Author Topic: Newcoming  (Read 1211 times)

Edward Batten

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Newcoming
« on: March 25, 2011, 12:15:27 AM »


"As you can see, Mr. Batten, this is quite the exquisite estate, isn't it?"

Turning from his contemplation of the house before him - which is, as the realtor says, exquisite - he lets his eyes wander the grounds. The small guest house off to the side, and in the back - not visible from here, but he had seen it on the tour - a pool that seemed to have been not so much built as carved out of what was naturally already there. The stone had been white marble, something that he liked - not only for its look but also for its strength.

All in all, he likes the place - he had noted some things on the inside that could be fixed up, but that can be dealt with easily enough. Still, he has the feeling that this place will mostly be for showing off. Staying in a place this big all by himself...it'll be enough to give him the willies.

Which is funny in and of itself, when one considers his profession.

Of course, there are lots of things he can do with a place this size. She'd already given him a rundown on one of his neighbors, one apparently well-known Admiral Wolvinator, whose residence just across from his own was known to be a high-tech training compound.

The agent hadn't said all of that, of course. But then, he's been doing his research for a while. His choice of this place for a purchase is not solely coincidence.

Completing his look around, his eyes come to rest on the agent. A pretty blonde, in her late twenties, smart and shapely, her hair done up just enough to make her look professional and yet with just enough stray strands to suggest a touch of wilderness. Just his type, in other words.

Clearly meant to sucker him into an easy sell.

"So...what's de askin' price?"

At that she bites her full lower lip, an almost hesitant expression on her features as she looks up at him through her lashes and names a price.

One that's well within his price range, but more than this place is worth. On the outside it's beautiful, but on the inside...

He frowns slightly, his brow furrowing. "Ah'll tell ya, darlin, dis place...it be magnifique on de outside, but de inside, she gon' need a bit o' work."

She almost looks like she'd been waiting for that, her face smoothing and her lips curling upwards as her eyes brighten again. "If you'd like we can arrange for any renovations to be performed before you move in...and it would be included in the asking price."

She must really want this sale. Or she likes him. Maybe both. He's going to make her very, very happy before the day is through. "Y'all have yerself a deal, mon cher, for dis beau manoir. Now, lemme bend yer ear a bit, petit, and Ah'll tell ya what else Ah'm gon' be needin'."

An hour later, they're standing within the walled grounds of a house just west of a huge castle. To his eye it looks as if the castle, like the property before them, hadn't been used in some time; despite that, both appear to have been constructed of strong stone by expert masons, places that can stand the test of time and some other equally destructive forces.

As she leads him around the property, chatting away lightly and pointing out various features of the property - the architecture, the walled lush grounds around them, the view - they come to the rear of the property and he gets a look.

Overlooking the harbor from atop a cliff, he doesn't need to see any more. It's perfect. With a grin as he turns to the girl - Julie, her name was, he remembers now - he holds up a hand and cuts her hsort as she's coming up next to him. "Dis is gon' do jus' fine fer me too, darlin. Ah got a couple more thangs Ah'm gon' be needin', if Ah c'n take up a bit more o' yer time...an' den Ah'd be more'n happy t'buy ya dinner, if y'all're gonna be up fer it."

With a pretty, perky little smile and enthusiasm marking every bouncy step, she lets him explain what he's needing, and before the day is out has located just what he's looking for - an industrial property and a housing complex - much to his satisfaction.

And - after the deal was concluded, her commission calculated, dinner bought, and other appetites sated, she found she was quite as satisfied as her client.
The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously.

- Friedrich Nietzche

Edward Batten

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Re:
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 12:40:28 AM »
It's time to go. Finally. The promised renovations and restorations are done - he'd just gotten a missive from Julie - the pretty blonde - at his room in the Red Dragon Inn, along with four folders. He'd have his own legal advisor look it over, of course, but each seemed straightforward enough to him.

He grins as he looks over each in detail - which prove to be identical and, as he had noted with the first, straightforward enough - noting that Julie had been nice enough to attach to each the names he had requested to each estate, as well as a description of each location.

Dropping off the key to the pretty blonde behind the bar had been a treat, and he had answered her question honestly. Of course he's going to throw a party - it's traditional, after all, and with a house this grand, how can he not show it off?

