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Reach Read 3538 times

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Re: Reach
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2013, 10:35:52 pm »
Miriam was delighted to see her move his way. His demeanor could be equated to that of a dog wagging it's tail. He was well aware of this, and went along with the impulse. It might seem odd to Mina, to see something so confident and potentially lethal play at childishness, especially since what he wanted was not so infantile. He was nothing, if not many things. She had seen the porcelain of his arm, and he flexed his fingers to make his sinew dance for her. It was not the time, her gaze said. He had to settle for the remote. "Thank you, Mina." he said with silver in his tone.

Help in what, she asked. It was a good phrasing he'd chosen, if Alaise did say so himself. He'd save that question for a little bit. "Strategy?" he asked, intrigued by her choice of word. He fancied himself a man capable of war, all kinds, and strategy was strongly referencing that. It would be very interesting to know what effort she was planning toward. They both wanted more power, while playing at doing good things with the influence they had. She had a good perch for that. Medicine. He'd seen it on her small screen. Yes, strides there would be both remarkable and appreciated by the public. The Ivory group did not have any thriving medical ventures.

He followed her lead and took a plain bagel himself, white. He ate it with a dash of raspberry on the side. Almost continental. She pressed again, what help he might need. He smiled and swallowed. "I was just hoping to donate too. I should have been at the gala, but I was" Avoiding the competition. "kept by other things. The Ivory Group does demand it's sacrifices." It would be a connection between, him agreeing to some of the things that she stood for by supporting them economically. All too many times in Alaise's life he'd gotten what he wished for by throwing money at it. All things being fair, all Alaise wanted in his own ventures was have money thrown at him. "I would have gone through your colleagues, but it thought it would be more quaint to meet you instead." That was true. Why should he speak to strangers when he knew Mina vaguely already, even though she'd not seemed fond of him using her first name.

Miriam had his eyes on them, the tv playing at a completely distant angle. Mina knew what was happening here. His fingers were playing fast over the buttons of the remote, hand on his cheek, supporting his head as he looked at the two, changing the channels on the screen he wasn't watching. The fast moving digits halted when he came across a documentary on the oldest profession. Ah, irony. The remote was left to rest on his lap as the narrator of the program explained exactly how and why some states had legalized the transaction money and intercourse.

"So, Mina, would you put in a good word for me, even though I'm too late for the official gala?" Alaise said, smiling as though he was offering her marrow. The program on prostitution was highly inappropriate background noise, he thought, and his brow furrowed slightly at the disturbance, the connection completely lost to him for now. "I can write a check now, even."

Miriam smiled slightly, the glee ready for Mina if she'd turn. He raised the volume insignificantly.

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Re: Reach
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2013, 08:18:52 pm »
There was no more word on strategy. Strategy involved plenty of things, and silence was one of them. He answered her question soon enough, as the television flipped through channels. She smiled and nodded. Yes, things demanded sacrifice, this she was coming to understand quite well. There was more to this. One didn’t meet the last link in a chain unless they also wanted something, and he was avoiding it.

‘Must be something rather large.’

“Quaint, yes. I do not often have the pleasure of guests for breakfasts. Thank you,”
a novelty, really. The bagel was bitten in to. The television stopped going through channels. The topic was heard through the room and Mina restrained her eyes so they wouldn’t roll, and her lips so they wouldn’t turn into a grudging smile. ‘Am I a mother now?’ For Miriam seemed like a child in that moment, trying desperately to get attention.

Her focus didn’t waver, difficult though that was. No turn to feed the bad behavior. One bagel was finished off as she thought,
“What would you like me to say of you, and to whom?” Mina inquired, “I can certainly speak well of your thriving business, Ivory, but everyone knows of it,” that certainly was no lie. The offer of money suggested he wanted to be known for his generosity, as no doubt Adam wanted to be known for it so that when there were advancements he could claim some credit for them. His money footed the bill, after all.

Yet, to not be at the gala suggested more than that. If he wanted to be known for generosity, he would have been there—he would have made his business the sacrifice.
“Certainly to do the people this great favor, I could speak of how good you are—just tell me what you want known.” Words were easy currency, usually. Easier to use than the body or blood.

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Re: Reach
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2013, 01:05:17 am »
Alaise liked his food. That was why he had chosen bagels, and that was why he had brought them here early enough that she might not have taken breakfast yet. He ate soundly and enjoyed that she ate also. Some of his meetings were a bit stiff, always concentrating on this or that, too busy with upholding their end of the negotiations - it was almost always a negotiation of some kind - to taste the meals between them. He suppose her finishing off a bagel pointed toward either confidence or manners.

She posed the question, while that infernal man played with her tv as though it was a toy. Though the screen was off in the distance of the room, it was still large enough to be plenty distracting. Heavens forbid an upscale hotel these days would not sport the latest in bumbling screen technology. His jaw tensed to relive some frustration, crushing a seed between his molars. "Oh," he said, modest, practiced to perfection. "You can say whatever will to sway your companions to let me enter a late donation." He simply wanted to be counted to the tally of the gala night, without having been there.

