And he wants me to find out what it is. You were right when you mentioned coincidence. Problem is, I think it's too dangerous to do…whether it's me or someone else…to go snooping on you. I think it's too risky, and he's being insistent. While I'm loyal, I'm not going to get killed to indulge his whims."

Adam chuckles a bit as he thinks about that, "I have to admit, that does seem a bit dangerous. Especially when it comes to feeding Daniel Linderman my business." he pauses, "What's odd is…that all stacks up logically." he turns towards her as if the logic of a thing means more truthfully to him than whether it /sounds/ true. "So why are you telling me?" he questions, "At least without any prompting….what are you hoping to get out of it?"

Christina considers. "A better deal. You see, Daniel's request has put me in a hard place. Either I agree…which means orchestrating someone to locate you, break into your facilities, and otherwise find out what you're doing, which in turn gives you a good incentive to come kill me…or I turn down his request, which means cutting off my gravy train, not to mention that I know enough skeletons in Daniel's closet that I don't think he's just going to let me walk away. Either way, I end up looking over my shoulder, either for you or for him, and I don't much like either one of those odds."

Adam nods, "Ah, yes. You are in a bit of a hard place. But the problem here, is that there's not much better I can offer you. I could feed you false information, but eventually he'd figure it out and I have no incentive to give you anything at all, because even telling him what I'm not doing tells him something. I can offer to buy you off and entice you to switch teams, but you certainly would still be on the look out from him. And then…even if we agree to do nothing…now I know to look out for you. So you see…I'm not sure where we can go with this. Unless what you're asking for is not to give you a clean option, but to make a more dangerous one worth your time."

The brunette looks amused. "You're no miracle worker, Mr. Monroe. Despite any rising from the grave. You're right on some counts. /If/ I were to switch teams, well, I still have his people after me, but I have you and yours watching me back. There's always you paying me and me feeding you information, which is a dangerous little tightrope to walk, but could be profitable. However…I'm open to alternatives. As I've spelled out, my current options are very unattractive. Present me with a more appealing third, and I'm likely to take it. I make no lies; I'm in this for me. But I see too high a risk of getting myself killed, putting myself in that line of fire without any support. Normally I'd rely on Daniel to give me the support I ask for for this job, but he doesn't seem willing to provide. I think he's underestimating this."

Adam considers, "So let's say we were to consider the option of you switching teams, as it were." he tilts his head for a moment as he studies the young girl thoughtfully. He purses his lips in thought for a moment, "I would need to know certain things. Like…what I would be getting out of it other than hurting Daniel. I'd also need to know just what is it you do that makes him send his personal assistant after me." he pauses a bit, "And, I suppose, we'd certainly have to talk about how much."

She grins a bit. "Substitute the word "assassin" for "assistant", Mr. Monroe. In addition to the more commonplace parts of my job, I'm also the person he sends out when he needs to make sure someone's dead. I could have killed you by now." She says it not boastfully, just matter-of-factly. "But he didn't want you dead. So, you get my skills, you get my abilities, and you get my knowledge on the inner workings of the Linderman Group."

Adam doesn't really pay much attention to the statement about being killed. He's been hearing that sort of thing for centuries. But, those are all rather enticing attributes to have, "Do you have an employee list of the Linderman Group, Ms. Hoffman?" he questions, "Can you show me where Mr. Linderman has gotten his fingers?" then he watches her, "And what sort of compensation package are you hoping to receive for this silver platter gift?"

She answers "I can get it easily. All I need is to log into the building system, and I can get both the personnel and payroll records. Between the two, they'll likely show you what you want. In exchange for the silver platter?" She considers. "Plus my own services? Well, the first is your guarantee of sanctuary and protection, as much as you can make it. While I'll keep the information leaks a secret as long as I can, he's /going/ to find out eventually. And of course, finances…the information alone represents corporate espionage worth several million at least. On the other hand, I have no doubt that a man with…long-term investments is well-funded. Give me a number, and we'll start negotiating."