And besides, he has a reputation to uphold.

Leaving the Inn behind, he starts a mental list of things needed for a good party. Unlike so many of the social elite back on the other side of the veil, he likes to plan his own parties...and he does his best to make sure they're not boring affairs.

And for a proper housewarming and first party, he has to make damned sure it's one to remember.

As he walks towards his new estate, he pulls out a small electronic tablet and starts typing on it, speaking at the same time.

"All right, we got d'go 'head fer de houses. Get de mess'ge off t'de movin' people an' le's get ourselves sit'ated. Did ya manage t'find a good place t'set de gate up?"

The voice that comes back to him - from the tablet, apparently - is youthful, yet sultry and seductive. "Yes, sir. I believe the most expedient place will be the building at the following coordinates, as it is the closest to being central to all your properties."

The numbers scroll across his screen, and after a moment he nods. "Dat works jus' fine fer me. Le's go get dat set up, den, get dis show on de road."
The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously.

- Friedrich Nietzche

Edward Batten

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Re:
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 09:54:00 PM »
[size=9]Batten Industries Shipping/Receiving Building, midnight[/size]

"Sir, I still do not understand why this has to be done in the middle of the night."


He chuckles as he works at the archway laid against the wall opposite the loading dock doors. Easily tall and wide enough to accommodate a semi, the brushed-steel construction is nearly complete - in fact, he just has to lay the last circuits and start up the power. The tablet from which the feminine voice is coming lays on the floor next to him where he sits near the bottom of the left side of the archway, bending over an open panel.

"Ah'd have t'program in an un'erstan'in' of human motives, jokes 'n' cliches. But if ya'd like ya can look up one called de 'mysterious overnight arrival.' Dat ought t'explain it, t'ough Ah still doubt you'll understand de humor behind it."

There is silence for a few moments, in which he works on the last few circuits. As each is laid, he carefully welds it in place with a small tool laser, a little tendril of smoke escaping into the air each time.

The silence is broken by the voice from the tablet. "I see. So as to promote an air of mystery and intrigue you wish to make it appear as if you simply...appeared out of thin air."

He rolls his eyes, not looking around as he shakes his head, concentrating on the last circuit. "Well, Ah s'pose dat's one way o'puttin' it. Don't sound quite s'funny dat way, t'ough."

Another tendril of smoke escapes into the air and dissipates. "Dere. All set." Setting the laser aside, he closes the panel and stands, stretching. Turning towards the tablet, he picks it up and heads over to the opposite side of the archway.

Leaning down, he sets the tablet on the floor and picks up a flat disc nearly a foot in diameter. Turning, he opens a panel just big enough for it to fit into. "We did get de mess'ge to de office back on de ot'er side, right?"

"Of course, sir. According to the response from Mr. Pontius, everything you've requested is ready and awaiting activation of the portal."

Nodding, he slips the disc into its space and closes the panel. There is a sudden, upward-cycling whine that quickly goes beyond the range of human hearing as power surges through the frame of the archway.

And nothing else.

Arching an eyebrow, he walks into the archway, stopping just before the blank stretch of wall, and reaches out to touch it.

As his hand reaches the point where the wall should stop it, it suddenly vanishes. No lights, or flashes, or pretty colors. It's as if the wall simply swallowed his hand.

The grin spreading across his face is one of pride and satisfaction. This particular design was one he hadn't tested yet, except on a much smaller scale - which is how he got here in the first place.

And he had been pleased at what he found, too. Not that it would be something he would widely advertise outside his company, and that to a select few.

He likes this world the way it is.

Turning away from the archway, he steps to the side, picking up his tablet and walking to the other side of the room to the loading dock and pushes the huge double doors open onto the night.

"All right, den. Tell 'em it's time t'go."

A few moments later, the first semi rolls through the archway, silent but for the subtle sound of tread under its wheels.
The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously.

- Friedrich Nietzche

Edward Batten

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Re:
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2011, 02:28:26 PM »
Batten Manor - lower level

It's been four days, and already it feels like home.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that he'd had this sublevel built in to match his original labs at his house back on Earth. The rest of the house isn't nearly as identical, but - just like on Earth - he's not planning on spending a whole lot of time up there anyway.

