Show and Tell


kain_icon.gif laura_icon.gif

Scene Title Show and Tell
Synopsis Kain 'arranges' a meeting — and a demonstration — so he can talk business with Laura.
Date December 7, 2008

Linderman Building: Kain's Office

To say that Kain Zarek is a manipulative man, is likened to saying the sky is blue or grass is green. It's a well-established fact among the heiarchy of the Linderman Group, and it's this very manipulative personality Kain is possessed with that merits his continued ability to breathe despite several high-profile screw-ups on his part.

Today is much like any other day where it involves Kain; Questions are asked, promises are made, and at the end of the day one is left wondering how much of what gets said is a bald-faced lie. When a call was sent down from Kain's office to the security desk that he had forgotten the combination to his wall safe, those manipulative strings that Kain pulls start to tug and jerk all the right people in all the right places.

Sometimes, what Kain's planning is as transparent as the plate glass windows in his office. Other times it's as opaque as the blinds drawn down over them. To say which one today is, that might be more difficult than it appears on the surface.

"…well that ain't mah problem, now is it Manny? He hasn't paid up in two weeks, an' Ah don' particularly care if Jesus is looking for him, you go on and find that Deckard son of a bitch or Ah' swear to God Ah'll pull out your neck-bolts, Frankenstein." A soft beep accompanies Kain turning off his phone and reclining back against his wheeled leather chair. One hand comes up to cover his face, fingers pinching at the bridge of his nose. Kain's not often the kind of man who leaves his door open, he's a private person who values his secrecy and seclusion while working. That he would leave it open on the day he knows someone is going to be coming up from security to look at his safe is a marvelous oversight, perhaps hilighting the stress he's under lately.

Leaning his head back against the headrest of the chair, the leather creaks softly. Kain sets his cell phone down on the desk in front of him, and that freed up hand moves to join the other, brushing over his face as he blows a sigh out through his mouth.

Perhaps unfortunately, Laura hasn't been here enough to become familiar with Kain's proclivities. So until further evidence is presented, she takes the request that was passed around the grapevine — it can't be said to be down the chain, because she doesn't exactly owe fealty to anyone — at face value. The woman's clothing of the day is a pair of dark blue jeans and a violet blouse, a blue-and-indigo scarf still wrapped around her throat and shoulders but the coat that had shielded her against wintry weather folded over the bag at her side. It, unlike her clothes, is black and unremarkable, made even more so by visible scuffs and wear. The woman pauses in the doorway, one shoulder leaning against the post as she studies Kain at his desk. "Rough day?" comes the distinctly feminine voice, its tone terribly chipper in comparison with his evidently sour mood.

Hands slowly slide down Kain's face at the voice, and his head rolls to one side to regard the fair-haired woman with some scrutiny. A single dark brow rises as Kain's eyes dip down from her hair, then back up again, "It was." His lips crook up into a restrained smile, "Though Ah' don't exactly recall orderin' a short glass of bubbly this mornin'…" With that smile turning into a crooked grin, Kain pushes himself up from his chair to his feet, hands moving to straighten his suit jacket. "So Ah' take it you're the resident locksmith 'round these parts?" His feigned ignorance of her comes with that continued smile, one that is difficult to discern the honesty of.

"Now Ah' don' think we've had th'pleasure of meetin' darlin," Dark shoes sweep across the tiled floor to where Laura stands, and one hand rises from Kain's side, held out with the palm slightly up, "Name's Kain Zarek," The same as the name on his door, and the repair requisition, but it's all about being polite. "S'a pleasure t'meet ya."

"Well, it's good that you didn't, 'cause I certainly didn't bring one," Laura replies, chuckling briefly. Deflecting the implication that she's short in the process; that's only in comparison to his too-tall frame. Setting the bag and coat down, the woman runs a hand absently through her hair, then steps forward to take the one he holds out. "Laura Morgan," she provides with a bright smile. "The pleasure's mine. And resident is rather… overstating matters," she continues, that smile unwavering. "I'm just in town for a while." Or in denial. Either way.

