The Tower


renard_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif

Scene Title The Tower
Synopsis To speak with the Prince, Nadira must ascend his fortified tower and bypass his armies.
Date August 14, 2010

Delacroix Tower

Description of location, if any.

In the heart of some of the most expensive and commercialized real estate left after the Bomb, many businesses soar in glass walled skyscrapers. One of these impressive buildings is the home of several arms of the Delacroix Empire, for finances, construction, and charities, along with some renters, cafes, and other businesses in the lower levels. Its all very impressive, but after a few visits becomes a bit humdrum and corporate.

For Nadira, its almost familiar territory. She's been three times before after being offered a card by a 'talent scout' which led to a job posting, which led to her sending in a resume and headshots, then an interview, a background check, a bartending test in one of the boring conference rooms, and another interview. It wouldn't be worth the pain in the ass for a one time gig, but the offer is very good, with the possibility of more well paying gigs. One more step, she was told, another boring trip to talk to some other manager. How droll.

While Nadira's familiar with the corporate world, it's not her cup of tea. Her medium was alcohol, not tea, after all, and she was eager to find herself back in familiar waters. This, however, was a lot of work for a gig. Which, of course, made it interesting. And interesting things were worth the effort. Indeed, she could work with hurdles. They were a challenge, and she would not be bested.

Stepping into the building, Nadira wasn't dressed like a corporate drone. While the outfit did consist of a skirt and blouse, the snug-fitting shirt hinted at clevage without revealing or seeming inappropriate, while the skirt emphasized legs while not being cut barely more than above her knee. It was subtle, but it showed character, and even in the midst of a chat with some manager she was not about to dumb down her personality. If they didn't want her for that, then they really didn't want her. She steps up to the receptionist, whom she addresses by name politely now that she's seen her a few times, and allows herself to be led to where the meeting was supposed to take place.

Things are not the same the first times she had been here. Mostly its the security - before there had been some security people, sure, but even at the ground floor lobby the numbers have doubled. A few of them even have German Shepherds in those goofy armored doggy vests! She has to pass a gauntlet of receptionists, beginning with the central lobby island.

The first is Paula, the leggy brunette with those sexy thin glasses. "Nadira Karim, yes. I have you." She types industriously on her terminal, smiling at the pretty bartender. "You have clearance." She turns in her chair, and pulls a badge out from a slot built into the central island. Her manicured fingers hold it out to Nadira delicately, the badge grasped by its edge. "Clip it to your blouse and do NOT lose it. Please proceed to elevator number 4." She smiles, thinly. "Thank you for visiting."

The security is something that Nadira notes right off the bat. She doesn't quite stare, but the guards are noted and she smiles politely at Paula, carefully clipping it on as she walks to the elevator. Extra security could mean a lot of things, all of which are mused over as she steps into the elevator.

The elevator, curiously enough, still plays incredibly pleasant classical music. It goes all the way up to one of the higher floors, where she had been before. The doors open, revealing more security! Before she can even get to the receptionist she has to pass by a polite, but serious looking man with a wand, checking for metal. His partner has a similar device, which she might identify as a chemical sniffer. A third scans her badge, comparing her face to something on a handheld PDA. After passing that gauntlet, she can go to receptionist's desk.

Joanna, the gray-haired receptionist smiles at Nadira. "I was hoping to see you. How have you been doing, darling?" She's always been very friendly. Even in the face of the security, Joanna appears as friendly as ever. Click click goes her fingers. "You'll be in conference room four. Benson dear?" She crooks a finger, beckoning over a youngish man in a gray suit. "Escort this young lady to Conference four for me, darling." She smiles at the mortified man, who seems a little squirmy at being treated like a grandchild by the elderly woman.

"Yes Mrs. Joanna, ma'am." He says, shifting a bit to one foot. He ahems, and gestures to the hallway. "This way, please." He walks her down and around the corner, leading her to a much less boring and much more richly appointed conference room. "Please wait here, miss." He says, before stepping out and closing the door. It locks, and she is left for a time.