This level is access controlled, of course, and has better security even than his office labs. The work he does there will eventually see the light of day, and while the security there is still top-notch, if someone does manage to break it the consequences won't be disastrous.

But here, he keeps his private work. Projects that have seen the light of day, yes, but nothing he will ever distribute to the public.

The elevator drops him down to the lower level and he steps out of it into the cool room. Lights flicker on and holographic displays leap into being, wire frameworks in front of, next to and around numerous alcoves and work spaces. Despite having only moved in a few days ago, the room looks like it contains as many incomplete projects as it does finished products.

Walking over to his main workstation - a desk whose appearance for the time being is slightly cluttered but still somewhat neat - he drops into his seat. At the corner of his desk, another hologram flares to life, but rather than the wireframe schematics that seem to litter the room elsewhere, this one is a diminutive golden construct in the shape of a petite, curvy girl with brilliant cerulean eyes, speaking in the same youthful feminine voice that had issued from his tablet days prior.

"Good afternoon, sir."

He doesn't look in her direction as he starts looking through a couple memos that are showing on the monitor built into the desk. "Aft'rnoon, Di. How we lookin'?"

The hologram blinks once before responding. "Very well, sir. The last of the fiberop has been laid and we are networked to the offices, the condominiums and the haven. Security monitoring is available at all locations within your specifications."

He nods, deleting the memos. "Got any ideas fer de housewarmin' party?"

Her response is immediate. "Yes, sir. I've taken the liberty of putting the details into a message I am sending you now."

The monitor shows the message at the exact same moment,which he opens. Reading through it, a smile spreads across his face. "Dis is genius, Di. But ya got any idea who Ah'd talk to 'bout settin' dis...ah." The question falls short as he gets to the bottom of the message, and he grins wider and nods. "All right, den. Ah'm thinkin' Ah'll have dat set up by de end o' de week."

The holographic construct nods. "Very good, sir. And what are we working on today?"

Standing and stretching, he grins as he starts over for a nearby workbench. "We're gonna be puttin' de finishin' touches an' installin' de E.A.R.S. software into de Mark 9 t'day, Ah'm thinkin'."

With a flicker of light, the contruct disappears from the desk and pops up at the work space. "Excellent, sir. I am uploaded and ready to begin."

With a nod, he picks up his tools and approaches. "Let's get started."
The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously.

- Friedrich Nietzche

Edward Batten

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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 06:23:49 PM »
A push of the door admits the tall, lean figure dressed in jeans, a shirt and a black leather-looking thigh-length coat. Stormy blue-grey eyes scan the room as he turns for the bar, running a hand through his thick black hair as he looks around. Interestingly, he notes, there are more than a few people here...and at least half of them appear to be teenagers.

Including a couple of rather attractive girls, though quite a bit too young for his tastes. The dark haired one glances his way, nudging her friend and speaking more than loud enough for him to hear. "Reckon tha' one's a sucker fer the big eyes routine?"

Her red-haired friend - who looks a bit familiar to his eyes, for some reason - turns from her flirtation with a boy about their age and giggles as she says something in return, though just soft enough that he can't make it all out.

It's a mighty effort that keeps him from rolling his eyes, though as he spies them watching him. A wink and a grin goes their way as he heads behind the break in the bar and for the cooler holding the beer. The dark-haierd one returns it rather boldly, and he can't help but chuckle to himself as he opens the cooler and starts rooting around.

Of course, he had noticed the much more adult (and therefore not off-limits) redhead behind the bar - like a lot of guys, he's a sucker for a redhead - and as he's grabbing for a Badsider he catches her addressing him, her tone light and teasing. "Make a girl feel useless."

The hand digging in the cooler comes out with a bottle of Badsider as he throws a glance over his shoulder at the girl, looking her up and down with an appreciative eye. "Ah wouldn' go sayin' yer useless, chere. Y'all're doin' enough just standin' there lookin' good." Popping the top off his beer, he gives her a wink as he slips out from behind the bar again, heading for a table.