"For a while." Kain parrots, head tilting to the side as his smile grows, showing a flash of white teeth in the process. "Ah' got a bit've advice on that, darlin'." Kain turns, his hand slipping free of hers as he makes his way around the front of his curved desk, one hand tucking into a pocket of his slacks as he moves. "When ol' Danny-Boy calls you up from wherever you're sittin', an tell you you're workin'?" He lets his words linger as a rhetorical question, just as his footsteps linger by a photograph of the New York skyline from the Hudson bay, a skyline before the bomb. "It's long-term." He knows that much through first-hand experience.

"Ah' never thought Ah'd be stuck in this city long as Ah've been. Personally?" He turns to look over his shoulder as his one free hand moves to pull the photo off of the wall like a door, revealing his wall safe, "Ah kinda' miss workin' Vegas. The lights, the ladies, the money." At least he's marginally honest. "Where was your pretty little head all up an' runnin' round before Danny plucked you up and set you down 'gain?"

Laura laughs softly at Kain's replies, grinning at him in definite, albeit quite affable, disagreement. "Which time?" the woman counters, watching him pace over to the wall-hanging photo. "Grew up in Vegas myself," she replies, walking over once the safe has been revealed to stand beside Kain. Short as she is, relatively, it's no difficulty for the woman to duck under his arm. "Can't say I miss it much, though I may have to wander back that way sometime for kicks. Vegas does have money. And security worth the name," Laura adds, with the frustrated disgust of a true professional.

"Spent… oh, four years in 'Frisco. Couple in Seattle. Another one in Denver, and the past year here," she concludes cheerily, tapping her fingers on the logo at the bottom of the safe door. "Piece of cake. I could drill it in a minute, tops, but I'll be nice and spare the protests. People hate it when I take a drill to their safe. Never mind that I'm probably the only locksmith in town who even can do it by touch. One of two or three, at most. S'a lost art, you know?" Laura concludes, as she sets her fingers to the dial and starts to spin it.

"Well, ain't you a well-traveled lady?" Kain steps aside, watching Laura as she moves over to the safe. He remains quiet as her fingers spin the dial, eyes drifting up and down her again as he begins to move quietly across the office towards a small tea cart pushed up against one wall, stacked with a variety of bottles and glasses. "Ah ain't never been much for travelin', not unless Ah need t'be outta' somewhere faster than the wind." He cracks a smile, reaching down for a small remote, flicking a switch on it as the slatted blinds that were drawn closed on his office windows swing open, revealing the cloudy morning skies and lightly falling snow turning the city white. "Born an' raised in N'Orleans." His eyes linger on the snow falling outside, "Spent a lot'a time in Vegas workin' for Danny after that, Ah ain't never gonna get used to snow." His eyes flick back over to Laura, her hair more so than anything as he begins picking some ice out of a bucket to settle into a lowball glass with soft clinking sounds.

"You must be good." Back to business, eyes only briefly viewing the safe, more lecherously assessing the safecracker, "If'n Danny keeps you 'round." Another glass is removed from the row, and laid next to his, "You up for a drink?" At ten in the morning.

If drilling would've taken a minute (at most, or so she claims), working out the code by feel and sound doesn't seem to be requiring all that much more time. "Hm. Well…" Her reply is distracted, like the woman herself; focused on the task at hand, she pays very little attention to what Kain's doing behind her back. Generally not a good idea with Kain, as she'll no doubt learn.

"Traveling's okay, in moderation," Laura concludes, straightening up and pulling the handle of the safe. The door obediently swings open. "There you go," she says, turning around and miming dusting off her hands. Crossing to Kain's desk, Laura appropriates a pad of sticky notes and a pen, scribbling down the current combination. "Just in case you forget to change the combo," as she follows up by moving over long enough to adhere the bit of paper to Kain's shoulder. "I like snow," Laura disagrees. "It's very pretty, at least before everyone gets out and muddies it up. Cold — especially in Denver," she adds with a mock shiver, "but pretty."

The empty glass meant for her is regarded with puzzled and curious suspicion. Kain is shortly treated to the same dubious look. "You know that whole thing about not drinking on the job? …Then again, I guess this isn't really a job. Just 'on the clock'." For which Laura flashes a broad grin. "No skin off my nose; I'm not paying for the time." She sets her elbows on the desk, props her chin in her hands, and looks across it at Kain. "What'cha got?" Sure, it's ten. So? Nothing wrong with a social drink.