Adam considers this situation quietly and purses his lips. He turns away from the girl and thinks about the situation. Interestingly enough, she would know about Linderman's assassination capabilities better than he would, and if she thinks he can protect it, seems like he can. There's a quiet thoughtfulness, "Alright, Ms. Hoffman, I believe we can come to such an arrangement. Coming over to my side, we'll call that a generous salary. And I'll provide for your protection from Daniel in what ways I can." then he leans forward in a way that's almost intimate and murmers, "And if you can hand me the Linderman Group. If you can hand me their inner sanctum in workings. I will put so many zeros on the check even you'll feel a little embarrassed."

She can't help but smirk a bit. "Then we will. I'll get you the information. But whatever you're going to do with it…or /we're/ going to do with it…move slowly. The faster you move, the more likely he'll know there's a leak. And surely if anyone can understand the virtue of patience, it should be you."

Adam mms, "Oh, no doubt. And don't worry, after all, I'll have to verify that what I'm reading is real, won't I? So it'll be a slow process. But in the end, it will be very much worth it for you and me." he's quiet, "So, there's only two more things I suppose I have to ask you while we're here. What is it you can do that makes you such a good assassin…and what can you tell me about Lola."

Christina looks back at him, as if hesitating before saying it, and then decides to give it up. "I create planes of force. Those planes can be used either offensively or defensively." A pause, then she puts it in more simple terms. "I do forcefields and lightsabers."

Adam tilts his head, "I see…how interesting." he pauses for a moment, "I can instantly see how that's useful. Do you know what I can do, Ms. Hoffman? I'm curious as to how much Mr. Linderman has told you about me and what I do. And why he dislikes me so much."

She laughs. "I wouldn't be much of an assassin if I didn't know what my target could do, now would I? You're immortal, you've been alive and the same age since at least when Mr. Linderman first met you, and you heal very quickly. Oh, and killing you requires bisecting your brain at a certain location. As for /why/…that much he hasn't shared with me. I generally prefer not to know why, when I kill someone. Safer for me, safer for my employer."

Adam mms, "Indeed. What a mouth young Daniel has on him." then he smiles a bit, "He was setting you up…have you done something to upset him recently, Ms. Hoffman? Because what he told you has a few.." he shakes his head, "Nevermind. We're in agreement, all in a lovely little boat." then he turns to her, "Now why are you avoiding my question about Lola?"

The notion of Daniel Linderman being "young"…that strikes her as odd, despite what she knows. "That I'm aware of? No. But like I said, I know a lot of his secrets, and I didn't like this assignment from the beginning. It has too high a chance of me getting dead, which I suppose is a good way to get rid of me." Pause. "And I don't know a good deal about her. I know she works for Daniel, though in an indirect fashion. I know she's dating you. And I know Daniel assigned her to me for this job, which she was not at all happy about."

Adam tilts his head for a moment and interjects, "With the job or with you?"

Christina laughs. "Either, I suspect. Our styles don't mesh too well. For what it's worth, she wasn't willing to sleep with you solely to get information. I suppose take that as a compliment."

Adam considers the response and seems to tuck it in that head of his that's clearly churning a lot of gears. "I must say, Ms. Hoffman, this has been the most productive business meeting that I've had in a long time." he glances over and asks in a way that doesn't appear lecherous, but with Adam it always seems to have at least a touch of smarminess, "Got yourself a boyfriend Ms. Hoffman?"

Christina laughs. "Who wants that kind of commitment? I'm young, I'm hot, and I'm rich. I don't lack for company when I want it, Mr. Monroe. But I don't need the baggage. And you already have a full set of Cajun travelwear."

Adam holds up a hand defensively, "No, Ms. Hoffman, I wasn't offering, I was only inquiring." because it tells him so much about who he's dealing with. He smiles a bit permissively to the young girl, "Alright Ms. Hoffman, I believe we've had a very nice discussion, but I suppose we'll have to wait to see what you can bring me before we start discussing more. So, where would you like for me to take you?"

She shrugs. "Anywhere will do. It's not as if there aren't cabs in New York. Let's call it the Theater District for now, and I'll see to getting you that information. How do I reach you?"

Adam mms and takes out a card. The card is to a chinese restaurant in Chinatown. He writes a number on the back of it, "You can reach me at this number and we'll set up another time to meet, or at least a drop off spot." he slides the card across the seat and nods to the driver to take them to the theater district, "Let's hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship."

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