Tripwire Thingies


brian_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif linderman_icon.gif nicole_icon.gif

Scene Title Tripwire Thingies
Synopsis Cardinal sells a painting, and Brian seeks aid, from one man - Linderman
Date April 1, 2009

Linderman Building - Foyer

//Beyond the front entrance, the Linderman Building foyer is likewise unremarkable but still impressive in its size. The black and white marble floor extends from the front clear to the back, and the walls have a layer of Moroccan tiles beneath crown molding to lend the area a much-needed splash of colour. Ornate brass lanterns hanging from the ceiling and mounted on the walls provide just enough illumination to see by, and no matter what the weather, the room is surprisingly cold, as if the heat were being removed from it somehow. //

At the far end of the room, opposite the entrance is a trio of elevator doors, but halfway there is a checkpoint consisting of some sort of detection machine hooked up to a portable computer, as well as several security guards who are no doubt armed beneath their immaculately-pressed uniforms.

Under normal circumstances, if Richard Cardinal were standing in a hallway like this, he'd be either shadowy and intangible or dressed in head-to-toe black to conceal his identity from any prying security cameras or wandering guards. 'Normal circumstances' went out the window for him some time ago, however, and he's beginning to get used to having to adapt.

As he and his partner walk along up to the big doors of the office, he's dressed in a nice, faux-silk suit and shirt, all in black of course. At a closer look, that silk might not even be faux. He's carrying with him a large, square and mostly flat object wrapped in plain brown paper. "So," he asks in a quiet tone, "You ever met with this guy personally before?"

Adjusting his tie, Brian walks as confidently as he can along the hallway. He's dressed.. well different is an understatement. It might be the first time in his life he was dressed in a suit and not at a prom or something. Brian is however in all white, with a red tie. (Which had to be tied by Deckard, since Brian gave up mid-tying in frustration.) Tinted shades rest on his brow, and he seems to have a constant tick to keep adjusting his tie. That's what people who wear ties do, right? "Yes." Brian answers in a short clipped tone.

"Well, technically no. If by personally you mean actually met him or seen his face or talked to him in any way shape or form. Then no. Technically not." Brian adds in quickly, his steps inevitably slowing as they get closer to the door. "Do you think I look okay?" He asks nervously as they near.

There's just a moment of relaxation at the replicator's affirmation of having met the enigmatic and mysterious Mister Linderman, a moment that passes immediately thereafter when he corrects himself. Cardinal slants a sharp look towards the other man, before dryly responding, "It looks great. Like you just got your throat cut." A tilt of his head to the door as he stops before it, "Go ahead and knock, I'm kinda carrying this thing."

Brian frowns a little bit, tilting his head over at his partner. "Your throat got cut." Is his witty rebuttal before he looks back to the door in front of them. He reaches up and adjusts his tie once more. Clearing his throat he slowly brings up a balled fist. And pauses before jerking down his fist completely. "Maybe we should go get lunch first, I'm better on a full stomach." The replicator murmurs, glancing at Cardinal. Before giving a light 'hmm' and then reaching up, the door is firmly knocked three times.

"Mister Zarek called. He informed me that negotiations are—" Nicole looks up from the notes of the day's activities, which she's relaying to her boss, when the knock comes at the door. "Must be your appointment." Miss Nichols moves to the double doors, brushing a hand over the back of her professionally elegant updo absently before she pulls them open. "Mister Fulk and Mister Cardinal, I presume?" The woman in a mod-styled black and white frock smiles a very practiced smile. "Mister Linderman is expecting you." She ushers the two men into the room. "Is there anything I can get for you? Water? Soda? Coffee or tea?"

"Good afternoon," Cardinal offers in warm if formal(ish) tones to the woman who opens the door, his head inclining slightly and a smile curving faintly to his lips. His eyes are unseen, mostly because he's wearing a pair of Oakley's that keeps them hidden, despite being indoors. Thus ushered in, he walks along through at the invitation with the square parcel carried carefully in his arms, eyes widening a bit at the sight of the room before allowing, "I could use a glass of water, thank you."

Brian strides in beside Cardinal, black and white. And Brian decided to keep his glasses on, because they look cooler that way. Giving a polite nod to Nicole, the young man tilts his head a bit. She looks familir for some reason. He hums lightly, allowing his gaze to follow Nicole for an over extended period of time before snapping back to it, "Water would be great." He echoes, forcing a little smile as he blindly follows Cardinal into the room.

Seated behind the desk is the gray and silver figure of Daniel Linderman. He doesn't rise from his desk to greet either of the men, but he does offer them both an amicable smile made all the brighter by his rose-tinted cheeks and the light in his cool blue eyes. "Thank you, Miss Nichols," he murmurs, though his gaze remains firmly set on Brian and Cardinal. He implores them with a vague gesture of his hand. "Please, gentlemen, take seat. Or remain standing if you prefer. Is there something I can do for you this afternoon?"