"You're fast." Both of Kain's brows raise when she opens the safe, a startled look on his face as his eyes track from her hands to the opening door as if not quite believing she worked it that quickly. There's a bit of a concealed smile of approval as Kain turns his head away, filling her glass with the same dash of rum he put into his. "You'll fin' out that 'round here, we all sort've run our own little shows on the side." Kain manages a half crooked smile, picking up a glass in each hand as he slowly makes his way back over to Laura, offering one up to her without so much as a single query into what she prefers to drink, partly turning to look out at the falling snow.

"Like me, for instance, Ah do side jobs that ain't strictly on the books with Danny. He knows, sure, but I ain't gonna come report to him like he's mah daddy or nothin'." Kain brings his glass up to his lips, taking a slow sip before lowering it again. Some of the ice cubes settle with a soft clinking sound as he lowers it. "Ah got this one job…" He closes his eyes, shaking his head and letting out a little bit of a strained sigh. "Look at me, all ramblin' to th' new girl." He motions with his hand that holds the glass of rum, "S'all kinda' complicated, prol'ly bore ya." Blue eyes shift to the side, regarding Laura with one raised brow.

Laura smirks at Kain — cheerfully, of course. "Told ya," she replies, another clear flash of professional pride showing through. She straightens to wrap both hands around the glass of rum and draw it over towards her, though the woman doesn't immediately move to drink from it. Not being asked her preference of poison doesn't seem to faze her much. Neither does the remark about 'side jobs'. How does he think she keeps her hand in, anyway?

"Hah. I ain't new," she protests, that same pride pricked quite adeptly by Kain's manipulative words. "Bet I can bore you first. Math does that to people." Laura takes a sip of the rum — and since she's not leaving until he either comes clean or irritates her entirely, proceeds to confiscate Kain's abandoned chair, leaning comfortably back in it and looking over the glass at him. "Spill."

Brows raise as Laura protests her competence and defiantly rebutts Kain's assessment of her as new. His head tilts to the side and blue eyes follow her across the room as she makes way for his desk. There's a mild curiosity there, watching the way she moves and so confidently just steals his seat. Lips twist into an inconstrutable expression for a moment, and Kain just breaks out with a laugh as she settles down and reclines against the soft leather. "Well, Ah like a woman that knows what it is she wants." Kain feigns defeat, meandering over to the desk with the gray city at his back, bedecked with snow as white as Laura's hair.

"A'ight, you win." He rolls one shoulder, "Ah've got this new job comin' up, real hush-hush sort've thing." His eyes dip down onto the glass, tiwsting his wrist to swirl the ice around. "You heard a' cock-fights, right?" His eyes move from the rum to her at the rhetoric, "Where ya'll take two chickens and put 'em in a ring together an' they peck the ever-lovin' hell outta' each other?" Kain's smile grows, a bit proudly, "Well, some entrepeneurs Ah'm acquainted with happen t'be startin' up somethin' like that…" One brow raises, testing the waters with something so simple, but a cock-fight? That seems a bit low-brow, even for Kain.

Kain's laughter elicits a broad grin from the woman who caused it. As stated before, Laura doesn't know Kain — so she has no idea how in or out of his character such an operation would be. One fair brow rises, then the other, and the glass in her hands similarly lowers; the expression she gives him is more and more incredulous with every phrase he speaks. The glass comes up, its rim resting delicately against the woman's chin. "Um." She seems puzzled, confused, very much bewildered and gamely endeavoring to correct Kain's apparent assumptions. "Sure, I know about 'em. I hope you have a point with this that isn't the obvious one, 'cause I'm a thief." Burglar, properly, but thief just sounds so much better. "Not a trapper, not an animal handler, not a fighter — and definitely not bait," Laura concludes, an uncertain grin warring with her present confusion. Is this guy serious?

"Oh it ain't animals we're goin' after." Kain declines to make the analogy some who have less favor of the Evolved would. "It's only kinda' like a cock-fight." He moves over to sit on the corner of his desk near the chair Laura has settled down into. "See, it's them special folk with the nifty powers who're rippin' each other apart." Kain's head tilts to the side, the motion mimicked by his glass as the ice cubes roll about again. To prolong his silence and let Laura consider that, he brings the glass to his lips and takes a long, slow sip.