"About my business." he said, not yet willing to distance himself from the compliment yet. "If you ever need locales or meeting places you can easily go through me." And now, to hint at what he might be here for. "Our interests are the same, as you agreed. I believe the shifts of the political currents and the country itself can benefit if we work together." He said 'together' but he really aimed to swallow her into his circle, that her rising start could fuel his own ascension, now that she was gaining traction. Just sowing seeds, as always. He slid his card across the table.

Miriam enjoyed the little extra tension he saw in her neck, proving that she'd made the connection of someone offering money for a woman's services so blatantly. He also liked the program. How in-depth this tidbit was. He must look further into this. The other male was also ruffled, a little less stoic than Mina. He would be, eating from father's silver all his life, and sleeping in mother's satin sheets. When had he ever had to fight for what he wanted? Nobility without strife in their lives made for poor knights. And this, well, it was jousting.

Alaise was pressed on what he wanted to know. "I want to know about the progress of the research, of course." He did not. Medicine was important, but he neither needed to sell it nor be passionate about it in his own time in order to own and be associated with it. Science required attachment, he didn't care whether people were cured or not, only that they paid him for their pills, should he venture into those markets. "I would also like to know a little more in detail of how I can help you politically." Which was short for 'give me a way in, that I may weigh the pros and cons to buddying up with you.' Of course, if she had a particularly fresh pitch, he'd steal it, when that became important. Speeches and promises were so very important, after all.

Miriam nodded, and this seemed to catch Alaise's attention. Ah, this man was fast becoming irate. Some people were just destined not be friendly. Miriam had encountered this on many occasions. He found the phenomenon interesting and often very amusing. The smile the pale man wore to the one with a perfect tan was polite and restrained, inviting, which of course upset the prince of land and gold even more. Alaise handled it well and laughed lightly.

"And of course, if you care, you could present me further to this man, whoever he is." Mina could probably hear the tense tail of the otherwise well performed laughter.

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Re: Reach
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2013, 01:12:21 am »
Alaise’s request was simple enough. It was an easy lie that no one would truly question, for there were plenty of people there who came at various times. Who’s to say he was not there at some point during the evening? Certainly few had been there all night long. “Very well,” generous and prompt he would be.

Then the subject shifted. Shelter was offered, and Mina smiled at it,
“I shall keep that in mind,” hotels were usually good enough for her. With hotels, she went through no party interested in the business. His words, ‘through him’ and the following ones hinted at it, as if the question of ‘strategy’ hadn’t been a large enough red flag. “I am certain things can not go too awry by an alliance of sorts.” She accepted the card, lifted it up and gave it a cursory once over, before sliding it to the side. Were her purse near, she would have hid it away within her wallet for safe-keeping, like so many other business cards—all, potentials.

“I shall certainly keep you informed of any progress,”
only tidbits, when there was substantial progress. She knew quite well that few of her allies actually cared, and if he did, he would be the one contacting her, enthusiastic. Those were the ones she liked. He would know enough to feign pride. “So far as how you can help,” a smile, “You can write that check.” No coyness there. “Or you can bribe some of those in the other party to support my proposed bill. I’m sure they’ll be having their own strategy meeting soon, as well. Perhaps you could share a lunch with them.” It mattered little either way. She had others from the gala pledged to do as much. “Or if you like, advertising space is always nice. Then people pressure their own representatives,” in other words, all she needed was money, or money put to use. The Ivory name was not one she sought, not presently, to be branded with, or under.

The closest he would get to that would be through advertising space, and claiming quite publically that the Ivory group supported this candidate, this bill, and what they did. Those who bought Ivory products might then be intrigued, but she was waiting for those things until she was actually running for higher office. That was when it would be important to pull such favors.

Topic shifted then, and Mina glanced at Miriam.
‘My thorn.’ Lips curved in a smile, “He is a family friend,” she explained, “Miriam,” she was certain he’d already been given the name. “He’s a rather useful man, so I’m using him,” she shared a smile with Alaise that was not completely kind. It hinted at more, “A general always needs their strategist,” he was one for war metaphors, if she remembered right. “Octavius and Agrippa, if you will, or perhaps Oda and Hanbei,” the big names in the history of empires. 

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Re: Reach
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2013, 02:35:18 am »
Alaise thought that she was being pleasantly compliant. He'd not been unreasonable, after all. The card would stand for scrutiny. It was not his run-around numbers. If she used the digits she found on that well pressed piece of paper, she would be able to reach him. The offer of space also went well. Place to meet would be helpful to lend credence and also for him. It was quite a statement for him his side, that he let her use the facilities he owned. It meant he supported her.

He'd joined in on her smile. A check. Yes, it was a sensitive subject, even if he'd been the one suggesting it. He liked when they had humor. What she said after that impressed him. And the tone was well sounded too. It was his decision, whether he wanted to follow or not, no pressure from her. It could be a joke or a real offer of his next course of action. Though he did feel inclined to help her with this, he worried it might give her too much power too soon, and take her too far away from the notion of joining under him. He'd think about it, though, since he could present her as an ally when he spoke for her cause, perhaps inclining the conversation in such a way they believed she was already under his thumb. The advertising space was a good compromise, if that ever would be needed. "I'll scrounge up some benches." he'd said, lighthearted.