Nicole shuts the doors behind the two men once they've stepped inside. "Let me get that for you." Carefully, the personal assistant takes the parcel from Cardinal and balances it against the side of a chair before crossing to the back of the room. A small nook is settled there and a wood panel opens to reveal a small fridge. Nicole produces to bottles of water - not the cheap variety, pouring them into glasses after adding cubes of ice. Drinks are loaded on a tray. "Here you are, gentlemen." Once each man has his water, the woman sets a glass on the desk in front of Linderman as well. The tray is returned to the supplies in the back before Miss Nichols takes her place standing to one side behind her employer with a neutral expression.

The parcel's handed over to the assistant, and Richard Cardinal steps along over to the offered chairs. He tugs briefly on his belt to adjust the set of his suit, and then settles down into the offered chair, a smile curving faintly to his lips. "Mister Linderman," he greets in amiable tones, "It's an honor to meet you, thank you for making the time." A tilt of his head to the parcel, and he looks to Nicole expectantly, offering, "First of all, I believe that you're something of a collector…?"

Nichols. Nah, couldn't be. Stepping forward and going to seat himself alongside Cardinal, Brian goes to lift his foot to rest on the opposite knee. Trying to make himself look as casual slash cool as possible. Leaning backwards he allows Cardinal to do the talking for now, before glancing over to Nicole, and once again.. staring. The glass of water is taken with a soft, "Thank you."

Linderman's gaze dips to the parcel, though it does not linger there much longer than a cursory moment or two. Three if you push it. Judging by its size and shape, there are only so many things it could be. "You believe correctly, Mister Cardinal. My tastes, however, are quite discerning. Have you brought something for me?"

Nicole's gaze lingers only politely on each man in turn - though it very much appears that she's sizing them both up by the look in her eye. For the time being, she remains silent.

"I'm a man who does his research, Mister Linderman," observes Cardinal, taking a sip of the water before setting it upon the desk's edge so that he can pick up the parcel with both hands, raising it up to rest on one knee. Deftly he slides a finger beneath the strip of tape fastening the brown paper about it, and then strips it free in a smooth motion.

Two images; a shadowy complex with a tower, a phoenix rising above in flames, and reversed the same prison or fortress in grey light, swathed in smoke that forms a skull. "A Brill original," he murmurs, gaze sweeping from the paint to the man behind the desk, "I believe."

Brian watches Cardinal reveal the painting stoically before taking a sip from his water. His attempts at looking confident and casual have mostly paid off thus far. Leaning forward the replicator goes to set the glass gently on the desks edge, though got more edge than desk. When the glass starts to fall, Brian quickly moves to catch it but not before half the liquid of the glass pours out onto the floor. Quickly putting the glass back on the desk, Brian leans back. Like nothing ever happened…

The corners of Linderman's mouth turn up into an expression more genuine than the tight-lipped smile he was wearing earlier. Recognition dawns across his face — it appears that Cardinal's risky gamble has paid off. "Dual," he agrees. "It is indeed a Brill original. I've been looking for that particular piece since the beginning of February, Mister Cardinal. When it was stolen from me." On the bright side, there's nothing even remotely accusatory about his tone. "How much do you intend on asking?"

Because nothing is ever free. Not even that which rightfully belongs to you.

Nicole can't even begin to hide the wince as she watches the glass teeter and then split its contents on the floor. Without making a fuss, she's rounding the desk to retrieve a towel from the back of the room again, quickly returning to kneel down on the floor and soak up some of the liquid. Completely indifferent, Brian doesn't even earn himself a glance from the woman.

At the sudden spill of water over the floor, Cardinal can't help but wince in almost a mirror of Nicole's expressiondirecting a brief, dirty look out of the corner of his shades to the other manbefore carefully setting the picture down to one side of the desk, letting it rest against the edge where it's not at risk of being spilled on. "I noticed one of your agents bidding on another from the collection," he observes casually, "And as it happened, I remembered where I'd seen another of them, so I decided to make an acquisition. Before we discuss price, however—"

There's always a however. A faint smile touches the thief's lips as he looks back to Linderman, "—I wanted to discuss the current… situation on Staten Island, if you have some time. I believe Mister Fulk has his concerns as well."

The glass is taken again, and sipped, casually, drained and then placed back on the desk. Brian doesn't even glance at Nicole as she cleans up his mess. He didn't do it. After setting the glass back safely, Brian tilts his head back, steepling his fingers officially over his lap. He tilts his head a bit before giving a nod. Though he will refrain from elaborating until fully invited to.

The mere mention of Staten Island earns Cardinal a reproachful look from Linderman, but nothing more. "Of course you do," he says, as though this was expected. And in a way, it was. "It seems as though that's all anyone wants to speak with me about, these days. Staten Island and the thirty-six." He leans back in his seat, palms resting flat on the surface of the desk. "What, specifically, did you and Mister Fulk want to disuss?"