Settling into his chair, he props his feet up on the one across from him, his eyes regarding the group at the bar. There seems to be an epidemic of children around the city, some sort of magic at work in its wierd ways. Fortunately, the effect seemed to have missed him. The eyes settle on the young redhead for a long moment, a thoughtful look on his face. Reaching into his jacket, he pulls out a rectangular black tablet just about the width and length of a paperback book, but no thicker than a few sheets of paper. It must be electronic, because it lights up as soon as he touches the broad surface like he's typing. Pulling up a program, he captures an image and accesses his home database, pulling another picture from his files taken at the wedding reception he had attended a while back.

He can see the similarity immediately, but just to be sure he pulls up an image referencing program and runs the comparison. The stormy blue-grey eyes look between the girl and his pad as he waits, a slight grin spreading over his features as the program finishes its work and confirms his suspicion. Chuckling, he taps one thin side of the tablet and it abruptly goes blank. Setting it down, he takes a drink of his beer as he goes back to looking around.

He nearly chokes on his beer then as a woman - whom this strange magic that had changed so many to children hadn't affected, clearly - gets into a pissing contest with one of the teens. Managing to swallow, he laughs as he shakes his head. As they go back and forth and the woman makes a remark about the girl's accent - which he understands just fine, and is sure the woman does too - he chimes in helpfully, chuckling. "Ah do b'lieve she's tellin' y'all off, petit."

Accents are a cinch when you have one thick enough that he sometimes gets asked to repeat himself...particularly when his BAC is starting to add up. The look on his face is amused as he watches the conversation going back and forth, chuckling to himself. When the dark-haired teenager lets fly in Gaelic and tells the older woman to go f*ck herself, he can't help but burst out in laughter.

He manages to get it down to chuckles as Lelah is talking back to her opponent, and between laughs he shakes his head, speaking more to himself than anyone else. "Ah, Lord...y'all're killin' me..." He chuckles, turning back to his beer for a long swallow and picking up the thin black tablet again as he hears the unidirectional speaker chime once at him. A touch to the screen causes it to light up with a scrolling display of information, and he hears Di's synthesized voice as the feed starts showing him data and status for one of his provate projects. "Sir, the Mark 9 software upload has been completed and the diagnostic routines are finished. I am sending you the results now." The speaker broadcasts the sound to him alone, so that no one else hears it.

He's still listening in to the talking going on at the bar with half an ear, chuckling softly as he continues reading, tapping the screen now and again. As the feed wraps up, he nods. "Looks good, Di. Get de line config'red an' let's get a prototype set up fer a trial run." Another tap to the edge of the device causes it to go blank just as a familiar female voice comes from nearby. "Is that the new iPad?"

Looking up he sees the woman that had been going back and forth with the dark-haired teenager. Well, now, not bad at all. With a grin, he picks up the tablet. Right now, it looks like a rectangular piece of glossy black plastic more than anything else. "Y'all mean dis thang? Nah...dis makes de iPad look like an ol' plowhorse by compar'son."

[size=9]((Continued in next post))[/size]
The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously.

- Friedrich Nietzche

Edward Batten

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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 06:26:21 PM »
She oohs, her expression covetous, and he can't help but grin, an eyebrow arching slightly. Not everyone likes fancy toys and gadgets, but those people that do he finds he can relate with, and to find a pretty girl like this one that likes toys makes it even better. Of course, what makes it really cool is that a lot of his toys he makes himself...including the tablet. "Jus' one o' mah many li'l toys. Did ya have fun wit' de adolescentes?"

She grins sheepishly back at him, an expression that takes her from pretty to nearly gorgeous. "Yeah, that wasn't my finest hour.  Kinda embarrassing, actually."

He chuckles, waving it away amidst the background noise of two teenage girls having a shouting match over one getting soaked down with cider. "Ah think it could happ'n t'de best o' us, <I>chere</I>. I's easy t'say dat yer s'posed t'be de mature one an' walk 'way...act'ally doin' it ain't nearly 's'easy in practice."

She nodded, sipping her beer thoughtfully.  "You're Cajun, right?  Or Creole?  I get them confused."

He nods, grinning as he gives her a little slaute with his own bottle . "Cajun it is, darlin'. Creoless're a bit harder t'understand, or so Ah've been told." Motioning to a seat, he gives her a wink. "Take a load off, if yer of a mind. My name's Ed Batten."