"Thing'a the matter is, the people runnin' the show are paranoid sons a' bitches, an' they're wantin' some high profile security to be put in place, t'make sure nobody goes and busts up into their joint once it's runnin'." Pieces start to settle into place as Kain deftly leads the conversation, "You know…" Kain's eyes widen in feigned surprise, as if he's just figuring it out. "You're security, ain'cha? You could probably come up with a pretty good setup for their digs, all on the side." He raises his glass in a gesture towards the snow-haired woman, "Now Ah'd think that'd make a pretty penny, don'cha?"

That particular little act is too transparent even for Laura to fall for it. "Ooh, you think?" she asks, with rather exaggerated sarcasm. Still, the confusion clears and the grin doesn't really go away, so she's at least considering the idea. She takes another sip of the rum before her expression does sober, one pale brow lifting. "Just how pretty are we talking? Security worth the name isn't going to come cheap… even before you figure in my price. How much is your little side job worth to you?"

"Enough." Kain shrugs one shoulder, "Half'a it's comin' right outta the coordinator's pockets, an from what I hear they're kinda' deep. But I'm frontin' most of the cost, and then wringin' it out of the owners with interest as time goes on. You know the drill, they won't be able to make payments, they'll sink deeper inta' debt, and then Ah'll just keep on squeezin' for the rest a'their natural lives." He sets his glass down on the desk, giving Laura a bit more of an honest smile.

"Had t'get a demonstration, you know, a'your goods," his lips crack into a smile, a sarcastic one, "Before Ah' went an' made th' offer, y'know?" Kain shifts his seating, folding his hands in his lap as he crosses one leg over the other, regarding Laura with a sidelong stare for a few silent moments. "But Ah' ain't got many security connections, so s'long as you're willin' to keep quiet, do the work, and do it well, you got yourself a job." Then after a beat, "An a'course, if'n they ain't payin' up Ah' don't have t'go far when Ah' need someone to break the security." Now there's the Kain everyone knows, completely with a broad, toothy grin.

Studying the man from across the desk, Laura is quiet for a moment — and then she echoes his grin with one of her own. "That only works as long as you pay me, Mr. Zarek. And I do insist on a goodly percentage up front, plus operating expenses." The grin morphs into a mischievous smile. "Though I admit I won't… 'wring' you if you don't cough up. I don't have to."

She downs the remainder of her rum, setting the glass down on the desk with a muted thump. Standing up, Laura cedes Kain his comfortable chair, walking back around to the front of the desk. "Like you said. If I wasn't good, I wouldn't be working here. Next time, though, how 'bout you just give me a call rather than the extended song and dance?" She flicks a business card that wasn't in her hand a moment before much as if it were a frisbee, the stiff bit of printed cellulose winging its way in Kain's direction. Then she turns and heads for the door, there to pick up the bag and coat that had been left behind way back when.

Both of Kain's brows raise in surprise as Laura takes a bit more assertive stance. Her demands are met with a low whistle, and his eyes track the woman as she moves out of the chair and around in front of the desk. "Well look at that, Bubbles has got herself some spunk too." There's a click of his tongue as Kain's eyes move to the business cars, watching it fall onto his desk and slide until it strikes some paperwork. He lingers on the name printed on the card, then back up to Laura.

"Ah think you got'cherself a deal, darlin'." Sliding off of the desk, Kain sets his feet on the floor and watches the fair-haired burglar with a modicum of interest. "How's about you an' I discuss the particulars sometime later, hmm? Outside of work?" One side of Kain's lips crooks up into a smirk at the offer, seemingly pleased with both himself and how this turned out. Though, surprisingly, he's more pleased with the bit of an edge Laura has, even if he won't be able to lead her around by the nose as much as he thought.

Laura pauses in the doorway, looking over her shoulder at Kain. "If we're talkin' a job, it's still work," she points out with a slow smile. Meaning she gets paid for the time. "You're buying," is her parting shot; then the woman disappears out the door and down the hall.

December 7th: Worst Recruiter Ever
December 7th: Telling Tales
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