Nadira is beginning to wonder about the extra security. Chemical sniffers, metal detectors… clearly someone was either paranoid or important. Or both. The Egyptian woman smiles warmly to Joanna, giving her a nod. "I've been fine, thank you." She states before looking to Benson as she's led down the hall to the conference room. She takes a seat, comfortably, fingers idly tapping at the surface of the conference table as she looks around. This would be interesting. Perhaps it was all worth the effort after all.

Nadira is left for almost too long. Almost. Just she she might be tempted to fidget or becoming impatient, the door clicks unlocked and swings open wide. A man enters, his hair almost red, his face handsome without being overly 'pretty', and a suit that is both subdued and obviously very expensive. A pair of assistants flank him, one with folders and papers, the other with a refreshment cart. The cart is rolled to one side of the long table, and glasses of water are laid out. On the side opposite her, a tiny cup of coffee, European style. Nadira is silently offered a selection of water, juices, coffee, or teas by the efficient young aide.

The man, obviously in charge, is handed a folder and sheaf of papers by his aide. He nods, and and opens the front cover, double-checking. With papers in hand and refreshments divvied out, he dismisses the two helpers with a small gesture of one hand. The folder is laid on the table, beside his coffee as a seat is pulled out. He takes a seat, and puts on a small, friendly smile.

"Good afternoon, Ms. Karim. I hope that you had a pleasant trip uptown?" His voice is very calm, and almost soothingly cultured. By his French accent and mode of speech, it is obvious he is well educated and aristocratic. He rests his fingertips together, bringing his hands up to chest level, directing attention to his center while remaining socially open.

With the tea settled in front of her, thanks to the aide, a warm and generous smile is offered to said aide with her silent thanks. Nadira peers quietly over to an across from here. "Please, call me Nadira. The trip was just fine, actually." Her own accent is barely visible—marked with a touch of sophistication, evidence of expensive schooling. "I hope everything is to your satisfaction?" An eyebrow is raised just slightly.

The businessman shakes his head slightly, opening the folder in front of him. "You would not be talking to me if it were otherwise. Your resume, the aptitude test, the background checks, the tests we put you through were all excellent. You would not be speaking to me if that were not the case." He lays out papers from the folder, photos of her, her work history, all kinds of files. He's done a very thorough background check on her. Very thorough.

"Forgive me. I almost forgot." He smiles, and lets his hands splay. "I am Monsieur Delacroix." He allows that to sink in for a moment - this is Delacroix tower, and it belongs to him! Or his family, anyway! "I happen to control and own the charity for which you would be working under. I take a great personal interest in the charity events I convene, so I will be your last hurdle to employment." With a small smile, he lifts his tiny mug of fancy coffee to take a sip.

The Egyptian woman's eyes narrow slightly at the mention of a background check. Nadira doesn't like the fact that there was snooping… more than she was comfortable with. Thankfully, everything checked out well, though, and the slight flash of look in her eyes is gone in a moment with a slight sip of her tea. Interesting. Rich boy likes his charities. There's a slight smile. It'll warm with time, most likely.

"Glad to see I meet the approval, at least, for a meeting. You seem very much a difficult man to reach, I see." She refers to the security. "Though it is good that you take such a personal eye to such matters. Will you be attending the function yourself?"

Renard idly rearranges the papers, now that the display has been made. "Qui se fait brebis, le loup le mange. I apologize if you were inconvenienced by the delay, or the security. I trust no-one has offended your honor, or otherwise harassed you?" He pauses, setting his mug down to give her a very open look. Very trustworthy. "I would hope that there was no excess zeal in their duty."

On the subject of the charity event, he smiles, a small smile. "I could scarcely afford to miss it. I expect it to be quite the display, with many important and altruistic people in attendance. Have you yourself ever attended a charity banquet? In any capacity, that is. Also, I am curious how you feel about charities and fundraisers in general."

"Your staff, they were all very pleasant, thank you." Nadira states, her cup of tea sipped quietly before she looks back over at him. "I've been to a couple myself. It's not the first time I've bartended at one and I've been to one or two in my lifetime as a guest. Usually I find they're very well-done and elegant functions and I've always enjoyed myself. I've donated to a few charities myself. I believe my brother mentioned that's what some of his business in New York is about."