She sat, gave him a smile full of dazzlingly white teeth and confirming his suspicion that a full smile from her could get just about any man's attention, and says, "Lelah Rivka.  It's nice to meet you."  She pronounced it 'Lee-lah'.  Then she nodded at the plethora of children at the bar.  "What do you make of this?"

He glances at the bar, arching an eyebrow a little as he grins. "Well, Ah'll tell ya, Ah've seen some strange things, but dis is a li'l wild, ev'n fer me." Chuckling, he turns back to Leelah. "O'course, from what Ah've gath'red strange things're pretty comm'n 'round here."

Only to find that she's no longer there. Seems he was talking to himself for that minute. What was that he was just saying about strange things? Shrugging to himself, he drains his beer and sets the empty on the table. Standing and stretching a moment, he heads back for the bar, eyeing the dark-haired girl on it with a grin as he slips behind the counter. "Yer Gaelic is pretty good, li'l lady."

A dazzling smile appeared on her face in response. "M'better at it than English," she shrugged, trying to appear dismissive and failing miserably. Her hand shot out, offered to Edward for a shake. "M'Niamh, nice tae meet'cha."

He's about to begin his own search - for a drink rather than for cigarettes - and is distracted by that dazzling smile and an outstretched hand. The reaction is automatic, of course - reaching out, he takes that hand and bows over it a bit, a gesture that for all its casual presentation is pure Southern charm at work before he lets it go. "Ed Batten, Niamh. Pleased t'meet yer acquaintance." Catching the wink from over her shoulder by the redhead, he grins that direction. That wink is returned in perfect rogue's fashion to Lilli with a matching grin. "And yer fire-haired friend here is Lilliana, if Ah'm not much mistak'n."

At this point someone clearly feels the need to point out the obvious as he ambles up to the par, looking pointedly at him and the pair of girls on the bar. "Fifteen gets you twenty, dude."

And then throw in Niamh's contribution, which he manages to avoid blushing at by a mighty effort. "Aye, that she is. Yer sex on legs, yanno that?" Brazen girls, he likes. But no matter how emotionally mature, too young is too young.  

Glancing the man's way, he just chuckles. "Ah'm not de cradle-robbin' type, mon ami. But t'anks fer de word o'caution." Niamh gets another wink and a grin as he glances at the bottles, picking out one of rum.

"Just sayin', friend." The man settles onto the barstool, his beer held between his hands. He quirked a half grin at Niamh. The look he gave Edward was a whole lot less charming or friendly.

It's the rare event that gets him to bristle, inside or out, but the look and its implication are enough to do it. Where he's from, making that kind of accusation more or less unfounded was enough to get you shot. Still, he manages to keep his tone civil. "Ya know, dat look c'n get ya in trouble. 'Specially from a man dat was raised wit' de b'lief dat a person dat takes unfair advantage of a girl is right down dere wit' whale sh*t."

"My thoughts, exactly, friend." The man takes another deep pull from the cigarette and the smoke lazily curled about his head as he exhaled. "Men that take advantage of little girls are worse than whale sh*t. And I'm sure you're so much better than whale sh*t." He smirked at both Niamh and Edward, then took another hit.

Ed grins at that, cracking the seal on his rum and pouring a glass. "Dat, mon ami, is a matter fer public opin'on t'decide. I do mah best t'maintain a level o' character dat stays over sea level." Following this is a long drink from the glass.

"Let's keep it that way, friend." From the man as he takes another drink of his beer.

Well, whatever. He can let that pass - some people just don't expect any better than a certain level and take a lot of convincing before they'll - most times grudgingly - change their opinion. And besides, what others believe about him matters about as much to him as the weather matters to a rock.

So, rather than push for a pissing match, he heads back for his table. Settling into his chair once again, he sets the bottle of rum on the table and props his boots up on the other chair once again. Stormy blue-grey eyes begin wandering the room again, his expression calm and thoughtful as he watches the others for a bit.

For a while, he's content to sit at his table and listen, and watch. It's some time later that a soft, pleasant musical chiming sounds from the flat tablet, and he touches the screen with a finger. Instantly the screen flashes to life and information begins scrolling over it, lighting up his features for a moment.

