Two Things


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Scene Title Two Things
Synopsis Discretion is the word of the day when Rupert Carmichael makes two very important requests of Laura Morgan.
Date June 23, 2010

Carmichael Manor

Sealed up tight, the Carmichael Manor remains briskly cool despite the eighty-five degree weather and insufferable humidity outside. That much isn't stopping the manor's chief attendant — Christa — from having dressed down from her usual sleek suits to incorporate a pencil skirt into her attire for this unfortunately suffocating day.

Given that her work takes her off-grounds at times, Christa's attempt at beating the summer heat may be somewhat mitigated by the fact that she's still wearing a buttoned blazer when the doors to the manor open and her monotone voice carries through the foyer in mid-conversation. "…been expecting you, it is good to see you back again, Miss Morgan." Listless sounding as always, Christa's halfway lidded eyes angle over her shoulder to the shorter and lighter-toned blonde following at her heels.

"Your timing is fortunate, I was just returning from errands." The idiling car outside seem indicative that Christa isn't intending to stay long either, though the driver of the vehicle doesn't seem too impatient, conversing on a cell phone while he waits.

"Rupert is likely in the dining hall having his lunch," there's a furrow of Christa's brows as she turns on her heels and regards Laura, then steps to the side and shuts one side of the double doors she'd opened to get in, sealing the cool air in and keeping the miserable heat out. "Do you require me to show you the way?"

Slipping in through the door and pausing to face Christa, Laura shakes her head briefly but vigorously, pale hair fanning out with the motion. "Thank you, Christa, but I believe I recall where the dining hall is," she answers with a smile. "Don't delay the rest of your work on my account!" Inclining her head to the housekeeper, Laura pivots and walks through the foyer, shoes clicking faintly on the floors. Her pants are khaki-colored and her blouse a soft cream, appropriate to the weather; the royal-purple dress jacket is markedly less summerlike, but very much Laura, as is the light dusting of violet eyeshadow which goes with it.

It's been a while since the burglar / security consultant / mentor of thievery has visited Carmichael Manor, true, but if she's ever going to forget the layout, it will be a very, very long time from now. The dining room isn't exactly hard to find, besides.

Still a woman of few words, Christa watches silently as Laura turns left through the foyer and heads towards the hall that leads into the dining room. Down that hall it's already clear that Rupert isn't sitting by himself and eating in silence, which is a somewhat disheartening expectation to have for an eccentric man such as himself. By the time Laura approaches the partly closed dining hall door, the sounds of a conversation are softly filtering out through that opening.

"…prefer it if you could go down there tonight, take someone with you, and see what pops up for you. I have very important guests coming on Saturday and I'd like to be as well armed, conversationally, as possible." Rupert's voice hasn't changed at all in the time it's been since Laura's heard from him, but the woman speaking with him is an unfamiliar one. Young, judging from her tone, with the hint of something eastern-European in her accent.

"We'll go after it gets dark, I'll take West with me," she explains humble, speaking in quiet tones not out of some conspiratorial desire, but out of humility. "I'll go with West, it'll make getting in and out easier. If I find out anything useful I'll come right back here."

From the sounds of it, Laura isn't the only company today.

Laura anounces her presence through a rattling tap of fingers on the heavy wooden door, poking her white-haired head around its edge and grinning cheerily at the room's occupants. She can get away with that, given that Rupe is the client this time — he knows her nature. "Hey — there room for another person at that table?" Raising one hand up over her head in the gap between door and frame, Laura jabs her thumb backwards. "I can go cool my heels in the foyer if you guys still need to chat in private."

Not that leaving Laura out there unsupervised is necessarily a good idea…

Looking up from a half-raised tuna on toast, Rupert's attention flicks from his meal to the perky guest leaning in to the dining room. One dark brow arches, and his guest seems a bit more unexpecting of intrusion. Risa Lynette looks the part of a younger sister, were it not for her fading accent. Sitting up abruptly straight in her chair, the long-haired brunette with birdish frame stares wide-eyed at Laura, then turns her dark eyes over to Rupert, who moves one hand from his sandwich to calmingly set a hand on Risa's shoulder.

"Come on in, Laura. My friend Risa here was just getting ready to leave," he notes good-naturedly, though "she got here late" sounds more like chastisement. Risa offers a sheepish smile and a dip of her head down into a nod before pushing her chair back from where she sits beside Rupert, standing up into the brightly lit dining room.

As Risa stands, Rupert takes the opportunity to take a crunching bite of his sandwich while she's awkwardly smoothing down the front of her clothing, brushing crumbs from her finished lunch from the dark fabric of her black sundress. Unhooking an umbrella of all things from the back of her chair, Risa settles her dark eyes on Laura once more and bows her head in subtle recognition.

"Laura, come on and take a seat," Rupert says with half a mouthful between bites, "you hungry? I can have someone throw together a little bite of lunch for you." He's always offering people food, probably a familial habit that he hasn't kicked on his own. At least right now at lunch it's an appropriately timed quirk.