Nicole rises from the floor and discards the towel at the station again before returning to her post. Her eyes dart back and forth between the men in the room, narrowing faintly at the mention of the situation on Staten Island.

A slight raise of one brow and a slight, helpless shrug of Cardinal's shoulders answers that look, his smile fading only a little. He leans forward slightly, elbows resting on the arms of the seat and fingers weaving together in a loose clasp before him. "The entire situation, really. May I speak frankly, here, Mister Linderman? We're both businessmen, in our own way." The other brow lifts to join the first over the edge of his shades, questioning.

Glancing over at Nicole, Brian returns his attention to Cardinal then looks over at Linderman. Keeping his fingers steepled over his lap the man watches the proceedings quietly. And then well, he gets impatient. "The Lighthouse was attacked." Brian reports bluntly. "By three people, one escaped. We were under the impression that we were protected." Brian raises a slightly accusatory glance at Linderman. "We would like some more support, for the kids."

"You may," Linderman says with a small nod, "but be advised I have no personal investments in that sector apart from Mister Fulk's operation, nor do I have any interest in extending my reach any further than I already have. Surely you must have known what the situation over there was like, going in." Blue eyes lid halfway shut, and the elder man places one hand on top of the other. "That said, you have my sympathy. What can Mister Zarek and I do to help, to show our support for your children?"

"Of course not, of course not…" Just a faint hint of humor threads through Cardinal's tone, there, his lips curving up a bit at one corner of his lips, "I wouldn't imagine that you do, or would, Mister Linderman. You and Mister Zarek would never stoop to dealing with such unsavory gentlemen as Muldoon, after all." A lean back in the chair, and with a tip of his head to his white-dressed companion he leaves Brian to discuss matters of the Lighthouse for now, regarding the businessman through his shades as he takes another sip of the water he was brought.

"We want security." Brian says confidently, taking a deep breath to puff up his chest. Closing his mouth tightly he lifts his hand to bring his glasses down. "If you don't have the manpower to directly help us, we would greatly appreciate funds that we could set aside for buffing up our security. Cameras, little tripwire thingies, alarms." He shrugs. "Stuff like that."

Linderman raises both his bushy white eyebrows at Cardinal, saying nothing. Not to raise an argument, not to indicate he might agree with his assessment. He simply lets the silence span between them, the creak of his leather office chair speaking for him. "Tripwire thingies," he repeats after Brian has said his piece, tone utterly lackluster. "I see. Camers, I can give you. Alarms? Done. You'll forgive me if I was under the impression you'd already taken such precautions."

Cardinal, for the moment, just lets Brian speak. After a few more sips, he rests the drink on his thigh, observing the exchange with a somewhat mild and unreadable expression.

Brian pauses, looking up at Linderman. Oh, that's embarrassing. His lips turn into a thin line before he manages, "I thought.." The rest of his words are muttered quietly under his breath before he looks over his shoulder to Cardinal. Sufficiently cowed he makes a gesture towards the other man, 'go on. Quick.' With that done he places his hands in his laps until…Another glance at Nicole. It clicks.

Nicole doesn't miss the change in the way Brian looks at her, though she doesn't have any clue why this is. Rather than speculate, she decides that a glance to Cardinal is in order.

Cardinal lifts one hand, briefly squeezing to the bridge of his nose as he takes a breath—and then he drops it, and sits up a bit more, allowing easily, "Well, I'm sure we don't want to take up too much of your time, Mister Linderman… perhaps I might speak with Mister Zarek regarding these matters at a later date, so as not to unduly bother you?" Subtleties in the choices of pronoun, there, for those who can read them. "So. Regarding the Brill…" A glance to it, then back to the man behind the desk as he requests, "…prints of the rest of the Brill collection. They don't have to be frame-able, merely readable, and in colour."

It's a strange request. Linderman's eyebrows shoot up higher still, but he soon smoothes out the creases that define his face, rendering its expression neutral once more. "Mister Zarek has a personal stake in what goes on over on the island," he says. "He would be the one you wish to speak with. As for the prints, I can have them delivered to you tomorrow evening at the latest. Provided you leave me with an address — and a number at which you or one of your associates can be reached during regular business hours. Is that acceptable?"

"I couldn't charge you anything more for one of your own paintings, Mister Linderman," Cardinal observes rather casually to that look from the other man, rising up to his feet in a smooth motion, "I'll leave my contact information with your assistant, and an appropriate locale for delivery. Thank you for your time, I know how valuable it is. I look forward to speaking with Mister Zarek soon, as well. Enjoy the painting."

As Nicole closes the doors of the office behind them, faintly can be heard Cardinal asking in a hiss, "Tripwire thingies?"

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