As he looks over the scrolling display, Di's voice sounds again from the tablet. "Sir, the line is configured and the assembly process is standing by. Would you like to make any modifications?" He doesn'st say anything for the moment, just starts tapping and sliding his fingers over its surface, sometimes seeming to type, others almost like he's drawing with his fingertips. The motions are fluid and sure, moving swiftly as he works. The semi-autonomous AI does precise work, but unfortunately some subtleties tend to escape her.

It's a fair length of time he's working at the tablet, but finally he straightens and nods. "Jus' like dat." He sees the AI's features pop up in the corner of the screen, looking as if she's about to interject. "No, no...jus' do it like dat and den send it over t' Performance an' Testin' and we'll do de rest in de mornin'. Ah'll be gettin' dere in a li'l bit."

Tapping the edge of the tablet to turn it off, he takes another long swallow of his rum. With a sigh and a tilt of his head, he drains his glass, then gets to his feet and heads for the door.  A moment later and he's out into the night.

[size=9]((Thanks to Lelah, CherubicMagic, Niamh O'Donovan, Dirk Stevens, Lucky Clover and everyone else for the play!))[/size]
The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously.

- Friedrich Nietzche

Edward Batten

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Re:
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 01:34:27 PM »
Batten Manor - lower level

It's quiet down here, save for the music and the occasional sizzling sound of electricity arcing. Near a worksation in the back, he sits, bent over yet another project. This one looks to be a skeletal frame more than anything else at the moment, with several glowing, fiberoptic leads that are attached at different points and lead to what appears to be some kind of monitoring device that scrolls information across its displays in varying forms.

He's reaching for another tool when the holographic girl flickers to life just in front of his hand. "Whatcha got fer me, Di?"

The hologram doesn't hesitate a moment. "Sir, I am pleased to report that the industrial complex is complete. Mr. Pontius has sent a list of staffing choices from the main offices for your approval."

He nods, standing and stretching before stepping out of the work station, careful not to detach any of the FO leads. Heading for the main desk, he crosses the room and drops into the chair behind it. The monitor built into the surface flickers to life at the same instant that the hologram appears at the corner of the desk.

"All right, le's see what we got here..."

He looks as the list scrolls by, all names he knows and trusts, all that have been with the company for a while, most since its inception.

Except...

"Er...Di? Dis guy here, dat Pont put down fer headin' de security division..."

The hologram nods once. "Yes, sir. Mr. Pontius included the file for that one. He thought you might have questions."

A tap to the screen pulls up the file, which he reads attentively. "Dat's really his name, huh? Poor guy. No wonder he pr'fers it t'be shortened." Reading on, a grin touches his lips, which begins to spread slowly. By the time he's finished with the file, he's nodding and smiling. "All right, dat works. Dis guy I'm wantin' t'meet fer m'self b'fore he takes over de secur'ty division, but if ol' Pont likes 'im, Ah'll prob'ly get 'long wit' 'im jus' fine."

The hologram nods again. "Very good, sir. I'll schedule the interview for Friday morning."

He gives her a glare. "Nah. Afternoon, Di. Y'know Ah hate mornin'meetin's."

"Yes, sir. Shall we have an opening ceremony for the complex?"

He nods, standing from behind the desk. "Yeah. Put dat down fer Monday mornin'...nothin' fancy, just a quick ceremony an' Ah'll give a li'l speech." The words come out of his mouth like they have a bad taste to them. He hates the necessities of owning your own company, and occasionally wishes he could let someone else handle it...but he's seen what happens all to often that way, and he has no desire to turn control of his family's legacy to people that would more than likely pervert it.

"Excellent, sir. And for the housewarming?"

He frowns slightly, pausing at the side of the desk as he considers it. He knows that there's some sort of event this weekend, so that's out. The next weekend, though...

"Le's get somethin' set up fer next Saturday night. Catering, music, all o' dat. We shouldn' have too much problem fittin' all o' dat here at de Manor."

"Very good, sir."

He nods, turning for the work station he had been at until he was interrupted. "Coo'. Got anyt'ing else for me, Di?"

"Not at this time, sir."

He nods, settling in next to the skeletal framework and picking up the tool he'd been reaching for - a soldering iron - and bending over his project once more.
The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously.

- Friedrich Nietzche