Renard nods slightly, his expression carefully tuned to show the palest notes of caution. "Ah yes, your brother Nadal Gamal Saddam Kamir. I admit I have seen him at some events and places of mutual interest." He pauses, taking a moment to sip at his coffee. "His particular targets for fundraising are quite narrow in comparison to my interests, however. More partisan, if one were to devote additional analysis to our philanthropatic patterns." He sets the cup of coffee down.

Renard leans forward, slightly, to more powerfully engage Nadira from a social standpoint. "I must ask you about your stance on the Evolved. What are your thoughts about them, the Registration? The Bomb?" This question is much more direct - almost as if he designed it to be off-setting. Immediately following the question comes the real hook, tendrils of Renard's Ability, imperceptible, slithering towards Nadira's mind. They would allow him to sift through her memory like an archivist, giving him insight to her experiences and statements concerning the Evolved.

It's a fair question. After all, if his charity had something to do with the Evolved, the Registration, or the Bomb in some manner, it wouldn't do to have staff that were against the particular endevour he was interested in. But indeed, the straightforward way he asked caused Nadira to think.

She first remembers swimming… the pools of water, the way she could move it and control it, hiding it in secret. Her brother's lectures on how they were special, on how they were different. She remembers being told to kill, being told to use her ability to take the water from his body, to dry him up, and instead her desperate flight from the scene, leaving Egypt entirely.

There's almost a hint of worry that tugs at Nadira's mouth before she smiles, answering quietly. "I do not harbor any hatred towards the Evolved. Registration can be a dangerous thing, I feel, depending on how it's used. I understand the need to try and keep people safe, but its misuse could be catastrophic for many. As for the Bomb? That's a tragedy that I'm sure everyone can agree was significant."

Renard keep eyes contact with her, looking interested, giving the illusion that he is fully engaged in their conversation even as he perceives the jihadist rants of Nadira's brother, absorbs the knowledge of her Ability. He digs deeper, to gauge her intentions and discover where her loyalty lies. An expansion of his test, to ensure she is no inimical agent that would betray him.

Renard hrmmms softly, and looks into his coffee thoughtfully, digesting her answer and her memories. He adds a few drops of cream or oil, and stirs it in with a tiny spoon. "Then you would have no moral compunction about serving at a Pro-Evolved charity event? I put a great premium on the comfort of my employees, and would be very hesitant to make any of them uncomfortable. Particularly one as comely as you, Ms. Kamir."

Nadira's loyalties, it seems, lie with no one other than herself. Her memories reveal nothing—no factions she shows allegiances to, no companies whose interests she protects. She watches as Renard stirs his coffee, and she regards him quietly over the rim of her cup. The compliment is rewarded with a smile, though she doesn't appear overly flattered. "I find nothing objectionable about serving at such a charity event, sir." She replies.

Renard smiles slightly, and takes a sip of his coffee. "Well, now that we've had this little chat, I think everything will be in order." He sets his coffee mug back down into its saucer. "Unless you had any other questions that you would like to ask me before we close the discussion?"

There's a small smile, but Nadira shakes her head after a moment, letting the cup return to its place on the saucer as well as she releases her own. "No, I think that's all I really needed to know… I appreciate the consideration." She notes, eyes watching him carefully.

Renard smiles broadly. Very friendly, actually! "Excellent!" He stands up, very cheerfully. "Then I accept your service." The door clicks behind him, opening to allow in one of his aides, and Benson. "The necessary final paperwork and arrangements will be communicated to you by the expected staff." He nods to Benson, who begins to walk around the table.

Renard looks at his wrist, and accepts a note from his aide. "This has been a wonderfully pleasant conversation, but I am afraid that duty calls. I look forward to seeing you at the gala. Have a fine day." Renard leaves Nadira with Benson, the security fellow that escorted her in. After a moment, he escorts her out. Leaving the building is similar to entering, but in reverse.

A most interesting meeting indeed. She'd have to keep her eye on that one. Nadira gets to her feet, letting the aide guide her out. It was too much a test of character more than anything, and she certainly looked forward to seeing how his charity played out. Most interesting indeed.

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