Invited, Laura sidles around the door and steps into the room, smiling politely at Risa. "A pleasure to meet you," she offers, as she walks down the table to take a chair of her own. "Business is going well, I take it?" she asks casually — for which the superficial answer of yes or no will content the young woman admirably. She doesn't want details, never did unless it related to her work. Setting her forearms on the table and folding her hands, Laura glances back to watch Risa depart, idle curiosity in her regard of the woman. "I wouldn't mind a bit of juice or iced tea," she replies to Rupe meanwhile, "but I'm not hungry yet, thanks. The weather outside's the sort that kills appetites." Turning back to her host, Laura grins crookedly. "I'm much more interested in what has you calling for my services this time." And, for that matter, which skillset he's looking to hire.

Risa's quiet, if not somewhat sheepish exit comes with a silent look over her shoulder to Laura, and then Rupert before disappearing entirely out of the doorway. Not quite yet responding to Laura's more pertinent question, Rupert picks up the cell phone sitting beside his plate and presses a speed dial button, slouching back in his chair and lifting one finger in a one moment gesture to Laura.

"Charlie, hello. Yes, she's here, could you bring up some fresh iced tea from the kitchen?" He's calling his kitchen staff, from approximately one hundred feet apart, if that. "Thanks, wonderful." Snapping the phone shut, Rupert moves only his eyes to meet Laura's stare, then flashes her a smile before the rest of him seems to become animated again.

"Two things," Rupert explains, picking up the untouched pickle that has sat on the side of his plate. "One," he emphasizes before biting the pickle in half and crunchily chewing. "Do you have the contacts necessary to install a panic room in the manor, basement level?" It's a bit outside of Rupert's usual requests for security, or perhaps it's just the logical progression of his paranoia.

"Two," he motions with that half a pickle to Laura. "Have you any experience in rigging something like explosive countermeasures?" There's a beat of silence where he tries to look serious, brandishing a pickle. "Yes, I'm…" his head bobs to the side, "talking about basically rigging a building with explosives to sort've…" he twirls that pickle in the air, "boom, on command."

Laura only grins as Rupe pulls out the cellphone to call the kitchen just over there; and waits, reasonably patiently, while her tea is arranged. She straightens and sits back in her chair when his attention returns to her, brows raising as the two items are stipulated. "To answer the second first," Laura begins, waving her hands, palms towards Rupe and fingers splayed, in the air before her, "explosives are so not my thing. I probably know some 'people who', as it were, and I can ask questions for you. First question, similar answer — I'm familiar with designing them, it's been asked for before, and I know more 'people who' for both in design and constructon." The grin becomes markedly more wry. "'Course, none of it'll be cheap to do right. But somehow I doubt you particularly care."

"All I care is that you're the brains behind it," Rupert notes with a crooked smile before finishing the other half of that pickle. Scrubbng his hands down on a cloth napkin, Rupert's attention comes towards another door in the dining room that likely leads into the kitchen, when a tall and gaunt man in dark clothing emerges in with a pitcher of fresh iced tea, ice cubes clinking around inside and slices of lemon floating in the ice.

Setting a glass down beside Laura, the rim lightly crusted with sugar crystals, the servant pours a glass for her and leaves the pitcher ona tray nearby at the table. One look is afforded to Rupert to wordlessly dismisses the lanky attendant, then turns his focus back on Laura.

"The panic room is for here," Rupert notes with a furrow of his brows, "the uh, other thing I need installed on an off-site location. I know it'll push the cost up, but I have a construction project going on out on Staten Island in Port Ivory. This place called Howland Hook. The Maxwell Company is handling all the heavy lifting, but I need this done discretely."

Leaning back in his seat, Rupert furrows his brows and tilts his head to the side, lifting up a hand to rub over his bearded chin. "There's two administrative buildings out on the Howland Hook lot, I can supply you with the layout and blueprints. I need them both rigged to go with a manual trigger, nothing wireless. I need the trigger inside one of the two buildings too…" which implies that someone will be inside the building when it goes up.

"You get to name your price on this one, Laura." There's a ghost of a smile floating across Rupert's lips, somewhat ruefully. "I know this is a little on the edge of your, uh, comfort zone."

Nodding thanks to the servant, Laura takes up the glass and sips at the cool beverage within. She doesn't appear to twitch at his specifications, not perturbed by the multitude of buildings and apparently indifferent to the implications of explosives with interior triggers. It's his setup. "Let me line up the contacts first," she says, as he raises the subject of price. "Part of the budget will be paying them, and I honestly don't know what demolition work goes for." Laura takes another drink before continuing. "I promise, I'll dent your wallet more than enough. Say around the beginning of next week?"

Smiling broadly, Rupert offers a nod of his head as he leans back in his chair again, folding his hands in front of himself as he assesses Laura. "Dents happen," he admits amusedly, one brow raised before his attention drifts down to the crubs collected on his plate and a tiny errant dollop of tuna and mayonnaise. "Figure it out, make whatever calls you need to make, and I'll do absolutely everything in my power to make certain that it goes smoothly on my end."

Then, with a crease of his brows and a thoughtful look in his eyes, Rupert turns his attention to the thinly curtained windows spilling mid day sunlight in bright volume into the dining hall. His eyes narrow and focus drift back to Laura, as if remembering something, or having an epiphany. "Let's put a deadline down on job completion… and I think it'll be enough time." There's a nervous smile that crosses Rupert's lips.

"You have 'till November eighth."

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