Miriam straightened his back when attention came to him. It might have been a little bird-like, if the slight smile didn't seem so much like an act in it's innocence. She knew it was hiding pointed weapons, after all. "Are you offering me your offspring, then, Octavius?" The Demon said as he leaned back into his seat, fingers tented to touch his lips. What would their relationship come to, indeed, if he were to marry her daughter? Her blood would be inferior to Mina's, and he would loose interest when Mina faded, but for a time it might be entertaining to be her son-in-law.

Alaise was not too familiar with what they spoke of. This upset him. Looking at this man upset him. At least Miriam was below Mina in rank, from what she hinted. Alaise wasn't sure what he'd do if he discovered this intruder - because that was what this man felt like - had a high position of power. Instead the human male could concentrate on the fact that he felt excluded from the conversation they had, and it wasn't even an inside joke, he'd simply not heard or read of these figures they spoke of. "I do think every man has his uses." was said. That was all he would give this Miriam.

Miriam stood and came over, making a show of the way his steps broke the silence, until he could sit down with them, on Alaise's side of the table. It had been a long, excruciating procedure, pointed by the sound of the chair dragging across the floor as he pulled it out. He'd used the man's acknowledgment of him as an excuse to finally inject himself in the conversation. "I am very usable." he said, well aware of what the word implied over 'useful'. Modesty could also be a sin, if it was a lie. "Ms. Devi here used me last night." A gesture in her direction before that hand came back, to brush his own cheek in thought. Alaise did not seem to like the mental image. It wasn't jealousy, not the conventional kind where there was affection on one end. This man owned land? Yes. That was how he went about things, wanting to own them. How could he possibly own Mina if she was already connected to Miriam? A small show of nature, but important.

Alaise stood, collected. "I see." He then turned to Mina. "I'll see what I can do to lunch with other parties." He wanted to underline his worth to her, as he made his exit. He would not have gone so early, wanting something that might look like a real friendship, since they did not know each other well yet, that their next meeting could be under the guise of well motivated pleasantries. He wasn't sure he'd accomplished that yet, but couldn't stand the warfare Miriam seemed to favor. "You have my card." Alaise Ivory did not ask people to contact him, mention of the card meant he would not be ignored.

"Can't believe Lucas let that one, in, eh?" Miriam said when the door closed. He was childlike again, relaxing into the back of the chair. "Another meeting, now, yes?" he said and looked at her, as though nothing had happened. "Or would you like me to mute this man, as well?" It seemed it was too early for such drastic moves toward such an important piece. And it would do her little good, as thing stood. Still, Miriam liked to play with the thought, and was always up for a good pay-off, in case the Devi of this generation was rash and belligerent.

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Re: Reach
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2013, 04:10:51 am »
So, Miriam did know his history. Mina almost laughed, but that would offend the clearly sensitive Ivory heir, who did not know his history. She smiled in simple appreciation at Miriam's understanding, for he was indeed Agrippa, the General, and she was the Octavius, the politician, the strategist. ‘Prove yourself as worthy as Agrippa and we will see.’ If she even had children. It was expected of her, of course, but that was a bridge to cross at a later date. ‘Sooner than you hope.’ Too true. A Lady needed a man for image’s sake.

Mina contented herself to agree with Ivory,
“Yes, every man does.” Miriam came to them, and Mina did not hide her displeasure. With other guests, those she knew better, she might have found his words amusing. Ivory was still to be tested, his humor and suspension of disbelief unknown. From his face, he didn’t appreciate this. A roll of the eyes suggested Miriam’s words held lies, that things were more innocent then he wanted to suggest.

Still, Alaise rose. Mina followed suit. Hands clasped behind her back, she smiled and leaned forward a bit with gratitude,
“Good luck, Mr. Ivory, and have a pleasant day.” Her steps followed him partially to the door. Luke was outside to close it behind Ivory.

Her posture relaxed in a sigh when the door shut. She turned back to Miriam, hand on hip, as he spoke.
“Luke is no Maecenas," a rumored genius, a sloth who wanted no power for himself but all the perks, "but I would have wanted him to let Ivory in all the same,” she noted, walking back to where she’d been sitting earlier and reclaiming her seat, one leg crossing the other, elbow coming to rest on the back of the chair. “Do not mute him. He remains useful to us while he has a voice box, and uses it for my purposes.” Her eyes shifted to the card. The smile returned, and she laughed, “Honestly. A place to meet,” as if that had been a foolish offer. She didn’t see the benefit right then as she picked it up between two fingers. It couldn’t be discarded, but it was stupid. She would not go meet others at his property if she could avoid it. It implied too much that she did not care for.

The card was set down.
“We do have another meeting,” and she hardly had the time to digest this one. “Was there a particular reason you behaved so…negatively towards Alaise, my dear?” A wry smile. She was not unaccustomed to using terms of endearment, but here it seemed as true as it was false, for once.